Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Terms of Settlement Grievances

The Scottish Highlanders Arrive
The third group of company immigrants, about 45 Gaelic-speaking families from the western isles of Scotland - Skye, Arisaig, and Glengarry - was less fortunate than the first. The Highlanders were primarily herring fishermen and kelp gatherers, and, consequently, were poorly suited to become pioneer farmers. A decline in the local fishery and manufacturing industry had left them in desperate financial circumstances. The benefits offered them by the land company's agent, Norman R. Nicholson, seemed an answer to their plight.
In addition to the terms offered the English immigrants, Nicholson reportedly promised the Highlanders free passage and other free inducements which were later charged to them. It was also suggested that Nicholson may have accepted money from some of the settlers' landlords to pay for their removal. On the other hand, the company claimed that the interpreter hired to accompany the Gaelic-speaking Scots aboard ship had failed in his duties, resulting in confusion. Whatever the case, agent Nicholson's actions angered the Scots and resulted in much unpleasantness for the settlers and the company alike.