Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Kincardine Introduction The Settlement Scheme is Finalized

The Settlement Scheme is Developed
In 1871 Captain William Brown approached the New Brunswick government with his scheme of locating a planned Scottish settlement in the province. Brown had observed that often the immigrants he transported across the Atlantic Ocean became friends aboard ship, only to be separated when they reached port. Strong friendships and common ties of nationality, religion, and community, Brown maintained, offered support for settlers as they reestablished their homes in a strange land.
Brown's proposal caught the attention of leading government officials, who, by this time, were developing a national immigration policy with Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec, and the Dominion government. Scotland had been a popular recruiting ground for immigrants, during the first half of the 19th century, so Brown's scheme warranted serious consideration. In fact, between 1830 and 1880, no fewer than 640,000 persons left Scotland, many of them to take up residence in the United States and British North America.
Captain Brown returned to Scotland buoyed by the prospect of establishing a Scotch colony in New Brunswick to be known as New Kincardineshire. He published a preliminary prospectus in local newspapers and placed a display in the office window of the Stonehaven Journal to attract the attention of prospective immigrants.
The scheme of a planned settlement with assisted passage appealed to many tenant farmers, labourers, and tradesmen on Scotland's northeast coast who held little hope of owning their own home or climbing out of poverty in their native land. In addition, many adventurous Scots thought Canada to be more like home than the United States, upholding similar values and institutions. Canada had also welcomed numerous British immigrants in the past, which made the prospect of moving there more enticing.