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HINTS TO EMIGRANTS

By Rev. William Bell
Published in Edinburgh by Waugh and Innes in 1824.
Transcribed by Rupert Speyer (g-g-g-grandson of the author).


           The text of "Hints" was scanned in and corrected by Rupert Speyer. I have made a few minor additional changes, mainly the removal of several hundred commas, many no doubt caused by speckling of the printed pages. A few words are contained in [square brackets] indicating a word inserted or changed to make sense. These errors should be sorted out over time and the files updated. -- Charles Dobie, Nov. 7, 1998.
Letter I Includes Title Page, Introduction and first letter. Reasons for leaving, introduction to ship Rothiemurchus, and first week on board, from the 5th to 11th of April, 1817. People mentioned by name: Mrs. BELL, Captain WATSON, Rev. Mr. TAYLOR.
Letter II April 13th to 19th. Ship in violent storm, reaches Orkney Islands.
Letter III April 20th. to May 3rd. Leave Stromness April 22; in western ocean by 24th; rebellion on ship because of bad provisions; continuing dispute over Sabbath services; 751 miles west from Greenwich on the 30th.
Letter IV May 4th to 17th. Violent storm; some passengers sick from rotten meat; ice bergs on the 16th.; becalmed on the 17th. New people mentioned by name: First Mate RICHMOND.
Letter V May 18th to 31st. Ice and whales; sight coast of Newfoundland on 21st.; trapped in pack ice on 24th.; Anticosti Island on 28th.; many passengers sick; pilot taken aboard on 28th.; anchor 30 miles below Quebec on 31st.
Letter VI June 1st. to 7th. Landed Quebec on 2nd.; descriptions of Quebec; onto steamboat Malsham bound for Montreal. New people mentioned by name: Governor-General, Sir J. C. SHERBROKE, Colonel MYERS.
Letter VII June 8th. to 14th. Three Rivers; Montreal on 9th.; into batteaux bound for LaChine; to Lake St. Francis on 14th. New people mentioned by name: Mr. CLARKE, Rev. Mr. EASTON.
Letter VIII June 15th. to 21st. Lancaster in Glengary Co.; Cornwall; Williamsburgh; Prescott; visit to Ogdensburg; cursing & drunkeness; fights between English & Americans; waggons refuse to take party to Perth; on to Brockville. New people mentioned by name: Messrs. EASTON, MORRIS, STUART, SMART.
Letter IX June 22nd. to 25th. Loan of horse to start journey to Perth; arrive on 24th.; description of Town of Perth. New people mentioned by name: Captain FOWLER.
Letter X Short history of first immigrants to Perth; abuses committed against settlers; table of prices; discussion of currency and local prices; appeal for introduction of industry. New people mentioned by name: Colonel MACDONNELL, Colonel COCKBURN.
Letter XI Mention of canal construction; Robertson settlers; description of Richmond settlement. New people mentioned by name: Major BURKE, Mr. ROBERTSON, Captain LYONS.
Letter XII Mention of settlement of Lanark; 1821 emigration; construction of churches, roads; County now contains more than 6,000 inhabitants. New people mentioned by name: Lord Archibald HAMILTON, Kirkman FINLAY, Esq., Mr. Robert LAMOND, Lord DALHOUSIE, Colonel MARSHALL.
Letter XIII A discussion of the need for religion in the Colonies; start of a list of Presbyterian congregations, naming their ministers, etc.: Williamstown, Lochiel, River Raisin, McMartins Mills, Lancaster, Cornwall, Osnabruck, Williamsburg, Matilda, Prescott. New people mentioned by name: Rev. Drs. STEWART, SPARKS, HARKNESS; Rev. Messrs SOMMERVILLE, EASTON, HENDERSON, TAYLOR, BRUNTON, BERTRAM, McKENZIE, McLAREN, FLETCHER; Mrs. JESSOP; Messrs KIRKLAND, GLEN, BETHUNE, BOYD, SMART.
Letter XIV Continuation of previous list: Brockville and Perth. New people mentioned by name: Rev. Drs. HALL, PEDDIE.
Letter XV Perth continued: attempts to remove Rev. Bell from his ministry; Descriptions of Presbyterian congregations in Lanark, Beckwith, Richmond, Kingston, Ernest Town, Fredericksburg, Haldemand, Markham, York, Yonge Street (now Toronto), Niagara, Stamford, St. Catherines and The Talbot Settlement. New people mentioned by name: Col. COCKBURN, Rev. Messrs GEMMILL, GLEN, BARCLAY, McDOWALL, JENKINS, HARRIS, BURNS, CREEN, JOHNSTONE, WRIGHT, EASTMAN, SCHEMELHORNE.
Letter XVI Perth anecdotes: refusal to baptise those who have not had instruction; establishment of a Sunday school and a regular school; erection of a school-house.
Letter XVII Description of two trips in 1817: one on foot from Perth to Rideau Settlement to preach; another to Kingston, Gananoque & Brockville. New people mentioned by name: Col. & Mrs. STONE, Messrs PURVIS, SMART.
Letter XVIII Being lost in the woods in winter; travelling conditions in winter; summer storms; fires; near drownings.
Letter XIX Sabbath profaned; 1820 Provincial election; religious arguments. New people mentioned by name: Messrs CLARKE, DELISLE, MORRIS.
Letter XX Much mis-information is spread by people about Canada; settlers must make their own way, etc.; description of spring floods; how church is organized; many improvements made in state of the country; earthquakes in Perth. New people mentioned by name: Governor-in-Chief, Sir John SHERBROOKE.
Letter XXI Canadian farmers very inefficient; "I do not think, however, that any place in the province will be found more agreeable than Perth, when all circumstances are considered"; hints to emigrants.
Letter XXII Hints to emigrants continue with geographical descriptions -- Montreal and boats to the west, Brockville, County of Carleton, description of the Great Lakes, Quebec City, Three Rivers, St. Lawrence River, Lower Canada, Upper Canada, York, Kingston, Niagara; House of Assembly.
Letter XXIII Description of each of the lakes found on the St. Lawrence system, starting at the east; then Lake Simcoe, Rideau Lakes, Mississippi Lake; discussion of exports, local manufacturing, forest products, local horses, wild animals, birds, insects, etc.
Letter XXIV Distance tables -- Quebec to Montreal, Montreal to Kingston, Kingston to York; table of populations for each county; financing of roads; postage; compensation for war damage; construction of canals; increase of population and surveying of new townships.
Letter XXV A discussion of government and a transcript of two petitions concerning breach of privilege of two returning officers; confusion caused at elections because some holding only location tickets were allowed to vote. People mentioned by name: Sir Peregrine MAITLAND, Robert C. HORNE, Esq., David PATTIE, Joseph FORTUNE, William HAMILTON, Hon. William D. POWELL, Messrs JONES, CROOKS, RUTMAN, NICHOL, BURWELL, John David SMITH, John William BANNISTER, Charles FOTHERGILL, John WILLIAMS, John TAYLOR, Jeremiah BUTTON, Samuel Street WILMOT, George Strange BOULTON, Thomas WARD.
Appendix
Letter I
(The appendix is by William's son, Andrew Bell). Hints to emigrants which have not been covered by the previous letters; best time and place for Atlantic crossing; which items to bring and which to purchase in Canada; currency; seasickness; batteaux from Montreal to Upper Canada; acquiring land: purchase and rental; short history of Perth settlement; security from invasion from Americans in case of another war; availability of land; finding of Indian artifacts. People mentioned by name: Captain McEVAR.
Appendix
Letter II
Considerations in chosing a good piece of land; what to do if lost in the forest; building the first dwelling, clearing the land, planting the first crop; making soap from ashes; making of lye from potash.
Appendix
Letter III
Sowing crops; appearance of the land after clearing; tapping of sugar maples and making of syrup and sugar; garden crops; planting wheat; Indian corn and pumpkins; discussion of other crops which can be planted; a settler can succeed with hard work; availability of good water; can live as well in Canada as in any country in the world.