Fast Sailing and Copper-Bottomed: Aberdeen Sailing Ships and the Emigrant Scots They Carried to Canada, 1774-1855

April 8, 2021
Fast Sailing and Copper-Bottomed: Aberdeen Sailing Ships and the Emigrant Scots They Carried to Canada, 1774-1855

The days when Aberdeen's "fast sailing and copper-bottomed"ships carried emigrant Scots to Canada are brought to life in thisfascinating account of the northern Scotland exodus during thesailing ship era. Taking readers through new and little-useddocumentary sources, Lucille H. Campey finds convincing evidence ofgood ships, sailed by experienced captains and managed by reputablepeople, thus challenging head on the perceived imagery ofabominable sea passages in leaking old tubs. And by considering thesignificance of ship design and size, she opens a new window on ourunderstanding of emigrant travel. Instead of concentrating on theextreme cases of suffering and mishaps, to be found in anecdotalmaterial, Campey's approach is to identify all of the emigrant seacrossings to Canada made on Aberdeen sailing ships.Observing the ships which collected passengers from the port ofAberdeen as well as those which collected emigrants at Highlandports, especially Cromarty and Thurso, Campey reveals the processesat work and the people who worked behind the scenes to provide theservices. Her following of the emigrant Scots on to their New Worlddestinations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Upper Canadaprovides us with an opportunity to see how events in Canada wereinfluencing both the decision to emigrate and choice of location.These emigrant Scots succeeded, often after difficult beginnings,and would endow Canada with their rich traditions and culture whichlive on to this day.