June 18th 1815
My name is Emilia McFarland. I am sixteen years old and live in a little community away from Edinburgh. My family and I were farmers so that makes us not so great in the haver social class. This is my first entry if you don’t already know. My mother used to keep many of these journals growing up. She always loved writing what her mind thinks. I usually just say it out loud. But now I can’t be that loud mouthed dunt anymore. Father died from cholera 2 weeks ago. Mother is gonna be gone soon. That leaves me and my little brother Fergus. He’s only a wee lad at 6 years old. Having his parents die at that age is a horrible sight. I have to step up. Beginning with a new start. A new beginning for the both of us. A new life in a place known as British North America. My friends and aye have been talking about what life would be like out there. No social class system. Complete freedom. I just wished this didn’t have to happen in the condition that my life has unfolded into. Fergus and I left this morning at the crack of dawn. Mother wasn’t awake and that’s how I wanted to keep things. I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye. It’s something I probably will regret but this was the decision I made and I will stick with yit. We lived a little ways from the water. It took Fergus and I a little over 3 hours of walking to get to the pick up place. It was a surprising sight when I noticed how many people were traveling with us. I always kept Fergus close. He was a wonderer. A curious little lad. The boat was large. It smelled from miles away but I couldn’t help my excitement about going to the place I’ve dreamed of going to one day. The first class snobs got on first. Them and their high noses and big poofy dresses. It’s as if they wanted us to make fun of them. After the huge population of ugly souled upper class figures had loaded onto the boat the middle class and the lower class were able to aboard. Fergus and I held hands as we walked up the smaller ramp into the steerage.
July 6th 1815
Dear whomever is reading this. It has been 18 days since Fergus and I had bordered the ship to freedom. That’s what everyone is calling it down here. Down where the poor are put. The awful smelling and drastically compacted steerage. I mean I live on a farm that smells like Fergus does after eating corn. But nothing can beat this smell. The water tasted bad too. It was also a brown color so I avoided drinking it if I could. The food was minimal. We got whatever the upper class didn’t eat. So there usually wasn’t a lot of food. Not everything was bad down here though. Fergus had met a few boys he plays with. It had lightened the lad up. He missed mother and father. I missed them too. A lot actually. At the beginning of this whole trip I used to silently cry myself to sleep. That was until I met Finley. A boy who lived only two towns away from my own. He was coming to Canada with his parents. Farmers trying to find a new and better life. Finley and I became close. He was easy to talk to. I had stayed quiet every night when everyone down in the lower class shared their life story because it was to painful to tell anyone. But I told Finley. Fergus loved him too. Finley had taught Fergus card games and told him bed time stories. I found out he liked me through those stories. Finn and Emmy were the main characters of his stories. Those were our nicknames for each other. Tonight however he asked Fergus and I a big question. Something I hadn’t thought about. Where to go after docking into Canada? I was so focused on getting away that it never occurred to me that I had no place to go after all of this. Finley and his parents asked us if we were willing, to live with them. To help farm and begin a new life together. I hadn’t made the decision yet. But I truly want to. But I don’t know. I really don’t know.
September 2nd 1815
It has been over a month since the freedom of my life had begun. A lot has happened since my last entry. Starting with my home. Finley’s offer to live with them wasn’t taken. Yes I would love to have gone with them but a new life would mean everything and everyone except for Fergus was supposed to vanish. Finley was a little bit apart of that old life. Our new journey began as we docked. That’s how I kept it. I saw him around though. There farm was close to ours. Maybe a 2 hour walk. Life was different here. There was no social class system. Meaning those spoiled rotten upper class people were even in society with us. The community of homes, stores, schools and churches is wonderful. Every single person in my community came and helped build Fergus and I a home. It is small but perfect. Fergus went to school for the first time ever. He loves it. Food is great. Everything is just fresher here in upper Canada. I am truly grateful and happy for this new beginning I get to explore. Life has never felt so lovely. This will be my last entry. I wanted it to be a memory of my journey. That ain’t the thought in the beginning but that’s what I am gonna do. Hopefully in the future when I am old and frail my son or daughter will read this and Remember that life with have many bumps in the road but there will be that one flat road that’ll show the path. It doesn’t make sense now but it will. Thank you.
I found that in this project the most successful part of it all was the creating of my character. I had a 2 page background bio on my character that I had written up as well as an image in my head on how she looks and her way of being emilia. I loved having her enter into the journal because it was a character I created. the one thing I’d change about this project is the way I build the journal. I took so much time in writing the story that I didn’t plan so much in the making of the journal. I actually learned more about the journey throughout the writing because I had to have a strong image of where and how my character felt to make it feel as real as possible.