New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. October 26, 2016

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

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


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

October 26, 2016 at 8:35 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull

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From the blog at

Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull


A Herring Gull

The lowly seagull? Well, it has a mixed reputation. It’s a nice bird, but there are altogether too many of them. It’s omnivorous and is as happy in a garbage dump as it is on a picturesque wharf. It is sometimes an annoyance, but, despite all of this, it remains an iconic symbol of the Maritime Provinces.

It is no surprise that the New Brunswick seagull is just a little bit smarter than average and today’s blog will consider the unusual defensive nesting behaviour that some of them have adopted.

Normally, gulls will build rude nests of vegetable matter, and anything else that can be found lying about. These nests are on the ground, and are placed as best they can to avoid predators. Other gulls are more defensive and build their nests on rocks or cliffs – still clear of danger.

The first reference I can find to Passamaquoddy gulls having different nesting habits was by John James Audubon who visited Grand Manan in 1833. According to De Costa’s1 1871 account, Audubon said “I was greatly surprised to see the nests placed on branches, some near the top, others about the middle or on the lower parts of the trees, while at the same time there were many on the ground.”

It is curious that this Passamaquoddy adaptation appears to have been learned, for a local resident told Audubon that, “when I first came here many years ago, they all built their nests on the open ground; but as my sons and the fishermen collected most of their eggs for winter use, and sadly annoyed the poor things, the old ones gradually began to put up their nests on the trees in the thickest part of the woods.”

There was a local initiative on Grand Manan to protect the gulls against eggers, and to see if they would revert to their old habits. It was found, however, that “this was not likely to happen, because on some other islands, not far distant, to which the fishermen and eggers have free access, these gulls breed altogether on the trees, … so that their original habits have been entirely given up.” The protected gulls on Grand Manan similarly refused to change their habits.

The collecting of gull eggs for food has now passed into history, but it used to be more common. The Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq people certainly did it, and there are stories that young gulls could even be trained up and raised like chickens – for meat.

J.G. Lorimer2 confirmed this unusual nesting behaviour in another book in 1876 by saying that the “truth of the sea-gull thus building its nest on a tree is asserted as a fact by the residents of the islands.” Annoyed to distraction by the eggers, “the poor gulls, after long and serious consultation, concluded to do as never a web-footed bird ever did before; and so build their nests; and lay their eggs, and hatch their gull-chicks, high up on a tree among the limbs!” Again, in 1891, Nathaniel Goss wrote in “History of the Birds of Kansas” 3 that he had observed the same behaviour at Grand Manan.

I would prefer to believe that our New Brunswick seagulls are especially clever in having adopted this behaviour. However, a lot more observations have been made of these birds since those days and things have been learned that even Audubon did not know. It is now acknowledged that herring gulls in general will nest on open ground, or on cliffs or even, rarely, in trees.4

Thus ends my salute to the Passamaquoddy and New Brunswick herring gulls whereby my hopes that they are special have been dashed.


  1. Benjamin F., De Costa, Rambles in Mount Desert with sketches of travel on the New-England coast from Isle of Shoals to Grand Menan (sic), New York, 1871
  2. G. Lorimer, History of Islands and Islets in the Bay of Fundy, Charlotte County, Saint Stephen, N.B., 1876
  3. Nathaniel S. Goss, “History of the Birds of Kansas,” Topeka, Kansas, 1891
  4. A. Schreiber and Joanna Burger, editors, Biology of Marine Birds, CRC Press, 2001

Written by johnwood1946

October 26, 2016 at 8:34 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax

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5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax

This blog has been following the travels of David Kennedy and his father in 1876. They began in Quebec City and continued to New Brunswick where they visited several cities. This is the last segment in the travelogue, presenting Halifax. The story is from Kennedy’s Colonial Travel: A narrative of a four year’s tour through Australia, New Zealand, Canada, &c. by David Kennedy, Jr., Edinborough, 1876.

Halifax Drydock

Halifax Drydock, 1910. From the McCord Museum


Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia. This province is composed of a peninsula 250 miles long and 100 miles broad—also of the Island of Cape Breton, separated from the peninsula by the narrow Strait of Canso. The province got its name in 1621, when James I of England kindly granted Acadia, New Brunswick, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, and part of Lower Canada, to Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, Clackmannanshire. Nova Scotia is the Acadie or Acadia over which Longfellow has thrown the glamour of his charming blank verse—the scene of “Evangeline” being laid at Annapolis on the west coast, which faces the Bay of Fundy. The Scotch element in the province is now very large. Cape Breton is almost wholly peopled by Highlanders, Roman Catholics from the Western Isles of Scotland. A gentleman told us he had travelled for a long summer’s day in Cape Breton and never heard a word of English. The island is thoroughly Celtic, but the peninsula is inhabited more by the Lowland Scots. In 1871 the population of Nova Scotia was 387,800— 4,316 have been born in Scotland, 7,558 in Ireland, 4,000 in England. As to the bulk of the people, 130,741 are of Scottish origin, 113,520 of English, and 62,851 of Irish. The Presbyterians are the largest body in the province, and number 88,519.

The city of Halifax lies on a world-famous harbour, which opens into the Atlantic. This harbour is a wonderful sheet of water. An island lies across the mouth of the harbour, forming excellent protection, and creating two entrances, doing up about two miles farther, you see a bright emerald islet, which would prove a very ugly customer for an enemy, as it is well fortified, honeycombed with passages, and girdled with earthworks. Then passing this, you see the city spreading up the heights on your left, while across the harbour, on your right, appears the suburb of Dartmouth. Farther up, the harbour narrows a little, but soon opens out into Bedford Basin—another harbour, a magnificent circular bay, in which “all the British navy could easily manoeuvre.” Near the mouth of the harbour, too, a stretch of water, called the North-West Arm, extends for two or three miles inland to the back of the town. Everywhere you are met with the fact that Halifax harbour has capacity. Though, not perhaps so beautiful, it is as spacious to the full as Port Jackson, the harbour of Sydney. To our eyes, taking into consideration that it had but recently escaped from the rigours of a long winter, it looked delightful. As a safe, commodious refuge for vessels, this harbour cannot be surpassed.

Halifax was larger and busier than I had expected. Its situation on the sloping ground and heights, which look down upon the harbour, was very impressive on a first view, and lost nothing by further acquaintance. The city, rising above the fringe of shipping, is crowned with the green hill whereon stands the citadel, the strongest fort in or about Halifax.

There is here all the life, bustle, high-class tone, display, and petit scandal of a garrison-town. The city, when we first saw it, presented a very animated spectacle. The sky was dazzling blue, and a brisk ocean-breeze swept down the streets, raising plenty of dust, it is true, but adding a great deal of life to the scene. The pavements were thronged with soldiers, sailors, ruddy-faced sea-captains, young English “swells” in light tweeds, negroes, Roman Catholic priests, Indians with dyed basket-work for sale, officers in civilian garb, and officers’ ladies with little pet bulldogs, while now and again a military somebody, adorned with cocked hat and feathers, would drive past in an open carriage. The market was another great point of interest. Along the pavements crouched rows of Negro women, smoking short pipes, and displaying baskets of vegetables. The stone flags of the post-office were crowded with marketwives and their goods. Another part of the street was occupied with a red array of lobster-stands. A number of little boys had invested in some of the shell-fish, and were hard at work smashing them on the street, and picking up the mixture of half-meat half-dirt with epicurean relish. At a long flower stand, both sides of which were invaded by ladies, a man was auctioneering plants to his fair bidders—a double calceolaria in pot going for six cents, and a cloth-of-gold geranium for ten. Near this we saw a cow, a calf, and a waggon sold by auction in the middle of the street—also a horse, which went for the absurdly small figure of fifteen dollars (£3), though certainly the animal was not by any means an Arab. The whole neighbourhood was busy with people, and the crowd picturesquely relieved by one or two Indian women, who moved about in richly beaded robes.

The general appearance of Halifax is satisfactory. Owing to destructive fires in 1857, 1859, and 1861, the way was cleared for many handsome buildings. To us the most noteworthy feature of the city were the old Provincial Buildings in Hollis Street. These contain the House of Assembly, or Commons, and the Legislative Council Chamber, or local House of Lords. Both were stylish-looking apartments. Nearly opposite are the New Provincial Buildings, which were erected in consequence of the old buildings proving too small. After Nova Scotia had joined the Confederation, the old buildings were found to be quite large enough for the requirements of the local Parliament, the general legislation of the province being merged in the Dominion Parliament at Ottawa, and the new buildings are now occupied by the Post Office, the Museum, and other departments. The Museum is rather badly off for room, but possesses not a few interesting objects.

The 24th of May, the Queen’s Birthday, was as fine a day as ever dawned. Halifax being a thoroughly British city in feeling, a military city, and of course a loyal city, we were prepared to see a worthy celebration of the day. In the forenoon a review took place on the Common, an open piece of ground lying at the foot of Citadel Hill. Including the various soldiers engaged on the batteries at the citadel, the troops may have numbered 2,000. A salute of twenty-one cannon was fired from the citadel, upon which the military band played the national anthem. The soldiers discharged a feu de joie, and then delivered three lusty cheers for the Queen. The view of the returning troops and dispersing crowds, as seen from the heights of the citadel, was exceedingly fine. The red-coated and dark-coated soldiers, the black streams of people, the dazzling greenness of the hill slopes, the dense mass of the city basking under a brilliant sun, and the harbour rippling under a cooling sea-breeze—all made up a delightful picture. In the afternoon we went to see a baseball match. This is a favourite Canadian game, and in the United States entirely takes the place of cricket. It is the same that is known in London as “rounders,” and in Edinburgh as “dully,” only here it is played in sober earnest by persons of mature age, and reduced to rules as well-defined as those of cricket. Among the advantages of the game is the fact that it requires only a round stick and ball, and calls for no expensive equipments or particularly level ground. Baseball demands quickness of eye, agility in batting, and speed of limb in the feverish dashes from base to base.

Churches are numerous in Halifax, and the Presbyterian body is well represented. In one Scotch church there is a splendid organ. The subject of instrumental music in church is agitating the minds of the people here, as everywhere else in Canada. It is related that during the discussion of the Organ Question at a certain meeting of Presbyterian clergymen, one of them rose and said:—“Brethren, I think it expedient that instrumental music should be introduced, to give variety to our plain and quiet Presbyterian service, and keep up with the wants of the day, thereby drawing more young people to the church.” At this a grave old minister remarked, that his worthy brother, by making the organ an attraction, was acting on the principle of the old song, “O whistle an’ I’ll come to ye, my lad!”

One day we took a walk as far as the Public Park, which lies on Pleasant Point, and which has but lately been opened. It is not a park as that is generally understood at home, being at present an enjoyable tract of woods pierced by carriage-drives. There are smaller winding paths also, and narrow tracks running through thicket and brushwood, and amongst the trees, where it is quite a treat to get lost. We rambled about, jumping this little burnie, rounding this small morass, passing this shady high-banked pool, over which the busy flies were shooting—now sitting on a fallen tree and drinking in the silence and the sunshine—now scrambling over bush-grown rocks, not caring how or where we were going. We were always sure at last to come upon some metalled road. Once, indeed, we burst through the trees, and emerged upon a radiant view of the North-West Arm, which lay glittering before us—all its wooded and green sloping heights bathed in sunshine—its rocky shores washed by the rippling blue waves—and its surface further brightened by the snow-white sails of yachts, that were gliding far up the reach, or disappearing round the many little capes and headlands. At the farther extremity of this “Arm” is Melville Island, where the French prisoners were held in durance about the commencement of this century. Beneath our feet lay an immense boulder-rock, in which was fixed a massive iron staple and ring. These were used in olden times to secure the boom-chain which stretched across the water to prevent the passing of an enemy’s ships. On our way back to town we saw the harbour dotted with sailing-craft, their canvas bellying in the sun, and the water flashing from their bows. Up the harbour, too, came the mail-steamer, the Hibernian, which had especial interest for us, as in a day or two we were to sail in her for Newfoundland.

Written by johnwood1946

October 19, 2016 at 9:40 AM

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4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876

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4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876

This blog has been following the travels of David Kennedy and his father. Their travels were in 1876, beginning in Quebec City and continuing to New Brunswick. David’s impressions of Saint John, Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst have already been presented. This week they travel to Moncton, and then to Nova Scotia. He describes some interesting people, and finds the landscapes to be picturesque. The story is from Kennedy’s Colonial Travel: A narrative of a four year’s tour through Australia, New Zealand, Canada, &c. by David Kennedy, Jr., Edinborough, 1876.

Pictou 1915

Pictou Harbour, ca 1915. From the McCord Museum


We returned south again as far as Moncton, then branched off to Amherst, where we first set foot in Nova Scotia. From here to Truro was a splendid journey, with green, refreshing landscapes unfolding themselves in ever-varying forms—now a succession of soft-outlined hills bounding a rolling, grassy country—now miles of fertile meadows framed by dark, bold featured, forest-clad ranges. Lumbering and farming were everywhere being industriously pursued. The fences, the wooden houses, the sheds, the lavish use of timber, the piles of logs lying about, showed a country where wood was plentiful. Now and then the engine would give a succession of short staccato whistles, and there would be a hasty slackening of the train as a lot of lazy calves would stray across the line. At distances of a few miles we passed little towns, wooden, painted white, and standing brightly against the dark-green country. Near the station there would be a small inn, and above the door the single word “Entertainment,” which had quite a charming, primitive look. Boys and girls came upon the train and sold nosegays of May-flowers, the harbingers of spring, which brought to our minds the old historical Mayflower, the ship that bore the Pilgrim Fathers to America. During the journey we noticed several Indian huts, built of planks stacked pyramidally into a kind of wooden tent. They did not appear to be a very wretched set of folks—though shabbily, they were all warmly clad. The children ran about in a rough, ragged condition, but were not a whit less tattered-looking than the Highland boys I have seen on the banks of the Crinan Canal, chasing the steamboat for bawbees. The Indians of Nova Scotia are increasing instead of decreasing in numbers—about the only instance of an aboriginal race flourishing in presence of the white man.

Well on in the afternoon, the train reached some high ground, commanding a grand, far-extending landscape—the nearer dark green shading off into rich blue, the rich blue toning away into lighter blue, and the misty outlines of the extreme distance almost blending into the azure of the sky. Then we entered a deep valley. The train followed its windings, travelling high up on the heights, in full command of the opposite hills, and overlooking the verdant level floor below. There are fourteen snow-sheds on this part of the railway, all comprised within a mile or two. Inside these sheds was a most peculiar sight. The cuttings that had been roofed over were formed along the heights, and the mountain streams, shut off from the sun in these cold wooden tunnels, had been frozen into ghostly white masses, like torrents petrified into marble, that flew gleaming past us in the dim light of the sheds.

Truro lies in the heart of old-settled country, and is surrounded by eye-gladdening fields, pasture-land, wooded uplands, and hills—scenery beautiful even for Nova Scotia. Here within a few minutes we had the great pleasure of meeting some Edinburgh friends, and also of talking with a gentleman and lady who had seen us in Nelson, New Zealand. The world is small, after all. The town happened to be excited over races which took place about a mile out of town. The weather was perfectly hot here—the atmosphere oppressive—summer had set in with a rush. The Truro ladies came out in light dresses—one or two gentlemen could be seen in white hats. There is very little spring here—two or three rainy days come at the tail-end of winter, and these form the prelude to the warmth of summer. With all the heat at this time, most of the trees had not a leaf on them, and the bare branches looked decidedly incongruous. The year has no time to spare in lingering over a poetically dawning or departing spring. The gentle blending of the seasons is unknown in this part of the world.

Our route now lay east to Pictou. On the way we stopped at New Glasgow, near which we saw the extensive Albion Coal Mines, the most important in the province. They are now being worked at a depth of a thousand feet. The beds of coal here are something extraordinary—the main seam is thirty feet and a half thick. The coal area of the Maritime Provinces is estimated at 18,000 square miles, and half of that is in Nova Scotia alone. Twenty-two mines have been opened in Nova Scotia since 1858—these mines being supposed to contain from two million to fifty-five million tons. More than ten and a half million tons of coal have been taken out since 1827. In 1872 the yield was 785,914. There has also been a good deal of gold-mining in the province; but, truth to tell, it has been a failure, owing to bad management. Nothing is so risky as getting gold out of quartz. The yield per ton is so nicely proportioned to the cost of mining that, unless there is great care, skill, and excellent machinery, the business is almost certain to be unsuccessful. At New Glasgow, too, we saw a good deal of shipbuilding. Two large wooden brigs were lying on the stocks almost completed. This branch of industry is very flourishing. In 1872 there were 53,000 tons of shipping built in the province. What with its coal-mines, its shipbuilding yards large and small, and its valuable fisheries, in which 20,000 men are engaged, Nova Scotia is a very prosperous portion of the great Dominion.

In New Glasgow there are many people from the mining districts of Scotland. Every other house, too, has some old person who can speak Gaelic. There are four churches here, and they are all Presbyterian. They stand in one part of the town, grouped together at distances of a few yards, with their bells pealing in harmonious union. We went on Sunday forenoon to the “Auld Kirk,” where we heard singing a little after the old-fashioned manner. The collection was taken up in long-handled ladles. We were much astonished to see the elders hurrying to a corner of the church and marching forth with the long sticks over their shoulders. There was great peremptoriness in the way the ladle shot past one’s nose to the other end of the pew, or landed in front of one’s waistcoat pocket. The dexterous way in which the extremely long handles were raised or lowered, so as to clear the heads of those sitting behind the collector, betokened long practice. When the benediction was being pronounced, the congregation prepared themselves to go, holding their hats in their hands, with their bodies inclined sideways—the word “Amen” being the signal for an unseemly rush, in which we were pushed and elbowed rapidly down the passage. One-half our party went this Sunday as far as Hopewell, a village a few miles distant. On the way we passed through the coal-black streets of the mining-town Stellarton, which has a long stretch of cottages all alike, all painted the same, and numbered with big white figures running beyond 200. The country was very beautiful—the grass delicious, its colour fresh and gladdening to look upon. Hopewell is a rural little place, which has been preached and lectured into teetotalism. The mere force of public opinion has put a stop to the sale of liquor in the village.

Seven miles from New Glasgow is Pictou, which lies sheltered on a beautiful harbour opening into the Gulf of St Lawrence. Like New Glasgow, this is a very teetotal town, and there is not a liquor-licence in the whole place. It is likewise a very Scottish and Presbyterian town. The Pictou district is about as Scotch as any part of the Dominion. The interests of the town are chiefly maritime. Lately, during a municipal election, a certain candidate was proposed, and a Scotsman was heard to exclaim contemptuously—“Him a mayor! he has na an acre o’ land or a ton o’ shippin’, an’ lives in a flat! He’ll never be eleckit!”

We had intended at one time taking the steamer from here to Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island. But a shoal of ice drifted up and down Northumberland Straits, blocking up first one port and then another. When this treacherous flotilla had moved off or settled down somewhere, it was discovered that we could go over easy enough, but there was no chance of our getting back the day we wanted. We wrote many letters across to the Island, but got no definite replies as to the steamers. Upon inquiring at the shipping office this side, there was the same uncertainty. We were not alone in our perplexity, for a lawyer happened to be calling on the agents at the same time. He was in a towering rage, and gesticulated and swore, because, owing to incorrect information, he had missed getting to Cape Breton, where he had an important law case to attend to. Instead of being there by Wednesday, he found he could not arrive till Thursday at the very earliest, even by riding a hundred miles in a coach. One person advised us to hire a steam-tug, which would cost about twenty-five dollars. A second hinted at our getting over in the steamship Carroll, but as this was a United States boat, she was debarred by law from intercolonial traffic. We heard also of a small steamer, an ex-mail-boat, which was cruising promiscuously from port to port. Finding a person who had some interest in the craft, we asked him if it were possible to run the boat to Charlottetown, urging as an inducement that there was a large party, seven of us. “A-ah-ah,” sighed he, with a serious face, “that’s too many!” and so, not liking to trust ourselves in a steamboat that could only take us in two separate loads, we broke off the negotiations. The result of it all was, that much to our regret we did not go to the Island.

When we left Pictou in the early morning, we had the honour of being escorted to the wharf by the silver-cornet band of the town, which played “Auld Lang Syne” as the ferry-boat steamed off across the harbour. On our way back to Truro we had the company of a Roman Catholic priest, Father M’Gillivray, who spoke with a very perceptible Scotch accent. His grandfather was a Highlander from Inverness, but his father and mother were both born in Nova Scotia, where he himself first saw the light, and where he picked up the Doric he now possesses. It strikes one as an anomaly, that a person should talk broad Scotch and yet never have been in Scotland. The priest’s tastes and feelings, as well his tongue, were unmistakably Scottish. The railway ride was a perfect treat. Words would fail to describe the pleasure with which our eyes rested on the cool, green, swelling country through which the train sped swiftly. Everywhere there was a feeling of freshness and purity. The recent rains had washed and gladdened the face of nature. The grass was vivid green, and seemed to have grown to luxuriance within a few days. The fields were mantled with deep clover—the bushes and shrubs were full of vigorous life the trees had burst into foliage—the air was inexpressibly fragrant, clear, and exhilarating. After the long spell of winter, and the wet weather of spring, the verdant loveliness of these Nova Scotian landscapes was truly delightful, between Truro and Halifax there was “water, water everywhere.” Lake after lake—Grand Lake, chief of all, and well deserving its name. River after river, the Stewiacke and the Shubenacadie among others. Nova Scotia, like New Brunswick, has not only a splendid seaboard but a wealth of inland waters. At eight o’clock in the evening we sighted Halifax harbour.

Next week’s blog will give his impressions of Halifax.

Written by johnwood1946

October 12, 2016 at 8:44 AM

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3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876

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3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876

This blog has been following the travels of David Kennedy and his father. Their travels were in 1876, beginning in Quebec City and continuing to New Brunswick. Last week’s segment described David’s impressions of Saint John, and this week they continue to Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst. The story is from Kennedy’s Colonial Travel: A narrative of a four year’s tour through Australia, New Zealand, Canada, &c. by David Kennedy, Jr., Edinborough, 1876.

Bathurst 1860

Bathurst in 1860, from the N.B. Museum


St. John to Newcastle was a delightful journey of 160 miles through the interior of the province of New Brunswick. The railway carriages were large, high-roofed, well-lighted, well ventilated, had capital springs, and, the road-bed being good too, the travelling was very enjoyable. The train stopped at all the stations, the conductor shouting out such unearthly names as Quispamsis, Nauwigewauk, Passekeag, Apohaqui, Plumwaseep, and Penobsquis, though, of course, the words were altered by frequent repetition into something more pronounceable. Once or twice the brakeman came round with a can of water on his arm, to relieve the thirst of the passengers. During the forenoon we traversed the fertile Sussex Valley, with verdant slopes, knolls, and high-wooded hills rolling at varying distances either side of us—a continuous, undulating panorama of great beauty, with the train frequently skirting the banks—shores I ought to call them—of magnificent rivers, chief among which was the noble Kennebecasis. In the afternoon the scenery was tame—dense forest country, relieved every few miles by a gap burnt in the woods. Near Newcastle we crossed the splendid iron bridges which span the two broad arms of the great Miramichi River—then in a short time entered the town.

Newcastle is situated on the North Shore of New Brunswick. Its shipping finds outlet to the Gulf of St Lawrence by way of Miramichi Bay. There is more lumbering than farming in these parts—settlement is rather backward. As a Newcastle Scotsman said to us, “The fack o’ the matter is just this, that naebody will come to New Brunswick as lang as they can gang west to Ontario. The winter’s ower lang here. This is near the middle o’ May, an’ there’s no a pleugh in the grund yet. The country’s gude eneuch—the craps grow like winkin’, the soil’s magneeficent, but there’s nae time to get the seed in. Hoo’s a man wi’ a six-horse farm to get alang, he has to hire men, an’ he canna afford to keep them daidlin’ aboot a’ the winter. He’s got to work himsel’, too—there’s nane o’ yer gentleman-farmin’ done here, I can tell ye—ye’ve got to tak’ aff yer coat an’ work yersel’. But if ye do, ye’ll mak’ siller.” There was some truth in this, though it applied more particularly to Newcastle and other places on this North Shore. There is no denying that New Brunswick has a prolonged, severe winter; but there is also no question that the province contains fine land. The more genial soil and climate of Ontario have proved too attractive to immigrants, and they have literally left New Brunswick out in the cold. However, the work of settlement has got to be done some time or other. Farms are being started in various parts of the province, and the country is surely, though slowly, being opened up. At Newcastle we sang in the Masonic Hall, a new building, the acoustic properties of which were not increased by the floor being carpeted with sawdust to the depth of two inches. This was for the ingenious purpose of keeping the floor clean. The audience, of course, were limited to the mere clapping of hands; but at last they could stand it no longer, and scraped holes through the sawdust to the floor, so as to hear the clatter of their feet.

We took the steamer from Newcastle to Chatham, six miles farther down the Miramichi. The sun shone in cloudless heavens, the river was exquisitely smooth, and the wooded shores mirrored themselves clearly on the glassy water. Now a large stern-wheeled steamer would churn past—now an Indian would steal along in his bark canoe—now a shoal of logs would drift past, broken away from some “boom” or dam far up in the lumber region—now an enormous raft, with the water lapping lazily against it, would glide down the river, propelled by sail and oar. On board the steamer were several old men, all natives of New Brunswick. While conversing, one happened to remark that he “hadn’t seen his great-grandfather’s grave.” “Haven’t you!” said another; “why, I’ve seen it, an’ the tombstone’s got a rigmarole on it as long as from here to the paddle-box, all about him being a good man an’ a pioneer, an’ a purveyor of food to his Majesty, an’ all that sort of thing.” “I was born down the river here,” commenced a third old man; “an’ when I was a younker, the great fire took place that burnt over a big tract of country, a hundred miles long and seventy miles broad, devouring the villages it passed over. My father was workin’ aboard one of the boats at the time, an’ wasn’t at home all that day. There was my mother, my sister, a neighbour’s two little children, an’ myself in the house. In the evening my mother happened to be outside the cottage, when she saw a red glimmer far off, an’ came in saying there was a fire somewhere. A few minutes after that she went out again, an’ saw the glare was fast comin’ nearer. Then she knew the forest was ablaze, an’ she ran in with a blanket to cover us. She had hardly done it when the flames came rushing along. They leaped down in great flakes upon us, like fire out of heaven, an’ our cottage was eaten up like, tinder. My mother an’ my sister perished there, an’ I never saw them again; the bones of the two little children were got some time after amongst the ashes; an’ I was the only survivor, with my arms dreadfully burnt. My father was kept on board the ship all night—no one was allowed to have any connection with the land for fear of fire—an’ it was not till next day that he got ashore an’ saw the black ruins of our old home.”

Chatham was a busy, lumbering town, its river-front lined with noisy saw-mills, and great stacks of fresh-cut planks shining yellow in the sun. We lived at a hotel that had something of the boarding-house about it—looked like a private villa, displayed no sign in front of it, had a garden before the door, and was kept by a Mrs. Bowser, who was assisted in the domestic arrangements by her daughters. The boarders were chiefly tradesmen and clerks—one of the transient guests was a travelling doctor, who treated diseases of the eye and ear. At breakfast we had the luxury of fried bass. This fish, it was told us, is caught principally in the winter. The fishermen go out upon the frozen river, and cut a hole seven or eight feet wide in the ice. Then, with an immense bag-net on the end of a pole eighteen feet long, they haul up the bass, sometimes three hundred at a time.

Going back to Newcastle, we took the train thence to Bathurst. In a few minutes there appeared frequent stretches of snow—then more and more snow—till the country was almost a perfect white sheet. We crossed a dirty-coloured river which was foaming in swift rapids, laden with innumerable blocks of ice that were grinding and jamming, and sweeping along with the current. Bathurst, which lies on the Bay of Chaleurs, presented a bleak wintry aspect. Its harbour was choked with rotten ice, awaiting some favouring wind to blow it out to sea. We drove in a waggonette from the station to the town, along a veritable bog of mud, so sticky that the horses could only by desperate haunch-struggles keep themselves from being glued to the spot. Bathurst lay on the other side of the harbour, which we crossed on the “Bridge,” a long ballast embankment, with little spans for the passage of the ice and tidal waters. The town was very quiet and scattered, and was composed of very old-fashioned houses. There was a village-air about the place—your footfall could be heard ringing in the grass-grown streets. One old church had a sun-dial on the gable-wall. The foundations of the cottages were bedded up with sawdust to keep out the cold. I have been harping so much about the severity of the weather that the reader will be imagining Canada a very undesirable place to live, when the fact is that our travel extended over the entire winter, and we left the country when the fine summer weather was coming in.

Next week’s blog will describe his travels from Moncton and into Nova Scotia.

Written by johnwood1946

October 5, 2016 at 8:53 AM

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2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1876

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2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1876

David Kennedy’s father was a singer who toured Australia, New Zealand, and Canada between the years 1872 and 1876. Last week’s blog post described their travels from Quebec City to New Brunswick through New Hampshire and Maine. Today’s segment covers their picturesque and favorable impressions of Saint John in 1876. The story is from Kennedy’s Colonial Travel: A narrative of a four year’s tour through Australia, New Zealand, Canada, &c. by David Kennedy, Jr., Edinborough, 1876.

Saint John 1898

Saint John in 1898


Next morning, a walk through the town showed us the streets lively with carts, drays, buggies, and waggons. The thoroughfares that led up the hills were very steep. When you got to the head of them and looked away down, along the trough of the street, and far up again to the other slope, with all the busy traffic of human beings and vehicles, you saw a scene that favourably impressed you with the amount of life existing in St. John. There were crowds of people at the Exchange discussing stock. Across the street stood the new post-office, a high building occupying a prominent corner, with a fine frontage of bow-windows—the latter divided from each other by pillars of red granite, which is found in the province, and which, as the folks here say, is equal to that of Aberdeen. One of the squares of the town is guarded by a gate of the usual three arches, and looking as solid and enduring as a rock. You think it an old stone structure till you go up and tap it, when you find it is built of wood. The imitation of stone is exceedingly clever, and merely as an illusion the gate is well worth seeing. The heights of St. John are crowned, not with a bold fortress, a handsome church, or a stately public building, but by an enormous square hotel, which is too big to pay for some years to come. The people here have undoubtedly great public spirit. There is an almost endless series of views to be had from the many high standpoints in and around St. John. The river and the bay each wind about the town, and the prospect down many of the streets ends in a pleasant water view. Some of the knolls and hills in the outskirts are bleak looking and covered with scrub, but most of them are occupied by cottages and villas. About half-an-hour’s walk from town is a charming basin of water situated amongst the heights, and lying secluded at the foot of a hill clad with pine-trees to the very shore. Lily Lake, as it is called, is entirely surrounded by wooded rising ground, and you are shut out as completely from the city’s bustle as if you were a hundred miles away from civilisation. Its limpid, smooth waters seem never to have been ruffled by a storm. It is a fish paradise. A person of a meditative turn of mind could smoke a cigar here in perfect bliss.

Saw-mills, puffing chimneys, the clatter of ship-building yards, log-rafts, sailing-ships, and ferry-boats, lend a great deal of bustle to the port. St. John is famed for shipping and lumbering. There is a ton of shipping for every inhabitant of the province, and the province numbers 300,000 people. New Brunswick, like Nova Scotia, is also great in the matter of fisheries, the total value of these in one year being close upon seven million dollars. Codfish, herring, mackerel, haddock, pollock, hake, trout, smelt, bass, salmon, halibut, gaspereaux, and shad are caught on these shores. At the hotel we had fish regularly for breakfast and dinner, sometimes for tea, and after our sojourn in the far inland regions of America, fish newly caught from the sea was no mean luxury. Oysters are plentiful here—also lobsters, of which there are about two and a half million cans prepared annually, and which have led to a grievance concerning a certain treaty made with the United States. The Americans agreed to admit Canadian fish free, inclusive of preserved lobsters, but now they charge duty on the tin cans. Oh, they are cunning dogs, those Yankees!

St. John has a pretty good harbour, sheltered at its mouth by an island, which is a source of danger as well as protection. On that island there is a fog-horn, blown by steam, and let off at stated intervals by clockwork. As at this time, the bay was never free from drizzling mists, the giant trombone was booming night and day, with a plaintive dying cadence. Another interesting feature is the tide. The Bay of Fundy is one of the tidal wonders of the world. The tide rises in some places sixty feet—in the harbour of St. John it marks thirty feet, varying, of course, according to the power and direction of wind and wave. The ferry-boat landing-stage each side the river is a floating platform that rises and falls with the tide. During low-water you descend it at a steep gradient, with the green slimy pile-timbers of the wharf standing either side of you—at high-water it is level with the street. When the tide is out there is a bay running into the town that is nothing but an expanse of mud. At the wharves you will see ships of 1,200 and 1,500 tons lying high on the ooze at ebb-tide. St. John requires no dry dock, thanks to the Bay of Fundy. At the foot of one of the streets we saw carts driving right into the harbour, and loading up with cargo from the smaller craft that were temporarily stranded by the tide. A mile and a half from the centre of the town is a graceful, lofty suspension bridge, which crosses the St. John at a part called the Rapids or Falls, where the river is hemmed in closely by precipitous rocks. Here you see the marvellous effect of the big tide. At low-water the river rushes and swirls down the slope with great impetuosity, its whirlpools and hidden rocks forming an impassable barrier to shipping; but at high-water the tide sweeps up and combats with the wild rapids, flooding them completely, and making a smooth, deep channel for vessels. Again, at Moncton, which lies on the Petitcodiac River at the head of the Bay of Fundy, the spring tides flow up in a wave two or three feet high, resembling on a smaller scale the “bore” of the Ganges and the Yang-tse-kiang.

We were in St. John during the first two weeks in May. The weather was cold and drizzly at times, but there were the delightful sea-breezes, sappy, freshening, and laden with saline particles. How we opened our lungs to inhale the generous air! The people here have been nicknamed the “Blue Noses,” probably in unkind allusion to their climate, but I should rather call them the “Red-Cheeks,” as everybody has such a good colour. The moist atmosphere is beneficial to the complexion. How different from the Western States, with their dry climate and want of salt in the air. The people far inland look withered, and have dried-up skins. Give me places like St. John, with its sturdy sea-breezes that invigorate the frame and tinge the cheeks with Nature’s own rouge!

On Sunday we were asked by a friend to visit him at his hotel. While at dinner, we saw at the other end of the room a party of fourteen men dining at a table by themselves. They were jurymen, with two constables in charge. An important criminal case was in progress, and these “good men and true” were boarded here, as being convenient to the Court House. Some of the jurymen were Protestants—some were Roman Catholics. They all wished to attend divine service, but, as they could not separate, what was to be done? The Protestants would not put their noses inside a Catholic cathedral, and the Catholics were equally determined not to countenance a Protestant place of worship. At last (happy thought!) a compromise was agreed to, which would soothe all their consciences —they marched off in a body to the Ritualistic Episcopalian Church! What would Dr. Cumming say to that “sign of the times?”

Next week’s blog will describe his travels to Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst.

Written by johnwood1946

September 28, 2016 at 8:27 AM

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A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia

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From the blog at

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

James I

James I of England

Attributed to John de Critz, c. 1605, Wikipedia


A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by johnwood1946

September 14, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Posted in Uncategorized