‘Passengers wishing to embrace this commodious conveyance, will apply immediately’: the rise in emigrant passage advertising in the Scottish Borders, 1800–1830

2015-10-23T10:09:09Z (GMT) by Melodee Beals
What is it about? In the early 1800s, Scottish ship owners began to aggressively advertise to emigrants going to North America and Australia. This article explores how the number and style of these passage advertisements changed from an occasional, passive mention to a cluttered front-page of sophisticated marketing ploys. Why is this important? By examining, and counting, passage advertisements in rural Scotland, this article helps us understand the demand for emigration at the start of the 19th century. Instead of major ports, with established passage routes, it focuses on the smaller ports of Eyemouth, Dumfries and Kirkcudbright -- all of which made hasty modifications to transform their timber-carrying holds into passage accommodation. Their efforts to capitalise on an emerge market help us understand how that market evolved.