New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. June 20, 2018

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

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

  1. The Historic Trappist Monastery at Tracadie, N.S., and the Antigonish Area in 1892 – June 20, 2018
  2. God is in His Heaven and All’s Well With New Brunswick – June 13, 2018
  3. Ten Years of Discord in Acadia: And so it Goes – June 6, 2018
  4. Were Taxes too Low in the 1820’s to Promote Industry? – May 30, 2018
  5. The Adventures of Ababejit, an Indian Chief and Magician of the Micmac – May 23, 2018
  6. John Gyles, His Times and How he was Captured – May 16, 2018
  7. An Illustrated Description of the Building of Stanley, New Brunswick – May 9, 2018
  8. A Proposal to Buy Canada for $85.7-million, plus Other Considerations – May 2, 2018
  9. To Fredericton, Stanley and Woodstock, on my Way to the Tobique in 1851 – Apr. 25, 2018
  10. The Principal Hotels in the Maritime Provinces, 1905, With Photographs – Apr. 18, 2018
  11. Halifax From 1749 to 1800 — Minus the Wars and Politics – Apr. 11, 2018
  12. William Brydone Jack on the Future of University Education in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2018
  13. Saint John: From Nothing, to Become Canada’s Winter Port – Mar. 28, 2018
  14. Saint John, New Brunswick Churches in 1910 – Mar. 21, 2018
  15. Chief Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians – Mar. 14, 2018
  16. Canoeing Down the Restigouche River in 1895 – Mar. 7, 2018
  17. Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth – Feb. 28, 2018
  18. Indian Place Names From Around Passamaquoddy Bay – Feb. 21, 2018
  19. Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville – Feb. 14, 2018
  20. Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago – Feb. 7, 2018
  21. 1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate – Jan. 31, 2018
  22. The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws – Jan. 24, 2018
  23. Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782 – Jan. 17, 2018
  24. Education in New Brunswick in 1837 – Jan. 10, 2018
  25. The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder – Jan. 3, 2018
  26. Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s – Dec. 27, 2017
  27. Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808 – Dec. 23, 2017
  28. The Saint John River, the Rhine of America – Dec. 20, 2017
  29. A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick – Dec. 13, 2017
  30. A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins – Dec. 6, 2017
  31. The Magical Dancing Doll – Nov. 29, 2017
  32. Immigration to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills – Nov. 22, 2017
  33. Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837 – Nov. 15, 2017
  34. On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick – Nov. 8, 2017
  35. Through the Woods in the Dead of Winter; Fredericton to the Miramichi – Nov. 5, 2017
  36. Acadia in 1720, as Seen by Paul Mascerene – Oct. 25, 2017
  37. Nova Scotia’s Sham Government in 1720 – Oct. 18, 2017
  38. Three Short Wabanaki Thunder Stories – Oct. 11, 2017
  39. Stanley, N.B., Carved from the Wilderness – in a Hurry – Oct. 4, 2017
  40. Drunkenness Yearly More Common Amongst all Classes – Sept. 27, 2017
  41. John Cabot, London Superstar and Discoverer of Cape Breton – Sept. 20, 2017
  42. Nicolas Denys, the First Proprietor and Governor of all of the Gulf Coast of Acadia – Sept. 13, 2017
  43. Promoting New Brunswick in 1832 – Sept. 6, 2017
  44. A View of Acadian History, from 30,000 Feet – Aug. 30, 2017
  45. Nova Scotia During the Revolution, an American Perspective – Aug. 23, 2017
  46. The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to the American Cause During the Revolution – Aug. 16, 2017
  47. From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787 – Aug. 9, 2017
  48. Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid” – Aug. 2, 2017
  49. Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately – July 26, 2017
  50. Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods – July 19, 2017
  51. Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842 – July 12, 2017
  52. The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak – July 5, 2017
  53. Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot – June 28, 2017
  54. Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists – June 21, 2017
  55. 1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854 – June 14, 2017
  56. Fishing on the Nepisiquit River in the 1870’s – June 7, 2017
  57. The Clock at Fredericton City Hall – May 31, 2017
  58. Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé – May 24, 2017
  59. Boss Gibson’s First Railroad – May 17, 2017
  60. The New Brunswick Postal Service in 1856 – May 10, 2017
  61. Defending the ‘Worthless, Unsteady and Villainous’ Cutters of Wood – May 3, 2017
  62. Tossed by the Sea Into a Frozen Wilderness-1788 – Apr. 26, 2017
  63. The King of France Cannot Have Given You Our Land, Because it Was Not His – Apr. 19, 2017
  64. Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  65. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick via Charlottetown and Shediac in 1867 – Apr. 5, 2017
  66. A Sunday EXTRA: No Meeting of Minds Between the Acadians and the British in 1717 – Apr. 2, 2017
  67. Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 1844 – A Vast Ocean of Trees – Mar. 29, 2017
  68. Shabby Streets, Decaying Houses, and Steep Plank Sidewalks. Saint John in 1874 – Mar. 22, 2017
  69. In the Beginning – Wabanaki Creation Stories – Mar. 15, 2017
  70. Pride versus Rascals and Villains in Saint John in 1791 – Mar. 8, 2017
  71. The Trent Affair – Mar. 1, 2017
  72. A Shocking Description of Anti-Confederates in Rural Nova Scotia in 1867 – Feb. 22, 2017
  73. Surveying Through the Wilderness in 1844 – Feb. 15, 2017
  74. At the Bend of the Petitcodiac in 1844: Moncton – Feb. 8, 2017
  75. Maria Rye and Her British Home Children – Feb. 1, 2017
  76. New Brunswick’s East Coast in 1832, Following the Miramichi Fire – Jan. 25, 2017
  77. Slavery in the Loyalist Era – Jan. 18, 2017
  78. Weather and the Seasons in Micmac Mythology – Jan. 11, 2017
  79. New Brunswick’s Roads in 1832: ‘Many paths are misnamed roads’. Jan. 7, 2017
  80. Nova Scotia and New England During the Revolution – Dec. 28, 2016
  81. A Holiday Special: Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 23, 2016
  82. Expressions from Cuffer Down plus Signs and Omens – Dec. 21, 2016
  83. From Passamaquoddy to the Petitcodiac: What it Was Like in 1832 – Dec. 14, 2016
  84. Raymond Writes About the Lives and Customs of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet People – Dec. 7, 2016
  85. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  86. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  87. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  88. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  89. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  90. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  91. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  92. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  93. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  94. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  95. 1 – David Kennedy’s Travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 21, 2016 (This blog posting was lost on Sept. 28th. I decided not to re-post, since it would clutter my subscribers’ screens.)
  96. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  97. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  98. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  99. Blog past #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  100. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  101. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  102. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  103. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  104. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  105. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  106. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  107. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  108. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  109. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  110. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  111. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  112. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016
  113. The Northern Colonies: Languishing in Mediocrity – ca 1804 – May 18, 2016
  114. Fredericton’s Victoria Cottage Hospital – May 11, 2016
  115. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records – May 4, 2016
  116. Slog on, or Die – Apr. 27, 2016
  117. Changes Nova Scotia Underwent from Discovery to 1758 When the First General Assembly Met in Halifax – Apr. 20, 2016
  118. The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures – Apr. 13, 2016
  119. Missions to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in the Early 1800’s – Apr. 6, 2016
  120. It Sounded Like a Residential School Philosophy – Mar. 30, 2016
  121. The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  122. Giddy, Eccentric, and Discontented Characters, or Misguided Souls, or Turncoats? – Mar. 16, 2016
  123. Indian Routes of Travel in New Brunswick – Mar. 9, 2016
  124. Historic Sites from the English Period on the Saint John River – Mar. 2, 2016
  125. How to Hunt a Moose, a Goose, and a Caribou in New Brunswick in 1791 – Feb. 24, 2016
  126. William Hubbard Complains to Edward Winslow about the Congregationalists in Sheffield – Feb. 17, 2016
  127. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours – Feb. 10, 2016
  128. WE NEED THE ACADIANS TO REMAIN: Lieut Governor, 1715 – Feb. 2, 2015
  129. Guy Carleton on the Fur Trade in Canada, 1767 – Jan. 27, 2016
  130. A Letter on Irish Immigrants – Jan. 20, 2016
  131. The Wreck of the ‘Lord Ashburton’ – Jan. 13, 2016
  132. A Ghost at Noonday – Jan. 6, 2016
  133. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 3: Will Not the Bright Sun and the Blue Heavens Testify Against Us? – Dec. 30, 2015
  134. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 2: To Every Thing There is a Season – Dec. 23, 2015
  135. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 1: All Men From One Blood – Dec. 16, 2015
  136. Limits to the Royal Bounty – Dec. 9, 2015
  137. Nova Scotia, a Receptacle for Superfluous People? – Dec. 1, 2015
  138. From New Ireland to New Brunswick – Nov. 25, 2015
  139. The Most Gentlemanlike Government on Earth – Nov. 18, 2015
  140. I Love You for Your Plainness – Nov. 11, 2015
  141. Ward Chipman Remembers the Final Evacuation of New York – Nov. 4, 2015
  142. A Reply to “Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok” – Oct. 28, 2015
  143. A Century of Educational Progress in New Brunswick from 1800 to 1900 – Oct. 21, 2015
  144. Notes About the Earliest Public Markets in Saint John, New Brunswick – Oct. 14, 2015
  145. The Provincial Dairy School at Sussex, New Brunswick, 1900 – Oct. 7, 2015
  146. An Account of Nova Scotia in 1743 – Sept. 30, 2015
  147. The Petition of the Infamous 55 – Sept. 23, 2015
  148. Francis Sharpe’s Woodstock Apples – Sept. 16, 2015
  149. The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  150. The New Brunswick Election of 1785 – Sept. 2, 2015
  151. The Many Fires in Saint John, 1784-1877 – Aug. 26, 2015
  152. A Proposal for an Attack on Nova Scotia – Aug. 19, 2015
  153. Fredericton’s Great Flood of 1936 – Aug. 12, 2015
  154. A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015
  155. Saint John in 1834, Before it was Forever Changed by the Great Fire – July 29, 2015
  156. New Brunswick, No Country for a Mere Gentleman, 1834 – July 22, 2015
  157. Woodstock, the Only Village Between the Green River and Fredericton in 1834 – July 15, 2015
  158. On the Tamiscouta Prtage from Lake Tamiscouta to just above Grand Falls, 1834 – July 10, 2015
  159. Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok – July 1, 2015
  160. By Steamer to the So-Called City of Fredericton – June 24, 2014
  161. A Quiet and Business-Like Little City – June 17, 2015
  162. Rambles Among the Bluenoses in 1862 – June 10, 2015
  163. Edward John Russell, a New Brunswick Artist – June 3, 2015
  164. Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Report of the Medical Superintendent, 1875 – May 27, 2015
  165. The Saint John River and Port Royal in the Early 1600’s – May 20, 2015
  166. What Should We Think of Benedict Arnold? – May 13, 2015
  167. Diphtheria in New Brunswick in the Year 1889 – May 6, 2015
  168. The Official Account of the Destruction of Burnt Church – Apr. 29, 2015
  169. The Exchange Coffee House and Saint John’s First Club – Apr. 22, 2015
  170. The Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians – Apr. 15, 2015
  171. The Story of Brook Watson – Apr. 8, 2015
  172. Where Stood Fort LaTour? – Apr. 1, 2015
  173. Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War – Mar. 25, 2015
  174. At Portland Point – Mar. 18, 2015
  175. Electrical Power From the Reversing Falls – Mar. 10, 2015
  176. Father Rale’s War – 1722-25; How it Ended – Mar. 4, 2015
  177. What Was the Big Deal About the Marco Polo? – Feb. 25, 2015
  178. Grand Manan to Petitcodiac, in 1786 – Feb. 18, 2015
  179. A Trip From St. John to Fredericton in 1870 – Feb. 11, 2015
  180. A Tour of St. John, N.B., in 1870 – Feb. 4, 2015
  181. Destruction by Fire of the First Cathedral in Chatham – Jan. 28, 2015
  182. Burgan the Burglar – Jan. 21, 2015
  183. Facts and Reasons Against Confederating With Canada – Jan. 14, 2015
  184. Discontent in Early Halifax in 1756 – Jan. 7, 2015
  185. A Trip on the ICR From Bathurst to Miramichi – Dec. 31, 2014
  186. Early Attempts to Introduce the Cultivation of Hemp in Eastern British America – Dec. 24, 2014
  187. Touring Campbellton and Dalhousie, Despite the Mosquitoes, 1876 – Dec. 19, 2014
  188. The Fire of 1837 in Saint John – Dec. 10, 2014
  189. The Cruise of the Rechab – Dec. 3, 2014
  190. A Night in the Deep – Nov. 26, 2014
  191. Robert Foulis (A Misplaced Genius) – Nov. 19, 2014
  192. The City Mills – Nov. 15, 2014
  193. The Brothers d’Amours – Nov. 5, 2014
  194. John Allan’s Revolutionary Mission to the Saint John River – Oct. 29, 2014
  195. Relics of the Acadian Period – Oct. 22, 2014
  196. Some Odd Old Advertisements – Oct. 15, 2014
  197. The Miramichi Fire – Relief of the Sufferers – Oct. 8, 2014
  198. Jonathan Eddy’s Account of the Attack on Fort Cumberland, November, 1776 – Oct. 1, 2014
  199. Which of These Two is the Wisest and Happiest? – Sept. 24, 2014
  200. Fredericton Bridge, a Prophetic Writing – Sept. 17, 2014
  201. A Speech to Distinguished Persons of Stake and Consideration – Sept. 10, 2014
  202. Building an Education System From Almost Nothing – Sept. 3, 2014
  203. Cape Tormentine to the Baye des Chaleurs in the 1600’s – Aug. 27, 2014
  204. The Customs of the Mi’kmaq in the 1600’s and Before – Aug. 20, 2014
  205. Two Documents Relating to the Fenians in New Brunswick – Aug. 13, 2014
  206. The Lazaretto for Lepers in Tracadie, 1862 – Aug. 6, 2014
  207. Thoughts About the Augustine Mound at Metepenegiag Mi’kmaq Nation – July 30, 2014
  208. What am I Bid for This Pauper? – July 23, 2014
  209. Trouble at Madawaska, 1831 – July 16, 2014
  210. The Great Fire at Saint John, June 20, 1877 – July 9, 2014
  211. The Poor Fellows Shook as if They Would Fall to Pieces! – July 2, 2014
  212. How to Build a Logging Camp in Around 1850 – June 25, 2014
  213. Risen from the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton – June 18, 2014
  214. Rocks and Water, Magnificence and Squalor; St. John in 1876 – June 11, 2014
  215. Moncton as Seen by a Journalist in 1876 – June 4, 2014
  216. Events Leading to the Caraquet Riots of 1875 – May 28, 2014
  217. A Dramatic Account of the Miramichi Fire – May 21, 2014
  218. Saint John in the Early 1840’s – May 18, 2014
  219. The Myth that Kerosene was Invented in New Brunswick – May 7, 2014
  220. A Church with Military Boots and Fixed Bayonets – Apr. 30, 2014
  221. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  222. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  223. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  224. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  225. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  226. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 – Mar. 19, 2014
  227. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  228. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  229. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  230. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  231. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  232. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  233. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  234. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  235. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  236. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  237. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  238. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  239. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  240. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  241. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  242. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  243. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  244. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  245. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  246. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  247. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  248. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  249. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  250. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  251. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  252. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  253. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  254. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  255. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  256. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  257. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  258. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  259. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches – Oct. 23, 2013
  260. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  261. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw – Oct. 9, 2013
  262. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  263. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  264. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  265. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  266. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  267. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  268. The Loss of the Royal Tar – Aug. 21, 2013
  269. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  270. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  271. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  272. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  273. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  274. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  275. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  276. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  277. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  278. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  279. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  280. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  281. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  282. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  283. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  284. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  285. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  286. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  287. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  288. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  289. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  290. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  291. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  292. The First Decade of the 1800’s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  293. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013, Rev. Sept. 9, 2015
  294. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  295. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  296. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  297. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  298. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  299. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  300. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  301. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  302. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  303. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  304. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  305. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  306. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  307. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  308. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  309. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  310. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  311. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  312. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  313. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  314. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  315. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  316. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  317. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  318. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  319. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  320. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  321. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  322. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  323. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  324. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  325. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  326. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  327. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  328. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  329. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  330. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  331. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  332. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  333. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  334. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  335. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  336. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  337. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  338. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  339. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  340. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  341. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  342. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  343. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  344. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  345. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  346. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  347. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  348. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  349. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  350. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  351. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  352. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  353. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  354. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  355. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  356. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  357. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  358. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  359. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  360. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  361. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  362. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  363. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  364. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  365. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  366. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  367. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  368. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  369. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  370. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  371. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  372. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  373. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  374. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  375. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  376. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  377. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  378. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  379. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  380. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  381. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  382. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  383. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  384. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  385. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  386. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  387. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  388. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  389. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  390. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  391. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  392. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  393. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  394. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  395. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood


Written by johnwood1946

June 20, 2018 at 8:17 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Historic Trappist Monastery at Tracadie, N.S., and the Antigonish Area in 1892

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From the blog at

Today’s blog describes of the area around Antigonish, Tracadie (Nova Scotia), and Mulgrave in 1892, as found in Forest, Stream and Seashore, by the Intercolonial Railway. This includes a description of the historic Trappist Monastery at Tracadie which dates to 1820.

St. Peter’s Parish Church, Tracadie, N.S.

From “Canada’s Historic Places” website


The Historic Trappist Monastery at Tracadie, N.S., and the Antigonish Area in 1892


Three score and ten years ago Judge Haliburton recorded his opinion that Antigonish was one of the prettiest villages in the eastern section of Nova Scotia, and his judgment on this point requires no revision at the present day. It is beyond doubt an attractive place. Its tidy dwellings stand amid beautiful shade trees on low ground, while the hills rise in graceful cones near at hand. Among these hills are sweet and pleasant valleys and the brooks are as clear as crystal. The village is the capital of the County, and is also the seat of the Bishop of Antigonish. St. Ninian’s Cathedral is a fine edifice, built of stone and erected at a large expense. It will seat 1,200 persons. St. François Xavier College is located near it and has a large number of students from all parts of the provinces. The college and church grounds are beautifully situated, and many of the private residences are remarkably tasteful in their appearance and their surroundings.

The community is largely composed of Highland Scotch, and certain historic family names are so well represented that many of the prominent residents are known by their Christian names coupled with some distinguishing title, frequently one showing the line of descent. In this part of the country, as through Cape Breton, the Gaelic language is extensively spoken, and for the benefit of many of the older people sermons in that tongue are preached from time to time in the cathedral.

The mouth of the harbor is eight miles from the village, and a number of the residents have summer cottages there. The beach is of smooth sand and permits the bather to go out a long distance from the shore.

It is believed that the word Antigonish is a corruption of the Indian Nalkitgoniash, which means either Forked River or Big Fish River. Another theory is that the original word was Nalegitkooneech, a place where branches are torn off by the bears gathering beechnuts. The scenery is good in all parts of this district. The Lord’s Day Gale and other storms have done a large amount of injury to the forests, but enough beauty remains to satisfy the sightseer. By all odds the most attractive spot is at Lochaber Lake, on the road to Sherbrooke, thirteen miles from the village. This lake is about five miles long, and varies in width from a few hundred feet to nearly half a mile. The road runs along its bank for the entire distance, amid foliage of the most attractive character. The water is very deep and remarkably clear and pure, while the banks rise abruptly from it and have a very beautiful effect. There are excellent roads in this part of the country, and abundant opportunities for driving or making a bicycle journey. A favorite drive, in addition to that to I.ochaber, is to St. George’s Bay, a little over six miles from the village, from the shore of which there is a grand view extending far out to the waters of the open sea.

Antigonish is in touch with some of the famous gold mining districts of Nova Scotia, such as the Sherbrooke, Forest Hill and Isaac’s Harbor mines. These are reached by a journey of forty miles or so over good highways. The Sherbrooke road is a convenient way by which to reach some of the fishing and hunting grounds of Guysboro. By going about twenty miles, St. Mary’s River is reached at the Forks. Here there is good fishing all along the river, and good accommodation may be had at Melrose. From here to the Stillwater Salmon Pools is seven miles, and some fine salmon may be caught. Sherbrooke, a few miles lower down, is a very pretty place, and here one may catch not only fine sea trout, but salmon ranging from fifteen to forty pounds in weight. The fly best suited to this river is one with light yellow body and dark yellow wings. In the other salmon rivers the Admiral is a favorite, as well as another with turkey wing, grey body and golden pheasant tail, Guysboro Lakes have fine trout in them. The mountains of this country, too, are the haunts of moose.

In approaching Antigonish by the railway, after leaving Barney’s River, the road runs through a canyon, extending for a number of miles, and which is part of the beautiful Piedmont valley. Far away and near at hand rise tree-clad hills, on which the sunshine gives a glory to the varying hues of summer foliage, to show in vivid contrast with the shadows cast in the vales beneath.

Near Antigonish is Sugar Loaf Mountain with a height of 750 feet—from which is a view of sea and land that includes even the shore of Cape Breton. Only a few miles from Antigonish is Gaspereau Lake, which is 500 feet above the water in the harbor, so it will be seen that there is no lack of hills, with all kinds of scenery, in this part of the world.

There is some fair trout fishing in the rivers of this vicinity, good partridge shooting and amazing opportunities for bagging wild geese in their season. Three men have secured twenty-five in three days on the shore of St. George’s Bay, near at hand, and only recently an Indian shot twenty geese at Town Point, six miles from the village, and walked into Antigonish staggering under the weight of his acquisition. The man had more than he could dispose of, and it is understood that he made a vow never to shoot as many at one time again unless the prospects of a market were better.

Leaving Antigonish, South River is the first place to claim attention, with its picturesque islands and green hills, while here and there the white plaster rock brings out the colors of the forest and field in brighter relief. If the journey be made in the autumn, it is almost a certainty that wild geese and ducks will be seen at South River. It is no uncommon thing for an approaching train to cause several flocks to rise from the river close at hand, while at a distance may be seen the heads of thousands of others, as they float tranquilly on the water.

The Trappists of Tracadie

The word Tracadie means a camping ground, and it designates a locality in each of the Maritime Provinces. The Tracadie of New Brunswick is best known to the world from the fact that the Lazaretto for lepers is located in its vicinity, and the Tracadie of Nova Scotia has a claim to distinction in having had the only Trappist Monastery in Canada south of the St. Lawrence, and one of the few on the continent.

Tracadie station is twenty-one miles from Antigonish, and there is a good harbor near at hand, opening into St. George’s Bay. There is an Indian reserve in the neighborhood.

The Monastery of Our Lady of Petit Clairvaux, which was its proper title, was founded in 1820. The members of the community were Cistercian Monks, though commonly called Trappists from their obedience to the rule of La Trappe, the founder of the order. They had between five and six hundred acres of land connected with the monastery, much of which was in a high state of cultivation. Within the last few years, however, the community suffered heavily from fire, losing the monastery, grist mill, carding mill and barns, on two different occasions. A new monastery was erected, but the work of replacing all that was destroyed was of necessity slow and attended with difficulty, and the community, numbering only about a score of monks, who were chiefly Belgians, became discouraged at the outlook and emigrated quite recently in a body to a new home. Another community of Trappists in France, numbering sixty persons, it is however now announced, have secured the vacated property and will shortly arrive to take up the work of their predecessors.

The life of a Trappist is devoted to prayer, manual labor and silence. The ordinary hour of rising is two o’clock in the morning, except on Sundays and feast days, when the hour is half-past one. The remainder of what most people would call the night is spent in chanting the offices of the church, in meditation and other religious duties. The fast is broken by a light meal at 7:30 in the summer and 11:30 in the winter, the latter season being kept as a Lent. The monks never eat meat, fish or eggs, and it is only of recent years that butter has been allowed in the preparation of the vegetable food. The discipline is strict in all other respects, for the Trappist life is the most rigorous of all the monastic orders. Conversation, when necessary, is carried on by signs, except in addressing the Abbot.

The monks, in addition to their own manual labor, furnish considerable employment to others who assist them in their work, and they are excellent farmers. In their religious duties they seek to make reparation for the sins of the outside world. Despite of what seems a severe life they enjoy excellent health and live to a great age, as a rule. All their life, however, is a preparation for death. The burial place is close to the monastery, where it is continually in sight. When a monk dies he is buried in his habit, uncoffined; and when the grave is filled-in another grave is opened to remind the survivors that one of them must be its tenant in his appointed time.

On an Ocean Bye-Way

If the Atlantic be a highway for the commerce of nations, what but a bye-way, or convenient short cut, is the Strait of Canseau. It is the great canal which nature has placed between the ocean and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, by which not only is distance shortened, but the perils of the sea are, in many cases, reduced to a minimum. Fourteen miles or so in length, and about a mile in width, its strong currents assert its claim to be part of the great sea beyond, while the thousands of sail passing and repassing year after year tell of its importance to the trade of the whole Atlantic Coast.

The Intercolonial railway reaches the Strait of Canseau at Mulgrave. Here the high land on the western shore affords some glorious views, both of the long stretch of water, dotted with all kinds of craft, and of the sloping hills of the island beyond. The most prominent of the heights on the mainland is Cape Porcupine, from the summit of which the telegraph wires once crossed, high over the waters, to Plaister Cove. In the early days of ocean cables those slender threads in midair were a part of the tie which united Europe and America. When breaks occurred—and in such an exposed situation they were bound to occur—the link between two worlds was broken. The adoption of submarine cables solved the problem for all time.

Mulgrave has not only a hotel but a number of private houses where excellent accommodation can be had by those who wish to remain for a time or make this the centre from which to visit some of the places along the Strait. The roads are good and there is fair fishing in the vicinity. Morrison’s Lake, which lies under the shadow of Cape Porcupine, is two miles from the wharf, and is reached by an easy road. Big Tracadie Lake is three and a half miles distant, and Chisholm’s Lake lies between the one last mentioned and the highway. The road is a good one and through a settled country. To the southward of the wharf are the Goose Harbor Lakes, a chain which extends from three miles beyond Pirate Harbor to the southern coast of Guysboro.

As for salt water fishing, it may be had all along the Strait. Indeed, one lad has a record of seventy bass caught by him from the wharf at Mulgrave in one morning. They ranged from four to six pounds each.

Port Hawkesbury and Port Hastings, on the other side of the Strait, are also good places for those who are in search of rest and quiet, with plenty of sea breezes, a good view of the waters east and west and every chance for boating, driving or wheeling. Good accommodation is to be found at both places.

Steamers leave Mulgrave on certain days of each week for Guysboro and Canseau, on the Nova Scotia shore to the southward, and for Arichat on the Cape Breton side A steamer also runs up the north shore of Cape Breton to Port Hood, Mabou and Margaree Harbor. In both directions are places to delight those who want to get thoroughly out of the ordinary course of the tourist, and yet find much that is novel and of interest.

Written by johnwood1946

June 20, 2018 at 8:17 AM

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God is in His Heaven and All’s Well With New Brunswick — 1832

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From the blog at

God is in His Heaven and All’s Well With New Brunswick — 1832

Sir Archibald Campbell, Lieutenant Governor at That Time

From Wikipedia

Thomas Baillie wrote An Account of the Province of New Brunswick… (London, 1832), describing the Province with emphasis upon the benefits of immigrating there. In today’s installment, he speaks of New Brunswick’s institutions in such rosy terms that I entitled it God is in His Heaven and All’s Well With New Brunswick — 1832. The following is edited and abridged from his book.


I shall now proceed to lay before my readers a short account of the institutions of the Province. New Brunswick forms part of the general government of the North American provinces, being included in the Governor-General’s commission; but, except when he is present in the Province, the Lieutenant-Governor, who is appointed to the command of New Brunswick by a separate commission, is in every respect the Governor; and the Province is now happy in having so distinguished an officer as Sir Archibald Campbell to preside over her interests; he is assisted by an executive council of twelve, whenever he thinks proper to call upon those gentlemen for their advice and opinion. The executive council also constitutes the legislative council, and forms the same branch in the constitution of the province as the House of Lords in England; but their station is not here datary, being appointed by the King, under a recommendation from the Lieutenant-Governor. The House of Assembly consists of twenty-eight members, who are chosen by the freeholders, and who represent the several counties as follows, viz. York, four; St. John, four ; City, St. John, two; King’s County, two; Queen’s County, two; Charlotte, four; Sunbury, two; Westmoreland, four; Northumberland, two; Kent, one; and Gloucester, one. The population of New Brunswick, according to the census taken in 1824, amounted to seventy-four thousand souls; but I have reason to believe that the above was far short of the actual number then in the province, and there can be no doubt it has greatly increased since that period, not only from natural causes, but from the influx of emigrants from the mother-country.

The common law of England is applicable in New Brunswick, and most of the provincial enactments are founded upon the laws of England. The administration of justice is easy and impartial, there being a chief-justice and three assistant judges, who are men of the highest respectability and character; they perform regular circuits to the different county towns, for the trial of prisoners and other legal business, where the greatest order and decorum invariably prevail, and where the poor man will obtain equal justice with the rich. There are also quarter sessions held in the several county towns; but much legal knowledge cannot be expected from the bench of magistrates, few of whom have ever paid any attention to it. The jurors are generally men of respectability and intelligence; and these courts are, therefore, quite as good as can be expected in so young a country.

New Brunswick is included in the diocese of Nova Scotia, and the establishment of the Church of England consists of the archdeacon as its head, who is rector of Fredericton; he is a man of the most amiable and conciliating manners, of the most irreproachable character, and eminently qualified to fill the important station he holds. There are besides 30 missionaries, who receive a certain stipend from their parishes, besides a regulated allowance from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. They are all men of excellent character, and are most deservedly respected throughout the Province. There are also several of the Roman Catholic clergy, and some Wesleyan missionaries, who are all, I believe, very respectable and good men.

King’s College, at Fredericton, lately erected at considerable expense, is a handsome building of the Doric order. It is liberally endowed by His Majesty, as well as by the provincial legislature, and possesses besides a valuable tract of more than five thousand acres of land, in the immediate neighbourhood of the town. The education of youth is there carried on with every regard to their comfort, morals, and future progress in life, under professors of high character and attainments; and the expense to the student is so moderate, that it is within the reach of a great many persons; and although at present the number of students does not, I believe, exceed twelve; yet, as the Province advances, I hope to see young men who have been educated there, prove a credit to themselves, and a future ornament and lasting advantage to the Province.

In addition to the college, there is an excellent grammar-school in each county, besides numerous schools in the several parishes for the education of the children of the lower classes; and as all these establishments are liberally paid by the legislature, the sums required from the pupils are so moderate, as to exclude no persons from availing themselves of these advantages.

In conclusion, I will address a few words of advice to those persons who may be inclined to proceed to this inviting country, where there are neither tithes nor taxes, but a moderate poor-rate is required from all persons, according to their property, for the support and care of such poor who, from age, sickness, or other infirmities, are unable to provide for themselves. There is also a certain portion of statute labour to be performed upon the road by all persons in proportion to their wealth and, I am sorry to say, that in almost all cases it is done with a bad grace, so much so, that half the amount of labour, under proper management, would do more work.

Should a person possessing 1,0001. and upwards, proceed to New Brunswick, I should recommend him to purchase a farm which is already made to his hand, and most likely having a house and barn on it: he will perhaps get one to suit him for 4001. or 5001., leaving more than enough to buy stock, furniture, &c. so that he will have a considerable sum remaining for any future occasion. Taking it, therefore, for granted, that he is industrious, and willing to work himself, having a family to assist him, his farm ought to produce him abundance for the comfortable support of himself and family.

A person possessing from 1001. to 1,0001. might purchase such a tract of crown land as could not fail to make, in a few years, a beautiful farm; he would have to pay from 2s. 6d. to 5s. 6d. an acre, according to the situation and quality of the soil, he will then perhaps employ people to clear as many acres as he thinks he can manage, get a log house, and perhaps a small barn built; and that man is in a fair way of enjoying comfort and independence. Persons with less capital than 1001. would, of course, hire themselves out to service, and would receive good wages, but the price of labour is not near so high as it was in 1824; in that, and the succeeding year, a labourer could scarcely be hired under five shillings a day, but now the usual price is about half-a-crown and, as provisions are very cheap, a man can provide himself with food at a trifling cost. I would not recommend emigrants to take any furniture with them, but all articles of bedding and clothes should of course form part of their baggage; if they have a gun it may also accompany them, and should they have the means to purchase a small steel hand-mill for grinding wheat, it would no doubt turn to good account in a new settlement, which may possibly be far from a mill. Mechanics should, by all means, take out their chest of tools with them, as those articles are very dear. Masons and bricklayers get about eight or ten shillings a day; carpenters from six shillings to seven shillings and sixpence; and all other mechanics in proportion.

The voyage to New Brunswick is very short, and varies from three to five weeks: the passage money is low in proportion, and including food is only about four or five pounds; half-price for children, and for infants nothing. There are so many excellent ports in New Brunswick that an emigrant can scarcely go wrong; but if he is anxious to get immediately into the interior, the River St. John affords him the best opportunity, and abundance of superior land is to be found near its banks. From the port of St. John, an emigrant can make his way to Fredericton by a steam-boat, for 2s. 6d.; and the public offices being at Fredericton, it would be well for him to get up there as soon as he can, if he wants land, although the deputy-surveyors at the different ports can explain to him where he can get land, and are always ready to afford him every information. There is also an agent for emigrants at St. John’s, who would pay him every attention, and inform him where he would be likely to find employment. If, therefore, there are persons, who, with a small capital, would like to improve it, — persons with a few hundred pounds who would wish to live comfortably on their own farm, — industrious mechanics out of work, who would wish to save money, — or hardy labourers, who can get no employment, and who would be glad to have a little farm of their own, — let them proceed to New Brunswick, and they must be either very unfortunate or very careless if they do not succeed.

Written by johnwood1946

June 13, 2018 at 9:02 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Ten Years of Discord in Acadia; And so it Goes

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From the blog at

Bellin’s Map of Acadia, 1744

From McMaster University Library

England became the master of Nova Scotia in 1713, and France was left only with Cape Breton and the Island of Saint John (P.E.I.) – plus other disputed territories in the outback of Maine and New Brunswick.

England hardly knew what to do with its new possession which was largely undeveloped and occupied by Acadians and Mi’kmaq, neither of whom were friendly. They set up a government, of sorts, and tried to maintain order, but their military posture was weak and the Governor once referred to it as a “so-called government.”

The British tried over several decades to persuade the Acadians to sign loyalty oaths. This ended, of course, with the expulsion of the Acadians, but not until 1755.

This blog post outlines relations between the British and the Acadians over a ten-year period, from 1720 to 1730. Progress always consisted of one step forward and two steps back. These ten years seemed to culminate in success for the British, by getting the Acadians to sign the loyalty oath. This would not last, however, which reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut’s expression “and so it goes.” This is taken from Selections from the Public Documents of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Ten Years of Discord in Acadia; And so it Goes

December 28, 1720: The Board of Trade despaired that the Acadian French would never transfer their loyalty to Britain. They saw no option but to expel the Acadians, except that there was no Royal mandate for that action. They therefore recommended peaceful coexistence; and also arranged more presents for the Mi’kmaq.

December 28, 1720: Governor Philipps felt overwhelmed by the large numbers of Acadians and their refusal to swear allegiance. The Acadians had two options when the British took over, to swear allegiance or to leave, but they had agreed to neither course because they knew that the British were too weak to force the issue.

March 4, (1721?): The Governor noted that the Acadians remained ‘insolent’ and ‘treacherous,’ notwithstanding that they could expect liberal rights under British rule. The Acadians blamed their fear of the Mi’kmaq for their unwillingness to cooperate, but the Governor believed that the Mi’kmaq acted on the instructions of the Acadians and not the other way around. The Governor therefore issued instructions that the Acadians be reassured that their rights, such as freedom of religion, were not under threat.

March 4, (1721?): Two Acadians appeared at Annapolis Royal, and asked that they be allowed to deliver a letter to the Governor. Their letter claimed that the Mi’kmaq alone are responsible for the recent plundering of a British sloop, but this excuse was rejected and the audience was denied. Their appearance at Annapolis Royal was also deemed unacceptable, since they were not the official delegates that the British had demanded to see. The British had wanted a written confession of guilt.

September 19, 1722: Governor Philipps reported to the Board of Trade that armed conflict had had arisen with the Mi’kmaq. Presents had been exchanged only the month previous and everything seemed to be going well, but now they had taken a large number of British vessels and had become emboldened with the idea that they might also attack the garrison. There were rumours that the Governor was not capable of providing defence, and he had therefore taken measures to protect the fishing fleet. A large number of Mi’kmaq were killed or captured, and they admitted that the Acadians had incited them to their actions.

September 5, 1725: The Governor asked the Lords of Trade for reinforcements because the Mi’kmaq were being “clandestinely encouraged” by the Acadians and, no doubt, by the French on Cape Breton. In the meantime, he wrote a letter of complaint to the French Governor St. Ovide at Louisburg. St. Ovide’s response consisted of “pretended ignorance” of what was going on. St. Ovide claimed ignorance of anyone arming the Mi’kmaq, and promised to crack down on anyone who tried. Several infiltrators were captured later that year, each carrying passports from St. Ovide, contrary to his promises.

July 27, 1726: Governor Armstrong asked for instructions. What should he do with the Acadians, who refused to take the Oath of allegiance? St. Ovide also appeared to be encouraging them to relocate to Cape Breton or Saint John’s Island.

September 21, 1726: Governor Armstrong convened a meeting with the Acadian Deputies to convince them to take the Oath of allegiance. He supplied them with a copy of the Oath, and they went away to consider it.

September 25, 1726: The Acadian Deputies returned, and asked that a clause be added to the Oath freeing them from any obligation to take up arms for Britain. The Governor assured them that that would not be necessary, as Britain would never draft a Catholic. The Acadians insisted, however, and the clause was added. The Deputies were asked to return with their fellows for the signing of the revised Oath. A number of the Acadians from along the Annapolis River signed.

October 11, 1726: A French priest, Pere Gaulin, appeared before Council, and asked to take the Oath of allegiance. It was agreed that he could do so, and that he could be forgiven for his many past misdeeds, provided a committee of his fellow priests guaranteed his good behaviour.

October 24, 1726: Pere Gaulin returned with the news that his fellow priests were not prepared to guarantee his behaviour, but that he still wanted to sign the Oath. He had been under threat of deportation to England for previous misdeeds, but the Governor in Council now considered it politic to drop that threat. In the meantime, the Governor was planning a delegation to go to Minas to solicit signatures on the Oath.

November 24, 1726: The Governor sent the signed Oaths which he had gathered from along the Annapolis River to the Secretary of State, adding that he would go to Minas in the spring to gather more signatures. He bragged that this accomplishment was a first in Nova Scotia.

April 30, 1727: The Governor reported that a certain Mr. Gambell, a British soldier who was stationed in Boston, had arrived in the neighbourhood together with an antimonarchist trader. The Governor ordered the soldier to report for military duty at Canso, but he ignored the order and was campaigning against British interests among the Acadians. He told them that the Oaths that they had signed were worthless, since the Governor had no authority to administer them. He also said that the Governor would soon be replaced. As a result of this agitation, the Priests were assembling a large number of Mi’kmaq to attack the British.

May 23, 1727: The Governor’s emissaries to Minas, Chignecto and Beaubassin returned with the news that the Acadians there remained rebellious and insolent, and would not sign the Oath. The Council agreed that the Governor had done all that he could, and the matter was to be referred to the home government for advice. The Governor wrote to those Acadians the following month, inviting their delegates and Priests to a conference so that he could explain the importance of signing the Oath before he referred the matter to London.

June 21, 1727: A letter was received from the Acadians, saying that they had heard that the Governor had no authority to administer the Oath. Furthermore, they had refused to cooperate in the building of a road, since they were afraid that the British would use it to steal their cattle.

July 25, 1727: The British imposed a trade embargo between the Acadian villages where the Oath had not been signed, and New England. The villages on the Annapolis River where the Oath had been signed were not included in this embargo.

September 12, 1727: The Governor suggested that a different Oath be proposed to the Acadians, in the hope that it would be more acceptable to them. A letter was received from the Acadians four days later, which the British found to be “insolent, rebellious and highly disrespectful.” They also refused to take the amended Oath. Consequently, several of their leaders were jailed in irons and, and fishing rights in their communities were withdrawn.

November 13, 1727: One of Armstrong’s emissaries to the Acadians presented signed Oaths that he had collected from around Minas and Chignecto. However, the concessions that had been granted by Armstrong, and others which had been written-in by the emissary were found to be unacceptable and were rejected by Council.

July 9, 1728: The Governor’s opinion to the Secretary of State was that the Acadians were uncooperative because Britain had exercised too much leniency. The Governor had not been authorized to expel any of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, but that might become necessary.

January 3, 1729: The King had died, and new Oaths were required pledging loyalty to the new Monarch. The Governor therefore sent the Oath which Acadians on the Annapolis River signed to the Duke of Newcastle. He expected to get a similar submission from the Acadians at Minas in the spring.

June 23, 1729: The Governor said that a Priest by the name of Bresley had been exciting animosity against the British among the Acadians. The Governor had therefor sent for him to come to a meeting, but he disappeared into the woods before he could be contacted. He was presently somewhere among the Mi’kmaq, encouraging them to mischief. He therefore issued a command that the Priest leave Nova Scotia within a month.

May 20, 1730: The Lords of Trade and Plantations objected to the Oath which the Acadians on the Annapolis River had signed, wanting it to be more explicit. The signed Oath (in French) had read “I sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful to and truly obey His Majesty George the Second, so God help me.” The Lords wanted it to read “I sincerely promise and swear that I will be entirely faithful to His Majesty King George the Second whom I recognize as Sovereign Lord of New Scotland and Acadia, and whom I will obey, so God help me.” The Lords also wanted the Acadians to be informed that they were lucky not to have been expelled for not having taken the Oath sooner, in accordance with the treaty of Utrecht. Also, while it might be right to give them British grants for the lands they were occupying, the Lords saw no reason why they should not pay quit rents.

September 2, 1730: The Governor advised the Duke of Newcastle that the number of Acadians was increasing daily and that they were, “like Noah’s progeny, spreading themselves over the face of the Province.” Every Acadian on the Annapolis River, from 16 to 60, had signed the Oath and just recently he, the Governor, had had similar success at the head of the Bay of Fundy. The Mi’kmaq were calm and seemed to be accepting of the British, and the only risk to the future of the province was the prospect that war might break out again between England and France.

Written by johnwood1946

June 6, 2018 at 8:26 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Were Taxes too Low  in the 1820’s to Promote Industry?

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From the blog at

An anonymous author wrote a book entitled Letters from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Illustrative of Their Moral, Religious, and Physical Circumstances During the Years 1826, 1827, and 1828, (Edinburgh, 1829). These ‘letters’ were actually short stories or essays which caricatured an odd selection of people to demonstrate social attitudes of that time.

Other letters were more commentary than caricature, but we cannot tell whether these were his opinions or just stories. He stated that any suggestion that “the characters and conversations … are imaginary, is altogether superfluous” which, of course, proves just the opposite.

In today’s letter, dated April 3, 1826, he discusses the state of agriculture in Nova Scotia with many other revelations of social conditions at that time.

A Nova Scotia Farm Scene

(New Brunswick Museum, via the McCord Museum)


Were Taxes too Low  in the 1820’s to Promote Industry?

April 3, 1826

My Dear Sir,

In Nova Scotia, summer succeeds winter without the intervention of spring. A few days ago the whole country was overspread with snow to the depth of several feet. Last night the thaw commenced and, today, the trees with their green foliage are peeping out from the superincumbent mass of snow.

The feelings of all animals in this country at the breaking up of winter, undergo changes which are totally unknown to those of more temperate climates. The mind, disburdened of the frigorific effects of seven months of frost, feels a degree of enjoyment which no changes of the weather effect in Britain.

The only drawback upon our happiness is the badness of the roads, which are so deep as to keep most persons within doors. They are not overlaid with metal like those of Great Britain, and, therefore, as the soil is generally sandy, the thaw of the mass of snow which has been in accumulation the whole winter, makes them totally impassable with any sort of comfort. If you walk you are bemired up to the knees, and if you ride you are completely besprinkled with mud.

Last week I had a short excursion in a sleigh along with my friend Mr. ——. Mr. —— is one of the most intelligent men I have met with in any country, and though he does not boast of a university education, is yet a person of a studious and comprehensive mind. He has been all his life in Nova Scotia, and, therefore, has had abundant opportunities of observation with respect to its local circumstances.

“These provinces,” said I, “seem to have vast capabilities of improvement.” “Yes. Yet their development is exceedingly slow. The whole of this flat where we are at present, has been occupied for centuries, and yet its aspect is something like what I should apprehend it to have been ages ago.” “I have felt the truth of your statement frequently in my excursions. What can be the causes of it? Do you think the want of capital is one of them?” “No, Sir. Though my observation may seem like a paradox, yet I am fully satisfied that exemption from taxes is a most important one” “Yes. The government is supported chiefly by Great Britain, and the church is upheld partly by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and partly by the British government. The only direct tax in these provinces is the quit-rent, which is two shillings for every hundred acres of landed property, but small though this sum be, it has never been collected. And I tell you, Sir, that if the government should make attempts to levy it, probably a rebellion would be the effect. We pay poor’s-rates, indeed, but you know our friend Mr. —— is one of the greatest land-holders in Nova Scotia, and has one of its largest and finest establishments, and yet the whole amount of his taxes is not a pound sterling yearly. We farmers have no rents to pay, because we work our own property. We pocket the whole product of our labours. We have no sufficient stimulus to exertion beyond the obtainment of a competent provision for ourselves and families. Taxes, therefore, would compel us to do more work in the ratio of the demand upon us, and, consequently, the resources of the country would be gradually developed.” “You say, my dear Sir, that you have no sufficient inducement to exertion beyond the obtainment of a competent provision for yourselves and family. But what is a competent provision?” “Oh, we wish to subsist just as our fathers before us, A small quantity of labour in the summer months gives us all the necessaries of life and, with respect to luxuries, we are wholly ignorant of them.”

“Another of the causes, which, in my opinion, checks the improvement of these provinces, is the monopoly of all the money; I mean the ready cash, by a few individuals. It is a curious subject of philosophical investigation, my dear Sir, why, in those countries which are blessed with the purest sky and the most beneficent soil, where the comforts of life are obtained with the least labour, the mass of the inhabitants are poor. In illustration of this truth, I might refer to many of the European nations. To say that the government is a bad one removes the difficulty only a step back; for that, Sir, I maintain, is always in the ratio of a people’s desserts. Besides, this argument, if it were a good one, does not apply to the North American provinces, where the government is decidedly British, and its administration beyond impeachment. The fact of the matter is, however, that the mass of our population is in a state of vassalage to a monied aristocracy, who govern them, not by feudal claims on their services, or by the respect which attaches to birth and lineage, as in the old monarchies of Europe, but by means of their riches and offices. The last of these is always the consequent of the other. By means of their patronage our governors rule the wealthy, and these, by their riches, keep the people in bondage. These gentlemen, though not bankers or brokers, according to the common import of these words, yet do a most lucrative business in lending money, taking mortgages, bargaining for farms, &c. &c. Our common rate of interest is six per cent; but I have known many of them exact a premium of 10 per cent.” “Indeed! You astonish me.”

Most persons have mortgages upon their estates, liable to be foreclosed whenever the holder of them pleases. The money-holder buys a farm at a small price, because cash must be had for it and there are few who have it. Perhaps he sells it the next day for ten or twenty, sometimes thirty times the sum which he gave for it, gets a certain part of the purchase-money in cash, takes a bond for the payment of the remainder by yearly installments, with the interest upon it, and a mortgage upon the property, as a security for the full execution of the bargain. Whenever, then, the farmer fails to pay his instalments, or the interest upon his debt, the holder of the mortgage forecloses it, sells the property by public auction, buys it generally back for one twentieth or one thirtieth of the value, and offers it for sale again, just like an arithmetician with a repeating decimal.”

“Whilst, then, my dear Sir, this state of matters exist, whilst there are farms to buy with all these advantages, money cannot be expected to be invested in any less lucrative speculations. Whilst money is to be lent at 6 per cent, with a premium of 10 per cent; whilst farms are to be bought and sold at the enormous profit which I have mentioned; whilst, by these transactions, the monied men keep the mass of the population in subjection; and, in this way, make the local government subservient to their purposes, no improvement can be effected for years in the circumstances of the people.”

“Another of the causes which check the improvement of the country, is the exorbitant price of manual labour, which operates not only as a drawback upon agricultural operations, but also upon the development of our mineral resources. You may scarcely believe me but I certify you of the fact, that the coals, which are imported from Great Britain, are not so expensive a fuel as wood” “Why, then, do you not burn coals?” “Oh! I have two reasons why I do not bum coals. The one is because I think wood makes a more cleanly fire; and the other is because I have a quantity of forest land, and no other employment for my men servants in the winter months. But if I had to go to the town and buy fuel at 15s. or 20s. a cord, I should certainly prefer coals, as far the cheapest. Now, Sir, though there is plenty of coals in our hills and valleys, we have no coal works except in the neighbourhood of Pictou. We have plenty of iron ore, but we have made no attempts to manufacture it. They talk, indeed, of erecting works for that last object in the neighbourhood, but their establishment will be the result, to a certain extent at least, of foreign capital. Our own is too profitably invested already to be employed in this speculation; and, my dear Sir, I am told that citizens of the American Republic are the projectors of it. I lament it. Their peculiar notions will be introduced amongst us and manifest their practical effects upon the sentiments of our peasantry.” “I perceive the value of your statement. But surely the government will not grant them a charter.” “Perhaps not.” “We shall hear of the result in a few months. But I doubt if the speculation will be a lucrative one. I doubt if they will be able, even in Nova Scotia, to undersell the British manufacture. Consider the enormous price of manual labour, the workmen’s wages are three or four times those of Great Britain. Besides, the chief hands must be brought from England or the United States.” “Let them employ machinery” “Indeed, the drawback which I have mentioned, will be diminished in the ratio of the machinery, which they employ. I doubt, however, I doubt the result of the speculation.”

“Another of the causes of the slow improvement of the country is the ignorance and consequent deficiency of energy in the people.” Just as he had finished this observation we entered the courtyard, and our conversation was abruptly closed.

Written by johnwood1946

May 30, 2018 at 7:57 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Adventures of Abăbĕjῐt, an Indian Chief and Magician of the Micmac

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From the blog at

This Mi’kmaq story is from Silas Rand’s, Legends of the Micmacs, 1894.

Rand collected this story and transcribed it in the Mi’kmaq language many years previous to publishing his Legends. He then translated it very precisely, he said. The story and the way it was told were so traditional as to convince him that it was very old. He also considered that the story must have been based on actual events, despite the magic and the obvious embellishments. As a very old story, it is important in describing how the Mi’kmaq conducted war.

Rand did not know who the Kwĕdĕchk were, but related the tradition that “they were driven from their provinces by the Micmacs, who came from the southwest.” There was another article in this blog dated October 23, 2013, and entitled Origin of the War Between the Micmacs and the Kwěděches. It may be found at

Mi’kmaq Canoes

From the McCord Museum

The Adventures of Abăbĕjῐt, an Indian Chief and Magician of the Micmac

Away down towards the mouth of a river there was once an Indian settlement. In the fall, when it was the season for fur, the men were in the habit of going up the river in their canoes on their hunting excursions. Once, when they were going to their hunting grounds, two of them stopped half-way, and went back from the river into the woods, where they remained hunting until spring.

Both of these men were married, and had their wives with them. The name of one was Abăbĕjῐt. He had no children of his own, but his wife had two sons and one daughter, — the children of a former husband. His comrade had no children.

When spring opened, they brought all their meat and fur down to the river, preparatory to its removal to the village in their canoes when the ice should break up; here, while they were waiting, both families occupied one wigwam.

One day Abăbĕjῐt asks his comrade if he would not like some fresh meat; he replies that he would. So they go out together, and kill a fine moose, and carry home a supply of meat. When they arrive home, the comrade of Abăbĕjῐt directs his wife to cook some of the fresh meat. While this is going on, Abăbĕjῐt lies down for a nap. While he is asleep, he has what he considers an ominous dream. He dreams that a flock of pigeons have alighted on the wigwam, and completely covered it. He deems this an indication that a swarm of enemies will soon alight upon them.

When the food is made ready, they awaken him, and he takes his dinner with the others. After the repast is over, he says to his comrade, “Do you know what is about to happen?” He replies that he does not know, but is quite sure that if any important event were about to happen, he would become apprised of it. This implies that he has no great confidence in his friend’s prognostications, unless he has the same himself. This Abăbĕjῐt considers a slight to himself; so he says nothing of his dream.

Soon after this the river breaks up, and shortly they hear the cry of a wild goose sailing down the river. When the goose comes opposite to the wigwam, she flics up a short distance, alights again in the stream, and comes drifting down with the current.

The wife of Abăbĕjῐt’s comrade asks him to shoot the wild goose. But he does not care to do so; and again it rises when it comes opposite to the wigwam, and flies up the stream. The woman is enceinte, and desiring very much a piece of the wild goose, she cries because her husband will not shoot it for her. He, seeing her tears, takes his gun, and when the bird comes down the third time, shoots it.

Now, it happened that a party of the Kwĕdĕchk, enemies of the Micmacs, were coming down the river on the other side, to attack them. They hear the report of a gun, and immediately halt and send forward three scouts to reconnoitre; these scouts proceed carefully to the place where the gun was discharged, observe the wigwam standing on the opposite bank, and recognize it as a Micmac wigwam. They return and inform the warriors, who lie by for a night attack.

Abăbĕjῐt, believing that he has been admonished of the danger in his dreams, does not sleep, but keeps watch that night. Having been snubbed by his comrade for supposing that he possessed superior prophetic powers, he says nothing to him or to any of the rest respecting his suspicions, but quietly waits and watches all night in the wigwam. He is aware when the war-party approaches, he knows when they are opposite the place, and when they are crossing the river. There he sits in the kŭtakŭmóók (the place opposite the door).

The strangers manage to construct a bridge there of floating ice-cakes, and just before daylight succeed in effecting a crossing. Abăbĕjῐt sees them coming, and afterwards arranging themselves on the shore next to the wigwam. He sees them levelling their pieces at the wigwam, and then he touches his friend on the side with his gun, and says, “We are all killed. Now get up.” He springs up just as the guns are discharged. Abăbĕjῐt, being wide awake, has his magical power all in exercise, and is unscathed. The bullets cannot injure him. His comrade would have been just as safe had he been wide awake and watching. But as he was just arousing himself, his medicine was at fault. He is struck in the leg, and his thigh is broken. He cries out, “Comrade, I am killed.” The little girl is killed outright. As soon as the war party discharge their pieces, they rush upon the tent to seize their prey. Three of their braves instantly block up the door in their attempts to enter. Abăbĕjῐt fires at one of them, then seizes him and kills him. The man with the broken leg has by this time roused himself, and awakened all his magic; he has seized his tomahawk, and taking his position on his knees at the door, he strikes down every one who attempts to enter, and tosses him into the back part of the wigwam.

Two men have entered, however, before he got his position at the door, and have seized Abăbĕjῐt, and are struggling to tie him, so as to carry him off to their own territory to torture and burn him. During all this commotion the two boys have not awakened. But they awake before the old man is secured, and one of them calls out, “Who is this attacking my stepfather?” “My child,” the old man answers, “we are attacked by a war party; we are all killed.” The boy springs to his feet, draws his knife, and rushes upon one of the men, and by a little assistance from the old man, he manages to stab him in the back and kill him. The work of despatching the other is now easier, and he is soon put out of the way. [“We are all killed.” An idiom indicating that we are in dire straits.]

Abăbĕjῐt now rushes out-of-doors, where he is again immediately seized. He had no weapon in his hand when he went out, for he had left his spear the evening before sticking in a tree near the wigwam. When he comes out, he makes a rush for this weapon, but is seized by three men before he reaches it; they are about to bind him, and he is just despairing of his life, when he recollects himself, and seizing one of them by the testicles, renders him powerless, and tosses him aside; then he seizes the other two in the same way, and immediately is free. He rushes on towards his spear, and is again seized. But he had stretched some strips of rawhide from tree to tree nearby, and so in the struggle with the one that has seized him, he urges him in the direction of the extended strips of rawhide, and by tripping him over them clears himself from his grasp. Seizing his spear, he now returns to the fight, and lays them dead, right and left, until he grows weary in the work. All this time he hears his comrade singing his war song in the wigwam; he is busy defending the door. Two of their braves, possessed of magical powers, still survive. He has already killed one of them, and now he succeeds in killing another.

He then determines to enter the wigwam and rest. Stepping up to the door, he announces himself and is allowed to enter. He then tells his two boys to crawl out under the back part of the wigwam after he has gone, run home as fast as possible, and report the destruction of their party, and the approach of the hostile band. He raises the back a little before he goes out, so as to allow them to creep out under it, and then he returns to his work. He has not been long engaged with the enemy before he sees his two boys running in the direction of home, and two men chasing them. He gives chase himself, but they gain on him; then he shouts after them and paralyzes them by the war-whoop. They halt; he comes up and knocks them on the head. Looking up, he sees another man pursuing them. He calls after him to let the children alone: “Come here, and meet a man!” He soon despatches this fellow, and then the boys are afraid to go on, and persuade their grandfather to go with them and not to return to the fight. But he says, “I must go and defend your mother.” They beg of him not to go: “Let them kill her; but lay it up against them, and pay them off at some future opportunity.”

Just then he hears the poor woman calling for help, and reminding him that he has promised to protect her; but the children plead so hard for their own lives that he concludes to go on with them and leave the rest to their fate. He stops and listens awhile before he starts.

It is now broad daylight, and he hears a great outcry at the wigwam. The cry soon ceases. He knows what this means; so he goes on with the boys to the village, and sounds the alarm. Men immediately arm and go up in search of the enemy to the place where the attack was first made. They find all dead except the young wife of the warrior whose thigh was broken by the first volley fired upon the wigwam. She has been carried off alive. But they can find no traces of the enemy, nor can they find the bodies of those that have been killed. They have been carefully removed, and hidden under the shelving bank of the river, to save them from being scalped and dishonored. The place has been plundered not only of all the fur and venison which they had succeeded in collecting during the winter, but of everything else as well. The enemy have taken all away. They search a long time, but can find no traces of them.

The enemy retire to the top of a neighboring mountain, fearing the Micmacs, as they know that word has gone on to the village. There they hide for a long time, until the snow is all gone. They kindle no fires in the daytime, lest the smoke should reveal their place of concealment. They build their fires and do their cooking in the night.

Their supply of food is exhausted before the snow is gone, and they suffer severely from hunger.

The Micmacs have now returned to their settlement, and the strangers are grown so thin in flesh that their rows of teeth can be seen through their lantern cheeks. They now start for home. Reaching a lake, they halt and build a supply of canoes; in these they push on towards home.

Now, it so happened that when the Micmac hunting party went up the previous fall, and Abăbĕjῐt and his companions remained behind, a far greater number of men went than were accommodated with canoes. Some of the canoes carried four men, and some five; so that, should they be successful in hunting, they could construct additional canoes and be supplied with men to man them and bring down their venison and fur. They went up to the lake where the strangers built their canoes; they passed through it into the river beyond, and went up still farther, to the place where they spent the winter and fall in hunting. In the spring, when they were ready to return, they built an additional number of canoes, and were now, with all their fall and winter work, on their way home.

Rounding a point of land, the two parties meet suddenly and unexpectedly. The Micmacs see the wife of their comrade in one of the canoes, and they easily divine the rest; they conclude that their comrades are all killed.

They assume, however, to mistrust nothing. The Micmac chief kindly recommends to the other that they halt for the night. They do so, but no one sleeps; they are somewhat distrustful of each other, and keep careful watch during the whole night.

While they are getting things ready during the evening, and walking about, they contrive to approach the woman and exchange whispers. They learn by a single sentence all they wish to know. “Where is your husband?” asks one, in a low voice, running hurriedly by her. “Killed,” is the answer. This tells the whole tale.

Early the next morning the Kwĕdĕchk chief, with his “stolen wife” (she is thus designated in the story), is seen going down towards the shore alone. The Micmac inquires where he is going. He informs him that yesterday, in the hurry of embarking, they forgot their kettle, and that he is going back to fetch it. After he is gone, the Micmac chief directs his men to furnish the strangers with breakfast. So they bring out choice pieces of fat meat and cakes of tallow, and cook them an abundant supply. They are very hungry, and they eat accordingly. Surfeited with food, and weary with their watching all night, and becoming less suspicious from the kindness shown them, they are all soon either buried in sleep or too sleepy to notice what is done. The chief then directs his men; each selects his mark, and shoots; thus nearly all are laid in the dust; the few who survive are easily despatched.

One remains, however, who will be more difficult to kill than all the rest; for he is a brave, and a Booöwin.

The first stop taken is to deceive him, if possible; for as he will have heard the report of guns, he will be on his guard. The Micmac chief directs his men to exchange clothes with some of those that are killed, to set them up in a sitting posture by means of stakes thrust into their bodies, and to place them along on the bank as though looking on; he then bids them take some of the canoes of both parties, and commence paddling about in the water, shooting in every direction, and shouting, as though at play. This is done. The Kwĕdĕchk, as anticipated, did hear the report of the guns, and said to the woman, “They are fighting.” But when, on cautiously approaching, he saw, as he supposed, his men mingled with the others, some of them seated on the bank and looking on, and the others paddling their canoes about, shooting in every direction, and shouting, he said, Mogwā’ paboltῐjῐk (“No, they are at play”).

The Micmac chief has in the meantime concealed himself near the place where the other will land. He has sent one of his men to say to the woman, as the canoe approaches, “Just turn the bow a little, and come here,” so that he may be able to shoot the man without shooting her. This is done. But the Kwĕdĕchk chief observes, as he approaches, that the party seated on the shore never stir; and he soon concludes that they are dead. “Turn the prow a little,” says the man appointed to that duty, to the woman; and she obeys the direction. The chief fires, but he is too late; the other has got his eyes open and his “magical steam” up before the trigger is drawn, and the ball cannot touch him. With one spring he capsizes the kwedŭn and leaps into the water His teṑmŭl is the loon, whose form and habits he immediately assumes; he dives, and remains under water a long time.

The men rush gallantly to the rescue of the woman, seize and carry her ashore. The young men now conclude that the fellow must be dead; but the chief knows better. After about two hours he makes his appearance at the top, in the shape of a loon. They launch the canoe and go after him; but he dives again, and they cannot find him. They collect their canoes in a body, and hunt for him. Directly one of them is upset, then another, and soon many more; but no one is hurt, for he scorns to lay hands on the common people. He is searching for his equal, the chief who has fired upon him. Soon he discovers which canoe contains him, and then he ceases to trouble the rest. The Micmac sees him approaching, and makes a thrust at him with his spear, but misses him. He makes a second attempt, and again misses him. “Now, then,” sys he, “I have but one more chance; let me step to the prow of the canoe.” This time he takes special care, and succeeds in striking his spear into him. He then shouts, “Oh! He is trailing his red ochre ashore!” Some of the men say, “He is dead somewhere.” “No, he is not,” replies the chief. “Let us land, for he will make immediately for the shore.” They do so, and see him apparently dead upon the water, floating in towards the land. As he drifts up, the more youthful and inexperienced of the party are eager to rush upon him; but their chief restrains them. “He is not yet dead,” he tells them; “and should he succeed in killing one of you, he will be as well and as active as ever.” So he himself lands and approaches the wounded brave, strikes him in the head with his tomahawk, and kills him.

He then calls to the woman, and tells her to select her husband’s scalp, and come and “bury her husband.” She comes, and asks for a knife. She rips open his breast with the knife, and thrusting in her hand with the scalp of her slaughtered husband, buries it deep, making his body the grave. Then they take the woman with them, and all go home.

After a while this woman gets another husband. This man has two brothers younger than himself, who are in the habit of hunting in company. The woman on one occasion went out with them into the forest, having one child, an infant, with her. They erected a wigwam, and the wife took care of the house while the men hunted. It was part of her business to slice up and dry the meat that was brought in. The men went every morning to their work, and returned at evening.

One day, while she is alone at work, the little dog begins to growl and then to bark. She looks up, and not far off among the alders she sees a great shaking, which instantly ceases as soon as the dog begins to bark. She is convinced that it is not caused by an animal, and mistrusts that a war party is near. When the men come in at night, she tells them what she has seen, and intimates her fears. They laugh at her; she begs of them to leave the place immediately and go home. The two younger brothers conclude that she is lonely, and tired of remaining there, and that she has made up this story to induce them to go; they tell their brother to take his wife off home. She protests that this is not the case, but she is sure that if they remain they will all be butchered before morning. She beseeches them with tears to leave the place, but they are deaf to her entreaties.

As they will not go home, she determines not to stay in the wigwam all night. So she takes her babe, and going some distance away, but not out of hearing, she prepares a place, where she lies down for the night. For a long time she lies awake and listens. She hears the men at the wigwam singing and dancing, and when all is still she falls asleep. When she awakes in the morning, she hears the little birds singing around her; but she cannot open her eyes, for something is the matter with the top of her head. She presses her hand against her forehead, and pushes open her eyes. When she sees that the sun is up, and finds that she has lost her scalp, she thereupon takes a handkerchief and ties up her head, so as to keep her eyes open. Now she sees that her child is killed, having been stabbed in the mouth with a two-edged knife. Her head pains her much, so she binds on the leaves of the lῐpkŭdāmoonk, and returns to the wigwam; there she finds every man lying dead in the place where he had lain down, — killed and scalped while asleep.

After having seen all this, she starts for home. Arriving at the village she reports the death of her husband, brothers-in-law and babe. She brings corroborative proof of her story on her head; she proceeds to bind up her scalp by bringing the skin as close together as possible, and stitching it.

The men then muster, and pursue the foe; but as they do not succeed at getting on their trail, they return home.

Written by johnwood1946

May 23, 2018 at 8:45 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

John Gyles: His Times, and How he was Captured

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From the blog at

John Gyles: His Times, and How he was Captured

The French and Indian Wars were a series of North American wars beginning with King William’s War (1688-1697), and continuing with Father Rail’s War, King George’s War, and finally Father Le Loutre’s War (1749-1755). These conflicts are often described as the North American expression of European conflicts and, in fact, King William’s War occurred during the Nine Years’ War which occupied most of Europe. Likewise, King George’s War occurred during the War of Austrian Succession. There were enough conflicting interests in America to explain the French and Indian Wars even without reference to Europe, however.

Acadia had been ceded to Britain in 1713, with some exceptions such as Cape Breton, but the limits of exactly what had been handed over were in dispute. Britain believed that their territory included Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; but the French refused to accept that the British were entitled to anything more than present day Nova Scotia. The French believed that their territory, extended all of the way to the Kennebec River in Maine. Massachusetts certainly did not agree that the Kennebec should form their border, for they were administering (in a sense) the lawless and unsettled territories that would become Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Aside from all of this, the Native population had never acknowledged French or English sovereignty over any of the land nor had they ever been asked for it. The Abenaki were allied with the French, but their primary concern was to prevent further incursions into their territories. There was a remarkable demonstration of this, when a British officer explained to a Native delegation that the King of France had surrendered certain territories to Britain. The lead negotiator for the Natives replied “Thou sayest that the French man hast given thee … my neighborhood, and all the lands adjacent; [he can tell thee what he will but,] for me, I have my land which the great Spirit has given me to live on [and] as long as there shall be a child of my nation, he will fight to preserve it.”

Therefore, the area between the Penobscot River and the Saint Croix River was claimed by England (and separately by independent-minded Massachusetts), and by France (and Quebec who had their own interests to preserve), and by the Abenaki (who had actually possessed it for thousands of years). In reality, there was probably not a single English speaking person living there up until 1759 and, when English settlements began to appear, conflict was inevitable.

Native warriors were famous for their brutality, and many contemporary accounts focus on that. The Natives were often accompanied by their French allies, but blame for the brutality was normally placed upon the Natives alone. It is a simple fact, however, that New Englanders also committed acts of indiscriminate slaughter upon the Natives and that these acts were portrayed as victories, rather than the genocide that they were. Both the French and the English used Native warriors to carry out acts of brutality on their behalf — and never accepted any blame for it.

The Natives are also described as duplicitous and willing to make treaties with either French or English from time to time. This was not duplicity. The Natives had their own interests to protect, and lesser concern with conflicting land claims between Europeans (“…as long as there shall be a child of my nation, he will fight to preserve it.”)

John Gyles was nine years old in August of 1689 and, like any nine year old, his world consisted of his immediate circumstance. Gyles’ circumstance was living in Maine at the beginning of King William’s War, and it is no surprise that he would have experiences that he would rather have avoided.

John Gyles’ father, Thomas, had been living in Merrymeeting Bay on the Kennebec River and, after a trip to England, he came back to return to his farm. The community had been attacked by Indians, however, and the whole place was deserted by the time that it was safe for his return. He therefore settled in Pemaquid, east of the Kennebec.

On August 2, 1689, Thomas and others were working in some fields when the guns at a nearby garrison sounded at around one o’clock in the afternoon. The garrison was ill prepared and was now under attack. It would soon be overtaken and many of the defenders slaughtered. In the meantime, a second group of Abenaki warriors shot on the farmers in their fields. Everyone scattered, but Thomas Gyles was wounded and John and his brother James were captured and bound up.

The Natives and their captives had a meeting in the evening, and Thomas, who had been wounded, was in a bad way. Blood was oozing from his boots, and the Indians took him aside and clubbed him to death; as if to hasten the inevitable. The next day, the nearby village of New Harbour was also attacked and burned and nearly everyone was killed.

After a few more days, John Gyles and his captors arrived at Penobscot. There, a Jesuit priest offered to buy Gyles, but found that he was not for sale. The priest was perhaps trying to rescue the boy, but Gyles was terrified that this Papist intended to steal his Protestant soul.

They then proceeded to the confluence of the Mattawamkeag and Penobscot Rivers in the interior of Maine, and onward via streams and portages to Meductic on the Saint John River.

These were the earliest days of John Gyles’ captivity by the Maliseet. He would spend the next five years living with them, and another four years with an Acadian family before he was finally released at the age of 18. His full story was told in a memoir entitled Memoirs of Odd Adventures, Strange Deliverances, etc. in the Captivity of John Giles, …, Boston, 1736, which has been reprinted a number of times since.

The introduction to Gyles memoir seemed odd, to me, when he said “I have been advised to give a particular account of my father, which I am not very fond of, having no dependence on the virtues or honors of my ancestors to recommend me to the favor of God or men; nevertheless, because some think it is a respect due to the memory of my parents, whose name I was obliged to mention in the following story, and a satisfaction which their posterity might justly expect from me, I shall give some account of him, though as brief as possible.”1 I take it that their relationship was complicated.

Note: 1. This quotation is from the 1869 edition of his memoir.

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Written by johnwood1946

May 16, 2018 at 8:16 AM

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