It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’ts in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2


Part 1– Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

Part 2-

It didn’t matter if it was a time of lawlessness on the sea– there were rules you had to follow if you boarded the David of London en route to Lanark County via Quebec City.


Library of Congress Archives photo

Before you boarded that ship a circular of do’s and don’t from the captain of the David of London went into the hands of every passenger:

Girls should be taught to knit coarse woolen stockings. They should also be able to spin wool and linen for family purposes. It should be mandatory that all girls know how to cut out men’s and women’s clothing.

Boys should be taught to make mall fishing nets and prepare fishing tackle suitable for lakes and rivers. A knowlege of anything useful would fill up winter nights in Canada with useful work.

Every family should have a daily worship of God as difficulties will bear hard on you for a little time, and prayer will make hardships pass away like a cloud.


Luggage of emigrants must be restricted to body and bed clothes, pots and pans, a small amount of crockery ware.

No furniture is to be carried, but the books that you might have as a personal library may be allowed.

No dogs or any pretense shall be allowed to be taken on board.

No cooking is allowed on board while the vessel is at the quay.

Sufficient furnaces for cooking shall be erected on deck, with pots and cast iron plate attached to the furnace for baking oatmeal bread on.

A small cabin containing about eight berths shall be fitted for the use of married female who may have occasion for retirement during accouchement on the passage. All adult females unmarried shall have part of the vessel assigned to them secluded during the house necessary for rest by a temporary partition either of deal boards or canvas.

No smoking or lighted candles allowed during any time betwixt decks.


England for Canada on S.S. “Numidian” of the Allan Line.- Library and Archives Canada

On the Sabbath day, public worship will be held on deck when weather permits. Family worship may be held on the same principles.

Cleanliness and moral behaviour shall be strictly enforced. When rum or other necessities are provided by the Captain, the same must be pad for on delivery.

Wonder how this worked out for them? Stay tuned to the next installment of life on the David of London with James and Margaret Watt of Carleton Place.


My Great Grandfather Alexander Arthur Knight died on Ellis Island only a few days after he finally stood on American soil.  He left his family in London on a whim of becoming a songwriter in America.

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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