From the blog at http://JohnWood1946.wordpress.com
'Lawrence Camp' on the Tobique River, in about 1915
William Notman & Son, from the McCord Museum
The New Brunswick Land and Lumber Company received a federal charter in 1881, and owned over 1.6-million acres of land in northern New Brunswick, principally along the Tobique River. They were given responsibility for all manner of commercial undertakings within this territory, including lumbering, farming, mining, etc., and to provide ancillary services such as manufacturing and transport. They also undertook to sell parts of their holdings to would-be settlers. One of their publications was Guide to New Brunswick which was directed toward tourists and sportsmen, but most importantly to prospective settlers. This included a chapter entitled 'Advice to Emigrants,' and that chapter follows.
This 'advice' is certainly optimistic, and the once penniless but now prosperous immigrant that he used as an example could have encountered many pitfalls. Then as now, buyer beware.
Advice to Emigrants to New Brunswick, 1881
The class of men who are wanted in New Brunswick, and will prosper there, are the small farmers, and the more hardworking day laborers of England and Scotland, men who can work in the open and who can till the land and fell the trees. Mechanics and tradesfolk are in less demand.
Work can be had throughout the year by an able-bodied man.
In the prairie and timberless country of the far West the soil is frozen for more than six months in the year, and the farmer, whether he will or no, can find little to do; but in New Brunswick directly the snow falls lumbering begins.
Strong men can always find work in the lumbering camps. The life in the bright, keen winter air is said to be most exhilarating, and the wages paid are high.
A farmer tilling his own land will find plenty to do throughout the winter in felling trees and clearing his farm.
Married men should remember, that while to a poor man a large family in Great Britain is a loss and a hindrance, in New Brunswick it is a distinct gain. Provisions are so cheap andlabor so dear, that every boy or girl who can and will work, either in the house, or on the farm, adds so much to the wealth of the family.
An emigrant from the Old Country should travel by the Allan Line of Steamships from Liverpool, in England, or Moville, in Ireland, to Quebec; or, if possible, Halifax, in Canada. From these towns a few hours' journey will take him to St. John, and from thence to Fredericton the terminus of the New Brunswick Railway Company.
At the office of the New Brunswick Land and Lumber Company, in Fredericton, he will be able to learn which are the best settlements to go, and the price of land in each. Every opportunity will be given him to examine the lands before deciding to buy or to settle.
The object of the Company being rather to induce settlers to come and improve the property than to get high prices for their lands, the settler will not be required to pay cash (unless he pleases) for his purchase.
A deposit will have to be made when the title deeds are given, and the balance will be payable in yearly instalments. A moderate rate of interest will be charged. The price of the lands, from which the valuable timber has been cut, ranges from four shillings to one pound per acre, on land where the large trees are still standing from ten shillings to two pounds per acre. The purchaser will own his land in fee simple. The settler of limited means should arrive in May. On taking possession of his property his first care will be to build a house. He will generally find enough spruce and cedar with which to do this on his own property. A comfortable log cabin can be built, and a waterproof roof and floor laid for about four pounds. A cooking stove, costing about four pounds will also have to be bought.
While he is building the house he ought also to begin clearing off the timber. In buying his land he will do wisely in choosing a lot on which the trees have been cut down. These he can then pile together and burn. Men (if wanted) can generally be hired to clear the land at a cost of from eight shillings to twelve shillings per acre.
The cost of clearing a small farm is about two pounds an acre, on a larger acreage the relative cost is smaller.
Five acres of new land will yield sufficient to support a man, his wife and four or five children and a cow, from one harvest to another, if the right kind of crop be planted. A good method is for the settler the first year, if he is only going to cultivate five acres, to put two acres in barley, two in oats, and one in potatoes and beans. It is advisable to sow barley the first year, because it is sure to yield a crop no matter how late it is planted, and this is a consideration of importance to a settler who arrives in the spring. Wheat is a sure crop, but it needs to be sown earlier than barley. The two acres of barley will yield enough to make ten barrels of good, sweet, nutritious flour; the two acres of oats will produce fodder enough for the cow, if cut green when the grain is in the milk and cured into hay; or, if they have been sown early enough, they will yield a large quantity of straw, and, at least, eighty bushels of grain worth forty cents per bushel. The yield of potatoes will be about two hundred bushels, and as many beans and small vegetables can be raised as the family will need. If the settler has raised a pig, which he can do with little trouble, he may have at the beginning of winter a couple of hundred weight of pork. During the summer, as soon as the planting is done, the settler should go to work cutting the underbrush on the land he next intends to clear. He should chop the trees in June, and burn the land off in August. Probably if he prepares five additional acres for a crop, does the work necessary to make his house comfortable for the winter, and puts up a shed for his cow, he will find his first year pretty well occupied. The second spring after his arrival he will have a comfortable house, ten acres of land ready for a crop, and sufficient provision to last his family till winter. Thenceforward, barring unavoidable accident, his progress will be easy. This is not an hypothetical case; but is a chapter cut of the actual history of hundreds of New Brunswick farmers, who today live in luxurious homes, with broad, well-tilled fields on every hand. The great secret of their success is that they have kept faithfully to their farms. Let us take one instance, out of many, to show what an industrious man can accomplish in a few years.
Frederick Jensen is a Dane. He had no knowledge of farming before he came to New Brunswick, where he arrived in the spring of 1873 with his wife and four children, the eldest a boy of 13 years. He was absolutely penniless. He went upon a lot of land upon which a chopping of five acres had been made. This lot he received free, and the Government gave him also £8 worth of building material. He burned off the lot, put up his house, and succeeded so well that in 1876 he exchanged his lot with a new comer for an unimproved lot and £120. With this cash capital he went to work on his new farm. In 1880 he had upwards of fifty acres under cultivation. He had a snug, well-furnished dwelling, two barns, 35 by 45 feet each, and a large sheep and swine shed. He also had two excellent horses, three working oxen, four cows, besides a large number of young cattle, sheep, and swine. In addition to this his eldest son had taken one hundred acres of land, on which they had cleared fifteen acres and built a good house. Seven years ago Jensen was a stranger in a strange land, and penniless. Now his property is assessed for £500, and is probably worth much more, and he is free of debt. Other instances might be given of similar success. This, of course, was not accomplished without labor, but it is labor well expended, for it will give him a comfortable home in his old age, and it has placed his family far ahead of the position in life from which he started.
The general verdict of setters from Europe is that the labor of clearing a new farm is not much, if at all, greater than the ordinary run of farm labor. Farming on a new farm is of the simplest kind, and anyone can do it in a manner sure to secure an abundant yield. The mellow soil is made rich by its deep coating of vegetable mould formed by the falling leaves, and this is further fertilized by the heavy covering of ashes left by the fire. Such soil as this needs no manure, and but little labor to return an abundant harvest.
Emigrants should bring with them a good supply of clothes, also their bedding and cooking utensils; in fact, all the household goods and personal effects, which may be carried in small bulk and for little cost.
Agricultural implements, and the plants and stock required for a farm should be bought in St John.
Larger Farms — Emigrants with capital will find farming in New Brunswick a very profitable investment. Money can be made in raising produce for the American market, breeding sheep and cattle for the English, and in lumbering.
The timber is chiefly spruce, and commands a ready sale in Liverpool.
The great advantage which the New Brunswick breeder of cattle or shipper of timber enjoys is the comparatively short distance which he has to convey his freight.
Never have the farmers or lumberers been better off than today, and never before has the Province presented so tempting a field for settlement to all who are willing and able to work.
No emigrant should come out to New Brunswick to settle without first applying by letter for information and advice to the Secretary of the New Brunswick Land and Lumber Company, Gibson, New Brunswick, Canada.