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Elliott, Bruce, 2004-2005: Emigrant Recruitment by the New Brunswick Land
The Pioneer Settlers of Stanley and Harvey.


The Berwick settlers

While the Canada Company and BALC agents were targeting East Anglia for agricultural immigrants, the NBLC centred its attention upon another region, the eastern Borders between England and Scotland.   Emigration from the north of England, especially from Yorkshire and Co. Durham, dated back to the 1770s and had been directed to the Maritimes off and on for fifty years.   Northumberland had not been immune from this movement, as Roger Woodhouse has recently demonstrated, but its involvement was not as important as that of Yorkshire.   By the 1830s, however, the Yorkshire movement largely had been diverted to opportunities in Upper Canada.   Emigration to Prince Edward Island from the western Borders, especially from Dumfriesshire, Scotland, sailing from Dumfries or Annan or from ports in the adjoining English county of Cumberland, was well-established and was having some spillover into New Brunswick. (30)  But it is questionable whether the Company was aware of this, and why it chose to target the eastern Borders remains uncertain.   Over 1,200 emigrants from the area had embarked for Quebec from Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1831-35, but by the latter year numbers were falling off dramatically, achieving only single digits in 1836 and little better during the two succeeding years. (31) Perhaps declining interest in Canada could provide an opportunity to recruit for another colony. (32)


(30) Lucille Campey, 'A Very Fine Class of Immigrants':   Prince Edward Island's Scottish Pioneers, 1770-1850 (Toronto: Natural Heritage, 2001), chap. 5.


(31) Numbers extracted from the shipping news in the Quebec Gazette newspaper, some of the details confirmed by similar columns in the Berwick Advertiser.   The Berwick-upon-Tweed Archives is assembling a statistical dataset from the latter source.   For details of an emigrant voyage from Berwick to Quebec in 1834, see Daniel James Brock, "The Account of Two Families Who Settled Near Simcoe", Ontario History, LVIII, no. 1 (March 1966): 43-57.   Edward J. Cowan, "From the Southern Uplands to Southern Ontario: Nineteenth-Century Emigration from the Scottish Borders", in T.M. Devine, ed., Scottish Emigration and Scottish Society (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1992), 61-83, discusses movement to the Guelph/Galt area of Ontario from the central and western Borders, but does not discuss Berwickshire, nor does he mention Berwick as an emigration port.


(32) In December 1836 the Berwick newspaper printed an encouraging letter from James Purves, a Berwick stonemason who had been transported to Van Dieman's Land, but was now "behaving uncommonly well", enjoying constant employment, and expecting to obtain his freedom in a week or two.   Berwick Advertiser, 10 December 1836, p. 4, cols. 2-3.