Book Reviews

Book Review: Death ship of Halifax harbour

The author of this informative book investigates the rich history of McNab’s island off Nova Scotia, where immigrant ships carrying European infected with cholera and other diseases were qaranteened, how the governor of the day appointed a young doctor to control the entry of sick immigrants into the country, and what measures were taken to minimize health damage to Halifax,

Unlike today’s immigrants, those Europeans (mainly Irish, German, French) of the 19th and 20the centuries arrived in boats, sailing from Liverpool. Most of the boats carried more than their legal capacity, and were crammed, allowing infectious diseases to spread easily and very fast.

S. Laffoley is a fine investigator and reconstructs, using archival Halifax newspapers to uncover how many poor immigrants perished during the voyage.

He reveals the name of the founder of Robert College (the American University, in Istanbul, Turkey and how he made enough money to start the now famous university located on the shores of the Bosphorus.

This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in how immigration evolved in Canada, and what people during these centuries had to endure to reach the shores of the “promised” land

Highly recommended.

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