The progress and vicissitudes of an emigrant

Douce collected a large number of prints by the radical satirist Charles Jameson Grant (active 1830-52). His lithograph Emigration: the progress and vicissitudes of an emigrant (1833) is, as Elizabeth Jane Errington explains in her book Emigrant Worlds, a ‘satirical commentary on emigration’ from Britain to America and Canada in the first half of the nineteenth-century:

C. J. Grant, Emigration, 1833, lithograph (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)

C. J. Grant, Emigration, 1833, lithograph (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)

As the same author points out, the print nevertheless manages to convey the ambivalence felt by many British farmers, labourers, craftspeople, and tradesmen when forced to consider their future abroad due to the apparent lack of prospects at home. The fifteen vignettes illustrate the hardships experienced by these migrants on their way to and during their stay in North America. They might have been an attempt at counteracting government campaigns that promoted the emigration of unemployed workmen, like Castlereagh’s earlier proposal satirized by George Cruikshank in 1819:

satire emigration

George Cruikshank, A strong proof of the flourishing state of the country, 1819, hand-coloured etching © The Trustees of the British Museum   

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