To what extent did the government promote emigration from Lower Saxony?

Until way into the 19th century, the emigration policy of the Hanoveranian government was shaped by the concept that a country’s wealth is, among other things, determined by the number of its citizens.

Around the middle of the 18th century, the Principality of Hanover would generally grant its free citizens the right to emigrate after they had paid off any possible liabilities. However, it was common practice that they had to pay a departure fee (Abschoss), which could amount to as much as 33% of their assets. This sum was considered to be compensation for the loss of a citizen.
To what extent did the government promote emigration from Lower Saxony?

Until way into the 19th century, the emigration policy of the Hanoveranian government was shaped by the concept that a country’s wealth is, among other things, determined by the number of its citizens.

Around the middle of the 18th century, the Principality of Hanover would generally grant its free citizens the right to emigrate after they had paid off any possible liabilities. However, it was common practice that they had to pay a departure fee (Abschoss), which could amount to as much as 33% of their assets. This sum was considered to be compensation for the loss of a citizen.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

As early as the beginning of the 18th century, there existed treaties between the Hanoveranian territories, according to which the departure fee should be waived, in the case of emigration from one to another of these territories. In 1716, George I. extended this ruling to include the British colonies in North America.
As early as the beginning of the 18th century, there existed treaties between the Hanoveranian territories, according to which the departure fee should be waived, in the case of emigration from one to another of these territories. In 1716, George I. extended this ruling to include the British colonies in North America.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

A Letter by the Hanoveranian Authorities

Excerpt from a letter by the Hanoveranian authorities from 1753, confirming the abolition of departure fees for emigrants to English colonies.

Main State Archives Hannover

Hann.74: Northeim, Nr.2383
© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Our friendly compliance, dear honourable and respectable friend!

It is hereby being delivered, what you had requested on the 19th of this month, regarding 4 subjects from your township, who are thinking of going to Nova Scotia.

First and foremost, through the power of decrees Const. Calenb. P. IV Cap. VI pag. 9 et sqq., the right to collect departure fees has been abolished, and therefore, there is no doubt with regards to this issue, that the aforementioned right also no longer does apply to those emigrating to the new colonies.
Our friendly compliance, dear honourable and respectable friend!

It is hereby being delivered, what you had requested on the 19th of this month, regarding 4 subjects from your township, who are thinking of going to Nova Scotia.

First and foremost, through the power of decrees Const. Calenb. P. IV Cap. VI pag. 9 et sqq., the right to collect departure fees has been abolished, and therefore, there is no doubt with regards to this issue, that the aforementioned right also no longer does apply to those emigrating to the new colonies.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

In the middle of the 18th century, a strong wave of emigration swept through the Principality of Hanover, when agents supported by the British government began recruiting emigrants for, among other places, Nova Scotia. In public houses they would distribute leaflets providing information about the comforts that colony had to offer, and about the many privileges granted to emigrants.
In the middle of the 18th century, a strong wave of emigration swept through the Principality of Hanover, when agents supported by the British government began recruiting emigrants for, among other places, Nova Scotia. In public houses they would distribute leaflets providing information about the comforts that colony had to offer, and about the many privileges granted to emigrants.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Exerpts from a leaflet advertising Nova Scotia, circulated in 1753.
Hans Mahrenholtz, Norddeutsche Familienkunde, 1962, Heft 3, S. 81f.

Exerpts from a circulated leaflet advertising Nova Scotia (1753):

The privileges and advantages are:

1) That to each foreigner there shall be assigned and given eighty acres of land or soil, and that is, free of any interest or taxes for the duration of 10 years, after the termination of which no person shall pay more than one shilling per year for his eighty acres given to him in that manner.

2) That furthermore, in addition to the intended eighty acres, each foreigner, who has domestics, shall at the same time be given 15 acres for each one of these, counting wife and children, and, depending on the degree of his skill in cultivating the land and the growth of his household, shall be granted even more advantages

3) That all such foreigners shall be supported for a full twelve months after their arrival in the Province of Nova Scotia

4) Any quantity of material and tools for their household, for clearing and cultivating their soil, building their houses and other tools Read More
Exerpts from a leaflet advertising Nova Scotia, circulated in 1753.
Hans Mahrenholtz, Norddeutsche Familienkunde, 1962, Heft 3, S. 81f.

Exerpts from a circulated leaflet advertising Nova Scotia (1753):

The privileges and advantages are:

1) That to each foreigner there shall be assigned and given eighty acres of land or soil, and that is, free of any interest or taxes for the duration of 10 years, after the termination of which no person shall pay more than one shilling per year for his eighty acres given to him in that manner.

2) That furthermore, in addition to the intended eighty acres, each foreigner, who has domestics, shall at the same time be given 15 acres for each one of these, counting wife and children, and, depending on the degree of his skill in cultivating the land and the growth of his household, shall be granted even more advantages

3) That all such foreigners shall be supported for a full twelve months after their arrival in the Province of Nova Scotia

4) Any quantity of material and tools for their household, for clearing and cultivating their soil, building their houses and other tools they may require to feed themselves, shall be provided to them freely.

So that any such foreigners, who may consider settling in Nova Scotia or New Scotland, shall have further news, this province, belonging to the lands of the Crown of Great-Britain, is situated in North America between the 45th and the 51st degree northern latitude, the air or the climate is very healthy there, and the soil is as yielding and fertile as it can be in Germany, bringing forth through good cultivation all that in abundance what one requires as means of subsistence, such as cereal or grain, hemp, flax and good fruit. Furthermore, there is very good cattle breeding, and the province is especially well situated for sailing and trading, which advantages have therefore induced a great number of the British and other foreigners to move there, and who, with God’s blessing, have already seen such great progress as was unheard-of in any other new-founded province, all of which is due to the blessed location of this province, as well as to the great care, which the government takes, to support such colonists, so that there can be no doubt that, with the divine blessings, before long this province shall be one of the most flourishing of His Royal Majesty’s of Great Britain in America.

-John Diek

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe how the British government influenced the emigration of Lower Saxons for Canada
  • Explain the response of the Hanover authorities to emigration to British colonies
  • Understand the motives for the British government in recruiting emigrants for North American colonies

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