New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. August 16, 2017

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

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


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

August 16, 2017 at 8:21 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to American Cause During the Revolution

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From the blog at

The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to American Cause During the Revolution

Richard Valpey living in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, but wanted to relocate to Massachusetts because of the ongoing American Revolution. This was a problem, because travel was forbidden by both the British and the Americans.

Valpey had shown loyalty to the revolutionary cause by harbouring American castaways from examination by the British and, later, he was involved in freeing prisoners out of Halifax and transporting them to American controlled territory.

He was eventually seized by an American military or privateering ship and all of his goods were seized. He had his goods returned, however, when it was learned that his captors had acted more as pirates than as patriots.

Following is his story, taken from E.D. Poole’s book Annals of Yarmouth and Barrington in the Revolutionary War, Yarmouth, 1899. These documents are excerpted and slightly condensed.

A Small Schooner, from the McCord Museum

Perhaps of the type captained by Richard Valpey



To the Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay. The Petition of Richard Valpey most humbly Sheweth that your Petitioner is a native of Salem, where he always Resided until within a few years when he with his family and many others Removed to a place Call’d Yarmouth in the Bay of Fundy & Province of Nova Scotia, Inhabited chiefly by People from Salem and Beverly, who are now Bro’t to Great Straits & Difficulties, Owing to the Communications between this State & that Province being Cut off. That your Petitioner is very Desirous of Removing himself & family from Nova Scotia to Salem, the Place of his nativity. Could he have your Honor’s Liberty for his so Doing, and to Prevent his little furniture & Effects from being Captured on their Passage from Yarmouth to this Place your Petitioner humbly prays your Honors will be pleased to Grant him a License in Writing to Return to Nova Scotia in any way he may be able & to remove from thence himself, his Wife and nine Children and an aged mother together with his furniture, and your Petitioner as in Duty Bound shall ever pray. Richard Valpey


Whereas Ebenr Porter, Richard Valpey, Nathan Utley, Henry Coggin, Asa Hammond & Nehemiah Porter, all of Yarmouth, in ye Province of Nova Scotia, have petitioned this Board that they may have liberty to remove themselves, their Families and effects from sd. Yarmouth to this State & it appearing that the petitioners not many years since removed themselves and Families from this State. Therefore Ordered that [they be permitted to return] from this State to Yarmouth … & bring of their Families and effects …, and it is hereby recommended to All Commanders of all Armed & other vessels to let the above named petitioners, … pass unmolested….


That Capt. Richard Valpey, an Inhabitant of Yarmouth, in the Province of Nova Scotia, but formerly of this Town, hath made application to this Committee, setting forth, That being at Halifax in said Province, in May last, he was applied to by the following persons, Vizt., Capt. Habakkuk Bowditch, Messrs. Jonathan Payson, Charles Callahan and Andrew Millet, Inhabitants of this State, and who were then Prisoners at that Place, requesting him that he would devise some means by which their escape from their Captivity might be effected as they were then in the most necessitous and distressed circumstances and situation; that he accordingly procured a Vessel and engaged to bring the said persons from Halifax which he accordingly did, altho’ at the Risque of his Vessel as well as his liberty, as he must unavoidably have forfeited both, had he been detected in the execution of his plan by the Government at Halifax; that in pursuance of this Scheme he was proceeding to St. John’s in the Bay of Fundy, where he had engaged to land the said Persons, but while on his Passage, he was informed, that that place would be in the hands of our Enemies before he could arrive there, in consequence of which he put into Cape Porceau, where his Passengers before mentioned got a vessel to carry them to Newbury; that after this the said Valpey was proceeding to St. John’s, having on board, two hogsheads of Rum, two hogsheads of molasses, one piece of checked, and two pieces of white Linen, and two barrels of Pork, with which he was going to purchase a load of Staves for the use of persons residing at Yarmouth; that while he was at St. John’s a party of men from Machias, in this State, came and took his Vessel and goods into possession, and made himself and his Crew Prisoners; and carried them all to Machias, where they still hold the said Vessel and Goods. This Committee would therefore intercede with the Honorable Court in behalf of the said Valpey, and beg leave to acquaint the Honble. Court, that they are well assured that the Inhabitants of that part of Nova Scotia of which the said Valpey is an Inhabitant, are almost to a man friendly to the Interest of these States, that they frequently have assisted our countrymen, who have been Prisoners and carried in there, in making their Escape, and when any of our Vessels have been forced into that Place, they have afforded all the assistance and Relief which was in their Power to the Crews; particularly when the Brigantine Cabot was drove in there by the Milford, this same Capt. Valpey entertained and supported Capt. Olney, Lieut. Knight and about thirty others of the Cabot’s Crew three days and nights, in his own house and at his own expense, as will appear by a Certificate signed by the said Lieut. Knight herewith transmitted. And as the Cartel between this State and Nova Scotia is now stopped and no way for the Subjects of this State who may be carried Prisoners into that Province to be released, but by the assistance of such persons there, whose humanity and friendly disposition towards these States may induce to afford such assistance…

This Committee would therefore Pray that the said Capt. Valpey may have his … [goods restored to him and that he be compensated for services rendered…].


St. John’s River, May 26, 1777: Whereas Richard Valpey, Master & Owner of the Schooner Industry has risk’d his Person and Property in taking us Prisoners from our Confinement at Halifax & Settling us at Liberty in this place, We think to recommend him to the Countenance & favour of all the officers in the American Navy. [Sgd.] Jona. Patson, Charles Callahan, Andrew Millet, Hab’k Bowditch


These may Certify all whom It may Concern that the Subscriber was Lieutenant of the Brig Cabot at the time she was Chased on shore at Chebogue in Nova Scotia by the milford frigate and that after the officers and Seamen made their Escape from the wreck Capt. Olney, my Self and near thirty of the Cabot’s Crew was lodged and Curtisly Entertained by Capn. Rich’d Valpey at his house In Yarmouth Nova Scotia for three days and three knights and this entirely at the Expense of Said Valpey whose friendly disposition to my Self and others belonging to the United States demands my most grateful Acknowledgements and I do hereby recommend him as a person whose gineral Conduct merits the feavor of all the good people of these States. [Sgd.] Benj. Knight, Leftent, Salem, 30 June, 1777


Machias, June ye 12th, 1777, to Capt. Stephen Smith— William Albey arrived hear last Sunday with a prize Schooner, the Industry, Richard Velpay Late master which schooner was taken Last week by Capt. West & Company and sent in hear. Mr. Albey Sceemes to attend to the Bisness of the prize more than the Safety of the Staits, that [he] layed thare matter before the Committee that thare being no Letters from Mr. Allen and but a very blind account from Capt. West, did not very well know how to proceed, but recommended to Mr. Albee for him and his party to Secure the Prize in the best manner they Could and return to their Duty again. But Mr. Albee declined; but Mr. Hall, one of the Guard with him expressed his desire to return to Capt. West again, and with the rest set off today for St. John.

Mr. Albee seems intent upon libelling and getting the vessel condemned Immediately. The Committee recommended him not to proceed any further In the matter until he notifies Mr. Allen and sends him a copy of the vessel’s papers and an account of the whole proceedings, so that he may be consulted in the matter, as Mr. Allen was up the river with the Indians when they took and brought the said prize away. And the Committee told Mr. Albee that his present designs seem to carry an appearance of trying to get the vessel condemned to a few individuals and giving up all pretentions of being in the State’s service. We told him that if so, the Committee would insist upon the Expences of their provisions, boats and ammunition, to be paid out of the proceeds of the prize. However, that was a matter he gave himself no trouble about, and without the advice of the Committee, on his own account, he landed the cargo in Squire Jones’s store, and we suppose, either by himself or attorney, will soon have her libelled at Pownalborough. … We think that those persons who seek their own interests so much more than they do the safety of a bleeding Country, deserve no preferment In It. … By inquiry we understand her cargo is— 2 Hh W. India Rum; 2 Hh. Molasses; 5 Tierces Rice; 2 Barrels Porc; 1 Barrel Tobacco; about 300 wt. Cottons; 20 thousand nails, A good Schooner, about fifty tons.


The Committee … ask Leave to Report that Capt. Richard Valpey … is an Inhabitant of Yarmouth, in the County of Cumberland, in the Government of Nova Scotia, the Inhabitants whereof have been great Suffers By their attachment to the American Cause … Your Committee also find that the said Valpey hath frequently exerted himself to relieve and Comfort American Prisoners making their Escape from Halifax in sd. Government.

Therefore Resolved, that the Schooner Industry (taken by a Party of Capt. West’s Company, …) together with her Cargo and Stores intire be immediately restored to the said Valpey & the Committee of Correspondence, &c., of Machias and all other persons concerned are directed to cause this Resolution to be carried into execution. In Council, July 2, 1777. [Read In the House of Representatives & Concurred with, July 3, 1777.


Ordered, that Capt. Richard Valpey, master of a Schooner lately taken by a party of men under the Command of Capt. West & carried into Machias, be & be hereby is permitted to Depart this State for Yarmouth in Nova Scotia with his Said Schooner and all & Every Articles which were on board the said Schooner at the time of her Capture, and the Maritime Court of the Eastern District, the naval officer & the Committee of the Port and Town of Machias are hereby order’d and Directed to see this order Caryed into Execution.

Written by johnwood1946

August 16, 2017 at 8:20 AM

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From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787

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S. Hollingsworth traveled between Saint John, New Brunswick and Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in a clockwise sailing around the Bay of Fundy in 1787; and following is the memoir of that trip from his book The Present State of Nova Scotia …, Edinburgh, 1787.

This is an extremely early description of Loyalist settlements on the Bay, only four years after their arrival. The two Provinces were developing very rapidly.

Map, of the Bay of Fundy and Annapolis Royal, 1712-50, by Nathaniel Blackmore

From the McCord Museum


From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787

Off the mouth of St. John’s River, lies a small island, high, rocky, and covered with woods near to which ships must pass, in going in or out of the river and, as it lies at a small distance from the mainland, is equally fitted to afford protection to the river against an enemy, and for the erection of a lighthouse to guide ships in passing up and down the bay, being very conspicuous for several leagues.

The town is built upon the east side of the harbour, within two miles of Partridge Island, which, lying directly opposite to the entrance of the river, breaks off the sea, and perfectly shelters it from all winds.

The river, a mile above the town, by being confined between some rocks that encroach upon it considerably, though of a great depth, has a large fall or rapid, particularly upon the ebb tide. When the flood has risen 12 feet in the harbour below, the falls are smooth, and continue to be passable for about twenty minutes; and the river is navigable from hence upwards of 70 miles for vessels of 80 to 100 tons burthen. In times of great freshets, when the rains fall, and the snows melt in the country, which is commonly from the middle of April to the beginning of June, the falls are absolutely impassable to vessels bound up the river, as the tide does not rise to their level, and the strong current, which runs continually down through the harbour at that season, frequently prevents vessels that are bound in from entering, unless assisted by a fair wind.

The town consists of upwards of two thousand houses, many of which are large and spacious, and being built upon a neck of land, almost entirely surrounded by the sea, is thereby rendered exceeding pleasant. The streets have been regularly laid out, are from 50 to 60 feet in breadth, and cross each other at right angles, corresponding with the four cardinal points, every house possessing 60 feet in front by 120 in depth, makes it capable of becoming one of the best cities in the New World, as the ground whereon it is built is of a moderate height, and rises gradually from the water.

Amongst other advantages possessed by this settlement, it ought not to be considered as the least, that a very considerable property was imported, together with a number of respectable merchants, from New York, at the evacuation of that city, whose unremitting industry and perseverance has embellished the town with a great many fine houses, the harbour with several fine quays and wharfs, and they already possess 60 sail of vessels, some of which are employed in carrying on trade with the West Indies, and the rest in the whale and cod fisheries. Most of the fur trade that can ever take place on this side of the province, must naturally center here, as no other navigable water extends far inland, besides St John’s River. Very good masts for the royal navy are cut at the distance of 50, 60, and 70 miles from the sea, as large as to 32 inches diameter, which are collected by persons appointed by government, below the falls, from whence they are shipped off for the King’s dock yards in England.

The harbour has from seven to ten fathoms water, with good holding ground, and an excellent beach for landing goods, and graving or repairing vessels of the largest size. Opposite to the town, on the other side of the harbour, is a small settlement, called Carleton, built and inhabited by the Loyalists, amongst whom are a considerable number of ship carpenters, whose talents have already exerted themselves in building many vessels; whilst the large quantity of fine timber, on every part of the river, equal in goodness to that of New England, and almost any other province in America, is not only a proof of their situation being very properly chosen, but a sure prognostic of the advantages which this place derives from shipbuilding.

To all the above recited advantages may be added the extent of population, which exceeds ten thousand persons of all denominations, among whom are several regiments disbanded at the late peace, that are not only highly respectable for their numbers and their industry, but still more so, if possible, from their forming a very strong barrier to the colony against the subjects of the United States. A small fortification, called Fort Howe, defends the town, but is too inconsiderable to withstand a regular attack, being very small, and entirely destitute of out works.

Twelve leagues further up the Bay of Fundy, E.N.E. from St John’s River, is a small settlement belonging to the Loyalists, called Quaco. About six hundred persons are here, who have very wisely directed their attention to agriculture, their lands being generally accounted good, whilst, on the contrary, they have no place fit to shelter vessels in, especially when southerly winds prevail. The timber of all kinds is very good, and the country abounds with game.

Eleven leagues east from the last mentioned place, the Bay of Fundy, after carrying everywhere in its course a great depth of water, and continuing from fifteen to six leagues wide, is suddenly divided by the land into two distinct arms, the largest of which, called the Basin of Mines, takes its course nearly due east for almost eighty miles, but having the rise and fall of the tide continually increasing as is advances, so as to be equal to 70 feet perpendicular at its head, and receiving the waters of several rivers, which from thence penetrate considerably into the country. All these rivers have settlements upon them, the inhabitants of which amount to upwards of 4000. The lands in the environs of Mines Basin are very good, and have store of timber, particularly on the south side, and continue so almost all the way to Halifax, from which it is distant upwards of 40 miles. The other head is called Chignecto Bay, taking its course N.E. from where the separation commences, for about 50 miles, receiving the waters of several rivers which discharge themselves into it, one of these being pretty considerable, called Petitcodiac, where about 2000 Loyalists are settled, and have the appearance of being a thriving colony. Many advantages are held out to persons that are obliged to settle in this province, whose views are not solely confined to trade, but who wish to attend to agriculture, and the raising of cattle, as most of the lands round the head of the Bay are very good, having been formerly possessed and cultivated by the ancient French colonists, distinguished by the name of Neutrals, whole industry had been crowned with a degree of success not always equaled, and but seldom exceeded, by the inhabitants of the southern colonies; nor can it be doubted, but that the persons in whose hands they now are, will very speedily render them an object of jealousy to their New England neighbours. There is a small fort, formerly called St Laurence, and now Fort Cumberland, built upon the isthmus which joins the peninsula to the main land, and, though of no great account at present, may, in a more improved state, be looked upon as the key of Nova Scotia, against the invasion of a land army. Returning from hence, down the Bay of Fundy, to the westward, there is no harbour, until nearly opposite to St John’s River, when we find Annapolis Royal, which has one of the noblest harbours in the world, perfectly sheltered from all winds, the entrance into it being between two capes or headlands, with from 20 to 30 fathoms water. This entrance is near a mile wide, and has a strong current, both upon the ebb and flood tides; the shore, at the same time, being so steep, that a ship may run her bow-sprit against the rocks, and yet be in 10 fathoms water. Immediately within this straight, is a large piece of water, called Annapolis Basin, capable of holding a considerable number of ships, with a sufficient depth of water for vessels of any size, and at least 20 miles in circumference, entirely sheltered from all winds. On this basin, a very handsome town, called Digby, has been built by the Loyalists. The situation of it is exceedingly well chosen, both for the fisheries and every other kind of trade adapted to the province. A small settlement is also forming at the mouth of Bear River, near Digby, by some Germans, formerly belonging to the auxiliary troops during the war in America.

From the Basin to Annapolis Royal, it is about 12 miles, upon a deep and narrow river, in which there is a great rise and fall of the tide, both sides of it are well peopled, and in many places are highly improved. A small island, half way between the Basin and the town, may be easily made to command the navigation of the river entirely, as nothing can pass either up or down without going close in with it. Since the arrival of the Loyalists, amounting to 2500, the town has increased to six times its former dimensions, the country about it clearing fast of the woods, having received an increase of population, unknown in any former period. The raising of black cattle will probably be one of their principal employments; as the inhabitants, who came here prior to the war, not only raise the largest and best cattle of any in the Province, but equal to any in America, except Rhode Island and Connecticut; so that they will be able, in a little time, to gather with the people of St John’s River, to raise all the livestock, or nearly so, that will be wanted for the West India marker. The anchorage of the town is very good, and on the side next the river; the fort which defends the harbour is of some consideration, but totally inadequate to a defence toward the land.

Written by johnwood1946

August 9, 2017 at 8:45 AM

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Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid”

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Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid”

Nova Scotia was part of Acadia, and it was not until 1749 that the English period took hold with the founding of Halifax. Efforts to bring in English-speaking settlers met with limited success until after the expulsion of the Acadians in the 1750’s, and colonization went slowly even after that. More concerted efforts to bring people in began in 1760’s.

So, Nova Scotia was an outback frontier in 1775 when today’s author, identified only as ‘An American’ published a book in London entitled American Husbandry and dedicated a chapter to Nova Scotia. At that time, the population included people from Scotland, Ireland, England and New England plus the Mi’kmaq.

Mr. ‘An American’ was not impressed with what he found, and following is his story.


A View of Halifax, ca. 1750

Map by Thomas Jefferys, from Wikipedia

To judge of the climate of Nova Scotia by the latitude would lead any person into the most egregious mistakes. Between 44 and 50 degrees of latitude in Europe we find some of the finest and most pleasant countries in this quarter of the world; but in Nova Scotia the case is very different. The winter lasts seven months, and is of a severity that is dreadful to newcomers. The deepest rivers are frozen over in one night, so as to bear loaded wagon; the snow lies in some places ten feet deep, and upon level tracts it has been known to be six feet deep. The inhabitants are shut up in their houses and, except in the towns, lead a miserable life almost in as torpid and lifeless state as the vegetables of the country. Much of the summer is spent in laying in fuel for the winter, and brandy and rum are then the greatest luxuries the people indulge in. Such a degree of cold as is then felt benumbs the very faculties of the mind, and is nearly destructive of all industry. When this severe winter goes, at once comes a summer (for they have no spring) of a heat greater than is ever felt in England. The snow is presently melted, and runs in torrents to the sea; the ground is thawed, the trees are presently in leaf, and the little husbandry here practised is then begun. But what is almost as bad as the extremes of heat and cold, are the perpetual fogs, which render the country equally unwholesome and unpleasant and are peculiarly provoking to the inhabitants. Such is the climate: it is bad almost in excess. But we are not to imagine that it banishes husbandry, which might be the first conclusion of such as were unused to northern latitudes.

The soil varies greatly. In many parts it is thin and gravelly on a bed of rock. For many years this was what they endeavoured to cultivate, but ill success taught the inhabitants a change which has proved very advantageous. They fixed in the salt marshes on the bay of Fundy, which, although they required a very expensive drainage, yet, from the fertility of the soil, repaid the farmer much better than other tracts gained with much less difficulty. The soil in these marshes is a white or blue clay, mellow when in culture and marly. If the water is well conveyed off, it is capable of producing great crops, being suitable to the heat of the summer. But the expense of getting this land is not small; the sea is to be dyked out, and those dykes are to be kept in repair, with temporary flashes conveyed off. Further, only the line next the coast is of value, as that only has the benefit of harbours for boats and schooners, and for carrying off lumber for the West Indies. Most of the advantageous trails were patented several years ago; but the lots change hands often, and at present many of them are to be sold cheap enough, though under culture.

An idea of their management may be gained from the following particulars. Upon the settlers first going they fix upon a piece of marsh, with an adjoining one of woodland, seldom less in the whole than from five hundred to eight hundred or a thousand acres. If the marsh is already banked, they pay an annual tax for that work; if not, they must execute it before any profit can be made. They build the house on the edge of the woodland; a work that costs nothing in materials from the plenty of wood, which is fine, consisting generally of oak, pine, or black birch but all the trees are grubbed, which makes the labour heavy.

Three years are nominally given to settle the tracts assigned, but this is not strictly adhered to, but extended by favour to six or seven. After ten years a quitrent is paid to the King of two shillings for every fifty acres; and also a covenant entered into of planting two acres with hemp of every fifty taken up. The planters are kept to this article, but with very little effect, for the climate is utterly improper for that production.

The marsh land is fine, and wants little more after draining; but to let the plough to work for sowing wheat, it is all covered with a short but thick and spongy moss, which they plough in, and on one ploughing harrow in their wheat. This work they perform as soon as the weather breaks, and the snow is all gone. They do it in a very clumsy manner, attending not the least to their lands being laid neat and regular. In September the corn is ripe and they usually mow it, and the crops they get, notwithstanding the soil being good, scarce ever amount to middling ones in England. I have been assured, that two quarters of bad wheat in quality, are a great crop. They have hardly any idea of fallowing, but in the succeeding year plough up the stubble for another wheat crop, which they continue as long as the land will yield it, and then leave it to recover itself. Sometimes, however, they change for beans. The woodlands, when cleared, they plant with peas, potatoes, cabbages, &c. the latter production is very useful to them, they keep under the snow in winter very sound.

As to enclosures, they have only a ring fence, and one or two near the house, and not always that. Sometimes there are none but what parts their marshland from the woods. Cattle, in summer, are turned into undrained marshes and the woods, and in winter are three parts starved.

It is much to be regretted, that the annual expenditure was not known, but if the high price of labour is considered — the wages of the fishermen, the repairs of the vessels, nets, implements, ammunition, wines, rum, tea, sugar, and other  luxuries, all these articles would certainly make a considerable deduction from this annual product. As to the products of the land, they are more than consumed at home. Can any unprejudiced person suppose that the sum of thirteen hundred pounds might not be expended on waste lands in Great Britain to much better advantage? I will not so far anticipate the subject as to calculate here, but most assuredly we may determine that, in point of profit, such a sum might be more beneficially expended in British husbandry, than in that of Nova Scotia.

I say, in point of profit, as to that of pleasure, there are other circumstances to be considered, which are material. These particularly concern the great plenty of game in the country, and the general freedom of all sporting and fishing. It has been asserted, and not upon bad authority, that a boy of twelve or fourteen years of age, with his gun, would maintain ten or twelve in family the year-round, pork and bread excepted. Two boys have been known to catch above two hundred hares in one winter with twine snares. Six boys, in three canoes, shot, in four days, one hundred and fifty wild geese, and four hundred black ducks. To this may be added, that eels are in the little rivers so plentiful, that they keep immense quantities of them frozen for winter provision.

These particulars, indeed, indicate, not only pleasure, but also a considerable degree of profit; for a country, which will admit of such circumstances, must yield no trifling advantages in housekeeping and, however insignificant such a point my seem in a general account of a country, yet is it of importance in the eyes of those who quit their own to settle in America. In Britain, the game laws are so strict that unqualified persons must give up all thoughts of the pleasure of shooting and fishing, as well as the advantage in feeding their families, or be liable to severe and infamous penalties. That this monstrous contrast sends no trifling number of people to the colonies I have not a doubt.

In the preceding accounts the reader finds that the whole product of the new plantation (and that a considerable one) consists in fish and lumber. It is remarkable, that without the fishery the inhabitants of this colony would starve. Their husbandry is inefficient to feed them; a circumstance strongly characteristic of the merit of Nova Scotia as a colony. In this respect the farmers somewhat resemble the inhabitants of Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Cornwall, before the northern colonies almost beat the mother country out of her share of the fishery. A very great portion of the English Newfoundland fishery was carried on by little farmers on the above mentioned coasts, who went out as soon as their spring seed was over, and returned before harvest: but in Nova Scotia it is the principal dependence of the people for their subsistence; and the only sale by which they can supply themselves with manufactures and other necessaries.

Their other export is lumber to the West Indies, but of this the whole province does not send out more than sells for five thousand pounds, and sometimes not so much. A part of the winter season is applied to cutting and sawing trees, but from the severity of the season the progress made in this work is inconsiderable, and yields no great profit to the farmer. The distance of those islands, with the vast superiority of the more southern colonies in climate for the winter execution of this work, lessen the profit of the Nova Scotians greatly.

Neither the fishery nor the export of lumber prove advantageous enough to render the settlers comparable in ease and wealth to the people of New England, New York, &c. or, I may add (and this is what I mean particularly to inculcate) to the same class of men among our farmers in Britain; except in the articles, not immaterial I allow, of shooting and fishing. But when the difference of climate is considered, the agreeable and healthy life which is lead even in winter in England; the friendly society enjoyed by our lowest classes of farmers in our country towns and village ale houses, upon market days and other meetings — the goodness of our roads, and the security of living, what can tempt any that feel such advantages to leave them in pursuit of imaginary happiness in the woods of Nova Scotia? Where the winters are miserably severe, where society is scarcely anywhere to be found, without a road in the country, and where a hostile race of Indians, till very lately, rendered the whole colony unhappily insecure. But the great superiority remains to be mentioned: promotion, if I may so express myself, is cheaper in England; for it appears from the preceding calculation, that a much larger sum is necessary to go to, and settle, with any advantage in Nova Scotia, even on the smallest scale, than would be sufficient to stock a good farm in England. The fishing apparatus is expensive and if that employment is neglected, the most profitable branch in the country is lost: the planters must degenerate into mere tartars, without a commodity for sale wherewith to buy manufactures. Let these circumstances be considered, and I think it must be apparent, that many of the emigrants who go to Nova Scotia with a view to practice at husbandry, &c. more profitable than that of Europe, must find themselves miserably deceived.

What sort of a country must it be where government is forced to give a bounty on raising corn to keep the people from starving? Yet this is the case with Nova Scotia. On all wheat raised it is one shilling a bushel; on barley, oats, and pulse, nine pence, and on roots six pence.

Relative to the islands of Cape Breton and St. John [i.e., P.E.I.] I must observe, that the former has only a few plantations, made by connivance, by fishermen, merely for the convenience of its situation for the cod fishery. But the island of St. John was granted to some well-known noblemen, since the peace, with a view to colonize the whole. The scheme was originally formed by the late Earl of Egmont; but he did not live to see any success attend the plan, which yet was laid as well as most could be for such climates, and the execution begun with great spirit, at an expense that would have brought into culture no inconsiderable tract of waste in England or in Scotland; and that the success would have been greater and infinitely more beneficial at home than in America, cannot for a moment be doubted. Several hundred settlers have been fixed there, yet they are at present supplied with food from New York instead of a beneficial system of pasturage and planting hemp, they have already, like all these northern colonists, taken to the fishery, as the only means of paying for the necessaries of life, in direct contradiction to the designs of their patrons. This is, and ever will be, the consequence of colonizing in such northern latitudes, where agriculture must ever be carried on with feebleness; where the climate is to the last degree rigorous; and where every spot is inhospitable and frigid. To plant colonies in such situations, is acting contrary to every rational idea of colonization.

I am sensible that the original idea of planting Nova Scotia was not so much upon a plan of agriculture as defence. The encroachments of the French made settlements and fortresses necessary and the neighbourhood of Louisburg rendered a safe port, as a retreat for the navy, indispensable. Upon this plan garrisons were necessary, and these could not be supported without an adjacent agriculture. There is something rational in this, but it extends no further than the necessity of the case, and not to the immense expense which the nation has suffered on account of the colony, amounting to considerably more than a million sterling; besides, this argument, since the peace, has no longer any validity, whereas we have acted as if it continued in full force; and after feeling the unprofitable expense of one snowy desert, have planted a second. This conduct would have been excusable had we possessed no other territories in America, but while such immense districts remained uncultivated to the south, it was really inexcusable upon every principle of good policy.

Written by johnwood1946

August 2, 2017 at 8:50 AM

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Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately

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Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately

Protesting the memory of Edward Cornwallis

From the Chronicle Herald

The War of Austrian Succession, in the 1740’s included England and France, and brought to an end the fragile Peace of Utrecht of 1713. Utrecht had transferred Acadia to Britain, while France had maintained control of Cape Breton where they built Fort Louisbourg. This was not very satisfactory, however, since the two sides could not agree on the limits of ‘Acadia’, and Louisbourg remained an irritant to the British.

Britain finally captured Louisbourg and decided to strengthen their position in Acadia by building a colony in the wilderness at what would become Halifax. Nova Scotia was inhabited by the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq, while the English were mostly strangers.

The Acadians knew very well that another war, and another peace, and another transfer of sovereignty from one side to the other guaranteed nothing as to what might happen next. The British had given them one year during which they could either leave Nova Scotia or take a loyalty oath, but they refused both options. They became known as the ‘neutral’ French and wanted to remain so. They asked to be left out of future combat.

The Mi’kmaq were also in a difficult position. The Acadians were their friends and the English were not. The Mi’kmaq greeted the would-be colonists as potential friends, but the English were harassing the Acadians over the issue of loyalty oaths, and prospects for the Mi’kmaq were not encouraging. As far as the Mi’kmaq were concerned, Acadia had not belonged to the French and had not been transferred to the English. It belonged to them. Some of their comrades in Boston had faced a similar situation, and the Mi’kmaq would have agreed with their response: “Thou sayest that the French man hast given thee [lands] in my neighborhood, …. He shall give it to thee as much as he will [but,] for me, I have my land which the Great Spirit has given me to live on. As long as there shall be a child of my nation, he will fight to preserve it”

Following are excerpts from Duncan Campbell’s Nova Scotia, in its Historical, Mercantile and Industrial Relations, Montreal, 1873, about Edward Cornwallis and his time in Halifax. It is heavily edited and condensed and I have also added some material.


Britain was determined to retain a firm hold on Nova Scotia, and decided to establish a settlement there. An advertisement was accordingly published in the London Gazette, setting forth a proposal for peopling Nova Scotia and establishing a civil government. His Majesty had signified his approbation, and instructions had been issued to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations to present inducements to disbanded officers and private soldiers, as well as to such tradesmen and farmers willing to accept grants of land. Free passage, and subsistence during the voyage, and for twelve months after their arrival, were offered—also arms and ammunition for defence, with proper implements for husbandry, fishing, and the erection of houses. A civil government was to be established, with all the privileges granted to other colonies in British North America. These terms attracted a large number of applicants, many of whose descendants now live in Nova Scotia.

The emigrants embarked in thirteen transports to the number of 2,576 souls. The expedition was under the charge of the Honorable Edward Cornwallis, who was now in his thirty-seventh year, and was appointed Governor of the Province at an annual salary of a thousand pounds. This appointment was made through the influence of Lord Halifax.

Cornwallis sailed in the Sphinx on the 14th of May, 1749, and arrived on the coast of Nova Scotia about the 14th of June. He anchored in Merliguiche Bay (Lunenburg), where there was a small French settlement, communicated with the inhabitants who seemed in comfortable circumstances, and proceeded thence to Chebucto (Halifax). The Governor was followed by transports which arrived early in July. The ground, which is now the site of Halifax was then covered with a forest to the water’s edge. “The country,” said Cornwallis, “is one continued wood, no clear spot to be seen.” A few French families had settled some miles off, and visited the fleet on its arrival.

The Governor communicated with Mascarene, commander at Annapolis and acting Governor, and also with Louisbourg to which place he sent ships to gather two regiments of British troops.

Knowing the severity of the climate in winter, they proceeded immediately with clearing the forest and erecting habitations. It was at first intended that the town should be built near Point Pleasant, but, on further consideration, it was resolved to adopt a site further up the harbor. The ground was traced and subdivided into blocks of three hundred and twenty by one hundred and twenty feet. Streets sixty feet wide were projected, each block containing sixteen lots with a frontage of forty feet, and sixty feet deep. The present Buckingham Street was the north, and Salter Street the south limit. To prevent disputes the settlers drew for their lots. Timber for building purposes was sent from Boston, and construction proceeded rapidly.

Many of the structures that were throw up must have been very insubstantial, and insufficient for the coming winter. To this must, to a great extent, be attributed the great mortality of the succeeding winter. The intemperate habits of some of the colonists may also have contributed.

At their first meeting of Council, the necessity of a stringent oath of allegiance being administered to the Acadians was discussed. Mascarene informed the Governor that the French always asserted that the various oaths which they had taken were on the understanding that they should not be called upon to bear arms against their countrymen. Three French deputies were called in, and assured that all the privileges which they had hitherto enjoyed under English rule would be continued upon their taking the oath of allegiance usually administered to British subjects.

The Acadians were alarmed at this, and send deputies from all the principal settlements to Halifax to obtain a modification. On finding His Excellency resolved to have the usual oath, without any exceptional clause, they asked whether, in the event of their resolving to leave the country in preference to compliance, they would be allowed to dispose of their property. The Governor replied that such of them as were resolved to leave would not be permitted either to sell or take property of any kind, reminding them that the one year grace period had expired. They were required to take the oath before the 26th October on pain of forfeiture of all their property. The deputies returned to their constituents, and came back to Halifax on the 17th of September with an address, signed by one thousand inhabitants, in which they stated their willingness to take the oath, but with the usual provision of not bearing arms. They insisted that compliance with the Governor’s demand would expose them to the fury of the Indians, who were allied with the French. The Governor was not swayed by these arguments and replied that the Acadians were deceived if they thought they could choose whether to be the King’s subjects or not.

On the arrival of the Governor, the Indians seemed friendly. They visited his Excellency and received presents. Afterwards, a formal treaty was prepared, which was signed with due formality. By late October, the troops had surrounded the town with a barricade for protection against Indian attack. Also in October, the Mi’kmaq attacked six men while cutting wood near Dartmouth, killing four and making one a prisoner. The sixth man escaped. At Canso they took twenty English prisoners, and committed other hostilities.

The hostility of the Indians was blamed upon the priest Joseph de la Loutre who was the principal missionary to the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia as early as 1740. Mascarene described him as a very bad character, who had incited the killing of English, the destroying of cattle and the burning of houses. De la Loutre had acted in opposition to the instructions of the Bishop of Quebec, it seems, who accused him of bringing misfortune upon the Mi’kmaq and Acadians. The Governor at Quebec may have had a different opinion.

Cornwallis had been encouraged to initiate trade with the Mi’kmaq, but was convinced that there was no prospect for diplomacy and resolved to drive the Indians off of the entire peninsula of Nova Scotia. Whitehall disapproved of this and wrote to the Governor, saying “as to your opinion, however, of never hereafter making peace with them, and of totally extirpating them, we cannot but think that, as the prosecution of such design must be attended with acts of great severity, it may prove of dangerous consequence to the safety of His Majesty’s other colonies on the continent, by filling the minds of the bordering Indians with ideas of our cruelty, and instigating them to a dangerous spirit of resentment.”

Cornwallis went ahead and issued a Scalping Proclamation by which an award would be given for the killing of any Mi’kmaq man, woman or child. Estimates differ as to how many were killed, but there are reports of several attacks with dozens of scalps being brought in.

In the meantime, de la Loutre, crossed to the St. John River, and went to Quebec, embarking for France shortly thereafter. His vessel was captured by the British, and he spent the next eight years in prison.

The Scalping Proclamation failed. Attacks by the Mi’kmaq continued, including one in the early 1750’s when some people were scalped and others taken prisoner at the new village of Dartmouth. Relations with the Acadians also deteriorated. If they could not leave with their property, they said, then they would protest by not planting any seed. This would have left the English with no domestic foot source, and Cornwallis delayed his deadline for them to take the oath. The subsequent history was not kind for either the Acadians or the Mi’kmaq.

Cornwallis returned to England in the summer of 1752, and was succeeded by Peregine Thomas Hopson, in August of that year.

Written by johnwood1946

July 26, 2017 at 8:27 AM

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Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods

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From the blog at

Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods

Sir James Alexander was commissioned by the British in 1844 to survey a new military road between ‘The Bend’ (Moncton) and Grand Falls. This was a long and difficult job, and was completed in stages. As we join him, he has been in Boisetown, where he is met by Colonel Hayne, the Chief Commissioner of the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Land Company, and a Dr. Gem.

Alexander and his party then return to Fredericton before setting out for the Miramichi to find a good location for a bridge to carry his military road. They are ill-equipped and become lost in the woods. This is their story of survival and of other similar tragedies avoided.

The story is condensed and edited from Alexander’s L’Acadie or Seven Years Explorations, London, 1849.

Tavern built of logs at Stanley, N.B., 1835.

Library and Archives Canada, via website of the Visual Gallery of Historic New Brunswick


I brought our team into Fredericton in a couple of wagons. They were considerably worn both in their person and their clothes, from the hard and constant service in the forest during the last two months.

I remained a short time in Fredericton to prepare reports and maps, and I record with great satisfaction the many attentions shown me by the Lieutenant-Governor and his family, also by the worthy Attorney-General, Mr. Peters, Mr. Parker, the Master of the Rolls, Mr. Street, Solicitor-General, &c. I also made two or three very agreeable excursions with my friend Professor Robb, by the thriving Harvey Settlement to the beautiful Oromocto Lake, &c. whilst waiting to hear from Lieutenants Simmons and Woods, with whose work I was to connect mine.

To lose no time, however, I prepared for an expedition to the Upper Miramichi, to ascertain where it could be crossed by a bridge for the military road. I left for Stanley in a light wagon, Colonel Hayne having proposed to accompany me from that place (the principal station of the Land Company) towards the Miramichi, and to make all necessary arrangements.

To reach Stanley we went along the Boisetown road to the mouth of the Tay Creek, then by a new, narrow and indifferent road, to Stanley. My driver said he could reach our destination, twenty-five miles from Fredericton, in three hours, but we took from four p.m. till eleven at night before we saw the place, having been obliged to lead the horse for many miles in the dark, and to lift the wagon over felled trees.

The Settlement of Stanley consisted at this time of a few scattered houses, a church, a mill, (with a dam, and no fish-way,) a tavern, carpenter’s and blacksmith’s shops, &c. It is situated on a steep slope, on the south bank of the Nashwaak River. There was a good deal of land cleared about the settlement, and the north bank consisted of valuable hard wood ridges. I received every civility and attention from Colonel and Mrs. Hayne, at their house, but as he was not able to start at once, I was obliged to remain at Stanley for two days.

The Colonel sent to Boisetown, to direct two men with a canoe and provisions to go up the Miramichi, and to meet us at the outlet of the Miramichi Lake, below the point I wished to look for bridge sites. On the morning of the sixth of August, I left Stanley on foot, and accompanied by Colonel Hayne, who brought with him his Scotch surveyor, Mr. Waugh, and three men to carry packs (Archie Duncan, Duncan Buchanan, and Thomas Pelton). There was to have been an Indian guide but he did not appear, and Archie Duncan was now to be the guide as far as the Miramichi Lake, beyond which he had heard of lumber tracks, which might lead us to the main river. We did not expect what was to be the upshot of this uncertainty.

Travelling first north and then north-west, along a new road, we passed through hardwood, with good land, for many miles, but the thermometer was at seventy-five degrees, “the biting point” for mosquitoes and black flies. There was not a breath of air, we were bathed in perspiration, and exceedingly tormented with poisonous insects, which were very numerous after the recent rain.

After accomplishing ten miles, we halted to boil the tea kettle and eat. A loaf of bread and a few crackers were produced. We found that through some carelessness the more substantial viands had been forgotten. It was a bad beginning; no Indian guide, and no meat for perhaps three days, and with hard walking, but we did our best with the bread and tea, and continued our route.

We passed down two very steep descents, and ascended a steep acclivity, crossing streams, running apparently to the Nashwaak and to the Taxes Rivers, and at sunset found ourselves at a small Indian camp, or empty hut, covered with bark, and used in the winter as a hunting lodge. This was about twenty miles from Stanley, at the Napadogan Lake.

A grouse had been shot, and it was carefully divided, with a little bread for supper, among the six. We did not pass a very comfortable night. We were most of us very hungry, the night was hot and close, flies bit us, one of the men snored terrifically, and cried out in his sleep, thinking a wild beast had got hold of him, and there was a disagreeable smell of old bears’ meat in the hut. I understood we were to have climbed a high hill before we reached the Miramichi, and when I asked our guide on the morning of the 7th where it was, he said it was ten miles on our right.

We passed round the west side of the Napadogan Lake. Its shores were swampy, a belt of moss was all round, and there were thick forests of spruce, balsam, dwarf maple, &c. There were many wild ducks on the Lake, but they prudently kept well in the middle of it. Otter were also seen, and we should have eaten them if we could have got them into our frying pan.

About four miles through swampy ground brought us to the Miramichi Lake, which was not noticed in any map. This is a beautiful piece of water, two miles long, with a fine strand of sand, and hills about it, covered with hardwood. Finding two Indian canoes and paddles, we pushed off into the Lake, and caught a few chub, which we speedily devoured. The Lake is said to abound in salmon and trout, but we did not see any.

Wading in the water up to our knees along the east shore, and sometimes up to our middles to avoid the entangled forest, we reached the Lake Brook or outlet, after one and a half miles of this aquatic journey. We crossed ourselves and baggage in the leaky canoes over the deep outlet, and drawing up the canoes in a place of safety, we went some distance along the west bank of the Lake Brook.

Our guide, however, crossing over the Brook, said he had found the lumber-track which was to take us to the Miramichi. We accordingly forded the Brook up to our haunches, and found ourselves in a swampy plain with a high hill in the distance. We went on by old lumber-tracks, sometimes losing the track altogether, till the guide appeared to know nothing of the country. At seven p.m. we halted, and made a rough camp with crutches, poles, and boughs, supped on four crackers each, and went to sleep, but not very comfortably; our hunger was terrible, and it was evident we had quite lost our way.

On the 8th, it was determined to make a bold effort to reach the Miramichi. We were up at four a.m., breakfasted on four crackers and a drink of water, and followed Duncan, the guide. He led through alder-beds, in which we sank to our knees, and got heavy falls, and I was deeply cut in the right hand with an axe. At last, seeing that the guide had completely lost himself, and that the remains of a lumber-camp which he found was at least fifteen years old, and all the tracks were overgrown, I said to Colonel Hayne that it was absurd to follow these old tracks any longer, and that, as we were now evidently lost in the woods, we should try and get the party to the Miramichi with the assistance of my pocket-compass.

I now took the place of Duncan, and steered a N.E. course. Buchanan, my acting henchman, a Skye Highlander, a very willing, strong, and good man, ascended a tree by felling a young spruce against it, thus mounting a natural ladder; but he could make nothing of the country except boundless forests and distant ridges. Continuing on, we found ourselves at the base of a wooded hill, and still pursuing a N.E. direction, we ascended painfully to the summit, the poor men with the packs of blankets, frying-pan, kettle, &c., being in a much reduced state.

I pulled my belt to the last hole, and it then slipped down over my haunches. I sat down and looked at my leather leggings, and I thought that if we did not get out that day, they must be roasted and eaten tomorrow, moccasins and all. In fact, I was inclined to pound, roast, and eat them on the spot. All the party looked very pale and attenuated, and yet the remorseless flies continued to draw the blood out of us as greedily as ever.

I climbed a high tree on the hill and I saw a vast prospect of forest ridges N., N.E. and E. of us, but no water and no river. I saw indications of a valley far before us, to the N.E. It was a long walk to it, but it seemed our only chance of escape. We stalked down the hill, and I expected every moment that the men would give in; but they did not, though often resting. One of the Scotchmen, reflecting on our case, said, “We must just do the best we can; we’ve seen a good few of paths, but no the right wan.”

I now thought that our best plan was to follow the first brook we fell in with, running to the N. or N.E.; and at two p.m., the glad sound of rushing waters met our ears. We followed the stream; the ground rapidly fell, and our spirits and hopes rose. We found a recent lumber-track, followed it, crossed a larger brook, foaming over a rocky bed, then passed a large lumber-camp, and at three p.m. we greeted with cheers the broad and sparkling waters of the Miramichi.

We were, of course, all of us considerably torn and worn; the legs of my trousers were in shreds, and the back was burnt out of my jacket. It had been left on a log to dry, and the men had unwittingly made a fire there. Our skin was poisoned, body and limbs, with the flies, and our hunger was raging. Throwing off encumbrances, all who had hooks commenced wading and earnestly fishing, and salmon, trout, and chub, of one pound weight soon rewarded our exertions. Hastily making fires, we roasted and ate the fish greedily before they were well warmed through, and our strength was restored. We had much reason to be thankful; if we had got involved in swamps, and been lost much longer, some of the party would have perished.

People are lost in the woods every year in New Brunswick; some never appear again; they sink exhausted, and their bodies are devoured by wild beasts. The anxiety they suffer before the close of the scene must be fearfully intense, besides the pangs of hunger. A boy had been lost for five days in the woods. People went to search for him; they found him alive, but with his face destroyed with flies; he had lived on berries, and was so beside himself with fear, that he had not thought of eating a biscuit which was in his pocket all the time. He said that the owls swooped down at him, and pecked at him, thinking his face was raw meat.

A very intelligent surveyor and good draftsman, Mr. Grant, whom I saw in New Brunswick, was lost last year for five days in the woods of the Tobique. His narrative was painfully interesting. He had left his party to explore, and missed the surveyed line in burnt woods. It was the 5th of November, it rained, and he had neither fire, food, nor shelter. Next day it snowed, and he crouched for shelter at night under low bushes, in woods, after having walked for about thirty-five hours his endeavors to escape from the wilderness. On the 7th, he lost the needle of his compass, his hands being benumbed, and after reaching a river, he fell from weakness. He could not find a berry to eat, and fancied he saw Indians near him, but it was a delusion of the brain. Crawling on his hands and knees towards shelter, he passed the night under the roots of a tree. Having pulled off his boots to let the water run out, he could not get them on again, and his feet were frozen hard on the morning of the 8th. He crawled to the river, and tried to thaw them in the stream. He wrote on slips of paper how he was lost, and sent them down the stream on split chips of wood. Crawling back among some alders and long grass, he resigned himself into the hands of the Almighty.

His sufferings from hunger were most severe. On the 9th, he dragged himself to the river to drink, and in the night it rained in torrents. On the 10th, to his great joy, he saw a party of woodsmen with horses on the opposite side of the river, but he could make no sound to arrest their attention. After some hours they returned, and by a violent effort, he uttered a wild cry, they saw him and rescued him, and with great care, he was recovered.

Written by johnwood1946

July 19, 2017 at 8:35 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842

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Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842

This description of Saint John and Saint George is from Christopher Atkinson’s An Emigrants Guide to New Brunswick, British North America, London, 1842.

I am annoyed by the author’s overly romantic, patriotic, and old-fashioned description of the Loyalists as the embodiment of everything that was praiseworthy. However, I have left it as written, since it speaks to the time in which it was written.

The Mascarene Kirk in About 1842


Here, I shall give you an account of the City of St. John, &c., &c. This city was first inhabited in Anno Domini 1783 by a band of patriots who, at the close of the American revolutionary war, abandoned their homes, their friends, and property in the revolted colonies, with a large portion of civilized life, that they might preserve unsullied their loyalty to the British sovereignty, and breathe the pure air of freedom under the paternal protection of the Monarch whom they revered, and guarded by the meteor flag of England, which for a thousand years has braved the battle and the breeze. The spot where the flourishing city stands was, fifty-eight years ago, a mere wilderness and, strange as it may appear, the journey from the Market Slip to the Jail Hill, which was not more than a quarter of a mile, would occupy at the above period, half a day, but now only five minutes. Then no previous vestiges of the labours of civilized man were presented to view to diversify the gloomy prospect. The obstacles that were to be met at every step would have caused men less imbued with the spirit of loyalty to turn with disgust from the unpropitious scene, and retrace their steps to the land of plenty which they had left behind. But no hardships, however great, no privations, however severe, no difficulties, however appalling, were sufficient to deter from their purpose, the lion-hearted founders of the city, without a roof to shelter their defenseless heads, surrounded by a pathless forest, and frowned upon by the rugged rocks, in a country then unfavourable for the operations of the plough, and subject to a long and rigorous winter. Yet, the prospect of all these accumulated difficulties and privations were unable to impair their loyalty, or swerve them from the path of duty. [It is now safe to breathe again, ed.] But how different is that scene at the present day. The city has a population of 30,000 souls, which the enterprise and activity of the inhabitants, and the liberality of the capitalists, are doing everything to increase. St. John is incorporated, and the city comprehends both sides of the harbour, four wards being in St. John, and two in Carlton, opposite; each represented by an alderman and assistant alderman; the mayor is appointed by the executive. Among the new edifices is a building for an exchange, a reading room, a police office, and a market—the lowest part of the building is occupied as a market, the rest as above stated. The building is highly creditable to the town. The St. John Commercial Bank, a new and beautiful building, constructed of the Shelburn stone, is the best and handsomest building in the city. The front is very beautiful.

The St. John Mechanic’s Institute, incorporated by Act of the General Assembly, erected a building, and devoted the same to the promotion of Science and the Arts, and the diffusion of useful knowledge. The cornerstone was laid on the 27th day of May, in the third year of the reign of her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, by his Excellency Major-General Sir John Harvey, K.C.B., and K.C.H., Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of New Brunswick, etc., etc., etc., 1840.

The Institute was established in December, 1838, and the first President was Beverley Robinson, Esq.

A new custom-house has commenced in Prince William Street. The plan of the architect and owner of the building, Mr. John Walker, gives 200 feet front on the street; and it will be built to resemble the front of Carlton House, in London. The building will be occupied as a custom-house, bonded warehouse, and treasury office. There is also an extensive block of brick buildings now erecting south of the Exchange building. Among the private residences, I would notice particularly the mansion house of the Hon. Judge Chipman, which has a very imposing site on the rise of land overlooking Prince William Street. The streets of St. John are laid out wide, and at right angles. Advantage has been taken of the rebuilding of the town to widen and lay out new streets, in most of which are very excellent buildings. The place wears an air of bustle and activity, which gives everything a cheerful aspect. Ship building appears to be a leading branch of the business of St. John and the towns adjacent. Some of the best ships in the world are built in this port, loaded with timber, and sent to different ports of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the West Indies. The city contains several places of worship:— two Episcopal, two Presbyterian, two Wesleyan Methodist, two Baptist, and one Catholic churches.

The revenues of the city for the year 1840 were £88,671. 48. 6d. The Commercial Bank of New Brunswick (in St. John), incorporated by royal charter — capital £160,000, with power to increase to £300,000; President, Lewis Burns, Esq.; Bank of New Brunswick in St. John — capital £100,000; President, Thos. Leavitt, Esq. Inhabited houses, north and south, 1418; families, 2652; individuals of both sexes in St. John, north, 9616; south, 9766; acres of cleared land, 1071. The barracks are in a delightful position, overlooking the harbour. The spring tides at St. John rise from 24 to 23 feet; the body of the river is about 17 feet above low water mark. The city suffered much by fires in January 1837; the second in August, 1839; and the third in March, 1841. That on January 14th, 1837, took place on Saturday night. The fire commenced on Peter’s Wharf, about nine o’clock in the evening, by which at least one-third of the commercial part of the city became a heap of smoldering ashes. The total amount of loss sustained was estimated at £260,000; the compass of the fire embracing two sides of Prince William Street, a front in Market Square, the east and west sides of St. John or Water Street, the South Market Wharf, east and west sides of Ward Street, north and south sides of Peter’s Wharf, Johnson’s Wharf, Church Street, and Princess Street. The number of buildings publicly noticed to have been destroyed was 108, tenanted by 170 different interests; besides an extensive range of wooden stores, occupied as warerooms for heavy goods. The reflection of the fire was seen at and above Fredericton, a distance of 90 miles. The falling of burning paper and other materials in flames were noticed 9 miles from the city, and so alarming was the scene from this circumstance, that at one time fears were seriously entertained that the greater part of the city would be destroyed. The second fire was on Saturday evening, about 9 o’clock, August 1839, (the same day and hour of the week as the great fire in 1837.) The conflagration continued extending with unabating fury till nearly daylight on Sunday morning, sweeping away in its course every building in Nelson and Dock Streets, &c., &c. It is not at present known the full amount of loss from this awful conflagration. A far greater number of inhabited houses have been destroyed than by the great fire of 1837; and as they were mostly occupied by several families, it is calculated that nearly 3000 persons have been rendered houseless, nearly all of them being of the working class. The total amount of property destroyed, including buildings, merchandise and household effects, it is thought cannot fall far short of £200,000, but the sum at this time can only be conjectured. The burnt district of 1837 being situated to the southward of the Market Slip, the fire did not extend to that portion of the city.

The third distressing fire broke out about one o’clock on Wednesday morning (March 17, 1840). The alarm bell aroused the citizens from their midnight slumbers, and the lurid flame which was at the hour discernible, directed them to the fatal spot. Nearly all the buildings destroyed were insured, as were also some of the merchants’ stocks. Mr. James Malcolm was insured to the amount of £2000. The different engines and fire companies of the city, assisted by the engines from Portland and Carlton, exerted themselves with praiseworthy alacrity. To record the loss of life accompanying this sad calamity is the most painful part to relate. Mr. Matthew Holdsworth went to examine the scuttle on the roof, and unfortunately stepped into the hatchway and fell to the ground floor, a distance of thirty feet. He left a wife and two children. Also a person known by the name of Mr. Gibbloken, lost his wife and two children. The house was filled with smoke before the inmates were warned of their danger, and several of them escaped with difficulty. The painful circumstances attending this conflagration have cast a gloom over the community which has been rarely, if ever witnessed. Had it not been for the pipes and fire plugs of the St. John Water Company, this fire, disastrous as it has been, would have extended yet farther, and laid a large and valuable business portion of the city once more in ruins. And the proprietors of that company, who have year after year struggled on against difficulties of no ordinary character, deserve the highest praise the city can bestow upon them. In defiance of the numerous obstacles which have almost willfully been placed in their path, they have succeeded in furnishing the city with an abundant supply of water, but for which at this time the greater part of the inhabitants of St. John would have had to mourn over further loss of life, and the prostration of the commerce and prosperity of the city for a very long time. How impressively should it rivet on the attention of all, the important admonition, — “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh.” By how uncertain a tenour do we hold life, property, and every earthly good, and yet, like every similar occurrence, it is to be feared that it will attract attention and observation for a little while and then will be forgotten.

Portland is a thriving place, connected with St. John by a wooden bridge, but is not represented in its councils. It is the great ship-building quarter of St. John, and contains several foundries and manufactories. It presents at all times a scene of commercial bustle and mechanical labour. In Portland there are three places of worship. It contains 445 inhabited houses, 1130 families; total inhabitants, 6207. From Portland a suspension bridge was proposed to connect its heights with the Carlton shore, and a company, with a capital of £20,000 was formed for the purpose. A lofty wooden erection was placed at either end from which to suspend the chain bridge. From a defect in the manufactory, the latter, after being some days in position, and crossed by several foot passengers, fell early one morning, with a number of workmen who were completing the fastenings. Nothing now remains but the lofty wooden bridges alluded to. The company, after sinking £5,000, and the capital above mentioned, abandoned all intention of proceeding any further in the work. The total length of the bridge was to have been 1400 feet, of which the chain part was to constitute 450.

Carlton is a village opposite the city of St. John. The locality of the town is much in its favour. The principal business done is in the ship and deal yards, and timber yards, while a number of new houses is being erected, which keeps carpenters busily employed. The fisheries, too, are a lucrative source of profit to the place, and brick-making is carried on rather extensively; besides, there are several saw and grist mills running constantly. There is an Episcopal Church and a Dissenting Meeting-house. There is a small steam-boat which plies between the city and this place, every quarter of an hour, remaining five minutes on either side. The arrangements with reference to this boat are equal to any I have met with in the British Provinces. The docks on both sides of the river are commodious and safe. Persons desirous of taking the St. Andrew coach would do well to cross over to Carlton on the preceding evening, and then gain the coach on the following morning. There is in Carlton 153 inhabited houses occupied by 260 families. Acres of cleared land, 90. It is 45 miles from St. George, 65 from St. Andrews, and about 86 from St. Stephens, which is on the lines.

Lancaster is the next place the traveler passes through to St. Andrews. A large hill on the east side of the Musquash, and about a mile from the village of Ivanhoe, is composed of conglomerate which has been intensely heated by its proximity to an overlaying mass of trap lime. Stone appears on the opposite side of the river. A tract of land was purchased by some Americans for the purpose of quarrying marble from it. Like many other speculations of the kind, it proceeded no farther; notwithstanding, good marble might be procured at the spot. The village of Ivanhoe belongs to the Lancaster Mill Company, who have here a very superior and powerful set of mills for the manufacture of all kinds of lumber, and an incalculable amount of unemployed water power. The mills are 200 feet in length by 60 in breadth. The company own a tract of land containing upwards of 60,000 acres in connection with these mills, and from which they procure supplies of excellent timber. In the parish of Lancaster, there is a neat church, but very seldom is divine worship performed therein. There is 219 inhabited houses, 252 families, and 4446 acres of cleared land. From this place to St. George there is nothing worth noticing, as it is nothing more than a dense wood the whole distance of 30 miles, except about a dozen houses on the road side, occupied by individuals from Ireland.

Saint George, or, as it is called by many, Magaguadavie [sic], is situated to the eastward of St. Andrew’s with St. Patrick’s interposed. Its two principal settlements are placed, the one at the Upper and the other at the Lower falls of the Magaguadavie, a fine stream flowing through the county and parish, which issues from a series of fine large lakes of the same name, about 20 miles from the sea. The upper and smaller settlement is 7 miles distance from the lower, which again is situated at the head of the tide, 4 miles above the junction of the river Mascreen [Mascarene? Near Saint George].

Few places in the Province afford a more singular and beautiful spectacle than the Magaguadavie Falls. The river, after descending from the mountains northward, passes through a level and wide plain of intervale, and when it reaches the village is about 100 feet above the bed of the river below. And the main fall the water descends by five successive steps, in the distance of 600 yards, through a chasm averaging about 35 feet wide and 100 feet deep. Through this narrow gorge the whole contents of the river is poured out with a fury that defies description. The industry and ingenuity of man have considerably modified the appearance of this remarkable spot. It still, however, remains a most extraordinary hydraulic spectacle, and affords a power for turning machinery beyond computation. Having swept slowly along the valley above, the water is accumulated at the bridge over the top of the falls, it is then thrown by its own weight into the deep and narrow opening below, where spouting from cliff to cliff, and twisting its foaming column to correspond with the rude windings of the passage, it falls in a torrent of froth into the tide below, or passing beneath the mills, its fury seems abated as it mingles with the dense spray floating above. There are six saw mills huddled together at this spot, and they appear like eagles’ nests clinging to the rocks on each side. A considerable sum of money has been expended in their erection, and they are now in full operation. The deep cavities in the rocks are overhung with the alder and creeping evergreens, which seem to be placed there for the purpose of decorating one of nature’s wild performances. The low roofs of the mills are strongly contrasted with the massive rocks they occupy, and where they hold a precarious situation. The shelving piles of deals seem to mock the violence of the boiling pool beneath. Such is the power of habit — the sawyer, careless of danger, crosses the plank across the gorge, and ventures where his life depends upon an inch of space. Of this I have frequently been an eye witness, (my house being near the Falls.) These falls, if the scenery in its neighbourhood possessed no other charm, would amply repay the admirer of nature for any expense or inconvenience he might incur in visiting them, and in England this village would be a place of annual and crowded resort. There are three places of divine worship at the village, and one at the Upper Falls. The parish contains, including the Le Tang, Le Fete, and Mascreen settlements, 363 inhabited houses; 880 families, and persons, 2422; and acres of cleared land, 4097.

About 3 miles up the river there is a settlement, chiefly agricultural, named Mascreen, and consisting principally of Scottish Highlanders, from Perth, Sutherland, and Caithness-shires, and their ramifications. It is situated at and near the mouth of the river, stretching for several miles along the south side of the bay, and terminating one of its inlets, called Le Fete Passage. In this settlement there has been a neat church erected; in June 1839, it remained in a very unfinished state, only being rough boarded. At this time the inhabitants were unexpectedly visited by the Rev. Christopher Atkinson (missionary) from the King’s County, 27 miles from the city of St. John.

[Christopher Atkinson then reviews the details of his engagement as Minister at the Mascreen Presbyterian church.]

In connection with this place is a small settlement called Le Tang, which is inhabited by a few Scotch families who left their country about twenty years back, (viz. Argyle shire.) Le Tete, with the above settlements, are in the parish of St. George. From this place to St. Andrew’s, is about 20 miles, to which place there is nothing worthy of notice, it being chiefly one dense wood, until you come within 6 miles of the town.

Written by johnwood1946

July 12, 2017 at 8:20 AM

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