GNB
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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The Passenger Acts Pre-Confederation Colonization

Steamships
With the introduction of the steamship, transoceanic travel improved. By the 1870s, a steamer could cross from Liverpool to Saint John or Halifax in about 10 days. The Allan and Anchor steamship lines transported thousands of Scottish, English, Irish, and Danish passengers to Halifax, Saint John, and Québec at this time. Most of the newcomers would eventually settle in Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, the Maritime Provinces, or the United States.
Yet arrival in an Atlantic port was not always the end of the journey. Passengers who were exposed to disease aboard ship, such as small pox and scarlet fever, could be housed for days or weeks at a quarantine station nearby for "purification and observation." Partridge Island, located in Saint John harbour, became a temporary home to hundreds of sick immigrants who were quarantined there before being allowed to continue their journey to the city or elsewhere in the province.
The Scots and Danes who debarked at Saint John in 1872 and 1873 respectively, although not quarantined, faced a tiresome trip of several hundred miles up the St. John River by steamer, via Fredericton and Woodstock, before reaching their final destinations in Victoria County. Then the hard work of building homes, clearing the land, and planting crops began. These pioneers established the communities of Kincardine, Kintore, Bon Accord, and New Denmark with help from the New Brunswick government.


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