Emigration from Liverpool in 1859

The Government Medical Inspector's Office at Liverpool.

The Government Medical Inspector's Office at Liverpool. The Illustrated London News, 6 July 1850. GGA Image ID # 1d99e7b86c

The official emigration returns from Liverpool during the year just closed have now been completed at the government office. Although in comparison with the year preceding, the numbers in the aggregate do not appear to vary materially, the variation in the tide of emigration to the different countries has been most marked.

The total number of passengers "under the act" who have taken their departure from the Mersey during the twelve months just elapsed have numbered (inclusive of cabin passengers) 68,035, against 70,486 in 1858, being a decrease of 2,441.

During the past year to the United States, 168 ships, of 286,960 tons, sailed, with 1,561 cabin and 47,137 steerage passengers, "under the act," against, in 1858, 167 ships, of 256,556 tons, with 1,446 cabin and 43,180 steerage passengers, being a falling off of about 300.

In "short ships," not "under the act," or submitted to government inspection, 143 vessels sailed in 1859 with 5,203 cabin and 2,283 steerage passengers. These "short ships" include all travelers by the Cunard, Canadian, and African mail steamers, etc.

To Canada, the departures numbered only three vessels "under the act" of 2,859 tons, with 544 steerage passengers, against, in 1858, 7 ships of 8,027 tons, with 12 cabin and 1,934 steerage passengers. However, in 1859, "short ships" carried 1,958 cabin passengers and 2,118 steerage passengers to the Canadian provinces.

The most significant falling off to the Australian colonies has been exhibited, with scarcely more than two-thirds of the number of emigrants leaving the Mersey during the past year. Fifty-two ships, of 72,189 tons, sailed to Victoria, with 508 cabin passengers and 9,883 steerage passengers against, in 1858, 66 ships, of 90,888 tons, with 690 cabin and 15,662 steerage passengers.

To Melbourne, 18 "short ships" departed with 32 cabin passengers and 333 steerage passengers.

To New South Wales, nine ships of 10,154 tons sailed, with four cabin passengers and 3,476 steerage passengers -- the significant proportion being government emigrants dispatched by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners -- against nine vessels, of 9,579 tons, with a like number of cabin and 3,455 steerage passengers, being a slight improvement over 1858. Only eight cabin passengers were conveyed to New South Wales in "short ships" during the year.

To South Australia, three ships of 2,443 tons were engaged in the conveyance of 1,052 government emigrants against, in 1858, 5 vessels of 5,881 tons with 1,991 passengers, also at the expense of the Emigration Commissioners. None were carried out in "short ships." A feature which distinguishes last year's Liverpool emigration has been the dispatch of 6 vessels, of 6,704 tons, which carried out 104 cabin and 1,317 steerage passengers -- the same number of sailings with passengers direct being heretofore unheard of.

To the Cape of Good Hope, the departures comprised four vessels, of 2,860 tons, with seven cabin passengers and 993 steerage passengers, against, in 1858, 6 ships, of 5,420 tons, with ten cabin passengers and 2,059 steerage passengers -- the latter in both years being sent out at the colonial expense -- the selections of the commissioner in London, the Hon. William Field; 10 cabin passengers were, in addition, "short shipped" to the Cape of Good Hope.

To the East Indies, three ships "under the act" were dispatched during the second half of the past year, with 1,544 steerage passengers, all soldier's wives and children (which can hardly be classed as passengers,) and 13 "short ships" sailed, with 96 cabin and 20 steerage passengers; the unfortunate Accrington, which has put into the Brazils, with 65 deaths among the passengers, and captain and mate poisoned, was one of the former class. In addition to the preceding, the following "short ships" have sailed during the year:

  • To America, 35 ships, with 230 cabin passengers and 38 steerage passengers
  • To Africa, 12 mail steamships carried 296 cabin passengers
  • To the West Indies, five vessels with 39 cabin passengers
  • To New Brunswick, three ships, with 31 cabin passengers and three steerage passengers
  • To Nova Scotia, one cabin passenger and four steerage passengers
  • To Prince Edward Island, nine cabin passengers
  • To China, four cabin passengers


Making a total, "under the act" and "not under the act," of 10,103 cabin passengers and 71,652 steerage -- 81,755 passengers, or an average of nearly 7,000 souls per month sailing from Liverpool. Except for the low losses of the Royal Charter, Pomona, Indian, etc., there have been no features calling for particular notice in glancing at the emigration for the year, which closes, as usual at this season, at almost its dullest point.

"Emigration from Liverpool," in Hunt's Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, March, 1860, pp. 388-389

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