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> Issue 61 > Page 81 - "The Exodus" A Selection from stephen J. Hornsby's New Book: Nineteenth-Century Cape Breton: A Historical Geography

Page 81 - "The Exodus" A Selection from stephen J. Hornsby's New Book: Nineteenth-Century Cape Breton: A Historical Geography

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/8/1 (182 reads)

stayed in Massachusetts compared to 36 percent of the men. A similar finding comes from a sample of 190 emigrants from Canning, King's County, Nova Scotia: 88 percent of women compared to 62 percent of men remained in Massachusetts. While many men emigrated to start new households, women often remained in close contact with their families in Cape Bre? ton, sending back money to help the household economy. Bos? ton, the closest centre offering significant employment to wom? en, was easily accessible from Cape Breton. There was little need for women to move farther away in search of work. Beyond Massachusetts, some 6-7 percent of Nova Scotians were found in Maine, 3 percent in Rhode Island, and a few oth? ers in New Hampshire and Connecticut. Several of the Cape Breton sample lived in these states, no doubt using their tradi? tional skills in the ports and shipyards. Outside New England, some 4-5 percent of Nova Scotians were in New York State and probably almost all of the Cape Bretoners were in New York or Brooklyn. Although relatively few Nova Scotians ap? pear to have emigrated to Pennsylvania, the Cape Breton obitu? ary data suggests that the state drew a disproportionate number of Islanders. Since the 1830s, Cape Breton miners had been at? tracted by jobs in the anthracite mines between Scranton and Pottstown and in the bituminous coal mines in the AUeghenies. Farther west, 3 percent of the Nova Scotians in the United States were in Minnesota in 1880 and Cape Bretoners were also found in Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. They were probably employed in farming, lumbering, or small trades. Stillwater, Minnesota, had some 30 Islanders in 1882, many living on contiguous lots. The migrants had arrived with "some means" and hoped to profit from judicious investment in the expanding town. The prairie states offered Cape Bretoners op? portunities in agriculture or small business much like those far? ther north in Manitoba. As early as the California gold rush of 1849, Cape Bretoners had been moving to the Far West, working either at the placer deposits or in hardrock mines. Later, lumbering offered alterna? tive employment. Between 1870 and 1880, 4-5 percent of Nova Scotians were in California and Cape Bretoners were to be found in southem California from San Diego to San Francisco Bay. Farther north, they worked in the logging camps, saw? mills, and ports situated along most of the inlets from Eureka, northem Califomia, through Oregon, and into western Wash? ington, particularly around Puget Sound. Some spilled over the international border to take similar jobs in British Columbia. Inland, Cape Bretoners, especially those from the coal mines, worked in the Cordilleran hardrock camps stretching from Col? orado, through Utah and Nevada, into Idaho, Montana, and eastem Wasliington. Like the loggers, some men moved farther north, working in Nanaimo during the 1880s and in the Koote- nays in the next decade. In isolated mountain mines, displaced Cape Breton miners continued to practise their skills, while for? mer farmhands were initiated into a particularly raw form of in? dustrial employment. Of the several hundred Cape Bretoners who sailed for Australia in the 1850s, many ended up in New Zealand, where most set? tled in Waipu, North Island, creating a distinctive Scottish colo? ny. A few mariners and gold seekers also fetched up in Austra? lia. Little information about these extensive individual wander? ings survives, but the careers of two Campbell brothers from Whycocomagh may be indicative. Hugh Oig Campbell and Hugh Ban Campbell left Cape Breton in 1845 and, like many others, moved to Boston, where they gained traditional employ? ment at a boat-building yard in Back Bay. With the Califomia gold msh, the two young men joined another Cape Bretoner, Malcolm Blue from River Denys, and a MacDonald from Pic? tou Island and travelled overland to the diggings. In Califomia, Hugh Ban and the Pictou Islander died from disease; soon after, the remaining two men joined thousands of others leaving San Francisco for the other side of the Pacific. At the Victoria dig? gings in 1852, the two men excavated gold worth $10,000 and decided to retum home. A ship took them to Britain, where Hugh Oig visited relatives in Oban, Argyllshire, and then they retumed to Nova Scotia. No doubt few emigrants to the South Pacific ever managed to retum to the Maritimes. Hugh Oig Campbell was probably born in Cape Breton, but at least some of those who emigrated from the westem Highlands to Cape Breton eventually ended their days in Australia or New Zealand. In 1892, the North Sydney Herald reprinted from an Auckland newspaper the obituary of one John Finlayson, who had died at his home "Braemar" in Waipu. Bom at Loch Alsh, Wester Ross, Finlayson had emigrated to Cape Breton in "early life" and settled at Baddeck. After he and his wife raised sever? al children, the family left on the Highland Lass in 1852, first for Australia and then for New Zealand. Finlayson's life encap? sulated the complete cycle of emigration from westem Scot? land, settlement and population growth in Cape Breton, fol? lowed by renewed emigration. Like the original Scottish emigration to Cape Breton, chain mi? gration facilitated these transcontinental and intercontinental movements. Frequently, a younger son emigrated first and sent back information and perhaps money to other members of his family or for friends so that they could join him. In the migra? tion to the Codroy Valley, for example, related Clan Mclsaac families from the Margaree-Broad Cove district settled togeth? er, often on contiguous lots. Similarly, families from Canning, Nova Scotia, settled close to relatives in Boston; no doubt it was the same for Cape Breton emigrants. Although the best surviving evidence of individual migration to Boston does not include family members, it does demonstrate the close contact maintained with friends. Fisherman Dougald Boyle, originally from Glenora Falls near Mabou, spent the summer of 1872 in Boston before moving to West Arichat. Af? ter several months teaching at Mabou and making "no money. Education in Your Community University College of Cape Breton Extension and Community Affairs will offer a series of university credit courses in select communities in rural Cape Breton dtiring the 1992-93 off-campus program. You can eam university credits in your community. For application and information, contact: University College of Cape Breton Extension and Community Affairs P.O. Box 5300, Sydney, N.S. BIP 6L2 Phone:(902)539-5300 Fax: (902)562-0119 UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF CAPE BRETON Extension and Community Affairs Stores To Serve You CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA SYDNEY RIVER rtJdlUI " ly 'J,2]5Kvis. The Crossroads of Cape Breton' Sobeys & Shopper's Drug Mart Highways 4 and 5 >pen Daily Til 10 p.m.
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