Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Requirements for Emigration

The Emigration Commissioners for Passages to the Cape of Good Hope played a crucial role in British colonial expansion in southern Africa during the mid-19th century. 

They were responsible for promoting emigration from the United Kingdom to the Cape Colony (now South Africa) and for organizing and regulating the emigration process, including the selection of emigrants, transport arrangements, and settlement schemes in the colony. 

The Emigration Commissioners for Passages to the Cape of Good Hope

The Emigration Commissioners for Passages to the Cape of Good Hope, their role in British colonial policy, and the regulations and conditions for emigration. 

The Emigration Commissioners for Passages to the Cape of Good Hope were responsible for organizing and regulating the emigration process from the United Kingdom to the Cape Colony in the mid-19th century. Their role was crucial in the British government's efforts to increase its influence in southern Africa and promote the economic and social development of the Cape Colony. 

 Established in 1849, the commissioners were appointed by the British government in response to a growing demand for emigration opportunities among the working-class population of the United Kingdom, many of whom were experiencing economic hardship and unemployment. 

The Cape Colony was seen as a promising destination for emigrants due to its favorable climate and agricultural opportunities. Under the direction of the Emigration Commissioners, thousands of British emigrants, mostly from England and Scotland, were assisted in making the journey to the Cape Colony between 1850 and 1870. 

The commissioners were responsible for selecting and assessing potential emigrants and required them to pay a fee for their passage to the Cape Colony, which varied based on age, occupation, and marital status. 

The Emigration Commissioners had strict regulations and conditions for selecting emigrants, including that they must consist principally of young married couples without children, and all adults must be capable of labor and going out to work for wages. 

Cape colony farm worker

The separation of husbands from wives and parents from children under sixteen was not allowed, and single women under eighteen were only eligible if emigrating with their parents or under the immediate care of some near married relatives. 

Young men under eighteen, not accompanying their parents, were only admissible on payment of the third-class fee. Furthermore, emigrants could only be accepted if they had been vaccinated or had had smallpox, and applicants had to provide decisive certificates of good character and proficiency in their professed trade or calling. 

Persons intending to buy land in the colony or invest capital in trade there were not eligible for a passage, and persons in the habitual receipt of parish relief were also not accepted. 

The persons eligible for passages to Natal would be agricultural laborers, mechanics, skilled laborers, and small farmers accustomed to some manual labor and intending to work for their subsistence. 

For those emigrating to buy land, unappropriated Crown lands at the Cape of Good Hope and Natal were sold in freehold and by public auction only. The upset price was two shillings per acre at the Cape and four shillings per acre at Natal, or as set by the Governor. Lands not sold at auction could be purchased later at the upset price on payment of the whole purchase money. 

The Emigration Commissioners for Passages to the Cape of Good Hope

The Emigration Commissioners for Passages to the Cape of Good Hope were a group of British government officials established in 1849 to promote emigration from the United Kingdom to the Cape Colony. Their main objectives were to increase the population of the colony, stimulate economic growth, and consolidate British control over the region.

 They were responsible for selecting and assessing potential emigrants, regulating the emigration process, and establishing settlement schemes in the Cape Colony. The emigrants were required to pay a fee for their passage to the colony, and the amount varied depending on their age, occupation, and marital status. 

The regulations and conditions for emigration included requirements for vaccination, good character, and proficiency in a trade or calling. The eligible emigrants were principally young married couples without children, capable of labor and going out to work for wages. 

Single women under 18 were not eligible unless they were emigrating with their parents or under the immediate care of some near married relatives. Young men under 18, not accompanying their parents, were admissible only on payment of the sum in the third class of the scale. 

Insight into the role of the Emigration Commissioners in British colonial policy and the conditions and regulations for emigration to the Cape Colony.

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