New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. April 21, 2021

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The blog posts follow this Table of Contents, in the sequence shown. To access a particular post, copy and paste the title, or a sufficient part of the title, in the search box to the right.

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  1. The Early Settlement of New Canaan, New Brunswick – Apr. 21, 2021
  2. What they were Reading Around the Fireplace – Saint John, 1840-41 – Apr. 14, 2021
  3. Letters Written in the Wake of the Miramichi Fire – Apr. 7, 2021
  4. Industrial Saint John in Pictures – Mar. 31, 2021
  5. A Story Told by Jim Paul of the St. Mary’s Wolastoqiyik Band in 1912 – Mar. 24, 2021
  6. A Story Which Mentions the Marco Polo – Mar. 17, 2021
  7. All the Latest News – Saint John in 1840 – Mar. 10, 2021
  8. Some Relics of the Early French Period in New Brunswick – Mar. 3, 2021
  9. Little or no Idea of the Origin of the Name ‘Acadia’ – Feb. 24, 2021
  10. A Cycling Trip to Temiscouata, ca. 1899 – Feb. 17, 2021
  11. School History in Sussex, New Brunswick – Feb. 10, 2021
  12. A History of Shediac – Feb. 3, 2021
  13. The Passamaquoddy Snake Dance – Jan. 27, 2021
  14. Church’s Raid on St. Andrews – Jan. 20, 2021
  15. Saint John’s Free Public Library – Jan. 13, 2021
  16. Legal Punishments in 19th Century New Brunswick – Jan. 6, 2021
  17. Fistfights and Law Suits for the Right to Fish in Saint John Harbour – Dec. 30, 2020
  18. A Story Told by Gabe Acquin of the St. Mary’s Reserve, Prior to 1895 – Dec. 23, 2020
  19. A Shocking Suggestion: A Federation of the Colonies – Dec. 16, 2020
  20. The Wolastoqiyik / Maliseet of the Saint John River – Dec. 9, 2020
  21. New Brunswick, 1784-1867 – Dec. 2, 2020
  22. The Acadians: A Timeline up to the Start of the Expulsion in 1755 – Nov. 5, 2020
  23. BREAKING NEWS: Saint John in 1841 – Nov. 18, 2020
  24. Two Short Stories from the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq People – Nov. 11, 2020
  25. The Acadians at Madawaska – Nov. 4, 2020
  26. The Acadian Exiles on the Saint John River – Oct. 28, 2020
  27. How to Fix U.N.B.: A Modest Proposal – Oct. 21, 2020
  28. The Long History of Trinity Church in Saint John – Oct. 14, 2020
  29. An Acadian Tale, The Ghosts at Spirit Camp – October 7, 2020
  30. Saint John’s Public Buildings – 1894 – Sept. 30, 2020
  31. Around the Head of the Bay of Fundy in 1892 – Sept. 23, 2020
  32. A Child Nourished by a Bear – Sept. 16, 2020
  33. 1825, Like the Day of Judgement, with the Whole Province on Fire – Sept. 9, 2020
  34. The Exploitation of Irish Labourers – Sept. 2, 2020
  35. The Legend of ‘Old Snowball’ – Aug. 26, 2020
  36. From St. John to Grand Falls, but Especially Glassville – Aug. 19, 2020
  37. Kincardine, New Brunswick – Scotch Colony – Aug. 12, 2020
  38. The Earliest Days of New Brunswick Railroad History – Aug. 5, 2020
  39. Imminent Destruction of the Saint John River Fishery – July 29, 2020
  40. A Plea for Nova Scotia to Help Build the Intercolonial Railway – July 22, 2020
  41. An Acadian Legend from Grand Pre – July 15, 2020
  42. Ship Building in New Brunswick in the 1850’s – July 8, 2020
  43. The Settlers of Miscou – July 1, 2020
  44. The Saint John Harbour Fishery, 1852 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – June 24, 2020
  45. Arrival of the Loyalists at Saint John – the Early Days – June 17, 2020
  46. New Brunswick, from 1758 to the Coming of the Loyalists in 1783 – June 10, 2020
  47. Blog Post #500: Shipwreck off PEI, and Rescue on Cape Breton – June 3, 2020
  48. Lighting the Home in the Early Days – May 27, 2020
  49. Historic Nova Scotia Place Names – May 20, 2020
  50. The Expulsion of the Acadians Continues, 1756 to 1764 – May 13, 2020
  51. Prince Edward Island: Starting from Scratch in the 1760’s – May 6, 2020
  52. The French, the English and the Mi’kmaq at War – Tatamagouche, 1745 – Apr. 29, 2020
  53. Nova Scotia Manners and Customs, Facilities of Communications, Climate, &c., in 1845 – Apr. 22, 2020
  54. Nova Scotia: the Perils of the Coast in about 1845 – Apr. 15, 2020
  55. Final Installment of Nova Scotia Pictures from about 1903 – Apr. 8, 2020
  56. Prince Edward Island: The French Period from 1663 to 1758 – Apr. 1, 2020
  57. More Nova Scotia Pictures from about 1903 – Mar. 25, 2020
  58. Steamboat Tours, from the Kennebecasis to Grand Lake – Mar. 18, 2020
  59. Nova Scotia Pictures from about 1903 – Mar. 11, 2020
  60. Charlotte County, New Brunswick in Around 1888 – Mar. 4, 2020
  61. Outlying Districts around Saint John, N.B., in 1888 – Feb. 26, 2020
  62. Prince Edward Island in 1832 – Feb. 19, 2020
  63. Prince Edward Island in Pictures, 1915, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2020
  64. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Pictures, 1889 – Feb. 4, 2020
  65. Prince Edward Island in Pictures, 1915, Part 1 of 2 – Jan. 29, 2020
  66. Pictou Man Named ‘Turtle’ Transformed into Progenitor of Modern Turtles – Jan. 22, 2020
  67. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Pictures, 1890 – Jan. 15, 2020
  68. Madame LaTour – More Than That Old Story About the Fort – Jan. 8, 2020
  69. Photographs of New Brunswick in 1918 – Jan. 20, 2020
  70. A Wabanaki Creation Story, and Grandfather Thunder – Dec. 27, 2019
  71. Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2019
  72. Little Indian Island, and its Surprising History – Dec. 18, 2019
  73. Advice to Emigrants to New Brunswick, 1881 – Dec. 11, 2019
  74. The Northumberland Tunnel, the Big Question for a Little Province. – Dec. 4, 2019
  75. The Prince of Wales in the Maritime Provinces, 1860 – Nov. 27, 2019
  76. Charlottetown, Georgetown and the Princetown Area in 1806 – Nov. 20, 2019
  77. Observations on Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Cape Breton in 1794 – Nov. 13, 2019
  78. Truro, Nova Scotia in 1890, Part 2 of 2 – Nov. 6, 2019
  79. The Final Days Before the Expulsion of the Acadians – Oct. 30, 2019
  80. Truro, Nova Scotia in 1890, Part 1 of 2 – Oct. 23, 2019
  81. Tourist Attractions in Northern New Brunswick in About 1880 – Oct. 16, 2019
  82. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 5 of 5 – Oct. 9, 2019
  83. Newspapers of Saint John in 1875 – Oct. 2, 2019
  84. Prince Edward Island from 1534 to 1764, in About Two Pages – Sept. 25, 2019
  85. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 4 of 5 – Sept. 18, 2019
  86. Rusagonis, New Brunswick in 1784-85, and Onward to 1787 – Sept. 11, 2019
  87. The Ups and Downs of the Lumber Trade in New Brunswick – Sept. 4, 2019
  88. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 3 of 5 – Aug. 28, 2019
  89. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 2 of 5 – Aug. 21, 2019
  90. Prince Edward Island’s Most Unhappy Days – Aug. 21, 2019
  91. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 1 of 5 – Aug. 14, 2019
  92. The MRA: Manchester, Robertson & Allison in Saint John – Aug. 7, 2019
  93. Annapolis County, Nova Scotia – July 31, 2019
  94. ‘Evangeline Land,’ Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1890 – Part 3 of 3 – July 25, 2019
  95. ‘Evangeline Land,’ Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1890 – Part 2 of 3 – July 16, 2019
  96. ‘Evangeline Land,’ Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1890 – Part 1 of 3 – July 9, 2019
  97. Market Day in Charlottetown, as it was in 1851 – July 2, 2019
  98. Vagabonds and Beggars on Sable Island – June 26, 2019
  99. Pictures and Notes About Cape Breton in Around 1900 – June 19, 2019
  100. A Tour of Nova Scotia in 1895, with Bliss Carman and Charles G.D. Roberts – June 12, 2019
  101. Photographs from Nova Scotia, 1901 – Part 2 of 2 – June 5, 2019
  102. Photographs from Nova Scotia, 1901 – May 29, 2019
  103. Kwedechk and Wejebowkwejik, a Tale of Kidnap and Revenge – May 22, 2019
  104. Garden of the Gulf, Prince Edward Island; 1900 – Part  2 of 2 – May 15, 2019
  105. Garden of the Gulf, Prince Edward Island; 1900 – Part 1 of 2 – May 8, 2019
  106. Between Minas Basin and Shelburne: How it was in 1830 – May 1, 2019
  107. Pictures of Charlottetown in About 1903: Number 3 in a Series of Posts – Apr. 24, 2019
  108. Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1897 – Part 2 of 2 – Apr. 17, 2019
  109. Pictures of Charlottetown in About 1903: Number 2 in a Series of Posts – Apr. 10, 2019
  110. Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1897 – Part 1 of 2 – Apr. 3, 2019
  111. Pictures of Charlottetown in About 1903: Number 1 in a Series of Posts – Mar. 27. 2019
  112. Prelude to the Taking of Louisbourg – Mar. 20, 2019
  113. Eleven Nice Pictures of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island in About 1882 – Mar. 13, 2019
  114. Twenty-Three Nice Pictures of Nova Scotia in About 1882 – Mar. 6, 2019
  115. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo, a Marriage Adventure – Feb. 27, 2019
  116. Stone Tools in the Sand: Calling-Cards From Those Who Came Before – Feb. 20, 2019
  117. Race, Religion, Gender and Class: Halifax in the mid-1850’s – Feb. 13, 2019
  118. A Year of Turmoil and Mismanagement at Annapolis Royal, 1710-11 – Feb. 6, 2019
  119. Norsemen and Norsewomen in the Atlantic Provinces – Jan. 30, 2019
  120. The Fall of Port Royal to the English in 1710 – Jan. 23, 2019
  121. The Aroostook War, from a History Writer in Maine – Jan. 16, 2019
  122. It is Good to Remember Seth Noble – Jan. 9, 2019
  123. Dalhousie University, Smuggling, and the War of 1812 to 1814 – Jan. 2, 2019
  124. Another Perspective on the Battle at Majabidwaduce – Dec. 26, 2018
  125. Christmas as it Was in St. John, in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2018
  126. New Brunswick Pictures from About 1890 – Dec. 19, 2018
  127. New Brunswick Pictures, 128 Years Ago – Dec. 12, 2018
  128. New Brunswick Photographs for Prospective Tourists, 1905 – Dec. 5, 2018
  129. Sketches on the Nepisiquit in Around 1860 – Nov. 28, 2018
  130. The Acadians in Massachusetts and Other Colonies – Nov. 21, 2018
  131. The Acadian Exiles – Unwelcome in Pennsylvania – Nov. 14, 2018
  132. The Magical Coat, Shoes, and Sward – Nov. 7, 2018
  133. Thirty Nice Pictures of New Brunswick in About 1882 – Oct. 31, 2018
  134. Northern and Eastern New Brunswick in 1831 – A Neglected Territory – Oct. 24, 2018
  135. From Saint Martins to Saint John in 1843-Ships Being Built all Along the Coast – Oct. 17, 2017
  136. How to Get a Grant of Crown Land in New Brunswick, in 1884 – Oct. 10, 2018
  137. Fredericton, Saint John, and Thereabouts in 1831 – Oct. 3, 2018
  138. Immigrants to New Denmark and Andover, New Brunswick, in 1884 – Sept. 24, 2018
  139. Saint John, New Brunswick, and by Steamer to Fredericton in 1892 – Sept. 19, 2018
  140. New Brunswick’s Eastern Shore and the Moncton Area in 1894 – Sept. 12, 2018
  141. Impressions of an Officer Stationed in Halifax in 1830 – Sept. 5, 2018
  142. Let Us At Least Have a Rudimentary Education System – Aug. 29, 2018
  143. Champlain in 1605: Exploration, Adventure and Murder – Aug. 22, 2018
  144. New Brunswick in Pictures, 1920 – Part 2 of 2 Aug. 15, 2018
  145. New Brunswick in Pictures, 1920 – Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2019
  146. The Nova Scotia Question – Aug. 1, 2018
  147. Blog Post #400: Maine versus New Brunswick; Complaints and a Call for Action – July 25, 2018
  148. Remembering the Escuminac Disaster of 1959 – July 18, 2018
  149. A Sportsman’s Guide to Sunbury and Queens Counties, 1898. Who to See – July 11, 2018
  150. The Indian who was Transformed into a Megŭmoowesoo – July 4, 2018
  151. Edward Mitchell Bannister, a Prominent Artist From Saint Andrews – June 27, 2018
  152. The Historic Trappist Monastery at Tracadie, N.S., and the Antigonish Area in 1892 – June 20, 2018
  153. God is in His Heaven and All’s Well With New Brunswick – June 13, 2018
  154. Ten Years of Discord in Acadia: And so it Goes – June 6, 2018
  155. Were Taxes too Low in the 1820’s to Promote Industry? – May 30, 2018
  156. The Adventures of Ababejit, an Indian Chief and Magician of the Micmac – May 23, 2018
  157. John Gyles, His Times and How he was Captured – May 16, 2018
  158. An Illustrated Description of the Building of Stanley, New Brunswick – May 9, 2018
  159. A Proposal to Buy Canada for $85.7-million, plus Other Considerations – May 2, 2018
  160. To Fredericton, Stanley and Woodstock, on my Way to the Tobique in 1851 – Apr. 25, 2018
  161. The Principal Hotels in the Maritime Provinces, 1905, With Photographs – Apr. 18, 2018
  162. Halifax From 1749 to 1800 — Minus the Wars and Politics – Apr. 11, 2018
  163. William Brydone Jack on the Future of University Education in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2018
  164. Saint John: From Nothing, to Become Canada’s Winter Port – Mar. 28, 2018
  165. Saint John, New Brunswick Churches in 1910 – Mar. 21, 2018
  166. Chief Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians – Mar. 14, 2018
  167. Canoeing Down the Restigouche River in 1895 – Mar. 7, 2018
  168. Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth – Feb. 28, 2018
  169. Indian Place Names From Around Passamaquoddy Bay – Feb. 21, 2018
  170. Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville – Feb. 14, 2018
  171. Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago – Feb. 7, 2018
  172. 1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate – Jan. 31, 2018
  173. The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws – Jan. 24, 2018
  174. Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782 – Jan. 17, 2018
  175. Education in New Brunswick in 1837 – Jan. 10, 2018
  176. The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder – Jan. 3, 2018
  177. Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s – Dec. 27, 2017
  178. Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808 – Dec. 23, 2017
  179. The Saint John River, the Rhine of America – Dec. 20, 2017
  180. A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick – Dec. 13, 2017
  181. A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins – Dec. 6, 2017
  182. The Magical Dancing Doll – Nov. 29, 2017
  183. Immigration to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills – Nov. 22, 2017
  184. Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837 – Nov. 15, 2017
  185. On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick – Nov. 8, 2017
  186. Through the Woods in the Dead of Winter; Fredericton to the Miramichi – Nov. 5, 2017
  187. Acadia in 1720, as Seen by Paul Mascerene – Oct. 25, 2017
  188. Nova Scotia’s Sham Government in 1720 – Oct. 18, 2017
  189. Three Short Wabanaki Thunder Stories – Oct. 11, 2017
  190. Stanley, N.B., Carved from the Wilderness – in a Hurry – Oct. 4, 2017
  191. Drunkenness Yearly More Common Amongst all Classes – Sept. 27, 2017
  192. John Cabot, London Superstar and Discoverer of Cape Breton – Sept. 20, 2017
  193. Nicolas Denys, the First Proprietor and Governor of all of the Gulf Coast of Acadia – Sept. 13, 2017
  194. Promoting New Brunswick in 1832 – Sept. 6, 2017
  195. A View of Acadian History, from 30,000 Feet – Aug. 30, 2017
  196. Nova Scotia During the Revolution, an American Perspective – Aug. 23, 2017
  197. The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to the American Cause During the Revolution – Aug. 16, 2017
  198. From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787 – Aug. 9, 2017
  199. Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid” – Aug. 2, 2017
  200. Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately – July 26, 2017
  201. Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods – July 19, 2017
  202. Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842 – July 12, 2017
  203. The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak – July 5, 2017
  204. Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot – June 28, 2017
  205. Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists – June 21, 2017
  206. 1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854 – June 14, 2017
  207. Fishing on the Nepisiquit River in the 1870’s – June 7, 2017
  208. The Clock at Fredericton City Hall – May 31, 2017
  209. Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé – May 24, 2017
  210. Boss Gibson’s First Railroad – May 17, 2017
  211. The New Brunswick Postal Service in 1856 – May 10, 2017
  212. Defending the ‘Worthless, Unsteady and Villainous’ Cutters of Wood – May 3, 2017
  213. Tossed by the Sea Into a Frozen Wilderness-1788 – Apr. 26, 2017
  214. The King of France Cannot Have Given You Our Land, Because it Was Not His – Apr. 19, 2017
  215. Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  216. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick via Charlottetown and Shediac in 1867 – Apr. 5, 2017
  217. A Sunday EXTRA: No Meeting of Minds Between the Acadians and the British in 1717 – Apr. 2, 2017
  218. Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 1844 – A Vast Ocean of Trees – Mar. 29, 2017
  219. Shabby Streets, Decaying Houses, and Steep Plank Sidewalks. Saint John in 1874 – Mar. 22, 2017
  220. In the Beginning – Wabanaki Creation Stories – Mar. 15, 2017
  221. Pride versus Rascals and Villains in Saint John in 1791 – Mar. 8, 2017
  222. The Trent Affair – Mar. 1, 2017
  223. A Shocking Description of Anti-Confederates in Rural Nova Scotia in 1867 – Feb. 22, 2017
  224. Surveying Through the Wilderness in 1844 – Feb. 15, 2017
  225. At the Bend of the Petitcodiac in 1844: Moncton – Feb. 8, 2017
  226. Maria Rye and Her British Home Children – Feb. 1, 2017
  227. New Brunswick’s East Coast in 1832, Following the Miramichi Fire – Jan. 25, 2017
  228. Slavery in the Loyalist Era – Jan. 18, 2017
  229. Weather and the Seasons in Micmac Mythology – Jan. 11, 2017
  230. New Brunswick’s Roads in 1832: ‘Many paths are misnamed roads’. Jan. 7, 2017
  231. Nova Scotia and New England During the Revolution – Dec. 28, 2016
  232. A Holiday Special: Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 23, 2016
  233. Expressions from Cuffer Down plus Signs and Omens – Dec. 21, 2016
  234. From Passamaquoddy to the Petitcodiac: What it Was Like in 1832 – Dec. 14, 2016
  235. Raymond Writes About the Lives and Customs of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet People – Dec. 7, 2016
  236. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  237. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  238. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  239. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  240. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  241. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  242. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  243. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  244. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  245. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  246. 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.)
  247. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  248. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  249. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  250. Blog past #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  251. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  252. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  253. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  254. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  255. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  256. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  257. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  258. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  259. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  260. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  261. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  262. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  263. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016
  264. The Northern Colonies: Languishing in Mediocrity – ca 1804 – May 18, 2016
  265. Fredericton’s Victoria Cottage Hospital – May 11, 2016
  266. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records – May 4, 2016
  267. Slog on, or Die – Apr. 27, 2016
  268. Changes Nova Scotia Underwent from Discovery to 1758 When the First General Assembly Met in Halifax – Apr. 20, 2016
  269. The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures – Apr. 13, 2016
  270. Missions to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in the Early 1800’s – Apr. 6, 2016
  271. It Sounded Like a Residential School Philosophy – Mar. 30, 2016
  272. The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  273. Giddy, Eccentric, and Discontented Characters, or Misguided Souls, or Turncoats? – Mar. 16, 2016
  274. Indian Routes of Travel in New Brunswick – Mar. 9, 2016
  275. Historic Sites from the English Period on the Saint John River – Mar. 2, 2016
  276. How to Hunt a Moose, a Goose, and a Caribou in New Brunswick in 1791 – Feb. 24, 2016
  277. William Hubbard Complains to Edward Winslow about the Congregationalists in Sheffield – Feb. 17, 2016
  278. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours – Feb. 10, 2016
  279. WE NEED THE ACADIANS TO REMAIN: Lieut Governor, 1715 – Feb. 2, 2015
  280. Guy Carleton on the Fur Trade in Canada, 1767 – Jan. 27, 2016
  281. A Letter on Irish Immigrants – Jan. 20, 2016
  282. The Wreck of the ‘Lord Ashburton’ – Jan. 13, 2016
  283. A Ghost at Noonday – Jan. 6, 2016
  284. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 3: Will Not the Bright Sun and the Blue Heavens Testify Against Us? – Dec. 30, 2015
  285. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 2: To Every Thing There is a Season – Dec. 23, 2015
  286. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 1: All Men From One Blood – Dec. 16, 2015
  287. Limits to the Royal Bounty – Dec. 9, 2015
  288. Nova Scotia, a Receptacle for Superfluous People? – Dec. 1, 2015
  289. From New Ireland to New Brunswick – Nov. 25, 2015
  290. The Most Gentlemanlike Government on Earth – Nov. 18, 2015
  291. I Love You for Your Plainness – Nov. 11, 2015
  292. Ward Chipman Remembers the Final Evacuation of New York – Nov. 4, 2015
  293. A Reply to “Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok” – Oct. 28, 2015
  294. A Century of Educational Progress in New Brunswick from 1800 to 1900 – Oct. 21, 2015
  295. Notes About the Earliest Public Markets in Saint John, New Brunswick – Oct. 14, 2015
  296. The Provincial Dairy School at Sussex, New Brunswick, 1900 – Oct. 7, 2015
  297. An Account of Nova Scotia in 1743 – Sept. 30, 2015
  298. The Petition of the Infamous 55 – Sept. 23, 2015
  299. Francis Sharpe’s Woodstock Apples – Sept. 16, 2015
  300. The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  301. The New Brunswick Election of 1785 – Sept. 2, 2015
  302. The Many Fires in Saint John, 1784-1877 – Aug. 26, 2015
  303. A Proposal for an Attack on Nova Scotia – Aug. 19, 2015
  304. Fredericton’s Great Flood of 1936 – Aug. 12, 2015
  305. A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015
  306. Saint John in 1834, Before it was Forever Changed by the Great Fire – July 29, 2015
  307. New Brunswick, No Country for a Mere Gentleman, 1834 – July 22, 2015
  308. Woodstock, the Only Village Between the Green River and Fredericton in 1834 – July 15, 2015
  309. On the Tamiscouta Prtage from Lake Tamiscouta to just above Grand Falls, 1834 – July 10, 2015
  310. Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok – July 1, 2015
  311. By Steamer to the So-Called City of Fredericton – June 24, 2014
  312. A Quiet and Business-Like Little City – June 17, 2015
  313. Rambles Among the Bluenoses in 1862 – June 10, 2015
  314. Edward John Russell, a New Brunswick Artist – June 3, 2015
  315. Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Report of the Medical Superintendent, 1875 – May 27, 2015
  316. The Saint John River and Port Royal in the Early 1600’s – May 20, 2015
  317. What Should We Think of Benedict Arnold? – May 13, 2015
  318. Diphtheria in New Brunswick in the Year 1889 – May 6, 2015
  319. The Official Account of the Destruction of Burnt Church – Apr. 29, 2015
  320. The Exchange Coffee House and Saint John’s First Club – Apr. 22, 2015
  321. The Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians – Apr. 15, 2015
  322. The Story of Brook Watson – Apr. 8, 2015
  323. Where Stood Fort LaTour? – Apr. 1, 2015
  324. Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War – Mar. 25, 2015
  325. At Portland Point – Mar. 18, 2015
  326. Electrical Power From the Reversing Falls – Mar. 10, 2015
  327. Father Rale’s War – 1722-25; How it Ended – Mar. 4, 2015
  328. What Was the Big Deal About the Marco Polo? – Feb. 25, 2015
  329. Grand Manan to Petitcodiac, in 1786 – Feb. 18, 2015
  330. A Trip From St. John to Fredericton in 1870 – Feb. 11, 2015
  331. A Tour of St. John, N.B., in 1870 – Feb. 4, 2015
  332. Destruction by Fire of the First Cathedral in Chatham – Jan. 28, 2015
  333. Burgan the Burglar – Jan. 21, 2015
  334. Facts and Reasons Against Confederating With Canada – Jan. 14, 2015
  335. Discontent in Early Halifax in 1756 – Jan. 7, 2015
  336. A Trip on the ICR From Bathurst to Miramichi – Dec. 31, 2014
  337. Early Attempts to Introduce the Cultivation of Hemp in Eastern British America – Dec. 24, 2014
  338. Touring Campbellton and Dalhousie, Despite the Mosquitoes, 1876 – Dec. 19, 2014
  339. The Fire of 1837 in Saint John – Dec. 10, 2014
  340. The Cruise of the Rechab – Dec. 3, 2014
  341. A Night in the Deep – Nov. 26, 2014
  342. Robert Foulis (A Misplaced Genius) – Nov. 19, 2014
  343. The City Mills – Nov. 15, 2014
  344. The Brothers d’Amours – Nov. 5, 2014
  345. John Allan’s Revolutionary Mission to the Saint John River – Oct. 29, 2014
  346. Relics of the Acadian Period – Oct. 22, 2014
  347. Some Odd Old Advertisements – Oct. 15, 2014
  348. The Miramichi Fire – Relief of the Sufferers – Oct. 8, 2014
  349. Jonathan Eddy’s Account of the Attack on Fort Cumberland, November, 1776 – Oct. 1, 2014
  350. Which of These Two is the Wisest and Happiest? – Sept. 24, 2014
  351. Fredericton Bridge, a Prophetic Writing – Sept. 17, 2014
  352. A Speech to Distinguished Persons of Stake and Consideration – Sept. 10, 2014
  353. Building an Education System From Almost Nothing – Sept. 3, 2014
  354. Cape Tormentine to the Baye des Chaleurs in the 1600’s – Aug. 27, 2014
  355. The Customs of the Mi’kmaq in the 1600’s and Before – Aug. 20, 2014
  356. Two Documents Relating to the Fenians in New Brunswick – Aug. 13, 2014
  357. The Lazaretto for Lepers in Tracadie, 1862 – Aug. 6, 2014
  358. Thoughts About the Augustine Mound at Metepenegiag Mi’kmaq Nation – July 30, 2014
  359. What am I Bid for This Pauper? – July 23, 2014
  360. Trouble at Madawaska, 1831 – July 16, 2014
  361. The Great Fire at Saint John, June 20, 1877 – July 9, 2014
  362. The Poor Fellows Shook as if They Would Fall to Pieces! – July 2, 2014
  363. How to Build a Logging Camp in Around 1850 – June 25, 2014
  364. Risen from the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton – June 18, 2014
  365. Rocks and Water, Magnificence and Squalor; St. John in 1876 – June 11, 2014
  366. Moncton as Seen by a Journalist in 1876 – June 4, 2014
  367. Events Leading to the Caraquet Riots of 1875 – May 28, 2014
  368. A Dramatic Account of the Miramichi Fire – May 21, 2014
  369. Saint John in the Early 1840’s – May 18, 2014
  370. The Myth that Kerosene was Invented in New Brunswick – May 7, 2014
  371. A Church with Military Boots and Fixed Bayonets – Apr. 30, 2014
  372. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  373. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  374. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  375. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  376. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  377. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 – Mar. 19, 2014
  378. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  379. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  380. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  381. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  382. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  383. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  384. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  385. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  386. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  387. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  388. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  389. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  390. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  391. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  392. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  393. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  394. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  395. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  396. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  397. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  398. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  399. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  400. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  401. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  402. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  403. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  404. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  405. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  406. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  407. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  408. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  409. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  410. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches – Oct. 23, 2013
  411. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  412. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw – Oct. 9, 2013
  413. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  414. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  415. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  416. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  417. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  418. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  419. The Loss of the Royal Tar – Aug. 21, 2013
  420. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  421. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  422. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  423. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  424. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  425. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  426. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  427. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  428. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  429. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  430. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  431. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  432. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  433. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  434. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  435. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  436. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  437. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  438. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  439. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  440. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  441. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  442. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  443. The First Decade of the 1800’s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  444. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013, Rev. Sept. 9, 2015
  445. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  446. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  447. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  448. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  449. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  450. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  451. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  452. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  453. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  454. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  455. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  456. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  457. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  458. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  459. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  460. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  461. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  462. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  463. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  464. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  465. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  466. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  467. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  468. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  469. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  470. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  471. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  472. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  473. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  474. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  475. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  476. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  477. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  478. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  479. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  480. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  481. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  482. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  483. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  484. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  485. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  486. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  487. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  488. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  489. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  490. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  491. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  492. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  493. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  494. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  495. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  496. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  497. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  498. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  499. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  500. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  501. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  502. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  503. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  504. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  505. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  506. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  507. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  508. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  509. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  510. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  511. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  512. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  513. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  514. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  515. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  516. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  517. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  518. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  519. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  520. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  521. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  522. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  523. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  524. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  525. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  526. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  527. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  528. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  529. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  530. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  531. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  532. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  533. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  534. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  535. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  536. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  537. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  538. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  539. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  540. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  541. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  542. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  543. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  544. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  545. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  546. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

April 21, 2021 at 7:39 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Early Settlement of New Canaan, New Brunswick

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From the blog at

J.W. Brown wrote An Historical Sketch of the Early Settlement of New Canaan, and the Histories of the New Canaan, Havelock, and Albert Baptist Churches in about 1905. This was a collection of local stories and legends, some of which were probably accurate, while others seem fantastic. I have heavily edited the chapter about New Canaan as follows.

The Canaan River

From Wikipedia


The Early Settlement of New Canaan, New Brunswick

It was in 1795 that a group of Loyalists who had settled at Belleisle were attracted by reports of alluvial meadows on what is now known as the Canaan River. They say that this news came from a group of hunters who had gone up the Washademoak Lake and had followed the river into the wilderness. The Belleisle settlers scouted out the area, confirmed the hunters’ story, and decided to build a community which they called New Canaan.

This district began at its western limit at a point on the river about two miles below Canaan Forks, and continued east to a point about two miles above the Upper Bridge. They were dependent upon the river for a considerable time, although a road along the river was blazed and laid out at an early date. Each man built a log house on his lot, and began to clear the land.

It is curious that no efforts were made to secure grants until mid-October, 1809, by which time they had already established a school. The New Canaan Baptist Church was also in existence, having been organized in 1805. Seventeen settlers got grants in 1809, and they were: Elisha C. Corey, Edward Coy, Seth Briant, who was a Justice of the Peace, Henry Kitchen, Gideon Corey, Oswald Alward, Benjamin Alward, George Webb Price, Melanchton Thorne, Richard Thorne, William Humphrey, Daniel Keith, William Perry, Ebenezer Ryder, John Keith, Jacob Jones and John Price. It is not certain that these seventeen were the first settlers, but they were the first who applied for and obtained grants. They secured a total of 4600 acres, thus giving to each an average of 270 acres, although the lots were not equal.

Most of their stories and legends have to do with their isolation and the resulting hardships. During this time, for example, their nearest market was Saint John, which they accessed using dugout canoes, travelling down the river to Washademoak Lake, and probably continuing by dugout the entire distance to the Saint John River and finally to the city. Some of these dugouts were quite large and could carry a large amount of produce to market, and then bring new supplies back. A story is told of Mrs. Dennis Alward, who with butter, eggs and other produce made this voyage to Saint John. On the return trip, when nearing Forks Stream, she and her Indian helper suddenly came upon a place where the dugout upset. It was with difficulty that Mrs. Alward got ashore, but her groceries and perishable articles were lost in the river.

During the winter when the river was frozen, the trip to Saint John would be avoided if at all possible. Otherwise it could only be made on foot, camping along the way. Instances are reported of flour being taken along, and bread being baked upon hot stones at their places of encampment.

The grain raised by the early settlers was ground using hand-mills, consisting of two stones so that one remained stationary while the other was rotated using a handle. By this means the grain was somewhat rudely ground into flour. The story is told of Mrs. Daniel Keith shouldering a bag of corn, and walking with it some five miles to a place where there was such a mill, grinding her corn and returning home with her bag of meal upon her shoulder.

This same Mrs. Keith is spoken of as having managed her own farm, her husband being by trade a barber and not understanding the art of farming. On one occasion she went on a journey which kept her away for some time, and charged her husband to plant potatoes during her absence. Daniel prepared a garden bed, and scattered the potatoes around as garden seeds might be planted. This level of incompetence sounds unlikely to the present editor, and there wouldn’t have been enough barbering business to keep Mr. Keith employed anyway.

A grist-mill was built by Henry Kitchen, near the McDonald Bridge, by 1809, which we know since it is marked upon the plan that accompanies his grant. This mill would be considered inferior compared with modern mills, but in those days it had a good reputation for doing excellent work. It afterwards passed to Allen McDonald who, to a large extent, had the monopoly of the flour trade in this district. As much as a hundred barrels was often shipped at one time to Saint John. Dealers in Saint John received quotations from this mill which often fixed the price at which flour was sold there. This enterprise made New Canaan a prosperous farming community.

Flour sold in Saint John paid for the commodities which the settlers needed to take back. One transaction comes down to us which I presume was many times repeated and gives to us a view of life in those days. One hundred gallons of rum was bought in Saint John with flour, brought to New Canaan and found a ready sale at one bushel of wheat per gallon—wheat being then two dollars per bushel. Liquor, mostly rum, was considered a necessity, and was generally purchased along with other staples. Five gallons of molasses and ten gallons of rum are said to have been the amounts generally kept on hand. The one hundred gallons referred to, are said to have been brought from Saint John to the mouth of Canaan River, and conveyed up the river on a platform built upon two canoes placed side by side. It was towed along by the willing hands of the people living along the river who turned out to support the enterprise.

There were other stories that centered on isolation and hardship. Their first roads were but paths, followed by something called the swamped portash, before finally having more even roads. Their first carts were rude, mostly designed to survive the very bad pathways and the swamped portash. There was no iron in the wheel hubs and no iron on the rims, and the wheels were of a very large diameter, again to cope with the poor roads. Hay was hauled on makeshift sleds and ploughs were fashioned from crotched trees.

The first wheels for hauling hay were introduced by two younger men who had been about and seen what they could do. However, an old man sank the new wheels in a pond and refused to have them in the community. This story troubles me since, no matter how isolated they were, they certainly knew about wheels. I see this as a story about a grumpy old man, and not so much a story about wheels. There was also a peculiar homemade instrument for winnowing grain before winnowing machines were introduced.

In these early years the people depended upon flax for their finer cloth, and its preparation was laborious. After the stalks were cut in the fields, they had to go through several distinct processes—such as fermenting, breaking and hatchelling (combing to separate the fibers from mass) before it was ready for carding (further refining the fibers into something that could be spun) and weaving.

Another event that remained in the minds of many of the people for a long time was the great flood of 1851, when the river rose because of a freshet, overspreading the meadow and uplands until many houses were inundated, and others floated entirely away. The McDonald mill was floated from its foundation, carried some 100 rods (about 16 or 1700 feet) and landed upon a higher piece of ground. The flour which was in the mill at the time was fortunately stored in the upper part and thus escaped unhurt. The mill was never removed from its landing place, and another was built upon the old site.

Dennis Alward had taken precautions before the 1851 flood to draw his canoe out of the river and to fasten it with a rope about twenty-five feet in length to a stake as far up the bank as the rope would reach. In the night he was awakened by the roaring wind and water and going out heard screams of distress from a neighboring house further down the river. Upon going for his canoe he found the stake under water, while the canoe itself was far out from shore. He hastily made a craft of such sticks he could find, and started out. When out but a short distance the craft went to pieces and he swam to the canoe. He then went to the assistance of the family in distress, and found them in a room of their house greatly alarmed, the lower part having filled with the rising water. He was not able rescue them until daylight. A number of families were taken that night out of chamber windows and removed to places of safety. A number of animals were drowned, and much property was destroyed.

Finally, the writer, Rev. Brown, told a lengthy story of George Keith who had two daughters, Eliza and Mary Ann, aged 9 and 7 years who were kidnapped by, and grew up with, the ‘Indians.’ I do not like that story and also question the truth of it, and am not including it in this blog post.

Written by johnwood1946

April 21, 2021 at 7:39 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

What They Were Reading Around the Fireplace — Saint John, 1840-41

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From the blog at

What They Were Reading Around the Fireplace — Saint John, 1840-41

George Fenety’s Political Notes and Observations, Fredericton, 1867, was about the business of the New Brunswick House of Assembly. However, it also included several Appendices highlighting current events. Most of these events had little to do with the book’s subject, but were illustrative of the times, and what was happening. Many of the entries read as newspaper transcriptions without citations, while others are Fenety’s own words. Yet others seem to be edited transcriptions. Following are some of his examples of current events for 1840 and 1841, from Saint John and elsewhere.

Saint John County Court House, about 1870.
From the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum.


Spurious Copper Coins:

The Province in 1840 was inundated with a spurious Copper Coin,—so current, indeed, that there was said to be a Mint in the Parish of Portland, got up on private account, from which a peck of iron coppers was turned out daily. The Merchants at length combined and refused to accept none unless of pure copper, no matter what the face was—consequently many persons found themselves suddenly saddled with bushels of the spurious stuff, for which there was no redemption, and lost heavily.

Attempt to Assassinate the Queen:

News received in New Brunswick (by the Steamer Britannia at Halifax,) of an attempt having been made to assassinate the Queen while driving through one of the London Parks. According to the account Her Majesty and the Prince were seated in a very low German droshky, followed by the usual attendants. A number of most respectable people had assembled outside the gate at Buckingham Palace to witness her departure. After the carriage had issued from the gate and had proceeded some short distance up Constitution Hill, so as to be quite clear of the crowd, a young man, who had come from the Greenpark, and was standing with his back to the railings, presented a pistol and fired it directly. The Prince, who heard the whistling of the ball, turned his head in the direction from which the report came, and Her Majesty at the same instant rose up in the carriage, but Prince Albert as suddenly pulled her down by his side. The man then drew from behind his back a second pistol, which he discharged after the carriage, which, proceeding at the ordinary pace, had by that time passed him a little. The reports of both pistols were very loud, at the discharge of the second several of the female spectators screamed very loudly. Several persons rushed towards the perpetrator of this gross outrage, and he was immediately seized and handed over to two of the Metropolitan Police, who conveyed him to the Queen Square Police Court. The discharge of the pistols and the seizure of the offender scarcely occupied a minute. Her Majesty’s carriage sustained no delay, and moved on up Constitution Hill at the usual pace, and by half-past six had arrived at the Duchess of Kent’s, Ingestre House, Belgrave Square, where Her Majesty stopped for a short time, but neither her appearance nor that of Prince Albert evinced any indication of alarm or excitement at the deadly attack from which they had so providentially escaped.

The name of the ruffian who had been guilty of this diabolical attack is Edward Oxford; his address is No. 6, West Street, West Square, and he is a public-house servant out of place. His appearance is that of a workman, 18 years of age, and rather below the middle height. On searching his lodgings a sword was found, and some crape arranged for the purpose of being worn on a hat or cap in such a way as to conceal the face of the wearer; and the crape is also stated to be folded in a peculiar manner, so that the crape which was intended for the prisoner would distinguish him from the rest of the gang with which it is said he is connected, and who were to be similarly disguised.

Reception of the Governor General at Saint John:

The new Governor General, Right Hon. Mr. Paulet Thomson, arrived in Saint John in July. This gentleman was sent out with instructions to examine into the political troubles of the North American Provinces, and use his best offices for the purpose of applying a corrective. A few years before this Mr. Thomson, as President of the Board of Controls, had rendered himself so obnoxious to New Brunswick, by his course in favour of a repeal of the Timber Duties, that his effigy was burnt on King’s Square, by a crowd of unruly persons. There was no Police then to prevent the outrage. The following account of the same gentleman’s reception in 1840 is here repeated by way of contrast. The account goes on to say— On no occasion have we witnessed more parade, ostentation and form, than on last Wednesday. A Triumphal Arch was erected on the evening previous, at the foot of King Street, extending from the Coffee House Corner to the New Market House, which was tastefully festooned with green brambles and flowers. On the top it was surmounted by a purple crown, handsomely ornamented. His Excellency landed from the Nova Scotia from Windsor, about half past ten o’clock, under a salute of nineteen guns from the Royal Artillery. The different trades formed in line through Prince William and King Streets, through which His Excellency passed. The streets presented a crowded mass of individuals from the landing place to the Hotel—while every nook and corner that could command a view of the Governors, was filled by all classes, of both sexes. The Troops in garrison, and several of our Militia dress Companies appeared to great advantage—and amid the variety of the scene produced an excellent effect. A portion of the New Brunswick Regiment of Artillery was stationed on King’s Square, and gave a general salute as His Excellency entered the Court House. The Coachmen, Cartmen, and Draymen of the City of Saint John, took part in the procession. They were in charge of W.O. Smith, Esq. and drew up in front of the Court House, (in rear of the Bakers,) and formed a Mounted Guard of Honor. The Procession over, His Excellency held a Levee at the Court House, when a number of presentations took place; and from the Body Corporate, Chamber of Commerce, and Mechanics’ Institute addresses were presented and replies delivered by His Excellency; who in conclusion delivered a neat and appropriate speech to the thousands who were gathered in front of the Court House, amid continued cheering. After which he went to the Saint John Hotel, where the whole of the procession and the military passed in front. Upwards of 10,000 persons were present. Sir John Harvey was loudly cheered by the assembled concourse, and replied in a neat and appropriate speech. At 6 o’clock, Sir John entertained the Governor General and suite, to a very excellent dinner prepared by Messrs. Scammells, at the Hotel. About thirty in all sat down, among whom we noticed his honor the Mayor, the Chamberlain, Major Brooks, and the heads of departments.

The reception which His Excellency met with in Fredericton, was equally enthusiastic.

Mr. Thomson while Governor General was created Baron Sydenham, and died and was buried in Canada in a year or two afterwards.

Distinguished Persons in Saint John:

John Quincy Adams, Ex-President of the United States, arrived in Saint John, September 8, 1840, and put up at the Saint John Hotel, corner of King and Charlotte Streets—then considered to be the Hotel of the Province. The following is a list of the prominent persons who were in Saint John, as visitors, at the same time—

Honble. Mr. and Mrs. Pemberton, Quebec; Lieut. Col. Codrington, Coldstream Guards; Mrs. Codrington; Captain Clifford, Coldstream Guards; Messrs. Moffatt and Jeffery, Montreal; Lieut. Col. and Mrs. Chaplin, Quebec; Sir John Caldwell; Sir J.W. Copley; Capt. Tennant, 35th Regt.; Lieut. C. Tennant, R. N., England; W. Gordon, Esquire; Judge Carter and Lady; Hon. Mr. Shore and family; Major Cairns, Capt. Pratt, Capt. Ross, Lieut. Cummin, Lieut. M’Dougall, 36th Regt.; Hon. John Q. Adams, C.F. Adams, Esq., Nathaniel Curtis, Esq., United States; John Frotheringham, and F. Frotheringham, Esquires, Montreal; Lord Frederick Poulet, Mr. Ebrington, Guards, Quebec; Mr. Armour, Mr. A.H. Armour, Montreal.

Arrival of a Prince in Halifax:

The Prince d’Joinville, son of Louis Phillipe, (then) King of France, arrived at Halifax in the Bella Poule, the vessel that had just previously conveyed the remains of the Emperor Napoleon from Saint Helena to France. The Prince remained in Halifax over a week, and visited the Prince’s Lodge, six miles from Town, where his father (Louis Phillipe) once tarried as a guest of the Duke of Kent.

Pursuant to a General Order from the Horse Guards, and another from Head Quarters:

Fredericton, the Officers of this Garrison went into mourning, for Her late Royal Highness, the Princess Augusta, Her Majesty’s Aunt, on Sunday last, by wearing crape on the left arm, and will continue the same until Saturday the 7th proximo, embracing a period of 14 days.

Confirmation, and Honors Shewn to a Bishop:

The Lord Bishop (Inglis) held a Confirmation at Trinity Church, Saint John, Tuesday, November 1, when 130 children were confirmed. On his departure from Saint John for Digby, he was received at the Wharf by a Guard of Honour, under command of Colonel Monins. It was customary on the return of Bishop Inglis from England in a Man-of-War that, on leaving the vessel for the shore, a salute was fired from the ship in honor of his lordship. This was no uncommon occurrence.

Mortality among British Troops:

From the statistical tables of mortality among the British Troops in the United Kingdom and its Colonies, we learn that the annual average number of deaths from every thousand, is, in Great Britain, 15.3; in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, 14.7, at Sierra Leone, 43.3; and at the Cape Coast Command, 668.3. The most healthy and the most unhealthy stations are in Africa. At the Cape of Good Hope, by 13.7 die from every thousand, and on the Eastern Frontier of the same Colony, only 9.8, while, as before stated, at the Cape Coast Command, 668.3, more than two-thirds of every thousand are annually swept away! A commission to such a station is almost a certificate to the grave.

Presentation of a Service of Plate to Sir John Harvey:

On the 23rd March, 1841, a Committee from the House, and also one from the Legislative Council, waited on Sir John Harvey at Government House, to present him with an Address, expressive of the feelings of the Legislature, on account of his recall; and also to offer a testimonial of regard which was voted by the House, in acknowledgment of his services during his administration; to which His Excellency returned the following answer:—

“Gentlemen,— Cheered and sustained by this Address, I shall be enabled to present myself to my Sovereign, and to render such an ‘account of my stewardship’ as may satisfy Her Majesty’s maternal heart, that Her anxious wishes for the happiness and prosperity of Her loyal subjects in New Brunswick have not been lost sight of by me, nor Her Majesty’s designated authority abused in my hands.

“With regard to the munificent testimonial of your kind feelings towards me, I can only say, that I am proud and happy in receiving it,—subject nevertheless to Her Majesty’s approbation—as the memorial of a degree of Legislative harmony, which may have been equalled, but which can never have been exceeded.

“For myself I feel that it is unnecessary for me to say more,—I am known to you, as you are to me,—and our sentiments of mutual esteem and good will cannot change; but for my family—for my children—and my children’s children, I take upon myself to assure you, that my (and consequently their) connection with this noble Province, which the splendid memorial now presented to me is intended to commemorate, will be affectionately cherished in their grateful recollections, when the actors in the present scenes shall have passed away.

“Government House, March 23, 1841.”

A contrast to the above:

In 1820 the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia passed a resolution to provide £1000 for the purchase of a Sword and Star, to be presented to the Lieutenant Governor (Earl of Dalhousie) on his elevation to the Governor Generalship of British North America. Instead of accepting this testimonial His Lordship read the “faithful Commons” a severe lecture, for their neglect of sundry duties, which he pointed out, during the Session then just closed.

Written by johnwood1946

April 14, 2021 at 8:27 AM

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Letters Written in the Wake of the Miramichi Fire, 1825

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From the blog at http://JohnWood1946.wordpress,com

Letters Written in the Wake of the Miramichi Fire, 1825

God only knows what is to become of this place; … it seems even now, as though the whole country is in flames….

Several letters were reprinted by an anonymous author in A Narrative of the Late Fires at Miramichi, New Brunswick, Halifax, 1825. There is no indication of who wrote the letters, and it is only known that these ones were all addressed to people in Halifax. There are other accounts of the Miramichi Fire in this blog, but these letters add a human touch.

A House at Douglastown Which Survived the Miramichi Fire

From the New Brunswick Provincial Archives


Extract of a letter to a Gentleman in Halifax, dated Miramichi, October 10

In the midst of the utmost confusion, and the greatest destruction of lives and property ever recorded, I write you these few lines, to solicit your aid, and that of all friends to humanity, to assist those of ns, who have partially escaped from total ruin, to support the numerous distressed individuals who are thrown upon us for food, shelter, raiment and medical assistance, at a most unfortunate season, with the prospect of a long and severe winter before us, and an unprecedented scarcity of provisions. The extent of destruction on the fatal night of the 7th inst. is unknown and indescribable; nearly the whole of the Parish and Town of Newcastle lie in smoking ruins. The settlements of Bartibogue, Napan, and back settlements of Chatham and Newcastle are not only nearly all destroyed, but few souls saved to tell the doleful tale.

It would melt the heart of the most unfeeling, to see the numerous individuals, who have just escaped total destruction by the fire, and many now perishing from their wounds. Chatham has miraculously escaped destruction in great measure, many of the shipping have suffered much, and three loaded ships fell sacrifice to the flames. Gilmour & Co. have saved the Dwelling House only from its being situated so high that the Hurricane blew the flames past and over it, which however destroyed every other building belonging to them; they saved their books and papers; Mr. Abrams, saved nothing but what he and his family stood in, merely night clothes. It is mere mockery to try to describe the horrors this scene presents, and the abject distress that everywhere presents itself.

We trust, however, that our case will be taken into consideration, and that liberal subscriptions will be raised for the relief of our suffering fellow creatures. There are but few here who have escaped much short of total ruin. From the high character the inhabitants of Halifax bear, for liberality in such cases, I have no doubt but their assistance will be most promptly obtained on this distressing occasion, by sending us provisions and clothing; and from the lateness of the season, not an hour can be lost, otherwise the most desperate consequences are to be dreaded; from the characters of numbers who will be in wretchedness, and will no doubt turn to plundering those who have anything left.

Extract of a Letter from a Mercantile House to their Friends in Halifax

We have the awful story to tell you, that one half of the people of this River are now destitute of house, home and property of any description. We had a most awful night on Friday the 7th inst.— The Fire appeared to come all at once, and nothing but destruction before our eyes.— Newcastle and Douglastown are all burnt to the ground, except a few houses, and it appears though Chatham and Nelson were only preserved as a refuge for the distressed. We have now some hundreds in Chatham who escaped from the fire, some half burnt and others dying from suffocation; indeed it is not in the power of anyone to describe the scene which we now witness— men, women and children coming in from all parts of the River, without clothing to cover them.— We have all been up these two nights past watching, and preparing for the worst. Gilmore and Rankin’s stores and all their property except their dwelling house, have been destroyed, Mr. Abrams escaped with his family, some of them with nothing but their linens on; Salters, Allan, Crane and Allison, Nesmith, Elder, and indeed all at the Court House have lost everything, and just escaped with life.— Gilmore & Rankin, Nesmith, Duncan & Lock were the only persons who saved their Books and Papers.

Extract of a Letter to a Gentleman in Halifax, dated Chatham, Oct, 10

The enclosed will convey but an inadequate idea of the awful state of the country; every house from this to Nelson is filled with the sufferers.— Mr. Call attempting to escape from the flames, fell over the precipice, and was supposed to have perished, until the morning, when he was found, dreadfully mutilated: his daughter that had been ill three weeks with a fever, had a similar fall to her father, and remained hours in the water to avoid being consumed by the fire; many that are dangerously burnt and bruised have not had the benefit of medical aid: so numerous are the calls, and such has been the demand on individuals to protect themselves and property, that the dying have had to expire unnoticed, and the dead unburied.— Rain has at last come  to relieve the minds of the people.— A meeting will take place in the morning to accomplish all that is possible. From this to Nelson every house is filled with the unfortunate beings and it is difficult to say how many are yet to arrive, as from one quarter nothing has been heard, and it is not impossible others remain to tell the tale.— If large subscriptions of Provisions and Clothing are at once obtained, there will be some prospect of getting through the winter without starvation.

Extract of a letter from a Man to his brother in Halifax, dated Miramichi, October 10

It is with sorrow that I make known to you that our late flourishing settlement is laid in ashes, On the evening of the 7th current, fire communicated from the woods, which came with such a dreadful violence, accompanied with a hurricane, that it literally showered down fire and sand, so that it was with the greatest difficulty we escaped with our lives; poor William made his retreat with Caroline to the house of Mr M. McCallum, which escaped being burnt; he got his hand much burnt in getting out of the house; Caroline is as well as can be expected. I stepped behind the store endeavouring to save our books, papers, &c., but it came so fast that I had to run for my life, and leave all behind,— I took to the river, from whence I was taken up by a ship’s boat and carried on board; I bless God that our lives are saved, although our property is gone. The only thing we have saved is our timber, and a few things in Ledden’s store; fortunately this morning some pork and flour have arrived from Liverpool for us; at present we are getting meal victuals where we can find it— those few persons who have their houses saved are kind to the distressed; the fire commenced, it is said, somewhere about Bartibogue and came up the bank of the river with a rapidity impossible to conceive, destroying all as it came. The people of Newcastle had no idea of the fire being so near, the smoke having been so great all day that none could see where the flames were, until they came down upon them.— Many people have lost their lives; whole families have been burnt to ashes round their dwellings. The Chatham side of the river has escaped destruction; but the Newcastle side is entirely destroyed, with the exception of a house here and there, in low situations, so that the fire passed over them.

Mr. and Mrs. Robson have taken passage in the same vessel they came out in (which happened to be the ship Lune for Liverpool) to lay a statement of our loss and misery before our agents. The government of these two provinces will surely take into consideration our deplorable condition. Last night I had to take my turn to watch a store of provisions, which had been threatened by the hungry poor to be broken open. The magistrates and others are doing the best they can to feed them for the present; but there are so many that it can not last long without something else be done: Numbers have expired with cold and hunger; and many poor sick people just rescued from the fever have perished from the effects of fatigue, having escaped the fire.

God only knows what is to become of this place; for the only article of export we had to depend upon is, I fear, completely destroyed— for it seems even now, as though the whole country is in flames. The smoke is so great that in truth, the place seems buried in rains and suffocation— it has indeed a most awful appearance.

You may publish the particulars of the above, if you think proper, so that the distresses of the poor and miserable may be taken into consideration.— God bless you all, and preserve you from the like calamity.

Extract of a letter from a man to his brother in Halifax, Beaubears Island, October 10

Dear William,— I have the painful and distressing task to inform you of the total destruction of Newcastle, with all the property in it. I have this moment learnt that an express is gone off to Halifax, and have only to say, I have little else to think of, but to offer up my prayers to heaven for the preservation of my life, it was saved with our good friend A.S. in a canoe,— we took refuge on a raft of timber. The fire broke out about 9 o’clock at night; in the country several hundreds of lives have been lost; the country is yet on fire; the man is just going off, I will write you fully tomorrow.

Another letter stated

The salmon and trout were found immediately after the hurricane and the worst of the fire, floating on the water in thousands, and it is supposed they were killed by the heat of the water. You probably may form an idea of the state of the air, when I tell you that in the vicinity of Chipman, 2 cows which were well the day after the fire, have been suffocated with smoke, and it is said an immense number of others have shared the same fate.

Written by johnwood1946

April 7, 2021 at 8:01 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Industrial Saint John in Pictures, 1907

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From the blog at

Industrial Saint John in Pictures, 1907

The Saint John Board of Trade published a large pamphlet, or book, entitled St. John, N.B., Canada, Manufacturing and Commercial Centre in 1907, and included photographs and drawings — mostly of industrial sites. The pamphlet was subsequently microfilmed, from which the photographs suffered. However, following are the drawings and a couple of the better photographs.

The Portland Rolling Mills:

The Nail Works of James Pender and Co. Ltd.:

Works of the Maritime Nail Co. Ltd.:

The St. John Iron Works:

T. McAvity and Sons, Iron Works, Broad Street:

T. McAvity and Sons, Brass Works, Water Street:

T.S. Simms Brush Factory, Union Street:

Christie Wood Working Company Plant:

Lawton Company Planing and Moulding Mill:

Foundry of James Fleming:

James Robertson Co. Ltd.:

C.H. Peters Sons City Tannery:

Cornwall Cotton Mills:

York Cotton Mills:

J.E. Wilson Ltd., Foundry:

Hamm Brothers Biscuit Manufacturers:

Confectionary and Biscuit Works, The White Candy Co., Ltd.:

Saint John Milling Company:

D.F. Brown Paper Box and Paper Co., Ltd.:

Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal, Bank of New Brunswick:

Murray and Gregory’s Lumber Mill:

Campbell Brothers Spring, Axle and Edge Tool Works:

Canadian Bank Note Company:

Written by johnwood1946

March 31, 2021 at 8:10 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

A Story Told by Jim Paul of the St. Mary’s Wolastoqiyik Band in 1912

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From the blog at

A Story Told by Jim Paul of the St. Mary’s Wolastoqiyik Band in 1912

W.H. Mechling gathered Wolastoqiyik legends in 1912, and published them as Maliseet Tales,in the Journal of American Folklore in 1913. He credited James Paul of Fredericton as having told him the stories, but later refined the attribution to read “Jim Paul of St. Mary’s.” The following story was therefore told by James Paul of the Saint Mary’s Band of the Wolastoqiyik people, on the Saint John River, at Fredericton.

It is good to know the provenance of James Paul’s story Cane, and I have therefore presented it here without editing. This is exactly as found.

Annie Sacobie and a birchbark Wigwam, Evandale New Brunswick, c.1908

From the New Brunswick Museum



Once there was a woman who suckled her son Huza for twenty-four years, and on the arrival of the twenty-fifth year, Huza went out and tested his strength. He attempted to pull up an elm-tree by the roots. He did not succeed in pulling it up, but he moved it somewhat. From this he knew that he had not yet gotten all his strength: so he returned to his mother and told her that she would have to suckle him fourteen years longer. At the end of that time he again tried to pull up the elm-tree, and this time he was successful.

He returned home and said to his father, “I am now going away, and I want you to give me my patrimony. I want you to have made for me a cane large enough to hold fifty head of salted cattle.”

His father ordered a cane made for him according to these specifications, and a few days later he told Huza to go and get it.

The son, however, said to his father, “No, I want you to bring it to me.”

So his father went after it, and he had to take four yoke of oxen to haul it home. When he brought it back, Huza examined it and said, “Oh, what a pity! It’s a little too light.”

At this the father salted ten cattle, and put them into the cane, in order that it should be a little heavier.

It now suited the boy, and he started away. When his mother inquired of him whither he was bound, he replied that he was going to the South to kill the giants who were holding the princesses prisoners.

The boy continued his journey, and, coming to a farmer’s house, asked the farmer if he did not want a hired man. The farmer said that he needed a man who was good at thrashing grain. He promised to pay him good wages if his work was satisfactory, and hired him. So the next morning, after breakfast, he gave Huza a flail and set him to work thrashing. When Huza took the flail, he struck one blow with it, and broke it all to pieces, whereat he pulled up a couple of elm-trees by the roots, whittled them into shape, and tied the tops of the trees together. When he began to thrash with them, he broke the barn down. The farmer came out soon after, and was surprised to see the barn demolished. “Now you have ruined me!” said he. “That will be enough of your thrashing. I’ll pay you off and send you away. How much do you want?”

The strong man [Huza] answered that he wanted twenty-five head of cattle, and the farmer gave them to him. These were salted, and put away in the cane.

As he proceeded on his way, he killed a cow, and, picking it up by the tail, threw the carcass over his shoulder. Some time later he noticed that his cane was leaking, and when he came to a blacksmith shop, he stopped to get it mended. He heard the blacksmith pounding away inside, and, taking his cow off his back, he threw it on top of the blacksmith shop, and it broke the roof in. The blacksmith rushed out, crying, “You have ruined me!”

“Oh, no!” said the strong man. “I only threw my calf on top of the shed. Never mind. I’ll help you fix it.”

They repaired the blacksmith’s roof; and then Huza asked the smith to mend his cane. The blacksmith took it and worked on it until he got it fixed, and the strong man gave him the calf as payment.

After this incident, he proceeded on his journey and met a man who wanted to indenture him for ten years. The strong man agreed to this, but made the stipulation that the first man who got angry should be hit with the cane.

The next morning the master sent the strong man out with an axe to clear some land, and told him to leave the good trees standing, but to take all the rest away. After two or three blows, Huza smashed the axe to pieces. So then he began to pull the trees up by the roots; and he carried the good ones down to the house, and in a short time he had the house covered with a mass of trees. His master ran out, shouting, “Now you have ruined me!”

“Are you angry?” asked Huza. The master said he was not, for he feared a blow from the cane. He sent him to pile all the trees in a field, and Huza did it. The master now feared his helper, and began to plot some means of killing him. In a nearby lake there lived a white horse, which came out from time to time and devoured the passersby. The master thought to send Huza down to plough a neighboring field, hoping that the horse would come out and devour him. Huza went down and began ploughing. Now, one of his horses was very lazy, but the other one was full of energy. After a time, the white horse came out of the water and charged upon his horses. Huza jumped out, and caught it before it could do any damage.

“Oh!” said he, “this will make a good mate for my energetic horse.” And he killed the lazy horse, and hitched up the one from the lake beside his energetic animal.

That noon, Huza drove back to the house; and the master, seeing them coming, recognized the lake horse. Everyone ran into the house to get out of danger; but when Huza got to the house, he called to his employer, saying, “Come out! Now I have a good mate for your best horse.”

The master called out and said, “Take that horse away before it kills us all.”

“Are you mad?” Huza asked.

“No,” said the other; “but if you take that horse back to the lake, I’ll give you a hat full of gold.”

“No,” said Huza, “don’t be afraid. This horse is quite tame now, and you can handle it quite easily. Come out and put it away! It won’t hurt you.” So the master came out, because he feared Huza more than he did the horse; but, much to his surprise, he found the horse quite tractable.

Although he was now at his wits’ ends, he still thought it was necessary to make away with Huza. He next thought he would drown him: so he sent him to clear out a deep well. While Huza was down in the well, his master, with the help of some of his servants, rolled a millstone into the well. The stone fell down on Huza; but his head went right through the hole in the centre, so that the stone rested on his shoulders like a collar.

Huza came out of the hole, raging, and killed all the hens, saying, “The hens scratch all the dirt back into the well as fast as I take it out.”

He still had the millstone around his neck, and his master was afraid to say anything to him. He went back into the well, but did not take the stone off his neck. That evening, when he had finished his work, he went into the house, and took the millstone from his neck and hung it up on a big nail by the chimney; but it was so heavy that it pulled the fireplace down. The master said, “Now you have ruined me!”

Huza inquired, “Are you angry?”

“No,” said the master.

“I only hung up my grindstone,” said Huza.

The master began again to consider how he could make away with him. He finally thought of a scheme. He showed Huza a field that had been sown with grain, and told him that he wanted to sow the same grain there that had been sown there before, but he did not know what kind that was, only his grandfather knew. And accordingly he sent him to Hell to see the grandparent.

“Well,” said Huza, “I’ll go. But how can I know your grandfather when I get there?”

“You”ll be able to recognize him, because he will have a cross on his forehead,” replied the master.

So Huza took his cane and started. After he had gone, his master said, “I guess he’ll not come back this time. They will surely keep him down there.”

When Huza reached Hell, he looked around to try to recognize his master’s grandfather, but was unsuccessful, because all there had crosses on their foreheads.

“The best thing I can do,” he thought, “is to drive them all up to my master, and let him pick out his grandfather.” So he drove the whole gang out of Hell, and took them up to his master’s house.

“Now,” said Huza, “come and pick out your grandfather. They all looked alike, and I couldn’t tell your grandfather.”

His master looked out, saw a whole drove of devils, and screamed, “Take them back! I’ve found out what sort of grain was sown there.” Huza went out and told them to go back to Hell any way they wished, for he was done with them. Then Huza asked his master what he wanted him to do next.

“I have no more work for you,” said his master, and, giving him some money, he sent him away.

As Huza was going along on his journey, he overtook two men. He asked them where they were going. They answered that they were on their way to liberate two princesses who were in the power of some giants.

Huza said, “That’s just where I’m going: so we’ll all go together.”

He asked them their names. The first replied, “Iron-Mouth;” and the second, “Flood.” Then they asked him his name, and he replied, “Cane.”

A little later they were going up a hill, and the two men were lagging behind; but Huza was going along easily with his cane. He said to them, “You would get along much easier if you had a cane. Now, Iron-Mouth, you take my cane, and see how much easier you can walk.”

Iron-Mouth took the cane; but it was so heavy that he dropped it on his toe and crushed it, and they had to rest a few days until Iron-Mouth got better.

“Flood and I will go hunting while you are cooking a meal, Iron-Mouth,” said Cane; and the two departed.

While they were away, an old woman came to the camp, and asked Iron-Mouth for something to eat, claiming that she was starving.

“The food will soon be cooked,” replied Iron-Mouth, “and then I’ll give you something to eat.”

But while Iron-Mouth was not looking, the old woman hit him from behind and knocked him over. Seizing the pot, she ran away; and when Iron-Mouth got up, the old woman had disappeared. A little later, Flood and Cane returned, bringing a duck; and they inquired of Iron-Mouth why he did not have the supper ready. Iron-Mouth told them of his adventure, saying that the old woman ran away with the food while he was gone to fetch water.

As Iron-Mouth’s foot had become better by the next day, Flood said, “I’11 cook today, and we’ll see if the old woman can take the pot away from me.”

So Iron-Mouth and Cane went off to hunt, and left Flood to cook. On the way, Iron-Mouth said to Cane, “Flood will fare just as I did.”

Just as on the day before, while the food was being cooked, the old woman came again, and claimed to be freezing and starving. So Flood told her to come close to the fire and wait until the food was cooked, and he would give her something to eat. She approached, and, while Flood was not looking, knocked him over and ran away with the food. By the time he got up, she had disappeared. When Cane and Iron-Mouth returned, they found that the food was gone, as on the previous day. Flood claimed that the old woman had made off with their supper while he was away; but the bruise and swelling on his face betrayed the real state of affairs.

On the next day, Cane decided to send both his companions out hunting, and to stay in camp himself to see if he could not get to the bottom of this affair. He suspected that these stories were merely blinds to enable the others to keep all the food for themselves. So Flood and Iron-Mouth went away, expecting that the old woman would treat Cane as she had treated them. While Cane was cooking, the old woman came, and told the same story as before; but Cane threatened to kill her if she came near the camp. She persisted, however, and finally he threw his cane on her and killed her.

When Flood and Iron-Mouth returned and found the supper intact, they were very much surprised, and inquired of Cane if the old woman had not been visiting. By way of answer, he pointed to her corpse.

They ate the meal, and then started on their journey again; but Cane wished to find the two stolen pots before leaving. They had gone a little distance when they met three giants, who inquired their destination. Iron-Mouth replied that they were, in the first place, searching for two pots which they had lost, and that, when they had found these, they would try to liberate certain princesses.

“Before you do that, you will have to fight,” said the giants.

There being three giants, they all began to fight, each one fighting with a giant. Cane took the largest. This enormous giant could shout loud enough to kill them all; but the moment he opened his mouth, Cane thrust his cane into it, and smothered the yell. Then he killed him.

He now watched his two friends fighting. Iron-Mouth was faring badly in his fight, and Cane said to him, “Why don’t you bite him, and chew him up?” That one acted on his advice, and soon succeeded in chewing the giant severely.

Cane next looked to see how Flood was progressing, and discovered that his adversary was getting the better of him. “Why don’t you have a flood come and drown him?” advised Cane. And the other did so, and drowned the giant.

After this affray, they proceeded on their journey, with the result that they soon encountered the mother of these three giants, whose strength was equal to the combined strength of her three sons.

“Ah! You are after your pots, and you are after the princesses,” said she. “Well, you will have to fight first.”

“You go and fight her,” said Cane to Iron-Mouth. So Iron-Mouth attacked the old woman, but she was more than a match for him. He tried to chew her, but he was unsuccessful. Then Cane told Flood to help him, and he vainly attempted to drown the old woman by bringing a flood. When Cane saw that the two were unable to overcome her, he rushed to their assistance and crushed her completely with one blow of his cane.

As she died, she said, “You have killed my sons and you have killed me; but there is one ahead of you whom you cannot kill.”

They discovered a large cave where the giants had lived, and there they found two princesses. This led to a quarrel over which two of themselves should marry the damsels. The princesses told them that there were three other princesses imprisoned farther on, whom they had better rescue.

“Their beauty surpasses anything that you have yet seen,” said they.

They thought the matter over; and when they decided to go on, the princesses showed them the deep entrance to the underworld, where the other princesses were kept. The three companions consulted among themselves to decide who should enter the underworld; and as Cane was the strongest of the party, they persuaded him to make the attempt. They fastened a great basket to a rope. Cane got into it, and they let him down the well, promising to wait until he gave the signal to be pulled up.

When Cane reached the bottom, he found himself in another world. The first thing he saw was a city, which he entered, and was surprised to note that the whole city was in mourning. A blacksmith shop stood nearby, and Cane went in. At once the blacksmith seemed to recognize him, and said, “How are you, cousin?” Cane wondered how this man could be his cousin. The smith at once invited him to dine with him, addressing him as Huza; and while they were eating, Cane asked the blacksmith why the town was in mourning.

The smith at first refused to tell him, but finally was persuaded to. He pointed to the castle, and said, “In that castle lives a monster with seven heads. Tomorrow he is going to dine on our governor’s daughter. This monster has also three princesses in his possession.”

“That is the very one I am after,” said Cane. “He has stolen two pots from me.”

“Cousin, don’t do it,” said the blacksmith. “He will surely kill you and eat you.”

Cane was determined, however. He told the other that he wanted a sword so strong that you could tie a knot in it without its breaking. The blacksmith finally succeeded in making such a sword for him.

He left his cane with his cousin, and went up to the monster’s castle. As he approached, the three princesses came out and begged him to go back, saying that he would surely be killed, and could not help them. But Cane would not be persuaded. So the princesses gave him the following advice.

“Before he fights, he will ask you how you desire to combat, and you tell him that you want to fight on horseback and with swords. He will give you a choice of horses. Take a thin, bad-looking horse; and when he shows you the swords, choose an old rusty one, though all the rest will be better looking. If you succeed in cutting off six of his heads, you will find the seventh more difficult, because it grows back again very quickly if you do not keep it away from him. Get your horse to kick it out of the way.”

While he was talking, one of the princesses saw the monster coming, and warned Cane. The girls hid the young fellow in the house, but the monster soon smelled him. He said to the-princesses, “I smell some bugs in here.”

“How can that be?” asked a princess.

Then Cane stepped out, and said, “I’m the bug.”

“I’ll have you for dinner tomorrow,” said the monster, “instead of the governor’s daughter.”

“You will have to fight first,” said Cane.

The monster inquired what weapon he wished to use. Cane chose a broadsword combat on horseback: so he took Cane into the armory, and let him choose his sword. Cane looked over the swords, but said that he could not find one to suit him. Seeing a rusty sword standing by the fireplace, he examined it, and told the monster that this one suited him. The monster went into another room, and returned with some very fine swords. He told Cane to choose from them, asking him why he wanted an old rusty sword.

Cane refused them, saying, “No, this is plenty good enough for me.”

Then he took Cane to the stables, and told him to take his pick of the horses. There were many fine horses there; but Cane chose the old gray thin one, as he had been directed. The monster was disappointed in the choice, because Cane had taken his own horse and sword.

They went forth and began to fight. Without much delay, Cane knocked six heads off the monster. The seventh one, however, gave him more difficulty; for each time he cut it off, it jumped back on again and stuck in the same place. Cane was becoming rapidly exhausted by his efforts, when one of the princesses rushed out, and told him to catch the head on the point of his sword when next he cut it off. He tried this scheme, and succeeded in catching the head, and then threw it back of his horse’s hind legs. His horse kicked the head far behind him. In his last words the monster blamed the princesses for his death.

The three princesses ran up to Cane, and each addressed him as her husband. He said, “I can’t marry you all; but I have two brothers in the upper-world. I’ll marry one of you, and the others will marry my brothers.”

The following mid-day, the people of the town brought the governor’s daughter up to the monster. One of the princesses rushed out, and told them that a strange young prince had killed the monster. At this the people removed at once the mourning-draperies from the houses, and, out of gratitude towards Huza, gave the town to him. He, however, felt obliged to refuse it. Each of the princesses gave him her handkerchief and locket with her name on it. They knew his name was Huza.

After some time they started for the upper-world. When they reached the place where the hole led to the upper-world, Cane pulled the rope to give his companions the signal that he was there. First he put the oldest one of the princesses into the basket and gave them the signal to pull her up. When they got her up, Flood and Iron-Mouth began to fight as to who should marry her.

The princess said to them, “Don’t fight. I have a sister down there who is better-looking than I am.” So they stopped fighting, and lowered the basket again. This time, Cane put in the next oldest girl. They pulled her up; and when they got her up, Iron-Mouth and Flood began to fight over her.

The sisters said, “Don’t fight. We have another sister down below who is more beautiful than we are.”

They lowered the basket another time, and hoisted up the third princess. When she got out of the basket, they thought she was far more beautiful than the other two, so they fell to fighting for her. The youngest one said, “There is no use of your fighting, for I would not have either one of you, unless Huza decides that it shall be so. He killed the monster.”

“We killed the three giants and their mother,” said Iron-Mouth. Then the two began to consider together how they might kill Cane. They decided to draw him halfway up the well and then let him drop back.

Huza had to wait a long time before the basket was again lowered, and this made him suspicious. So he thought he would put into the basket a small number of rocks equal to his weight, to see what would happen to it. Cane gave them the signal. They hoisted the rocks up halfway, and then let go of the rope. “Oh!” said he to himself. “That’s no more than I expected.”

The youngest princess fainted when she thought the basket containing Huza had been dropped. Iron-Mouth and Flood said that they could not help it; that the rope had slipped.

“When we get to your castle, you must tell your father that we are the ones who killed the giants and the monster,” said they.

When they got back to the castle, the girls were afraid of Flood and Iron-Mouth, and so they said that these were the two men who had killed the giants and the monster. Between them, they arranged that Iron-Mouth should marry the youngest; and Flood, the second princess. But every time they proposed to get married, the youngest princess delayed it. She had not yet given up hope that Huza was alive.

Meanwhile Cane was in the underworld. After the basket had dropped, he returned to his cousin, the blacksmith, and told him what had happened. “Don’t take it so hard,” said that one. “Here you own this town, and you can marry whomever you choose.”

“No,” said Cane. “I don’t want to.”

“Well, then,” said his cousin, “I will give you my ring. When you have it, you can get anything you choose. You had better wish for a fox; for you will probably be better able to get out, if you can procure one.”

“I’m going to leave you now,” said Huza, “and I will give you my cane. There are fifty salted steers inside, and you will have meat enough to last for a long time.”

He parted with his cousin, and returned to the hole to the upper-world, where he wished for a fox. The Fox came, and asked him what he wanted. Cane said that he wanted to go to the upper-world.

“I don’t think I am strong enough to do it,” said the Fox, “but I will tell you whom to get. That is the big Eagle. He is strong, and will be able to take you up.”

So Cane called the big Eagle; and when he came, he asked Huza what he wanted. He said that he wanted to get into the upper-world. The Eagle said that he would be able to take him up if he had a steer to eat. Cane got the steer, and then he got on the Eagle and he started up. They had not gone far when the Eagle said to Cane, “You had better give me something to eat. I am getting pretty weak.”

Cane then gave him a quarter of the steer. Twice more the bird was fed. The third time he fed the Eagle, they could just see the light. The Eagle said to him, “I am afraid we can’t make it. You feed me again.”

He fed him the last quarter, and the Eagle was just able to reach the edge of the hole. Cane had to pull himself out first, and then to assist the Eagle.

Once out, he looked around, but could not see any trace of his friends. He waited there for some time trying to decide what to do. Then he thought of his ring, and he wished to wake up in the town where the princesses and his friends were. He wanted to wake up as a ragged old man. Immediately he fell asleep; and when he woke up, he was an old man lying beside a ditch. He rose and walked some distance, when he met a man working. The man spoke to him, asking him if he wanted to work.

“Yes,” said Cane; and the man told him his duties would be to make fires, and bring out manure to spread on the fields. Cane started at once to work. That evening they went back to his employer’s house in the town.

When the wife of his employer saw Cane, she said, “Why do you want to bring this dirty old man here?” But the husband replied that he was a poor old man, and would do no harm.

One day while Cane was spreading manure by the side of the road, he saw the three princesses driving along. When they came opposite him, they stopped the horse; and the youngest recognized him, and called out, “Huza!”

He would not answer, and they drove on. After some time, Cane heard that there was going to be a wedding at the palace. The king wanted to have made a golden medallion with his wife’s image upon it. It was to be exactly like those the princesses had given Cane before leaving the under-world. The king sent around to the goldsmiths to see if anybody could make a replica of the ones lost. Now, it happened that Cane’s employer was a goldsmith; and the king applied to him, sending the queen’s medal. He said that he could not make the others. Cane saw the whole thing; and after the messengers left, he told his master to go and tell them that he had changed his mind, and could make it.

“I’m a gold-worker,” said Cane, “and will guarantee to do the job for you.”

He directed his master to get him a half-bushel of gold and a half-bushel of silver. The king sent him the gold and silver, and left the medal as a pattern.

“You had better go get some liquor,” said Cane to his master, “because you will have to work very hard blowing the bellows.”

That night they went to work, and soon smelted half of the gold and silver. By this time his master was fairly drunk; and Cane said to him, “You go to sleep, and I’ll finish the work.”

When his master had gone to sleep, he took the medallion of the youngest princess, polished it, and compared it with the medallion of the queen. Then Cane lay down and went to sleep.

When his master awoke, he went into the shop and saw Cane sleeping and the two medals on the table. He was unable to tell which was the new one and which was the old. Then he showed the medal to his wife, saying, “Did I not tell you to treat this man well; that he was more than he seemed?”

They awakened Cane, who stretched himself, and said that he was pretty tired after his labors. He told them on no account to tell the king’s servants who had made the medal, and to charge a half-bushel of gold for the making.

“If they come back and ask you if you can make another one like it, tell them that you can,” said he.

The servants of the king returned, and asked if the medal was finished. He said that it was. Then they asked the price, and he answered that it was a half-bushel of gold. They paid it and took the medals to the king. He was unable to tell the two apart; but when the youngest princess saw them, she said, “I think that’s my medal, and Huza must be around.”

Then the king inquired of his officers the price paid; and when they told him, he sent his officers back to have two more medals made like the first. So they returned to the goldsmith and gave the king’s order.

Cane again got his master drunk, and brightened the other medals. The officers came the following day and took the medals back to the king, who again was unable to tell them apart, except for the initials on the backs. Cane’s master offered him the bushel and a half of gold which the king had sent as payment, but Cane refused to take it. His master was very grateful to Cane for this, and never required him to do any more work after that.

Finally the wedding-day, when Flood and Iron-Mouth were to marry the princesses, arrived. The king said that the goldsmith who made the medals must be invited to this wedding; so he sent his coach for the smith. The goldsmith refused to go, saying that he had not made the medals, but that his hired man had made them. The officers asked to see him, so the goldsmith took them into the house and showed them the old man lying by the fireplace. When they saw how dirty he was, they were disgusted; but, since they had orders to bring the man who had made the medals, they handled him very roughly, threw him into the coach, and drove off full speed.

On the road, Huza took his ring out and said, “Let this coach be full of lice, and let me be back in my old place.” As they approached the king’s castle, the coachman drove slowly; and when the coach arrived, the officers opened the door. The lice rushed out and crawled all over everyone. They told the king that they had started with the old man.

“You must have handled him roughly, or else this would not have happened,” said the king.

He sent two other officers after Huza; and when they arrived, they put the old man into the coach again and started off with him. Again he wished to be back in the house, and that the coach should be filled with dung. When the door was opened, the king was standing near, and got fouled with the rest. At once the king became very angry, and said, “You must have treated this man very badly, or else this would not have happened.”

Again he sent two officers with explicit directions to treat Huza well. He threatened to behead them if they did not bring the man back. When they came, the old man requested them to wait a while, so that he might shave, and make himself presentable. He went into a room, and, taking out his ring, wished for a uniform better than the king’s own.

When he came out all dressed up, his master and mistress fell down on their knees, and said, “Forgive us, king!”

“Gladly do I forgive you; but I am not a king,” said he.

And when the officers saw him, they, too, bowed down. He got into the coach, and they drove off slowly to the castle. The king was waiting to receive them; and when they opened the door, the king was so surprised that he almost fainted. They took Huza in, and everyone bowed to him. While he was talking with the king, the youngest princess suspected that it was Huza, and told her mother, the queen, about it.

Huza now took out the princess’ handkerchief and put it back in his pocket so that she could see the monogram on it. A little later she recognized it as her own, quietly pulled it out of his pocket (when he was not looking), and showed it to her mother. But her mother said, “Don’t you think there may be other princesses who have the same name as you?”

Cane then pulled out the second handkerchief and left it exposed to view. The second princess was near him, and, seeing the bit of linen, recognized it. When he was not looking, she stole it and took it to her younger sister. Her younger sister said, “Don’t go and tell mother, for she will not believe you.”

Cane now pulled the handkerchief of the oldest princess out of his pocket so that the monogram could be seen. Not much later the oldest girl passed by, recognized it, and quietly pulled it out of his pocket. She then told her sisters, and they went to their mother and told her.

The queen was angry with them, and told them that they had insulted the king. She went to her husband, however, and, telling him about it, asked him what he thought ought to be done about it. The king was also angry, and said that there might be three other princesses with the same names as his daughters. But the girls were so sure of it, that he began to think there might be something in their point of view. He decided to question Huza, and, going to him, he asked him if he had any daughters. “No,” said Cane, “I’m not married.”

The king then asked him from what kingdom he came. Cane told him everything, from the time of his leaving home; and the king thanked him from the bottom of his heart. He wanted to give him his kingdom, saying that he had promised it to the savior of his daughters. Cane refused, however, and returned to the main hall, where the wedding was to take place. He found the youngest princess sitting on Flood’s knee, and the second oldest on Iron-Mouth’s knee. Going up to Flood, he said, “Flood, do you know me?”

“No,” said Flood, “I do not.” Then he turned to Iron-Mouth, and, asking the same question, received the same reply.

“I am Cane,” said he. But they would not believe him until he recalled incidents of his travels to them. During the recital, Iron-Mouth fell back. The youngest princess rushed to Huza, and, throwing her arms around his neck, she said, “Huza, I knew you were alive.”

Iron-Mouth and Flood begged forgiveness of Huza on bended knees. Huza refused, and told them he was going to hook a pair of horses to their arms and another pair of horses to their feet, and drive them in opposite directions. At this he had them thrown into prison.

But after a while Cane took pity on his old companions, and ordered them brought to him, when he addressed them as follows: “You tried to kill me, but now I am going to take pity on you. I’m going to set you free for old times’ sake. I am going to marry the youngest princess myself, and you can marry the other two.”

So they were all married together, and Huza made Flood and Iron-Mouth high officials of the kingdom.

Written by johnwood1946

March 24, 2021 at 8:23 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

A Story Which Mentions the Marco Polo

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From the blog at

Malcolm Thackeray Ross was a writer, who published a fiction entitled Dreams and What Come of Them in Vol. 5, No. 2 of The New Brunswick Magazine, in March, 1905. An edited version of this story follows.

This is fiction, not a history. Here we have an adventure at sea; a presaged tragedy; a miraculous salvation; with two lovers almost separated by fate; and bravery enough to spare.

The real Marco Polo

From a painting by Thomas Robertson, 1859, State Library of Victoria, Australia,


A Story Which Mentions the Marco Polo

By Malcolm Thackery Ross [With the spelling as it appeared]

I do not know how far the readers of the following pages may be believers in dreams. I am not a superstitious man myself and yet I have, in the course of a long life, witnessed events which were so singular in their character as to deserve the name of supernatural. It would be absurd to say that all dreams or even a majority of them have any meaning. They are usually too indistinct and uncertain in their outline to be more than mere impressions; but in rare instances I believe that there comes to man, in those fleeting visions of the night, warnings of danger to himself or others that it is well to heed. That this is really the case let the following story of my own personal experience testify:

It is now more than thirty years ago that I was captain of a fine clipper ship running between Liverpool and Melbourne. It was in the days of packets, before steam and the Suez Canal had revolutionized the commerce of the world. My ship, the Marco Polo, was a splendid vessel and I was proud of her. I had a good crew, as I always have had in all my voyages, for I discovered early in my career as a master that when sailors are treated like men they will act like men. Well, this particular night of which I am about to tell was as pleasant a September evening as ever I saw. We were about as far south as the Canaries. We had a nice breeze from the north and were running with all sail set, about southwest by south, in order to get the benefit of the ocean current which sweeps past Cape St. Roque on the coast of South America.

I left my first mate Joe Bradshaw, on deck, and, seeing that all was well, gave the man at the wheel his course and went below. This was about ten o’clock, but although I was quite tired, strange to say I did not feel sleepy. I picked up a book as was frequently my custom before I turned in, for when I could spare half an hour or so for reading I always took advantage of it. This particular book was an old volume of sea yarns which I suppose I had read through half a dozen times before, without seeing anything remarkable in it. This night, however, opening the book mechanically I was at once struck with the first heading that met my eye. It was the Wonderful Dream of Admiral Digby.

I began to read and was immediately interested. The narrative went on to state that Admiral Digby was cruising eastward with a small squadron in the Indian Ocean in search of a Dutch convoy from the Moluccas and Java. The Admiral was asleep in his cabin, when in his dream he heard a loud voice calling out: “Digby, Digby, go to the northward.” He awoke instantly and called the sentry, asked if anyone had spoken, No, all had been silent. He fell to sleep again, and again he heard the Command: “Digby, Digby, go to the northward.”

He awoke instantly and called the sentry, asked if anyone had spoken, No, all had been silent. He fell to sleep again, and again he heard the Command: “Digby, Digby, go to the northward.” Again he awoke and again discovered that no one had spoken. The Admiral was unable to endure the pressure any longer. He rose, dressed himself and went on deck, and ordered the ships of his squadron to be signaled to stand to the north. At daybreak he fell in with the convoy he was in search of and made the richest capture ever taken in those seas.

Such was the story which when I  had read it before made little or no impression on my mind, but that night its perusal seemed to affect me strangely. I tried to divert my thoughts from the ideas it suggested by reading something else, but my mind refused to grasp anything farther. I turned over page after page and read, but I only thought of the Admiral’s strange dream and with my mind full of it I went to my cot. I suppose that I must have been asleep an hour or more when I suddenly awoke in a state of extreme agitation, a mood very unusual to me. I had been dreaming that I was sitting in my cabin in my own ship when suddenly a bright figure appeared before me so strangely luminous that I had to shade my eyes to look upon it. Then I saw a face that had often haunted me in my dreams, a face singularly calm and of a beauty that does not belong to the fairest of the daughters of men. The figure raised its right hand and pointed at the tell-tale compass that swung above my head as I sat at the table, and then in a tone of command said; “Keep away three points.” I thought that I tried to speak to ask the reason why, but I could not utter a word. As I struggled to express myself the figure gradually seemed to fade away, and with a start I awoke.

I must confess that for apparently so slight a cause my mind was wonderfully affected by this dream. I sought to banish it from my mind, but that was impossible. Gradually, however, tired nature asserted herself, and I fell into a second slumber. But my dreams were the same. Again I was sitting in my cabin; again the wonderful face appeared before me; again the peremptory command was given, “Keep away three points,” Again I awoke, and when I afterwards fell asleep the dream was repeated a third time, and I thought its face had an expression of anger, as if displeased that it had not been obeyed. I awoke again, my mental faculties in a very confused, and I think, weakened condition. I felt that I could remain in the cabin no longer, so I astonished my mate by appearing on deck after less than two hours below. As my mind gradually cleared from the chaos into which it had fallen, and I revolved this strange dream in my thoughts. I formed the resolution to obey the order so strangely given and went aft. The mate was standing close to the man at the wheel.

“Bradshaw, how does she head?” “Sou’west by south,” he replied. “I guess,” said I, “we’ll keep her away a bit; head her due south until morning.”

The mate looked surprised, but said nothing; he was not a man to ask questions; he only gave the necessary orders to the wheelman, and due south we went dead before the wind. The yards were squared, and on we rushed, doing ten knots at least, with the sea so smooth that a canoe could have traversed it. Then I went below, and enjoyed two hours of dreamless sleep.

When I went on deck I found the lookout men intently watching a bright speck on the horizon. It was reported, but what could it be? Every member of the watch was soon interested in the strange object which was right ahead of us, and every moment growing brighter.

“I think,” said Bradshaw, after a long look through the glass, “it is a ship on fire.” “I believe you are right,” said I, “well, if the people have only their boats at command, help is near.”

There was little said by anyone after that for some time, but every man on deck was now intently watching what we knew to be a burning ship freighted with human lives. The smallness of the light seen at first must have deceived us as to the distance the vessel was from us for, from the rapidity with which we approached the burning vessel, she could not have been more than five or six miles away when we first sighted her. At that the fire was just breaking out of the hold, and from that moment its spread was rapid.

As we swiftly advanced upon the object, I felt my good genius had not commanded me in vain. Here, at least were lives to be saved if there were no treasure fleets to be won. We were now less than two miles from the burning ship and could see, in the bright light of the conflagration, all that was going on onboard. We saw the crew gathered on the poop and her three boats trailing behind. She was running off the wind at the rate of about five miles an hour, her entire sails rigging and masts a mass of flame. We saw the boats drawn up and the people, one by one, transferred to them. One of those thus handed down was evidently a woman. Presently one boat was loaded and dropped off, then a second was filled and also cast off, but one boat was now left, and this contained six or seven persons. Two people were still on the poop, a man and a woman. Al1 this I gathered from the running comments of the mate, who was watching the scene through his glass. The woman was apparently quite helpless, and the man was in the act of handing her down when the boat’s painter [a rope securing the boat to the ship] slipped and quicker than words can tell it, the boat was yards behind. The men seized their oars and rowed frantically after the ship but they might as well have tried to catch an express train. The vessel fell behind, and the two unfortunate ones were left on the burning ship alone and almost beyond help. When this occurred we were less than three-quarters of a mile away, and we came up rapid1y. The men had ceased rowing, and were looking despairingly at the flying ship. In the stern was a young girl in the agonies of grief, and hardly prevented by a youth who sat by her from casting herself into the sea. It was a piteous sight.

“Bradshaw,” said I, “we must save these poor people.” “Yes,” he replied, “we must and we shall.”

The boat was now so close to us that they could almost have touched the ship with an oar, and I shouted to them as we passed: “Never fear, the people will be rescued.” As I said this the young lady fell back in a swoon.

The mate by this time had called the men aft and selected five who, with himself, were to accomplish the dangerous work of rescue. To launch a boat from a ship running at the rate of ten knots is no easy job, it can be done, and it was done that night. Then the mate and afterwards the five men, one by one, were lowered into her. The last man to embark was Dick Bustin, a short, thick set dare-devil of a little man, as brave as a lion and as quick as a cat. His place was in the bow and he had a boat-hook in his hand to catch the ship in case there was no rope in tow.

“Now, my men,” said I, “I will carry you as near the ship as I dare without setting fire to ourselves, and far enough beyond her to enable you to cut in and head her off. Don’t be in too great a hurry to get alongside, but aim for the stern, for the heat amidship will be dangerous. Now, Bustin, you stand by to let go the painter when the mate thinks it is time.”

We were now alongside the burning ship and I could see plainly enough that if a rescue was not effected at once both, the unfortunates would perish. The woman seemed to have sunk down overpowered, and the man was evidently much exhausted. As we swept on I seized the speaking trumpet and called out: “Don’t despair, good people, we’ll save you.”

In a few moments we were a quarter of a mile ahead of the burning ship on her starboard bow and the mate judged it time to cast off. As he did so I had sail reduced and the ship hove to, to watch the gallant men.

The fire-enveloped craft was running off the wind at the rate of between four and five knots an hour and, if I could have freed my mind from anxiety as to the result of the hazardous task my men were engaged in, I might have admired the sublime spectacle she presented. But I was tortured with doubt as to the success of the rescue for the boat’s crew would be in dread perils from the fire before they reached the stern of the ship. I watched them with straining eyes as they closed with her, but they never faltered. As she came broadside on they made a dash for the ship and a moment later they reached her; the boat was under her counter and Bustin had seized a rope that was towing behind and secured it. In another moment I saw him climbing up by it, like a monkey on to the vessel’s poop. Then the man and the woman were handed down into the boat, apparently quite helpless, the painter was cast off and the burning ship drifted away into the night.

ln a few minutes the boat was alongside and then we learned that the man we had saved was the master of the ship, Captain Curtis, who was determined to be the last one to leave his vessel and the woman was one of the passengers, an old lady named Carter, who was going, with her daughter and nephew to Melbourne. She had become so panic stricken that it was impossible to induce her to get into the boat, except by force, and it was while the captain was urging her to permit herself to be lowered into it that the painter slipped and the chance of rescue was lost. After that, between the excessive heat and fright she, became insensible and was still so when placed on our deck. The condition of the captain was hardly better and seeing that what they wanted was air, I had mattresses brought on deck and placed my invalids upon them.

If ever I saw gratitude and joy depicted on a human face, it was when the young lady learned that her mother had been rescued, but her grief was terrible when told that she was insensible and likely to die. The unfortunate lady survived the rescue only two hours, and next day we committed to the deep.

The story of the Carter family was common enough. Mrs. Carter was a wealthy widow who had an estate in the South of England and Alice, the young lady was her only child. At a very early age she had been thrown much in company with Walter Leonard, until an attachment had sprung up between the young couple. Mrs. Carter, who was a very ambitious woman, and, desired her daughter to marry a title, in vain strove to check it, and, failing in this, resolved to take her daughter to Australia and leave her in care of a wealthy uncle, who lived in Melbourne. This uncle, Capt. Acton, had been long in correspondence with his sister, Mrs. Carter, as to the disposal of Alice’s hand, and fully shared her views. Mrs. Carter, to avoid suspicion on the part of young Leonard, did not take passage in one of the ordinary liners, but in a freight ship, the Edinburgh which had good cabin accommodation. But when lovers are in league all ordinary precautions become futile. Alice in some way discovered the name of the ship in which they were to sail and conveyed it to her lover, who was determined to go to Australia with her. Imagine the consternation of Mrs. Carter when she learned that Leonard was on board. But it was then too late to turn back, as the ship was past Holyhead and going down the Channel with a fair gale. Mrs. Carter was seasick most of the voyage and obliged to keep her cabin, so that the young people were constantly in each other’s company, and the very precautions she had taken to sever the bond between them only served to unite them the more firmly.

There was indeed no reason why they should be kept apart. Young Leonard was a fine fellow of twenty-two with coal black curly hair, and a tall and stalwart figure. He had some means and had received an excellent education. The attachment between him and the young lady was deep and sincere. As for Alice Carter herself, I have never seen a lovelier creature. Her complexion was the purest and her figure the most exquisite. Her eyes were dark, but her locks were golden. Her face was the face of an angel: it was the face of the being I had seen in my dreams, but humanized and softened, and rendered womanly. It only remains to add that the mind of Alice Carter was worthy of the frame in which it was set, and that she was all truth, purity and amiability.

After leaving Captain Curtis and his crew at St. Helena, we proceeded on our voyage, and in due time reached Melbourne. Long before this I had seen with great concern that a singular change was coming over Alice Carter. The strength that had enabled her to endure the cruel trial of her mother’s death had left her and was succeeded by a settled melancholy from which it seemed impossible to arouse her. Her gaze was fixed and expressionless; the color had departed from her cheeks; her speech was slow and sad. Nothing seemed capable of rousing her from the state of gloom into which she had fallen; even her lover’s fondest tones failed to awaken a response. We learned later that the cause of this extraordinary change in the young lady was the fixed belief that she was responsible for her mother’s death. She thought that but for her devotion to Leonard, the Australian voyage would not have been undertaken, and that her mother would have been living still.

Of course it was out of the question to attempt to reason with her. All that could be done was to await the time when the power of a mind naturally strong might reassert itself, or when the malady which now clouded it became seated, and nothing remained to hope for but the dark valley of the shadow of death.

Captain Acton, her uncle, was distressed beyond measure to find his niece in such a mental condition, and readily listened to me when I suggested to him that the only thing likely to prove a remedy was a return to her English home and its pleasant surroundings. Thus it was agreed that she should go back with me in the Marco Polo. Of course young Leonard had no notion of remaining in Australia, and would also return with me. He was almost frantic aver the change that had come over Alice, and was consumed with anxiety as to its final outcome.

The weeks I spent in Melbourne were the most wretched I had ever known. I felt like one over whom a great calamity was impending, and yet I could conceive no reason for my anxiety. My sleep was disturbed by dreams which, without forming themselves into coherent shape, seemed to presage sorrow and distress, and left me when I awoke from them harassed in mind and body.

I left Melbourne with a heavy heart. The ship seemed to me to be full of gloom. Alice Carter was no better, but rather worse, and Leonard’s distress seemed to increase daily. Yet it is singular that when we had got clear of the harbour and were once more on the ocean, my spirits began to rise, and I felt almost cheerful. My natural sleep returned, and my evil dreams troubled me no more.

One afternoon when we had been about a week at sea I went down into the cabin on some errand. Alice was sitting there; she had not exchanged a word with anyone that day. The sight of me, however, seemed to arouse her and coming near me she said abruptly: “Captain, we will never see old England again.” “Nonsense,” said I, “what makes you think that?” “Because,” she replied, slowly, “I have had a dream.”

Now Alice, without knowing it, had struck a weak spot when, she spoke of a dream, and instead of ridiculing it, as I might have done, I asked her to relate it to me. That however, she could not do; the faculty of coherent narrative seemed to have left her. She could only repeat: “My dream tells me we will never see old England again.”

We had been making a fast run from the time we left Melbourne and were now almost clear of the Australian coast. I left the deck at midnight with a pleasant breeze blowing from the north and was speedily asleep in my cot. Two hours later I was called on deck; I at once saw Bradshaw’s looks that something unusual had occurred.

“Captain,” said he, “the glass has fallen very rapidly and there is a heavy bank in the southwest. I think we are in for a gale.”

I looked around the horizon saw enough to confirm the mate’s worst fears. There was not a breath of wind, the air was as still as death. The men were already reducing sail, and soon every yard of canvas but a storm stay-sail was safely clewed up. For half an hour we watched and waited as the whole horizon to the south of us grew black as ink. Suddenly, with a roar, as loud as the loudest thunder, the hurricane was upon us. In an instant the sea was one mass of foam. The ship was thrown on her beam ends, and the storm stay-sail was blown clean out of the boat-rope and disappeared. The ship slowly righted and ran under bare poles before the gale like a frightened deer. To check her career was impossible. To heave her to was quite as impossible in such a sea, and even if it could have been done it would have been useless for no sails that ever were made could stand the strain of that gale.

“How long will she stand this?” said the mate who was lashed beside me near the wheel. “We have got to risk it,” said I “if it doesn’t moderate we’ll be ashore before ten o’clock.”

Dawn at length came, but brought no improvement in our condition the wind blew harder than ever; the deck was drenched with spray and the stout ship was rushing to her doom, for on our lee was land and we could carry no sail to draw away from it.

I went down into the cabin and found Alice up and dressed. I was amazed to find her cheerful and even buoyant in spirits. “Is there great danger?” she asked. “There is,” I replied, “I fear we will be ashore in two hours.” She said nothing, but I could see she was not afraid.

I trust never again to have the feeling of utter hopelessness that overwhelmed me at this time. The shore was now broad before us six miles away, and we were running directly for it. We could see the long line of breakers as white as snow. Every man on board was prepared for the worst. Although it was impossible to stand on deck without being lashed to something, after infinite labor, Leonard and I succeeded in getting Alice on the forecastle the only point of safety, for I expected the ship would break in two as soon as she struck. Everyone was now forward, except Bradshaw, who undertook to stand by the wheel to the last. As we rushed on to what seemed certain death Alice was calm. No words short of a snort could be heard, but she clasped my hand in confidence and hope. At that moment I saw a dark spot in the long line of breakers; it did not appear to be more than one hundred feet in length. I gave the mate a signal, but he had seen it, and steered right for it. I untied the lashing which bound me to the rigging and I had scarcely done so when the ship struck.

The moment the vessel touched the ground a mighty wave swept everything off her deck. When I rose above it I found that Alice was still with me. I nerved myself for the struggle in the surf but discovered to my surprise that there was no surf; so that I got ashore with my charge without any difficulty. Leonard and I carried her up the beach and she soon revived. “Thank God,” we both exclaimed “She is safe.”

When I again mustered my men, there was not a soul missing, a result entirely of Bradshaw’s promptness, and judgment. The dark line in the surf was the entrance to a little harbor, completely land-locked and protected by a long reef. At that time of tide there was not water enough to float the ship, and so she struck, but the next wave carried her over the shallow place into the deep water of the harbor beyond. Except for some minor damages the Marco Polo was uninjured.

When I could take an observation I found that we were on one of the islands that lie on the west coast of Australia and we remained there more than a month. We unloaded the ship, careened and repaired her, reloaded her and got her outside of the little harbor on the top of a favorable high tide. Then once more our bow was pointed towards England where we arrived long after we had been given up as lost in the storm that passed over us.

The events of that dreadful night completely restored Alice Carter’s mind and spirits and she had no return of her melancholy feelings. A week after her arrival I had the pleasure of seeing her wedded to the man she loved in a little church in Liverpool and she and her husband still live to thank me for the share I had in promoting their happiness.

Written by johnwood1946

March 17, 2021 at 8:00 AM

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All the Latest News — Saint John in 1840

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From the blog at

All the Latest News — Saint John in 1840

This is similar to an earlier blog post entitled Breaking News: Saint John in 1841. George Fenety’s Political Notes and Observations, Fredericton, 1867, was about the business of the New Brunswick House of Assembly. However, the book also included several Appendices highlighting current events. Most of these events had little to do with the book’s subject, but were illustrative of the times, and what was happening. Many of the entries read as newspaper transcriptions without citations, while others are Fenety’s own words. Yet others seem to be edited transcriptions. Following are some of his examples of current events for the year 1841, from Saint John and elsewhere.

(Probably) Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Parade, Saint John, about 1897
19th century, by James Woodburn, from the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum.

Fire and Police Departments:

Great complaints made in the Newspapers in regard to the inefficiency of the Saint John Fire Department—also of the Police Department.

Prohibitory Liquor Law:

The Fredericton Sentinel of February 22, 1840, says—Mr. Woodward introduced a Prohibitory Liquor Law, very stringent in its provisions. Mr. Partelow moved an amendment which led to its defeat.

Lord Glenelg’s Picture:

The same paper says the picture of Lord Glenelg has just been placed over the Speaker’s Chair, and is a superior work of art.

The Queen’s Marriage:

News received in Saint John of the Queen’s Marriage, which took place at Saint James’ Chapel, on the 10th February, 1840. A grand Ball was given at Government House, Fredericton—most numerously attended. The Lieutenant Governor (Sir John Harvey) made a loyal speech, congratulatory of the young couple for having entered the bonds of wedlock, and proposed a toast. A special meeting of the Common Council was held in Saint John, and a Committee appointed to devise upon the best means of celebrating the event, which afterwards reported, and suggested that £250 should be laid out for the purpose of giving the poor a feast on King’s and Queen’s Squares—which was duly carried into effect. King’s Square was then an open plain, without a tree or blade of grass, and no chains enclosing it. On the 23rd May tables were spread over the ground, well loaded with “roast, boiled, and stewed,” besides pastry of all kinds. The persons for whom the feast was intended did not fail to do it every justice. The following is the bill of fare, together with a sketch of the affair, copied from the “News”:—

35 Hams, 35 rounds Corned Beef, 3 surloins roasted—1250 lbs. Bread, and 120 gallons Ale and Wine, for King’s Square alone: a similar quantity for Queen’s Square, and lots of good things for Carleton.

The Wedding Cake.—This ephemeral production of pastry art, created only to be destroyed, made its appearance at 12 o’clock, on King’s Square, rising piles on piles like the snowy Alps; it was accompanied and decorated with penants, initials, &c.,—and now the work of destruction commenced. A populace grown ravenous by exercise, and unrestrained by fear, rushed like tigers upon their prey, to the tables. Ham, beef, bread, ale, and wine, vanished as if by magic; and if under such circumstances, a little irregularity crept in, who can wonder? Upon the whole the Corporation deserves great credit for their liberality and the people for not having outraged all decency.

Fire in Saint John!:

Between 11 and 12 o’clock last night, the appalling cry of Fire was again resounded through our Streets, which was soon found to proceed from Barns in the rear of the dwelling houses of the Messrs. Kinnear and Wm. Hutchinson, West side of Germain Street, between Queen and St. James Streets; there being several barns in a cluster, and two at least of them being on fire before discovered, it is difficult to know precisely in which it originated. People having generally retired to rest, the night being cold, and water scarce, the fire speedily communicated to the row of dwelling houses in front, and in about two hours and a half five large and valuable dwelling houses and a number of barns and out buildings, together with large quantities of fuel, &c. were burnt to the ground. The following dwelling houses were destroyed:

  • Two story house owned and occupied by the Hon. Wm. B. Kinnear.
  • Two story house owned and occupied by Mr. Wm. Hutchinson.
  • Two story house owned and occupied by Mrs. Kelly.
  • Two story house owned by Mr. Thomas Raymond, and occupied by Captain Hare.

Three story house owned by Mr. Jos. Sulis, and occupied by himself, and Mrs. Majoribanks, Mr. Wm. Seely, and Mr. Charles Robinson. Carpenters’ Shop in the rear also burnt.

Appalling Calamity!:

The Lexington left New York for Stonington on Monday, at 3 o’clock, January, 1840, having, it is believed, about one hundred and fifty passengers. A large quantity of cotton was placed upon her decks. At 7 o’clock, when about two miles from Eaton’s Neck, the cotton took fire near the smoke pipe.

The boat was headed for the shore as soon as the efforts to extinguish the fire proved unsuccessful. She was provided with three boats, yet such was the panic that took possession of all minds, that they were hoisted while the boat was still under headway and immediately swamped.

The engine a few minutes after gave way, leaving her entirely unmanageable. The scene which then ensued, is described as most appalling. Nearly every soul perished.

Temperance Soiree in Saint John:

As the cause of Temperance is now quite an “institution” in the Province, it may interest the young Cadet to know the amount of respect his principles commanded at an earlier day—for this purpose the following extract is made from the News, May 27, 1840:—

The Temperance Soiree in honour of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, took place on Monday evening last. The Hon. Judge Parker presided; and His Excellency Sir John Harvey, honoured the company with his presence. There were also present, Major Brooks of the 69th Regiment, the Provincial A. D. C., Hon. W.H. Robinson, Captain Tryon, and several officers of the 69th. The Chairman had made his opening address, when His Excellency entered. He was saluted by the Band of the 69th Regiment, with God Save the Queen. Shortly after His Excellency gratified the friends of Temperance, with an address, highly approving the object, and complimenting the exertions of members of Temperance Societies. Three cheers were then given for the Queen, and the same for Sir John, which he acknowledged amidst the continued cheers of the company, by a very appropriate address; shortly after which His Excellency retired. The National Anthem was then sung and played; and Tea and Coffee, with plenty of wedding cake, followed. Captain O’Halloran delivered an address on the subject of marriage, recommending strongly to those who have not yet been tyed by Hymen [to clarify, that would be the Greek god of marriage], to delay no longer? but to ‘pop the question’ at every opportunity. An interlude performed by the Band followed; when the Hon. Neville Parker addressed the meeting on the subject—“Our Laws”—and in the most pleasing manner he played with the subject with so much tact, as to excite the risibles of the audience, at times most convulsively. Rule Britannia, with some additional appropriate words, was sung and played. The Hon. W.B. Kinnear concluded the addresses, by delivering a most excellent one on the British Constitution; showing, by several happy illustrations, its vigor and perfection, and the true liberty and safety afforded to every individual and his property, living under its protecting influence. A dessert of fruit followed, with instrumental music and the company then joined in “Praising God from whom all blessings flow,” vocally and instrumentally; also, the two first verses of the 100th Psalm, and the last verse of the evening hymn. A large wedding cake, surmounted by a crown and British Union, which stood in the middle of the room, was now distributed among the company, nearly all of whom carried home a piece of this sweet tribute of love and loyalty. The room was decorated with colours in a very tasty manner; and a neat transparency prepared for the occasion, was placed over the seat appropriated for Sir John Harvey.

Salaries of Saint John Officials in 1840:

John R. Partelow, Esquire, re-appointed Chamberlain of Saint John, Salary about £1200, received in commissions. Hon. William Black appointed Mayor in succession to R.F. Hazen, Esquire. It may be stated here also, that the salaries of the Mayor and Common Clerk were about the same as the Chamberlain’s. The “Penny Papers” had not begun to get awake yet.

Saint John Theatre, &c.:

Mr. Preston advertises his Theatre (1840)—kept in Union Street, next to the “Golden Ball Corner.” Here members of the Mechanics’ Institute also held their meetings, previous to the erection of the present building. Rev. Mr. Andrews delivers a course of Lectures on Astronomy.

The Custom House Building:

Mr. John Walker makes preparations for building his Custom House, by pulling down a brick building, and other houses, standing on the premises, for the space required.


Eight hundred and seventy five Passengers arrived in Saint John in two days in May. M.H. Perley, Esq. Emigrant Agent.

The Mechanics’ Institute:

On the 27th May Sir John Harvey laid the corner stone of the Mechanics’ Institute. The celebration upon this occasion was upon a grander scale than was ever known before, and has not been surpassed since. All the Trades were out in procession; and it has been repeatedly declared since that our operatives never looked better, or turned out so numerously, as they did on this occasion. The following extracts will be of interest to the present juvenile members of the Institute:—

s the streets were very dusty the Water Company made an effort to lay it, by opening their fire plugs, but with very little effect. To describe the banners and decorations would be tedious; suffice it to say that every thing was done ‘decently and in order;’ but we cannot help adding, that the automaton Vulcans plied their hammers with mechanical precision, and very much to the amusement of the public; while the manufacturers of beaux, with their newly created Adam and Eve, cut a very respectable figure. Previous to the movement, flags of various kinds had been stretched across from the two Hotels, at the head of King Street. In short, every exertion, which the time afforded, was made to get the thing well up—and it was done.

The Band of the 69th, the Portland Band, and M’Intyre with his Pipes, (none of them out) enlivened the scene by various popular airs. Arrived at the site of the projected building, the ceremony of laying the corner stone, came next in order. Upwards of 6,000 persons, at the lowest calculation, were present, which presented quite an animated and imposing spectacle. The stone being laid, His Excellency then, at some length, spoke in laudatory terms of the Institute, its object, and the probable consequences of its influence upon the rising generation; of the prosperity of the City, owing chiefly to the enterprise of our Merchants, and the ability and industry of our Mechanics. The ceremony over, the procession by a retrograde movement, to the tune of In the days when we went gipseying, went down Germain Street and up King Street, to the Saint John Hotel; and where, after a few parting words from His Excellency, the different bodies separated, and returned to their respective places of meeting.

It is with high satisfaction that we say that every thing connected with this public exhibition was well conceived, and well conducted to the very close—no irregularity, no noise; all was as it should be.

The business and pleasures of the day terminated in a grand Ball at the Saint John Hotel; and early yesterday morning, His Excellency re-embarked on board the New Brunswick, for Fredericton, under a salute from the Artillery.

Written by johnwood1946

March 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM

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Some Relics of the Early French Period in New Brunswick

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From the blog at

Following is a description of trade items from early French adventurers and fishermen and given to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people. The paper was read before the Natural History Society of New Brunswick by Samuel Kain and Charles Rowe in December, 1900, and printed in the Society’s Bulletin, No. XIX, in 1901. A few very minor edits have been made to the original.

I am conflicted by this article. I find almost anything to do with archaeology interesting, and valuable in revealing the secrets of the past. However, I do not support grave-robbing. I hope that a modern archaeologist would seek permissions and partnerships before undertaking such work — and do it with more respect.

Mi’kmaq Encampment, ca. 1801

Library and Archives Canada, via the McCord Museum

Some Relics of the Early French Period in New Brunswick

From time to time various articles relating to the early occupation of this province by the French have been deposited in the museum of this Society. Chief among these accessions are the articles donated by Dr. A.C. Smith, of Tracadie, N. B. one of our most energetic corresponding members.

Jacques Cartier visited Miramichi Bay and Bay Chaleur in 1534, and from that time until the voyage of Champlain in 1604, there are many reasons for believing that numerous fishing and trading vessels visited our shores. These adventurous sailors carried on an active trade with the natives. The traders wanted furs, and for these they bartered iron tomahawks, knives, kettles, beads, etc. A brief account of such articles used in the trade as we have in our museum, with some others, may be of interest to our members, and of practical use to future investigators.


Before the arrival of Europeans the Native people made earthen vessels. No perfect specimens of these have yet been found in New Brunswick, but from such fragments as have been recovered, it would appear that these articles were quite small. They were also heavy, and, as Dr. G.F. Matthew has pointed out, were very fragile on account of being fired at too low a temperature. The metal kettle of the Europeans were therefore very much desired and highly prized.

Champlain in his Voyages (Vol. II., pp. 83-84) narrates the following incident which occurred at Nausett Harbor, Mass.: “On the 23rd of July (1605) four or five sailors having gone on shore with kettles to get fresh water … some savages [sic], coveting them, watched the time when our men went to the spring and then seized one out of the hand of the sailor,” with the result that the kettle was lost and the sailor slain.

These kettles have been found in many parts of Canada and are generally made of copper or brass.

Three of these kettles were found in 1871 at Tabusintac interred with human remains. Dr. A.C. Smith brought the discovery before the Society, and an account of find was published. In this connection it may be of interest to the Society to quote what Champlain says in his Voyages (Vol. II., pp. 191-192) about burial customs at Quebec: “When a man or woman dies, they dig a pit in which they put all their property, as kettles, furs, axes, bows, arrows, robes and other things. Then they place the body in the pit and cover it with earth.” In 1899, Dr. A.C. Smith sent to the Society an account of the finding of some graves of the early French period at Wilson’s Point, Shippagan. Here stood an old French fort, now washed away, which has been described by Prof. W.F. Ganong, and is marked on his map as “Denys’ Fort.”

The following is an extract from a letter by Dr. Smith to the Society, dated at Tracadie, Sept. 19, 1899: “Four circular depressions in the ground, about 100 feet from the shore, were noticed by two who happened to pass through the woods. In one hole they found the copper kettle which I will forward in a few days. In the kettle they found the skull, arm bones and ribs, but the bones of the lower extremities were outside of the pot. Over the mouth of the vessel was the skin of some animal, and over the skin birch bark. I saw the circular skin covering, but it was too sodden to bring away. In the other holes were found pots, axes, a sword, knives, a harpoon, and a pair of bracelets. In a small pot were some beads.”

In a letter written some days later he adds:

“The round holes were four in number; about three feet in diameter and about four feet apart. Clearly they were graves; and there are no indications of anything else in the vicinity. Since writing you, I have found on special enquiry that there were human bones in two of the holes. A button was found with the bracelets; but I have failed to get either. From a reliable friend who saw the button I learn that the button face which was as bright as gold, had a face of a man on it, surrounded by a halo, and a cross at the bottom side of it. About forty-five years ago a metal box with a written document, was found about a mile from these graves but the writing could not be read as the paper was rotten. The box had been cased in birch bark.”

“About two years ago, an Indian grave was broken into not far from the site of the graves I write about. I visited the spot and the occupant had been buried in a sitting posture; the hole was deep but not more than three feet in diameter. The bones were very much decayed. Nothing else was found in the hole.”

We have in our museum three of these kettles from Tabusintac and four from Tracadie. It has been reported that similar kettles have were been found at Indian Point, Grand Lake. The kettle shown in plate x, fig. 4 was found by Dr. Smith, under the circumstances just described. It is of copper, 21½ inches in diameter, 12 inches deep, and has a capacity of 15 imperial gallons. The handle is of iron, rectangular in section and passing through copper ears, strongly fastened with three copper rivets to the body of the kettle. The bottom is nearly flat and gently rounded at the sides. This kettle weighs twenty pounds and Mr. Hevenor says the value of a similar vessel now would be about $10.00.

The other pots from Tracadie, three in number, are small, the smallest being six inches across the mouth and four inches deep.

The kettles from Tabusintac differ in some respects from those found at Tracadie. In the Tracadie kettles the sides are neatly turned over an encircling iron rod so that the rod is not seen. In the Tabusintac kettle, the top sides of the kettle are flattened into a rim three-quarters of an inch wide, and beneath this the kettle is encircled by a broad iron band, to which are welded two circular iron ears for handles. All the Tabusintac kettles have the inner side of rim decorated with diagonal markings, and the handles are distinguished by a peculiar prolongation of the ends beyond the ears, of from 3 to 3½ inches, and at right angles to the sides, as shown in plate xi, fig. 4. In two of the Tabusintac kettles, the shape of the bottoms is that of a compressed cone.


The double-edged, sharp pointed sword, shown on plate x, fig 1, was found by Dr. A.C. Smith in 1899, along with other articles in one of the circular graves at Tracadie. It is very badly rusted. The length of the blade is 2 feet 1¼ inches, the handle, 3½ inches, and the widest part of the blade measures 2¾ inches. The sward may have been a present to a chief from the French, or it may have been the sward used by a medicine man in his incantations. [He footnotes Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, III, p. 112.]


Among the articles found by Dr. Smith, at Wilson’s Point were a number of knives, plate xii, figs. 4-5. They are all badly rusted and about six inches long. They have originally been mounted with wooden handles. Fig. 3 represents a knife in much better condition than the preceding found at Tabusintac in 1879. Knives seem very highly valued, and Cartier records that on his first voyage (1534) he gifted some knives in the very region where our specimens were found.


The badly rusted iron harpoon, shown in fig. 5, plate x, found in 1899, by Dr. A.C. Smith at Wilson’s Point, Shippagan, along with the articles described on a preceding page. It is ten inches long, and though badly rusted, shows evidence of having been a strong implement. It was probably fitted with a wooden shaft and used in the seal fishery which flourished during the period of the early French occupation.


Before the arrival of Europeans, the natives used axes of stone. At the best, these were unsatisfactory tools, and in the European iron axe they recognized a good thing. These axes early became an important article of trade, and were sent to America in large numbers. Hundreds of these have been found in Ontario, but with us they are not so common.

Fig 2, plate x, shows a badly rusted iron axe, found by W.C. Simpson, at l’Etang, Charlotte County, and now in our museum. The eye is oval in shape, the length of the axe is eight inches, and it weighs one and three-quarter pounds.

Fig 3, plate x, shows a well preserved iron axe in our museum, labelled “Tomahawk of Milicete Tribe.” This poled form, Mr. David Boyle says, is not common in Ontario. In this specimen, the pole measures 2½ inches, the length of the axe is 7½ inches, the rounded cutting edge is 2¾ inches and the weight is one pound.

Iron Gouges or Scrapers

Dr. Smith recovered from the graves at Tracadie three curved iron tools that may have been used as gouges or scrapers pretty badly rusted, but one specimen (fig. 1, pl. xii) is sufficiently preserved to give a good idea of these tools. It is about 5½ inches long, and the curved scraping edge is 1¾ inches wide. This specimen has a knob at the end of the handle. Mr. T.W.E. Sowter has described and figured very similar implements from Lake Deschenes in the Ottawa Valley. He says, “Mr. Boyle inclined to the believe that the small bulb or knob at the end of the handles, they may of pushing directly in the hand, perhaps as have been used by means skin-dressers or flesh-scrapers.

The other specimen figured (fig. 2 and 2a, pl. xii) is of a different shape and badly rusted. The third specimen has a blade two inches wide.

Leaden Crucifix

The earliest French traders and settlers who visited this province were accompanied by missionaries.  Many converts were made, and doubtless to such would be presented crucifixes, of which a specimen is shown in fig. 6, pl. xii. This crucifix was found in 1879 at the mouth of the Tabusintac River, at a depth of three inches in the surface loam, and presented to the Society by Dr. Baxter, of Chatham. The exact spot where found is shown on a small map published in Bulletin V, p. 15.

The cross is 2½ inches in height, and 1¾ inches in width. It is in one piece, the escutcheon holding the inscription and the figure have been made separately and afterwards soldered to the cross. There is a hole in the suspension, and Monsignor Laflamme, who has examined is of the opinion that at one time a chaplet of beads was attached and later separated from it. The inscription is difficult to read, but Monsignor Laflamme considers that if complete it would be “I. H. S.,” as such an inscription is found on several crucifixes.


Prof. W.F. Ganong has in his possession a curious lead toy (figure 5, plate xi) which was given to him by Prof. L.W. Bailey, in 1897. Professor Bailey bought two of them from a man who dug them up just below the mouth of the Oromocto. The specimen belonging to Prof. Bailey has on it the letters “I. B.” and a scratched “1740,” which is probably modern. The toy represents an old time four-gun sloop of war, with high stern and ancient bowsprit. It would seem as if this object had been made in a wooden mould from bullet metal. The reverse side is perfectly smooth.


Beads were used for ornamental purposes. Before the advent of Europeans, they made them from shells, and in some cases from stone. Mr. Duncan London says that beads made from stone have been found in the vicinity of French and Maquapit Lakes. The women wore the beads strung around their necks, arms and wrists, and suspended from their ears.

The early French traders introduced glass and porcelain beads in large quantities, and these soon displaced the native article. Most of the beads of this period to be found in the museum of this Society, and at the University, have been recovered from graves. Dr. Smith recovered a large number of colored beads of glass and porcelain from the graves at Tracadie. These were strung on fibers, which Professor Ganong determined to be the root fibers of the spruce. The various forms are shown on plate xi, fig. 2.

The museum of the University has a number of beads recovered from graves at Grand Lake, and very similar to those found by Dr. Smith. The large flesh-colored glass bead or pendant (plate xi, fig. 1) was found on the Washademoak River, and is in the university museum. It is octagonal in form and perforated from end to end.

Fig. 3, plate xi, shows a porcelain bead, evidently made in imitation of the old Indian wampum beads. Its surface is covered with cracks and the hole for suspension is very small. It was ploughed up in 1898, on his farm near Nerepis Station, Kings County, by Geo. A. Harding, who gave it to the Society.

In early intercourse with the Natives, the belt or collar of wampum was used as a flag of truce, and served the same purpose as the pipe in other parts of the continent.

Father Baird states that beads were generally interred with the remains of women.

Plate X

Plate XI

Plate XII

Written by johnwood1946

March 3, 2021 at 7:48 AM

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Little or no Idea of the Origin of the Name ‘Acadia’

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Little or no Idea of the Origin of the Name ‘Acadia’

There are many theories as to the origin of the name ‘Acadia,’ but William F. Ganong could not verify any of them except to show that it must have descended from a European word. His paper was published in Vol. 3, No. 4 of The New Brunswick Magazine, edited by W.K. Reynolds in 1899. The earliest spelling variation of the name was apparently Larcadia. His paper follows.

Dispersion of the Acadians, from Painting at St. Joseph’s College

From the centre des études acadiennes, via the McCord Museum. About 1907


The Origin of the Name Acadia

In all our history there is no name of greater charm or sadder memory than Acadia. Naturally, then, the question of its origin is of considerable interest and many writers have discussed it. Yet I believe the true origin of the word has never yet been given, and the most widely-accepted origin is wholly erroneous. If the reader, divesting himself of all prejudice, will act as judge upon the evidence to follow, I think he too will come to the same opinion.

Let us notice first of all, merely as matter of curiosity, some of the more remarkable attempts to explain the name. The earliest of these that I have found is in a rare work, published at London in 1750, entitled A Genuine Account of Nova Scotia, which reads,—

“When the French got Possession of it, they called it L’Acaddie, in Allusion to Arcadia in the Grecian Peloponnesus, but with what Propriety I cannot pretend to determine.” This theory is also given in, Williamson’s History of Maine, Volume 1, page 188. A curious and absurd explanation is contained in an anonymous work published in London in 1863, A Peep at the Western World, which tells us that Acadia is derived from “a simple unobtrusive hardy little flower of that name which grows wild in the country.” Probably the author has mixed up the Mayflower, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, with the ancient name of that Province.

A derivation which might be thought respectable from its source is that contained in a work by Vetromile, entitled The Abnakis, and which reads thus:—

“I was at one time led to resolve Acadie into the two Abnaki words aki-adie (land of dogs). Yet, after more recent investigation, I consider it more natural to trace it to the Micmac word academ (we dwell), or led-lacadem (where we dwell), that is our village.” Though this work by Vetromile is often quoted with approval, it is in my opinion a very shallow work, quite unworthy of confidence, at least so far as the parts relating to our Indians are concerned.

Another derivation formerly often cited is the following, contained in Potter’s History of Manchester, N.H.  “This word … is generally supposed to be derived from the French or Latin; but it is an Indian word corrupted by the French. The original word is Aquoddiauke, from aquoddi (a pollock) and auke (a place), and means a place for pollock. … The original word is still preserved in the neighborhood in Passamaquoddy … which is derived from Pos (great) aquam (water) aquoddie (pollock) and meaning great water for pollock.”

While this writer gives, in a general way, correctly the derivation of Passamaquoddy, he is entirely in error in the meaning he ascribes to the different roots, for the part of the word meaning Pollock is Pesatum (i.e. his Posaguam) while aquoddy is the Maliseet form of the Micmac Acadie, of which more will be said presently. Practically the same derivation of the word is given in a boundary blue book of 1840, is repeated by Hind in his Geological Report of 1865, (pages 20 and 260), and by several others.

The widely accepted view of the origin of the name, however, is that it is from the Micmac akadie an inseparable suffix of many place-names in the Maritime Provinces meaning place of occurrence of, as in Shubenacadie (place of ground nuts), etc. So far as known to me, this view was first proposed by Gesner in his Industrial resources of Nova Scotia (1849). It was adopted and elaborated fully in Dawson’s Acadian Geology. This work gives a list of place names in Acadia ending in acadie, and the authors view was that it originated in the following way:—

“The early settlers were desirous of information as to the localities of useful productions, and in giving such information the aborigines would require so often to use the term Cadie that it might very naturally come to be regarded as a general name for the country.”

This view has the advantage of the support Sir John Bourinot, who, in his Cape Breton (in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, IX, ii, 327), gives a list of 17 place-names, compiled from Rand’s Dictionary, ending in akade. Yet another list, including 22 such names, is given by Mr. James Vroom in the Educational Review, for June, 1892. The origin of the word is discussed also, and the above interpretation accepted, in the Otis-Slafter translation of Champlain, Vol. II, page 73, by Willis in Kohl’s Discovery of the East Coast of Maine (page 234), by Laverdière in his Champlain, and by many others.

In summary now, we find that the most widely accepted explanation of the word derives it from the Micmac termination akadie. As to the evidence for this, it rests exclusively upon a coincidence; and the argument is simply as follows:— The country has been, called Acadie from early times; in this country are many native place names ending in akadie; therefore they are one and the same. There is not one bit of historical, cartographical or any other sort of support for it.

Let us, however, examine the subject in the light of the history of the word as shown in early documents; and we may best trace it backwards. Passing back through the last century, and through the preceding one to the time of Champlain, we find that the very earliest known use of the word is in the Commission to the Sieur DeMonts of 1603, where it appears as La Cadie. In Champlain’s Narrative, however, of 1613 he has sometimes Acadie and sometimes Arcadie, with other forms, and here in going backwards we first find an r in the word. Yet more important and remarkable is the fact that Champlain in his narrative of his voyage of 1603 invariably spells it Arcadie, never failing to insert the r. Going still further backwards we next find the word in a Cosmographie by Thevet in 1570 where it again appears as Arcadie. In the sixteenth century there are numerous maps which place the word in its proper place and without any exception they have the forms Arcadia or Larcadia. Such a map for example may be seen in the Translations of the Royal Society of Canada, Volume III, section ii, page 345, and others are given in Winsor’s Narrative and Critical History of America, Volume IV. I could give, if such a list would have interest for the reader, the names of several good maps between 1548 and 1590 which thus mark Larcadia or Arcadia, and moreover these maps all belong to the Italian type which influenced more strongly than any other the place-nomenclature of this coast. But I need only say here that in all the cases of its occurrence on maps of the sixteenth century, the word never once appears without the r. Finally the very earliest map on which it is known to me to occur is one by the Italian Gastaldi of 1548 (given in Winsor’s America, IV, 88) where it is Larcadia.

Our Acadia then is the direct descendant of the old Larcadia of the sixteenth century maps. What then is its real origin? Can Larcadia be from the Indian? Three facts are against it; first the presence of an r in the word, which letter and sound do not occur at all in the Micmac Language; second, it appears on the maps long anterior (i.e. in 1548) to the date of any settlement, and at a time when the intercourse of the natives with Europeans had been of the very briefest and most superficial character, and hence before the abundance of native words ending in akadie could have been known; third, of the many other names on these early maps, all are obviously of European origin, and not a single one is of native origin, showing that up to that time only European names had been given in this region. We must then give up the idea that Larcadia can be of native origin, and admit that it is European. But why it was given originally I do riot know, nor have I any idea. The presence of the L is against its origin from a repetition of Arcadia in Greece. Further studies may yet give us the clue to its solution, but in the meantime it seems impossible to escape the conclusion that the word is not of Micmac but of European origin.


Written by johnwood1946

February 24, 2021 at 8:16 AM

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