New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

From New Ireland to New Brunswick

leave a comment »

From the blog at

From New Ireland to New Brunswick

General Fox

General Henry Edward Fox

He was to become New Brunswick’s first Lieut. Governor. From Wikipedia

New Brunswick was created as a British province, separate from Nova Scotia, soon after the arrival of the Loyalists in 1783. By July of 1784 Thomas Carleton had been sworn in as the first Lieut. Governor and he arrived in Parr Town in late November. All of this was due to the dysfunction of the Halifax government in handling the Loyalist influx, but that is a separate matter not addressed in this blog posting.

As far as we know, Edward Winslow was the first person to speculate in writing that Nova Scotia would be subdivided. He did this at the early date of July, 1783, and was looking forward to seeing the “most Gentlemanlike” government on earth.

Following are two letters taken from The Winslow Papers, 1776 to 1826, edited by W.O. Raymond in 1901. These outline some of the developing arrangements for the new province, and the scramble for political offices.

The first letter is from April of 1784, and shows that the new territory was to be called New Ireland. General H.E. Fox was expected to become Governor, but he refused to accept unless Guy Carleton would be Governor General over all of the Canadian colonies. Meanwhile, several other appointments were proposed.

Britain was in the midst of elections and final decisions did not come as expeditiously as they might have. By the time of the second letter in July of 1784, the name of New Ireland had been dropped in favor of New Brunswick; Sir Guy had refused the position of Governor General; General Fox and another candidate had both refused the Governorship; and it had finally been decided that Thomas Carleton would become Governor on a temporary basis. It was expected that Thomas Carleton would soon be reassigned to Quebec.

Eventually, of course, Sir Guy came to Canada as Governor General, Thomas Carleton remained in New Brunswick, and General Fox had miscalculated.


Brig. Gen. H.E. Fox to Edward Winslow

London, 14th April, 1784

Dr. Winslow,—In the first place I must talk to you about the last Letters you wrote here: you are too warm, & your idea of the Loyalists and Provincials defending their Lands on the Saint John’s River was by some means communicated to Sir Guy Carleton & at first I believe much displeased him. But everything has been set to rights by your Friends with him.

What I told you in my last has happened. Lord Sydney some days ago sent an express to me, being with my Regiment at Stafford, & offered me the Government of the New Province (which by the way is to be called New Ireland) & informed me at the same time the Government General was to be offered to Sir Guy Carleton. My answer was that my own affairs, in which were involved those of my Nephew, were in such a critical situation that I could not decide for a few Days. This was really the case at that time—besides I wished to know what Sir Guy’s intentions were, which to this moment I cannot find out. I returned to London yesterday & this day informed Lord Sidney, after thanking him for his offer, that if Sir Guy went I should be extremely happy to attend him. Lord Sydney then surmised if no Governor General was sent would I accept of it; which I gave in to provided Sir Guy or myself named the Principal Officers, or at least I should have the power of putting the Negation upon any proposed. All this tho’ not absolutely promised seemed agreed to. As from the hurry of Election no council will be assembled for some days, I asked Lord Sidney if he had any further commands, as I wished to return to my Regiment which he agreed to, saying he would send an express to me when anything was determined on.

I own, unless Sir Guy Carleton goes out Governor General, I do not see much prospect of its going on well. I think myself they will tempt him to go out, tho’ he at present does not seem inclined to it. At any rate if I go Judge Ludlow goes as Chief Justice, that I settled with Lord Sydney this morning, & from conversation I have had with Sir Guy Carleton—Upham, Blowers, & Chipman will be thought of. There is also an out of doors report that if Sir Guy Carleton does not chuse to go, the Government General will be offered to Gen. Vaughn or Christie, in either which case I stay at home. The one I know nothing of, the other I know too well. But this I believe is not true.

In case of this [my acceptance] taking place, I trust to what you promised me when at Halifax of your acceptance of the Secretaryship of the Province which I have accordingly settled with Sir Guy Carleton.

Notwithstanding all this, do not be too sanguine, as there are a thousand things may happen to prevent the intended arrangement taking place, particularly if Sir Guy Carleton does not go out as Governor General. I for one am determined not to go without him, unless everything is so arranged before hand as to have a prospect of success. I had omitted in the beginning to tell you Col. Carleton is thought of as Governor of Quebec, & Musgrave for Halifax as soon as an appointment equal to the present Governor’s abilitys can be found for him. If all this takes place I certainly go in good Company.

Billy Bayard has opposed all this & has handed about an intended memorial for all Loyalists to sign requesting Governor Franklin might be appointed Governor; but it met with so little encouragement from them that he dropped it the second day having got only three or four names to it. For Heaven’s sake keep the whole of this Letter to yourself, & be not too sanguine or violent untill something is determined upon: I will write to you the moment it is.

If we go out to you I believe I shall commission you to buy me some Hovel at Maugerville for immediate use. There was Perlie’s, near Glasier’s house, a little below Peabody’s: if he would sell I think would do very well. But nothing of this can be thought of at present.

Yours most sincerely,

[There is no signature, but the letter is endorsed as from Gen. Fox.]


Ward Chipman to Edward Winslow

London, 9th July, 1784

My dear Ned,—I intended to have devoted this forenoon to writing to you but have been interrupted so frequently that I am now confined to half an hour. Coffin, however, who is in the same lodgings with me, has been writing to Mr. Townsend, and between us both you will get what intelligence there is to communicate. I shall confine myself to one subject, the only one which has taken up my attention for a long time, as it so materially effects us both, I need not say it is the new Government on the River St. Johns. We were all very much disappointed in Col. Fox’s refusal of the Government—his reason was that he found a Governor General was to be appointed, tho’ not immediately, and that Sir Guy Carleton, was not going out, he would not therefore risque there being appointed a General Vaughan or any other officer under whom he would not serve, which would create a necessity of his resigning perhaps within a very short time of his going out. He therefore told Lord Sidney he would accept the office if Sir Guy was to be appointed Governor General, otherwise not. The Government was then offered to your Friend Col. Musgrave, who declined it assigning the same reason and making the same declaration to the Secretary of State.

Col. Carleton, Sir Guy’s brother, is at length appointed and has accepted. The arrangements so far as they are known are, Judge Ludlow Chief Justice., Col. Putnam1, Major Upham, and Lt. Col. Isaac Allen, Judges on the same bench: Jonathan Bliss, Attorney General, and Sir Guy told Mr. Watson that I was put down as Solicitor Gen’l. Had either Fox or Musgrave accepted the Government, you would have been the Secretary with the concomitant offices. But Mr. Odell has this appointment under Col. Carleton. I am at a loss indeed to determine whether it would have been prudent for you to resign your half pay, as you must have done, for the emoluments of that office. You I understand are one of the Council. I am now to tell you a secret not by any means to be again mentioned, which I have in confidence from Mr. Watson this morning, with permission to mention it to you only, in a very private letter. Col. Carleton’s is but a temporary appointment, he goes on Governor to Quebec and will take Mr. Odell with him, both Sir Guy and Mr. Watson say that Col. Fox will yet succeed him as Gov’r of New Brunswick2, (the name of our new Province) from which I conjecture, I think with great reason, that Sir Guy is still to be the Governor General. Sir Guy and Mr. Watson have concluded upon your appointment as Secretary in that case, if worth your acceptance, which will be in some degree ascertained by Odell’s experiment of it. The place was unsolicited by Odell, but you may easily conceive that Sir Guy felt himself obliged to provide for him3 and there was no other way of doing it. I believe Judge Sewell will be one of the Council. I confess for myself I am not a little disappointed with respect to the office of Att’y General, tho’ Bliss is certainly a very good Fellow, but as he was receiving a pension of £150 per ann. this is saved to Government by appointing him—there will be no salary to the Solicitor General, at least none that will be equivalent to my half pay. I shall therefore depend upon my practice for support.

Col. Carleton kisses the King’s hand this day on his appointment, and I should suppose the whole arrangements will he out in a few days and that we shall all be hurried off very suddenly. Col. Ludlow talks of taking passage in the Adamant, which sails the 1st Aug’t. It is not improbable that I shall accompany him. Tell Mr. Townsend I shall in that case certainly avail myself of his very friendly offer of Quarters for a few days. I have failed altogether in my expectations from the Board of Claims, the business of which remains unnoticed to this moment. I have expended nearly all my money, and am heartily sick of this country. We shall at least have a good society and live chearfully in our new Government if we are poor. Won’t my half-pay Agency pursuit come to something in time?

I am called upon for my letter. Remember me most particularly to your Father and the Girls, tell them they will now soon be delighted with my warbling some of the most improved airs. To your dear Mary and the little ones make my most affectionate remembrances, there is no circumstance about which I feel more anxious than seeing them, a pleasure which I hope will not be much longer delayed. I presume Murray will be on his passage very soon don’t fail to send him. Coffin will take care of him in my absence. Adieu, God Almighty for ever bless you prays most sincerely,

Your friend,


Tom4 incloses the Papers under cover to you and Mr. Townsend—say to him for me every thing affectionate and grateful.

Footnotes for the Chipman letter:

  1. James Putnam of Worcester. Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Harvard in 1746. He was banished and proscribed on account of his loyalty. He was considered by his contemporaries as an exceedingly able lawyer. John Adams was his law student and boarded in his family. He died at St. John in 1783, aged 64 years. There is a handsome monument over his last resting place in the old grave yard. In the Putnam vault are buried also the elder Jonathan Sewell and the Rev. George Bisset.
  2. This plan evidently was seriously contemplated, but was never carried into execution.
  3. Jonathan Odell seems to have been one of Sir Guy Carleton’s secretaries.
  4. The reference is to Thomas Aston Coffin.

Written by johnwood1946

November 25, 2015 at 9:07 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: