New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Table of Contents, Rev. July 19, 2017

leave a comment »

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

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


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

July 19, 2017 at 8:36 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods

leave a comment »

From the blog at

Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods

Sir James Alexander was commissioned by the British in 1844 to survey a new military road between ‘The Bend’ (Moncton) and Grand Falls. This was a long and difficult job, and was completed in stages. As we join him, he has been in Boisetown, where he is met by Colonel Hayne, the Chief Commissioner of the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Land Company, and a Dr. Gem.

Alexander and his party then return to Fredericton before setting out for the Miramichi to find a good location for a bridge to carry his military road. They are ill-equipped and become lost in the woods. This is their story of survival and of other similar tragedies avoided.

The story is condensed and edited from Alexander’s L’Acadie or Seven Years Explorations, London, 1849.

Tavern built of logs at Stanley, N.B., 1835.

Library and Archives Canada, via website of the Visual Gallery of Historic New Brunswick


I brought our team into Fredericton in a couple of wagons. They were considerably worn both in their person and their clothes, from the hard and constant service in the forest during the last two months.

I remained a short time in Fredericton to prepare reports and maps, and I record with great satisfaction the many attentions shown me by the Lieutenant-Governor and his family, also by the worthy Attorney-General, Mr. Peters, Mr. Parker, the Master of the Rolls, Mr. Street, Solicitor-General, &c. I also made two or three very agreeable excursions with my friend Professor Robb, by the thriving Harvey Settlement to the beautiful Oromocto Lake, &c. whilst waiting to hear from Lieutenants Simmons and Woods, with whose work I was to connect mine.

To lose no time, however, I prepared for an expedition to the Upper Miramichi, to ascertain where it could be crossed by a bridge for the military road. I left for Stanley in a light wagon, Colonel Hayne having proposed to accompany me from that place (the principal station of the Land Company) towards the Miramichi, and to make all necessary arrangements.

To reach Stanley we went along the Boisetown road to the mouth of the Tay Creek, then by a new, narrow and indifferent road, to Stanley. My driver said he could reach our destination, twenty-five miles from Fredericton, in three hours, but we took from four p.m. till eleven at night before we saw the place, having been obliged to lead the horse for many miles in the dark, and to lift the wagon over felled trees.

The Settlement of Stanley consisted at this time of a few scattered houses, a church, a mill, (with a dam, and no fish-way,) a tavern, carpenter’s and blacksmith’s shops, &c. It is situated on a steep slope, on the south bank of the Nashwaak River. There was a good deal of land cleared about the settlement, and the north bank consisted of valuable hard wood ridges. I received every civility and attention from Colonel and Mrs. Hayne, at their house, but as he was not able to start at once, I was obliged to remain at Stanley for two days.

The Colonel sent to Boisetown, to direct two men with a canoe and provisions to go up the Miramichi, and to meet us at the outlet of the Miramichi Lake, below the point I wished to look for bridge sites. On the morning of the sixth of August, I left Stanley on foot, and accompanied by Colonel Hayne, who brought with him his Scotch surveyor, Mr. Waugh, and three men to carry packs (Archie Duncan, Duncan Buchanan, and Thomas Pelton). There was to have been an Indian guide but he did not appear, and Archie Duncan was now to be the guide as far as the Miramichi Lake, beyond which he had heard of lumber tracks, which might lead us to the main river. We did not expect what was to be the upshot of this uncertainty.

Travelling first north and then north-west, along a new road, we passed through hardwood, with good land, for many miles, but the thermometer was at seventy-five degrees, “the biting point” for mosquitoes and black flies. There was not a breath of air, we were bathed in perspiration, and exceedingly tormented with poisonous insects, which were very numerous after the recent rain.

After accomplishing ten miles, we halted to boil the tea kettle and eat. A loaf of bread and a few crackers were produced. We found that through some carelessness the more substantial viands had been forgotten. It was a bad beginning; no Indian guide, and no meat for perhaps three days, and with hard walking, but we did our best with the bread and tea, and continued our route.

We passed down two very steep descents, and ascended a steep acclivity, crossing streams, running apparently to the Nashwaak and to the Taxes Rivers, and at sunset found ourselves at a small Indian camp, or empty hut, covered with bark, and used in the winter as a hunting lodge. This was about twenty miles from Stanley, at the Napadogan Lake.

A grouse had been shot, and it was carefully divided, with a little bread for supper, among the six. We did not pass a very comfortable night. We were most of us very hungry, the night was hot and close, flies bit us, one of the men snored terrifically, and cried out in his sleep, thinking a wild beast had got hold of him, and there was a disagreeable smell of old bears’ meat in the hut. I understood we were to have climbed a high hill before we reached the Miramichi, and when I asked our guide on the morning of the 7th where it was, he said it was ten miles on our right.

We passed round the west side of the Napadogan Lake. Its shores were swampy, a belt of moss was all round, and there were thick forests of spruce, balsam, dwarf maple, &c. There were many wild ducks on the Lake, but they prudently kept well in the middle of it. Otter were also seen, and we should have eaten them if we could have got them into our frying pan.

About four miles through swampy ground brought us to the Miramichi Lake, which was not noticed in any map. This is a beautiful piece of water, two miles long, with a fine strand of sand, and hills about it, covered with hardwood. Finding two Indian canoes and paddles, we pushed off into the Lake, and caught a few chub, which we speedily devoured. The Lake is said to abound in salmon and trout, but we did not see any.

Wading in the water up to our knees along the east shore, and sometimes up to our middles to avoid the entangled forest, we reached the Lake Brook or outlet, after one and a half miles of this aquatic journey. We crossed ourselves and baggage in the leaky canoes over the deep outlet, and drawing up the canoes in a place of safety, we went some distance along the west bank of the Lake Brook.

Our guide, however, crossing over the Brook, said he had found the lumber-track which was to take us to the Miramichi. We accordingly forded the Brook up to our haunches, and found ourselves in a swampy plain with a high hill in the distance. We went on by old lumber-tracks, sometimes losing the track altogether, till the guide appeared to know nothing of the country. At seven p.m. we halted, and made a rough camp with crutches, poles, and boughs, supped on four crackers each, and went to sleep, but not very comfortably; our hunger was terrible, and it was evident we had quite lost our way.

On the 8th, it was determined to make a bold effort to reach the Miramichi. We were up at four a.m., breakfasted on four crackers and a drink of water, and followed Duncan, the guide. He led through alder-beds, in which we sank to our knees, and got heavy falls, and I was deeply cut in the right hand with an axe. At last, seeing that the guide had completely lost himself, and that the remains of a lumber-camp which he found was at least fifteen years old, and all the tracks were overgrown, I said to Colonel Hayne that it was absurd to follow these old tracks any longer, and that, as we were now evidently lost in the woods, we should try and get the party to the Miramichi with the assistance of my pocket-compass.

I now took the place of Duncan, and steered a N.E. course. Buchanan, my acting henchman, a Skye Highlander, a very willing, strong, and good man, ascended a tree by felling a young spruce against it, thus mounting a natural ladder; but he could make nothing of the country except boundless forests and distant ridges. Continuing on, we found ourselves at the base of a wooded hill, and still pursuing a N.E. direction, we ascended painfully to the summit, the poor men with the packs of blankets, frying-pan, kettle, &c., being in a much reduced state.

I pulled my belt to the last hole, and it then slipped down over my haunches. I sat down and looked at my leather leggings, and I thought that if we did not get out that day, they must be roasted and eaten tomorrow, moccasins and all. In fact, I was inclined to pound, roast, and eat them on the spot. All the party looked very pale and attenuated, and yet the remorseless flies continued to draw the blood out of us as greedily as ever.

I climbed a high tree on the hill and I saw a vast prospect of forest ridges N., N.E. and E. of us, but no water and no river. I saw indications of a valley far before us, to the N.E. It was a long walk to it, but it seemed our only chance of escape. We stalked down the hill, and I expected every moment that the men would give in; but they did not, though often resting. One of the Scotchmen, reflecting on our case, said, “We must just do the best we can; we’ve seen a good few of paths, but no the right wan.”

I now thought that our best plan was to follow the first brook we fell in with, running to the N. or N.E.; and at two p.m., the glad sound of rushing waters met our ears. We followed the stream; the ground rapidly fell, and our spirits and hopes rose. We found a recent lumber-track, followed it, crossed a larger brook, foaming over a rocky bed, then passed a large lumber-camp, and at three p.m. we greeted with cheers the broad and sparkling waters of the Miramichi.

We were, of course, all of us considerably torn and worn; the legs of my trousers were in shreds, and the back was burnt out of my jacket. It had been left on a log to dry, and the men had unwittingly made a fire there. Our skin was poisoned, body and limbs, with the flies, and our hunger was raging. Throwing off encumbrances, all who had hooks commenced wading and earnestly fishing, and salmon, trout, and chub, of one pound weight soon rewarded our exertions. Hastily making fires, we roasted and ate the fish greedily before they were well warmed through, and our strength was restored. We had much reason to be thankful; if we had got involved in swamps, and been lost much longer, some of the party would have perished.

People are lost in the woods every year in New Brunswick; some never appear again; they sink exhausted, and their bodies are devoured by wild beasts. The anxiety they suffer before the close of the scene must be fearfully intense, besides the pangs of hunger. A boy had been lost for five days in the woods. People went to search for him; they found him alive, but with his face destroyed with flies; he had lived on berries, and was so beside himself with fear, that he had not thought of eating a biscuit which was in his pocket all the time. He said that the owls swooped down at him, and pecked at him, thinking his face was raw meat.

A very intelligent surveyor and good draftsman, Mr. Grant, whom I saw in New Brunswick, was lost last year for five days in the woods of the Tobique. His narrative was painfully interesting. He had left his party to explore, and missed the surveyed line in burnt woods. It was the 5th of November, it rained, and he had neither fire, food, nor shelter. Next day it snowed, and he crouched for shelter at night under low bushes, in woods, after having walked for about thirty-five hours his endeavors to escape from the wilderness. On the 7th, he lost the needle of his compass, his hands being benumbed, and after reaching a river, he fell from weakness. He could not find a berry to eat, and fancied he saw Indians near him, but it was a delusion of the brain. Crawling on his hands and knees towards shelter, he passed the night under the roots of a tree. Having pulled off his boots to let the water run out, he could not get them on again, and his feet were frozen hard on the morning of the 8th. He crawled to the river, and tried to thaw them in the stream. He wrote on slips of paper how he was lost, and sent them down the stream on split chips of wood. Crawling back among some alders and long grass, he resigned himself into the hands of the Almighty.

His sufferings from hunger were most severe. On the 9th, he dragged himself to the river to drink, and in the night it rained in torrents. On the 10th, to his great joy, he saw a party of woodsmen with horses on the opposite side of the river, but he could make no sound to arrest their attention. After some hours they returned, and by a violent effort, he uttered a wild cry, they saw him and rescued him, and with great care, he was recovered.

Written by johnwood1946

July 19, 2017 at 8:35 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842

leave a comment »

From the blog at

Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842

This description of Saint John and Saint George is from Christopher Atkinson’s An Emigrants Guide to New Brunswick, British North America, London, 1842.

I am annoyed by the author’s overly romantic, patriotic, and old-fashioned description of the Loyalists as the embodiment of everything that was praiseworthy. However, I have left it as written, since it speaks to the time in which it was written.

The Mascarene Kirk in About 1842


Here, I shall give you an account of the City of St. John, &c., &c. This city was first inhabited in Anno Domini 1783 by a band of patriots who, at the close of the American revolutionary war, abandoned their homes, their friends, and property in the revolted colonies, with a large portion of civilized life, that they might preserve unsullied their loyalty to the British sovereignty, and breathe the pure air of freedom under the paternal protection of the Monarch whom they revered, and guarded by the meteor flag of England, which for a thousand years has braved the battle and the breeze. The spot where the flourishing city stands was, fifty-eight years ago, a mere wilderness and, strange as it may appear, the journey from the Market Slip to the Jail Hill, which was not more than a quarter of a mile, would occupy at the above period, half a day, but now only five minutes. Then no previous vestiges of the labours of civilized man were presented to view to diversify the gloomy prospect. The obstacles that were to be met at every step would have caused men less imbued with the spirit of loyalty to turn with disgust from the unpropitious scene, and retrace their steps to the land of plenty which they had left behind. But no hardships, however great, no privations, however severe, no difficulties, however appalling, were sufficient to deter from their purpose, the lion-hearted founders of the city, without a roof to shelter their defenseless heads, surrounded by a pathless forest, and frowned upon by the rugged rocks, in a country then unfavourable for the operations of the plough, and subject to a long and rigorous winter. Yet, the prospect of all these accumulated difficulties and privations were unable to impair their loyalty, or swerve them from the path of duty. [It is now safe to breathe again, ed.] But how different is that scene at the present day. The city has a population of 30,000 souls, which the enterprise and activity of the inhabitants, and the liberality of the capitalists, are doing everything to increase. St. John is incorporated, and the city comprehends both sides of the harbour, four wards being in St. John, and two in Carlton, opposite; each represented by an alderman and assistant alderman; the mayor is appointed by the executive. Among the new edifices is a building for an exchange, a reading room, a police office, and a market—the lowest part of the building is occupied as a market, the rest as above stated. The building is highly creditable to the town. The St. John Commercial Bank, a new and beautiful building, constructed of the Shelburn stone, is the best and handsomest building in the city. The front is very beautiful.

The St. John Mechanic’s Institute, incorporated by Act of the General Assembly, erected a building, and devoted the same to the promotion of Science and the Arts, and the diffusion of useful knowledge. The cornerstone was laid on the 27th day of May, in the third year of the reign of her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, by his Excellency Major-General Sir John Harvey, K.C.B., and K.C.H., Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of New Brunswick, etc., etc., etc., 1840.

The Institute was established in December, 1838, and the first President was Beverley Robinson, Esq.

A new custom-house has commenced in Prince William Street. The plan of the architect and owner of the building, Mr. John Walker, gives 200 feet front on the street; and it will be built to resemble the front of Carlton House, in London. The building will be occupied as a custom-house, bonded warehouse, and treasury office. There is also an extensive block of brick buildings now erecting south of the Exchange building. Among the private residences, I would notice particularly the mansion house of the Hon. Judge Chipman, which has a very imposing site on the rise of land overlooking Prince William Street. The streets of St. John are laid out wide, and at right angles. Advantage has been taken of the rebuilding of the town to widen and lay out new streets, in most of which are very excellent buildings. The place wears an air of bustle and activity, which gives everything a cheerful aspect. Ship building appears to be a leading branch of the business of St. John and the towns adjacent. Some of the best ships in the world are built in this port, loaded with timber, and sent to different ports of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the West Indies. The city contains several places of worship:— two Episcopal, two Presbyterian, two Wesleyan Methodist, two Baptist, and one Catholic churches.

The revenues of the city for the year 1840 were £88,671. 48. 6d. The Commercial Bank of New Brunswick (in St. John), incorporated by royal charter — capital £160,000, with power to increase to £300,000; President, Lewis Burns, Esq.; Bank of New Brunswick in St. John — capital £100,000; President, Thos. Leavitt, Esq. Inhabited houses, north and south, 1418; families, 2652; individuals of both sexes in St. John, north, 9616; south, 9766; acres of cleared land, 1071. The barracks are in a delightful position, overlooking the harbour. The spring tides at St. John rise from 24 to 23 feet; the body of the river is about 17 feet above low water mark. The city suffered much by fires in January 1837; the second in August, 1839; and the third in March, 1841. That on January 14th, 1837, took place on Saturday night. The fire commenced on Peter’s Wharf, about nine o’clock in the evening, by which at least one-third of the commercial part of the city became a heap of smoldering ashes. The total amount of loss sustained was estimated at £260,000; the compass of the fire embracing two sides of Prince William Street, a front in Market Square, the east and west sides of St. John or Water Street, the South Market Wharf, east and west sides of Ward Street, north and south sides of Peter’s Wharf, Johnson’s Wharf, Church Street, and Princess Street. The number of buildings publicly noticed to have been destroyed was 108, tenanted by 170 different interests; besides an extensive range of wooden stores, occupied as warerooms for heavy goods. The reflection of the fire was seen at and above Fredericton, a distance of 90 miles. The falling of burning paper and other materials in flames were noticed 9 miles from the city, and so alarming was the scene from this circumstance, that at one time fears were seriously entertained that the greater part of the city would be destroyed. The second fire was on Saturday evening, about 9 o’clock, August 1839, (the same day and hour of the week as the great fire in 1837.) The conflagration continued extending with unabating fury till nearly daylight on Sunday morning, sweeping away in its course every building in Nelson and Dock Streets, &c., &c. It is not at present known the full amount of loss from this awful conflagration. A far greater number of inhabited houses have been destroyed than by the great fire of 1837; and as they were mostly occupied by several families, it is calculated that nearly 3000 persons have been rendered houseless, nearly all of them being of the working class. The total amount of property destroyed, including buildings, merchandise and household effects, it is thought cannot fall far short of £200,000, but the sum at this time can only be conjectured. The burnt district of 1837 being situated to the southward of the Market Slip, the fire did not extend to that portion of the city.

The third distressing fire broke out about one o’clock on Wednesday morning (March 17, 1840). The alarm bell aroused the citizens from their midnight slumbers, and the lurid flame which was at the hour discernible, directed them to the fatal spot. Nearly all the buildings destroyed were insured, as were also some of the merchants’ stocks. Mr. James Malcolm was insured to the amount of £2000. The different engines and fire companies of the city, assisted by the engines from Portland and Carlton, exerted themselves with praiseworthy alacrity. To record the loss of life accompanying this sad calamity is the most painful part to relate. Mr. Matthew Holdsworth went to examine the scuttle on the roof, and unfortunately stepped into the hatchway and fell to the ground floor, a distance of thirty feet. He left a wife and two children. Also a person known by the name of Mr. Gibbloken, lost his wife and two children. The house was filled with smoke before the inmates were warned of their danger, and several of them escaped with difficulty. The painful circumstances attending this conflagration have cast a gloom over the community which has been rarely, if ever witnessed. Had it not been for the pipes and fire plugs of the St. John Water Company, this fire, disastrous as it has been, would have extended yet farther, and laid a large and valuable business portion of the city once more in ruins. And the proprietors of that company, who have year after year struggled on against difficulties of no ordinary character, deserve the highest praise the city can bestow upon them. In defiance of the numerous obstacles which have almost willfully been placed in their path, they have succeeded in furnishing the city with an abundant supply of water, but for which at this time the greater part of the inhabitants of St. John would have had to mourn over further loss of life, and the prostration of the commerce and prosperity of the city for a very long time. How impressively should it rivet on the attention of all, the important admonition, — “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh.” By how uncertain a tenour do we hold life, property, and every earthly good, and yet, like every similar occurrence, it is to be feared that it will attract attention and observation for a little while and then will be forgotten.

Portland is a thriving place, connected with St. John by a wooden bridge, but is not represented in its councils. It is the great ship-building quarter of St. John, and contains several foundries and manufactories. It presents at all times a scene of commercial bustle and mechanical labour. In Portland there are three places of worship. It contains 445 inhabited houses, 1130 families; total inhabitants, 6207. From Portland a suspension bridge was proposed to connect its heights with the Carlton shore, and a company, with a capital of £20,000 was formed for the purpose. A lofty wooden erection was placed at either end from which to suspend the chain bridge. From a defect in the manufactory, the latter, after being some days in position, and crossed by several foot passengers, fell early one morning, with a number of workmen who were completing the fastenings. Nothing now remains but the lofty wooden bridges alluded to. The company, after sinking £5,000, and the capital above mentioned, abandoned all intention of proceeding any further in the work. The total length of the bridge was to have been 1400 feet, of which the chain part was to constitute 450.

Carlton is a village opposite the city of St. John. The locality of the town is much in its favour. The principal business done is in the ship and deal yards, and timber yards, while a number of new houses is being erected, which keeps carpenters busily employed. The fisheries, too, are a lucrative source of profit to the place, and brick-making is carried on rather extensively; besides, there are several saw and grist mills running constantly. There is an Episcopal Church and a Dissenting Meeting-house. There is a small steam-boat which plies between the city and this place, every quarter of an hour, remaining five minutes on either side. The arrangements with reference to this boat are equal to any I have met with in the British Provinces. The docks on both sides of the river are commodious and safe. Persons desirous of taking the St. Andrew coach would do well to cross over to Carlton on the preceding evening, and then gain the coach on the following morning. There is in Carlton 153 inhabited houses occupied by 260 families. Acres of cleared land, 90. It is 45 miles from St. George, 65 from St. Andrews, and about 86 from St. Stephens, which is on the lines.

Lancaster is the next place the traveler passes through to St. Andrews. A large hill on the east side of the Musquash, and about a mile from the village of Ivanhoe, is composed of conglomerate which has been intensely heated by its proximity to an overlaying mass of trap lime. Stone appears on the opposite side of the river. A tract of land was purchased by some Americans for the purpose of quarrying marble from it. Like many other speculations of the kind, it proceeded no farther; notwithstanding, good marble might be procured at the spot. The village of Ivanhoe belongs to the Lancaster Mill Company, who have here a very superior and powerful set of mills for the manufacture of all kinds of lumber, and an incalculable amount of unemployed water power. The mills are 200 feet in length by 60 in breadth. The company own a tract of land containing upwards of 60,000 acres in connection with these mills, and from which they procure supplies of excellent timber. In the parish of Lancaster, there is a neat church, but very seldom is divine worship performed therein. There is 219 inhabited houses, 252 families, and 4446 acres of cleared land. From this place to St. George there is nothing worth noticing, as it is nothing more than a dense wood the whole distance of 30 miles, except about a dozen houses on the road side, occupied by individuals from Ireland.

Saint George, or, as it is called by many, Magaguadavie [sic], is situated to the eastward of St. Andrew’s with St. Patrick’s interposed. Its two principal settlements are placed, the one at the Upper and the other at the Lower falls of the Magaguadavie, a fine stream flowing through the county and parish, which issues from a series of fine large lakes of the same name, about 20 miles from the sea. The upper and smaller settlement is 7 miles distance from the lower, which again is situated at the head of the tide, 4 miles above the junction of the river Mascreen [Mascarene? Near Saint George].

Few places in the Province afford a more singular and beautiful spectacle than the Magaguadavie Falls. The river, after descending from the mountains northward, passes through a level and wide plain of intervale, and when it reaches the village is about 100 feet above the bed of the river below. And the main fall the water descends by five successive steps, in the distance of 600 yards, through a chasm averaging about 35 feet wide and 100 feet deep. Through this narrow gorge the whole contents of the river is poured out with a fury that defies description. The industry and ingenuity of man have considerably modified the appearance of this remarkable spot. It still, however, remains a most extraordinary hydraulic spectacle, and affords a power for turning machinery beyond computation. Having swept slowly along the valley above, the water is accumulated at the bridge over the top of the falls, it is then thrown by its own weight into the deep and narrow opening below, where spouting from cliff to cliff, and twisting its foaming column to correspond with the rude windings of the passage, it falls in a torrent of froth into the tide below, or passing beneath the mills, its fury seems abated as it mingles with the dense spray floating above. There are six saw mills huddled together at this spot, and they appear like eagles’ nests clinging to the rocks on each side. A considerable sum of money has been expended in their erection, and they are now in full operation. The deep cavities in the rocks are overhung with the alder and creeping evergreens, which seem to be placed there for the purpose of decorating one of nature’s wild performances. The low roofs of the mills are strongly contrasted with the massive rocks they occupy, and where they hold a precarious situation. The shelving piles of deals seem to mock the violence of the boiling pool beneath. Such is the power of habit — the sawyer, careless of danger, crosses the plank across the gorge, and ventures where his life depends upon an inch of space. Of this I have frequently been an eye witness, (my house being near the Falls.) These falls, if the scenery in its neighbourhood possessed no other charm, would amply repay the admirer of nature for any expense or inconvenience he might incur in visiting them, and in England this village would be a place of annual and crowded resort. There are three places of divine worship at the village, and one at the Upper Falls. The parish contains, including the Le Tang, Le Fete, and Mascreen settlements, 363 inhabited houses; 880 families, and persons, 2422; and acres of cleared land, 4097.

About 3 miles up the river there is a settlement, chiefly agricultural, named Mascreen, and consisting principally of Scottish Highlanders, from Perth, Sutherland, and Caithness-shires, and their ramifications. It is situated at and near the mouth of the river, stretching for several miles along the south side of the bay, and terminating one of its inlets, called Le Fete Passage. In this settlement there has been a neat church erected; in June 1839, it remained in a very unfinished state, only being rough boarded. At this time the inhabitants were unexpectedly visited by the Rev. Christopher Atkinson (missionary) from the King’s County, 27 miles from the city of St. John.

[Christopher Atkinson then reviews the details of his engagement as Minister at the Mascreen Presbyterian church.]

In connection with this place is a small settlement called Le Tang, which is inhabited by a few Scotch families who left their country about twenty years back, (viz. Argyle shire.) Le Tete, with the above settlements, are in the parish of St. George. From this place to St. Andrew’s, is about 20 miles, to which place there is nothing worthy of notice, it being chiefly one dense wood, until you come within 6 miles of the town.

Written by johnwood1946

July 12, 2017 at 8:20 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak

leave a comment »

From the blog at

The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak

Fort Nashwaak, built by Villebon in 1691-92

From Clarence Webster, Acadia at the End of the 17th Century

There was probably not a single English speaking person living between the Penobscot River and the Saint Croix River up until 1759. In fact, that part of Maine as well as Vermont and New Hampshire were either disputed or unclaimed. France had ceded Acadia to Britain in 1713, with some exceptions such as Cape Breton, but the limits of exactly what had been handed over were in dispute.

There were also very few French settlers between the Penobscot and the Saint Croix. The whole territory belonged to the Wabanaki people, and to them alone. There were more substantial Acadian settlements further to the north, in Nova Scotia.

Maine was not a separate colony, and Massachusetts was anxious to expand northward. The small French population could not possibly resist this expansion, but they and the French government in Quebec City were able to use Native allies to terrorize any would-be colonists. The politics were complicated, and many of the most horrible stories of Indian raids mention parenthetically that some French people also participated.

The fall of Quebec in 1759 changed everything, and colonization became inevitable. Conflict with the French and the Native people was also inevitable and this protracted conflict is known as the French and Indian Wars. This blog posting is about one of the campaigns of those wars.

Colonel Benjamin Church was in Boston in 1696, when the Massachusetts General Court determined that military actions were to be taken against the French and the Natives at the Penobscot River and to the north of there due to “late shocking outrages.” Church was 57 years old, a member of the House of Representatives, and an experienced Indian fighter, so it is not surprising that some members of the House asked him to lead the actions.

Church proceeded to travel about Massachusetts and Connecticut gathering English and Indian volunteers for the campaign. Returning to Boston in August, he received his orders from Lieut. Gov. William Stoughton to go to Piscataqua (Portsmouth) with his volunteers and to meet Capt. John Gorham who would be his second in command. He would also be met by additional forces including Indians recently released from prison for this service. He was then to “pursue, take, kill or destroy the enemy by sea or land,” wherever they might be found. He was authorized to accept volunteers from among the enemy, if any would submit, but “only at discretion.” Other orders were of a routine nature, such as to maintain order among his troops, etc.

While these preparations were underway, Fort William Henry at Pemaquid (Bristol, Maine) was captured by the French and Indians. There was also news that a French ship had captured an English vessel at Mount Desert and that a man-of-war was being dispatched to take on the French ship and release the English one. Church and company proceeded to Piscataqua as ordered, intending to meet up with the man-of-war and to proceed to Mount Desert to take on the French while the man-of-war dealt with the French ship. After a week, there was still no sign of the man-of-war or of the additional volunteers that were supposed to be assembled there.

Church then left Piscataqua for York to search for French and Indians, sending his second in command to Winter Harbor on a similar mission. Neither Church nor Gorham found any enemy at these places and it was assumed that they had withdrawn to Penobscot.

The company therefore proceeded to Penobscot Bay, searching there and amongst the islands, but no one was found. The village of Penobscot was abandoned and old fire pits and other evidence of habitation appeared to be about a week old.

The men rowed their whale boats 50 or 60 miles up the Penobscot River, probably above Bangor, in search of a known village, but found it deserted. Two miles further on, two Indians came down the river in a canoe and the soldiers shot at them. One of them escaped while the other crawled off into the woods, wounded. They tracked his blood but lost the trail. In his account, Church said that the soldiers fired without his authorization, but this kind of history-management appears in many such diaries and need not be taken seriously.

Two more men came down the river and they were also shot at, but escaped. A letter was found in their canoe from a Priest to a French commander explaining that the French and Indians had all gone. Some other Indians were discovered. They were attacked, their village was burned, and their corn was cut down.

Church and company returned to Penobscot. The men were very tired, having rowed so far up the river and back down again, both with and against the tide. They had shot a few Indians, but there were no spoils worth having and they were disheartened. Their best guide had also run off and was replaced by another man who was supposed to be knowledgeable about places to the east, but he was untried. They then searched around Penobscot Bay again, and also at Mount Desert with some but little discovery.

Aboard ship, they debated what to do. Church had heard that men were coming down the Saint John River from Quebec to help build a fort at Saint John. They also knew that there was a fort upstream at the Nashwaak River. Fort Nashwaak was Villebon’s headquarters but, by this time, he was planning to move his base to Saint John and that is why he was rebuilding the old fortress there. They then decided to head for Senactaca (Chignecto) to be closer to what appeared to be the center of French activity.

Many of the people at Chignecto had fled, but enough remained to put up a resistance. Several of Church’s men, including a Lieutenant, had been killed when Jarman Bridgway came running towards Church calling for him to stop, but Church’s forces would not stop and Bridgway began to run away. Church warned him to halt or he would be shot and he then came to a halt. It turned out that Bridgway was concerned for his ancient parents who had not been able to run away and wanted Church to protect them against the Indians that Church had brought along. Bridgway would not give intelligence about the Indians from the Chignecto area lest they take vengeance on him. That was Church’s account, but others add that Bridgway presented papers to show that he had signed an oath of allegiance to the English King which Church did not accept. Church’s Indians were possibly Iroquoian, while the local Indians were Mi’kmaq.

Orders were given to pursue the enemy, to kill the Indians and to take the French prisoner if they asked for mercy. Fighting continued, prisoners were taken and examined, goods were plundered, buildings were burned, and livestock was killed. Any survivors were left with nothing. Church denied these atrocities, the usual diarist’s management of history, but added that “It is nothing to what our poor English, in our frontier towns are forced to look upon.” Couriers were carrying news to Villebon of the English plundering, which continued for nine straight days.

Prisoners were threatened with being turned over to Church’s Indians, who would scalp and cannibalize them. They were terrified and “The French, being sensible of the Major’s kindness…” in not having killed them outright, kissed his hand and begged for mercy. They said that their priests had gone to meet some French ships, but refused to give details.

On September 20, Church sailed for Monogenest  [Manawagonish Cove] at Saint John. They travelled overland to the harbour and found several men at work. He then sailed into the harbour and landed, drawing fire from the French, some of whom were killed or wounded while the others were chased off. One prisoner revealed the location of twelve buried cannons and of other hidden supplies, in return for medical help.

The next morning they discussed whether to ascend the river to confront Villebon, but the river was unusually low and they could not sail their ships that distance. So, they ranged around the woods looking for more French, finding and killing some of them. The Indians were all gone, to help Villebon, or had fled further north for protection against the coming conflict. There was then some discussion of going to Passamaquoddy and Machias and Church encouraged his troops that good bounty might be found there.

They sailed to Musquash, but the wind was not favourable to proceed, so they stayed there for a while when other English ships arrived and Colonel Hathorne boarded Church’s ship to confer. Hathorne’s orders from William Stoughton were to proceed with his men against Villebon at Fort Nashwaak. Church bragged to Hathorne of everything that he had accomplished, and of the impossibility of proceeding up river with such low water. He also argued that Villebon was too well prepared for an attack, but all to no effect. Hathorne’s orders would be carried out. Church was out-ranked and his forces were now under Hathorne’s command.

Villebon had lookouts at the river’s mouth and knew what was coming. He had only about 100 soldiers, against Hathorne’s 500, so defenses at the fort were hastily improved and every available Acadian was called into service. A message was also sent to Father Simon at Meductic, who had the Maliseet go to the fort to fight the English.

It was mid-October when word arrived that Hathorne was only a couple of miles below Jemseg. Villebon addressed his men and cries of ”Vive le Roi” echoed through the fort. The first attack occurred the next morning, and Villebon kept his men within the fort rather than to cross the Nashwaak River under fire from the English. This attack was repulsed by cannon fire.

Cannon and musket fire then came from both sides, but Villebon’s guns were better mounted and more effective. The English made no progress that day and, almost freezing to death, they lit fires at night to keep warm. The fires attracted a further barrage from the fort and the English had to extinguish their fires.

The English were in an extremely bad way. They took cannon fire from the fort again in the morning and, by afternoon, they quit the fight, returned to their ships, and sailed down river. Thus ended the battle of the Nashwaak.


Church, Thomas, The History of King Philip’s War [and of] expeditions against the French and Indians … in 1689, 1690, 1692, 1696 and 1704…, Boston, 1825

Kidder, Frederic, Military Operations in Eastern Maine and Nova Scotia During the Revolution, Albany, N.Y., 1867

Raymond, W.O., History of the River Saint John, 1604-1784, Saint John, N.B. 1905

Written by johnwood1946

July 5, 2017 at 8:04 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot

leave a comment »

From the blog at

Five hundred men were dead, 43 ships were destroyed and, in August of 1779, Jeremiah Tracy and other survivors of the attack on the British at Penobscot Bay scrambled through the woods to escape capture — or worse. Jeremiah’s involvement was revealed in this blog in 2011 with Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick, at In 2016, A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot gave details of the battle at

A Depiction of the Battle at Majabidwaduce

From Wikipedia

Presented today is another account of the battle by Captain Henry Mowat, the British commanding officer.

It was a remarkable battle. Captain Mowat and company arrived in mid-June to set up a fortress in the wilderness. The Americans attacked three weeks later when preparations were still in their infancy. The British would surely be defeated, and it was only by luck that Mowat had sufficient naval forces to prolong the fight. In the end, it was a rout. The American force was utterly destroyed.

The following is from The Siege of Penobscot by the Rebels, London, 1881, reprinted in the Magazine of History, New York, 1910. Both of these edition were extracted from Mowat’s A relation of the services in which Captain Henry Mowat was engaged in America, …, in the Collections of the Maine Historical Society.

‘Majabidwaduce’ has various spellings and, today, its river is simply called the Bagaduce River.

Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot

The Albany at last was called to New York in the beginning of 1779. Orders had not long before arrived from Britain for taking post in Penobscot Bay, and Capt. Mowat’s experience of the New England Coast being well known to Sir Henry Clinton on former occasions, he was proposed by his Excellency approved by Admiral Gambier as the fittest to command the naval part of the Force. The Admiral desiring to know the force necessary for the Service, was answered it should be Superior to any the Enemy at Boston could readily collect on such Emergency. It was accordingly settled it should be so, and that Captain Mowat should have a ship equal to the Importance of the object.

In the meantime, the Store of Powder in the Garrison at Halifax being totally exhausted, Captain Mowat received on board the Albany and proceeded with an ample Supply, the orders and Every equipment for the Expedition, being intended to follow: but he had no sooner landed the Powder, than he was ordered by Sir George Collier to the Bay of Fundy, and Sir George repaired soon after to New York where he was left the Senior Officer on the American Station.

On this change taking place, Captain Mowat, from reasons otherwise foreign to this Narrative, Considered it Necessary to urge what he had formerly represented to Admiral Gambier, and he wrote to New York from the Bay of Fundy, that if the Albany were to be the leading Ship, it would by no means be safe to trust the Expedition with one of her class, unless a Sufficient force should cruise between it & the enemy, until the post should be established.

This representation appears to have had no effect, for the orders for the Albany alone soon after arrived at Halifax, and were delivered by Capt. Gaylor of the Romulus to General McLean until the Albany should arrive.

Thus, if the Albany had happened to lead the Expedition according to the order, the whole must have been intercepted as we shall shortly see, & carried to Boston for a mere Novice might have conceived at once She was not fit to conduct it safely. The Consequences, which must be estimated according to the view & State of affairs at that time in America, Would have been tremendous. It would have been equivalent to a Second Burgoynade before there were time for repairing, or forgetting, the first: an immense Encouragement for the Americans, who were tiring of the length of the war, to exert their remaining resources, for the Opposition to exercise their clamor, and a proportional depression of the Spirits of the Loyalists. To the Southward we had but a slender footing in Georgia against such a disaster, the reinforcements not arrived as yet And the Army there inactive for Security. To the Northward Canada was not so strong as it had been rendered in the Succeeding Year, And Nova Scotia at least, lying contiguous to the territory of Penobscot, would have been overwhelmed, for by this detachment the Garrison of Halifax had been by the one-half reduced. This disposition of the Service must appear the more strange as we know Sir George Collier was by no means ignorant of the rebel force in the New England Ports.

But the dire Event was prevented by a mere accident & that the most fortunate in the World; for the Dispatch, forwarded by General McLean, did not reach the Bay of Fundy where Capt. Mowat was stationed, nor did he in Consequence get round to Halifax, until the latest moment having elapsed the General put the order into the hands of Captain Barclay of the Blonde Frigate, then Senior officer of the Navy there, who immediately put the North & Nautilus sloops of war under orders to proceed with himself And they were on the point of sailing when the Albany arrived. However this did not alter Captain Barclay’s judicious determination. They proceeded, had a long passage As might be expected at the Season, and at last arrived at Penobscot: The Rebel frigates Boston & Providence, who were cruising on the Coast of Nova Scotia westward of Halifax, finding the Convoy Superior to what they expected, did not think proper to attack it.

In a few days after the troops were landed, the Blonde departed, leaving Captain Mowat under a copy of Sir George Collier’s original orders, with directions for the North and Nautilus & all the transports to return to Halifax. Now soon the stores were landed for Captain Barclay had brought the Sloops of War there without Sir George Collier’s orders, Captain Mowat finding the wretched Albany was to be left thus alone, to lie in an open harbour distant from every Aid, and in the Jaws of the most powerful of the rebellious Colonies, to cooperate with about 700 troops in a fort not yet begun to be erected, was convinced it would be for the good of His Majesty’s Service to use the utmost Latitude, the order would admit of, to postpone the departure of the Ships, from the following view of the Situation of the Armament.

The Bay of the Penobscot is spacious and capable of containing all the Navy in the World. In a corner of it about fourteen leagues distant from the open Sea, near the Embrochure (sic) of Penobscot River is the Harbour of Magebigwaduce. This Harbour is formed on the one Side by the Mainland, and along the entire other side of it Stretches the Peninsula of Magebigwaduce. Cross — now Nautilus Island — is at the entrance of the Harbor. The Peninsula of Magebigwaduce is a high Ridge of land at that time much encumbered with wood. To its summit, where the fort was ordered to be erected there is an ascent of more than a quarter of a mile from the nearest shore of the harbour.

The Provisions, Artillery and Engineer Stores and the equipage of the troops, being landed on the Beach, must be carried to the Ground of the fort chiefly by the labor of the men against the ascent, there being only a Couple of small teams to Assist in it. The ground & all the Avenues to it, was to be examined, cleared from wood, and at the same time guarded. Materials were to be collected & prepared, And the defenses, as well as every convenience of the fort, were to be reared. Let anyone conversant in Matters of this Nature, reflect what a work it was for 700 men, And he will also readily allow, that in the Course of it they could not possibly, whether from fatigue, or in point of Necessary Preparation be in Condition of repelling any powerful attack. That, as appears also from the rebel General Level’s letter, everything depended on our Men of War being able to prevent the Enemy from entering the Harbour, which was not liable to be commanded or protected by the Guns of the Fort. That the Harbour once forced, a Superior Number of the Enemy might land on the most convenient parts of the Peninsula, cut off the communication of our Troops with that considerable part of the Necessary Stores, which to the last while the fort was erecting, must unavoidably be left on the Beach, force them to retire within the unfinished Breastwork, where Surrounded without cover, Comfort or defence, they could have no alternative but to yield Prisoners of War in a few days, or to risk an action against thrice their number on ground from its Nature more favorable to the Enemy’s mode of fighting than for theirs. It is altogether Superfluous to comment any farther on the orders by which a harbour, of this Importance must be left to the sole protection of the Albany Sloop, carrying ten Six and Six four pounders.

The Blonde Frigate had not been many days departed, when Captain Mowat having taken Measures for procuring the best information from Boston, concluded that the Post would soon be attacked, and he proposed to General McLean to give his concurrence for detaining the North & Nautilus, as well as the Transports, judging the General’s Consent to be eligible, because otherwise he would be liable to Account for acting contrary to the orders left with him.

The General equally confident in the Intelligence, gave his Concurrence, and accordingly in the fifth week from the Arrival of the Royal Armament at Penobscot, the Rebel fleet appeared in the Bay, consisting of eighteen vessels of war as per the margin, besides Transports having on board all necessary Stores and between two and three thousand Land forces.

At that time a great portion of the stores had not as yet been carried up to the fort. Its Scite [height?] was lower by several feet, than a piece of ground at the distance of six hundred yards. The Parapet, fronting this higher ground was scarcely four feet high. All the other parts of the Parapet, parallel to the Harbour of Magebagwaduce and in the rear, were not three feet high. The two Bastions to the harbour were quite open. The troops were encamped on the area, which might be about the Space of an Acre, there had been a Shade erected for the Provisions. The Powder was lodged in covered holes dug in the proposed Glacis: There was but a Single Gun Mounted, & that a Six Pounder.

The Naval force in Magebagwaduce Harbour were the Albany, North & Nautilus, Sloops of War, Commanded by Captains Mowat, Selby and Farnham, and four Transports.

In this force and State of Preparation, one may easier conceive than describe the anxiety & hopes of all concerned on the appearance of so formidable an Armament.

The enemy came up, and paraded before the entrance of the harbour, in perfect confidence of entering it without difficulty, which would have been the case had the Albany been alone, and then everything would have been over at once; but there was such an excellent Disposition made of the Sloops of War & Transports in the entrance of the Harbour, as baffled every attempt of the Enemy to force it for three days then they prepared to land their troops on a Bluff of the Peninsula without the harbour, where the General could place pickets communicating with the Main body in the fort, to watch & to oppose, the debarkation.

These three or four days of Embarrassment on the part of the rebels gave our troops time to do something more to the Fort, to carry up the most necessary Stores, to mount several guns, and in short to devote every Endeavor to the present Exigency. The Enemy, having failed in their attempts on the harbour, effected at last a landing on the bluff, and by superior numbers forced the Pickets into the Fort, took possession of the high ground, above mentioned, within six hundred yards thereof & immediately erected their Batteries and Lines.

In this Position both Parties continued firing at one another during the whole Siege. Our Troops, though extremely harassed, were daily getting into a better Situation, with the Assistance of the Seamen, and the Requisites which the Men of War furnished, as well as their own Stores. Secure on the Flanks & in the rear while our Ships maintained the Harbour, they had only to exert their chief attention & Efforts on the side fronting the Enemies Lines, which effectually deterred the latter from advancing in that direction.

They had erected Batteries on Nautilus Island, & in the rear of the harbour, all within point blanc shot shot of any position, in which the ships could be placed, but the proper choice of different stations on every emergency eluded their utmost efforts to enter it.

Thus both sides were employed, ashore & afloat, for 21 Days, in a variety of Manouveres, which are in part described in a Journal kept by an officer on shore & published by J.C. Esq. [John Calef ]

In the Meantime Intelligence having reached New York, that Penobscot was attacked, Sir George Collier Sailed to its relief, with the Raisonable Ship of the Line, Blonde, Virginia, Carmilla, Galatea, &c. They were perceived off Penobscot Bay by the rebel look-out vessel in the Evening. In the course of the night they embarked their Troops, &c., and in the Morning early their fleet was seen under Sail; but the wind failing them to get round the upper end of Long Island, they had no alternative but to run up Penobscot River. These Manouvres were a proof that the Strange Ships sailing up the Bay were a relief and the three Sloops of War being employed from daylight in embarking the part of their Guns that were ashore on the Batteries, &c., &c., were able to join in the center of the King’s Ships: during the pursuit one of the rebel vessels struck, after a few shots, to the Blonde & Virginia: Another ran ashore at the same time some distance below the mouth of the River, and was some time after taken possession of by the Raisonable, which brought up the rear: All the rest, with the advantage of good pilots & of a whole flood tide which happened in the night, got such a distance up the River, as afforded time for destroying them, And the crews made the best of their way to New England, thro the woods, in the utmost distress.

Thus ended the attack on Penobscot. It was positively the severest blow received by the American Naval force during the War. The trade to Canada, which was intended, after the expected reduction of the Post of Penobscot, to be intercepted by this very armament, went safe that Season: The New England Provinces did not for the remaining period of the contest recover the loss of Ships, and the Expense of fitting out the Expedition: Every thought of attempting Canada, & Nova Scotia, was thenceforth laid aside, and the trade & Transports from the Banks of Newfoundland along the Coast of Nova Scotia, &c: enjoyed unusual Security.

After all was over, it was natural to be expected, that Sir George Collier would have been Supremely happy to have represented this important Service in its proper colors, and that Capt. Mowat would, according to the Custom of the Service, have been sent home with the Account: But in answer to the Claim, Sir George expressed the utmost regret, that he could not spare a Ship from the Station: assured that if he intended to send an officer to England Capt. Mowat would certainly be the person; that he only meant to transmit the Dispatches by New York, in which he pledged his word, as he held it to be no more than his duty, that the Services of the Sloops of War would be represented in the most honorable Manner to the Admiralty.

On the next day & before there was time to attend to writing the Official Account of the Siege, he put the Albany under orders to proceed up Penobscot River to the Rebel Wrecks, observing it would be some time before he would leave the Bay. This done he departed abruptly for New York, and had no sooner gone out to Sea, than the Greyhound’s Signal was made to part Company, And she proceeded directly to England with his Account.

Her destination had been Kept a Secret from everyone, General McLean excepted, who in his publick Letter Acknowledges having been privately informed. This is the Manner, in which Captain Mowat was prevented Sending an Official Account of the Siege, And, Notwithstanding Sir George Collier having solemnly pledged himself as above, we See his account to the Admiralty confined to the Merit which we will readily allow him of sailing from New York to the relief with a Squadron Which the United Naval force of All America was incompetent to resist even in a Crescent & to a description of the Disposition & destruction of the Rebel Ships, which however could not be discerned by anyone from on board the Raisonable: The Service of the three Sloops of War during the Siege were totally omitted & their Captains not even named.

When Admiral Arbuthnot’s arrival had put an end to Sir George Collier’s Command, Captain Mowat hoped some Justice would have been done him for the Service performed at Penobscot, at least so far as the laying a fair representation of it before the Admiralty, but there was not the least notice taken of him, and he was left at Magebigwaduce under a continuation of the distress of seeing also, that every Promotion, made by this Admiral, was without a single exception, of officers Junior to him: Among these an Officer, who had received his first Commission into the Albany when Captain Mowat was appointed to her, was made Post Captain: It is not from any individious (sic) Motive this Instance is given on Captain s Mowat’s part: None can be more happy in the good fortune of an Officer, with whose great Merit he has had opportunities of being well Acquainted: but it is a Contrast to the glaring Injustice himself has Met with.

Written by johnwood1946

June 28, 2017 at 8:43 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists

with 2 comments

From the blog at

Walter Bates was a farmer from Stamford, Connecticut who arrived in Saint John in May of 1783 aboard the Loyalist evacuation ship Union. He settled in Kingston, becoming Sherriff of Kings County, and died there in 1842.

We have heard from Walter Bates before. My blog posting from November, 2016 entitled An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception! was based on his work, and can be found at

Bates also wrote a memoir which included a description of the arrival of the Union and of the settlement of Kingston. This work was edited by W.O. Raymond and republished in Saint John in 1889, and part of this is presented below.

The appended passenger list indicates 65 heads of household arriving on the Union. However, the early Kingston settlers surveyed only 44 lots, so that not all of the Union passengers went to Kingston. Furthermore, some of the Kingston settlers likely arrived on other ships.

Bates probably wrote his memoir well after the fact. He describes the Kingston settlers as a band of happy workers, firm in their loyalty to Britain and sustained by faith, striving to provide for the women and children. Time had taken the rough edges off of what must have been years of unrelenting hard work.

Trinity Church, Kingston


Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists

It seemed as if Heaven smiled upon our undertaking, selecting the best ship in the fleet for our comfort, and by far the best captain. And so, with warm, loyal hearts, we all embarked with one mind on board the good ship Union, Captain Wilson, who received us all on board as father of a family.

Nothing was wanting to make us comfortable on board ship, which blessing seemed providentially to attend us throughout.

From Eaton’s Neck the ship sailed through East River to New York.

Having a couple on board wishing to he married we called upon Reverend Mr. Learning who received us with much kindness and affection, most of us having been formerly of his congregation; who after the marriage reverently admonished us with his blessing that in our new home we pay due regard to church and school as means to obtain the blessing of God upon our families and our industry. We re-embarked the next day, the ship joined the fleet, and on the 26th day of April, 1783, upwards of twenty sail of ships under convoy left Sandy Hook for Nova Scotia — from whence our good ship Union had the honor of leading the whole fleet fourteen days and arrived at Partridge Island before the fleet was come within sight.

Next day, our ship was safely moored by Capt. Daniel Leavett, the pilot, in the most convenient situation for landing in the harbor of St. John all in good health.

We remained comfortably on board ship till we could explore for a place in the wilderness suitable for our purpose of settlement. Those who came in other ships were in some cases sickly, or precipitated on shore. Here again we were favored.

A boat was procured for the purpose of exploration, and David Pickett, Israel Hait, Silas Raymond and others proceeded sixty miles up the River Saint John. On their return they reported that the inhabitants were settled on intervale land by the river — that the high lands had generally been burned by the Indians, and there was no church or church minister in the country.

They were informed of the existence of a tract of timber land that had not been burned on Belleisle Bay, about thirty miles from the harbor of Saint John, which they had visited. They viewed the situation favorable for our purpose of settlement. Whereupon we all agreed to disembark from on board the good ship Union and proceed thither. We departed with Captain Wilson’s blessing, and embarked onboard a small sloop all our baggage.

The next morning with all our effects, women and children, we set sail above the Falls, and arrived at Belleisle Bay before sunset.

Nothing but wilderness before our eyes; the women and children did not refrain from tears!

John Marvin, John Lyon and myself went on shore and pitched a tent in the bushes and slept in it all night. Next morning every man came on shore and cleared away and landed all our baggage, women and the children, and the sloop left us alone in the wilderness.

We had been informed the Indians were uneasy at our coming, and that a considerable body had collected at the head of Belleisle. Yet our hope and trust remained firm that God would not forsake us. We set to work with such resolution that before night we had as many tents set as made the women and children comfortable.

Next morning we discovered a fleet of ten Indian canoes slowly moving towards us, which caused considerable alarm with the women. Before they came within gunshot one who could speak English came to let us know, “We all one brother!” They were of the Micmac tribe and became quite friendly, and furnished us plentifully with moose meat.

We soon discovered a situation at the head of Belleisle Creek suitable for our purpose of settlement with Church and school.

No surveyor was appointed until July, when Frederick Hauser was commissioned with directions to survey and allot our land according to our wishes.

He commenced where we had designed for our Church and school house in Kingston with a road six rods [99 feet] wide and surveyed twenty-two lots numbering on each side. Before the lots were exposed for draft it was agreed that one acre off each adjoining corner of the four first numbers should be allotted the place for the Church and school house and that lot number one on the west side should be reserved for the parsonage. The water privilege to be reserved for those who would engage to build a grist mill and saw boards enough for our Church and school house.

Accordingly the lots were drawn and the numbers fell to the persons named in the grant.

Whereupon every man was jointly employed clearing places for building, cutting logs, carrying them together by strength of hands and laying up log houses, by which means seventeen log houses were laid up and covered with bark, so that by the month of November every man in the district found himself and family covered under his own roof and a happier people never lived upon this globe enjoying in unity the blessings which God had provided for us in the country into whose coves and wild woods we were driven through persecution. Here with the protection of a kind providence we were perfectly happy, contented and comfortable in our dwellings through the winter, and on Easter Monday met together, and as secondary means to promote religion, elected the following persons preparatory for the church, namely:

WARDENS: David Pickett and Joseph Lyon; and VESTRYMEN: John Lyon, Israel Hoit, Jonathan Ketchum, Andrew Patching, Elias Scribner, John Fowler, James  Ketchum, Silas Raymond, Ephraim Lane, James Moore, Seth Seeley, and Thomas Sumner.

The Rev. John Sayre who ministered to us at Eaton’s Neck soon after his arrival in the fall fleet removed to Maugerville.

The Rev. John Beardsley officiated for us occasionally, and made some preparation for building in Kingston.

On Thursday, the 7th day of October, 1784, I had the honor of the first marriage by the first minister. On the death of the Rev. John Sayre, in 1786, the Rev. John Beardsley was removed to Maugerville.

The vestry appointed to hold church at the house of Elias Scribner, and Mr. Frederick Dibblee to read the prayers. Public worship was thus attended regularly on Sundays till July, 1787 when Rev. James Scovil came from Connecticut, with the view of removing to this province as a missionary. As an encouragement we voted him the lot reserved for the parsonage, and on the following summer he removed with his family into Kingston, and attended public worship on Sunday in the house of Elias Scribner, where he found, and much to his comfort, a full congregation of church people in the wilderness ready to do everything in God’s name the exigencies of the church required.

With the coming of the Rev. James Scovil and the establishment of all the ordinances of religion, our little community was well content.

“Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, even Thy altar, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.”


Written by johnwood1946

June 21, 2017 at 8:48 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854

leave a comment »

From the blog at

1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854

Death Takes its Toll

From the McCord Museum

George Fenety was born in Halifax in 1812, and died in Fredericton on 1899. He was a well-known publisher and was Mayor of Fredericton at the time that Phoenix Square was being developed to its present configuration.

Today’s blog post is an excerpt from Fenety’s lecture entitled Longevity, which was published in Fredericton in 1887.


Filth and bad drainage were pregnant causes of disease in 1854, when the cholera broke out in Saint John. This City was in a most foul state, and had no proper water supply. No wonder the disease found congenial food here for the destruction of life. What I am about to relate may not be without interest to the younger members of the audience, and serve as a caution to the citizens in case of another cholera visitation, which God forbid. It is now thirty three years since that terrible scourge, when 1,500 of the people of this City and Portland were carried off in about eight weeks. As an epidemic, the disease first exhibited itself at the beginning of July in the neighborhood of the “Bethel Meeting House,” foot of Morris Street, where a woman and three of her children died within the space of forty eight hours; and after carrying off many others, it established itself in St. Patrick’s Street, taking a bound, as it were, over half a mile of ground. In this locality of slaughter houses and other abominations, the scourge was terrible; and it held on while there was a victim left, it would seem, to satiate its appetite. Those who died not die fled, so that the entire street was all but deserted. It next took possession of York Point, and the neighbourhood of the Mill Pond—likewise filthy disgusting places—where hundreds fell beneath the fetid breath of the destroyer. Portland was visited next, and in the main and bye-streets of this Parish, there were not a dozen houses out of four hundred that were not attacked. It then reached Indian Town, where the havoc was more manifest than perhaps in any other part, from the fact of the place being more compactly built. At one time, it was said, there were not a dozen persons, out of a population of 300, remaining, owing to the deaths and desertions. After destroying and dispersing all before it in Indian Town, the epidemic made its way into Lower Cove, and extended its arms right and left, in nearly every street.

Although these localities were the strong battle grounds of the disease, it manifested itself in a sporadic form in all parts of the City and suburbs—the air seemed impregnated, it had an unusual, sulphurous smell—nor was the fog any panacea; on the contrary, when the fog was the heaviest the disease seemed to increase. Upwards of 43 bodies were conveyed over the Abideau Bridge one day, when the fog was so dense that an object fifty yards ahead could not be discerned. The disease performed a circuit, confining itself chiefly to the lowlands, while the higher ground—or centre of the City—being better situated for natural drainage, was lightly passed over. More than one half the deaths were put down to predisposing causes—such as physical debility, inattention to regimen, poverty, ignorance, fright, and so forth. But every one healthy and vigorous felt that the last day was at hand for him, except perhaps the hard drinker; during that year no licenses for selling liquor were granted by the Mayor, and there never was so much drunkenness shown in the streets, in the midst of this harvest of death. The roughs and drunkards lost their heads and fell easy victims to the cholera. No class of men were more zealous or worked harder to mitigate suffering and minister to the wants of their fellow beings than the Doctors and the Ministers They were in the midst of the disease day and night; and although some of them were debilitated and worn out from exposure, it was set down as a most remarkable thing, that not one suffered or died from the disease. Heroic instances might be cited of deeds performed. One case might be mentioned of a reverend gentleman, who spent his days in the Protestant graveyards performing the burial service over the dead, as bodies would arrive one after another, rather than see them buried without such ministrations. On riding one morning to the church yard, head of the Bay, he saw a number of persons crowding together over some object. On coming up he found a boy writhing in agony, a victim of the cholera. He lifted him into his carriage, conveyed him to the Almshouse, and that boy grew up into manhood to relate the circumstance. That Clergyman’s name was Rev Wm. Scovill, who died in England a couple of years since. The orphans were so numerous that it was almost impossible to find them shelter. The Roman Catholic Bishop (Connolly), likewise dead, improvised buildings which afforded temporary quarters for a large number. Heads of families were cut down, leaving in some cases eight and ten helpless children, and starvation for want of care, was in some instances the result. The Almshouse was filled with children, the offspring of well to do and poor alike. In twelve days there were 48 cases of cholera in this Institution alone, and 26 deaths. The shipyards at Courtenay Bay and the Straight Shore were deserted. There were upwards of twenty large ships on the stocks at the time, and almost 2,000 men employed. But now every yard was as silent as a graveyard.

The progress of the disease from day to day will be better understood by the subjoined figures: The object was to keep the existence of the cholera as secret as possible—and no bulletins were issued for some days, until the necessity for doing so was forced upon the Board of Health, at that time not a very vigilant body. July 26th there were 10 deaths. For the 24 hours ending July 29th 33, including St. John and Portland. Next 24 hours 30. Next 31. Next 27. Next 24. Ending August 1 with 27. Next, August 4 41, and for the week ending the latter date 221. Next 24 hours August 11 40. Next 42. Next 37, and for each day afterwards 31, 33, 21, 18, 20, 20, 14, 18, 17, 15 and 13. And August 21 the decline is very marked, viz. 7 then 10—and last bulletin 3 at the end of September. I have omitted some days in the statement, but that is not material. There were probably 5,000 cholera cases and 1,500 deaths during the terrible two month visitation.

A person named Munford, who was sexton in the Germain Street Methodist Church, was engaged by the Board of Health to attend to the sick and dead. If there was a hero, that person was one in the true acceptation of the word. He was at work everywhere, day and night. Death had no terrors for him. Rough wooden coffins were going about the streets by cart loads; and Munford often unassisted would place the dead in coffins and have them carried away for burial. Persons in a dying state deserted by friends in sheer terror, had in Munford a ministering angel, doing what he could to afford relief. The Victoria Cross, then not instituted, has never been bestowed upon a more worthy hero. He worked and lived through the whole plague, and came out more than conqueror. Every house was provided with cholera medicine, and disinfectants were used in almost every room. The vapours from chloride of lime went up like incense pouring out of the windows like smoke, and scenting the air in all the neighborhood. House to house visitation by physicians, was a means used to find out the sick when in the incipient stages of the disease and provide remedies. The plan was considered most valuable, and was no doubt the means of saving many lives, especially among the poor and destitute. Finally, tar barrels and various combustible compounds were set on fire in the streets, so that the whole town was a glare of light at night. This proceeding was considered to be highly efficacious. The air was full of smoke and tar fumes, which perhaps destroyed the miasmatic germs and went towards bringing the plague to a close.

I thus described on the 21st August, 1854, the desolation of the scene that everywhere presented itself, and it may not be out of place if I here read it:

“We passed through Portland on Friday afternoon. Oh what a change was there presented since our previous visit! It was a scene of desolation and church-yard stillness, the houses with their closed shutters and white blinded windows, serving as monuments to remind us that the angel of death had passed with destructive rapidity through the tenements of this broad avenue. Scarcely a human soul was to be seen in the street. A field-piece might have been placed in any situation and discharged, and the chance of hitting any person would have been very remote. It was Portland at 12 o’clock at night, and yet the sun was in his meridian. The gutters were strewed with lime, in a yellowish state, showing the preparations that had been made for the terrible scourge. In these houses death had been busy for the past six weeks,—hundreds of human beings who inhabited there, in whose veins just now beat the pulsations of life and happiness, are now in eternity. From the Portland (Rev. Mr. Harrison’s) Church out to the Valley Church, through Paradise Row—a distance of about a mile and a half—where thousands of people and vehicles of all kinds are usually to be seen, it being one of the greatest business thoroughfares in the whole Province—we counted (at 4 o’clock in the afternoon) six human beings, and not a single vehicle. Out of about two hundred shops, there were not more than ten that were not closed. As a universal thing we may add, the white blinds were drawn at all the upper windows. It appeared to us as if those who had survived had deserted their houses and gone into the country— anywhere to get clear of the fatal destroyer. But a person must go through Portland to judge for himself it was a most painful and soul-stirring visit, that of ours on Friday afternoon.”

Public meetings were called, and steps taken to guard against future visitations. A Committee was appointed for the relief of the destitute, composed of the following citizens: James A. Harding, Chairman; Rev. William Scovil, Rev. William Donald, Rev. George Armstrong, Rev. Wm. Ferrie, James Macfarlane, John Boyd, W.D.W. Hubbard, Chas. P. Belts, James M’Millan, to whom contributions were to be sent. The destitution was terrible, especially among the poor; for during the eight weeks of the plague there was no business done, no employment, and consequently no money and but little food.

Although the cholera is again on the advance (it has found a lodgment in New York), and as in 1854 may diffuse itself far and wide, I do not think it possible, even if it gets to St. John, that it can work such destruction as on the former occasion. Our City in a sanitary point of view was then greatly neglected. We counted too much upon the fog as an epidemic preventive, and therefore took no precaution against an attack. The Mill Pond was a receptacle for the dumpage of all sorts of abominations. Erin Street was a large dish which received the flowage of all the high lands round about, and an unsavoury odor pervaded the atmosphere all the year round. All the Back Bay was occupied by slaughter houses in a reeking state of decay and putrefaction. We had no sewers worthy of the name. Stagnation in these respects was the rule. We had no regular water supply. The works were in the hands of a Company, and the pipes run only through certain streets, while the supply even from these was intermittent and uncertain. The Board of Health was not a live body as it is today. The necessity for undue exertion in 1854 may not have been considered essential.

Now all this is changed. The Mill Pond has been filled up, and fine railway structures occupy the site. Erin Street, York Point, and all adjacent streets have undergone a transformation which represents altogether a totally opposite condition of things. Instead of stagnant sewers, the whole city is well drained. The slaughter houses, once so noxious in the back part of the city, have been banished into the suburbs, and are now conducted under proper rules and regulations. The city owns the water works which are well managed, and the supply is generally satisfactory. The Board of Health is alive and active. In short, the sanitary condition of St. John and Portland today is pure and healthful; and the great fire of 1877, by which a large amount of animal and vegetable life was destroyed, may have contributed somewhat to this better condition of things. I do not mean to say that everything is in perfect order, and there is no room for improvement still. No precautionary measures to ward off the cholera should be neglected, whether by Boards of Health or people.

Written by johnwood1946

June 14, 2017 at 8:38 AM

Posted in Uncategorized