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The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1751-1776

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Quick Overview

In this fourth and final volume of The Complete Book of Emigrants (see Items 1097, 1102, and 1104), Peter Wilson Coldham brings the story of English emigration in the colonial period to a natural if uneventful close.


Voluntary emigration from the British Isles went into a steep decline after the year 1750, only to rise again sharply from 1770 and to reach epidemic proportions by 1773, a year of great economic hardship in Britain. Involuntary emigration, on the other hand, the forced transportation of criminals of almost every degree, rose sharply during the period, from a yearly total of 500 in 1750 to 1,000 in 1774-75. The records drawn on, in addition to the usual sources, include port books, plantation apprenticeship bindings, and treasury records of emigrants departing from English ports. Now that it is completed, Mr. Coldham's remarkable achievement identifies about 100,000 English emigrants to colonial America from virtually every reference that can be found in England.