Shipboard life – emigration

This newspaper is an example of one of the strategies adopted to encourage immigration to New South Wales.

By distributing copies of a newspaper compiled on board an immigrant ship (the Earl Dalhousie), it allowed the prospective emigrant to see a glimpse of shipboard life, with a view to allaying possible concerns and objections in relation to the long voyage to New South Wales compared with the shorter voyage to United States of America.
The extract clearly shows the ‘chatty’ and humorous tone used in the newspaper, with references to a variety concert to be held in ‘Marriageton’, and lighting provided by the Southern Cross and Milky Way.

Source: NRS 905, Colonial Secretary letters Received, 1878 [7/2417]


77/6923 Cheshunt House
23 Aug Dawes Point
T.B Treatt 22nd Aug 1877
In view of the increasing
number of independent persons
who are now leaving England
for Australia by Steamers, I have the honor
to bring under the notice of the
Colonial Secretary the accompanying
copy of a number of weekly
newspapers which were published
in manuscript on board of the
first ship that left Plymouth
under the present Immigration
It was specially prepared
for members of the English
industrial classes who would
I am assured from practical
observation, read such a
publication in the old country
with avidity, and if a number
of copies were distributed
amongst the workmen’s clubs
and Institutes ‘at home’, which
institutions are much frequented
by the best members of the said
classes, viz the technically educated,
it would probably be the means
The Principal
Under Secretary
etc etc etc
assisting to introduce into this colony
a few of the better description
of artisans – many of whom
are deterred from taking a
long sea voyage by the objections
of their wives, who are
unconscious of the fact that
the voyage to Australia is
less risky than a similar
period of time passed on shore
and that the discomforts, which
are much overestimated by them,
are more than counter balanced
by the accession of health to
be secured.
I think no handbooks on
the Colonies have ever fully
met this difficulty of the
more cultured of English
I could supply a few
hundred at 1/- [one shilling] per copy.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient Servant
Frank B. Treatt
Offering a number of “Earl Dalhousie” Gazette at a 1/- [shilling] per
Copy for distribution in England
Submitted that
200 copies may be
furnished to the
Agent General for
Distribution as
suggested. The
cost is only £10
Mr Treatt
25 Aug 1877
The Principal
Under Secretary
etc etc etc

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