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MC3028: John Browne Letters: [1843-1849]

Dates of creation: Photocopied 2001

Physical description: 12p. of textual records

Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

Born in Ireland about 1790, John Browne emigrated from County Clare to New Brunswick, probably in the early 1820s.  By 1831 he was living in the parish of Bathurst, Gloucester County, where he had found employment as a carpenter and joiner.  He married prior to 1825, but the name of his wife is unknown.  These letters suggest that he was keenly interested in provincial, colonial, and Irish politics, as well as in events occurring in British North America, the United States of America, the West Indies, and Mexico.  No stranger to financial hardship, he found himself occasionally unemployed or working for low wages.  John Browne died on 16 August 1865, and is buried in Old Holy Family Catholic Cemetery, Bathurst.

Scope and Content

These three letters were written by John Browne, of Bathurst, Gloucester County, New Brunswick, to his friend Michael Studdert of Rehy Park, near Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland in the 1840s.  Browne discusses various aspects of colonial life in New Brunswick -- trade, economic depression, poverty, manufactures (grindstones, railroad sleepers), industry (agriculture, lumbering, shipping, fishing), railway construction, weather conditions, the arrival of the famine Irish, out-migration to the United States, the state of the colonial press, and the collapse of Joseph Cunard's business in 1847. 

He also comments on provincial, North American, and colonial politics, notably debates in the New Brunswick House of Assembly, general elections, the Acadian-Irish factor in Gloucester County politics, the career of politician and barrister William End, the Boundary Question, the movement toward Responsible Government, the Mexican War, and the possibilities of Confederation or annexation to the United States.  In addition, Browne notes economic conditions prevailing in Nova Scotia, the Canadas (later Québec and Ontario), the West Indies, Ireland, and Newfoundland, as well as the discovery of gold in California, his own financial difficulties, and the activities of his acquaintances.


MS1                 Letter from John Browne to Michael Studdert, 23 July 1843.

MS2                 Letter from John Browne to Michael Studdert, 21 February 1848.

MS3                 Letter from John Browne to Michael Studdert, 16 January 1849.