New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. December 13, 2017

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

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


John Wood


Written by johnwood1946

December 13, 2017 at 8:17 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick

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From the blog a

A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick

Defining the Boundary, Maine and New Brunswick

From the Maine an Encyclopedia website

Maine was organized into a State until 1820, and one of their earliest problems was that their northern border was ill-defined. Old records asserted that the border of Acadia extended up the Saint Croix River to its source, and then due north until it reached the ‘highlands’. It then extended westward along those highlands. There were nothing that could be called highlands, however, so where should the Maine/New Brunswick border be placed?

One proposal was that the only highlands were those along the Saint Lawrence River and that the upper Saint John River and Madawaska and the upper Gaspe should all belong to Maine. The other extreme proposal was that Mars Hill should represent the highlands and that the northern part of what is now Maine should be chopped off.

Negotiations drug on until 1842 when the Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed and, in the meantime, neither Maine nor New Brunswick were helpful in cooling political tensions. New Brunswick installed a Magistrate to oversee the area and, furthermore, arrested a would-be American and hauled him off to jail in Fredericton. Maine was also in turmoil, with complaints against their own federal government and proposals to call out the militia to liberate the Fredericton prisoner.

Further background on these times can be found in four other postings in this blog. They are The Ashburton Treaty, and Trouble at Madawaska, and The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine, and Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War.

The links are:

Today’s blog is condensed and edited from On the Seizure and Abduction of American Citizens from Madawaska, written in about 1832 under the pseudonym ‘Curtius.’ I suspect that Curtius was a Maine legislator, working to pressure the State Governor to take action, independent of the federal government.


The repeated outrage perpetrated on the citizens of this State from New Brunswick demands an energetic interposition of executive authority. If there is any occasion, which requires that the forms of society should be rendered effective for the preservation of its principles, it is when its members are assaulted and seized upon its soil, and carried away by force. Protection is an affair of no less importance at the circumference than the centre. If there is ever a limit to endurance, it must be when there is no bound nor end to aggression; and when the injury is carried to a point involving the total surrender and annihilation of the State’s control over its territory.

Four years ago a determination was manifested on the part of the British Agents on our border to seize the territory which they had most extraordinarily drawn into dispute. First, they began with cutting off the trees and stripping the territory of timber. Next they issued summary process for ejecting the inhabitants who were settled on the lands within the American line, sweeping the Aroostook and the upper branches of the St. John. Finally one of our citizens holding his land under the grant of Massachusetts and Maine was seized and imprisoned. The spirit of the State was aroused and a resolution was adopted by the Legislature providing in the strongest and most pointed terms against the recurrence of similar acts of violence and invasion.

The usurpation of the provincial government of New Brunswick had, in its beginning, been applied to the primitive French settlement at the mouth of the river Madawaska. This was twelve miles below the more recent settlement at the village of Mariumpticook, which, together with that at Fish River, were strictly and properly American. The settlers moved there, principally from other parts of Maine. Nevertheless the local authorities of New Brunswick undertook to extend their civil and municipal jurisdiction over the whole tract. This they undertook to do while the discussion was pending, by which they pretended that all proceedings were suspended and all rights to be determined. This course was adopted on their part after Maine became a separate State, and subsequent to the French settlement itself being claimed as coming within the State by its first Executive. Further than this, the Legislature of New Brunswick proceeded to incorporate the whole compass of contested territory into one large town or parish by the name of Kent. The King of Holland finds no highlands within the sense of the treaty on the south side of the river St. John. So far no objection can exist to the State’s act of incorporation over parts of the same territory. The opinion of the Dutch potentate as a neutral arbitrator establishes the fact that there are no dividing highlands except beyond the St. John.

Knowing however of the act of the Legislature, the measures recently employed by the crown officers of New Brunswick can only be considered as aimed at the authority of the State. They might as well have undertaken to seize the magistrate of the County of Penobscot who issued his warrant, or the Chief Magistrate of the State, or the members of the Supreme Court if they had been found in the territory.

I am a Roman Citizen was a cry, which, although it might have been uttered in vain at a great distance from Rome, was never heard with indifference when it reached the heart of the imperial and immortal Metropolis.

The Americans, who settled above Madawaska, went there first from the head of the Kennebec, and planted themselves on the banks of the St. John, under the full belief of being on American Territory. Some of them were induced to accept grants of land tendered them by the laws of Massachusetts and this State. Again and again, assurances were extended to them of quiet and protection. Again and again, it is no exaggeration to say, their habitations have been broken open, their settlement broken up, and they themselves banished into the wilderness.

Twice have they come upon our frontier from New Brunswick and carried away our citizens with force and arms. A second time have our citizens been thus imprisoned by a foreign power in a loathsome gaol. Now, let the question he asked, what if we had done the same in regard to the provincial intruders on our territory, and had seized their Mr. Justice Rice, sometime officiating as Adjutant of Militia, or their Captain Coombes, a commissioned officer at Madawaska? These persons and several others, chiefly emigrant Irish, are within our lines and have been prominent in acts of opposition to the authority and rights of this State. But we have not only suffered these persons to reside there and pursue their ordinary occupations, without molestation, but to be made instruments of oppressing, and harassing, and driving away our own peaceful citizens. Let this be regarded as a test of the moderation and prudence of Maine. The truth is she has always been too late, while her antagonist has been on the alert, so as to prevent her from even opposing the power of resistance.

It is rather the more uncomfortable and humiliating to be thus braved and trampled upon from New Brunswick, reflecting that it is really the least important of the British dependencies on our frontier—one of which we have vastly the advantage in point of physical force—and which has not the smallest pretension to extend her jurisdiction in any degree west of the line due north from the St. Croix to the St. Lawrence. There has been no occasion since we became an independent State when we have not been perfectly competent to protect ourselves, and had ample means in our own hands. We have, however, been restrained in the exercise our rights. If anything could aggravate outrages to which we have been subjected, it is the indignity of being assailed in the most vital and sensitive point of a State, to wit, the power of protecting its faithful and dependent citizens.

Since the separation of this State, New Brunswick has asserted a claim to the exclusive possession of the whole extent of what it has been pleased to denominate disputed territory, while the only portion they could possibly claim was to a little corner at the extremity of Madawaska across which their boatman had been accustomed to convey the mail. West of the meridian from St. Croix, New Brunswick had no title at all; and in the opinion of the King of Holland, the British had no claim to the south bank of the St. John.

The right of Maine to the possession was determined by the Treaty of 1783. The offensive pretensions, by which she has been ousted of the possession of the whole country from Mars Hill to the head waters of the Penobscot and Kennebec are too familiar to require fresh detail. It is sufficient to say, that they have been of the most audacious and unscrupulous; they have been carried into execution with a high hand; and the local administration of New Brunswick has assumed dominion over the whole section of this State intercepted between the adjacent British Provinces. The State, having on its admission into the federation surrendered the most important power of vindicating its own rights, has been continually admonished and pressed to await the progress of public measures for the final consummation of its indissoluble claims.

During the whole course of these systematic proceedings on the part of New Brunswick we have been called upon to fold our arms as quiet spectators, while the virtue of forbearance has been steadfastly inculcated upon us. We have been urged to take confidence in the wise and paternal measures of the national government, which our own proceedings might only serve to embarrass. It has been our lot to receive both the infliction and the reproof. We have been taught to repress and subdue the Spartan spirit. Why, it may be asked, is this virtue of patience reserved for our use? Why are we thus called upon to be entirely passive and enduring?

Upon what condition are we called upon to practice restraint and to be told that the General Government will take up our cause and conduct it with more force? It is apparent that all that has been done by the national authority has been to invite further aggression. A demand was finally made for Baker, while he was in prison, through the British Minister at Washington, and this was refused. Reasons were set forth on both sides, and there the matter rested. Baker was arraigned and sentenced. The subject slept in oblivion and the submission went on. Our possession of the area was represented through native citizens of the State, while theirs depended on the acquiescence of a few French and one or two Irish. As Baker was abandoned, the British were emboldened. For one citizen in the foreign gaol at Fredericton we have now got four.

It has been suggested in a New Brunswick paper, that our incorporation of the large township on the upper St. John by our Legislature was the act of a dominant party. It would be more correct to say that it was the doing of the people of Maine, who are undivided.

And what good reason can be given why this measure should not have been adopted? What valid objection can he assigned to its having received legislative consideration earlier? The Parish of Kent comprehending all that was included in the act of last winter was incorporated by the Legislature of New Brunswick in 1825. Ever since our people have been there, and recognized and confirmed. They have been destitute of any sort of municipal organization or local opportunity for representation in any shape. The irregular jurisdiction which they have been called upon and required to obey in the name of justice has been productive of anything but justice. On one occasion this “Mr. Justice Rice,” issued a summons for a person to appear before him and answer a suit commenced in his own behalf.

We must now be patiently submissive to these acts of violence and aggression from New Brunswick, because of the present state of the question by which the bed of the St. John is made the division line, while the provincial posse is hotly pursuing and imprisoning our people on both sides of the river without distinction of any kind. Is this to be a boundary line to us, and no limit at all imposed to them? If the consequences of collision are to be avoided, is it to be done only by sending a force from below and driving all those, who owe their allegiance to this State, off the river.

Are we to be told then, that any active proceeding on our part may occasion difficulty in the happy adjustment of the boundary question; and is this consideration of so hopeful and satisfactory a kind as to put an extinguisher upon our natural interest as a community in the protection of our fellow citizens? Is this consideration to be insisted upon exclusively to us, as if we were solely responsible for the occasion, or our acquiescence would at once remove evil? Is the boon held out so great, to induce us to submission? Must we make a sacrifice not only of part of the State, but of the whole of our self-respect? Must we be led like a lamb to the slaughter, and be dumb under the knife; and required to witness the process of dismemberment?

We do not attempt to disguise to ourselves the difficulty of our situation in Maine. We are alarmed at the position in which we are placed,—straitened between the observance of not opposite, but diverse, obligations. These are considerations sufficient to try the stoutest breast, and to impress the deepest anxiety. We have no power to protect ourselves without calling out the militia, except by an appeal to the authority of the Union to interpose for our defence against foreign and hostile aggressions. We have a law that the territory of this State shall not be given by the United States. The Governor is required to employ all proper and constitutional means in his power to protect and defend the citizens in their rights.

The proper arm of the State, when that of the Magistrate fails is undoubtedly the militia. This is the force which has been made use of from the Province under the color of civil authority covered by the presence of the High Sheriff and Attorney General. The Governor of New Brunswick was also there, though it does not appear that he crossed over to this side of the river. It is observable that the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, did not bring with him a regular military force from Fredericton upon this expedition, although he has one at command. This perhaps was not merely prudential, as detaching a portion of the British army upon this errand would not have been within his authority. This hesitation in the exercise of authority is a mark at once homage to our title to the country. It is granted however in our case that military force, as well as any other, should be properly employed only under the direction of the United States. The militia, however, is a necessary and indispensable arm of the State of which no law of the union deprives the State of the legitimate command and use.

An obvious evil arises out of the present threatening aspect of things to this State will probably be pressed upon us, in order to turn this aggression from New Brunswick to our disadvantage. The decision of the King of Holland such as it is, is one that ought not to be accepted; and we are menaced with the consequences, and visited with the penalties of disobedience. Its effect is to be forced upon us by our own fears, or exciting those of the country; and we are now to be spellbound in anticipation of the meeting of the national council.

To the Government of the United States we certainly look with earnestness and respect; and trust to its patriotic spirit and fidelity to the constitution for protection. The power of the union is our anchor; and we entirely and freely confess that we have no alternative short of the last extremity. But what is to be done in the interval? It will be two months before anything can come from the meeting of Congress; and there is little progress made during the Christmas Holidays. Winter is approaching; and the people, who have been hunted from their homes, must abandon them, and seek shelter for themselves and families where they can find it, or return and take the oath of allegiance to his Britannic Majesty’s Government. Shall and ought the authorities and people of this State suffer the obligations of their constitution and laws to pass unredeemed? Can and will the National Government take seasonable and sufficient measures for the effectual relief of these prisoners and this persecuted population? We call upon the Union for interference and protection. Failing all other resource, what should protect the British gaol at Fredericton from being delivered by the arms of the United States? Shall the Chief Magistrate of this Federal and free Republic be thus bearded by the Lieutenant Governor of a petty Provincial Establishment?

Use will probably be made of this opportunity, on the part of the British, without perhaps openly avowing and justifying the act of aggression, to urge the territorial question to an issue on the basis of the award of the late King of the Netherlands. Why, it may be asked is it not proper that the government should refuse to act on the award until these men are restored and reparation made? Let our Senators and Representatives in Congress consider well what belongs to the honor and interest of the State on this subject.

There is no danger but we shall hold to the St. John, it being admitted there are no dividing highlands on this side of it. If a variation of the line is required for political causes, as it can only be done with the consent of this State, let the State receive some other sufficient and substantial territorial equivalent than the release of Rouse’s Point. But let suitable atonement be made, as a preliminary, for the violated rights of the State and of its citizens. Let that be the first condition of discussion before any award is made. We have no proof of any hostile policy or unfriendly disposition from the British, and we have yet to learn whether this aggression is anything more than an act of petty provincial police on the part of New Brunswick. Is it not rather too much that the Province of New Brunswick should be suffered to deal in this manner with the sovereign authority of the United States?

Written by johnwood1946

December 13, 2017 at 8:16 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins

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From the blog at

A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins

This description of the very earliest days of the Expulsion of the Acadians, is based upon Report and Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 3, Halifax, 1883. It comes from English records and only tells their side of the story. There are other articles about the Expulsion in this blog, and they are listed at the end.

Acadians at Annapolis Royal by Samuel Scott, 1751

From Wikipedia


Preparations were in their final stages when, by late August of 1755, troops had been stationed in several places along the Bay of Fundy coast of Nova Scotia and arms and ammunition were distributed. Transport ships were marshalled, and whale boats were being positioned to blockade river outlets. The principal military camps were in Annapolis, Pisiquid, Chignecto, Grand Pré and Minas.

None of the Acadians knew what was about to happen, but all of the military commanders knew that the Acadians were to be gathered up and shipped out of Nova Scotia. Plans for what would happen after the expulsion were vague, with only a few references to “intended [English] settlers.”

The ordinary soldiers must have known what was unfolding since, earlier in August, orders were issued at Fort Cumberland:

All Officers, Soldiers and Retainers are to take Notice, that all Horses, Oxen, Sheep, and all Cattle Whatsoever Which were the Property of the French Inhabitants are Become forfeited to Majesty; Wherefore no Bargains on any Pretence whatsoever For the Purchase of said Cattle will Be allowed.

The soldiers were kept in camp, however, and could not even go out to collect water without a guard. The secret was kept.

It was nearly September, the weather was good, and that the Acadians were busy harvesting their crops. They assumed that the camps were to accommodate the soldiers over the winter, but they were curious about all of the transport ships. They were told that the ships were to transport troops to wherever the local commander wanted them to go.

The instructions from Governor Lawrence were explicit. Reading from a memorandum written in mid-August, in synopsis:

You must collect the inhabitants for transport either by stratagem or force as required but, above all, you shall not pay attention to any remonstrances or memorials from any of them who may want to staying behind. If there are more people than can be accommodated at the rate of two persons per ton of ship, then send for more ships, but make no delay in embarking.

The inhabitants will be allowed to carry their household furniture with them, but no useless rubbish to encumber the vessels. They and their bedding must be embarked first and, if afterwards there is room, allow them to carry whatever else they can.

A final reconnoiter of several Acadian villages was made on September 3rd. The Canard River was found to be a fine country, full of inhabitants with a beautiful church and abundant provisions of all kinds. Similar reports came from other villages.

On the morning of September 5th, the soldiers were assembled and arms and ammunition were distributed. At 3 PM, 418 Acadian men and boys over ten from Grand Pré, Minas, Canard, Habitant and Gaspereau were gathered together at their church to hear the King’s orders. A similar gathering was made for the people of Pisiquid, and adjacent villages. The proclamation, in synopsis, was:


I have the King’s Commission in my hand, by which orders you are brought together to hear His instructions.

My duty though necessary is very disagreeable. As a fellow human being, I know it will be grievous to you. But it is my business to obey orders, and therefore I shall deliver his Majesty’s instructions to you.

Your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds and livestock of all sorts are forfeited to the Crown with all your other effects, saving your money and household goods and you yourselves are to be removed from this Province.

Thus it is that all French inhabitants of these districts are to be removed and I am, through his Majesty’s goodness, directed to allow you to carry your money and what household goods you can without inconveniencing the transport vessels. I shall do everything in my power that you are not molested and that families are kept together. I know that this will give you a great deal of unease, but hope that in whatever part of the world you arrive you may be faithful subjects.

I must also inform you that you will now remain under guard as the King’s prisoners.

The Acadian men then complained with grief that their families had no way of knowing what had happened to them, the prisoners. They pled that representatives be allowed to go back to inform the women the women and children, agreeing also to collect together some men who had not assembled to hear the decree. Two groups of ten men were thus allowed to carry the news home.

Similar roundups were taking place elsewhere; 183 in one case, and 500 in another. Local commanders were under pressure: “I have here near two French men to every English man in my camp, and have nothing to keep them in subjection but my marquetry.” He added that going out to collect more of the inhabitants would have to await another day. Another complaint read as follows:

“The French People not having any Provisions with them and Pleading Hunger Begd for Bread on which I Did, and ordered that for the Future they be Supplyd from their respective Familys. Thus Ended the Memerable fifth of September, a Day of Great Fatigue & Troble.

The Expulsion then proceeded, but not always smoothly:

Camp Cumberland, in synopsis: It is with grief that I inform you that Major Frye was ordered to burn buildings and bring in the women & children, 23 of whom were put aboard ship. He burned 253 buildings and had also sent 50 men to burn the church and some additional buildings. During this work they were attacked by about 300 French & Indians who came suddenly upon them and killed Doctor March, Shot Lieut. Billings through the body & through the arm & killed or took 22 and wounded six more. The attackers retreated to the dikes and Major Frye landed with what men he could get, but he was outnumbered and forced to retreat.

That report indicated that the action occurred on September 2nd, three days before the Expulsion began in the Annapolis Basin. Other reports of the event vary in detail, but are the same in general:

Camp Cumberland, in synopsis: I bring melancholy news of the defeat of a detachment sent out under Major Frye who went with two hundred men to burn buildings. After burning 181 buildings we sailed up a river and burnt along both sides all morning. At about one o’clock Major Frye ordered Capt. Adams to land his men opposite to the mass house in order to burn a small village below it. Doctor March then broke off with a smaller party to burn the mass house, but before they could accomplish this, they were beset by above 300 French and Indians and our men were soon defeated. Doctor March and five or six privates were killed, and twenty-three men are missing. We have eleven wounded. I was in a small village nearby, burning other houses, when I heard the attack going on and repaired there to join them, but before I arrived most of the men had left their officers. Our powder was wet, no water & but two days provisions obliging us to return without proceeding further. We had burned 253 buildings with a large quantity of wheat, flax &c.


And so the Expulsion of the Acadians began. There are other accounts of the Expulsion in this blog, including:

  • Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  • The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  • The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  • A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015

The corresponding links are:

Written by johnwood1946

December 6, 2017 at 8:44 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Magical Dancing Doll

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From the blog at

Today is the Mi’kmaq story of the magical dancing doll, from Legends of the Micmacs by Silas Rand, 1894. The hero of the story overcomes difficulties not only thanks to a magical assistant, but also because he is more clever than his adversary.

A Mi’kmaq Group

From the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum


The Magical Dancing Doll


There was once living in the forest an Indian couple who had seven sons [a lucky number], the oldest of whom was very unkind to the youngest. He used to impose hard tasks upon him, deprive him of his just allowance of food, and beat him. Finally, the lad determined to endure it no longer, and resolved to run away. His name, from his occupation, was Noojekĕsĭgŭnodăsĭt [the sock-wringer and dryer]. His particular work was to take the rags from the moccasins, when pulled off, wring them and dry them.

So he requests his mother to make him a small bow and arrow, and thirty pairs of moccasins. She complies with his request, and when they were are finished he takes the moccasins and his bow, and starts. He shoots the arrow ahead, and runs after it. In a short time he is able to outrun the arrow and reach the spot where it is to fall before it strikes the ground. He then takes it up and shoots again, and flies on swifter than the arrow. Thus he travels straight ahead, and by night he has gone a long distance from home.

In the meantime his six brothers with their father have all been out hunting. When they return at evening, he is not there, and the older brother finding him absent is greatly enraged; he wants him to wring out and dry the wrappers of his feet. He inquires what has become of him, and being told that he has gone away, he resolves to pursue him and bring him back. So the next morning off he goes in pursuit, carefully following in his brother’s tracks. For one hundred days in succession he follows on, halting every night and resting till morning. All during all this time he has only reached the spot where his brother passed his first night. He sees no sign before this of his having kindled a fire or erected a shelter; so he becomes discouraged, gives up the pursuit, and returns home.

The little boy in the meantime has been pursuing his way; he has met a very old man and had an interview with him. Tame āleĕn ak tame wĕjeĕn? [“Whither away, and where are you from?”] the old man asks. “I have come a long distance,” says the boy; “and you, — where are you from?” “You say, my child, you have come a long distance,” the old man replies; “but I can assure you the distance you have come is nothing in comparison with what I have travelled over; for I was a small boy when I started, and since that day I have never halted, and you see that now I am very old.” The boy answers, “I will try to go to the place from whence you came.” “You can never reach it,” the other answers. “But I will try,” replies the boy. Seeing that the old man’s moccasins are worn out, the boy offers him a new pair; he accepts them gratefully and says “I, in return, will do you a great favor. Here, take this box; you will find it of essential service to you in your travels.” He then gives him a small box with a cover properly secured, which he puts in his pouch; and each goes on his way.

After a while the boy begins to wonder what the box contains. He takes it out and opens it. As soon as he has removed the cover, he starts with an exclamation of surprise; for he sees a small image in the form of a man dancing away with all his might, and reeking with perspiration from the long-continued exertion. As soon as the light is let in upon him, he stops dancing, looks suddenly up, and exclaims, “Well! What is it? What is wanted?” The truth now flashes over the boy. This is a supernatural agent, a mănĭtoo, a god, from the spirit-world, which can do anything that he is requested to do. “I wish,” says the boy, “to be transported to the place from whence the old man came.” He then closes the box; suddenly his head swims, the darkness comes over him, and he faints. On coming to himself again, he finds himself near a large Indian village, and knows that this is the place from whence the old man had strayed. He walks into the first wigwam he comes to [a point of etiquette usually observed by the Indians on visiting a village], and is kindly received and invited up toward the back part of the wigwam, the place of honor. There is but one person in the wigwam, and that is an old woman, who begins to weep bitterly as soon as the young man is seated. He asks the cause of her grief, and is told that it is on his account. She takes it for granted that he has come in quest of a wife, and that such hard conditions will be enjoined as the price of dower that he will be slain. This she proceeds to tell him, and to relate how many who were much more brave and mighty than he appears to be, have fallen under the crafty dealings of their old chief, who imposes the conditions and works the death of those who come as suitors for his daughters. “Never mind,” says our hero, “he’ll not be able to kill me. I am prepared for any conditions he may be disposed to enjoin.”

Meanwhile it is soon noised abroad through the village that a strange youth has arrived, to solicit in marriage to one of the old chief’s daughters. The chief sends him a somewhat haughty message to come and present himself before him. He answers the summons in a tone still more haughty. “Tell him I won’t go,” is the answer returned. The chief thereupon relaxes somewhat in his sternness, and sends a very modest request, intimating that he shall have one of his daughters in marriage, provided he will remove a troublesome object, a small nuisance, that hinders him from seeing the sun from his village until it is high up in the morning. This is a high granite mountain; he will please remove that out of the way. “All right,” is the quiet response; and the young man sits down in great composure.

So, when the shades of evening have gathered over the village, he quietly takes out his little box and opens it. There, still dancing lustily, is his little comrade (weedăpeheejŭl). He stops suddenly, looks up, and exclaims, “Well, what is it? What do you want of me?” “I want you to level down that granite mountain,” is the answer; “and I want it done before morning.” Ah’ (“All right”), is the answer kesetŭlahdĕgedĕs (“I will have done it by morning”). So he shuts up his little box, lies down, and goes to sleep. But all night long he hears the sound of laborers at their work. There is pounding, trampling, shouting and shovelling; and when he awakes, lo! the whole mountain has been removed. When the chief awakes he hardly knows where he is; he is astonished out of measure. “He shall be my son-in-law,” he exclaims; “go, call him, and tell him to come hither.” The young man now obeys his summons. But the chief requires something further before he will give him the hand of his daughter. He happens to be at war with a powerful neighboring tribe, and he indulges the hope that by engaging the young man in the war, he can cause him to fall by the hands of his enemies. He informs him that he wishes to surprise and destroy a village belonging to the enemy. “I will join you,” says the young man. “Muster your warriors, and we will start tomorrow upon the expedition.” Arrangements are accordingly made, and everything is got ready for an early start. But our hero departs that very evening, and comes in sight of the village. There he uncovers his box and explains his wishes to the dancing doll. He then lies down and sleeps. All night long he hears the noise of war, the shouts of men, the clash of arms, the shrieks of women and children, and the groans of the wounded and dying. The noise and commotion grow fainter and fainter, and at length cease altogether. Morning dawns; he proceeds to view the village. All is silent and still; every soul is cut off, — men, women, and children are all dead. He now returns, and on his way meets the chief and warriors moving on towards the enemy’s village. He reports that he has destroyed the whole place as requested. They send, and find that it is even so. The chief now inquires his name. He says, Noojekĕsĭgŭnodăsĭt;” he is surprised, but fulfils his promise and gives him one of his daughters for a wife. He builds a large and commodious lodge, and takes up his residence there with his wife, and has a servant to wait upon him. He himself joins the hunters in their expeditions in the forest for game, and all goes on smoothly for a time. But, alas for human happiness there is always something to mar our repose. This servant manages to steal the “household god,” and to run away with it, — wife, wigwam, and all. He accomplishes the feat thus: One day the master of the house went out a hunting, and carelessly left his coat behind with the “Penates,” “Teraphim,” “Manitoo,” or “dancing-doll,” “magical box,” or whatever else you may choose to call it, quietly stowed away in the pouch or pocket. Now it so happened that his servant had often been led to inquire in his own mind what could be the secret of his master’s wonderful prowess. Seeing the coat on this occasion, he takes it up and slips it on. “Halloo! What is all this?” he exclaims, as he feels the box. He takes it out and opens it. “Hie! what are you?” he shouts, as his eyes rest on the dancing image. The little fellow stops his dancing suddenly, looks up, and exclaims, “Well, what is it? What do you want of me?” The truth is now out. It flashes over the fellow. This is a Manitoo, and he it is that works all the wonders. The opportunity is not to be lost. “I want,” says he, “this wigwam with all its contents removed to some spot where it cannot be discovered.” The Manitoo replies, “I’ll do it for you.” Then the man grows dizzy, faints, and soon finds himself, wigwam, mistress, and all, far away in the depths of the forest, and surrounded on all sides by water. Of course he takes quiet possession,— is lord of the place, the palace, and all.

But his triumph is brief. The original owner comes home, and finds himself minus wife, wigwam, magical box, and all. But he still has his magical bow and arrow; and shooting his arrows and giving chase, he is soon at the secluded wigwam, and has discovered his stolen home and wife.

No small management is required to regain the wonder-working box. He waits till nightfall; he looks in and sees the perfidious servant asleep with the coat under his head. He steals softly in, and directs the woman to withdraw it carefully from under him. He then slips it on, opens the box, and wishes himself back, wigwam, wife, servant and all, to their original home. No sooner said than done; and back the faithless servant is in his hands. Summary punishment is inflicted; he is killed, flayed, and a door blanket is made of his skin.

One more adventure and the story ends. The old chief himself is a great booöin [medicine man or wizard), whose deity is a chepěchealm (a huge horned serpent or dragon, fabulous of course, but about the existence of which few doubts are entertained by the Indians]. He is chagrined to find himself outdone by his son-in-law. So he makes one more effort to rid himself of him. He says quietly to him one day, “I want you to bring me the head of a chepěchealm for my dinner.” “I will do so,” he replies. The dancing-doll is commanded to bring one of these frightful monsters to the village. He does so. The inhabitants see the danger, and they scream and fly in every direction. Our hero walks out boldly to meet him, and gives battle; the fight is long and fearful, but finally victory declares for the man, and he severs the dragon’s head from his trunk. He takes this head in his hand, and walks over to the chief’s lodge and tosses it in. He finds the chief alone, weak and exhausted, and sitting bent nearly double; he walks up to him and pounds him on the head with the dragon’s head. The old necromancer’s magic is gone; his tcömŭl, his medicine, his tutelary deity, is destroyed, and he falls and dies.

[Here the story abruptly ends. One feels strongly inclined to supply what may be supposed to be a missing page in the history, and to install the young son-in-law in the old chief’s place, and to give him a long, peaceful, and prosperous reign, numerous progeny, and a good time generally. I shall take no liberties of that kind. I simply translate the story as it lies before me, — not translating literally certainly, which would be gross injustice to my original; but faithfully, as I wrote it down from the mouth of a Micmac Indian in his own language.]

Written by johnwood1946

November 29, 2017 at 8:55 AM

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Immigrating to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills

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Immigrating to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills

Farming at South Bay, N.B., Overlooking a Mill, ca 1865

From the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum

Thomas Baillie wrote a book entitled An Account of the Province of New Brunswick… (London, 1832), and described the Province with emphasis upon the benefits of immigration.

Baillie’s descriptions were very optimistic about how easy it was for an immigrant to find prosperity in the Province. He suggested that £1,000 would be sufficient to set oneself up in the new world without difficulty, but this was be more than 12 years of gross income for, say, a carpenter.

There was a recession in New Brunswick when he wrote his book, and Baillie warned against over relying upon timber cutting. This was disingenuous, since he was warning against the primary occupation of many New Brunswickers.

Baillie was the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Surveyor General of New Brunswick at the time. He was an eccentric and tyrannical leader, as outlined in another article in this blog entitled Thomas Baillie, Gone but Not Soon Forgotten.

I have edited and abridged the following from his book.


An emigrant, upon his arrival in New Brunswick, will prudently engage with a farmer as a labourer for the first year, in order to acquire the means of improving land, and the mode of cultivating it. We will suppose him to be a married man with three children, the eldest of whom is seven years old, and he and his wife in the prime of life. Having made himself acquainted with the mode of farming, it would be better for him to hire a house, and a clearance of from four to eight acres, if possible, and plant on it potatoes and grain. His seed, provisions, and any other assistance he may want, will be always furnished by his landlord or neighbours on credit, paying for them in kind, or in labour when required. If the landlord has agreed to receive his rent in a share of the produce, which is the most usual mode of letting land to poor people, he will be required to furnish one half of the seed, and the whole of the animal labour, and at harvest time he will select as his own one of two equal divisions in the barn or stack.

Having gathered in his crop and paid his landlord, or superior partner, our emigrant, his wife and children, by repeated journeys through the woods, commonly without any road, and with no other guide than a line of blazed or marked trees, carry off a portion of their produce sufficient for present consumption to their chosen abode. Having by the assistance of their old neighbours erected the shell of a log hut, they will commence building their chimney with rough stone cemented with loam, filling the interstices of the outside logs with moss, forming a floor with poles rendered flat by the axe or adze, and making other preparations for the winter, which is now rapidly approaching. The man will next proceed to make a path to the nearest settlement, in order to allow a pair of oxen to draw the remainder of his necessaries to his new habitation, and when he has laid in his little stock of provisions for the winter, consisting of salt fish, potatoes, and bread stuff, another difficulty assails him in the want of warm clothing and bedding. To pay for articles of so indispensable a description, he is compelled to labour as a timber cutter for about two months during the severity of the winter. He will then direct his attention to the clearance of his land, which he sets about without delay. As soon as the land be sufficiently dry, he will set fire to his little chopping, which will probably consist of about four or five acres; and as this will not consume more than the brush and light boughs scattered around, he will then roll together what logs are not too heavy for himself, assisted by his wife and children, into piles. When these are sufficiently dry, fire is again communicated; which process must be repeated until the whole be consumed, leaving the stumps only for the hand of time to destroy. His wheat is sown about the middle or latter end of May, which is usually by manual labour with the hoe. The plough can never be inserted until the stumps be extracted, and the roots which are interlaced in the soil decayed.

The stumps, roots, and unevenness of the surface in its natural state, form an obstruction to good husbandry, so serious in its consequences, that a farmer can never expect to receive more than one-third of the produce which would be obtained by the same system of husbandry as is practised in England, for an acre of land seldom produces here more than twenty bushels of wheat, or more than 150 bushels of potatoes.

We will now take a view of the settler after a lapse of ten years, with the acquisition of experience in the use of the axe. He probably caught the mania of timber getting, but finding it a losing game as an exclusive trade (as it is to nearly all emigrants) he has had the prudence to relinquish it before any ruinous losses had been sustained. But in the contrary event, the farm in all probability is no longer his, and he is consequently reduced to a worse situation than when he first set his foot on the strand of America.

But adhering to the fairer side of the landscape, we will view the emigrant now a freeholder, having paid the last instalment of a lot of land, four years after his commencement, and consequently closely identified with his adopted country, in a neat new log or framed house, with a good stone chimney well cemented with lime, a large framed barn, and other out-buildings, twenty-five or thirty acres of cleared land, admitting in many places the plough, possessed of a good strong horse, two powerful oxen and a pair of steers, two cows, a calf, eight or ten sheep and about half a dozen of hogs. His boys will be grown into stout athletic lads, and the family acquired several additions, the whole of whom, with the father and mother, present a lively picture of health and comfort. The farm may be worth 250l. if in the countryside, and up to 400l. if within a few miles of any town.

I shall now proceed to describe the state of manufactures and the various branches of industry.

Mills for sawing timber are our principal and largest branches of machinery. The usual expense of the whole undertaking, including the dam, is seldom less than £1000, provided the river be large. In this country, wood and water being so abundant, steam and iron are not likely to prove profitable, where the former materials can be used. Labour is so exceedingly high, that mills are constructed in a very simple manner, and no fault could possibly be found with such an economical arrangement. But during the summer months, and in the depth of winter, the water, which is generally so abundant, becomes much reduced in quantity, and the machinery is then in want of sufficient power to continue in operation. The simplicity of the machinery, and its being made of wood, admits, in the scarcity of millwrights, of the repairs being at any time effected by the millers themselves, at which they are exceedingly expert. An engineer could not possibly be obtained in the wilderness without suffering delay. Saw-mills are worked with undershot water-wheels, carrying a crank, to which is affixed a connecting rod, giving motion to the saw. That part of the machinery which causes the log to advance to the saw, and to carry it back, is equally simple. The generality of our corn or grist mills cannot be exceeded in simplicity, and the work effected by them is as inferior; but some of our grist-mills and our carding machines are very good, and constructed on the best principles.

The saw-mills manufacture boards one inch thick from the white pine, the spruce, and the hemlock, for the consumption of the province, and the former article also for the West Indies. Heretofore they have been principally employed in the sawing of deals from the white and red pine, and a few from spruce for the British market, but the latter trade has sustained so severe a shock that the mills would have gone to decay had not the West Indies held out some inducement to manufacture boards. The raw material is obtained from the crown lands under a license, for which a duty of two shillings and six-pence for every thousand square feet of one inch in thickness is paid to the crown.

In the neighbourhood of a large saw-mill a settlement of several families is always seen, for employment is given to a blacksmith, and a carpenter, if not a millwright. The number of millers and labourers, with their wives and families, encourage a shoemaker, a tailor, and other small tradespeople, to settle near them. A small store will then be commenced, and a public-house is sure to follow. A settlement will be formed in the wilderness, and these give rise to a grist-mill, and a place of worship for the use of the rising village. Thus a large and well-conducted saw-mill is a little town in embryo. A mill of such a description, working two saws, will employ four first-rate millers, or sawyers, four second-rate, and two ordinary men, thirty-four common labourers accustomed to the woods, the water, and the axe, one surveyor of lumber, and occasional work besides for a millwright, a carpenter, and a blacksmith, and twenty oxen and two horses.

I beg leave to extend my remarks on this subject for the purpose of drawing attention to the subject of sawn laths. The market for these is, at present, only at the towns of Fredericton and St. John’s, where the price is 10s. per thousand.

In sawing deals and boards from saw-logs, four slabs, four inches thick, will be sawed off each log, and thrown away to float down the stream, obstructing navigation, and of no use to man, causing a waste of one-fourth of the raw material. The slabs sawed from these logs are not only the strongest part of the wood, but can be manufactured into excellent laths. It is asserted that the profit arising from laths will pay the expense of sawing the whole log. If it might be deemed expedient by any legislation to encourage the shipping of laths to Great Britain, (for under the present scale of duties that is thought impossible) I have no doubt we should contribute towards the settlement of the province.

Ship-building, although at present utterly depressed, is another great branch of our industry, and for the carrying on of which we possess almost unrivalled facilities. It is an article of export, no vessels of any very great consequence being navigated by our own merchants. Some ships of inferior quality have, I fear, been built in the province, which circumstance has occasioned a bad character to attach to all New Brunswick built ships. This is unjust, for I am convinced that excellent vessels have been and can still be built in the province, where timber of the first quality abounds for the purpose. That some vessels of an infamous character have been made in the province, I will not deny; but if a merchant contracts with a rogue to build a ship and he is cheated, then should not reflect upon all vessels built here.

Written by johnwood1946

November 22, 2017 at 8:37 AM

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Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837

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Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837

People from Harvey will know that the very earliest settlers in their community arrived in Saint John aboard the Cornelius of Sunderland in 1837. It had been their intention to settle in Stanley on lands being developed by the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company, but these intentions were scuttled when they found that the Company’s promoters had exaggerated the attractiveness of the place. These settlers became the pioneers of Harvey Settlement, later called Harvey Station, and many of their descendants remain in the area today.

The move from Stanley to Harvey was more difficult than anticipated, and the following description of those earliest of days fills in some of the blanks. This is condensed and edited from James Edgar’s, New Brunswick, as a Home for Emigrants, Saint John, 1860.

Harvey Community Days, 1963

From the Harvey Community Days website


About thirty emigrant families arrived at St. John in the spring of 1837, and went to Fredericton, intending to settle on the York County lands of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company at Stanley. They were a mixture of English and Scotch, from the banks of the Tweed, — farm labourers, healthy and strong, but without means. Disappointed in their engagements with the Company, they applied to Sir John Harvey, then Lieutenant Governor, who sent a message, recommending their case to the House of Assembly, then in session. At that time, the whole region from Hanwell to Magaguadavic was an unbroken wilderness, and through it a line for a Great Road from Fredericton to Saint Andrews had just been explored and marked out; and a member of the Assembly who had assisted in the exploration proposed to settle them on this line. The House was informed that the proposed road passed through an extensive tract of good hardwood near Oromocto Lake, and the plan was to lay off thirty-two lots, each of 80 rods front, and 200 rods long, sixteen lots on each side of the road. The men were to be put under the direction of two judicious persons, well acquainted with clearing land. They were to be furnished with axes and provisions to cut down and prepare for burning an opening twenty-eight rods wide and four miles long; to peel spruce bark to cover the houses; to burn the chopping; and to clear an additional three acres of land at the front of each lot for planting. They would then bring out their families who would be furnished with supplies so that each of them could sow and plant their three acres in the following spring.

Such was the plan which was agreed on at the time by the House of Assembly but, on preparing for the proposed survey, it was discovered that 2,200 acres of the intended land had previously been selected by three individuals, and could not be obtained. This was a great disappointment, and hindrance at the outset. Another tract of land, less favourable, had to be selected, some of which was swampy and not good for first crops. No continuous opening could be made and the clearings had to be made in separate places. The poor fellows, instead of getting each three acres ready for sowing and planting the following spring, had to toil on for three whole years, before they all got settled on their separate allotments. They proved first rate road makers, and ultimately paid for all the supplies furnished by the Government. As an aside, they had no boards to finish their floors, so the cut their own using whip saws. The houses themselves were, of course, made of logs.

Following is an extract of the Report of the Hon. L.A. Wilmot, Commissioner of the Harvey Settlement, to Sir William Colebrooke, dated at Fredericton, 9th February, 1844:—

“The great success which has followed the labours of these industrious and valuable settlers, is an unquestionable proof of what may yet be done on our millions of acres of wilderness lands. The return shews, that from land where not a tree had been felled in July 1837, there have been taken, during the past autumn, 260 tons of hay and straw and 15,000 bushels of grain, potatoes and turnips.”

“It is desirable that the return may be circulated among the settlers’ friends and countrymen in the north of England, as well as other parts of the United Kingdom, so that the capabilities of our new land and soil may appear, and that it may also be made known, that we have at least five millions of acres yet undisposed of, a great portion of which is of better quality than the land at Harvey, whereon the sober and industrious emigrant may create a home under the protection of British laws, and in the enjoyment of British institutions.”

Those settlers began with nothing. They suffered many hardships, but they were inured to labour, and overcame them all. They commenced in 1837, and in 1843 had property in cleared land, farm produce, cattle, sheep, swine, etc., of the value of £4,289. During all that time, only two deaths had occurred, while there had been thirty-nine births, and all without medical aid!

Equally successful were a number of poor emigrant families from the South of Ireland, who settled in a body on a tract of wild land, distant from the Harvey only a few miles. They also began with nothing, and at the end of the second year, gathered seven thousand two hundred and seventy-six bushels of grain, potatoes, and turnips, and besides making more than four miles of road, accumulated property to the amount of more than £2,000.

Written by johnwood1946

November 15, 2017 at 8:01 AM

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On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick

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On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick

Lieut. Governor John Manners-Sutton

From Wikipedia

There was a long struggle to introduce Responsible Government to New Brunswick, where the Executive was ultimately responsible to the elected Legislature and, through them, to the people. Before that, the Assembly were limited in their powers by the Governor and Council. To make things worse, Council served at the pleasure of the Governor and could either agree with his decisions or be replaced.

James Glenie had famously fought for a more responsible system. He was a very abrasive personality, however, and could not gain the necessary support. Much later, Lemuel Allan Wilmot, and others, also argued for a redistribution of legislative authority. They had some success but the work was not yet done. Wilmot eventually became more conservative and joined the ruling class rather than to continue as a reformer.

There was one remarkable event in 1802, when the Legislature rejected a money bill put forward by the Council and adjourned. Council then connived with some of the more conservative members to stay behind after everyone else had gone home, and to pass the bill without having a quorum. That is how democracy worked in New Brunswick before the introduction of Responsible Government.

By 1854 there were two parties in the Legislature, Liberal and Conservative. Party affiliation was not as important as governing philosophy, however, and the party names might as well have been all lower-case, as in liberal and conservative. The members were, in effect, either on the reform side or on the government side.

This situation is reviewed in the following article which is condensed and edited from George Edward Fenety’s Parliamentary reminiscences, … measures introduced in the House … beginning with the administration of … Manners-Sutton, Saint John, N.B., 1883. It then explains how Council was finally forced to stand up to the Lieut. Governor and tacitly accept Responsible Government.


From the settlement of this Province up to the year 1854—when the system of Government under which we now live was first put into operation—the conduct and management of public affairs and business, and the distribution of patronage, rested in the hands, and were under the control of a dominant class. The family compact, as it was familiarly styled by those outside the pale, was composed of men of consideration who, with seats in the Executive Council, held all the higher offices to which large salaries were attached. The compact was a kind of autocracy—the members of which maintained that they were not amenable for their acts to the people; but while holding themselves independent of the popular voice, they were subject to a power higher, namely, the Lieutenant Governor, who carried out the will of the Colonial Secretary. The Province in the first half century of its existence was in fact governed from Downing Street. Holding their positions and offices from the Crown, it was the interest of the Council to uphold the prerogative vested in the hands of the Lieutenant Governor; and it happened that the members of the Executive seldom resisted any encroachment of the Governor on the power it was assumed they possessed in virtue of their positions. If the advice tendered by the Council on any matter was disregarded by the Governor because it was contrary to the views by himself held, or not in consonance with the instructions of Downing Street, his Excellency’s advisers were constrained to yield. This state of things on the popular side was long viewed to be a great grievance; and to effect a reform was a work to which the rising ambitious talents of the country addressed themselves earnestly and vehemently. In 1840, the cry for Responsible Government was loud and echoed on the floors of the House. Year after year, from that date, the agitation was maintained, and in conducting it some of the ablest men the Province has produced took the lead. Not until after fourteen years following the commencement of the Responsible Government reform movement, did success perch upon the banners of the agitators. In 1854, the reins of power were for the first time wrested from the group of those who for a half century and more had tightly held them. Then began the system of government by which the members of the executive held office and power, not during good behaviour, as of old, but so long as they could command the majority upon the floors of the House of Assembly. Their good behaviour is now judged by their good performance, not only in the capacity of advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, but as originators of sound measures for the advancement of good measures for the country.

The following tells of the dawn of a new political era, commencing with the fall of 1854, when a strictly party government upon well-defined issues, was formed for the first time, and has been going on ever since, in one continual chain down to the present year—1888.

The last Lieutenant Governor (Sir Edmund Head) like his predecessors, exercised a resolute will; but the arms of the reformers in the Assembly had gradually been gaining strength—while the eyes of the people were being opened wider to the realities of the situation. The last ounce which bore too heavily upon the long patient country, at length broke the spell of passive obedience, and led to the rupture between the reformers in the House and the Governor’s Council. It was assumed that the lesson that was taught, in the defeat of the Government, on account of the conduct of Sir Edmund Head, would keep future Governors within the limits of their power. The coming of the new Governor to the Province in the autumn of 1854, after a general election which took place in June, was hailed with great satisfaction by those who expected to see the principles of responsibility fully and fairly carried out. The reputation of Hon. Mr. Manners-Sutton as an eminent member of the reform side of the House of Commons had proceeded him, and high hopes were entertained. Yet, he too showed a disposition to act independently of the advice of Council, and that within a year from the time he was sworn in. And his successor, Hon. Arthur H. Gordon, was also firmset in his own opinions, and as little disposed to be guided entirely, on matters of moment, by his Council. But the disposition of the Governor to act independently was now kept in check by the class of men that the reform agitation had brought to the front. They were not satisfied to have the form without the substance and whatever Government have come into power since 1854, they have, when occasion called, maintained their constitutional principles by resigning office when the Governor refused to act upon their advice. These remarks apply to what was formerly called royal Governors, sent out from England.

The General Elections were held in the month of June, 1854, and the returns for the whole Province gave a majority of Liberals elected which may be called an accidental ascendency. The people generally were not at all responsible for this, since local self-interests had guided most of the voters.

In the month of October Sir Edmund Head (being elevated to the governor generalship of Canada) took his departure from New Brunswick. Sir Edmund was succeeded by Hon. J.H.T. Manners-Sutton (son of a former Speaker of the House of Commons, in later years Lord Canterbury) who arrived in the Province in time to have an interview with his predecessor. The following is the announcement from a St. John newspaper (Oct. 6) of His Excellency’s arrival:—

“His Excellency the Lieut. Governor arrived in the steamer Governor at 12 o’clock yesterday… There was an immense concourse of people at the landing when Mr. Manners-Sutton arrived, who surrounded him on all sides, to obtain a view of him, and crowds followed him through the streets on his way to the Hotel. A royal salute was fired from onboard one of the Black Ball Line of Packets, as the Steamer approached the wharf. His Excellency leaves town this morning at 9 o’clock for Fredericton.”

A Special Important Session of the Legislature

On the 20th October, a special Session of the Legislature was called for the purpose of taking action upon, and ratifying, the Reciprocity Treaty made between England and the United States. Mr. Hanington was elected Speaker, and the war of party commenced immediately. The House had scarcely heard the Address regarding the Treaty when it began to exhibit signs of insubordination. They would not hear the Address from the Chair. Mr. Fisher brought in a bill; Mr. Cutler another; Mr. Harding the third and Mr. Tilley the fourth. The Government members spoke of the session as a Special Session, called to deliberate upon the Treaty, but Mr. Ritchie and Mr. End reminded the Government that being convened they had the right to do whatever they thought it their duty to do, as this was to all intents and purposes a General Assembly.

Mr. Fisher moved an amendment to the Address, and spoke for four hours. He was very severe upon the arbitrary conduct of Sir Edmund Head. He went into a long explanation of his own conduct at the time he retired from Government, and showed by correspondence never before made public, that he at once objected to the Governor appointing the Judges, and declared that he would not put up with it. Sir Edmund, he declared, sent the notice to the Royal Gazette, in his own handwriting, without showing it to or consulting the Council. He then went on to attack the present Attorney General (Street) for joining the Government he had just declared “politically dishonest.” Mr. Brown followed on the same side. This gentleman had consented to move the Address, but afterwards finding that the proposition was an endeavour on the part of Government to entrap him, he declined the honour and supported the amendment. As the amendment is important, involving the stability of the Government, and their final defeat, it is copied here:

“It is with feelings of loyalty and attachment to Her Majesty’s Person and Government, that we recognize in that provision of the Treaty which requires the concurrence of this Legislature, a distinct avowal of the Imperial Government of their determination to preserve inviolate the principles of Self-Government, and to regard the Constitution of the Province as sacred as that of the parent State. We regret that the conduct of the local Administration during the last four years has not been in accordance with these principles, and we feel constrained thus early most respectfully to state to your Excellency that your Constitutional Advisers have not conducted the Government of the Province in the true spirit of our Colonial Constitution.”

Messrs. Street, Wilmot, Gray, were the leading speakers on the Government side. Messrs. Ritchie, Tilley, Johnson, Smith, Harding, in opposition. Heavy blows were exchanged; but it was evident that the fate of the Government was sealed; day after day as the debate progressed new converts were made to the opposition ranks. Those doubtful gentlemen who kept their hands under their desks, one by one threw themselves into the arms of the Opposition. On the night of the 27th, the exact position of every member was fixed and understood. The whole Province appeared to be in a state of excitement. The wires connecting with St. John were in continual operation, flashing along the probabilities of the result. Never were the people more political on any occasion—the Liberals at the prospect of finally conquering their old opponents—and the Conservatives that all their power and prestige were about to be wrested from their grasp for the first time and forever. The grounds of attack and defence may be thus summarized. It was charged against the Government, by Mr. Fisher that his confreres submitted to an undue exercise of authority on the part of Sir Edmund Head. In this wise—Chief Justice Chipman had retired from the Bench and it was the wish of the Government to reduce the number of Judges to three, and the Master of the Rolls to act as one of the Judges, making four; this vacation of the Chief Justiceship furnished the opportunity, they thought, and at the same time would cause a saving to the country. The Hon. L.A. Wilmot was the Attorney General, and in the order of political succession according to Responsible Government, should have been made Chief Justice; but inasmuch as he had allied himself with the Conservatives a few years before this, he had no Constitutional friends to rely upon. The Government advised that the Chief Justiceship should be entailed by seniority. His Excellency, after asking for advice and getting it, proceeded on his own ideas of what was right and proper. He accordingly recommended to the Colonial Secretary the names of Judge Carter for the office of Chief Justice, and the Attorney General (L.A Wilmot) for that of Puisne Judge. Moreover, the Judges themselves drew up a Memorial in opposition to the views of the Council, which His Excellency forwarded to the Colonial Office in company with his own—and the Council were not permitted to see it. The appointing power was thus virtually set aside, or taken out of the Government of this Province handed over through the Lieut. Governor to Downing Street. Mr. L.A. Wilmot had for years been the most determined opponent of “the old compact party” as it was called; and now having him on their side as the Attorney General, the endeavour was to hold him as their expounder and defender upon the floors of the House. To do this it was necessary to close the doors of the office of one of the Judges. Instead therefore, of being by a patriotic economical desire it was that of selfishness—to hold office as long as possible. And there is still another explanation to be given, perhaps for the first time, to the public. It was not Sir Edmund’s intention to appoint Mr. Wilmot to the office,—whoever else he may have had in view,—but Mr. W. insisted upon his rights and produced a document signed by Lord Glenelg, Secretary for the Colonies at the time when Mr. W. was a delegate in England in which His Lordship informed him that at any time he could render him a service not to hesitate about writing to him. The reading of this document brought Sir Edmund to a clearer comprehension of the situation; he at once saw that with such powerful influences as might be invoked in England by Mr. Wilmot’s friends, it would probably in the end tend to his own (Sir Edmund’s) discomfiture and therefore it would not be well to arouse the slumbering lion, by turning his back upon Mr. Wilmot’s claims. Suffice it to add, that this gentleman was appointed with Judge Carter—and hence all the difficulty with the Government and the turmoil that followed. It was not that the House and the country considered that Mr. Wilmot was not entitled to the office. The difficulty arose on the ground that the Council having advised His Excellency not to fill the vacancy, and then allowed him to act contrary to their advice without protest, and surrendering their offices.

A long debate ensued. In plain English, if the Council were not satisfied they could resign, and if they did not they were responsible and must defend the appointment. The dilemma the Governor was in was, that with the full knowledge of that constitutional principle he had made a recommendation adverse to their advice, and had never shown them or apprised them of it. He (Mr. F.) had no doubt, when Lord Grey authorized the appointment he did so under the impression that the recommendation of the Governor had been shown to the Council, as it ought to have been, and as they had neither remonstrated or resigned, they had deferred to it. After the Governor saw that the Council would tamely submit to such a proceeding he had them at his feet. From that day they were prostrate. His whole administration after that had been a government by Dispatches and effort after effort to curtail the principle of self-government and magnify the Colonial Office. Before he left the Dispatch, there was a remark of the Governor’s worthy of note. He said ‘I confess myself to be in great perplexity’. His whole difficulty arose from his desire to have his own way, and do as he pleased.

This was not the only charge against the Government, but it was the main one and perhaps the most damaging. The Opposition complained also that the Government was but a continuation of the old one, extending over a period of very many years—indeed since the appointment of Mr. Wilmot to the Bench and the withdrawal of the Hon. Mr. Fisher, it had resolved itself into its original elements—the old family compact. His Excellency’s name and conduct were dealt with upon the floors of the House, day after day, as if he alone were guilty of the crime committed, and for which his Council were now put upon their trial.

On the 25th October, 1850, the Council, after two or three days deliberation, handed the Governor the following Minute:—“The Committee of Council having had under consideration the resignation of his Honor the Chief Justice, and His Excellency’s Memorandum accompanying the same and having duly deliberated thereon, are of opinion that it is not advisable to appoint any person to the vacant office, and that such a revision of the Judiciary should be made by the Legislature as will secure the efficient discharge of the judicial duties by three Judges of the Supreme Court, together with the Master of the Rolls, and that the necessary measures should be made to carry out the above arrangement at the next Session of the Legislature.

Written by johnwood1946

November 8, 2017 at 8:54 AM

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