New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. April 23, 2014

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This blog will continue to grow, but following is a table of contents so far - from the top:

  1. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  2. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  3. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  4. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  5. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  6. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 - Mar. 19, 2014
  7. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  8. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  9. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  10. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  11. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  12. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  13. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  14. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  15. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  16. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  17. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  18. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  19. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  20. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  21. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  22. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  23. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  24. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  25. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  26. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  27. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  28. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  29. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  30. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  31. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  32. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  33. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  34. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  35. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  36. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  37. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  38. A note to subscribers – Oct. 30, 2013
  39. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  40. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches - Oct. 23, 2013
  41. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  42. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw - Oct. 9, 2013
  43. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  44. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  45. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  46. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  47. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  48. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  49. The Loss of the Royal Tar - Aug. 21, 2013
  50. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  51. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  52. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  53. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  54. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  55. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  56. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  57. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  58. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  59. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  60. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  61. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  62. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  63. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  64. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  65. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  66. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  67. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  68. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  69. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  70. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  71. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  72. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  73. The First Decade of the 1800′s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  74. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013
  75. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  76. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  77. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  78. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  79. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  80. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  81. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  82. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  83. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  84. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  85. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  86. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  87. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  88. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  89. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  90. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  91. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  92. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  93. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  94. Oops! An explanation – Oct. 31, 2012
  95. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  96. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  97. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  98. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  99. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  100. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  101. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  102. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  103. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  104. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  105. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  106. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  107. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  108. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  109. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  110. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  111. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  112. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  113. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  114. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  115. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  116. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  117. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  118. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  119. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  120. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  121. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  122. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  123. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  124. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  125. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  126. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  127. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  128. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  129. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  130. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  131. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  132. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  133. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  134. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  135. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  136. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  137. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  138. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  139. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  140. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  141. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  142. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  143. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  144. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  145. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  146. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  147. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  148. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  149. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  150. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  151. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  152. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  153. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  154. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  155. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  156. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  157. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  158. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  159. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  160. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  161. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  162. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  163. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  164. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  165. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  166. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  167. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  168. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  169. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  170. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  171. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  172. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  173. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  174. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  175. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  176. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  177. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

April 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument

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From the blog at

 Lizzie Morrow Photoshoped

“The Lizzie Morrow” launched in 1864 in Oromocto, and owned by George Daniel Morrow and partners. Painting in possession of the NB Museum.

St. John was in competition with Halifax to be the primary British port on the Atlantic.

The following document is from 1845, which is quite early in the history of railways in New Brunswick. The Saint Andrews and Quebec Railroad had been envisaged ten years earlier, but by the 1840s it was still struggling to build beyond the limits of St. Andrews itself. There were no other railways, and the Halifax to Quebec line, with which this document was concerned, would not be built beyond the Nova Scotia border for about another twenty years. The European and North American Railroad from Saint John to Pointe du Chêne was another early road, but was also far off in time.

At least the Ashburton treaty had been concluded, which settled the border between New Brunswick and Maine. The failure of the Saint Andrews and Quebec was due, in part, to this dispute, and any other railroad from the Maritimes to Quebec City would have to take the line into account.

One problem for Saint John was that it was on the wrong side of the river. Any railroad from Saint John to Fredericton and northward would have to cross the Saint John River somewhere, and it would be another forty years before a railway bridge was built across the Reversing Falls.

It would not be correct to conclude from this early date that a pioneering spirit was being demonstrated in railroad building in New Brunswick. If anything, New Brunswick was falling behind. Railroad technology was advancing almost daily, and lines of railway were being built around the United States at a feverish pace. This was even though the first line was only eighteen years old and railroad technology was in its infancy. Every sort of strange invention was being experimented with, such as John Wilkinson’s proposal in 1847 for a “wooden railroad” in New Brunswick.

At the time of this document, a railroad had been proposed from Halifax to Quebec City. The route would extend from Halifax to “The Bend” (Moncton), and then in a more or less straight line to Grand Falls and thence to Quebec City. In other words, it was to be a line from Halifax to Quebec City, while ignoring New Brunswick to the greatest extent possible.

At the same time, a New Brunswick Railway was proposed from the west side of the harbour at Saint John, up the river through Fredericton, and onward toward Grand Falls and Quebec.

Thirteen men met in Saint John on Monday, October 28, 1845. John Robertson was in the Chair, and Isaac Woodward was the Secretary. The purpose of the meeting was to approve a report to the London Committee for the Carrying-On of a Rail-Road in New Brunswick. The report was entitled Report on the Prospectus of the New Brunswick Railway, and summarized the view of its author (John Grant, N.B. Government Engineer) and of this local committee. The Report was approved, and resolutions were to be prepared that same day for conveying it to London.

The purpose of the report was to argue that the Halifax to Quebec project should be diverted toward Saint John at The Bend, and then up the Saint John River toward Grand Falls and Quebec. However, such a line would necessarily be along the east side of the River, requiring a bridge to access Fredericton, which was probably not feasible in those days. In the end, they found a way to propose that Halifax to cut out of the action altogether as, of all things, a “friendly compromise.”

Following is the report:

Report on the Prospectus of the New Brunswick Railway


Having done me the honor to express a desire that I should Report upon the “Prospectus of the New Brunswick Railway,” I have much pleasure in offering a few remarks, which I trust may, in some slight degree, aid in placing in its proper light before the public, this interesting and important subject.

The extraordinary results that are likely to arise out of the accomplishment of the project in question, it would, I feel, be presumptuous in me to attempt to predict. When, therefore, I have placed one or two leading facts before the reader, I think I may very safely leave him to form his own anticipations.—1 beg, then, to either inform, or remind him, that there has hitherto, for want of roads, been scarcely any communication between the lower and upper Provinces of North America; we can therefore readily imagine the vigorous impetus that would, by the opening of a Railway, be given to both the Agricultural and Commercial interests of these Provinces, as well as the opening up, by branches, of some of the finest mineral districts of Coal, Iron, &c. now remaining latent, from being placed beyond the means of individual enterprise.

The changes from time to time occurring in England and the old countries of Europe, frequently excite our wonder; yet they do, I think, fall short of the startling changes effected on many parts of the American Continent, where we find extensive and flourishing towns, containing thousands of industrious inhabitants, possessing much wealth,—where, but a few years ago, stood the trackless forest, inhabited only by the wolf, the bear, or the elk

We have the practical success of our enterprising neighbours of the United States before our eyes; having in some cases, opened a first communication to wilderness country, by means of Railway; thus by rapid strides creating a moral and physical revolution in the condition of some, and a topographical and statistical change in other parts of their country, that would have otherwise taken many years to accomplish. There are those who have the hardihood to object to the employment, in this or any other way, of the means which modern discoveries in the arts and sciences have placed at our disposal; things, they say, should not be forced, but permitted, according to their ideas, “to take their natural course.” How truly absurd a doctrine it is; at what period, I would ask, might it not, with equal claim to consideration, have been urged; until, by a retrograde march, we at last arrive at the simple tools of the barbarian—fire and a stone axe.

It is, doubtless, in many cases, not so much the difficulties and labour of clearing the wilderness lands, in a newly-settled country, that retards the value of property, or the full development of its resources, as the want of a rapid, economical, and safe transit, to suitable markets.

Had the projectors of the New Brunswick Railway no more in their power to shew, than, that, at first, merely the Interest of the Outlay could be realized; it ought to appear to all reasonable and thinking men, a most promising investment, as a rapid and steady increase in its profits must take place; it cannot possibly retrograde, either through opposition, or untoward events: if other lines are subsequently brought into operation, they can be lateral branches only, and must of course tend to materially increase both its traffic and profits.

In a retrospective view of the history of either kingdoms, states, or individuals, we discover certain epochs or periods of remarkable change, the “time and tide,” as the immortal bard expresses it, “which, if taken at the full, leads on to fortune,” such a period has, I venture to predict, arrived for this country; and a rich harvest does certainly await all those who may take advantage of it.

There are, I regret to say, two conflicting schemes now before the public, “The Halifax and Quebec,” and “The New Brunswick,” and as it is very clear they cannot both advantageously go into operation, it would be well, before going further into the merits of the New Brunswick line, to afford an impartial examination to the claims of the former.

This line, commencing at Halifax, Nova Scotia, is to proceed by the head of the Bay of Fundy to the Bend of the Petitcodiac River, in New Brunswick, and from thence, in nearly a direct line, to the Grand Falls, as shown on the Map by a blue line.

In this line there appears to be an excess in the distance over that of the New Brunswick of about One Hundred and Fifty Miles; and on reaching that Province, it proceeds directly across it, thereby not only avoiding all the towns and places of any importance, but traversing, from one end to the other, a continued and unbroken tract of wilderness country. Was the Railway to be exclusively, or even to a great extent, a Government work and considered as one of defence, or prospective benefit to the Province, without considering immediate returns tor the outlay, of any moment, it might be well worthy of attention; but when, on the other hand, it has to be constructed at the expense of Stockholders, a large proportion of whom may have no further interest in the matter, beyond it being a good investment for their money, it alters the case very materially.—All things considered, I cannot look upon it as less than preposterous; and I should think, no capitalist with a map of the country before him, can view it in any other light, or risk his money in the scheme as now proposed, if persisted in.

I cannot avoid expressing my approval of the observation in the Prospectus; that if the Halifax and Quebec Railway should be undertaken, it could best come in connection with this Company “The New-Brunswick Line” at the City of Saint John, &C.; than which, I certainly do think, nothing could be more rational or comprehensive. They would, by embracing this proposition, effect a saving of at least Thirty Miles in the distance, confer a mutual benefit, enhance the success of both, and establish public confidence, by the exhibition of unanimity. It would likewise have the advantage of passing through nearly all the principal Towns of New Brunswick, and a well settled Country, and of course gives the fairest prospect of a profitable return;—this connection is shewn on the Map, by a green line.

The Country from Saint John to the Grand Falls I consider, partly from personal knowledge, and all the information I can procure, as generally favorable to the undertaking, and no very great engineering difficulties likely to occur. It was by some suggested, on reaching Fredericton, it would be best to cross the River Saint John, and proceed in as direct a line as possible to the Grand Falls.

The cost of a Bridge across the Saint John would be a most expensive undertaking, and the risk from the freshets and ice in the Spring so great, as to present an almost insuperable barrier. After passing the River, it would have to proceed on this route, almost entirely through wilderness lands, and is consequently liable to the same objections as the Halifax line; besides the ground is not so favorable, and by creating a tortuous route, to avoid many difficulties, it is probable no very great saving of distance might be made.

On the South-West or Fredericton side, from all the information I can procure, the ground is, generally speaking, more favorable, and not so many difficulties likely to arise, although to the eye of a casual observer, such may in some parts present themselves, where they do not really exist, as the country is throughout its whole length and breadth so intersected with water courses, that a careful and judicious survey, taking advantage of the valleys through which they run, will, I believe, without leading much out of the way, be found to afford moderate gradients.

This line will have the advantage of passing through an extensive tract of prosperous and well-settled country, and must, from occupying a position—as may be seen by the red line on the map—through which the shortest possible line can be traced on British Territory to the sea, ultimately form a portion of the Main, or Trunk Line, from the Upper Provinces.

As many may, from want of correct information, be deterred from embarking in a scheme, which, from the apparent lowness of its estimate, may to those who would base their calculations on similar works in England, have much the appearance of a trap for capitalists in that country, I shall endeavour to explain the anomaly in as perspicuous a manner as I possibly can.

1st. It is a fact well-known that owing to the necessity of having to employ Counsel, and other professional aid, as well as the procuring of evidence, all the preliminary steps, previous to the passing of the Act of Incorporation, is in England attended, in most cases, with enormous expense, which in this country will be comparatively very little.

2d. In the construction of Railways in England, a very great expenditure is incurred, either in the purchase, or to erect extensive and costly works, to avoid the injury of a great deal of valuable property, over which the work has to pass. No such expenditure will be required in this country, as we can have our choice of ground gratuitously.

3d. There will be a more than considerable saving in having the greater portion of the material on the spot, and free of any expense, except its manufacture; and where, in many cases, expensive viaducts and embankments will be required, strong wooden structures may, from the abundance of the material, with great economy, be substituted.

It was my intention, had I been in possession of the necessary materials, to have furnished detailed comparative statements: I must, however, content myself with observing, that an approximation may be made, by making the allowances as required by the preceding observations, and adding about forty per cent on labour, and also the freight of the rails.

The calculation, deduced from the half-yearly accounts of the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, I find that a Locomotive will convey fifty-six tons over a distance of thirty miles at a cost, including Coke, of 1s. 11½ds., sterling, per ton, which amount, I am told, in the United States, is reduced to about two thirds. I will, in the meantime, however, for want of decided information, make my statement according to the first.

The expense of construction, from Fredericton to the Grand Falls—a distance of one hundred and thirty miles—I will put down, including the first cost of Engines, at £500,000 Currency.

The Interest on which, at 6 percent, is £30,000—0—0

Conveyance of 10,000 tons of Goods by Locomotive power, would incur an expense, at 10s. 1¾d. per ton, of £5,072—0—0

7,000 tons downward Freight, at 10s. 1¾d. £3,551—0—10

1,000 tons of conveyance of Passengers, at the same rate £507—5—10

Expense of Management, and Incidental Expense, say £3,000—0—0

Making a Total of £42,130—6—8

Which being deducted from the amount of the Schedule in the Prospectus, (£64,000) would leave a balance of £’21,869 13s. 4d. Currency, to be disposed of by Dividend or otherwise.

If the Schedule be fairly stated—and I have every reason to think that it is in some respects underrated—this result is most conclusively promising.

Since writing the preceding pages, I have seen a Map, published by the Halifax and Quebec Railway; so miserably distorted and imperfect a sketch, as to give the most erroneous idea of either the distances, courses of the routes, or positions of the different places in either of the Provinces. On reference to a proper map of the country, any disinterested person must at once admit the superiority, in every respect, of the route proposed in the New Brunswick Prospectus, to that of either of the lines proposed by the “Halifax and Quebec.”

In the first place, if we consider the lines of each as independent of the other, then the terminus of one line will be at Halifax, and of the other at Saint John, there will be a saving of about one hundred and fifty miles in favour of the latter.

In the next case, we will suppose the two lines as into one at the City of Fredericton:—

The distance from Halifax, by Truro, to the Bend of Petitcodiac, in New Brunswick, is 135 miles; and from thence to Fredericton, 110 miles—in all, 245 miles. The distance from Halifax to Annapolis, by Windsor and Horton, is 127 miles, and from thence across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, 40 miles; from thence to Fredericton, 57 miles—in all, 224 miles: shewing a difference in favour of the latter line of 21 miles, to which if we add the 40 miles by Steam-boat, there will be 61 miles, which at £3,800, per mile, will amount to £231,800—0—0

To construct a Bridge across the River Saint John, at Fredericton—if it can at all be accomplished without risk from the freshet and ice—could not cost less than £30,000—0—0, Total, £261,800—0—0

By no means an inconsiderable saving. Besides the advantage of passing through some of the most settled and finest parts of Nova Scotia.

As the want of liberality to meet each other’s views in a friendly compromise, will create great delay, and probably a very unfavourable impression on the public mind, I shall be glad to hear that immediate negotiations are entered upon, and brought to a speedy close, as much preparatory business will have to be gone through before the opening of the season, when the Survey ought to commence, I shall, in the interim, endeavour to procure every information that I think may be of service in promoting it, and which I shall have great pleasure in, from time to time, transmitting, and wishing you every possible success.

I have the honour to subscribe myself

Your most obedient servant,


Civil Engineer and Surveyor, Surveyor General’s Department, New Brunswick

To Alfred L. Street, Esquire,

Solicitor to the Company in New Brunswick.

At the adjourned Meeting:, the following Resolutions were passed:—

Resolved, That this Committee being greatly impressed with the vast advantages which must result to this and the sister Provinces of Nova Scotia and Canada, by the establishment of a Railway connecting Quebec, the Grand Falls, Fredericton and Saint John, with Halifax, are prepared to make every exertion in their power to forward this great undertaking.

Resolved, That this Committee, having attentively examined the different Routes projected, are fully satisfied that the Line above designated (in connection with Steamers across the Bay of Fundy) passing, as it will, through a highly cultivated and densely populated portion of both Provinces, holds out inducements which are obvious to all persons having a knowledge of the local position and capabilities of the Provinces, and which, it is evident, are not presented by either of the Routes proposed to pass round the Head of the Bay.

Resolved, That even if the co-operation of Nova-Scotia, so much desired, cannot be secured, it is, nevertheless, of the highest importance to this Province that a Rail-road, connecting the Grand Falls with Fredericton and Saint John, should be undertaken without delay; And your Committee feel assured of the cordial support of the Legislature to such a Line, as one of great public benefit, and as presenting the fairest prospect of a profitable return for the capital invested.

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, the Stock required to be retained for this Province be £100,000, provided the Line recommended in the foregoing Resolutions be adopted; whereas, in the event of its coming round the Head of the Bay, through the wilderness, to Fredericton, the amount subscribed in this Province would, be exceedingly limited.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this Meeting be printed, and copies, together with Mr. Grant’s Report, transmitted to the Local Committees at Halifax, Quebec, and Fredericton.

Adjourned, sine die,


I. Woodward, Secretary

Written by johnwood1946

April 23, 2014 at 9:41 AM

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“May living worms his corpse devour”

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From the blog at

May living worms his corpse devour

Excerpts From the Royal St. John’s Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer, Winter 1783-84

 Fort Howe

 Fort Howe from

Built in 1777, and almost the only structure to greet the Loyalists in 1783

Following are excerpts from the January and February, 1784, editions of the Royal St. John’s Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer, which was the city’s first newspaper. These are only some of the articles and were chosen for general interest. They are arranged by date and page, not by theme.

There is only one author that I rely upon to describe the social and political turmoil in Saint John in the early Loyalist years, and he is D.G. Bell. Commentaries are therefore limited here. Two of D.G. Bell’s books are recommended: Early Loyalist Saint John (New Ireland Press, 1983) and especially Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick (Formac Publishing, 2013).

From the January 29, 1784 edition of the Royal St. John’s Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer, page 2: The refugees have not received their land and are extremely angry. Rumours abound that the elite will get the best of everything while the rest of the people suffer. They complain about the detested Fifty-Five, who sought 5,000-acre grants for themselves while everyone else went without; and particularly about one of them, the Rev. John Sayer.


Gentlemen, Please to insert the following lines in your useful paper and oblige your humble servant.


With frozen ink and fretful fire,   The rebel’s friend the public’s hate.
To contemplate I did retire;   Our constitution, nation’s pride,
By various scenes of fortune [toss’d?],   Some gentlemen would lay aside,
Lock’d up by one eternal frost;   And in the room a partial police,
An iron shore, ordain’d by fate,   Where they might vent their spite and malice,
For Loyalists their last escape;   A second Spanish inquisition,
Pinn’d by a scanty meal of meat,   Where you’ll receive the last decision,
Donations promised, all a cheat,   Nor can you from their clutches budge,
Wrong’d by a lot of ravilacs,   Where prosecutor fits as judge,
Of all but gun and spade and axe,   The main design that […] upon,
Our Agents too [do very true?],   To keep us […] at St. John,
I wish the L—d had his due,   ’Till we have eat our bread and pork,
A seven years war, a shameful peace,   And then the D—l goes to work,
Brings us no nearer a release;   To them we’ll go instead of Pharow,
Our prime and youth is quite decay’d,   But we shall soon behold a Nero,
Old age and poverty’s display’d,   To them we’ll make our cries and moan,
Friends and relations far from here,   Instead of bread they’ll give us stone,
And many things we hold so dear,   Except you’ll give them all your living,
No recompence for service past,   And every thing that’s worth a giving;
The future too an airy blast;   Like slaves, you cannot then resist,
A piece of barren ground that’s burnt,   Your lands likewise, except the Priests,
Where one may labour, toil and grunt,   Then now’s the time for you to try,
The choicest tracts for some reserv’d,   To save your lives and liberty,
Whilst their betters must be starv’d,   The British Lion soon will thunder,
May he the author of our woes,   His voice will chace each evil spirit,
Far fiercer than our rebel foes,   To that vile place where he doth merit,
Have his due portion near a lake,   And give relief unto the loyal,
Which is ordained for such a fate,   He never yet gave a [denial?].
May living worms his corpse devour,    
Him and his comrades fifty-four,   York-Point, Carleton,
A scandal to both church and state,   January, 1784


From the same edition, page 3: For general interest.

CARLETON, January 29.

Last Tuesday night and Wednesday morning we had a most tremendous gale of wind from the S.E. attended by snow, hail, and rain, which did considerable damage to the shipping in the harbour, almost all of which were drove on shore, but most of them were got off again after the storm abated, several boats were sunk or otherways destroyed, two frames in King Street were blown down, but we have not heard of any lives being lost.

From the same edition, also page 3: For general interest.

Fort Howe, St. John’s River, 23d January, 1784.

DESERTED his Majesty’s garrison this morning, James Johnston, private soldier in the 57th regt. of foot, 25 years of age, five feet nine inches high, fresh complexion short brown hair, grey eyes, stout and well made, wants one of the front teeth in the upper jaw, born in the county of West Meath, kingdom of Ireland.

The above DESERTER had on a brown watch coat, foraging cap, and one of the 60th regimental coats, with blue facings. – Whoever will apprehend the above Deserter and bring him to his Majesty’s garrison of Fort Howe, shall receive TWO GUINEAS reward.


Captain 57th Regiment, Commanding Fort Howe

From the February 26, 1784 edition of the Royal St. John’s Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer, page 2: Again, the complaint is about land, and under what authority the powerful reigned. For example, Messrs Peters and Holland exercised a right of refusal of people wanting lots in St. John.



Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.


A number of pieces both of prose and v-e-r-s-e, having appeared in your paper, upon the subject of agents, grants, escheats, &c. I hope you will admit my essay as well as others.

[Further extracts follow:]

Why the Board of Refugees at New-York has no more power to appoint an Agent, for me, than does the Great Mogul… Nor the Commander-in-Chief neither… Bless you! It is a power which the Crown itself cannot assume.

[Speaking of Mr. Peters] I never was one of his constituents, nor shall he, or any man be my Agent, in spite of my teeth.

I am sorry I cannot tell you; but the refusal of Major Studholm, to take in the returns of Loyalists for drawing lands [lest?] they are certified by Mr. Peters and Holland (men with whom they are totally unacquainted) has an odd look, to say no worse of it.

I certainly expected the lands surveyed and laid out, previous to my arrival here last July… They ought to have brought surveyors and instruments with them… By no means, they could not expect them to be found growing upon the trees or produced, as they wanted them, by magic. They might as reasonably expect to have found the lands laid out, cleared, houses built, and every convenience prepared to their hands by some friendly demon.

Certainly: 5000 acres does not look a little but very suspicious… I have not the least objection; but let us suffering Loyalists be first served.

Undoubtedly, it was expected by all of us, that the Lands would be drawn as they came in Course, and that no part would be reserved, for any purpose whatsoever.

If I am not much deceived there is a great quantity of land, either not granted or escheatable, in this vicinity… I cannot tell but I am told that what is called Caribou Plains, to the eastward, is very good land… I believe it is only 10,000 acres, and they I am informed, have not complied with the terms of settlement.

The clothing about which the Agents and the Ante-Agents have made such a fuss, is of no moment, compared with the lands. Unless we have provisions, until we can raise produce, to maintain ourselves, we must absolutely perish.

The Rev. Mr. John Sayer was highly to blame, in that case, by not giving us ‘fullest assistance from him’ (viz, the Commander in Chief) ‘that provisions will be allowed us by Government until we were settled on our lands and have it in our power to raise it for ourselves.’

From the same edition, page 3: Celia and her muse Harmony, from Carleton, regretted the atmosphere on both sides of the harbour.

Messrs. Lewis and Ryan.

Gentlemen, By inserting the following in your next paper, you will oblige a constant Reader.

Tho’ jarring pieces our newspapers fill,   Neglected harmony is now no more.
Tho’ giddy faction cannot here be still,   View well these cheeks how furrow’s with my tears,
Suspend your fury for a while and see,   Weeping incessantly these seven long years,
If I can find an inch of room for me.   But still a dawn of hope my soul reviv’d,
A constant reader of your paper o’er,   Expecting peace. I kept my hopes alive;
I read with wonder your new poet’s lore;   At length my reverend sire appear’d in view,
Say, can the poets nothing find to say,   And reciprocally did our love renew.
To chase dissention’s horrid thought away.   By our perswasions to this place did come,
Can they not find one beauty in these wilds,   Many to fly from a forever doom;
To aid their muse and mankind’s cares beguiles   I hop’d once more to live in love with man,
Nought but rude malice their muse can sing,   But even here they scorn my very name.
Envy and discord found in every line.   I am banish’d from the Muse in this new world,
Their country’s shame. Say, has St. John’s rude blasts,   Which till of late would blush to have it told,
With fierce resentment peaceful thoughts laid waste?   That e’er a verse was wrote without my aid,
But hark! what sound is that methink I hear,   And half the honours to my name was paid.
Some notes celestial tingle in my ear.   O! could I find some way their love to gain,
‘You’r not obscured fair Maid,’ a Form replies,   To see my lovers at my feet again,
A beauteous form that fill me with surprise,   Experience sad would keep them to me true,
‘My name is Harmony, I once have been,   And my sad tales no more would trouble you.
The favourite goddess of the sons of men:    
Blest with my friendship, they reposed in ease,   Celia
Each one enjoyed tranquility and peace.   Carleton, February 23d, 1784.
But soon alas! those golden days are o’er,    


From the same edition, page 3: For general interest.

Fort Howe, 18th February, 1784.

This is to give Notice, to the Public in general, that if any person or persons is detected or found out in buying any thing whatever of a soldier, belonging to the garrison, they will be prosecuted as the law directs.


Captain 57th Regiment. Commanding Fort Howe

Written by johnwood1946

April 16, 2014 at 10:04 AM

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He don’t look any better than some of our own boys

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From the blog at

The following paragraphs were written by William T. Baird, and are from his book Seventy Years of New Brunswick Life; Autobiographical Sketches, Saint John, N.B., 1890.

In this excerpt, Baird remembers visits to Woodstock by a Duke and by the Lieutenant Governor, and a visit to Fredericton by a Prince of Wales. The Duke was 17-year-old Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, son of Victoria and future Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince of Wales was 19-year-old Albert Edward, future King Edward VII. The Lieutenant Governor was Arthur Hamilton Gordon. Baird’s remembrances are very influenced by his role as Captain of the Woodstock Rifle Company.

 Gordon Portrait

Lieut. Governor Arthur Hamilton Gordon


Stories of Pomp and Circumstance

“He don’t look any better than some of our own boys.”

The Prince of Wales’ Visit to Fredericton:

Having received in 1849 my commission as Captain of the Woodstock Rifle Company, I reorganized the same, and although the Militia Law of New Brunswick had been for some years in abeyance our efforts were not relaxed, and at the celebration of the Fall of Sebastopol, in 1855, it was found to be the only efficient company in the Province.

On the reorganization of the militia of the Province, about the year 1858, I received my quota of the new breach-loading rifles and a drill sergeant as instructor of the company. It was composed of the most active and intelligent young men of the place, and the opportunity was embraced to obtain the same degree of thoroughness in foundation drill and training as in the regular service.

An invitation,—General Orders in those times were rare, as we had to pay all our own bills for clothing rations, transport, etc.,—received in the summer of 1860, from the then A.G., Lieutenant-Colonel Hayne, to visit Fredericton as part of a Guard of Honor at the reception of the Prince of Wales, was accepted by the company and gave renewed zest to our efforts.

In bayonet exercise, or light infantry or bugle drill, I considered the company as near perfect as possible; also, in company movements and the manual platoon exercises. Our uniform was a tunic and pants of Oxford grey cloth, with bead facing of scarlet (officers, silver), caps of same material and neat pattern. All were fresh and new. Thus equipped, and with the confidence that thorough preparation imparts, two officers and fifty men embarked in a tow-boat for headquarters.

The day previous I had left Woodstock for Fredericton in my own wagon, and arranged for a camping ground within the barrack enclosure. Arriving at the Capital, I found that Major Carter, in command of the regiment, whom I had previously met, had gone to St. John to return with the Prince and party. The camp was formed just within the barrack gate and near the shore, which gave us easy access to the boat, and rations therein prepared. The men had slept but little during the night of the journey, and the morning until noon was occupied in pitching the tents.

The Fredericton volunteers, under the new regime, having been organized a little earlier than the Woodstock, were clamoring for the right of the line, a position seniority would assign to me.

The officers of the corps presented the matter, asking my opinion. I replied that if they could produce a company of better drilled men from among the volunteers, I would waive my right to the position. Shortly after Captain (Judge) Wilmot, then in command of a troop of Fredericton Volunteer Cavalry, accompanied by an old rifleman acquaintance, Duncan McPherson, entered our camp and invited us to an afternoon parade on the Flats. He urged this strongly as the easiest solution of the point above mooted, and after consultation with my officers, Evans and Strickland, I consented.

We marched from the barrack yard about 4 p.m., with fife and drum, and halted at the lower end of the Flat, at the first bridge—the old-time ground for target practice.

With a few encouraging words I left them, retiring with my bugler, Holland Snow, about a quarter of a mile up the Flat.

The cavalry were maneuvering near, and the rise of land verging the road was, for the whole distance along the Flat, covered with spectators. My pivot-men were cornet blowers who knew every note and sound of the bugle, and the movements were performed with promptness and precision. No movement in light infantry drill was omitted, and finally, as the company marched up the Flat in company line, it was greeted with cheers from red-coats and civilians alike.

When within a few yards, I spoke the words: “Halt!” “Stand at Ease!” and at this distant period, I can find no words to express my feelings on that occasion. I have not lost sight, of one of the fifty men then before me, and have stood at the bedside of some; in sickness, and others as they bade adieu to all that is earthly.

We were soon surrounded by officers of the army and other friends receiving their congratulations, among them my old friend Captain Marsh of the Fredericton volunteers, who added, “Your men will take the right tomorrow.”

The following morning at 9 o’clock, the volunteers assembled in the Barrack Square, viz.:—

Fredericton Rifles—2 Com., Capts. Brannen and Marsh.

St. Mary’s Rifles —1 Company, Capt. McGibbon.

Queen’s County Rifles —1 Company, Capt. Gilbert.

Portland Battery, St. John—Capt. Rankine.

And the Woodstock Rifle Company.

Our fellows astonished them with their precision in the bayonet exercise, which was new to the country corps.

Re-assembled at 2 p.m., it being as yet unknown who should be in command, an officer of the regulars approached me on the parade, and, touching his hat, read from a telegram in his hand, received from Major Carte; that I was to take command of the “Guard of Honor” on that day for the reception of the Prince of Wales. At my request he made the announcement to the other officers in command of corps, after which I proceeded to form a line and practice the movements we would be required to execute.

At 3 p.m., headed by the Woodstock band, we marched to our position on the wharf at the old Gaynor Landing. The crowd assembled was immense. After waiting for some time the steamer was sighted, and shortly after the music of the Fredericton band reached our ears. The beautiful “Forest Queen,” in her new dress of white, gay with colors, and a gayer throng of living beings, glided gracefully to our front.

Major Carter was the first to land; came quietly forward, and, in a few kind words sotto voce, complimented our line. This was also done by the correspondent of the Illustrated London News, who was one of the suite. (See issue of August, 1860.)

The Prince and party now landed under a salvo of artillery and salute from our line, and passing slowly along our front, the colors sweeping the ground at a royal salute, they proceeded to the carriage, which, having entered, moved off under an escort of cavalry to Government House.

The following day a levee at Government House gave the officers a nearer view of the Prince. There was also a military display, at the opening of a fountain, on grounds fronting Government House, a pleasing feature of which was the singing of the National Anthem by the Sabbath School children of the city.

By special request of the Adjutant General, Colonel Hayne, the Woodstock Rifles formed the Guard of Honor at a ball given by the citizens of Fredericton in honor of His Royal Highness, in the halls of the Legislative Assembly, where were present a good representation of the elite of New Brunswick.

The Visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Woodstock:

[There is a problem with this account, in that Alfred did not become Duke of Edinburgh until 1866. My guess is that the visit was in 1861 but that Baird, writing down the story later, mistakenly referenced him as the Duke of Edinburgh. Alternately, the visit may have been in 1866 or later.]

The announcement, in 1861, that the second son of our beloved Queen, Prince Alfred, would pass through Woodstock, en route for the Upper Provinces, was received with great satisfaction by our people. Accompanied by Lieutenant-Governor Manners-Sutton, and the commander-in-chief, General Trollope, he arrived by steamer at 4 p.m., and was received by my rifle company and the Woodstock band at the wharf with a royal salute—His Royal Highness was supposed to be travelling incog. The Prince, being the first member of the Royal Family that had visited Woodstock, there was much curiosity to see him, particularly among the ladies, and a large number of people from town and country, far and near, were assembled and occupied every available point near English’s landing. As he walked along an old lady, scrutinizing him closely, remarked: “He don’t look any better than some of our own boys.”

After being driven around the principal streets, the Prince and party returned to the steamer, which was at once moved to the Northampton side of the river, when I was summoned to visit His Royal Highness on board. Before leaving the steamer, the Governor informed me that he would telegraph the date of his return from the Grand Falls, as he wished the General to see my company.

Woodstock, during the evening of the Prince’s visit, was brilliantly illuminated, and the effect heightened by transparencies, torch-light processions, etc., etc. The Prince was discovered, during the evening, moving quietly through the crowd. The steamer, with party on board, remained at the Northampton shore during the night, and sailed for the Grand Falls at an early hour on the following morning.

 Late one evening, a few days after, I received a message from His Excellency, who had just arrived in Woodstock (the telegraph line not working), that they would see the company at eight o’clock the following morning.

At 7.30 a.m., every man was in his place. Shortly after the Governor and General approached; were saluted, and the drill commenced. Every movement was executed with rapidity and precision; there was no failure. The General could scarcely be convinced that they were not discharged soldiers from the regular army, and said they were far in advance of any of the Nova Scotia volunteers.

After a friendly good-bye, they at once embarked on the steamer for Fredericton, and the company was marched to a position, where it was formed in line, and a photograph, standing at the “Present,” taken by one of its members, Ed. Estabrook. Some copies of which, enlarged and framed, I still have, and in which the features of officers and men are easily distinguished.

The Governor’s Visit:

(From the Woodstock Journal, Sept. 4th, 1862.)

On Tuesday, at 7 p.m., His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Gordon arrived in this place in his own carriage, and took rooms at the Blanchard House. His Excellency was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Crowder, inspecting officer of militia for the western district, and by Captain Moody, aide-de-camp.

A review of Captain Baird’s rifle company took place at eleven o’clock, and occupied more than an hour. On His Excellency’s arrival on the ground, accompanied by Colonel Crowder and Captain Moody, the company presented arms. This was followed by an inspection of the men, the company marched past in slow and quick time to music from the drums and fifes of the juvenile musicians. attached to the corps, after which they were put through the manual and platoon exercises, and a number of maneuvers of which civilians scarcely knew the names. All the officers of the company took command by turns. Then followed skirmishing to the sound of the bugle, and after that an inspection of the arms.

His Excellency then addressed the company, observing that—“He had witnessed their performances of the various exercises and evolutions through which they had been put with the greatest pleasure and great surprise for he had been altogether unprepared to find such proficiency in drill. It was particularly creditable to the officers, who must have been at great pains, and devoted much time and attention to the matter. He was glad to find, too, that all the officers of the company showed themselves capable of taking command and putting the men through the drill. That was a point of the first importance—every officer should understand not only his own part, and his own duty, but should understand thoroughly and be able to perform, with readiness and accuracy, the part of every other officer and of any private. Certainly, Captain Baird deserved high praise for the condition of the company. There was not in the Province an officer of militia more efficient than Captain Baird, and probably very few his equal. He wished to impress upon them that all this was not mere play or amusement. It was a preparation for duties of the most trying kind which might be required of them. He had recently inspected volunteer companies in other parts of the Province—some of them a long way from here on the Northern shore—but he had not regarded them with the same interest that he regarded volunteers in this district, for felt that their services might never he required. But with respect to the men before him, and others in this district, should any difficulty arise, as they might well fancy, they would have to hear the first brunt of the battle. And, should such an event unfortunately occur, each man would feel that upon his steadiness and knowledge might depend the fate of all that was dear to him. In such an event, he felt sure, from what he had seen today, that they would so acquit themselves as to recommend them to the warmest approbation of their Sovereign, and to the heartiest gratitude of the country which they loved.”

His Excellency’s manner, during the delivery of these remarks, was marked by much feeling and earnestness. The review was followed by a levee at the Court House, after which His Excellency lunched, in company with a number of gentlemen, at the residence of the Hon. Charles Connell.

After the lunch he visited the grammar school, also Miss Jacobs’ school, and at four o’clock proceeded to the iron foundry at Upper Woodstock, to observe the process of drawing off the molten iron. A considerable number of gentlemen, with a sprinkling of the other sex, were present. His Excellency appeared to regard the operation with great interest and pleasure. After its conclusion lie made a visit to the iron mines at Jacksontown.

Written by johnwood1946

April 9, 2014 at 10:03 AM

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The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine

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From the blog at

The following paragraphs were written by William T. Baird, and are from his book Seventy Years of New Brunswick Life; Autobiographical Sketches, Saint John, N.B., 1890.

This excerpt includes several topics. Firstly is his treatment of the border dispute between Maine and New Brunswick. His attitudes here were fiercely patriotic and uncompromising; and were very different from those presented by Ganong in an earlier blog posting. This is followed by a description of a vacation trip to the Madawaska with characterizations of the French that would not be welcomed today, but were par for the course at the time. Finally, he returns to his job in a druggist’s shop in Fredericton, before moving on to Saint John.

  Garrison Fredericton

The Garrison at Fredericton

Important in early Fredericton history and formative for William Baird’s youth


The Disputed Territory between New Brunswick and Maine

The rebellion under Papineau having now assumed serious proportions, troops were sent from England to be transported to Canada, overland via Fredericton. Sir John Harvey was then Governor of New Brunswick.

The Legislature of Maine, United States, began also at this time to exercise unwarranted jurisdiction over the land known as the “Disputed Territory,” and by aggressive movement threatened an invasion of New Brunswick.

An area containing three million (3,000,000) acres of land of a superior quality and heavily timbered with large white pine, spruce and hard wood in variety, forming a part of New Brunswick and the north-east boundary of Maine, was claimed by that State as territory belonging to it. The claim was urged with such pertinacity by our American cousins as to cause honest John Bull to hesitate, and that hesitation proved fatal.

Had no concession been made,— had they been told to take the pound of flesh “but not one drop of blood,”—the St. Andrews Railway would in all probability have long since been completed to Quebec, and that rich and fertile belt a flourishing district within the Province of New Brunswick. But the British Government dallied.

That astute lawyer, Daniel Webster, wound the subtle web of diplomacy and prevarication, which is said to be worse than lying, around his victims. The then Rothchilds of America, Baring Bros., succeeded in muffling the arguments of the British Commissioner, Lord Ashburton, and there dropped into the lap of Uncle Sam one of his richest jewels.

Had an earnest protest been made by the Government and General Assembly of New Brunswick against the cession of this vast and magnificent territory, the archives of Paris might have disgorged, as they did later, the only map in existence, excepting one secretly held by the United States Government, showing the true boundary line to be the original one claimed by New Brunswick and the transaction unworthy of a great or honorable nation.

During the period of negotiations between the British and American Governments, a warden, Capt. J.A. McLauchlan, who had been an officer in the 104th Regiment, was appointed over the so called disputed territory, whose duty it was to estimate the value of lumber cut thereon and floated down the St. John River.

These were the glorious days of irresponsible government, when all the officers of public departments were appointed by the crown, the crown receiving from the Province certain revenues, called “Casual and Territorial,” to meet the expenses.

Some of us remember those gilded and happy sunshine days of early life, as we gazed upon the English horses and elegant coaches, breeched and capped by liveried coach and footmen.

Whilst, so far as we know, but little remonstrance was made by the Government of New Brunswick against the cession of this territory, the loyalty of its people was touched, and volunteers, representing the three arms of the service, came nobly to the front. Nor was this spirit confined to New Brunswick. The Legislature of Nova Scotia, in a true brotherly spirit of British loyalty, voted a contingent of 10,000 men, and money, to aid New Brunswick in repelling the aggression of the State of Maine.

It was mid-winter in the year of 1837-38. The regular troops in garrison at Fredericton being the first to move, the Fredericton “Rifles Company” volunteered its services to perform garrison duty, which was accepted. The 36th Regiment went into quarters at Woodstock, supported by the Fredericton Artillery and the Carleton County Militia.

Reviewing a line of volunteers formed on the ice above the Meduxnakic bridge at Woodstock, the gallant old Colonel Maxwell addressed them as “hardy and loyal sons of New Brunswick and as possessing bodies of adamant and souls of fire.”

The Fredericton Troop of Cavalry acted as videttés, stationed on the road between Fredericton and Woodstock to carry dispatches. A battalion of infantry was also organized in York County and occupied the Artillery Park Barracks, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Robinson.

Our captain, McBeth, being the first to volunteer, received the pass-word daily from the Governor; and our duty was to guard the garrison, Government House, and principal posts in the town.

A posse of United States officers, found in a lumber camp on the “Disputed Territory,” were taken prisoners by Sheriff Winslow, of Carleton County, and conveyed, well guarded, on a sled to Fredericton.

The House was in session, and I well remember seeing the sled, with the prisoners, driven to the door of the Parliament Buildings, and the rush of members from their seats to view them.

Business requiring; my attention during the day, except at the daily morning parade, my turn of duty came at night. As full private at “sentry go” I took my beat, and the colder the weather, the brighter did my military ardor seem to burn, carrying me over difficulties to which others during the campaign succumbed. For the three months’ service in garrison we received no pay, and rations only for a portion of that time.

The several regiments were conveyed to Canada on sleds, a company arriving and occupying the stone barracks and leaving at sunrise the following morning.

The bloodless “Aroostook War” and the far-famed “Strickland’s retreat” being now matter of historical and poetical record, I will not enlarge. Suffice it that the excitement brought out the best blood of our young men to enroll in the volunteer force and imparted a military spirit to the youth of that day, re-lighted to burn all the brighter in its recital to their children.

A Vacation

My four years’ term as apprentice having expired, Mr. Gale desiring that I should remain with him for a year, I consented. My salary was to be £30, with board and lodging. During my four years with Mr. Gale I had no vacations, and stipulated that before re-entering on work I should have a month’s holidays.

I had been invited by two friends, young men studying French at Madawaska, to make them a visit, and this invitation I now gladly accepted.

Cook Hammond, of Kingsclear, a young man (since well established at “Violet Brook,” where he now lives with his family), furnished a horse. I hired a wagon and we set out on our journey. Reaching the Grand Falls, we employed a Frenchman, whose pirogue we entered to complete our journey. It was the month of July and the weather being warm, I wore a white flannel jacket slightly embroidered. Groups of French were often seen on the banks of the river, the male portions of whom, after a few words in French spoken by Hammond, decamped instantly.

The excitement of Papineau’s rebellion had not yet subsided, and the announcement that I was a Government agent taking the census, to the French mind meant conscription and new “Acadian horrors.”

The simplicity and jollity of the people interested me very much. The ovens for baking were formed of clay on elevated platforms outside their dwellings, and of an oval or beehive shape. The loaves resembled huge knots sliced from a tree and the bread dark but sweet.

At the hospitable residence of Col. Coombes we were made to feel quite at home, to which end the young ladies performed their part charmingly.

Pushing on, we reached the house and beautiful farm of Simonette Hebert, where my friend, Charles Hartt (now a lawyer in New York) was staying.

The settlement of the Boundary Question between England and the United States by arbitration gave to the latter, by a most unrighteous decision, this and other superior farming lands on the western side of the St. John River to an extent of 3,000,000 of acres.

Simonette Hebert was one of the most respectable and well-to-do farmers in Madawaska. Before the division of the county, when jurors were brought from that place to Woodstock, the court was frequently amused by the crier calling, “Simon-eat-a-bear!” three times, as is the custom.

The best way of obtaining a French education at that period was by residing for a time at Madawaska, where capable instructors were found from the Province of Quebec. The late Judge Wilmot and others thus obtained their knowledge of the French language. Hartt’s tutor was an Englishman named Turner, a good scholar, but sadly demoralized by periodical sprees.

Making Simonette’s for a time my head-quarters, Hartt and I sallied out daily with rod and gun to slay the innocent. A little above Hebert’s, on the opposite side, the little Madawaska river entered the St. John. The only house then to be seen was a small log cabin on the lower side of the stream.

A half mile above, on the St. John, lived Squire Rice, a magistrate, and a good sample of a witty Irishman. John Emmerson, an Irish Protestant, lived there also. He was a very worthy man, and from good habits and close attention to business accumulated considerable property. The beautiful houses that embellish the rising village of Edmundston, erected by his sons, are evidence of a father’s thrift.

The glorious sunshine, the deep meadows, and beautiful wild flowers, after a long and close confinement, seemed to me a very paradise, which passed all too swiftly away. At the close of two weeks thus pleasantly spent, Hartt accompanying me, we visited Joseph Hea, who resided at Paul Crocks, several miles below. His tutor was a Frenchman from Old France, named Joliette. The purity of the language as spoken by him was in marked contrast with the patois of the native.

Our new residence, pro tem, was also on the western side of the St. John. The settlement here was more populous, and the Anglais visitors the centre of attraction. We were frequently invited to evening parties.

I had taken with me an octave flute on which I had learned to play, but my pride oozed out from the ends of my fingers in the presence of twenty fiddlers all in a row. The voice and energetic motions of arms and legs, as time was beaten to the scraping of the bows, presented a phase in acoustics altogether novel.

Accepting on one occasion an invitation to [illegible] Gonieau’s, directly opposite to Crocks, we paddled over early in the evening, and found a merry young company assembled, male and female. Having enjoyed the French novelties of song and dance until a late hour, we started to return. Leaving the landing we paddled out from the shore. The night was intensely dark,— neither light nor star to guide our course.

When near the centre of the river we found the canoe lifted as by a fiendish hand, and turned upside down. We soon found ourselves scrambling for life among the branches of a floating tree. After many times sinking and rising among the smaller branches, we reached the trunk of the tree, which was a large one and sustained us nobly. We were also fortunate in finding our craft and a paddle entangled in the branches. Righting the canoe, she was soon bailed out, and we were once more afloat.

Through the jealousy of one “May Rose,” the doors were fastened, and wet and weary we clambered through a window into the parlor.

As if in proof of the old adage that “misfortunes seldom come single,” a step or two only had been taken by Hea when his foot encountered a treacherous rope, placed by cunning hands, causing his nose,— a good Roman one,— to be deprived of a considerable portion of its epidermis. The mirth of Hartt was soon checked, for leaping, as he thought, into a bed of down, he found a bed of thistles.

The period of my vacation having come to an end, with recruited health and bright vistas of the future, I said, “adieu!” to friends old and new, and turned my back upon scenes Arcadian for others more prosaic.

The then central point of Madawaska was the chapel, around which clustered a few dwelling houses, with a single store. The village was on the eastern side of the river and was my first stopping place. I here saw P.C. Amireaux, a genial, intelligent Frenchman, well known in Fredericton.

Our prow again touched the shore at the landing of Col. Coombes, which proved to be the end of my canoe journey homeward. The colonel was in command of the militia of that section above the Grand Falls; a magistrate, therefore an authority in law among the French; spoke the language like a native, and was a fair sample of the solid yeoman of his day in New Brunswick. He well sustained the character of hospitality, for which our people are noted, and in its early settlement often tested their resources.

On arriving here I found that my seat in the wagon had been “spoken for” by a lady, the colonel’s daughter, then living in Fredericton, and wife of Charles Beckwith. It was proposed that I should ride a beautiful and fast-pacing French pony, purchased for Major Magny, of the 36th Regiment. Accustomed to the saddle in my early morning rides to the shooting grounds, I gladly accepted, and any regrets or local remembrances of this one-hundred-and-fifty mile ride have long since been obliterated.

Return to Fredericton and Business

Re-entering the shop, I was now master of my evenings. I joined a class of young men learning to dance. The same teacher, John Reid, had an afternoon class of the elite aristocratic youths of the city. The “setting up” is a good deal like drill, and some of the dances are pleasing and teach graceful attitudes; but the exposure to cold, late hours, and the dissipation associated with balls, leads one to suggest other channels affording more real and lasting pleasure.

I soon returned to my old plan of retiring and rising early, and continued it while I remained in Fredericton.

In the spring. of 1839 [when Baird was about twenty years of age] I visited Woodstock to examine some druggist’s stock, held by Dr. Charles Rice, which he kept in connection with his business as a physician. I arranged with him for the purchase, and expected to be in possession in August following.

Immediately after my return, Mr. Gale took his departure for a tour through the United States, leaving me in charge of the business.

During his absence an order was received for the regiment to leave at three days’ notice. On the books were accounts against many of the officers, which, by working late and early, I succeeded in making up and collecting, while the claims of many others went by default.

A thorough cleansing of the shop, re-labeling bottles, and the preparation of medicines in advance of requirements, had long since, in view of a final good-by, been completed.

I had now remained more than a month beyond the period of my engagement. Still Mr. Gale had not returned. The time was passing away in which I should have been making preparations for the payment of the stock purchased, and I remember feeling deeply mortified at the delay.

More than another month had passed away, when an arrival by the Woodstock stage, at four p.m., set me at liberty. Mr. Gale said he had stopped at Woodstock as he returned, thought it a poor place for me, and offered me employment for one or more years at an increased salary.

I thought it idle talk, considering every moment precious, received from him the amount due me, with a promise of a letter of credit to Dr. Walker & Sons, wholesale druggists, St. John, and at seven p.m. left in the steamer for that city.

Written by johnwood1946

April 2, 2014 at 10:24 AM

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Navigation on the Saint John River

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From the blog at

The following paragraphs were written by William T. Baird, and are from his book Seventy Years of New Brunswick Life; Autobiographical Sketches, Saint John, N.B., 1890.

Baird’s remembrances of steamboats on the Saint John River are a pleasure to read. He records his memories with affection, but without being overly sentimental.


The Reindeer, Designed by Benjamin Tibbetts


Navigation on the Saint John River

An opinion is frequently expressed by tourists that the natural beauty of the St. John is not exceeded by any other river on the continent. The report made by its discoverer, DeMonts, to the King of France, was in these words: “The great extent of the river, the fish with which it is filled, the grapes growing upon its banks, and the beauty of its scenery, are all objects of wonder and admiration.”

The distance from St. John to Fredericton, 85 miles, is made regularly in the summer season by steamboats; thence to Grand Falls, 125 miles, has been made by steamers at a high pitch of water, or during the spring freshets.

For a few months in the year, a steamer runs to Woodstock, and it is a great accommodation to the people living on or near the banks of the river with whom there is no railway communication.

The erection of several bridges across the river and the daily passage of trains to Grand Falls and Edmundston has almost effectually closed the navigation, above Woodstock, to any water craft.

My earliest recollection of vessels on the St. John was the firing of a gun announcing the arrival at Fredericton of the “Governor’s Yacht,” used for the transportation of governors and their effects to and from Fredericton.

Before the introduction of steam as a propelling power on the river, a boat ran between St. John and Fredericton, driven by horse power. The first steamer was the “General Smith” in 1816. Following her was the “St. George” in 1825, commanded by Captain Segee, and later by Captain Wylie. The transport of freight and passengers was also done by “sloops.”

A veteran commander, Captain Currier, is still living in Fredericton. The others of my time were Captains Parsons, Vail and Fradsham, residents of the same place.

A regular visitor from Grand Manan was “Drake’s schooner,” a tight little vessel, and her cargo sometimes exhibited an acquaintance with Yankee ports.

The “John Ward” and “St. John,” substantial steam vessels, were followed by Whitney’s fleet of high pressure steamers, “Water Witch,” “Novelty,” etc. The latter reached the highest rate of speed attained by any vessel plying on the St. John. She made the passage from St. John to Fredericton and returned in less than a day. In the year 1838 she visited Woodstock, and left her mark on Becaguimac Island, 10 miles higher up, where she was for a short time stranded.

The “Novelty” was a long, narrow vessel, very difficult to steer. I have seen her aground opposite Fredericton, with hundreds of red coats trying to lift her off the bar.

Benjamin Tibbetts’ Steamer “Reindeer”

Among the young men of Fredericton with whom I was intimate, and whose life and conduct proved them benefactors to their country, was Benjamin Tibbetts. He was taciturn in manner, but possessed a rare genius. He was a musician; skilled as a portrait painter, and had acquired a wonderful knowledge of the mechanical arts.

He served his time to watch making with Benjamin Wolhaupter, Fredericton. When quite young, he made and finished a perfect key-bugle.

He was employed by Mrs. Shore and others of the elite to paint in oil their portraits; but his great work was the building of the steamer “Reindeer.”

He showed me in figures on a slate in “Morgan’s foundry” his first conception of that beautiful craft, his calculations of form, size and bearing, and they proved remarkably correct. She illustrated a discovery or invention entirely his own: the application of steam power under a high pressure and low pressure principle combined. The model of the “Reindeer” was beautiful. “She walked the waters like a thing of life,” was of light draft, and did excellent work on the river for many years.

I enjoyed, with a large number of excursionists, a trip to the Grand Falls on her. The Woodstock band was with the party and contributed much to a night’s amusement at the Falls. Horatio Nelson Drake commanded the steamer and as we returned received from the hand of Benjamin Beverages, Esquire, at Tobique, a pair of fine antlers, which with music and becoming ceremony were made to deck the prow of our gallant “Reindeer.” A ready speech was made in acknowledgement of the gift by the engineer, Thomas Pickard, Jr., whose father was the owner.

The ascent of this, the first steamer, made it a gala day on the St. John River banks, and our progress was greeted with shouts of welcome, firing of guns, etc., etc. As we returned to Woodstock a large number of persons were assembled at the landing. The band played and the party on board joined in singing, to a then popular air, some verses composed en route by one of the band. A single verse will suffice:

“Hurrah! for the Restook River, oh! / The Tobique stream that is not slow; / But the Saint John River is the stream, / That we have now traversed with steam.” / Then dance the boatman dance, etc.

Some years later, when standing with Tibbetts on a wharf at Fredericton to which the “Reindeer” was secured, he expressed a wish that I would go through the old boat with him. Evidence of abuse, neglect and decay was everywhere present. In the running gear, pieces of rope, chains or wire were doing unsightly service. After viewing the wreck of what was once the pride and admiration of Tibbetts as a machinist and inventor, he raised his hands and said, “Strange that an harp of a thousand strings should stay in tune so long.”

I have different versions of the following statement, therefore cannot vouch for its correctness. Several years having passed away, the “Reindeer” changed hands; she was plying on the Grand Lake. In a house on the shore of the lake poor Tibbetts was dying. It was his early home. A burning steamer, deserted by her crew, is seen drifting in the direction of that house; and simultaneously, the man and his work, things of life and beauty, become but as dust and ashes.

Mr. Tibbetts also built a steamer at Quebec on this principle, which as a ferryboat at that place worked successfully. He spent much valuable time in New York endeavoring to obtain a patent for his invention, but failed, as he told me, from want of money and a theft by some official to whom he had entrusted confidentially some knowledge of the secret.

A resident of the Grand Falls, in a letter to the Telegraph wrote as follows: “Sir, I will thank you to communicate to the public through your paper that the steam boat ‘Madawaska’ is now in full operation. I have had the pleasure of being on board of her on her trip to Little Falls and back, and I am happy to state that she went through well and was warmly greeted by the young and the old of the inhabitants of Madawaska as she proudly passed them on. I congratulate Mr. Tibbetts on the high natural and acquired abilities which rendered him master of planning and framing the complicated machinery of the ‘Madawaska’ and ‘Reindeer’ boats. As a native of New Brunswick you should all be proud of him, and I believe that there is no other person born in New Brunswick, Canada or Nova Scotia who could do the same. I would therefore suggest the justice and propriety of having some token of public approbation bestowed on him, whether medal or otherwise, to mark your esteem for a good man and a bright ornament to New Brunswick.”

A stern wheel steamer, “The Carleton,” was built by the Craigs of St. John for George Connell, Esquire, Barrister, of Woodstock, to ply on the river between Fredericton and Woodstock. She was well adapted for that service and for many years passed safely through intricate passages in falls or rapids. Her light draught of water (only fourteen inches) and an excellent engine rendered her admirably adapted to glide over the bars and shoals and through the rapid waters of the St. John. The arrival at Woodstock of the steamer — the first one owned in that place — caused much satisfaction to the people there, who evinced their joy by firing a regular salute from one of the artillery guns as she rounded the island. In 1849 and ’50 she proved herself a great accommodation to the community along the river and a success financially to her owner.

Mr. Connell also built the “John Warren,” a side-wheel steamer of greater draught and requiring more power to drive her than “The Carleton.”

Other stern-wheel steamers were placed upon the river about the same time, which from their lighter draught were enabled to make more regular trips and thus become the more popular boats, making the “John Warren” not as profitable to her owner as “The Carleton” had been.

The “Florenceville,” chiefly owned by Woodstock men, now plies regularly between Woodstock and Fredericton when the water serves, proving a great accommodation to residents along the river where distant from the railway. The “Andover,” “Richmond” and “Bonny Doon,” all stern-wheel boats, did good service on the upper St. John before the introduction of railways.

Many enterprises such as the building of steamboats, mills and factories of various kinds, engaged in by spirited Provincialists in advance of their time, have failed to prove remunerative to their owners, often from prejudice or want of appreciation on the part of their fellow countrymen. All honor to those men whose persistence, loyalty, and faith in the future of this country has led them to invest their time, talents and capital in enterprises that have aided in giving the country the commanding position it now occupies. In every city and town of this Province, the lofty chimney, the puffing engine or the hum of revolving wheels tells of the genius of our people and of the rapidly developing resources of our Dominion.

Written by johnwood1946

March 26, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868

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From the blog at

Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868

The following is from Reports Relating to the Albert Cannel Mines, the Albert Railway, and Mary’s Point, New Brunswick, 1868.

These reports were to promote the Shepody area as an attractive investment opportunity. They praise the potential of the harbour for shipping, and the mineral resources of the area, and the convenient links with the Grand Trunk and Intercolonial railways. It is not indicated who compiled the reports together, but it appears that this was done for Charles Dickson Archibald, a Nova Scotia lawyer, businessman and MLA who owned a large property with mineral resources at Hillsborough.

Cannel is a flammable bituminous mineral from which kerosene can be extracted for lighting. It can also be burned raw, also producing a bright clean light with less ash than that produced by coal. It can also be called Albertite (for Albert County) and qualifies as shale oil.

  Albert Mines c 1870

 The Albert Mines, ca. 1870

At Hillsborough, Albert Co., N.B. Photograph from the New Brunswick Museum


Reports, &c., relating to the Albert Cannel Mines, the Albert Railway, Shepody Harbour, and Mary’s Point, New Brunswick

Shepody Harbour

Inside of Grindstone Island, is capacious and safe, having, from its southern extremity at Mary’s Point to the mouth of Shepody River, a harbour line of two miles in length by upwards of half a mile wide, with from two and a half to full five fathoms water at lowest spring tides. Inside the lighthouse and Mary’s reef it is protected from all winds except due S.W., which, however, causes no swell, the reef beating down the roughest sea. The only swell in the harbour is from S.E., but is never sufficient to be cause of danger to the smallest craft. A lighter laden with deals has been known to ride out the severest gale in perfect safety.

Shepody is the only low water harbour and place of refuge above St. John, the anchorage is excellent. There is but little run of tide or drift ice in the harbour; the strength of tide and run of ice being outside Grindstone Island into and out of the Petitcodiac and Memramcook rivers. All persons acquainted with the navigation of the bay are of opinion that the erection of the wharves and piers necessary for the business of the Albert Railway will render Shepody Harbour perfectly safe and free from ice at all seasons. Vessels lie safely at the wharves at Mary’s Point, and depart thence during all months of the year.

The facilities which Shepody Harbour presents as an ocean outlet of the railway system of the Dominion of Canada and as an entrepôt for the business of the vast interior, for manufacturing (being in the immediate vicinity of large coal fields) for shipbuilding, for shipping; for building breakwaters, piers, wharves, &c., cannot be surpassed, if equaled, at any other port in the Bay of Fundy. The supply of wood and stone on the spot and in the vicinity is practically unlimited.

Shepody is the nearest available outlet to the Atlantic for all the vast interior traversed by the Grand Trunk and Intercolonial railways. It is nearer to Quebec and all Canada by 140 miles than Halifax, and by 50 or 60 miles than St. John; and is nothing inferior to either as a point of departure or importation to or from any part of the world.

As a naval and military station for the Dominion of Canada, Shepody possesses special advantages. It is well in the Interior, and, having; but one narrow entrance, the harbour can be completely fortified at little cost by defensive works on Mary’s Point and Grindstone Island.

As an emigrant port it is probably without its equal in all the Dominion. It is in the immediate neighbourhood of the rich agricultural communities which surround the Bay of Fundy and its territories; and the fisheries, ship-building, mining, quarrying lumbering and other industries which flourish in all this region, offer a variety of pursuits and certainty of employment to all classis of immigrants from the moment of their arrival.

Statement of Captain Robert Russell

I am a native of Shepody, County of Albert, and now in my sixtieth year. I have followed the sea since I was twelve years of age. I commanded a vessel for twenty years in the coasting trade in the Bay of Fundy, and have tor many years been a pilot in the head-waters of the Bay. I am thoroughly well acquainted with the harbour at Mary’s Point, and consider it the best and safest in the Bay. I have frequented it at all times and seasons, and never lost a rope yarn. It is the only low water harbour and place of relive above St. John, and it possesses all the advantages and requisites for a large trade and shipping.

August 28, 1867 – Robert Russell

Captain Geo. Wood of Shepody

I have been for twenty-five years engaged in the coasting trade in the Bay of Fundy, and am well acquainted with the harbour called Five Fathom Hole at the mouth of Shepody river.

This is a safe and commodious harbour formed by Mary’s Point and Grindstone Island. I have been for sixteen years a Master Mariner, and during that period, and at all seasons of the year, I have frequented this harbour, and know the soundings as laid down in the Admiralty chart to be correct. There are five fathoms at dead low water, immediately off the end of the reef running out from Mary’s Point at the very lowest tides; and the anchorage is perfectly safe from all winds. Taking the reef as a foundation, a breakwater or pier could easily be constructed at which vessels of large tonnage could load an discharge at low water.

The anchorage ground in deep water is of ample extent for large vessels, and I can speak with confidence of its great safety. I lay there with my vessel called the “Amherst” during the gale of the 2d August instant, which was the most severe within my recollection. I was hound in St. John, but being overtaken by the storm I ran in there for shelter. The wind was from the most exposed quarter but I took no injury; and other vessels heavily laden rode out the storm in perfect safety.

I consider this harbour the best in the Bay of Fundy, and most convenient for the purposes of extensive trade.

August 20, 1867 – Geo. Wood

Captain William Wood

I have been for eighteen years engaged in the. coasting trade in the Bay of Fundy, and am well acquainted with the Five Fathoms Harbour (Shepody). I confirm the forgoing statement and all particulars. I have laid there during a storm with up to twenty vessels, none of which took any injury.

William Wood.

Statement of Captain P.A. Scott, of Her Majesty’s Navy

I fully agree with Captains Russell and Wood in their statements as to the Capabilities of Five Fathoms Harbour, at the mouth of the Shepody River. My knowledge of the anchorage is derived from the actual survey of it, and from having used it for years, while prosecuting the Hydrographic Survey of that part of the coast. It is, in fact, the only safe anchorage in that part of the Bay of Fundy available at low water, and is much frequented in bud weather.

P.A. Scott

Report of Mr. Charles Robb, Civil and Mining Engineer, on Mining Lands belonging to C.D. Archibald, Esq., F.R.S., in Albert County, New Brunswick

The property to which my attention was more particularly directed consists of about 3,000 acres of land, situated in a rich mineral district. It is further, for the most part, covered with a heavy growth of valuable timber of various kinds; and, when cleared, will constitute excellent farming land. It possesses, moreover, peculiar facilities and advantages as regards accessibility and transportation of produce both by land and sea.

The most remarkable and valuable products which characterize this part of your property consist in vast deposits of a highly bituminous mineral resembling Cannel Coal, or more nearly allied to the Boghead mineral of Scotland, by which it is underlaid, and which has been proved to be a most valuable material for the production of illuminating and other oils and gas.

You have already received from various competent, scientific, and practical authorities, ample reports, both in regard to the quantity, quality, geological conditions, and economic value of this mineral product. These reports have been submitted to me, and having visited the various out-croppings, and examined all the pits, shafts, drifts, and other openings, as well as the general geological structure of the region, I am enabled from personal observation fully to verify and corroborate these statements, insofar as regards the quantity, mode of occurrence and facilities for mining. These observations, which include some important discoveries made subsequent to the previous reports, place it beyond a doubt that over a space of at least three miles in length, by a quarter of a mile in average breadth, you have on your property an aggregate thickness of at least 30 feet of the best quality of cannelite, such as that submitted for experimental examination by the various chemists and manufacturers, and reported to yield, according to the samples tested, from 45 to 62 imperial gallons of crude oil per ton.

The country is undulating, and is intersected by numerous ravines, in which the beds or veins are found out-cropping several hundred feet above the natural drainage levels, thus affording access and convenience for the extraction of the mineral by the cheapest system of mining.

The pits and other openings made, although not prosecuted to any considerable depth, are amply sufficient to enable me also fully to verify the statements made in regard to the increasing thickness and richness of the deposits, which may therefore be considered practically inexhaustible.

Although the structure of the formation on the whole is sufficiently regular to afford ample assurance that the veins will prove to be persistent. I found, on some parts of the property, indications of slight local disturbance, such as occur at the celebrated Albert Mines, situated a few miles to the east, and nearly in the same geological position, and which, in conjunction with other significant circumstances, lead to the expectation that similar rich and valuable deposits may, on more minute examination, be found on your property. Considering the slight indications which led to the discovery of the Albert Mines and the similarity of conditions here, as well as the actual occurrence of Albert coal, although in a more diffused form, on your property, such an expectation seems reasonable.

A considerable proportion of the territory comprised within the property is underlaid by rocks of the Metamorphic Devonian age, which, in New Brunswick are rich in ores of copper, manganese, and other valuable metals. Rich indications of cooper ores have been actually found in a vein on your property, and manganese has been mined in the neighbourhood.

Of late years the abundant supply of petroleum from natural springs has greatly restricted the production of oils by the distillation of solid materials. There are, however, in view of the probable largely increased demand for crude oil as fluid fuel, and gas manufacture, &c., many reasons for believing that, with so rich a material and in a district so favourably situated as yours, this branch of manufacture, if extensively, systematically, and economically carried out, will compete successfully even with the natural sources of supply, which are at the best precarious and generally involve much expensive transportation.

For the manufacture of illuminating gas, the better qualities of your cannel appear, from the reports and from careful estimates of the cost of mining and shipping, to he fully capable of bearing the expense of transportation to the great cities on both sides of the Atlantic, while still yielding a very handsome profit upon the operation.

The timber with which this property is densely covered consists of maple, beach, and birch for barrel-making, and fuel; spruce, hemlock, fir, pitch, pine, and hacmatac for ship building and ordinary building purposes, railway ties, bridges, &c. The forests have been for the most part untouched, and many of the trees have consequently attained a very great size.

On other parts of your extensive property in Albert County great beds of gypsum occur, and valuable quarries of freestone of approved colours and texture have been opened, and their produce offers ample remunerative returns when sold in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other Atlantic cities. The freestone quarries at Mary’s Point on the Bay of Fundy, also forming part of your property, have been extensively worked, and furnish a very superior quality of building material, light red and olive grey, which can be shipped directly from the quarries into the vessel.

The Albert Railway and Shepody Harbour

The value of these various properties will be very materially enhanced by the construction of the Albert County Railway, designed to run from a point on the European and North American Railway to the best and most convenient harbour on the Bay of Fundy in Albert County, such harbour being undoubtedly that formed by Mary’s Point and Grindstone Island (Shepody) at the mouth of the Petitcodiac and Shepody rivers.

This Railway will intersect the rich mineral districts some of the features and resources of which I have endeavoured to describe; and, besides opening up a rich agricultural district, will connect by short branches with the Albert Mines, Hillsborough Plaster works, &c. It will prove a most valuable adjunct to the European and North American, and especially to the Intercolonial Railway, which will be tapped at its northern terminus by the Albert Railway, the whole length of which to Shepody Harbour will be about thirty or thirty-five miles.

The Harbour of Mary’s Point (Shepody) will afford a safe anchorage for a large fleet of vessels with at least twenty-five feet of water at the lowest tides, and is said to be open at all seasons; while the adjacent shore is highly favourable for the establishment and growth of a large town or city.

The advantages of such a harbour, in immediate connection with the Intercolonial Railway can scarcely be overestimated, affording as it does the most direct point of shipment for the rich products of the western and central parts of the Dominion of Canada, and for the extensive lumbering districts of New Brunswick. At the same time the peculiar mineral and other resources of the district, for which an extensive demand will probably spring up in the western cities, must contribute largely to the return freights.

The construction of the Bay Verte Canal, between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy, is only a question of time, and when effected will add immensely to the importance of the proposed new harbour and railway as the nearest available point of shipment from the Intercolonial Railway and New Brunswick to Europe.

The Albert Railway, for about two thirds of the distance, will pass through a country peculiarly favourable for the construction of such a work. The remaining third—being the central division—although it must traverse an elevated and undulating region, presents no unusual engineering difficulties. The steepest grade will not exceed seventy feet to a mile. It is confidently anticipated that the Government subsidy of $10,000. (ten thousand dollars; per mile would amply suffice to defray at least one half of the cost of construction and equipment of the whole line.

Charles Robb, Civil and Mining Engineer,

St. John, N.B., 24th September, 1867.

Note—In view of the great discoveries made since the date of previous reports, it maybe thought that I under-estimate quantity; but it should be borne in mind that I only take into account the very best No, 1 quality—C. R.

Sir William Logan, the chief of the Geological Survey of Canada, says:—

I consider Mr. Charles Robb a reliable mining engineer. He is careful in Ascertaining his facts, gives them accurately, and states his conclusions conscientiously.

Report of Edward Wadham, Esq., C.E.

I am well acquainted with Mr. Archibald’s property called Mary’s Point in the Albert County, New Brunswick, which I visited on two occasions, and carefully examined and surveyed. It is a promontory, jutting out into the Bay of Fundy, and, with Grindstone Island, forms, as I was well assured, the best and safest harbour in the Bay of Fundy.

My attention was particularly directed to the valuable Quarries of Freestone which this property contains. They consist of various beds of sandstone of uniform texture, and very durable. There are two colours, olive and light red, very pleasing to the eye, and much prized tor statuary and monumental purposes, as well as a building material—I saw several buildings in New York, Philadelphia and other cities of the United States and the Provinces built of stone from the Quarries, and heard but one opinion of its excellent quality.

At the time of my visit, there were about one hundred men employed, and the Quarries were well furnished with the needful appliances for shipping from ten to fifteen thousand tons per annum, and the quantity might easily be largely increased. The profits, as estimated by the manager and others, were $3.80 per ton, and my inquiries at the time led me to believe that they were not exaggerated.

Mary’s Point, moreover, holds a commanding geographical position with reference to the general trade and navigation of the Bay of Fundy, and I have never seen a place better calculated for the sea terminus of a large system of railways. The great extent of the “foreshores,” owing to the extraordinary rise of the tide, make it most eligible for ship-building and extensive manufacturing operations; and the Quarries on the spot, and cheap timber and wood in the neighbourhood, would render the building of wharves, piers, warehouses, &c., a matter of trifling cost, compared with other localities which do not possess these advantages.

The excellence of the harbour and the impetus given to the trade when Mary’s Point shall be connected with the railway system of the Dominion of Canada by means of the Albert Railway, will necessarily attract population and enterprise; add a more convenient site for a large seaport town with all needful accessories could not easily be found in any country.

Edward Wadham, C.E., Dalton-in-Furness, February, 1868

[Several assay reports are not included in this blog posting.]

Written by johnwood1946

March 19, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Posted in Uncategorized


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