Project Gutenberg's First History of New Brunswick, by Peter Fisher

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Title: First History of New Brunswick

Author: Peter Fisher

Commentator: William Fisher

Release Date: October 31, 2008 [EBook #27111]
Last Updated: March 14, 2015

Language: English

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HISTORY

OF

NEW BRUNSWICK



By Peter Fisher



AS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 1825
(With a few additional Explanatory Notes)




NOW RE-PRINTED JOINTLY BY

The Government of New Brunswick

AND

William Shives Fisher
(Grandson of the Author)




UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
THE NEW BRUNSWICK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
St. John, N. B.

1921


[iii]

Publisher's Notice.

The tale of the Loyalists; their loyalty to high ideals of national duty—to fulfil which they underwent untold losses, privations and sufferings when they abandoned their homes and their all, and sought new homes and commenced a new life in a northern wilderness—is a story that appeals wherever patriotism is an honor and self-sacrifice a virtue. In this Province of New-Brunswick, settled mainly by families torn and rent by the American revolution and whose descendants are reaping the reward of their sacrifice, it is of peculiar interest.


In 1825, when Peter Fisher published the first Historical work, the Province of New-Brunswick had received the loyalist immigration forty-three years before, at which date it was constituted a separate Province. The progress of the country during a period when its political institutions and industrial life were in a formative condition is of deep interest. The account given of it in Mr. Fisher's work is of sufficient value in the opinion of the New Brunswick Historical Society to warrant its being reprinted. In addition to the original work, there has been embodied with it, notes and observations prepared by the Venerable Archdeacon Raymond and published in Vol. X of the records of the Society. A copy of the history not being available, this is printed from a photostat copy furnished by the Dominion archives.

[iv]



[v]

SKETCHES

OF

NEW-BRUNSWICK;


CONTAINING

AN ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF THE PROVINCE,

WITH

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION

OF THE

COUNTRY, CLIMATE, PRODUCTIONS, INHABITANTS, GOVERNMENT,
RIVERS, TOWNS, SETTLEMENTS, PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS,
TRADE, REVENUE, POPULATION, &c.




BY

An Inhabitant of the Province.



"Whatever concerns my country, interests me;
I follow nature, with truth my guide.
"


SAINT JOHN:

PRINTED BY CHUBB & SEARS,
MARKET-SQUARE.


1825.

[vi]


[vii]

To the Reader.

Having at different times collected what information I could obtain relating to the Province of New-Brunswick, I intended whenever I had a sufficient fund of correct materials, to publish them in such a shape as to diffuse a general knowledge of the Country, its productions, sources of wealth, &c. For this reason I had kept the different Counties, as well as the several subjects of which I intended to treat, separate, in order to receive such additions as I could from time to time make. But as I am happy to find that it is one of the objects of the New-Brunswick Agricultural and Emigrant Society, to publish a Geographical and Statistical Account of the Province, as soon as materials can be collected, I have given up my first design—being convinced that such a Society can collect correct information and the materials for such a desirable object with far greater facility and accuracy than an individual. In the mean time, I have given these Sketches to the public, hoping they may serve to give a faint knowledge of the Country, till a more perfect Work is prepared. It is no small matter to give any thing like a full description of a new Country like New-Brunswick, where the Compiler has but few helps—where there are but few written documents to resort to, and where neither Animals, Minerals, or Plants, have been properly arranged; and where there are but few correct materials to guide him in pointing out the changes of the seasons and other natural phenomena, with many other things which are requisite in a complete description of a new Country. The labour of even arranging the different Parishes was considerable, which the statement of the population of the Province, (had I possessed that document in time,) would have at once supplied.

[viii] It was my intention to add a concise history of the principal transactions that have taken place in the Country from its first occupation to the present time, from such sources both written and oral, as came within my researches; but have for the reasons before stated relinquished that design.

The description of some of the Counties is not so full as I could wish, but it may be observed this is but an outline of what I at first designed; and that the information I had collected of some of the Counties, was very scanty; but that I intended to extend it to considerable length, as correct materials could be procured. Having therefore abandoned my first design, I had to contract the description of some of the Counties of which I had a fuller knowledge, to make the Work more uniform; and not to appear partial to some parts of the Province, or to have forgotten others.

Fractional accuracy cannot be expected in such a brief outline; neither indeed is it of much consequence. I have, however, endeavoured to come as near the reality as possible, and given as full a detail as the size of the Work would allow.

THE AUTHOR.


[9]

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

Old Settlers on the River Saint John. New-Brunswick erected into a Government, and settled by the Loyalists in 1783-4. Difficulties of the first Settlers. List of successive Governors and Presidents.

The Province of New-Brunswick formerly formed a part of Nova-Scotia, which was the first European settlement on the Continent of North America.—The first grant of land in it was given by King James the First to Sir William Alexander, in 1621—from whom it had the name of Nova-Scotia or New Scotland. It was at that time regarded by the English as a part of Cabot's discovery of Terra-Nova. The first settlers, however, were emigrants from France, who as early as the year 1604 came to the Country with De Mont, a French adventurer, and gave it the name of Acadia.

This country frequently changed masters; passing from the French to the English, and back again, till it was finally ceded in full sovereignty to the British at the peace of Utrecht in 1713.

In 1760, a number of persons from the County of Essex, in Massachusetts, obtained a grant of a Township, twelve miles square, on the River Saint John, from the British Government; and after several delays in exploring and surveying, they commenced a settlement at Maugerville.

During the American War of 1775, they were joined by a number of other families from New England: the district adjoining Maugerville was settled, and the whole called by the general name of Sunbury, where the Courts of Justice were held till 1783: when the peace with America left the Loyalists who had followed the British standard, to seek an asylum in some part of the British dominions.

Prior to this period a number of families from Yorkshire in England, and others from Massachusetts, had settled in and about Cumberland, where many of their descendants still [10] remain.—These people, actuated by different attachments, lived during the war in a state of hostility with each other;—one part adhering to the British, and the other to the Americans.

In the month of April, 1783, about three thousand persons, men, women, and children, sailed from New-York for the River Saint John; many of them being passengers, but the major part persons who had joined the British army, and were now sent to this Country to be disbanded and settled. In the month of October following, about twelve hundred more arrived from the same place. Those as well as the former had to seek a shelter from the approaching winter, by building log and bark huts; a few indeed were admitted into the houses of the settlers who had resided here before and during the American war. Provisions and clothing were furnished by Government for the first year, with a few implements to commence a settlement. Lord Dorchester appointed the Rev. Mr. Sayre, George Leonard, William Tyng, and James Peters, Esquires, as agents to apply for lands and locate them. Major Studholm was soon after added to the number by Governor Parr.—This Officer at that time commanded the Garrison of Fort Howe, at the entrance of Saint John River. These agents appointed the Rev. Mr. Arnold for their secretary. The duties that devolved on these gentlemen were of the most arduous nature; they had however the satisfaction of receiving the thanks of the Governor and Council of Nova-Scotia, for their upright conduct in transacting that business.

In the year 1785, the present limits of New-Brunswick were divided from Nova-Scotia, and a separate Charter of a Constitution was granted to the Province, under Governor Carleton, with a Council composed of the following gentlemen:—Beverley Robinson, Gabriel G. Ludlow, George D. Ludlow, Abijah Willard, Jonathan Odell, James Putnam, Joshua Upham, Edward Winslow, William Hazen, Gilfred Studholm, and Daniel Bliss.—Beverley Robinson, Abijah Willard, and James Putnam, died soon after, when Beverley Robinson, the son of the former, with George Leonard, and John Saunders, were appointed to succeed them. The above Members of the Council transacted the business of the Province for a long while. Governor Carleton was authorized from the Crown to locate lands to the Loyalists and disbanded Troops in proportion to their ability and rank.

[11] From this period the Province slowly improved in Agriculture, Ship Building, and the exportation of Masts, Spars, &c. to Great-Britain, and Fish, Staves, Shingles, Hoop Poles, and sawed Lumber to the West-Indies. Receiving in return coarse Woollens and other articles from England; and Rum, Sugar, Molasses, and other produce from the West-Indies.—a Town was built at the mouth of the River Saint John, and another at St. Ann's Point, called Fredericton, where part of two Regiments were stationed till the French revolution.—Barracks and other public works were erected in different places, and the upper part of the Country settled by establishing two military posts in the interior, one at the Presqu-Isle, eighty miles above Fredericton, and another at the Grand Falls, fifty-two miles farther up. But the difficulties to which the first settlers were exposed continued for a long time almost insurmountable. Having been reared in a pleasant Country, abounding in all the comforts of life, they found themselves suddenly transplanted to a wilderness with a rigorous climate, devoid of almost every thing that could make life tolerable.—On their arrival they found a few hovels where Saint John is now built, the adjacent country exhibiting a most desolate aspect; which was peculiarly discouraging to people who had just left their homes in the beautiful and cultivated parts of the United States. Up the River Saint John the country appeared better, and a few cultivated spots were found occupied by old settlers. At St. Ann's, where Fredericton was afterwards built, a few scattered huts of French were found; the country all around being a continued wilderness—uninhabited and untrodden, except by the savage and wild animals; and scarcely had these firm friends of their country began to construct their cabins, when they were surprised by the rigors of an untried climate: their habitations being enveloped in snow before they were tenantable. The climate at that period (from what cause has not yet been satisfactorily ascertained) being far more severe than at present. They were frequently put to the greatest straits for food and clothing to preserve existence; a few roots were all that tender mothers could at times procure to allay the importunate calls of their children for food.—Sir Guy Carleton had ordered them provisions for the first year at the expense of Government; but as the country was not much cultivated at that time, food could scarcely be procured on any terms. Frequently had those settlers to go from fifty to [12] one hundred miles with hand sleds or toboggans through wild woods or on the ice to procure a precarious supply for their famishing families. The privations and sufferings of some of those people almost exceed belief. The want of food and clothing in a wild, cold country, was not easily dispensed with or soon remedied. Frequently in the piercing cold of winter a part of the family had to remain up during the night to keep fire in their huts to prevent the other part from freezing. Some very destitute families made use of boards to supply the want of bedding: the father or some of the elder children remaining up by turns, and warming two suitable pieces of boards, which they applied alternately to the smaller children to keep them warm; with many similar expedients.

Some readers looking only at the present state of the country may smile at this account as wildly exaggerated, and may suppose that the skins of the moose and other wild animals would have been a far better substitute for bedding. But I have received the account of the above facts, with many other expedients which were at that time adopted by the settlers, from persons of undoubted veracity, and who had been eye witnesses of what they related. It is, however, needless to enlarge upon the hardships they endured, as most of the sufferers are now no more. Some indeed were discouraged and left the country; but most of those who remained had the pleasure of seeing the country improved and their families comfortably settled. Many of those Loyalists were in the prime of life when they came to this country; and most of them had young families. To establish these they wore out their lives in toil and poverty, and by their unremitting exertions subdued the wilderness, and covered the face of the country with habitations, villages, and towns.

I have not noticed these circumstances as if they were peculiar to the settlers of New-Brunswick; but to hold up to the descendants of those sufferers the hardships endured by their parents; and to place in a striking point of view, the many comforts they possess by the suffering, perseverance, and industry of their fathers. All new settlements formed at a great distance from the parent state, are exposed to difficulties, till the country becomes improved. Many of the Colonies in North America, when first settled, were more than once on the point of total extinction. The remnant of the inhabitants of some of them were even embarked to abandon the country [13] altogether, when they were stopped by succour from home. The remembrance of the difficulties of the first settlers should make their descendants contented with their present advantages, and instead of wishing to change, to use their own exertions to improve the country, and duly to appreciate the many blessings and privileges they enjoy.

Under the judicious and paternal care of Governor Carleton, assisted by several of the leading characters, many of the difficulties of settling an infant and distant Country were lessened. The condition of the settlers was gradually ameliorated; agriculture was particularly attended to: The Governor himself set a pattern in which he was followed by several of the leading men in the different offices. A variety of grains and roots were cultivated with success, and considerable progress made in clearing the wilderness. Barren seasons were sometimes experienced, when the scarcity of food was partially remedied by the exertions of the Governor, assisted by several other public spirited gentlemen, who are now no more.

After having governed the Province for nearly twenty years—after having seen the country from a desolate wilderness rising to a state of importance among the surrounding Colonies—after having seen the settlers placed in a state of comparative comfort and independence—and after having in every respect endeared himself to them as their common father and benefactor—Governor Carleton, in 1803, removed to England, when the Government of the Province was administered by the following persons, under the style of Presidents, till his death, viz.—G. G. Ludlow, from his departure till February, 1808; Edward Winslow, Esquire, from that period till the 24th May following; when he was succeeded by Major-General Hunter, who held the Government, with the exception of two short intervals, (during which the Government devolved first on Lieutenant-Colonel Johnstone, and afterwards on Major-General Balfour,) till 1812, when he was succeeded by Major-General Smyth; he having gone to England in 1813, the Government was administered by Major-General Saumarez; but was resumed by General Smyth, in 1814, who having again left the Province, the Government devolved on Lieutenant-Colonel Hailes. On the death of Governor Carleton, Major-General George Stracey Smyth, was appointed to the Government by His Majesty's Commission, dated the 28th February, [14] 1817. Governor Smyth died the 27th March, 1823, when the Government was assumed by Ward Chipman, Esquire, who administered the same till his death in the month of February following, when it devolved on John Murray Bliss, Esquire. In the mean time, Major-General Sir Howard Douglas, Baronet, had been appointed to the Government by His Majesty. He arrived in the Province in August, 1824, and immediately repaired to Fredericton, and assumed the Government on the 28th of the same month, and is at present (1825) Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of New-Brunswick, and its Dependencies.

The lively interest which Sir Howard takes in whatever concerns the prosperity of the Province, may be best inferred from his own words in his address to the Legislative Body, and his speech at the formation of the Agricultural Society, which are inserted in full in the Appendix to this short work.

[15]

CHAPTER II.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

Situation. Extent. Boundaries. Face of the Country. Soil, Animals. Mineral and Vegetable Productions. Inhabitants, Religion, and Government.

New-Brunswick is situated between the forty-fifth and forty-ninth degrees of North latitude, and between the sixty-fourth and sixty-eighth degrees of West longitude. It is nearly 200 miles in length, and 180 in breadth, containing about twenty-two thousand square miles of land and water. It is bounded on the North by the river St. Lawrence and Canada, on the West by the State of Maine, on the South and Southeast by the Bay of Fundy and Nova-Scotia, and on the East by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay Verte. It is divided into eight Counties, viz. St. John, Westmorland, King's, Queen's, Charlotte, York, Sunbury, and Northumberland, which are again divided into Parishes, according to their extent, and will be described when I come to treat of the Counties separately.

This Province is watered with several fine rivers which lay open the inmost recesses of the country, and are of the utmost advantage to the inhabitants in transporting the products of the forests to the seaports, as their chief trade consists in lumber and other bulky articles. It likewise abounds in lakes, streams, springs, and rivulets, so that there are few places unprovided with good mill seats or water conveyance. It is diversified with beautiful acclivities, hills and mountains, some of which will be noticed in the course of this work.

The appearance of the country along the Bay of Fundy is forbidding, rugged and broken, and the soil indifferent. Advancing from the sea-board into the interior the face of the country becomes more level, being interspersed with gentle risings and vales, with large strips of fertile intervals along the rivers, which being annually overflowed produce excellent crops. In many places along the margin of the rivers, the banks are high and [16] abrupt, and to a stranger the land appears poor and hard to cultivate; but after rising the banks, and advancing a short distance from the water, the land becomes level, and the soil rich; being covered with a thick black mould, produced by the putrefaction of the leaves of the numerous trees with which the country is covered. In other parts the land rises with a beautiful slope from the water, offering many fine situations for buildings and seats. The land in some parts being a second intervale, and in others a good upland with a strong soil.

Most of the rivers have numbers of fine Islands interspersed in their courses, which being chiefly formed by the washing of the currents, consist of rich alluvial soil, producing grain, roots and grass in the greatest luxuriance. These islands may be considered as the gardens of the country, which they enrich and beautify. The rapidity of the rivers, swoln by the melting of the snow in the spring, tears away the soil in some parts, and deposits it in others; by which means their courses are gradually altered; new Islands are formed, and alluvial soil accumulated in some parts of the rivers, while it is washed away in others; and this is more or less the case according to the looseness of the soil, and the bends of the river: so that a man may have a growing estate, or he may see his land diminishing from year to year without the power to remedy it.

As most of the settlements are as yet confined to the margin of rivers and streams, the country a little back is a continued forest, covered with a stately growth of trees, consisting of pines, firs, spruce, hemlock, maple, birch, beech, ash, elm, poplar, hornbeam, &c. In some parts of the country white and red oak are found, but in no great quantity; although men who have ranged the woods in search of pine, say there are large groves in the interior. The islands are generally covered with butternut, basswood, elm, maple, alder, &c. and in some places the same trees are found on them, as on the high land in their vicinity.

As the climate of a new country, abounding with lakes, rivers and streams, and covered with close woods, which exclude the sun, must be daily altering as the country becomes cleared and improved: I shall hereafter notice some of the changes that have taken place in the climate of this Province since it was settled by the Loyalists in 1783.

The domestic animals in this Province are much the same as those in the United States; many of the horses and oxen used [17] in the lumber business, being annually furnished by the Americans. The breed of horses has been improved by stallions imported at different periods from England and other places. In Cumberland the inhabitants have paid considerable attention to the improvement of the breed of horned cattle; in consequence of which, and the extensive marshes in that country, their dairies are superior to any in the Province. The sheep and swine are of a good size and various breeds. As Agriculture has been much neglected in this Province on account of the great trade that is carried on in lumber, not much attention has been paid to improving the domestic animals, till of late, a Society has been formed, and cattle exhibitions instituted, which no doubt will soon make an alteration in that part of the rural economy of the Province.

The wild animals are not so numerous as formerly, and some species are nearly extinct. The Moose or Elk, which were found in great abundance when the loyalists first came to the province, were wantonly destroyed, being hunted for the skin, while their carcases were left in the woods, a few only being used for food, although their flesh is equal to the Ox, and would have supplied the destitute settlers with animal food for a long while, had there been any effectual means at that time to restrain the waste of the mercenary hunter. So great was the destruction of those valuable animals, that in a few years they totally disappeared. A few have lately been seen, and a law has been enacted for their preservation; but they can scarcely be reckoned among the present animals of the Province. The other wild animals are Bears, Foxes, Wolves, Caraboo, Sable, Loup-cervier, Peaconks, Racoon, Mink, Ground and Red Squirrels, Weasels, Muskrats, Wild Cats, Hares, &c. with that valuable animal the Beaver.

The domestic Fowls are Turkies, Geese, Ducks, Hens, and other Poultry; and among the wild are, Partridges, Geese, Ducks, Pigeons, Owls, Crows, and Swans; with a variety of small Birds, which have nothing peculiar to render a particular description of them necessary. There are but few reptiles in the Province, and those are harmless.

Most of the rivers are well stored with Salmon, Shad, Bass, Suckers, and Herrings, with abundance of small Fish, such as Trout, Perch, Chub, Smelt, Eels, &c. Cusks are taken in the winter, and Sturgeon are taken in some parts, but not often.

[18] The Bays and Harbors are well supplied with Cod, Pollock, Haddock, &c. Mackerel are taken in different places at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy, and along the coasts.

But little can be said about the mineral or fossil productions of a country which is yet in its infancy, and where the industry of the inhabitants can be more profitably employed on the surface of the earth than in ransacking its bowels. Minerals cannot be procured and manufactured without money. To work mines effectually, many things are requisite that cannot be expected in a new country. Such as capitalists who can risk money on experiments, and wait a long time for returns: for all property employed in the first working of mines is uncertain. The next thing is abundance of cheap labour—then a demand for the articles produced; next to produce it of such a quality, and at such a price as to make it find a market: with many other considerations sufficient to deter men who feeling themselves straitened in pecuniary resources, see the necessity of employing what little they possess in the way that will give a sure and quick return; and to such persons, the surface of the country covered with pines, holds out a more inviting prospect than the concealed riches of the earth. From the appearance of the country, there is reason to believe it is rich in minerals, and that the mountains contain ores of different metals in abundance; but as no attempts of consequence have been made to procure specimens or assay them, it cannot be expected that any particular account of them could be given in this short work. It is probable the time is not far distant when men of intelligence will turn their attention to investigate scientifically the different natural productions of the Province. Coals are found in abundance at the Grand Lake, and specimens have been discovered in several other places, so as to leave no doubt of the Province being well stored with that useful article. Limestone of a good quality is found in different parts of the Province; particularly at the narrows, near the mouth of the river St. John, where there is not only sufficient for the use of the country; but to supply Europe and America for ages, should they need it. Gypsum is also found up the Bay, near Cumberland, and Manganese at Quaco.

This Province abounds in different kinds of excellent Stone for building, and other purposes. Grindstones are manufactured in abundance for home use and exportation. Veins of Marble, [19] of different species, have been discovered, some of which have been partially explored, and small quantities manufactured.

The vegetable productions are, Wheat, Rye, Oats, Barley, Maize, Beans, Peas, Buckwheat and Flax, with a variety of Roots, Grasses, and Hortulan Plants.

The fruits are Apples, Plums, Cherries, Currants, Gooseberries, Cranberries, Blue and Black Berries, Raspberries, Strawberries, and small Grapes, with a number of small wild fruits. Butter Nuts, a large oily nut, Beech Nuts, and Hazel Nuts are found in different parts of the country in abundance, and in many places serve for fattening hogs; particularly the Beech Nut, which after the severe frosts in the fall nearly cover the ground.

There are no disorders peculiar to the climate. The air throughout most part of the year is very pure and the inhabitants in general enjoy a good share of health. Whether the observations that have been made of the Americans sooner decaying than Europeans will apply to the inhabitants of New-Brunswick cannot yet be ascertained; as the Province has not been long enough settled; but there is good reason to believe that with temperance and care the human frame will exist as long in vigor in the latter as in Europe.—Another remark as a proof of the former has been made which is that the human mind sooner arrives to maturity in America than in Europe; but this if true may be more owing to accidental than physical causes.

Their earlier marriages likewise proves nothing as they arise from the peculiar circumstances of the different countries.

The inhabitants of New-Brunswick may be classed as follows according to priority of settlement.

1st. The Aborigines or Indians.

2d. Acadians, being the descendants of the French who were allowed to remain in Nova-Scotia after it was ceded to the British. They were called the French neutrals—their descendants are at present settled in different parts of the Province and are considerably numerous and will be noticed with the Indians hereafter.

The old Inhabitants, were those families who were settled in the Province before the conclusion of the American revolution, as already noticed. They were so called by the disbanded troops and refugees who came to the country in 1783, and the [20] appellation is still applied to their descendants. Some of those were settled at Maugerville where they had made considerable improvements before the loyalists came to the country. A few of the old stock are still living, having attained to a great age. Their descendants are however numerous, and by intermarriages with the new comers, spread over every part of the Province.

The next and most numerous class of inhabitants are the descendants of the Loyalists who came to the Province at the conclusion of the American revolution, and whose sufferings I have already slightly noticed.—These are the descendants of those genuine patriots who sacrificed their property and comfort in the United States for their attachment to that Government under which they drew their first breath; and came to this Province (at that period a wilderness) to transmit those blessings to their posterity. For although many of them belonged to the army and were sent here to be disbanded, they had formerly been comfortably settled in the States; and when it came to the trying point whether they should forsake their homes or abandon their King, the former was preferred without hesitation, although many of them had young families and the choice was made at the risk of life, and also with the change of habit from the peaceful yeoman to the bustle of a camp.—As however the choice was made with promptness so it was persevered in with constancy.

The other inhabitants are emigrants from different parts of Europe. In some parts they have obtained allotments of land and are settled a number of families together, in other places again they are intermixed with the other settlers and by intermarriages, &c. are assimilating as one people: proving themselves in many instances, good subjects, and valuable members of society.

The last class that I shall notice are the people of Colour, or Negroes.—These are found in considerable numbers in different parts of the Province. In some parts a number of families are settled together as farmers; but they do not make good settlers, being of a volatile disposition, much addicted to dissipation; they are impatient of labour, and in general fitter for performing menial offices about houses as domestics, than the more important, but laborious duties of farmers.—In their persons, the inhabitants of New-Brunswick are well made, tall and athletic. [21] There are but few of those born in the country, but what have attained to a larger growth than their parents.

The genius of these people differ greatly from Europeans—the human mind in new countries left to itself exerts its full energy; hence in America where man has in most cases to look to himself for the supply of his wants, his mind expands, and possesses resources within itself unknown to the inhabitants of old settled countries, or populous cities. In New-Brunswick, a man with his axe and a few other simple tools, provides himself with a house and most of his implements of husbandry,—and while a European would consider himself as an outcast, he feels perfectly at home in the depth of the forest. In new countries likewise the mind acquires those ideas of self-importance and independence so peculier to Americans. For the man who spends the greater part of his time alone in the forest, as free as the beasts that range it without controul, his wants but simple and those supplied from day to day by his own exertions, acquires totally different habits of acting and thinking, from the great mass of the people in crowded cities, who finding themselves pressed on all sides, and depending on others from day to day for precarious support, are confirmed in habits of dependence.

Hence the inhabitants of this Province are men who possess much native freedom in their manners. This, from their veneration to their King makes them faithful subjects and good citizens, not blindly passive, but from affection adhering to that Government under which they drew their first breath and under which they have been reared.

In noticing the state of religion in this Province, it may not be amiss to observe that the old inhabitants who came originally from New-England, where the genius of their church government was republican, were generally Calvinistic in their modes and doctrine; while the loyalists and others who came to the country in 1783, were generally Churchmen, Quakers, or Methodists. The Emigrants who have come since that period include all the above denominations.

The Church of England is in a flourishing state in this Province; there are nineteen Clergymen belonging to the establishment who are under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Nova-Scotia. Many of them have handsome churches with numerous congregations. Two of them are employed as Itinerants for [22] the vacant districts of the Province, and several of the others serve two or more Parishes—An Ecclesiastical Commissary has the superintendence of the whole.

The Catholics have a few Chapels and appear to be on the increase. Their congregations are chiefly composed of Emigrant Irish, French, and Indians.—There are six Clergymen in the Province, some of whom are settled and others are employed as Missionaries among the scattered French and Indians.

There are but two Ministers of the Kirk of Scotland in the Province; they have handsome churches in Saint John and St. Andrews. There are however a number of Seceders from the Presbyterian form of Church Government, but all holding the doctrines of Calvin; several of them have commodious places of worship, and respectable congregations.

There are no places of worship belonging to the Quakers in this Province. There are however, a few of these primitive worshippers scattered through the country, who joining sincerity and honesty with plainness, are excellent members of society.

The Methodists are a numerous and respectable body of people. There are four Wesleyan Missionaries in this Province, with a number of Methodist Preachers, who although not immediately in connection with the Missionaries, adhere strictly to the old Methodist discipline and doctrine; and usually attend the Conferences, which are held once a year, either in Nova-Scotia or New-Brunswick; where the Missionaries for the two Provinces and the adjacent Islands assemble to arrange the different stations of their Preachers and regulate the affairs temporal and spiritual of that body. At these conferences young Preachers are admitted on trial, and probationers who have laboured four years in the Ministry to the satisfaction of the Conference, are taken into full connection.

The Baptists are the descendants of those followers of Mr. Whitfield, who formerly were very numerous under the denomination of New-Lights. About 25 or 30 years ago, a change in their forms and discipline took place among the leaders in Nova-Scotia, who adopted the mode of Baptizing only Adults, and the other tenets of the old Baptists whose name they also assumed. There are however a few of the New-Lights still scattered through the country, who carrying the levelling spirit into their religion, do not like order of any kind. They style themselves Baptists, Christians, &c. The Baptists on the [23] contrary have a formula of faith comprised in seventeen articles, and are very strict in church government. They are a numerous class of people, and have several fine Chapels; they have however but few settled Ministers, not having as yet made sufficient provision to supply their members with a stated Ministry. They regulate their affairs by an annual association.

In general a desire for the christian Ministry is increasing in the Province.—Places of worship are erecting in most of the settlements, and such other provision for the support of the Gospel provided as the abilities of the settlers will admit.

The Government of New-Brunswick, like most of the British Colonies, is Royal and a miniature of the parent state. The other forms originally established in the Colonies and Plantations were charter and proprietory governments, which of late years have mostly given place to royal or monarchial governments, after the British model.

The Governor has a Council consisting of twelve Members, to assist him in the discharge of the executive duties of his station. These with the representatives from the different Counties constitute the Provincial Legislature.

The principal Courts established in the Province are the following.—

The Court of Chancery, which is a Prerogative Court, as well as a Court of Equity. The Lieutenant-Governor, or Commander-in-Chief is Chancellor, and the Justices of the Supreme Court Assignees.

The Court of Governor and Council, for hearing and determining Causes relating to Marriage and Divorce.

The Supreme Court of Judicature for the Province is held in Fredericton. It consists of the Chief Justice and three Assistant Judges. The Terms are the third Tuesday of February and May, and the second Tuesday of July and October. The Jurisdiction of this Court is very extensive, partaking of the power of the Courts of King's Bench, Exchequer, Common Pleas, and other Courts in England. All civil causes of importance and capital cases are determined in this Court. The present Chief Justice Saunders, who presides in this Court, the reader will observe, was a Member of the first Council in the Province. He has ever since been actively employed in the first stations in the country, which he has filled with the greatest ability and [24] integrity. He is the only survivor capable of filling a public station among all those who bore a share in the public concerns of the Province on its first erection into a separate Government under Governor Carleton. The salary of the Chief Justice is £700 or £750 sterling. The other Justices have each £500 sterling per annum. The Justices, besides attending the Supreme Court at the Seat of Government, hold Circuit Courts in the different Counties.

The Inferior Court of Common Pleas consists of two, three, or more Justices, who preside occasionally. They are assisted by the Magistrates of the County. Here civil causes that do not involve property to a great amount are determined, as are also crimes and misdemeanors not affecting life. The Grand Inquest of the County attends this Court, when Bills of Indictment are found, which if involving matters above its Jurisdiction, are handed over to the Supreme Court for trial. Most of the Police of the Counties and Parishes is regulated by this Court, which is held half-yearly or quarterly in the several Counties, as the public business may require. Here the parish officers are appointed, parish and county taxes apportioned; the accounts from the different parishes audited; retailers and innkeepers licensed and regulated, &c. In short, this Court exercises in many respects the same powers in the several Counties, in regard to their internal police, as those that are exercised by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of incorporated Cities.

Besides these Courts there is a summary mode of recovering debts under five pounds before a single Magistrate.

The Legislature of New-Brunswick, like most of the British Colonies, is a miniature of the British Parliament, consisting of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Council, and House of Representatives. The Governor represents the King. The Council form the upper House, in humble imitation of the House of Lords in England; and the Representatives from the different Counties forming the lower House, or House of Assembly. The number of Representatives for the several Counties is as follows: For the Counties of St. John, Westmorland, Charlotte, and York, four each; the Counties of King's, Queen's, Sunbury and Northumberland, two each; and two for the City of St. John, making in all twenty-six. This representation, the reader will [25] observe, is very unequal. The County of Saint John, which includes the City, having two more members than the extensive County of York, which includes the Seat of Government; and the County of Sunbury, which is not as large as some parishes in the other counties, has as many members as the County of Northumberland, which comprises over one-third of the Province. It must indeed be admitted that Saint John and Sunbury are far better settled than Northumberland; but when we look at the great extent of the latter, the numerous settlements and great trade in that part of the Province, we must allow that the inhabitants of that part of the country have not an equal share of what may be considered the bulwark of liberty—namely, a fair representation. Six members at least, would not be out of proportion for that large County.

The Assembly sits in the winter at Fredericton: the sessions continue from six to seven weeks. Its chief business is in managing the provincial revenue, providing for schools, roads, &c. and making such laws as the state and trade of the Province may from time to time require. When laws are enacted that interfere with Acts of Parliament, they are transmitted to the King, with a suspending clause, and are not in force until they receive the royal approbation.

[26]

CHAPTER III.

Climate. Produce.

 

As New-Brunswick lies in nearly the same parallel of latitude as Paris, Vienna, and other places in Europe, it would be natural to suppose the climate would be similar to those places; but it must be observed that cold is found to predominate on the continent of America. Hence in places under the same parallels, the differences between the old and new continents, with regard to cold, is very great, and this difference increases as you advance from the equator. This has been supposed by Dr. Robertson and others to arise from the western situation of America, and its approaching the pole nearer than Europe or Asia, and from the immense continent stretching from the St. Lawrence towards the pole and to the westward; and also from the enormous chain of mountains which extend to an unknown distance through that frozen region, covered with eternal snow and frost; over which the wind in its passage acquires that piercing keenness which is felt as far as the Gulf of Mexico, but more severely in the Canadas, New-Brunswick, and Nova-Scotia.

The prevailing winds, from October to April, are from the north and north-west, during most of which period the air, though frequently intensely keen, is clear and healthy. December is a temperate, pleasant winter month. In January the heavy falls of snow commence, and the drifting storms prevail chiefly in February and March; but these are not so frequent as formerly, and the major part of the winter is clear, hard weather.

In April the spring commences, and the winds are chiefly from the east north-east, which occasion dull, heavy weather. The rivers, lakes, and streams break up this month. As May advances, the weather becomes settled, and the mornings are uncommonly fine. The sun, which rises a little after four o'clock, diffuses his beams in full splendor through an unclouded sky. This is the usual month for sowing and planting on the [27] high land. The intervale and low lands are generally later in drying, and are generally cultivated in June. The prevailing winds in the summer are from the south and south-west, veering at times to the eastward, but never continuing long to the north-west. In the first part of June the cold is considerable at night, frequently attended with frosts, particularly at the changes of the moon, which sometimes injure the early flowering fruits; and it is not till after the summer solstice that the night air loses its chilliness. This is no doubt occasioned by the snow, which lies undissolved in the deep recesses of the forest, as well as by the waters of the numerous rivers, lakes, &c. all which are swoln at this season; and by the cold acquired by the earth during the winter, which requires the full effect of the sun's influence, till late in June, before it is sufficiently heated. As soon as the earth is so thoroughly warmed that the nights lose their chill, vegetation becomes surprisingly rapid. In a few days, plants that appeared yellow and stunted, assume a deep green, and show a vigorous growth; and in less than a week, should a shower intervene, the face of the country exhibits the most luxurious vegetation, sufficient to astonish those who have only been familiar with temperate climates.

September is a pleasant month: the air is serene and pure. The rivers and streams are usually lower this month than at any other period during the year, and the dry weather frequently continues till late in October. Snow falls sometimes early in November, and lays till late in April; but this does not always hold. The rivers and lakes freeze up about the middle of this month, some sooner and others later, according to their situation. It is not uncommon to have frost in all the months in the year except July: for, as was observed before, it seldom escapes at the changes of the moon in June, and it frequently happens at the full in August, particularly on small streams. If, however, it passes that period, it generally keeps off till late in September. A stranger would naturally conclude from this account, that the season was too short and frosty for crops to come to maturity; but this is not the case. Roots come to perfection and grain gets ripe in most years; wheat being oftener hurt by the rust than the frost. The springs are indeed backward; but vegetation is exceeding rapid, and the autumns are uncommonly fine. The changes of the weather are frequently very sudden. Often in the space of two hours, (in the seasons of fall and [28] spring,) changing from the mild temperature of September to the rigor of winter. This is chiefly occasioned by the wind: for while it blows from any of the points from the S.W. to the N.E. the air is mild; but when it veers from the N.E. to the N.W. it becomes cold and clear; and as it frequently shifts very suddenly, the transition from heat to cold is equally short. Even in the sultry month of July, whenever the wind changes for a few hours to the N.W. the air becomes cool, elastic, and invigorating. This, as was before noticed, is occasioned by its passing over the immense continent to the northwestward, and Hudson's Bay to the northward. On the contrary, when the winds are from the southward and S.E. they are mild and relaxing, retaining a portion of the heat acquired in the torrid zone. The changes, however, are not always so violent. The weather often both in winter and summer, continues for weeks with little alteration in the temperature, and changes imperceptibly. The coldest weather generally felt in the country, is on or near the full moon in January; for it is not till after the cold has had some time to exert its full influence and chill the earth, that the full rigor of winter is experienced. The same is the case with the greatest heat in summer, being in July, after the sun has for some time exerted his full influence on the earth.—From observations made by several persons, it is well understood that a gradual change has been taking place in the climate on the American continent within a century past. The change in this Province since 1783, has been very great—the summers having abated much of their former heat, and the winters grown proportionately milder. Neither are there such excessive droughts in summer, as formerly; the seasons being cooler, with more rain; neither does the snow accumulate to such a depth on the earth. This may arise not so much from a less quantity falling, as from the frequent thaws which now take place in the winter season.

For several years prior to 1816, the seasons had been growing gradually cooler—less warmth being felt on a mean in each succeeding year till 1816, when the cold appeared to have arrived at its acme; for in that year it appeared to predominate: from whatever cause has not yet been ascertained. Some ascribed it to spots on the sun's disc; others supposed that large masses of ice had been detached from the shores of Greenland, and floated so near America as to occasion the uncommon [29] chill of the air,—with other conjectures of a like nature, totally unsatisfactory. For spots have frequently been observed on the sun, and it would require an immense quantity of ice to produce any permanent effect.—Whatever might have been the cause, it is certain the genial warmth of the sun appeared nearly lost: for when shining in meridian splendour in the months of June and July, a cold rigorous air was felt. There was a fall of snow, which was general over the Province and extended to the United States, on the 7th June, to the depth of three or four inches in the northern parts of the country. This was followed by severe frosts in every month in that year. The crops were very light: fields of wheat were totally destroyed. Even the never failing potatoe was chilled and did not yield half a crop.

After this year the seasons began slowly to improve; but the shock given to agriculture, by the failure of several crops, brought great distress on the poor, and gave a check to the prosperity of the Province. So great was the distress of the country, that the Legislature applied £6,000 to be laid out in seed and provisions, and advanced to such as were in want on a credit. For a few years back the seasons have been favorable to agriculture; but the extremes of heat and cold in winter and summer are not so great, and the rains are more generally diffused through the year than formerly.

I have been thus particular in noticing the changes of the seasons, as I think it would be a great advantage to the Province if a correct register of the weather was kept, and the changes of the seasons particularly attended to, as it would furnish data to guide the farmer in his crops, by sowing more of the hardy grains, such as oats, barley, peas, &c. as the seasons, (judging by a comparison with former years) was likely to be warm or frosty; and not running so much on Indian corn, which always requires hot seasons. Had this been attended to in the cold seasons, less distress would have been felt in the country, as oats, barley, &c. generally did well, when the other crops failed.

As I observed before, several causes have been assigned for the difference between the climate of Europe and America, by persons who have investigated that subject. But the causes of the alteration that has taken place in the seasons in North America, remain yet a desideratum with the learned. Whether the alteration is occasioned by the precession of the equinoxes, or by the position of our globe with the other planets, (for [30] changes no doubt are taking place in the great system of the universe, which, though slow, must produce powerful effects,) or from whatever cause it may be, the effects are visible, and cannot reasonably be wholly ascribed to the improvement of the country, or any alteration that has taken place in it.

New-Brunswick appears to be but little liable to the great convulsions of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, &c. There has been but one shock of an earthquake experienced by the present inhabitants since they have settled the country. This shock happened on the 22d May, 1817, at 25 minutes past three o'clock in the morning. The duration of the shock was about 45 seconds. It was attended with the usual rumbling noise, without thunder, the weather being very serene and pleasant. The appearances, however, usually indicating earthquakes, such as fiery meteors, the uncommon brilliancy of the aurora borealis, &c. had been frequent the winter preceding.

I shall now proceed to notice the principal grains, roots, and grasses cultivated in the Province, and give as correct an account of their produce, &c. as the imperfect state of the agriculture of the country will allow.

Wheat is sown from five pecks to two bushels to an acre, and yields from twelve to twenty-four bushels per acre. Twenty bushels is a good crop, on new land, although it sometimes produces more, when the soil is very rich and the season favourable. On old land the return is from ten to fifteen bushels per acre, the mean is about twelve. Rye is grown on inferior lands. It takes about the same quantity of seed to the acre, and gives much the same returns.

Oats are much cultivated in this country, and generally turn out a good crop. The quantity of seed is from two to three bushels, and the produce from twenty to thirty bushels per acre. Barley is not much cultivated, although it would do well as a substitute in frosty seasons.

Buckwheat is a grain that gives a large return for the quantity sown. It is raised on lands that are too poor to produce good crops of the other grains, and sown later in the season, so that the greatest summer heat may be past before the grain is formed in the ear; for should there be a few very hot days when the grain is in the milk, the crop would be destroyed. The same would be the case, if a slight frost should strike it in that stage. If, however, it escapes these casualties, to which it is liable, it [31] turns out a good crop, yielding from forty to sixty bushels to an acre. There is a species of wild Buckwheat, which is a surer crop, but of an inferior quality.

Millet has lately been introduced into the Province. It is said to do well on most lands, but has not been much attended to.

Indian Corn or Maize, flourishes in high perfection on the intervales, which are generally composed of alluvial soil. It is usually planted in hills nearly four feet asunder. Five grains is the usual quantity for a hill. It is a plant that requires a light rich soil, old manure, and hot seasons; should these requisites concur, a good crop may be expected. It is usually hoed thrice, and produces from twenty-five to forty bushels per acre.

Pease are a hardy grain, and produce from ten to fifteen bushels to an acre.

Beans are usually set in drills; they thrive well on light sandy lands, but are not much cultivated in the country.

Among the ground crops or roots, the most valuable is the Potatoe—a root that can never be sufficiently prized, as affording one of the most productive and surest substitutes for bread of any known, and without which it would have been extremely difficult to have colonized these Provinces. This may be reckoned the surest crop, and is peculiarly well adapted to new countries, as it thrives best on new burnt land. The usual and simplest method of cultivating this root is by planting cuttings of it in hills, about three feet asunder. This method is peculiarly convenient on land newly cut down, as the seed is set with the hoe between the stumps and roots with which the ground is covered, and where the plough or harrow could be of no service. They are generally hoed once in the season, and turn out in the fall a large crop of clean, smooth potatoes, of a superior flavour to those grown on old lands. The produce is from 150 to 200 bushels from an acre; although they sometimes greatly exceed that quantity.—They are an excellent crop for improving new lands; for as the culture is all performed with the hoe or hack, the small roots of the stumps are destroyed in planting and digging; for wherever there is room to drop an eye, it never fails to vegetate, working under roots and around stones, so that in the autumn the farmer has frequently to cut away or dig under roots for his crop, which often exceeds his expectation. In some parts of the Province, where the lands [32] have been long in cultivation, drilling is practised, and the labour chiefly performed with the plough and harrow; and of late the Irish method of setting them in beds has been introduced. There are many varieties of this root cultivated in the Province; but no attention has been paid to renewing the seed from the ball, which no doubt would improve the quality as well as the produce.

Several kinds of Turnips are cultivated in this Province; the best of which is the ruta-baga, or Swedish turnip. This is an excellent root and cultivated with great success, particularly on new lands. They differ from the common field turnip, being of a firm texture they keep the year round; while the common turnip turns soft and unfit for use after the winter sets in. They, however, answer a good purpose for early use and for cattle, being sown late in July, after the other crops are out of the way. The Swedish turnip is sown early in June. All the sowing in this country is broad-cast, the method of drilling being scarcely known.

The other roots are, beets, carrots, parsnips, onions, radishes, &c. which are chiefly cultivated in gardens. There are a variety of cabbages, sallads, cauliflowers, squashes, &c. which are also cultivated in the gardens with great success.

The principal grasses produced in the country, are white and red clover, timothy, lucerne, browntop, &c. Good uplands produce one and a half tons per acre, and the intervale from two to three tons. There are several species of wild grass, such as blue-joint, &c. found in meadows, in the woods, and along streams, which make very good food for young stock.

As no regular catalogue of the various species of indigenous plants has yet been made in this country, it would be useless to attempt anything like a correct, minute enumeration of them in this concise sketch. I shall, therefore, prosecute this part of the subject no farther, as I think the time is not far distant when this branch of the rural economy of the Province will be particularly attended to; and that the Societies which have lately been formed for that purpose, will not only develope and improve the native productions of the country, but introduce different species of exotics, as they find them answer the soil and climate.

[33]

CHAPTER IV.

PRINCIPAL RIVERS AND TOWNS.

River St. Croix. St. John. Miramichi. Mars-Hill. City of St. John. Fredericton. St. Andrews.

Having in the preceding chapters given a brief sketch of the settlement and face of the country, and noticed its climate, productions, &c. I shall now proceed to give a short description of the principal rivers, mountains, and towns, beginning with the

 

River Saint Croix.

This river was made the boundary between the territories of His Britannic Majesty and the United States, by the treaty of 1783 which describes the bounds as follows, viz. "That angle, which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of the St. Croix river to the Highlands, along the said Highlands which divide these rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut river; thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of north latitude, from thence by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois, or Cataraquy," &c.

The boundaries thus described, have caused considerable difficulty between the two Governments, in discovering which is the height of land mentioned in the treaty; and in regard to the St. Croix, it is supposed that the British Commissioners were totally unacquainted with the river in question, and not aware that the lines proposed, if run according to the American construction of the treaty, would separate the British Provinces of New-Brunswick and Canada. It is also probable that it was not precisely known at that time what river was meant by the St. Croix, but that another river, more to the westward, might have been intended. This uncertainty about the rivers at [34] that time might have arisen from the general name of St. Croix, which was given by Europeans to all the rivers falling into the Bay of Fundy, occasioned by the French on their first landing in the country, having erected crosses at different points, and named the places from that circumstance, the country of the Holy Cross. However it may have happened, difficulties ensued in ascertaining the precise Islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy belonging to each power, and the Highlands meant by the treaty of 1783. This induced the Commissioners of the two Powers at the treaty of Ghent to provide against any misunderstanding on these points for the future, by the fourth and fifth articles of that treaty. The fifth article, bearing particularly on this point, states that "Whereas neither that point of the Highlands, lying due north from the source of the river St. Croix, designated in the former treaty of peace between the two powers, as the north-west angle of Nova-Scotia, nor the northwesternmost head of Connecticut river, have yet been ascertained: and whereas that part of the boundary line between the dominions of the two powers, which extends from the source of the river St. Croix, directly north to the above-mentioned north-west angle of Nova-Scotia, thence along the said Highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic ocean to the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of north latitude, thence by a line due west on said latitude, until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy, has not yet been surveyed, it is agreed that for these several purposes two Commissioners shall be appointed, sworn, and authorized, to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the next preceding article, unless otherwise specified in the present article. The said Commissioners shall meet at St. Andrews, in the Province of New-Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall have power to ascertain and determine the points above-mentioned, in conformity with the provisions of the said treaty of peace of 1783, and shall cause the boundaries aforesaid, from the source of the river St. Croix to the river Iroquois or Cataraquy to be surveyed and marked according to the said provisions: the Commissioners shall make a map of the said boundary, and annex to it a declaration under their hands [35] and seals, certifying it to be the true map of the said boundary, and particularizing the latitude and longitude of the north-west angle of Nova-Scotia, of the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, and of such other points of the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such map and declaration as finally and conclusively fixing the said boundary. And in the event of the said Commissioners differing or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by them, or either of them, and such reference to a friendly sovereign or state shall be made in all respects, as in the latter part of the fourth article is contained."—The fourth article here alluded to provides that "such sovereign or state shall decide ex-parte upon the said report alone, and His Britannic Majesty and the Government of the United States engage to consider the decision of such friendly sovereign or state to be final and conclusive on all matters to them referred."—Notwithstanding these precautions on the part of the Agents of the two Governments, the points alluded to are not yet ascertained or settled.

But to resume the description of the river. The St. Croix has two main branches, one inclines to the eastward, and communicates with a chain of lakes, some of which are of considerable extent, and lie near a branch of the Penobscot river. The other turns to the westward. From this branch there is a route by a succession of lakes and short portages to the waters that fall into the river St. John. The lands on the banks of this river are of good quality, and have been well timbered; most of the pine has been cut off, but there is still abundance of other timber, consisting of the harder woods, spruce, firs, &c. There are mills erected on different parts of this river, which furnish a great quantity of sawed lumber annually.

There are several falls in the river, which obstruct the navigation. There are, however, several fine settlements along its banks, and the adjoining country is first improving.

 

River Saint John.

This noble river encircles a large portion of New-Brunswick, and may be considered as the principal drain of those numerous rivers and streams with which the Province is intersected. [36] Winding in an irregular semi-circle, it traverses an extent of about five hundred miles, and falls into the Bay of Fundy nearly in the same parallel of latitude in which it takes its rise.

It may not be improper to observe, that most of the rivers and streams in this country were originally named by the Indians, who generally, by the names they give, wish to signify something peculiar to the thing named; consequently the Indian name of this river, which they call "Looshtook," signifies long river.—It rises from lakes near the head of Connecticut river, between the 45th and 46th degrees of north latitude, and stretches to the northward, beyond the 47th degree of north latitude, where it receives the waters of the Madawaska river, which rises near the St. Lawrence. It then inclines to the southward, and continues its course uninterrupted, receiving several large streams, till it arrives at the Grand Falls, in lat. 46 54'. Here its channel is broken by a chain of rocks, which run across the river at this place, over which its waters are precipitated with resistless impetuosity. The river, just above the cataract, makes a short bend of nearly a right angle, forming a small bay a few rods above the precipice, in which there is an eddy, which makes it a safe landing place, although very near the main precipice, where canoes pass with the greatest safety. Immediately below this bay, the river suddenly contracts. A point of rocks project from the western shore and narrow the channel to the width of a few rods. The waters thus pent up sweep over the rugged bottom with great rapidity; just before they reach the main precipice they rush down a descent of some feet, and rebound in foam from a bed of rocks on the edge of the fall. They are then precipitated down perpendicular cliffs of about forty-five feet in height, into an abyss studded with rocks, which nearly choke the passage, leaving only a small opening in the centre, through which the water, after whirling for some time in the bason, rushes with tremendous impetuosity, sweeping through a broken rocky channel and a succession of falls for more than half a mile, being closely pent up with rocks, which in some places overhang the river so as to hide most part of it from the view of the observer. Trees and timber, which are carried down the falls, are sometimes whirled round in the bason below the precipice till they are ground to pieces; sometimes their ends are tapered to a point, and at other times broken or crushed in different places. Below the falls there is [37] another small bay with a good depth of still water, very convenient for collecting timber, &c. after it has escaped through the falls. Here the canoes and boats from Fredericton and different parts of the river land, and if bound for Madawaska they are taken out of the water and carried or drawn, as well as their loads, across the isthmus to the small bay above the falls before mentioned, where they are again put in the water, and proceed without any farther interruption to the upper settlements and the Canada line. The distance of the portage, including the windings of the road up the hill is about 100 rods from water to water. Flat bottomed boats, from fifteen to twenty tons burthen, can come from St. John to this place, which is a distance of about two hundred and twenty-three miles. No larger craft than canoes have as yet been used above the falls. This has not arisen from any defect in the river, which above the falls is smooth and of sufficient depth for large vessels; but from the habits of the French settlers, who are partial to canoes, which they set through the rapids with poles at a great rate, and with which they shoot the cataracts and rapids with great address.

About a mile below the landing place a succession of rapids commence. The first from their appearance are called the white rapids. The banks are here every high, and the water being pent up by a narrow channel, rushes through the beds of rocks which nearly cross the river, and whirling about in their passage are forced over and around the crags in sheets of foam. A few miles below the falls the river is increased by the junction of the Salmon, Restook, and Tobique rivers, which will be noticed hereafter. It then continues its course without interruption, receiving every few miles some considerable streams, till it reaches the Maductic Falls. Its course is nearly south, and its width about a quarter of a mile, occasionally widening and contracting from the Grand Falls to Woodstock, where it widens to near a mile and forms several fine Islands. It afterwards diminishes, and strips of intervale narrow its bed.

At the Maductic Falls its channel is again nearly choked up with rocks. The navigation, however, is not totally interrupted, for rafts, boats, and small craft in their descent are run through the falls by persons well acquainted with the channel; and in their ascent they are towed through with men or horses, and but few accidents happen, considering the numbers that navigate the river.

[38] As the bed of the river is frequently encumbered with rocks and sand-bars, the navigation is very difficult at the dry time of the year. The current is likewise swift in many places, and rapids are frequent, till within six miles of Fredericton, where they end.

About nine miles above Fredericton the river suddenly widens and receives the Madam-Keswick. Here is a group of fertile islands, some of which are over a mile in length, and nearly as broad. At Fredericton the river is about three quarters of a mile wide, and flows with a beautiful unbroken current to the falls near the City of Saint John.—A number of fine Islands are scattered in different parts of its bed. These Islands are composed of rich alluvial soil, and produce large crops of grass and grain. Being formed by the washings of the river, they are like garden spots scattered through the country. About nine miles from St. John the river widens into a bay nearly six miles long and three wide. The river Kennebeckasis falls into this bay. At the foot of the bay it suddenly contracts, and winds through a crooked passage called the narrows, and again opens and forms a small bay directly above the falls. Here the current is again broken by a bed of rocks, and suddenly contracted by the near approach of the banks which appear to have been formerly united and forced asunder by some convulsion of nature. From the appearance of the rocks on each side it is probable that the water having been pent up in the small bay just noticed, have in their efforts to escape undermined the land and rocks at this place, and forced a subterraneous passage, which by wearing, aided by some violent concussion, has caused the rocks to fall in, when the earth being washed away by the rapidity of the current, has left the present passage open, and that the split-rock and the bed of the channel is part of the former overhanging rocks.

For that the bed of the channel consists of cragged rocks of various shapes and sizes, is evident from the whirlpools and eddies at that place. These falls make a tremendous roaring at certain periods. After passing the falls, it forms the harbour of St. John, and falls into the Bay of Fundy in lat. 45° 20′ N.

The spring tides at St. John rise from twenty-four to twenty-eight feet. The body of the river is seventeen and a half feet above low water mark. When the tide has flowed twelve feet, the falls are smooth and passable from fifteen to twenty minutes. [39] They are level three and a half hours on the flood, and two and a half on the ebb, and passable four times in twenty-four hours. Above the falls the tides rise four feet. At Maugerville, seventy miles up the river, they rise from one to two feet; at Fredericton from six to ten inches, and are perceivable nine miles above that place, varying according to the phases of the moon. In the spring, the river, swoln with rains and the melting of the snow and ice, rises higher than the tides, which prevents vessels from ascending the falls for some weeks.

 

River Miramichi.

This is one of the finest rivers for lumber in the Province. Its banks as well as the banks of the numerous streams that fall into it, are covered with pines of the finest growth, which appear to be almost inexhaustable, for although lumbering has been prosecuted on this river to a great extent for a number of years past, there is still abundance found by going a little back from the water. It is indeed the main source of the trade of the large County of Northumberland. One hundred and forty-one thousand three hundred and eighty-four tons of timber were shipped at the port of Miramichi in 1824. Rafts are taken down this river with the greatest safety to the shipping, which load at different places from the mouth of the river up to Fraser's Island. It has two main branches called the north-west and south-west, which run a great way into the country, and with their numerous streams lay open the inmost recesses of this extensive County. Several fine islands lay in the course of this river, covered with elm, ash, butternut, &c. which invariably denote the most luxurious soil. Its waters are well stored with excellent salmon and other fish, which are caught here in great abundance. There are several settlements along this river, none of which merit a particular description, the improvement of the country being neglected for lumbering. The branches of this river approach in several places very near to streams falling into the river St. John, which communicate by short portages. As I have never been able to procure correct information about the sources of this river or its length, I have not the means of satisfying the reader on these points, but must dismiss the subject with these few particulars, being all I could obtain.

As was observed in the commencement of this work, this country is so intersected with rivers, streams, and lakes, that [40] with small portages persons can go to most parts of the Province in a canoe. There is a route from the Madawaska river to the Bay of Chaleur, and another from the river St. John by the Grand River, which is fifteen miles above the Great Falls, to the Ristagouche. The river Chicktahawk, which falls into the St. John near the Presque-Isle, runs near a branch of the Miramichi; a short portage connects the route. The route from the St. Croix to the St. John is first by a chain of lakes with short portages, and next by Eel river, which falls into the St. John about fifty miles above Fredericton. There is another route from the St. John to the Miramichi, by the way of the Jemseg, through the Grand Lake and up Salmon river, from whence there is a short portage to the river Etienne which falls into the Miramichi; with several other such communications where the streams of the different large rivers nearly approach each other.

The Mountains and Hills with which the Province is diversified, have nothing peculiar to merit a particular description, except Mars Hill, which has excited considerable interest, being supposed by the British Commissioners under the treaty of Ghent to be the height of land intended by the treaty of 1783, and that consequently the boundary line between the territories of the United States and the British Provinces should take a new direction at that place. This is resisted by the American Commissioners, who wish to prolong the line beyond that point. This is an object of great importance to the two powers, for should the line be continued in the old direction, which at this point approaches very near the river St. John, it would cross that river a little above the Grand Falls, and would not only separate New-Brunswick and Canada, but likewise give the Americans the upper part of the County of York which joins Canada, with a large Settlement of French at Madawaska—Mars Hill lies about six miles from the river St. John, on the western side, about one hundred miles above Fredericton. It can be seen from the high lands on the opposite side of the river, and appears at that distance majestically towering above the adjacent country. On approaching the mountain the woods are open and the ascent commences with an easy swell about half a mile from the main hill, after which the ascent is more abrupt, and in some parts nearly perpendicular. Having reached the crest, the spectator has a clear expanse of horizon, being [41] completely above the surrounding country. From hence he views a boundless forest beneath his feet. The hills appear like waves covered with their green foliage of different shades, from the various sorts of trees with which their brows are covered. In different places the more elevated hills appear rising above the others like towers. Facing the river St. John, he beholds Moose Mountain at about nine miles distant on the opposite side of the river, which is nearly as high as Mars Hill, and perpendicular on the north side. To his left are a range of lofty hills on the Restook; to his right he has a distant view of Houlton-plantation, and in his rear, as far as his eye can reach, are the lofty Catardhan Mountains on the Penobscot river; the intermediate space exhibiting an undulating forest of boundless variety of hills and vallies, lakes, &c. The whole forming a grand and interesting spectacle. The Mountain is about three miles in length, very narrow, and divided by a hollow near the centre. A small spot has been cut down on each end of the hill, and a temporary observatory erected by the Commissioners under the treaty of Ghent.

The Americans have laid out a settlement in this part of the country, which takes in Mars Hill. The base of the mountain is washed by the Presque-Isle river, and other streams which fall into the river St. John.

The principal Towns in New-Brunswick are Saint John, Fredericton, and Saint Andrews; which on account of their importance and situation will be treated of separately. Leaving the other places to be noticed as they occur in the description of the several Counties, I shall proceed to give a short description of the situation, trade, public buildings, and institutions of the places just mentioned; commencing with the

 

City of Saint John.

The City of St. John is situated in the county of that name, on a rocky peninsula at the estuary of the river St. John, in lat. 45° 20′ north, long. 66° 3′ west. The city comprehends both sides of the river. The district on the eastern side of the harbour, formerly called the township of Parr, and Carleton on the western side. It is divided into six wards, two of which are in Carleton and four in St. John, properly so called. It contains, according to the late census, 8,488 inhabitants of all descriptions.

[42] Like most English towns, the streets in St. John intersect each other at right angles. They are in some parts well built up, the houses being of different heights and joining each other for some distance, forming several fine ranges of buildings. The first houses in this place were constructed of wood, many of them were low and ill shaped. These when removed by fires or other causes, are generally replaced with handsome brick buildings, which is making a great improvement in the appearance of the city. The streets, likewise, which were formerly nearly impassable from rocks, hills and chasms, are rapidly improving; hollows have been filled up, and rocks cut away; so that although the hills in some parts are still steep, yet carriages drive through most part of the city with the greatest safety.

A projecting point near the entrance of the harbour, has caused the different parts of the city to be distinguished by the name of the upper and lower coves; the latter of which has been much neglected till lately, Government having built a handsome range of Barracks on the point fronting the Bay of Fundy, and removed the troops, &c. from Fort Howe to that station, it is beginning to improve.

Most all the trade of the city is carried on in the upper part of the town, where there are a number of warehouses, stores, wharves, and other conveniences for lading and unlading ships. The tides rise to such a height that large ships can lay at the wharves and discharge with the greatest safety.

The harbour is convenient and safe, and capable of containing a great number of vessels of the largest description. Partridge Island lies at the entrance, on which there is a light house, and signal station, where signals are carefully attended to and made on the first approach of vessels. These signals are repeated at Fort Howe. Within the island there is a bar which extends from the western side, and passes the lower point of the peninsula, on which the city stands. It has a beacon on the outer end, and a buoy to direct vessels coming or going. The bar is dry at ebb tides, but within the harbour there is sufficient water for the largest ships. The tide ebbs and flows from sixteen to twenty-four feet perpendicular in this harbour. A pier has been constructed at the entrance of the harbour for the protection of the shipping.

St. John carries on a brisk trade with Europe, the West Indies and the United States, in lumber of different descriptions, [43] fish, gypsum, grindstones, &c.; but the staple article is squared timber, one hundred and fourteen thousand one hundred and sixteen tons of which were shipped from this port in 1824. Ship-building has also been lately revived here and prosecuted to a considerable extent. Sixty vessels were registered at this port in 1824, whose tonnage amounted to sixteen thousand four hundred and eighty-nine tons, besides three ships and five brigs not in the above estimate. Part of these were built in St. John, and the remainder up the rivers and along the coasts for merchants in the city.

The city of St. John contains two Churches on the eastern side of the river, one of which is neatly finished and has an elegant organ; A handsome Kirk belonging to the members of the Church of Scotland; a Catholic Chapel; two Methodist Chapels, one belonging to the Wesleyan Methodists, and the other to a number of that persuasion who seceded with Mr. Priestley, and a neat Baptist Meeting-House.—The other public buildings are a Poor House, a Gaol, a Marine Hospital, with two handsome ranges of Barracks lately erected at the Lower Cove, with Government Stores, Houses, &c.

A square near York-Point, reserved for a Market, &c. has an old building in the centre, the upper part of which has served for many years as a Court-House, and the under part as a flesh market; a fish and vegetable market having been lately built contiguous to it, at the edge of high water mark, and a handsome flesh market in the Lower Cove, which are generally well supplied. King's-square is situated on the height of land in King-street, and is reserved for public uses. It is a very pleasant situation commanding a fine view of the city and harbour. It is in contemplation to erect a Court House on the East side of this square on a liberal scale.—Queen's-square is situated in Duke's Ward, and is also reserved for public uses.

The Public Seminaries in St. John, are a Grammar School, the Central Madras School, and a number of Sunday Schools.

There are two Public Libraries in the City, a Vaccine Establishment, three Printing Offices, with the following religious, humane, and useful Societies:—

1. A Branch of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
2. The New-Brunswick Auxiliary Bible Society.
3. Saint John Sunday School Union Society.
[44] 4. Saint John Religious Tract Society.
5. Saint George's }
6. Saint Patrick's Societies. } Societies.
7. Saint Andrew's }
  Instituted for the purpose of aiding their respective countrymen in distress.
8. New-Brunswick Society for the improvement of the breed of Horses and other Cattle.
9. Female Benevolent Society, for the relief of indigent females, and a Branch of the Wesleyan Missionary Society.

A Provincial Bank is established here with a capital of £30,000, and increased by an Act of the Legislature in 1825 to £50,000. This Bank has been found of considerable advantage in facilitating the trade of the City by discounting Bills, &c. but it may more properly be called the St. John, than the Province Bank, as it only transacts business within the City.

A Marine Insurance Company, and a Water Company have lately been incorporated; the latter is not yet in active operation.

Here is a Chamber of Commerce for the regulation of the trade of the City, and a Savings' Bank for depositing the small savings of the Laboring Classes. Carleton on the opposite side of the river is comprehended in the limits of the City. It is situated on the point, fronting Navy Island, and comprises the ruins of old Fort Frederick. It contains a neat Church, and Meeting House, with several fine buildings. It has a good fishery and is fast improving. Saint John being an incorporated City, is governed by a Mayor, Recorder, six Aldermen, with an equal number of Assistants, under the style of "The Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of St. John." The other officers are a Sheriff and Coroner (who likewise act for the County of St. John) a Common Clerk, a Chamberlain, a High Constable, six inferior ones, and two Marshals.

The Mayor, Recorder, Common Clerk, Sheriff, and Coroner, are appointed by the Governor, and hold their offices during his pleasure from year to year.

The Aldermen, Assistants, and inferior Constables are chosen annually by the Freemen of the City.

The Chamberlain is appointed by the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, and Assistants, in Common Council.

The Mayor appoints the High Constable, Marshals, Cryers, Porters, Bell-ringers, &c.

[45] The Mayor or Recorder, with three Aldermen and three Assistants, constitute a Common Council, with power to make Laws, Ordinances, &c. which are to remain in force for one year only, unless confirmed by the Governor and Council. They also constitute a Court of Record or Inferior Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of St. John. The terms of this Court are quarterly, and it takes cognizance of all causes from five pounds value to fifty pounds, in which titles of land shall not come in question: and by an Act of the Provincial Legislature, its Jurisdiction is enlarged to all transitory actions of any value.

It may be observed that the Mayor by virtue of his office possesses extensive powers; such as making Free Citizens, regulating the Markets, &c.; and that the Aldermen are Justices of the Peace for the County as well as for the City of St. John.

The Corporation can hold real property to the amount of £2,000 per annum, within or without the City. They have at present an annual revenue of about £2,000 at their sole disposal for the improvement of the City.

It must, however, be observed that no great attention has yet been paid to ornamenting the City. This arises in some measure from the peculiar cast of its inhabitants. The men of independent property, and those holding high offices in the different departments being too few to do much, although some of them have fine seats, and many of the Merchants engaged in the shipping business, being transient persons, who from time to time come to the Province, and whose main object is to make as much as they can, in as short a time as possible, with the intention of soon returning to enjoy their gains in their native country. These persons do not feel that interest in the improvement of the place, that those do whose interests are identified with the country. Having, therefore, no local attachment to the soil, it is no wonder that they should extend their views no farther than present convenience. Such persons, then, who are to be found in all the ports of the Province add nothing to the wealth of the country, but rather act as drains to it. A few seats have, however, lately been begun on the Marsh near the City, which will soon make an alteration in the appearance of the Suburbs.

Some small improvement is much wanted at the Quays for the convenience of the Public and protection of Goods from the mud. This could be easily effected by laying sleepers and [46] covering them with strong plank and running a railing along the margin. This would obviate the inconvenience so much felt at present by persons transacting business on the wharves, who have to walk or rather wade, day after day, through the mud. It would also facilitate the transfer of Goods, by keeping them in better order, and prevent many accidents which are yearly occurring by sailors and others falling off.

 

Fredericton.

Is situated in the County of York, on the west side of the river Saint John on an extensive flat opposite the Nashwaack, formerly called Saint Anns point. The river forms an elbow in front of the town, and the hills encircle the plain, and approach the river about two miles above the town leaving a spot of low land nearly four miles in length and in places over a mile in breadth.

The town is laid out in squares of eighteen lots containing one quarter of an acre each. The streets cross at right angles. Those that run parallel with the river are more than a mile in length, and are in places considerably well built up; the houses are all of wood and of different heights.

The inhabitants are the descendents of the Loyalists who came to the Province at the close of the American revolution, with a mixture of Europeans and Americans.

Fredericton being the seat of Government, contains besides a residence for the Lieutenant-Governor, a Provincial Hall, where the Supreme Courts and General Assemblies are held. This building contains a spacious room for the Supreme Courts, with several Jury rooms, a Council Chamber, and an Assembly Room, with other apartments and conveniences for the Legislative Body. Adjoining this building are the Offices of the Surveyor General and Secretary of the Province.—The other public buildings are a handsome square of Barracks with a Parade in front, where part of a Regiment of foot are usually quartered.-Barracks and Store-houses for a company of Royal Artillery with other buildings for the use of the troops.

A County Court-House, which also serves for a Market; a small commodious Church in a sightly situation, two neat Chapels, one belonging to the Baptists, and the other to the Methodists; a Catholic Chapel in progress; a Gaol, and a [47] building occupied as a College till another one on an enlarged scale can be erected; a Poor House in the vicinity of the town, on a liberal scale; and a Meeting House belonging to a number of persons composed of congregationalists and other seceders from the Kirk of Scotland.

Government House is situated a little above the upper part of the town on a convenient pleasant site, but having been a long time without a settled family it was when Sir Howard Douglas came to the Province considerably out of order. It wants a wing to be added to make it uniform with other improvements: for although when the house was built for Governor Carleton it was on a liberal scale, considering the state of the Province at that time, it has been suffered to remain without enlargement, while the country has rapidly advanced.—It is, therefore, at present neither sufficiently spacious or splendid for the Governor's residence.—The same observations may apply to the Province Hall, which although always too low to make a good appearance or allow a good Council Chamber, was a good building considering the state of the country and want of revenue at the time it was erected; but is now too small and plain, considering the great increase of the population and trade of the Province.

Public buildings speak much, though silently, for the public spirit, taste, and importance of a country. They should, therefore, always be on such an enlightened scale as not to be a prejudice to it. One general observation may be made on all the public edifices in Fredericton, which is that being uniformly low they make a flat appearance, which is peculiarly striking to a stranger coming from countries where buildings are more elevated.

Probably there are few finer situations for a town than the site on which Fredericton is built. A beautiful river glides majestically in front of a spacious plain; bounded by hills of gentle acclivity, possessing elegant sites for seats and buildings on commanding situations. On the opposite side of the river the Nashwaack rolls its tribute to the Saint John and adds much to the beauty of the situation. Abundance of excellent water is every where found with a soil peculiarly well adapted for forming gardens, walks, &c. with a pure, healthy atmosphere. From the hills which skirt the town the river can be seen to a great distance winding through the country, till it is lost among the distant Islands.

[48] Fredericton being at the head of the sloop navigation is the main depot for goods from the seaboard. It is about eighty-five miles from the sea and surrounded by a large extent of country which is fast settling. The river Saint John is about three quarters of a mile wide in front of the town, and extends upwards of four hundred miles above it.—The surrounding country possesses an excellent soil, and abounds in valuable timber, and as the whole of the trade to and from the upper country must pass Fredericton, a great part of it must of course centre there, and consequently, as the country becomes fully settled, Fredericton must improve and from its situation remain the great central emporium of the Province.

Fredericton contains a Printing Office and a Public Library, with the following public Institutions.

1. A Branch of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

2. The Bible Association of Fredericton and its vicinity.

3. A Branch of the Methodist Missionary Society.

4. The Fredericton Emigrant Society. This Society was formed at Fredericton in 1819, for the relief of destitute strangers, being the first Institution of that kind formed in the Province. It expended large sums in that and the following year, and besides relieving the temporary necessities of great numbers of destitute Emigrants, enabled many of them to settle on new land, who are now in comfortable independent circumstances. It is not at present in active operation, but has funds to a considerable amount.

5. The New-Brunswick Agricultural and Emigrant Society. This is a Provincial Institution having branches in the different Counties. The General Society being established at Fredericton.

6. A Branch of the Society for improving the breed of Horses and Cattle, and a Savings' Bank.

Fredericton was formed by Governor Carleton in 1785, shortly after the division of the Province from Nova-Scotia, and being considered the most eligible and central situation, was made the permanent Seat of Government. The policy of this measure has been questioned by many who overlook the general good of the country for partial advantages. Much jealousy has always existed among the Citizens of St. John in particular, [49] in regard to this selection. Prejudices in favor of our own land, religion, institutions, &c. must always be expected, and to a certain degree it would show a want of attachment not to feel their influence; but then it must be remembered that when we allow our own interest to blind our reason, we are prone to view what concerns us with a partial eye. It is so with a person who being settled at the seaboard goes but seldom out of sight of the harbor, but from what is passing before his eyes, concludes his town is the only place of consequence in the country; and as nature has made it the great mart for the imports and exports of the interior, it must of course be likewise the only place fit for the Seat of Government, and every thing else of consequence in the Province. But when a person whose mind is above these mercenary considerations, and enlarged to see the general good of the country, casts his eye on the map of the Province, he will find that if the situation was as good a few miles farther up, it would still be more central. For Fredericton is only eighty-five miles from the sea; at the lower extremity of the County of York, which extends upwards to the Canada line about two hundred miles. The large County of Northumberland joins York on the North and Northeastward, and comprises all the land from Westmorland, along the Gulf and river of St. Lawrence, till it likewise joins Canada. These two Counties form more than two thirds of the whole Province; and will no doubt each require to be divided into two or more Counties, when they become more fully settled. Consequently the seat of Government is at present in the most eligible place for the general convenience of the inhabitants of the Province at large, than any other situation that possibly could be selected. Diverging as from a common centre, the distance of the routes from Fredericton to the most important parts of the Province are nearly equal, viz. to St. John is about eighty-five miles, passing four counties in the distance; to St. Andrews, the frontier town, about ninety miles; to Northumberland about the same distance; to Fort Cumberland in Westmorland, about one hundred and forty miles; and to Madawaska, the upper settlement on the great road to Canada, about the same distance.

In time of war, its situation for a military depot is excellent, as from the direction of the routes just mentioned, the different accessible parts of the Province could be easier succoured from here than any other station. And if reinforcements should [50] have to pass through the Province to Canada during the winter season. Fredericton and the Great Falls would always, from their situation, be the natural depots for troops, stores, &c. Neither if magazines were formed at this place could there be more danger of their being surprised and taken, than at any of the sea-ports; for it is nearly one hundred miles from an enemy's frontier, and there must be a great want of vigilance if any body of men, sufficient to make an impression, should be allowed to approach without opposing effectual resistance, or at the worst, taking such measures as should disappoint them.

The importance of good accommodations for troops marching to Canada, at Fredericton, and the upper parts of the river St. John, was well ascertained during the last war, and should not soon be lost sight of.

In short, as nature has given St. John and the other sea-ports advantages that cannot be taken from them, so Fredericton, from its central situation, possesses advantages peculiar to itself. Instead, therefore, of indulging in such partial jealousies, every encouragement should be given to such towns, as they contribute to the improvement of the interior of a country from whence most of the resources that support the sea-ports are drawn.

Fredericton is slowly increasing in buildings and improvements. It has a considerable share in the lumber trade, for which it is well situated. Ship-building has also lately been commenced, and will probably be prosecuted to considerable extent as there are no want of good situations for launching, and abundance of timber.

If the main streets in Fredericton had been laid out to follow the windings of the river they would have formed an agreeable curve; the squares could then have been kept uniform in width, and the main streets could have continued without a jog, the whole length of the town, which would be a great improvement to the looks of the place.

 

Saint Andrews.

The frontier town of New-Brunswick, lies nearly opposite Robinstown, in the State of Maine. It is a small pleasant sea-port in the County of Charlotte: being situated near the river Saint Croix, on a narrow strip of low land fronting the Bay of Passamaquoddy, with a range of hills in the rear. It has two [51] principal streets, running parallel with the water, which are intersected by cross streets at right angles. The principal streets are well built up, and the town contains 2,268 inhabitants, according to the census taken in 1824.—It is conveniently situated for the fishing trade, as the waters abound with cod, haddock, pollock, and numbers of other fish, and there are numbers of small Islands nearly within view of the harbor, very suitable for prosecuting the fishery to advantage. It carries on a considerable trade in exporting squared and sawed lumber, and in ship-building—thirteen vessels were registered in the Port of Saint Andrews in 1824, amounting to three thousand six hundred and thirty-three tons, all of which had been built in the County, besides about five hundred and ninety tons, not included in the above amount.—It contains a neat Church belonging to the establishment, and a commodious Kirk, built at the sole expense of Mr. Christopher Scott, and presented by him to the members of the Kirk of Scotland. It has also a Grammar School, a Court-House and Gaol; a Printing Office, with a number of fine private buildings.

Here is likewise a Chamber of Commerce, a Savings' Bank, a Bible Society, an Agricultural and Emigrant Society for the County, with other public Institutions for promoting the temporal and spiritual welfare of the inhabitants.

Saint Andrews being situated on the frontiers of the Province, within view of the American territories, is a place of great importance in the event of a rupture with the United States. Considerable works were erected here during the last war, which are now much gone to decay. A few troops are, however, usually stationed here. At the Commencement of the last troubles with America, an agreement was wisely entered into between the Magistrates of this place, and the American authorities in its immediate vicinity, to abstain from mutual hostilities, which was strictly observed during the war, to the mutual advantage of both parties; who were thereby delivered from the horrors of a predatory, murderous warfare, equally distressing to both nations.

Saint Andrews being the shire town of the important County of Charlotte, is silently rising into importance; and will no doubt from its many natural advantages, always maintain its rank among the principal towns of this Province.

[52]

CHAPTER V.

Topographical Description of the several Counties in the Province of New-Brunswick. Their Boundaries and Extent. Parishes. Rivers. Settlements, Produce, &c. Great Roads, &c.

Having, in the preceding pages, given a brief general description of New-Brunswick, I shall now proceed to give a short sketch of each County, comprising a view of the face of the country, principal streams, settlements, produce, &c. And as five of them lie along the river St. John, I shall begin at the head of that river, and follow it to its exit into the Bay of Fundy. The three remaining counties will be noticed afterwards. Following this method, (which by keeping the counties and parishes distinct, will give the reader a clearer knowledge of the country than a more elaborate account, where names and situations are mentioned without method, and described promiscuously) I shall confine myself to brevity, at the same time endeavouring to avoid obscurity; and have to lament that the want of correct information prevents me from making this part of the work as complete as I could wish.

 

SECTION I.

York.

This County commences at the Canada line, which bounds it on the north-west. The County of Northumberland bounds it on the north-east, on the south-east it adjoins Sunbury, and on the south-west Charlotte, and contains 10,972 inhabitants.

Beginning at the northern and uppermost part of the county, and proceeding down the main river St. John, the first settlement is Madawaska, situated between the Grand Falls and the Madawaska river, which falls into the St. John at the upper part of the settlement. The inhabitants are the descendants of the old Acadians, who were settled on different parts of the [53] river St. John, and who on the arrival of the English moved up to this place, where, being joined by others from Canada, they formed this settlement distinct from the English, and have ever since been quiet subjects, and well affected to the British Government. Madawaska is about midway between Fredericton and Quebec, and is in a flourishing state. It has a Romish Chapel, where the rites and ceremonies of that religion are duly performed by a Missionary from Canada, who likewise, with the assistance of one or two leading persons regulates the internal police of the settlement by settling disputes, keeping the peace, &c. and so successful have they been that although there are neither lawyers or magistrates in the place, the Courts of Justice have had but little trouble from that quarter. The land along the margin of the river is in general good, level, and unbroken; but owing to its northern situation it is unfavourable to Indian corn; but wheat, oats, grass, &c. flourish there in great perfection. The inhabitants are all farmers, and generally raise more than they can consume, having a surplus of grain to sell to traders in the settlement or to take to Fredericton. Their manners and habits being simple, they expend but little on luxuries. Their women manufacture a coarse cloth and kerseys sufficient for their own consumption. The men are about the middle size, generally spare built and active; the women, on the contrary, are very stout and short. They are very lively and hospitable, but very slovenly in their houses and cookery. In short, they appear a different race from the English. A stranger going above the Falls, finds himself suddenly among a new race of people, different in their language, religion, habitations, and manners.

Below this settlement the country is a wilderness for some distance, comprising the lands adjoining and below the Grand Falls.

The isthmus formed by the bend of the river at the Grand Falls, was formerly cleared by the troops stationed at that post. This spot was selected at the first settlement of the Province for a military station. It served not only as a security for the settlers at that period, when the country was a total wilderness and almost impassable, being without roads or habitations, but also connected and secured the communication with Canada. Barracks, &c. were constructed and troops stationed at this place for a number of years. The works are at present [54] in ruins; although it is no doubt one of the first interior positions in the Province. This place forms one of the great features of New-Brunswick. Here the navigation of the great river St. John is totally obstructed, and the upper part of the country disjoined from the seaboard. This points out the great importance of its situation, as the great connecting point and centre for the intercourse and trade of the upper country, whenever it becomes fully settled. Its situation will no doubt soon attract a settlement, and in process of time a town will arise, which will be the depot for goods from the seaboard, where they will be exchanged for the produce of the upper part of the country. A canal or tunnel cut through the isthmus, will probably follow. This would be of the utmost advantage to the Province, by connecting the navigation and developing the resources of the upper country, which are said to be almost inexhaustible. The distance to cut would be nearly one hundred rods. The isthmus being ninety rods across, from bank to bank, the descent of the water would be nearly half an inch to a foot.

Descending the St. John seven miles below the falls, it receives the Salmon river, a considerable stream from the east, and eleven miles farther the Restook falls into it from the westward. This is a fine river, running in a very crooked direction through a fine country abounding in excellent land and well stored with timber of the first quality. It makes to the southwest and has been explored upwards of one hundred miles, where it continues of a good width. It is supposed to be of great length and is claimed by the United States, although some of the British settlers have lately commenced establishing themselves on the river and are making very free with the pine. Three miles below the Restook, the Tobique, named for its red pines, brings its tribute to the St. John. This is another considerable river, being upwards of two hundred miles in length. Its banks to a good distance back have been covered with pines of the finest growth, which have been mostly cut off. The soil in the pine districts is not favorable for farming pursuits, but would require much labor to bring it to a state fit for cultivation. There are, however, some good Islands in the course of the river, and strips of rich land intermixed with the pine districts, and the lands adjoining the Tobique lying along the banks of the Saint John are of the finest quality; and where cultivated produce the most abundant crops. A district comprising ten miles [55] extending along the river Saint John and embracing both sides of the Tobique is reserved for the Indians. This tract is certainly not inferior to any land in the Province, and it is a pity it should remain in its present unimproved state. The Indians have only a small clearing at the mouth of the Tobique, where they have a hut which is reserved as a Chapel, and where one or two Indians generally sit down as they term it, to watch a small crop, and keep possession.

After the peace with America in 1814, a number of disbanded, men of the 8th, 98th, and 104th regiments, and of the West-India Rangers and New-Brunswick Fencibles, were settled on this part of the river Saint John, chiefly between the military post of Presqu-Isle and the Indian reserve. Many of these settlers have made good improvements, and have already secured a comfortable independency. The wilderness has been converted into cultivated fields, covered with habitations; and the district formed into a Parish, and named after his Royal Highness the late Duke of Kent.—It extends on both sides of the river from the Grand Falls to the Parish of Wakefield. The land is of a superior quality, covered with a variety of timber of the tallest growth, and unincumbered with much undergrowth; the trees standing in most places so far apart, that a man on horse-back would be but seldom incommoded by them. This is of great advantage to the settler, as it relieves him from the great labor of clearing away the under brush, which is so troublesome in some parts of the country. Nor is this fine tract of land confined to the margin of the river, but extends back, and is found in many places to improve as you advance into the interior. The United States line approaches the river St. John within a few miles along this Parish, and they have a township laid out, embracing Mars Hill before described. It is to be regretted that many of the settlers in this Parish having formerly been accustomed to the free use of spirituous liquors, find the temptation revived by the great introduction of them by the lumber speculators, who in many instances are drawing the settlers from their domestic habits, to which they began to be accustomed, to a dissipated mode of living, to the loss of their morals and property.

Descending the Saint John, which every few miles receives the tribute of some considerable creek or river, we arrive at the Presqu-Isle. This was formerly a military post; Barracks, &c. [56] having been erected at this place shortly after the American revolution sufficient to accommodate three companies of foot, which are now in ruins. A few soldiers were stationed here till 1822, since which period the place has been totally abandoned as a military station. The bank at this place is high and the spot where the Barracks stood very pleasant, commanding a fine view of the adjacent country, having a beautiful Island directly in front. To a contemplative mind this spot must be interesting when he reflects that the soldiers who forced their way from Fredericton through the wilderness to construct these works, have fallen by the sword and disease; that the men who projected them, as well as those who superintended their construction, are mouldering in their graves—that the conductors of the boats which transported the supplies are now no more—and that the boats are now in view from the site of the Barracks lying in the bushes and falling gradually to pieces.—If he is an old settler, this must have past within his memory, and may teach him the instability of all human affairs. Eight miles below the Presqu-Isle a stream called the Pekagomique falls into the Saint John on the eastern side. The land on this stream is very good, and a settlement is begun a few miles from its mouth, it has good mills and is well stored with timber. There are several other streams in the Parish of Wakefield, which extends on both sides of the river, till it joins Woodstock on the western and Northampton on the eastern side about sixty-three miles above Fredericton. It is a flourishing Parish, the land being of a good quality, the farms along the river are improving, and back settlements forming.

Woodstock is generally well settled. The houses are neat, and make a fine appearance as the traveller passes along the river. There are some fine islands in this part of the river, which enrich the settlers by their produce.—There is an Episcopal Church in this Parish, which has been filled ever since its erection by the Rev. Mr. Dibblee, who likewise officiates occasionally in the adjoining Parishes. The river Madaxnikik passes through this Parish to its exit into the Saint John, and adds to its importance, as several settlements are making along its banks. This stream has a series of cataracts, and passes by the American settlement of Houlton which lies directly in the rear of Woodstock, and commences about fifteen miles from the Saint John. From this settlement there is a road to the Penobscot [57] river. Eel river falls into the Saint John near the lower part of Woodstock. This river heads near the sources of the Saint Croix; a short portage leads from the waters of one river to the other. Opposite Woodstock on the eastern side of the river lies the Parish of Northampton, which extends down to Queensbury. This Parish is well settled, as is the adjoining Parish of Queensbury. Several streams intersect these Parishes, the most considerable of which are the Nachiwikik and Mactuqaack.

The farms along this part of the country, are in many places well improved: but the soil is not equal to the upper part of the river. There are, however, a succession of fine Islands, which compensate for the inferiority of the upland.

There is an Episcopal Church at the lower part of Queensbury, which is filled occasionally by the Rev. Mr. Somerville, President of the College of New-Brunswick, and itinerant Missionary for this part of the country.

Prince William adjoins Woodstock on the Western side of the river. The upper part of this Parish is but little improved, a large district belonging to the Chief Justice being mostly a wilderness. The soil, likewise, is inferior to the land above. The lower part of the Parish is, however highly improved, some parts being interval land of the first quality. There are several fine lakes back of this parish, one of which named Lake George, has a fine settlement on its banks. This lake discharges its waters into the St. John, by a stream called the Poquihouk, which is an Indian name, signifying a dreadful place, and a dreadful place it certainly is. The water just before its exit into the St. John, appears to have been originally pent up by the high bank along the river. Through this it has forced a passage, and tumbles down the rocks and precipices with dreadful impetuosity. The passage through which it passes is very narrow and nearly seventy feet perpendicular, composed of large stones, which appear as if they had been laid by Masons; the whole forming a sublime and terrific appearance. There is a Chapel belonging to the Baptists in this Parish.

Several of the officers and men of the King's American Dragoons were formerly settled here, very few of whom are at present alive. Some of their descendants are occupying their lands and doing well.

The Parish of Kingsclear, which adjoins Prince William, [58] has nothing peculiar, the soil being much the same as the latter. The face of the country is hilly, interspersed with several streams well adapted for mill seats. Many individuals of the reduced Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers settled in this Parish, some of whom are still living and doing well. A Baptist Chapel has lately been erected here, in which worship is occasionally performed. Opposite this Parish on the eastern side of the river is the Parish of Douglas, so called in honor of the present Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. It adjoins Queensbury, and extends down nearly to the Nashwaack. The Madam Keswick, a considerable stream, intersects this Parish. This is an extensive settlement, and was formed by the York Volunteers and some of the Royal Guides and Pioneers. The settlements on the Keswick Ridge and Mactuquask lie between this stream and the main river, and are in a flourishing state. It has a back settlement on the Nashwacksis and another one still farther in the wilderness, called Cardigan, formed by a number of Welsh families from Cardigan in Wales, who came to this Province in 1819, and were located here by Government. Being very destitute, they were enabled to commence settling by a subscription of the inhabitants of Fredericton, aided by the Emigrant Society. This Parish has a Church near the mouth of the Madam Keswick, and two Chapels belonging to the Methodists and Baptists.

The Parish of St. Mary's, which formerly included the Parish just mentioned, extends to the County line, and joins Maugerville on the eastern side of the river. The river Nashwaack runs through this Parish, and falls into the St. John opposite Fredericton. This stream was settled by part of the 42d Regiment and some of the disbanded corps that had been raised in America during the war. It is settled for more than thirty miles along its banks, having a mixture of good intervale and high land along its course. About five miles from its confluence with the St. John, it receives the waters of the Peniack, a considerable stream with a settlement along its banks, and about twelve miles further up, the river Tay falls into it. There are two Chapels in this settlement, one belonging to the Methodists and the other to the Baptists. They have no stated Ministers, but are visited occasionally. The road from Fredericton to Miramichi in the County of Northumberland leads through this settlement.

[59 The Parish of Fredericton adjoins Kingsclear, and extends to the Parish of Lincoln in the County of Sunbury. It includes the town of Fredericton, before described, with a back settlement called New Maryland, and another on the Rushagoannes. The road from Fredericton to St. Andrews passes through these settlements, and is fast improving.

The lands in the immediate vicinity of the town are not much improved. Having been reserved for the College, they remain without tenants; the settlers in this country not liking to lease farms, which are hard to clear up, when they can obtain lots for themselves by paying the grant fees. A great part of the land in the site of the town, likewise belongs to the College or Church, or is reserved for Government uses, which has been and still remains a great check to the growth and improvement of the Town.

The County of York is upwards of two hundred miles in length. A great portion of the lands in this county are well adapted to grain, particularly wheat. It is well stored with excellent timber and abounds with navigable rivers and streams. It is settling and improving very fast, and furnishes the major part of the lumber shipped at the port of St. John. Fredericton is the principal Town, and situated within four miles of the lower extremity of the County.—The inconvenience of the Courts, &c. being established at the extremity of such extensive Counties are many, and amount almost to a denial of justice to the distant settlers, who have to travel from one to two hundred miles to the County Courts. The consequence is that wrongs are frequently unredressed, and crimes, if not of a capital nature, are often unnoticed; which if not remedied will in time have a pernicious effect on the moral character of the inhabitants.

 

SECTION II.

Sunbury.

Joins York on the North West, Northumberland on the North East, Queen's on the South East, and Charlotte on the South West. It stretches along both sides of the river Saint John, and contains four Parishes, with a population of three [60] thousand two hundred and twenty-seven inhabitants. This is the smallest County in the Province, not being over twenty miles in length. It is, however, the oldest settled part of the river St. John. The first establishment of any consequence on the river was made at this place in 1761, by a number of families from Massachusetts, who having obtained a grant of a Township on the river St. John from the British Government, after exploring different parts of the country, settled at Maugerville. Here they were joined at different periods during the troubles in America, by several more families from New-England. These settlers made improvements on both sides of the river, and called the whole district Sunbury. The first commission of the peace for this place was dated 11th August, 1766, and for holding Courts of Common Pleas 1770.

The Courts of Justice mere held here till 1783, when the American war being ended and the Loyalists having settled in different parts of the country, the Supreme Court was removed to Saint John, and afterwards established at Fredericton, which was made the permanent seat of Government, and has remained so ever since.

The Parishes of Maugerville and Sheffield, on the eastern side of the river, are situated on a strip of rich intervale, which being annually overflowed, yield abundant crops and are rich in pastures.

The farms are well improved and stocked with abundance of cattle. The houses are in many parts neat and improving in appearance, and the settlers in general substantial landholders and good husbandman.

This is a delightful part of the Country for wheel carriages, the road being a continued level along the margin of the river, which is occasionally hid from the view of the traveller, by lofty trees and shrubs along the banks, which break off the piercing winds in winter and afford a pleasant shade in summer. The road, is however, unsafe in many places where the freshets have scooped away the banks and indented the road with small gullies, which being neglected by the inhabitants, endanger the overturning of carriages. In the rear of these Parishes are a chain of lakes which communicate with each other and discharge their waters into the Grand Lake, and from thence by the Jemseg into the Saint John.—Most of these lakes are environed with excellent land, and have settlements along their banks.

[61] There is a Church belonging to the Establishment in Maugerville with a resident Pastor.—There are two Meeting-Houses in Sheffield, one belonging to the seceders, and the other to the Methodists. They have both settled Ministers and good congregations.

The Parishes of Lincoln and Burton are opposite the Parishes just described, on the western side of the river—they are situated on high land interspersed with intervale. They are well settled and the farms generally well cultivated. The river Oromocto intersects these parishes. This is an extensive stream well settled in many places, having several branches which wind through the country to a great distance. Some of these streams are settled, and mills are built at different places.—The main road from Fredericton to Saint Andrews crosses this river a little above the falls, where a blockhouse was constructed during the war for military purposes. There is an extensive tract of wild meadow along the course of this river, which yields a great quantity of coarse grass, and affords an extensive range for cattle, after the water has drained off in the summer. The land on the Oromocto and its tributary streams is generally of a good quality, but in common with most all the streams in this Province very subject to frost. The mouth of the Oromocto being very deep, is a very eligible place for ship-building, which is prosecuted here to considerable extent, timber, &c. being floated down the river in great abundance. There was formerly a good herring fishery at the falls in this river, but a mill having been built near that place it has dwindled to nothing.—There is a Church at the mouth of the Oromocto on the Burton side, in which divine service is occasionally performed by the Rector of Maugerville.—There is likewise a Court-house in Burton nearly in ruins where the County Courts are held. A stream called Swan Creek runs through Burton, but has nothing peculiar to merit a particular description.—Three valuable Islands lie in this part of the river Saint John called the Oromocto, Middle, and Major's Island. Ox-Island runs parallel with Major's Island. It is small and forms shoals near it which impede the navigation. There are also shoals at the Oromocto, which are nearly impassable for large vessels in the dry part of the season.

[62]

 

SECTION III.

Queen's.

This County joins Sunbury on the N.W. Charlotte on the S.W. Northumberland on the N.E. and King's on the S.E. It lies on both sides of the river Saint John, and contains four Parishes, with a population of 4,741 inhabitants.

This is a good county for stock, having a number of fine Islands within its limits. The inhabitants are principally agriculturalists who have well improved farms and good stocks of cattle. The land is of an excellent quality and in general well cultivated. The soil along the bank of the river in the Parish of Waterborough is equalled by none in the Province for fertility. As the country descends to the Jemseg, the rich sediment deposited by the annual overflowing of the river, produces the most luxuriant vegetation, and although the farmer can seldom commence his labours till June, yet so productive is the soil, that in a few weeks the county exhibits the most exuberant vegetation. Indian corn flourishes in this Parish in the highest perfection: the soil being a light rich loam and the country level so as to receive the full effect of the sun. Small grain, grass, and roots are also produced here in the greatest abundance. Indeed a more fertile district can scarcely be conceived than the land from Maugerville to the Jemseg. The observations that were made about the road through Maugerville and Sheffield mill likewise apply here, very little attention having of late been paid to them, and it is probable that the statute labor is but seldom fully performed in any of those Parishes. There is a convenient Chapel belonging to the Baptists in Waterborough, which has a stated minister and numerous congregation.—After crossing the Jemseg, the country rises, and the Parish of Wickham exhibits some well improved farms in pleasant and sightly situations. The Grand Lake, the largest body of inland water in the Province, lies back of Waterborough. It is nearly thirty miles long, and from three to nine wide. A large stream called Salmon River, falls into it near the head. This stream is well timbered with pine. A short portage leads from this stream to the waters communicating with the river Miramichi. This lake discharges its waters into the Saint John, by a narrow gut called Jemseg, [63] which is about thirty rods wide and very deep. The country on the Western side of this lake is in many places low and marshy, having the French and Maquapit lakes in its neighborhood which are settled in places. The country in the vicinity of the Grand Lake abounds with coal, which is found of a good quality, particularly at a creek called New-Castle, where large quantities have been dug. A stratum is generally found near the surface of the earth: the first layer of coal being about eighteen inches in depth, and they are found to improve in quality in proportion to the depth of the veins. The layers are nearly horizontal, and are probably a continuation of the strata found at Cape Breton, which has been ascertained to proceed in a Southwestern direction from that island, to Nova-Scotia and New-Brunswick. The Grand Lake is well settled, and has a resident Minister belonging to the Established Church. It has likewise a Methodist Chapel; but no stated minister of that denomination.

Another large lake called Washademoak, lies a little below the Jemseg, and is separated from the Grand Lake by a range of highland. This lake is from twenty-four to thirty miles long, and from two to three miles wide. A stream falls into this lake, called the Washademoak river, which rises near the bend of the Peticodiac. It has a settlement along its banks, called New-Canaan. There is a mixture of intervals and upland along this settlement, well covered with timber of various kinds. The Washademoak lake is well settled, and empties into the St. John, opposite Long Island.

The Parishes on the western side of the river are Gagetown and Hampstead. Gagetown is regularly laid out, and is the county town. It has a handsome Church, with a settled Pastor; a Court-House and Gaol, with several fine private buildings. As was observed before, several fine Islands lie in this county, one of them, named Long Island, is six miles in length and well improved. It has a neat Church, in which divine service is occasionally performed. It has likewise a tavern, with as good accommodations and as well kept as any in the country. The streams in this county on the western side of the river, have nothing peculiar to merit a particular description. Gagetown Creek runs past the Township of that name, and facilitates the navigation of that part of the country, and the Ocnabog is the tunnel through which the waters of a small lake of that name [64] are discharged into the Saint John. I must not forget to notice that in front of Gagetown there is a bend in the river, which some ill natured person has saddled with the forbidding name of "No Man's Friend" although there is nothing unfriendly about the place, and it should rather be called "Pleasant Reach" as the adjoining country is very pleasant.

A new Parish has lately been erected in this County, called Brunswick, which lies back of Waterborough and Wickham, and comprehends the settlement of New-Canaan and the district adjoining.

 

SECTION IV.

King's County.

Lies likewise on both sides of the river Saint John, and is bounded on the North by a line running South West and North East, from the South point of Spoon Island in the river Saint John. On the East by Northumberland and Westmorland. On the West by Charlotte, and on the South by the County of Saint John. It contains seven thousand nine hundred and thirty inhabitants.

It comprehends the Long Reach, the Kennebeckasis and Belisle, and is divided into the following Parishes—Westfield, Greenwich, Kingston, Springfield, Norton, Sussex, and Hampton. Kingston has a Township regularly laid out, which bears the name of the Parish. It has a neat Church, with a resident Minister, and a number of neat buildings, which make a fine appearance. The Court-House, however, is a considerable distance from the Town. The settlers in most parts of this Parish have the appearance of comfort and affluence, although the land is inferior in fertility to most of the other Parishes. The Parish of Sussex has a Church with a resident Minister, and an Academy for the instruction of the Indians, but little good has accrued to these wanderers from that Institution. A beautiful strip of land lies in this Parish called the Vale of Sussex, which is highly cultivated and covered with excellent houses and barns.—Agriculture is in general well attended to, and its effects are evident in independent farmers, good stocks of cattle and an air of comfort and cheerfulness, the sure returns [65] of industry and husbandry. The roads and bridges are in good order and well attended to. The great road of communication passes through this Vale to Westmorland.

The river Kennebeckasis intersects this county, and falls into the Saint John, near the Boar's Head. This is a considerable stream, and has several Islands scattered through its course. It is navigable upwards of twenty miles for vessels of any burthen, and sixty miles farther for small vessels and boats. It is well adapted for Ship-building, having abundance of excellent timber in its neighborhood, and several vessels are annually built here for the merchants of Saint John.

The Nerepis another considerable stream, falls into the Saint John at the foot of the Long Reach. This river runs a considerable distance into the country and has a settlement along its banks.

There are two quarries of excellent Plaster of Paris on the river Kennebeckasis. There is likewise a salt spring in this part of the country, from which small quantities of salt have been made by the Indians and Inhabitants settled near the place, which has proved of an excellent quality for the table, and there can be no doubt of its possessing valuable medicinal qualities; but no attention has yet been paid to analyse it. Great quantities of sugar are extracted from the sugar maple in this county, upwards of ten thousand pounds have been made in a year, of that valuable article in one Parish.

Several of the Parishes in this county have Churches, some of which have stated Pastors, and others are supplied occasionally.

 

SECTION V.

Saint John.

This County is bounded northerly by a line running East North East, and West South West, from the southernmost point of the Kennebeckasis Island. Westwardly by a North line from Point Lepreau. Eastwardly by Hopewell Township, and on the Southward by the Bay of Fundy. It has four Parishes. The City of Saint John, Portland, Lancaster, and Saint Martins. It contains a population of twelve thousand [66] nine hundred and seven inhabitants. This county has several fine harbors; the principal of which is the harbor of Saint John, at the mouth of the Saint John river and which was noticed in the description of the city. This harbor has a valuable fishery for Salmon, Herring, and Shad. Formerly from two to three thousand barrels of Shad, twenty thousand barrels of herrings, and a vast quantity of Salmon were taken here annually; but the fishery has fallen off very much of late years. A Cod fishery might also be prosecuted to advantage not far from Partridge Island, but this is totally neglected. The other harbors are Quaco, Musquash, and Dippoo harbor, down the Bay, which have nothing particular. They have water sufficient for vessels of four hundred tons burthen.

The lands, in the county and along the sea-board are not so good for farming as those in the interior. They are generally very rocky and uneven. In many places they are mere barrens being covered with a stunted growth of shrubs. There are however good spots intermixed, and many places that formerly appeared doomed to sterility have been brought under a good state of cultivation. Great improvements have lately been made in farming in this county. Many new settlements have been formed and are rapidly improving. Several merchants and persons of property in the city of Saint John have lately improved farms in its vicinity; particularly on the Marsh and at Loch Lomond. It will certainly be a great advantage to the Province, if men who possess capital, employ a part of it in improving the country. By this means many poor districts of sterile land may be reclaimed, and improved by the wealth of the city; to the great advantage of individuals, and benefit of the settlement where such improvements are made: as the citizen will lay out from year to year, no more than he can spare from his other pursuits, and this when the land is once brought to a good state of cultivation will richly repay him: while the indigent settler will have labour brought home to his own door to enable him to subsist while he improves a small spot for himself, which without such a resource he could not attempt.

A great strip of Marsh lies contiguous to the city, some of which is dyked and yields excellent grass. The whole district is rapidly improving to the great advantage of the city. Several wealthy citizens have lately made great improvements here, and some fine seats are nearly completed.

[67] The Parish of Portland contains old Fort Howe. This Fort is situated on a rugged hill at the mouth of the river Saint John, and completely commands the harbour. Portland is well built up, but the road near the Fort is very narrow, and in a wretched state, considering that it is the only thoroughfare from the city, to the Indian House, so called; which is situated in front of the bay, just above the falls, and where vessels and boats come too, going and coming to wait for the tide, and where passengers from all parts of the river land, and frequently walk over the tongue of land to Saint John, which is a little more than a mile. Passengers likewise going up the river in the Steam-Boat or Sloops, usually ride or walk from Saint John to the Indian House, and baggage and goods of all descriptions, are transported above the falls by this route, which keeps the road continually thronged, and points out the necessity of having a good and safe communication in such a public place. There is no public place of worship in Portland of any denomination: the inhabitants resort to the different places of worship in the city.

The settlements of Quaco, Manawagonish, Musquash, &c. are in a flourishing state. Considerable progress has been made in Agriculture, and there is reason to believe the country round the Bay shore is rich in minerals. Manganese has been found at Quaco, and the adjoining district, which has been sent to the United States, and is said to be of a good quality.

 

SECTION VI.

Having in the preceding sections briefly described the five Counties lying along the river St. John; I shall now proceed with the three remaining, commencing with

Charlotte.

This County is bounded by the Bay of Fundy on the south, by the St. Croix river, and the Bay of Passamaquoddy on the west and south west, on the east by a north line from Point Lepreau, and on the north by a west line commencing in the said north line thirty-three miles from Point Lepreau, and contains nine thousand two hundred and sixty-seven inhabitants.

[68] It is divided from the United States by the river St. Croix, commonly called the Schoodick, which is the line in this quarter that divides the territories of His Britannic Majesty from the District (State) of Maine. It comprehends several large Islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, and is divided into the following Parishes:—St. Andrews, St. Stephens, St. Davids, St. Patricks, St. Georges, Pennfield, Campobello, West Isles, and Grand Manan.

The Parish of St. Andrews, besides the town of that name already described, possesses many advantages for trade, being situated very conveniently for navigation. It has several Saw-Mills, and a great quantity of boards, planks, &c. are shipped from that port.

St. Stephens likewise furnishes vast quantities of sawed lumber. The mills in this parish on the river Schoodick are very numerous. More than four million feet of boards and planks are cut in this Parish annually. Ship-building is likewise carried on to considerable extent. Large quantities of shingles and small lumber of different descriptions are also furnished here for exportation. There is a Methodist Chapel with a stated Minister in this parish. The country is considerably improved, having several good farms. It has likewise a good herring fishery at the falls of the Schoodick.

St. Davids has likewise some good saw-mills. It also furnishes masts, and squared timber for shipping. The land in this Parish is of an excellent quality, and produces wheat, oats, Indian corn, potatoes, &c. in great abundance.

The Parishes of St. Patricks, St. George, and Pennfield, have each a number of saw-mills, and furnish large quantities of sawed lumber of the best quality—the country being well stocked with excellent pine. Considerable quantities of scale fish are also caught and cured here. Great improvements are likewise making in Agriculture in these Parishes, particularly in Pennfield, which produces wheat in great perfection. The settlers in this Parish are good farmers, and are making great improvements.

The Parishes of Campobello and Deer Island comprehend the Islands so called. Campobello includes the Islands on the south east side of Passamaquoddy river. It contains several thousand acres of land fit for cultivation. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the fishery along the shores. Great quantities [69] of cod and other fish are taken about the Island, and sold uncured to the Americans. Formerly most of the gypsum exported from this Province was landed on this Island where it was shipped on board American vessels for Philadelphia and New-York.

Grand-Manan is likewise a considerable place for fishing, Ship-building, &c. and is of considerable importance in a nautical point of view, as it lies near the entrance of the Bay of Fundy. It is fourteen miles long and seven miles broad. The Northernmost point is in latitude 44° 54′ longitude 66° 45′ west.

The rivers Maggagaudavick and Digdaguash, lie in this county, and are of the utmost advantage in transporting the lumber from the interior. On each of these streams mills are erected. The Maggagaudavick runs a great distance into the country, and communicates with a chain of lakes, down which lumber is floated from a great distance. There are several falls in the Maggagaudavick—those near the mouth are nearly forty feet.

Several Islands lying in Passamaquoddy Bay are within the limits of this county. Some of them are of considerable importance, on account of the fishery, and as affording harbors for shipping.

 

SECTION VII.

Westmorland.

Is bounded eastwardly by the line of Nova-Scotia, and the Gulph of St. Lawrence; northerly, by a west line running into the country from the northernmost point of Shediac Island; westwardly, by a line beginning at a point in the north boundary of St. John County; north, from Quaco head, and running north till it meets said west line; southerly, by St. John County and Chignecto. It contains nine thousand three hundred and three inhabitants.

This County is situated at the head of the Bay of Fundy, and joins Nova-Scotia. The line between the Provinces is the narrowest part of the isthmus between the Bay of Fundy and Bay Verte. A small stream over which there is a bridge—forming the separating line. It contains the following Parishes:—Westmorland, Sackville, Hillsborough, Hopewell, Moncton, Dorchester, Salisbury, and Botsford.

[70] A considerable part of this county was formerly settled by the Acadians or French neutrals, whose descendants are still numerous in this and the adjoining County of Northumberland, being spread along the seaboard, to the Bay of Chaleur. They have settlements at Memramcook, Peticodiac, Bay Verte, Cocagne, Bucktouche, Richibucto, &c.—where there are several large Chapels, which are usually supplied with Romish Missionaries, who are supported by tythes from the French Catholics. But the most thriving class of settlers are the English, chiefly from Yorkshire, or their descendants. They are in general good farmers and attend chiefly to husbandry. Indian corn is but little cultivated in this county, the climate being too cool and temperate for that plant to thrive well; but wheat, oats, potatoes, &c. flourish here in great perfection. This is the finest part of the Province for stock; from the extensive tracts of salt marsh which lie in this county, many thousand acres of which are dyked and produce abundant crops. Butter and cheese are made and exported from this county in large quantities. The cattle are superior to any in the country from the great attention that has been paid by the inhabitants to crossing and improving the breed. During the American war nine hundred head of cattle, and eight hundred firkins of butter, were sent from this county to Halifax, and other places in one year, and although the demand has fallen off since the peace, there are still large droves taken from Cumberland to Halifax, and St. John—and likewise large quantities of butter and cheese.

The tides at the head of the Bay rise to a great height. They come in with successive swells of the water called the Boar, which at spring tides roll in with amazing velocity in waves about three feet perpendicular. The noise of the Boar is heard a great distance, and animals immediately take to the highland, and manifest visible signs of terror if near it. The spring tides at Cape Chignecto, Cape Enrage, and Cumberland bason, are from forty-five to fifty-five feet. Common tides at Cape Chignecto, thirty-six feet; at Cape Enrage, forty feet; at Fort Cumberland, forty-five; and at Bay Verte, from eight to ten feet perpendicular.

The shores from Cape Chignecto and Martin's Head to the Joggins, or land of Grindstones, are high, bold and rocky. On other parts of the coast they are not so elevated, but abound in most places with valuable stones of different kinds, fit for building [71] and other purposes. Great quantities of Grindstones are made in this county, and furnish a valuable article for exportation. Nearly twenty thousand were formerly exported from this place annually, to the United States, and other places, but this branch of trade has fallen off considerably of late years.

Fort Cumberland formerly called Beausejour, is situated on the Missaguash river in this county. It was the first post fortified by the French in this Province, and was for a long while a great annoyance to the English settlers, till it was taken by Colonel Monckton, in 1755, who placed a British Garrison in it. The works are at present much decayed, a few soldiers are however still stationed in it.

The several parishes in this county are in a flourishing state. Some of them have neat places of worship with stated Ministers, and others are visited occasionally. Westmorland in general, is well settled, with a substantial yeomanry, and although it does not make such a figure in a bustling trade as some of the other counties, it is silently enriching itself with the slow but sure returns of Agriculture, and fast rising into importance.

The rivers in this county are the Peticodiac, Memramcook, and Missaguash with several other streams which run a considerable distance into the country. Some of them are well settled along their banks. The main road from Saint John to Cumberland follows the Peticodiac nearly throughout its whole course.

There are no sea-ports in this county of consequence. Dorchester has but little trade, and Chediac, is near the lines in Northumberland, although the river runs into this county and facilitates the export of its produce.

 

SECTION VIII.

Northumberland.

Joins Westmorland on the southward, and is bounded eastwardly by the Gulph of Saint Lawrence, and Bay of Chaleur. On the northwestward by the Bay of Chaleur to the river Ristigouche, and westwardly by a continuation of the western boundary line of Westmorland. The population of this county amounts to fifteen thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine.

This extensive county lies along the Gulph of Saint Lawrence having a great extent of sea-coast. It includes several [72] large bays and rivers, and comprises more than one third of the Province. It contains the following Parishes:—Newcastle, Chatham, Ludlow, Northesk, Alnwick, Carleton, Beresford, Glenelg, Saumarez, Wellington, and Nelson. It is a great lumbering county, and furnishes more squared timber annually than the whole Province besides: The pine is of the best quality, and found in immense quantities along the numerous streams and rivers with which this part of the country abounds. The lumber shipped from this county generally commands a better price in the British market than from any other part of the Province. The principal port for shipping is Miramichi, which is crowded with vessels during the summer and autumn. The river has two main branches called the northwest and southwest. Vessels load in different parts of the river, and rafts are brought to the shipping with the greatest ease. Shipping go up the river as far as Fraser's Island for cargoes and farther on the northwest, where there are several trading establishments. Newcastle is a considerable place for loading, and although it may be considered the county town, has nothing particular. About two miles below this place there is a trading establishment belonging to Mr. Abrahams, and two miles farther down is the establishment of Rankin, & Co. Indeed wherever there is a convenient cove, vessels lay and load. Chatham four miles below Newcastle on the opposite side of the river, is also a considerable shipping place. It has a Church with several fine stores and buildings. There are but few places along the entrance of this river but what are convenient for shipping. Upwards of three hundred sail load annually at Miramichi. The timber is paid for part in specie, and part in British and West-India goods and provisions.

A stranger would naturally suppose, that such a trade must produce great riches to the country; and that great and rapid improvements would be made. That large towns would be built—that the fair produce of such a trade would be seen in commodious and elegant houses, extensive stores and mercantile conveniences, in public buildings for ornament and utility, good roads and improved seats in the vicinity of the sea-ports, with Churches, Kirks, Chapels, &c.: All these with many other expectations would be but a matter of course. But here he would not only be disappointed, but astonished at the rugged and uncouth appearance of most part of this extensive county. [73] There is not even a place that can claim the name of a town. The wealth that has come into it, has passed as through a thoroughfare to the United States, to pay for labour or cattle. The persons principally engaged in shipping the timber have been strangers who have taken no interest in the welfare of the country; but have merely occupied a spot to make what they could in the shortest possible time. Some of these have done well, and others have had to quit the trade: but whether they won or lost the capital of the country has been wasted, and no improvement of any consequence made to compensate for it, or to secure a source of trade to the inhabitants, when the lumber shall fail. Instead of seeing towns built, farms improved, and the country cleared and stocked with the reasonable returns of so great a trade; the forests are stripped and nothing left in prospect, but the gloomy apprehension when the timber is gone, of sinking into insignificance and poverty. Formerly the woods swarmed with American adventurers who cut as they pleased. These men seeing the advantages that were given them, and wishing to make the most of their time, cut few but prime trees, and manufactured only the best part of what they felled, leaving the tops to rot; by this mode more than a third of the timber was lost. This with their practice of leaving what was not of the best quality after the trees were felled, has destroyed hundreds of thousands of tons of good timber: And when this was stopped by permitting none but British subjects and freeholders to obtain licenses, the business was not much mended as any person wishing to enter into the trade could, by purchasing a small sterile spot for a small trifle (provided he was a British subject) get in the way of monopolizing the woods. These are some of the causes that have and still do operate against the prosperity of the country. Men who take no interest in the welfare of the province, continue to sap and prey on its resources.

The other sea-ports in this county are Saint Peters, Richibucto, and Ristigouche, at which places there is a considerable trade carried on in squared timber, &c. but they have nothing of consequence to merit a particular description. Besides the Miramichi already described, this county is watered by several considerable rivers, the principal of which is the Ristigouche, which falls into the Bay of Chaleur, and communicates by a short portage with Grand River which falls into the Saint John fifteen miles above the great falls. The smaller rivers are [74] numerous, some of them have settlements along their banks and others are but little known. The inhabitants are a mixture of Europeans and Americans. A number of the descendants of the French neutrals are settled in this county, particularly on the river Cocagne where there are several villages with Catholic Chapels; they are also settled at Buctouche, Richibucto and along the sea-board as far as the Bay of Chaleur. They are generally agriculturalists and quiet orderly settlers.

Having thus gone briefly through the different counties, I shall conclude this chapter with a statement of the distances of the principal points on the Great Road of communication from St. John to Quebec:

From St. John to Fredericton, ?92 miles on the western side of the river.
From Fredericton to the Presque-Isle, 84  
FFrom Presque-Isle to Grand Falls, 52  
Thence to the Madawaska Falls, 45  
To the river Des Caps near Kamouraska, 84  
Thence to Quebec, 107  
  464  

making in the whole a distance of four hundred and sixty-four miles from the sea-board to Quebec, according to the present routes; nearly two thirds of which is along the great river St. John.

The great road of communication between this Province and Canada, has been much neglected, particularly about the Grand Falls where the road has been but lately cut and is but little improved, although this has been the route for the couriers upwards of forty years; but as the attention of Government is now turned to that object it is probable there will soon be an alteration for the better.

In opening new roads there is not sufficient pains taken to explore the best ground in commencing. Frequently after the roads are considerably improved, and much money expended, better routes are discovered and most parts of the old road are abandoned. To remedy this where the road runs along the course of a river it would be advisible to explore the country some distance back, for as the banks of the rivers are in many places very high the streams that run into them indent the country and form hollows and hills near their exit that are nearly impassable; when by going a little back the land falls and their banks have a gradual slope over which a good road may be made with ease. This although not a general rule, will hold good in most parts of the country.

[75]

CHAPTER VI.

State of Learning. Trade. Revenue. Remarks on the Lumber Business. Population. Militia.

The state of learning in this Province is very flourishing at present compared to what it was a few years ago. When the country was first settled the opportunities of obtaining a liberal education were small and confined to a few. From this cause many persons who occasionally fill important stations in the several counties, are found very deficient in learning, but this from the many provisions lately made will cease in a few years, and men will always be found to fill all public offices, with learning sufficient to enable them to discharge their several duties with credit to themselves and advantage to the public.

Besides the College of New-Brunswick incorporated by charter, there are Grammar Schools established in several counties which are liberally supported. By the bounty of the Legislature, twenty pounds per annum is allowed to be drawn out of the Province Treasury for every Parish where a School-House is provided, and the sum of thirty pounds raised by the inhabitants, to enable them to employ good and sufficient teachers, and this bounty extends to three schools in each Parish. By this liberal public provision schooling is brought to the doors of most of the inhabitants, who will exert themselves to partake of the public benefit.

The College of New-Brunswick is established at Fredericton and endowed with a block of land containing nearly six thousand acres adjoining the town plot.

The Governor and Trustees of this College having surrendered their charter to the King, and petitioned to have the Establishment put on a more enlarged footing; their petition was graciously received and a new charter granted, bearing date the eighteenth of November, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three. A grant of a sum of money was at the same time made to the College out of the royal revenues in this Province, to enable the Corporation to erect a suitable building for the [76] President, Professors and Students; and to procure a Library, and Philosophical apparatus for the same. The Legislature of the Province has likewise granted a liberal sum for the same purpose; in consequence of which a building on a liberal scale is to be immediately erected on a conspicuous part of the rising ground adjoining the town.

The most general seminary for the education of the bulk of the population is the Madras School. The Lieutenant-Governor and a number of the first characters in the Province, have the management of this seminary, which is incorporated by the name of "The Governor and Trustees of the Madras School in New-Brunswick." As most of the Parish Schools in the Province are on the Madras system of education, and under the direction of the corporation, I shall close this short sketch of the state of learning in this Province with a statement of that institution copied from the last report.

State of the Madras School in New-Brunswick, in July, 1824, viz.

Saint John, in daily attendance 197 — total entered 1222
Carleton, " 96 " 143
Fredericton, " 50 " 79
Douglas, " 22 " 45
Queensborough, "   " 45
St. Andrews, " 94 " 156
Grand Manan,  }
Grand Harbour,}
" 42 " 89
North Head, " 40 " 76
Westcock, " 45 " 118
Sackville,     " 40
Shediac, " 30 " 53
Peticodiac, " 45 " 50
Kingston,       113
Springfield, " 24 " 81
Gage Town, " 25 " 117
Sussex Vale, " 38 " 114
Newcastle, " 39 " 166
Northesk, " 42 " 66
Chatham, " 40 " 51
Hampton, " 26 " 75
Norton,     " 60
Maugerville, " 28 " 52
Maugerville, middle district,     " 39
Fort Cumberland, " 49 " 105
Point Debute, " 52 " 62
Jolicure, " 32 " 50 [77]
St. Georges, " 38 " 72
Woodstock, middle district, " 36 " 135
Upper District, " 35 " 76
Dow's District,     " 36
Wakefield, middle district, " 21 " 90
Lower district, " 21 " 86
Northampton,     " 35
Military Settlement,        
No. 1, " 38 " 140
No. 2, " 36 " 131
No. 3, " 24 " 159
No. 4, " 24 " 116
Scotch Settlement, " 20 "      36
In July, 1824       4,379
Add the number in the College at Fredericton, as reported last year    357
Total       4,736
In July, 1823       3,396
Increase during the year       1,340

The trade of New-Brunswick may be comprised under the following heads:

Exports to the West-Indies.

Boards, shingles, fish, and small articles. The principal return for which is rum, sugar, molasses, &c.

Exports To Great Britain.

Squared timber, masts, spars, oars, lathwood, deals, furs, &c. Ship-building forms also a considerable branch of trade at present. Some of which are built by contract for merchants in Great-Britain, and others are built and loaded by merchants in the Province, and either employed by them in the exportation of lumber, or sold in Britain. The returns for this trade are British merchandise, and specie.

There was formerly a considerable trade carried on with the United States in gypsum, grindstones, smoked salmon, &c. and for a short period in the productions of the West-Indies from the free port of St. John, (as well as from Halifax in Nova-Scotia.) But the trade in West-India produce is now totally at an end, and the other branches much fallen off, so that most [78] of the flour, corn, and bread stuffs imported from thence is paid for in specie, which is a great drain for the cash of the Province: for there are nearly sixty thousand barrels of wheat and rye flour, and from sixty-five to seventy thousand bushels of indian corn, imported annually, besides corn meal, bread, &c.

The amount of imports in 1824 was five hundred and fourteen thousand five hundred and fifty-seven pounds sterling, and the exports in the same year five hundred and twenty-six thousand nine hundred and twenty-three, exclusive of exports from the port of St. Andrews, which amounted to about one hundred thousand pounds, besides several vessels built at St. Peters, and other places not in the above statement. The gross amount of the revenue collected at the different ports in the Province, in 1824 was forty-four thousand six hundred and seventy pounds two shillings and sixpence, New-Brunswick currency. This when the population of the Country is considered, speaks much for the trade and resources of the Province.

As squared timber is the great staple of this trade, I shall set down the number of tons exported yearly at three different periods, from which the reader may form a pretty correct idea of the quantity usually shipped in a year.

In 1819 the quantity was 247,394 Tons.
In 1822 the quantity was 266,450 "
In 1824 the quantity was 321,211 "

The above is the total amount from all the Ports in New-Brunswick.




The following statement will shew the total amount of exports and imports of every description in the year 1824.

[79]

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS.

Port of Saint John, New-Brunswick.

An account of the total number of Ships and Vessels that have entered inwards at this Port and the Out-Bays within the district thereof, in the year 1824, with their Tonnage, number of Men, and the quantity of Goods imported in the same Vessels, together with the value of said Goods in Sterling Money.—Exclusive of Coasters.

Saint John.

432 Vessels—94,248 Tons—4,192 Men.

Wheat and Rye Flour, bbls. 32,512 Coal, chaldrons 3,703
Bread, ditto 1,088 Oak and Locust Wood, M. feet 62
Corn, bushels 37,917 Onions, Seeds, Apples, &c. bbls. 3,016
Meal, barrels 3,448 Staves, M. 45
Rice, cwts. 1,097 Shingles, M. 27
Beef and Pork, barrels 4,719 Iron and Copper, tons 2,154
Sheep, number 26 Hides, number 7,724
Horses, ditto 3 Mahogany, Logwood, &c. tons 192
Peas and Beans, bushels 1,145 Bricks, M. 21
Wine, gallons 14,772 Stone Ware, pieces 22,113
Brandy and Gin, gallons 29,682 Cotton Wool, bales 134
Rum, gallons 310,879 Slates, M. 95
Molasses, gallons 110,579 Oats, bushels 9,863
Coffee, cwts. 248 Barley, bushels 1,452
Pimento, lbs. 9,742 Wheat, bushels 5,418
Sugar, cwt. 2,988 Tallow, hogsheads 67
Salt, tons 4,673 Wood Hoops, number 2,400
Naval Stores, barrels 2,254 Packages of British Merchandise,
Tobacco, cwts. 1,334      including cotton, silk
Tea, chests 1,415      and woollen Goods, Sail
Cordage, coils 9,406      Cloth, Ironmongery, &c. 24,686

 

Miramichi.

327 Vessels—94,601 Tons—4,274 Men.

Wheat Flour, barrels 17,285 Naval Stores, barrels 212
Bread, barrels 1,063 Tobacco, cwts. 727
Corn, bushels 17,262 Tea, chests 280
Meal, barrels 11,598 Cordage, coils 1,144
Rice, cwt. 160 Coal, chaldrons 1,063
Beef and Pork, barrels 6,016 Onions, Seeds, Apples,
Peas and Beans, barrels 1,204      Nuts, &c. barrels 710
Wine, gallons [80] 6,493 Iron and Copper, tons 125
Brandy and Gin, gallons 23,533 Hides, number 94
Rum, gallons 86,977 Mahogany, Logwood, &c. tons 42
Molasses, gallons 23,533 Bricks, M. 82
Coffee, cwts. 126 Stone Ware, pieces 60,300
Pimento, lbs. 224 Slates, M. 34
Sugar, cwts. 2,462 Barley, bushels 200
Salt, tons 410 British Merchandise, packages 3,600

 

Saint Peters.

33 Vessels—6,143 Tons—302 Men.

Wheat Flour, barrels 184 Salt, tons 250
Bread, ditto 34 Naval Stores, barrels 10
Rice, cwt. 16 Tobacco, cwts. 13
Beef and Pork, barrels 130 Tea, chests 4
Wine, gallons 61 Cordage, coils 67
Brandy and Gin, gallons 1,078 Coal, chaldrons 24
Rum, gallons 2,596 Iron and Copper, tons 35
Molasses, gallons 1,675 British Merchandise, packages 142
Sugar, cwts. 48    

 

Richibucto.

86 Vessels—17,490 Tons—830 Men.

Wheat Flour, barrels 889 Sugar, cwts. 202
Bread, ditto 283 Salt, tons 680
Meal, ditto 631 Naval Stores, barrels 39
Beef and Pork, barrels 493 Tobacco, cwts. 29
Peas and Beans, bushels 135 Tea, chests 36
Wine, gallons 968 Cordage, coils 56
Brandy and Gin, gallons 3,581 Coal, chaldrons 125
Rum, gallons 10,821 Iron and Copper, tons 25
Molasses, gallons 5,967 British Merchandise, packages 1,322
Coffee, cwts. 15    

 

Shediac.

19 Vessels—4,018 Tons—208 Men.

Wheat Flour, barrels 7 Salt, tons 180
Bread, barrels 60 Naval Stores, barrels 17
Beef and Pork, barrels 29 Tobacco, cwt. 11
Brandy and Gin, gallons 120 Cordage, coils 23
Rum, gallons 20 Coal, chaldrons 7
Molasses, gallons 105 Iron and Copper, tons 28
Sugar, cwts. 9 British Merchandise, packages 176

[81]

 

Restigouche.

13 Vessels—2,226 Tons—118 Men.

Bread, barrels 5 Salt, tons 50
Beef and Pork, barrels 7 Naval Stores, barrels 5
Peas and Beans, bushels 14 Cordage, coils 33
Rum, gallons 972 Coal, chaldrons 6
Molasses, gallons 1,010 Iron and Copper, tons 6
Sugar, cwts 3 Stone Ware, pieces 3,000
Oats, bushels 40 British Merchandise, packages 50

 

Dorchester.

4 Vessels—841 Tons—37 Men.

Total value of Goods £514,557, sterling


CLEARED OUTWARDS.

 

Saint John.

417 Vessels—102,300 Tons—4,198 Men.

Timber, tons 114,116 Bread, barrels 140
Pine Board and Plank, M. feet 11,534 Rice, cwts. 23
Staves, M. 1,923 Rum, gallons 45,870
Shingles, M. 491 Molasses, do. 525
Masts and Spars 1,918 Pimento, lbs. 5,442
Oars and Oar Rafters 2,103 Sugar, cwts. 166
Handspikes, number 595 Naval Stores, barrels 271
Hogshead Shooks 4,461 Tobacco, cwts. 371
Lathwood, cords 1,435 Coal, tons 749
Dry Fish, quintals 15,102 Mahogany & Camwood, &c. tons 17
Pickled Fish, barrels 9,868 Apples, Onions, &c. barrels 330
Smoaked Herrings, boxes 6,961 Smoaked Salmon, number 3,662
Fish Oil, barrels 168 Ox Horns, hogsheads 20
Gypsum, tons 5,183 Old Copper, tons 25
Grindstones, number 6,013 Salt, tons 245
Salt Meat, barrels 90 Hogsheads of Furs 15
Potatoes, bushels 710 Corn Meal, barrels 50
Flour, barrels 332    

[82]

 

Miramichi.

331 Vessels—94,800 Tons—4,341 Men.

Timber, tons 141,384 Dry Fish, quintals 263
Pine Boards and Plank, M. feet 1,256 Pickled Fish, barrels 580
Staves, M. 304 Smoked Herrings, boxes 70
Shingles, M. 8 Flour, barrels 737
Masts and Spars 1,400 Bread, do. 7
Oars and Oar Rafters 702 Rum, gallons 8,627
Handspikes, number 888 Naval Stores, barrels 45
Lathwood, cords 3,080 Tobacco, cwts. 106

 

Saint Peters.

32 Vessels—6,095 Tons—289 Men.

Timber, tons 8,308 Handspikes, number 159
Pine Boards and Plank, M. feet 52 Lathwood, cords 274
Staves, M. 8 Dry Fish, quintals 800
Masts and Spars 191 Pickled Fish, barrels 155

 

Richibucto.

81 Vessels—17,285 Tons—820 Men.

Timber, tons 24,269 Oars and Oar Rafters 242
Pine Boards and Plank, M. feet 134 Handspikes, number 1,380
Staves, M. 36 Lathwood, cords 625
Masts and Spars 545    

 

Shediac.

19 Vessels—4,018 Tons—208 Men.

Timber, tons 5,851 Handspikes, number 96
Pine Boards and Planks, M. feet 12 Lathwood, cords 184½
Masts and Spars 327 Rum, gallons 100
Oars and Oar Rafters 184 Tobacco, cwts. 50

 

Restigouche.

14 Vessels—2,301 Tons—121 Men.

Timber, tons 3,062 Lathwood, cords 30
Pine Boards and Plank, M. feet 7 Dry Fish, quintals 2,000
Masts and Spars 47 Pickled Fish, barrels 403
Handspikes, number 32 Fish Oil, barrels 20

[83]

 

Dorchester.

4 Vessels—841 Tons—37 Men.

Timber, tons 1,246 Oars and Oar Rafters 110
Pine Boards and Plank, M. feet 2 Handspikes, number 374
Masts and Spars 5 Lathwood, cords 29½
       
     Value of Exports £362,043, sterling.

N.B. To the value of exports may be added the following Ships and Vessels built and registered at this Port within the year 1824, by persons resident in this Province, either for proprietors in the United Kingdom, or sent there for sale, as remittances for British Merchandise, or for owners here, carrying on the Timber Trade.

60 Ships and Vessels, measuring 16,488 tons, at £10 £164,880
     Total £526,923


Port of Saint Andrews.

An account of the total number of Vessels, their Tonnage, number of Men, with the quantity and quality of their Cargoes, entered at the Port of St. Andrews in the year 1824, ending the 5th January, 1825.

156 Vessels—29,687 Tons—1,406 Men.

Rum, gallons 104,259 Canvas, bolts 159
Wines from Madeira, pipes 36 Cordage, coils 831
Ditto, Hogsheads 46 Made Sails, sets 3
Ditto, Quarter Casks 38 Soap and Candles, boxes 323
Ditto, Half Quarter Casks 10 Beer and Porter, barrels 118
Molasses, gallons 26,768 Nails and Wrought Iron, kegs 198
Gin and Brandy, gallons 1,391 Ship Chandlery, packages 13
Wine from Great-Britain, galls. 1,476 Beef and Pork, barrels 57
Brown Sugar, cwt. 640 Coals, chaldrons 314
Shrub, casks 6 Paint, kegs 439
Coffee, barrels and bags 68 Tea, chests 47
Tobacco, hogsheads 4 Chain Cables 10
Bricks, M. 60 Glass, boxes, &c. 120
Naval Stores, barrels 327 Pieces of Earthenware & Cast Iron 873
Oak Staves, M.[84] 120½ Cotton Wool, bales 22
Wheat and Rye Flour, bbls. 5,732 Mahogany, logs 11
Biscuit, barrels 727 Green Hides 305
Rice, casks and bags 43 Linseed Oil, casks 4
Corn, Meal and Grain, bushels 12,100 Pimento, bags and casks 8
Peas & Beans & Rye Grain, bus. 370 Logwood, tons 1
Boards and Plank, M. feet Tobacco Pipes, boxes 25
Wood and Timber, feet 22,750 Copper Bolts, cwt. 47
Fruit, barrels 1,090 Horses, number of 28
Sheep, number of 200 Piano Fortes 1
Merchandize, packages 585 Carriages 1
Salt, tons 1,998 Horned Cattle 678
Iron, tons 68 Furs, bales and boxes 3
Earthenware, crates 105    

 

 

Port of Saint Andrews.

Exports.

175 Vessels—33,493 Tons—1,543 Men.

192 Plaster Paris Vessels—13,040 Tons—657 Men.

Birch and Pine Timber, tons 25,975 Fruit, Onions and Potatoes, bbls. 126
Boards and Plank, M. feet 8,386 N.B. Gin, barrels 37
Cod Fish, quintals 10,540 Salt, tons 45
Shingles, M. 2,412 Iron, tons 12
Lathwood, cords 753 Birch, M. 35
Spars, number 1,559 Calf Skins and Sides Leather, No. 48
Small Poles, number 1,542 Soap and Candles, boxes 1,212
Sawed Laths, bundles 172 Butter, firkins 2
Oars, Oar Rafters & Handspikes 1,093 Tobacco, hogsheads 6
Oak, Ash and Spruce Staves, M. 284 Smoked Tobacco, hogsheads 21
Ship Knees 50 Merchandize, packages 22
Naval Stores, barrels 234 Wines, pipes 26
Cotton Wool, bales 22 Ditto hogsheads 33
Pickled Fish, barrels 3,132 Ditto quarter casks 27
Smoked Herrings, boxes 1,067 Ditto half quarter casks 1
Beef and Pork, barrels and kits 69 Wheat and Rye Flour, bbls. 2,839
Oil, barrels 69 Bread and Biscuit, barrels 88
Rum, puncheons 285 Rice, casks and barrels 22
Sugar, barrels 10 Indian Corn and Meal, bushels 2,482
Coffee, barrels and bags 7 Peas and Beans, bushels 22
N.B. Vinegar, barrels 40 Plaster of Paris, tons 15,576

[85] The Articles of Exports the Production of this Province and the Fisheries, are considered when shipped, worth the following values, viz.:

Pine and Birch Timber, 20s.   sterling Per Ton.
Lumber and Plank, 40s.     per M.
Shingles, 12s. 6d.    per M.
Lathwood, 20s.     per Cord.
Spars, 5s.     Each.
Small Poles, 2s. 6d.    Each.
Oars and Oar Rafters, 5s.     per pair.
Staves, 60s.     per M.
Dry Fish, 12s. 6d.    per quintal.
Pickled Fish, 20s.     per barrel.
Smoked Herrings, 3s.     per box.
Oil, 80s.     per barrel.
Plaster Paris, 10s.     per ton.

The whole value of the above Exports may be about £100,000.

 

From the foregoing statement it plainly appears that chief of the export trade of this Province consists of timber, which is its natural stock or capital; and as there are many articles taken in exchange from the mother country, which are indispensably necessary to the inhabitants of this Province; it points out the necessity of paying strict attention to its preservation. In this Country there is no article, or articles, that can in any degree furnish exports equal to the pine, which is manufactured in the simplest manner, and got to market with but little trouble. So simple is the process that most settlers who have the use of the axe can manufacture it; the woods furnishing a sort of simple manufactory for the inhabitants, from which, after attending to their farms, in the summer, they can draw returns during the winter for those supplies which are necessary for the comfort of their families. This being the case, the preservation of our forests becomes of prime importance to the prosperity of the Province.

The evils that must arise to the Province, by allowing the timber to be monopolized and hastily cut off are many. The timber standing in the Country, particularly on the Crown Lands, may be considered as so much capital or stock, to secure a permanent trade, and promote the solid improvement of the Country. Most of the lands in this Province where pine is found are intermixed with other timber, and although the precise [86] spots on which the pine grows, are unfit for agriculture, without much labor; yet there are most always spots adjoining, where a settler may cultivate with success: so that in a lot of two or three hundred acres, there is generally enough for tillage, and a man settling on such land could always choose his spot for farming, and keep his timber to cut at his leisure. His pine so reserved would as long as it lasted serve him as a resource, from whence, after attending to his farming in the summer, he could draw returns during the winter, for such supplies as would be necessary for his family, and for improving his farm.

To make this more evident, we will suppose a man settling on a wilderness lot—like most settlers he has but little save his own labour—perhaps he has a small family—he commences with cutting down a small spot, and erecting a hut—say in the summer or fall, he then moves on his family, and looks round for sustenance till he can raise his first crop—in doing this his funds are exhausted, and he wants by his own labour to replenish them during the winter, and provide a few implements of husbandry, and nails, &c. for building a barn—now supposing his lot to be back from the river, and at a distance from old settlements where labour is wanted—what does he do?—why he resorts to his pine—to the simple manufactory before noticed, and makes a few tons, say twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty, according to his ability—carefully cutting the under brush and timber, so as to put his land where he is working in a fair train for clearing—this timber he probably gets hauled to the water on shares, if he is very poor and has no team; the returns for which the next spring, furnishes him with supplies, and enables him to continue on his land and prosecute his farming. If he cannot do without the return of his timber till spring, he applies to a merchant, who if the man is of good fame, advances him such articles as may be particularly necessary for his family. This enables him to find labour on his own lot, and stay with his family: whereas if he has no such resource, he must leave his home, and go to a distance from his family, seeking labour; and probably they may be so circumstanced as not to be left safely alone, and he has to take them with him, which breaks up his family and prevents him from settling.

If a number of families commence a settlement together, where the timber has not been destroyed, but where a fair proportion [87] is still growing on the land, they exchange labour with each other, and by their joint exertions, manufacture and transport their own lumber to market. In this way they are enabled from year to year to prosecute their settlement and pay for their grants; the timber answering as a first crop fully grown, and a resource to make returns for necessaries.—By this method, as the pine disappears, houses and barns will rise in its place, and the country, instead of a barren waste, will exhibit flourishing settlements, peopled with a race who will know the value of their improvements; and feel their interest identified with the country: and whose attachment to the Government will increase with their growing possessions. Their children, raised on the soil, from the strong principles of early association, will feel that interest in the welfare of the country, that no transient advantage can produce; and grow up an ornament and strength to the Province. On the contrary, if the lumber is cut off by mere speculators, the land will be left in an impoverished state, much valuable timber will be wantonly destroyed, and the places from whence the timber is taken will be left an uncultivated waste; settlers will neither have the inclination or ability to occupy them. While the major part of the men employed in getting the lumber for the merchants, instead of making a comfortable provision for their families, will wear out the prime of their days without making any permanent establishment; and keep their families shifting about the country like vagrants. Their children, for the want of employment, and the direction of their fathers, brought up in idleness—their education and morals neglected, and bad habits acquired, will be the reverse of those before noticed: and many of them will become a vagrant race, unconcerned or uninterested in the welfare of the country, and in many instances a nuisance to it. While their parents, after they get unfit for the business, will be turned off in debt.

In short, it will be the most direct way to prevent the settlement of the back lands, and to produce (what is the bane of all countries) a race of inhabitants who have no interest in the soil or welfare of the Province.

[88] Statement of the expenses on one thousand tons of pine timber, manufactured on the Wabskahagan, a branch of the river Tobique:—

The Secretary's, Governor's, and Surveyor General's fees of office, including the charge for writing petition   1 10 0  
Duty on 1000 tons, at 1s 50  0 0    
Less by amount included in fees, &c.   1  5 0    
    48 15 0  
Incidental expenses to the applicant   0 15 0  
Surveyor's fees for measuring the timber berth   7   0 0  
Expenses for axemen and chainmen   5 10 0  
Travelling expenses thence and back, five hundred miles     8   0 0  
      71 10 0
Ten men at £5 per month, and an overseer at £10, say for six months   60   0 0  
Six yoke of oxen, at £30 per yoke   180   0 0  
One pair draught horses   50   0 0  
One boat, sail, and gear   36   0 0  
Two canoes with paddles   6   0 0  
Sleds, chains, harness, &c.   27 10 0  
Eleven men's provisions for six months, at 85s. per head, per month   274 10 0  
Hay for oxen, &c. 30 tons, at £10   300   0 0  
Grain for ditto     25   0 0  
Grain for ditto     1259   0 0
Total expense on one thousand tons of timber, at the brow ready for rafting     £1330 10 0
Expense of rafting, anchors, cables, ropes, &c.        50   0 0
      £1380 10 0
   Deduct for articles that may be useful another season, viz.—
Oxen, Horses, Boat, tackle, &c.   214   0 0  
Canoes, sleds, harness, anchors, &c. &c.     50   0 0  
        264   0 0
      £1116 10 0

From the foregoing statement (admitting it to be near the truth) it appears that the expenses on one thousand tons of timber got on the river Tobique, amounts to £1116:10:0—to which is to be added the expense and risk of taking it down to Saint John, a distance of about two hundred and fifty miles—the loss by casualties on a rapid river, where men and teams frequently break through the ice, and are swept away by the velocity of the current. When all the above expenses are deducted from the returns of the timber, it will leave but a little for those who carry on the business, and very often involves them in inextricable difficulties.

[89] The preceding statement points out the necessity of adopting a more prudent system in conducting the timber business. Not to push the trade to such an extent—to retrench the expenses, by raising the heavy parts of the supplies near the timber districts; and to follow up the timber trade with the improvement of the country and cultivation of the soil.

Another great drawback to the prosperity of the Province is the great consumption of ardent liquors—partly occasioned by the present modes of conducting the timber business. The amount of spirituous liquors imported and consumed in the Province in 1824, at the least calculation was £120,000, exclusive of the County of Charlotte; and add to this amount the cost of the transport of the liquor to the interior and the enormous charges on the article in the distant parts of the Province, the cost to the consumer may be fairly reckoned at treble the amount, making in the whole the gross sum of £360,000 for ardent liquors alone, consumed by the inhabitants of the Province, being near twenty gallons on an average for every male over sixteen years of age.

The number of inhabitants in this Province, according to the census of last year, is seventy-four thousand one hundred and seventy-six—besides the large settlement of Madawaska and the parish of West Isles; and as it is probable the numbers in the different parishes are taken in some instances under the real amount, the whole population may be fairly rated in round numbers at eighty thousand. The subjoined statement will show the population of the different counties and parishes in 1824:

[90]

 

Population of the Province of New-Brunswick,

in the year 1824.

Counties. Parishes. Whites. People of Colour. Total
in
each
Parish.
Males. Females. Males. Females.
Above
16
Under
16
Above
16
Under
16
Above
16
Under
16
Above
16
Under
16
York Fredericton 526 352 470 392 29 21 34 25 1849
  Saint Mary 259 242 216 223 7 8 11 6 972
  Douglas 365 340 289 306 19 18 15 15 1367
  Kingsclear 226 173 190 155 15 28 22 23 832
  Queensbury 205 172 149 153 10 6 6 15 716
  Prince William 159 142 117 116 3 3 2 3 545
  Northampton 182 130 133 123 ... ... ... ... 568
  Woodstock 267 181 186 179 2 1 ... ... 816
  Wakefield 217 276 267 218 1 1 ... ... 1010
  Kent 645 596 457 597 2 ... ... ... 2297
Saint John City of St. John 2371 1731 2361 1632 94 72 139 88 8488
  Portland,
  1st district
628 392 447 340 1 1 3 1 1813
  Portland,
  2d district
386 242 228 207 42 40 43 42 1230
  Lancaster 216 150 157 151 38 31 28 2 793
  Saint Martin 154 147 133 148 1 ... ... ... 583
Kings Kingston 503 386 382 365 7 5 4 3 1655
  Sussex 487 460 414 433 11 12 7 9 1833
  Hampton 462 385 375 314 4 7 5 7 1559
  Norton 152 115 100 109 5 4 8 9 502
  Westfield 182 181 152 178 7 7 4 2 713
  Springfield 241 212 210 234 9 7 8 3 924
  Greenwich 184 185 178 185 1 2 1 8 744
Queens Gagetown 180 124 140 133 7 5 9 10 606
  Waterborough 486 643 403 444 1 10 7 19 2023
  Wickham 306 297 236 259 2 ... ... 1 1100
  Hampstead 193 188 164 165 5 6 4 1 723
  Brunswick 50 64 36 39 ... ... ... ... 189
  Brunswick District
  Butternut Ridge
24 29 19 28 ... ... ... ... 100
Charlotte St. Andrews 653 464 574 532 12 8 13 7 2263
  St. Stephen 518 393 397 358 3 1 ... 3 1673
  St. David 278 233 230 264 ... ... ... ... 1005
  St. George,
  1st district
245 173 166 159 1 ... 1 ... 745
  St. George,
  2d district
191 174 66 170 ... ... ... ... 701
  St. Patrick 217 203 164 178 ... ... ... ... 762
  St. James 121 116 109 107 ... ... ... ... 453
  Pennfield 223 120 93 120 2 ... ... ... 558
  Campo Bello 167 123 123 95 ... 1 ... ... 509
  Grand Manan 157 170 138 132 ... 1 ... ... 598
  West Isles ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Sunbury Maugerville 152 112 115 92 4 3 3 3 484[91]
  Sheffield 227 139 187 156 5 9 5 7 735
  Burton 432 298 322 269 4 6 4 3 1338
  Lincoln 200 167 142 158 1 ... 2 ... 670
Westmorland Dorchester 706 748 611 672 8 ... ... ... 2737
  Sackville 444 464 395 415 6 7 4 7 1744
  Westmorland 215 208 192 229 2 13 11 9 883
  Hillsborough 281 291 226 344 ... 5 ... 3 1152
  Monckton 85 94 82 79 ... ... 2 ... 342
  Botsford 200 216 162 195 ... ... ... 1 774
  Salisbury 171 170 147 177 ... ... ... 1 666
  Hopewell 292 256 225 232 ... ... ... ... 1005
Northumberland Newcastle 641 326 377 313 ... ... ... ... 1657
  Chatham 451 296 319 382 1 ... 2 1 1452
  Ludlow,
  1st district
407 191 147 173 ... ... ... ... 918
  Ludlow,
  2d district
286 38 29 37 ... ... ... ... 390
  Northesk,
  1st district
921 107 119 96 ... ... ... ... 1243
  Northesk,
  2d district
47 60 41 52 ... ... ... ... 200
  Alnwick,
  1st district
93 54 44 54 ... ... ... ... 245
  Alnwick,
  2d district
137 83 72 80 1 ... ... ... 373
  Carleton 757 429 376 402 ... ... ... 1 1965
  Beresford 327 294 225 228 6 3 1 2 1086
  Glenelg 323 174 175 163 1 ... ... ... 836
  Saumarez,
  1st district
299 209 201 234 2 2 1 1 949
  Saumarez,
  2d district
524 446 408 450 ... ... ... ... 1828
  Wellington 420 393 335 406 ... ... 1 ... 1555
  Nelson 574 185 201 166 3 ... 2 1 1132

 

NUMBER OF INHABITANTS IN THE DIFFERENT COUNTIES.

County of York 10,972
County of Saint John 12,907
County of Kings 7,930
County of Queens 4,741
County of Charlotte 9,267
County of Sunbury 3,227
County of Westmorland 9,303
County of Northumberland 15,829
        Total in the Province 74,176

[92] The enrolled Militia amount to about twelve thousand. They are divided into twenty-three battalions; the battalions are composed of six, eight, or more companies, according to local circumstances. The companies consist of one captain, two subalterns, three sergeants, and sixty rank and file, except flank companies, which are allowed four sergeants. Where districts are in remote situations, and not sufficiently populous to form two companies, but exceed the number of sixty effective men, eighty are allowed to be enrolled in one company. They assemble by companies two days in a year for drill; and by battalions or divisions for muster and inspection, once or oftener, if the Commander-in-Chief thinks it necessary. An Inspecting Field Officer is appointed to inspect the battalions at their general muster. He visits the different corps successively, and reports to the Commander-in-Chief. He is paid a certain sum per annum, which is granted yearly by the Legislature. The Militia Law is continually undergoing alterations, and has not yet attained to that perfection, that such an important branch of our provincial constitution requires. The last year two Inspecting Officers were appointed to inspect the two great divisions of the Province.

There are abundant materials to form a good effective Militia in this Province. The youth are in general docile and orderly, and have a great aptitude to attain the requisite discipline; there are also a number of disbanded soldiers and other persons acquainted with discipline, scattered through the country; so that there are few districts, but where there are persons qualified to act as drills. The want of arms is indeed a great check to the military spirit, as nothing is more taking to boys when first put to drill, than to have arms; and although many requisites of discipline, such as marching, wheeling, &c. can be acquired full as well without them; yet nothing makes a young lad so alert as to have a musket put into his hands.

To get persons to excel in any thing, it is requisite first of all if possible to create an attachment and liking to it; and to get the youth fully engaged in acquiring martial discipline, it is a primary object to make it pleasing to them. If therefore the different corps were at their musters to be supplied with arms and a few rounds of cartridges, and taught to skirmish, it would act as the greatest stimulous to the youth, and would soon make an alteration for the better at the trainings; by [93] making them a recreation and time of amusement: while it would make the Militia familiar with the use of arms—which is at present altogether lost sight of.

The writer is well aware that many arms formerly issued to the Militia have been destroyed, and that this might again happen; but surely some method might be adopted to prevent such abuses, and still to furnish the different corps with arms while at drill, by forming depots for lodging the arms, and appropriating some of the fines to keep them in order. In scattered districts, one, two or more companies arms might be kept together; and in towns Arsenals might be erected where two or three thousand stand might be deposited. Such buildings would not only be highly useful, but ornamental to the different places: and as there are but few serviceable arms in the Province at present, some steps should be taken to procure a sufficient number, and not to let the country remain in its present naked condition. It certainly appears like an anomaly in our preparations for defence, to expend time and money in improving our Militia, and not provide the means of arming and making them efficient if they should be wanted. If (as the preamble to the Militia Law states) "a well regulated Militia is essential to the security of this Province," it is equally necessary that the Province should possess the means of arming that Militia. If arms could not be procured from the Crown, it would be advisable to appropriate a part of the Provincial revenue for the purchase of a sufficient number to supply the Militia in case of emergency; which could be either sold to the Militiamen, or placed in the Arsenals, and issued occasionally to the different corps as the Government should think proper.

Should the Province ever be invaded, its defence will not wholly consist in defending fortified posts or in engagements with large bodies in open field, but by taking advantage of the natural fastnesses of the country, such as woods, deep hollows, hills, rivers, brooks, &c. with which the Province abounds.

This points out the necessity of having the Militia trained to sharpshooting and such exercises as will be beneficial in the hour of danger; and not merely taught a few parade movements, or how to receive a reviewing officer.

The Indians in New-Brunswick are fast declining, and although several attempts have been made to induce them to form permanent settlements and become planters, they [94] still continue their migratory mode of life. The attempts that have been made to civilize them by educating their children have been equally unsuccessful. The Romish religion appears to be the most congenial to them, as well as to the French. This arises in a great measure from its outward pomp and external forms imposing on the uncultivated mind. They yield an implicit obedience to the Romish Missionaries, who instruct them in religion, regulate their marriages, and censure or approve their conduct, and so successful have been their endeavours, that but few depredations are committed by the Indians on property, although they are frequently reduced to the most extreme want.—The Baron La Houtan, who has enumerated forty-nine Nations of Indians in Canada, and Acadia, names the following Tribes as the original inhabitants of Nova-Scotia:—The Abenakie, Micmac, Canabus, Mahingans, Openangans, Soccokis, and Etechemins, from whom our present Indians are descended. As the customs, manners, and dress, of the Indians have been often described, I shall not therefore swell this article by repeating old stories. Besides the conical cap, the blanket, leggins, and moccasins, worn by all the tribes; the women among the New-Brunswick Indians frequently wear a round hat, a shawl, and short clothes, resembling the short gown and petticoat worn by the French and Dutch women. The Indian language is bold and figurative, abounding in hyperbolical expressions, and is said to be susceptible of much elegance. To give the reader some notion of the manner in which these people conduct their conferences with each other, and with Europeans, I shall subjoin an extract of a conference, or talk, held at Quebec, with the Governor General of Canada, during the last American War.

Quebec, 17th March, 1814.

Thursday having been appointed for holding the Council, the Chiefs and Warriors assembled, and after shaking hands with His Excellency, as before, Newash accompanied by his Interpreter, again presented himself in the middle of the room, and pronounced the following Speech, or talk.

SPEECH OF NEWASH.

"Father—Listen.—You will hear from me truth. It is the same as what the Chiefs and Warriors now here have to say.

"Father—Listen.—Open your ears to your children, to your red children that are in the west. They are all of one mind: although they are so far off and scattered on different lands, they hear what I am now saying.

[95] "Father—Listen.—You have told us by the talk of your Warriors, twice Father, that we were to fight on the flanks and in the rear of your Warriors, but we have always gone in front Father; and that it is in this way we have lost so many of our young Warriors, our women and children.

"Father—Listen.—The Americans have said they would kill you first Father, and then destroy your red children; but when you sent us the hatchet we took hold of it Father and made use of it Father, as you know.

"Father—Listen.—Your red children want back their old boundary lines, that they may have the lands which belong to them, and this Father when the war began, you promised to get for them.

"Father—Listen.—Your red children have suffered a great deal, they are sad, indeed they are pitiful, they want your assistance Father. They want arms for their Warriors, and clothes for their women and children. You do not know the number of your red children Father. There are many who never yet received any arms or clothing. It is necessary at present, Father, to send more than you formerly did.

"Father—Listen.—At the beginning of the war you promised us when the Americans would put their hand forward you would draw yours back. Now Father we request when the Americans put their hand out, (as we hear they mean to do) knock it away Father, and the second time when they put out their hand, draw your sword.—If not Father, the Americans will laugh at us, and say our Great Father, who is beyond the Great Lake is a coward Father.

"Father—Listen.—The Americans are taking our lands from us every day, they have no hearts, Father, they have no pity for us. They want to drive us beyond the setting sun. But Father, we hope, although we are few, and are here as it were upon a little Island, our Great and Mighty Father, who lives beyond the Great Lake, will not forsake us in our distress, but will continue to remember his faithful red children.

"This is all I have to say. This is from our Chiefs and Warriors, this is all they have to say."

Newash then advanced to His Excellency, and presented him with the Black Wampum and Bloody Belt.

His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief then made the Chiefs and Warriors the following answer to the talks or speeches that had been addressed to him in their behalf.

"My Children.—I thank the Great Spirit for his protection of you on your long journey, and I rejoice to meet you at Quebec, the Great Council Fire on this side the Great Lake.

"My Children.—You have freely and forcibly spoken your sentiments, and I am happy to have heard from your own mouths, your thoughts, as I know on these occasions you always speak the truth. I am therefore delighted to hear my red children declare their attachment to the King our Great Father, beyond the Great Lake, and to myself and my Warriors.

"My Children.—I have opened my ears and listened with attention to what you have said. My heart was sore when I heard of the death of a great warrior. It still bleeds when I think of his loss, and the misfortunes my [96] children have met with during the war, in the death of many a wise chief and brave warrior, and some of your women and children who are gone to see the Great Spirit, before whom we must all one day appear.

"My Children.—I thank the Great Spirit that I see you in my own dwelling, and converse with you face to face. Listen to my words—they are the words of truth. You have always heard this from my chiefs, and I now repeat them. We have taken each other by the hand and fought together. Our interests are the same—we must still continue to fight together: for the King, our great father, considers you as his children, and will not forget you or your interests at a peace. But to preserve what we hold, and recover from the enemy what belongs to us, we must make great exertions; and I rely on your courage, with the assistance of my chiefs and warriors, to drive the big knives from our land the ensuing summer.

"My Children.—Our great father will give us new warriors from the other side of the great water, who will join with you in attacking the enemy, and will soon open the great road to your country, by which you used to receive your supplies, and which the enemy having stopped, has caused the distress and scarcity of goods you complain of: for I have never been in want of goods for you, but could not send them.

"My Children.—Our success in the war must depend on our bravery and your young men listening to the advice of their chiefs—this you must always bear in mind. I recommend to you to open your ears when my chiefs speak to you, for they only wish for your good. Tell your brother warriors whom I may not see, that these are my words; and that though they are to destroy their enemies in battle, they must spare and shew mercy to women and children, and all prisoners.

"My Children.—I have but one thing more to recommend to you, which you will not forget—you know that the only success that the enemy gained over us, last season, was owing to the want of provisions. There was much waste at Amherstberg—the consequence was that you and my warriors were forced to retreat. In future you must be careful of provisions, and use only what may be necessary; they are the same as powder and ball, we cannot destroy our enemies without them.

"My Children.—You will not forget what I have said to you. This is my parole to the nations. (Here the black wampum is presented to Newash.) Let them know what I have said. Tell them they shall not be forgotten by their great father nor by me.—Take courage my children—be strong—and may the Great Spirit preserve you in the day of battle." (Here the bloody belt is presented.)

After the interpreter had presented the belt to Newash, he with several of the chiefs chaunted parts of the war song:

"Under the Cloud Island

With this belt I go;

By this my heart is strong,

I shall have courage to die by the foe.

"Now I take hold of this belt,

Light as birds fly in the air;

Strong is my heart, and round I go,

Seeking to die by the foe."

[97] While this song was chaunting, several short speeches were made by the Indians. One of them said—"There is our father—here is the belt—there you are—the Great Spirit presides—now we are one, and none can flinch—if we stand by our father, he will stand by us. Our path is in the west—the war shall brighten there—the sky begins to clear—the light falls on our lands, and soon again shall our women and children be on them. You Saulks—you Chippeways, and all you of different nations, we are all one. We will fight them with our father, and never cease to fight while we have life, or until we have got back our lands."

The names of twelve Indian chiefs, inhabiting the coast of Acadia at the time the French peasants submitted to the British Government, will be found in the appendix to this work.

Lands in New-Brunswick are held in fee simple or free socage. The grants are immediately from the Crown. The subjoined table will shew the fees on single Grants, or where a number of Grantees are included in one patent, at present taken at the several offices.

Table of Fees on Grants.

Number
of
Acres
Governor,
including
the
warrant
of
survey
Sec'y
and
Regtr.
Auditor Attorney
Gen.
Receiver-
Gen.
including
purchase
money
Surveyor-
Gen.
Commissioner
of
Crown Land
Total
  £  s  d £  s  d s   d £  s  d £  s  d £  s s   d £  s  d
100 4 1 8 3 7 6 13 4 1 10 10 0 13 4 2 0 5 0 12 11 8
200 4 1 8 3 7 6 13 4 1 10 10 0 13 4 2 0 5 0 12 11 8
300 4 1 8 3 7 6 13 4 1 10 10 1 4 6 2 0 7 6 13 5 4
400 4 1 8 3 7 6 13 4 1 10 10 1 15 8 2 5 10 0 14 4 0
500 4 1 8 3 7 6 13 4 1 10 10 2 6 10 2 10 10 0 15 0 2

On Grants where more than one person is concerned, His Excellency has seven shillings per hundred acres; and the public offices have half the above-mentioned fees for each additional name, with the exception of the Attorney-General, who has nineteen shillings and two-pence for each additional name. The purchase money (which is a sum of five shillings sterling for every fifty acres above two hundred, payable to His Majesty, and called the King's purchase money,) is included in the above scale of fees to the Receiver-General. According to the [98] Royal Instructions, a single man is entitled to one hundred acres of land, with an additional quantity provided he can produce sufficient testimonials of his ability to cultivate more. A married man is entitled to two hundred acres, with an additional quantity on proof of his ability to cultivate more: but no more than five hundred acres is allowed to be granted to any person by the Colonial Government.

The method of laying out lots in this Province, of a narrow front and extending a great distance back, is very inconvenient to the settler. Being confined to a narrow front when he commences, clearing, supposing, (which is often the case,) the land adjoining to be unoccupied, he merely makes a lane through the wilderness, not half of which will produce a crop, on account of its being shaded by the adjoining woods: which not only exclude the sun, but impoverish the land by drawing the nourishment from the plants to the adjoining trees. To obviate this, and many other inconveniences, it would be far better to lay out settlements, where the face of the country would admit of it, in square blocks, or parallelograms; to contain two ranges of lots, with roads at proper distances. The fronts of the lots to be extended, and their length contracted. The lots to abut on the road; and extend back one-half the depth of the block:—The rear of the lots in one range, abutting on the rear of lots in the next range. Or else, the settlements might be divided into squares and sections, after the method adopted by the United States in laying out new settlements, of which the following is a short outline:

Their townships are laid out in blocks of six miles square, the whole area containing 23,040 acres. Those squares are divided into thirty-six smaller squares or sections of a mile square, containing each 640 acres. The sections are numbered from right to left, and left to right, as in the following plan:—

six miles long.
6 5 4 3 2 1   m l
7 8 9 10 11 12 s i o
18 17 16 15 14 13 i l n
19 20 21 22 23 24 x e g
30 29 28 27 6 25   s  
31 32 33 34 35 36      

[99] The sections are again subdivided into quarters and half quarters. A quarter section is half a mile square, and contains one hundred and sixty acres. The sixteenth section of each township is reserved to maintain schools, and the sections two, five, twenty, twenty-three, thirty, and thirty-three, are sold in half-quarters.

By this method the limits of counties and parishes are accurately defined; the settlements are every where interspersed with roads, and each man's field, instead of a narrow strip of irregular figure and uncertain boundary, is a square laying compact and near a road, whose contents are always easily ascertained. The rectangular method of laying out settlements, cannot always be followed, on account of rivers, &c. which will cause gores and inequalities; but whenever it can be adopted it offers many advantages.

The estates of persons dying intestate are distributed analogous to the custom of gavelkind in Kent. The heir at law of such intestate shall be entitled to and receive a double portion or two shares of the real estate left by such intestate, (saving the widow's right of dower.) The remander to be equally distributed among all the children or their legal representatives, including in the distribution the children of the half blood; and in case there be no children, to the next of kindred in equal degree, and their representatives. Provided that children advanced by settlement, or portions, not equal to the other shares, shall have so much of the surplusage, as shall make the estate of all to be equal, except the heir at law, who shall have two shares, or a double portion.



[100]

Advertisement.

Having for reasons stated in the commencement of this Work, given up my first design of adding a brief connected history of the Province, I have inserted a few extracts relating to this Country, in an Appendix; as they may be satisfactory to the reader, and useful in conveying some knowledge of the early history of the Country. My reasons for abridging this Description I have also stated, and have omitted many particulars necessary in a full description of a Country, such as tables of Animals, Plants, Minerals, Weather, &c. as I could not obtain the necessary materials, as but little attention has been paid to these subjects by persons qualified for the task.

I have endeavoured to be as correct in what I have stated as possible, but no doubt many inaccuracies will be discovered, as the information I have collected from different sources is liable to error. But it must be remembered that in a first Work like this many difficulties will occur, and having no tract to guide me, I have frequently wanted the necessary information. The Work, however imperfect, must be useful, as giving the first general outline of the Province, and interesting to every person who possesses a feeling of interest for his own fireside. In short, persons who strike out a first tract in any thing, may be compared to pioneers who trace a road for others to use and improve.



[101]

APPENDIX No. 1

Speech of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor at the meeting of the General Assembly, at Fredericton, February 1, 1825.

Mr. President, and Gentlemen of His Majesty's Council,

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

I have much satisfaction in meeting the Legislature of New-Brunswick—I am well persuaded that you will continue to promote and support the Interests and Institutions of the Province in a manner that will not fail to receive from me that ready and cordial concurrence which it will be my greatest pleasure to bestow upon all measures that may be calculated to advance the public good.

It affords me great pleasure to have it in my power to congratulate you on the very prosperous state of the Provincial Finances. The Revenue of the last exceeds greatly that of any former year, and yields a large surplus beyond the charges incurred, within the corresponding period.

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

I shall direct the Treasurer's Accounts to be laid before you, I rely upon your making the usual provisions for the Ordinary Services of the Province; and I am happy to acquaint you that the state of the Treasury is such as to enable you to provide for other objects of public interest and utility, to which your bounty has already been extended, and also to promote other important services which I shall hereafter bring before you.

Mr. President, and Gentlemen of His Majesty's Council,

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

Watching assiduously over the Public Interests, I shall have to submit to you, by Message, various measures which it will be necessary to bring under your consideration in the course of the Session, but whilst I reserve matters of detail for that mode of communication, important considerations and general views, which require to be fully and forcibly put to the Country, and which could not be properly treated in partial or very concise form, render it expedient, on this particular occasion, to lay before you such a statement of public affairs, as may embrace, generally, all interests, and leave nothing in doubt as to our real situation, in the more important branches of our well being.

I have great pleasure in stating to you that I find the affairs of the Province to be generally in a very prosperous condition. It will be useful however, to observe closely, how far this prosperity depends upon adventitious circumstances [102] and in what degree it rests upon our own inherent means and resources: for it is necessary to contemplate the condition in which the Country might be placed, by alterations in such of her transactions as may be deemed precarious, to feel, with due effect, the necessity, which I earnestly represent, of attending zealously to those internal resources which are not of that uncertain description. The trade of the Province is, at present, very active; but much of that activity depends obviously, upon external circumstances, on the permanency of which, it were imprudent to continue to stake so exclusively, the well being of the Country. It will be prudent, therefore, to endeavour to open channels by which we may make our Commerce more general, consequently less precarious, and particularly to establish and improve commercial intercourse with our sister Colonies. Taking from them, what we require, we may make returns by some important operations of our industry, and particularly by the proceeds of an advantageous trade which this transaction would greatly extend; contributing thus to each others wants, in a way mutually beneficial: and, in an union of interests, promoting and consolidating strong and lasting ties.

Other channels for commercial operations of very advantageous natures invite us to cultivate with increased activity, that rich source of wealth (one of our natural advantages) which our Fisheries present! These, if rendered more productive, will afford us great additional facilities in trade with the new States of South America: and there are favourable openings in the liberal policy of the present times, which should encourage us to cultivate, by every means, commercial intercourse with those States. By your wisdom and bounty the Fisheries have been improved on remote parts of the coasts of British America; but I recommend you to consider whether the Home or Coast Fisheries might not be brought more under the fostering and stimulating influence of your bounty by some extension of its provisions. The main branch of our manufacturing industry (Ship-Building) has increased prodigiously, and is now carried on to an extent beyond that of any former period: but it is submitted to your consideration whether it is not accompanied by some disadvantageous circumstances which detract vastly from the great value it might be made to produce, and to leave in the Province; and for which I have no doubt, you will adopt prudent remedies that will render this branch of industry more staple, as well as more beneficial.

Vast sums are sent from this Province, in specie, for the purchase of foreign agricultural produce. This enormous burthen operating in fact, as a tax raised by foreign industry on our food, contributes to raise high above the rate in surrounding Countries, the wages of labour here, and to lay the Province under corresponding difficulty and disability in every branch of its industry. It comes home to us, grievously, in various forms, in every operation of our domestic and political economy; and I appeal to your wisdom, to your patriotism, to the real interests, and to the public spirit of the Country for zealous co-operations in the measures and exertions necessary to relieve the Province from this most serious difficulty.

Agricultural, Emigrant, and other Societies should be encouraged to extend and exert their influence in every way that can tend to promote, improve, circulate and distinguish the modes and means most favourable to augment the production of subsistence. By such means, too, we may reasonably [103] expect soon to possess a population sufficient for the operative parts of all other branches of industry; and when these several operations shall all be executed by British Subjects and British Colonists, the Province will feel and exhibit in her condition the good effects of having closed those drains that have long carried off much capital which otherwise would have been laid out in the Merchants' stores, in the cultivation of the soil, and in other productive enterprizes of vast advantage.

Large sums have been expended on the Great Roads of this Province; but their condition shows the inefficiency of the present system, in appropriation and execution. This arises, chiefly, from having tried too much, and in such attempts dispersing limited means, to superficial and endless labor; on works far too numerous and costly, to be all substantially improved at the same time. Such appropriation, therefore, should be made of the sums which may be allotted to the Great Roads as may ensure effectual exertion upon them in succession, and in the order of their importance; and at the same time preclude those partial and general alterations in the lines of Roads, from which vast sums of public money have been uselessly expended. The Public Service has been exposed to very serious inconvenience by irregularities incident to the present line of communication between the Seat of Government and the City of Saint John. To remedy this, whatever it may be necessary to do in other times and seasons, I earnestly recommend the expediency of completing such a communication with Saint John, for a winter travelling and Post Road, as may not be subject to those serious interruptions and dangers to which the present line must always be exposed, during the greater portion of the year.

Fully impressed with the importance of attending to the efficiency of the Militia, I have derived much satisfaction from what I have witnessed of their appearance and public spirit. The Militia Law will have to pass under your revision, generally, and I recommend the amendment of those clauses which press so severely upon the Militiamen in regard to the distance of travel to their drill, and also with respect to age, at unnecessary cost of time, and inconvenience to the people.

I earnestly recommend to your continued patronage the several Institutions for the Education of our Youth; and I may have occasion hereafter to recommend measures for giving security and encouragement to those Provident Institutions, which I am happy to acquaint you have been established in this Province, under very promising circumstances, highly advantageous to the Country.

I have great satisfaction in acquainting you that our Most Gracious Sovereign has condescended to patronize the College of New-Brunswick with his gracious Favor, and to bestow a Grant from His Royal Revenues in this Province, to place that Institution upon a very improved establishment; and I rely upon such gradual provision being made hereafter, in addition to your last vote, as may enable the Governor and Trustees, to proceed in the erection of a suitable building. His Majesty's Secretary of State has further dispensed the grace and favour of the Crown in a manner that cannot fail to be duly and fully appreciated, and to sustain those principles of attachment, and loyalty which distinguish the origin and course of this Colony.

In addition to the provision made for the Madras Schools, generally, and to that of the African School at St. John, I recommend some provision for a [104] similar establishment at the Seat of Government, to bring more generally within the influence of these excellent Institutions, a portion of the human race to whom we owe kindness, charity, and benevolence, and for whom we should provide religious, moral and industrious education.

In the very prosperous condition which the affairs of this Province may now permanently take, I perceive, that the period is arrived for entertaining enlarged views and scope of system, necessary to supersede some very disadvantageous circumstances which should be gradually corrected, and to raise the Province to that consideration, value and importance, which it will soon assume, if the management of its affairs proceed upon sound views and estimates of her true situation, and be conducted according to fixed and solid general principles. But great misery and embarrassment may be inflicted on young and advancing Countries, if disturbed by doubts, or exposed to quick transitions arising from different schemes of temporizing policy, and I desire to point out the errors and dangers of all contingent measures and pursuits made only to comply with chance circumstances, temporary interests and adventitious excitements.

To that solid course, then, which may best embrace all of those interests of which the public good is made up, and upon which the permanency of your prosperity depends, I shall endeavour to look, and on it encourage the exertions of the whole Population to push their special interests with spirit and enterprize, under the sober guidance of general measures calculated to produce a steadiness, healthfulness and solidity of progress, which, under Divine Blessing, and the powerful and enlightened protection of our Parent State, will gradually conduct this happy Province to a very high degree of value and prosperity.


At a general meeting of the Members of the Legislature, and other respectable Gentlemen from all parts of the Province, assembled in one of the Committee Rooms of the House of Assembly on Thursday the 17th of February, 1825, by request of the Lieutenant-Governor, to take into consideration some propositions to be submitted by his Excellency, relating to the improvement of Agriculture, &c. in this Province, when His Excellency was pleased to open the proceedings of the meeting with the following SPEECH:—

The purpose for which I have caused this meeting to be convened, is of the first importance to the Country: And I am delighted to find myself surrounded on this occasion, as I hope to be on every occasion, by those distinguished Persons, from whose station, stake and consideration in the Country, I may expect the most powerful aid in promoting the great objects I have in view, if we are all fully impressed with the expediency and necessity we are under, each in our several stations, of doing all that may depend upon us, to accomplish the purposes which I am now to bring more particularly under your consideration.

[105] The purpose for which we are met is, to enquire whether some encouragement and excitement may not be applied to Agricultural pursuits, to operate, discreetly and gradually, in a manner to relieve the country from the great difficulty and disability under which it is laid by the vast sums which we pay for our food, and from the very disadvantageous effects which this produces on the cost of labour, and consequently in all branches of our industry.

Under ordinary circumstances, the high price occasioned by deficiency in the supply of any article in general demand, operating as a premium upon increased production, has a direct and natural tendency to remedy its own evils. This, in fact, is an effect which is working here, though slowly, to cure the malady of which we complain; and if other branches of industry were not in an excited, forced, and somewhat unnatural condition, it would be unnecessary, superfluous, or perhaps disadvantageous, to interfere with the sources and currents of supply, which ultimately accommodate themselves in the most advantageous and fittest way, to meet demand. But these are peculiarities in the circumstances of this Country, which must appear very obvious to all persons who have correct notions of the extent of her business and dealings, compared with the limited Population and Capital we possess, which occasioning powerful competitions in other branches, would appear to demand some additional encouragement and adventitious aid, to draw Labour and Capital in greater quantities, to the cultivation of the Soil.

To consider, properly, the best modes and means by which we may augment the production of subsistence, it will be proper to resolve the question into the consideration of the elements of production, viz. Labour, Capital and Land, and to enquire in what way we can give to those constituent parts of production, the facilities and encouragement they require, to compete with other branches which are obviously under the influence of adventitious excitement.

With respect to Land, we possess it in abundance, and in quality ready to yield what we may in a judicious manner require of it; and it will be one of my main objects to endeavour to lay open to Agricultural pursuits, extensive tracts which have long been locked up in reserved superabundance. This measure has in one case been, heretofore, sought and petitioned for; but it was not accorded to, at that time, in consequence of doubts entertained by His Majesty's Government, as to the value of the standing produce of that Land, for other purposes. But it is an advantage arising from a late appointment to a high situation in the Province, that powers are given, subject to certain conditions and regulations which I may sanction, to throw open portions of those reserves to meet the improving circumstances of the Country, and this will be speedily observed in a way that will open considerable tracts of valuable Land to the operations of Agriculture.

Proceeding, next, to the consideration of Capital, it has appeared to me to be very desirable, that some new measures should be taken with a view to attract the enterprizes of Capitalists, not only to the cultivation of fresh tracts, but likewise to that of the waste Lands of the Province generally; and I entertain the intention of bringing this proposition under the consideration of the High Authorities, elsewhere, upon whom this will depend. But the creation and accumulation of small Capitals, sufficient to enable the working man to enter with advantage on the cultivation of a grant of Land, of the [106] usual extent, is a matter in degree and practicability, much within the influence of our own measures, and it becomes therefore subject of very fit consideration for this meeting, composed of so many distinguished persons, who, returning soon to their respective Countries, may give information respecting those Institutions which are constituted, and likely I trust to be protected, to provide for the safe custody and accumulation of the small savings of the industrious classes of Society.

The greater part of such accumulations may be considered as funds rescued from unproductive consumption, to be laid out productively in various important branches of industry; and whilst, therefore, in this view, the provident Institutions deserve encouragement from all classes, they more particularly suggest to the gentlemen acting in the different Emigrant and Agricultural Societies, and to the employers of Agricultural Labours generally, the co-operation which may be expected from Savings' Banks in encouraging, by enabling, all industrious persons, soon to enter with advantage on the cultivation of the Soil, as proprietors of Land.

The poor Emigrant, for instance, who comes to the country destitute of pecuniary means, and who should always be met and welcomed with a great deal of charitable attention and protection, should be told, that to enter on the laborious enterprize of clearing a Lot, in the wilderness, without Capital, would be to entangle himself in very considerable difficulty. The best course which such a person can pursue, would be to avail himself of the assistance, which it should be a main object of all Emigrant Societies to provide, to procure advantageous employment in which to acquire experience of the climate, habit of Labour, and best modes of culture; and whilst acquiring these, to accumulate his Savings in the Savings' Banks, in the manner that any person, who is not burthened with a large family, may soon do, in farm service in summer, and in other pursuits in winter.

This object will perhaps be best pursued by the Emigrant Societies in the different parts, taking active measures to become acquainted with the circumstances and description of Emigrants so soon as they arrive, and entering in a Book, their names, age, trade or occupation, objects, and the means they may possess of pursuing these. From those entries of the circumstances and condition of the Individuals, Emigrant Societies would be competent to give them counsel and protection. If the Emigrant's desire should be to Agricultural pursuits, which will commonly be the case, but that he has no Capital to commence with, he should be advised to put himself to Farm service, and his attention should be drawn to the facilities which Savings' Banks provide for receiving, securing and augmenting his savings. If this measure meet concurrence in its objects and practicability, it will be received as an appeal to the Agriculturists of the Country to keep correspondence with the nearest Emigrant Societies, for the purpose of procuring Labourers of their recommendation.

But although it may not be expedient for a person without Capital, to enter at once on the cultivation of his tract, yet it appears to me that some inducement should be applied to excite his industry by a prospect of an advantageous location, so soon as he finds himself capable of undertaking it; and in this view I see no difficulty in the arrangement, and on the other hand, great public advantage, in securing for persons thus working for their capital, [107] locations upon the Lots they may prefer, subject to a condition that, within one year, the Emigrant Society in whose Books they may be registered, report favorably of their proceedings, in a manner to give fair expectation that at the end of a further short period, they would be able to enter upon their location, and pay a proportion of their fees, in aid of which the Society should provide some donation or loan.

But when the Emigrant has pecuniary means, or is resolved to enter at once on his Land, the Emigrant Societies will be enabled to let him chuse his situation, in the plans of unoccupied Lots reserved for Emigrants, which plans will for this purpose be transmitted to the Emigrant Societies, and to whose recommendation a quick return of location tickets will be made; and I am happy to say that this measure will be observed and promoted with much ability and zeal by the distinguished persons on whom it will severally depend.

When we reflect that one of the greatest difficulties under which we labour in accomplishing the great purpose of independence with respect to our food, arises from the want a working population sufficient for the all operative parts of our industry, and consequently the very high rate of wages and food, which lays the Agriculturist under disadvantages of the most serious description, in a climate where the productive powers of the earth are so long dormant, we must all concur in the necessity of aiding Societies by whose means so many able hands can be procured, and for want of properly supporting which, so many have passed to a foreign land.

An increased competition or supply of labour then will be much influenced by arrangements such as I have indicated; whilst in its modes, intelligence and material means, it may be greatly promoted by Agricultural Societies. These, under the designation of Agricultural and Emigrant Societies, I should wish to see formed in every County in the Province, and Sub-Societies organized under them to carry their benefits to all parts of the Country. I trust, indeed, that ere you depart, the foundation, or rather the re-organization of such a system will be completed, and I call upon the Gentlemen of distinction from the different Counties who are now present to concur in this measure, and when they return to their respective Counties, to engage to organize such Societies to be composed of persons who would be most likely to co-operate in this great purpose. I feel confident, that whenever Societies shall be so organized in any County, they will meet the provision which I trust will be made by the liberality of the Country for their support and efficiency: and I perceive with much satisfaction that the public spirit of the Country is in many parts exhibiting itself in the form, and for the purpose which we contemplate for general adoption.

For the purpose of improving, circulating and distinguishing the modes and means most favorable to increased production, and of drawing to a focus that information which it may be desirable to possess here in the Seat of Government for myself and for you it will be proper that some provision should be devised for the laborious part of that purpose which will depend upon a Secretary who should be appointed to manage the correspondence of the Central Committee to report proceedings to the general meeting.

The general meeting should be composed of all Members of the Legislature; of all Presidents and Vice-Presidents of County Societies, and of all members subscribers in the regulated amount. The Central Committee should be [108] named in the general meeting to carry on the correspondence during the recess, and to arrange the general Accounts; but the appropriation of Public Funds should be made direct to the County Societies and subject only to the audit of the Central Committee. These Reports will thus exhibit a general statement of the sums expended and whether commensurate progress has been made in the improvement of Agricultural implements, machinery, modes of culture, augmentation of production, and breed of Cattle, all of which should be under the influence of these meetings.

With views such as these, so soon as I discovered, in studying your affairs, the disabilities and difficulties which the Province might have to contend with from deficiency in the supply of food, and aware that it would require pecuniary means, on my part, to put into activity the plans which I then formed, and now lay before you, I submitted to His Majesty's Secretary of State the importance of sanctioning a small grant from the funds at the disposal of the Crown, to meet the liberality and public spirit with which I am persuaded, elsewhere and every where, the great object now under our consideration will be supported. I have great satisfaction in showing how readily this has been dispensed: I will read the terms of it, and hasten to say that the use I shall make of it, will be, to place a sum, which I hope will be annual, at the disposal of those County Societies that are or may be organized to meet the views which I here lay before you.

In communicating this grant from His Majesty's Revenue to the Agricultural Societies, it is however my duty to state, that the continuation of this grant for future years, will depend upon the report which I may have in my power to make of the advantages which it may have produced; and these will mainly depend upon the liberality and zeal with which this Provision is seconded in the Country generally.

The Society having been formed and organized, the President communicated to the Meeting that he had received a Message from His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, that it was his intention to attend the Meeting in person, to communicate his sentiments on their proceedings, and his acceptance of the office of Patron.

Whereupon His Excellency entered and having taken the Chair, addressed the Society as follow:—

Mr. President, Vice-Presidents, and Gentlemen

of the Agricultural and Emigrant Society,

I evince the satisfaction and cordiality with which I receive your Address by placing myself in this Chair, as your Patron, on the very instant the distinguished Seat is offered to me; and the first sentence I shall deliver from it is, to assure you that my most zealous exertions shall be used to promote the great objects we have in view, in every way that may depend upon me.

I am gratified for the present, sanguine and confident for the future, when I look around me and perceive the distinguished persons of whom this Society is composed, and the interest which it has excited; and it is particularly [109] pleasing to me to find myself supported by the distinguished person whom you have placed in the President's Chair. I congratulate you, Gentlemen, upon such an election, and myself on having such coadjutures.

The Agricultural and Emigrant Societies being now about to go into immediate, and, as I hope successful operation, it may not be useless to express to you, and through you to convey to the Public, some appeals to those exertions which will be required to realize the benefits which we here contemplate, and for attaining which, the course is now so clear.

This fine, and as I have hitherto found it, happy Province, is advancing rapidly, with growth almost exuberant, to a station, the real intrinsic character and condition of which, in other times, will depend mainly upon the manner in which we who are now directing its affairs, in certainly a critical period of its advancement, when it is daily developing its resources, and forming its system, may discharge our several duties, by doing all that may depend upon us to train, sustain and correct the principles, habits and pursuits, and to regulate the exertions, by which, unquestionably, it may be conducted to a state of great prosperity.

To consider these duties with reference to all the obligations we owe to the Country, in the several branches which contribute to its most political and statistical progress, would lead us away far beyond the sphere of our present purpose; I shall, therefore, only consider the duties we have to fulfil in regard to the Institutions now completely organized. The several purposes contemplated by those Institutions call upon us to promote habits of frugality, domestic economy, and useful industry, as training a rural population to settle and labour on the soil, and to assist them so to exert themselves in the modes and means of culture as to improve our Agricultural condition; to make us more independent at least for our food; and subsequently to set free other branches of industry, which are now under great disability. The foundation of systems which may produce such benefits has now been laid. I have had much satisfaction in recommending and promoting them. My views have been cordially and ably seconded every where; the measures they called for have now been adopted; and they have been liberally endowed by the Legislature with pecuniary means to animate and quicken the system. The Savings' Bank Bill; the organization and endowment of the Body I now address, open, to the industrious classes of Society, and to the interests of the Country generally, a distinct view of the progress that may be made from foundations laid, first, in habits of frugality and domestic economy, onwards, through moral and provident conduct, to security and accommodation, productive application, improvement in Agriculture, increase of population, competition in labour, encouragement and development of industry, and augmented production. The Acts and the system of this Session have laid the foundation of much improvement to the country, on solid grounds; and seeds which should blossom hereafter, are planted in the fertile soil; but whether the superstructure is to be raised, or them seeds are to spring, depends not on those who have laboured on the foundation, or who have provided the means that may quicken the process. Whether the Savings' Bank Bill, or this most admirable Institution are to be effectual in doing good, depends upon the degree of Public Spirit with which our exertions here, may be supported and extended in the Country generally. All Public Institutions live only by Public Spirit, in any Country; but this is particularly the case in young [110] Countries where man owes to fellow man a greater contribution of his concern and of his aid. Look at the progress of an individual case. When a Settler goes, singly, to encounter the difficulties and the labour of a solitary Location in an unsettled District, and with the sweat of his own brow to shelter his family, and to clear space to receive the seeds which are to yield his immediate subsistence, we all know what fortitude, power and time are required to accomplish such beginnings. But should he undertake his enterprize on a site near to where former Settlers have experienced such difficulties, the recent sense brings to his aid the little community, to labour for him; and by the exertions of that Public he is speedily established in a way, that he might never have accomplished by his own solitary powers. This is Public Spirit. So may it be with the Edifices we are now raising! They are, in some respects, partially, and in others wholly, new Settlers, in this Country; and they are well deserving of public exertion to complete the useful fabric. We are here entirely dependent upon public spirit.—What can these systems do without it? They would languish from this day, and might expire even in their cradle. This I do trust will never happen. I know not how long I may be the witness of their progress; but sure I am that the intensity of interest which I feel in this Province, and which I have imbibed paternally, for the success of these Institutions which I have been instrumental in bringing forward, will always be felt with such solicitude as shall give me pleasure in their success; but which from that very interest, will suggest reproach, if (which cannot be) they should fail from want of public exertion. But remember that time, labour in arrangement and management, must be contributed gratuitously, for the Chief offices of these Institutions. I am confident that those sacrifices will be cheerfully tendered by the public spirit of the Country in a way that shall produce advantage to it, and reflect everlasting credit, honor and substantial enjoyment upon the patriotic persons who may offer their aid.—It cannot fail to do so; for the man who feels the real impulses of public spirit is usually the happiest, because he is the best of Beings. Public spirit contains in it every laudable passion, and every fine affection.—It comprehends our duties towards our parents, to our kindred, to our friends, to our neighbours, to our fellow man in every degree, and to every thing dear to mankind in the public Institutions formed of them. Public spirit is the highest of virtues, and affords the highest degree of satisfaction. Steadfast in good purpose; fidelity in trust; impartial to all; a passion to promote universal good, with personal labour, pains, and the sacrifice of every selfish feeling; to endeavour to maintain Society in peace, tranquillity, plenty and security. It is, in short, as I feel it, one man's care for the many: and, as you I am persuaded feel it, the concern of every man for the good of all. This sentiment binds us together in the pursuit of public advantage to a co-operation from which I am convinced none will shrink in any difficulty which these Institutions may have to encounter; and onward let us go with a determination that when we meet again in this place, we may receive, and record, reports which shall prove that our schemes have prospered.

I have now the pleasure to announce that from the Funds which His Majesty's Secretary of State has put at my disposal from the King's Casual Revenue, I shall appropriate £25 to each of the County Societies for the present year subject to the regulations and conditions already established; and I will not fail to intercede for a continuance of this Royal Bounty, if I can report success in our labours.



[111]

APPENDIX No. II.

Extracts relating to the early transactions in Nova-Scotia and New-Brunswick, copied verbatim from papers compiled by a gentlemen who intended to publish an account of New-Brunswick; but was from unexpected circumstances obliged to relinquish the design.

Province of the Massachusetts Bay.

Notice is hereby given, that it hath been determined that a squadron of His Majesty's ships and divers regiments of foot should winter in Nova-Scotia, which will require large supplies of fresh provisions to be sent thither from time to time, not only for the support of the sick in the hospitals, but for the refreshment of those that are well,—and that His Excellency Governor Lawrence hath given assurance, that the coasters and others trading in refreshments of that sort, shall not only be protected by the Admiral from pressing, but shall receive, both from His Excellency and the Admiral, all manner of countenance and regard.

A. Oliver, Sec.

Province of the Massachusetts Bay.   Boston, October 31, 1758.

The following proclamation being published in Nova-Scotia and transmitted to this government, was read in Council, and ordered to be published in this Province.

Thos. Clark, D. Sec.

By His Excellency Charles Lawrence, Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of Nova-Scotia, or Acadia, in America, Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c., &c.

A Proclamation.

Whereas by the late success of His Majesty's arms in the reduction of Cape Breton and its dependencies, and also by the demolition and entire destruction of Gaspe, Miramichi, and of Saint Lawrence, and on Saint John's river in the Bay of Fundy, the enemy, who have formerly disturbed and harassed the Province of Nova-Scotia, and much obstructed its progress, have been compelled to retire and take refuge in Canada; a favorable opportunity now presents itself for the peopling and cultivating, as well the lands vacated by the French, as every other part of that valuable Province:

I have therefore thought fit, with the advice of His Majesty's Council, to issue this proclamation, declaring that I shall be ready to receive any proposals [112] that may hereafter be made to me, for effectually settling the said vacated, or any other lands within the Province aforesaid: a description whereof, and of the advantages arising from their peculiar nature and situation, I have ordered to be published with this proclamation.

Given in the Council Chamber at Halifax, this 12th day of October, 1758, and in the thirty-second year of His Majesty's Reign.

By His Excellency's command, with the advice of His Majesty's Council} Charles Lawrence.

God Save the King!


A description of the lands ordered to be published pursuant to the foregoing proclamation, which consist of more than one hundred thousand acres of land, interval and plow lands, producing wheat, rye, barley, oats, hemp, flax, &c. These have been cultivated for more than a hundred years past, and never fail of crops, nor need manuring.

Also, more than one hundred thousand acres of upland, cleared and stocked with English grass, planted with orchards, gardens, &c. These lands, with good husbandry, produce often two loads of hay per acre. The wild and unimproved lands adjoining abound with black birch, ash, oak, pine, fir, &c.

All these lands are so intermixed that every single farmer may have a proportionable quantity of plow land, grass land, and wood land, and are all situated about the Bay of Fundy, upon rivers navigable for ships of burden.

Proposals will be received by Mr. Hancock of Boston, and by Messrs. Delancie & Watts of New-York, to be transmitted to the Governor, or President of the Council at Halifax.

(Copy.)

His Majesty's confirmation of the plan for settling the Province of Nova-Scotia.

At the Court of St. James's, the 16th day of February, 1760,

(Seal)

(Present)

The King's Most Excellent Majesty,
Lord Keeper,   Earl Gower,
Lord President,   Viscount Barrington,
Lord Steward,   Lord Deleware,
Earl of Hyndford,   Mr. Vice Chamberlain.

Whereas there was this day read to the Board, a representation from the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, dated the 30th of December last, containing an account of the proceedings of the Governor in Council of [113] Nova-Scotia, with regard to the settling of the lands evacuated by the removal of the French inhabitants from that Province, as well as other tracts of land in the wild and uncleared part of that country, and also with regard to the terms and conditions upon which the said Governor and Council have agreed to make grants of the said lands: and the said Lords Commissioners being of opinion, that the plan so laid down by the said Governor and Council, will be a means of the speedy settling the vacant lands in that Province, and therefore proper to receive His Majesty's approbation: His Majesty has this day took the said representation into consideration, and is hereby pleased, with the advice of his Privy Council, to declare his royal approbation of the said plan of the said Governor and Council, for the speedy settling the vacant lands in that Province: and also of the terms and conditions agreed upon for that purpose, and doth therefore order that the Governor or Commander-in-Chief of his Province of Nova-Scotia for the time being, do carry the same into execution.

(Signed)                                                             W. Sharpe.


Extract of a Letter from His Excellency Governor Lawrence, to the Agent for the Province of Nova-Scotia, at Boston, dated 24th June, 1760.

"I am ready to receive farther proposals, in consequence of His Majesty's approbation of our measures, from any person or persons who will offer themselves to become settlers in this Province; and that all due encouragement shall be given them to the utmost limits of the authority with which His Majesty has been pleased to invest the Governor and Council of this Province.—Nota Bene. Proposals left with Mr. Hancock, will be transmitted to the Governor at Halifax.

"Captain Bragdon informs us, that Captain Fisher in a sloop from Annapolis Royal, bound to Fort Cumberland, was cast away in the Bay of Fundy, on board of which was Lieutenant Tonge, an Engineer, with a considerable sum of money, which was lost, together with the lives of two or three persons on board. Friday last arrived here the Province ship King George, Captain Hallowell, from Louisburg and a cruize. From Louisburg, we learn that the armed vessels lately sent out thence, had been at Pictou, and burnt five or six vessels which the enemy took from us last year, and brought off some plunder; and that the Indians from Saint John, who brought the account of the five French men of war being in the Bay of Chaleur, also informed that they had landed four hundred men, in order to attack Fort Cumberland.

"Arrived here, Colonel Arthithnot, who commanded at Fort Frederick, in Saint John's River, the year past; also several other officers and a number of soldiers belonging to this Province, who have garrisoned His Majesty's forts up the Bay of Fundy, and now discharged, arrived here, being relieved by a number of soldiers lately enlisted in this Province, for that service. We hear that the Indians behave well, and still continue to come into the forts at Nova-Scotia, and carry on trade very peaceably."


Extract of a Letter from Colonel Fry, to His Excellency the Governor, dated Fort Cumberland, Chignecto, March 7, 1760.

Sir.—I informed your Excellency in my last of 10th December, of the submission of the French peasants residing at Miramichi, Richibucto, Bucktouche, Peticodiac, and Memramcook, made by their deputies sent here for [114] that purpose. On the 30th of January last, Mr. Manack, a French Priest, who has had the charge of the people at Miramichi, Richibucto, and Bucktouche, and a number of the principal men of those places, arrived here, when they received their submission in a formal manner, by subscribing to articles, (drawn suitable to the case,) whereby among other things, they have obliged themselves and people they represent, to come to Bay Verte with all their effects and shipping as early in the spring as possible, in order to be disposed of as Governor Lawrence shall direct. With the French Priest, came two Indian Chiefs, Paul Lawrence and Augustin Michael; Lawrence tells me he was a prisoner in Boston, and lived with Mr. Henshaw, a blacksmith; he is Chief of a tribe at Richibucto. I have received their submissions, for themselves and for their tribes, to His Britannic Majesty, and sent them to Halifax for the terms by Governor Lawrence. I have likewise received the submission of two other Chiefs, who I dealt with as before mentioned, and was in hopes I had no more treaties to make with savages; but he told me I was mistaken for there would be a great many more upon the same business, as soon as their spring hunting was over: and upon my enquiring how many, he gave a list of fourteen Chiefs, including those already mentioned, (copy of which I have inclosed) most of which he said would come. I was surprised to hear of such a number of Indian Chiefs in this part of America, and Mr. Manack further told me that they were all of one nation, and known by the name of Mickmacks; that they were very numerous, amounting to near three thousand souls; that he had learned their language since he had been among them, and found so much excellence in it, that he was well persuaded if the beauties of it were known in Europe, there would be seminaries erected for the propagation of it. How that might be, is better known to him than to those who know nothing of the language; but I think I may venture to say, that if there be so many of these Indians, as he says there are, I know this Province, as it abounds very plentifully with furs, may reap a vast advantage by them, provided Canada returns not into the hands of the French.

About the time that Mr. Manack arrived here, there came in eight men, one of whom was a New-England man, one Irishman, and the rest Italians and Spaniards; who informed me they deserted from a French frigate that lay froze in at the head of Gaspe harbour. The two former belonged to a vessel commanded by Captain Malcom, of Boston, who was taken by the above frigate, as she was returning from Quebec, where she had been on a trading voyage.

Names of the Indian Chiefs inhabiting the coast of Acadia:



[115]

A NARRATIVE.

Of the proceedings of the first settlers at the River St. John, under the authority of the Government of Nova-Scotia.

In the year 1761, a number of persons from the county of Essex, province of Massachusetts, presented a petition through their agent to the Government of Nova-Scotia, for a grant of a Township of twelve miles square at the river Saint John, they received a favorable answer and obtained full authority to survey a tract of that dimension wherever it might be found fit for improvement. In consequence many of the applicants, proceeded in the course of the winter and spring following to prepare for exploring the Country, and to survey such Township: they provided a vessel for that purpose, and on the 16th May, 1762, embarked at Newburyport and arrived in three days at the harbour Saint John (the 19th:) The party amounted to near twenty men, exclusive of two families, who took passage in the same vessel, one of whom shipped a small frame for a dwelling, and boards to cover it, with a small stock of cattle; the frame and stock was landed the day of their arrival; on the third day the house was finished and inhabited.

The exploring and surveying party then proceeded to view the lands round the harbour and bay of Saint John in a whale boat, they brought with them: for they could not travel on the land, on account of the multitude of fallen trees that had been torn up by the roots in a violent gale of wind, nearly four years previous. (The same gale extended as far up the river as the Oromocto, and most of the Country below that place, was equally incumbered with the fallen trees.)—After making all the discoveries that could be made near the harbour, it was the unanimous opinion that all the lands near that part of the Country, were unfit for making any settlements at that time, and in about ten days from their first arrival, they set out to view the country as far as Saint Anns, ninety miles up the river, where they expected to find an extensive body of clear land [116] that had been formerly improved by the French inhabitants. On their way to that place they landed wherever they saw any appearance of improvement: all such small spots, as far up as Milk Creek, were supposed not to exceed one hundred acres, most of which had been very roughly cleared.—On the arrival of the exploring party at Saint Anns, they lost no time in making a shelter for themselves, nearly opposite the river Nashwouk, (as it was then pronounced by the Indians,) but since, with some variation, as there is in the original names of divers other rivers, lakes, and names by which the tribes were distinguished,—and they commenced their survey at the small gravelly point against Government-House, with an intention to survey a Township, to terminate twelve miles below that place, and after surveying the courses of the river about four miles downward, a large company of Indians came down about nine miles from their Priest's residence, with his Interpreter: all having painted faces of divers colours and figures, and dressed in their war habits. The chiefs, with grave countenances, informed the adventurers that they were trespassers on their rights: that the Country belonged to them, and unless they retired immediately, they, (the Indians), would compel them. This gave no small alarm to a few men in the heart of an Indian Country, most of whom had never beheld a wild Indian, but had all their lives heard of their savage cruelties and murders. The reply made to the Chiefs was to this effect; that the adventurers had received authority from the Governor of Halifax to survey and settle any land they should chuse, at the river Saint John—that they had never been informed of the Indians claiming the village of Saint Anns; but as they then declared the land there, to be their property, though it had been inhabited by the French who were considered entitled to it, till its capture by the English, they would retire further down the river.—In answer to this the Chiefs suggested that the whole country belonged to the Indians, they had some time ago, had a conference with Governor Lawrence, and had consented that the English should settle the country up as far as the Grimross: from this acknowledgment of the Chiefs, the adventurers were a little relieved from the shock they received at first, and said, they were unwilling to dispute, and would in a few days, remove their camps towards Grimross. This answer did not appear fully to satisfy the Indians, yet they made no reply. The surveying [117] party removed their camp, according to their promise almost as far down as the lower end of the Oromocto Island on the east side of the river, whence they finished the survey, twelve miles below the first mentioned bounds: and returned to Fort Frederick, 20, 8, 15, where there was a vessel bound direct to Halifax, and took passage in her, with an account of all their discoveries, and surveys, and with a plan of their Township, they had laid out into lots: but they were so unfortunate as to arrive at that place just at that time accounts were received, that the French had sent out a large fleet and a body of land forces, and had taken Saint Johns, Newfoundland, and were almost hourly expected to attack Halifax, where at that time was only one man of war, the Northumberland, and very few troops. The militia called out; public offices shut, and nothing to be seen but bustle and preparation for the defence of the town, that being the situation of Government, the agents and surveyors, for the adventurers were obliged to return without giving any account of their proceedings, or obtaining any confirmation of their former order for surveying a township, or any instructions to govern their conduct in carrying on the intended settlements. This disappointment was, in the autumn of the same year, followed by one still greater. Commissioners were sent to Fort Frederick, to inform the former applicants for grants of lands, that the space they had surveyed would not be granted to them. On receiving this distressing information they sent a petition to the King, stating the expence they had been at, in full confidence, that all the promises and encouragements, they had received from Government, would be confirmed. This petition was sent under cover addressed to the then agent for the Province, most earnestly soliciting his influence in obtaining a speedy answer for their petition. He took a lively interest in their cause, and in a short time, obtained an order to the Governor to grant all such shares in the tract they had laid out, as should from time to time be settled; and the same gentleman advanced a considerable sum for the proprietors, to defray the expence of obtaining such order, and the proprietors, as a mark of their gratitude, and esteem of their patron, gave their town his name, with a small addition to it, and grants were made to all the resident proprietors, in or about the year 1765. The Indians had remained peaceable from 1762 to 1765: in this year they assembled together, and gave [118] threats of immediately commencing a new war against the English; and the inhabitants of all the frontiers of the Province were greatly alarmed, and the commander of Fort Frederick doubled his sentries on the occasion. The pretexts of the Indians were well known to be mostly false and frivolous, and the commandant and inhabitants residing near the garrison, took great pains to persuade the Chiefs to lay their complaints before the Governor, at Halifax, before they engaged in a war that would eventually prove ruinous to themselves, which might be prevented by their stating to Government all the grounds of the injuries they complained of: after little consideration they agreed to the proposal, and soon after set out for Halifax, accompanied by one of the inhabitants. Their business on their first arrival, was, without loss of time, made known to the Governor, who appointed a time and place to give the Chiefs a hearing of their complaints. They on examination, could not in any degree, support their heaviest charges, and in the end, they admitted they had been misinformed. So that the result of their complaints, amounted to nothing more than that the inhabitants had frequently killed some Beavers, Moose, and other animals, but not far from their houses, which the Chiefs alleged was their exclusive property; and that it was of the condition of a former treaty that the English settlers should not be allowed to kill any wild game in any part of the wilderness, beyond the limits of their farms and improvements. The Governor informed them in his answer, that all treaties before that time, should be strictly observed, and that if the inhabitants had in any instance, done anything contrary to such treaties, they should be severely reprimanded and restrained from continuing such practices. The Chiefs replied, that it might be out of their power to pacify their young men, unless the damage before done to them should be paid. This brought on an inquiry of the Chiefs, what the alleged damage amounted to. In their answer they highly overrated as the inhabitants made it clearly appear, from their statement of the number of animals that had been killed. The Chiefs finding themselves detected in having alarmed the country without reason and of having thereby put them in distressing fear and to great expence, appeared ashamed of their conduct, and could only repeat that the Indians of their tribe would insist on being paid the damages for the loss of their wild animals. After a full hearing a final answer was given [119] them; as follows.—That although the grievances that they had stated were by no means sufficient to justify their hostile proceedings; yet to do them ample justice, he would order to be sent them a certain amount in clothing and provisions (amount not remembered) provided they would consider it full satisfaction for the injuries done by the settlers, and send orders to restrain them from hunting wild animals in the woods. The Chiefs accepted that offer, and the Indians remained peaceable, till the commencement of the revolt of the thirteen Colonies, when they were called upon to aid in defence of the Province, or at least to remain neuter. They promised to do either one or the other; for which purpose Government gave them large presents in necessary supplies for their families. They were at the same time, equally solicited by the Americans; and as large or larger presents made by them; and they continued to live mostly at the expence of the two parties during that war. In 1779 the Indians again assembled, and threatened to make war against the English; and went down in as great a body as they could collect, to near Fort Howe, where they were met by a messenger from the Commandant, and a Deputy Agent for Indian affairs, who appeased the Indians, with a promise of presents (commonly so called), which they accepted and the purchase of a continuance of peace; and they returned to their head-quarters at Opage. This was the last threat of an Indian war.

Notes.—Notwithstanding all the obstacles and discouragements before noticed, the number of families at the river Saint John, including a few settlers on the Islands in Passamaquoddy Bay, amounted to between one hundred and one hundred and fifty families prior to the year 1783.

Memo.—The French Priest who had been forty years employed by France, as a Missionary to the Indians, was ordered to leave the province in 1763, being suspected of influencing and instructing the Indians to make extravagant demands on Government as commissions of their remaining peaceable, at the same time all the French families, then in scattered settlements on the north side of the bay were ordered to leave the Province. They all obeyed the mandate: but in a few years, many returned, one after another, and became quiet subjects.



[120]

REMARKS.

On the state of that part of ancient Nova-Scotia lying north of the Bay of Fundy, now in the Province of New-Brunswick, prior to the year 1754.

The French Government in defiance of former treaties continued to erect forts around the harbour of Saint John, and to send troops for the defence of this part of the country (considering it theirs) and to employ the natives to harass and murder the settlers in the district of Maine, thus for many years preventing the settlement of that part of the British dominions as far west as that district or province extended; and the French more recently built a Fort and named it Beau-Sejour, at the head of the bay: from which place they supplied with arms, &c. the tribes of Indians who inhabited the coasts on the Gulph of Saint Lawrence and the rivers that fall into the same. The Indians were also employed to check and prevent the settlements of the Country called Minas, Cobequis and other parts of the Province on the Peninsula of Acadia or Halifax. To prevent the continuance of such depredations, the British Government sent an expedition in 1754, to take possession of this fort, which was not obtained till after an obstinate resistance from the French, who for some years after it was reduced, continued to fortify their settlements on the banks of the river St. John, at Passamaquoddy, and to employ the natives in the service, to prevent the English from extending their settlements eastward of the river Kennebeck and the inhabitants were continually harassed, and often murdered by savages frequently sent by the French for that purpose at Kennebeck and many miles westward for a long course of time. In the year 1758, an expedition was sent from Halifax or Boston to reduce the only remaining French forts of any considerable strength, north of the Bay of Fundy; situated on the west side of the river, below the falls, within the present limits of the city Saint John. But the French commander, having received notice of this expedition some time before its arrival, removed all the light stores further up the river, sunk all his heavy guns as reported by [121] Frenchmen who were present and demolished the fort. He first made his retreat only about four leagues above the falls, where he had previously erected works, surrounded by a thick wood, in order to be covered by Indian soldiers, who will never fight on open ground, nor suffer themselves to be driven within the walls of a garrison by a beseiging force. The French soon after retired to Saint Anns, and not long afterwards to Canada. The demolished fort was rebuilt on the ground of the old one, and garrisoned the winter following, by a body of provincial troops, and a company of Rangers, sent from Louisburgh.

The same company of Rangers as a scouting party, in March 1759, marched up the river on the ice as far as Saint Anns. The few inhabitants below that village had either fled before this party appeared, to St. Anns, or into the woods, and no prisoner was taken to give information concerning the situation or strength of the enemy, yet they continued a forced march as far up as Saint Anns, where they found the village deserted. They set fire to every building in it, and returned with great precipitation to the Fort Frederick, expecting to be pursued by the enemy. This company was early this spring ordered to join the expedition against Quebeck, the Fort was garrisoned with a company or more of provincials till the next or second year: when they were relieved by a company of one of the highland Regiments. The Fort afterwards continued to be garrisoned by a company of some British Regiments, under different Commandants until 1770, when the British troops were embarked from every post in the Province, on account of some disorders that had recently been committed in Boston: the Barracks and Stores were by order of Government placed under the care of one of the inhabitants residing near the several Forts, specially authorized by Government for that service. In 1774, a corporal and six privates were sent to reside in the Barracks of Fort Frederick.

In May 1775, a brig was sent from Boston, to procure fresh provisions for the British army then in that town, from the settlement of the river Saint John. The same vessel was laden with stock, poultry, and sundry other articles most brought from Maugerville in small vessels and gondolas: all which had been put on board within about fifteen days after the brig had arrived. While she was waiting for a fair wind and clear weather, an armed sloop of four guns and full of men, from Machias, came [122] into the harbour, took possession of the brig, and two days after, carried her off to Machias; but the first night after her arrival, the enemy made the small party in the Fort prisoners, plundered them of every thing in it, and set fire to all the Barracks: but at that time they did not molest any of the inhabitants, on the opposite side of the river. Early next spring an armed brig from Machias entered the harbour after having taken a vessel from the West-Indies, belonging to Portland, which they immediately sent to Boston. The two armed vessels continued more than a week in the harbour and sent an officer with a boat full of men to Maugerville: They did no material injury to the settlers. In 1776 and 1777 large parties of armed men came into the river Saint John, in whale boats from Machias and passed through the falls in their boats, and took possession of several empty buildings on the west shore of the river against the present settlements called the Indian House, and occupied them for Barracks, whence they came over every day to Portland shore, and marched along the tongue of land, between the harbour and the water above the falls; in order to capture any vessels that might enter the river and to prevent the landing of marines, or seamen from any British ship. In 1777, the Vulture sloop of war, was stationed in the Bay, between Annapolis and Saint John for the protection of these places, and to prevent the enemy from venturing further up the Bay to plunder the Towns of Horton, Cornwallis and other settlements at the water side in different places, but it was soon found that these towns could not be secured from depredations, as the enemy would pass by all large ships of war in the night and in fogs.

Early in the summer of 1777 the Vulture came into the harbour of Saint John while the Machias party were at their Head-Quarters, above the falls.



[123]

SOME NOTES REGARDING

PETER FISHER

The First Historian of New-Brunswick.

By Rev. W. O. Raymond, LL.D.

 

Peter Fisher's claim to be the first of our historians rests upon two little books, both printed by a well known publishing firm in Market Square, in the City of St. John, in the early years of the last century. The first of these books appeared in 1825. It comprises 110 pages, written in excellent literary style and, considering Mr. Fisher's limited sources of information, is remarkably accurate. In the preface he observes: "This work, however imperfect, must be useful, as giving the first general outline of the Province, and interesting to every person who possesses a feeling for his own fireside."

The other book, "Notitia of New-Brunswick," comprises 136 pages, and was printed in 1838. In the advertisement at the beginning, the author states that "circumstances have compelled him to relinquish in part his original plan, and to contract the scope of the publication, since the times do not warrant any great outlay on works of this description."

The two books are really pamphlets in yellow paper covers, and are now so rare as to be much sought for by collectors of "Canadiana." Both books are written under the nom de plume of "An Inhabitant," and the motto that follows is the same in each, namely:—

"Whatever concerns my country, interests me; I follow nature, with truth my guide."

Before proceeding to consider the personality of our first historian and to speak further of his writings, it will be of interest to speak of his antecedents. His father, Lewis Fisher, served in the war of the American Revolution, on the side of the crown, in the New Jersey Volunteers, a brigade commanded by Brigadier General Cortlandt Skinner, the last Royal Attorney-General of New Jersey. The corps was sometimes known as "Skinner's [124] Greens." It was numerically the largest organization of British Americans in Howe's army. Officers and men were mostly natives of New Jersey, New-York and Pennsylvania. One of the original six battalions was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Abraham Van Buskirk and it contained a large Dutch element. Among the officers were Major Van Cortlandt, Captains William Van Allen, Peter Ruttan, Samuel Ryerson, Jacob Van Buskirk and Waldron Blaan; Lieutenants Martin Ryerson, John Van Norden, John Heslop, John Simonson and Joost (or Justus) Earle; Ensigns Colin McVean, Xenophon Jouett, Malcolm Wilmot, William Sorrell and Frederick Handroff.

Among the men in the ranks—many of whom came to New Brunswick and settled near Fredericton—we find such names as VanHorne, Vanderbeck, Ackerman, Fisher, Burkstaff, Swim, Ridner, VanWoert, Woolley, etc. By the settlement of so many men of this corps in New-Brunswick, the same thrifty "Knickerbocker" element that figured in the development of New-York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania was planted in this province.

Lewis Fisher joined the New Jersey Volunteers on December 7, 1776. He was taken prisoner a few weeks later, together with his brother Peter and fifteen others. After an absence of a year and nine months he effected his escape and returned to his duty on October 2, 1778. He was thenceforth stationed chiefly at Staten Island, where his three oldest children—Eliza, Henry and Peter—were born. When the war closed the New Jersey Volunteers were quartered at Newtown, three miles east of Brooklyn, on Long Island, N.Y.

In the earlier muster rolls we find Fisher's name entered as Lodewick Fischer, but later he adopted the English form Lewis Fisher. His wife, Mary, was probably of English parentage. She was the mother of a very large family and a woman of resolute spirit, which she transmitted to her descendants.

The New Jersey Volunteers never numbered more than 1,500, of all ranks. They, however, rendered essential service in New Jersey and in the defence of Staten Island. One of the battalions under Lieut.-Col. Isaac Allen, was conspicuous for its gallantry in the campaigns in Georgia and South Carolina. At the close of the war the original six battalions had been consolidated into three, under command of Lieut.-Col. Stephen deLancey, Lieut.-Col. Isaac Allen and Lieut.-Col. Abraham VanBuskirk.

[125] The war may be said to have ended with the surrender of the army under Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, on October 19, 1781, and little attempt at recruiting was made subsequently; consequently the regiments continued to dwindle until, at the evacuation of New-York, two years later, they were not more than one-third of their original strength. The New Jersey Volunteers, a year after their arrival in New-Brunswick, were mustered by Thomas Knox, under the supervision of Col. Edward Winslow. The return is dated at Fort Howe, September 25, 1784, and the number of those then on their lands, and for whom the Royal bounty of provisions was furnished, was as follows:—

  Men Women Children Servants Total
      Over 10 Under 10    
1st New Jersey Vols. 158 57 57 39 9 320
2nd New Jersey Vols. 132 45 44 38 14 273
3rd New Jersey Vols. 173   64   47   42   6 332
Total 463 166 148 119 29 925

The commander of the 3rd Battalion, Lieut.-Col. VanBuskirk, did not come with his men to the River St. John but settled in Shelburne, where he was the first mayor of the town. The troops for St. John sailed in charge of Lieut.-Col. Richard Hewlett as senior officer, with Lieut.-Col. Gabriel DeVeber second in command. They left New-York on September 15, 1783, and arrived safely in St. John harbour on the 26th, with the exception of the transports "Martha" and "Esther." The former was wrecked near Yarmouth and more than half of her passengers were lost. The "Esther," in which VanBuskirk's battalion had embarked, got off her course in the fog and narrowly escaped destruction, arriving a day or two behind her sister ships.

As Peter Fisher was born on Staten Island, on June 9, 1782, he was a very young Loyalist indeed at the time of his arrival in Blue-nose Land, being, in point of fact, less than sixteen months old.

Sir Guy Carleton's orders were that the several corps should proceed at once to the places allotted for their settlement, directions having been given to Captain John Colville, assistant agent of all small craft at the St. John River, to afford every assistance in his power to the corps in getting to their destinations. Three days after their arrival the troops disembarked and encamped [126] above the Falls, near the Indian House. Hewlett wrote Sir Guy Carleton that he feared the want of small craft would greatly delay their progress. He writes again on the 13th October, 1783, that the troops had been disbanded and were getting up the river as fast as the scarcity of small craft for conveying them would admit.

I shall pause here to relate an incident, which will indicate the source from which Peter Fisher derived the information he gives us concerning the arrival of the Loyalists at St. Ann's and their subsequent hardships.

About twenty-five years ago William, the youngest son of Peter Fisher, read to me in his apartments in the old Park Hotel, in St. John, a manuscript which contained the recollections of one of his sisters of her various conversations with her old grandmother, Mary Fisher, concerning the coming to New-Brunswick and the subsequent experience of her family at St. Ann's. Mr. Fisher did not entrust the manuscript to my hands but allowed me to make full notes, and afterwards at my request re-read the whole, in order that I might make sure of my facts. The story which now follows is, of course, not quoted from the lips of the first narrator, but is based upon the notes made by her granddaughter in which are embodied the recollections of the conversations she had with her grandmother.

 

The Grandmother's Story.

We sailed from New-York in the ship "Esther" with the fleet for Nova-Scotia. Some of our ships were bound for Halifax, some for Shelburne and Rome for St. John's river. Our ship going the wrong track was nearly lost. When we got to St. John we found the place all in confusion; some were living in log houses, some building huts, and many of the soldiers living in their tents at the Lower Cove. Soon after we landed we joined a party bound up the river in a schooner to St. Ann's. It was eight days before we got to Oromocto. There the Captain put us ashore being unwilling on account of the lateness of the season, or for some other reason, to go further. He charged us each four dollars for the passage. We spent the night on shore and the next day the women and children proceeded in Indian canoes to St. Ann's with some of the party; the rest came on foot.

We reached our destination on the 8th day of October, tired out with our long journey, and pitched our tents at the place now called Salamanca, near the shore. The next day we explored for a place to encamp, for the winter was near and we had no time to lose.

[127] The season was wet and cold, and we were much discouraged at the gloomy prospect before us. Those who had arrived a little earlier had made better preparations for the winter; some had built small log huts. This we could not do because of the lateness of our arrival. Snow fell on the 2nd day of November to the depth of six inches. We pitched our tents in the shelter of the woods and tried to cover them with spruce boughs. We used stones for fireplaces. Our tent had no floor but the ground. The winter was very cold, with deep snow, which we tried to keep from drifting in by putting a large rug at the door. The snow, which lay six feet around us, helped greatly in keeping out the cold. How we lived through that awful winter I hardly know. There were mothers, that had been reared in a pleasant country enjoying all the comforts of life, with helpless children in their arms. They clasped their infants to their bosoms and tried by the warmth of their own bodies to protect them from the bitter cold. Sometimes a part of the family had to remain up during the night to keep the fires burning, so as to keep the rest from freezing. Some destitute people made use of boards, which the older ones kept heating before the fire and applied by turns to the smaller children to keep them warm.

Many women and children, and some of the men, died from cold and exposure. Graves were dug with axes and shovels near the spot where our party had landed, and there in stormy winter weather our loved ones were buried. We had no minister, so we had to bury them without any religious service, besides our own prayers. The first burial ground continued to be used for some years until it was nearly filled. We called it "The Loyalist Provincials Burial Ground."

The site of this old grave-yard, is on the Ketchum place at Salamanca, just below Fredericton, near the shore. Some rude headstones may perhaps yet be found there. The late Adolphus G. Beckwith told me that he remembered when a boy to have seen a number of pine "head-boards," much decayed, but still standing in this old cemetery. The painted epitaphs, or inscriptions, were in some cases fairly well preserved. He remembered, he said, that many of the names seemed to be German (or Dutch), a statement which I hardly credited at the time, but which is entirely in harmony with the old grandmother's story. Continuing her narrative, she says:

Among those who came with us to St. Ann's, or who were there when we arrived were Messrs. Swim, Burkstaff, McComesky, three named Ridner, Wooley, Bass, Paine, Ryerse, Acker, Lownsberry, Ingraham, Buchanan, Ackerman, Donley, Vanderbeck, Smith, Essington and some few others.

Here again the grandmother's story is confirmed by the Muster Rolls of the New Jersey Volunteers, lately placed by our Historical Society in the Dominion Archives at Ottawa for safe-keeping. Nearly all the names she mentions are to be found there. In Captain Waldron Blaan's Company, we find John [128] Swim, Vincent Swim, Moses McComesky, David Burkstaff, Frederick Burkstaff. In Col. VanBuskirk's Company we find Abraham Vanderbeck, Conrad Ridner, Abraham Ackerman, Morris Ackerman and Marmaduke Ackerman. In Captain Edward Earle's Company, Lodewick Fisher, Peter Ridnor and Peter Smith. In Captain Samuel Ryerson's Company, Samuel Buchanan. In Captain Jacob Buskirk's Company, James Ackerman.

Benjamin Ingraham, mentioned above, was a sergeant in the King's American Regiment; he served in the Carolinas, where he nearly died of yellow fever, and was severely wounded in the battle of Camden. He arrived at St. Ann's in a row-boat in October, 1783, and built a small log house in the woods into which he moved on the 6th of November, at which time there was six inches of snow on the ground.

The story now continues:

When the Loyalists arrived there were only three houses standing on the old St. Ann's plain. Two of them were old frame houses, the other a log house (which stood near the old Fisher place). There were said to have been two bodies of people murdered here. It could not have been long before the arrival of the Loyalists that this happened.

Many of the Loyalists who came in the spring had gone further up the river, but they were little better off for provisions than we were at St. Ann's. Supplies expected before the close of navigation did not come, and at one time starvation stared us in the face. It was a dreary contrast to our former conditions. Some of our men had to go down the river with hand-sleds or toboggans to get food for their famishing families. A full supply of provisions was looked for in the Spring, but the people were betrayed by those they depended upon to supply them. All the settlers were reduced to great straits and had to live after the Indian fashion. A party of Loyalists who came before us late in the spring, had gone up the river further, but they were no better off than those at St. Ann's. The men caught fish and hunted moose when they could. In the spring we made maple sugar. We ate fiddle heads, grapes and even the leaves of trees to allay the pangs of hunger. On one occasion some poisonous weeds were eaten along with the fiddle heads; one or two died, and Dr. Earle had all he could do to save my life.

As soon as the snow was off the ground we began to build log houses, but were obliged to desist for want of food. Your grandfather went up the river to Captain McKay's for provisions, and found no one at home but an old colored slave woman, who said her master and his man had gone out to see if they could obtain some potatoes or meal, having in the house only half a box of biscuits. Some of the people at St. Ann's, who had planted a few potatoes, were obliged to dig them up and eat them.

Again a few comments will show the reliability of the old lady's narrative. The three houses she mentions on the site of [129] Fredericton were those of Benjamin Atherton, built about 1767 at the upper end of the town, near the site of the old Government House; Philip Weade's, which stood on the river bank in front of the Cathedral, and Olivier Thibodeau's, an Acadian, whose log house was at the lower end of town. The tradition regarding the massacre of some of the first settlers at St. Ann's refers doubtless to the destruction of the French settlement there by McCurdy's New England Rangers in February, 1759, as is described at page 242 in Dr. Raymond's "St. John River History." The party of Loyalists, who had gone further up the river in the late Spring of 1783, were the King's American Dragoons, who settled in Prince William. Resuming once more the narrative, the grandmother says:

In our distress we were gladdened by the discovery of some large patches of pure white beans, marked with a black cross. They had probably been originally planted by the French, but were, now growing wild. In our joy at the discovery we called them at first the "Royal Provincials' bread," but afterwards "The staff of life and hope of the starving." I planted some of these beans with my own hands, and the seed was preserved in our family for many years. There was great rejoicing when the first schooner arrived with corn-meal and rye. In those days the best passages up and down the river took from three to five days. Sometimes the schooners were a week or ten days on the way. It was not during the first year alone that we suffered from want of food, other years were nearly as bad.

The first summer after our arrival all hands united in building their log houses. Dr. Earle's was the first that was finished. Our people had but few tools and those of the rudest sort. They had neither bricks or lime, and chimneys and fireplaces were built of stone laid in yellow clay. They covered the roofs of the houses with bark bound over with small poles. The windows had only four small panes of glass.

The first store was kept by a man named Cairns, who lived in an old house on the bank of the river near the gate of the first Church built in Fredericton [in front of the present Cathedral]. He used to sell fish at one penny each and butternuts at two for a penny. He also sold tea at $2.00 per lb. which was to us a great boon. We greatly missed our tea. Sometimes we used an article called Labrador, and sometimes steeped spruce or hemlock bark for drinking, but I despised it.

There were no domestic animals in our settlement at first except one black and white cat, which was a great pet. Some wicked fellows, who came from the States, killed, roasted and ate the cat, to our great indignation. A man named Conley owned the first cow. Poor Conley afterwards hanged himself, the reason for which was never known.

For years there were no teams, and our people had to work hard to get their provisions. Potatoes were planted among the black stumps and turned out well. Pigeons used to come in great numbers and were shot or caught by [130] the score in nets. We found in their crops some small round beans, which we planted; they grew very well and made excellent green beans, which we ate during the summer. In the winter time our people had sometimes to haul their provisions by hand fifty or a hundred miles over the ice or through the woods. In summer they came in slow sailing vessels. On one occasion Dr. Earle and others went up the river to Canada on snowshoes with hand sleds, returning with bags of flour and biscuits. It was a hard and dangerous journey, and they were gone a long time.

For several years we lived in dread of the Indians, who were sometimes very bold. I have heard that the Indians from Canada once tried to murder the people on the St. John River. Coming down the river they captured an Indian woman of the St. John tribe, and the chief said they would spare her if she would be their guide. They had eleven canoes in all, and they were tied together and the canoe of the guide attached to the hindermost. As they drew near the Grand Falls, most of the party were asleep; and the rest were deceived by the woman, who told them that the roaring they heard was caused by a fall at the mouth of the stream which here joined the main river. At the critical moment the Indian woman cut the cord which fastened her canoe to the others and escaped to the shore, while the Canada Indians went over the fall and were lost.1

In the early days of the settlement at St. Ann's, some fellows that had come from the States used to disturb the other settlers. They procured liquor at Vanhorne's tavern and drank heavily. They lived in a log cabin which soon became a resort for bad characters. They formed a plot to go up the river and plunder the settlers—provisions being their chief object. They agreed that if any of their party were killed in the expedition they should prevent discovery of their identity by putting him into a hole cut in the ice. While they were endeavoring to effect an entrance into a settler's house, a shot, fired out of a window, wounded a young man in the leg. The others then desisted from their attempt, but cut a hole in the ice and thrust the poor fellow in, who had been shot, although he begged to be allowed to die in the woods, and promised, if found alive not to betray them, but they would not trust him.

Here the story of the old grandmother comes abruptly to an end. Enough, however, is preserved in these extracts to indicate the source of a good deal of the very valuable information concerning the early experience of the Loyalists in the New Brunswick wilderness, which appears in Mr. Fisher's "Sketches of New-Brunswick." Doubtless what he has related on this topic in his little book is based upon what he learned from the lips of his mother. To her care and devotion, in all human probability, he owed his preservation during the first eventful winter spent under canvas on the old St. Ann's plain.

[131] Peter Fisher acquired a pretty good education, for those days. A fac simile of his signature is here given, which shows that his penmanship was excellent, and compared more than favorably with that of his son and name-sake, Lewis Peter Fisher, who was for some thirty odd years mayor of Woodstock, and the leading barrister of that place, and whose signature is also here given for comparison.

Signature of Peter Fisher and Lewis Peter Fisher
Signature of Peter Fisher and Lewis Peter Fisher

The advantages of education were not great in the elder Peter Fisher's day, but he had a pretty competent instructor in an English school master, Bealing Stephens Williams, who was born in Cornwall in 1754, and came to Nova-Scotia, a clerk in the navy in 1779. He settled in Cumberland, N.S., where he taught school and was married, removing to Fredericton in 1790, where he again taught school for nearly forty years. He was an accomplished penman and an expert in arithmetic and the elementary mathematics. There can be no doubt, I think, that Fisher was indebted to this gentleman for an education that was very fair indeed, in the then circumstances of the country. Fisher unquestionably possessed a good deal of natural ability, and was something of a philosopher, as will appear when we come to consider his writings. He carried on quite an extensive business in lumbering at one time. He was noted as a tireless pedestrian and there were few, even among his juniors, who could keep pace with him in a walk of fifty miles, which he thought nothing of. He married on August 15, 1807, Susanna Stephens Williams, the Rev. George Pidgeon, rector of Fredericton, officiating at the wedding. Their family was a large one, seven sons and four daughters.2 The late Judge Charles Fisher, who was born September 16, 1808, was the oldest. Another son, Henry Fisher, was Chief Superintendent of Education of New-Brunswick. Lewis Peter Fisher, a younger son, was for years Woodstock's most prominent citizen and a very eminent lawyer. Another son, William Fisher, was for some years Indian Commissioner. [132] One of the daughters was the wife of Hon. Charles Connell, Postmaster General, at one time in the local government, and a member of the first Dominion Parliament for the County of Carleton. At least three of the sons of Peter Fisher were actively interested in education. Of these Charles Fisher received the degree of B.A. at King's College, now the University of New Brunswick, in 1830. His was the first class to graduate after the incorporation of the college by Royal Charter, under the name of King's College with the style and privileges of a University. He read law with Judge Street, then Advocate General, was admitted attorney in 1831 and barrister in 1833. He spent a year at one of the Inns of Court in England. His Alma Mater conferred on him the degree of D.C.L. in 1866. Judge Fisher during his public life was a warm friend of the College at Fredericton. At the session of the provincial legislature, in 1859, he moved the bill under which the old King's College was transformed into the University of New-Brunswick. He was later a member of the Senate of the University.

Henry Fisher has already been mentioned as one of the early Chief Superintendents of Education. His portrait may be seen in the office of Dr. W. S. Carter, Chief Superintendent of Education, in Fredericton.

Lewis Peter Fisher, of Woodstock, was for years an active Trustee of the Carleton County Grammar School, and a strenuous advocate of Free School Education. He had no children. By his will he left his large fortune to establish a number of institutions of an educational and philanthropic character in the town of Woodstock, the affairs of which he had long ably administered as mayor. These institutions include:

The Fisher Memorial Hospital, established at a cost of $    50,000 00
Fisher Memorial Public School 60,000 00
Fisher Vocational School 48,000 00
Fisher Free Public Library   50,000 00
    Total $208,000 00

This is the largest individual benefaction to any community in New-Brunswick, if not in the Maritime Provinces. The memorial buildings are all situated within the limits of the town of Woodstock, and, with the exception of the hospital, are handsome substantial brick buildings. In addition to the gift [133] of the buildings and their equipment, the estate contributes from time to time to their maintenance, under the capable administration of the trustees, A. B. Connell, K. C., and Col. F. H. J. Dibblee. It will thus be seen that although the late Mayor of Woodstock left no child to perpetuate his name, his memory will be kept green for future generations as a philanthropist and a man of high ideals.

Space will not admit of any extended reference to the descendants of our first provincial historian. A short sketch of the life of the Hon. Charles Fisher will be found in Lawrence's "Judges of New-Brunswick and their Times," pages 528-532. As a man who in his day rendered essential service to his native province, Charles Fisher deserves a more extensive biography than has hitherto been attempted by any writer.


Footnotes

 

1 It is of interest to know that this legend was told by the Indians to the English settlers shortly after their arrival. The name of the Indian heroine is given as Malobianah, or Malabeam.

 

2 I am pretty certain that Susanna Stephens Williams was a daughter of Bealing Stephens Williams, the school master.—W. O. R.






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