According to historian Timothy J. Meagher (The Columbia Guide to Irish American History), Liverpool was the point of departure for the vast majority of Irish emigrants to both Canada and the United States, at least during the Famine period:
Even most of the Irish bound for North America, however, first went through Britain, more specifically Liverpool. By the mid-1840s, over 90 percent of the Irish going to Canada or the United States went through Liverpool and over one million Irish passed through the city between 1847 and 1853.1
And how did these Irish emigrants get from Ireland to Liverpool, before embarking on their journey to the New World? By steam ferry, before crossing the Atlantic by sail. “It was not an easy trip,” writes Meagher. Indeed.
Was Liverpool the main point of departure to North America for pre-Famine Irish emgrants to Canada? This I do not know (but I suspect Liverpool was also an important port for Ireland-to-Canada emigrants from the 1820s to the early 1840s).
- Timothy J. Meagher, The Columbia Guide to Irish American History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 75. ↩