Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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BLACK, WILLIAM ALEXANDER, high sheriff, 1848-55, and customs officer; b. Saint John, c1810, s/o William Black and Jane Billopp; nephew of John Black; d. Fredericton, 26 Apr 1888.

William A. Black's father was a leading Saint John merchant and mayor of that city, a member of the New Brunswick Council, and the administrator of the province between 1829 and 1831, in the absence of Lieut. Gov. Sir Howard Douglas.

Black did not follow his father into business or politics, but he occupied several positions of trust. From 1843 to 1848 he was the high sheriff of Kent County. Residents there were evidently satisfied with his performance, as they expressed displeasure over his transfer from Richibucto to Newcastle in 1848. He was the Northumberland County sheriff for seven years. He left the post in 1855 to accept appointment as deputy treasurer of customs for the port of Newcastle, but he was continued in that position for only two years.

In 1852 Black was president of the Miramichi and Richibucto Electric Telegraph Co., which had brought the telegraph to the Miramichi the previous year. In 1853 he was a director of the Highland Society. His personal life was solitary. When the 1851 census was taken he was enumerated as a lodger in the home of William Wright, a Newcastle tailor.

In later years Black made his home in Saint John, where he joined the St Andrew's Society in 1871. For some time prior to 1886 he was employed as a clerk at the Saint John post office. He moved to Fredericton a number of months before his death.


[d] Sun 27 Apr 1888 / DCB IX (re. William Black); Gleaner 6 Jun 1848, 27 Jun 1848, 9 Oct 1852, 17 Jan 1853, 14 Apr 1855, 12 Dec 1857; NB Sheriffs; St Andrew's Society; Saint John city directories