Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Pioneers Decisions

Leaving Home
Leaving kith and kin from settled communities for a new life across the ocean in a pioneer settlement was difficult for villagers, townsfolk, and urban dwellers alike. A number of them never saw their native soil or loved ones again. Yet those who booked passage to North American ports felt they had little choice but to say good-bye to their way of life. A shortage of land, unemployment, high rents, hunger, and poverty at home and the promise of cheap, perhaps free, land abroad prompted tenant farmers, crofters, fishermen, labourers, tradesmen, and domestic servants to board sailing vessels and steamships bound for Halifax, Saint John and Québec. Those anxious passengers who crowded the quays in Glasgow, Liverpool, Copenhagen, and Belfast hoped, no doubt prayed, that improved circumstances awaited them across the sea.