NASSR 16th Annual Conference, August 21 - 24, 2008

While a source of sorrow to thousands, widespread emigration from Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century--a consequence of civil wars and economic hardship--also brought knowledge of other lands and ways of life.  A matter of public debate for decades, emigration became a common theme in literature and art, Goldsmith’s Deserted Village of 1770 leading the way.

Items 36 - 39

Item No. 36

The engraving by Thomas Bewick shows the loss of three generations in “The Departure.”

Oliver Goldsmith.
“The Deserted Village.” Poems.

London: Shakspeare Printing Office, 1795.

Item No. 37

A reproduction of an engraving by Richard Westall from another edition of “The Deserted Village,” illustrating the lines, “Down where yon Anch’ring vessel spreads the sail,/ That idly waiting flaps with ev’ry gale/ Downward they move a melancholy band.”

Engraving by Richard Westall.
Oliver Goldsmith. Poetical Works.
London: Sherwood et al., 1816.

Item No. 38

This manuscript play, a farce composed probably between 1800 and 1805, represents an unusual response to the problem of emigration.  The characters include Ebenezer Sullen, an American ship’s captain; Ben, the ship’s cook, who is a free black man; Squire Acres, who is emigrating with his family and a cargo of merino sheep; and Major Dandy, “a Parasite” who will be travelling with them.

George Cumberland.
“The Emigrants or, A Trip to the Ohio.” 

Item No. 39


George Cumberland’s visiting card, designed by William Blake in 1827 and said to have been his last job of printing.