New Brunswick in 1802.
G. O. Bent
The following extract from a journal, concerning a trip to Maine via the St. John River, returning by the Penobscot, is reproduced from Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. XVII, 1879-1880, pp. 207-216.
The writer of the journal, Charles Turner (1760-1839), filled various public positions in the United States. He was a member of Congress for several years and was for fourteen years steward of the Marine Hospital at Chelsea, Mass. At the time the journal was written he was a surveyor, engaged in laying out grants of what were known as "Eastern Lands," in northern part of Maine. He was thus employed several years.
Mr. Turner appears to have come to St. John, whose future greatness he foresaw, in a vessel engaged in the smuggling business, which flourished at that period, and seems to have been considered by him a very desirable and commendable industry. He appears to have been received with considerable politeness in New Brunswick.
It may be noted that the journal was written over a century ago, ere time and increasing wisdom had cooled the fervor shown by the old "Patriots" and "Tories," and new conditions favored an English-speaking brotherhood.
Rev. W. O. Raymond, LL. D., who is so good an authority on the history of the St. John River, has kindly added valuable notes to this journal.
Extract from the Journal of Charles Turner.
1802, Aug. 26. At 10 o'clock a. m. between Campo Bello and Grand Manan Islands. Campo Bello is an island lying in the mouth of the Schoodic River, above or north of which is a large bay called Passamaquoddy Bay, and the river running across the west end of the bay takes the name of Passamaquoddy River, from thence to the mouth. Campo Bello is one of the islands claimed by the United States because the largest channel and deepest waters of the Schoodic run out on the easterly side of the island; it is claimed also by the British Government because the west passage is the straitest and nearly the same course of the river above it; it is settled by British subjects, and is from its situaion an excellent place to smuggle goods, and the inhabitants have well learned the trade. Grand Manan Island is the largest in the Bay of Fundy, containing several thousand acres. There is on it a considerable settlement of British subjects. some have supposed that the line from St. Mary's to the mouth of the St. Croix, alias Schoodic River, as by the Treaty with Great Britain, will cross said island. How these clashing claims will be settled, time only must determine for my part, if the whole of said islands should belong to the United States, and be so determined, I should think it best to give them to the British rather than take them with the inhabitants, and especially as it would entirely break up the trading and the smuggling houses, (now well established and mutually beneficial), and oblige those concerned to begin anew in perhaps more disadvantageous situations. In the evening anchored off Point La Proe; only three gallons of water on board; calm. From West Quoddy Passage to Point La Proe is nine leagues, from thence to St. John, seven leagues. Tides in the Bay of Fundy set East north-east and west south-west. About three knots westward of Point La Proe is a small harbor called Beaver Harbor, which lies north from the easternmost of a number of small rocky islands called the Wolves. The Wolves lie easterly from West Quoddy Head, four leagues; good water round and between them, going into Beaver Harbor; keep the larboard hand best aboard, and come to against the houses; seven or eight fathoms of water. Point La Proe has a small harbor on the easterly side. Split Rock or Negro Head is three and a half leagues from Point La Proe; just south of Split Rock is Musquash Harbor; good going in, keep the starboard hand best aboard; a ledge on the larboard hand; in easterly winds anchor on the easterly side, in westerly winds on the west side.
27th. At noon. Abreast of Split Rock, which is three leagues from St. John's Lighthouse. From Split Rock to the lighthouse is north-east by east, having regard to tide and winds; rocks on the larboard hand very high, diversified, red and blue; high ledges, but good water. Point Mispook and Cape Spencer make the easterly chop of St. John's Harbor. At 3 o'clock P. M. come to anchor at the City of St. John. This city is built on land as rocky and uneven as Marblehead, is about as large as old Plymouth, is well laid out; it has an excellent harbor, by having an island which breaks off the sea, and on which stands a lighthouse. Good water on either side the island, and deep water in harbor; it will probably be a large city in some future time, under the Government of the United States, or at least independent of Great Britain, who, jealous of the growing importance of its American colonies, and having been taught by fatal experience, is willing, if not able, to retard and obstruct the too rapid population of them. The City has at present one large handsome church and a county court-house in a handsome square near the water (1), and (to their honor) several schoolhouses. Back of the City on a rocky eminence is a fort and a blockhouse (which by-the-by serves about as good a purpose for the defence of the City against a naval attack, as Fort Independence does an attack on Marblehead). About a mile above the City, the river is so contracted by high rocky banks, that the tide (which ebbs and flows ordinarily about thirty feet perpendicular) forces in and out with such violence as to be impassable with vessels of any size, except at about half-tide, when the waters above and below are level.
28th. In the morning applied to Mr. Bliss, Collector and Naval officer of the port (2) for a permit to land our provisons and other articles, all of which except bread, were prohibited; he however was not disposed to seize them, appeared willing to forward our undertakings and gave us a permit to land stores, baggage and provisions, which general terms would include almost every article in the vessel, and she was nearly loaded at Boston with goods intended to be smuggled. On delivering our permit to the tide waiter, he observed in the hearing of all the passengers, that we had a right to land what we pleased without search. This was noticed by them and they applied to us to claim casks, chests, et., and many goods were landed in sight of the tide waiter, under our permit, which he knew were not ours, and when we called on the Captain for our bill of freight, the tide waiter pleasantly cautioned us not to pay the freight of the goods smuggled under our permit. Having shifted our provisions, etc., to the Frederickton packet, we paid our respects to the Lord Mayor, by whom we were treated with as much politeness as we could expect from a Provincial officer aping the hauteur of the British. At the invitation of Mr. Munday we drank tea with Mr. McCall (3), a refugee from York State very polite.
29th. At nine o'clock came to sail in the Frederickton packet, Capt. Sagee (4), with a number of passengers, among whom a Mr. Bradley, late a lieutenant in the New Brunswick regiment, and his lady-persons of sound sense, good breeding and real politeness gave us much information. . . . . . . Here we commenced our pasage from the City of St. John to Frederickton, the seat of Government of the Province of New Brunswick, which lies ninety miles up the River St. John at the head of tide waters. After sailing about 15 miles up the river, the land on either side very high, mostly rock, small growth of wood, we opened a large bay on the left called South Bay and a large river on the right said to be navigable 30 miles, called by the Indians Kennebecasees or little Kennebeck, coming from the east. Soon after crossing south Bay we entered Long reach, 18 miles in length, lying north-east and south-west. The banks of the river gradually less steep and rocky, and better land; considerable settlements scattered up and down on either side, large fields of potatoes and buckwheat, considerable grass.
30th. Breakfasted abreast of Belle Isle Bay which comes from the south-east, between whose waters and Kennebecasees is a small portage, or carrying place (5). A fine, fresh, south-east wind. Come to anchor in the evening; calm; a few miles below Sheffield.
31st. In the morning fair, but small wind. Run two or three miles, and anchored abreast of Major Gilbert's Island, about two miles below Sheffield meeting-house. From Belle Isle Bay upward the land is good; great tracts of intervale and islands. Agriculture is brought to considerable proficiency. Sheffield is a very handsome town on the east side of the River; has a small but elegant Congregational meeting house. Mr. Maynard went on shore and shot some pigeons which are very plenty. At night, anchored abreast of Maugerville. This is a parish on the east side of the river, on an extensive high intervale; appears to be an old settlement. A little above Maugerville Church, Oromocto stream comes in from the west, which nearly connects St. John's with Magaguadavic waters. Nearly opposite Maugerville church is a courthouse, in the parish of Lincoln, County of Sunbury.
Sept. 1st. Went up the River within three miles of Frederickton, calm, anchored.
Sept. 2. Arrived at Frederickton at 9 o'clock A. M. and took lodgings at Mrs. Vanderbeck's (6), a Scotch widow. Frederickton is situated on the west bank of the River 90 miles above the City of St. John. It is an high intervale point of land about three miles long north and south, and half as wide, east and west. There are, as yet, but few buildings the church, courthouse, and a few private buildings of elegance. The barracks are sufficient to contain 1000 men elegantly built, forming a square, the officers' fronting south, the soldiers' west. They are situated at the easternmost point of the town and make a very good appearance. The Governor's seat is about a mile north of the courthouse an elegant pile of buildings, of every description.
Sept. 3rd. Sent off two barrels of pork by Thomas Field in a birch canoe for Capt. Joseph Cunliff's, at the mouth of the Maduxnekeag, 80 miles above Frederickton. At ten o'clock A. M. paid our respects to Gov. Thomas Carleton, being introduced by Sec. Odell. Afternoon, Mr. Maynard went up river 12 miles to the French village with Andrew Tibbets, taking part of our baggage. I called on Col. Ed. Winslow, formerly of Plymouth; he was not at home. Drank tea with Mr. Bradley and lady, our late fellow-passengers, where I was treated with the utmost freedom and complaisance, not only by them, but by Mrs. Bradley's father, Captain Jenkins (7), in whom much information, gained by experience, true politeness, and real benevolence, are united with garrulous old age. Previous to seeing the Governor, we waited on Mr. Secretary Odell, who appeared to dislike our attempting settlements on or near the line, suggesting that it was the understanding of both parties, at the settlement of the Peace of 1783, that the line to run north from the source of St. Croix would leave the settlement of the neutral French high up St. John River, called Melawasea [Madawaska], on the east side of the line, and, consequently, not interfere with their line of mail-carriage up that river, and across to Quebec. He supposed it probable that negotiations were in train on that subject, and advised us not to attempt any settlement on or near the line, until matters were adjusted. Relative to our proposed visit to the Governor, he advised us to make it a visit of ceremony only, and not to make any proposals respecting the using the river in carrying on settlements, as the only answer the Governor could give would be to refer to the treaty, and, if any thing like a special indulgence was requested, he would undoubtedly refer a decision to the Crown; and, therefore, the best way to avoid difficulty was to make none.
We, therefore, in compliance with the humor of Mr. Secretary Odell (he introducing us), paid our respects to his Excellency, who treated us with politeness, inquiring into our business generally, having, however, been previously informed by Mr. Secretary into the measures we proposed to take to get our baggage up the river, presuming we had baggage with us; and (no doubt supposing we had articles that we could not have entered at the custom house) he said he should not object to our carring up anything the custom house officers allowed us to land; approved our proposed method of going up the river, wished us success, and we departed.
4th. After Mr. Maynard went up the river, I saw and conversed with Stair Agnew, Esq. (8), one of the Lower House of Assembly, and one of the judges of the county court, who very much disapproved of the cavalier manner with which Mr. Secretary Odell had treated us, alleging that, by the existing treaty, citizens of the United States had a right to pass up, and down the river, and that the 30th George the Third was an express privilege for the encouragement of settlers from the United States; that our going up the river, and proposed settlement near the boundary line, met with his hearty approbation, and, he was confident, would be pleasing to the people in general, and the popular branch of the Legislature, and should receive his decided support. He reflected with pain, on the conduct of Mr. Odell. He also told me that he was confident that Colonel Edward Winslow, who was one of the Council, would heartily approve of, and endeavor to promote, our settlement.
5th. I went up the river with the remainder of the baggage, in a birch canoe, with an Indian to the upper end of the French Village (so called), about twelve miles above the tide-water, and met Mr. Maynard at a Mr. Howard's, at which place are about twenty families of Indians, and a small chapel.
6th. Purchased a canoe, paddle, &c., and hired Andrew Tibbets for a boatman; also, hired William McKeen, who found boat, and at twelve o'clock at noon got under way, and went ten miles up river, almost to Bear Island, and put up and lodged with one Peasley, a tanner, by the river side, where we were treated with great politeness; and he would take nothing for our entertainment.
7th. Travelled on, nineteen miles, to Maductic Falls (so called), passed a considerable stream that comes in from the west, called Pocaock (Pokiok), and put up, in the rain, at Mr. Edmund Tompkins's, where we saw Mr. Tompkins's father, aged 106. He was a tall man, thin-favored, light-complexioned, an agreeable countenance, able to walk out, and to do considerable light labor on the farm; his appetite good and slept well. He, with a number of children, attached themselves to the British army, when at New York; and although his memory, like other aged persons', had so far failed as that he was not able to tell any particular service he had performed for his king, yet his great consolation, and what he frequently repeated, was that he had been faithful in serving his king (9).
8th. Went up the river, five miles, to Mr. Guyer's, where we found Thomas Field, with our two barrels of pork, ready to go forward with us; but heavy rain prevented our proceeding.
9th. At noon it cleared so far as to rain but about half the time. We set off, and went, twelve miles, to Major Griffith's, where we were politely entertained, and where was a collection of young folks, nine young ladies and one young widow, and six young gentlemen, who were prepared to spend the evening in dancing, after quilting. The ladies all dressed in white, and all performed their parts in the style and taste of Boston, where, eighteen years ago, Satan's seat was; where the owl and the satyr danced, and no human footsep appeared. Major Griffith was a refugee from New York, and was appointed major in Simcoe's Provincial troops, where he acted so much of a part (although, from my acquaintance with him, I could not determine whether he had any parts) as to obtain a pension and a grant of land. He appears to be a small man, in every sense of the word; but disposed to reason for his own advantage, if any thing he said might be taken for reasoning. But if logic consists in observations made which are at open war with every principle of reason and common sense, and diametrically opposite to annalogous principles, the Major was a logician. But being nothing originally, he has spent his life in the study of nothing, has acquired nothing, and is nothing in the abstract. His lady was formerly of Philadelphia, with many accomplishments. The Major has an excellent tract of land, and has made considerable progress in clearing up a farm, but has done it at a dear rate. Instead of profiting from the good old pedagogue, Experience, he has furnished himself with the British writers on agriculture, gardening, &c.; and, apparently disregarding the trifling circumstances of differences of climate, soil, degree of improvement, and all the minutiae of the muckworm, he nobly soars above the whole, and places his labor and seed where, when, and as his books direct. He has got a new idea in his head, if he might ever be said to have an old one to compare it with, viz., that he is a suitable person for an Assemblyman, such a creature as, in Massachusetts, we call a Representative to the General Court. He says he shall not make much of a speaker, but can draft bills, and in that way be eminently serviceable to his constituents. He is, accordingly, canvassing for an election, which comes on soon (10). The popular branch of the government of New Brunswick are chosen by counties, septennially; and gentlemen propose themselves as candidates to represent one or more counties, as they please, having a freehold estate, to a certain amount, in the several counties in which they propose themselves; and they send men forward, previous to the election, to make interest and solicit votes at the time of election. The Governor issues a precept (or by whatever other name it is called) to the high sheriff. That officer notifies meetings in the several parishes of the several counties, in such order of time and place as to attend the whole himself. All the candidates for the county go with him, and attend the meetings. Each states his pretensions, and requests his friends to vote for him. After they have stated their pretensions (in which there are, to be sure, no demands, in consequence of the poorer people being indebted to them, no bribing or corruption, although the people are sure to be made drunk at the candidate's expense, if they have an inclination to drink), the sheriff calls on each voter separately to declare which candidate he votes for, till he has gone through the company; and so on, from parish to parish, through the county.
These patriotic Assemblymen, thus freely elected, serve without fee or reward, viz., no taxes on their constituents to pay Assemblymen, or any other public or private purposes, except for erecting county buildings and repairing highways. True, there is a small impost and excise, which makes English and West India goods about 175 per cent higher than in Boston; but that is no grievance; wages are high; money is plenty, there being a great many pensioners in the province. During the late war with France, a regiment of provincials (composed of the offscouring of all nations, the very scum of the froth) was paid and supported by the Crown; and, in time of peace, more or less of the standing British regiments are quartered here. This last measure not only makes money circulate, but has a surprising good effect among the Indians, both black and white, to keep them peaceable, and prevent grumbling. The Council, as well as the Governor, is appointed by the Crown. Therefore, they are always in one box, and the popular branch of the Legislature in the other; and so sharp are their contests, between the rights of the Crown and the people, that very little business has been done by the General Court for several years. The court meets, the two branches soon get to clashing; the Governor lets them fight a while, and then prorogues them, and sends them packing (11). Thus have they tugged, until the Assemblymen, and almost all the common people, notwithstanding their loyalty and attachment to their Free British Constitution, secretly wish (and many openly declare their wishes) to be annexed to the United States. A great proportion of the people, being refugees from different States, would gladly return, if they had any property they could bring with them; but their royal master and his governor have admirably ordered matters, much better than they could have done themselves, and obliged them to be happy where they are, by preventing their disposing of their real estate; viz., giving them no title to it. Grants of considerable tracts of land were made by the Crown to loyalists who had lost, or pretended to have lost, property in the United States, by their attachment to their king; also, to some officers of the troops disbanded at the conclusion of the American war, since which no grants have been made. And these grants contained a reservation to the Crown of certain annual rents, when demanded. Most other persons in that province hold their real estate, either by grant of improvement, performing certain conditions of settlement, paying annual rents, if demanded; or by leases from the lords of manors, giving to them and their heirs, so long as they shall pay one shilling per acre per annum. Thus are they in a pretty poor situation for removing with property to the United States or elsewhere, and would like well that the United States would remove them.
10th. At ten o'clock, A. M., arrived at Captain Joseph Cunliff's (12), at the mouth of Maduxnekeag, where, depositing our baggage, we made preparations to take the bush.
11th. Went twelve miles up Maduxnekeag, and camped at the head of the lower falls.
12th, 13th, 14th,, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th were spent in surveying for Mr. Maynard. On the 20th, being joined by Captain Johnson and Dr. Saltmarsh, in behalf of Joseph E. Foxcroft and others, we made two companies. Myself, Johnson, A. Tibbets, and Jesse Baker began at the north-east corner of Milton Academy land, and ran north. Rainy; camped before night.
21st. Rained hard all day; remained in camp.
22nd. Ran and marked twenty-seven mile tree. Rainy. This day, be bread and pork our lot!
23rd. Hard rain; remained in camp.
24th. Still rainy; run until noon; broke my compass glass; then steered north-east by pocket compass for Presque Isle garrison; travelled until dark; heavy rain; struck the stream, and with great difficulty got fire. Jesse Baker, not a very healthy person, and thinly clothed in linen, was beat out with wet, cold and fatigue.
25th. With difficulty walked down stream three miles to the garrison, where we arrived (without leaving Baker in the woods) at noon.
26th, 27th, and 28th. Remained in garrison waiting for Mr. Maynard with provisions.
29th. Mr. Maynard arrived. In the morning we again string on our war bags and bush.
30th. Got to our work and ran half a mile.
October 1st. Ran to thirty-first mile tree, where we began Bridgewater Academy location.
Mr. Maynard and company running west, myself and company running north, we intended to meet at the north-west corner. We accordingly met there on the 4th, and marked the north-west corner of Bridgewater Academy lands, which is a little south of a considerable mountain, which lies north-west from Presque Isle garrison, and near the source of the stream. Upon the westerly end of the Bridgewater Academy lands we laid one thousand acres granted to a Mr. Cox, now owned by a Mr. Amory.
5th and 6th. Ran two lines through Bridgewater Academy lands, number lots, &c., and met at the east end; and from the thirty-first and a half mile tree, ran a line intending to strike the garrison, which we did on the 7th, at noon. Having completed our business, we pushed hard, and with our three birch canoes arrived in the evening at Captain Cunliff's.
8th. Paid off and discharged our troops, and prepared for home by way of Penobscot waters.
It is but just to mention the very marked attention paid Captain Johnson and myself at the garrison, by Mr. Commissary Nicholson (13), an Irishman, and his lady and family. He was an officer in the dragoon service during the whole of the American war, was a man of observation, nothwithstanding his national prejudices and partialities, could view things in their proper light. He was ready to confess the extreme folly of the British Parliament in strenuously urging their claim upon the then American colonies. He readily gave credit to the American army for all their distinguishable achievements, and placed our much reputed Washington in the first rank of generals. Mr. Nicholson's conversation is animating and instructive. He and his lady appared to study to make our stay agreeable, treating us with various fruits and roots, the product of the garrison lands, among which we noticed watermelons and muskmelons in great perfection; and strawberries, which abound there, preserved with loaf sugar, a most delicious desert, of which they frequently get two crops in a season. The second crop was then full-grown, as were also red raspberries. When we departed, he could not be prevailed on to accept any compensation for the expense and trouble he had occasioned, but left us, with the lesser blessing of receiving, to prosecute our voyage to Penobscot tide-waters. We proceeded on, and having hired Saul Sabbatis, the same Indian we employed the season before, went down the river as far as Mr. McKeen's, near Maductic point, an old Indian town, where we tarried the night. Our company then consisted of Captain Johnson and myself in one birch, with Isaac Spencer for boatman; Mr. Maynard and Dr. Saltmarsh, with Saul for boatman.
9th. Commenced our voyage by carring our boats and baggage over the portage five miles into Eell River; went up the river into and across Eell Lake, and encamped in the rain on the portage between Eell Lake and the Upper Schoodic Lake; found, however, an excellent light bark camp, built by the Indians; this was a luxury.
10th. Crossed the portage, three miles; it rained hard, but was calm; therefore crossed lakes, carried over a three mile portage into Baskenhegen, a branch of Penobscot River, and went four miles down the stream, found another bark camp and put up.
11th. We went out of Baskenhegan into Metawaumkeag, a still larger branch of the Penobscot; at night arrived at the mouth of the Metawaumkeag, and encamped in an Indian wigwam; it being a cold frosty night, we chose to risk the lice.
12th. Faint yet pursuing, we arrived at night in safety at Indian Old Town, about ten miles above the tide, and lodged with Mr. Winslow; discharged Sabbatis.
13th. Arrived at Park Holland, Esq.'s [Eddington, near Bangor.]
14th. Prepared for a voyage to Boston in Captain Partridge.
26th. Landed at Boston.
28th. Arrived at Scituate.
Notes by Rev. W. O. Raymond, LL.D.
1. The old county court house, which served also as a city hall, stood on Market Square, at the foot of King Street. It was used for meetings of the courts and of the city council from the 11th March, 1797, to the 15th June, 1829. The civic officers were in the second story. The lower story was occupied by butchers' stalls and as a market, a section in the basement being reserved for a lock-up. The stalls and market were not so carefully conducted then as now, and their proximity caused the market slip to be usually in so filthy a condition as to arouse grievous complaints on the part of our ancestors. Market Square was the scene of olden time punishments. The Courier of 29th September, 1819, tells how one John Corey, convicted of a revolting misdemeanor, stood in the pillory on Market Square one hour, in the course of which he was pelted with eggs, rotten apples, dead cats, etc. "The sepctators were numerous," says the Courier, "and to a reflecting mind the scene was solemn and impressive." Doubtless it was sufficiently solemn and impressive to the culprit, but we have our doubts with regard to the solemnity of the crowd.
The records of the common council show that on the 22nd May, 1821, Stephen Humbert and Daniel Leavitt, aldermen of King's Ward, were appointed a committee to build a cage, under the court house steps on the Market Square, "for confining boys therein for improper conduct on Sundays and other days." Youthful depravity evidently is not entirely modern.
2. Mr. Bliss was a subordinate officer of William Wanton, the collector of Customs at St. John, who was at this time in England. Considerable friction existed between Wm. Wanton and his deputies on the one hand and George Leonard, the superintendent of trade and fisheries, on the other. Several of Mr. Leonard's letters, printed in the "Winslow Papers," (see for example, at pages 544, 545, 554 and 636), are filled with complaints of "the injurious conduct of the officers of the customs." Mr. Leonard does not hesitate to charge them with "the most shameful perversion of their instructions," and with making tacit agreement with the American officers of customs for the encouragement of smuggling.
3. Mr. McCall, who is mentioned by Mr. Turner in his journal, was in all probability George McCall, senior partner of the firm of McCall & Codner, who were leading merchants at this time. Both partners were grantees of Parrtown. The lot drawn by Mr. McCall was that on which the city Hall now stands, known in early days as "McCall's Corner." In the Royal St. John's Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer, printed at Parrtown on the 29th January, 1784, the following advertisement appears: "McCall & Codner in King Street, a little above the landing place in the upper Cove, have just opened a general assortment of Dry Goods, consisting of Woolens, linens, silks, men and women's shoes, hosiety, callicoes, chintzes, muslins, cambricks, lawns, gauzes, ribbons, threads, laces, &c., &c., also a few articles of Glass Ware and one cask of snuff."
The oft-repeated saying, "from a needle to an anchor," was not a myth in the case of McCall & Codner, who advertise both for sale in the newspapers of this period. George McCall was a native of Dumfries, in Scotland. He died March 30th, 1812, in his 78th year, and is buried in the Old Burial Ground. James Codner, the junior partner, was also a Loyalist, and a grantee of Parrtown. He married a daughter of the Hon. George Leonard, and for many years held the office of Chamberlain of the city. He did April 24th, 1821, aged 67 years.
4. Communication was maintained between St. John and Fredericton in early years by sloops. One of the first, called the "Four Sisters," was advertised to sail from St. John to Fredericton every Tuesday, wind and weather permitting. These sloops continued on the river for thirty years, and among the well-known owners were Captains Alpheus Pine, James Drake and James Segee. In the year 1815, Bishop Plessis, of Quebec, ascended the St. John river to Fredericton in a sloop, the master of which, he says, was "a man of the name of Sighi (Segee), honest and courageous, a great singer of English songs, of which he had a stock suitable for all occasions; his mate, named Creighton, and two negroes formed his crew." On the occasion of the bishop's voyage the sloop carried twenty-one passengers, including four women and four infants.
5. The portage referred to is that from the head of Kingston Creek (formerly called Portage Creek) to the Kennebeccasis. It was a route much followed in early days. Until New Brunswick was established as a separate province, the St. John river valley formed a part of the County of Sunbury in Nova Scotia. The justices of His Majesty's Court of Quarter Sessions used to meet at Maugerville to transact the business of the County. On June 22nd, 1784, Nathaniel Underhill, Ephraim Betts, Nehemiah Beckwith and Eben Whitney memorialized the justices on behalf of the settlers of the County of Sunbury to have a road "lay'd out from Bellile Bay through the portash to Canebeccasis, and from thence to the Town of Parr." The Court appointed Jonathan Burpee and Richard Bartlett to inquire into the "necessity and conveniency" of the proposed road, and these gentlemen the next day reported: "We think it is of absolute necessity that there should be a road made as soon as possible."
6. This Mrs. Vanderbeck was Hannah, widow of Abraham Vanderbeck. Her husband served in the Revolutionary War in Col. Abraham VanBuskirk's Loyalist regiment of New Jersey Volunteers, and was one of the first settlers at Fredericton, where he owned, conjointly with Cornelius Ackermann, eight lots on Queen Street, between Regent and St. John Streets. This block of land included the site of the Queen Hotel and adjacent lots on both sides. The Queen Hotel may perhaps be regarded as the legitimate successor of the old Vanderbeck Inn. The following, from the official records, is of interest in this connection:
Ackerman and Vanderbeck, having entered into bonds agreeable to an Act of the General Assembly, are hereby authorized to keep a Publick House and to retail spirituous Liquors from and after the date hereof for and during the full term of one year, they strictly adhering to the regulations prescribed by the said Act of the General Assembly.
Given under my hand and seal at Fredericton this 17th day of January, 1788.
By order of a Court of Special Sessions.
Bev. Robinson, Clerk.
The license fee was £4 per annum.
7. Captain John Jenkins served through the Revolutionary war, in the 3rd Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, as lieutenant and adjutant. He was a grantee of Parrtown. His commanding officer, Lieut.-Col. Isaac Allen, wrote on January 6th, 1784: "Poor old Jenkins, who commands the Major's company, is at St. Johns with his wife and three children." Capt. Jenkins had seen hard service in the Carolinas. He was with Colonel Cruger in the gallant defence of the British post at Ninety-Six. He settled close beside Col. Edward Winslow on the banks of the St. John river, a few miles above Fredericton. He was in active service from 1793 to 1802 in the King's New Brunswick Regiment. His son-in-law, William Bradley, was an ensign in the same corps. At the time of Charles Turner's arrival in New Brunswick, the regiment had been but recently disbanded. Farther on in his journal, Mr. Turner speaks very scornfully of the rank and file of the regiment, which, he affirms, was "composed of the off-scouring of all nations the very scum of the froth." This criticism is not just. It is true that there was difficulty in inducing the more reputable of the Loyalists to enlist, as most of them were engaged in making a home for their families in the wilderness. Nevertheless the regiment rendered essential service and bore an honorable reputation. (See on this head references to the corps in the "Winslow Papers," and Mr. Jonas Howe's paper on "The King's New Brunswick Regiment," in Vol. I, Collections of the Historical Society).
8. Captain Stair Agnew, son of Rev. Dr. John Agnew, was a Virginia Loyalist, his commission in the Queen's Rangers dating from the 27th November, 1776. He was severely wounded on the 11th September, 1777, at the battle of Brandywine. After being invalided for a year he returned to his regiment. In the course of the southern campaign in 1781 he was taken prisoner and carried to the castle of St. Maloes, in France. After the peace he remained in the United Kingdom until 1790, when he came to New Brunswick and settled at the mouth of the Nashwaak river on a property of 1,000 acres purchased of John Anderson, an old pre-Loyalist settler and magistrate. To this property the name of Monckton was given, and the ferry across the river to Fredericton at this point was long known as the Monckton Ferry. Stair Agnew represented the County of York in the Provincial Legislature for thirty years. He was a free lance in politics, and not always in favor with the government of the day. He was a leading magistrate and a personal friend of Edward Winslow. He died in 1821, at the age of sixty-three. There are very many references to him in the "Winslow Papers," printed under the auspices of the N. B. Historical Society. An obituary notice says of Stair Agnew: "His ability and integrity in the discharge of his public duties entitled him to the continued approbation of his constituents, and rendered him well worthy of general estimation. His remains were conveyed to Maugerville on Saturday last, numerously and respectably attended, and interred with Masonic orders."
9. At least nine of the Tompkins family served in the King's cause in the Revolutionary War. Of these, John, Edward and Obadiah were sergeants in Colonel Beverley Robinson's Loyal American Regiment. Elijah, Joseph, Edmund, William and Roger Tompkins served in the same corps in various capacities. Jacob Tompkins was a soldier in the Prince of Wales American Regiment. Several members of the Tompkins family moved farther up the river about this time, and were among the pioneer settlers of Florencevill and the vicinity. At the present day their descendants are numerous and influential.
10. The references made in Turner's journal, on the 9th October, are not to be taken too seriously. Some of his statements are inaccurate, and the spirit of banter pervades the whole. The writer of these notes was born within a mile of the old Griffith homestead in Woodstock, and is confident from what he has heard in his young days from elderly people of the neighborhood, that Major B. P. Griffith is unmercifully caricatured by Charles Turner. The truth seems to be that the Major was a man of pretty independent mind, and rather too sturdy a Loyalist to prove a congenial companion to the man from Massachusetts. He was not, as Turner states, a major in Simcoe's Queen's Rangers, but a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of Gen'l DeLancey's Brigade. He saw arduous service under Lieut.-Col. Cruger in South Carolina. At the time of Turner's visit he was a major in the York County Militia. When his regiment was disbanded, he, with a number of non-commissioned officers and soldiers, and their families, made a settlement at Meductic, on the Upper St. John, now known as Woodstock. This was the first settlement of English-speaking people so far up the river. Major Griffith was a man of enterprise and of industrious habits, as well as of good education. He was highly respected and esteemed in the community. He died at his place in Woodstock on the 19th April, 1809, in the 55th year of his age. Mr. Turner says that Mrs. Griffith was a lady of many accomplishments, who had formerly lived in Philadelphia. This coincided with the family tradition. Her maiden name was Mary Carson. She was born in Philadelphia in 1762, and died in Woodstock in 1831 at the age of 68 years.
Mr. Turner gives a good description of an olden time election. It seems that Major Griffith eventually decided not to be a candidate. The election came off early in October and was hotly contested. The result will be found in the following from the Royal Gazette:
On Wednesday, October 13th , the poll of the County of York was closed and Stair Agnew, Archibald McLean, John Davidson and Walter Price were found to have been elected. At 3 o'clock they arrived from Woodstock, were received about a mile from town by a number of respectable Gentlemen of the County and escorted to the Province Hall. An elegant flag was displayed and carried in front of the Procession, in the centre of which was a figure of a plough, ingeniously wrought, with the following inscriptions, over the figure "Speed the Plough," and underneath "No Traffickers in the Revenue." A handsome dinner was provided at Mr. Van Horne's Tavern, and the day ended with cheerfulness and good humour.
One of the candidates elected, Walter Price, was a Church of England clergyman, who lived at St. Marys, York County.
The election was protested by Messrs, Peter Fraser and Duncan McLeod, two of the defeated candidates, but the Assembly decided by a vote of 10 to 9 (York County members not voting) that the Sheriff's return should stand. [See "Winslow Papers," p. 487.]
11. The Journals of the House of Assembly show that there was a heated wrangle between the Assembly and the Executive Council at the close of the session of 1796 over the question of payment to members of the House of Assembly. Hitherto the members had served without pay. It was proposed that they should be allowed ten shillings a day during the session, and the House of Assembly accordingly inserted in the list of appropriations in their "money bill" a clause providing for the payment of the members. The Council thereupon rejected the bill. These tactics were renewed during the next three years. The situation became intolerable and a matter of concern to the Home Government. The construction of roads and bridges was at a stand, and not even the ordinary expenses of government could be met. The Council was obliged to yield, and on the 8th February, 1799, supply was voted for the four years for which there had been no appropriation. The last session of the first provincial parliament closed (February, 1802) with a fine wrangle between the House of Assembly and the Executive Council over the appointment of Samuel Denny Street as Clerk of the Assembly in the room of Isaac Hedden, deceased.
12. Capt. Joseph Cunliffe was born in New Jersey in 1746. At the outbreak of the Revolution he assisted in raising a company for the New Jersey Volunteers, of which company Major Millidge was captain and Mr. Cunliffe was commissioned lieutenant. Not long after Lieut. Cunliffe was transferred to General Skinner's company, with the rank of Capt.-Lieut., or senior subaltern officer. At the close of the war he came to the River St. John, accompanied by his wife, and the next summer settled on a tract of 700 acres of land granted him by government on the east side of the River St. John, just above the mouth of the Nacawick Stream. About the year 1796 he moved to Woodstock, and settled on lot 38 of the grant to the 1st DeLanceys, on which land there has since been built a considerable part of the town of Woodstock. He died at Woodstock on the 24th March, 1831, at the age of 85 years. Captain Cunliffe and his sons were in their day among the most active and enterprising citizens in the community, and engaged extensively in lumbering.
13. Lt. Arthur Nicholson was a native of Sligo, in Ireland. He came to Boston with his regiment, the 7th Light Dragoons, at the beginning of the American Revolution. He arrived in time to take part in the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was afterwards engaged in military operations under General Howe in the vicinity of New York. In 1781 he was transferred to the King's American Dragoons as adjutant. He came to New Brunswick in 1783 and settled with his regiment in the Parish of Prince William. At that time he had seen twenty-four years' continuous service in the army. He subsequently removed to Miramichi, and when the King's New Brunswick Regiment was organized, in 1793, became lieutenant in that corps. He had command of the garrison at Presquisle in 1797, and for several years after. A military post, with barracks, was established here in 1791 to protect the settlers against the Indians and facilitate communication with Quebec. After the regiment was disbanded, Lieut. Nicholson assumed the role of a pedagogue, and for some years taught school in the vicinity of Presquisle. He was twice married, and among his descendants is the widow of the late Sir Wm. Johnstone Ritchie, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
[Published in Acadiensis Vol. 7, No. 2, April 1907]