New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. November 30, 2016

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

  1. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  2. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  3. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  4. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  5. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  6. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  7. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  8. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  9. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  10. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  11. 1 – David Kennedy’s Travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 21, 2016 (This blog posting was lost on Sept. 28th. I decided not to re-post, since it would clutter my subscribers’ screens.)
  12. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  13. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  14. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  15. Blog past #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  16. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  17. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  18. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  19. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  20. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  21. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  22. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  23. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  24. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  25. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  26. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  27. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  28. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016
  29. The Northern Colonies: Languishing in Mediocrity – ca 1804 – May 18, 2016
  30. Fredericton’s Victoria Cottage Hospital – May 11, 2016
  31. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records – May 4, 2016
  32. Slog on, or Die – Apr. 27, 2016
  33. Changes Nova Scotia Underwent from Discovery to 1758 When the First General Assembly Met in Halifax – Apr. 20, 2016
  34. The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures – Apr. 13, 2016
  35. Missions to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in the Early 1800’s – Apr. 6, 2016
  36. It Sounded Like a Residential School Philosophy – Mar. 30, 2016
  37. The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  38. Giddy, Eccentric, and Discontented Characters, or Misguided Souls, or Turncoats? – Mar. 16, 2016
  39. Indian Routes of Travel in New Brunswick – Mar. 9, 2016
  40. Historic Sites from the English Period on the Saint John River – Mar. 2, 2016
  41. How to Hunt a Moose, a Goose, and a Caribou in New Brunswick in 1791 – Feb. 24, 2016
  42. William Hubbard Complains to Edward Winslow about the Congregationalists in Sheffield – Feb. 17, 2016
  43. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours – Feb. 10, 2016
  44. WE NEED THE ACADIANS TO REMAIN: Lieut Governor, 1715 – Feb. 2, 2015
  45. Guy Carleton on the Fur Trade in Canada, 1767 – Jan. 27, 2016
  46. A Letter on Irish Immigrants – Jan. 20, 2016
  47. The Wreck of the ‘Lord Ashburton’ – Jan. 13, 2016
  48. A Ghost at Noonday – Jan. 6, 2016
  49. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 3: Will Not the Bright Sun and the Blue Heavens Testify Against Us? – Dec. 30, 2015
  50. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 2: To Every Thing There is a Season – Dec. 23, 2015
  51. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 1: All Men From One Blood – Dec. 16, 2015
  52. Limits to the Royal Bounty – Dec. 9, 2015
  53. Nova Scotia, a Receptacle for Superfluous People? – Dec. 1, 2015
  54. From New Ireland to New Brunswick – Nov. 25, 2015
  55. The Most Gentlemanlike Government on Earth – Nov. 18, 2015
  56. I Love You for Your Plainness – Nov. 11, 2015
  57. Ward Chipman Remembers the Final Evacuation of New York – Nov. 4, 2015
  58. A Reply to “Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok” – Oct. 28, 2015
  59. A Century of Educational Progress in New Brunswick from 1800 to 1900 – Oct. 21, 2015
  60. Notes About the Earliest Public Markets in Saint John, New Brunswick – Oct. 14, 2015
  61. The Provincial Dairy School at Sussex, New Brunswick, 1900 – Oct. 7, 2015
  62. An Account of Nova Scotia in 1743 – Sept. 30, 2015
  63. The Petition of the Infamous 55 – Sept. 23, 2015
  64. Francis Sharpe’s Woodstock Apples – Sept. 16, 2015
  65. The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  66. The New Brunswick Election of 1785 – Sept. 2, 2015
  67. The Many Fires in Saint John, 1784-1877 – Aug. 26, 2015
  68. A Proposal for an Attack on N0va Scotia – Aug. 19, 2015
  69. Fredericton’s Great Flood of 1936 – Aug. 12, 2015
  70. A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015
  71. Saint John in 1834, Before it was Forever Changed by the Great Fire – July 29, 2015
  72. New Brunswick, No Country for a Mere Gentleman, 1834 – July 22, 2015
  73. Woodstock, the Only Village Between the Green River and Fredericton in 1834 – July 15, 2015
  74. On the Tamiscouta Prtage from Lake Tamiscouta to just above Grand Falls, 1834 – July 10, 2015
  75. Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok – July 1, 2015
  76. By Steamer to the So-Called City of Fredericton – June 24, 2014
  77. A Quiet and Business-Like Little City – June 17, 2015
  78. Rambles Among the Bluenoses in 1862 – June 10, 2015
  79. Edward John Russell, a New Brunswick Artist – June 3, 2015
  80. Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Report of the Medical Superintendent, 1875 – May 27, 2015
  81. The Saint John River and Port Royal in the Early 1600’s – May 20, 2015
  82. What Should We Think of Benedict Arnold? – May 13, 2015
  83. Diphtheria in New Brunswick in the Year 1889 – May 6, 2015
  84. The Official Account of the Destruction of Burnt Church – Apr. 29, 2015
  85. The Exchange Coffee House and Saint John’s First Club – Apr. 22, 2015
  86. The Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians – Apr. 15, 2015
  87. The Story of Brook Watson – Apr. 8, 2015
  88. Where Stood Fort LaTour? – Apr. 1, 2015
  89. Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War – Mar. 25, 2015
  90. At Portland Point – Mar. 18, 2015
  91. Electrical Power From the Reversing Falls – Mar. 10, 2015
  92. Father Rale’s War – 1722-25; How it Ended – Mar. 4, 2015
  93. What Was the Big Deal About the Marco Polo? – Feb. 25, 2015
  94. Grand Manan to Petitcodiac, in 1786 – Feb. 18, 2015
  95. A Trip From St. John to Fredericton in 1870 – Feb. 11, 2015
  96. A Tour of St. John, N.B., in 1870 – Feb. 4, 2015
  97. Destruction by Fire of the First Cathedral in Chatham – Jan. 28, 2015
  98. Burgan the Burglar – Jan. 21, 2015
  99. Facts and Reasons Against Confederating With Canada – Jan. 14, 2015
  100. Discontent in Early Halifax in 1756 – Jan. 7, 2015
  101. A Trip on the ICR From Bathurst to Miramichi – Dec. 31, 2014
  102. Early Attempts to Introduce the Cultivation of Hemp in Eastern British America – Dec. 24, 2014
  103. Touring Campbellton and Dalhousie, Despite the Mosquitoes, 1876 – Dec. 19, 2014
  104. The Fire of 1837 in Saint John – Dec. 10, 2014
  105. The Cruise of the Rechab – Dec. 3, 2014
  106. A Night in the Deep – Nov. 26, 2014
  107. Robert Foulis (A Misplaced Genius) – Nov. 19, 2014
  108. The City Mills – Nov. 15, 2014
  109. The Brothers d’Amours – Nov. 5, 2014
  110. John Allan’s Revolutionary Mission to the Saint John River – Oct. 29, 2014
  111. Relics of the Acadian Period – Oct. 22, 2014
  112. Some Odd Old Advertisements – Oct. 15, 2014
  113. The Miramichi Fire – Relief of the Sufferers – Oct. 8, 2014
  114. Jonathan Eddy’s Account of the Attack on Fort Cumberland, November, 1776 – Oct. 1, 2014
  115. Which of These Two is the Wisest and Happiest? – Sept. 24, 2014
  116. Fredericton Bridge, a Prophetic Writing – Sept. 17, 2014
  117. A Speech to Distinguished Persons of Stake and Consideration – Sept. 10, 2014
  118. Building an Education System From Almost Nothing – Sept. 3, 2014
  119. Cape Tormentine to the Baye des Chaleurs in the 1600’s – Aug. 27, 2014
  120. The Customs of the Mi’kmaq in the 1600’s and Before – Aug. 20, 2014
  121. Two Documents Relating to the Fenians in New Brunswick – Aug. 13, 2014
  122. The Lazaretto for Lepers in Tracadie, 1862 – Aug. 6, 2014
  123. Thoughts About the Augustine Mound at Metepenegiag Mi’kmaq Nation – July 30, 2014
  124. What am I Bid for This Pauper? – July 23, 2014
  125. Trouble at Madawaska, 1831 – July 16, 2014
  126. The Great Fire at Saint John, June 20, 1877 – July 9, 2014
  127. The Poor Fellows Shook as if They Would Fall to Pieces! – July 2, 2014
  128. How to Build a Logging Camp in Around 1850 – June 25, 2014
  129. Risen from the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton – June 18, 2014
  130. Rocks and Water, Magnificence and Squalor; St. John in 1876 – June 11, 2014
  131. Moncton as Seen by a Journalist in 1876 – June 4, 2014
  132. Events Leading to the Caraquet Riots of 1875 – May 28, 2014
  133. A Dramatic Account of the Miramichi Fire – May 21, 2014
  134. Saint John in the Early 1840’s – May 18, 2014
  135. A Note to Subscribers, and a Memorandum for me – May 14, 2014
  136. The Myth that Kerosene was Invented in New Brunswick – May 7, 2014
  137. A Church with Military Boots and Fixed Bayonets – Apr. 30, 2014
  138. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  139. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  140. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  141. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  142. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  143. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 – Mar. 19, 2014
  144. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  145. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  146. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  147. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  148. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  149. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  150. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  151. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  152. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  153. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  154. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  155. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  156. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  157. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  158. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  159. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  160. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  161. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  162. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  163. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  164. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  165. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  166. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  167. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  168. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  169. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  170. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  171. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  172. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  173. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  174. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  175. A note to subscribers – Oct. 30, 2013
  176. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  177. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches – Oct. 23, 2013
  178. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  179. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw – Oct. 9, 2013
  180. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  181. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  182. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  183. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  184. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  185. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  186. The Loss of the Royal Tar – Aug. 21, 2013
  187. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  188. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  189. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  190. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  191. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  192. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  193. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  194. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  195. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  196. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  197. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  198. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  199. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  200. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  201. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  202. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  203. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  204. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  205. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  206. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  207. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  208. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  209. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  210. The First Decade of the 1800’s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  211. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013, Rev. Sept. 9, 2015
  212. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  213. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  214. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  215. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  216. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  217. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  218. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  219. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  220. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  221. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  222. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  223. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  224. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  225. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  226. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  227. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  228. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  229. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  230. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  231. Oops! An explanation – Oct. 31, 2012
  232. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  233. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  234. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  235. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  236. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  237. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  238. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  239. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  240. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  241. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  242. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  243. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  244. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  245. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  246. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  247. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  248. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  249. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  250. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  251. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  252. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  253. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  254. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  255. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  256. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  257. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  258. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  259. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  260. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  261. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  262. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  263. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  264. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  265. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  266. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  267. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  268. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  269. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  270. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  271. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  272. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  273. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  274. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  275. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  276. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  277. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  278. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  279. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  280. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  281. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  282. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  283. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  284. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  285. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  286. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  287. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  288. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  289. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  290. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  291. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  292. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  293. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  294. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  295. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  296. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  297. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  298. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  299. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  300. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  301. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  302. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  303. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  304. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  305. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  306. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  307. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  308. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  309. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  310. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  311. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  312. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  313. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  314. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

November 30, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste — Fredericton in 1832

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From the blog at

Following is a description of the ‘village’ of Fredericton, from Sketches of British America by John Macgregor, London, 1832.


Old Government House

Built between 1825 and 1828, it replaced the one that burned in 1825. This is therefore the one that was called an outrage to good taste.


The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste — Fredericton in 1832

Fredericton, although yet but little more than a village, is the seat of government; and is situated on a pretty point of land formed by a bend in the river, nearly ninety miles above St. John’s, and in front of as richly wooded hills as ever eye beheld; for soft picturesque scenery it is not surpassed by any part of the province. In front, the River St. John, something more than half a mile in width, flows past, sometimes smoothly, but often in rapid overflowing grandeur; and immediately opposite, it receives the Nashwaak, a rapid stream, which winds from the west thirty miles through fertile lands, settlements, and forests. The magnificent view from the College, lately built on the brow of a hill above the town, embraces, during summer and autumn, much of what poets and romance-writers tell us about Fairyland. Before us we have the neat white buildings of the town, with their pretty gardens, and the verdant foliage of their trees; then the River St. John, with the débouché of the Nashwaak, and an extensively ascending forest country, stretching far to the north. Downwards, we have a commanding prospect of several windings, for many miles, of the river; the banks and headlands of which are beautifully adorned with clumps of trees, interspersed among the cultivated uplands, or intermingled with the rich fringes of alluvial soil, which its waters have created. Upwards, our eyes and imagination feast on a splendid view of luxuriant islands, water, cultivated farms, farm-houses, blue distant hills, wooded to their summits; with the presence of human industry—herds of cattle on the farms and islands, one or more sloops on the river, timber-rafts, bateaux, and the white canoe of the Indian—to lend animation to the whole.

The plan of the town is regular, the streets crossing at right angles, and in appearance much like Charlotte Town, in Prince Edward Island. The building-lots contain each a quantity of an acre, eighteen of which form a square. The public buildings are, a provincial hall—a mean-looking building, in which the courts are held, and in which the Legislative Assembly sit—a jail, and a building which answers the double purpose of a market and county court-house. There are also an Episcopal church, of very humble appearance, but standing in a sweet spot, near the river, and three chapels, one each for the Catholics, Presbyterians, and Baptists. The barracks are handsome and commodious.

The new stone building, erected for the residence of the governor, stands at the west end of the town, in a charming situation. It is rather a large house, the front and elevation striking, but not elegant; and to me the design appeared, in many respects, to outrage good taste, as well as the rules of architecture; while convenience and comfort as to interior arrangements have also been either disregarded, or not understood. The drawing-room, ball-room, and presence chamber, are, however, magnificent.

The college is a spacious handsome stone building, and, in my opinion, exactly what it should be. Some consider it too large. For the present state of the province, it certainly is; but it will not be thought so, when twenty years more pass away.

The dwellings, however, are principally built of wood, and look clean and handsome.

The residence of the commissioner of crown lands, above the town in particular, attracts observation, from its pleasing and respectable appearance.

The inhabitants are principally loyalists, or their descendants. Society is limited, but respectable. The trade of Fredericton consists principally in selling British goods to the settlers along the River St. John and its streams, and receiving in return timber and agricultural produce. The town being at the head of the sloop-navigation, must increase and prosper in the same ratio as the settlement and prosperity of the vast interior country will necessarily advance. Many people consider that the capital should be at Oromocto, twelve miles below, and above which the river is much shoaler [sic]; others consider it should be still higher up. My own opinion is, that Governor Carleton, who founded it in 1785, could not have been more judicious in selecting any other spot. It has three or four religious institutions, an agricultural and emigrant society, printing establishment, a weekly paper, a public library, an academy, &c.

Written by johnwood1946

November 30, 2016 at 8:44 AM

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An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception!

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From the blog at

An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception!

This is the story of a very clever man who could accomplish almost anything that was needed. He was also very deceitful, which was an asset as a thief. He committed several thefts in Nova Scotia but evaded capture and escaped to Saint John where he committed more thefts. He was finally captured, again in Nova Scotia, and returned to Saint John where charges had already been laid.

The story, then, is of his “unparalleled and abominable deception” in escaping jail by a mastery of deceit. The story is true as far as I can tell. Some of the principal characters were actual people of the time, for example. The appearance of a slave character is also very in period.

The events took place in 1812 to 1815, but the narrator wrote in the first person in 1910. This was because Walter Bates was writing from the old records of the jailer. The story is from Henry More Smith, the Mysterious Stranger, Saint John, 1910, and the following excerpt is edited and condensed.

St John City Hall

The old City Hall and Jail in Saint John


Henry More Smith was unknown to us when he arrived in Windsor, N.S. in July of 1812. He pretended to have emigrated lately from England and sought a job as a tailor, but also said that he could turn his hand to any kind of business. He was decently clothed, genteel, and prepossessing in his manner. Although a stranger, he seemed to be acquainted with the Province. He avoided companionship, associated with few, and concealed all knowledge of his previous life.

Smith engaged with Mr. Bond, a farmer in the village of Rawden, who agreed to hire him for a month on trial. He conducted himself with propriety and honesty; was industrious, careful, and useful, to the entire satisfaction of Mr. Bond. He was perfectly inoffensive, gentle, and obliging; using no intoxicating liquors, refrained from idle conversation and all improper language, and was apparently free from every evil habit.

Mr. Bond was a Baptist, which gave Smith an easy means for ingratiating himself into the family. He attended morning and evening prayers, was always marked with regularity and seriousness and, in the absence of Mr. Bond, would officiate in a solemn and devout manner. This secured the confidence of Mr. Bond himself, and also the affections of his daughter who resolved to give her hand to him in marriage. Neither Bond’s objections nor the remonstrances of her friends could dissuade her, and she left her father’s house and went to Windsor, marrying Smith who was then going by the name of Frederick Henry More.

After his removal to Windsor, he united the business of tailoring with that of being a peddler. He visited Halifax often, always setting out in the forenoon and returned the next morning. He would return with quantities of goods of various descriptions and sometimes with money. A gentleman, speaking of him as a tailor, remarked that he could make an article of clothing in a superior manner. In fact, his genius was extraordinary, and he could execute anything that he put his hand to. A young man applied to him for a new coat, and he accordingly took his measure and promised to have the coat ready on a certain day, which he faithfully fulfilled.

About this time a number of unaccountable thefts took place in Halifax. Articles of plate, silver watches and many other things were taken from silversmith’s shops, for example. Three volumes of the Acts of Parliament relating to the Court of Admiralty were missing from the Chief Justice who offered a reward of three guineas for their return. A few days later, Mr. More produced the volumes, which he said he had purchased from a stranger, and received the reward. Next, the young man whom More had furnished with the new coat was passing through Halifax when he was arrested by a gentleman who claimed the coat as stolen. This threw immediate light upon all those unaccountable robberies, and a warrant was issued against More, who made an escape.

In July of 1814, More made his appearance in Saint John, going by the name of Henry More Smith. He lodged at Mr. Stackhouse’s home, in a bye-place within a mile of the City, and came into the town upon foot. He became acquainted with the officers of the 99th Regiment, and, perceived that the Colonel’s carriage horses were of different colors. He said that he knew of an excellent black horse in Cumberland that would match his black one perfectly, and the Colonel agreed that he would give fifteen pounds for it. Smith then proposed, that if, the Colonel, would advance him the fifteen pounds, he would leave his own horse in pledge, and take his passage in a sloop bound for Cumberland, and bring him the black horse. The Colonel paid him down the fifteen pounds. This opened the way to Smith’s plan. He had observed a valuable saddle and bridle belonging to Major King next to the place where he was lodging. He planned to steal these in the night and then to steal a horse and to ride her to Nova Scotia. He would then sell the first stolen horse, steal the black horse from Cumberland, bring him to the Colonel, receive his two hundred dollars, and without loss of time transport himself within the boundaries of the United States.

This scheme failed on execution, and proved the means of his apprehension. Already in possession of saddle and bridle, he spent most of the night in fruitless efforts to take the mare, which was running at large. He then recollected a fine horse near Norton, about thirty miles along on his journey. So he set off on foot with the bridle and saddle passing as a peddler. Night came on, and put him in possession of a fine horse which he mounted and rode on. But with all the certainty of success, his object proved a failure. From the want of sleep the preceding night he became exhausted, and stopped in a barn belonging to William Fairweather to take a short sleep, and start again in the night. But, as fate would have it, he overslept and he was seen crossing the bridge by daylight. Had he succeeded in crossing in the night, he would have carried out his design; for it was not till the afternoon of the same day, that Mr. Knox the owner of the horse, missed him. Pursuit was immediately made in quest of the horse. Mr. Fairweather’s, information directed the pursuit in the correct direction and Mr. Knox, through means of obtaining fresh horses on the way, pursued him through the Province of Nova Scotia as far as Pictou. On the 24th July, Mr. Knox had Smith apprehended by the Deputy Sheriff, John Parsons, Esq., and taken before the County Justices in Court then sitting. Besides the horse, there were a watch and fifteen guineas found with the prisoner; and a warrant was issued by the Court for his conveyance to the gaol of Kings County, New Brunswick. Mr. Knox states that he, the prisoner, made several attempts to escape from the Sheriff, and that unless he were well taken care of and secured, he would certainly escape. He was received into prison for examination on the warrant of conveyance.

The prisoner had rode all day in the rain, and it was thought necessary to put him into the debtors’ room, handcuffed, where he could warm and dry himself at the fire. The day following he was removed into the criminal’s room, where irons were unnecessary; and, he appeared quite peaceable and reconciled to his situation. On the 13th of August I received a letter from Ward Chipman, Clerk of the Circuit Court, noting that the prisoner had been apprehended in Nova Scotia and recommending that he be examined in accordance with New Brunswick practice.

Judge Pickett, Mr. Justice Ketchum, and Mr. Knox, attended the examinations, in which the prisoner said his name was Henry More Smith, twenty years of age, came from England, was born in Brighton, where his parents were living, and that he expected them out to Halifax in the spring. He also stated that he came to St. John on business, where he fell in with Colonel Daniel, of the 99th Regiment, who proposed to give him two hundred dollars if he would bring him a black horse. He said that he missed his passage on the vessel and that he set out on foot; where he was overtaken by a stranger with a large horse and a small mare, and he offered one of them for sale which he accepted. That horse did not answer his purpose, however, and he bartered with a stranger, a Mr. Churman, for a swap whereby he also obtained the saddle and bridle. He then produced a receipt which he said Churman gave him.

Smith further stated that he proceeded to Cumberland, and bargained for the black horse which was the object of his pursuit, but not having money to pay for him without selling the one he rode, he proceeded to Truro to sell his horse to Captain Dixon. He was obliged to wait till Monday to sell his horse, however, and was there apprehended by Mr. Knox and charged with stealing his horse. He was taken before the Court, had all his money, his watch, and his horse, taken from him, and was sent to King’s County gaol to take his trial. He complained, that he had no money and no one to speak for him, and that his case was desperate. He also complained of having been badly used by Mr. Knox on the way.

After this examination he returned to prison where he submitted to confinement without a murmur; but complained of great pain in his side occasioned by cold he had received. He was anxious to send for his portmanteau, which was with Mr. Stackhouse near Saint John. The portmanteau, he said, contained his clothes, which he needed to sell to raise money for a lawyer.

It so happened, on the day following, that I and Dr. Adino Paddock Sr. called at Mr. Nathaniel Golding’s tavern, in Hampton where we perceived a man mounting a horse and riding off in haste. On inquiring who he was, we learned that he was a stranger and that his name was believed to be Chuman or Churman. I observed that that was the name of the man from whom the prisoner said he purchased the horse, which was also confirmed.

After my return from Saint John I informed the prisoner what happened. He was elated with the idea of this being the man that had sold him the horse, and that if he could be brought to justice, it would secure his own liberty. He was anxious to employ a lawyer but did not know of any to whom he could apply, so he was recommended to Charles J. Peters, Esq., attorney, in St. John, who would exert himself in his behalf most faithfully. He sent an order to Mr. Stackhouse for his portmanteau which contained some money and other things. Mr. Peters was then engaged, which brought much satisfaction to the prisoner. Smith then gave me the key to the portmanteau so that some items could be sold, and I found it filled with valuable and fashionable clothing, a spy-glass of the best kind, a small magnifying glass in a tortoise-shell case, and a variety of books and many other useful articles. There was no suspicion that the contents of his portmanteau were not honestly obtained, but only that he had been handsomely fitted out by affectionate parents. He soon commenced selling off his little stock, and persons wishing to purchase from him were permitted to come to the wicket door. He never failed to excite pity from them. Many, from pure sympathy for his unfortunate situation, paid him liberally.

The prison was then kept by Mr. Walter Dibble, to whom I am indebted for many of the particulars relative to the prisoner. This made it less necessary for me to visit the prisoner very often.

On the approach of his trial, he was encouraged to rely upon his attorney, with assurances that he would give his case all possible attention. He was dissatisfied with his attorney, however, and he turned instead to the Bible, perusing it with much seriousness. His whole demeanor was such as to engage much interest in his behalf.

About this time he discovered symptoms of a severe cold, being troubled with a hollow sounding cough, and complained of a pain in the side, but still submitted to his confinement without complaint. He would frequently advert to the ill-usage which he had received from Mr. Knox on his way from Pictou, and particularly of a blow in the side with a pistol. He thought that there was a gathering in his inside, which was very painful. All this was accompanied with a feebleness of body and his situation was such as to excite sympathy. Efforts were therefore made to render him as comfortable as possible.

His disease continued to increase, and his strength to decline, with pain in the head and eyes, dizziness, sickness at the stomach, frequent raising of blood, and increased painfulness of his side. On the 11th of September I sent for a doctor, who examined his side, and gave him some medicine. On the 12th, he appeared a little better; 13th grew worse; 14th unable to walk, very high fever, with frequent chills of ague; 15th vomiting and raising blood more frequently. On the 16th the Rev. Mr. Scovil visited him and found him very ill, and sent him toast and wine. The same day the doctor attended and gave him medicine, but he got no better and was vomiting whatever he took. On the 18th he grew worse and was visited by Judge Pickett and several other neighbors. On the 19th the doctor said he was too ill to be kept in that damp room. The 20th found him still declining. Mr. Thaddeus Scribner and others went in to see him, inspected the room, but found no dampness that could injure him.

The Rev. Mr. Scovil visited him on the subject of his approaching end. The prisoner conversed freely on the subject, and expressed his conviction that there was little or no hope of recovery. On the 22nd the prisoner was very low: violent fever, chills and ague, inflammation of the bowels, evacuations of blood, extremities cold, and strength greatly reduced. He could only just articulate above his breath. He was understood to say that he should die, as the doctor refused to attend him in that room, and the sheriff refused to remove him.

His situation, and simplicity, passiveness and resignation had excited pity. Rev. Mr. Scovil and a great number of neighbors came and sat with him, and then left with the impression that he would not live till morning. In the morning, I went to the gaol early and found him lying on the floor, naked and in great distress. He was taken to his bed and continued in an almost lifeless state till the afternoon, when he appeared to be really dying. After some time he had a fit which he said was a family infirmity. He said that that God would have him and asked Mr. Scovil to pray with him.

John Dibble and Charles Cambreau were appointed by the sheriff to sit with the dying man through the night and in the next morning a letter was dispatched to his attorney stating that he was near death and asking what measures should be taken in light of a likely enquiry into the injuries he had received from Mr. Knox. He replied that there should be an inquest, and that a doctor’s report should be obtained as to the cause of death.

The sympathy and compassion of the neighborhood was excited and the family of the Rev. Mr. Scovil was especially concerned. They and others sent treats and gifts, but the prisoner could consume none of them. The death-watch continued, and the doctor finally agreed to attend after being threatened that his absence could be held against him in court. Smith made out his paltry will, for the end was at hand, and someone even thought that they had seen his ghost passing through the streets.

Finally, Smith had a fit and his limbs went cold. His watchman went to the kitchen to heat a brick to warm his feet and, returning to the prisoner’s side, found that he had disappeared. He would have had to pass the jailer and the Rev. Mr. Scovil, who were nearby, but they had seen nothing. Smith had not only effected his escape, but had also carried his money, his boots, and every article of clothing away with him.

It is impossible to conceive or describe the astonishment with which everyone was filled. At this moment, Amy, Mrs. Scovil’s wench appeared carrying a feather bed which Mrs. Scovil had sent for Smith’s comfort. “Misses send this bed for Smit to die on,” she said, but was told her to take it home again and tell her mistress that Smith was gone. Amy ran home and told her mistress that “massa say Smit dead and gone he no want im bed!” “Ah!” exclaimed her mistress, “poor man. Then, Amy, you may run and carry this shirt and winding sheet, to lay Smith out in.” Amy obeyed, but was told “you may take them back, Smith is gone!” “Where he gone, massa?” “I don’t know,” said he, “except the devil has taken him off!” Amy hastened back to her mistress, and told her that “massa say Srnit be dead and gone, and the devil has taken him away!” The sheriff, who had not been present gave the news the same misinterpretation: “Ah poor fellow, I expected it. What time did he die?” He was corrected, and exclaimed that it was an “unparalleled and abominable deception!”

Thus, by means of a counterfeit illness, while melting the feelings and sympathies of the whole neighborhood fooling even the physician himself, did this accomplished villain effect his release, and was now again running at large, glorying in the issue of his scheme.

Written by johnwood1946

November 23, 2016 at 8:57 AM

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Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province — Saint John in 1832

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From the blog at

Following is a description of Saint John and the neighbouring communities of Carleton and Portland in 1832, from Sketches of British America by John Macgregor, London, 1832. Saint John was not the metropolis, although it was the largest town in the Province of New Brunswick.


Saint John and the Portland Area in 1817

Anonymous, from the Nova Scotia Museum


Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province — Saint John in 1832

On approaching St. John’s from the Bay of Fundy, the aspect of the country on each side is bold and rugged. Meogenes Island [Manawagonish Island was once known as Meogenes Island] and several coves open to the left; a bold headland on the right, between which and Partridge Island, on which there is a lighthouse, is the proper entrance to the harbour. The town, with part of Carleton on the opposite side, opens to view at several miles distance; and the wooded mountainous background, and various additional picturesque features, with the masts of ships, wharfs, stores, houses of various sizes and colours, spires of churches, forts, and the beautiful range of new barracks, form altogether a very splendid picture.

The rise of the tide is from twenty-five to thirty feet. When the sea flows so as to cover the shores, the appearance of the harbour of St. John, viewed from Carleton, and all the surrounding objects which fill up the landscape, is beautiful and magnificent; but at low water the aspect of the front of the town, which exhibits muddy shores, high wharfs, and timber booms covered with slime, is exceedingly disagreeable. One of the most beautiful and extensive prospects of scenery is, however, from the heights on which are the ruins of Fort Howe, over that part or division of the town named Portland. The view from this station is really magnificent. The harbour, prairies, mountains, woods, a bird-eye view of the town and shipping, a broad prospect of the, Bay of Fundy, with Nova Scotia high and darkly blue in the distance, are its prominent features.

Fort Howe is now in ruins,—its position is very commanding. On the Carleton side, situated also on a commanding height, there is another fortification, and some guns are also planted on Partridge Island.

St. John’s is not the metropolis, although the largest town in the province. It is about half the size of Halifax but contains nearly two-thirds as many dwelling-houses. The government and public buildings, if not splendid, are certainly handsome structures. The wharfs, with warehouses built either over them or immediately adjoining, and the private houses, closely resemble the buildings in Halifax. The ground on which the town is built is rocky and very irregular, and the forming and levelling of the streets required vast labour. Much improvement is still necessary to level them sufficiently for carriages to drive along agreeably; and the abruptness of some of the streets renders them very dangerous in winter. The public buildings are, a very commodious and handsome stone court-house, built lately on the high ground above the middle of the town, a marine hospital, poor-house, and, of course, a jail. Previous to this period, the courts were held over the market house, a very mean building.

There are two Episcopal churches; the oldest, built of wood, but painted so as to resemble white stone, is a very handsome edifice, with a pretty spire. The interior is arranged nearly in the same manner as most modern English churches of the same size.

The new Episcopal Church is a substantial edifice, built in the Gothic style, of rough stone, and its interior very handsomely planned and finished. Both these churches have good organs.

The Scotch Kirk is a plain neat building, with a tall spire, and handsomely fitted up within. Besides these places of worship, there are a Catholic chapel, two or three Methodist chapels, and one Baptist meeting-house.

There is a respectable grammar school, a central school on the Madras system, and some other institutions, principally Sunday schools, where the rudiments of education are taught.

There are also two or three Bible and religious societies, and the benevolent societies of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick. The poor-house is made to answer also the purposes of a hospital.

The provincial bank, or, in reality, the bank of St. John’s, established under an act of the legislature, with a capital increased since its formation to £50,000, has paid handsome dividends, and has been of great benefit, as well as occasional injury, to those engaged in trade. It facilitates sales by discounting promissory-notes at three months’ date; but this accommodation is apt to tempt men into imprudent transactions. The directors, however, are said to guard with much caution against risks. When its stock was increased in 1824, by legislative enactment, the new shares sold at 175 per cent. There is also a bank for savings; and a marine assurance company, established also by an act of the legislature, seems to prosper, and has hitherto been singularly fortunate in its risks. There are two public libraries, and a respectable news room, where the English, Colonial, and United States papers are taken.

The Chamber of Commerce is formed on much the same plan as that at Halifax. Four or five respectably conducted weekly newspapers are published at St. John’s, one at Fredericton, one at St. Andrew’s, and one at Miramichi.

St. John’s is a corporate town, and styled a city. Its municipal government is lodged in a mayor, recorder, six aldermen, and six assistants, designated, “Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of St. John.”

The other civil officers are a sheriff, coroner, town clerk, chamberlain, two marshals, a high constable, and six petty constables.

The mayor, recorder, sheriff, coroner, and town or common clerk, hold their appointment of the governor, continuing in office from one year to another. The aldermen are elected annually by the freemen.

The mayor and council appoint the other officers. The mayor and council make laws for the improvement or government of the town, which expire in one year, unless confirmed by the governor and council; they have also an annual revenue at their command for public improvements, &c., and they constitute a Court of Record, or Common Pleas, for the “City and County of St. John.” Small debts are recovered before an alderman’s court, held once a fortnight. The aldermen are all justices of the peace.

On the opposite side of the river to St. John’s, and under its municipal government, stands the pretty little town of Carleton, with a neat English church and a chapel. The saw-mills within the aboiteux, a little above this place, are well worth visiting. On the Point of Carleton several ships have been built.

The upper part of St. John’s is named Portland, and the whole, including Carleton, is divided into six wards. Opposite to the town, in the middle of the stream, is Navy Island, small, low, and muddy; and, as the Indians would have it, carried down at one time by the stream in a body. It is evidently formed by alluvial deposits.

There are always some troops stationed at St. John’s; and the barracks situated above the lower cove, and near the extremity of the peninsula, are spacious, handsome, and commodious.

The country in the vicinity is stubborn, but, when subjected to cultivation, fertile. An extensive prairie, named the marsh, containing about 3000 acres, and occupying a space, which is by some considered to have been once the bed of the River St. John, lies near the town. The tide is shut out by an aboiteux, over which the road to Indian Town passes. The soil of this beautiful alluvial tract is remarkably rich, and neutralized by the application of lime, which is abundant in the neighbourhood. There are several handsome houses along the rising grounds which follow the course of the prairie; and their situation and appearance seem to render them desirable and comfortable residences.

As to the condition of society, I am not able to treat so explicitly as I have done in respect to Halifax, from having less intercourse with the inhabitants than a traveller could have wished. There were no public amusements there at the time, or if there had, these are not the places to draw a just picture of society. At both the churches, and at the Scotch kirk, the general appearance of the congregations was highly respectable; and their dresses were in the fashions prevailing about a year previously in England. Two or three ladies, however, I observed dressed in the full Parisian style of 1828.

Many of the ladies are very pretty, but walk rather stiffly and affectedly. Of their manners or accomplishments I can say nothing. The gentlemen that I have had an opportunity of being acquainted with while there, or that I have met with from St. John’s in other places, were generally intelligent and well bred.

From the information given me by people living in St. John’s, it would appear that a very tolerable share of bickerings and divisions prevails among the inhabitants;—one family arrogating a rank and respect which others will not admit; and some building their pretensions on their families being of the number of the first royalist settlers; others measuring their respectability by the length of their purses. All this, however, is common in larger towns than St. John’s; and the same ease and freedom of manners which have gained the ascendant at Halifax, will likely, as the population increases, and a greater intercourse with the world takes place, distinguish this city. When we also consider the few years which form the age of St. John’s, we must make the most charitable allowance for any defect in the condition of its society. Sir Howard Douglas has done wonders in the way of knitting society together, and the influence of his own family example has been of great benefit.

Assemblies are common during winter, once a month, or oftener. They excite, as elsewhere in America, from the necessity of forming some fixed line of demarcation as to admission, the angry bile of those who are excluded. Carriolling, picnic, and private parties, are also common; and there are races annually near the town.

Fifty years ago, the site of this thriving city was covered with trees, and only a few straggling huts existed within its harbour. This was its condition at the peace of 1783; and when we now view it, with its population of above 12,000, its stately houses, its public buildings, its warehouses, its wharfs, and with the majestic ships which crowd its port, we are more than lost in forming even a conjecture of what it will become in less than a century. Its position will ever command the trade of the vast and fertile country watered by the lakes and streams of the River St. John. All towns through which the bulk of the imports and exports of the country in which these towns are situated necessarily pass have, in consequence, flourished.

We view this in the long and continued prosperity of Hamburg, the boundless commerce of Liverpool, and the amazing prosperity of New York.

The River St. John, called by the Indians Looshtook, or the long river, is, next to the St. Lawrence, the finest river in British America. About a mile above the city of St. John, at rugged narrows, the river is interrupted by huge rocks, over and among which the waters of this great river, and its tributary streams, roll and foam, and render the navigation, except for four short diurnal periods, impracticable. The great rise of tide at St. John’s, however, so far overflows these falls or rapids, that, when the flood rises twelve feet at the fort, sloops and schooners pass in safety for about twenty minutes, and for the same time when the tide ebbs to twelve feet. This cataract, viewed from the high ground on the Carleton side, forms, with the adjoining scenery, a picturesque and, indeed, romantic picture. The foam is frequently carried down in frothy bodies past St. John’s; and the agitated waters, holding the juices of mossy deposits from the interior in solution, and running to the sea, impart to it, in the spring, at St. John’s, and for some miles out at the Bay of Fundy, a dark-brown colour.

A chain-bridge, at the cost probably of not more than £10,000, might be suspended across the River St. John at the Falls, where the breadth is not more than four hundred feet, and the precipices on each side sufficiently high; there are also more than one rock in the centre, on which abutments might be built; but these would not, I think, be found necessary.

Written by johnwood1946

November 16, 2016 at 9:04 AM

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Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose

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From the blog at

Andrew Adams traveled around New Brunswick in the 1870’s. He was mostly interested in studying the flora and fauna, but his book, Field and Forest Rambles with Notes and Observations on the Natural History of Eastern Canada (London, 1873), touched on other matters as well. Following is his description of a lumber camp, and of the unscrupulous hunting practices of a pair of game Wardens.


Moose Hunters, c 1866

From the McCord Museum


Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose

During March, when alternate thaws and frosty nights prevail, I started for the wilderness with a woodman well versed in his craft. Although not a hunter in the proper sense of the term, he was known far and wide as a famous moose slayer,—that is, instead of gun or rifle he preferred his axe, with which he had felled many a helpless moose when struggling through the hard frozen snow. Having placed our necessaries on a small hand-sleigh, we pushed through the forest by devious pathways, and arrived at a wood camp, after a fatiguing march of upwards of twelve miles on snow shoes. It is a common remark that the climate of the forest in winter is far healthier than the open country, and no doubt such is the case, for the reason that the extremes of cold are not intensified by wind. Thus often when sleighing over a bleak country, with a north-wester blowing fiercely, when the horses look as if dusted over with chalk, and our furs and whiskers are thickly powdered, we experience a delightful change the moment the woods come between us and the piercing blasts. The log or lumber camps are all constructed on much the same model, being composed of pine trunks placed lengthwise, one above the other, with a sloping roof covered over with pine boughs and a thick layer of snow. The fire is in the centre, whilst, around it, the inmates lie on pallets made of the soft twigs of the spruce with their feet inwards, all well wrapped in rugs and blankets. Excepting weekly changes of under-clothing, no doffing of outer garments takes places at bedtime, and the modes and means of ablution are neither effective nor ample, but, on the contrary, primitive in the extreme, as are many other domestic and household arrangements of these hardy and hospitable foresters. Nevertheless the comfort of the log hut is much beyond what we might expect to find in the depths of the primeval forest; and although every available space is occupied at night, there is no impurity of the atmosphere, as an enormous log fire is kept burning constantly, the apartment being thus freely ventilated through the large smoke flue of the roof.

The diet of the lumberman during the five or six months he is occupied in felling trees in the wilderness consists of occasional fresh animal food, conveyed through the forest, frozen, and on sleighs; or now and then a moose that may have unfortunately yarded in the vicinity; but the chief fare is salted pork, bread, potatoes, beans, with tea and sugar, to the total exclusion of spirituous liquors of every description. The result is, what with temperate habits, and exhilarating, healthy outdoor occupations, there are created as fine specimens of humanity as ever wielded axe or poll. Being away from the temptations of the towns, their simple fare and life have taught them, with the rigours of the climate, to make kindly welcome whatever forest wanderer happens to enter the wicket of the log hut; and I must say, who have more than once been indebted to their kindness, that nowhere is hospitality more genuine than around the log fire of the lumberman.

After building the camp, the next course pursued is the clearing of lanes in the direction of the banks of streams, where the logs are piled up to await the great thaws of spring, when they are floated to the main rivers. The vast accumulations of snow in the woods turn many of these insignificant brooks into torrents, which are further swollen by means of dams so constructed as to be rapidly opened out when the lumber tumbled into the bed of the watercourse is borne down in a furious rush to the river of which it is an influent. This, called “stream driving,” is the finale of the winter’s work, the financial success of which is dependent altogether on the continuance and extent of the thaws. Sometimes when the latter are gradual, more than half of the timber is left in the forest until the following year, and of course the market is influenced accordingly. I do not know a more exciting scene of its kind than to stand and watch a party of these stalwart woodmen, with their long iron-shod poles, jumping from log to log with amazing agility, now balanced on the readily yielding timber, now, with acrobatic dexterity, leaping from one log to another among the noise and clamour of exulting voices, and the fouling and jamming of one log on the other as they crash along the devious windings of the surging torrent.

We had not long settled down into the ways of our good friends in the camp before a hard frost set in at night, and enabled us to run with ease on snow shoes. One afternoon after a toilsome day’s wandering over the forest in quest of whatever natural objects might turn up, I returned to the hut to find my moose-slaying friend expatiating to the numerous inmates on his hunting exploits in the district some years before, and how, between axe and gun, he and several companions slew no less than twenty elks in the course of a few weeks. I had scarcely finished expostulating with him on the cruelty and illegality of destroying the hinds then, when they are heavy with calf, when suddenly the little wicket opened, and there crawled into the hut two stalwart settlers, accompanied by several dogs. “Halloo!” exclaimed my companion, “here come the moose wardens!” “Why” addressing one of them, “you, surely, of all men, are not bound on moose hunting now?” It was the case, however, for although appointed conservators of the moose by the magistrate of the district, they had travelled upwards of fourteen miles in order to secure three moose, which had been seen for some time within a short distance of our camp, and having observed us pass their settlement they imagined we had heard of the deer, and were hurrying to the spot. My guide, already disposed to consider me absurdly scrupulous as regards the two points on which I utterly dissented from him, with reference to the mode and time he selected for hunting, became, now that the poachers arrived, more encouraged than before, so, after some hesitation, I promised to accompany the party, but only as a spectator. Accordingly, on the following morning all sallied forth on snow shoes, and dispersed over the forest in quest of footprints, which were soon discovered, when men and dogs followed them up as fast as the nature of the ground would permit. On looking closely at the tracks I found that three moose had passed only a few days previously, and, as usual, in “single file,” treading as near as possible in each other’s footsteps. “Our start” was, assuredly, a strange one; the uncouth, bearded backwoodsmen in fur caps, and dressed in grey homespun, looked perfectly equal to the occasion, whilst ten or a dozen dogs, picked up at various farms on the way, presented a heterogeneous collection of mongrels, which barked and yelped around us in perfect ignorance of the work they were about to engage in, save a large-boned bull-mastiff, which, we were informed, seldom missed his hold of the muzzle of the animal. Each of the so-called wardens carried a gun and axe, whilst my henchman stuck to his faithful weapon, and laughingly remarked to a brawny blacksmith that however much the latter might trust to a musket, it was his belief that if he did not in the excitement of the moment either shoot himself or a neighbour he would most assuredly miss his mark, and we shall see anon that this surmise was not far from proving correct. Having witnessed the hounds “turned off,” and all speeding along the moose tracks, I struck across to an alder swamp for the purpose of examining the nature of the food on which the animal browses at this season, nor had I gone far before footprints and large hollows where the herd had lain showed I was in one of their yards, on the confines of a large barren, overgrown with moosewood, aspen, poplars, and alder bushes, which they had cropped and barked, many of the saplings having become stunted in growth by depredations of former years. Looking northwards, the eye ranged over a vast tract where once a stately pine forest grew, now overspread by deciduous leaved trees, with only here and there a solitary spruce or pine which had not yet attained the height of the old charred and black mast-like forms of its predecessors, towering many feet above it, although nearly half a century had passed since they were destroyed in the frightful conflagration known as the great Miramichi fire, that desolated the major half of the central and northern portions of the province.

On surveying the enormous tract demolished by the fiery hurricane, I was reminded of the remarks made by an old man on the previous night;— how, at the time referred to, he and his wife, having an infant at her breast only a week old were driven from their little clearing in the forest, with nothing beyond the clothes on their backs;— how they wandered about for hours, not knowing whither they were going, half stifled by smoke, when night came on, and hearing a disturbance in the wood close by, stumbled against their only horse, and before knowing it found themselves within a stone’s throw of the home they had abandoned in the morning, whilst the crackling of the fire and red-hot ashes raged on every side;— how on the following morning, as they sought to escape by forest paths, the frightened moose, caribou, bears, lynxes, etc., and partridges, were constantly hurrying past, and how on their arrival at the banks of the Miramichi, two of the former nearly ran over them on their way towards the river, into which they dashed and swam to the opposite bank. The desolation worked by the fire on the above occasion was marvelous; so changed were the physical features of the country that the narrator, when he returned to his farm soon afterwards, was at first unable to identify his property, until absolutely at the door of the dwelling, which owing to a swamp on one side and a large tract of clearing on the other, had been saved from the general destruction which overtook everything in any way combustible.

While contemplating the scene of this terrible fire, suddenly, on my right, there came forth from the forest loud shouts of men and bellowings of dogs. At once divining the cause, I made for the wood with all speed, and had just gained the moose-yard when a female elk came crashing through the cover, and passed within a few yards of me, pursued by the dogs, who, running nimbly on the frozen crust, hung about her flanks, yelping and barking, whilst she was making laborious efforts to escape. Now and then she suddenly sank to the shoulders; again her hind-quarters would almost disappear; sometimes I lost sight of the pursued and pursuers, as the former doubled backwards and forwards in the denser parts of the woods, where the snow was not so heavy as in the barren and along its skirts. Twice or oftener I came within easy shooting distance, and was reproached by my henchman for not firing, and perhaps had I known the sufferings in store for the poor brute I might have been induced then and there to put an end to the chase; but having that morning made a secret vow not to shoot at a hind, I was obdurate. Nor did his request to borrow my gun meet with consent, so shouldering his axe with redoubled energy, Brown pushed forward, and once I saw him raise it, and as suddenly lower the weapon as the animal twisted and turned in a clump of pine saplings. He had, in fact, lost a good chance of braining the moose or breaking its spine, and now, over-excited by the chase and dead-beat by extra exertion, he had no alternative but to give in, whilst the elk and its canine foes pursued their ways through the forest. Being myself fairly out of breath, I hung back also; and as we were both moving leisurely along, there appeared the two wardens, who had lost the tracks in attempting to cut off the animal’s retreat. But now that the hounds were in full cry and the moose well-nigh worn out, it seemed only a matter of time to get up with our quarry; we accordingly followed the footprints, which were painfully distinct from the blood of the wounds inflicted by the dogs, or made by the frozen crust. Here I noticed large gouts where she had halted for a moment, or a gory pit caused by her nose, when in her struggles she had suddenly sunk to the brisket and buried the muzzle, or where mouthfuls of snow had been seized to slake thirst and cool the parched tongue. I must, however, allow that the chase was exciting, and had it been a male moose I should have enjoyed the fun immensely; but considering the circumstances, I could not enter heart and soul into the hunt in the same way as my companions, who, now worked up to the very extreme of venatical frenzy, were madly rushing on regardless of all obstacles.

It is a most perplexing moment to the hunter when, in hot pursuit of his quarry, he happens to strike the tip of the unwieldy snow shoe against a snag, and is sent “a cropper, spread eagle-fashion,” on his face, the long snow shoes standing on end. If inexpert at recovering himself, he may have to roll about for some time before gaining the erect position. Indeed it so happened, for as we sped along in single-file, the two wardens leading, an accident of this nature occurred to the blacksmith, whose gun went off at the same time, lodging its contents close at his companion’s heel!

The number of pursuers was now reduced to Brown and the other moose warden, whilst the son of Vulcan and myself were left breathless in the rear. However, not to be altogether outstripped, we redoubled our efforts once more, and after a series of “trips” arrived at the brink of a stream, when my bailiff companion, without a moment’s hesitation, leaped on the snow-covered ice, and as quickly disappeared up to the armpits—gun and all. Thus reduced to his axe, he struggled on, whilst I cautiously made my way to the opposite side, and in a trice was standing by a thicket of pine trees, where lay the poor moose breathless and exhausted, with the dogs crowding around so closely that the warden was afraid to fire. However the victim was finally dispatched, and the reeking body of a full-grown calf extracted from its carcass, which on being quartered was hidden in the snow, to be conveyed to the settlements as opportunity occurred. So ended this inglorious day’s sport, the first and last of my moose hunting adventures in the spring season. It may be confidently stated, however, as far as this region is concerned, that nine out of twelve elks are killed in the above way.

The instance just narrated is however rather an exception to the rule, in so far that the sport lasted for upwards of an hour and a half; whereas in general, from the deepness of the snow and thickness of the crust, it is seldom that the animal can progress any distance before the bullet or axe are brought to bear on it.

Of course my companions were overjoyed at their success; moreover, not content with the final issue, the hardier of the two backwoodsmen struck off on a fresh trail, having only a crust of bread and a piece of cheese in his pocket. Sleeping out that night, he only returned to the lumber camp on the following evening, when he brought tidings of having slain another hind, which contained two calves! All this he accomplished on the simple fare above mentioned, passing the night on the snow, whilst throughout the day he was constantly on the move, traversing at least some thirty miles of forest. This man furnishes an illustration of the extraordinary powers of endurance of these hardy settlers: having some years previously fallen into the St. John River when crossing on the ice, he swam into open water and finally ashore, where he was picked up, encrusted in ice, and so benumbed that no one expected he would recover.

Of course the legitimate time to hunt the moose is toward the end of summer and in autumn, before the horn drops, when, however, few of the industrious settlers can spare time for such occupations, setting aside the woodcraft necessary in stalking the animal at this season. Although the legislature attempts to put a stop to a wholesale destruction which must sooner or later exterminate the animal, residents in the out-of-the-way places, irrespective of the sport, find, that between the value of the skin and the flesh, a moose at all times is worth killing, and therefore evade the law whenever opportunities occur.

Written by johnwood1946

November 9, 2016 at 8:11 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen

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From the blog at

Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen

The French fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton was captured by New England forces in 1745, and an attempt by the French to recapture it failed. Strife between England and France continued and these disputes were settled for a while by the Peace of Utrecht in 1748. By that Peace, England gained possession of Acadia, while the French regained possession of Cape Breton and therefore of the fort at Louisbourg. Meanwhile, the English established a military base at Halifax. The endless disputes between England and France continued at a reduced level, and they never did agree as to what constituted ‘Acadia.’

English attempts to attract settlers to Nova Scotia had only limited success, and Halifax remained mostly a military establishment. New Englanders were reluctant to move into such a wilderness without inducements and, besides, they were afraid of the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq. So, the English deported the Acadians in the ‘Expulsion’ and, in 1758, attacked the fort at Louisbourg again. The French population at the fortress and the town of Louisbourg was considerable — in excess of 4,000.

The diary of an English military surgeon who served during the siege, entitled “The Diary of Nathaniel Knap,” was presented earlier in this blog. Today is a description of the siege from the French point of view. It is a condensed and edited from Louisbourg in 1745; the anonymous Lettre d’un habitant de Louisbourg…, translated and published by George McKinnon Wrong in Toronto, 1897.

In this letter, the mostly anonymous ‘B.L.N.’ complained about the mismanagement of Louisbourg, which he believed to be the cause of their loss. I have entitled it “Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen.”


Louisbourg, a Mighty Fortress



Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen

I thank you, Sir and very dear friend, for the interest you take in the misfortune which has happened to me. I have not so much to complain of as have a multitude of miserable people, stripped of everything,—sad results of a war in which we appear to be the only unfortunates! We are overwhelmed with the most terrible reverses and despoiled of the possessions which were the fruit of many years’ labour. May our loss mark the only progress which the English will make this year!

The first cause of our misfortune was the weakness of our wretched colony and the numerous mistakes which were made. I recommend that you to keep secret what I am going to unveil to you and do not to reveal my name. It is often unsafe to tell the truth.

Every day we were in receipt of information that the New England colonies were arming along their whole coast. There was then abundant time to take measures for protection against the threatened danger; something was done, but not all that should have been.

Our situation, on the verge of pressing danger, was indicated to the Court. We sought prompt succour, and this ought to have been provided. After all, our colony was important and it was necessary to be masters of the River which leads to New France. Our settlements in Canada required this. Besides, those dangerous waters required a port of refuge.

The two ships of war, Ardent and Caribou, ought to be blamed in the first instance. If their commanders had consented to aid in an expedition against Acadia we should have ruined the English and made it impossible for them to execute their plan. But most of the officers of the King’s ships carry on trade operations, although this is forbidden. Trade ventures would have been neglected and the welfare of the State would have interfered with their interests. Those near to the Minister share in this traffic and they it from him. Forgive these strong expressions; although harsh they are true.

Governor, M. du Quesnel, could not induce the naval commanders to sail against Acadia. They argued that they had no orders from the Court, as if it was necessary to have special orders before keeping enemies from the door. Would to God that the Governor had abandoned his madness of undertaking the matter alone. The ill-success which followed is the cause of our loss. The English would not have troubled us if we had not affronted them. It was in the interest of the people of New England to live at peace with us and they would have done so if we had not disturbed their security. Both sides should have held aloof from the war in Europe.

When our Governor learned of the declaration of war he formed projects which resulted in our misfortune. Poor man, he was whimsical, changeable, given to drink. He had affronted nearly all the officers of Louisbourg and destroyed their authority with the soldiers. It was because he had such problems that he had been sent to Cape Breton in the first place. The foolish enterprise against Canso was the first cause of the loss of a colony so useful to the King.

du Quesnel was determined to distinguish himself against the English. He therefore armed a schooner with fourteen guns, and a bateau, upon which he put about six hundred men to seize the little island of Canso! His force came back victorious, but the enterprise had no merit. The English did not suspect attack and were without the least defence. They did not know that we were at war with their nation, as we had been the first to hear of it. We burned a wretched and worthless little town—for nothing.

du Quesnel next resolved to take Port Royal even without the commanders of the Ardent and the Caribou who refused to cooperate. In July, he commissioned four officers from the Fort, and two others from St. John Island [PEI], together with ninety soldiers and three to four hundred Indians to carry out his plan. They established themselves on a very good position overlooking the fort and, with the help of the Acadians, prepared ladders to scale the walls.

The appearance of the French before Annapolis so frightened the English Governor that he promised to surrender, as soon as he should see the Ardent and the Caribou which were expected to arrive. The ships never appeared, however, and the invading force retired more than fifty leagues inland causing the expedition to fail.

du Quesnel died at about that time, and was replaced by M. du Chambon. He sent out a party to rescue the initial invading force from Annapolis, but they had fled back into the woods and this rescue party also withdrew. This English thought that we were weak and began their own methodical military preparations, continued all winter. Reinforcements were sent from England and even from Jamaica.

It was known from the beginning that the English were readying for war, but nothing was done. Our ships remained in port, not even venturing out to defend against privateers. Councils were held while time slipped away. We needed to strengthen here, to enlarge there, to provide posts, to visit those on the island to find the number of persons who could bear arms; in a word, to show activity usual in the situation. Nothing like this was done. There was time, even after the first ships blockaded us, to protect ourselves better than we did.

Our condition was as follows. The Garrison was composed eight companies of seventy men each, including the sick. There were also five or six hundred militia from the neighbourhood, and these, added to the force in the town, made up from thirteen to fourteen hundred men. The militia could have been increased further, but communication was cut off by the time it was decided to send for them.

Munitions and food were in greater supply than has been made known, especially of food. Since we were long threatened with a siege we should have retrenched in everything, as if scarcity existed. Powder should not have been wasted in foolish enterprises which did not make our condition less serious. These actions deprived us of salvation.

Military discipline was badly maintained by our late Governor, with mischievous results. The day after Christmas, the Swiss revolted and came out without officers, drums beating, bayonets fixed, and swords in hand. Those who approached them would have lost their lives if prudence had not been used. The French soldiers were as bad and mutinied also. The whole town was in alarm. It was promised that the mutineers’ grievances should be removed. The mutiny was only for butter and bacon. They should have been punished if it could have been done with safety, but their judges were not the bravest and, in the end, they laid lay down their arms at a cost of seven or eight thousand livres. So ended the matter without, the bloodshed that had been feared. The troops did their duty throughout the siege; but who knows whether they would have done so if there had been opportunity to escape.

On the 14th March we saw the first hostile ships. There were as yet only two, but their number increased daily until the end of May. For a long time they cruised about without attempting anything. The European contingent did not come until June. The enterprise was less that of the nation or of the King than of the inhabitants of New England alone. These people have a system of laws peculiar to themselves, and their Governor carries himself like a monarch. Although war was already declared between the two crowns, he declared it against us of his own right and in his own name. Admiral Warren had no authority over the troops sent by the Governor of Boston, although it was to him that we finally surrendered.

On May 11th, we saw ninety-six transports coming in order of battle from the direction of Canso. Then it was that we saw the need for the precautions that we ought to have taken, and a detachment of one hundred men was sent in command of M. Morpain. But what could such a force do against such a large disembarkation? Part of our force was killed. M. Morpain found about two thousand men already disembarked and killed some of them. He then retired.

The enemy took possession of the surrounding country and terror seized us all. There was talk of abandoning the battery, which would have been our chief defence. Tumultuous councils were held and the fateful decision was taken on the basis that there were two breaches which had never been repaired. How could this have happened? There had been ample time to put things in order. The battery was abandoned on the 13th, with thirty cannons left in place—not even having been disabled. There was so much activity that a barrel of gun powder exploded and nearly killed several men. On the 14th, the enemy began to fire upon us with our own cannons. We answered from the walls, but could not return the harm which they did to us. Houses were knocking down and shattering everything within range.

The enemy then established several other batteries and the bombardment intensified. They also drained the swamp, thus opening an avenue for attack from the front. A tardy resolution was taken to send to Acadia to summon aid from a detachment which had left Quebec to join the attack on Annapolis. However, their arrival was delayed. A month earlier, we had given to the Quebec detachment both powder and balls, which left us short in our time of need. Some of our other supplies had also been wasted. In the meantime, the force from Quebec could not come to our aid since the English, by that time, controlled the whole countryside. Finally, seized with the urgency of the moment, they gathered some Indians and managed to fight their way toward us. They arrived too late, however, for Louisbourg had surrendered.

On the 18th we perceived a ship carrying the French flag trying to enter the port, and the vigour of our fire prevented the English from sinking her. We were not so fortunate with another French vessel which had to surrender. It is thought that our fall was caused by the loss of this second ship, and it is true that we suffered from the loss of her cargo. But we should still have been able to hold if we had not made so many other mistakes. We had already begun to lose hope when this ship approached. If she had entered we would still hold our property and the English would have had to retire.

The Vigilant came in sight on the 28th or 29th of May, and nothing could have prevented her from entering. However, she wasted her time chasing a privateer, which drew her close to the English who captured her. She had been loaded with ammunition and, we learned later, the English were running short of such supplies. We perceived that after the capture their firing increased greatly. The enemy was busy all the remainder of the month in cannonading and bombarding us. All our shots carried while the greater part of theirs was wasted. In truth, our scarcity of powder caused us to be careful.

At the beginning of June the besiegers planned to attack us from the sea. They tried to surprise the battery at the harbour entrance, but their detachment of about 500 men was cut in pieces by M. d’Aillebout, who commanded there. More than three hundred were left dead, and none were saved except those who asked for quarter. We made one hundred and nineteen prisoners, and on our side had only three killed or wounded.

Still wishing to possess the battery, the assailants commenced to build a fort opposite it. A hundred of our men, reinforced by thirty Indians, were chosen to dislodge them. We attacked and they lost two hundred and thirty men, of whom a hundred and fifty were killed and eighty wounded. The number of the enemy kept increased, however, and we finally had to retreat.

To make things worse, on the 15th a squadron of six warships reached the English from London, and this no doubt encouraged the land army to bring the battle to an end. The army General was anxious to force our surrender before the Admiral of the fleet took the honour and on the 21st an officer came to propose that it would be better to surrender to the Admiral. We said that we had no intention to surrender. This was pure bluster on our part, as we were in desperate straits. Councils were held more frequently than ever, but with no better results; they met without knowing why, and knew not what to resolve. There was only confusion and indecision.

The object of our Councils was to draw articles of capitulation. This occupied us until the 27th, when an officer, M. Lopinot, went out to carry them to the General. Our proposals were so extraordinary that, notwithstanding that the General wanted us to capitulate to him, he had scarcely the patience to listen to them. The same conditions were then proposed to the Admiral who rejected most of them. Eventually, however, terms were agreed to that were sufficiently honourable. We were reassured a little by this, for we apprehended the saddest fate. We feared at every moment that the enemy would press forward to carry the place by assault. Everything invited them to do so, including the fact that we had two breaches, each about fifty feet wide. We also had not enough powder left for three charges, although the public is deceived to think that we still had twenty thousand pounds. These were lies.

The articles of capitulation provided that the Garrison should march out with arms and flags, which should be given up until after their arrival in France; that, if our own ships did not suffice to transport our persons and effects to France, then the English would furnish transport and provisions; that all the commissioned officers and inhabitants of the town should be allowed to live in their houses with free exercise of their religion until they could be removed; that the non-commissioned officers and the soldiers should be placed on board the British ships immediately after the surrender until they also should be taken to France; that our sick and wounded should receive the same care as those of the enemy; that the Commandant of the Garrison should have the right to take out two covered wagons which should be inspected by one officer only, to see that there were no munitions of war; and that, if any persons of the town or garrison did not wish to be recognized by the English, they should be permitted to go out masked.

The enemy caused all to embark and did not allow any settler to remain upon the island.

Such is my description of the siege of Louisbourg, which would not have lasted so long had we been attacked by an enemy better versed in the art of war. No complaint can be made of the settlers, who served with the same precision as did the troops, and had to bear the greatest fatigues. The regular soldiers were distrusted, so that it was necessary to charge the inhabitants with the most dangerous duties. Children, ten and twelve years old, carried arms, and were to be seen on the ramparts, exposing themselves with a courage beyond their years. Our loss scarcely reached one hundred and thirty men, and it is certain that that of the English was more than two thousand. Yet their force was so great that for them this loss was inconsiderable. They had, at disembarking, as many as from eight to nine thousand men.

I will finish this sad narrative which makes me weep, by saying that the court should extend its charity to an immense number of unfortunates who, if not succoured, will die of hunger in France. We, the inhabitants of the town, owing to the terms of capitulation, have still preserved something from the ruin, but those who dwelt in the country have lost everything. I have seen numerous families embark without having anything to cover them, and wring compassion from even the English themselves.

In saying all this I have paid only the respect which I owe to truth.

Adieu, my dear friend; love me well always, and rely upon the fondest return and the liveliest gratitude.

I am, etc.


At . . . August 28th, 1745

Written by johnwood1946

November 2, 2016 at 8:19 AM

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Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull

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From the blog at

Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull


A Herring Gull

The lowly seagull? Well, it has a mixed reputation. It’s a nice bird, but there are altogether too many of them. It’s omnivorous and is as happy in a garbage dump as it is on a picturesque wharf. It is sometimes an annoyance, but, despite all of this, it remains an iconic symbol of the Maritime Provinces.

It is no surprise that the New Brunswick seagull is just a little bit smarter than average and today’s blog will consider the unusual defensive nesting behaviour that some of them have adopted.

Normally, gulls will build rude nests of vegetable matter, and anything else that can be found lying about. These nests are on the ground, and are placed as best they can to avoid predators. Other gulls are more defensive and build their nests on rocks or cliffs – still clear of danger.

The first reference I can find to Passamaquoddy gulls having different nesting habits was by John James Audubon who visited Grand Manan in 1833. According to De Costa’s1 1871 account, Audubon said “I was greatly surprised to see the nests placed on branches, some near the top, others about the middle or on the lower parts of the trees, while at the same time there were many on the ground.”

It is curious that this Passamaquoddy adaptation appears to have been learned, for a local resident told Audubon that, “when I first came here many years ago, they all built their nests on the open ground; but as my sons and the fishermen collected most of their eggs for winter use, and sadly annoyed the poor things, the old ones gradually began to put up their nests on the trees in the thickest part of the woods.”

There was a local initiative on Grand Manan to protect the gulls against eggers, and to see if they would revert to their old habits. It was found, however, that “this was not likely to happen, because on some other islands, not far distant, to which the fishermen and eggers have free access, these gulls breed altogether on the trees, … so that their original habits have been entirely given up.” The protected gulls on Grand Manan similarly refused to change their habits.

The collecting of gull eggs for food has now passed into history, but it used to be more common. The Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq people certainly did it, and there are stories that young gulls could even be trained up and raised like chickens – for meat.

J.G. Lorimer2 confirmed this unusual nesting behaviour in another book in 1876 by saying that the “truth of the sea-gull thus building its nest on a tree is asserted as a fact by the residents of the islands.” Annoyed to distraction by the eggers, “the poor gulls, after long and serious consultation, concluded to do as never a web-footed bird ever did before; and so build their nests; and lay their eggs, and hatch their gull-chicks, high up on a tree among the limbs!” Again, in 1891, Nathaniel Goss wrote in “History of the Birds of Kansas” 3 that he had observed the same behaviour at Grand Manan.

I would prefer to believe that our New Brunswick seagulls are especially clever in having adopted this behaviour. However, a lot more observations have been made of these birds since those days and things have been learned that even Audubon did not know. It is now acknowledged that herring gulls in general will nest on open ground, or on cliffs or even, rarely, in trees.4

Thus ends my salute to the Passamaquoddy and New Brunswick herring gulls whereby my hopes that they are special have been dashed.


  1. Benjamin F., De Costa, Rambles in Mount Desert with sketches of travel on the New-England coast from Isle of Shoals to Grand Menan (sic), New York, 1871
  2. G. Lorimer, History of Islands and Islets in the Bay of Fundy, Charlotte County, Saint Stephen, N.B., 1876
  3. Nathaniel S. Goss, “History of the Birds of Kansas,” Topeka, Kansas, 1891
  4. A. Schreiber and Joanna Burger, editors, Biology of Marine Birds, CRC Press, 2001

Written by johnwood1946

October 26, 2016 at 8:34 AM

Posted in Uncategorized