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Colonial Promoters: Tactics, Rubrics and Rhetorics

  • Robert D. Grant

Abstract

In 1848, the Emigrant’s Friend had cautioned prospective emigrants against false information purveyed by joint stock companies and emigrant associations, ship owners and others who had ‘too deep an interest in recommending a Colony, to do so with candour or truth’. Even the British government would show only the favourable side of a colony, the author warned, when its object was the removal of a large number of discontented poor. A few years later, Godfrey Mundy exhorted potential emigrants not to be seduced into thinking those benevolent societies and philanthropic individuals that solicited expatriation, nor the colonies that welcomed them with open-arms, were motivated wholly by generous feelings. It was in the interest of the former to ‘shovel you out’, he advised laconically, and for the latter to force down the price of labour by ensuring an excess of supply over demand. He assured his readers he had no particular interest in misrepresenting the colonies he described: as wholly independent of them, he had ‘neither pique, partiality, nor prejudice to indulge’. Writers and reviewers sometimes made a point of stressing the impartiality of their advice to emigrants. Joseph Townsend claimed to have written his work on New South Wales to meet the growing interest in emigration. Having quit the colony, he assured his readers, he had no land to sell, ‘and no interest in puffing a particular locality’.

Keywords

Ship Owner Zealand Company Saturday Review Household Word Potential Emigrant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    J. Allen, The Emigrant’s Friend (London, 1848) pp. 5–6; Mundy, vol. 3, p. 101; vol. 1, p. viiGoogle Scholar
  2. Joseph Townsend, Rambles and Observations in New South Wales (London, 1849) p. v; Anon., ‘Letters from Canterbury, New Zealand’, Saturday Review, vol. 3, no. 68 (14 February 1857).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thomson, vol. 2, pp. 308–309; Walter Brodie, Remarks on the Present State of New Zealand (London, 1845) pp. 112 & 113; Swainson, p. 213Google Scholar
  4. William Oliver, Eight Months in Illinois (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1843) p. 139.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Emigration figures as a result of gold discoveries are from Dudley Baines, Migration in a Mature Economy (Cambridge, 1985) pp. 63 & 64. Mundy, vol. 1, pp. 132, 132(n) 398 & 408–409; Taylor, p. 268; Thomson, vol. 2, pp. 171–172.Google Scholar
  6. Details of the limited prospects awaiting the ‘49ers’ is given in Robert Hine & John Mack Faragher, The American West, A New Interpretive History (New Haven & London, 2000) p. 238.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    John Hale, Settlers: Being Extracts from the Journals and Letters of Early Colonists (London, 1950) p. 118Google Scholar
  8. Albin Martin, Journal of an Emigrant from Dorsetshire to New Zealand (London, 1852) typescript copy (Christchurch: Canterbury Museum, ARC 1900.39) p. 31Google Scholar
  9. C. Warren Adams, Spring in the Canterbury Settlement (London, 1853) pp. 82–83.Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    John Gallagher & Ronald Robinson, ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade’, South African Journal of Economic History, vol. 7, no. 1 (1992) pp. 27–44; Mungo Park, Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa (London, 1799) pp. 260–262; John Campbell, Travels in South Africa (London, 1815) pp. 176–177 & 247; James Bruce, Travels … through Part of Africa (London, 1820) p. iv.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 7.
    Figures on emigration are from Charlotte Erickson, Leaving England (Ithaca & London, 1994) p. 90Google Scholar
  12. Eric Evans, Forging of the Modern State (London, 1993) pp. 394 & 395; John Ward, Information Relative to New Zealand (London, 1839) pp. vi, 6 & 13.Google Scholar
  13. 8.
    Various writers provide figures for numbers of emigrants from Britain: Fred Hitchins, The Colonial Land and Emigration Commission (Philadelphia, 1931) pp. 318–319Google Scholar
  14. Wilbur Shepperson, British Emigration to North America (Oxford, 1957) pp. 257–259; Erickson, p. 169.Google Scholar
  15. The primary source is usually N. H. Carrier & J. R. Jeffery, External Migration (London, 1953); Erickson, p. 191 Haines, pp. 166–195 passim Google Scholar
  16. John Wood, Twelve Months in Wellington (London, 1843) p. 77Google Scholar
  17. Sarah Greenwood quoted in John Miller, Early Victorian New Zealand (London, 1974) p. 33Google Scholar
  18. Thomas Arnold, Passages of a Wandering Life (London, 1900) p. 64Google Scholar
  19. Arthur Willis, Gann & Co., The New Zealand ‘Emigrant’s Bradshaw’ (London, 1858); Handbuch für Auswanderer nach Neuseeland [Handbook for Emigrants to New Zealand] (Franfurt am Maine, 1859); John Beit, Auswanderungen und Colonisation [Emigration and Colonisation]. (Hamburg, 1842); Johann Sturtz, German Emigration to British Colonies (London, 1840).Google Scholar
  20. 9.
    Chase, pp. xii, 213 & 215; Thompson pp. 431–432; Harriet Ward, p. 3; Francis Fleming, Kaffraria, and its Inhabitants (London, 1853) p. 55.Google Scholar
  21. 10.
    William Brown, America: A Four Years’ Residence in the United States and Canada (Leeds, 1849) p. 94; Thomson, vol. 2, p. 310; Townsend, p. 251 (original emphasis); Mundy, vol. 1, pp. 403–404; Chase, p. 218.Google Scholar
  22. 11.
    Dawson, p. 198 (original emphasis); Fleming, p. 58; Townsend, pp. 62–63; Anon., ‘Lines on Leaving my Birthplace’, White Star Journal, (Melbourne, 1855) facsimile edition Mystic, 1951, Saturday, 16 June 1855, p. 22; France George, ‘An Emigrant’s Glance Home’, Household Words, vol. 4, no. 107 (10 April 1852), p. 80. All attributions of Household Words articles are from Anne Lohrli (comp.), Household Words, … List of Contributors and their Contributions (Toronto, 1973); Martha Adams, Journal 1850–1852, typescript, Alexander Turnbull Library, pp. 259–260, quoted in ‘My Hand Will Write What My Heart Dictates’, (ed.), Frances Porter & Charlotte Macdonald (Auckland, 1996) p. 88;Google Scholar
  23. 13.
    On Slater’s preparations, see Jennifer Quérée, (ed.), Set Sail for Canterbury (Christchurch, 2002); Anon., ‘Part of the Great Plain of the Canterbury settlement’, quoted in Canterbury Papers (1852), p. 317Google Scholar
  24. Edward Fitton, New Zealand: Its Present Condition, Prospects and Resources (London, 1856) p. 197; Allen, p. 21Google Scholar
  25. Louisa Meredith, Notes and Sketches of New South Wales (London, 1844) p. 34; Mundy, vol. 1, p. 36; William Wentworth, Statistical, Historical, and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales (London, 1819) p. 118.Google Scholar
  26. 15.
    Lawrence Oliphant, Minnesota and the Far West (Edinburgh & London, 1855) pp. 36–38Google Scholar
  27. Nathaniel Willis, Canadian Scenery, 2 vols (London, 1842) vol. 2, pp. 21–25 (original emphasis).Google Scholar
  28. 18.
    Swainson, pp. 263–265, 269, 274, 277 & 281; Taylor, p. 460; Willis, vol. 2, p. 108 (this must be one of the earliest recorded notices of global warming!); Samuel Sidney, ‘Climate of Australia’, Household Words, vol. 5, no. 120 (10 July 1852) pp. 391–392; Townsend, pp. 18–19; Mundy, vol. 1, p. 269; vol. 3, p. 17.Google Scholar
  29. 19.
    Fleming, p. 53; Fox, pp. 12–13; W. Tyrone Power, Sketches in New Zealand, with Pen and Pencil (London, 1849) p. 194; Mundy, vol. 3, p. 18; Taylor, pp. 251–253 & 459.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert Grant 2005

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  • Robert D. Grant

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