In 1821 the British Government relaxed the anti-emigration laws that were in place making it easier for people to emigrate to America. Liverpool was growing as a port in the early 19th century and had good passenger traffic links with New York, many shipping lines were created to work the traffic in people and goods.
The emigration movement reached its peak in the 1840s and 1850s, many came frm England, Scotland and Ireland, but they also came from European countries, forced out by war and economic disasters. They passed through Liverpool on their way to the new worlds of America and Australia.
Between 1819 and 1859 it is estimated that 5 million emigrants sailed to the USA and half a million to Canada. Not a romantic journey for many though, crammed in steerage with up to a thousand peolpe, many of whom had not been to sea before. Tossed into a world of ropes, sheets, yards, sailor's oaths, wet and heaving decks and miserable food.
It was not just to America either, more emigrants sailed to Australia from Liverpool than from any other part of the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This statue of a young family commemorates migration from Liverpool to that new world.
It was given to the people of Liverpool by the Mormon Church as a tribute to the many families from all over Europe who embarked on a brave and pioneering voyage from Liverpool to start a new life in America.
The sculpture by Mark DeGraffenried is cast in bronze. The child stepping forward at the front symbolises migration to the unknown world whilst the child playing with a crab at the back indicates a deep association with the sea.