New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. February 14, 2018

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The blog posts follow this Table of Contents, in the sequence shown.

To access a particular post, copy and paste the title, or a sufficient part of the title, to the search box to the right.

  1. Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville – Feb. 14, 2018
  2. Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago – Feb. 7, 2018
  3. 1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate – Jan. 31, 2018
  4. The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws – Jan. 24, 2018
  5. Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782 – Jan. 17, 2018
  6. Education in New Brunswick in 1837 – Jan. 10, 2018
  7. The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder – Jan. 3, 2018
  8. Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s – Dec. 27, 2017
  9. Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808 – Dec. 23, 2017
  10. The Saint John River, the Rhine of America – Dec. 20, 2017
  11. A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick – Dec. 13, 2017
  12. A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins – Dec. 6, 2017
  13. The Magical Dancing Doll – Nov. 29, 2017
  14. Immigration to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills – Nov. 22, 2017
  15. Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837 – Nov. 15, 2017
  16. On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick – Nov. 8, 2017
  17. Through the Woods in the Dead of Winter; Fredericton to the Miramichi – Nov. 5, 2017
  18. Acadia in 1720, as Seen by Paul Mascerene – Oct. 25, 2017
  19. Nova Scotia’s Sham Government in 1720 – Oct. 18, 2017
  20. Three Short Wabanaki Thunder Stories – Oct. 11, 2017
  21. Stanley, N.B., Carved from the Wilderness – in a Hurry – Oct. 4, 2017
  22. Drunkenness Yearly More Common Amongst all Classes – Sept. 27, 2017
  23. John Cabot, London Superstar and Discoverer of Cape Breton – Sept. 20, 2017
  24. Nicolas Denys, the First Proprietor and Governor of all of the Gulf Coast of Acadia – Sept. 13, 2017
  25. Promoting New Brunswick in 1832 – Sept. 6, 2017
  26. A View of Acadian History, from 30,000 Feet – Aug. 30, 2017
  27. Nova Scotia During the Revolution, an American Perspective – Aug. 23, 2017
  28. The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to the American Cause During the Revolution – Aug. 16, 2017
  29. From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787 – Aug. 9, 2017
  30. Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid” – Aug. 2, 2017
  31. Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately – July 26, 2017
  32. Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods – July 19, 2017
  33. Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842 – July 12, 2017
  34. The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak – July 5, 2017
  35. Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot – June 28, 2017
  36. Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists – June 21, 2017
  37. 1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854 – June 14, 2017
  38. Fishing on the Nepisiquit River in the 1870’s – June 7, 2017
  39. The Clock at Fredericton City Hall – May 31, 2017
  40. Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé – May 24, 2017
  41. Boss Gibson’s First Railroad – May 17, 2017
  42. The New Brunswick Postal Service in 1856 – May 10, 2017
  43. Defending the ‘Worthless, Unsteady and Villainous’ Cutters of Wood – May 3, 2017
  44. Tossed by the Sea Into a Frozen Wilderness-1788 – Apr. 26, 2017
  45. The King of France Cannot Have Given You Our Land, Because it Was Not His – Apr. 19, 2017
  46. Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  47. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick via Charlottetown and Shediac in 1867 – Apr. 5, 2017
  48. A Sunday EXTRA: No Meeting of Minds Between the Acadians and the British in 1717 – Apr. 2, 2017
  49. Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 1844 – A Vast Ocean of Trees – Mar. 29, 2017
  50. Shabby Streets, Decaying Houses, and Steep Plank Sidewalks. Saint John in 1874 – Mar. 22, 2017
  51. In the Beginning – Wabanaki Creation Stories – Mar. 15, 2017
  52. Pride versus Rascals and Villains in Saint John in 1791 – Mar. 8, 2017
  53. The Trent Affair – Mar. 1, 2017
  54. A Shocking Description of Anti-Confederates in Rural Nova Scotia in 1867 – Feb. 22, 2017
  55. Surveying Through the Wilderness in 1844 – Feb. 15, 2017
  56. At the Bend of the Petitcodiac in 1844: Moncton – Feb. 8, 2017
  57. Maria Rye and Her British Home Children – Feb. 1, 2017
  58. New Brunswick’s East Coast in 1832, Following the Miramichi Fire – Jan. 25, 2017
  59. Slavery in the Loyalist Era – Jan. 18, 2017
  60. Weather and the Seasons in Micmac Mythology – Jan. 11, 2017
  61. New Brunswick’s Roads in 1832: ‘Many paths are misnamed roads’. Jan. 7, 2017
  62. Nova Scotia and New England During the Revolution – Dec. 28, 2016
  63. A Holiday Special: Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 23, 2016
  64. Expressions from Cuffer Down plus Signs and Omens – Dec. 21, 2016
  65. From Passamaquoddy to the Petitcodiac: What it Was Like in 1832 – Dec. 14, 2016
  66. Raymond Writes About the Lives and Customs of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet People – Dec. 7, 2016
  67. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  68. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  69. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  70. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  71. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  72. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  73. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  74. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  75. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  76. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  77. 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.)
  78. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  79. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  80. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  81. Blog past #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  82. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  83. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  84. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  85. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  86. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  87. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  88. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  89. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  90. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  91. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  92. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  93. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  94. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016
  95. The Northern Colonies: Languishing in Mediocrity – ca 1804 – May 18, 2016
  96. Fredericton’s Victoria Cottage Hospital – May 11, 2016
  97. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records – May 4, 2016
  98. Slog on, or Die – Apr. 27, 2016
  99. Changes Nova Scotia Underwent from Discovery to 1758 When the First General Assembly Met in Halifax – Apr. 20, 2016
  100. The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures – Apr. 13, 2016
  101. Missions to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in the Early 1800’s – Apr. 6, 2016
  102. It Sounded Like a Residential School Philosophy – Mar. 30, 2016
  103. The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  104. Giddy, Eccentric, and Discontented Characters, or Misguided Souls, or Turncoats? – Mar. 16, 2016
  105. Indian Routes of Travel in New Brunswick – Mar. 9, 2016
  106. Historic Sites from the English Period on the Saint John River – Mar. 2, 2016
  107. How to Hunt a Moose, a Goose, and a Caribou in New Brunswick in 1791 – Feb. 24, 2016
  108. William Hubbard Complains to Edward Winslow about the Congregationalists in Sheffield – Feb. 17, 2016
  109. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours – Feb. 10, 2016
  110. WE NEED THE ACADIANS TO REMAIN: Lieut Governor, 1715 – Feb. 2, 2015
  111. Guy Carleton on the Fur Trade in Canada, 1767 – Jan. 27, 2016
  112. A Letter on Irish Immigrants – Jan. 20, 2016
  113. The Wreck of the ‘Lord Ashburton’ – Jan. 13, 2016
  114. A Ghost at Noonday – Jan. 6, 2016
  115. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 3: Will Not the Bright Sun and the Blue Heavens Testify Against Us? – Dec. 30, 2015
  116. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 2: To Every Thing There is a Season – Dec. 23, 2015
  117. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 1: All Men From One Blood – Dec. 16, 2015
  118. Limits to the Royal Bounty – Dec. 9, 2015
  119. Nova Scotia, a Receptacle for Superfluous People? – Dec. 1, 2015
  120. From New Ireland to New Brunswick – Nov. 25, 2015
  121. The Most Gentlemanlike Government on Earth – Nov. 18, 2015
  122. I Love You for Your Plainness – Nov. 11, 2015
  123. Ward Chipman Remembers the Final Evacuation of New York – Nov. 4, 2015
  124. A Reply to “Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok” – Oct. 28, 2015
  125. A Century of Educational Progress in New Brunswick from 1800 to 1900 – Oct. 21, 2015
  126. Notes About the Earliest Public Markets in Saint John, New Brunswick – Oct. 14, 2015
  127. The Provincial Dairy School at Sussex, New Brunswick, 1900 – Oct. 7, 2015
  128. An Account of Nova Scotia in 1743 – Sept. 30, 2015
  129. The Petition of the Infamous 55 – Sept. 23, 2015
  130. Francis Sharpe’s Woodstock Apples – Sept. 16, 2015
  131. The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  132. The New Brunswick Election of 1785 – Sept. 2, 2015
  133. The Many Fires in Saint John, 1784-1877 – Aug. 26, 2015
  134. A Proposal for an Attack on N0va Scotia – Aug. 19, 2015
  135. Fredericton’s Great Flood of 1936 – Aug. 12, 2015
  136. A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015
  137. Saint John in 1834, Before it was Forever Changed by the Great Fire – July 29, 2015
  138. New Brunswick, No Country for a Mere Gentleman, 1834 – July 22, 2015
  139. Woodstock, the Only Village Between the Green River and Fredericton in 1834 – July 15, 2015
  140. On the Tamiscouta Prtage from Lake Tamiscouta to just above Grand Falls, 1834 – July 10, 2015
  141. Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok – July 1, 2015
  142. By Steamer to the So-Called City of Fredericton – June 24, 2014
  143. A Quiet and Business-Like Little City – June 17, 2015
  144. Rambles Among the Bluenoses in 1862 – June 10, 2015
  145. Edward John Russell, a New Brunswick Artist – June 3, 2015
  146. Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Report of the Medical Superintendent, 1875 – May 27, 2015
  147. The Saint John River and Port Royal in the Early 1600’s – May 20, 2015
  148. What Should We Think of Benedict Arnold? – May 13, 2015
  149. Diphtheria in New Brunswick in the Year 1889 – May 6, 2015
  150. The Official Account of the Destruction of Burnt Church – Apr. 29, 2015
  151. The Exchange Coffee House and Saint John’s First Club – Apr. 22, 2015
  152. The Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians – Apr. 15, 2015
  153. The Story of Brook Watson – Apr. 8, 2015
  154. Where Stood Fort LaTour? – Apr. 1, 2015
  155. Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War – Mar. 25, 2015
  156. At Portland Point – Mar. 18, 2015
  157. Electrical Power From the Reversing Falls – Mar. 10, 2015
  158. Father Rale’s War – 1722-25; How it Ended – Mar. 4, 2015
  159. What Was the Big Deal About the Marco Polo? – Feb. 25, 2015
  160. Grand Manan to Petitcodiac, in 1786 – Feb. 18, 2015
  161. A Trip From St. John to Fredericton in 1870 – Feb. 11, 2015
  162. A Tour of St. John, N.B., in 1870 – Feb. 4, 2015
  163. Destruction by Fire of the First Cathedral in Chatham – Jan. 28, 2015
  164. Burgan the Burglar – Jan. 21, 2015
  165. Facts and Reasons Against Confederating With Canada – Jan. 14, 2015
  166. Discontent in Early Halifax in 1756 – Jan. 7, 2015
  167. A Trip on the ICR From Bathurst to Miramichi – Dec. 31, 2014
  168. Early Attempts to Introduce the Cultivation of Hemp in Eastern British America – Dec. 24, 2014
  169. Touring Campbellton and Dalhousie, Despite the Mosquitoes, 1876 – Dec. 19, 2014
  170. The Fire of 1837 in Saint John – Dec. 10, 2014
  171. The Cruise of the Rechab – Dec. 3, 2014
  172. A Night in the Deep – Nov. 26, 2014
  173. Robert Foulis (A Misplaced Genius) – Nov. 19, 2014
  174. The City Mills – Nov. 15, 2014
  175. The Brothers d’Amours – Nov. 5, 2014
  176. John Allan’s Revolutionary Mission to the Saint John River – Oct. 29, 2014
  177. Relics of the Acadian Period – Oct. 22, 2014
  178. Some Odd Old Advertisements – Oct. 15, 2014
  179. The Miramichi Fire – Relief of the Sufferers – Oct. 8, 2014
  180. Jonathan Eddy’s Account of the Attack on Fort Cumberland, November, 1776 – Oct. 1, 2014
  181. Which of These Two is the Wisest and Happiest? – Sept. 24, 2014
  182. Fredericton Bridge, a Prophetic Writing – Sept. 17, 2014
  183. A Speech to Distinguished Persons of Stake and Consideration – Sept. 10, 2014
  184. Building an Education System From Almost Nothing – Sept. 3, 2014
  185. Cape Tormentine to the Baye des Chaleurs in the 1600’s – Aug. 27, 2014
  186. The Customs of the Mi’kmaq in the 1600’s and Before – Aug. 20, 2014
  187. Two Documents Relating to the Fenians in New Brunswick – Aug. 13, 2014
  188. The Lazaretto for Lepers in Tracadie, 1862 – Aug. 6, 2014
  189. Thoughts About the Augustine Mound at Metepenegiag Mi’kmaq Nation – July 30, 2014
  190. What am I Bid for This Pauper? – July 23, 2014
  191. Trouble at Madawaska, 1831 – July 16, 2014
  192. The Great Fire at Saint John, June 20, 1877 – July 9, 2014
  193. The Poor Fellows Shook as if They Would Fall to Pieces! – July 2, 2014
  194. How to Build a Logging Camp in Around 1850 – June 25, 2014
  195. Risen from the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton – June 18, 2014
  196. Rocks and Water, Magnificence and Squalor; St. John in 1876 – June 11, 2014
  197. Moncton as Seen by a Journalist in 1876 – June 4, 2014
  198. Events Leading to the Caraquet Riots of 1875 – May 28, 2014
  199. A Dramatic Account of the Miramichi Fire – May 21, 2014
  200. Saint John in the Early 1840’s – May 18, 2014
  201. A Note to Subscribers, and a Memorandum for me – May 14, 2014
  202. The Myth that Kerosene was Invented in New Brunswick – May 7, 2014
  203. A Church with Military Boots and Fixed Bayonets – Apr. 30, 2014
  204. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  205. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  206. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  207. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  208. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  209. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 – Mar. 19, 2014
  210. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  211. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  212. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  213. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  214. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  215. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  216. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  217. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  218. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  219. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  220. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  221. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  222. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  223. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  224. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  225. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  226. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  227. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  228. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  229. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  230. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  231. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  232. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  233. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  234. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  235. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  236. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  237. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  238. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  239. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  240. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  241. A note to subscribers – Oct. 30, 2013
  242. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  243. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches – Oct. 23, 2013
  244. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  245. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw – Oct. 9, 2013
  246. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  247. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  248. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  249. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  250. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  251. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  252. The Loss of the Royal Tar – Aug. 21, 2013
  253. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  254. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  255. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  256. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  257. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  258. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  259. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  260. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  261. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  262. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  263. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  264. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  265. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  266. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  267. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  268. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  269. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  270. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  271. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  272. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  273. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  274. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  275. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  276. The First Decade of the 1800’s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  277. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013, Rev. Sept. 9, 2015
  278. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  279. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  280. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  281. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  282. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  283. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  284. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  285. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  286. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  287. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  288. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  289. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  290. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  291. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  292. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  293. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  294. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  295. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  296. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  297. Oops! An explanation – Oct. 31, 2012
  298. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  299. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  300. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  301. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  302. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  303. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  304. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  305. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  306. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  307. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  308. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  309. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  310. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  311. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  312. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  313. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  314. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  315. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  316. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  317. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  318. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  319. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  320. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  321. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  322. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  323. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  324. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  325. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  326. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  327. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  328. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  329. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  330. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  331. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  332. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  333. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  334. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  335. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  336. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  337. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  338. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  339. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  340. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  341. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  342. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  343. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  344. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  345. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  346. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  347. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  348. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  349. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  350. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  351. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  352. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  353. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  354. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  355. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  356. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  357. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  358. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  359. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  360. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  361. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  362. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  363. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  364. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  365. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  366. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  367. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  368. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  369. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  370. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  371. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  372. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  373. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  374. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  375. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  376. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  377. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  378. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  379. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  380. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood


Written by johnwood1946

February 14, 2018 at 8:13 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville

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From the blog at

Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville

The Rich Annapolis Valley

From the online ‘Nova Scotia Travel Guide’

Alexander McNutt was the promoter who enticed the first English settlers to Maugerville in 1763. However, his place in Nova Scotia’s history is much greater than that, as revealed in W.O. Raymond’s Colonel Alexander McNutt and the Pre-Loyalist Settlements of Nova Scotia, as read before the Royal Society of Canada in 1911. That paper was very long and this is a shorter history based upon that source.

Nova Scotia, including New Brunswick, was French territory until the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, whereupon the English took control of the peninsula of Nova Scotia. The English were uncertain whether it was worthwhile to colonize this outback territory, but they decided that it was strategically important to defend against the French. It was 1749 before the capital was moved from Annapolis to Halifax and during that 36 years almost nothing was done to take more meaningful control. It would have been impossible to colonize Nova Scotia, because New Englanders were afraid of the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq and the French who still controlled Cape Breton.

The expulsion of the Acadians began in 1755, and the second of two sieges of Louisbourg on Cape Breton was completed in 1758. These developments made Nova Scotia more attractive for colonization. The territory remained strategic, and the settling of Nova Scotia by the English spanned only that time between the taking of Louisbourg in 1758 and the coming of the Loyalists in 1783.

Governor Lawrence was under direct orders from the Lords of Trade to attract settlers to Nova Scotia and, in 1758, he issued a Proclamation inviting prospective settlers to file proposals for taking up lands recently vacated by the French. This generated interest, but New Englanders wanted to know more about the form of government in Nova Scotia and assurances that it was tolerant to religious dissent. Governor Lawrence therefore issued a second Proclamation in January of 1759 clarifying these matters.

Alexander McNutt

Alexander McNutt inherited his name from the McNaughts and MacNaughts of Scotland. His father and several uncles moved to Ireland late in the 1600’s, however, and it is there that their name became McNutt. Alexander was born in Ireland, where he received a good education. The family moved to Virginia some time in the mid-1700’s.

Alexander McNutt was a favourite with some well-placed people, including the Virginia Governor, and took part in military operations against the Indians. On one of these missions, he reported back to the Governor on the success, or lack thereof, of more senior officers. He was in perhaps twenty other military operations between England and France, and was always a volunteer and never an enlisted man. By 1760 he was raising men to relieve troops at Louisbourg. The Governor was pleased enough to give him letters of recommendation when he travelled to England, where he met with the Lords of Trade and the King appointed him an honorary Colonel. McNutt was a rising star with a magnetic personality.

Raymond notes that, throughout his life, McNutt “delighted in the promotion of great schemes, and while in his lifetime he accomplished much, it is but fair to add that his ultimate achievements were insignificant compared with his plans, perhaps we should say, his dreams. He was rather impatient of control and, while his cheerful optimism was contagious, his schemes were not always well considered and the results in several instances proved disappointing.” J.B. Brebner, in his, Neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia was more pointed in his remarks, calling McNutt a “high pressure promoter, … persuasive, …distinctly untrustworthy, … (and) a fertile liar”.

McNutt was one of those who asked for more information further to Lawrence’s first Proclamation and, with his brother William, toured Minas Basin in 1759.

The Lords of Trade had insisted that Nova Scotia be colonized but, with the military campaign against Quebec in progress, they changed their minds and wanted these efforts to be delayed. Lawrence’s plans were already underway, however, and he finally received authority to continue. The first group of prospective settlers from Connecticut and Rhode Island sent a scouting party to assess the land in early 1759, and McNutt later claimed that he was instrumental in sending this group or, at least, in many similar promotions. There were certainly other agents involved and a couple of months later five of these came to Halifax to finalize their arrangements.

The settling of Nova Scotia began immediately and was very successful. A 100,000 acre township was laid out in the Canard area of Minas Basin for 200 families from Connecticut and Rhode Island at a cost to the government of £1,500 to cover transport and support. These costs alarmed the authorities, but Lawrence was able to convince the changeable Lords of Trade that they were necessary if people were to be attracted to such a wilderness. Costs kept climbing and, by 1760, £5,475 had been spent. Lieut. Governor Belcher succeeded Governor Lawrence, and the Lords of Trade instructed him to control costs better than his predecessor. Belcher insisted, however, that Lawrence had been correct. Expressions of interest, and inspections of the land, government expenses, and actual settlement continued at a rapid pace throughout 1759, mostly on the old Acadian marsh lands of the Minas area. Settlements were made at Horton, Cornwallis Falmouth and Onslow. Large grants were also made at Annapolis Royal. By September of 1759, Lawrence was able to state that there were 12,750 families who had either relocated to Nova Scotia or were expected to do so. By then, there were settlements at Horton, Cornwallis, Falmouth, Onslow, Granville, Annapolis, Cumberland, Amherst, Sackville, Tinmouth, Liverpool, Barrington, and Yarmouth. McNutt was becoming active as a land promoter during this period, but it was an exaggeration for him to claim a principal role in these early successes.

Settlers continued to arrive at a rapid pace with some of them being poor and requiring support while others were of more independent means.

Alexander McNutt was quick to claim responsibility for the settlement of Nova Scotia, while some of those who did not admire his zeal did not agree. It is clear that he made major contributions to the peopling of Nova Scotia, however precise or imprecise his descriptions of them might have been. He also claimed to have enticed 1,000 families to relocate to Nova Scotia during 1760. This was more correct than his claims about successes in 1759, but, in truth, half of the 1,000 families never carried through with that intention.

McNutt had what would have been considered at the time as a republican tendencies. He always advocated for the election of representatives to an Assembly, and for freedom of conscience for all Protestants, and for land rights that went beyond the practices of the day, and so forth.

McNutt complained that the Belcher government had placed road blocks in the way of his colonization efforts. In their reply they pointed out that McNutt had not been present in early 1759 when several other immigration agents made agreements with Nova Scotia. They went on to say, as quoted by Raymond, that when McNutt arrived in August he was granted “one Township at Port Roseway and six Townships in the District of Cobequid, and on the Shubennaccada River, with leave to settle Families on Thirty-five Rights in the Township of Granville. In consequence, in the Spring following he produced a List of Six Hundred subscribers, being persons of the Colonies who had engaged with Him to settle those Lands, but of those six Hundred Subscribers, Fifty Families only came into the Province….” Many of the lands assigned to McNutt were never actually settled. McNutt retorted that military conscription in New England had interfered with his work, but that he had nonetheless settled 850 subscribers from New England and from Ireland where he was also seeking colonists.

There came a point when the most eligible immigrants from New England were a poorer sort who needed financial support in order to move. McNutt’s proposal to transport immigrants from Ireland at his own expense was therefore viewed by the Lords of Trade as superior to paying the expenses of these New Englanders. McNutt travelled to London in 1761 with this proposal for Irish emigration, with the support of Governor Belcher and the Lords of Trade. As encouragement, he was promised 100 acres of land for every 500 acres settled by him at his expense.

By later in 1761, McNutt had boarded 300 persons en route to Nova Scotia with others to follow in the spring. He projected that thousands would follow later. Belcher was overjoyed with this progress and the Irish immigrants were settled in Cobequid.

McNutt and Belcher had a falling-out by 1762, with Belcher claiming that McNutt was acting rashly and beyond the terms of their agreement, while McNutt claimed that Belcher was an obstructionist who had lied to the Irish immigrants about him. McNutt further claimed that officials in Halifax were more interested in reserving land for themselves than in accommodating the Irish. On this point, Belcher wanted to limit the grants of land to Irish newcomers to five or six acres only, prompting the conclusion that he envisaged large grants to established Nova Scotians who would use the Irish as tenants.

In the meantime, McNutt’s friends in Council supported his complaints against Belcher and the other members of the same Council, while McNutt was away in London spreading his complaints there.

In England, McNutt proposed that he be allowed to transport seven or eight thousand Irish Protestants to Nova Scotia, where he wanted a grant of a city-sized parcel near Roseway to accommodate them. He also asked for grants of two thousand acres for himself for the mining of potash. The Lords of Trade were reluctant to export so many Irish Protestants to North America and agreed only that the Irish that were already there, plus those with whom McNutt had contracted to transport, should be granted lands on the same terms as those who had come before them. Belcher was so ordered but, as it turned out, it was already too late in the year (1762) to arrange a mass-transport. In the meantime, the British Ministry again became concerned with the loss of so many Protestant subjects from Ireland and ordered that land grants to Irishmen in Nova Scotia should be limited to those who had lived in the colonies for at least five years.

McNutt had lost in his arguments for large scale emigration from Ireland at a cost to him of around £16,000, for which the Lords of Trade were willing to compensate him. He was a man of action who never paid much attention to paperwork, and could not substantiate his claim. They therefore decided to compensate him with land in Nova Scotia instead.

McNutt was never discouraged, and turned his attention to peopling the Saint John River, particularly the Maugerville area. The story of the settlement of Maugerville is told elsewhere in this blog at . It is sufficient here to note that the Maugerville settlers arrived without the authorities in Halifax knowing about it, and they were very angry with McNutt. It was only with reluctance that the New Englanders were allowed to stay at their own risk while their final disposition was being decided. Other details of how they were allowed to remain in this “extreme part and frontier of Nova Scotia two hundred miles from the nearest settlement” may be found in the other blog post.

McNutt had agents working for him in ten American colonies while he was in England between 1762 and 1765. By this time, he claimed to have sent 2,000 families to Nova Scotia with another 16,000 being interested in joining them. He had been active in America and Ireland and had even proposed to move French Protestants to South Carolina. For his efforts, he was offered an estate in Nova Scotia.

By 1765, the new Governor, Montague Wilmot, had thousands of applicants for grants. Many of them never arrived, but the total number demonstrates the great interest which had been generated. Included in the land reservations was1.6-million acres on the Saint John River, which was later taken away from McNutt for non-compliance with conditions. The applications involved other Agents, but many of them originated with McNutt. Millions of acres of land were reserved, including for McNutt himself.

Meanwhile, McNutt argued for more liberal terms in the granting of land, and accused the authorities of favoring their friends. He again raised the specter that those in power wanted to make large grants to people who would keep tenants who could  not “properly be called by any other name than slaves.” He did not have much success with these arguments.

McNutt insisted that each township peopled by him be allowed two representatives to the Assembly. Of the authorities’ reaction to this Raymond notes “The Colonel’s proposals would, if granted, be prejudicial to the peace and good government of the province, particularly that of allowing two representatives in General Assembly to every township he might settle, more especially should those he might in future introduce be of the same troublesome disposition with some he had already brought, the Government having experienced more difficulty in keeping peace and good order in the two little Towns of Truro and Londonderry, settled by Colonel McNutt’s followers, than with all the other Settlements in the whole Province.”

Frustrated in some of his projects, McNutt retired to Port Roseway in about 1766, but the terms of that grant were also not met, and the township was sold in 1775. Three years later Port Roseway was raided by privateers and McNutt’s home was sacked. He was not viewed as a reliable British subject, due to his republican tendencies; but he was also never fully accepted as an American Patriot since he had remained silent during the Revolution. McNutt relocated to Massachusetts and later to Virginia, a most diminished figure.

Written by johnwood1946

February 14, 2018 at 8:12 AM

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Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago

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From the blog at

Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago

James Finlay Weir Johnston toured New Brunswick in 1848 to observe the geology and soil-types, for a report to the House of Assembly on the province’s agricultural possibilities. He also published his findings in Notes on North America, Agricultural, Economical, and Social, in London in 1851.

Johnston found a province suffering from a recession. There had also been crop failures and many people were complaining loudly about the government. Some people were even advocating that New Brunswick join the United States.

We join him in Shepody Bay, as he travels toward Hopewell.

James F.W. Johnston

From Wikipedia


Mists prevail from May to October, and are injurious to the crops as far up as the head of Shepody Bay; but around Salisbury Cove they are more hurtful than in any other part of the country. In July and August the mischief to the wheat crops is the greatest, the united action of the moisture and of the great heat of these months being most productive of rust.

We returned along the western side of the Shepody River, through a picturesque but poorer country, with occasional good farms and settlements; and, lingering on the rich land between the mouth of this river and Shepody Mountain, we regained our inn at Hopewell soon after nightfall.

I suppose it is owing in some degree to the frequent intercourse with the United States which the inhabitants of this upper part of the Bay of Fundy maintain, through their plaster, their grindstones, and their fish, that I found the sense of imaginary grievances arising from the English connection more strong, and the Annexation feeling warmer, about Sackville, and on Shepody Bay, than in almost any other part of the province I had yet visited. I had found it so also at Annapolis, in Nova Scotia, towards the mouth of this same Bay of Fundy — it may be, for a similar reason. I had not observed much feeling on the subject throughout the province generally; and, if the population were polled, a very large majority, I think, would vote against any proposal to disturb the British connection.

As another reason, it was alleged to me by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, himself sprung from an American loyalist, that old recollections the traditions and narratives of their fathers had an influence upon the descendants of those who, at the close of the American war, left the States, and settled on lands assigned to them in this quarter by the British Government. Tales of happier lives spent in the old colonies, of which the dark days are forgotten, and of possessions which memory represented to old men in brighter colours, have created in the minds of the sons and grandsons an impression in favour of the United States, which is different in kind and in extent, as well as in origin, from that which is entertained by the sons of the original home-settlers in the province. One can imagine, indeed, that upon some minds sentiment may thus sway the reason, and lead sons to desire what their fathers have regretted forgetting their fathers loyalty, and inheriting only their regrets.

Another more direct and personal cause, however, has brought these sentiments into play. The failure of the wheat and potato crops for a series of years has awakened dissatisfaction, and made the farmers see causes of complaint where they had never thought of looking for them before. All the crops, with the exception of the hay, have been good in Albert County this year; and another good season, as one of the county members observed to me yesterday, would amazingly improve the character of the Provincial Legislature in the eyes of the rural population.

The gentleman to whom I was indebted for conducting me the first twenty miles on my journey today, illustrated to me another source of the discontent of his own neighbourhood: “Most of us have burned our fingers in lumbering. We have each our own small mill, on our own small creek, and saw the lumber we cut upon our own farms. On the faith of this trade we have lived dashingly, spent our money, and even contracted debt, instead of laying by in good times. And now, when times are bad, we blame the law-makers instead of our own imprudence. I have suffered in this way; and though I am not ruined, yet if I had stuck to my farm alone, I should have been better off today.” But it is so always, and in every country.

I left my landlord in Hopewell early this morning, to cross Albert County in a northwesterly direction. Four miles of poor grey sandstone soils brought me to the village of Hillsborough, which stands on the rising ground above the right bank of the Petitcodiac, and has extensive flats of dyked marsh below it, which are valued at £7 to £15 an acre. Up this river for thirty miles, rich marshlands of greater or less width occur; and these, with a border of fertile red upland, give a succession of farms of very superior quality.

The Acadian French first occupied this rich tract of country, and on the peninsula between the Petitcodiac and the Memramcook Rivers they still hold much land, and are said to be an improving body of people. Many of them are leaseholders upon the De Barre property, an old grant of the times of the French. I heard much in praise of the wise energy and of the lessons in improvement given them by their old priest, who had recently died. There are few races of men among whom an instructed priest will find more opportunity of promoting the material as well as spiritual good of his flock, than among the French Acadians.

The French on the Petitcodiac were succeeded by Dutch from Pennsylvania; and among the marshlands of this river, and its estuary, this people found a congenial settlement. And though intermarriages, indiscretion, and misfortune have now removed many of the best farms from the possession of the families of pure Dutch descent, yet the features and the prevailing names Steeves, Trites, Sherman, Lutz, Recker, Beck tell how much of the blood of Holland flows in the veins of these Hillsborough farmers. The name of Steeves predominates in the churchyard. A union of the Steeves clan can still carry the day in contested affairs, local or political; and the name is represented in the Provincial Legislature by the head of one of its oldest houses. I had the pleasure of his society yesterday, on my visit to Cape Enrage, and I am sorry to say that I found reason to suspect that my hospitable friend was a rank Annexationist.

To the lot of the poor Irish who have come without capital, and have located themselves in this county, poorer land has fallen. The New Ireland Settlement, which my friend Mr. Brown visited yesterday, is generally on the poor grey sandstone soil, with here and there a patch of the good red loam. They do not appear so prosperous, therefore, as many other settlements we have seen.

From Hillsborough we were accompanied by five miles of good red loams, which used to be good wheat land producing twenty to forty bushels an acre. A poorer grey sandstone and gradually rising country then commenced, after which the road ran much through the forest, with only occasional clearings. The settlers are chiefly of Dutch descent the natural increase driven by necessity to seek the most eligible spots in the still uncleared forest. Here, as elsewhere in the province indeed, I believe, from what I have heard, it is very much the same in all parts of North America land speculators have secured all the best land which is readily accessible, and hold it in a wilderness state till a rise in price induce them to sell. Thus the poor men, who cannot afford to give these capitalists their price, must be content with inferior locations, and encounter greater difficulties in providing for their families. The Provincial Legislature has adopted various measures with the view of remedying this state of things. An annual tax on all such granted lands as are still unimproved such as has been imposed in Canada and applicable to purposes of local improvement, is as likely a method of forcing some of this land into the market on reasonable terms as any other that has yet been proposed.

From the higher central part of Albert County, through which we were now passing, several streams run in a northerly direction, and fall into the Petitcodiac. This river, about twenty miles above its mouth, turns at nearly a right angle, and, from flowing west by north, runs south by east down to Shepody Bay. From near The Bend [Moncton], as the small town situated at the angle is appropriately called, and on the south side of the river, a broad belt of elevated flat grey sandstone country extends for twenty or thirty miles. It is interrupted by stripes of richer land, and of more or less extensive intervales, where the streams from the south traverse it on their way to the Petitcodiac.

The crossing of this tract, which we did in a diagonal direction, formed the principal feature in this day’s journey. For some miles before our arrival at the Turtle Creek, one of these cross-streams, it proved to be a poor flat sandy, in many places stony, scrub-pine and larch barren. Here and there naked green spots of limited extent were seen, the sites of ancient beaver dams. The distinguishing physical character of the whole tract is its extreme flatness, which causes the water of heaven to stagnate upon it, and renders naturally worthless many more capable places, which, at some future day, by means of arterial drainage, may be converted into profitable farms.

On the Turtle Creek some marshland and intervale occurred, not equal to the marshes of the Petitcodiac River, yet yielding two tons of hay an acre and again on the Coverdale Creek five miles beyond; but all else was the same scarcely broken caribou wilderness of poor flat country, swampy because it was level, and covered with perpetual scrub-pine, larch, and spruce.

Albert County has many advantages. It is picturesque and beautiful. It has rich red uplands, most fertile dyked marshes, and abundant fish along its shores. Its agriculture is not even in its most favoured spots equal to its advantages; and large breadths of its most fertile wilderness are held as inheritances for future generations. We did not find the autumn ploughing so far advanced, even as among the more northerly French and Scotch of Botsford parish. This may be a result of the constitutional idiosyncrasy of the Dutch population; but the fact that twenty times as many turnips were sown this year in Albert County as ever was known before, argues that, even among them, agricultural progress has begun to find a place.

After a ride of twenty-four miles, we crossed the Petitcodiac, and presently arrived at Nixon’s. In ten minutes after our arrival at Nixon’s we were mounted on a rude un-springed farm wagon, behind an excellent pair of horses, which carried us swiftly to the west along a high road I had traversed before. The wind had been very high all day, and, though in the shelter of the broad wood we had felt little of it, many windfalls had been occasioned by it along this more open road. We saw the electric telegraph broken in two places by fallen trees, in the twelve miles which brought us to Steeves’ and there we met the Company’s wire-mender and his staff, who had been posting from place to place all day, connecting it at the broken points. But finding that, as fast as he repaired one spot, a fresh windfall broke it at another, he had stabled his horses and given up the pursuit till the wind should abate. This is an evil with which, in our open countries, we are unacquainted, but which frequently happens among the forests, and sufficiently accounts for the interruption of electric communication which often takes place between Halifax and St. John.

Little more than an hour brought us to Steeves’, where we obtained another conveyance, and turned off to the right to visit and spend the night at Butternut Ridge, a distance of eight miles. After ascending and crossing a comparatively low ridge, in which limestone and gypsum and salt-springs are met with, we descended into the valley of the North River, a tributary of the Petitcodiac, and passed over a broad flat, stony, and swampy barren, through which the river runs. On the succeeding rise, drier land and increasing clearings were seen.

A thick rain had come on before we reached the house in the settlement in which we were to find quarters. The title of Colonel given to our intended landlord made me anticipate comfortable accommodations; but disappointment was the result. It was another of those cases in which people do the traveler a favour by taking him in. The landlord was a thriving man, had a fine family of grownup sons and daughters, and some of the sons, who still lived with him, were already settled on excellent farms of their own. I believe they intended to be civil to us according to their knowledge; but one small sitting and eating room was common to this large family, their three guests, and sundry large chests and supernumerary pieces of furniture. We were wet arid tired, and yet obliged to talk; and because I would not sleep double, I was condemned to a night of vain attempts at ease or forgetfulness. On the whole, I passed no night half so uncomfortable in North America as that which I encountered at Butternut Ridge. And I had, besides the actual bodily experience, this additional grievance — which to a grumbling Englishman is not an unsore one — that, as there was no pretensions to a hotel, and no hanging out for guests, I was not privileged to complain, but was expected gratefully to receive my discomfort, to pay well for it, and be thankful.

Written by johnwood1946

February 7, 2018 at 8:09 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate

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From the blog at

1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate

Following are two documents published in Saint John in 1865 in support of Confederation.

There are a few things that I find striking about these presentations. Firstly, they are addressed to “Gentlemen,” women not having the vote. Secondly, all right-thinking people supported Confederation and, in their view, it would be unpatriotic for others to disagree.

The Canadian Red Ensign

Image from the National Post


Address of the British American Association to the Electors of the Province of New Brunswick


You are called upon to exercise one of the highest privileges of a free people — to determine by votes at the Poll whether a change shall or shall not be made in the Constitution of your Country. It is a matter of vast moment both to yourselves and your descendants that you weigh well and carefully the subject before you and cast your votes irrespective of party or prejudice of any kind.

The scheme for the Union or Confederation of these North American Colonies is not a thing of yesterday. It is a question which has long engaged the minds of thoughtful men. But the difficulties in the way of its accomplishment seemed insuperable, and no active steps were taken towards it until last year, when circumstances occurred that cannot be regarded otherwise than Providential, which placed this great reform within our reach. With the full sanction of the Crown and of the several Colonial Governments interested in the subject, a formal Conference was held at Quebec, which agreed to a scheme based upon the principle of mutual compromise. The grand object was to form a union, not for the exclusive benefit of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island, but for the general benefit of the whole of these Colonies, and the preservation of the connection with the Mother Country. The scheme so prepared obtained at once the emphatic approval of the Imperial Government. The Colonial Secretary, writing to the Governor General, says:

“Her Majesty’s Government have given to your dispatch and to the resolutions of the Conference their most deliberate consideration. They have regarded them as a whole as having been designed by those who have framed them, to establish as complete and perfect an Union of the whole into one Government as the circumstances of the case and due consideration of existing interests would admit. They accept them, therefore, as being in the deliberate judgment of those best qualified to decide upon the subject, the best framework of a measure to be passed by the Imperial Parliament for attaining that most desirable result.” And again, “It appears to them, therefore, that you should now take immediate measures, in concert with the Lieutenant Governors of the several Provinces, for submitting to the respective Legislatures this project of the Conference; and if, as I hope, you are able to report that these Legislatures sanction and adopt the scheme, Her Majesty’s Government will render you all the assistance in their power for carrying it into effect.”

This circumstance alone is a sufficient consideration to the minds of many intelligent and loyal men to concur in the proposed change in the Constitution; but when to this it is added, that the leading statesmen of these Colonies, and numerous publicists in England and elsewhere, give it their cordial support, an array of authority is exhibited in its favour which no imperfect, partial, unfair, or unjust measure could possibly secure. It is, however, unhappily too true that measures like the one now under consideration, that produce an epoch in the annals of the world, and give a new career of advancement to society, are seldom approached or fully comprehended at the time by a large body of the people most interested in them. There are numerous illustrations of this fact on the pages of history. Prejudice, party feeling, opposition to change, timidity and personal antipathies are most frequently the causes which deter men from accepting the best designed measures. Electors of New Brunswick, guard against such feelings; cast them to the winds; examine this Scheme fairly and impartially; and if you stand true to your country your decision will unquestionably be in its favor. For what does it offer? What does it secure? Among others may be named the following:

  1. It secures free and unrestricted trade, not only with all the maritime Provinces, but with the extensive and wealthy province of Canada.
  2. It secures a free market for our manufactures among nearly four millions of people.
  3. It secures the construction of the Intercolonial Railroad at a moderate cost to this Province—a railroad which will not only bind together the three Colonies of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but especially benefit New Brunswick, by opening up the country and leading to an increase of the population.
  4. It secures the construction of the Western Extension Railroad, as a great portion of the money required for the purpose can be readily obtained in England if the Provinces are confederated, and can not be easily obtained there without it.
  5. It secures the completion of the St. Andrews line, as the proprietors in England are ready to expend a quarter of a million of dollars at once if Confederation is an accomplished first.
  6. It secures on favorable terms the money ($1,300,000), required by the Province to meet Railway engagements entered into by the Legislature at its last Session.
  7. It secures a broad and ample field for the energies of the people of this Province. No longer cribbed and confined within the narrow limits of New Brunswick, their labors and talents may be exercised freely over one-fifth of the Continent, and under the glorious flag of our fathers.
  8. It secures and perpetuates the friendship of the Imperial Government and the Mother Land, as a measure stamped with their approval and guaranteed by them must recommend their warmest sympathies and support.
  9. It secures the creation or formation of a State possessing at present a population of nearly four millions, and all the elements requisite for their advancement,—a State, a nation, it may be said, to which each member may be proud to belong.
  10. It secures the Provinces against absorption into the American Union; as a State with a population united in sympathy and affection with one common interest, and linked with Great Britain — one of the mightiest nations of the earth — will have a destiny of its own, and a strength sufficient to command respect.
  11. It secures to New Brunswick a revenue which, judging from the past, is amply sufficient to cover all charges for roads, bridges and other usual local improvements.
  12. It secures to the several Provinces Parliaments empowered to transact all local business; and finally,
  13. It secures all these advantages without increased taxation upon the people of this Province.

Electors of New Brunswick! Do not falter at this great crisis in your history. The eyes of millions are upon you watching your action. Your responsibility is great mighty, almost overwhelming; rise to the level of it, and sink all petty considerations. Be true to your country. Remember that opportunities once neglected seldom or never return to individuals, much less to nations. Seize the golden moment. Prophets of evil, croakers, narrow headed and narrow hearted politicians there always are and always will be. Spurn their counsels. Embrace, adopt a measure fraught with such vast blessings to your county, yourselves, and your descendants. Vote only for men pledged to its support, and in a few years all the advantages enumerated will become your birthright and be the lasting inheritance of your posterity. To secure them, act only as British subjects and free men. Act thus, and you secure the applause and approbation of your Sovereign, her advisers, and your Father land.

George E. King, Secretary, and Jas. R. Ruel, President — British American Association

St. John, Feb. 20, 1865


Address to the Working Men of New Brunswick, by the Manufacturers of St. John

As doubts have been expressed relative to our opinions upon the great question of the Union of the British North American Provinces into one Confederacy, and as from many quarters the desire has been expressed to know our views as Manufacturers largely interested in the trade of this country we desire, not as Politicians, but as Manufacturers and Employers, to express to our fellow Working Men our views decidedly upon the matter. Having invested a large amount of capital for manufacturing purposes, and being anxious that this capital shall yield fair returns, we are firmly convinced that it is all important that our earnest and united support be given to this measure of Union.

We have for years been contending for a larger market, and, now that it is offered, we respectfully entreat our fellow working men at once to accept this offer. After a careful study and comparison with the neighboring Provinces we are persuaded that New Brunswick Manufacturers can successfully compete with any of them if we have the larger market in which to sell our productions and already have some of us, in the face of opposing tariffs, successfully sent our manufactures into these other Colonies. How much more can this be done when no hostile tariffs meet us, when a fair field is open to us, and favor is shown only to the energetic, industrious and skillful workman? The immediate and direct benefits to this Province which will result from Confederation in the construction of Railways through it, which will cause many Millions of Dollars to be spent among our Working People, our Farmers, our Storekeepers and our Merchants, ought to influence our people of every class to support this measure. The large amount of money circulating here will enable our rising manufacturers to take a firm stand, and instead of the periodical stagnation of trade caused by the fluctuations of our only articles of export — Lumber and Ships — we shall have manufactures that will be a continual source of prosperity not affected by the changes in the European Market, and giving to our working people employment all the year round. Under the new arrangement with Railway connection with Western Canada, then part and parcel of us we shall draw from that Granary of the West, our flour and wheat, at less than we now obtain them, and thus, with this great back country to supply us with those products which our own Farmers cannot produce in sufficient quantity, we in these Maritime Provinces must become the manufacturing power as in the neighboring Union the Great West is their Granary, while the Maritime States of Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, &c., are the busy manufacturers for the Growers of the West.

We, then, recommend to our fellow Working Men of New Brunswick, to study this question fully and impartially, as we have done, and we are persuaded that they will arrive at our conclusion, which is, to do all in our power to support the men who pledge themselves to carry out this measure without reference to Party, believing that in so doing we are serving the true interests of this, our fair Province of New Brunswick.

[This document was signed by 96 businessmen.]

If any Manufacturers (who may not have been called upon for want of time) wish to sign, the document will be found at the Rooms of the British American Association.

Written by johnwood1946

January 31, 2018 at 8:29 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws

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From the blog at

The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws

Fishing Boats, Souris, P.E.I., 1910

From the McCord Museum

Prince Edward Island was first known as the Island of Saint John and was part of New France. A French grantee undertook some fishing operations in around 1663 but the Island received little attention from settlers. Sovereignty remained with the French following the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, which would have caused some Acadians to relocate there, and there was a small French garrison at what is now Charlottetown at that time. Britain then seized the Island shortly following the Expulsion of the Acadians, which marked the beginning of the English period. Population figures vary widely, but may have been as low as 4,000 people in around 1760.

Samuel Holland was commissioned by the British to survey all of their new American territories, and he began his work on the Island of Saint John in 1764. He had great difficulties because the place was so poor and sparsely populated. The small Fort Amherst was so badly provisioned that they could not host his men and he was forced to scavenge for secondhand lumber from old buildings in order to accommodate his men over the winter. He observed that “There are about thirty Acadian families on the Island, who are regarded as prisoners, and kept on the same footing as those at Halifax. They are extremely poor, and maintain themselves by their industry in gardening, fishing, fowling, &c. The few remaining houses in the different parts of the island are very bad, and the quantity of cattle is but very inconsiderable.” Holland was nonetheless able to make a very detailed description of the Island and to recommend locations for a capital, harbours and fishing stations.

P.E.I.’s land problems were soon begin for, in 1763, before the survey had been undertaken, the Earl of Egmont made an elaborate proposal to the King that he be granted the whole of the Island. He proposed that he become “Lord Paramount” with 20% of the land going to him, and the remainder being divided among 40 “Lords of Hundreds” who would further subdivide the Island among tenant-farmers.

Egmont’s plan was rejected because the proposal for tenant-farms was contrary to policy. He was not discouraged, however, and made several follow-up proposals along the same lines with the support of some very wealthy and influential politicians and military men. All of this was for nothing, and his grant was never made. All that he received was an offer of 100,000 acres to cover his troubles, but he refused this.

Britain wanted to have the Island settled, however, and they therefore defined 26 townships to be distributed to 26 proprietors. It was required that the proprietors be European Protestants or others who had resided in America for some years. Failure to settle the properties within a specified period or to pay the quitrents would result in forfeiture. The proprietors were chosen by ballot, and the whole Island was allotted to them in one day in 1767.

At about this same time the Island was made a British Province, separate from Nova Scotia, the terms of which were odd, to say the least. The government was to allow “liberty of conscience to all persons (except Roman Catholics)” while, at the same time, requiring all offices to be held by members of the Church of England. Catholics were not even allowed to settle, while other Dissenters might be tolerated, but not encouraged in their views.

Very few of the proprietor had settled their properties, even after ten years, and the Province could not pay the Civil Service out of the quitrents since the quitrents were not being paid either. The proprietors therefore cooperated with the Governor to obtain an annual grant from London, which included the instruction that the Governor finally enforce the collection of quitrents. The Governor was indebted to the proprietors for their help in obtaining the grant, however, and their political influence in London was now bolstered by influence upon the Governor. Enforcement of the quitrents would therefore be difficult.

The Governor then appointed his brother-in-law to an office charged with collecting the quitrents and, in 1781, Supreme Court actions resulted in the sale of some of the townships. The proprietors then retaliated with appeals to the Imperial government that their quitrent obligations be forgiven or delayed. London not only agreed, but also instructed the Province to repeal the laws that had permitted the sales and to restore the lands to the proprietors. The Governor had bought some of the confiscated property, however, and was not inclined to agree to these demands. He therefore began a delay tactic by which the sales remained valid, at least for the time being.

One basis of complaint was that there had not been due notice of forfeiture in England, where most of the proprietors lived. In fact, the Governor had written and asked that notices be published, but this was never done. Another issue was that the Governor had bought some of the confiscated land at a bargain price during the American Revolution. He was undoubtedly in a conflict of interests.

The Governor was no more popular on the Island than he was in Britain, and the Legislature was drafting a complaint to London when he dissolved their proceedings. A number of Loyalist evacuees then came to P.E.I. following the end of the Revolution and were granted lands including some of the lands which had been confiscated. The eventual fate of those lands was becoming more and more complicated.

An election was called in 1785, resulting in an Assembly that was more compliant with the Governor. This “was not accomplished without a severe straggle, much illegal conduct, and at an expense to the governor and his friends of nearly two thousand pounds sterling.” The Governor was then able to get an Act passed approving of all of his actions in the previous few years — and this was forthwith disapproved by London, who were unhappy with his not having reversed the land confiscations as ordered.

In 1786, the Governor was dismissed and summoned to London for an enquiry into his conduct. He was also ordered (again) to reverse the land sales of 1774. The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia was then dispatched to the Island to take over the dismissed Governor’s duties while he was away in London. The dismissed Governor continued to resist, and informed London that he had insufficient time to quit his personal affairs and to return to London so late in the year, and that his departure would therefore have to be delayed until spring. In the meantime, he argued, the Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor was not needed to replace him, since he was not leaving.

In the spring, the Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor issued an order that that he was, in fact, the legitimate Governor and calling for everyone to obey his directions. The dismissed Governor then issued an order of his own, declaring the opposite.

The dismissed Governor was then commanded to transfer power and to depart for London immediately. Instead, he went to Quebec, and returned to the Island after a while to disrupt the work of his successor. Eventually, he did return to London to find that any political influence that he had had was now evaporated. His fight was over.

The proprietors never regained the land which was sold in 1774, but the complex history of these lots resulted in ownership disputes. The other proprietorships remained in British hands. There were 58,580 acres of completely unsettled land on twenty-three of the proprietorships, and only thirty-six families on another twelve of the proprietorships. None of this land could be bought by local people, because the proprietors would not sell.

Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined in Confederation in 1867. Prince Edward Island had been close to joining in the union, and had hoped to negotiate help in buying back the old proprietorships, but these negotiations failed. It was not until 1873 that the P.E.I. joined Confederation with the promise of $800,000. to resolve the land problems.

This history had a profound impact on the Island’s land ownership laws, and, to this day, it is not permitted to buy more than a small amount of land, or shoreline, without being a resident.


Reference: Duncan Campbell, History of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, 1875.

Written by johnwood1946

January 24, 2018 at 7:59 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782

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Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782

Peninsular Nova Scotia was under the control of the British by the 1750’s, but the rest of Acadia, which the British considered to be part of Nova Scotia, was still disputed between them and the French. The British wanted to encourage settlement in these outback territories, but Governor Lawrence could not do so since settlers “ran the risk of having their throats cut by inveterate enemies.”

Therefore, in 1758, the British captured the small French garrison at Saint John. This commenced the English period in what is now New Brunswick which was followed the next year by the burning of Saint Ann’s, the razing of French Lake, and the spreading of murder and mayhem against French farmers up and down the River.

The following is from G.A. White’s St. John and its Business…, published in Saint John in 1875. It concentrates on events in Saint John between 1758 and the coming of the Loyalists in 1783.

Archaeological Excavation at Fort LaTour

Parks Canada, via the CBC


In the summer of 1758, three ships of war and two transports with two regiments, one of Highlanders and the other of Provincial troops, on board, were dispatched from Boston to recapture Fort LaTour. They landed near Partridge Island and cut a road through the woods to the place where the Carleton City Hall now stands, which was then used as a vegetable garden by the French. From there they advanced against the fort in order of battle, and after one repulse, succeeded in carrying it by assault. They captured 200 or 300 prisoners, and the rest of the garrison escaped across the river in boats, and finally made their way up river. Many, however, were killed in the boats by the shots of the attacking party. The loss of both French and English was heavy, especially of the former,—more than 40 being killed. This ended their occupation of the mouth of the St. John, and soon after the French were driven entirely from the river, except a few families who continued to reside near St. Ann’s. Fort LaTour was occupied and garrisoned by the English and renamed Fort Frederick. A blockhouse was also erected on Fort Howe.

The autumn of 1759 was distinguished by one of the most violent gales of wind that ever was known in these latitudes. The damage done was immense. Whole forests were blown down; the tide rose six feet above its ordinary level and all the dykes were destroyed. A considerable part of Fort Frederick at St. John was washed away. The descriptions given of this storm naturally recall the effects of the great gale and tidal wave which did so much damage throughout the Maritime Provinces a few years ago.

At this period Colonel Arbuthnot was in command of Fort Frederick, and its garrison consisted of about 150 or 200 men. The commandant was very busy in keeping the Indians in order and watching the French, and seems altogether to have had rather an uneasy time of it. He succeeded in removing some hundreds of the French inhabitants of the River to other places. His soldiers appear to have grown tired of the monotony of life at St. John, for in the spring of 1760, in spite of all persuasion, 70 of them openly left in one schooner and 80 in another, to return to their homes in New England. This desertion must have left Arbuthnot’s garrison very weak and he seems about this time to have given up the command of Fort Frederick, for Lieut. Tong was in command of it in July 1760. He represented his fort at that time as being greatly in need of repairs and alterations to make it defensible.

In 1761 the settlement of the marsh lands about Sackville was commenced by colonists from the older English colonies, and in the following year a number of English settlers removed to the St. John River, but in 1764 an immigration on a more extended scale took place. Mr. James Simonds, the ancestor of the present family of that name, with Mr. James White and Capt. Francis Peabody arrived on the site of the present city of St. John on the 16th April of that year, determined to make it their home. Simonds and White erected small dwellings at the foot of the hill, now known as Fort Howe, Capt. Peabody commenced the formation of a settlement at Maugerville in the County of Sunbury. This settlement, which was named after Joshua Mauger, an English merchant who was agent for the Province of Nova Scotia, was composed mainly of colonists from Massachusetts. Although the date of this settlement is generally put down 1766, it is quite certain that it was completely established in 1764, as is proved by a memorandum made in that year by Mr. Grant of Halifax, who gives the number of English inhabitants then living on the St. John at 400. In 1765 the settlement was erected into a county by the name of Sunbury, and accorded two representatives in the House of Assembly at Halifax. Large grants of land had been in the meantime made on the St. John to actual settlers and to influential persons who wished to be great landowners in Nova Scotia. But there was land enough for all and these enormous reserves did not hinder the progress of settlement. In 1766, Ensign Jeremiah Meara was in command of Fort Frederick, which was still maintained as a post, and we find him writing to Halifax to complain of two of the settlers, Israel Perley and Colonel Glazier for injury and violence to the Indians. The latter had a large grant at the mouth of Nerepis, which is named on the plans of that day, Glazier’s Manor.

In 1768 the troops were withdrawn from Fort Frederick, except a corporal and four men, and Messrs. Simonds and White left to pursue their peaceful avocations of fishing and farming, without military protection. This measure seems to have emboldened the Indians to give trouble in a sneaking way, and in 1771 they burnt the storehouse and dwelling of Captain Jadis, a retired officer who had settled at Grimross for the purposes of trade. This act induced Governor Campbell to recommend the erection of a strong block house, properly garrisoned, “to protect a very increasing settlement on the banks of the St. John River, abounding with a most excellent soil.” This blockhouse was afterwards erected at Oromocto.

The first representative for the County of Sunbury in the Nova Scotia Assembly was Charles Morris, son of the Surveyor General of Nova Scotia and, in 1774, James Simonds was also elected a member the county being at that time entitled to two representatives. A Court of Common Pleas had been held in Sunbury from the year 1766, so that the people on the River St. John had all the paraphernalia of government; and, although they sometimes complained of the Indians, seem to have increased and multiplied, and gone about their daily routine of duty with a reasonable degree of assurance that they were safe. But troublous times were at hand.

The disputes between Great Britain and her colonies on this continent, which arose out of the attempt of the mother country to impose taxes on the latter, culminated in the year 1775, and produced bloodshed. The revolted colonists, not content with recovering the independence of their own country, were ambitious enough to attempt to reduce both Canada and Nova Scotia, and at first there seemed to be every reason to believe that they would succeed. The people of Sunbury, or rather the great majority of them, were in sympathy with their kindred in New England, and before the war was over showed their disloyalty by stronger means than mere words. In the meantime the act of a raiding party from Machias, Maine, exhibited the extent of the danger to which St. John and the whole Province was exposed. In August 1776, Stephen Smith, a Machias man and a delegate to the Massachusetts Congress, came to St. John in an aimed sloop and, of course, met with no resistance. He burnt Fort Frederick and the barracks, took the few men who had charge of the fort prisoners and captured a brig of 120 tons, laden with oxen, sheep and swine, which were intended for the British troops at Boston. This sudden raid had the effect of putting the British authorities on the alert, and vessels of war were sent to cruise off St. John to protect the ports in the Bay of Fundy from these incursions. The Governor of Nova Scotia also sent expresses to engage the Indians on the side of the crown.

In 1776 a bold attempt was made to capture Fort Cumberland, in which some of the inhabitants of Sunbury took part. The leader in this attempt was Jonathan Eddy, a native of Massachusetts, who had lived some 12 years on the marshlands about Chignecto, and represented Cumberland County in the Assembly at Halifax. He conceived the idea of winning reputation by the capture of Fort Cumberland in the Autumn of 1776; went to Boston, where he conferred with the Council of War there and, receiving some encouragement, he chartered a small vessel at Newburyport and, with a few followers and some arms and ammunition, he proceeded to Machias, where about 20 men joined him. At Passamaquoddy he obtained a few more, and going up the St. John River as far as Maugerville, he was joined by a company of twenty-five men, a captain, a lieutenant and sixteen Indians, which brought the number of his force up to seventy-two. Eddy embarked his men in whale boats and canoes and in a few days reached Shepody, where he surprised a picket guard from Fort Cumberland, capturing Capt. Walker and thirteen men. At Sackville they captured a sloop laden with provisions; and lying close, several persons who came down from the fort to the sloop, amongst others the engineer, were taken. Eddy’s successes induced about a hundred of the inhabitants, of the marsh district, to join him in attempting the capture of Fort Cumberland, which was commanded by Colonel Gorham.

The fort was summoned, but the demand to give it up was promptly refused, and an attack which Eddy subsequently made was repulsed with loss. This attack was made on the 12th November, and the investment of the fort was continued until the 28th, when Eddy and his troops were attacked by the garrison and by a detachment from Windsor under Major Bott and compelled to retire. Late in December they reached Maugerville dispirited, worn out with fatigue and half starved.

This taste of warfare does not seem to have satisfied the disloyal people of Sunbury. Several public meetings were held at Maugerville at which resolutions of sympathy with the people of New England were passed, and Asa Perley and Asa Kimball were appointed a committee to go to Boston and solicit assistance and munitions of war from the people of Massachusetts, to enable them to rebel against Britain successfully. The result of this mission was that Colonel John Allan, who had been obliged to fly from Cumberland for his disloyal plots, was sent by the Government of Massachusetts, to act as Colonel and superintendent of the Eastern Indians, and to raise the necessary force to take possession of the country on the St. John River and hold it for the United States. In April, 1777, Allan left Boston with some supplies and in May took his departure from Machias with a party of 43 men in whale boats and canoes. They arrived at St. John in safety and effected a landing. Allan appears to have gone at once to Aukpaque, an Indian settlement above Fredericton, where he engaged in conferences with the inhabitants and the Indians, leaving a detachment at the mouth of the river, who made their headquarters at Simonds’ House at the foot of Fort Howe. On Monday, the 23rd June, the British war sloop Vulture entered the harbor and Allan’s men were at once attacked. The latter being protected succeeded in inflicting some lose on the British as they landed from their boats, six of the latter being killed and wounded out of a force of forty men. A few days later the British war ship Mermaid arrived, and on the approach of this additional force the rebels fled to the woods, where from their knowledge of the country, they expected to be able to maintain themselves. This, however, Capt. Hawker, who commanded the British, resolved to prevent, and he was about making dispositions of his forces to dislodge them, when a detachment of 120 men from Fort Cumberland landed and took them in flank. The main body of Allan’s party retreated to Grand Bay, where their boats were, and Capt. Dyer, who was left with a rear guard of 12 men to observe the motions of the British, was so closely pursued that he had three men killed and two wounded. Allan’s force then retreated up river, the British pursuing them. Allan, who had succeeded in gaining the good will of the Indians and promises of aid from them, was on his way to the mouth of the River, when he met his retreating force, in five boats. He at once turned and fled with them, and on the 1st July arrived at Maugerville. On the following day he reached the Indian settlement of Aukpaque where he had been received with so much ceremony and consideration by the Indians a short time before. There, all was terror and confusion for the British were still in pursuit. The Indians abandoned their settlement for the time and fled and the sequel was that Allan, abandoned by his Indian allies and with his own men on the verge of mutiny, had to make a hasty retreat to Maine, by way of Eel River and the Schoodic Lakes, arriving at Machias Aug. 2nd, 1777. Thus ended this bold attempt to gain possession of the River St. John.

On the 24th September, 1777, Mr. Franklin, the Indian Commissioner, made a treaty with the Maliseets and Micmacs at Fort Howe, St. John, and from that time the Nova Scotia Government experienced no difficulty with them. The post at Fort Howe was held by a small force under the command of Capt. Studholm. He commenced the export of masts from St. John for the use of the navy, and the first cargo of these arrived at Halifax Nov. 22nd, 1780. During the following winter a second cargo was got ready at St. John, consisting of upwards of 200 sticks for masts, spars and bowsprits, and they were shipped on board a transport in May, 1781. These operations, inconsiderable as they were, naturally drew workmen to St. John, and mark the beginning of the trade of this now busy city. New England privateers were, however, very active on our coast at that time and threatened to strangle the infant commerce of our port. In May 1781 they captured a schooner belonging to Capt. Sheffield, laden with goods for St. John, but she was retaken by a volunteer force from Cornwallis. In 1782 the cutting of spars on the River St. John went on without interruption, and the settlements continued to grow in population. In this year St. John had become a port of entry, James White being the first collector of customs. The tonnage which entered St. John during that year amounted to 144 tons, and the vessels which cleared amounted to 166 tons.

A tolerably correct idea of the state of the settlements on the St. John River at the close of this year, may be gathered from a letter written by Amos Botsford, an agent for the Loyalists, who had been examining the country with a view to settlement. He says the inhabitants of the St. John River are “computed to be near a thousand men able to bear arms.” He says also “the settlers are chiefly poor people who come here and get their living easily. They cut down the trees, burn the tops, put in a crop of wheat or Indian corn, which yields a plentiful increase. These intervals would make the finest meadows. The uplands produce both wheat of the summer and winter kinds, as well as Indian corn. Here are some wealthy farmers, having flocks of cattle, The greater part of the people, excepting the township of Maugerville, are tenants, or seated on the bank without leave or license, merely to get their living.”

Written by johnwood1946

January 17, 2018 at 8:30 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Education in New Brunswick in 1837

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From the blog at

This description of the state of education in New Brunswick in 1837 is from Notitia of New Brunswick for 1836 and Extending Into 1837, printed in Saint John in 1838 and attributed to Peter Fisher. King’s College, The Baptist Seminary, Grammar Schools, Parish Schools, Madras Schools, and Sunday Schools are all described.

 Kings College

King’s College in Fredericton (The Old Arts Building)

Education in New Brunswick in 1837

Great efforts have been made in this Province to place learning on a respectable footing, and to provide such institutions for the diffusion of knowledge as shall enable candidates for the learned professions to obtain the required branches of education without leaving their homes. Every requisite of classical and scientific knowledge that may be necessary for the student to fit him for the different avocations of life can now be obtained at the different seminaries of learning that are in active operation.

At the head of those institutions must be placed the College of New Brunswick, or King’s College;—this was established on its present foundation by Royal Charter, bearing date the 18th day November, 1823. A grant of £1000 was made to this College out of the Royal revenues of the Province; this sum, with its former endowment in lands, and a liberal annual grant from the Legislature, enabled the Corporation to erect a spacious building, and to provide books and other requisites to illustrate the different branches of science taught in the institution.

The object of the College as expressly declared in the charter by which his late Majesty endowed it with the privileges of an University, is, “the education of youth in the principles of the Christian religion, and their instruction in the various branches of literature and science. In pursuance of this object, the plan adopted by the Council has been to receive such students as had acquired the elements of a liberal education at the Grammar Schools of the Province, or elsewhere, and to afford them the means of those mature attainments which experience has proved to be the fittest qualifications for the higher stations and offices of society.

“Nothing further, therefore, is required of candidates for matriculation, than that they be sufficiently acquainted with the grammatical structure of the Latin and Greek languages, and be capable of expressing their thoughts in writing in Latin as well as English. No restriction is imposed as regards age, religion, place of birth, or education, of any person presenting himself for admission.

“The instruction of students is conducted by the Vice President and two Professors.”

The day begins and concludes with divine worship.

“The time actually spent by the student on daily lectures extends in general from ten in the morning to two in the afternoon.”

“The junior students begin with such classical authors as Homer, Xenophon, Livy, and Cicero; they afterwards advance to Euripides and Demosthenes. The senior enters on the study of Herodotus and Sophocles, and proceed to Thucydides, Aristotle, Pindar, and Tacitus.

“The Oxford system of Logic and the Cambridge course of Mathematics are adopted by the respective Professors.

“The Professors deliver Lectures on History, commencing with the Mosaic records—Metaphysics or Mental Philosophy— Moral Philosophy and Divinity.

“Various questions and subjects for more private exercises in writing are proposed by the several Professors, as they may find occasion in connection with their several Lectures; and on every Saturday the Vice-President affixes in the Hall a subject for a general theme or essay, which at the end of the following week every student is required to present. — Such is the provision actually made for students. But the Council hope to find themselves enabled at no very distant period to establish distinct Professorships in Natural Philosophy, Law, Anatomy and Medicine, by which the circle of Collegiate Education would be almost completed.

“The Academical year begins on the first Thursday in September, and continues with a vacation of three weeks at Christmas, and a few days at Easter and Whitsuntide, to the beginning of July. Four of these years are required for the first degree of Bachelor of Arts. But the actual residence will seldom much exceed three years. For higher degrees residence is not absolutely necessary, except during the two Terms in the case of Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts. No religious test is imposed on admission to any Degrees except in Divinity.”

Necessary expenses of a Collegiate Course

Fees on Matriculation,




Four annual payments of £8 each, for Tuition,




Payments for boarding, lodging, and attendance, at l2s. 6d. per week, according to the actual residence, between £75, and …




Four annual payments of 7s. 6d. towards the Library and Plate,




Fees on the Degree of Bachelor of Arts,




Aggregate expense according to the actual residence, between £113 10 2, and




From the above it will appear that the whole expense of a Collegiate Course for the whole four years, including the first degree, need not much exceed one hundred and thirteen pounds. The fees payable on admission to the Degree of Master of Arts, or Bachelor in Civil Law, are under seven pounds; and those on admission to a Doctor’s Degree in any Faculty, very little exceed ten pounds.

Funds of King’s College

The College is endowed with a block of land, comprising nearly six thousand acres, adjoining Fredericton; the yearly income of which I have no data to ascertain.

A Grant from the King of £1000 sterling, annually.

A Grant from the Provincial Legislature, £1000 sterling, annually.

The next Institution for promoting Literature is the Baptist Seminary. This may be denominated what the Americans call a High Classical School. It is a Provincial Baptist Institution, founded by that Body, and under the general superintendence of the Baptist Association of New Brunswick. It is located at Fredericton where there is a Managing Committee to watch its progress and provide for its maintenance. This Institution promises to be of the greatest utility in diffusing useful knowledge. It has been well filled since its commencement, and has for more than a year past given the greatest satisfaction to all who have made themselves acquainted with its operations. This Seminary was first opened on the 4th January, 1836. Its course of instruction comprises the higher branches of English education, together with the classics.

The rate of tuition varies from 15s. to 25s. per quarter. The present charge for board, owing to the advanced price of provisions, is 10s. per week: the price formerly was 7s. 6d. About fifty pupils can be accommodated in the boarding establishment.

The male class room in this Seminary is calculated to accommodate 100 pupils, and the female 140.

There were in attendance during the term ending in June, 1837, Males, 45; Females, 35—total, 80.

This Institution is open to persons of every religious denomination.

There are two vacations—the first commences early in July, after the yearly examination, and continues six weeks; the second in January, and continues two weeks.

This Institution has no permanent revenue; neither has it ever yet received anything from the public funds. It depends solely on the exertions of its conductors and the aid of the Baptist connection generally, who are pledged for its support.

The debt due by the Society on the erection of the buildings belonging to the above Institution, and other expenses incurred in bringing it to its present state of efficiency, is £1000 8s. 11d.

The next Institutions for education are the Grammar Schools, which are established in the several Counties, and which receive a yearly grant from the Legislature. In these schools a good useful education may be obtained and a foundation laid for admission into the College.

The most beneficial institutions for the general good of the whole population are the Parish or Common Schools, which enable the scattered settlements to obtain the blessings of early instruction for their children, by establishing schools within their neighbourhood. By the bounty of the Legislature, twenty pounds per annum is allowed to be drawn out of the Province Treasury, for every parish where a schoolhouse is provided, and the sum of thirty pounds raised by the inhabitants to enable them to employ good and sufficient teachers, which extends to three or more schools in a parish. This is bringing schooling to the doors of all such as will exert themselves to partake of the benefit, and it is no doubt among the very best methods in which the public funds could be expended, and it is only to be wished that the system may be perpetuated, improved and extended.

The Madras School also furnishes the means of useful learning to a great number of children, particularly of the poorer classes, many of whom are taught gratis, as well as furnished with books and sometimes with clothing. This school is managed by an incorporated body, styled The Governor and Trustees of the Madras School in New-Brunswick. Besides the above there are a number of other Schools in the principal towns, particularly St. John, where almost every branch of useful and liberal education can be obtained from persons well qualified for the task, who occasionally visit those places, and teach for a limited period, according as pupils offer.

Before dismissing this article it will be proper to notice an Institution of the first importance to the Province at large, and this is the Sunday School system.

The means of useful knowledge are greatly increased in this Province, by the very beneficial and laudable exertions that are made in most of the settlements to educate the rising generation by the general introduction of Sunday Schools. There are but few settlements without them. In the towns many influential individuals are engaged as teachers, trustees or otherwise. Books are provided gratis at most schools, so that the most indigent have an opportunity of having their children instructed in the knowledge of the sacred scriptures and principles of Christianity. Indeed every attention is paid in those schools, and every encouragement is held out by giving prizes, books, &c. to stimulate exertion, and to win the attention of the young mind to sacred knowledge. In the principal towns after the yearly examination, prizes are awarded to the most deserving, and a feast is provided, of which all may partake.

Written by johnwood1946

January 10, 2018 at 8:19 AM

Posted in Uncategorized