New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. January 17, 2018

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

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


John Wood


Written by johnwood1946

January 17, 2018 at 8:30 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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

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From the blog at

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

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

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

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

Archaeological Excavation at Fort LaTour

Parks Canada, via the CBC


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by johnwood1946

January 17, 2018 at 8:30 AM

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Education in New Brunswick in 1837

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From the blog at

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

 Kings College

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

Education in New Brunswick in 1837

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

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

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

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

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

The day begins and concludes with divine worship.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Necessary expenses of a Collegiate Course

Fees on Matriculation,




Four annual payments of £8 each, for Tuition,




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




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




Fees on the Degree of Bachelor of Arts,




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




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

Funds of King’s College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Institution is open to persons of every religious denomination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by johnwood1946

January 10, 2018 at 8:19 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder

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From the blog at

This is the story of the murder of Mercy Babcock in Shediac, in 1806, by her brother Amasa. It is a gruesome tale but is factual. Amasa was hanged at Dorchester and buried under the gallows. It was only the third hanging in New Brunswick. The story is presented here from the New Brunswick Magazine, Volume 1, 1898.

JW Lawrence

J.W. Lawrence

Lawrence compiled this story, which was later rewritten by W.O. Raymond. The image is from Lawrence’s Footprints; or, Incidents in the Early History of New Brunswick, St. John, 1883

The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder

In August, 1884, Mr. J.W. Lawrence read a paper before the New Brunswick Historical Society, dealing with the Babcock tragedy at Shediac, in the year 1805. This paper did not become the property of the Society, and is not now available for publication. Through the aid of Rev. W.O. Raymond, however, the information upon which Mr. Lawrence based his paper has been secured, and with some additional facts the story is now told in more complete form than on the occasion in question.

In the year 1805 there were but a few English families in the parish of Shediac, among whom were those of Amasa Babcock and his brother Jonathan. The principal man of the place was William Hanington, the ancestor of the now numerous family of that name in this province. Mr. Hanington was an Englishman who had, a number of years before, secured a large grant of land described as “adjoining the city of Halifax.” Coming to the latter city, about 1784, to take possession of his estate, he was amazed to find that to get from the capital to his “adjoining” property meant a journey of about one hundred and seventy miles. This journey he accomplished on foot, in the dead of winter, going over the Cobequid Mountains and hauling a handsled containing a peck of salt and other necessaries. Mr. Hanington made a later journey to Halifax on horseback, to procure a frying pan and some other essentials of housekeeping, for though there were stores at St. John at that time he probably knew little of the Loyalist arrivals, and chose Halifax as his most convenient base of supplies. His most remarkable journey, however, was when he went to Prince Edward Island in a canoe to get his wife, whom he brought back and installed in his home at Shediac. In 1805, Mr. Hanington had reached the age of 47, was the father of a family and was in prosperous circumstances. He was then, as he was all through his life, a very zealous member of the Church of England. There was at that time no Protestant place of worship in that part of the country, but the French had a small church at Grand Digue. On Sundays, Mr. Hanington used to read the Church of England service in his house, for the benefit of his own family and such of the other English speaking people as choose to attend. The service would be supplemented by the reading of one of the sermons of Bishop Wilson, of Soder and Man. In addition to the Babcocks, the chief neighbors were Samuel Cornwall, Simeon Jenks and Amasa Killam, all of whom were adherents of the Baptist denomination.

The home of Amasa Babcock was on the road to Cocagne, about three miles from the present church of St. Martin’s in the Woods. It was a small block house, built by one Peter Casey, and by him sold to a Mr. Atkinson, who mortgaged it to a Mr. Barry of Halifax. The Babcocks appear to have been hard working men, of little education, and of the type easily moved to go to extremes on occasions of excitement. They worked at farming and fishing, and were in humble circumstances. Amasa Babcock was a man in middle life. His family consisted of a wife and nine children, (the eldest about twenty and the youngest an infant) and his sister Mercy, who had been married to one Hall, but was not then living with her husband. She was of a melancholy disposition and was not allowed to eat with the others of the family.

Mr. Hanington had taken a liking to Babcock, and had purchased for him the place on which he lived. Babcock was to repay him by catching gaspereau, but had so far paid nothing of any consequence, and Mr. Hanington had sent some young cattle to his place to be fed and cared for during the winter, as a means of securing some of the amount due.

In the spring of 1804 a revival took place in the settlement, among the Baptist people. The meetings were held on Sunday evenings at first, but as the interest became greater they were held on Thursday night of each week as well. Towards autumn, the enthusiasm in the revival became more and more intense, and the people were wrought up to a high pitch of excitement. Many of them believed the world was coming to an end, and all kinds of interpretations were attached to the prophetic portions of the Old and New Testaments. Among those who came among the people was Joseph Crandall, a Baptist preacher, and later one of the members for Westmorland in the House of Assembly. Following him came two young men who were on their way to Prince Edward Island. They stayed one night at Shediac and held a revival meeting, which lasted until the next morning and was attended by the most extraordinary scenes of religious excitement.

In January, 1805, one Jacob Peck, another revivalist, came through to Shediac from Shepody, and he appears to have exceeded his predecessors in the extravagance of his appeals to the excitable nature of his hearers. Indeed, his lurid declamation seems to have been all that was needed to drive a number of the people out of their minds. As a result of his work, Sarah Babcock, (daughter of Amasa Babcock) and Sarah Cornwall fell into a species of trance, and began to prophesy that the end of the world was at hand. The infatuated people believed that these unbalanced minds were inspired, and were anxious to have the prophecies preserved. As there was no one able to take down their words, a message was sent to Mr. Hanington, one evening, asking him to come and take their depositions, as they were supposed to be dying. Mr. Hanington, not being in sympathy with the methods adopted in the revival services, refused to go, saying, “It is all a delusion. They want mad-houses rather than meeting-houses.” The people were persistent, however, and the messenger was again sent to Mr. Hanington, after he had gone to bed, with the word that the girls had something to say before they died, and that they wanted it written down. Thereupon Mr. Hanington got up, remarking to his wife that he had better go, as perhaps he could convince them of their error.

It was then the middle of the night. Mr. Hanington found the girls lying on a bed and Jacob Peck walking to and fro in the room. “There is my epistle,” said Peck. Mr. Hanington proceeded to inquire what the girls had to say, and to commit it to writing. The alleged prophecy was to the purport that Mr. Hanington was to be converted, and that Jacob Peck and the girls who were prophesying were to convert the French.

The excitement among the people continued during January, and in February the revival services were kept up, night and day, for a week. By this time Amasa Babcock and his household appear to have been wholly out of their minds and utterly indifferent to their temporal affairs. One Poirier, a Frenchman, brought Mr. Hanington word that the cattle which he had put in Babcock’s care were suffering for the want of food. When Mr. Hanington questioned Babcock as to this, the reply was, “The Lord will provide.” Mr. Hanington then threatened to take the cattle away from him unless he attended to their wants. This was on the 13th February.

When Amasa Babcock went home that night, he took his brother Jonathan with him to grind some grain in a hand mill. Jonathan began to grind, and as the flour came out of the mill Amasa sprinkled it on the floor, saying, “This is the bread of Heaven!” According to his wife’s statement, Amasa then stripped off his shoes and socks, and though the night was bitterly cold, he went out into the snow, crying aloud, “The world is to end! The world is to end! The stars are falling!” After shouting in this way for a short time, he returned to the house.

The man had gone stark mad, and the others must have been out of their minds for the time being, as they assented to everything he did without appearing to think it at all strange. Then followed a most extraordinary scene.

Amasa Babcock, his eyes flashing with the frenzy of insanity, arranged his family in order on a long bench against the wall, the eldest girl being at one end near the fire and his wife and youngest child at the other end. He then took a clasp knife and began to sharpen it on a whetstone. Going over to his sister, Mercy, he commanded her to remove her dress, go on her knees and prepare for death, for her hour was come. She obeyed without hesitation. He next ordered his brother Jonathan to take off his clothes, and the infatuated man did so. Nothing appeared surprising to that strange household of deluded beings.

Amasa now acted as one possessed of a devil. He went to the window several times and looked out, as though expecting something to happen. Then he laid his knife down on the floor, on top of the whetstone, the two making the shape of a cross. Stamping on the whetstone, he broke it, calling out that it was the cross of Christ. Then he picked up the knife, went to where his sister was still kneeling and stabbed her with savage strength. She fell to the floor, the blood gushing from the wound, and died in a few moments.

This fearful act seems to have brought the family to their senses. As soon as Jonathan saw the blood flow, he rushed to the door and fled, naked as he was, in the darkness of that winter night, to the house of Joseph Poirier, a quarter of a mile distant. There he was supplied with clothing and went to Mr. Hanington’s house, where he aroused the inmates by crying and shouting that his brother Amasa had stabbed his sister.

At that time there was no magistrate at Shediac, and Mr. Hanington at first refused to go to arrest Babcock, but on second thought he decided to act in the matter. Putting on snowshoes, he started for the house of Joseph Poirier, senior, but in his excitement he found himself at the house of young Joseph Poirier, there being no public roads to follow in that part of the country in those days. He was after Pascal and Chrysostom Poirier, whose assistance he might require in making the arrest, and when he eventually found them at the elder Poirier’s house they consented to go with him. It was then about two o’clock in the morning.

On entering the house where the tragedy had been committed, they found Amasa Babcock walking about with his hands clasped. Mr. Hanington told the Poirier brothers to seize him. Babcock resisted and asked what they were going to do. Their reply was that they intended to hold him a prisoner, whereupon he cried out, “Gideon’s men, arise!”

On hearing these words, his two young sons, Caleb and Henry, jumped up as if to assist him, but were compelled to sit down again, and the prisoner was secured.

The body of Mercy Hall was not in the house, nor was it then known where it had been placed. When Mrs. Babcock was asked if her sister-in-law was dead she simply said “yes.” When some of the English neighbors reached the house about sunrise, search was made for the body, which was found in a snow drift where Amasa had hauled it. He had first disembowelled it, and having buried it in the snow he had walked backward to the house, sweeping the snow from side to side with a broom as he went, in order to cover up his tracks.

The prisoner, with his arms securely strapped, was taken to Mr. Hanington’s house. While there he kept repeating, “Aha! Aha! Aha! It was permitted. It was permitted!” The statement of Jonathan Babcock was written down, and the necessary papers were prepared to authorize a commitment to prison. On seeing the papers, Amasa shouted, “There are letters to Damascus! Send them to Damascus!” It was evident that he was thinking of Saul’s persecution of the Christians. Babcock was then taken to the house of Amasa Killam, who had been one of those prominent in the revival. There the prisoner became more violent in his insanity, and to restrain him he was placed upon a bed with his arms pinioned and fastened down to the floor.

The weather was then very stormy, and travelling, in the primitive condition of the roads of those days, was out of the question. By the third day after the tragedy, however, the storm had abated, and several of the men of the neighborhood started out to take Babcock to prison. Putting straps around his arms, they placed him on a light one-horse sled, and putting on their snowshoes they hauled him by hand through the woods to the county jail at Dorchester, a distance of some twenty-six miles. Truly, one of the strangest winter journeys ever made in the wilderness of this country.

The slowness with which news traveled and found its way into print in those days is illustrated by the fact that the St. John newspapers contained no notice of this remarkable tragedy until after the trial took place, some four months later. The following appeared in the St. John Gazette of June 24, 1805:—

“On Saturday the 15th inst., at a Court of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol delivery, holden at Dorchester, for the County of Westmorland, at which his Honor Judge Upham presided, came on the trial of Amos Babcock, for the murder of his sister Mercy Hall, at Chediac in that County on the 13th day of February last. The trial lasted about six hours, when the jury after retiring half an hour, returned with a verdict of guilty against the prisoner. He was thereupon sentenced for execution on Friday the 28th instant.

“It appeared in evidence that for some time before the trial, the prisoner with several of his neighbors, had been in the habit of meeting under a pretense of religious exercises at each others houses, at which one Jacob Peck was a principal performer; That they were under strong delusion and conducted themselves in a very frantic, irregular, and even impious manner, and that in consequence of some pretended prophecies by some of the company in some of their pretended religious phrenzies against the unfortunate deceased: the prisoner was probably induced to commit the horrid, barbarous and cruel murder of which he was convicted. The concourse of the people at the trial was very great, who all appeared to be satisfied of the justice of the verdict and sentence.

“The above named Jacob Peck was on the same day indicted for blasphemous, profane and seditious language at the meetings above mentioned, and recognized with good securities to appear at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer in that County, to prosecute his traverse to the said indictment with effect,

“It is hoped and expected that these legal proceedings will have a good effect in putting an end to the strange and lamentable delusion, which made them necessary, and brought the unhappy culprit to such an ignominious death.”

On the trial of Babcock, Ward Chipman, solicitor general, appeared for the Crown, and his brief is believed to be still in existence. The prisoner was undefended. The court room was crowded during the trial, and it is said the verdict and sentence met with general approval. The unfortunate lunatic was hanged on the date appointed, and his body was buried under the gallows on what are still the jail premises at Dorchester. There is nothing available to show what became of Jacob Peck.”

That a crazy man should be arraigned, tried and condemned without counsel for his defence seems incredible in the light of modern jurisprudence, as does the fact that he was hanged for a crime for which he was not morally responsible. In these days such a man would be sent to an asylum for the insane, but in those times not only were such institutions unknown in this part of the world but there was a wholly different spirit in the administration of criminal law. In the case of Babcock there was the undoubted fact that a person had been slain without provocation, and the court took the most simple method of dealing with the slayer, which was to hang him.

Written by johnwood1946

January 3, 2018 at 8:26 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s

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From the blog at

Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s

1000 AD to the mid-1600’s is an ambitious timespan for an historical review, but Charles Vernon attempted it in his, Cape Breton, Canada …, Toronto, 1903. The following is from his book, in a heavily edited and condensed form.

West Bay, Cape Breton, N.S., in about 1914

From the McCord Museum


Cape Breton was home to the Mi’kmaq people from time immemorial, but too little of this history was known to our author, or to the present editor, to provide commentary here. Consequently this blog posting can reach no further back than to the vague and ancient stories of the Northmen.

According to legend, the coast of North America was visited by Norse voyagers sometime during the tenth century, when Biarne set sail for Greenland and lost his way in the fog. He sailed on for many days, at last reaching an unknown shore, a land without mountains, but covered with small hills in the interior. Remaining at sea for three days and three nights, with a fine breeze “they saw a third land which was high and mountainous, and with snowy mountains.” Keeping along the coast, they perceived that it was an island. It has been conjectured, though on slight foundation, that this third land was Cape Breton.

While the honor of the first voyage over the western seas belongs to Biarne, the honor of being the first to land must be awarded to Leif, a son of Eric the Red. His voyage was made in A.D. 1,000. He came first to the land Biarne had discovered and found it to be “a country of advantages.” This land Leif called Helluland (the land of flat stones). Finding another land, flat and overgrown with wood, he called it Markland (woodland). A third land he designated Vinland. Authorities differ as to where these lands were. Helluland has been said to be Newfoundland, Labrador, or northern Cape Breton. The description of Markland would suit any portion of the Atlantic coast of Cape Breton or Nova Scotia. Vinland has been located in Rhode Island, and in western Nova Scotia, whilst an authority on Norse antiquities has maintained that the northern extremity of Vinland, corresponds with northern Cape Breton. While the whole subject will probably ever remain uncertain, Cape Breton’s claims are at least as satisfactory as those of other places.

Passing over an interval of well-nigh five hundred years we learn that in all probability, even before the coming of the Cabots, Basque and Breton fishermen visited the shores of Cape Breton. Certain it is that the name Biccalaos, applied in the earliest maps to this island was the Basque word for cod, while the name Cape Breton is said to be in memory of the Breton and Norman fishermen who visited these waters.

The next great names to be identified with the island are those of the Cabots. The discovery of the West Indies by Columbus had fired many adventurous souls with the desire of still greater achievements, and the monarchs of Europe were anxious to add these lands to their own dominions. [So indicates our author. Initially, however, and for some time, adventurers sought to find a way around the encumbrance of the Americas and to sail onward to the Far East.] England was eager that the glory should not fall only to Spain, while the merchants of Bristol dreamt of an enormous trade in fish. Besides this there was the ambition to convert the Indians to Christianity.

It was in 1494 that John Cabot, a Venetian merchant living at Bristol, applied for leave to make a northwestern voyage, with a view to the discovery of a shorter route to India or Cathay. Two years later Henry granted to Cabot and his three sons “full and free authority, leave and power, to sayle to all parts, countreys and seas of the east, of the west, and of the north, under our banner and ensignes … to seeke out, discover and finde whatsoever isles, countreys, regions, or provinces, of the heathen and infidelles, whatsoever they bee, and in what part of the world soever they bee, whiche before this time have been unknown to christians.” Accompanied by his son Sebastian, John Cabot sailed from Bristol in the Matthew in 1497, and made the discovery which has made his name famous, and upon which the claims of England to North America were subsequently based.

On the spot where he landed Cabot planted a large cross, carrying two flags, one bearing the St. George’s Cross of England, the other being that of St. Mark, the patron of Venice. Pages of argument have been written as to which land was the first seen by Cabot, some claiming it was the coast of Labrador, while others argued for Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, and or Cape North or some other point in Cape Breton. The claims of Cape Breton are mainly based on what is known as the Sebastian Cabot Mappe Monde, which was discovered in Germany in 1843, and is dated 1544. On this map the northeast point of the mainland of North America, which coincides with Cape North, is designated prima terra vista, the first land seen. The map describes it as follows: “This land was discovered by John Cabot, a Venetian, and Sebastian Cabot, his son, in the year of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, MCCCCXCIIII [sic] on the 24th of June in the morning, which country they called prima terra vista … The inhabitants wear skins of animals, use in their battles bows, arrows, lances, darts, wooden clubs and slings. The soil is very barren, and there are many white bears and stags as large as horses, and many other beasts; likewise great quantities of fish [of all] sorts, besides a great abundance of the kind called baccalaos.” [The map was dated 1544, forty-seven years after the voyage, and some people say that the description must have been compiled from later observations.] This description suits the northern part of Cape Breton.

To sum up, Cape Breton has at least as good a right to be considered Cabot’s Prima Terra Vista as the other claimants. However, if neither of the Cabots actually landed in Cape Breton, it can be safely affirmed that in 1497 and 1498 they sailed along our coasts.

After the Cabots, a number of voyagers are recorded as having either visited the shores of Cape Breton or at least sailed along its coast. In 1524 Verrazano, a Florentine, who sailed from France, reached the coast of Carolina, and then sailed north till he reached Cape Breton. Here he took in a supply of wood and water and returned to France. In 1536 the famous Jacques Cartier, on his return from Canada, discovered the passage to the Atlantic between Cape Breton and Newfoundland. He gave the name of Loreine to what is now (probably) Cape North. In 1536 Master Hore, of London, with divers other gentlemen, made a voyage to Newfoundland and Cape Breton. In 1593 Richard Strong in the Marigold, a little vessel of seventy tons, visited Cape Breton. Many of his crew landed and encountered Mi’kmaq. Captain Leigh in the Hopewell visited Cape Breton in 1597. He called at the harbor named by the natives, Cibou, now Sydney. “In this place,” he writes, “are the greatest multitude of lobsters that ever were heard of, for we caught at one hawle with a little draw-net above 140.” Captain Leigh was the first navigator to call Cape Breton an island.

Soon after discovery, Cape Breton was regularly visited by fishermen from France, Spain and Portugal, chiefly those from Normandy and Brittany. The English were slow to profit from the industry, apparently because of lucrative fisheries off the coast of Iceland. However, in the time of Edward VI, they turned their attention to Newfoundland and Cape Breton, for in the second year of that monarch’s reign an act was passed imposing penalties on officers of the Admiralty for “exacting sums of money, doles or shares of fish, for licenses to traffic in Newfoundland, to the great discouragement and hindrance of the merchants and fishermen.”

England, France and Spain were often at war, but the fishermen treated the fishing grounds as neutral territory, and with few exceptions pursued their labors without fear of molestation. Sydney Harbor, then known as Baie des Espagnols, was the chief resort of the Spanish, St. Ann’s of the French, and Louisburg, then styled English Harbor, of the English. By the close of the reign of Elizabeth over two hundred English vessels were engaged in these fisheries.

Meanwhile another lucrative business was building up in Canada. The fishermen came to realize that the Indians were ready to barter furs, and thus the great fur trade began. Cape Breton, from its nearness to Europe, soon became a favorite resort of the traders and, as early as 1594, the Mi’kmaq were selling furs to a variety of nations.

Quite a number of settlements seem to have been attempted during this period, though for a long time none were successful. Champlain states that the Portuguese formed a settlement and spent a winter here, but that the rigor of the climate made them abandon it. This settlement is said to have been at Ingonish, though others have maintained that it was at St. Peter’s.

The principal settlement was at Port Royal on the mainland of Nova Scotia and, for a while, it looked as if France was to rule the whole area. However, in 1613 Captain Argall, an English adventurer, captured Port Royal, and Acadia remained in the possession of England until the treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye. Eight years later James I granted to Sir William Alexander all the vacant territory from Cape Sable northward, including “the Isle of Baccalaos or Cape Breton,” This whole area was called Nova Scotia including the modern provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and part of Quebec. Alexander was “to divide [his grant] into one hundred parcels, and to dispose of them, with the title of Baronet, to purchasers for their encouragement to improve the colony.”

Among the few who accepted Sir William Alexander’s offer of vast estates in Nova Scotia for £200 each was Lord Ochiltree, son of the Earl of Arran and, in 1629, with some sixty emigrants, he set out to form a colony in this island. On July 1st he entered the small harbor of Baleine, a little to the east of Louisburg, cleared some land and erected a fort. But the little colony was short lived since, in September of the same year, Captain Daniel landed at Port Baleine with about sixty men, and captured the fort. The next day he razed the fort to the ground and set out for the Grand Cibou, probably St. Ann’s Bay, and forced the unfortunate colonists to erect a French fort. Then men, women and children were crowded into the hold of his ship and carried back across the Atlantic. Most of them were set ashore near Falmouth, but eighteen, including Lord Ochiltree himself, were carried prisoners to France. The source of the trouble seems to have been an attempt by Lord Ochiltree to collect tribute from the fishermen of other nations.

Captain Daniel, having erected a house, a chapel and a magazine, left the little settlement under the command of Sieur Claude de Beauvais, with two Jesuit priests, and forty men. The two Jesuits were soon ordered to Quebec, and many of the others were lost to scurvy. Additional supplies were received and Captain Daniel visited the settlement and found it distressed over the assassination of a Lieutenant by the commandant, Captain Gaude. Soon after Daniel’s arrival, Gaude escaped from confinement, and nothing more is known of the little settlement.

The next, and by far the most successful, of these early attempts at settlement, was made by Nicholas Denys, Sieur de Fronsac. Upon the restoration of Acadia to France by the Treaty of St. Germain, Isaac de Razilly was sent out as Lieutenant-Governor. He was accompanied by Sieur d’Aulnay de Charnisay, by Charles Etienne la Tour and by Denys. Denys first engaged in the shore fisheries at Port Rossignol (Liverpool, N.S.), but as a result of endless disputes with Charnisay he abandoned that place and made Chedabuctou, now Guysboro, his headquarters. He also established stations at St. Peter’s and at St. Ann’s in this island. At St. Peter’s he carried on an extensive trade with the Indians, cleared considerable land, and erected a fort near the narrow isthmus which then separated the Bras d’Or Lake from the sea. He is said to have had eighty acres of arable land in cultivation. Across the isthmus, now cut through by St. Peter’s canal, he constructed an excellent road, over which boats could be hauled from the sea to the lake. At St. Ann’s his settlement was equally flourishing. Writing to the French Colonial Minister, his grandson said: “My devoted grandfather had a fort there, the remains of which are yet to be seen, and the Indians tell us that he raised the finest grain there, and we have likewise seen the fields which he used to till, and there are to be seen in the place very fine apple trees, from which we have eaten very good fruit for the season.”

Denys’ career was not free from misfortune. Charnisay died in 1650, leaving a large debt with La Borgne, a merchant of Rochelle. La Borgne was awarded Charnisay’s property in Acadia in liquidation of the debt and he set out to take possession of it. He razed the fort at St. Peters and made prisoners of all the inhabitants. Denys himself, who was on his way home from St. Ann’s, was seized and sent with all his people as a prisoner to Port Royal. Denys then returned to France and obtained a new grant, allowing him to take back his property at St. Peter’s, and to rebuild the fort and other facilities.

Denys was still not allowed any peace. Giraudière, who had lived for some years at St. Mary’s River, laid claim to Denys’ settlement at Chedabuctou, and captured St. Peter’s, which he offered to exchange for his former place. Finally, Denys and Giraudière went to France to press their respective claims and Denys was reinstated in his rights. Shortly after his return to St. Peter’s all his buildings, wares, furniture, ammunition and stores were destroyed by a fire, at which point he abandoned Cape Breton and retired to his one remaining settlement, that at Bay Chaleur.

When a census of Acadia was taken in 1686, there was not a single family of European descent on Cape Breton, and there appear to have been no further attempts at settlement until after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

Written by johnwood1946

December 27, 2017 at 8:19 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808

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From the blog at

The following  reflection on Christmases past in Saint John was written by Clarence Ward, and appeared in The New Brunswick Magazine, Volume 1, 1898. It has been shared in this blog previously, and is repeated again for its seasonal interest.

This description is interesting and revealing, though overly air brushed and varnished. My only objection to it is the remark that “all the people were fairly well to do”, which was definitely not the case. Only the people of that class and of that neighbourhood were as well to do as described. I cannot object to all of the references to servants, even though many of them were slaves, because that is just the way that it was in 1808. It would have been better if the air brushing and varnishing had not been so thick in this article.

Christmas Treat for Soldiers’ Children, Soldiers’ Wives League,

Centenary Church, St. John, N.B., December 1915. From the New Brunswick Museum


Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808

The year 1808, time about three o’clock in the afternoon, of a fine winter day in the middle of December. A portly gentleman, considerably past middle age, is standing on the stoop of his residence on the corner of King and Germain streets, and a young lad is on the sidewalk, looking inquiringly at him. “Run Charles, there countryman coming down the street to ‘Kent’s.’ See what he has got in his saddle bags, before Col. Billop gets hold of him.” The boy starts off and brings the countryman to the old Major, and submits his load for examination. He has two geese, a fine turkey and several pairs of chickens and partridges, which are quickly bargained for and carried into the house. Christmas is at hand and it is necessary to have the larder well supplied.

At that period the country was but sparsely settled, roads were few and did not extend far in any direction from the city, except the main road to Sussex, in which direction the country was being rapidly cleared and opened up for farming. There was no market in St. John; farmers came to town, some in wagons in summer and sleds in winter, and others from remote clearings on horseback. The only market they had was the public highway on King Street.

About this time of the year there was great rivalry amongst the householders to get first chance from any countryman coming into town with poultry or game, hence the words of the Major to his son.

The summer business was over. The West Indian fleet had sailed, the fishermen and coast settlers had loaded their “Chebacco” boats with tea, sugar tobacco and with clothing, not forgetting a “cag” (so pronounced) of Jamaica “spirits” and other necessary articles for winter supplies, and had gone to their several destinations. The town was very small and all were acquainted, and the long winters were devoted to comfort and enjoyment. The houses were solidly built to resist cold, with low ceilings and fire places wide and open; the best of hardwood was plentiful and cheap, and all the people were fairly well to do.

The Christmas holiday at that period was long looked forward to by old and young as a time of great enjoyment, and every preparation was made to give it due honor. The housewife, for many days before, was in the kitchen with her maids and the cook, who was always a colored woman. In most cases she had come with the master from the old home by the banks of the Hudson, or some other pleasant place in the land of their birth. The old Loyalists were fond of good living, and in their reunions would boast to one another of the capabilities and wonderful resources of their old black cooks, somewhat in the manner that the nabobs of the old world would talk of their “chefs”.

The old fashioned kitchen had an open fire place, in or before which all cooking was done. The poultry and meat were roasted before the open fire on a spit, which being slowly turned, greatly “did” the meat all through and preserved all the natural juices and flavor. In these degenerate days we bake our meats, and very few now living, I suppose, ever ate a roasted turkey.

In the kitchen, the cook was paramount and despotic. Even the mistress was somewhat in awe of her on these occasions, and would never venture to give an order, but meekly suggest what she thought might be done.

All supplies were laid in, early in the winter: beef by the quarter, a pig, poultry of all kinds, and maybe some moose meat and caribou. All the meats, not salted or pickled by the mistress, were kept frozen in a place prepared in the barn. The cellar was well supplied with potatoes, turnips and other vegetables, and in one corner, carefully railed off, was a space especially under the care of the master of the house, and his deputy, the old family servant, who generally spent his life in the household, and considered his master a greater man than the governor of the province. In the corner was stored a cask of Madeira, another of port, and one of sherry, and chief among them, the main stay of the supply, a cask of Jamaica rum, very old, and very fragrant. Brandy and whiskey and other fiery liquids were not then in general use. There might be a bottle of brandy in the house, but only to be used as a corrective of internal disturbance arising from too generous an indulgence in the good things of the season.

Every preparation was made for a befitting celebration of the important day. Those who had been remiss or improvident, scoured the adjacent country to see if any unfortunate fowl or bird had escaped the promiscuous slaughter. The girls and their mother were unremitting in their work in furnishing a bountiful supply of pies of all kinds, and cakes and doughnuts. In that day the doughnut was king of the feast, fat, juicy and crisp, well cooked and wholesome. In these degenerate times his glory has departed. We are half ashamed of him, and though still considered a requisite of the Christmas holidays we eat him in a furtive manner, and many loudly declaim that they never eat doughnuts, call them bilious, and apply other heretical calumnies to what in old times was considered indispensable to the festival. Most old fellows carried doughnuts about in their pockets, and ate them at all sorts of unseasonable hours, and I have heard of some of the old families who made them by the barrel!

But the principal party was old Dinah, the cook. She was in her glory. Fat, and at ordinary times the soul of good nature, on this occasion, under the weight of the responsibilities put upon her, and to uphold the reputation of her master’s house for gastronomic superiority, she became a very tyrant in her domain; none dare dispute her orders, or suggest changes or improvements in her dishes. They simply became humble assistants in the great work of preparation for the Christmas dinner. And this dependence was well repaid when the festal day arrived and the products of her culinary art were proudly placed on the table, and elicited delighted encomiums from all who partook of them, but her greatest reward was when the old master turned to her and said, “Well done, Dinah!”

Early on Christmas morning, the young men assembled in some open field and tried their skill as marksmen by shooting at live turkeys buried to the neck in the snow, leaving the head only visible. Their guns were old flint muskets, which formerly had done service in the war of the Revolution across the border. The range for shooting was about 30 or 40 yards, so the unfortunate turkeys had a poor show for their lives, but as the killing of them was the main object of the gathering it is to be hoped the aim was generally good. Sixpence or a shilling was the price usually paid for a shot, and some of the crack ones generally brought home two or three birds as a result of their skill. These sports came down to modern times, they were quite in vogue forty or more years ago, and may still be practised in some country districts.

The older people, before church time, visited each other and talked over the business of the year, and the prospect of the West India trade, and told old time stories of their adventures in the war, and of perils and hair breadth escapes from pirates and privateers on their West India voyages. In those days, the French privateer and picaroons of all nations, were accustomed to lie in wait in the out of the way harbors and lagoons of the island of Cuba; and pounce from thence on our unfortunate merchantmen as they proceeded on their voyages to and from the islands.

It is scarcely necessary to relate that these discourses were punctuated, as it were, by frequent adjournments to the sideboard, where decanters of wine and other cordials, flanked by jorums of good old Jamacia, were set out for the refreshment of all who desired. In that day the sideboard was never empty, and an invitation to partake was not considered necessary. It was presumed that each one knew what his requirement was; there were no pressing to drink, but it was there for each one to help himself.

There must have been something really preservative in Jamaica rum; all drank freely of it, and it has been remarked, that seldom or never in a representative body of men, have so many reached extreme old age, as was the case with the majority of the men who came here in 1783. This may be verified by any one looking over files of papers published sixty years ago, and noting the extraordinary number of deaths of old men ranging from 75 to 95, in which it is stated in the obituary notice that he came here a Loyalist in 1783.

It was not the crude rum of commerce, doctored and adulterated, such as is the vile stuff too commonly sold at the present time. The preparing and mollifying of Jamaica such as was used by the old merchants of St. John was almost an art, and great care and attention was given to the process. In the first place they imported from the island the pure unadulterated juice of the cane. That for their own consumption was kept a year or two in cask; then, when duly seasoned, it was hoisted to the top story of the store or warehouse, and stood at the edge of the hatch. On the floor below of the three or four story building was a large butt. A spigot was driven into the cask above, and a very slight stream of liquor, almost drop by drop, was allowed to fall into the butt below. As it became full it was carefully ladled out and bottled, and then put away sometimes for a year longer. This process was supposed to eliminate all the fiery spirit of the rum and in four or five years it became so mild and palatable that it could be drunk without the addition of any water.

As an instance of filial affection, and also of the high regard in which a seasoned cask of rum was held, it is related that during one of the disastrous fires which periodically devastated St. John many years ago, one of the members of a firm came to his store on the wharf when all the buildings around were fiercely burning. His younger brother was busily engaged with a gang of men rolling out the goods, to save as much as possible from the flames. The elder earnestly inquired of his brother, “Have you got out your father’s puncheon of rum?” The younger man made some impatient answer, and went on with the work of salvage, but the senior insisted on all work being stopped, and taking the men into the store, he brought out the puncheon of rum, and had it conveyed to a place of safety, and then allowed the work of saving ordinary merchandise to go on.

The hour appointed for church service found the old people with their wives and families assembled at Trinity church. The Rector, the Rev. Mather Byles, was rector of Christ church, Boston, at the time of the Revolution; he was a devout Churchman, and most exemplary Christian, but somewhat eccentric. It is said that he was opposed to having stoves or any manner of heating in the church, and that he kept himself warm by wearing a fur coat under his surplice, and gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off on his hands, to facilitate the turning of the leaves of his book. His unfortunate congregation did not fare so well, especially the womankind, and it was part of the duty of the small boy of the household to carry a pan of live charcoal to the family pew sometime before service commenced, to keep warm the feet of the female members of the family. One of the old settlers has told me that, when a boy, he often carried the warming pan to the church for this purpose. The pews were built very high, not much more than the head and shoulders of a man appearing above the top of the enclosure, and running around the four sides were brass rods on which were hung red or green baize curtains. These curtains were drawn back during service, but on the commencement of the sermon they were closed, and no person was visible in the church, but the minister in his high pulpit, and it was quite startling, on the conclusion of the sermon, to hear the curtains sharply drawn back, and see the people emerging from their seclusion to join in the closing services. Church being over, they wended their way homeward, the elders gravely discoursing about the sermon, or maybe criticizing the discordant notes of some over zealous member, who more enthusiastic than skilful, raised his voice in the psalms and hymns appointed for the occasion, for in those days all the congregation (who could sing) were expected to join in the choral part of the service.

The great event of the day was still before them the Christmas dinner preparation for which had long been going on in the household. Hospitality was one of the great virtues of the time, and at the table of the head of the family were gathered all the descendants, including those who had married and gone out of the household, and their children of befitting age, and also two or three old friends and comrades who had remained single and had not homes or families of their own to make merry with all were assembled on that one day in the year in affectionate re-union at the old homestead.

At the head of the table sat the white haired grandfather, still hale and hearty, though many years had gone over his head since he first drew his sword in what he considered his duty to his king and country; behind his chair stood his old servant Richard, who had faithfully served his old master for many years.

The usual hour for dinner was 4 o’clock. All being assembled at the table, thanks were given for many mercies and for the bountiful repast before them, and the Christmas feast began. The viands were all the product of the country. Turkey, beef, poultry, game, venison, all the best of their kind; good humor, mirth and jollity were the order of the day. After the solids were removed, came on dessert, pies, puddings, custards, nuts, apples and other good things, with port, sherry and Madeira. It was the day of toasts and drinking wine with each other, the latter being a very particular ceremony. One would request of his neighbor “the pleasure of a glass of wine with you,” which being responded to, each would fill his glass, then, bowing to each other as gravely as Chinese mandarins, they drank the wine and silently replaced the glasses on the table. This ceremony went around the table from neighbor to neighbor and was often repeated, and always with due gravity and decorum, any flippancy on the part of the younger members being severely frowned at as a thing not to be tolerated. Meanwhile, the younger folk had gathered in an adjoining room with the matrons, and made merry with games, and minuets and country dances.

The elders generally sat long over their wine. Over indulgence was not encouraged, and an intemperate person was as much avoided as at the present time, but if an old fellow got a little more than he could carry it was not thought to be much out of the way. So as the evening went on some one of them would quietly drop off into a doze in his chair, the warmth of the room, good cheer and generous wine having produced a feeling of comfort and repletion. Presently the host would make a suggestion that, all having had sufficient, enough of the evening was left for a game of whist, or if any of them felt inclined, for a round dance with the young folk in the adjoining room. Accordingly they would adjourn to where the young people were enjoying themselves; perhaps some septuagenarian, recalling the agility of his younger days, would lead one of the elder ladies to the dance. They made a picturesque couple, he in his blue tail coat, high collar behind nearly reaching to the crown of his head, bright metal buttons those behind in the middle of his back with knee breeches, silk stockings and pumps, and she in her old fashioned short waisted black silk gown, with lace collar and cuffs, and mittens, (without fingers) of knitted silk on her hands.

The old gentleman brightens up at the music, remembrances of his old time skill at the dance at balls and assemblies in old New York come to his mind, and he astonishes his old comrades by his pirouettes, and the sprightness with which he “cuts a pigeon wing,” as he glides through the figures of the lively dance, and finally it comes to an end, and somewhat breathless and wheezy, but with old time courtly grace, he makes his bow and conducts his partner to a seat. His old friends congratulate him on his grace and agility, which they say might equal that of a much younger man, at which the old fellow is pleased, and straightens up his back, and tries not to feel the twinge of lumbago which the extra exertion has brought on.

Midnight comes and the party begins to break up. Those who have to go home wrap themselves up in shawls and furs, the sleighs come to the door, and with much handshaking, blessings and good wishes, the holiday comes to an end.

Those of the household who remain behind, gather around the fire, and indulge in reminiscences of by gone times. The old folk recall the days of their youth by the fireside at the old homestead on the Hudson. When they look around and see the sturdy young men and handsome girls who have grown up around them, they give thanks in their hearts for all the blessings vouchsafed them, and for the happy termination of what, for many years, was a life of anxiety and struggles and disappointments, and for the pleasant home they have made in the wilderness far removed from the land of their birth.

Written by johnwood1946

December 23, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Saint John River, the Rhine of America

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From the blog at

The Saint John River, the Rhine of America

This is a collection of pictures from around New Brunswick, but mostly from Saint John. It is taken from the St. John River, the Rhine of America, by the New Brunswick Tourist Association, Saint John, 1899. Clicking on an image should yield a full-screen view.

Glade in Rockwood Park:

Martello Tower:

Canadian Pacific Docks and Elevators:

In Rockwood Park:

Scene in Saint John Harbour:

Micklenburg Street, Saint John:

Fishing Weirs, Saint John:

Bridges over the Reversing Falls at Low Tide:

Gathering Dulse in Saint John:

Saint John River at the Narrows:

Saint John River, Glacial Hills:

Saint John River with Islands:

Saint John River with a Steamer:

The Bore on the Petitcodiac River:

Canoeing on the Restigouche:

Hopewell Cape:

Magaguadavic Falls, Saint George:

Camp in Northern New Brunswick:

Written by johnwood1946

December 20, 2017 at 8:47 AM

Posted in Uncategorized