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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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ALLAN, THOMAS COCHRAN (1790-1871)

ALLAN, THOMAS COCHRAN, businessman, banker, and JP; b. Halifax, N.S., 1790, s/o William Allan and Sarah Dixon; d. there, 24 Dec 1871.

Thomas C. Allan was a grandson of one of the first settlers of Halifax and a nephew of Col. John Allan, the Nova Scotia rebel leader who helped incite the Micmacs and Maliseets to take up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War.

Allan came to the Miramichi in July 1824. The next year, he applied for an auctioneer's license, stating that he was receiving consignments of goods from merchants overseas and wished to become a "vendue master." Later he was a retail merchant in Newcastle, owning the store which was subsequently occupied by Patrick Watt. His principal work on the Miramichi, however, was as agent and chief cashier of the Newcastle branch of the Commercial Bank of New Brunswick. He held this position from a few months after the branch opened in 1836 until his retirement on pension in 1866.

In the wake of the Miramichi Fire, Allan sat on the committee for the relief of sufferers, as well as on the committee which supervised the reconstruction of St James Presbyterian Church. In 1828 he was one of six Newcastle firewards appointed by the provincial government. He was a school trustee in Newcastle parish in the late 1820s. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1830 and had his appointment renewed under a new commission in 1855. In 1831 he was the administrator of the estate of the Hon. Michael Wallace of Halifax, who was the holder of a number of mortgages on the Miramichi. As one prominently identified with Scottish tradition, he presided over the St Andrew's Day banquet held in Newcastle in 1840.

Allan's household included a brother, Winckworth Allan, who kept a store on Henderson's wharf in Newcastle for a time; several bank employees; and a housekeeper, Mrs Isabella Mathews. Mrs Mathews died in May 1867 after forty years of domestic service, and early in July, Allan departed for his native city of Halifax, "to end the remainder of his days."

Sources

[b] Kidder [d] Presb. Witness 30 Dec 1871 / Advocate 10 Jan 1872; Cooney (H); DCB V (re. John Allan); Farmer 1 Jan 1872; Gleaner 10 Nov 1829, 27 Apr 1830, 5 Jun 1832, 18 Oct 1836, 6 Dec 1836, 24 Nov 1840, 1 Jun 1841; 29 Dec 1846; 11 Aug 1855, 17 Nov 1866; 15 Jun 1867; Globe 16 Jul 1867; Leader 6 Jul 1956 (re. St James Church); Mercury 24 Jun 1828

Notes

i) Allan's application for an auctioneer's license is with teachers' licenses at PANB. ii) The officially-recorded date of Allan's death is 26 Dec 1871, but the newspapers reported it as Sunday, 24 Dec.


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