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EMIGRANT'S TRUE GUIDE.
General remarks on emigration. Who should emigrate. The choice of a ship. Dishonest runners. Extract from the circular of the New-York Emigrant Society. How to know whether a passenger-agent is respectable or otherwise. The difference in ships. Good and bad points about a ship so plainly stated that an emigrant can choose a ship for himself. A ship should be of good height between decks-should have good conveniences for cooking-good water-closets. When a ship is properly loaded. The character of the captain and officers important. Facts illustrative of the difference between a bad captain and a good captain. Emigrants should speak well of a good ship and good treatment. Recapitulation.
THE determination to emigrate should be made with great caution. It is a step that involves questions of the utmost importance, affecting the interests not only of the emigrant himself, but of his children and children's children for many generations.
A man who is comfortably situated in the Old World, whose industry secures to himself and family a competent support, should hesitate long before he decides to leave his old familiar home for a dwelling in the New World. He may, and doubtless he will, benefit his children by a removal to the less crowded society of America; but for himself, he must expect many discomforts and sore trials, and probably no adequate personal advantages.
If a man be not comfortably situated, if he find it dif ficult to make "both ends meet," and if his family be rapidly increasing, the sooner he seeks a new home beyond the sea, the better will it be for him, and for those dependent upon him.
Those who are very poor will find it to their advantage to emigrate, provided they can carry with them good health, good intentions, and a courageous heart. It seems as if the New World was made for such persons, and to them the change cannot but be desirable. Innumerable instances of the success of such emigrants could be given if we had room to spare, a few of which will be found in a subsequent chapter.
It is not in place here to notice the reasons for and against emigration. Our business is with those who have resolved to emigrate, and who seek some friendly counsel in the different stages of their undertaking. To this we shall now turn our attention.
The first step of importance is that of CHOOSING A SHIP. The importance of this cannot be overrated, and the emigrant's liability to be deceived is very great. We would put him on his guard at the outset against many of the runners that are to be found in the out-ports, and in the country. The emigrant will probably come in contact with some of these men. Let him beware of them. We have the most abundant proof that, as a general rule, it is unsafe to listen to their stories; much more unsafe to make any bargains with them. To show in what estimation they are held, we will give the following extract from a late circular of that most honorable and useful society, THE IRISH EMIGRANT SOCIETY, of New-York.
"The competition among the shipping agents at Liverpool," says the circular, "is so great, that it has been found expedient to engage runners to pick up passengers. The fellows employed for this purpose are usually a set of
arrant knaves, that are wont to practice the most egregious deception on guileless and credulous emigrants. Poor fellows! at the very moment of their final departure from their native land, under circumstances peculiarly inducive to excite sympathy and commiseration, have been fleeced of the little money they had, by being told that sovereigns and other British coin could not be passed in the United States; by means of this infamous device, for their good gold and silver, they have often palmed upon. them either counterfeit bills or those of American banks that had long since failed."
So speaks the Irish Emigrant Society in its last annual circular, respecting the runners, which stand ready to pounce upon the honest emigrant at the very first stage of his journey. As a general rule, therefore, have nothing to do with a runner. If you reside in an out-port, or in the country, wait till you reach the place where you wish to take ship, and then go direct to a respectable shipping agent.
It will sometimes be difficult to know who these " spectable shipping agents" are. There are those who advertise largely and boastingly, who are not to be trusted any farther than the law can compel them. The emigrant is generally safe if he will apply to any of the agents in Liverpool, London, Havre and elsewhere, who advertise the packet ships. The emigrant-house of Harnden & Company can always be relied on. The writer of these pages personally knows this house to be worthy of the utmost confidence, and the passenger who makes arrangements with them, will be sure of having justice done him. At the end of this book the advertisements of other houses, upon which the emigrant can implicitly rely, will be found.
We now come to the choice of the ship.
The difference in ships as regards comfort can scarcely