New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

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Table of Contents, Rev. May 12, 2021

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From the blog at

The blog posts follow this Table of Contents, in the sequence shown. To access a particular post, copy and paste the title, or a sufficient part of the title, in the search box to the right.

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  1. The Baie des Chaleur – May 12, 2021
  2. The South Tobique Lakes – May 5, 2021
  3. Tabusintac – Apr. 28, 2021
  4. The Early Settlement of New Canaan, New Brunswick – Apr. 21, 2021
  5. What they were Reading Around the Fireplace – Saint John, 1840-41 – Apr. 14, 2021
  6. Letters Written in the Wake of the Miramichi Fire – Apr. 7, 2021
  7. Industrial Saint John in Pictures – Mar. 31, 2021
  8. A Story Told by Jim Paul of the St. Mary’s Wolastoqiyik Band in 1912 – Mar. 24, 2021
  9. A Story Which Mentions the Marco Polo – Mar. 17, 2021
  10. All the Latest News – Saint John in 1840 – Mar. 10, 2021
  11. Some Relics of the Early French Period in New Brunswick – Mar. 3, 2021
  12. Little or no Idea of the Origin of the Name ‘Acadia’ – Feb. 24, 2021
  13. A Cycling Trip to Temiscouata, ca. 1899 – Feb. 17, 2021
  14. School History in Sussex, New Brunswick – Feb. 10, 2021
  15. A History of Shediac – Feb. 3, 2021
  16. The Passamaquoddy Snake Dance – Jan. 27, 2021
  17. Church’s Raid on St. Andrews – Jan. 20, 2021
  18. Saint John’s Free Public Library – Jan. 13, 2021
  19. Legal Punishments in 19th Century New Brunswick – Jan. 6, 2021
  20. Fistfights and Law Suits for the Right to Fish in Saint John Harbour – Dec. 30, 2020
  21. A Story Told by Gabe Acquin of the St. Mary’s Reserve, Prior to 1895 – Dec. 23, 2020
  22. A Shocking Suggestion: A Federation of the Colonies – Dec. 16, 2020
  23. The Wolastoqiyik / Maliseet of the Saint John River – Dec. 9, 2020
  24. New Brunswick, 1784-1867 – Dec. 2, 2020
  25. The Acadians: A Timeline up to the Start of the Expulsion in 1755 – Nov. 5, 2020
  26. BREAKING NEWS: Saint John in 1841 – Nov. 18, 2020
  27. Two Short Stories from the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq People – Nov. 11, 2020
  28. The Acadians at Madawaska – Nov. 4, 2020
  29. The Acadian Exiles on the Saint John River – Oct. 28, 2020
  30. How to Fix U.N.B.: A Modest Proposal – Oct. 21, 2020
  31. The Long History of Trinity Church in Saint John – Oct. 14, 2020
  32. An Acadian Tale, The Ghosts at Spirit Camp – October 7, 2020
  33. Saint John’s Public Buildings – 1894 – Sept. 30, 2020
  34. Around the Head of the Bay of Fundy in 1892 – Sept. 23, 2020
  35. A Child Nourished by a Bear – Sept. 16, 2020
  36. 1825, Like the Day of Judgement, with the Whole Province on Fire – Sept. 9, 2020
  37. The Exploitation of Irish Labourers – Sept. 2, 2020
  38. The Legend of ‘Old Snowball’ – Aug. 26, 2020
  39. From St. John to Grand Falls, but Especially Glassville – Aug. 19, 2020
  40. Kincardine, New Brunswick – Scotch Colony – Aug. 12, 2020
  41. The Earliest Days of New Brunswick Railroad History – Aug. 5, 2020
  42. Imminent Destruction of the Saint John River Fishery – July 29, 2020
  43. A Plea for Nova Scotia to Help Build the Intercolonial Railway – July 22, 2020
  44. An Acadian Legend from Grand Pre – July 15, 2020
  45. Ship Building in New Brunswick in the 1850’s – July 8, 2020
  46. The Settlers of Miscou – July 1, 2020
  47. The Saint John Harbour Fishery, 1852 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – June 24, 2020
  48. Arrival of the Loyalists at Saint John – the Early Days – June 17, 2020
  49. New Brunswick, from 1758 to the Coming of the Loyalists in 1783 – June 10, 2020
  50. Blog Post #500: Shipwreck off PEI, and Rescue on Cape Breton – June 3, 2020
  51. Lighting the Home in the Early Days – May 27, 2020
  52. Historic Nova Scotia Place Names – May 20, 2020
  53. The Expulsion of the Acadians Continues, 1756 to 1764 – May 13, 2020
  54. Prince Edward Island: Starting from Scratch in the 1760’s – May 6, 2020
  55. The French, the English and the Mi’kmaq at War – Tatamagouche, 1745 – Apr. 29, 2020
  56. Nova Scotia Manners and Customs, Facilities of Communications, Climate, &c., in 1845 – Apr. 22, 2020
  57. Nova Scotia: the Perils of the Coast in about 1845 – Apr. 15, 2020
  58. Final Installment of Nova Scotia Pictures from about 1903 – Apr. 8, 2020
  59. Prince Edward Island: The French Period from 1663 to 1758 – Apr. 1, 2020
  60. More Nova Scotia Pictures from about 1903 – Mar. 25, 2020
  61. Steamboat Tours, from the Kennebecasis to Grand Lake – Mar. 18, 2020
  62. Nova Scotia Pictures from about 1903 – Mar. 11, 2020
  63. Charlotte County, New Brunswick in Around 1888 – Mar. 4, 2020
  64. Outlying Districts around Saint John, N.B., in 1888 – Feb. 26, 2020
  65. Prince Edward Island in 1832 – Feb. 19, 2020
  66. Prince Edward Island in Pictures, 1915, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2020
  67. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Pictures, 1889 – Feb. 4, 2020
  68. Prince Edward Island in Pictures, 1915, Part 1 of 2 – Jan. 29, 2020
  69. Pictou Man Named ‘Turtle’ Transformed into Progenitor of Modern Turtles – Jan. 22, 2020
  70. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Pictures, 1890 – Jan. 15, 2020
  71. Madame LaTour – More Than That Old Story About the Fort – Jan. 8, 2020
  72. Photographs of New Brunswick in 1918 – Jan. 20, 2020
  73. A Wabanaki Creation Story, and Grandfather Thunder – Dec. 27, 2019
  74. Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2019
  75. Little Indian Island, and its Surprising History – Dec. 18, 2019
  76. Advice to Emigrants to New Brunswick, 1881 – Dec. 11, 2019
  77. The Northumberland Tunnel, the Big Question for a Little Province. – Dec. 4, 2019
  78. The Prince of Wales in the Maritime Provinces, 1860 – Nov. 27, 2019
  79. Charlottetown, Georgetown and the Princetown Area in 1806 – Nov. 20, 2019
  80. Observations on Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Cape Breton in 1794 – Nov. 13, 2019
  81. Truro, Nova Scotia in 1890, Part 2 of 2 – Nov. 6, 2019
  82. The Final Days Before the Expulsion of the Acadians – Oct. 30, 2019
  83. Truro, Nova Scotia in 1890, Part 1 of 2 – Oct. 23, 2019
  84. Tourist Attractions in Northern New Brunswick in About 1880 – Oct. 16, 2019
  85. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 5 of 5 – Oct. 9, 2019
  86. Newspapers of Saint John in 1875 – Oct. 2, 2019
  87. Prince Edward Island from 1534 to 1764, in About Two Pages – Sept. 25, 2019
  88. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 4 of 5 – Sept. 18, 2019
  89. Rusagonis, New Brunswick in 1784-85, and Onward to 1787 – Sept. 11, 2019
  90. The Ups and Downs of the Lumber Trade in New Brunswick – Sept. 4, 2019
  91. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 3 of 5 – Aug. 28, 2019
  92. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 2 of 5 – Aug. 21, 2019
  93. Prince Edward Island’s Most Unhappy Days – Aug. 21, 2019
  94. Glimpses of Halifax in 1900, Part 1 of 5 – Aug. 14, 2019
  95. The MRA: Manchester, Robertson & Allison in Saint John – Aug. 7, 2019
  96. Annapolis County, Nova Scotia – July 31, 2019
  97. ‘Evangeline Land,’ Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1890 – Part 3 of 3 – July 25, 2019
  98. ‘Evangeline Land,’ Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1890 – Part 2 of 3 – July 16, 2019
  99. ‘Evangeline Land,’ Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1890 – Part 1 of 3 – July 9, 2019
  100. Market Day in Charlottetown, as it was in 1851 – July 2, 2019
  101. Vagabonds and Beggars on Sable Island – June 26, 2019
  102. Pictures and Notes About Cape Breton in Around 1900 – June 19, 2019
  103. A Tour of Nova Scotia in 1895, with Bliss Carman and Charles G.D. Roberts – June 12, 2019
  104. Photographs from Nova Scotia, 1901 – Part 2 of 2 – June 5, 2019
  105. Photographs from Nova Scotia, 1901 – May 29, 2019
  106. Kwedechk and Wejebowkwejik, a Tale of Kidnap and Revenge – May 22, 2019
  107. Garden of the Gulf, Prince Edward Island; 1900 – Part  2 of 2 – May 15, 2019
  108. Garden of the Gulf, Prince Edward Island; 1900 – Part 1 of 2 – May 8, 2019
  109. Between Minas Basin and Shelburne: How it was in 1830 – May 1, 2019
  110. Pictures of Charlottetown in About 1903: Number 3 in a Series of Posts – Apr. 24, 2019
  111. Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1897 – Part 2 of 2 – Apr. 17, 2019
  112. Pictures of Charlottetown in About 1903: Number 2 in a Series of Posts – Apr. 10, 2019
  113. Nova Scotia Photographs from Around 1897 – Part 1 of 2 – Apr. 3, 2019
  114. Pictures of Charlottetown in About 1903: Number 1 in a Series of Posts – Mar. 27. 2019
  115. Prelude to the Taking of Louisbourg – Mar. 20, 2019
  116. Eleven Nice Pictures of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island in About 1882 – Mar. 13, 2019
  117. Twenty-Three Nice Pictures of Nova Scotia in About 1882 – Mar. 6, 2019
  118. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo, a Marriage Adventure – Feb. 27, 2019
  119. Stone Tools in the Sand: Calling-Cards From Those Who Came Before – Feb. 20, 2019
  120. Race, Religion, Gender and Class: Halifax in the mid-1850’s – Feb. 13, 2019
  121. A Year of Turmoil and Mismanagement at Annapolis Royal, 1710-11 – Feb. 6, 2019
  122. Norsemen and Norsewomen in the Atlantic Provinces – Jan. 30, 2019
  123. The Fall of Port Royal to the English in 1710 – Jan. 23, 2019
  124. The Aroostook War, from a History Writer in Maine – Jan. 16, 2019
  125. It is Good to Remember Seth Noble – Jan. 9, 2019
  126. Dalhousie University, Smuggling, and the War of 1812 to 1814 – Jan. 2, 2019
  127. Another Perspective on the Battle at Majabidwaduce – Dec. 26, 2018
  128. Christmas as it Was in St. John, in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2018
  129. New Brunswick Pictures from About 1890 – Dec. 19, 2018
  130. New Brunswick Pictures, 128 Years Ago – Dec. 12, 2018
  131. New Brunswick Photographs for Prospective Tourists, 1905 – Dec. 5, 2018
  132. Sketches on the Nepisiquit in Around 1860 – Nov. 28, 2018
  133. The Acadians in Massachusetts and Other Colonies – Nov. 21, 2018
  134. The Acadian Exiles – Unwelcome in Pennsylvania – Nov. 14, 2018
  135. The Magical Coat, Shoes, and Sward – Nov. 7, 2018
  136. Thirty Nice Pictures of New Brunswick in About 1882 – Oct. 31, 2018
  137. Northern and Eastern New Brunswick in 1831 – A Neglected Territory – Oct. 24, 2018
  138. From Saint Martins to Saint John in 1843-Ships Being Built all Along the Coast – Oct. 17, 2017
  139. How to Get a Grant of Crown Land in New Brunswick, in 1884 – Oct. 10, 2018
  140. Fredericton, Saint John, and Thereabouts in 1831 – Oct. 3, 2018
  141. Immigrants to New Denmark and Andover, New Brunswick, in 1884 – Sept. 24, 2018
  142. Saint John, New Brunswick, and by Steamer to Fredericton in 1892 – Sept. 19, 2018
  143. New Brunswick’s Eastern Shore and the Moncton Area in 1894 – Sept. 12, 2018
  144. Impressions of an Officer Stationed in Halifax in 1830 – Sept. 5, 2018
  145. Let Us At Least Have a Rudimentary Education System – Aug. 29, 2018
  146. Champlain in 1605: Exploration, Adventure and Murder – Aug. 22, 2018
  147. New Brunswick in Pictures, 1920 – Part 2 of 2 Aug. 15, 2018
  148. New Brunswick in Pictures, 1920 – Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2019
  149. The Nova Scotia Question – Aug. 1, 2018
  150. Blog Post #400: Maine versus New Brunswick; Complaints and a Call for Action – July 25, 2018
  151. Remembering the Escuminac Disaster of 1959 – July 18, 2018
  152. A Sportsman’s Guide to Sunbury and Queens Counties, 1898. Who to See – July 11, 2018
  153. The Indian who was Transformed into a Megŭmoowesoo – July 4, 2018
  154. Edward Mitchell Bannister, a Prominent Artist From Saint Andrews – June 27, 2018
  155. The Historic Trappist Monastery at Tracadie, N.S., and the Antigonish Area in 1892 – June 20, 2018
  156. God is in His Heaven and All’s Well With New Brunswick – June 13, 2018
  157. Ten Years of Discord in Acadia: And so it Goes – June 6, 2018
  158. Were Taxes too Low in the 1820’s to Promote Industry? – May 30, 2018
  159. The Adventures of Ababejit, an Indian Chief and Magician of the Micmac – May 23, 2018
  160. John Gyles, His Times and How he was Captured – May 16, 2018
  161. An Illustrated Description of the Building of Stanley, New Brunswick – May 9, 2018
  162. A Proposal to Buy Canada for $85.7-million, plus Other Considerations – May 2, 2018
  163. To Fredericton, Stanley and Woodstock, on my Way to the Tobique in 1851 – Apr. 25, 2018
  164. The Principal Hotels in the Maritime Provinces, 1905, With Photographs – Apr. 18, 2018
  165. Halifax From 1749 to 1800 — Minus the Wars and Politics – Apr. 11, 2018
  166. William Brydone Jack on the Future of University Education in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2018
  167. Saint John: From Nothing, to Become Canada’s Winter Port – Mar. 28, 2018
  168. Saint John, New Brunswick Churches in 1910 – Mar. 21, 2018
  169. Chief Making Among the Passamaquoddy Indians – Mar. 14, 2018
  170. Canoeing Down the Restigouche River in 1895 – Mar. 7, 2018
  171. Northern New Brunswick, Heaven on Earth – Feb. 28, 2018
  172. Indian Place Names From Around Passamaquoddy Bay – Feb. 21, 2018
  173. Alexander McNutt’s Accomplishments Went Well Beyond Maugerville – Feb. 14, 2018
  174. Albert County, New Brunswick, about 170 Years Ago – Feb. 7, 2018
  175. 1865: Rise in Support of this Mighty Project! The Confederation Debate – Jan. 31, 2018
  176. The Genesis of Prince Edward Island’s Distinctive Property Laws – Jan. 24, 2018
  177. Saint John’s ‘English Period’, 1758 to 1782 – Jan. 17, 2018
  178. Education in New Brunswick in 1837 – Jan. 10, 2018
  179. The Babcock Tragedy, a Story of Madness and Murder – Jan. 3, 2018
  180. Cape Breton, from about 1000 AD to the Mid-1600’s – Dec. 27, 2017
  181. Christmas as it was in Saint John, 1808 – Dec. 23, 2017
  182. The Saint John River, the Rhine of America – Dec. 20, 2017
  183. A Veiled Threat to Invade New Brunswick – Dec. 13, 2017
  184. A Few Weeks in 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians Begins – Dec. 6, 2017
  185. The Magical Dancing Doll – Nov. 29, 2017
  186. Immigration to New Brunswick in 1832, and Lumber Mills – Nov. 22, 2017
  187. Harvey, New Brunswick, 1837 – Nov. 15, 2017
  188. On the Road to Responsible Government in New Brunswick – Nov. 8, 2017
  189. Through the Woods in the Dead of Winter; Fredericton to the Miramichi – Nov. 5, 2017
  190. Acadia in 1720, as Seen by Paul Mascerene – Oct. 25, 2017
  191. Nova Scotia’s Sham Government in 1720 – Oct. 18, 2017
  192. Three Short Wabanaki Thunder Stories – Oct. 11, 2017
  193. Stanley, N.B., Carved from the Wilderness – in a Hurry – Oct. 4, 2017
  194. Drunkenness Yearly More Common Amongst all Classes – Sept. 27, 2017
  195. John Cabot, London Superstar and Discoverer of Cape Breton – Sept. 20, 2017
  196. Nicolas Denys, the First Proprietor and Governor of all of the Gulf Coast of Acadia – Sept. 13, 2017
  197. Promoting New Brunswick in 1832 – Sept. 6, 2017
  198. A View of Acadian History, from 30,000 Feet – Aug. 30, 2017
  199. Nova Scotia During the Revolution, an American Perspective – Aug. 23, 2017
  200. The Many Trials of Richard Valpey of Yarmouth, and his Service to the American Cause During the Revolution – Aug. 16, 2017
  201. From Saint John to Annapolis Royal, Around the Bay of Fundy in 1787 – Aug. 9, 2017
  202. Nova Scotia in 1775: “Every Spot is Inhospitable and Frigid” – Aug. 2, 2017
  203. Notes About Edward Cornwallis, Who Has Been in the News Lately – July 26, 2017
  204. Starving, Fly-Bitten, and Lost in the Woods – July 19, 2017
  205. Saint John and Saint George, New Brunswick, in 1842 – July 12, 2017
  206. The Razing of Chignecto, and the Attack on Fort Nashwaak – July 5, 2017
  207. Captain Henry Mowat’s Account of the Battle on the Penobscot – June 28, 2017
  208. Voyage of the First Fleet of 1783, and the Settlement of Kingston by a Band of Loyalists – June 21, 2017
  209. 1,500 Dead in Saint John. The Cholera Epidemic of 1854 – June 14, 2017
  210. Fishing on the Nepisiquit River in the 1870’s – June 7, 2017
  211. The Clock at Fredericton City Hall – May 31, 2017
  212. Prohibition in Saint John in the 1920’s, an Exposé – May 24, 2017
  213. Boss Gibson’s First Railroad – May 17, 2017
  214. The New Brunswick Postal Service in 1856 – May 10, 2017
  215. Defending the ‘Worthless, Unsteady and Villainous’ Cutters of Wood – May 3, 2017
  216. Tossed by the Sea Into a Frozen Wilderness-1788 – Apr. 26, 2017
  217. The King of France Cannot Have Given You Our Land, Because it Was Not His – Apr. 19, 2017
  218. Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians – Apr. 12, 2017
  219. From Pictou, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick via Charlottetown and Shediac in 1867 – Apr. 5, 2017
  220. A Sunday EXTRA: No Meeting of Minds Between the Acadians and the British in 1717 – Apr. 2, 2017
  221. Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 1844 – A Vast Ocean of Trees – Mar. 29, 2017
  222. Shabby Streets, Decaying Houses, and Steep Plank Sidewalks. Saint John in 1874 – Mar. 22, 2017
  223. In the Beginning – Wabanaki Creation Stories – Mar. 15, 2017
  224. Pride versus Rascals and Villains in Saint John in 1791 – Mar. 8, 2017
  225. The Trent Affair – Mar. 1, 2017
  226. A Shocking Description of Anti-Confederates in Rural Nova Scotia in 1867 – Feb. 22, 2017
  227. Surveying Through the Wilderness in 1844 – Feb. 15, 2017
  228. At the Bend of the Petitcodiac in 1844: Moncton – Feb. 8, 2017
  229. Maria Rye and Her British Home Children – Feb. 1, 2017
  230. New Brunswick’s East Coast in 1832, Following the Miramichi Fire – Jan. 25, 2017
  231. Slavery in the Loyalist Era – Jan. 18, 2017
  232. Weather and the Seasons in Micmac Mythology – Jan. 11, 2017
  233. New Brunswick’s Roads in 1832: ‘Many paths are misnamed roads’. Jan. 7, 2017
  234. Nova Scotia and New England During the Revolution – Dec. 28, 2016
  235. A Holiday Special: Christmas as it Was in Saint John in 1808 – Dec. 23, 2016
  236. Expressions from Cuffer Down plus Signs and Omens – Dec. 21, 2016
  237. From Passamaquoddy to the Petitcodiac: What it Was Like in 1832 – Dec. 14, 2016
  238. Raymond Writes About the Lives and Customs of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet People – Dec. 7, 2016
  239. The Governor’s House was an Outrage to Good Taste – Fredericton in 1832 – Nov. 30, 2016
  240. An Unparalleled and Abominable Deception – Nov. 23, 2016
  241. Not a Metropolis, but the Largest Town in the Province – Saint John in 1832 – Nov. 16, 2016
  242. Lumber Camp Life, and Game-Wardens Poaching Moose – Nov. 9, 2016
  243. Louisbourg: It Didn’t Have to Happen. It Just Didn’t Have to Happen – Nov. 2, 2016
  244. Let Us Consider the Lowly Seagull – Oct. 26, 2016
  245. 5 – David Kennedy Completes His Travels of 1876 in Halifax – Oct. 19, 2016
  246. 4 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Nova Scotia in 1876 – Oct. 12, 2016
  247. 3 – David Kennedy’s Tour of Newcastle, Chatham and Bathurst in 1876 – Oct. 5, 2016
  248. 2 – David Kennedy’s Visit to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1876 – Sept. 28, 2016
  249. 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.)
  250. A Short History of Early English Nova Scotia – Sept. 14, 2016
  251. Fish Wardens Described as Useless Political Appointments – Sept. 7, 2016
  252. With Indian Guides in the Wilds of New Brunswick, 1862 – Aug. 31, 2016
  253. Blog past #300: Port Royal from 1604 to 1613. Of Heritage Value to all North Americans – Aug. 24, 2016
  254. Hunting Down the Last of the Old Growth Pine – Aug. 17, 2016
  255. Dr. James Robb – Aug. 10, 2016
  256. Peace Negotiations With Pierre Tomah on the Saint John River – Aug. 3, 2016
  257. Business Opportunities on Campobello Island – July 27, 2016
  258. A Pompous Captain on the Evils of Logging – July 20, 2016
  259. The Too-Easy Life of Nova Scotians Disproved – July 13, 2016
  260. Why Not to Marry a Nova Scotia Woman, and How to Make Maple Sugar – July 6, 2016
  261. The Bloody Assault on Fort Louisbourg in 1758 – June 29, 2016
  262. The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century – June 22, 2016
  263. Henry Ketchum and the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway – June 15, 2016
  264. A War Journal from Majabidwaduce on the Penobscot – June 8, 2016
  265. Mi’kmaq Magic and Medicine – June 1, 2016
  266. Thomas Wood, and His Visit to the Saint John River in 1769 – May 25, 2016
  267. The Northern Colonies: Languishing in Mediocrity – ca 1804 – May 18, 2016
  268. Fredericton’s Victoria Cottage Hospital – May 11, 2016
  269. The Passamaquoddy Wampum Records – May 4, 2016
  270. Slog on, or Die – Apr. 27, 2016
  271. Changes Nova Scotia Underwent from Discovery to 1758 When the First General Assembly Met in Halifax – Apr. 20, 2016
  272. The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures – Apr. 13, 2016
  273. Missions to the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet in the Early 1800’s – Apr. 6, 2016
  274. It Sounded Like a Residential School Philosophy – Mar. 30, 2016
  275. The Acadian Fugitives – Mar. 23, 2016
  276. Giddy, Eccentric, and Discontented Characters, or Misguided Souls, or Turncoats? – Mar. 16, 2016
  277. Indian Routes of Travel in New Brunswick – Mar. 9, 2016
  278. Historic Sites from the English Period on the Saint John River – Mar. 2, 2016
  279. How to Hunt a Moose, a Goose, and a Caribou in New Brunswick in 1791 – Feb. 24, 2016
  280. William Hubbard Complains to Edward Winslow about the Congregationalists in Sheffield – Feb. 17, 2016
  281. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours – Feb. 10, 2016
  282. WE NEED THE ACADIANS TO REMAIN: Lieut Governor, 1715 – Feb. 2, 2015
  283. Guy Carleton on the Fur Trade in Canada, 1767 – Jan. 27, 2016
  284. A Letter on Irish Immigrants – Jan. 20, 2016
  285. The Wreck of the ‘Lord Ashburton’ – Jan. 13, 2016
  286. A Ghost at Noonday – Jan. 6, 2016
  287. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 3: Will Not the Bright Sun and the Blue Heavens Testify Against Us? – Dec. 30, 2015
  288. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 2: To Every Thing There is a Season – Dec. 23, 2015
  289. Silas Rand on the Mi’kmaq People – Part 1: All Men From One Blood – Dec. 16, 2015
  290. Limits to the Royal Bounty – Dec. 9, 2015
  291. Nova Scotia, a Receptacle for Superfluous People? – Dec. 1, 2015
  292. From New Ireland to New Brunswick – Nov. 25, 2015
  293. The Most Gentlemanlike Government on Earth – Nov. 18, 2015
  294. I Love You for Your Plainness – Nov. 11, 2015
  295. Ward Chipman Remembers the Final Evacuation of New York – Nov. 4, 2015
  296. A Reply to “Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok” – Oct. 28, 2015
  297. A Century of Educational Progress in New Brunswick from 1800 to 1900 – Oct. 21, 2015
  298. Notes About the Earliest Public Markets in Saint John, New Brunswick – Oct. 14, 2015
  299. The Provincial Dairy School at Sussex, New Brunswick, 1900 – Oct. 7, 2015
  300. An Account of Nova Scotia in 1743 – Sept. 30, 2015
  301. The Petition of the Infamous 55 – Sept. 23, 2015
  302. Francis Sharpe’s Woodstock Apples – Sept. 16, 2015
  303. The Expulsion of the Acadians, a Military Surgeon’s Diary – Sept. 9, 2015
  304. The New Brunswick Election of 1785 – Sept. 2, 2015
  305. The Many Fires in Saint John, 1784-1877 – Aug. 26, 2015
  306. A Proposal for an Attack on Nova Scotia – Aug. 19, 2015
  307. Fredericton’s Great Flood of 1936 – Aug. 12, 2015
  308. A Letter about the Acadians and the Expulsion – Aug. 5, 2015
  309. Saint John in 1834, Before it was Forever Changed by the Great Fire – July 29, 2015
  310. New Brunswick, No Country for a Mere Gentleman, 1834 – July 22, 2015
  311. Woodstock, the Only Village Between the Green River and Fredericton in 1834 – July 15, 2015
  312. On the Tamiscouta Prtage from Lake Tamiscouta to just above Grand Falls, 1834 – July 10, 2015
  313. Men of Honor and Probity Run Amok – July 1, 2015
  314. By Steamer to the So-Called City of Fredericton – June 24, 2014
  315. A Quiet and Business-Like Little City – June 17, 2015
  316. Rambles Among the Bluenoses in 1862 – June 10, 2015
  317. Edward John Russell, a New Brunswick Artist – June 3, 2015
  318. Provincial Lunatic Asylum, Report of the Medical Superintendent, 1875 – May 27, 2015
  319. The Saint John River and Port Royal in the Early 1600’s – May 20, 2015
  320. What Should We Think of Benedict Arnold? – May 13, 2015
  321. Diphtheria in New Brunswick in the Year 1889 – May 6, 2015
  322. The Official Account of the Destruction of Burnt Church – Apr. 29, 2015
  323. The Exchange Coffee House and Saint John’s First Club – Apr. 22, 2015
  324. The Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians – Apr. 15, 2015
  325. The Story of Brook Watson – Apr. 8, 2015
  326. Where Stood Fort LaTour? – Apr. 1, 2015
  327. Things This Morning Really Wear the Aspect of War – Mar. 25, 2015
  328. At Portland Point – Mar. 18, 2015
  329. Electrical Power From the Reversing Falls – Mar. 10, 2015
  330. Father Rale’s War – 1722-25; How it Ended – Mar. 4, 2015
  331. What Was the Big Deal About the Marco Polo? – Feb. 25, 2015
  332. Grand Manan to Petitcodiac, in 1786 – Feb. 18, 2015
  333. A Trip From St. John to Fredericton in 1870 – Feb. 11, 2015
  334. A Tour of St. John, N.B., in 1870 – Feb. 4, 2015
  335. Destruction by Fire of the First Cathedral in Chatham – Jan. 28, 2015
  336. Burgan the Burglar – Jan. 21, 2015
  337. Facts and Reasons Against Confederating With Canada – Jan. 14, 2015
  338. Discontent in Early Halifax in 1756 – Jan. 7, 2015
  339. A Trip on the ICR From Bathurst to Miramichi – Dec. 31, 2014
  340. Early Attempts to Introduce the Cultivation of Hemp in Eastern British America – Dec. 24, 2014
  341. Touring Campbellton and Dalhousie, Despite the Mosquitoes, 1876 – Dec. 19, 2014
  342. The Fire of 1837 in Saint John – Dec. 10, 2014
  343. The Cruise of the Rechab – Dec. 3, 2014
  344. A Night in the Deep – Nov. 26, 2014
  345. Robert Foulis (A Misplaced Genius) – Nov. 19, 2014
  346. The City Mills – Nov. 15, 2014
  347. The Brothers d’Amours – Nov. 5, 2014
  348. John Allan’s Revolutionary Mission to the Saint John River – Oct. 29, 2014
  349. Relics of the Acadian Period – Oct. 22, 2014
  350. Some Odd Old Advertisements – Oct. 15, 2014
  351. The Miramichi Fire – Relief of the Sufferers – Oct. 8, 2014
  352. Jonathan Eddy’s Account of the Attack on Fort Cumberland, November, 1776 – Oct. 1, 2014
  353. Which of These Two is the Wisest and Happiest? – Sept. 24, 2014
  354. Fredericton Bridge, a Prophetic Writing – Sept. 17, 2014
  355. A Speech to Distinguished Persons of Stake and Consideration – Sept. 10, 2014
  356. Building an Education System From Almost Nothing – Sept. 3, 2014
  357. Cape Tormentine to the Baye des Chaleurs in the 1600’s – Aug. 27, 2014
  358. The Customs of the Mi’kmaq in the 1600’s and Before – Aug. 20, 2014
  359. Two Documents Relating to the Fenians in New Brunswick – Aug. 13, 2014
  360. The Lazaretto for Lepers in Tracadie, 1862 – Aug. 6, 2014
  361. Thoughts About the Augustine Mound at Metepenegiag Mi’kmaq Nation – July 30, 2014
  362. What am I Bid for This Pauper? – July 23, 2014
  363. Trouble at Madawaska, 1831 – July 16, 2014
  364. The Great Fire at Saint John, June 20, 1877 – July 9, 2014
  365. The Poor Fellows Shook as if They Would Fall to Pieces! – July 2, 2014
  366. How to Build a Logging Camp in Around 1850 – June 25, 2014
  367. Risen from the Ashes, Phoenix Square in Fredericton – June 18, 2014
  368. Rocks and Water, Magnificence and Squalor; St. John in 1876 – June 11, 2014
  369. Moncton as Seen by a Journalist in 1876 – June 4, 2014
  370. Events Leading to the Caraquet Riots of 1875 – May 28, 2014
  371. A Dramatic Account of the Miramichi Fire – May 21, 2014
  372. Saint John in the Early 1840’s – May 18, 2014
  373. The Myth that Kerosene was Invented in New Brunswick – May 7, 2014
  374. A Church with Military Boots and Fixed Bayonets – Apr. 30, 2014
  375. An Opening Salvo in an Ongoing Argument – Apr. 23, 2014
  376. May living worms his corpse devour – Apr. 16, 2014
  377. He don’t look any better than some of our own boys – Apr. 9, 2014
  378. The Disputed Territory Between New Brunswick and Maine – Apr. 2, 2014
  379. Navigation on the Saint John River – Mar. 26, 2014
  380. Shepody as a Hot Investment Opportunity, 1868 – Mar. 19, 2014
  381. To Her Majesty, RE: Reciprocity, 1853 – Mar. 12, 2014
  382. Diary on the Tobique, 1851 – Mar. 5, 2014
  383. Growing up in Fredericton in the 1820s and 1830s – Feb. 26, 2014
  384. Travels From Eastport, Maine, to Fredericton, 1851 – Feb. 19, 2014
  385. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 2 of 2 – Feb. 12, 2014
  386. The Saint John General Public Hospital, 19th Century, Part 1 of 2 – Feb. 5, 2014
  387. The Story of the Great Brothers – Jan. 29, 2014
  388. A Trek up the Tobique, and Onward to Bathurst – Jan. 22, 2014
  389. Summer Tourists. A Manual for New Brunswick Farmers – Jan. 19, 2014
  390. A Trek from Grand Falls to Campbellton, 1862 – Jan. 15, 2014
  391. A Trek From Taymouth to Boisetown, 1862 – Jan. 12, 2014
  392. Capt. William Owen’s Journal, Campobello, 1770-71 – Jan. 8, 2014
  393. The Founding of Campobello Island – Jan. 5, 2014
  394. New Brunswick Roads and Railways, 1855 – Jan. 1, 2014
  395. Grand Manan – Dec. 29, 2013
  396. The Shipyard Fire in Saint John, in 1841 – Dec. 26, 2013
  397. Christmas as it Was in Saint John, in 1808 – Dec. 22, 2013
  398. The Saint John Grammar School – Dec. 18, 2013
  399. William Wishart Blasts the New Brunswick Education System, 1845 – Dec. 15, 2013
  400. The Diary of Sarah Frost – Dec. 11, 2013
  401. Pŭlěs, Pŭlowěch′, and Beechkwěch (Pigeon, Partridge, and Nighthawk) – Dec. 10, 2014
  402. The Government of New Brunswick, 1837 – Dec. 4, 2013
  403. The Whales and the Robbers – Dec. 1, 2013
  404. The Ashburton Treaty – Nov. 27, 2013
  405. Glooscap and His Four Visitors – Nov. 24, 2013
  406. The Pioneers of Saint Stephen – Nov. 20, 2013
  407. The Adventures of Kâktoogwâsees; a Tale of Ancient Times – Nov. 17, 2013
  408. The Asylum at Saint John – Nov. 13, 2013
  409. The Liver-Colored Giants and Magicians – Nov. 10, 2013
  410. Smuggling Between Calais and St. Stephen – Nov. 6, 2013
  411. The Two Weasels – Nov. 3, 2013
  412. The European and North American Railway, 1862 – Oct. 30, 2013
  413. The Origin of the War Between the Mi’kmaq and the Kwěděches – Oct. 23, 2013
  414. Trouble on the Line: The Early Telegraph in New Brunswick – Oct. 16, 2013
  415. The Invisible Boy; Team′ and Oochigeaskw – Oct. 9, 2013
  416. Transportation to and from Fredericton, 1841 – Oct. 2, 2013
  417. The Boy That Was Transformed Into a Horse – Sept. 25, 2013
  418. McAdam: Notes From the Early Days – Sept. 18, 2013
  419. The Magical Food, Belt and Flute – Sept. 11, 2013
  420. European & North American Rly. Staff, 1861 – Sept. 4, 2013
  421. Glooscap and the Megumoowesoo: A Marriage Adventure – Aug. 28, 2013
  422. The Loss of the Royal Tar – Aug. 21, 2013
  423. Robbery and Murder Revenged, Plus a Grand Falls Story – Aug. 14, 2013
  424. The St. John River From Below Fredericton to the Reversing Falls – Aug. 7, 2013
  425. A Proposal for a Wooden Railway – July 31, 2013
  426. ‘On the Early History of New Brunswick’ – July 24, 2013
  427. The Maugerville Settlement, 1763-1824 – July 17, 2013
  428. 1930 Circus Train Wreck Near Moncton, N.B. – July 10, 2013
  429. Horses or Oxen? Pick one – July 3, 2013
  430. The St. John River; Andover to Fredericton – June 26, 2013
  431. Origins of Some Place Names on N.B.’s Eastern Shore – June 19, 2013
  432. The St. John River; Grand Falls to the Tobique – June 12, 2013
  433. Gabriel Acquin – June 5, 2013
  434. The Seigniories of New Brunsiwck – May 29, 2013
  435. An 1841 Trek up the Oromocto River – May 22, 2013
  436. Fredericton’s Exhibition Palace, and Bears in N.B. – May 15, 2013
  437. Murder on Diamond Square Road – May 8, 2013
  438. Acadian Historic Sites in New Brunswick – May 1, 2013
  439. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 5 of 5 – Apr. 24, 2013
  440. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 4 of 5 – Apr. 17, 2013
  441. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 3 of 5 – Apr. 10, 2013
  442. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 2 of 5 – Apr. 3, 2013
  443. John C. Tracy’s Book, Part 1 of 5 – Mar. 27, 2013
  444. A Retrospective Look at Saint John – Mar. 20, 2013
  445. The Wreck of the England – Mar. 13, 2013
  446. The First Decade of the 1800’s in St. John, N.B. – Mar. 6, 2013
  447. St. John’s Poorhouse and Workhouse – Feb. 27, 2013, Rev. Sept. 9, 2015
  448. New Brunswick Scenes From an Old Book – Feb. 20, 2013
  449. Nice Pictures From Another Old Book – Feb. 13, 2013
  450. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, Part 2/2 – Feb. 6, 2013
  451. Life in the Backwoods of New Brunswick, 1845 – Jan. 30, 2013
  452. The Works of W.O. Raymond – Jan. 23, 2013
  453. The Year of the Fever – Jan. 16, 2013
  454. Hanged for the Theft of 25 Cents – Jan. 9, 2013
  455. Reversing Falls – Pictures – Jan. 2, 2013
  456. Christmas as it was in 1808 – Dec. 25, 2012
  457. Nice Pictures From an Old Book – Dec. 19, 2012
  458. The Saint John Bridge Collapse of 1837 – Dec. 12, 2012
  459. The First Road Bridge Across the Reversing Falls – Dec. 5, 2012
  460. The Mystery of the First Lizzie Morrow – Nov. 28, 2012
  461. The First Murder Trial on the River St. John – Nov. 21, 2012
  462. The March of the 104th Regiment in 1812 – Nov. 14, 2012
  463. Partridge Island – Nov. 7, 2012
  464. Fredericton’s First Bridge Across the Saint John River – Oct. 31, 2012
  465. 1816, The Year Without a Summer – Oct. 31, 2012
  466. Winslow to Wentworth, 1781 – Oct. 31, 2012
  467. The Saxby Gale of 1869 – Oct. 31, 2012
  468. New Brunswick’s Third Town in 1838: Saint Andrews – Oct. 31, 2012
  469. Fredericton and York County in 1838 – Oct. 31, 2012
  470. The City and County of Saint John in 1838 – Sept. 26, 2012
  471. The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad – Sept. 19, 2012
  472. The Studholm Report of Saint John River Pre-Loyalists in 1783 – Sept. 12, 2012
  473. Caleb Jones. Further RE: Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – Sept. 5, 2012
  474. The Wreck of the Martha – Aug. 29, 2012
  475. The Early Settlement of Maugerville and the Sheffield Parsonage Dispute – Aug. 22, 2012
  476. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 2 of 2 – Aug. 15, 2012
  477. Lieutenant Governors of New Brunswick to Confederation, Part 1 of 2 – Aug. 8, 2012
  478. The Morrow House at French Lake, N.B. – New Information – Aug. 1, 2012
  479. Sound by Glen Glenn, Revision 1 – July 25, 2012
  480. Ann, otherwise known as Nancy – July 18, 2012
  481. The Fire of October 7, 1825 – Beyond the Miramichi – July 11, 2012
  482. Lemuel Allan Wilmot – July 4, 2012
  483. The Great Fire at Miramichi, October 7, 1825 – June 27, 2012
  484. Robert Rankin in New Brunswick – June 20, 2012
  485. Who Owned the Mill at Tracy, New Brunswick? – June 13, 2012
  486. Signatures of Sunbury County Ancestors – June 6, 2012
  487. Daniel Wood’s Log Cabin, and Little Field Barn at French Lake, New Brunswick – May 30, 2012
  488. Rusagonis and George Garraty – May 23, 2012
  489. Epitaph Transcriptions from a Collection – May 16, 2012
  490. Central New Brunswick Gravestones from a Genealogy – May 9, 2012
  491. Nashwaak River Pictures with Stewart Family Connections – May 2, 2012
  492. More Sunbury County Photographs from a Collection – Apr. 25, 2012
  493. An Indian Burial Ground at Oromocto; and Coal Mining on the Oromocto River – Apr. 22, 2012
  494. “Days of Old” by Katherine DeWitt and Norma Alexander – Apr. 18, 2012
  495. The Wood Cemetery at French Lake, New Brunswick – Apr. 11, 2012
  496. James Glenie in New Brunswick – Apr. 4, 2012
  497. Four Generations of the Stewart Family on the Nashwaak River – Mar. 28, 2012
  498. Three Generations of the Mersereau Family in New Brunswick – Mar. 21, 2012
  499. Three Generations of the Smith Family of Sunbury County, New Brunswick – Mar. 14, 2012
  500. Three Generations of the Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Mar. 7, 2012
  501. New Brunswick Education in 1883 – Feb. 29, 2012
  502. Riots and Demonstrations in Saint John – Feb. 20, 2012
  503. Making Better Butter – Feb. 18, 2012
  504. York County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 8, 2012
  505. Sunbury County Place Names, 1896/1905 – Feb. 1, 2012
  506. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 3 of 3 – Jan. 25, 2012
  507. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 2 of 3 – Jan. 18, 2012
  508. Stereoscopic slides from Fred Stewart, Part 1 of 3 – Jan. 11, 2012
  509. The Hon. Thomas Baillie: Gone, but not soon forgotten! – Jan. 5, 2012
  510. The Fort at Oromocto, 1780 – 1783 – Dec. 29, 2011
  511. The Great Fire in Fredericton, 1850 – Early Accounts – Dec. 15, 2011
  512. The Morrow House at French Lake, and More – Dec. 8, 2011
  513. The Old Woman House at French Lake, New Brunswick – Dec. 1, 2011
  514. Smith Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Nov. 25, 2011
  515. French Lake from Before we Remember – Nov. 20, 2011
  516. How Geary became known as Geary – Nov. 9, 2011
  517. Elizabeth (Smith) Secord; N.B.’s First Woman Registered Doctor – Nov. 4, 2011
  518. Phillips Family Photographs from a Collection, Rusagonis, N.B. – Nov. 2, 2011
  519. Mersereau Family Photographs from a Collection, Sunbury County, N.B. – Oct. 30, 2011
  520. Wood Family Photographs from a Collection, French Lake, N.B. – Oct. 25, 2011
  521. Jeremiah Tracy: Pioneer of the Village of Tracy, New Brunswick – Oct. 20, 2011
  522. Two Old Railroad-Inspired Songs – Oct. 16, 2011
  523. Ode to the Oromocto River – Oct. 10, 2011
  524. John Mersereau, Loyalist 2 – Oct. 4, 2011
  525. The Earliest American Railroads and Locomotives – Sept. 14, 2011
  526. The Mersereau Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York, Notes – Sept. 3, 2011
  527. George Morrow of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1801-1868 – Aug. 26, 2011
  528. The Wood Family of French Lake, New Brunswick – Legends – Aug. 9, 2011
  529. The Baptist Church on the Oromocto River in New Brunswick – Aug. 7, 2011
  530. John Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1788-1868 – Aug. 2, 2011
  531. Daniel Wood of French Lake, New Brunswick – 1764-1847 – Aug. 1, 2011
  532. Three Stewarts on the Nashwaak – July 24, 2011
  533. Bunker Genealogy – Five Bunkers – July 20, 2011
  534. Statistics From the 1851 and 1871 Sunbury County New Brunswick Census Reports – July 19, 2011
  535. Historical Development of the Beam Bending Equation M=fS – July 18, 2011
  536. Seth Noble, Maugerville and the American Revolution – July 16, 2011
  537. Columns, the Long and the Short of it – 1729-1900 – July 15, 2011
  538. The Great Saint John Steel Cantilever Bridge – July 13, 2011
  539. The Upper Oromocto River in 1847 – July 11, 2011
  540. Early Glimpses of the Rusagonis Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  541. Abraham Gesner’s 1847 Observations of Sport Hunting in New Brunswick – July 11, 2011
  542. It Sounds a bit Too Easy – July 10, 2011
  543. James Buncker – July 10, 2011
  544. Inconsistent Petitions; Changed Self-Interests – July 10, 2011
  545. Abner Mersereau and a Letter – July 9, 2011
  546. Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick – July 9, 2011
  547. The Textile Mill at Geary, New Brunswick – July 8, 2011
  548. Letter of Mi’kmaq’ Chief Pemmeenauweet to Queen Victoria – 1841 – July 7, 2011
  549. New Brunswick in the 1840s – July 7, 2011


John Wood

Written by johnwood1946

May 12, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Baie des Chaleur

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From the blog at

The Baie des Chaleur

The Bay Chaleur Tourist Association was a non-governmental organization led by W.A. Mott, a member of the Provincial Legislature living in Campbellton. Other members of the executive were from Bathurst and Dalhousie, in New Brunswick, and from New Carlisle and Gaspé, in Quebec. They published a pamphlet entitled The Bay Chaleur Country promoting the area as a vacation destination, concentrating on the opportunities for hunting and fishing, but also presenting other possibilities. The online library where this was found dated it as possibly ca. 1920, but there are a couple of references indicating that it may have been published between 1897 and 1906. The pamphlet follows, with only minor edits.

Catholic Church and Convent in Campbellton, N.B.

From the Musée acadien at the Université de Moncton, via the McCord Museum


Bay Chaleur Country

EATWARD HO! is now the cry of the Tourist and Sportsman who is desirous of escaping from the intense summer heat of the cities to the South and West. “We must go down East this summer,” is the general decision of the city people who are desirous of enjoying a few weeks of solid comfort and rest away from work, noise, dust, and a broiling sun.

Only those who have been all through Eastern Canada are in a position to decide upon the best vacation ground there, and they know well that the Bay Chaleur Country is an unrivalled resort for all who seek to enjoy the cool, bracing air of the seashore hills and forests, and who find in the use of the rod or gun a pleasant pastime.

This Bay Chaleur Country consisting of the counties of Restigouche and Gloucester, in the Province of New Brunswick, and those of Bonaventure and Gaspé in the Province of Quebec, is an ideal summer land, not only for the regular tourist who seeks beautiful scenery, boating, yachting, canoeing, sea bathing and a pleasant climate, but also for the man who desires to spend his vacation whipping the streams or hunting big game or fowl.

The country takes its name from the well-known Baie de Chaleur, with the discovery of which the venturesome St. Malo mariner, Jacques Cartier, is generally given credit, although there are some that assert that daring Norsemen visited it long before the date upon which, in 1534, he erected the great cross at Gaspé, bearing the inscription: “Franciscus Primus Dei Patria Francorum Rex Regnat.” History tells of Cartier’s visit to the south side of the Bay near Bathurst, in 1534, and in later years of the visits of Champlain and many another distinguished French pioneer of the New World. It also relates the story of the noble work done by Recollets, Capuchins, and Jesuits, in Christianising the Indians. Then again we may read of many a shipwreck and disaster along the Gaspé shore, notable among these being that of Sir William Phipps’ fleet, on the return of that gallant New Englander from an unsuccessful attack on Quebec in 1690, and that of Sir Hovenden Walker’s transports in 1711 when a thousand of the flower of Queen Anne’s army found a watery grave. But doubtless the most thrilling historical event connected with this region is the story of the Battle of the Restigouche. In brief, the facts are these: In 1760 the French King sent out a large fleet for the purpose of again making the French the dominant power on the St. Lawrence and to regain that which had been lost to the victorious army which the brave Wolfe had led up the cliffs of Quebec. News of the approach of this fleet was brought to Louisburg, Cape Breton, and Captain Byron with five ships was dispatched to intercept it. He found the fleet a Gaspé, captured one ship there, another at Caraquet and forced yet another ashore further up the Bay. On arriving at the mouth of the Restigouche River, at the point where Dalhousie now stands, the British saw the enemy setting sail up the river, with the evident intention of seeking safety under the strong fortifications which had been erected on the north bank or shore of the river by those Acadians whom LaLoutre had induced to move there from Nova Scotia and the south of New Brunswick. Byron gave chase, but before overhauling the enemy he was obliged to silence the guns of the forts which stood at the points now known as Pointe la Garde, Big Battery Point and Little Battery Point. Having passed the point of the present town of Campbellton, the French fleet was discovered lying under the guns of the town of New Rochelle. A desperate fight ensued and, despite the great superiority in numbers of the French and the many advantages their position gave them, they were finally obliged to yield. The town was destroyed, and of the twenty-two French ships but two escaped being captured or sunk. The two that did escape were later taken at Port Daniel. To this day the hull of a sunken French frigate may be seen in the bed of the Restigouche River, but all that remains of the heavy artillery of the French are two cannons mounted in front of the Campbellton Grammar School. The plough of the farmer turning up spear, arrow and axe heads of stone tells of the Indian warfare that was waged in this locality in days gone by and the visitor is entertained with many a legend and story of the past, including perhaps one of the many accounts of the much talked-of Fire or Phantom Ship of the Bay, the appearance of which is said to foretell a coming storm, and perhaps of the evil spirits which, according to the old Mi’kmaq mythology made the Island of Miscou their home.

Nature has indeed poured out her bounties with a lavish hand on this Bay Chaleur Country, giving scenic beauties which neither brush nor camera can portray. Along the shores of Bonaventure and Gaspé Counties lofty mountains, high cliffs and bold headlands give the landscape a rugged grandeur which is not surpassed by the western coasts of Scotland or Norway. On the New Brunswick side of the Bay the scenery is less rugged, but nonetheless beautiful. The well-wooded hills and valleys always attract the artistic eye in summer with their various shades of green, and in autumn with the beautiful tints of the hardwood foliage among the evergreens.

The situation of the Bay Chaleur is such that the cold Arctic waters do not enter it, and consequently the water is warm, and as the shores are sandy, sea-bathing in the waters is highly enjoyable. The timid bather may take his dip therein with perfect safety or the bold swimmer may plunge into the surf. Yachting, boating and canoeing are also favorite recreations in this land, and the waters of the great Bay and its many rivers afford ample opportunity for their enjoyment without danger. For those who like “roughing it,” a canoe trip to the headwaters of one river and down another is a pleasant vacation exercise.

The summer climate of this land is all that the visitor can ask for. The atmosphere is delightfully cool and free from fog and dampness, and the balmy western breezes make the hottest months of the year the most enjoyable.

Except for the settlements along its shore, this land has not materially changed its conditions since the days when the Micmacs, Malecites, Iroquois and others were its only human occupants. As then, so now, the moose, deer and caribou abound in the forests, which as yet hardly know the sound of the settler or woodman’s axe. In fact big game is so plentiful here that it is often seen on the highways near to towns and villages. In the State of Maine a suggestion has been made that elk should be imported, but here in the back settlements the cry of the farmers is that the game laws should be made less stringent, as the great increase in the numbers of these “Lords of the forest” is resulting in the destruction of their fences and growing crops. Partridges are also plentiful in the woods, and the pursuit of them is indulged in by those who have not the time nor inclination to go in search of a trophy consisting of a head and horns. But it is not in the woods alone that the man with a gun can find good sport. Along the shores of the Bay, in the estuaries of the rivers and about the lakes wildfowl abound, and goose, brant, duck and plover shooting is one of the common sports of the country. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the greatest game country this side of the Rocky Mountains.

The pleasures of angling are one of the great attraction, of this land. Among the tributaries of the Bay are streams known throughout the world as the greatest of salmon rivers, among which may be noted the Restigouche, Nepisiguit, Metapedia, Jacquet, Cascapedia, Bonaventure and St. John’s of Gaspé. The fact that men so widely known as W.K. Vanderbilt, Dean Sage, W.H. Sage, Dudley Olcott, Seward Webb, John S. Kennedy, H.B. Hollins, W.P. Clyde, Archibald Rogers and Fred. W. Ayer, and many others of equal note have erected club houses and fishing lodges along the rivers, and every year spend a week or two salmon fishing, is of itself a guarantee of the fact that the fishing is of no mean order. But these men have no monopoly of killing salmon on these famous waters, the sport may be indulged in by any man of moderate means. The trout fishing which the rivers and lakes offer is the equal of any in the world and is practically free. Deep sea fishing for cod and mackerel attracts some people, and the Bay affords every opportunity for its enjoyment. An experienced tarpon fisherman has suggested that the horse mackerel, which is very plentiful, might be fished for, and that the sport would equal that indulged in along the shores of some of the Southern States.

But more than natural advantages are required to make any land a favorite holiday resort for those who seek health, rest or sport. The hand of man must contribute to the human comfort, providing comfortable hotels, convenient rail and steamship connections, good roads for driving or wheeling, facilities for obtaining sporting and camping out supplies, and all these are part of the attractions which are offered to the visitor in this country, where living is cheap, and where modem life and conveniences are in some districts brought in contact with the charming simplicity of the life and customs of the early years of the last century.

Town and Village Notes

Bathurst, situated on the beautiful land-locked harbour of the same name, has a history which may be traced back to the voyages of Cartier, the days of the rule of Nicholas Denys, and the Christianising work of the early French missionaries. It is the seat of Gloucester County, and its fine scenes and well-kept residences are evidence of the progressiveness of its people. Into Bathurst harbour empty three streams, the Nepisiguit, Tetagouche, and Little, and therefore it is but natural that this thriving modem town should have become an important centre for anglers in search of salmon or net fishing. The Intercolonial Railway gives it communication with the world at large, while the Caraquet Railway and its connecting road, the Gulf Shore Line, provide facilities for travel to the well-know trout waters and fowling grounds in the eastern part of the county, in the vicinity of Caraquet, Tracadie and Miscou. But this county is not only famed for the excellence of the salmon and trout fishing on its rivers. It is no less celebrated as a resort for those who seek to shoot wild fowl and big game, and good guides are readily obtainable. Of recent years the regular summer tourist has been making Bathurst one of his resorts, being attracted there by the sea bathing which the beaches offer, the opportunities for boating, and by the pleasant drives among beautiful scenery in the vicinity, either to places of historic interest or to one of the beautiful waterfalls. The hotel accommodation is such as might be looked for in a town which takes pride in the entertainment of the visitor and desires him to go away satisfied.

Dalhousie, the shire town of Restigouche County, is beautifully situated on the side of a hill at the mouth of the Restigouche River, where its waters join those of the Bay Chaleur. For many years it has been a watering place of some considerable note, and its comfortable hotels afford the stranger excellent accommodations. The town is the terminus of the Dalhousie branch of the Intercolonial Railway and of steamship lines running to Campbellton and all the important points in the counties of Bonaventure and Gaspé. Ample opportunity is afforded the regular tourist for indulging in sea bathing, yachting, boating and canoeing, and the excellent roads invite driving and wheeling. In the immediate vicinity of the town are some of the best trout waters, and at a little greater distance are salmon streams of a world-wide reputation. The shooting of wild geese, duck, brant, and partridge attract many visitors in the fall of the year, while others make it a fitting-out point for their excursions after moose, caribou and deer. The fact that the woods and streams of Bonaventure County are as accessible from it as those of Restigouche makes it a most desirable point for the man with rod or gun, and its convenient railway and steamship connections are a consideration to the summer visitor.

Campbellton, sixteen miles from Dalhousie, is at the head of navigation on the Restigouche River, and situated among some of the grandest scenery of the Bay Chaleur. The spots on which once stood old French fortifications, the scene of a fierce battle between French and English, a Micmac village, the view of the island-studded river from Morrisey Rock, and the more extended landscape to be seen from the Sugar Loaf or Squaw’s Cap are attractive to the visitor. The famous salmon streams, Restigouche, Metapedia, Patepedia, Upsalquitch and Kedgwick, are too well known to require comment, and the trout fishing on river and lake in vicinity is equally good. Along the shores of the river wild fowl are to be found in abundance, and in the woods excellent partridge shooting can be had. The big game regions of western Restigouche are within a few miles of the town. The town stores cater to the outfitting of fishing and hunting parties. The Intercolonial Railway runs through the town, which has ferry connection with the Atlantic & Lake Superior Railway. The Restigouche & Western Railway, now in course of construction, will afford a short route to Boston and the New England States by way of the headwaters of the St. John River. Satisfactory hotel accommodation is to be had, and any of the hotel people are able at short notice to provide their guests with guides for hunting, shooting or fishing.

Metapedia, at the junction of the famous salmon streams, Restigouche and Metapedia, is thirteen miles by rail from Campbellton, either by the Intercolonial or Atlantic & Lake Superior Railway. It is the site of the famous millionaire fishermen’s club-house, known as the Restigouche Salmon Club. The man who is going fishing on any of the rivers could be well accommodated here for a day or two, but the hotels have recently been destroyed by fire and it will be a few months before they are rebuilt.

Carleton is one of the best situated of the Bonaventure County villages, and can afford either the summer visitor or the man who seeks wild fowl in the fall, comfortable board and lodgings. For a number of years Montreal people have made it a summer resort, attracted by the bathing and boating as well as the trout fishing in the Nouvelle River. It is on the line of the Atlantic & Lake Superior Railway and has steamship connection with Dalhousie. The wild fowl abound about its shores.

New Richmond is another Bonaventure County village which has more than local fame It is situated between the Grand Cascapedia and Little Cascapedia Rivers, the former of which has for very many years been considered one of the famous salmon streams, and in addition to being a resort for many well-known American gentlemen has, since the days when the present Duke of Argyle was Governor General of Canada been a favorite summer resort of the Canadian representatives of the British Crown. This district has also excellent trout fishing, and in the autumn wild fowl shooting, while up the rivers there are moose and other big game. In New Richmond and the neighbouring village of Black Cape there is good country accommodation for summer visitors who enjoy the bathing, boating and beautiful scenery and perhaps in the whole Bay Chaleur Country there is no place where they can be indulged in to better advantage. The proprietor of the Cascapedia House can afford full information about this district to intending visitors, who can reach there either by steamer from Dalhousie or by Atlantic & Lake Superior Railway.

New Carlisle, the county seat of Bonaventure County, is a pretty little town which looks so clean and cool from the water that the passenger by steamer from Dalhousie is as a rule tempted to stop over and see its beauties and attractions at closer range. It is one of the best situated and most attractive of the summer resorts about the Bay Chaleur, and the fact that it boasts a good hotel and a comfortable boarding house of late years has drawn to it many who seek to escape from the city heat in summer months. Its beaches are not surpassed by those of the far-famed New England watering places, and the harbour affords good boating, while in the Bay deep sea fishing may be indulged in. In the immediate vicinity there are lakes in which good trout fishing may be had, and at greater distance are the Bonaventure and other noted salmon streams. As elsewhere along the Bay there is plenty of water fowl, and back in the country big game hunting may be indulged in. This town is at present the eastern terminus of the Atlantic & Lake Superior Railway.

Paspebiac, three or four miles east of New Carlisle, is an interesting village to a stranger. It is the headquarters in America of the great fishing enterprises carried on by Jerseymen from their island home m the English Channel. The large fish curing and packing establishments of Robin’s and LeBoutillier’s are well worth a visit, the name of the founder of the former firm being connected with an early Royal Trading Charter from a King of France. The condition of the school and churches, taken in connection with the tidy cottages and well-kept gardens, tells a tale of the industry and thrift of the people many of whom are of Jersey birth or descent. Comfortable hotel accommodation is available.

Port Daniel, at the eastern end of Bonaventure County, with its well-kept hotel, its fishing, fowling, bathing and boating, to say nothing of the grandeur of its scenery is an attractive spot for the stranger. Near Port Darnel, in 1838, the Colborne, from London to Quebec, with a valuable cargo, including much gold, and having on board many passengers, was wrecked. The sad story of this sea tragedy is yet told in the vicinity.

Percé, the county seat of Gaspé County, is a fishing village of considerable importance, with the usual attractions of excellent bathing, boating, fishing and shooting. Words cannot describe the wild grandeur of its scenery. The celebrated Percé Rock, rising out of the water to a height of some three hundred feet, with its great natural arch, is well worth a long trip to see. A gun fired from the deck of a passing steamer will cause to rise from it wild fowl in such numbers as to darken a portion of the sky.

Gaspé, on the beautiful Gaspé Basin, is as pretty a little town as the Bay Chaleur Country can boast of. The scenic beauties in its vicinity, together with unexcelled facilities for indulging in all the pleasant summer and autumn pastimes of the country, bring to its well-appointed and conducted hotels many visitors every year by steamer from Montreal, Quebec and Dalhousie. In this connection it may be stated that travel where one will, there is to be found no more enjoyable water trip than that from Dalhousie to Gaspé. The trip itself is well worth a visit to the country for, while the steamer trip around from Quebec by way of Gaspé to Dalhousie rivals an ocean voyage as a natural tonic. The visitor to the Bay Chaleur Country who fails to spend at least a day or two about Gaspé Basin, misses one of the greatest pleasures which eastern Canada offers to the stranger.

Written by johnwood1946

May 12, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

The South Tobique Lakes

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George Upham Hay and William Francis Ganong were both botanists, and both wrote about New Brunswick’s natural history, geography and other topics. They were also friends and, in 1900, went on an exploration trip to the east of Grand Falls and south of the Tobique River. This area was almost unexplored in those days, and the forest was nearly undisturbed. George Hay wrote about their trip in an article entitled The South Tobique Lakes, and published it in The Bulletin of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick, No. XX, in 1902. Following is his article, with only minor editing for this blog post.

Salmon Fishing on the Tobique River in about 1900
From the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum


The South Tobique Lakes

Before the end of the twentieth century, there will probably be few unexplored regions in this province, or lakes where the tell-tale dotted line marks them as unsurveyed, or lakes which have no existence on our maps. But that is the case now. There are some eighteen lakes, large and small — that form the sources of the rivers and streams that enter the Tobique River from the south side. A third of these are either not marked at all or are imperfectly outlined on the maps of New Brunswick in common use. These lie close to the watershed that separates the sources of the Tobique and Miramichi water systems.

In this region Prof. Ganong and I spent nearly four weeks during the summer of 1900, going in to Trousers Lake from the Tobique River over a portage road, twenty miles long, camping at the upper extremity of that lake, whence we made short daily excursions to the lakes and streams adjacent. From Tobique Lake, we made a portage to Long Lake, the largest of the system. Here there is also within easy reach of either extremity a number of small lakes. From Long Lake we visited in succession carrying-over (intervening) portages to Portage, Adder and Serpentine Lakes. The outlet of the last named lake is the Serpentine River which, after a swift run of thirty miles, brought us to the Forks of the Tobique, nearly thirty miles above the point where we started in.  While Prof. Ganong tended to the physiographic features of the country and took measurements, I examined and collected plants, and took views by means of a camera.

The country traversed is a wilderness, the low lying portions of which are thickly wooded with spruces, firs and other evergreens, giving a somewhat sombre aspect to the country. The ridges are clothed with a more diversified growth of deciduous and evergreen trees. All the smaller lakes are shallow, and the low-lying shores adjacent are the resorts of moose, deer, caribou, beaver, and many of the small fur bearing animals. Trout abound in great numbers in the streams and thoroughfares adjacent to the lakes, while the togue, a fine species of lake trout, is found in at least one lake of the series — Long Lake.

Owing to the remoteness of this district, the difficulties of transportation, and the fact that the waters do not contain salmon, the lakes are seldom visited by fishermen. But in the fall of the year they are a great resort for moose and deer hunters, and in winter trappers visit the region. The deadfalls and other cunningly devised traps met with in every direction during the summer show the elaborate plans made for the capture of the small but valuable fur bearing animals. The distance from the main waterways of the province is also an obstacle to lumber operations, but in proportion as lumber has become scarce in the easily reached areas, this region has been penetrated to quite a considerable extent by lumbermen who have erected dams at the outlet of Trousers, Serpentine, and some of the smaller lakes to hoard up an adequate supply of water for artificial freshets in the small streams that flow from these lakes, drowning the plants and roots of trees along the shores, which now present a desolate appearance from the dead trunks leaning out over the waters.

Our two day journey over that portage road which brought us to Trousers Lake gave plenty of opportunity to study the general features of the country and the plants by the wayside. The road, for the first three or four miles after leaving the Tobique River, led through bogs and low grounds with the vegetation usually found in such situations, The Labrador Tea (Ledum latifolium) exists in profusion and, should our tea-drinkers ever turn to the brewing of the home product, there will be an abundant supply in this South Tobique Lake region. Viburnums, red and black spruces, Rhodora, Vacciniums, Kalmias, Andromeda and other heath plants were found. Then, as the country became more broken and we wound through valleys and over hills, the vegetation became entirely changed. Along the courses of streams the osmundas and ostrich ferns lifted their luxurious fronds, purple trilliums and violets, blue and white, reminded us that this northern country was still in the midst of its spring season. As we neared Trousers Lake magnificent forests, some of them as such as I had never before seen, crowned the sides and summits of the ridges. Gray, yellow and white birches, rock maples, beech, spruce, with occasionally some giant white pines told of generous conditions for growth. The white birch and red spruce were especially noteworthy. The white birch in all its luxuriance I had never seen until I saw it on these hillsides. Some well-rounded and symmetrical boles [trunks], fully two feet in diameter, rose tapering to the height of sixty or seventy feet, the white bark contrasting with the vivid green of its wealth of foliage. It deserves its title of “The Lady of the Woods.” And here were lordly spruces that guarded the gateway to what might be well termed the “Country of the Spruces” that we were now entering. They rose from seventy to ninety feet in height, straight as an arrow, long, slender cone-shaped trees like church spires that were suggestive of sylvan city of churches—and who would not be a worshipper in a city like that?

When our guides left us at the lower end of Trousers Lake on the morning of the 5th July, we devoted ourselves to the consideration of how our 300 pounds weight of baggage and stores could be put away with sufficient compactness and safety in our little basswood canoe of sixty pounds weight. This accomplished, we paddled up the left leg of the lake, before a stiff north-west breeze, to the site of our first permanent camping ground, five miles away, several days exploring the lakes and forests in the vicinity.

The next morning we started out through a woodland portage path to the next lake, about a mile and a half distant, carrying our canoe, Indian fashion, on our shoulders, resting at times and enjoying the beauty that met the eye at every step. It was an ordinary well beaten path, trodden, perhaps, for centuries past by the feet of Indian hunters, guides, trappers, and perhaps by mere adventurers like ourselves. The vegetation was typical of nearly all our northern forests, but the different layers of vegetation had never appeared so distinct and well-arranged as along this particular woodland path. Lower down was a carpet of moss, chiefly hypnums, amid the dead leaves of previous summers. Struggling through this and forming the second layer were those plants that delight the wayfarer in nearly all our woodland groves, the Wood Oxalis not yet in bloom, the slender Linmӕ, “with its twin-born heads” and delicate fragrance, the Solomon’s Seal (Smilacina), occasional patches of blue violets, the Clintonia, the Gold thread (Coptis trifolia), the Star of Bethlehem (Trientalis Americana), with occasional clumps of ferns and lycopodiums. Forming the third layer were the shrubs and young growths of trees, viburnums, maples the Canadian Holly, etc.; while towering above all these were the trees — spruces, firs, white, yellow and grey birches, maples and others.

The end of our portage path brought us to Milpagos Lake, which means the lake of many coves. It is about two and one-half miles long, very irregular, as its name signifies. A red deer on a little interval fifty yards away gazed on us with wondering eyes for a moment and then disappeared into the woods. We paddled along the shore of this lake for about half a mile until we found a path leading to Gulquac Lake. This, like the lake we had just left, has low-lying and boggy shores. Both lakes are muddy and shallow, the shallower parts sending up a growth of rushes, yellow and white pond lilies, while among innumerable small plants along the shores the Droseras are spreading their leaves to catch unwary flies. Here we came face to face with our first moose. The wind was blowing toward us, and he did not see us, so we had a fine opportunity to examine him at our leisure, and a noble-looking animal he was. We watched him browsing, and not until the camp-fire was lighted for our mid-day lunch did he take the alarm. He saw the trail of smoke as it curled up over the trees and vanished. It is thus with all wild animals; the moment they see the smoke, or when the smell of fire reaches their delicate sense of smell, they flee in terror.

Gulquac Lake is a beautiful sheet of water, even though its shores are boggy and low in most places. To the north-west rise two mountains of equal height — about six hundred feet high, and these are in view from every part of the lake. It is about a mile and a half long and, like Milpagos Lake, it has numerous little bays, with islands near each end, and a fine sheet of water between. Near its west end, where it flows out into the Gulquac River, we came upon a beaver dam, constructed across the narrow part of the lake, the difference of level between the water above and below being about eighteen inches. It was composed of sticks placed slanting in the water and made firm with mud and stones. The cutting of these sticks and small logs in the woods beyond, often a considerable distance away, the carrying and putting them in their places, and then firmly placing them together, anchored with rocks, and cementing the whole with mud and clay shows not only the wonderful skill and ingenuity, but most extraordinary industry on the part of this animal. Their houses, too, are substantial plan. They are found usually on the borders of the lake, at some distance behind the dam, the water stored by the latter means being necessary to secure free entrance and exit at all seasons of the year. The beaver house is a broadly conical structure, built strongly of small logs placed deep in the ground and slanting upwards, secured by stones, the interstices being filled with moss, twigs and clay, forming a fortress absolutely invulnerable to all predatory animals.

Our approach to this, our first beaver house, was slow and cautious, with the hope of obtaining a sight of one of those interesting animals, and we were not disappointed. Just as we rounded the point and the house came in view, we saw a beaver basking in the rays of the afternoon sun, or perhaps taking in the beauties of the purple pitcher plants which bordered the avenue of water that led up to the house. On becoming aware of our approach, he greeted us with a grunt of displeasure, then dived and entered his castle through its only portal. There was a communication to those below in the same grunting tone, sounding more like regret than anger; then all was still. We lingered about the house for a time awaiting some sign of that hospitality due to strangers in a strange land, but no sound came, nor did we get sight of another beaver on that whole trip.

The beaver dam in Gulquac Lake was the largest and best constructed of any that we saw. But nearly everywhere on these shallow lakes and their adjacent streams dams were found, and houses, many of them unoccupied. The advent of the lumbermen, who build dams, often on the sites of the heaver dams, has driven them to more remote wilds.

On Saturday, July 7th, and the following Monday, we made excursions beyond our camping ground to the lakes and sources of the streams in the South Tobique Basin, already been given to this Society by Dr. Ganong in his “Physiography of the South Tobique Lake Basin,” I shall merely give an account of the plants found. A few of the most common were Ledum Latifolium, whose white blossoms mingled with the white tufts of the cotton grass (Eriophorum polystachyon) formed a striking contrast to the rose colored blossoms of the Rhodora Canadensis and the two Kalmias (K. augustifolium and K. glauca), and the rich purple blue of the Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea).

The abundance and variety of blossom, mingled with the vivid green of the foliage in the foreground of these lakes, relieved the sombre character of the woods of black spruce and other evergreens which extended to the hillsides beyond. The black spruce, with its jagged, tops, is everywhere in evidence here. There were very few tamaracks, few alders, except along the courses of the streams, a sprinkling of white birch of a small growth, numbers of Viburnums, Contuses, Rowan tree, wild cherry and bilberry.

The lakes were filled with Yellow Pond Lilies (Nuphar advena, and N. kalmiana). The root stocks of these, especially the portions as well as the young shoots, serve as food for the moose and other wild animals. The moose may often be seen out in the lakes with head in the water digging them up out of the mud, and on these occasions when their eyes are blinded with the muddy water, and with the wind in your favor, a very near approach to the animals can be made. The older and tougher portions of the root stocks of the yellow pond lilies cover the surface of the lakes sometimes, especially along the shore, to such an extent that it is difficult to make a landing from a canoe. Whether such a wholesale destruction is caused by moose and by beavers, which are also said to feed upon these, or whether it is caused by the ice in winter freezing down to them and raising them up with the mud in the spring freshets, we could not decide. Along with these the white, sweet-scented Pond Lily was growing, whose root stocks are also said to be relished by moose. Then there were Brasenia peltata, numerous potamogetons, Limnanthemum lacunosum, the horsetail, Equisetum limosum, very abundant, a grass whose bright steel blue leaves lay on the surface of the water. Glyceria borealis — which turns out to be a new plant to the province, many sedges, especially carices, with some half dozen species also new to the province.

The farthest point examined in these lakes, the waters of which find their way to Trousers Lake, was a small lake in the form of a triangle, its vertex pointing to the south-east. Into this flowed a stream of icecold water from springs in the hills beyond, indicating the sources of the southwest branch of the Tobique. The lake was shallow, with low-lying grounds around, the shores covered with flat stones, and numerous moose and deer paths leading to the water’s edge. In the meadow, bordering the stream that flowed into this lake, were found Iris versicolor, Osmunda regalis, O. claytonana, Onoclea struthiopteris, Ranunculus abortivus, R. septentrionalis, Calla palustris, with druseras and violets in profusion; and Ilydrocotyle, Nasturtium palustre, several carices and the moss, Fontinalis antipyretica — all lovers of cold water.

The country about the sources of the South Tobique River has been untouched by forest fires. May it long remain so. Owing to its remoteness, it has not been lumbered to any great extent. Far as the eye can reach from the top of some lofty pinnacle, it is a great evergreen forest the country of the spruces — the swamps and lake borders covered with the slender black spruce of the swamps, the higher grounds and ridges covered with red spruce, that valuable timber tree, intermingled with birches, maples, and a few pines. This country, with other tracts at the headwaters of our great rivets, may be preserved for ages, and, by judicious management, it may yield every year a handsome revenue, and still steadily increase in value. New Brunswick’s greatest source of wealth must be her forests. What has taken many generations of the past to come to perfection should not be despoiled by one generation. It should be the pride of our government and people, and a sign of their growing public spirit and scientific knowledge, sacredly to hand down that wealth that we have inherited to future citizens of the country.

The dangers threatening extinction to our forests are three: from forest fires; from selfish, illegal and unintelligent plans of lumbering; and from the cutting of young trees for pulp mills. The bare tracts of country in the southern parts of the province, and on the Nepisiguit, and some portions of the Miramichi, show how a country may be utterly devastated by ravages from fire, without hope of restoration to its former condition for many generations. The pictures of desolation from forest tires, which can be seen from so many hill-tops in the province, should show us how careful we should be to lessen this great danger to our forest wealth and not only have forests been destroyed, — in many instances the land has been rendered incapable of production perhaps for centuries.

If our lumbermen select the largest and best trees for their operations, gathering the tops and branches, with some of the smaller growth in the denser portions, for the pulp-mill manufacturer, this region of the South Tobique and others through the province would increase in value each succeeding year. The great need in these forests is a judicious pruning of small trees, especially on the lowgrounds, in order to give an opportunity for the stronger and more shapely trees to grow; and the careful removal of branches and tops to lessen the danger from forest fires. Thus the waste products of the lumberman, which have been the source of so much damage in times past to our forests, and the stunted and misshapen growth of smaller trees in the denser woods, would not only be removed, but much of it made use of for manufacturing purposes. In Germany the forests, in spite of the large and profitable lumber “cut” each year, are constantly becoming more valuable. And this is the result of trained and intelligent supervision. And so it would be in New Brunswick if similar methods prevailed. Our game and fish wardens should he trained in forestry. It would pay the government a hundred, thousand fold, to give our game commissioner added authority over forests, give him intelligent and trusted wardens, skilled not only in the knowledge and habits of game and fish, hut also in forestry. It would take a little time to train such a body of experts, but the results would be great, placing New Brunswick in a position to preserve and add to what must prove the source of her greatest material wealth — her forests, her game, and her fisheries. At the same time she would place herself in line with those countries which, by wise and effective legislation, are laying a foundation for the preservation and future development of rich material.

We were encamped at the head of Trousers Lake for five days. During the next ten days, amid almost continuous rains, with here and there a fine day, we journeyed eastward to the Serpentine River, passing over Long, Portage, Adder and Serpentine Lakes with several smaller lakes and ponds. Owing to the heavy rains the streams swollen to freshet size, and the swamps and low grounds near them difficult to cross. There was water everywhere. Of the portages one was two and a half miles long between Trousers and Long Lakes; another one was fully three miles, and very tough and uneven, but several small ponds intervened which were easily crossed in canoes. The lakes, above named, are all very beautiful, especially Long Lake, a sheet of water bordered by high hills, six miles long and from one to two miles in breadth. The soundings at one place in this lake showed a depth of 117 feet. A mile or two to the southwest of this lake in Milnagek, or the “Lake of Many Islands,” no less than fourteen of which dot the surface. About six or seven miles to the south-east lies the lake which is the source of the Little Southwest Miramichi, the portage path to which, described by Professor Hind many years ago, Professor Ganong, aided by Mr. Furbish and guide, attempted to find, but in vain.

The Serpentine Lake and River, both of which have remarkable windings, brought us into the Right Hand Branch of the Tobique River, and from that we came to the main Tobique to our place of starting. The Serpentine River is thirty miles long, and descends in that length 1,000 feet. The water was very high and the stream running like a race-horse. Our canoe shot over boulders and turned the many windings of the river with a speed that was exhilarating to the highest degree. I shall never never forget the joy of that first afternoon on the Serpentine, the delight of riding full speed on the back of a rapid torrent, racing past little islands, the tumultuous waters rioting the fronds, whose dainty green contrasted with the darker shades of alder and viburnums on the banks. Virgin’s Bower twined gracefully in festoons over shrubs, with Meadow Rue and Joe-Pye Weed bending their tall stems over the waters, while on the near hillsides beyond were the darker evergreens. It was difficult to take in the full beauty of the scene, as each turn of the river brought fresh pictures constantly into view. The delights of days like that, with a little spice of danger thrown in, linger in the memory for a lifetime. I have often since found myself careering in imagination over that wild and capricious little river, involuntarily ducking my head to overhanging branch, or shying to avoid some dangerous boulder as we swept by; and then as we came into more quiet stretches of the river, resting on our paddles and taking in these scenes of wildness and beauty.

I can only briefly refer to two side trips that we made while descending the Tobique — one to Sisson gorge, six miles from the forks of the Tobique, and the other to Bald Head Mountain. The trip up the Sisson Branch, as far as the gorge was accomplished with the greatest difficulty, owing to the high water, although, the stream itself presents no obstructions. We were well repaid, however, for the extra exertion by a view of the gorge, one of the wildest and most picturesque spots in New Brunswick. There is a succession of five cataracts tumbling one after the other to a depth of one hundred feet, after which the stream flows in a series of rapids through a gorge walled by perpendicular rocks until it reaches the smoother stretches beyond.

The descent of the Sisson Branch and the main Tobique, as far as Riley Brook, a distance of twelve miles, was made in a little over an hour and a half in the midst of torrents of rain. On the following afternoon, Friday, July 7th, we paddled leisurely twenty miles further down in about three hours, which may show the swiftness of the current, the river being unusually high for this season.

On the morning of this day we visited Bald Head, a distance of five miles from the village of Riley Brook. This elevation which is about 1,100 feet above the valley of the Tobique, is perhaps the most typical and regular mountain in New Brunswick, rising one thousand feet from the plain at its base, in the shape of cone, the upper portion covered with loose stones.

Written by johnwood1946

May 5, 2021 at 8:09 AM

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From the blog at


William F. Ganong wrote an article entitled The History of Tabusintac in 1907, and published it in Acadiensis. I prefer not to quote at length from Acadiensis, because it is still being published today, and have therefore taken parts of the article which most appealed to me and summarized them in my own words as follows.

Sunset View of the Tabusintac River

From Tripadvisor,ca


The Tabusintac River and the community of that name lie on the eastern shore of New Brunswick, about half way between Miramichi and Tracadie. The river, like others along that coast, is enclosed at its opening to the Gulf by a line of sand islands which protects the lagoon. The river is under the influence of the tide for about fifteen miles.

The livelihood of the area depends chiefly on lumbering and fishing and is well known, for example, for its trout and salmon.

The first occupants of the Tabusintac River were, of course, the Mi’kmaq, who benefited from the canoeable waterway and the abundant fishery. These people have left the area now, but some people can still remember when there were sizable Mi’kmaq villages here. There is also a burial ground, and evidence of several portage routes to other waterways. Mi’kmaq place names abound. The word Tabusintac is a corruption of Taboosimkik, which the French sometimes wrote as Taboujamtèque, which is descriptive of some local geography. Cowassaget is from Coowa or Goowa, meaning pine, and Pisiguit is associated with Nepisiguit, meaning rough water.

There is also a time-honoured tradition that a group of Mohawks once encountered the Mi’kmaq at Tabusintac, where the two chiefs battled. The Mi’kmaq chief won, smashing his opponent’s head against a rock known as Batkwedagunuchk. Ganong believed that this rock still exists at Kirbins Point, at the entrance to the river.

Tabusintac was not one of those places that drew Europeans at an early date. A crude map was made in 1685, but hardly any other mention of the place can be found until 1727 when a surveyor was told by the Mi’kmaq that it was a beautiful place with good woods. There is no indication of any European settlement there during all of that time. The Miramichi and the Nepisiquit and Miscou were more favoured locations for the earliest of settlers.

Early maps of Tabusintac

The first European settlers were Acadians, and it is said that two of these, Victor and Anselme Breaux, came to Neguac after having hunted and trapped in the area for a few winters. These men had lived in Shepody before the Expulsion. Jacques Breaux, a son of one of these men, arrived at Tabusintac from the Miramichi in about 1790. David Savoy also came at about the same time, and they were joined by others from Neguac. Bishop Plessis noted that there was rapid growth of Taboujamtèque by1811. Overall, the settlement was small when compared with others on the Miramichi, and it was concentrated at French Cove.

William F. Ganong was aided in his study of early English arrivals by local people, from whom he learned that Philip Hierlihy, Duncan Robertson, John McLeod and William Tobin came in 1798, and were joined by John Murray, of Loyalist roots, in 1803. It is known that there were other English arrivals, since a map made in 1804 also mentions Turner, Buchanan, Wishart, McRaw (or McRae), Blake, McLeod and Casey.

Tabusintac in 1804

Philip Hierlihy, who had Irish roots, and his wife Charlotte were the first and most important of these early arrivals. Little is known of him, except that he died shortly after he arrived, as evidenced in 1804 when his wife was called “Widow Charlotte Hierlihy.” He had sons, however, and their descendants are leading citizens in the area today.

Widow Charlotte was as important to the history of Tabusintac as was Philip. She was an English woman by the name of Charlotte Taylor who married a Captain Blake at Miramichi. Blake died in 1785, however, whereupon she married William Wishart also of Mirimichi. William also did not live long and Charlotte then married Philip Hierlihy. Charlotte and Philip then moved to Tabusintac with Robert and John Blake and William Wishart — sons by her previous marriages. There were also daughters, and one of these married a McRaw (McGraw), and another married a Stymest, and a third married David Savoy. Another daughter was apparently adopted and she married Duncan Robertson. Ganong therefore called Charlotte “the mother of Tabusintac.”

Several disbanded soldiers of the 42nd Highlanders arrived at Tabusintac from the Nashwaak River at about the same time as Philip and Charlotte, including Donald Murdoch, John McLeod, Duncan Robertson and Duncan McRaw. All of these also have descendants in the area today.

Other settlers, mostly English speaking, came from various places in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and from Quebec together with many others with identifiable roots which Ganong outlines in some detail. These family names included Ashford, Beattie, Brown, Campbell, Dick, Gay, Grattan, Johnstone, Lee, Leslie, Loggie, Loofbury, McCallum, McClelan, McEachran, McKenzie, McLean, McLeod, Mclnnes, McWilliam, Munro, Murray, Palmer, Petrie, Simpson, Stewart, Urquhart, and Vanadestine.

Thus, Tabusintac is mainly English speaking, due to those early immigrants from Scotland, Loyalist America and elsewhere and, having established a community, attracted others from elsewhere.

One final story involves ‘Tabusintac Valley,’ about 20 miles above tide’s-head, where George Harris built a half-way house on the post road between Chatham and Bathurst, and also had a prosperous farm. The post road and the half-way house became redundant with the opening of the Intercolonial Railway. The land then passed through several owners, but is now (1907) entirely gone except for the old hay fields.

Written by johnwood1946

April 28, 2021 at 7:54 AM

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The Early Settlement of New Canaan, New Brunswick

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J.W. Brown wrote An Historical Sketch of the Early Settlement of New Canaan, and the Histories of the New Canaan, Havelock, and Albert Baptist Churches in about 1905. This was a collection of local stories and legends, some of which were probably accurate, while others seem fantastic. I have heavily edited the chapter about New Canaan as follows.

The Canaan River

From Wikipedia


The Early Settlement of New Canaan, New Brunswick

It was in 1795 that a group of Loyalists who had settled at Belleisle were attracted by reports of alluvial meadows on what is now known as the Canaan River. They say that this news came from a group of hunters who had gone up the Washademoak Lake and had followed the river into the wilderness. The Belleisle settlers scouted out the area, confirmed the hunters’ story, and decided to build a community which they called New Canaan.

This district began at its western limit at a point on the river about two miles below Canaan Forks, and continued east to a point about two miles above the Upper Bridge. They were dependent upon the river for a considerable time, although a road along the river was blazed and laid out at an early date. Each man built a log house on his lot, and began to clear the land.

It is curious that no efforts were made to secure grants until mid-October, 1809, by which time they had already established a school. The New Canaan Baptist Church was also in existence, having been organized in 1805. Seventeen settlers got grants in 1809, and they were: Elisha C. Corey, Edward Coy, Seth Briant, who was a Justice of the Peace, Henry Kitchen, Gideon Corey, Oswald Alward, Benjamin Alward, George Webb Price, Melanchton Thorne, Richard Thorne, William Humphrey, Daniel Keith, William Perry, Ebenezer Ryder, John Keith, Jacob Jones and John Price. It is not certain that these seventeen were the first settlers, but they were the first who applied for and obtained grants. They secured a total of 4600 acres, thus giving to each an average of 270 acres, although the lots were not equal.

Most of their stories and legends have to do with their isolation and the resulting hardships. During this time, for example, their nearest market was Saint John, which they accessed using dugout canoes, travelling down the river to Washademoak Lake, and probably continuing by dugout the entire distance to the Saint John River and finally to the city. Some of these dugouts were quite large and could carry a large amount of produce to market, and then bring new supplies back. A story is told of Mrs. Dennis Alward, who with butter, eggs and other produce made this voyage to Saint John. On the return trip, when nearing Forks Stream, she and her Indian helper suddenly came upon a place where the dugout upset. It was with difficulty that Mrs. Alward got ashore, but her groceries and perishable articles were lost in the river.

During the winter when the river was frozen, the trip to Saint John would be avoided if at all possible. Otherwise it could only be made on foot, camping along the way. Instances are reported of flour being taken along, and bread being baked upon hot stones at their places of encampment.

The grain raised by the early settlers was ground using hand-mills, consisting of two stones so that one remained stationary while the other was rotated using a handle. By this means the grain was somewhat rudely ground into flour. The story is told of Mrs. Daniel Keith shouldering a bag of corn, and walking with it some five miles to a place where there was such a mill, grinding her corn and returning home with her bag of meal upon her shoulder.

This same Mrs. Keith is spoken of as having managed her own farm, her husband being by trade a barber and not understanding the art of farming. On one occasion she went on a journey which kept her away for some time, and charged her husband to plant potatoes during her absence. Daniel prepared a garden bed, and scattered the potatoes around as garden seeds might be planted. This level of incompetence sounds unlikely to the present editor, and there wouldn’t have been enough barbering business to keep Mr. Keith employed anyway.

A grist-mill was built by Henry Kitchen, near the McDonald Bridge, by 1809, which we know since it is marked upon the plan that accompanies his grant. This mill would be considered inferior compared with modern mills, but in those days it had a good reputation for doing excellent work. It afterwards passed to Allen McDonald who, to a large extent, had the monopoly of the flour trade in this district. As much as a hundred barrels was often shipped at one time to Saint John. Dealers in Saint John received quotations from this mill which often fixed the price at which flour was sold there. This enterprise made New Canaan a prosperous farming community.

Flour sold in Saint John paid for the commodities which the settlers needed to take back. One transaction comes down to us which I presume was many times repeated and gives to us a view of life in those days. One hundred gallons of rum was bought in Saint John with flour, brought to New Canaan and found a ready sale at one bushel of wheat per gallon—wheat being then two dollars per bushel. Liquor, mostly rum, was considered a necessity, and was generally purchased along with other staples. Five gallons of molasses and ten gallons of rum are said to have been the amounts generally kept on hand. The one hundred gallons referred to, are said to have been brought from Saint John to the mouth of Canaan River, and conveyed up the river on a platform built upon two canoes placed side by side. It was towed along by the willing hands of the people living along the river who turned out to support the enterprise.

There were other stories that centered on isolation and hardship. Their first roads were but paths, followed by something called the swamped portash, before finally having more even roads. Their first carts were rude, mostly designed to survive the very bad pathways and the swamped portash. There was no iron in the wheel hubs and no iron on the rims, and the wheels were of a very large diameter, again to cope with the poor roads. Hay was hauled on makeshift sleds and ploughs were fashioned from crotched trees.

The first wheels for hauling hay were introduced by two younger men who had been about and seen what they could do. However, an old man sank the new wheels in a pond and refused to have them in the community. This story troubles me since, no matter how isolated they were, they certainly knew about wheels. I see this as a story about a grumpy old man, and not so much a story about wheels. There was also a peculiar homemade instrument for winnowing grain before winnowing machines were introduced.

In these early years the people depended upon flax for their finer cloth, and its preparation was laborious. After the stalks were cut in the fields, they had to go through several distinct processes—such as fermenting, breaking and hatchelling (combing to separate the fibers from mass) before it was ready for carding (further refining the fibers into something that could be spun) and weaving.

Another event that remained in the minds of many of the people for a long time was the great flood of 1851, when the river rose because of a freshet, overspreading the meadow and uplands until many houses were inundated, and others floated entirely away. The McDonald mill was floated from its foundation, carried some 100 rods (about 16 or 1700 feet) and landed upon a higher piece of ground. The flour which was in the mill at the time was fortunately stored in the upper part and thus escaped unhurt. The mill was never removed from its landing place, and another was built upon the old site.

Dennis Alward had taken precautions before the 1851 flood to draw his canoe out of the river and to fasten it with a rope about twenty-five feet in length to a stake as far up the bank as the rope would reach. In the night he was awakened by the roaring wind and water and going out heard screams of distress from a neighboring house further down the river. Upon going for his canoe he found the stake under water, while the canoe itself was far out from shore. He hastily made a craft of such sticks he could find, and started out. When out but a short distance the craft went to pieces and he swam to the canoe. He then went to the assistance of the family in distress, and found them in a room of their house greatly alarmed, the lower part having filled with the rising water. He was not able rescue them until daylight. A number of families were taken that night out of chamber windows and removed to places of safety. A number of animals were drowned, and much property was destroyed.

Finally, the writer, Rev. Brown, told a lengthy story of George Keith who had two daughters, Eliza and Mary Ann, aged 9 and 7 years who were kidnapped by, and grew up with, the ‘Indians.’ I do not like that story and also question the truth of it, and am not including it in this blog post.

Written by johnwood1946

April 21, 2021 at 7:39 AM

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What They Were Reading Around the Fireplace — Saint John, 1840-41

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From the blog at

What They Were Reading Around the Fireplace — Saint John, 1840-41

George Fenety’s Political Notes and Observations, Fredericton, 1867, was about the business of the New Brunswick House of Assembly. However, it also included several Appendices highlighting current events. Most of these events had little to do with the book’s subject, but were illustrative of the times, and what was happening. Many of the entries read as newspaper transcriptions without citations, while others are Fenety’s own words. Yet others seem to be edited transcriptions. Following are some of his examples of current events for 1840 and 1841, from Saint John and elsewhere.

Saint John County Court House, about 1870.
From the N.B. Museum via the McCord Museum.


Spurious Copper Coins:

The Province in 1840 was inundated with a spurious Copper Coin,—so current, indeed, that there was said to be a Mint in the Parish of Portland, got up on private account, from which a peck of iron coppers was turned out daily. The Merchants at length combined and refused to accept none unless of pure copper, no matter what the face was—consequently many persons found themselves suddenly saddled with bushels of the spurious stuff, for which there was no redemption, and lost heavily.

Attempt to Assassinate the Queen:

News received in New Brunswick (by the Steamer Britannia at Halifax,) of an attempt having been made to assassinate the Queen while driving through one of the London Parks. According to the account Her Majesty and the Prince were seated in a very low German droshky, followed by the usual attendants. A number of most respectable people had assembled outside the gate at Buckingham Palace to witness her departure. After the carriage had issued from the gate and had proceeded some short distance up Constitution Hill, so as to be quite clear of the crowd, a young man, who had come from the Greenpark, and was standing with his back to the railings, presented a pistol and fired it directly. The Prince, who heard the whistling of the ball, turned his head in the direction from which the report came, and Her Majesty at the same instant rose up in the carriage, but Prince Albert as suddenly pulled her down by his side. The man then drew from behind his back a second pistol, which he discharged after the carriage, which, proceeding at the ordinary pace, had by that time passed him a little. The reports of both pistols were very loud, at the discharge of the second several of the female spectators screamed very loudly. Several persons rushed towards the perpetrator of this gross outrage, and he was immediately seized and handed over to two of the Metropolitan Police, who conveyed him to the Queen Square Police Court. The discharge of the pistols and the seizure of the offender scarcely occupied a minute. Her Majesty’s carriage sustained no delay, and moved on up Constitution Hill at the usual pace, and by half-past six had arrived at the Duchess of Kent’s, Ingestre House, Belgrave Square, where Her Majesty stopped for a short time, but neither her appearance nor that of Prince Albert evinced any indication of alarm or excitement at the deadly attack from which they had so providentially escaped.

The name of the ruffian who had been guilty of this diabolical attack is Edward Oxford; his address is No. 6, West Street, West Square, and he is a public-house servant out of place. His appearance is that of a workman, 18 years of age, and rather below the middle height. On searching his lodgings a sword was found, and some crape arranged for the purpose of being worn on a hat or cap in such a way as to conceal the face of the wearer; and the crape is also stated to be folded in a peculiar manner, so that the crape which was intended for the prisoner would distinguish him from the rest of the gang with which it is said he is connected, and who were to be similarly disguised.

Reception of the Governor General at Saint John:

The new Governor General, Right Hon. Mr. Paulet Thomson, arrived in Saint John in July. This gentleman was sent out with instructions to examine into the political troubles of the North American Provinces, and use his best offices for the purpose of applying a corrective. A few years before this Mr. Thomson, as President of the Board of Controls, had rendered himself so obnoxious to New Brunswick, by his course in favour of a repeal of the Timber Duties, that his effigy was burnt on King’s Square, by a crowd of unruly persons. There was no Police then to prevent the outrage. The following account of the same gentleman’s reception in 1840 is here repeated by way of contrast. The account goes on to say— On no occasion have we witnessed more parade, ostentation and form, than on last Wednesday. A Triumphal Arch was erected on the evening previous, at the foot of King Street, extending from the Coffee House Corner to the New Market House, which was tastefully festooned with green brambles and flowers. On the top it was surmounted by a purple crown, handsomely ornamented. His Excellency landed from the Nova Scotia from Windsor, about half past ten o’clock, under a salute of nineteen guns from the Royal Artillery. The different trades formed in line through Prince William and King Streets, through which His Excellency passed. The streets presented a crowded mass of individuals from the landing place to the Hotel—while every nook and corner that could command a view of the Governors, was filled by all classes, of both sexes. The Troops in garrison, and several of our Militia dress Companies appeared to great advantage—and amid the variety of the scene produced an excellent effect. A portion of the New Brunswick Regiment of Artillery was stationed on King’s Square, and gave a general salute as His Excellency entered the Court House. The Coachmen, Cartmen, and Draymen of the City of Saint John, took part in the procession. They were in charge of W.O. Smith, Esq. and drew up in front of the Court House, (in rear of the Bakers,) and formed a Mounted Guard of Honor. The Procession over, His Excellency held a Levee at the Court House, when a number of presentations took place; and from the Body Corporate, Chamber of Commerce, and Mechanics’ Institute addresses were presented and replies delivered by His Excellency; who in conclusion delivered a neat and appropriate speech to the thousands who were gathered in front of the Court House, amid continued cheering. After which he went to the Saint John Hotel, where the whole of the procession and the military passed in front. Upwards of 10,000 persons were present. Sir John Harvey was loudly cheered by the assembled concourse, and replied in a neat and appropriate speech. At 6 o’clock, Sir John entertained the Governor General and suite, to a very excellent dinner prepared by Messrs. Scammells, at the Hotel. About thirty in all sat down, among whom we noticed his honor the Mayor, the Chamberlain, Major Brooks, and the heads of departments.

The reception which His Excellency met with in Fredericton, was equally enthusiastic.

Mr. Thomson while Governor General was created Baron Sydenham, and died and was buried in Canada in a year or two afterwards.

Distinguished Persons in Saint John:

John Quincy Adams, Ex-President of the United States, arrived in Saint John, September 8, 1840, and put up at the Saint John Hotel, corner of King and Charlotte Streets—then considered to be the Hotel of the Province. The following is a list of the prominent persons who were in Saint John, as visitors, at the same time—

Honble. Mr. and Mrs. Pemberton, Quebec; Lieut. Col. Codrington, Coldstream Guards; Mrs. Codrington; Captain Clifford, Coldstream Guards; Messrs. Moffatt and Jeffery, Montreal; Lieut. Col. and Mrs. Chaplin, Quebec; Sir John Caldwell; Sir J.W. Copley; Capt. Tennant, 35th Regt.; Lieut. C. Tennant, R. N., England; W. Gordon, Esquire; Judge Carter and Lady; Hon. Mr. Shore and family; Major Cairns, Capt. Pratt, Capt. Ross, Lieut. Cummin, Lieut. M’Dougall, 36th Regt.; Hon. John Q. Adams, C.F. Adams, Esq., Nathaniel Curtis, Esq., United States; John Frotheringham, and F. Frotheringham, Esquires, Montreal; Lord Frederick Poulet, Mr. Ebrington, Guards, Quebec; Mr. Armour, Mr. A.H. Armour, Montreal.

Arrival of a Prince in Halifax:

The Prince d’Joinville, son of Louis Phillipe, (then) King of France, arrived at Halifax in the Bella Poule, the vessel that had just previously conveyed the remains of the Emperor Napoleon from Saint Helena to France. The Prince remained in Halifax over a week, and visited the Prince’s Lodge, six miles from Town, where his father (Louis Phillipe) once tarried as a guest of the Duke of Kent.

Pursuant to a General Order from the Horse Guards, and another from Head Quarters:

Fredericton, the Officers of this Garrison went into mourning, for Her late Royal Highness, the Princess Augusta, Her Majesty’s Aunt, on Sunday last, by wearing crape on the left arm, and will continue the same until Saturday the 7th proximo, embracing a period of 14 days.

Confirmation, and Honors Shewn to a Bishop:

The Lord Bishop (Inglis) held a Confirmation at Trinity Church, Saint John, Tuesday, November 1, when 130 children were confirmed. On his departure from Saint John for Digby, he was received at the Wharf by a Guard of Honour, under command of Colonel Monins. It was customary on the return of Bishop Inglis from England in a Man-of-War that, on leaving the vessel for the shore, a salute was fired from the ship in honor of his lordship. This was no uncommon occurrence.

Mortality among British Troops:

From the statistical tables of mortality among the British Troops in the United Kingdom and its Colonies, we learn that the annual average number of deaths from every thousand, is, in Great Britain, 15.3; in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, 14.7, at Sierra Leone, 43.3; and at the Cape Coast Command, 668.3. The most healthy and the most unhealthy stations are in Africa. At the Cape of Good Hope, by 13.7 die from every thousand, and on the Eastern Frontier of the same Colony, only 9.8, while, as before stated, at the Cape Coast Command, 668.3, more than two-thirds of every thousand are annually swept away! A commission to such a station is almost a certificate to the grave.

Presentation of a Service of Plate to Sir John Harvey:

On the 23rd March, 1841, a Committee from the House, and also one from the Legislative Council, waited on Sir John Harvey at Government House, to present him with an Address, expressive of the feelings of the Legislature, on account of his recall; and also to offer a testimonial of regard which was voted by the House, in acknowledgment of his services during his administration; to which His Excellency returned the following answer:—

“Gentlemen,— Cheered and sustained by this Address, I shall be enabled to present myself to my Sovereign, and to render such an ‘account of my stewardship’ as may satisfy Her Majesty’s maternal heart, that Her anxious wishes for the happiness and prosperity of Her loyal subjects in New Brunswick have not been lost sight of by me, nor Her Majesty’s designated authority abused in my hands.

“With regard to the munificent testimonial of your kind feelings towards me, I can only say, that I am proud and happy in receiving it,—subject nevertheless to Her Majesty’s approbation—as the memorial of a degree of Legislative harmony, which may have been equalled, but which can never have been exceeded.

“For myself I feel that it is unnecessary for me to say more,—I am known to you, as you are to me,—and our sentiments of mutual esteem and good will cannot change; but for my family—for my children—and my children’s children, I take upon myself to assure you, that my (and consequently their) connection with this noble Province, which the splendid memorial now presented to me is intended to commemorate, will be affectionately cherished in their grateful recollections, when the actors in the present scenes shall have passed away.

“Government House, March 23, 1841.”

A contrast to the above:

In 1820 the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia passed a resolution to provide £1000 for the purchase of a Sword and Star, to be presented to the Lieutenant Governor (Earl of Dalhousie) on his elevation to the Governor Generalship of British North America. Instead of accepting this testimonial His Lordship read the “faithful Commons” a severe lecture, for their neglect of sundry duties, which he pointed out, during the Session then just closed.

Written by johnwood1946

April 14, 2021 at 8:27 AM

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Letters Written in the Wake of the Miramichi Fire, 1825

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From the blog at http://JohnWood1946.wordpress,com

Letters Written in the Wake of the Miramichi Fire, 1825

God only knows what is to become of this place; … it seems even now, as though the whole country is in flames….

Several letters were reprinted by an anonymous author in A Narrative of the Late Fires at Miramichi, New Brunswick, Halifax, 1825. There is no indication of who wrote the letters, and it is only known that these ones were all addressed to people in Halifax. There are other accounts of the Miramichi Fire in this blog, but these letters add a human touch.

A House at Douglastown Which Survived the Miramichi Fire

From the New Brunswick Provincial Archives


Extract of a letter to a Gentleman in Halifax, dated Miramichi, October 10

In the midst of the utmost confusion, and the greatest destruction of lives and property ever recorded, I write you these few lines, to solicit your aid, and that of all friends to humanity, to assist those of ns, who have partially escaped from total ruin, to support the numerous distressed individuals who are thrown upon us for food, shelter, raiment and medical assistance, at a most unfortunate season, with the prospect of a long and severe winter before us, and an unprecedented scarcity of provisions. The extent of destruction on the fatal night of the 7th inst. is unknown and indescribable; nearly the whole of the Parish and Town of Newcastle lie in smoking ruins. The settlements of Bartibogue, Napan, and back settlements of Chatham and Newcastle are not only nearly all destroyed, but few souls saved to tell the doleful tale.

It would melt the heart of the most unfeeling, to see the numerous individuals, who have just escaped total destruction by the fire, and many now perishing from their wounds. Chatham has miraculously escaped destruction in great measure, many of the shipping have suffered much, and three loaded ships fell sacrifice to the flames. Gilmour & Co. have saved the Dwelling House only from its being situated so high that the Hurricane blew the flames past and over it, which however destroyed every other building belonging to them; they saved their books and papers; Mr. Abrams, saved nothing but what he and his family stood in, merely night clothes. It is mere mockery to try to describe the horrors this scene presents, and the abject distress that everywhere presents itself.

We trust, however, that our case will be taken into consideration, and that liberal subscriptions will be raised for the relief of our suffering fellow creatures. There are but few here who have escaped much short of total ruin. From the high character the inhabitants of Halifax bear, for liberality in such cases, I have no doubt but their assistance will be most promptly obtained on this distressing occasion, by sending us provisions and clothing; and from the lateness of the season, not an hour can be lost, otherwise the most desperate consequences are to be dreaded; from the characters of numbers who will be in wretchedness, and will no doubt turn to plundering those who have anything left.

Extract of a Letter from a Mercantile House to their Friends in Halifax

We have the awful story to tell you, that one half of the people of this River are now destitute of house, home and property of any description. We had a most awful night on Friday the 7th inst.— The Fire appeared to come all at once, and nothing but destruction before our eyes.— Newcastle and Douglastown are all burnt to the ground, except a few houses, and it appears though Chatham and Nelson were only preserved as a refuge for the distressed. We have now some hundreds in Chatham who escaped from the fire, some half burnt and others dying from suffocation; indeed it is not in the power of anyone to describe the scene which we now witness— men, women and children coming in from all parts of the River, without clothing to cover them.— We have all been up these two nights past watching, and preparing for the worst. Gilmore and Rankin’s stores and all their property except their dwelling house, have been destroyed, Mr. Abrams escaped with his family, some of them with nothing but their linens on; Salters, Allan, Crane and Allison, Nesmith, Elder, and indeed all at the Court House have lost everything, and just escaped with life.— Gilmore & Rankin, Nesmith, Duncan & Lock were the only persons who saved their Books and Papers.

Extract of a Letter to a Gentleman in Halifax, dated Chatham, Oct, 10

The enclosed will convey but an inadequate idea of the awful state of the country; every house from this to Nelson is filled with the sufferers.— Mr. Call attempting to escape from the flames, fell over the precipice, and was supposed to have perished, until the morning, when he was found, dreadfully mutilated: his daughter that had been ill three weeks with a fever, had a similar fall to her father, and remained hours in the water to avoid being consumed by the fire; many that are dangerously burnt and bruised have not had the benefit of medical aid: so numerous are the calls, and such has been the demand on individuals to protect themselves and property, that the dying have had to expire unnoticed, and the dead unburied.— Rain has at last come  to relieve the minds of the people.— A meeting will take place in the morning to accomplish all that is possible. From this to Nelson every house is filled with the unfortunate beings and it is difficult to say how many are yet to arrive, as from one quarter nothing has been heard, and it is not impossible others remain to tell the tale.— If large subscriptions of Provisions and Clothing are at once obtained, there will be some prospect of getting through the winter without starvation.

Extract of a letter from a Man to his brother in Halifax, dated Miramichi, October 10

It is with sorrow that I make known to you that our late flourishing settlement is laid in ashes, On the evening of the 7th current, fire communicated from the woods, which came with such a dreadful violence, accompanied with a hurricane, that it literally showered down fire and sand, so that it was with the greatest difficulty we escaped with our lives; poor William made his retreat with Caroline to the house of Mr M. McCallum, which escaped being burnt; he got his hand much burnt in getting out of the house; Caroline is as well as can be expected. I stepped behind the store endeavouring to save our books, papers, &c., but it came so fast that I had to run for my life, and leave all behind,— I took to the river, from whence I was taken up by a ship’s boat and carried on board; I bless God that our lives are saved, although our property is gone. The only thing we have saved is our timber, and a few things in Ledden’s store; fortunately this morning some pork and flour have arrived from Liverpool for us; at present we are getting meal victuals where we can find it— those few persons who have their houses saved are kind to the distressed; the fire commenced, it is said, somewhere about Bartibogue and came up the bank of the river with a rapidity impossible to conceive, destroying all as it came. The people of Newcastle had no idea of the fire being so near, the smoke having been so great all day that none could see where the flames were, until they came down upon them.— Many people have lost their lives; whole families have been burnt to ashes round their dwellings. The Chatham side of the river has escaped destruction; but the Newcastle side is entirely destroyed, with the exception of a house here and there, in low situations, so that the fire passed over them.

Mr. and Mrs. Robson have taken passage in the same vessel they came out in (which happened to be the ship Lune for Liverpool) to lay a statement of our loss and misery before our agents. The government of these two provinces will surely take into consideration our deplorable condition. Last night I had to take my turn to watch a store of provisions, which had been threatened by the hungry poor to be broken open. The magistrates and others are doing the best they can to feed them for the present; but there are so many that it can not last long without something else be done: Numbers have expired with cold and hunger; and many poor sick people just rescued from the fever have perished from the effects of fatigue, having escaped the fire.

God only knows what is to become of this place; for the only article of export we had to depend upon is, I fear, completely destroyed— for it seems even now, as though the whole country is in flames. The smoke is so great that in truth, the place seems buried in rains and suffocation— it has indeed a most awful appearance.

You may publish the particulars of the above, if you think proper, so that the distresses of the poor and miserable may be taken into consideration.— God bless you all, and preserve you from the like calamity.

Extract of a letter from a man to his brother in Halifax, Beaubears Island, October 10

Dear William,— I have the painful and distressing task to inform you of the total destruction of Newcastle, with all the property in it. I have this moment learnt that an express is gone off to Halifax, and have only to say, I have little else to think of, but to offer up my prayers to heaven for the preservation of my life, it was saved with our good friend A.S. in a canoe,— we took refuge on a raft of timber. The fire broke out about 9 o’clock at night; in the country several hundreds of lives have been lost; the country is yet on fire; the man is just going off, I will write you fully tomorrow.

Another letter stated

The salmon and trout were found immediately after the hurricane and the worst of the fire, floating on the water in thousands, and it is supposed they were killed by the heat of the water. You probably may form an idea of the state of the air, when I tell you that in the vicinity of Chipman, 2 cows which were well the day after the fire, have been suffocated with smoke, and it is said an immense number of others have shared the same fate.

Written by johnwood1946

April 7, 2021 at 8:01 AM

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Industrial Saint John in Pictures, 1907

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From the blog at

Industrial Saint John in Pictures, 1907

The Saint John Board of Trade published a large pamphlet, or book, entitled St. John, N.B., Canada, Manufacturing and Commercial Centre in 1907, and included photographs and drawings — mostly of industrial sites. The pamphlet was subsequently microfilmed, from which the photographs suffered. However, following are the drawings and a couple of the better photographs.

The Portland Rolling Mills:

The Nail Works of James Pender and Co. Ltd.:

Works of the Maritime Nail Co. Ltd.:

The St. John Iron Works:

T. McAvity and Sons, Iron Works, Broad Street:

T. McAvity and Sons, Brass Works, Water Street:

T.S. Simms Brush Factory, Union Street:

Christie Wood Working Company Plant:

Lawton Company Planing and Moulding Mill:

Foundry of James Fleming:

James Robertson Co. Ltd.:

C.H. Peters Sons City Tannery:

Cornwall Cotton Mills:

York Cotton Mills:

J.E. Wilson Ltd., Foundry:

Hamm Brothers Biscuit Manufacturers:

Confectionary and Biscuit Works, The White Candy Co., Ltd.:

Saint John Milling Company:

D.F. Brown Paper Box and Paper Co., Ltd.:

Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal, Bank of New Brunswick:

Murray and Gregory’s Lumber Mill:

Campbell Brothers Spring, Axle and Edge Tool Works:

Canadian Bank Note Company:

Written by johnwood1946

March 31, 2021 at 8:10 AM

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A Story Told by Jim Paul of the St. Mary’s Wolastoqiyik Band in 1912

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From the blog at

A Story Told by Jim Paul of the St. Mary’s Wolastoqiyik Band in 1912

W.H. Mechling gathered Wolastoqiyik legends in 1912, and published them as Maliseet Tales,in the Journal of American Folklore in 1913. He credited James Paul of Fredericton as having told him the stories, but later refined the attribution to read “Jim Paul of St. Mary’s.” The following story was therefore told by James Paul of the Saint Mary’s Band of the Wolastoqiyik people, on the Saint John River, at Fredericton.

It is good to know the provenance of James Paul’s story Cane, and I have therefore presented it here without editing. This is exactly as found.

Annie Sacobie and a birchbark Wigwam, Evandale New Brunswick, c.1908

From the New Brunswick Museum



Once there was a woman who suckled her son Huza for twenty-four years, and on the arrival of the twenty-fifth year, Huza went out and tested his strength. He attempted to pull up an elm-tree by the roots. He did not succeed in pulling it up, but he moved it somewhat. From this he knew that he had not yet gotten all his strength: so he returned to his mother and told her that she would have to suckle him fourteen years longer. At the end of that time he again tried to pull up the elm-tree, and this time he was successful.

He returned home and said to his father, “I am now going away, and I want you to give me my patrimony. I want you to have made for me a cane large enough to hold fifty head of salted cattle.”

His father ordered a cane made for him according to these specifications, and a few days later he told Huza to go and get it.

The son, however, said to his father, “No, I want you to bring it to me.”

So his father went after it, and he had to take four yoke of oxen to haul it home. When he brought it back, Huza examined it and said, “Oh, what a pity! It’s a little too light.”

At this the father salted ten cattle, and put them into the cane, in order that it should be a little heavier.

It now suited the boy, and he started away. When his mother inquired of him whither he was bound, he replied that he was going to the South to kill the giants who were holding the princesses prisoners.

The boy continued his journey, and, coming to a farmer’s house, asked the farmer if he did not want a hired man. The farmer said that he needed a man who was good at thrashing grain. He promised to pay him good wages if his work was satisfactory, and hired him. So the next morning, after breakfast, he gave Huza a flail and set him to work thrashing. When Huza took the flail, he struck one blow with it, and broke it all to pieces, whereat he pulled up a couple of elm-trees by the roots, whittled them into shape, and tied the tops of the trees together. When he began to thrash with them, he broke the barn down. The farmer came out soon after, and was surprised to see the barn demolished. “Now you have ruined me!” said he. “That will be enough of your thrashing. I’ll pay you off and send you away. How much do you want?”

The strong man [Huza] answered that he wanted twenty-five head of cattle, and the farmer gave them to him. These were salted, and put away in the cane.

As he proceeded on his way, he killed a cow, and, picking it up by the tail, threw the carcass over his shoulder. Some time later he noticed that his cane was leaking, and when he came to a blacksmith shop, he stopped to get it mended. He heard the blacksmith pounding away inside, and, taking his cow off his back, he threw it on top of the blacksmith shop, and it broke the roof in. The blacksmith rushed out, crying, “You have ruined me!”

“Oh, no!” said the strong man. “I only threw my calf on top of the shed. Never mind. I’ll help you fix it.”

They repaired the blacksmith’s roof; and then Huza asked the smith to mend his cane. The blacksmith took it and worked on it until he got it fixed, and the strong man gave him the calf as payment.

After this incident, he proceeded on his journey and met a man who wanted to indenture him for ten years. The strong man agreed to this, but made the stipulation that the first man who got angry should be hit with the cane.

The next morning the master sent the strong man out with an axe to clear some land, and told him to leave the good trees standing, but to take all the rest away. After two or three blows, Huza smashed the axe to pieces. So then he began to pull the trees up by the roots; and he carried the good ones down to the house, and in a short time he had the house covered with a mass of trees. His master ran out, shouting, “Now you have ruined me!”

“Are you angry?” asked Huza. The master said he was not, for he feared a blow from the cane. He sent him to pile all the trees in a field, and Huza did it. The master now feared his helper, and began to plot some means of killing him. In a nearby lake there lived a white horse, which came out from time to time and devoured the passersby. The master thought to send Huza down to plough a neighboring field, hoping that the horse would come out and devour him. Huza went down and began ploughing. Now, one of his horses was very lazy, but the other one was full of energy. After a time, the white horse came out of the water and charged upon his horses. Huza jumped out, and caught it before it could do any damage.

“Oh!” said he, “this will make a good mate for my energetic horse.” And he killed the lazy horse, and hitched up the one from the lake beside his energetic animal.

That noon, Huza drove back to the house; and the master, seeing them coming, recognized the lake horse. Everyone ran into the house to get out of danger; but when Huza got to the house, he called to his employer, saying, “Come out! Now I have a good mate for your best horse.”

The master called out and said, “Take that horse away before it kills us all.”

“Are you mad?” Huza asked.

“No,” said the other; “but if you take that horse back to the lake, I’ll give you a hat full of gold.”

“No,” said Huza, “don’t be afraid. This horse is quite tame now, and you can handle it quite easily. Come out and put it away! It won’t hurt you.” So the master came out, because he feared Huza more than he did the horse; but, much to his surprise, he found the horse quite tractable.

Although he was now at his wits’ ends, he still thought it was necessary to make away with Huza. He next thought he would drown him: so he sent him to clear out a deep well. While Huza was down in the well, his master, with the help of some of his servants, rolled a millstone into the well. The stone fell down on Huza; but his head went right through the hole in the centre, so that the stone rested on his shoulders like a collar.

Huza came out of the hole, raging, and killed all the hens, saying, “The hens scratch all the dirt back into the well as fast as I take it out.”

He still had the millstone around his neck, and his master was afraid to say anything to him. He went back into the well, but did not take the stone off his neck. That evening, when he had finished his work, he went into the house, and took the millstone from his neck and hung it up on a big nail by the chimney; but it was so heavy that it pulled the fireplace down. The master said, “Now you have ruined me!”

Huza inquired, “Are you angry?”

“No,” said the master.

“I only hung up my grindstone,” said Huza.

The master began again to consider how he could make away with him. He finally thought of a scheme. He showed Huza a field that had been sown with grain, and told him that he wanted to sow the same grain there that had been sown there before, but he did not know what kind that was, only his grandfather knew. And accordingly he sent him to Hell to see the grandparent.

“Well,” said Huza, “I’ll go. But how can I know your grandfather when I get there?”

“You”ll be able to recognize him, because he will have a cross on his forehead,” replied the master.

So Huza took his cane and started. After he had gone, his master said, “I guess he’ll not come back this time. They will surely keep him down there.”

When Huza reached Hell, he looked around to try to recognize his master’s grandfather, but was unsuccessful, because all there had crosses on their foreheads.

“The best thing I can do,” he thought, “is to drive them all up to my master, and let him pick out his grandfather.” So he drove the whole gang out of Hell, and took them up to his master’s house.

“Now,” said Huza, “come and pick out your grandfather. They all looked alike, and I couldn’t tell your grandfather.”

His master looked out, saw a whole drove of devils, and screamed, “Take them back! I’ve found out what sort of grain was sown there.” Huza went out and told them to go back to Hell any way they wished, for he was done with them. Then Huza asked his master what he wanted him to do next.

“I have no more work for you,” said his master, and, giving him some money, he sent him away.

As Huza was going along on his journey, he overtook two men. He asked them where they were going. They answered that they were on their way to liberate two princesses who were in the power of some giants.

Huza said, “That’s just where I’m going: so we’ll all go together.”

He asked them their names. The first replied, “Iron-Mouth;” and the second, “Flood.” Then they asked him his name, and he replied, “Cane.”

A little later they were going up a hill, and the two men were lagging behind; but Huza was going along easily with his cane. He said to them, “You would get along much easier if you had a cane. Now, Iron-Mouth, you take my cane, and see how much easier you can walk.”

Iron-Mouth took the cane; but it was so heavy that he dropped it on his toe and crushed it, and they had to rest a few days until Iron-Mouth got better.

“Flood and I will go hunting while you are cooking a meal, Iron-Mouth,” said Cane; and the two departed.

While they were away, an old woman came to the camp, and asked Iron-Mouth for something to eat, claiming that she was starving.

“The food will soon be cooked,” replied Iron-Mouth, “and then I’ll give you something to eat.”

But while Iron-Mouth was not looking, the old woman hit him from behind and knocked him over. Seizing the pot, she ran away; and when Iron-Mouth got up, the old woman had disappeared. A little later, Flood and Cane returned, bringing a duck; and they inquired of Iron-Mouth why he did not have the supper ready. Iron-Mouth told them of his adventure, saying that the old woman ran away with the food while he was gone to fetch water.

As Iron-Mouth’s foot had become better by the next day, Flood said, “I’11 cook today, and we’ll see if the old woman can take the pot away from me.”

So Iron-Mouth and Cane went off to hunt, and left Flood to cook. On the way, Iron-Mouth said to Cane, “Flood will fare just as I did.”

Just as on the day before, while the food was being cooked, the old woman came again, and claimed to be freezing and starving. So Flood told her to come close to the fire and wait until the food was cooked, and he would give her something to eat. She approached, and, while Flood was not looking, knocked him over and ran away with the food. By the time he got up, she had disappeared. When Cane and Iron-Mouth returned, they found that the food was gone, as on the previous day. Flood claimed that the old woman had made off with their supper while he was away; but the bruise and swelling on his face betrayed the real state of affairs.

On the next day, Cane decided to send both his companions out hunting, and to stay in camp himself to see if he could not get to the bottom of this affair. He suspected that these stories were merely blinds to enable the others to keep all the food for themselves. So Flood and Iron-Mouth went away, expecting that the old woman would treat Cane as she had treated them. While Cane was cooking, the old woman came, and told the same story as before; but Cane threatened to kill her if she came near the camp. She persisted, however, and finally he threw his cane on her and killed her.

When Flood and Iron-Mouth returned and found the supper intact, they were very much surprised, and inquired of Cane if the old woman had not been visiting. By way of answer, he pointed to her corpse.

They ate the meal, and then started on their journey again; but Cane wished to find the two stolen pots before leaving. They had gone a little distance when they met three giants, who inquired their destination. Iron-Mouth replied that they were, in the first place, searching for two pots which they had lost, and that, when they had found these, they would try to liberate certain princesses.

“Before you do that, you will have to fight,” said the giants.

There being three giants, they all began to fight, each one fighting with a giant. Cane took the largest. This enormous giant could shout loud enough to kill them all; but the moment he opened his mouth, Cane thrust his cane into it, and smothered the yell. Then he killed him.

He now watched his two friends fighting. Iron-Mouth was faring badly in his fight, and Cane said to him, “Why don’t you bite him, and chew him up?” That one acted on his advice, and soon succeeded in chewing the giant severely.

Cane next looked to see how Flood was progressing, and discovered that his adversary was getting the better of him. “Why don’t you have a flood come and drown him?” advised Cane. And the other did so, and drowned the giant.

After this affray, they proceeded on their journey, with the result that they soon encountered the mother of these three giants, whose strength was equal to the combined strength of her three sons.

“Ah! You are after your pots, and you are after the princesses,” said she. “Well, you will have to fight first.”

“You go and fight her,” said Cane to Iron-Mouth. So Iron-Mouth attacked the old woman, but she was more than a match for him. He tried to chew her, but he was unsuccessful. Then Cane told Flood to help him, and he vainly attempted to drown the old woman by bringing a flood. When Cane saw that the two were unable to overcome her, he rushed to their assistance and crushed her completely with one blow of his cane.

As she died, she said, “You have killed my sons and you have killed me; but there is one ahead of you whom you cannot kill.”

They discovered a large cave where the giants had lived, and there they found two princesses. This led to a quarrel over which two of themselves should marry the damsels. The princesses told them that there were three other princesses imprisoned farther on, whom they had better rescue.

“Their beauty surpasses anything that you have yet seen,” said they.

They thought the matter over; and when they decided to go on, the princesses showed them the deep entrance to the underworld, where the other princesses were kept. The three companions consulted among themselves to decide who should enter the underworld; and as Cane was the strongest of the party, they persuaded him to make the attempt. They fastened a great basket to a rope. Cane got into it, and they let him down the well, promising to wait until he gave the signal to be pulled up.

When Cane reached the bottom, he found himself in another world. The first thing he saw was a city, which he entered, and was surprised to note that the whole city was in mourning. A blacksmith shop stood nearby, and Cane went in. At once the blacksmith seemed to recognize him, and said, “How are you, cousin?” Cane wondered how this man could be his cousin. The smith at once invited him to dine with him, addressing him as Huza; and while they were eating, Cane asked the blacksmith why the town was in mourning.

The smith at first refused to tell him, but finally was persuaded to. He pointed to the castle, and said, “In that castle lives a monster with seven heads. Tomorrow he is going to dine on our governor’s daughter. This monster has also three princesses in his possession.”

“That is the very one I am after,” said Cane. “He has stolen two pots from me.”

“Cousin, don’t do it,” said the blacksmith. “He will surely kill you and eat you.”

Cane was determined, however. He told the other that he wanted a sword so strong that you could tie a knot in it without its breaking. The blacksmith finally succeeded in making such a sword for him.

He left his cane with his cousin, and went up to the monster’s castle. As he approached, the three princesses came out and begged him to go back, saying that he would surely be killed, and could not help them. But Cane would not be persuaded. So the princesses gave him the following advice.

“Before he fights, he will ask you how you desire to combat, and you tell him that you want to fight on horseback and with swords. He will give you a choice of horses. Take a thin, bad-looking horse; and when he shows you the swords, choose an old rusty one, though all the rest will be better looking. If you succeed in cutting off six of his heads, you will find the seventh more difficult, because it grows back again very quickly if you do not keep it away from him. Get your horse to kick it out of the way.”

While he was talking, one of the princesses saw the monster coming, and warned Cane. The girls hid the young fellow in the house, but the monster soon smelled him. He said to the-princesses, “I smell some bugs in here.”

“How can that be?” asked a princess.

Then Cane stepped out, and said, “I’m the bug.”

“I’ll have you for dinner tomorrow,” said the monster, “instead of the governor’s daughter.”

“You will have to fight first,” said Cane.

The monster inquired what weapon he wished to use. Cane chose a broadsword combat on horseback: so he took Cane into the armory, and let him choose his sword. Cane looked over the swords, but said that he could not find one to suit him. Seeing a rusty sword standing by the fireplace, he examined it, and told the monster that this one suited him. The monster went into another room, and returned with some very fine swords. He told Cane to choose from them, asking him why he wanted an old rusty sword.

Cane refused them, saying, “No, this is plenty good enough for me.”

Then he took Cane to the stables, and told him to take his pick of the horses. There were many fine horses there; but Cane chose the old gray thin one, as he had been directed. The monster was disappointed in the choice, because Cane had taken his own horse and sword.

They went forth and began to fight. Without much delay, Cane knocked six heads off the monster. The seventh one, however, gave him more difficulty; for each time he cut it off, it jumped back on again and stuck in the same place. Cane was becoming rapidly exhausted by his efforts, when one of the princesses rushed out, and told him to catch the head on the point of his sword when next he cut it off. He tried this scheme, and succeeded in catching the head, and then threw it back of his horse’s hind legs. His horse kicked the head far behind him. In his last words the monster blamed the princesses for his death.

The three princesses ran up to Cane, and each addressed him as her husband. He said, “I can’t marry you all; but I have two brothers in the upper-world. I’ll marry one of you, and the others will marry my brothers.”

The following mid-day, the people of the town brought the governor’s daughter up to the monster. One of the princesses rushed out, and told them that a strange young prince had killed the monster. At this the people removed at once the mourning-draperies from the houses, and, out of gratitude towards Huza, gave the town to him. He, however, felt obliged to refuse it. Each of the princesses gave him her handkerchief and locket with her name on it. They knew his name was Huza.

After some time they started for the upper-world. When they reached the place where the hole led to the upper-world, Cane pulled the rope to give his companions the signal that he was there. First he put the oldest one of the princesses into the basket and gave them the signal to pull her up. When they got her up, Flood and Iron-Mouth began to fight as to who should marry her.

The princess said to them, “Don’t fight. I have a sister down there who is better-looking than I am.” So they stopped fighting, and lowered the basket again. This time, Cane put in the next oldest girl. They pulled her up; and when they got her up, Iron-Mouth and Flood began to fight over her.

The sisters said, “Don’t fight. We have another sister down below who is more beautiful than we are.”

They lowered the basket another time, and hoisted up the third princess. When she got out of the basket, they thought she was far more beautiful than the other two, so they fell to fighting for her. The youngest one said, “There is no use of your fighting, for I would not have either one of you, unless Huza decides that it shall be so. He killed the monster.”

“We killed the three giants and their mother,” said Iron-Mouth. Then the two began to consider together how they might kill Cane. They decided to draw him halfway up the well and then let him drop back.

Huza had to wait a long time before the basket was again lowered, and this made him suspicious. So he thought he would put into the basket a small number of rocks equal to his weight, to see what would happen to it. Cane gave them the signal. They hoisted the rocks up halfway, and then let go of the rope. “Oh!” said he to himself. “That’s no more than I expected.”

The youngest princess fainted when she thought the basket containing Huza had been dropped. Iron-Mouth and Flood said that they could not help it; that the rope had slipped.

“When we get to your castle, you must tell your father that we are the ones who killed the giants and the monster,” said they.

When they got back to the castle, the girls were afraid of Flood and Iron-Mouth, and so they said that these were the two men who had killed the giants and the monster. Between them, they arranged that Iron-Mouth should marry the youngest; and Flood, the second princess. But every time they proposed to get married, the youngest princess delayed it. She had not yet given up hope that Huza was alive.

Meanwhile Cane was in the underworld. After the basket had dropped, he returned to his cousin, the blacksmith, and told him what had happened. “Don’t take it so hard,” said that one. “Here you own this town, and you can marry whomever you choose.”

“No,” said Cane. “I don’t want to.”

“Well, then,” said his cousin, “I will give you my ring. When you have it, you can get anything you choose. You had better wish for a fox; for you will probably be better able to get out, if you can procure one.”

“I’m going to leave you now,” said Huza, “and I will give you my cane. There are fifty salted steers inside, and you will have meat enough to last for a long time.”

He parted with his cousin, and returned to the hole to the upper-world, where he wished for a fox. The Fox came, and asked him what he wanted. Cane said that he wanted to go to the upper-world.

“I don’t think I am strong enough to do it,” said the Fox, “but I will tell you whom to get. That is the big Eagle. He is strong, and will be able to take you up.”

So Cane called the big Eagle; and when he came, he asked Huza what he wanted. He said that he wanted to get into the upper-world. The Eagle said that he would be able to take him up if he had a steer to eat. Cane got the steer, and then he got on the Eagle and he started up. They had not gone far when the Eagle said to Cane, “You had better give me something to eat. I am getting pretty weak.”

Cane then gave him a quarter of the steer. Twice more the bird was fed. The third time he fed the Eagle, they could just see the light. The Eagle said to him, “I am afraid we can’t make it. You feed me again.”

He fed him the last quarter, and the Eagle was just able to reach the edge of the hole. Cane had to pull himself out first, and then to assist the Eagle.

Once out, he looked around, but could not see any trace of his friends. He waited there for some time trying to decide what to do. Then he thought of his ring, and he wished to wake up in the town where the princesses and his friends were. He wanted to wake up as a ragged old man. Immediately he fell asleep; and when he woke up, he was an old man lying beside a ditch. He rose and walked some distance, when he met a man working. The man spoke to him, asking him if he wanted to work.

“Yes,” said Cane; and the man told him his duties would be to make fires, and bring out manure to spread on the fields. Cane started at once to work. That evening they went back to his employer’s house in the town.

When the wife of his employer saw Cane, she said, “Why do you want to bring this dirty old man here?” But the husband replied that he was a poor old man, and would do no harm.

One day while Cane was spreading manure by the side of the road, he saw the three princesses driving along. When they came opposite him, they stopped the horse; and the youngest recognized him, and called out, “Huza!”

He would not answer, and they drove on. After some time, Cane heard that there was going to be a wedding at the palace. The king wanted to have made a golden medallion with his wife’s image upon it. It was to be exactly like those the princesses had given Cane before leaving the under-world. The king sent around to the goldsmiths to see if anybody could make a replica of the ones lost. Now, it happened that Cane’s employer was a goldsmith; and the king applied to him, sending the queen’s medal. He said that he could not make the others. Cane saw the whole thing; and after the messengers left, he told his master to go and tell them that he had changed his mind, and could make it.

“I’m a gold-worker,” said Cane, “and will guarantee to do the job for you.”

He directed his master to get him a half-bushel of gold and a half-bushel of silver. The king sent him the gold and silver, and left the medal as a pattern.

“You had better go get some liquor,” said Cane to his master, “because you will have to work very hard blowing the bellows.”

That night they went to work, and soon smelted half of the gold and silver. By this time his master was fairly drunk; and Cane said to him, “You go to sleep, and I’ll finish the work.”

When his master had gone to sleep, he took the medallion of the youngest princess, polished it, and compared it with the medallion of the queen. Then Cane lay down and went to sleep.

When his master awoke, he went into the shop and saw Cane sleeping and the two medals on the table. He was unable to tell which was the new one and which was the old. Then he showed the medal to his wife, saying, “Did I not tell you to treat this man well; that he was more than he seemed?”

They awakened Cane, who stretched himself, and said that he was pretty tired after his labors. He told them on no account to tell the king’s servants who had made the medal, and to charge a half-bushel of gold for the making.

“If they come back and ask you if you can make another one like it, tell them that you can,” said he.

The servants of the king returned, and asked if the medal was finished. He said that it was. Then they asked the price, and he answered that it was a half-bushel of gold. They paid it and took the medals to the king. He was unable to tell the two apart; but when the youngest princess saw them, she said, “I think that’s my medal, and Huza must be around.”

Then the king inquired of his officers the price paid; and when they told him, he sent his officers back to have two more medals made like the first. So they returned to the goldsmith and gave the king’s order.

Cane again got his master drunk, and brightened the other medals. The officers came the following day and took the medals back to the king, who again was unable to tell them apart, except for the initials on the backs. Cane’s master offered him the bushel and a half of gold which the king had sent as payment, but Cane refused to take it. His master was very grateful to Cane for this, and never required him to do any more work after that.

Finally the wedding-day, when Flood and Iron-Mouth were to marry the princesses, arrived. The king said that the goldsmith who made the medals must be invited to this wedding; so he sent his coach for the smith. The goldsmith refused to go, saying that he had not made the medals, but that his hired man had made them. The officers asked to see him, so the goldsmith took them into the house and showed them the old man lying by the fireplace. When they saw how dirty he was, they were disgusted; but, since they had orders to bring the man who had made the medals, they handled him very roughly, threw him into the coach, and drove off full speed.

On the road, Huza took his ring out and said, “Let this coach be full of lice, and let me be back in my old place.” As they approached the king’s castle, the coachman drove slowly; and when the coach arrived, the officers opened the door. The lice rushed out and crawled all over everyone. They told the king that they had started with the old man.

“You must have handled him roughly, or else this would not have happened,” said the king.

He sent two other officers after Huza; and when they arrived, they put the old man into the coach again and started off with him. Again he wished to be back in the house, and that the coach should be filled with dung. When the door was opened, the king was standing near, and got fouled with the rest. At once the king became very angry, and said, “You must have treated this man very badly, or else this would not have happened.”

Again he sent two officers with explicit directions to treat Huza well. He threatened to behead them if they did not bring the man back. When they came, the old man requested them to wait a while, so that he might shave, and make himself presentable. He went into a room, and, taking out his ring, wished for a uniform better than the king’s own.

When he came out all dressed up, his master and mistress fell down on their knees, and said, “Forgive us, king!”

“Gladly do I forgive you; but I am not a king,” said he.

And when the officers saw him, they, too, bowed down. He got into the coach, and they drove off slowly to the castle. The king was waiting to receive them; and when they opened the door, the king was so surprised that he almost fainted. They took Huza in, and everyone bowed to him. While he was talking with the king, the youngest princess suspected that it was Huza, and told her mother, the queen, about it.

Huza now took out the princess’ handkerchief and put it back in his pocket so that she could see the monogram on it. A little later she recognized it as her own, quietly pulled it out of his pocket (when he was not looking), and showed it to her mother. But her mother said, “Don’t you think there may be other princesses who have the same name as you?”

Cane then pulled out the second handkerchief and left it exposed to view. The second princess was near him, and, seeing the bit of linen, recognized it. When he was not looking, she stole it and took it to her younger sister. Her younger sister said, “Don’t go and tell mother, for she will not believe you.”

Cane now pulled the handkerchief of the oldest princess out of his pocket so that the monogram could be seen. Not much later the oldest girl passed by, recognized it, and quietly pulled it out of his pocket. She then told her sisters, and they went to their mother and told her.

The queen was angry with them, and told them that they had insulted the king. She went to her husband, however, and, telling him about it, asked him what he thought ought to be done about it. The king was also angry, and said that there might be three other princesses with the same names as his daughters. But the girls were so sure of it, that he began to think there might be something in their point of view. He decided to question Huza, and, going to him, he asked him if he had any daughters. “No,” said Cane, “I’m not married.”

The king then asked him from what kingdom he came. Cane told him everything, from the time of his leaving home; and the king thanked him from the bottom of his heart. He wanted to give him his kingdom, saying that he had promised it to the savior of his daughters. Cane refused, however, and returned to the main hall, where the wedding was to take place. He found the youngest princess sitting on Flood’s knee, and the second oldest on Iron-Mouth’s knee. Going up to Flood, he said, “Flood, do you know me?”

“No,” said Flood, “I do not.” Then he turned to Iron-Mouth, and, asking the same question, received the same reply.

“I am Cane,” said he. But they would not believe him until he recalled incidents of his travels to them. During the recital, Iron-Mouth fell back. The youngest princess rushed to Huza, and, throwing her arms around his neck, she said, “Huza, I knew you were alive.”

Iron-Mouth and Flood begged forgiveness of Huza on bended knees. Huza refused, and told them he was going to hook a pair of horses to their arms and another pair of horses to their feet, and drive them in opposite directions. At this he had them thrown into prison.

But after a while Cane took pity on his old companions, and ordered them brought to him, when he addressed them as follows: “You tried to kill me, but now I am going to take pity on you. I’m going to set you free for old times’ sake. I am going to marry the youngest princess myself, and you can marry the other two.”

So they were all married together, and Huza made Flood and Iron-Mouth high officials of the kingdom.

Written by johnwood1946

March 24, 2021 at 8:23 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

A Story Which Mentions the Marco Polo

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From the blog at

Malcolm Thackeray Ross was a writer, who published a fiction entitled Dreams and What Come of Them in Vol. 5, No. 2 of The New Brunswick Magazine, in March, 1905. An edited version of this story follows.

This is fiction, not a history. Here we have an adventure at sea; a presaged tragedy; a miraculous salvation; with two lovers almost separated by fate; and bravery enough to spare.

The real Marco Polo

From a painting by Thomas Robertson, 1859, State Library of Victoria, Australia,


A Story Which Mentions the Marco Polo

By Malcolm Thackery Ross [With the spelling as it appeared]

I do not know how far the readers of the following pages may be believers in dreams. I am not a superstitious man myself and yet I have, in the course of a long life, witnessed events which were so singular in their character as to deserve the name of supernatural. It would be absurd to say that all dreams or even a majority of them have any meaning. They are usually too indistinct and uncertain in their outline to be more than mere impressions; but in rare instances I believe that there comes to man, in those fleeting visions of the night, warnings of danger to himself or others that it is well to heed. That this is really the case let the following story of my own personal experience testify:

It is now more than thirty years ago that I was captain of a fine clipper ship running between Liverpool and Melbourne. It was in the days of packets, before steam and the Suez Canal had revolutionized the commerce of the world. My ship, the Marco Polo, was a splendid vessel and I was proud of her. I had a good crew, as I always have had in all my voyages, for I discovered early in my career as a master that when sailors are treated like men they will act like men. Well, this particular night of which I am about to tell was as pleasant a September evening as ever I saw. We were about as far south as the Canaries. We had a nice breeze from the north and were running with all sail set, about southwest by south, in order to get the benefit of the ocean current which sweeps past Cape St. Roque on the coast of South America.

I left my first mate Joe Bradshaw, on deck, and, seeing that all was well, gave the man at the wheel his course and went below. This was about ten o’clock, but although I was quite tired, strange to say I did not feel sleepy. I picked up a book as was frequently my custom before I turned in, for when I could spare half an hour or so for reading I always took advantage of it. This particular book was an old volume of sea yarns which I suppose I had read through half a dozen times before, without seeing anything remarkable in it. This night, however, opening the book mechanically I was at once struck with the first heading that met my eye. It was the Wonderful Dream of Admiral Digby.

I began to read and was immediately interested. The narrative went on to state that Admiral Digby was cruising eastward with a small squadron in the Indian Ocean in search of a Dutch convoy from the Moluccas and Java. The Admiral was asleep in his cabin, when in his dream he heard a loud voice calling out: “Digby, Digby, go to the northward.” He awoke instantly and called the sentry, asked if anyone had spoken, No, all had been silent. He fell to sleep again, and again he heard the Command: “Digby, Digby, go to the northward.”

He awoke instantly and called the sentry, asked if anyone had spoken, No, all had been silent. He fell to sleep again, and again he heard the Command: “Digby, Digby, go to the northward.” Again he awoke and again discovered that no one had spoken. The Admiral was unable to endure the pressure any longer. He rose, dressed himself and went on deck, and ordered the ships of his squadron to be signaled to stand to the north. At daybreak he fell in with the convoy he was in search of and made the richest capture ever taken in those seas.

Such was the story which when I  had read it before made little or no impression on my mind, but that night its perusal seemed to affect me strangely. I tried to divert my thoughts from the ideas it suggested by reading something else, but my mind refused to grasp anything farther. I turned over page after page and read, but I only thought of the Admiral’s strange dream and with my mind full of it I went to my cot. I suppose that I must have been asleep an hour or more when I suddenly awoke in a state of extreme agitation, a mood very unusual to me. I had been dreaming that I was sitting in my cabin in my own ship when suddenly a bright figure appeared before me so strangely luminous that I had to shade my eyes to look upon it. Then I saw a face that had often haunted me in my dreams, a face singularly calm and of a beauty that does not belong to the fairest of the daughters of men. The figure raised its right hand and pointed at the tell-tale compass that swung above my head as I sat at the table, and then in a tone of command said; “Keep away three points.” I thought that I tried to speak to ask the reason why, but I could not utter a word. As I struggled to express myself the figure gradually seemed to fade away, and with a start I awoke.

I must confess that for apparently so slight a cause my mind was wonderfully affected by this dream. I sought to banish it from my mind, but that was impossible. Gradually, however, tired nature asserted herself, and I fell into a second slumber. But my dreams were the same. Again I was sitting in my cabin; again the wonderful face appeared before me; again the peremptory command was given, “Keep away three points,” Again I awoke, and when I afterwards fell asleep the dream was repeated a third time, and I thought its face had an expression of anger, as if displeased that it had not been obeyed. I awoke again, my mental faculties in a very confused, and I think, weakened condition. I felt that I could remain in the cabin no longer, so I astonished my mate by appearing on deck after less than two hours below. As my mind gradually cleared from the chaos into which it had fallen, and I revolved this strange dream in my thoughts. I formed the resolution to obey the order so strangely given and went aft. The mate was standing close to the man at the wheel.

“Bradshaw, how does she head?” “Sou’west by south,” he replied. “I guess,” said I, “we’ll keep her away a bit; head her due south until morning.”

The mate looked surprised, but said nothing; he was not a man to ask questions; he only gave the necessary orders to the wheelman, and due south we went dead before the wind. The yards were squared, and on we rushed, doing ten knots at least, with the sea so smooth that a canoe could have traversed it. Then I went below, and enjoyed two hours of dreamless sleep.

When I went on deck I found the lookout men intently watching a bright speck on the horizon. It was reported, but what could it be? Every member of the watch was soon interested in the strange object which was right ahead of us, and every moment growing brighter.

“I think,” said Bradshaw, after a long look through the glass, “it is a ship on fire.” “I believe you are right,” said I, “well, if the people have only their boats at command, help is near.”

There was little said by anyone after that for some time, but every man on deck was now intently watching what we knew to be a burning ship freighted with human lives. The smallness of the light seen at first must have deceived us as to the distance the vessel was from us for, from the rapidity with which we approached the burning vessel, she could not have been more than five or six miles away when we first sighted her. At that the fire was just breaking out of the hold, and from that moment its spread was rapid.

As we swiftly advanced upon the object, I felt my good genius had not commanded me in vain. Here, at least were lives to be saved if there were no treasure fleets to be won. We were now less than two miles from the burning ship and could see, in the bright light of the conflagration, all that was going on onboard. We saw the crew gathered on the poop and her three boats trailing behind. She was running off the wind at the rate of about five miles an hour, her entire sails rigging and masts a mass of flame. We saw the boats drawn up and the people, one by one, transferred to them. One of those thus handed down was evidently a woman. Presently one boat was loaded and dropped off, then a second was filled and also cast off, but one boat was now left, and this contained six or seven persons. Two people were still on the poop, a man and a woman. Al1 this I gathered from the running comments of the mate, who was watching the scene through his glass. The woman was apparently quite helpless, and the man was in the act of handing her down when the boat’s painter [a rope securing the boat to the ship] slipped and quicker than words can tell it, the boat was yards behind. The men seized their oars and rowed frantically after the ship but they might as well have tried to catch an express train. The vessel fell behind, and the two unfortunate ones were left on the burning ship alone and almost beyond help. When this occurred we were less than three-quarters of a mile away, and we came up rapid1y. The men had ceased rowing, and were looking despairingly at the flying ship. In the stern was a young girl in the agonies of grief, and hardly prevented by a youth who sat by her from casting herself into the sea. It was a piteous sight.

“Bradshaw,” said I, “we must save these poor people.” “Yes,” he replied, “we must and we shall.”

The boat was now so close to us that they could almost have touched the ship with an oar, and I shouted to them as we passed: “Never fear, the people will be rescued.” As I said this the young lady fell back in a swoon.

The mate by this time had called the men aft and selected five who, with himself, were to accomplish the dangerous work of rescue. To launch a boat from a ship running at the rate of ten knots is no easy job, it can be done, and it was done that night. Then the mate and afterwards the five men, one by one, were lowered into her. The last man to embark was Dick Bustin, a short, thick set dare-devil of a little man, as brave as a lion and as quick as a cat. His place was in the bow and he had a boat-hook in his hand to catch the ship in case there was no rope in tow.

“Now, my men,” said I, “I will carry you as near the ship as I dare without setting fire to ourselves, and far enough beyond her to enable you to cut in and head her off. Don’t be in too great a hurry to get alongside, but aim for the stern, for the heat amidship will be dangerous. Now, Bustin, you stand by to let go the painter when the mate thinks it is time.”

We were now alongside the burning ship and I could see plainly enough that if a rescue was not effected at once both, the unfortunates would perish. The woman seemed to have sunk down overpowered, and the man was evidently much exhausted. As we swept on I seized the speaking trumpet and called out: “Don’t despair, good people, we’ll save you.”

In a few moments we were a quarter of a mile ahead of the burning ship on her starboard bow and the mate judged it time to cast off. As he did so I had sail reduced and the ship hove to, to watch the gallant men.

The fire-enveloped craft was running off the wind at the rate of between four and five knots an hour and, if I could have freed my mind from anxiety as to the result of the hazardous task my men were engaged in, I might have admired the sublime spectacle she presented. But I was tortured with doubt as to the success of the rescue for the boat’s crew would be in dread perils from the fire before they reached the stern of the ship. I watched them with straining eyes as they closed with her, but they never faltered. As she came broadside on they made a dash for the ship and a moment later they reached her; the boat was under her counter and Bustin had seized a rope that was towing behind and secured it. In another moment I saw him climbing up by it, like a monkey on to the vessel’s poop. Then the man and the woman were handed down into the boat, apparently quite helpless, the painter was cast off and the burning ship drifted away into the night.

ln a few minutes the boat was alongside and then we learned that the man we had saved was the master of the ship, Captain Curtis, who was determined to be the last one to leave his vessel and the woman was one of the passengers, an old lady named Carter, who was going, with her daughter and nephew to Melbourne. She had become so panic stricken that it was impossible to induce her to get into the boat, except by force, and it was while the captain was urging her to permit herself to be lowered into it that the painter slipped and the chance of rescue was lost. After that, between the excessive heat and fright she, became insensible and was still so when placed on our deck. The condition of the captain was hardly better and seeing that what they wanted was air, I had mattresses brought on deck and placed my invalids upon them.

If ever I saw gratitude and joy depicted on a human face, it was when the young lady learned that her mother had been rescued, but her grief was terrible when told that she was insensible and likely to die. The unfortunate lady survived the rescue only two hours, and next day we committed to the deep.

The story of the Carter family was common enough. Mrs. Carter was a wealthy widow who had an estate in the South of England and Alice, the young lady was her only child. At a very early age she had been thrown much in company with Walter Leonard, until an attachment had sprung up between the young couple. Mrs. Carter, who was a very ambitious woman, and, desired her daughter to marry a title, in vain strove to check it, and, failing in this, resolved to take her daughter to Australia and leave her in care of a wealthy uncle, who lived in Melbourne. This uncle, Capt. Acton, had been long in correspondence with his sister, Mrs. Carter, as to the disposal of Alice’s hand, and fully shared her views. Mrs. Carter, to avoid suspicion on the part of young Leonard, did not take passage in one of the ordinary liners, but in a freight ship, the Edinburgh which had good cabin accommodation. But when lovers are in league all ordinary precautions become futile. Alice in some way discovered the name of the ship in which they were to sail and conveyed it to her lover, who was determined to go to Australia with her. Imagine the consternation of Mrs. Carter when she learned that Leonard was on board. But it was then too late to turn back, as the ship was past Holyhead and going down the Channel with a fair gale. Mrs. Carter was seasick most of the voyage and obliged to keep her cabin, so that the young people were constantly in each other’s company, and the very precautions she had taken to sever the bond between them only served to unite them the more firmly.

There was indeed no reason why they should be kept apart. Young Leonard was a fine fellow of twenty-two with coal black curly hair, and a tall and stalwart figure. He had some means and had received an excellent education. The attachment between him and the young lady was deep and sincere. As for Alice Carter herself, I have never seen a lovelier creature. Her complexion was the purest and her figure the most exquisite. Her eyes were dark, but her locks were golden. Her face was the face of an angel: it was the face of the being I had seen in my dreams, but humanized and softened, and rendered womanly. It only remains to add that the mind of Alice Carter was worthy of the frame in which it was set, and that she was all truth, purity and amiability.

After leaving Captain Curtis and his crew at St. Helena, we proceeded on our voyage, and in due time reached Melbourne. Long before this I had seen with great concern that a singular change was coming over Alice Carter. The strength that had enabled her to endure the cruel trial of her mother’s death had left her and was succeeded by a settled melancholy from which it seemed impossible to arouse her. Her gaze was fixed and expressionless; the color had departed from her cheeks; her speech was slow and sad. Nothing seemed capable of rousing her from the state of gloom into which she had fallen; even her lover’s fondest tones failed to awaken a response. We learned later that the cause of this extraordinary change in the young lady was the fixed belief that she was responsible for her mother’s death. She thought that but for her devotion to Leonard, the Australian voyage would not have been undertaken, and that her mother would have been living still.

Of course it was out of the question to attempt to reason with her. All that could be done was to await the time when the power of a mind naturally strong might reassert itself, or when the malady which now clouded it became seated, and nothing remained to hope for but the dark valley of the shadow of death.

Captain Acton, her uncle, was distressed beyond measure to find his niece in such a mental condition, and readily listened to me when I suggested to him that the only thing likely to prove a remedy was a return to her English home and its pleasant surroundings. Thus it was agreed that she should go back with me in the Marco Polo. Of course young Leonard had no notion of remaining in Australia, and would also return with me. He was almost frantic aver the change that had come over Alice, and was consumed with anxiety as to its final outcome.

The weeks I spent in Melbourne were the most wretched I had ever known. I felt like one over whom a great calamity was impending, and yet I could conceive no reason for my anxiety. My sleep was disturbed by dreams which, without forming themselves into coherent shape, seemed to presage sorrow and distress, and left me when I awoke from them harassed in mind and body.

I left Melbourne with a heavy heart. The ship seemed to me to be full of gloom. Alice Carter was no better, but rather worse, and Leonard’s distress seemed to increase daily. Yet it is singular that when we had got clear of the harbour and were once more on the ocean, my spirits began to rise, and I felt almost cheerful. My natural sleep returned, and my evil dreams troubled me no more.

One afternoon when we had been about a week at sea I went down into the cabin on some errand. Alice was sitting there; she had not exchanged a word with anyone that day. The sight of me, however, seemed to arouse her and coming near me she said abruptly: “Captain, we will never see old England again.” “Nonsense,” said I, “what makes you think that?” “Because,” she replied, slowly, “I have had a dream.”

Now Alice, without knowing it, had struck a weak spot when, she spoke of a dream, and instead of ridiculing it, as I might have done, I asked her to relate it to me. That however, she could not do; the faculty of coherent narrative seemed to have left her. She could only repeat: “My dream tells me we will never see old England again.”

We had been making a fast run from the time we left Melbourne and were now almost clear of the Australian coast. I left the deck at midnight with a pleasant breeze blowing from the north and was speedily asleep in my cot. Two hours later I was called on deck; I at once saw Bradshaw’s looks that something unusual had occurred.

“Captain,” said he, “the glass has fallen very rapidly and there is a heavy bank in the southwest. I think we are in for a gale.”

I looked around the horizon saw enough to confirm the mate’s worst fears. There was not a breath of wind, the air was as still as death. The men were already reducing sail, and soon every yard of canvas but a storm stay-sail was safely clewed up. For half an hour we watched and waited as the whole horizon to the south of us grew black as ink. Suddenly, with a roar, as loud as the loudest thunder, the hurricane was upon us. In an instant the sea was one mass of foam. The ship was thrown on her beam ends, and the storm stay-sail was blown clean out of the boat-rope and disappeared. The ship slowly righted and ran under bare poles before the gale like a frightened deer. To check her career was impossible. To heave her to was quite as impossible in such a sea, and even if it could have been done it would have been useless for no sails that ever were made could stand the strain of that gale.

“How long will she stand this?” said the mate who was lashed beside me near the wheel. “We have got to risk it,” said I “if it doesn’t moderate we’ll be ashore before ten o’clock.”

Dawn at length came, but brought no improvement in our condition the wind blew harder than ever; the deck was drenched with spray and the stout ship was rushing to her doom, for on our lee was land and we could carry no sail to draw away from it.

I went down into the cabin and found Alice up and dressed. I was amazed to find her cheerful and even buoyant in spirits. “Is there great danger?” she asked. “There is,” I replied, “I fear we will be ashore in two hours.” She said nothing, but I could see she was not afraid.

I trust never again to have the feeling of utter hopelessness that overwhelmed me at this time. The shore was now broad before us six miles away, and we were running directly for it. We could see the long line of breakers as white as snow. Every man on board was prepared for the worst. Although it was impossible to stand on deck without being lashed to something, after infinite labor, Leonard and I succeeded in getting Alice on the forecastle the only point of safety, for I expected the ship would break in two as soon as she struck. Everyone was now forward, except Bradshaw, who undertook to stand by the wheel to the last. As we rushed on to what seemed certain death Alice was calm. No words short of a snort could be heard, but she clasped my hand in confidence and hope. At that moment I saw a dark spot in the long line of breakers; it did not appear to be more than one hundred feet in length. I gave the mate a signal, but he had seen it, and steered right for it. I untied the lashing which bound me to the rigging and I had scarcely done so when the ship struck.

The moment the vessel touched the ground a mighty wave swept everything off her deck. When I rose above it I found that Alice was still with me. I nerved myself for the struggle in the surf but discovered to my surprise that there was no surf; so that I got ashore with my charge without any difficulty. Leonard and I carried her up the beach and she soon revived. “Thank God,” we both exclaimed “She is safe.”

When I again mustered my men, there was not a soul missing, a result entirely of Bradshaw’s promptness, and judgment. The dark line in the surf was the entrance to a little harbor, completely land-locked and protected by a long reef. At that time of tide there was not water enough to float the ship, and so she struck, but the next wave carried her over the shallow place into the deep water of the harbor beyond. Except for some minor damages the Marco Polo was uninjured.

When I could take an observation I found that we were on one of the islands that lie on the west coast of Australia and we remained there more than a month. We unloaded the ship, careened and repaired her, reloaded her and got her outside of the little harbor on the top of a favorable high tide. Then once more our bow was pointed towards England where we arrived long after we had been given up as lost in the storm that passed over us.

The events of that dreadful night completely restored Alice Carter’s mind and spirits and she had no return of her melancholy feelings. A week after her arrival I had the pleasure of seeing her wedded to the man she loved in a little church in Liverpool and she and her husband still live to thank me for the share I had in promoting their happiness.

Written by johnwood1946

March 17, 2021 at 8:00 AM

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