THE KING'S NEW BRUNSWICK REGIMENT
In February, 1793, France issued her declaration of war against England, and the struggle for supremacy between these two great rivals, that had ceased at the close of the American Revolution, was renewed. During the ten years of peace that had elapsed, a great change had taken place in the remaining British North American Provinces towns and villages had been built, and rude but comfortable homes stood and fields lay where the Loyalists of 1783 had found the primeval forest; and commerce, with all its civilizing influences and wealth-creating powers, was assisting in the development, and laying deep the foundations of a great state, under the fostering care of the motherland. In all of the Provinces the population was intensely loyal to British institutions. Thousands of men and women were then living in British America who had suffered for their loyalty, and thousands who had followed with unfaltering faith, through triumph and disaster, the flag of their forefathers.
The declaration of war, which carried so much misery and woe for mankind in its train, was not known in New Brunswick until April, 1793; but the mother country, with that fostering care for her colonial possessions which then, as now, characterized her rule, made provision for the protection of the weaker portions of the Empire, and with the news came instructions to Governor Thomas Carleton to organize a corps for the defence of the Province, the expense of which was to be borne by the Imperial treasury the corps to be known as "The King's New Brunswick Regiment."1
Governor Carleton, upon whom devolved the formation of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, was a soldier by profession, and in early life had served on the continent of Europe, and had been colonel of his majesty's 29th Regiment of foot. He was a younger brother of Sir Guy Carleton, first Lord Dorchester, whose services at Quebec in 1775, and also at New York at the close of the war of the Revolution, have cast lustre on his name, and connected it with the Loyalist exodus from the revolted Colonies. Thomas Carleton was appointed Governor of New Brunswick on the organization of the Province in 1784, and his talents as an administrator and experience as a soldier imparted confidence to the militia corps of the Province, as well as the small regiment over which he exercised personal supervision during the years of uncertainty and danger that followed the declaration of war with France.2
The Province of New Brunswick was, in 1793, in a very defenceless condition, and unprepared to resist the attacks of an invading or marauding force. The Sixth Regiment of foot, then stationed in the Province, was to be withdrawn, and the provincial militia was only partially organized and armed. But Governor Carleton acted on his orders with promptness, and on the 25th of April, 1793, organized at Fredericton, the capital and headquarters of the Province, "The King's New Brunswick Regiment." All appointments and promotions were made by Governor Carleton, who, as the king's representative, exercised full control over the corps.
Commissions in the regiment, with the exception of the junior rank of ensign, were given to half-pay officers who had served in Loyalist corps during the American Revolution, and settled in New Brunswick, and who were to return to half-pay when their services were no longer required. These gentlemen were veterans, and in the prime and vigor of life. With a few exceptions, all of the officers selected were natives of the revolted Colonies, and many of them had borne a conspicuous part in the bloody scenes that ended in the dismemberment of the British Empire in America. Apart from their military services, many of these men filled responsible positions in the Province during their lives, and most of them ended their days in New Brunswick, where their descendants are numerous and respectable.
The regiment was largely recruited in Fredericton and St. John, and the settlements bordering the St. John River; but one company was recruited at St. Andrews, on the frontier of the Province, by its commander, Captain Peter Clinch, and the men were nearly all residents of Charlotte County. The regiment had but six companies, and the effective strength of the corps at all times during the nine years it continued in service was about four hundred men. Hon. Edward Winslow, who had been muster-master general of the loyal corps raised in America during the Revolutionary war, was appointed by Governor Carleton to muster and inspect the recruits enlisted in the regiment.
Governor Carleton became colonel of the regiment, with the rank of brigadier-general, and Hon. Beverley Robinson lieutenant-colonel. Colonel Robinson had been named commander of the "King's Nova Scotia Regiment," embodied at the same time by orders from the Imperial authorities for the defence of Nova Scotia, but the command of that regiment was given to Colonel Samuel Veitch Bayard (an illustrious name in the early annals of Methodism in that Province). As lieutenant-colonel of the Loyal American Regiment, Colonel Robinson had seen a great deal of service during the American Revolution, and was an experienced soldier. Daniel Murray, late major of the King's American Dragoons, the corps commanded by the celebrated Count Rumford, was commissioned major; Lieutenant Arthur Nicholson, formerly of the same corps, was the first adjutant, and Lieutenant Garret Clopper, late of the New York Volunteers, quarter-master. Dr. Charles Earle, who had served in his majesty's Second New Jersey Battalion of Skinner's Brigade, was appointed surgeon, and Thomas Emerson, surgeon's mate, which in 1797 was changed to the more dignified title of assistant-surgeon. Rev. John Beardsley, late of the Loyal American Regiment, was made chaplain, and William Hazen, paymaster of the Regiment. To the latter we are indebted for the only record preserved in the Province of the King's New Brunswick Regiment the Regimental Ledger containing the personal account of nearly every officer and enlisted man who served in the corps from 1793 to 1797, and from that ledger the names which follow have been taken, and arranged alphabetically. Unfortunately, a number of pages have been torn from the ledger, which has impaired somewhat its continuous record; but notwithstanding this mutilation, it is a document of inestimable value and furnishes evidence of the spirit of loyalty that pervaded all classes within our Province during the long years of war that followed.3
There were but four captains in the regiment Joseph Lee, late of the Third New Jersey Battalion; James French, late of Delancey's First Battalion; Gerhardus Clowes, late of Delancey's Third Battalion; and Peter Clinch, late of the Royal Fencible Americans. Two of the companies were commanded by the senior lieutenants, and known in the records of the regiment as the colonel's company and the major's company a practice that has long ceased to exist in the British Army.
The lieutenants were, Dougald Campbell, late of his majesty's 42nd Highlanders; John Jenkins, William Chew and William Turner, late of the Third New Jersey Battalion; Anthony Allaire, late of the Loyal American Regiment; Adam Allan, late of the Queen's Rangers; James Henley, late of the Maryland Loyalists and James Eccles, late of the Prince of Wales' American Regiment.
The ensigns were, Caleb Fowler, late of the Loyal American Regiment, and Malcolm Wilmot.
The regiment was rapidly recruited, during the summer of 1793, to 400 men, and its discipline and organization perfected. The important posts of Presque Isle and the Great Falls (now Grand Falls) on the frontier of the Province were garrisoned, and precautions taken to repel or arrest French emissaries who sought to enter the Provinces. The most important of the posts established on the upper St. John by Governor Carleton was at Grand Falls, which was garrisoned by a detachment of the King's New Brunswick Regiment during the years it continued in service, and was occupied by Imperial troops as late as 1848. It was during that periof of service, and while stationed at Grand Falls in 1797, that Lieutenant Adam Allan, of the regiment, wrote his poetical "Description of the Great Falls of the River St. John."
The news of the declaration of war was received in the United States on the 4th of April, 1793, some time before it was known in New Brunswick; and five days later Genet, the new minister from the French Republic to that country, landed at Charleston, South Carolina, where he was received with great manifestations of delight by the populace, and "his slow progress northward was made through exulting and triumphant crowds, who set no bounds to their French ecstasies. Before Genet left Charleston he had despatched privateers, and issued officers' commissions, and the very vessel in which he arrived was taking prizes in American waters before he had been presented to the President".4
These occurrences in the United States created alarm and apprehension in the British Provinces, and rumors of attack and invasion were freely circulated, and caused Governor Carleton to hasten preparations for defence. In this he was nobly assisted by the inhabitants of the Province, all classes uniting, under his direction, to meet the dangers which threatened.
On the 6th of May a French privateer was reported cruising in the Bay of Fundy, but departed without inflicting damage. The report created alarm in St. John and caused the inhabitants to prepare for an attack.
On the 11th of May the Sixth Regiment of foot, which had been stationed in New Brunswick, sailed from St. John for Halifax, in two transports, leaving but one company of Royal Artillery in the Province.
During the summer months the fortifications of St. John were placed in fair condition, largely by the voluntary exertions of the inhabitants, and every preparation made, that a weak and sparsely populated district could, to repel or resist an invasion. An additional battery was built at Reed's Point, on ground purchased from James Reed, and named Prince Edward's Battery, in honor of his royal highness the Duke of Kent, the commander-in-chief of the forces in British America. And at St. Andrews three batteries were built for the defence of that town. Every man in these two seaports capable of bearing arms was enrolled, and the militia corps drilled and rendered efficient.
As the King's New Brunswick Regiment increased in strength and efficiency, additional veteran officers from half-pay were appointed to the corps. In June, 1793, John Simonson, late of his majesty's Fourth New Jersey Battalion; John Ness, late of the Prince of Wales' American Regiment, and Xenophon Jouett, late of the First New Jersey Battalion, were appointed lieutenants. Ensigns Caleb Fowler and Malcolm Wilmot were promoted lieutenants, and John M. Upham, late of the Loyal New Englanders, Robert Hazen and William Bradley, from civil life were appointed ensigns.
The arrival of a large French fleet at New York, having on board 2,400 troops well provided with munition of war, increased the alarm that existed along the seaboard of the Provinces bordering the Atlantic, as it was supposed that an attack was premeditated on the British possessions. Writing to Major-General Clarke, from Fredericton, on the 24th of September, 1793, Governor Carleton gives the following meagre account of the alarm which the presence of the French at New York caused in St. John:
"Intelligence of this event had been, as you expected, received here, and had occasioned a serious alarm in the city of St. John; upon which I repaired thither, and thought it necessary to throw up some works for the defence of that place. This has been accomplished in such a manner as I think will be sufficient to secure the town and harbor against any naval enterprise that might otherwise have been apprehended; and I have the satisfaction to add that this service has been attended with no expense to Government."5
Early in October intelligence was received at Halifax, and forwarded from there by Governor Wentworth to Governor Carleton, that the French fleet at New York was nearly ready for sea, and its destination "not known but supposed to be against his majesty's American Provinces." Although this intelligence created great excitement among the inhabitants, all classes loyally supported Governor Carleton in his exertions to defend the Province. On the 21st of October, before the departure of the French fleet was known in New Brunswick, Governor Carleton, writing to Lord Dorchester, briefly describes the situation in St. John during the summer and autumn of 1793:
Fredericton, 21st October, 1793.
My Lord, I have the honor to inclose a letter which I have this day received from the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, communicating intelligence respecting the preparations now making by the French at New York.
Reports of a similar nature have been repeatedly circulated here in the course of the last summer, and although I did not suppose the Province of New Brunswick was the object at which the French aimed, I considered it my duty to guard, as far as possible, against any desultory attacks. For this purpose I ordered forty Artillery men and a detachment, consisting of about eighty men, of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, commanded by Major Murray, to St. John, having Captain Clinch's Company at the frontier of Passamaquoddy, and the remainder of that Regiment at this place and the upper posts. I also called out and reviewed the Militia of the City of St. John, amounting to 511 effective sergeants, rank and file, who readily undertook to prepare fascines and throw up some temporary works to cover the guns which were placed in advantageous situations for the defence of the harbor. In the present situation of the Province, it was not possible for me to adopt any other measures. The want of arms effectually prevented me from availing myself of the Militia of the country.
I shall reinforce the post at St. John by every means in my power, and am on the point of setting out myself for that place.
In the autumn of 1793, after the alarm caused by rumors of invasion had subsided, Lieutenant James Henley retired from the King's New Brunswick Regiment to half-pay. Lieutenant Henley's life, as a Loyalist soldier, had been adventurous and checkered. In 1777 he was commissioned an ensign in the First Battalion, Maryland Loyalists; in 1781 became adjutant of the corps, and in 1783, at the close of the rebellion, a lieutenant. The battalion was sent to West Florida in 1778, and formed part of the garrison that defended Pensacola against 1778, and formed part of the garrison that defended Pensacola against the Spanish forces in May, 1781; and it was owing to the perfidy of a cashiered officer of that corps, Ensign Winder Cannon,6 that the garrison, after a heroic resistance, was compelled to capitulate. During the siege the Maryland Loyalists lost a great many men. After the capitulation the battalion was sent to New York, and in September, 1783, on the evacuation of that city by the British forces, embarked for St. John in company with the Pennsylvania Loyalists, who had also taken part in the defense of Pensacola. Near Sable Island, Nova Scotia, the vessel was wrecked, and more than half of the battalion perished. Lieutenant Henley, Lieutenant Walter Sterling, and Dr. William Stafford, of the same corps, "got upon a piece of the wreck and floated at sea two days and two nights, nearly to the waist in water, during which time Lieutenant Sterling perished. On the third day the survivors drifted to an island, where they remained seven days poorly clad and without fire and food."7 The others who escaped were taken from rafts by fishing vessels and landed at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Lieutenant Henley was a grantee of St. John in 1784, and also received a grant of five hundred acres of land on the Nashwaak, in York County. On the 1st of September, 1784, he deeded at St. John a portion of this grant to Lieutenant Richard Wilson, of the late Garrison Battalion, "for and in consideration of the regard and affection which he hath and beareth for the said Richard Wilson, and for other good causes him thereunto moving."8 On the portion of the grant retained, Lieutenant Henley settled and built his home, and died there in 1809; his wife, Ruhama, survived him many years. Lieutenant Henley was a well educated and cultured gentleman of good family. He was the intimate friend of Captain Phillip Barton Key,9 who commanded the company in the Maryland Loyalists in which he served, and who returned to Maryland, at the close of the rebellion, and became prominent in that state as a lawyer and politician.
The departure of the French fleet from the American continent, without making an attack on the British Provinces, was a great relief to the inhabitants; but, nevertheless, defensive preparations continued, and the necessity for greater exertions was foreseen. Governor Carleton, in his speech at the opening of the Provincial Assembly, on the 4th of February, 1794, drew particular attention to the important subject of defence, and consequently a stringent militia law was passed that session; and during the year, the militia force of the Province was re-organized, and every able-bodied man enrolled for service. Regiments were formed in every county, and every militiaman enrolled was compelled by law, if able, to provide himself with the arms and accoutrements necessary for active service, and to be prepared to march at short notice whenever ordered. Regular field days for drill and inspection were established throughout the Province, and the laws governing the militia force were strictly and impartially enforced. No militia in the world, probably, was more intelligently and efficiently commanded than that of New Brunswick during the period extending from 1793 to 1820. All the commanding officers of regiments and battalions then enrolled, and their staffs, had seen years of service in loyal corps during the American Revolution, or in the regular army; and a large number of the captains and even lieutenants, were men whose names appear in the muster-rolls of the Loyalist corps as sergeants, corporals and privates; and in the ranks were numbers of old soldiers who had fought under the British flag in many climes. And to the admirable discipline enforced in all the militia corps of the Province by these old Loyalist commanders was due, in large measure, that feeling of security and hopefulness that so generally prevailed during that period throughout New Brunswick.
The year 1794 was an important one for the King's New Brunswick Regiment. Besides the posts garrisoned by the corps on the Upper St. John and the western frontiers of the Province, a line of signal stations was established between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and detachments from the regiment were placed in charge at Sussex Vale, St. Martin's Head and some of the other stations. On the Upper St. John, in addition to the many duties the garrisons stationed at these posts had to perform, communication with the Canadas had also to be kept open, as all important dispatches for these Provinces were forwarded by this route in the winter months.
Finding the regiment too weak to perform all the duties imposed on its members, Governor Carleton determined to increase the strength of the corps, and early in the year established a temporary recruiting post on the western frontier of the Province, which he placed in charge of a "Captain from the half-pay list, who had extensive connections in that part of the county."10 From this recruiting station, a number of recruits were sent to headquarters, but not sufficient to increase the regiment to the full strength allowed six hundred men.
As French emissaries were numerous in the United States, it became necessary to keep a strict watch upon the movements of all strangers who entered the Province from that country, and on the 11th of April, 1794, the Common Council of the City of St. John ordered the recorder of the city to prepare a draft of a law to provide for the due examination of strangers coming into that city, who "may appear of suspicious character." These precautions were very necessary, as the trade of St. John was at that time large and important, and liable to suffer serious loss by the depredations of French privateers, then numerous in American waters.
This year his royal highness the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, commander-in-chief of the forces in British America, visited New Brunswick, and on the 21st of June inspected that portion of the King's New Brunswick Regiment stationed at Fredericton. On the 23rd of June he arrived at St. John, where he was received by a captain's guard of the regiment, which garrisoned Fort Howe, and the following day inspected the batteries and ordnance. That evening his royal highness left St. John, and "was escorted through a concourse of the inhabitants," and saluted by a detachment of the King's New Brunswick Regiment on his departure.
On the 19th of July, 1794, Captain James French, one of the oldest veteran officers, retired from the King's New Brunswick Regiment to half-pay, and Lieutenant Dougald Campbell was promoted captain. Captain French entered the service of the crown during the Revolutionary War, and was commissioned lieutenant in the First Battalion of Delancey's Brigade, in August, 1777. The brigade consisted of three battalions, and was organized and recruited in New York by Colonel Oliver Delancey, a British regular officer, and a member of the celebrated New York family of that name. The First Battalion was commanded by Colonel John Harris Cruger, also a member of an old New York Loyalist family. During the operations around New York, Captain French was taken prisoner by the Americans on the 22nd of August, 1778, but was exchanged and returned to duty early in 1779. In December, 1778, the First Battalion formed part of the expedition under Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell that captured Savannah, Georgia, and the following year, 1779, assisted in the stubborn defence of that town against the combined American and French forces under the celebrated French admiral, Count D'Estaing. During the following years under its gallant commander, Colonel Cruger, the First Battalion performed important service for the British cause in Georgia and the Carolinas, and particularly in the heroic defence of Ninety Six, which will ever rank as memorable in the annals of the war in the Southern Provinces. In all the operations in which the First Battalion was engaged, Captain French was present, and on the evacuation of Charleston and Savannah by the British forces in 1782, the battalion returned to New York, and in the autumn of 1783 the remainder of the corps came to New Brunswick, where it was disbanded. Captain French was one of the original grantees of St. John, but eventually settled on the Nashwaak, in York county, where he died on the 18th of August 1820, aged seventy-five years. He left no descendants. A brother, Captain Thomas French, who served in the same corps was distinguished for great personal bravery during the siege of Ninety Six.
Two appointments followed the retirement of Captain French from the corps, and Henry Goldsmith and Joseph Allen were gazetted ensigns. Henry Goldsmith was a son of Henry Goldsmith, a Loyalist refugee, first collector of customs at St. Andrews, and a relative of Oliver Goldsmith, the celebrated Irish poet. Ensign Goldsmith served in the corps until its disbandment in 1802, when he removed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he died. Ensign Allen, who was evidently an accomplished soldier, also served in the corps until 1802, acting as adjutant the greater portion of the time. Of this gentleman I have been unable to glean any information, except the record in the regimental account book, and none of the members of the prominent families of the name in this Province have any knowledge of him.
Early in the summer of 1794 Captain Clinch's company of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, that had been stationed at St. Andrews, was withdrawn, and in consequence considerable uneasiness was felt by the inhabitants of that border town at their exposed and unprotected situation, liable to be surprised and plundered by predatory parties from the United States, then in sympathy with the French republic. A petition, signed by the magistrates and leading inhabitants of the town, was forwarded to Governor Carleton, in which it was stated that a considerable number of the militia of Charlotte County had enlisted into Captain Clinch's company, and "that those men were most of them resident in St. Andrews (the seaport town), and were upon any emergency ready to be employed in its defence. That St. Andrews is the second commercial town in the province, where many vessels load every year for Europe and the West Indies, and where goods to a great amount are stored. A number of large vessels are also annually built there, and they are extensively concerned in the fishery and lumber trade. That its situation is peculiarly exposed, being at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy, and separated from the State of Massachusetts only by the small river Scoodiac, so that they are liable to be surprised and plundered by any small predatory party, which danger they did not apprehend while a company consisting of inhabitants of the county were stationed here in immediate readiness to prevent a sudden attack, and thereby give the militia time to assemble." They therefore earnestly entreated Governor Carleton that he would state these facts to Lord Dorchester, in the hope that the peculiar circumstances attending their situation be considered, and Captain Clinch's company allowed to return and remain at St. Andrews for the protection of that town. Governor Carleton complied with the request, and on the 15th of July wrote Lord Dorchester, endorsing the appeal. "I have only to add," he wrote, "that from the activity and intelligence of Captain Clinch, his company did not suffer in their discipline by their absence from head quarters."11
The request of the inhabitants was complied with, and Captain Clinch's company returned again to St. Andrews and garrisoned that important post. The wisdom of this measure became apparent the following year, when an attempt was made to surprise and plunder the British settlements around Passamaquoddy Bay, and which resulted in the discomfiture and capture of some of the marauders.
Captain Clinch, upon whom so much reliance was placed, was a representative for Charlotte County in the Provincial Assembly, and the residents of the county had great confidence in his ability and courage. Few men at that time had a more extensive knowledge of Eastern British America and its capabilities and dangers than Captain Clinch, as he had served in Nova Scotia during the whole period of the Revolutionary War, and had been entrusted with many important missions during those years of doubt and uncertainty. He was a native of Ireland and a member of an ancient Irish family, and seems to have possessed, in an eminent degree, the faculty of commanding respect from those with whom he was brought into contact. His home was at Magaguadavic, in Charlotte County, where he possessed a large estate that had been granted to him for services to the Crown, and where he died. In the graveyard at St. George, close to the Parish Church, on land which he gave for that purpose, he is buried, with this modest epitaph to mark his resting place:--
To the Memory of
Late Captain in a Provincial Regiment,
Who served during the American Revolutionary War.
Died February 31st, 1816,
Aged 63 Years.
The remainder of the year, 1794, passed peacefully in British America, although rumors of invasion were frequently circulated, and kept the military stationed in the Province alert and watchful.
On the 3rd of February, 1795, in his speech to the members of the Legislative Council assembled at Fredericton, Governor Carleton referred to the satisfactory condition of affairs then existing in New Brunswick, at the beginning of the year, and that "the zeal for the public defence manifested by the voluntary exertions of such of the inhabitants as had been called upon by occasions of alarm have been honored with his majesty's gracious approbation." Governor Carleton also assured the General Assembly "that whatever expectations may have been entertained by our enemies in Europe of seizing some favorable moment to bring the war into this country, they have been disappointed by the brilliant success which have attended his majesty's arms in the West Indies, and by the victory, equally glorious and important, which has added the 1st of June to the number of days rendered memorable by triumphs of the British navy."12
At this session, a serious misunderstanding occurred between Governor Carleton and the House of Assembly. When an attack on the Province seemed imminent during the autumn of 1793, expenses had been incurred at St. John and St. Andrews, in acquiring land and in building fortifications for the defence of these ports, which the Province was asked to pay. To this the House of Assembly demurred, advancing the contention that "they conceive their situation incompatible with the erection of or defraying the expense attending works of defense." Governor Carleton's reply to the contention of the House of Assembly was forcible, and he insisted on the debts incurred being paid; and after considerable controversy and delay, the Province finally paid the amounts.
On the 24th of July, 1795, Lieutenant Arthur Nicholson, the first adjutant of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, retired to half-pay, and Ensign Allen was appointed to the vacancy.
Lieutenant Nicholson had been an officer of cavalry, and had seen a great deal of service in America during the Revolutionary War. He was appointed cornet in the Seventh Light Dragoons now the Seventeenth Lancers while that regiment was serving in Ireland. On the breaking out of hostilities in 1775, the high character of that regiment occasioned it to be the first cavalry corps selected to proceed across the Atlantic. It embarked from Ireland, and landed at Boston on the 24th of May, 1775.13 On the 17th of June the battle of Bunker's Hill was fought. During that engagement a party of the Seventeenth volunteered to proceed dismounted with the reinforcements sent from Boston to support the troops engaged. Lieutenant Nicholson, who was adjutant of the corps, accompanied the party, and became a participant in that battle. In March, 1776, the British army evacuated Boston, and sailed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the Seventeenth landed and remained about two months. In the early part of June they again embarked, and landed on Staten Island, and were actively engaged in all the important movements of the British army around New York. The Seventeenth Dragoons was the only British regular cavalry regiment that served in America during the Revolutionary War. It was largely composed of Irishmen, and the arduous services in which it was constantly employed rapidly depleted its ranks. In 1781 Lieutenant Nicholson was transferred from the Seventeenth to the King's American Dragoons, and became adjutant of that corps. With this regiment he served until the termination of the war, and in 1783 came to New Brunswick, where the regiment was disbanded. A large block of land was granted to the officers and men, where many of them settled. It is known as the grant to the "King's American Dragoons," and is situated on the south-west side of the River St. John, in the parishes of Prince William and Dumfries, York County, extending from Long's Creek, about twenty miles above Fredericton, to the "Barony," at the mouth of the Poquiock. Lieutenant Nicholson settled at Kingsclear, York County. In 1786 his wife, Ellen Henry, whom he married at Southampton, Long Island, in 1779, died at Kingsclear. He again married in 1787, Elizabeth Lawrence, and had issue. Lieutenant Nicholson was born in the town of Sligo, County of Leitrim, Ireland, in 1746, and died in New Brunswick.
During 1795, privateers sailing under French colors, were making sad havoc among the merchant vessels belonging to the British Provinces, and several vessels sailing out of St. John were captured or destroyed. These French privateers rendezvoused in the seaports of the United States. The sympathy shown the French in the United States, and the bitter hatred displayed toward the British, tended, however, to increase the vigilance of the Province authorities, and the menace of danger to a loyal population increased also the discipline and efficiency of the militia and volunteer corps embodied for the defence of the Province.
In August, 1795, a bold attempt was made to pillage the town of St. Andrews and the settlements around Passamaquoddy Bay. Two Americans, Peter Merang and Andrew Bowman, residents of Washington County, Maine, appear to have been the principals in this nefarious plot. The authorities of Charlotte County had been apprised of the expedition, and a detachment of the county militia, under Lieut. Col. McKay and Captain Nathan Frink, were under arms. The La Solide, a French privateer, manned partially by Americans, sailed into Passamaquoddy Bay and landed a portion of her crew, but they were captured by the militia and carried prisoners to St. Andrews. The vessel was also captured, and the attempt failed. A certificate from the officers of the La Solide was presented to the general sessions of the County of Charlotte on September 17th, setting forth that they had been encouraged to proceed to Passamaquoddy by Merang and Bowman, who also assisted the enterprize. A copy of this certificate was ordered to be furnished the High Sheriff of the County of Washington, in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, who had proffered assistance in arresting the instigators, and Robert Pagan, Esq., was authorized "to communicate the same with the court's good opinion of the friendly disposition of the authority of that county."14
At the request of the inhabitants of St. Andrews the armed brig Union was sent to Passamaquoddy Bay, and cruised in those waters as long as the weather permitted. This was the only attempt to invade or pillage made on the soil of New Brunswick during the continuance of the war.
At the close of 1795, several changes occurred among the officers of the King's New Brunswick Regiment. Captain Gerhardus Clowes, on the 24th of December, retired from the corps to half-pay; Lieutenant Robert Hazen15 was promoted to his majesty's 60th Regiment of foot, and Obadiah Clements was appointed an ensign in the regiment.
Captain Gerhardus Clowes, who retired to half-pay, was born at Hampstead, Long Island, New York, and with his brothers, John and Samuel, espoused the royal cause at the outbreak of the Revolution and entered the army. He was commissioned lieutenant in Delancey's Third Battalion, and rose to be captain. John and Samuel were also lieutenants in the same corps. Captain Clowes saw a great deal of service during that sanguinary struggle, and took part in many important battles and movements of the war. On the evacuation of New York by the British, he came to New Brunswick with his corps in 1783, where it was disbanded. He was a grantee of St. John, but settled in Sunbury County, where he was killed in 1798 by a fall from his horse. Captain Clowes was descended from an ancient English family that emigrated from Derbyshire to New York in 1697, and was by birth and education a gentleman.
Ensign Obediah Clements was the eldest son of Captain Peter Clements, a Loyalist officer, and was born on the banks of the Hudson River, New York. The Clements family was one of the old Dutch families that settled on the Hudson in early colonial times and who furnished many brave soldiers to the royal cause the name was originally spelled Clemens. The youth of this young officer was passed amid the stirring scenes of the Revolution. When the rebellion assumed formidable proportions, his father, Captain Clements, whose home and possessions were within the rebel lines, collected one hundred loyal men and led them over the Catskill Hills, down to New York, where Lord Cornwallis gave him a captain's commission and his company was incorporated into the King's American Regiment, a famous New York loyal corps, commanded by Colonel Edmund Fanning. The descendants of some of that band of Loyalists are now numerous and respectable in New Brunswick. The regiment was actively engaged in many battles around New York, and formed part of the expedition under Sir Henry Clinton, that sailed from Sandy Hook at the close of 1779 for the Southern Provinces, and assisted in the capture of Charleston, South Carolina, and also shared in the triumphs and disasters that followed in the Carolinas. In 1782 Ensign Clements, then but a youth, was a volunteer in his father's company, and served to the close of the war. In 1783 he came with the corps to New Brunswick, where it was disbanded. His father, Captain Clements, settled in the Parish of Douglas, York County, where he also resided until his appointment to the King's New Brunswick Regiment. Ensign Clements served in the regiment until 1802, when it was disbanded. In 1803 he left New Brunswick and went to the West Indies, expecting an appointment, but died the following year of yellow fever in Jamaica.
On the 24th of June, 1796, Lieutenant John M. Upham retired from the King's New Brunswick Regiment, and removed to Upper Canada. Nothing further is known of Lieutenant Upham, except that he served in the army in defence of Upper Canada during 1812-14, and died in that Province.
Although rumors of attack or invasion were occasionally circulated in New Brunswick, the year 1796 passed peacefully. During the winter months the small pox was very virulent in St. John, and a number of deaths occurred from the disease. On the last day of the year a proclamation was issued by order of the commander-in-chief, offering a pardon to all deserters from his majesty's service who surrendered themselves before the 5th of August, 1797.
The year 1797 was ushered in with the announcement that Great Britain had declared war against Spain, and a week later the unpleasant intelligence was received at St. John that a brig belonging to Liverpool, Nova Scotia, had been captured by a Spanish privateer, and another foe menaced the struggling commerce of the Atlantic Provinces. The same week was received the unwelcome news that the ship Brunswick, Captain Udney, and the brig Henry, Captain Bowra, both of St. John, had been captured by French armed vessels in the West Indies. Not content with destroying British commerce, the armed vessels of the French Republic turned their attention to the commerce of their sister republic, and that year were making reprisals of United States merchantmen.
In discipline and efficiency the King's New Brunswick Regiment became equal to any regular corps that had been stationed in the Province. The military experiences of the officers, gained in arduous and hazardous service, had proved invaluable, and gave the corps a prestige it could not otherwise have attained. The people at large evinced a just pride in the regiment; and as every Loyalist settlement in our sparsely populated Province had given its quota of volunteers to swell its ranks, this feeling was natural. But to the commander Lieut. Col. Robinson was due the greater share of credit for the discipline that marked the conduct of officers and men, either at regimental headquarters or the numerous posts along the frontiers of the Province at which detachments were stationed. Honourable, humane and just, Colonel Robinson acquired the respect of the officers and confidence of the men under his command; his military services during the American Revolution entitled him to this consideration, and his conduct as commander of the New Brunswick Regiment fully sustained his reputation as a soldier. Colonel Robinson, or Beverly Robinson, the younger, as he is styled in the confiscation act of New York, by which his estate was forfeited, was born on the Hudson, opposite West Point, New York. At the beginning of the Revolution he espoused the cause of the crown, and in 1777 took an active part with his father, Colonel Beverley Robinson, senior, in forming the Loyal American regiment, entering as a captain, but subsequently became lieutenant-colonel of the corps. The officers and men of the regiment were nearly all natives of the Province of New York, and in many cases were driven from comfortable homes by the spirit of intolerance which prevailed at that time. Colonel Robinson had three brothers who served in the regiment Captain Morris Robinson, Lieutenant John Robinson and Ensign Frederick Phillips Robinson, and also a cousin, Ensign Thomas Robinson. In October, 1777, but a few months after its formation, the Loyal Americans formed part of the expedition under Sir Henry Clinton that sailed up the Hudson River and captured and destroyed Forts Clinton and Montgomery. And from that time until the close of the contest the Loyal Americans, under Colonel Robinson, were actively employed in many important movements in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Connecticut. In 1783, on the evacuation of New York, Colonel Robinson, with a portion of the survivors of the regiment, went to Nova Scotia,16 where most of the men remained and settled, but Colonel Robinson removed with his family to New Brunswick and settled at Nashwaaksis, opposite Fredericton, where his descendants still reside. In 1790 he was appointed a member of the Legislative Council of New Brunswick. After the disbandment of the King's New Brunswick Regiment in 1802, Colonel Robinson retired to his farm at Nashwaaksis, reduced from a position of wealth and affluence. Domestic afflictions followed him rapidly in his retirement; in 1804 a son, Henry Clinton, who had gained a commission by his bravery in the First Royal Regiment of foot, died of yellow fever at Tobago, West Indies, and another son, Thomas Barclay, an ensign in the New Brunswick Fencibles, was drowned in the Kennebeccasis by the upsetting of a bark canoe the same year.17 And in 1806 his wife, Anna Dorothea Barclay, died at Fredericton. Colonel Robinson died in New York in 1816, while on a visit to two of his sons, who continued to reside in that city, and was buried in St. Paul's church yard, where a monument marks his grave. Few men made greater sacrifices of wealth and fortune for their king than Beverley Robinson.
On February 25th, 1797, a duel was fought near Fredericton that caused considerable discussion among the military men of the Province. Colonel John Coffin, a distinguished Loyalist officer, and one of the representatives for Kings County, and James Glenie, who represented Sunbury County, were the two principals in this affair of honor. Mr. Glenie was slightly wounded in the encounter. At this distant day, it is difficult to ascertain the causes that led to the meeting, and the astute editor of the St. John Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, who chronicled the event in the issue of March 3, furnished no information that would dispel the mystery. "We are not warranted to say much on the business," wrote the cautious editor, "and we should be less deserving of credit were we to publish the reports circulating in this city they differ essentially each partizan has his tale and seems inclined to make the most of it. The information we have received appears to be the most correct, and we do not hesitate to declare what we believe to be the truth. The fact is, and we believe no one will presume to contradict it, that the contending parties on this occasion behaved in every point with the strictest honor and distinguished themselves as gentlemen and men of valour."
Duels were not unusual occurrences in those days in New Brunswick, and tradition has preserved the details of many affairs of honor that took place among the Loyalists and early settlers of the Province.
Notwithstanding the risks of capture to which merchantmen were subjected on the ocean, vessels from England were arriving at St. John nearly every week during the spring and summer months of 1797 laden with merchandise. The English newspapers brought by these vessels were eagerly read, and the most important news reprinted in the two small weekly newspapers printed in St. John. Many of these vessels assembled at Land's End, England, and formed convoys, and were accompanied by men-of-war across the Atlantic.
From the outbreak of the war in 1793, additions had each year been made to the fortifications of St. John, and early in 1797 a block house was erected in the Lower Cove, which in July was garrisoned by the light company of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, under the command of Captain Dugald Campbell. Late in the autumn Captain Campbell's company was relieved and embarked for Fredericton.
The shipping of the Province suffered severely from the depredations of French privateers during 1797, and nearly all the vessels captured were in the West India trade. The following belonging to New Brunswick were reported captured: Ship William, Captain Stockton, St. John; a barque belonging to St. Andrews; Brig Barbarie, St. John; Brig Sarah, Captain Quinton, St. John; Brigantine Amelia, Captain Watt, St. John; Brigantine John, Captain Quinton, St. John; Brigantine Gabriel Stewart, Captain Johnston of St. Andrews.
In December, 1797, Henry Clinton Robinson, second son of Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, was appointed an ensign in the King's New Brunswick Regiment, but only served in the corps for a short time when he decided to enter the regular army. For this purpose he left New Brunswick the following year and went to England, but failing to receive a commission he joined the expedition to Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercrombie as a volunteer, and served with the grenadiers of the 33rd Regiment, having a promise of the first vacant commission. Immediately after the battle of Alexandria he was gazetted lieutenant in the First Royals, with which he served through the whole campaign in Egypt. After the termination of the war, the First Regiment was ordered to Gibraltar, which was then commanded by his royal highness the Duke of Kent. From thence they were sent to Tobago, in the West Indies, where Lieutenant Robinson died in 1804, aged 22 years. Lieutenant Robinson was born in New York in 1782, and was named after his godfather, Sir Henry Clinton.
With the opening of the year 1798 details of Admiral Duncan's victory over the Dutch fleet under DeWinter,18 off the coast of Holland, reached New Brunswick, and was pleasant reading for the loyal inhabitants of the Province. The usual impromptu patriotic verses commemorating the brilliant victory appeared in the "Poet's Corner" of the St. John Gazette. The Hon. and Rev. Jonathan Odell, who had won fame as a loyal poet during the Revolutionary war, wrote many of these patriotic poems for the provincial newspapers of that day.
The St. John Gazette of Friday, February 23rd, contained the following brief record of the death of a Loyalist, which had for many persons then living in New Brunswick, a sad interest:
"On Monday morning, after a short illness, esteemed and respected Abraham
DePeyster, Esquire, Treasurer of this Province, etc., aged 46 years, and
yesterday his remains were respectfully interred."
Abraham DePeyster was a distinguished Loyalist soldier, and served during the Revolution in the King's American Regiment, in which he was Captain. He assisted Major Patrick Ferguson in 1779 in forming a corps of riflemen, known as the American Volunteers. The corps was composed of picked men from the Loyal New York and New Jersey Regiments, selected by Major Ferguson, and formed a company about one hundred strong. Lieutenant Anthony Allaire, of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, was one of the officers selected. They sailed from New York with the expedition under Sir Henry Clinton, and assisted in the siege and capture of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780. Major Ferguson was made a brigadier-general of the Loyal Carolina Militia, and with his own corps as a nucleus, marched to the interior of the Province, where he was joined by large numbers of the Loyalists. On the morning of the 7th of October, 1781, when encamped at King's Mountain, near the borders of North Carolina, the camp was surprised by a large force of mountaineers, under General Shelby, and the greater number captured or killed among the latter was Major Ferguson, The American Volunteers were commanded by Captain DePeyster, and met the fierce onset of the mountaineers gallantly, and, though defeated, proved the wisdom of Major Ferguson's choice. Captain DePeyster was wounded and taken prisoner Lieutenant Allaire was also taken prisoner, but afterwards escaped and made his way to the British lines. The battle of King's Mountain was probably the most memorable of the engagements in the Southern Provinces, and the defeat of Major Ferguson and his little army of Loyalists hastened the overthrow of the royal cause in the Carolinas. Captain DePeyster was buried in the Old Burying Ground in St. John. The grave is now unknown and unmarked. Asaph Blakslee, DePeyster's faithful sargeant, who fought with him at King's Mountain, sleeps in the same place, with many forgotten Loyalists.
Lieutenant Anthony Allaire was born at New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York, and was descended from an ancient French family, some of which were Huguenots, that fled to America after the revocation of the edict of Nantes about 1685. He was the only Loyalist in the family, all the others remained with the rebels and retained possession of the paternal estate, from any share of which he was excluded. In 1777 he received a commission as lieutenant in the Loyal American Regiment, and in 1783 came with his regiment to Nova Scotia, where they were disbanded. In 1794, he married Mary, eldest daughter of James Simonds, of Portland Point, St. John, by whom he had one child, a daughter, who married Lieutenant John Robinson of the 10th Regiment of Foot. In 1801 Lieutenant Allaire purchased Captain Lee's Company in the King's New Brunswick Regiment, but the following year the regiment was disbanded and he retired to half-pay. In June, 1839, he died at his residence in the Parish of Douglas, York County, aged 84 years. Lieutenant Allaire was second in command of the American Volunteers, Major Ferguson's corps, at the Battle of King's Mountain, and proved on many battle fields during the war a brave and honorable soldier. He left a diary of the campaigns and operations of that celebrated corps, now in the possession of his grandson, J. Delancey Robinson, Esq., which was published in 1881, in Dr. Lyman Draper's valuable work on that memorable engagement "King's Mountain and its Heroes." As many of the survivors of Ferguson's corps came to Nova Scotia with the loyal regiments in 1783, and died in these Provinces, we can justly claim them as our heroes of King's Mountain.
Early in 1798 it became apparent to the people of British America that a crisis was approaching that would test the strength and power of the Empire England alone struggled to maintain her supremacy against the combined powers of France, Spain and Holland. In this emergency the patriotism of the people of the British Isles was shown in the large sums annually subscribed by all classes to aid the government to prosecute the war to a successful issue. The example was followed in British America, and large sums were contributed in each province for the same purpose during the continuance of the war. In New Brunswick, subscription lists were opened throughout the province, so that all his majesty's subjects willing to contribute at that "eventful moment,"19 might have an opportunity of showing their loyalty. To this appeal all classes loyally responded, and large sums were voluntarily contributed for the defence of the Empire. The officers and men of the Royal Artillery and the King's New Brunswick Regiment were amongst the first to contribute in this patriotic movement, and unanimously made a tender of ten days' pay as their annual contribution.
A circular letter was also sent by order of Governor Carleton to all the colonels of militia in New Brunswick, requesting these gentlemen to co-operate in the movement, and bring the subject to the attention of the officers and men under their command. The appeal created great enthusiasm, and was loyally responded to by the militiamen of the Province, and the newspapers of those years (1798-9) contain long lists of names of the officers and men who subscribed. Every militia company in the Province appears to have responded to the appeal, and in many cases the sums given were large. The half-pay officers of disbanded loyal and regular corps, a large number of whom were then living in the Province, returned to government a goodly portion of their limited stipends; and private citizens, rich as well as poor, added their names to the long lists and subscribed according to their means. Even the negro was not behind in liberality as the buglers, musicians and pioneers of many of the militia corps were colored men, the names of many of these humble characters have come down to us, with those of men of greater and wider celebrity. In this, as in every patriotic movement in New Brunswick, during his long residence, Governor Carleton acted a prominent part, not only subscribing liberally himself, but inducing others to do the same.
Royal anniversaries were strictly honored at all garrisons and posts in New Brunswick during those years of war and uncertainty; and as the King's New Brunswick Regiment and a company of Royal Artillery were the only regular troops in the Province, the neighboring militia and independent corps, which were attached to garrisons, usually took part in these demonstrations. Governor Carleton, with the keen instincts of a soldier, made these anniversaries as brilliant and imposing as possible, and their recurrence inculcated two important lessons loyalty and military obedience and both were required in an eminent degree at that juncture. Church parades, of more than ordinary magnitude, or for some special reason, were also held at stated intervals, when the militia corps and regulars marched together to the house of God.
His majesty's birthday, June 4, was celebrated this year, at St. John and other places in the Province, with more than the usual demonstrations of joy, "Early in the morning the royal standard was displayed at Fort Howe, and the shipping riding in the harbour were decorated with their streamers flying. At 12 o'clock a royal salute was fired from the Artillery ground and batteries, accompanied by three vollies from a detachment of the King's New Brunswick Regiment."20 An "Ode, for the Birthday of His Most Sacred Majesty," from the pen of a New Brunswick poet, appeared in the "Poet's Corner" of the Gazette of June 22. The opening stanzas, which now seem prophetic, we quote:
"Not long, Britannia, shall thy foes presume
The year 1798, notwithstanding the details of war and rapine with which its history abounds, has for us a literary interest. On the 10th of August the following advertisement appeared in the columns of the St. John Gazette, and also in the Royal Gazette:
To dream thy grandeur feels the least decline;
For rising awful from surrounding gloom,
More bright more powerful, shall thy glories shine."
"The New Gentle Shepherd. Just Published, a translation of (that much admired pastoral comedy) The Gentle Shepherd, from the Scottish dialect, by Lieutenant Adam Allan, is now for sale at the stores of Mr. John Ferguson, in St. John; Mr. John Campbell, St. Andrews, and at Messrs. Ludlow, Fraser and Robinson, Fredericton."
Lieutenant Allan was one of the veteran lieutenants of the King's American Regiment, and had served with distinction in Simcoe's corps, the Queen's Rangers, during the American Revolution. He was born at Founten Bleau, Dumfries, Scotland, and was an educated gentleman. This early literary venture bore the following title page:
THE NEW GENTLE SHEPHERD
A Pastoral Comedy
Originally Written in the Scotch Dialect by Allan Ramsay.
Reduced to English by
Lieutenant Adam Allan
To which is Annexed a Description of the Great Falls of the River St.
John, in the Province of New Brunswick.
The book was printed in London, and was probably the first volume of poetry in which reference was made to this Province. It is dedicated to the printer's devil whom the author styles "Sweet-scented Sir," and whose protection he evokes against the critics. In the opening prologue he makes this modest plea for his book:
"It sometimes happens (may it here prove true!)
This edition of the "Gentle Shepherd" seems to have been overlooked by the admirers of Allan Ramsay, and the object contemplated by Lieutenant Allan, "to divest it of its shackles," and render the poem acceptable to readers in England and America, failed.
That things transplanted gain a brighter hue,
When moved with caution to another soil,
And ample product pay the lab'rer's toil.
A poet's harvest seldom yields him much,
Except of censure, ridicule and such."
A year passed before notice was taken by the press of Lieutenant Allan's book, when the Royal Gazette of November 26, 1799, contained "A Tribute of Admiration due to the Genius of the Bard, who has lately favored the public with a description of the Great Falls, River St. John." The tribute, though well written and unstinted in praise, was intended to be sarcastic, the writer having evidently overlooked the last lines of Lieutenant Allan's epilogue to the Gentle Shepherd:
"Our lives are errors--errors end our days,
This was the only book published by Lieutenant Allan. After the disbandment of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, he became celebrated in the Province as a land surveyor, and settled at Poquiock, York County, where he died in 1823, and where his descendants still reside.
And faults are found elsewhere as well's in plays."
Joy and sorrow entered the ranks of the King's New Brunswick Regiment this year a marriage feast and the roll of the muffled drum.
"Married on Saturday evening, March 31st, Lieutenant Simonson, of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, to Miss Ann Ness, daughter to Lieut. John Ness, of the same regiment.21
""Died at Fredericton, on Wednesday, the 29th of August, Zebedee Hammond, late a fifer in the King's New Brunswick Regiment, aged 17 years, he was seemingly in perfect health when he dropt down in an epileptic fit, and in a minute expired; every effort to recover him proving fruitless. He was a dutiful youth, of virtuous principles, beloved and respected by all who knew him."22
The closing military event of the year 1798 was the celebration of Sir Horatio Nelson's victory of the 1st of August, "in the Mediterranean off the mouth of the Nile."23
Intelligence of this important event reached St. John from Halifax on November 28th, and was productive of general joy throughout the "infant city." The troops stationed at St. John and Fredericton, and the militia regiments attached to these garrisons, celebrated the victory with true British ardor. At Maugerville, Gagetown, Sussex Vale and St. Andrews, the victory was also celebrated with great rejoicing. A Fredericton poet, whose name has unfortunately passed into oblivion, wrote some stirring verses to commemorate the event, which the author hoped would prove "a suitable and favorite song among His Majesty's subjects on this side the Atlantic." And a soldier of the Fredericton Volunteers wrote another song, entitled "Nelson's Glory," which was sung at the Capital by a member of the Light Infantry Company of the York County militia, in the character of a British sailor:
In the churches throughout the Province praise and thanksgiving were offered by a devout and loyal people, and the victory ascribed to God. Only one of the many sermons preached at that time has come down to us a sermon delivered in Trinity Church, St. John, December 2, 1798, by Rev. Mather Byles, D. D., rector of St. John and chaplain to the garrisons of New Brunswick, and bore this title: "The Victory Ascribed to God a Sermon on the late Signal Success Granted to His Majesty's Arms."
"Come all ye Britons bold and free,
And give attention unto me,
While I the truth declare to ye
Concerning Nelson's Glory."
The year 1798 was not as disastrous to the shipping of the Province as the year previous only one vessel, the brig Pendant, Captain Quinton, of St. John, was reported lost. The Pendant was captured and burnt by a French privateer on the 7th of June, 1798, ten leagues off Sandy Hook, New York.
The closing year of the century, 1799, was uneventful in New Brunswick. The progress of the war in various parts of the world furnished, however, ample news for the two small weekly newspapers then printed in the province, and topics for discussion among provincial leaders of the day, and around the hospitable hearth fires of the Loyalist settlers in the backwoods. News travelled even rapidly in those days, and the two newspapers, with their weekly budget of European news, were passed from neighbor to neighbor and eagerly read, as there were but few illiterate people among the Loyalists and early settlers, and the names of Nelson, Duncan, Rodney and Howe, and other naval and military heroes of the war were as familiar to the dwellers by the rivers and lakes of New Brunswick, as to the denizens of London. Though the circulation of the two newspapers did not probably exceed five hundred subscribers each, the readers of these old journals numbered many thousands, and copies containing accounts of some of the naval triumphs of the war were preserved with scrupulous care, and became heirlooms in many an old provincial family.
During the whole progress of the war the discipline of the militia corps of the Province and the efficiency of the King's New Brunswick Regiment was watched with great care by Governor Carleton.24 On the 1st, of October, 1799, a general order was published requiring commanding officers of regiments and independent companies to send to headquarters a return specifying the days their corps were called out for exercise, and Governor Carleton expressed the hope that the training days, as ordered by the Act of Assembly, were strictly attended to. Notwithstanding the discipline enforced on the militia corps, there were no murmurs of discontent heard in the Province; a martial spirit pervaded the population, and all orders were cheerfully and promptly obeyed.
The term of service of the members of the King's New Brunswick Regiment expired during the summer of 1799, but the soldiers of the corps at once re-enlisted for service during the continuance of the war and volunteered to serve wherever ordered. The action of the regiment gave great satisfaction to the loyal inhabitants of the Province, and created a feeling of pride for the corps that existed for years after its disbandment, and has also left us a pleasing recollection of the regiment's record in his majesty's service. On the 21st of October, 1799, the following general order, which explains the case more fully, was issued to the regiment:
"His Excellency Lieutenant General Carleton feels great pleasure in communicating to the King's New Brunswick Regiment that he is authorized by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent, to express in the fullest manner to the whole corps the satisfaction afforded His Royal Highness by the most unequivocal proof they have given of their loyalty and attachment to their King and country, by so unanimously and chearfully offering to be placed on the Fencible Establishment, and that His Royal Highness will not fail in making his report to His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, to state the peculiarly handsome manner in which the offer of the extention of their services has been made."
The communication between New Brunswick and the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada had been a matter of great importance to the Imperial Government, from the founding of the Provinces, and settlements of disbanded Loyalist soldiers were established along the banks of the St. John, reaching to Grand Falls. It was originally contemplated to found a continuous chain of these military settlements to the boundaries of the Province, and thus render communication with the Canadas secure. In furtherance of this object, on the 21st of November, 1799, the commander-in-chief appointed Lieutenant Dugald Campbell, of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, and formerly of the Forty-second Highlanders, to act as a surveyor to open military roads on the upper St. John, some of which remain to this day monuments of Lieutenant Campbell's skill as a surveyor. Lieutenant Campbell came to New Brunswick in 1783, with a number of disbanded men of the Forty-second Highlanders. They all received city lots in St. John, but the following year removed to the Nashwaak, in York County, where they settled together. The last survivor of the band, Donald McDonald, died at the Nashwaak in 1850, aged 105 years.
On the 27th of December, in the closing hours of the century, Lieutenant John Ness, a veteran officer of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, passed away, and was buried by the corps. Lieutenant Ness had served during the Revolutionary War in the Prince of Wales American Regiment, and had been adjutant of that regiment. He was with the corps in the campaigns under Lord Rowdan in the Carolinas, where he was taken prisoner. At the close of the rebellion he came to St. John with the remnants of the corps, where they were disbanded, and was one of the original grantees of the city, and was alderman for Brooks Ward, Carleton, at the time of his appointment to the King's New Brunswick Regiment. Lieutenant Ness was born in Yorkshire, England, September 15th (old style), 1741. His name is recorded in the Royal Charter of the City of St. John.
The vacancy caused by the death of Lieutenant Ness was filled by the promotion of Ensign Allen to a lieutenancy, and William Barry Phair, of Fredericton, son of Andrew Phair, barrack master general of New Brunswick, was commissioned Ensign in the regiment. William Barry Phair was born at Staten Island, New York, March 17th, 1783, and was the eldest child of Andrew Phair, adjutant of the American Legion a corps raised by the celebrated American general, Benedict Arnold, in 1781.
In 1783 Adjutant Phair came to New Brunswick with the Legion, and settled at Fredericton, where his son was educated. Ensign Phair remained in the King's New Brunswick Regiment until it was disbanded in 1802. On the renewal of war with France in 1803, he entered the New Brunswick Fencible Regiment, which was consolidated with the 104th Regiment of the line in 1811, in which he was promoted lieutenant, and with this corps made the memorable overland march from Fredericton to Quebec during the winter of 1812-13. In that march he was in the detachment under Colonel Drummond, and was present with the regiment at the storming of Fort Erie, at Sackett's Harbour, Lundy's Lane, and other engagements in defence of Upper Canada. On the disbandment of the 104th Regiment in 1816, Ensign Phair retired from the service on half-pay and settled at Kingsclear, York County. About 1825 he was appointed postmaster at Fredericton, which office he held until a few years before his death, which occurred at Fredericton, March 12th, 1853.
The opening year of the century passed peacefully, and only the strict military observances of the times broke the monotonous duties of the regiment. Those were the days of cocked hats, leather stocks, gorglets, and cues and other paraphernalia now unknown in the British army. The commander-in-chief in British America the Duke of Kent exacted the strictest observance of every detail in dress required by the military laws of the period. In general orders from head quarters directions for the guidance of the regimental tailors and hairdressers were minutely laid down, and no deviation from these orders permitted, and upon the quartermaster of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, Lieutenant Clopper, devolved the duty of enforcing the rules in that regiment. Another general order from headquarters this year (1800) announced that his royal highness, the commander-in-chief, directed that no other cloth for trowsers or pantaloons are to be worn by the army under his command except that which is called "pepper and salt."25
Lieutenant Garret Clopper, quarter-master of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, was a scion of an old Knickerbocker family of New York, where he was born September 30th, 1756. He received a commission in the New York Volunteers, December 25th, 1781, and became quarter-master of the corps. In 1783 he came with a portion of the regiment to New Brunswick, and made his home in Fredericton, where he was married on the 27th of January, 1791, to Penelope Miller, daughter of Stephen Miller, of Millton, County of Suffolk, Massachusetts, whose mother was the second wife of Hon. Edward Winslow. Lieutenant Clopper was the first recorder of deeds and wills for York County, which office he held until succeeded by his son, Henry George Clopper. He died at Fredericton on the 26th of July, 1823, aged 67 years. His wife, Penelope, died at the same place in 1833. Henry George Clopper, Lieutenant Clopper's eldest son, was for many years a commissariat officer in the British army, and was stationed at Fort Cumberland. He was the founder of the Central Bank of New Brunswick, and was its first president, a position he held till his death in 1838. His likeness is still to be seen on the five dollar bills of the Peoples' Bank of Fredericton.26
On the 1st of May, 1800, Lieutenant John Simonson, a veteran officer, retired from the King's New Brunswick Regiment to half-pay, and Ensign Clements was promoted lieutenant. Thomas Sproul, son of the Hon. George Sproul, first surveyor general of New Brunswick, was appointed ensign by Governor Carleton, to fill the vacancy created. This appears to have been the last appointment made to the regiment.
Lieutenant John Simonson was born in Richmond County, New York, and served through the Revolutionary War in the Fourth New Jersey Battalion, in which he was commissioned lieutenant. He came to New Brunswick in 1783, with the New Jersey troops, and settled at Maugerville, Sunbury County, where he received a grant of land. On leaving the King's New Brunswick Regiment he retired again to Maugerville, where he died December 22nd, 1816. Lieutenant Simonson's eldest son, John Ness, was born at Fort Howe, February 11th, 1799, and baptized by the Rev. John Beardsley, chaplain of the garrison. His wife, Ann, died at Jacksonville, Carleton County, New Brunswick, in 1850.
The commercial and industrial advancement of the Province during those years was steady, notwithstanding the losses sustained by the war, and the enterprise of the inhabitants never faltered, even when confronted with the threatening and unpleasant attitude of their nearest neighbors, the United States. Self-reliant in every respect, the people looked upon the "just and necessary war waged by his majesty" with deep concern, but, nevertheless, determined to uphold the integrity of the Empire, and when ever circumstances required they promptly responded to the call of duty. From the founding of the Province in 1786, the export of masts for the British navy had been large, and this trade continued uninterruptedly during the war with the French Republic. "Mast-ship, loaded with masts for England," will be found frequently chronicled in the meagre marine reports in the newspapers of those days. A large trade had also grown up with the West Indies, and fleets of St. John built vessels, under convoy of British men-of-war, sailed at stated periods from St. John and St. Andrews for those islands. The closing days of the year 1800 (December 16), witnessed the departure of one of these fleets for the West Indies, under the protection of his majesty's ship Boston, and composed of the ships Minerva, New Brunswick, Thomas and Ludlow, and brigs Neptune, Rebecca and Three Brothers, all of St. John, and built in the Province, and loaded with masts, lumber, fish, beef, pork, potatoes and horses "all the produce of this Province." One of the fleet, the ship Ludlow, was captured on the voyage by a French privateer. During the year 1800 thirty-one new vessels, from 80 to 380 tons burden, were built and sent to sea from St. John, and, remarks the same chronicler with pardonable pride, "If we are able to effect this under all the disadvantages of war, what may we not expect when the blessings of peace again return to restore harmony to the world."27
With the advent of 1801, rumors of peace with France were wafted across the Atlantic, but these rumors were not realized until the close of the year. On the 9th of May Governor Carleton issued a proclamation commanding the inhabitants of the Province to observe the 17th of July as a "Public Fast and Humiliation," for "imploring the Divine Blessing and assistance on his majesty's arms, and for restoring and perpetuating peace, safety and prosperity to himself and his Dominions." A suitable form of prayer for this solemn occasion was compiled by Bishop Inglis, of the diocese of Nova Scotia, which Governor Carleton directed to be used in all churches, chapels and places of public worship throughout the Province.
The important events transpiring in Europe were watched with intense interest by the people of New Brunswick, and news from the motherland eagerly sought from the vessels arriving at St. John. On the 22nd of May, intelligence of the destruction and capture of the Danish fleet, at Copenhagen, by the British fleet under Sir Hyde Parker and Lord Nelson reached St. John, and "produced the most lively sensations among the inhabitants of this loyal Province." The King's New Brunswick Regiment, in garrison at Fort Howe, fired a feu de joye in honor of the "glorious news," and the demonstrations of joy were universal throughout the Province.
The purchase of commissions seems to have been allowed in the New Brunswick Regiment, as it was at that day in the infantry regiments of the line, and this year (1801) Lieutenant Allaire purchased the commission of Captain Joseph Lee, the senior captain of the regiment.
Captain Lee, as the records of the Council of Safety of New Jersey attest, was an uncompromising Loyalist. In 1776 he was confined at Trenton "for disaffection," by order of the Provincial Congress and fined £100. Early in 1777 he entered the third New Jersey Battalion, and received a captain's commission, and was placed in command of a picked company from the New Jersey corps known as the "Allert Company." In 1778 the Third Battalion was sent to the Southern Provinces and took part in the capture of Savannah, Georgia, and also in the memorable defence of that town against the combined American and French forces. The Third (known in these campaigns as the Second Battalion) bore a prominent part in the battle of Eutaw Springs and in the defence of Ninety Six, and on the evacuation of Charleston, reduced in numbers, returned to New York, and on the final evacuation of that city came to these Provinces in 1783, where it was disbanded. Captain Lee settled at Kingsclear, near Fredericton, where all the surviving officers and men of the Third drew land, and in 1791 was the senior magistrate in York County. He died at Fredericton on the 12th of October, 1812, aged 74 years. On the 10th of December, 1766, Captain Lee was married in New Jersey to Elizabeth Cypher, a woman of marked character, singularly fearless and true; her brother, Peter Cypher, was sergeant in Captain Lee's company in the Third New Jersey Battalion.
Lieutenants John Jenkins, William Chew, and William Turner, served with Captain Lee in the Third New Jersey Battalion, but little of a reliable character could be learned of any of these gentlemen.
Lieutenant Jenkins was deputy muster master general of the Loyal Southern corps in the Carolinas, and came to the Province and settled near Fredericton, where he died. Captain John Jenkins who distinguished himself at the capture of Ogdensburgh in command of a portion of the Glengarry Light Infantry, in the war of 1812, was probably his son.
Lieutenant William Chew is supposed to have been a member of a distinguished family of that name in Philadelphia. His wife died at Fort Howe in 1800, while he was stationed at St. John with the King's New Brunswick Regiment. Lieutenant Chew died at Fredericton in 1812, among his old companions in arms.
Lieutenant William Turner seems also to have left little trace of his residence in New Brunswick behind. His home was in York County, where he was known as Dr. Turner, and where he died.
Lieutenant Xenophon Jouett was also a New Jersey Loyalist officer, and was born in that Colony in 1761. He received a commission as ensign in the First Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, when but sixteen years old (1777), and served with that corps till the close of the rebellion. The battalion was actively employed in the neighborhood of New York and served with credit, in whatever position placed. On the evacuation of New York by the British troops, the First Battalion came to Nova Scotia, where the corps was disbanded. Lieutenant Jouett was one of the early settlers of Fredericton, and in 1789 was appointed Sheriff of York County, which office he held for twenty years; he was also gentleman usher of the black rod to the Provincial House of Assembly, a position he held for nearly fifty years. He died at St. John in 1843. The descendants of a great many of the officers and men of the First Battalion are now residents of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Lieutenant James Moody, the writer of one of the earliest Loyalist narratives of the rebellion, was an active officer in the battalion, and died at Weymouth, Nova Scotia.
On the 6th of August, Captain Atkinson and part of the crew of the ship Diana, who sailed from St. Andrews, bound for Hull, reached St. John. In the Bay of Fundy the Diana was captured by the French privateer schooner Le Espiral, of 14 guns and 55 men, and Captain Atkison and his crew put on board a fisherman. Captain Atkinson reported that the schooner British Queen, of St. John, and two vessels, names unknown, were also captured by the French privateersman.
Upon receiving this intelligence the inhabitants of St. John instantly circulated a subscription for the purpose of fitting out the armed brig Discovery, at that time lying in the harbor, and in less than three hours upwards of £500 was raised, and a number of brave men volunteered their services to go in search of the enemy. The brig was got ready with all possible dispatch and sailed down the Bay of Fundy in search of the daring French marauder, but after a cruise of thirteen days returned to St. John unsuccessful. The privateer was reported to have sailed for Guadaloup with his booty.
Many of the officers of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, in addition to their military duties, also filled civil positions of trust and honor in the Province. Major Daniel Murray was a representative for York County in the Provincial House of Assembly, and seems to have acquired the confidence and respect of the inhabitants of that County. Although unfortunate, in some respects, during the years he filled that position, and has left in the records of the Province evidence of his industry as a representative and his worth as a soldier, his career began brilliantly, but ended in obscurity. Major Murray was a son of Colonel John Murray, a prominent Loyalist of Massachusetts, who died at St. John in 1794. Major Murray was born at Brookfield in that colony, and graduated at Harvard University in 1771. His family remained loyal to the crown during the Revolution, and, consequently, lost their estates and were proscribed and banished for their fidelity. In 1778 Major Murray was captain of Governor Wentworth's Volunteers a corps composed of New Hampshire men who had remained loyal, and followed within the British lines the last royal governor of New Hampshire. In 1781 he was commissioned major of the King's American Dragoons Sir Benjamin Thompson, better known in later years as Count Rumford, and with the exception of Benjamin Franklin, the most distinguished American of the last century was lieutenant-colonel and commander of the regiment. Major Murray served with the King's American Dragoons during the closing scenes of the Revolution in the Carolinas, and, on the termination of the contest, he came to New Brunswick in command of the remnant of the corps in 1783, where they were disbanded. He was one of the grantees of Parrtown (St. John), and was one of the first representatives for York County in 1786, in the Provincial Assembly, and continued to represent that County for some years after his appointment to the King's New Brunswick Regiment. He remained in the corps until it was disbanded in 1802, when he left the Province, and died in obscurity at Portland, Maine, in 1832.
There were four Irish officers connected with the King's New Brunswick Regiment Governor Carleton, Captain Clinch, Lieutenant Nicholson, and Lieutenant James Eccles. The names of the three first are recorded in our Provincial Annals, but tradition has preserved the name of the latter in consequence of his blunders and eccentricities. Numerous laughable stories are related of him, but never of a nature that would cast doubt or dishonor on his character. Lieutenant Eccles was a native of the Parish of Kelluker, County of Roscommon, Ireland, and it is supposed was a resident of South Carolina at the outbreak of the rebellion. After the capture of Charleston, in 1780, he was a volunteer in Major Carden's company of the Prince of Wales American Regiment, and on September 18th, 1781, was commissioned an ensign in that corps, and on April 18th, 1783, was promoted lieutenant. Lieutenant Eccles served with the corps in the Southern campaigns, and came to St. John with the survivors in 1783.
After the disbandment of the King's New Brunswick Regiment, he resided in Fredericton, where he died.28 His remains are buried in the old graveyard in that town, surrounded by Loyalists, where this epitaph marks his grave:
Sacred to the Memory of
JAMES ECCLES, Esqr.,
Captain in the 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion.
Who departed this life on the 30th of
May, 1839, in the 83rd year of his age.
Having served his government 57 years. He was truly honourable,
a never failing friend, and charitable when necessary.
Lieutenant Eccles died unmarried. His estate in New Brunswick was divided among his relatives who resided in Camden, South Carolina.
On Sunday, the 22nd of November, 1801, the pleasing intelligence was received in St. John that a treaty of peace between Great Britain and France had been signed, and the war with the French Republic, which had continued for over eight years, was brought to a close. The news was received with great demonstrations of joy throughout New Brunswick. In St. John the "Rejoicings for Peace," engaged the attention of the inhabitants for several days. A public feast was served up to a large concourse of people, at which almost all the gentlemen of the city partook. "The town and shipping were splendidly and elegantly illuminated. Every person appeared to use his best endeavors to contribute to the brilliancy of the evening, and peace and joy reigned triumphant."29 And a provincial poet, inspired with feelings of gratitude at the return of peace, which then pervaded all classes in New Brunswick, wrote:
The rejoicing at the return of peace was universal throughout British America, but in the Provinces, washed by the waters of the Atlantic, whose commerce had suffered serious loss from the depredations of French privateers, the cessation of hostilities was hailed with delight. The Royal Gazette, the chronicler of events in New Brunswick during these years, thus explains how the tidings of peace was viewed in New Brunswick and the United States:
"How happy must the Nations be,
Britain and France do both agree
To celebrate a noble peace
Honor must reign when wars do cease."
"While our neighbours in the United States appear much alarmed and put on faces of disconsolation at the looked for effects of peace upon their agriculture as well as their commerce; it will, we trust, give satisfaction to our readers in British America to find sentiments widely different, produced throughout this Province, both in the merchant and farmer."
The preliminaries of peace between Great Britain and the French Republic were signed on the 1st of October, 1801, but the "welcome intelligence" was not received in New Brunswick till the 22nd of November. Considerable anxiety, however, prevailed during the winter months of 1802, and the definitive treaty of peace between the two nations was anxiously looked for by every arrival from Europe. On Thursday evening, May 20th, the news so eagerly awaited was received in St. John, and next morning the Royal New Brunswick Gazette, issued a broadside announcing the important event to the inhabitants the definitive treaty was signed at Amiens on the 27th of March, 1802, "by his majesty's plenipotentiary, and the plenipotentiaries of France, Spain, and the Batavian Republic" and the doubt and uncertainty that had prevailed during the long winter was at last dispelled, and the blessings of peace hailed with joy and thankfulness.
The anniversary of the Sovereign's birthday, June 4th, 1802, was celebrated in St. John and throughout the Province "with every possible demonstration of joy, and with evident tokens of loyalty and attachment to his sacred majesty." This was the last public demonstration in which the King's New Brunswick Regiment took part.
In imitation of his majesty's example, Governor Carleton proclaimed the 27th day of July to be observed as a General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for His mercies, and commanded that the day be religiously observed by all his majesty's loving subjects within the Province.
With the return of peace the exigencies that caused the formation of the King's New Brunswick Regiment ceased to exist, and that portion of the regiment that garrisoned the posts on the Upper St. John were recalled to Fredericton and disbanded, and on Saturday, August 14, 1802, agreeable to general orders, the headquarter division of the regiment, under the command of the Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, was disbanded at Fort Howe, St. John, the corps having been in service nine years, three months and twenty days.
The Royal Gazette of August 18th, 1802, bore testimony to the good feeling that existed between the officers and men of the regiment at the close of their long service, and also expressed its "decided approbation of the judicious and prudent management of the whole transaction by the commanding officer."
The veteran officers of the regiment, on its disbandment, again returned to half-pay, the adjutant and the elder junior officers were also placed on half-pay, in consideration of their services, and by order of Governor Carleton, the invalid soldiers of the regiment who had been previously discharged, were given a year's clothing money; and grants of land were given the disbanded men of the corps.
RETURN OF THE KING'S NEW BRUNSWICK REGIMENT,
Commanded by His Excellency Brig.-Gen. Thomas Carleton.
Honourable Beverly Robinson.
James French, retired July 19,
Gerhardus Clowes, retired Dec. 24,
James Henley, retired October,
Arthur Nicholson, retired July 24,
Caleb Fowler, retired May 18, 1795.
Robert Hazen, promoted to 60th
Regiment Dec. 20, 1795.
John Murray Upham, retired June
John Ness, died Dec. 27, 1799.
John Simonson, retired May 1,
William Barry Phair,
Henry Clinton Robinson, resigned.
Rev. John Beardsley.
Clarke, John H.,
Cunningham, William G.,
Graham, John H.,.
LETTER OF INSTRUCTION TO GOVERNOR THOS. CARLETON
(Canadian Archives, Series C. Vol. 718, page l.)
(Duplicate No. 21.)
White Hall, 8th February, 1793.
Sir: I have received the King's commands to signify to you his majesty's pleasure that you instantly take the necessary steps for raising and forming from amongst the inhabitants of New Brunswick a corps not exceeding 600 men, to be divided into six companies, with the usual establishment of commissioned and non-commissioned officers; and his majesty is graciously pleased to allow you to command this corps, but without any pay in consequence thereof, and you are also to understand that neither yourself nor any other officer, to whom commissions shall be granted, are to be thereby entitled to any rank in his majesty's army, or to any half-pay in right of such commissions, whenever the corps may be reduced hereafter, it being his majesty's intention that the corps in question should be merely provincial and for the service of New Brunswick only, subject, however, at the same time, to the control and orders of the commander-in-chief of his majesty's forces in North America, or to such others as in his majesty's wisdom he may think proper to give. Should you be of the opinion that you will not be able to complete six companies of one hundred men each, as above mentioned, you will in the first instance grant only such commissions as may be requisite for a less number of companies, and afterwards increase the same to the full number of six, if your success in raising the corps warrants you so doing. I am likewise to signify to you that the commissions are to be granted to such only of his majesty's officers as are at present upon half-pay, and are now resident in New Brunswick, or in such other of his majesty's North American Governments as will permit of their immediate presence, and who will in consequence of what I have already mentioned retire again upon their half-pay upon the eventual reduction of the corps.
In appointing the officers for the above corps (exclusive of such whose names I shall herewith inclose, and upon whose appointment I have received the King's pleasure) his majesty relies upon your judgment and fidelity in selecting without favour or partiality such as from their military talents, character and good conduct, and their attachment to his majesty's person and government, will best promote the honor and credit of the service.
With regard to the pay and subsistence of this corps, it is his majesty's intention that it should be the same as is allowed to the regular established troops, and you will accordingly draw on the lords of the treasury for the levy money and subsistence of this corps in case of money not being sent to you from hence for that purpose.
Directions will be sent by this packet from his majesty's master-general of the ordnance for issuing out of the stores, now remaining at Halifax or New Brunswick, such arms and ammunitions as you shall require for the corps in question. Cloathing and such other articles as appear to be necessary will be sent as early as possible.
As it may tend to ficilitate the speediest completion of the corps, I take this opportunity of observing that, whenever it may be judged expedient to withdraw the present order with respect to granting lands in New Brunswick, the services of such of the corps as are now without grants will be considered.
I rely, with confidence, on your being as economical as possible in respect to the levy money which may be granted, (and which should not, I conceive, exceed two guineas a man, the sum heretofore given on a similar occasion by the late Governor Legge in Nova Scotia), and also in respect of every other expense incidental to the service in question. In granting the levy money you will take particular care that as much of it as possible should be delivered to each private in necessaries usually worn by soldiers on service, independent of their clothing, etc.
You will likewise take this opportunity of maturely considering the best and most economical mode of subsisting the corps, and how far and upon what terms the same can be done within the Province under your government, particulars of all which you will communicate to me by the very first opportunity.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE WAR OFFICE, LONDON.
The Muster Rolls of the New Brunswick Corps, 1793-7, seem to show that the regiment in question was raised in 1793 and disbanded in 1797.
This, however, proves not to have been the case, for although the Regiment was raised in 1793, as shown by the evidence of the Muster Rolls, confirmed by the General Monthly Return, Canada, May, 1793, the fact that the Muster Rolls end in 1797 is really due to a gap in the series, since the Colonial Correspondence clearly shows that the Regiment was in existence down to August, 1802.
The history of this Corps can be traced in some detail from the Colonial Correspondence, New Brunswick, above referred to, from which it appeears that the authority for raising it is found in a letter from the Secretary of State to Lieut.-Governor Thos. Carleton, dated 8th February, 1793. In his dispatch of 26th April, 1793, Governor Carleton states that he will proceed immediately with recruiting, and on 8th July, he writes that 200 men have already enlisted.
From this date to August, 1802, the Governor forwarded monthly returns of the state of the Regiment, and after that date there is correspondence relative to the disbandment of the Corps (which was superseded by the 29th Regiment), and grants of land to the members.
The General Monthly Return, North America, October, 1802, contains a note that the Regiment was finally disbanded the 14th August, 1802.
The New Brunswick Corps was raised again (after the renewal of the war) in 1803. It was now known as the New Brunswick Fencibles, and seems to have been connected with the 104th Regiment of the line raised in April, 1793. This later Corps existed down to the end of the war, 1816. vol. 3, of the Colonial Correspondence, New Brunswick, containing the order of 8th February, 1793, for raising the original Corps, in which its establishment and duties are set out at great length, can be inspected at the Public Record Office.
"The King's New Brunswick Provincials" is also referred to in two appendices to the 31st report of the Select Committee on Finance, 1798.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE GREAT FALLS OF THE RIVER ST. JOHN,31 IN THE PROVINCE OF NEW BRUNSWICK.
By A. ALLAN, ESQ. 1798.
Yes, "the commanding muse my chariot guides,
A placid river, gliding easy on
"Which o'er the dubious cliff securely rides.
"And pleased I am no beaten road to take,
"But first the way to new discovries make."
To its dire Fall o'er a huge bed of stone:
Into an abyss, dreadful! even to thought,
Where caves, immense by whirlpools, are wrought,
And where huge trees, by annual freshets brought,
Are by incessant motion ground to nought.
See, where obstruction checks the torrent's way,
The parts announced by a vast mount of spray
Where, as the sun its daily course pursues,
Reflects an arch of the most beauteous hues;
Combining elegance, with scenes of horror,
Delight, and wonder, with most awful terror.
From this dread gulph of never-ending noise,
Resembling that where devils but rejoice,
The waters rush, like lava from the pits,
Of fam'd Vesuvius, and Mount Ætna's lips;
Foaming with rage, it forward presses on
From fall to fall, o'er vertegated stone;
'Tween banks stupenduous! seeming to the eye
An eagle's flight, when tow'ring to the sky.
This wond'rous charm takes the crescent form,
The better its rude majesty to 'dorn;
So that, where'er you ramble for a view,
Each change of station shews you something new;
Verse colours faintly when restrained from fiction,
Truth, here alone, has governed this description.
Now on the wings of fancy let me rove,
To paint the Falls32 and margin of the grove,
In depth of winter, when the River's bound,
And op'nings rarely but at falls are found.
How changed the scene! each horror now is fled,
And frost's chill hand enchanting prospects made:
Now every tree with ice is spangled oe'r,
And every rock is crystall'd on the shore;
The fall, too, now most gorgeously appear,
Since purer waters aid its bold career;
Strong banks of ice contract its former bounds,
And under ice it echoes hollow sounds;
Around the verge what curious objects rise,
To feed the fancy, and to feast the eyes!
Pilasters, arches, pyramids, and cones,
Turrets enriched with porticos and domes;
In artless order, formed by surge and spray,
And crystalline-garnet hues their rich array:
A dazzling cascade ground throughout the whole
Strikes deep with pleasure the enraptur'd soul.
Note 1. Page 15.
Lieutenant William Hazen was a son of the Hon. William Hazen, of Saint John. In 1813 he was appointed Sheriff of St. John County, which office he held until his death, February 14th, 1816.
Note 2. Page 16.
Lieutenant Malcolm Wilmot was born in Rhode Island, in 1771. His father was a captain in the British army and served through the Revolutionary war, and in 1783 came to New Brunswick with the Loyalists and settled in Sunbury County. Lieutenant Wilmot remained in the King's New Brunswick Regiment until it was disbanded in 1802, when he retired on half-pay. Early in the century he established a general merchandise and shipping business at the Bend of Petitcodiac, in Westmoreland County, which he conducted successfully for many years. One of his enterprises is well remembered. To facilitate the shipping business of the locality he built, at considerable expense, a wet dock at Hall's Creek, to counteract, to some extent, the extreme rise and fall of the tides in the Petitcodiac River; the dock, however, proved only partially successful, and after a time was abandoned. Lieutenant Wilmot was very popular with the people of Westmoreland County, and for many years represented the county in the Provincial Assembly. He died at the Bend of Petitcodiac, on September 7th, 1859, aged 88 years. His wife, whom he married while serving in the King's New Brunswick Regiment, was a daughter of John Bentley, a grantee of St. John.
Note 3. Page 28.
At his residence in Douglas, County of York, on the 22nd of December 1832. Peter Clements, Esquire, a captain on the half-pay of the King's American Regiment, at the venerable age of 94 years.
Captain Clements was one of the remnant of those Loyalists, who, after having followed the banner of their king through the whole of that eventful struggle the American Revolution during which he partook of the glories and dangers of many a battle-field, came to this Province in 1783, where he has ever since resided, and invariably maintained the character of an upright magistrate, an affectionate husband and parent, and honest man. His remains were interred in the churchyard at Fredericton, numerously and respectfully attended. Fredericton Royal Gazette, January 16, 1833.
The writer desires to thank the following gentlemen for valuable information furnished and embodied in the foregoing papers:
Sir Arthur Haliburton, war office, London, England.
Sir John C. Allen, Fredericton, N. B.
Hon. James I. Fellows, agent general for New Brunswick, London.
Vernon C. Nicholson, Esq., Ottawa.
W. P. Flewelling, Esq., Crown Land Office, Fredericton, N. B.
J. Henry Phair, Esq., Fredericton, N. B.
J. Delancy Robinson, Esq., Fredericton, N. B.
F. W. Clements, Esq., Kingsclear, York County, N. B.
Colonel G. T. Denison, Toronto, Ontario.
Rev. W. O. Raymond, Rector St. Mary's, St. John, N. B.
Rev. W. S. Covert, Grand Manan, N. B.
Albert Simonson, Esq., Jacksonville, Carleton County, N. B.
J. Vroom, Esq., St. Croix Courier, St. Stephen, N. B.
John M. Wilmot, Esq., St. John, N. B.
Jacob Allan, Esq., Poquiock, York Co., N. B.
Mrs. George Botsford, Fredericton, N. B.
1. By direction of the Imperial authorities, Provincial regiments were also organized and recruited for active service and defence in each of the British North American Provinces, and placed on the same establishment as the regular British regiments of the line. These provincial corps were the Queen's Rangers of Upper Canada, Les Volontaires Canadiens of Lower Canada, the Royal Nova Scotia Regiment, the Prince Edward Island Fencibles, and the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles. All of these corps were disbanded in 1802, except the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, which continued in service until the close of the war with the United States. Several New Brunswickers held commissions in this corps, and served with it in defence of Upper Canada in 1812-14.
2. In 1803, after a continuous residence of nineteen years, Governor Carleton left the Province and died at Ramsgate, England, on the 2nd of February, 1817, aged 85 years. At his death, he was Colonel of the second battalion, 60th Regiment of foot, and a general in the British army.
3. The Ledger was presented to the New Brunswick Historical Society by Sir John C. Allen, chief justice of New Brunswick, and has the following written on the cover, opposite the first page: "Presented to Lieut. Col. Allen by his sincere friend, William End.
"May 12th, 1842"
William End was born at Limerick, Ireland, in the year 1798, and came to New Brunswick in 1819. He studied law with the late Judge William Botsford, and was admitted a barrister in 1824, and entered upon the practice of his profession at Newcastle, Miramichi, where he lost whatever property he had acquired in the great fire of 1825. Moving to Bathurst in 1827, he was appointed recorder of deeds and wills for Gloucester County. For twenty years he represented Gloucester County in the Provincial Assembly, without intermission, and was one of the early and most strenuous advocates of the establishment of the hospital for unfortunate lepers at Tracadie. He was appointed police magistrate at Bathurst, where he was burned to death in his office on the night of 14th December, 1872. Mr. End was a great favorite with all the Irish people of the county. For this information I am indebted to Thos. F. Keary, Esq., of Bathurst.
4. Morse's Life of Thomas Jefferson, p.151.
5. Canadian Archives, 1891, p. 48.
6. Stedman's History of the American War, Vol. 2.
7. Sabine's Loyalists of the American Revolution.
8. Extract from deed recorded at St. John.
9. Francis Scott Key, the writer of the American patriotic song, "The Star Spangled Banner," was a nephew, and Phillip Barton Key, who was shot in Washington by General Daniel Sickles in 1856, for guilty intimacy with his wife, was a grandson of Captain Key.
10. Gov. Carleton to Lord Dorchester, Canadian Archives, 1891, p. 51.
11. Canadian Archives for 1891, p. 56.
12. Lord Howe's victory over the French, June 1st, 1794.
13. Historical Record of the Seventeenth Regiment of Light Dragoons-Lancers. Published by command. London, 1841.
14. Extract from the Records of the General Session of Charlotte County, communicated by J. Vroom, Esq.
15. Lieutenant Hazen was a son of Hon. William Hazen, of St. John, and a brother of William Hazen, paymaster of the regiment. He rose to be a major of the 60th regiment. He returned to St. John, and died in that city on the 17th of July, 1813.
16. A portion of the Loyal American regiment came to New Brunswick, and many respectable Loyalist families long settled on the banks of the St. John, claim descent from the gallant men who fought under Colonel Robinson.
17. Ensign Robinson was in pursuit of deserters from his regiment when he met his untimely end. The weight of money in silver dollars (the only currency in use then) which he had about his person, was supposed to have carried him down, as he never rose to the surface, though a good swimmer.
18. October 11, 1797.
[From the St. John Gazette, June 8, 1798.]
To The Public Those who are disposed, in this eventful moment, to imitate the noble example of the National Generosity, in contributing to the exigencies of Government, are hereby informed that subscriptions for this laudable purpose will be received by James Codner, Esq., County Treasurer.
St. John, June 8, 1798.
20. St. John Gazette, June 8, 1798.
21. St. John Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, April 6, 1798.
22. The Royal Gazette and New Brunswick Advertiser, Tuesday, September 11, 1798.
23. Vide Governor Carleton's order of Decembner 2, 1798.
24. During all these years Governor Carleton kept the war authorities in London informed of all events transpiring within and relating to the King's New Brunswick Regiment and the militia corps of the province. His correspondence, preserved in the war office, must contain a mine of history relating to a period of which little seems to be known in New Brunswick.
25. I am greatly indebted to F. W. Clements, of Kingsclear, York County, for the use of an Orderly Book that formerly belonged to Lieutenant Obadiah Clements, and contained the orders issued to the King's New Brunswick Regiment for several years. I am also indebted to Mr. Clements for valuable information embodied in this paper.
26. Garrett William Clopper, second son of Lieutenant Clopper, born at Fredericton, in 1800, was killed on the 24th of August, 1819, at Washington, District of Columbia, in a duel with an American officer over a national or political quarrel.
27. The Royal Gazette and New Brunswick Advertizer, St. John, December 16, 1800.
28. For this information, I am indebted to J. Delancy Robinson, Esq., of Fredericton.
29. Royal Gazette, December 8, 1801.
30. Died in the Parish of Portland, St. John, in 1803.
31. These Falls are 210 miles from the mouth of the river, and the great one is said to be 65 feet perpendicular. There are several others just below it, of different descents.
32. The great one.
[Published, Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society, Volume I, pp. 13-62, Saint John, N.B., 1894; read before the Society 10 December, 1886.]