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Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Back in Scotland On to New Kincardineshire

Arrival of Scottish Settlers
On 10 May 1873 the Castalia docked at Saint John to the great relief of passengers, crew, and promoters alike. The two-week transatlantic crossing had been marked by cold temperatures, a heavy gale, and pitching and rolling seas. Many of the immigrants who were unaccustomed to ocean travel had suffered uncomfortably from sea sickness. But by 5:00 o'clock on that Saturday morning, the 530 emigrants had recovered enough to meet Dr. G. J. Harding, the quarantine officer, who pronounced them fit and healthy.
The citizens of Saint John and government officials, including Robert Shives, Dominion immigration agent, and the Rev. R. J. Cameron, Pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and chaplain of the local St. Andrew's Society, were also on hand to greet the Scottish settlers. About 200 of the new arrivals soon left with Captain Brown aboard the steamboat Olive for Indiantown where they transferred to the David Weston which would take them to Fredericton.
When the David Weston pulled alongside the wharf at Fredericton that Saturday evening, hundreds of city residents, led by Mayor George F. Gregory, were there to welcome the passengers. His Honour, Lieutenant-Governor L. A. Wilmot addressed the gathering. After welcoming the new arrivals, he assured them that, if they worked hard, they would succeed in their new homeland:

You...who have the same stout hearts and strong arms, are not going to be beaten by the bush. You have come to a land of hard work, but thousands of men before you, Scotch, Irish, English and Bluenoses, have, in our backwoods, by the work of their strong hands, built for themselves happy homes.


In closing, Wilmot referred to the hardy settlers who, in 1835*, had successfully founded the now "flourishing" settlement at Harvey in York County. He assured his listeners that, similarly, if the New Kincardineshire colonists demonstrated "energy, perseverance determination, industry and sobriety they would soon build up a thriving parish."**
* Please note that the actual date for the founding of Harvey Settlement in York County was 1837.
** Quoted in Report of Immigration to New Brunswick in 1873 by the Hon. B. R. Stevenson, Surveyor General, 1874, p. 12