New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. September 21, 2016

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

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


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

September 21, 2016 at 9:01 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

1 – David Kennedy’s Travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick, in 1876

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1 – David Kennedy’s Travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick, in 1876

David Kennedy’s father was a singer who toured Australia, New Zealand, and Canada between the years 1872 and 1876. He and David were in Quebec City in the month of May, 1876, planning to travel between there and Saint John, and this is the story of their trip by railroad, via New Hampshire and Maine.

David’s descriptions are picturesque, and he clearly enjoyed his travels. He also enjoyed observing local characters along the way – albeit with a sometimes sarcastic tone. I found the story to be very enjoyable. It is taken from Kennedy’s Colonial Travel: A narrative of a four year’s tour through Australia, New Zealand, Canada, &c. by David Kennedy, Jr., Edinborough, 1876.

McAdam station pre 1900

McAdam in the Early Days. Kennedy’s Entry Point to New Brunswick


Our faces were now turned to St. John, the commercial capital of the province of New Brunswick. To reach it involved a very roundabout road. One way was to go by steamer from Quebec, but, as navigation was not expected to open for a day or two, we could not avail ourselves of the St. Lawrence route. The grand Intercolonial Railway between Quebec and the Maritime Provinces would not be completed till the month of June, so the only way left us was to travel by way of New Hampshire and Maine. We left Quebec at 7 p.m., crossed the river to Point Levis, and took the train thence to Richmond Junction, which was reached at one in the morning. Here we had to change our sleeping cars, getting up half asleep in the dark and moving into fresh berths. We awoke early and found ourselves in Yankee-land. At Island Pond the baggage was examined by the Customs officers—one of our trunks being opened, the tray taken out, and the contents overhauled, of course to our intense delight!

We had breakfast here. At the hotel-table there sat opposite us two young ladies, who were sisters, and talked in a loud tone of voice concerning their private affairs. While thus engaged there stepped up, from an adjoining table, a young man, who greeted the fair maidens as old acquaintances, and asked if he might be so bold as to take a seat beside them. “Oh, I should so much wish it,” said the youngest gushingly. “So glad,” said he. “We’ve jest come from Dee-troit,” commenced the eldest sister in a scientific-lecturer pitch of voice, “an’ we’re goin’ down East to Professor Brown’s College.” “Yes,” chimed in the younger damsel, “I’m told they polish an’ turn out well there, an’ that’s why we’re goin’.” Then the ladies asked the young gentleman “what locality he was located in;” after which they went on to state that their “pa” the doctor could not come to breakfast as he was sick (ill). The young man then asked us to “pass the cup,” but as we looked vaguely about for such an article, he smilingly explained, “The pepper, please!” The eldest sister being pressed to take a hot roll—“No,” said she, “I’m too sick to look at them buns.” Then stretching her arm across the table after the departing waitress, “Hi! See here, you there,” she cried, “I want more tea.” “Oh,” added her sister, “I’m goin’ to fill up with coa-fee!” On the railway platform strolled their pa the doctor, a middle-aged gentleman with clean-shaven face, heavy features, his hair arranged in long wispy ringlets stiffened with grease, and wearing a high hat narrowing at the crown. He was shortly joined by his two daughters, who walked deliberately up and down, each chewing a wooden toothpick.

Our further journey was delightful—the scenery beautiful, and not a tame bit of country to be seen during the whole of the forenoon. The snow was not lying here on the lower ground—the air had some balminess and the sun some warmth. We were in a different atmosphere from that of Quebec. The White Mountains of New Hampshire were a noteworthy feature. We turned the flank of the range, and saw the loftiest peak, Mount Washington, covered with a liberty-cap of snow, towering into the blue sky. Every few miles we came upon a splendid river, with the snowy hills stretching behind it, and perhaps a delicate church spire rising out of the midst of a white wooden village, and giving a Swiss appearance to the scene.

During the forenoon we entered the State of Maine, where exists a stringent liquor-law, but where “bitters” of all kinds are sold with impunity. It must be confessed, though, that the towns had a great air of sobriety. A remark of ours that nobody would be able to get a “nip” here was received with smiles of incredulity by our fellow-passengers, and then a number of incidents were told us, to show how ingeniously the Liquor Law is evaded. One story ran as follows. A book-peddler, with a bundle of blue-and-gold volumes under his arm, steps into a shop:—“Hev any of my books to-day?” “No!— get away,” says the shopkeeper, huffily. “Jest look at one book.” “What have you got?” “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” “Get away, now, d’ye hear?” “Jest hev a look!” “Clear out!” The peddler unscrews a corner of the sham book, and holds it to the storekeeper’s nose:—“Hev a sniff, then?” “Eh?” (Storekeeper sniffs)—“Old rye, by thunder! I guess I’ll take three volumes!”

At mid-day we branched off at Danville Junction, said good bye to our old friend the Grand Trunk Railway, and went on by the Maine Central. The rest of the day the train passed through country that I thought would have been more thickly populated, though there was plenty of life at the rivers—manufacturing and lumbering towns, with scores of saw-mills, lining the magnificent streams that water these regions. In the evening we arrived at Bangor; and, as the connecting train did not leave till next morning, we slept at a hotel, which was a pleasant break in the long journey.

Then we went on to St. John by the “European and North American Consolidated Railway,” as it was grandiosely termed. At one of the stations a half-tipsy old man was getting off the train, when he fell flat on his face. The crowd of loafers that are always on hand at a “depot” gathered round at once. A tall man, a doctor, pushed his way through, while a bystander exclaimed, “He’s busted his nose, sir.” The gentleman lifted the old fellow, and said, “Oh, this is a case of “ (he was evidently on the verge of Latin, but broke off)—“a case of bleeding at the nose, boys” Then away he went, slapping his thigh and exclaiming, “Well, now, that’s the first professional call I’ve had today!” The old man, wiping his face with the back of his hand, smiled feebly, and said, “It’ll do me good, boys”—upon which he was unceremoniously shoved, amid shouts of laughter, into the departing train.

The Yankee element faded out of the “cars” as we entered New Brunswick. We crossed the boundary-line and came upon rough country. It was littered with boulders, and all the stones in creation seemed to have been hurled down upon it. The Americans appeared to have got the best part of the bargain, and manipulated the boundary-line so as to bring it to the edge of this barren waste. We have never been extraordinarily “smart” in our dealings and treaties with Brother Jonathan. New Hampshire and Maine should have formed part of Canada—the line of latitude and the natural life of the country both point to that. On nearing St. John we came upon some beautiful scenery. The train wound along the shores of the St. John River, which was here very broad, and bounded by high swelling hills that sloped down in green and brown stretches to the shore. The river, which is almost an arm of the sea, and flows into the Bay of Fundy, extended away round amongst the hills, and its bold wide reaches, varied with an occasional sail, and leisurely darkening in the gathering shades of evening, presented a striking picture. When we sighted St. John the train was running on a peninsula. On our left appeared the river, on our right the shores and outstanding seal-rocks of the Bay of Fundy. We now beheld sea-water for the first time since leaving San Francisco. A vision of weary travel opened upon our minds—we had come from the Pacific to the Atlantic. A short trip in a ferry-boat brought us across the water to St. John, which was veiled in sea-mist, smoke, and twilight, and stood in grand commanding situation upon the hills that overlooked the river.

Next week’s blog will give his impressions of Saint John.

Written by johnwood1946

September 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia

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From the blog at

I was reading an article about John Allan who, like many Nova Scotians, sympathized with the rebellious colonies during the American Revolution. The article was not very interesting except for a remarkably compact and well organized summary of early English colonization of Nova Scotia. The following, then, is short on detail but long on overview. It is taken from Memoir of Colonel John Allan: an officer of the revolution…, by George H. Allan, Albany, N.Y., 1867.

James I

James I of England

Attributed to John de Critz, c. 1605, Wikipedia


A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia

A brief glance at the history of Nova Scotia may be found interesting. Although the claim of England to a large part of North America depends upon the discovery of the country, in 1497, still the colonial history rests entirely on the great charter of James the 1st, April 10, 1606, by which sundry of his subjects were authorized to establish colonies between the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth degrees of north latitude. Subsequent grants to the companies of Virginia and New England extended this title as far north as the forty-eighth degree of north latitude, and over this broad belt of fourteen degrees from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Under this grant, colonies had been established principally by Englishmen as far south as Florida, and at the time of which we write (1750), the English flag waved from that point, along the coast to Cape Breton. The country called Nova Scotia was occupied by the French in 1603, and a settlement made at Port Royal, and subsequently at Mount Desert. In 1613, Capt. Argal was sent to dislodge them, which he effected. In 1621, the territory was granted to Sir Wm. Alexander, secretary of state for Scotland, who gave it its present name. The name of Acadie, which was given it by the French is the Indian word for Pollock, a fish very abundant on that coast. During the next eighty years this country had been taken and retaken alternately by the English and French, but by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, it was ceded by the French to Great Britain.

The accession of George I soon followed the treaty of Utrecht, and while great progress had been made in all the other English colonies in America, nothing of any importance had been done in Nova Scotia towards settling that country.

The governor resided at Annapolis Royal, a small settlement chiefly composed of neutral French; the facility of communication with Now England enabling him to maintain his position with a few companies of provincial troops usually supplied by the old colonies.

The necessity of a British station and military post on the Atlantic coast of the Peninsula had long been felt; but latterly the continued breaches of neutrality on the part of the French population, together with the loss of Louisbourg under the treaty of Aix la Chapelle in October, 1748, rendered such an establishment indispensably necessary to support the dominion of the British crown in the province.

A plan was accordingly submitted to government in the autumn of 1748, and being warmly supported by Lord Halifax, advertisements appeared in the London Gazette, in March, 1749, under the sanction of his Majesty’s authority, “holding out proper encouragement to officers and private men lately discharged from the army and navy to settle in Nova Scotia. Among other inducements, was the offer to convey the settlers to their destination, maintain them for twelve months at the public expense, and to supply them with arms and ammunition for defense, and with materials and articles proper for clearing the land, erecting dwellings and prosecuting the fishing, and also ample grants of land. The encouragements appeared so inviting, that in a short time 1,170 settlers with their families, in all 2,376 persons, were found to volunteer, and the sum of £40,000 being appropriated by parliament for the service, the expedition was placed under the command of Colonel, the Honorable Edward Cornwallis, M.P., as captain general and governor of Nova Scotia, and set sail for Chebucto Bay, the place of destination early in May, 1749.” (Akin’s History of Halifax, p. 5)

The fleet consisted of thirteen transports and a sloop of war, and arrived in safety in the bay of Chebucto early in June, 1749. Such was the care taken for the comfort of this large number of settlers that but one death occurred on the passage.

During the winter months the people were kept actively employed in cutting pickets for fences, and wood for fuel, and in erecting new dwellings. Mills were established, stores opened, supplies of cattle and horses obtained from the Acadian French, and when the spring opened, grain of various sorts was sown. Deputations from the Acadian French, and also from the various Indian tribes were received, and arrangements perfected for the better management of public matters. About this time a fearful epidemic visited the colony, and nearly one thousand persons fell victims during the autumn and following winter.

In August, 1750, about 350 new settlers arrived in the ship Alderney. Most of these were sent across the river and commenced the town of Dartmouth. The next year the Indians who in consequence of the intrigues of French emissaries had become troublesome, attacked the little village at night, killed and scalped a number of the settlers, among whom was John Pyke, father of the late John George Pyke, Esq. (who afterwards married Col. Allan’s sister Elizabeth). The night was calm, and the cries of the settlers and whoops of the Indians were distinctly heard at Halifax.

Written by johnwood1946

September 14, 2016 at 9:16 AM

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Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – 1863

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From the blog at

Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – 1863

This story is slightly edited from Chiploquorgan; or, Life by the camp fire … by Richard Lewes Dashwood, Dublin, 1871. Chiploquorgan is the Maliseet name for the stick used to suspend a kettle over a camp fire.

Our writer fishes the Miramichi, Nepisiquit, Restigouche, and other rivers in New Brunswick, and also Rivers in Quebec. He also makes some interesting comments about over-fishing.

Papineau Falls

Papineau Falls on the Nepisiquit River, near Bathurst

From the McCord Museum


The following year [1863] I paid another visit to the Bay of Chaleurs, and on the 6th of August reached the mouth of the river Bonaventure, having paddled along the coast in a Micmac canoe with two Indians from Dalhousie, a distance of fifty miles. We had employed one of my Indians, named Peter Grey, during the previous year; he was a good poler and knew how to gaff salmon, which is an art that few Indians understand, their idea being to strike him dead in the water, not to land him, consequently many is the fish they have lost me.

The settlers along the south shore of the Bay of Chaleurs are almost exclusively French. They both farm and fish chiefly the latter. Their implements of husbandry are most primitive.

At Bonaventure I was much amused by the inquisitiveness of a storekeeper, who, when asked to change a sovereign, was evidently puzzled as to who or what I was. I was got up in a smock and trousers of blue drill, which I found to be the best dress for the mosquitos, as being both light and impervious to their stings; the ends of my trousers were tucked into my socks to prevent any ingress at that point, of black flies or other villainous winged insects; my head gear was a broad brimmed Yankee felt hat. The man first asked me if I wanted anything out of the store. Answer No. Did I belong to any of the schooners in the harbour? No. Where did I come from? Dalhousie. Did I belong there? No. Was I a native of the country? No. What brought me out there? Because I was sent. What was I doing? Salmon fishing. Why that won’t pay? It pays me. Had I anyone with me? Yes, two Indians. Did these men assist me in any way? I was not likely to keep them if they did not. Was I sure I wanted nothing out of the store? Not today, but I should be obliged if he would change me twenty sovereigns. I then left him, more mystified than ever.

These people can never understand one’s going to any trouble or expense for mere sport the almighty dollar is always uppermost in their minds.

Next morning on presenting myself at the store, my friend of the previous evening was exceedingly civil and offered me a drink, having in the meantime discovered from the Indians who I was. But he looked rather foolish when I entered his shop.

The great peculiarity of the Bonaventure is the exceeding clearness of the water, which is signified by its Indian name. At the depth of twenty feet I could distinguish between the head and tail of a new coin. After fishing a few days with but indifferent success, and finding that the run of fish had passed, I paddled eighteen miles to Pasbeiac [on the bay, in Quebec], a fishing station further along the coast, and arrived there just in time to catch the Canadian steamer which dropped me at Dalhousie. On leaving the steamer I immediately paddled up the Restigouche as far as Campbellton, a village eighteen miles from the mouth. We arrived here at two o’clock a.m., and making a fire on the beach, were soon fast asleep. The next day we continued our course up stream, which was not very rapid until we got to where the Metapedia joins the main river; after paddling about five miles up the Metapedia, a very rapid stream, I camped near two good salmon pools. I remained a fortnight at this spot and had some fair sport, though here, as with the Bonaventure, I was rather late for the best run, which takes place in July.

The flies for the Restigouche and its tributaries are rather more gaudy than those used in the Nepisiguit; orange body with claret hackle; body half black, half orange, with black hackle and yellow shoulder; body half black, half crimson, with black hackle and jay shoulder; with all of these mixtures use a rather gaudy mixed wing, with sprigs of wood duck, and red macaw feelers.

There is good fishing in the Quatawamkedgwick [Upsalquitch?], another tributary of the Restigouche, falling into that river forty miles above the Metapedia.

The worst of the Restigouche is, that the pools are very few, and about thirty miles apart, but the fish are larger than those of any river in the province.

The Miramichi, which flows into the Bay of Chaleurs, at the town of Chatham, one of the chief ship building localities in the Provinces, is a fine stream, having many large tributaries heading far back in the heart of the country. I made a trip up this river on one occasion, and had some very good sport. Burnt Hill, about forty miles from Boisetown, is the best station, where are some excellent pools; ten miles above is Slate Island, also a good place, and higher up still are “Louis Falls;” there are also many other pools where fish are met with.

The Miramichi is a very difficult river to pole, owing to the great number of rocks and rapids. At the time I went up the river we brought Malecite canoes and Indians from Fredericton, there being neither on the river. The settlers use “dug-outs” (canoes hewn from single trees), but I prefer a birch canoe and Indians whom I have been in the habit of employing, I remember polling bow all the way up, and very hard work it was, particularly getting up what are called the “Three Mile Rapids,” which are one continued length of rocks and broken water for that distance. Near the top is the worst place of all, called by the settlers “Shove and be damned.”

A Malecite canoe is much more crank than a Micmac, and is difficult to stand up in at any time, unless to one accustomed to it. The flies for this river are plain; grey body, with mallard or turkey wings, is one of the standard patterns. Most Nepisiguit flies are also adapted for this water. The salmon are about the same size as those in that river, namely, from ten to fifteen pounds, and some few are larger. The country bordering the Miramichi is more hilly than the Nepisiguit, and the banks of the river are steep in many places.

Along the coast, half way between the mouths of this river and the Nepisiguit, is the Tabusintack, a small river with few or no salmon, but celebrated for its sea trout, beyond all other streams in the province. One hundred or more trout may be killed in a day by a single rod, and they weigh from one to four pounds. But one soon gets tired of such sport.

All the rivers in New Brunswick are very much damaged by over netting, both in the tide way, along the coast, and also in the fresh water. At first it appears a miracle how any salmon can manage to pass the labyrinth of nets, set with hardly any restriction; for although there are very fair fishery laws, they are but seldom enforced. The fish wardens are for the most part useless, their appointments sinecures, and mere political jobs. The following is an instance of the way some of these gentlemen do, or rather do not, do their duty: I met an Indian when on the Restigouche, who had been hired by the warden of the river, to take him up in a canoe on his one annual inspection, which I suppose he required to enable him to satisfy his conscience, on pocketing his salary, some 40 per annum. The individual in question called at the houses of the different owners of nets, and after informing them of their proper legal length, without inspecting the same, finished up by asking for a salmon. Having made about twenty such like visits, not forgetting the salmon, he returned home and drew his salary. Some of the wardens are proprietors of nets, and do not trouble their heads how they are set, provided they catch fish.

Several years ago when I was in New Brunswick, the proprietor of a net at Bathurst was prosecuted by the warden for having the mesh of an illegal size. The delinquent wrote to a friend of his, then a member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, and representative of his county. This honorable member managed to get the law altered, so as to make the net of a legal mesh, not only this, but he made the law retrospective, in the meantime staying further proceedings. Such a state of things speaks for itself.

The only way to protect the fisheries is to abolish the wardens as now appointed, who are chiefly farmers, and have other things to attend to.

Appoint one head inspector for each province, and let him have under his control a staff of water bailiffs, strong active fellows, able to pole either a birch or log canoe, and with sufficient pay to enable them to relinquish all other employment and traverse the rivers and coasts by day and night during the fishing season. By this means poachers would easily be dropped on, and a fear established. For although the settlers talk very big of what they would do in the event of their being interfered with in their illegal practices, yet no people have a more wholesome dread of the law when they know it will be enforced.

Great things are now expected from the “New Dominion,” and I hope that the protection of the rivers, and the proper carrying out of the fishery laws will be amongst them. [His experiences were in 1863, but the book was not published until 1871; thus the reference to Confederation.]

One great drawback is, that with a few exceptions the inhabitants are not sportsmen, and would rather make one dollar than enjoy the sport of killing a hundred salmon.

However, I think things are about to mend in New Brunswick, as the present Governor of that province is fully alive to the importance of protecting the salmon, not only as a source of amusement, but of food and wealth to the country.

A great advantage in the North American rivers is, that they cannot, as at home, be poached by spearing and gaffing in the winter; at that season, Jack Frost proves an effectual keeper.

Written by johnwood1946

September 7, 2016 at 9:14 AM

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With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862

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From the blog at

With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862

This is the story of a British military man’s trip from Cork, in Ireland, to Saint John in a decrepit steamer, then to Saint Stephen in an equally disagreeable stagecoach, and finally to the headwater lakes of the Saint Croix River for a fishing trip. It took place in 1862, and is slightly edited from Chiploquorgan; or, Life by the camp fire … by Richard Lewes Dashwood, Dublin, 1871. Chiploquorgan is the Maliseet name for the stick used to suspend a kettle over a camp fire.

Crockers Island

Crocker’s Island on the Saint Croix River

From the N.B. Museum, via the McCord Museum


On the 24th of January, 1862, I sailed in the steam transport Adelaide, from Cork, for North America, with six companies of my regiment, which formed part of the force sent from England at that time, in consequence of the seizure by an American man-of-war of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, while passengers on board the royal mail steamer Trent.

After our engines breaking down on several occasions, and meeting other damages from a severe hurricane, we were obliged to put back to Plymouth for repairs. Here we were detained three weeks; and at the end of that time we sailed for St. John, New Brunswick. We were ordered to take the southern route as a means of avoiding the rough storms of the North Atlantic, against which our ship had proved herself totally unequal to make any headway. We were also ordered to touch at the Bermudas for coals. We reached those islands with just enough coal to take us into port. We stayed there ten days, and eventually reached St. John, New Brunswick, on the 24th of March, seventy-nine [sic] days after our original departure from Cork. If we had embarked in one of Cunard’s or Inman’s steamers, we should probably have crossed the Atlantic in a fortnight, and besides having a pleasanter voyage, the saving of expense would have been considerable.

The Adelaide was quite unfit to cross the Atlantic at that time of year, her engines being deficient in power, and being moreover old-fashioned and worn-out. Their defective state may be imagined from the fact that they broke down altogether about ten times.

The Victoria, the sister ship of the Adelaide, sailed from Cork with the 96th regiment on board, the day after we left that port. She proved even in a worse state than the Adelaide, for besides being defective in her engines, her rigging was rotten. She also put back to refit, and starting again for America, got no farther than the Azores (she was likewise ordered to take the southern route), when her engines breaking down, she was obliged to return to port; nor did she make another attempt to cross the “herring pond.” It is to be hoped that the lives of British soldiers will never again be entrusted to either of these ill-fated vessels.

I had always a great longing to be quartered in North America, and make practical acquaintance with the various sports to be obtained in that country. My keenness had also been much increased by the description given to me by a near relative, who, thirty years ago, was quartered in New Brunswick with the 34th regiment, and who spent all his leave in the woods. The Indians at Fredericton, to this day, speak of him as a well-remembered sportsman of the right sort, or, as an old Indian said one day when referring to him, “He great hunter, good hand in woods, same as Indian in canoe.”

On disembarking at St. John I was much struck with the appearance of the town, which was both novel and interesting: the sleighs flying about in all directions; little boys sliding down the hilly streets on small hand-sleighs, and gliding just clear of the horses when a collision appeared certain. This amusement is called “coasting;” and in winter appears to take the place of the marbles and peg-top of the boys at home. Having shaken down into barracks, I began to make inquiries as to the commencement of the fishing season, and made arrangements to join a fishing party at the end of May to the Schoodic lakes, which are situated in the State of Maine. On the 15th of May I was to start for these lakes by steamer from St. John to St. Stephen’s; but being detained, I sent all my traps and fishing gear with the rest of the party, and I myself left St. John the same evening by stage.

Of all the miserable means of locomotion, a stage waggon in America is the most wretched. The road was in parts very bad, and full of large boulders. Luckily I was the only occupant of the vehicle, except the driver, and so had plenty of room. I was amused, on driving up to a place where we changed horses, at the remark of a loafer to the driver, on his paucity of passengers, “Why, you have quite a small crowd to-day, Jim.”

Three people would be quite a crowd, and four or five a big crowd, in the Yankee parlance of the country; and this habit of calling everything by the most grandiloquent names strikes a stranger as being especially ridiculous. Every pothouse is an hotel, every village a city, and the most dirty eating-room a dining saloon.

I reached St. Stephen’s at about nine o’clock the next morning, and went to an hotel to have some breakfast, where I joined the rest of our party, I found that I was rather late for the table d’hote all meals at American hotels being on that plan as, on being shown into the breakfast-room, I found all the servants of the establishment feeding on the remains. Fancy, in an English hotel, the servants being turned into the coffee-room, en masse, to feed! The servants at the hotels in this country are exceedingly touchy, and object to being called “waiter” or “boots,” but expect to be addressed as “young man,” or by their Christian name. I remember, on one occasion, when dining at an hotel in St. John, an officer, whom I shall name Captain Heavyswell, called to the waiter, during dinner, for a glass of beer. The man addressed “waiter,” merely shouted to the bar-keeper, loud enough to be heard all over the room, “Pitcher of beer for Heavyswell.”

After breakfast we all started by train for Louis Island, a small village situated on one of the lower Schoodic lakes, at a distance of about twenty miles. Here we hired Indians and canoes, and took the steamer to the head of the lake, about fifteen miles off. Having disembarked our luggage, we portaged to the upper lake, which is connected with the lower one by a stream three miles long. In this stream the trout congregate at certain times of the year, as also in the other streams connecting the chain of lakes, which extend some sixty miles up the country. We arrived at the head of the stream at sundown. Here was a lumber dam, and a large crew of men engaged in “driving” the timber brought down the lake in large rafts.

Whilst the Indians were putting up our tents, I made haste to put up my rod, and have a cast before dark my first cast in American waters. In half an hour I had landed nine trout, averaging over two pounds each. These fish gave immense play, jumping high out of the water, several times on being hooked after the manner of sea trout at home. I may here say a word as to the species of trout in these lakes, as it has been a matter of a good deal of controversy between American naturalists, some of whom affirm that they are pent-up salmon. The St. Croix river, of which these lakes are the head waters, formerly abounded with salmon, but is now blocked up and quite impassible by the mill dams. I, for my part, do not for a moment suppose that these fish are salmon. In my opinion the idea is absurd, as there is nothing to prevent the fish going down to the sea; and when the river was blocked up in the first place, surely the fish then in the river would have followed their natural instinct, and returned to the salt water. Besides, I know plenty of rivers in North America from which the salmon have been shut out, and they contain no such fish. The trout in question are only like salmon in two respects, in colour and shape. I can only account for their being called salmon from the general ignorance of the people in America of natural history, and their common habit of calling birds and animals by their wrong appellations, merely because they have a slight resemblance to the animals they are named after. For instance, an American thrush (turdus migratorius) is called a robin, because it has a red breast; at the same time, it is the size and has the note of a thrush. I could enumerate many other like instances.

But to resume. On returning to camp much gratified with my trial of the fishing, I soon discovered that whilst I had been so occupied I had been most horribly bitten by mosquitoes, which were in swarms everywhere. I had, in the innocence of my heart, worn a pair of knickerbockers; this was a lesson to me not to do so in future, as the mosquitoes had stung me through my stockings in all directions.

There were some excellent casts near some piles which were formed to guide the timber down the dam, and were filled up with stones above the water line. I found it a good plan to take up my station on one of these stands, with a good supply of rotten wood with which to make a fire with plenty of smoke, and so baffle the attacks of the mosquitoes to a great extent. I remained at this place about a week, and had capital sport, killing with the fly one day sixty-three trout, of an average of two pounds each, few being smaller than one and a half pound, and none over three and a quarter pounds.

There were several camps of Yankees alongside of us, who were a great nuisance, following one about to any spot where they saw you successful, and fishing close to you with enormous flies, which fell with a great flop in the water. I managed to shake them off by fishing out of a canoe. These people were no sportsmen, and came out to have more what they call “a good time,” and consume an unlimited quantity of liquor of the strongest kind.

To escape these annoyances, and for the sake of change, one of our party and myself made an excursion in canoes to the stream connecting the lake on which we were camped with the one above. After a paddle of about fifteen miles we arrived, towards evening, at our destination. The stream here, between the upper and lower lake, was only a few hundred yards in length, and very rapid and rocky, but with a capital pool both at the inlet and outlet.

The trout here rose so greedily that I continually hooked two at once; and the fish broke my casting line so often by jumping in different directions at the same moment, that I was obliged to fish with only one fly.

The scenery on our voyage up the lake was very pretty, the trees coming down to the water’s edge. The foliage was very beautiful, and of a brighter green than one sees in England, the birch and white maple especially so.

I found that these trout took an artificial bait readily. I also caught with a spoon a togue (salmo siskawitz) of about six pounds. This fish is of the trout species, but never rises to a fly. They give no play, and their flesh is white, and very indifferent eating. They are sometimes caught as large as thirty pounds and upwards. I saw some specimens of the wood duck, so useful to the fly-makers, but was unable to bag one. Loons, also, were plentiful, with their peculiar weird-like note. I do not know anything more mournful, and at the same time more fascinating, than the cry of a loon on a still night, coming across a large lake, and echoing back among the forests.

The flies I found most killing in these waters were a light mallard wing, with red or orange body, and red cock’s hackle. In the middle of the day, when the sun was bright, I did good execution with small greys and dark browns.

I was astonished at the ease and skill with which the Indians paddled their bark canoes, which were of the Malecite pattern long, narrow, and crank. A single-bladed paddle is used; and one man at the stern, paddling from one side, both steers and propels the canoe with the same stroke. It looks very easy, but I, who was at that time quite a tyro as regards the woods, and had never been in a canoe before, on attempting to paddle one found myself describing small circles, nor did I feel exceedingly safe from turning a turtle at any moment.

However most things are to be learnt by practice and perseverance; since then many a mile have I paddled, many the hour have I stood up pole in hand forcing the frail birch bark up the foaming rapid where loss of balance would be an upset, and an upset the loss of one’s tackle and perhaps the ruin of the expedition.

We kippered several hundred of the largest trout, which one of our Indians packed in a box made of spruce bark and sewn with the roots of the same tree.

The Indians were of the Malecite tribe. On one occasion after breakfast we paddled up the lake about four miles to try a brook for brown trout; on our return in the evening, Joe appeared slower than usual, and on being asked why he did not paddle quicker, replied in very doleful accents, “Me had no breakfast, me had no dinner;” the amount of pork and trout he had consumed at the first mentioned meal would have sufficed two ordinary men. Owing to a raft of timber which blocked up the end of the lake, we had to land and walk home about a mile. Joe being too idle to carry his canoe, left it on the beach. Next morning he went to fetch it, and returning with a very long face, informed us, “Canoe spoilt. Porcupine he eat him hole last night.” Sure enough, the animal had evidently dined off the canoe, eating a large hole in the bark.

These Indians of the State of Maine were very exorbitant in their charges. A dollar a day is the regular tariff, but the following year they wanted to charge a party from New Brunswick a dollar and a half per diem, expecting to receive it in gold or the equivalent, although no such stipulation was made. The party at last agreed to give them what they demanded, but when pay day arrived, handed the Indians the amount in greenbacks, much to their disgust and discomfiture. As the premium was at that time very high they received in reality less than a dollar in gold. Some Yankees who were present at the time were much amused, and guessed the strangers “were pretty smart.”

I consider the trout fishing in the Schoodic lakes the best in North America, for although there are plenty of both sea and brown trout to be killed in most of the streams, they do not jump when hooked, and I have never met any fish either at home or abroad, which for their size gave equal play to these “lake shiners,” as they are called by the settlers. I learnt one wrinkle by this trip viz., how to dress for the flies, which had punished me most severely. I have never but in one place since found them so numerous.

A person fresh from England always suffers at first, the bites swelling very much, but after a year or two one’s blood seems to get accustomed to the stings, for although they annoy at the time, the swelling soon subsides and the irritation is much less. There are many receipts for keeping off flies; the most effective of any, and I have tried most of them, is a mixture of hog’s lard and Stockholm tar, three parts of the former and one of the latter mixed together. It easily washes off, the grease preventing its sticking. With a small box of this in my pocket I could always in a few minutes render myself proof against mosquitoes, black flies or sand flies, the latter called by the Indians “bitum no seeum,” are the worst of all, but are only very thick in light soils. This specific requires to be renewed about every hour. A veil is also of great use with a broad brimmed hat to keep it off one’s face; but it is a great obstacle to the sight which, when fly fishing, as I need not mention, requires to be quick and sharp.

Written by johnwood1946

August 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Blog past #300: Port Royal From 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans

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Blog post #300: Port Royal From 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans

Champlain Port Royal

Champlain’s Drawing of Port Royal, 1605

From Calnek and Savary’s book

This story of Port Royal, from 1604 to 1613 is a condensed version of that found in Chapter 1 of History of the County of Annapolis: including old Port Royal and Acadia, by William Arthur Calnek and Alfred William Savary, 1897.


What memories cluster around the basin of old Port Royal! What visions of brave hearts and strong hands, of adventurous enterprise and religious zeal, of toil and hardship, and success and failure! It was the site of the first permanent settlement by Europeans in Canada, established three years before any settlement at Quebec. A fort and a village were built, cultivation of the soil took place, it was the site where the first vessel was ever built on the Continent, and the first mill in North America. There also echoed the first notes of poetic song heard in Canada. It also saw the first blood to fall in the long struggle between France and England for the possession of North America. It is a locality of especial interest to every Canadian, no matter to what province he belongs, or from what lineage he descends.

It was probably about the middle of June, 1604, that De Monts and his associates entered the Annapolis Basin. The ships sailed from Havre-de-Grace, on the 7th of March, 1604, and proceeded to Port Mouton, where they landed and remained nearly a month, awaiting the arrival of another ship laden with supplies. During this interval De Monts and his secretary, Rallieu, accompanied by Champlain and a few others, among whom was D’Aubrey, a priest, proceeded in a boat, or patache, finally arriving at the Bay of Fundy, and into Port Royal Basin. It was during this exploratory voyage that the priest managed to become lost. They returned to Port Mouton, where the store-ship had arrived and set sail again, finding the priest who had strayed seventeen days before. The Huguenots of the party must have been relieved, as they had been tacitly accused of murdered him.

As they passed up the basin, on the left they beheld a range of hills, rising abruptly to an average height of four to six hundred feet. On their right was another range of hills in a generally parallel direction, but less abrupt, with depressions, through which streams flowed northwardly into the waters over which they sailed. These heights and slopes were all covered in forests.

After some exploration and delay they proceeded to Passamaquoddy Bay, where, on St. Croix island they fixed their winter-quarters. L’Escarbot says, that among their difficulties during the ensuing winter, was a “want of wood, for that which was in the said isle was spent in building.” Champlain tells us that, in the spring, “Sieur De Monts decided upon a change of place,” and having found no other suitable location in the limited time available, proceeded to Port Royal.

Champlain described the basin at Port Royal as he saw it in 1604. He said, “We entered one of the most beautiful ports which I had seen on these coasts, where two thousand vessels could be anchored in safety. The entrance is eight hundred paces in width. Then we entered a harbour which is two leagues in length and one in breadth, which I have named Port Royal, into which descend three rivers, one of which is large, flowing from the east, called the River L’Equille.”

Nearly every writer who has described the events of the initial period of our history, has fallen into the error of representing them as having transpired on the site of the present town of Annapolis; but the evidence makes it very clear that the spot was on the Granville shore, and a little to the east of Goat Island, which is still known as the locus of the old Scotch fort of 1621-31.

Champlain explained that “Having recognized the site of our habitation as a good one, we commenced to clear the land, which was covered with trees, and to put up the houses as rapidly as possible everyone was thus employed.” Pontgravé, who had spent the winter in France and thus avoided the privations at St. Croix, returned to St. Croix about the time De Monts had resolved to make Port Royal his settlement. Pontgravé came with forty men to join the colony, and considerable supplies, which aided them in its work.

After the greater part of the buildings done, Sieur De Monts decided to return to France to represent to His Majesty what was needed. Pontgravé was given charge, and he undertook the work of completing the buildings. Champlain, at the same time, resolved to remain, in the hope of making discoveries in the direction of Florida.

Friendly relations were soon established with the Indians, who readily parted with their furs, game, and other articles of trade for such commodities as they were offered in exchange. The winter, no doubt, seemed long and dreary enough to the adventurers, who remembered with a shudder the miseries at St. Croix a year before, but only six of their number died before the spring had fully opened. The labour of grinding their corn in hand-mills, insufficient surface drainage, and drinking snow-water may have caused this mortality. In addition, their huts were an inadequate defence against the winter cold and storms.

In the spring of 1606, Pontgravé fitted out a vessel to explore the coasts southward, but being frustrated by adverse winds, he abandoned this plan. The supplies which De Monts had promised had not arrived, nor any tidings concerning them. Pontgravé therefore turned his attention to shipbuilding. He built a barque and a shallop, which were intended to convey the colonists to Canseau and maybe fall in with French ships, in which to transport the settlers back to France if necessary. His was the first shipyard established in North America.

Poutrincourt, who had gone home with De Monts in the autumn of the preceding year, induced Marc L’Escarbot, an advocate of Paris, to join them at Port Royal, and from his writings we glean much of our knowledge of the events of the period. A ship named the Jonas sailed for Acadie, on the 13th of May, 1606. After a long voyage, on the 27th of July they reached their destination, where they found only two men, who had been placed in charge of the property left by Pontgravé who had departed homeward, with the remainder of the inhabitants. He returned, however, a short time after the arrival of the Jonas, having been informed by some fishermen that the Jonas had passed Canseau. Clearing away of the forests, with a view to agrplanting crops ensued together with the repairing of buildings. The Jonas had brought out a number of new immigrants and considerable fresh supplies.

The priests who had come out in 1604 had returned to France, and Poutrincourt had not secured others. L’Escarbot therefore assumed the duties of catechist and teacher, and also preached to the Indians who were ultimately converted. During this summer Poutrincourt made an exploratory voyage down the coast as far as Cape Cod, accompanied by his son Biencourt, Dupont Gravé, Daniel Hay, an apothecary, and others. Five young men, having landed, were attacked by Indians. Three of them were killed and others wounded. The survivors were greeted with rejoicing and L’Escarbot wrote verses in honour of the occasion. These verses were the first uttered in Canada in any European language. The celebrations over, they viewed the corn fields which they had sown where the town of Annapolis now stands. This was a great pleasure, as the growth of the grain pointed to a future when they would be relieved from the necessity of supplies from Francw. This was the initial step made in farming in North America. The year 1606 also witnessed the construction of the first lime-kiln, and the erection of the first forge, charcoal for which was first made there. The first efforts in North America at road-building also proceeded.

The winter of 1606-1607 passed pleasantly and. They formed themselves into a sort of club to which they gave the title “Order of Good Times.” This Order consisted of fifteen members who had insignia of office, and other forms of observance were also instituted. Each member in turn became the caterer, and they each endeavoured to excel his predecessor in office. “Thus did Poutrincourt’s table groan beneath the luxuries of the winter forests, flesh of moose, caribou and deer, beaver, otter and hare, bears and wild-cats, with ducks, geese, grouse and plover; sturgeon, too, and trout and fish innumerable, speared through the ice of the Equille, or drawn from the depths of the neighbouring sea … The invited guests were Indian chiefs, of whom Membertou was daily present at table with the French … Those of humbler degree sat on the floor or crouched together in the corners of the hall.”

The winter was a mild one, but four of the settlers died toward the spring. When spring finally opened the settlers resumed their agricultural labours on the cape; and Poutrincourt built a grist-mill, the first erected on the continent. The site of this mill was near the head of the tide, on what they named Mill Brook, afterwards known as the Allain and now miscalled the Lequille River.

Early in 1607, Poutrincourt received letters in which he was informed that the promoters could no longer defray his expenses, and nothing was left but to abandon the colony and return to France. Poutrincourt assured the settlers that he would return as soon as he could make arrangements and, on July 30th, L’Escarbot, with all the inhabitants, except eight souls, left Port Royal in the shallop and patache to proceed to Canseau, where the Jonas was awaiting them. Poutrincourt stayed behind until the 11th of August until the grain had ripened, so that he could carry samples to Paris. From these dates, it seems that the grain was rye or winter wheat.

The voyage to Canso was successful and they set sail on the Jonas on the 3rd of September, 1607, reaching France about the beginning of October. Desertion of the colony was complete; not a single European was left. On his arrival at Paris, Poutrincourt applied to Henry IV for a confirmation of the grant of Port Royal, which De Monts had given him in 1605. This was complied with; but Poutrincourt does not seem to have visited Acadie again before 1610. Somebody visited, however, for a stone was lately discovered were engraved the Freemasons’ arms and the date 1609.

It was not easy for Poutrincourt to finish arrangements for a return to Acadie, but on February, 1610, he set sail from France, and reached Port Royal about the 1st of June; early enough to sow the seeds they had brought with them, and for others to set about repairing the houses which had been vacant for more than two years. The king had required that Poutrincourt take with him a Jesuit priest or priests and, in consequence of this, he was accompanied by Father Flesché, who, on the 24th of June, baptized a number of Micmacs, among whom was Membertou. I believe that this was the first baptism in Canada. Biencourt was despatched to France to convey tidings to the king, and was directed to return with fresh supplies. These supplies did not arrive, however, until January, 1611. Two additional priests, Fathers Biard and Massé also arrived.

As the new supplies arrived, Poutrincourt had been responsible for twenty-three persons, and the food had diminished to such a degree that he had relied on the Indians to supplement his stores. The vessel had, however, brought but small additional supplies, it was necessary to obtain more, for he now had fifty-nine mouths to feed, instead of twenty-three. With this intention, he made a voyage to the coasts of what is now New England, where he fell in with four French vessels, from which he obtained what he needed. He then returned to France in order to secure further supplies. All the inhabitants, except Biard and Massé and twenty others, accompanied him on the homeward voyage.

Poutrincourt, who left Port Royal in July, reached France in August, but was not able to dispatch a vessel until the last day of December. This vessel arrived at Port Royal on January 23rd, 1612, not a moment too soon for the inhabitants, who had been placed on rations some weeks before. The vessel also carried Gilbert du Thet, a priest of the Order of Jesus, to take the place of Father Massé, who had gone to the St. John River.

The winter of 1612-13 was one of considerable hardship. Biencourt, who began to distrust the priests, had been informed of the purchase of the rights of De Monts in Acadie, by Madame de Guercherville, and he feared that plans were underway which could endanger his father’s rights in Port Royal.

Madame de Guercherville, having purchased Acadie except for Port Royal, dispatched a vessel from Honfleur with forty-eight persons, together with livestock and food, which arrived at Port Royal late in May. On her arrival, five souls only were found in the town, Biencourt and his men being absent on exploring expeditions. Hebert, the apothecary, acted as governor, and to him were delivered the letters from the Queen of France authorizing the return of Fathers Biard and Massé by Madame de Guercherville’s vessel. Du Thet, the new priest, disembarked, and the ship sailed to the island of Mont Desert and made a landing opposite to it. The English, who had recently formed a settlement at Jamestown in Virginia, had begun to look with fear, at the fort and settlement in Acadie, and commands were given to destroy it. Captain Samuel Argall was then despatched, and while on his voyage fell in with the French ship and party at Mont Desert. A fight ensued, in which Du Thet was killed. Argall then proceeded to Port Royal, where he “destroyed the fort and all monuments and marks of French power at Port Royal.”

When the news of this disaster reached Poutrincourt, he gave up forever all connection with Acadie, and was finally killed at the storming of Méry sur Seine, in December, 1615.

Written by johnwood1946

August 24, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine

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From the blog at

Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine

Felling a Mast

Felling a Mast Tree

From the Penobscot Marine Museum

Following is an account of the difficulty of finding marketable pine trees in the mid-1800’s, when much of the easily accessed growth had already been cut. It is condensed and edited from John S. Springer’s Forest Life and Forest Trees, which focused on the logging industry in Maine and New Brunswick, and was published in New York in 1851.


Twenty-five or thirty years ago, large tracts of country were covered principally with pine trees. Those tracks seemed purposely located in the vicinity of lakes, large streams, and rivers; a winter’s work could then be made contiguous to improved portions of the country, which rendered little previous exploration necessary. But the woodman’s axe, together with the destructive fires which have swept over large districts from time to time, have, so to speak, driven this tree far back into the interior wilderness.

The diminished size and number of these pine renders exploring expeditions previous to the commencement of a winter’s campaign absolutely indispensable, at least to insure success. This labor is performed, more or less, at all periods of the year; but, perhaps, the more general and appropriate time is found to be during the earlier part of autumn. The work of exploring is also performed during the winter, while the crews are on the ground, in camp. The difficulty of traveling through deep snows is overcome by the use of the snow shoe.

When the business of timber-hunting is deferred until autumn, the following method is practiced: Two or three men accustomed to the business take the necessary provisions, which usually consists of ship-bread, salt pork, tea, sugar, or molasses; for cooking utensils, a coffee-pot or light tea-kettle, a tin dipper, sometimes a frying-pan, a woolen blanket or two for bed-clothes, and an axe, with gun and ammunition; all of which are put on board a skiff or bateau.

With these slight preparations, away we start; now making our way up the main river, then shooting along up the less capacious branches; sometimes performing a journey of two hundred miles far into the interior. The locations for our nightly encampments are selected in time to make the necessary arrangements for refreshment and repose near some gushing spring. We pitch our tent, which formerly consisted of a slender frame of little poles, slightly covered on the top and at each end with long boughs, the front entirely open, before which burns a watch-fire.

In some instances a large blanket is spread over the frame; and when there are good reasons to expect rain, we haul our boat up, turn it bottom side up, and crawl beneath it. Of late, small portable tent-coverings are used, which prove very convenient.

Next the evening meal is prepared. Here the tea is thoroughly boiled, in the coffee-pot or tea-kettle, over the little fire. A thin slice of salt pork is cut, and, running a sharp stick through it, it is held over the fire and roasted, being withdrawn occasionally to catch the drippings on a cake of pilot or ship bread. This is a good substitute for buttered toast, the roasted pork making an excellent rasher. Sometimes we ate the pork raw, dipping it in molasses, which some relish; and though the recital may cause some qualms, yet we can assure the uninitiated that, from these gross simples, the hungry woodsman makes many a delicious meal.

Sometimes our slumbers are disturbed by the shrill whooping of the owl, and sometimes the tramping of timid deer, attracted by the waning light of our watch-fire, or some roving beast of prey, attracted by the savory vapors of our evening meal, startle us from our slumbers. One of my messmates recalled the following:

“As I lay upon my back, I turned my eyes upward, when they met the full gaze of a large bear, which stood with its fore paws on the log directly over my head. In an instant I sprang upon my feet, and, seizing a brand from the fire. I hurled it after him, at the same instant making the woods tremble with the echo of my voice. Next morning we came across an old she-bear and her cubs. We had a spirited little dog with us, who instantly encountered the bear; but one blow from her paw completely disabled him, and his injuries proved so serious that we were obliged to kill the little fellow. One of our men caught a cub; it struggled and whined, which soon attracted the attention of the old one. She at once rushed after him, and he was soon glad to drop his prize, but not until the old dam had nearly torn the clothes from off his back.”

Arriving at length upon or near the territory to be explored, we haul our bateau safely on shore, and turn it bottom upward. Then, dividing our luggage into parcels, and making use of our blankets for knapsacks, we begin to traverse the wild forests.

The uneven surface of the country, together with the density of the forest, circumscribe the range of vision. To overcome this impediment, we ascend into the top of some lofty tree. Sometimes extensive views of the surrounding forest are obtained from the side of abrupt ridges, and from the top of a horseback.

When it is necessary to obtain views from low lands, the obstructions are overcome by ascending the highest trees. When an ascent is to be made, the spruce tree is generally selected, principally for the superior facilities which its numerous limbs afford the climber. To gain the first limbs of this tree, which are from twenty to forty feet from the ground, a smaller tree is undercut and lodged against it, clambering up which the top of the spruce is reached. In some cases, when a very elevated position is desired, the spruce tree is lodged against the trunk of some lofty pine, up which we ascend to a height twice that of the surrounding forest.

From such a tree top, large clumps and veins of pine are discovered, whose towering tops may be seen for miles around. Such views fill the bosom of timber-hunters with an intense interest. To detail the process more minutely, we should observe that the man in the tree top points out the direction in which the pines are seen; or, if hid from the view of those below by the surrounding foliage, he breaks a small limb, and throws it in the direction in which they appear, while a man at the base marks the direction indicated by the falling limb by a compass which he holds in his hand, the compass being quite as necessary in the wilderness as on the pathless ocean.

In fair weather the sun serves as an important guide; and in cloudy weather the close observation of an experienced woodsman will enable him to steer a tolerably correct course by the moss which grows on the trunks of most hard-wood trees, the north side of which are covered with a much larger share than the other portions of the trunk. This Indian compass, however, is not very convenient nor safe, particularly in passing through swampy lands, which are of frequent occurrence.

After spending several days in scouring the wilderness in search of the pines, minutely examining their quality, calculating the distance the logs may have to be hauled, and noting the surface of the land through which the logging roads are to be cut, &c., we retrace our steps to the landing, where the bateau has been left. Once more our frail bark floats upon the stream.

It is known to those versed in the habits of the black bear, that late in the fall of the year they manifest an uncommon fondness for pitch or resinous substances. In the course of my travels through the forest, I have often seen fir trees which contained large quantities of balsam, with their bark entirely stripped from the trunk by these craving depredators. Under the impulses of this peculiar appetite, they sometimes tear even our bateau to pieces for the tar with which it is besmeared. If injured beyond the means of repair, we are compelled to pursue our journey down on foot. Perchance we may fortunately meet some Indian trapper with his frail canoe, which we charter for a portion of the journey. As a conveyance, the Indian canoe seems to occupy a space between riding and flying; not in respect to its speed, although this is considerable, but its fairy-like buoyancy quite dissipates the idea of one’s gravity.

Having determined, during the exploration, upon the territory from which we wish to cut and haul our logs, we proceed to obtain permits.

Among other preliminaries which anticipate the winter operations of lumbermen is the putting up of large quantities of meadow hay. Much of the intervale land is covered with a heavy growth of this meadow grass, which is gathered in plentiful supply for the subsistence of the teams employed in procuring lumber in its immediate vicinity.

Crews of men resort, with the usual haying implements, provisions, &c., for making and stacking the hay to be used during the ensuing winter. In the latter part of autumn the meadows are covered with water, which finally freezes. It is therefore necessary to erect temporary scaffolds, called staddles, upon which the hay is to be piled in large stacks. These staddles are made of poles laid upon cross-stakes or crutches, sufficiently high to protect the hay from the water beneath. From these the hay is removed, sometimes in boats before the waters freeze, and afterward upon sleds on the ice.

Since agricultural interests have invited men far into the interior in the vicinity of lumber berths, where large tracts of land have been cleared up, less value is attached to, and less use made of meadow hay than formerly, as English grass becomes more plenty, is more available, and is much better in its quality.

A distinguishing characteristic of this kind of business is the unceasing encounter by our lumbermen with the blood-thirsty millions of flies who swarm and triumph over these sanguinary fields. The only respite is afforded when there is rain, or high winds.

At night the mosquito lancers take up the action, and no coat of mail is proof against the attacks of the midget, which is so small as to be almost imperceptible to the naked eye. The black fly and the mosquito can only reach the exposed parts of the body, but to the midget every portion is accessible.

In one process of the haying operations, in particular, the flies are very annoying. The hay, when cut, is carried in small cocks upon two poles by two men to the scaffolding, to be stacked. While thus employed, with both hands engaged, millions of these little invisibles insinuate themselves under the garments, and, whatever interest or ambition may fail to do, by way of producing energetic motion, the irritating smart of their bite abundantly makes up.

But, notwithstanding the labor and annoyances of meadow life, there are pastimes and adventures to be met with. A shot now and then at some stray deer who may chance to stroll upon the meadow to graze; the hooking of beautiful trout, pickerel, and other delicious pan fish, afford agreeable relief from ennui; while the spoils of the forest and the brook afford most agreeable changes of diet.

At the proper time, which varies in different localities, but generally during the early part of fall, a more extensive outfit is made for another up-river expedition, for the purpose of erecting winter camps, clearing the main roads, and attending to such other preliminaries as may be necessary.

Several years ago the whole distance from our homes to the interior was traveled by water, on which occasions heavily laden boats were taken up these rivers and streams, and across the lakes, an operation which was both hazardous and laborious, particularly where the swift current of rapids was to be overcome, and when it became necessary to carry the boat and cargo around impassable falls—a frequent occurrence, the river in some places being nothing but one continuous succession of rapids for miles. In some places, to save the labor of ‘carrying by,’ attempts are made to shove the boats up fearful rapids, where a single mistake or false maneuver would swamp them. A lively little incident of this kind is quoted below, from Doctor Jackson’s account of an excursion on the business of a geological survey:

“While we were engaged in exploring the rocks, our men tried to shove the boat up the falls, but the violence of the current prevented their effecting their object, the boat being instantly filled and sunk in the attempt, while all our baggage and provisions that remained on board were swept off and carried down the stream. A scene of unwanted activity now ensued in our endeavors to save our articles, as they were rapidly borne down the foaming waters. The boat, fortunately, was not much injured, and we succeeded in hauling it upon a rock, and bailed out the water, after which we gave chase to our lost articles, and succeeded in saving those that were most essential to our safety. The bread-barrel, although scuttled, was but half full of bread, and floated down stream with its opening uppermost, so that but little of it was injured. Our bucket of rice burst open and was lost. The tea-kettle and other cooking apparatus sank in the river, and were fished up by a hook and line. The tent was found about a mile down the river, stretched across a rock. The maps and charts were soaked with water, so that it required as much labor and patience to unroll them as the papyri of Herculaneum. Our spare boots and shoes were irrecoverably lost. Having rescued the most important articles from the water, we carried by the falls, camped, and dried our papers and provision, being thankful that no worse an accident had befallen us. Fortunately, we had taken the precaution to remove our surveying instruments and the blankets from the boat before the falls were attempted.”

Amid pleasant scenes, we are, however, subject to contrasts of a less agreeable kind; and here our Indian, while cutting wood, suffered a severe accident; his hatchet, accidentally slipping, was driven directly into his leg between two bones, so as to expose the anterior tibial artery. I was then called upon in my surgical capacity, and, having my instruments with me, dressed his wound in the usual manner, and early next morning we took him away and made arrangements with another Indian, Louis Neptune, to supply his place while he was recovering from his wound.

These difficulties of transportation have been somewhat abated by the construction of roads, which penetrate much nearer to lumber berths than formerly, and enable us to convey our provisions, implements, and even boats, with horse teams, a considerable portion of the distance once laboriously performed by water. I am not familiar with any kind of labor which tests a man’s physical abilities and powers of endurance more than boating supplies up river. The labor of carrying by falls, and portages from lake to lake, imposes a heavy tax upon the body. Barrels of pork, flour, and other provisions, too heavy for one man to carry alone, are slung to a pole by the aid of ropes, one man being at either end, and thus we clamber, under our heavy burdens, over rocks, the trunks of fallen trees, slippery roots, and through mud sloughs, sometimes without any path, through the thickets and groves of trees. The boat is turned bottom upward, he gunwales resting upon the shoulders of three men, two abreast near the bows, and one at the stern. In this position we pass over the same route through which provisions have been carried to the next landing, where the goods are again reshipped, and we proceed by water on lake or stream, with the alternate routine of paddling, poling, and lugging, until the place of destination is reached.

When I call to mind the intemperate habits to which most lumbermen in times past were addicted, I am surprised that no more accidents have occurred while navigating our rivers. We had plenty of rum on board, which was used at stated intervals, as, according to the faith of nearly every man in those days, it gave to the arm more vigor in the necessary labor of plying the paddle. It soon became evident that one of our number had imbibed too freely, to the imminent hazard of our lives. The reader may easily imagine our perilous condition under such circumstances. Our frail skiff was about eighteen feet long, and four feet across the top of the gunwale amidships, tapering to a point at either end, constructed of thin slips of pine boards nailed to some half dozen pair of slender knees about two inches in diameter. On board were some fifteen hundred pounds of provisions, with seven men, which pressed her into the water nearly to the gunwale; three inches from the position of a level, and she would fill with water.

As men usually are quite insensible to danger when in liquor, so was it with Dan in this instance. Too comfortable in his feelings to keep still, as indeed was indispensable to the most steady among us, he kept constantly lurching about, and periling us with a capsizing repeatedly. He was admonished in the most pressing and peremptory manner to keep quiet; but in his drunken idiocy he became a terror, and it was manifest that something must be done to insure our safety.

“My God! We are gone!” shouted some half dozen voices at the instant. However, by a counter-motion we raised the submerged gunwale from sinking further. In an instant our helmsman was upon his feet, and, raising his paddle in a most menacing attitude over the bead of the intoxicated man, “D—n you” said he, “If you move again I’ll split your skull open!” The threat was terrible, and he would have cleft his head open in an instant. I expected he would strike, for our lives depended upon quieting him in some way; but the fellow seemed to awake to our perilous condition, and slunk down into the bottom of the boat. We put about instantly for the shore, and in a few moments touched the beach.

Written by johnwood1946

August 17, 2016 at 8:41 AM

Posted in Uncategorized