Many of the boats used to deport the Acadians in 1755 belonged to the Boston firm of Apthrop and Hancock. It also lent money to finance Charles Lawrence's military operation in Nova Scotia. That company was an important actor in the Grand Dérangement. The fact that Apthrop and Hancock's ships were built to transport merchandise and not passengers contributed to the bad conditions of the deportees' voyage. Because the ships were often overloaded, many deportees died of malnutrition and disease. British officer Alexander Murray who was in charge of deporting the Acadians from the Pigiguit region wrote in October 1755 that, whatever the consequences, he would embark all the Acadians on what ships were available to him.