Cheap Passage to New York, May 1874

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Cheap Passage to New York, May 1874

Post by Sduddy » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:40 pm

In the 1870s, when both Canada and Australia were offering assisted passage* to domestic servants and labourers, the price of the passage to New York dipped at one point to as low as £3. On Sat 2 May 1874 the Anchor Line advertised passage to New York at £6 8s (steerage)**, but, by the following Saturday, the rate had dropped to £3:
Clare Freeman, Sat 9 May 1874:
Emigration from Kilrush. Crowds of people are to be seen every day in and around Mr Gibson’s Emigration Office, Moore Street, Kilrush, anxiously enquiring about the position, &c., of friends and acquaintances scattered over the green fields of America. On Wednesday the servant boys and girls of the town took advantage of the present low rate to New York, viz. - £3 a head, and eighty six booked and paid deposits for steamers, belonging to different companies, sailing from Queenstown the week after next.
*Clare Freeman, Sat 9 May 1874:
Emigration to Canada. Province of Ontario.
The Government of the Dominion of Canada grants Assisted passages to Quebec, to approved Emigrants for £4 15s each.
Married Agricultural Laborers and their families and Female Domestic Servants are in much demand in Canada, to whom assisted passages, when recommended and approved of, will be given at reduced rates.
The very low rates are only allowed to the above parties when they are absolutely unable to pay the regular fares.
In addition to the above inducements, the Government of Ontario, through the undersigned, will grant Refund Bonus Certificates which will entitle the holders after Three Month’s Residence in Ontario, to the sum of 6 dollars, or £1 4s 8d sterling each.
Every head of a family can get, upon arrival in the Province of Ontario, 200 Acres Of Land Free, and every child, boy or girl, Over 18 Years, 100 Acres.
Every information concerning the soil, climate, production, rates of wages, &c., &c., can be obtained, free of charge, by applying personally, or by letter, to J. Murphy.
Ontario (Canada) Government Emigration Agent, 2 Patrick Quay, Cork.
*Clare Freeman, Sat 9 May 1874:
Cheap Emigration to Australia. The South Australian Government have issued regulations granting “assisted” or reduced passages to artisans, agricultural, and other labourers, miners, and gardeners, under 50 years of age, and if married their wives and families; and also to single female domestic servants, or widows (without children under 12), not over 40 years of age, according to the following scales: Males or females under 12 years, 3s each; Males or females from 12 to 40 years, £4 each; and from 40 to 50 years, £8 each. Infants under 12 months free.
**Clare Freeman, Sat 2 May 1874: Advertisement:
“Anchor” Line. Queenstown to New York Weekly.
Splendid Steamers of the Line sail every Saturday for New York.
Rates. Cabin, £12 12s and £13 to New York.
Intermediate, £8 8s and Steerage, £6 8s to New York, Boston, Quebec, Portland, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
Passengers Booked through to all parts of America and Canada, at very moderate rates.
Passengers are advised to Book with Local Agents before leaving home.
Steamers from Londonderry every Sunday Morning.
Apply to Henderson Brothers, Glasgow, London, Liverpool, Londonderry, and Westbourne Terrace Queenstown; or to Mr Mathias O’Connoll, Kilrush.
Mr. M. S. Gibson, Kilrush. Mr John Parsons, Ennis. Mr George Smith, Clare Castle.
Not everybody felt happy about servants being assisted to emigrate. Servants were “quite as much wanted at home as in Australia”:
Clare Freeman, Sat 29 Nov 1873:
Ennis Union. Assistance to Paupers to Emigrate.
Mr Pearson proposed the £2 should be given to Ellen O’Shaughnessy for clothing to emigrate, her passage to Australia having been paid by her aunt.
Mr Greene advocated a similar application from Mary Kearney, a servant at £1 5s per quarter at Patrick Roughan’s, Clonroad.
The applicant, in reply to questions from members of the Board stated that she had obtained for £1 a Government passage to Australia, but that she, or her mother, could not afford a penny more for clothes or incidental expenses. She consequently applied to the Board to grant her the small additional sum necessary.
Several members of the Board having expressed disinclination to grant any assistance to persons receiving free emigration from Government; and also that women and servants were quite as much wanted at home as in Australia, Mr Greene did not press his motion, seeing the feeling of the Board to be adverse.
I think the cheap rates offered by Mr Gibson did not last very long. The Clare Freeman reported on a meeting held in Liverpool, the outcome of which probably put an end to the cheap rates:
Clare Freeman, Sat 5 Sep 1874:
Emigration Rates. At a meeting in Liverpool this week of the representatives of steamship companies who constitute the Atlantic Conference, a scale of rates was agreed upon, which will, if carried out, remove much of the dissatisfaction at present prevailing. Steerage passengers are to be charge uniformly five guineas by the fast lines, and five pounds by the slower ones. The minimum rate for goods is to be about 50 per cent. lower than that originally charged. These arrangements will give an impetus to emigration, and probably increase our commercial relations with the new country to an enormous extent. The change is certainly a radical one, but the tariff [word here smudged] certainly called for large and prompt reform. The rates provisionally resolved upon are only “to be determined by three months’s notice.”

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