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The (Prince) Arthur, 1852
The document from which this information is taken is in German. There is no publication name given but the document was sent to Mr. Samuel Weicker in 1998 from Otterstadt. It is believed to be written by Alfons Schreiner but no publication name or author is listed on the photocopied pages. Here is the story it tells.
Those wishing to emigrate from the area of Otterstadt were to first apply to the local board and district office. If approved, they were to prove they had no outstanding debts then show proof of a valid ticket and declare any valuables they were taking with them. They also needed a passport, a birth certificate and approval of the country to which they were immigrating. The rules were very strict for men of military age.
The people who were thinking of emigrating, in this case, were the poor of the village of Otterstadt. Failure of the potato crop in the previous years and lack of work prompted the village to consider sending their poor abroad. They would raise the money to assist the emigrants to leave, thus easing the load on the village in poor relief.
When the community first decided to assist their poor to emigrate, it was suggested they go to New Orleans. However, an official in the Berlin office responsible for emigration suggested the party go to Brazil as a colonization scheme was underway to settle that area. The government made very generous terms but the emigrants did not wish to go to Brazil as many of them had relatives in North America.
The party then decided that New York or Quebec would be their destination. Quebec was chosen because a change to the emigration regulations in the United States were seen as a possible hindrance. These regulations, they said, restricted the emigration of sick, invalids, elderly and women with children, without their husbands. Fearing they would be sent back, Quebec became the destination of this party.
G.A. von Moers with the Shipping Company of F.J. Wichelhausen and Co., in Bremen was asked to be the agent. In June,1852, permission to emigrate finally came. The party had to be transported from Otterstadt via Ludwigshafen to Bremen where they would board the ship. The party was to depart on the 28th or 29th of June with the mayor or other town official accompanying them to the port. In the end, Commissioner Pfeufer was sent with the party as he had some knowledge of emigration matters.
Pfeufer states that the party left on Thursday, July 16, at 3p.m. arriving in Ludwigshafen at 6:30p.m. They slept in the open that night and then boarded a steamboat heading to Aschaffenburg and Frankfurt. "Therese," the steamboat, had difficulty as the water level was very low but the party was landed on July 17, at 2a.m. They arrived at Köln and then boarded a train to Bremen. They stayed over Sunday, July 19, and on Monday boarded two boats and sailed to Bremen harbor. With bad sailing conditions to contend with, the party arrived on Wednesday, July 22, around noon.
Since it was late in the season a German ship would not make the trip as it would not be able to return to Breman before winter. Thus a ship, the Arthur [some records list it as Prince Arthur], was sent for from Hull, England. The vessel was to arrive on July 22, but it was delayed and did not arrive until August 1. A German doctor was to accompany the party and see to their needs. When the ship arrived in Quebec, if there were no complaints made against the captain and crew, a bonus was to be paid to the captain.
In is weekly reports Mr. Buchanan, Chief Emigrant Agent at Quebec, had this to say:
172 persons by the "Prince Arthur," from Bremen, appear to have been sent out under the sanction of the Bavarian Government. They were from the parish of Ollerstadt [sic] near Speyer, Bavaria. They had orders on a commercial firm in this city for a small sum of money, equal to about 8s. currency each. Their destination was stated to be Rochester, but as their money was insufficient to carry them to that quarter, and being aware that a demand for their services existed at Hamilton, they all decided to proceed there, this department contributing a portion of the expense.
Mr. Buchanan reported on this party in the summary of his annual report as well:
A party of foreign paupers, 172 souls, chiefly female and children, were sent out by the Bavarian Government. They were from Otterstadt near Seyer [sic]. A remittance was made to a commercial firm in this city for their benefit on arrival, amounting to 8s. 6d. currency each, but which was wholly insufficient to provide for their support, and enable them to reach such points as would afford them suitable employment. They consequently had to be assisted by this department to reach Hamilton, and arrangements were made which secured employment on the public works in that district for all the men able to work.
Although the party had thought of going to Rochester, New York to obtain work on the Erie Canal, Mr. Buchanan directed them to the Hamilton, Ontario area as they did not have enough money to make it to Rochester. Many of them settled in Waterloo, County, Ontario.
The following list, it is believed, was made sometime before the departure. The reason for believing this is the fact that Johannes Remünder, according to one of his descendants, had a child born in April, 1852 and this child does not appear on the list.
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