The last American mail brings further distressing accounts of the sufferings of the emigrants arriving in Canada. After the first embarrassment, caused by the sudden outburst of a fierce plague, some amendment occurred in the reception given to the sufferers at Montreal, but the prospect was still darkening, and matters becoming worse there. Thirteen ships arrived in one week at Grosse Island, all, to a greater or less extent, afflicted with fever.
The greatest disaster from disease upon the deep, as yet recorded, befell the “Virginus,” which left this port (Cork.) This vessel lost 156 out of 496 passengers, with all but two of the crew, and forty of the survivors died soon after reaching the shore. She was a long time at sea, and was short of provisions.
The health of New York continued good, owing in a great measure to the activity with which the emigrants were pushed on from the towns on the sea, and prevented from generating pestilence by stopping there; but they carried it inwards, and at Albany upon the river Hudson, the chief mortality arose from the disease thus introduced.
The difference between the healthiness of the emigrants to the United States and those to British America is accounted for by the inferiority of the ships sailing to the latter country, which made them more eagerly sought for by the humblest class on account of the lower fare. From the nature of the trade in which they are engaged, the transport of timber, the risk of their failing in open sea is diminished one-half, by the whole voyage to Europe, as with such a cargo they weather it out while a plank sticks together. This circumstance causes less attention to be paid to their sea-worthiness, since they are laden half the way with what can’t sink, and the other with a freight, which is thought no loss if it do.
Apart from the crowded state of these wretched ships, and their insecurity for life, the constant wet on board of them, and their other defective qualities have contributed to render the unhappy passengers still more certainly a prey to infectious distemper.