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Title: Glimpses of the Past - History of the River St. John, A.D. 1604-1784
Author: Raymond, W. O. (William Odber), 1853-1923
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Glimpses of the Past - History of the River St. John, A.D. 1604-1784" ***

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                  *       *       *       *       *


           of the
       River St. John

      A. D. 1604-1784.

  Rev. W. O. RAYMOND, LL.D.

       St. John, N. B.

                  *       *       *       *       *


Discoverer of the River St. John. The Father of New
France. Born at Brouage in 1567. Died at Quebec, Dec. 25, 1635.]


Born and reared upon the banks of the River Saint John, I have always
loved it, and have found a charm in the study of everything that
pertains to the history of those who have dwelt beside its waters.

In connection with the ter-centenary of the discovery of the river by
de Monts and Champlain, on the memorable 24th of June, 1604, the
chapters which follow were contributed, from time to time, to the
Saturday edition of the Saint John _Daily Telegraph_. With the
exception of a few minor corrections and additions, these chapters are
reprinted as they originally appeared. Some that were hurriedly
written, under pressure of other and more important work, might be
revised with advantage. Little attempt at literary excellence has been
practicable. I have been guided by an honest desire to get at the
facts of history, and in so doing have often quoted the exact language
of the writers by whom the facts were first recorded. The result of
patient investigation, extending over several years, in the course of
which a multitude of documents had to be consulted, is a more
elaborate and reliable history of the Saint John River region than has
yet appeared in print. The period covered extends from the discovery
of the river in 1604 to the coming of the Loyalists in 1784. It is
possible that the story may one day be continued in a second volume.

At the conclusion of this self-appointed task, let me say to the
reader, in the words of Montaigne, "I bring you a nosegay of culled
flowers, and I have brought little of my own but the string that ties


ST JOHN, N. B., December, 1905.


Page 36, line 8. After word "and," the rest of the line should
read--"beautiful islands below the mouth of."

Page 97, line 31. The last half of this line is inverted.





The Indian period of our history possesses a charm peculiarly its own.
When European explorers first visited our shores the Indian roamed at
pleasure through his broad forest domain. Its wealth of attractions
were as yet unknown to the hunter, the fisherman and the fur-trader.
Rude as he was the red man could feel the charms of the wilderness in
which he dwelt. The voice of nature was not meaningless to one who
knew her haunts so well. The dark recesses of the forest, the sunny
glades of the open woodland, the mossy dells, the sparkling streams
and roaring mountain torrents, the quiet lakes, the noble river
flowing onward to the sea with islands here and there embosomed by its
tide--all were his. The smoke of his wigwam fire curled peacefully
from Indian village and temporary encampment. He might wander where he
pleased with none to say him nay.

But before the inflowing tide of the white-man's civilization the
Indian's supremacy vanished as the morning mist before the rising sun.
The old hunting grounds are his no longer. His descendants have long
ago been forced to look for situations more remote. The sites of the
ancient villages on interval and island have long since been tilled by
the thrifty farmer's hands.

But on the sites of the old camping grounds the plough share still
turns up relics that carry us back to the "stone age." A careful study
of these relics will tell us something about the habits and customs of
the aborigines before the coming of the whites. And we have another
source of information in the quaint tales and legends that drift to us
out of the dim shadows of the past, which will always have peculiar
fascination for the student of Indian folk-lore.

With the coming of the whites the scene changes and the simplicity of
savage life grows more complicated. The change is not entirely for the
better; the hardships of savage life are ameliorated, it is true, but
the Indian learns the vices of civilization.

The native races naturally play a leading part in early Acadian
history, nor do they always appear in a very amiable light. The
element of fierceness and barbarity, which seems inherent in all
savage races, was not wanting in the Indians of the River St. John.
They united with their neighbours in most of the wars waged with the
whites and took their full share in those bloody forays which nearly
annihilated many of the infant settlements of Maine and New Hampshire.
The early annals of Eastern New England tell many a sad story of the
sacrifice of innocent lives, of women and children carried into
captivity and homes made desolate by savage hands.

And yet, it may be that with all his faults the red man has been more
sinned against than sinning.

Many years ago the provincial government sent commissioners to the
Indian village of Medoctec on the St. John river, where the Indians
from time immemorial had built their wigwams and tilled their
cornfields and where their dead for many generations had been laid to
rest in the little graveyard by the river side. The object of the
commissioners was to arrange for the location of white settlers at
Medoctec. The government claimed the right to dispossess the Indians
on the ground that the lands surrounding their village were in the
gift of the crown. The Indians, not unnaturally, were disinclined to
part with the heritage of their forefathers.

On their arrival at the historic camping ground the commissioners made
known the object of their visit. Presently several stalwart captains,
attired in their war paint and feathers and headed by their chief,
appeared on the scene. After mutual salutations the commissioners
asked: "By what right or title do you hold these lands?"

The tall, powerful chief stood erect, and with the air of a plumed
knight, pointing within the walk of the little enclosure beside the
river, replied: "There are the graves of our grandfathers! There are
graves of our fathers! There are the graves of our children!"

To this simple native eloquence the commissioners felt they had no
fitting reply, and for the time being the Maliseets remained

It in not necessary to discuss at length the origin of the Indians who
lived on the banks of the St. John at the time the country became
known to Europeans. Whether or not the ancestors of our Indians were
the first inhabitants of that region it is difficult to determine. The
Indians now living on the St. John are Maliseets, but it is thought by
many that the Micmacs at one time, possessed the valley of the river
and gradually gave place to the Maliseets, as the latter advanced from
the westward. There is a tradition among the St. John river Indians
that the Micmacs and Maliseets were originally one people and that the
Maliseets after a while "went off by themselves and picked up their
own language." This the Micmacs regarded as a mongrel dialect and gave
to the new tribe the name Maliseet (or Milicete), a word derived from
Mal-i-see-jik--"he speaks badly." However, in such matters, tradition
is not always a safe guide. It is more probable the two tribes had an
independent origin, the Micmacs being the earlier inhabitants of
Acadia, while the Maliseets, who are an offshoot of the Abenaki (or
Wabenaki) nation, spread eastward from the Kennebec to the Penobscot
and thence to the St. John. The Indians who are now scattered over
this area very readily understand one another's speech, but the
language of the Micmacs is unintelligible to them.

The Micmacs seem to have permitted their neighbors to occupy the St.
John river without opposition, their own preference inclining them to
live near the coast. The opinion long prevailed in Acadia that the
Maliseets, were a more powerful and ferocious tribe than the Micmacs;
nevertheless there is no record or tradition of any conflict between

That the Maliseets have for centuries inhabited the valley of the
River St. John is indicated by the fact that the Indian names of
rivers, lakes, islands and mountains, which have been retained by the
whites, are nearly all of Maliseet origin. Nevertheless the Micmacs
frequented the mouth of the St. John river after the arrival of
Europeans, for we learn that the Jesuit missionary, Enemond Masse,
passed the winter of 1611-2 at St. John in the family of Louis
Membertou, a Micmac, in order to perfect himself in the Micmac
language, which he had already studied to some extent at Port Royal.
The elder Membertou, father of the Indian here named, was, perhaps,
the most remarkable chieftain Acadia ever produced. His sway as grand
sagamore of the Micmac nation extended from Gaspe to Cape Sable. In
the year 1534 he had welcomed the great explorer Jacques Cartier to
the shores of Eastern New Brunswick, as seventy years later he
welcomed de Monts and Poutrincourt to Port Royal. The Jesuit
missionary, Pierre Biard, describes Membertou as "the greatest, most
renowned and most formidable savage within the memory of man; of
splendid physique, taller and larger limbed than is usual among them;
bearded like a Frenchmen, although scarcely any of the others have
hair upon the chin; grave and reserved with a proper sense of the
dignity of his position as commander." "In strength of mind, in
knowledge of war, in the number of his followers, in power and in the
renown of a glorious name among his countrymen, and even his enemies,
he easily surpassed the sagamores who had flourished during many
preceding ages."

In the year 1605 Pennoniac, one of the chiefs of Acadia, went with de
Monts and Champlain as guide on the occasion of their voyage along the
shores of New England and was killed by some of the savages near Saco.
Bessabez, the sagamore of the Penobscot Indians, allowed the body of
the dead chief to be taken home by his friends to Port Royal and its
arrival was the signal of great lamentation. Membertou was at this
time an old man, but although his hair was white with the frosts of a
hundred winters, like Moses of old, his eye was not dim nor his
natural force abated. He decided that the death of Pennoniac must be
avenged. Messengers were sent to call the tribes of Acadia and in
response to the summons 400 warriors assembled at Port Royal. The
Maliseets joined in the expedition. The great flotilla of war canoes
was arranged in divisions, each under its leader, the whole commanded
by Membertou in person. As the morning sun reflected in the still
waters of Port Royal the noiseless procession of canoes, crowned by
the tawny faces and bodies of the savage warriors, smeared with
pigments of various colors, the sight struck the French spectators
with wonder and astonishment.

Uniting with their allies of the River St. John, the great war party
sped westward over the waters of the Bay of Fundy and along the coast
till they reached the land of the Armouchiquois. Here they met and
defeated their enemies after a hard-fought battle in which Bessabez
and many of his captains were slain, and the allies returned in
triumph to Acadia singing their songs of victory.

The situation of the Maliseets on the River St. John was not without
its advantages, and they probably obtained as good a living as any
tribe of savages in Canada. Remote from the war paths of the fiercer
tribes they hunted in safety. Their forests were filled with game, the
rivers teemed with fish and the lakes with water fowl; the sea shore
was easy of access, the intervals and islands were naturally adapted
to the cultivation of Indian corn, wild grapes grew luxuriantly along
the river banks, there were berries in the woods and the sagaabum (or
Indian potato) was abundant. Communication with all arts of the
surrounding country was easily had by means of the short portages that
separated the sources of interlacing rivers and with his light bark
canoe the Indian could travel in any direction his necessity or his
caprice might dictate.

The characteristics of the Indians of Acadia, whether Micmacs or
Maliseets, were in the main identical; usually they were closely
allied and not infrequently intermarried Their manners and habits have
been described with much fidelity by Champlain, Lescarbot, Denys and
other early explorers. Equally accurate and interesting is the graphic
description of the savages contained in the narrative of the Jesuit
missionary Pierre Biard, who came to America in 1611 and during his
sojourn visited the St. John River and places adjacent making Port
Royal his headquarters. His narrative, "A Relation of New France, of
its Lands, Nature of the Country and of its Inhabitants," was printed
at Lyons in 1616. A few extracts, taken from the splendid edition of
the Jesuit Relations recently published at Cleveland, will suffice to
show that Pierre Biard was not only an intelligent observer but that
he handled the pen of a ready writer. "I have said before," he
observes, "that the whole country is simply an interminable forest;
for there are no open spaces except upon the margins of the sea, lakes
and rivers. In several places we found the grapes and wild vines which
ripened in their season. It was not always the best ground where found
them, being full of sand and gravel like that of Bourdeaux. There are
a great many of these grapes at St. John River in 46 degrees of
latitude, where also are to be seen many walnut (or butternut), and
hazel trees."

This quotation will show how exact and conscientious the old French
missionary was in his narration. Beamish Murdoch in Ibis History of
Nova Scotia (Vol. 1, p. 21) ventures the observation, "It may perhaps
be doubted if the French account about grapes is accurate, as they
mention them to have been growing on the banks of the Saint John
where, if wild grapes exist, they must be rare." But Biard is right
and Murdoch is wrong. Wild grapes naturally grow in great abundance on
the islands and intervals of the River St. John and, in spite of the
interference of the farmers, are still to be found as far north at
least in Woodstock. Biard visited the St. John River in October, 1611,
and stayed a day or two at a small trading post on an island near Oak
Point. One of the islands in that vicinity the early English settlers
afterwards called "Isle of Vines," from the circumstance that wild
grapes grew there in great profusion.

We quote next Father Biard's description of the Indian method of
encampment: "Arrived at a certain place, the first thing they do is to
build a fire and arrange their camp, which they will have finished in
an hour or two; often in half an hour. The women go into the woods and
bring back some poles which are stuck into the ground in a circle
around the fire and at the top are interlaced in the form of a
pyramid, so that they come together directly over the fire, for there
is the chimney. Upon the poles they throw some skins, matting or bark.
At the foot of the poles under the skins they put their baggage. All
the space around the fire is strewn with soft boughs of the fire tree,
so they will not feel the dampness of the ground; over these boughs
are thrown some mats or seal skins as soft as velvet; upon these they
stretch themselves around the fire with their heads resting upon their
baggage; and, what no one would believe, they are very warm in there
around that little fire, even in the greatest rigors of the winter.
They do not camp except near some good water, and in an attractive

The aboriginies of Acadia when the country became known to Europeans,
no doubt lived as their ancestors had lived from time immemorial. A
glimpse of the life of the Indian in prehistoric times is afforded us
in the archæological remains of the period. These are to be found at
such places as Bocabec, in Charlotte county, at Grand Lake in Queens
county, and at various points along the St. John river. Dr. L. W.
Bailey, Dr. Geo. F. Matthew, Dr. W. F. Ganong, James Vroom, and others
have given considerable attention to these relics and they were
studied also to some extent by their predecessors in the field of
science, Dr. Robb, Dr. Gesner and Moses H. Perley. The relics most
commonly brought to light include stone implements, such as axes,
hammers, arrow heads, lance and spear heads, gouges and chisels, celts
or wedges, corn crushers, and pipes; also bone implements such as
needles, fish hooks and harpoons, with specimens of rude pottery.

When Champlain first visited our shores the savages had nothing better
than stone axes to use in clearing their lands. It is to their credit
that with such rude implements they contrived to hack down the trees
and, after burning the branches and trunk, planted their corn among
the stumps and in the course of time took out the roots. In
cultivating the soil they used an implement of very hard wood, shaped
like a spade, and their method of raising corn, as described by
Champlain, was exactly the same as that of our farmers today. The corn
fields at the old Medoctic Fort were cultivated by the Indians many
years before the coming of the whites. Cadillac, writing in 1693,
says: "The Maliseets are well shaped and tolerably warlike; they
attend to the cultivation of the soil and grow the most beautiful
Indian corn; their fort is at Medocktek." Many other choice spots
along the St. John river were tilled in very early times, including,
probably, the site of the old Government House at Fredericton, where
there was an Indian encampment long before the place was dreamed of as
the site of the seat of government of the province.

Lescarbot, the historian, who wrote In 1610, tells us that the Indians
were accustomed to pound their corn in a mortar (probably of wood) in
order to reduce it to meal. Of this they afterwards made a paste,
which was baked between two stones heated at the fire. Frequently the
corn was roasted on the ear. Yet another method is thus described by
the English captive, John Gyles, who lived as a captive with the St.
John river Indians in 1689: "To dry the corn when in the milk, they
gather it in large kettles and boil it on the ears till it is pretty
hard, then shell it from the cob with clam shells and dry it on bark
in the sun. When it is thoroughly dry a kernel is no bigger than a
pea, and will keep years; and when it is boiled again it swells as
large as when on the ear and tastes incomparably sweeter than other
corn. When we had gathered our corn and dried it in the way described,
we put some of it into Indian barns, that is into hole in the ground
lined and covered with bark and then with earth. The rest we carried
up the river upon our next winter's hunting."

The Indians were a very improvident race, and in this respect the
Maliseets were little better than the Micmacs, of whom Pierre Biard
writes: "They care little about the future and are not urged on to
work except by present necessity. As long as they have anything they
are always celebrating feasts and having songs dances and speeches. If
there is a crowd of them you certainly need not expect anything else.
Nevertheless if they are by themselves and where they may safely
listen to their wives, for women are everywhere the best managers,
they will sometimes make storehouses for the winter where they will
keep smoked meat, roots, shelled acorns, peas, beans, etc."

Although the Indians living on the St. John paid some attention to the
cultivation of the soil there can be no doubt that hunting and fishing
were always their chief means of support. In Champlain's day the
implements of the chase were very primitive. Yet they were able to
hunt the largest game by taking advantage of the deep snow and making
use of their snow-shoes. Champlain says. "They search for the track of
animals, which, having found, they follow until they get sight of the
creature, when they shoot at it with their bows or kill it by means of
daggers attached to the end of a short pike. Then the women and
children come up, erect a hut and they give themselves to feasting.
Afterwards they proceed in search of other animals and thus they pass
the winter. This is the mode of life of these people, which seems to
me a very miserable one."

There can be little doubt that wild game was vastly more abundant in
this country, when it was discovered by Europeans, than it is today.
In the days of La Tour and Charnisay as many as three thousand moose
skins were collected on the St. John in a single year, and smaller
game was even more abundant. Wild fowl ranged the coasts and marshes
and frequented the rivers in incredible numbers. Biard says that at
certain seasons they were so abundant on the islands that by the
skilful use of a club right and left they could bring down birds as
big as a duck with every blow. Denys speaks of immense flocks of wild
pidgeons. But the Indian's food supply was not limited to these; the
rivers abounded with salmon and other fish, turtles were common along
the banks of the river, and their eggs, which they lay in the sand,
were esteemed a great delicacy, as for the musquash it is regarded as
the "Indian's turkey."

A careful examination of the relics discovered at the sites of the old
camping grounds suffices to confirm the universal testimony of early
writers regarding the nomadic habits of the Indians. They were a
restless race of people, for ever wandering from place to place as
necessity or caprice impelled them. At one time they were attracted to
the sea side where clams, fish and sea fowl abounded; at another they
preferred the charms of the inland waters. Sometimes the mere love of
change led them to forsake one camping place and remove to some other
favorite spot. When game was scarce they were compelled by sheer
necessity to seek new hunting grounds. At the proper season they made
temporary encampments for salmon fishing with torch and spear. Anon
they tilled their cornfields on the intervals and islands. They had a
saying: "When the maple leaf is as big as a squirrel's foot it is time
to plant corn." Occasionally the outbreak of some pestilence broke up
their encampments and scattered them in all directions. In time of
peace they moved leisurely, but in time of war their action was much
more vigorous and flotillas of their bark canoes skimmed swiftly over
the lakes and rivers bearing the dusky warriors against the enemies of
their race. Many a peaceful New England hamlet was startled by their
midnight war-whoop when danger was little looked for.

It is a common belief in our day that the Indians were formerly more
numerous than they now are. Exactly the same opinion seems to have
prevailed when the country was first discovered, but it is really very
doubtful whether there were ever many more Indians in the country than
there are today. In the year 1611 Biard described them as so few in
number that they might be said to roam over rather than to possess the
country. He estimated the Maliseets, or Etchemins, as less than a
thousand in number "scattered over wide spaces, as is natural for
those who live by hunting and fishing." Today the Indians of Maine and
New Brunswick living within the same area as the Etchemins of 1611,
number considerably more than a thousand souls. There are, perhaps, as
many Indians in the maritime provinces now as in the days of
Champlain. As Hannay observes, in his History of Acadia, excellent
reasons existed to prevent the Indians from ever becoming very
numerous. A wilderness country can only support a limited population.
The hunter must draw his sustenance from a very wide range of
territory, and the life of toil and privation to which the Indian was
exposed was fatal to all but the strongest and most hardy.

One of the most striking Indian characteristics is the keenness of
perception by which they are enabled to track their game or find their
way through pathless forests without the aid of chart or compass. The
Indian captive, Gyles, relates the following incident which may be
mentioned in this connection:

"I was once travelling a little way behind several Indians and,
hearing them laugh merrily, when I came up I asked them the cause of
their laughter. They showed me the track of a moose, and how a
wolverene had climbed a tree, and where he had jumped off upon the
moose. It so happened that after the moose had taken several large
leaps it came under the branch of a tree, which, striking the
wolverene, broke his hold and tore him off; and by his tracks in the
snow it appeared he went off another way with short steps, as if he
had been stunned by the blow that had broken his hold. The Indians
were wonderfully pleased that the moose had thus outwitted the
mischievous wolverene."

The early French writers all notice the skill and ingenuity of the
savages, in adapting their mode of life to their environment. Nicholas
Denys, who came to Acadia in 1632, gives a very entertaining and
detailed account of their ways of life and of their skillful
handicraft. The snowshoe and the Indian bark canoe aroused his special
admiration. He says they also made dishes of bark, both large and
small, sewing them so nicely with slender rootlets of fir that they
retained water. They used in their sewing a pointed bodkin of bone,
and they sometimes adorned their handiwork with porcupine quills and
pigments. Their kettles used to be of wood before the French supplied
them with those of metal. In cooking, the water was readily heated to
the boiling point by the use of red-hot stones which they put in and
took out of their wooden kettle.

Until the arrival of Europeans the natives were obliged to clothe
themselves with skins of the beaver and other animals. The women made
all the garments, but Champlain did not consider them very good

Like most savage races the Indians were vain and consequential. Biard
relates that a certain sagamore on hearing that the young King of
France was unmarried, observed: "Perhaps I may let him marry my
daughter, but the king must make me some handsome presents, namely,
four or five barrels of bread, three of peas and beans, one of
tobacco, four or five cloaks worth one hundred sous apiece, bows,
arrows, harpoons, and such like articles."

Courtship and marriage among the Maliseets is thus described by John
Gyles: "If a young fellow determines to marry, his relations and the
Jesuit advise him to a girl, he goes into the wigwam where she is and
looks on her. If he likes her appearance, he tosses a stick or chip
into her lap which she takes, and with a shy side-look views the
person who sent it; yet handles the chip with admiration as though she
wondered from whence it came. If she likes him she throws the chip to
him with a smile, and then nothing is wanting but a ceremony with the
Jesuit to consummate the marriage. But if she dislikes her suitor she
with a surly countenance throws the chip aside and he comes no more

An Indian maiden educated to make "monoodah," or Indian bags, birch
dishes and moccasins, to lace snowshoes, string wampum belts, sew
birch canoes and boil the kettle, was esteemed a lady of fine
accomplishments. The women, however, endured many hardships. They were
called upon to prepare and erect the cabins, supply them with fire,
wood and water, prepare the food, go to bring the game from the place
where it had been killed, sew and repair the canoes, mend and stretch
the skins, curry them and make clothes and moccasins for the whole
family. Biard says: "They go fishing and do the paddling, in short
they undertake all the work except that alone of the grand chase.
Their husbands sometimes beat them unmercifully and often for a very
slight cause."

Since the coming of the whites the Maliseets have had few quarrels
with the neighboring tribes of Indians. They entertained, however,
a dread of the Mohawks, and there are many legends that have been
handed down to us which tell of their fights with these implacable
foes. One of the most familiar--that of the destruction of the
Mohawk war party at the Grand Falls--told by the Indians to the early
settlers on the river soon after their arrival in the country and has
since been rehearsed in verse by Roberts and Hannay and in prose by
Lieut.-Governor Gordon in his "Wilderness Journeys," by Dr. Rand
in his Indian legends and by other writers.

John Gyles, the English captive at Medoctec village in 1689, relates
the following ridiculous incident, which sufficiently shows the
unreasonable terror inspired in the mind of the natives of the river
in his day by the very name of Mohawk:

"One very hot season a great number of Indians gathered at the
village, and being a very droughty people they kept James Alexander
and myself night and day fetching water from a cold spring that ran
out of a rocky hill about three-quarters of a mile from the fort.[1]
In going thither we crossed a large interval corn field and then a
descent to a lower interval before we ascended the hill to the spring.
James being almost dead as well as I with this continual fatigue
contrived (a plan) to fright the Indians. He told me of it, but
conjured me to secrecy. The next dark night James going for water set
his kettle on the descent to the lowest interval, and ran back to the
fort puffing and blowing as in the utmost surprise, and told his
master that he saw something near the spring which looked like Mohawks
(which he said were only stumps--aside): his master being a most
courageous warrior went with James to make discovery, and when they
came to the brow of the hill, James pointed to the stumps, and withal
touched his kettle with his toe, which gave it motion down hill, and
at every turn of the kettle the bail clattered, upon which James and
his master could see a Mohawk in every stump in motion, and turned
tail to and he was the best man who could run the fastest. This
alarmed all the Indians in the village; they, though about thirty or
forty in number, packed off bag and baggage, some up the river and
others down, and did not return under fifteen days, and the heat of
the weather being finally over our hard service abated for this
season. I never heard that the Indians understood the occasion of the
fright, but James and I had many a private laugh about it."

    [1] The old Medoctec fort was on the west bank of the River St. John
        about eight miles below the town of Woodstock. The spring is
        readily identified; an apparently inexhaustible supply of pure
        cold water flows from it even in the driest season.

Until quite recently the word "Mohawk," suddenly uttered, was
sufficient to startle a New Brunswick Indian. The late Edward Jack
upon asking an Indian child, "What is a Mohawk?" received this reply,
"A Mohawk is a bad Indian who kills people and eats them." Parkman
describes the Mohawks as the fiercest, the boldest, yet most politic
savages to whom the American forests ever gave birth and nurture. As
soon as a canoe could float they were on the war path, and with the
cry of the returning wild fowl mingled the yell of these human tigers.
They burned, hacked and devoured, exterminating whole villages at

A Mohawk war party once captured an Algonquin hunting party in which
were three squaws who had each a child of a few weeks or months old.
At the first halt the captors took the infants, tied them to wooden
spits, roasted them alive before a fire and feasted on them before
the eyes of the agonized mothers, whose shrieks, supplications and
frantic efforts to break the cords that bound them, were met with
mockery and laughter. "They are not men, they are wolves!" sobbed one
of the wretched women, as she told what had befallen her to the Jesuit

Fearful as the Maliseets were of the Mohawks they were in turn
exceedingly cruel to their own captives and, strange as it may appear,
the women were even more cruel than the men. In the course of the
border wars English captives were exposed to the most revolting and
barbarous outrages, some were even burned alive by our St. John river

But while cruel to their enemies, and even at times cruel to their
wives, the Indians were by no means without their redeeming features.
They were a modest and virtuous race, and it is quite remarkable that
with all their bloodthirstiness in the New England wars there is no
instance on record of the slightest rudeness to the person of any
female captive. This fact should be remembered to their credit by
those who most abhor their bloodthirstiness and cruelty. Nor were the
savages without a certain sense of justice. This we learn from the
following incident in the experience of the English captive John

"While at the Indian village (Medoctec) I had been cutting wood and
was binding it up with an Indian rope in order to carry it to the
wigwam when a stout ill-natured young fellow about 20 years of age
threw me backward, sat on my breast and pulling out his knife said
that he would kill me, for he had never yet killed an English person.
I told him that he might go to war and that would be more manly than
to kill a poor captive who was doing their drudgery for them.
Notwithstanding all I could say he began to cut and stab me on my
breast. I seized him by the hair and tumbled him from off me on his
back and followed him with my fist and knee so that he presently said
he had enough; but when I saw the blood run and felt the smart I at
him again and bid him get up and not lie there like a dog--told him of
his former abuses offered to me and other poor captives, and that if
ever he offered the like to me again I would pay him double. I sent
him before me, took up my burden of wood and came to the Indians and
told them the whole truth and they commended me, and I don't remember
that ever he offered me the least abuse afterward, though he was big
enough to have dispatched two of me."

The unfortunate conduct of some of the New England governors together
with other circumstances that need not here be mentioned, led the
Maliseets to be hostile to the English. Toward the French, however,
they were from the very first disposed to be friendly, and when de
Monts, Champlain and Poutrincourt arrived at the mouth of our noble
river on the memorable 24th day of June, 1604, they found awaiting
them the representatives of an aboriginal race of unknown antiquity,
and of interesting language, traditions and customs, who welcomed them
with outward manifestations of delight, and formed with them an
alliance that remained unbroken throughout the prolonged struggle
between the rival powers for supremacy in Acadia.

[Illustration: Indian Encampment and Chief]



There are yet to be found in New Brunswick forest clad regions, remote
from the haunts of men, that serve to illustrate the general features
of the country when it was discovered by European adventurers 300
years ago. Who these first adventurers were we cannot with certainty
tell. They were not ambitious of distinction, they were not even
animated by religious zeal, for in Acadia, as elsewhere, the trader
was the forerunner of the priest.

The Basque, Breton, and Norman, fishermen are believed to have made
their voyages as early as the year 1504, just 100 years before
Champlain entered the mouth of the St. John river. But these early
navigators were too intent upon their own immediate gain to think of
much beside; they gave to the world no intelligent account of the
coasts they visited, they wave not accurate observers, and in their
tales of adventure fact and fiction were blended in equal proportion.
Nevertheless, by the enterprise and resolution of these hardy mariners
the shores of north-eastern America were fairly well known long before
Acadia contained a single white inhabitant.

Adventurers of Portugal, Spain and Italy vied with those of France and
Britain in the quest of treasure beyond the sea. They scanned our
shores with curious eyes and pushed their way into every bay and
harbor. And thus, slowly but surely, the land that had lain hidden in
the mists of antiquity began to disclose its outlines as the keen
searchlight of discovery was turned upon it from a dozen different

While the first recorded exploration of the southern shores of New
Brunswick is that of de Monts and Champlain in 1604, there can be
little doubt that European fishers and traders had entered the Bay of
Fundy before the close of the 16th century and had made the
acquaintance of the savages, possibly they had ventured up the St.
John river. The Indians seem to have greeted the new-comers in a very
friendly fashion and were eager to barter their furs for knives and
trinkets. The "pale-faces" and their white winged barks were viewed at
first with wonder not unmixed with awe, but the keen-eyed savages
quickly learned the value of the white man's wares; and readily
exchanged the products of their own forests and streams for such
articles as they needed. Trade with the savages had assumed
considerable proportions even before the days of Champlain.

But while it is probable that the coasts of Acadia were visited by
Europeans some years before Champlain entered the Bay of Fundy, it is
certain that the history of events previous to the coming of that
intrepid navigator is a blank. The Indians gradually become familiar
with the vanguard of civilization as represented by the rude fishermen
and traders, that is all we know.

The honor of the first attempt at colonization in Acadia belongs to
the Sieur de Monts, a Huguenot noblemen who had rendered essential
service to the French king. This nobleman, with the assistance of a
company of merchants of Rouen and Rochelle, collected a band of 120
emigrants, including artisans of all trades, laborers and soldiers,
and in the month of April, 1604, set sail for the new world. Henry IV
of France gave to the Sieur de Monts jurisdiction over Acadia, or New
France, a region so vast that the sites of the modern cities of
Montreal and Philadelphia lay within its borders. The Acadia of de
Monts would today include the maritime provinces, the greater part of
Quebec and half of New England.

The colonists embarked in two small vessels, the one of 120, the other
of 150 tons burden; a month later they reached the southern coast of
Nova Scotia. They proceeded to explore the coast and entered the Bay
of Fundy, to which the Sieur de Monts gave the name of La Baye
Francaise. Champlain has left us a graphic account of the voyage of
exploration around the shores of the bay. In this, however, we need
not follow him. Suffice it to say that on the 24th day of June there
crept cautiously into the harbor of St. John a little French ship; she
was a paltry craft, smaller than many of our coasting schooners, but
she carried the germ of an empire for de Monts, Champlain and
Poutrincourt, the founders of New France, were on her deck.

There is in Champlain's published "voyages" an excellent plan of St.
John harbor which, he says, lay "at the mouth of the largest and
deepest river we had yet seen which we named the River Saint John,
because it was on this saint's day that we arrived there."

Champlain did not ascend the river far but Ralleau, the secretary of
the Sieur de Monts, went there sometime afterwards to see Secoudon (or
Chkoudun), the chief of the river, who reported that it was beautiful,
large and extensive with many meadows and fine trees such as oaks,
beeches, walnut trees and also wild grape vines. In Champlain's plan
of St. John harbor a cabin is placed on Navy Island, which he
describes as a "cabin where the savages fortify themselves." This was
no doubt the site of a very ancient encampment.

Lescarbot, the historian, who accompanied de Monts, says they visited
the cabin of Chkoudun, with whom they bartered for furs. According to
his description: "The town of Ouigoudy, the residence of the said
Chkoudun, was a great enclosure upon a rising ground, enclosed with
high and small tress, tied one against another; and within the
enclosure were several cabins great and small, one of which was as
large as a market hall, wherein many households resided." In the large
cabin which served as a council chamber, they saw some 80 or 100
savages all nearly naked. They were having a feast, which they called
"Tabagie." The chief Chkoudun made his warriors pass in review before
his guests.

Lescarbot describes the Indian sagamore as a man of great influence
who loved the French and admired their civilization. He even attended
their religious services on Sundays and listened attentively to the
admonitions of their spiritual guides, although he did not understand
a word. "Moreover," adds Lescarbot, "he wore the sign of the cross
upon his bosom, which he also had his servants wear; and he had in
imitation of us a great cross erected in the public place called
Oigoudi at the port of the River Saint John." This sagamore
accompanied Poutrincourt on his tour of exploration to the westward
and offered single handed to oppose a hostile band who attacked the

According to Champlain's plan of St. John harbor, the channel on the
west, or Carleton, side of Navy Island was much narrower in his day
than it is now. The name Ouygoudy (or Wigoudi), applied by the
Indians to Chkoudun's village on Navy Island, is nearly identical with
the modern word "We-go-dic," used by the Maliseets to designate any
Indian village or encampment. They have always called the St. John
river "Woolastook," but their name for the place on which the city of
St. John is built is "Men-ah-quesk," which is readily identified with
"Menagoueche," the name generally applied to St. John harbor by
Villebon and other French commanders in Acadia.


The figures indicate fathoms of water. A. Islands above
the falls. B. Mountains two leagues from the river. D. Shoals or flats.
E. Cabin where the savages fortify themselves. F. A pebbly point where
there is a cross (Sand Point). G. Partridge Island. H. A., small river
coming from a little pond (mill pond and its outlet). I. Arm of the sea,
dry at low tide (Courtenay Bay and the Marsh Creek). P. Way by which the
savages carry their canoes in passing the falls.]

Navy Island assumes a historic interest in our eyes as the first
inhabited spot, so far as we know, within the confines of the city of
St. John. In Champlain's plans the principal channel is correctly
given as on the east side of Partridge Island. Sand Point is shown,
and the cross at its extremity was probably erected by the explorers
in honor of their discovery. Groups of savages are seen on either side
of the harbor, and a moose is feeding near the present Haymarket
Square. A little ship rests on the flats, the site of the new dry

De Monts and Champlain passed their first winter in America on an
island in the St. Croix river. Their experience was disastrous in the
extreme. Nearly half of their party died of "mal de la terre," or
scurvy, and others were at the point of death. Pierre Biard, the
Jesuit missionary, attributed the fatality of the disease to the mode
of life of the people, of whom only eleven remained well. "These were
a jolly company of hunters who preferred rabbit hunting to the air of
the fireside, skating on the ponds to turning over lazily in bed,
making snowballs to bring down the game to sitting around the fire
talking about Paris and its good cooks." In consequence of their
unfortunate experience during the first winter the little colony
removed to Port Royal.

The advent of European explorers and traders materially affected the
manner of life of the Indians. Hitherto they had hunted the wild
animals merely for subsistence, but now the demand of the traders for
furs and peltry stimulated enormously the pursuit of game. The
keen-eyed savages saw the advantages of the white man's implements and
utensils. Steel knives, axes, vessels of metal, guns, powder and shot,
blankets, ornaments and trinkets excited his cupidity. Alas, too, love
of the white man's "fire water" soon became a ruling passion and the
poor Indian too often received a very indifferent compensation for his
toil and exposure.

In the summer time, when the annual ships arrived from France, the
Indians gathered in large numbers at the various trading posts. They
came from far and near, and for several weeks indulged in feasting and
revelry. Pierre Biard comments severely on their folly. He says: "They
never stop gorging themselves excessively during several weeks. They
get drunk not only on wine, but on brandy, so that it is no wonder
they are obliged to endure some gripes of the stomach during the
following autumn."

The Maliseets frequently came to the mouth of the St. John to trade
with the French; sometimes they even resorted to Port Royal, for these
daring savages did not fear to cross the Bay of Fundy in their frail

The chief of the savages of the River St. John, Chkoudun, proved a
valuable ally of the French owing to his extensive knowledge of the
country and of the tribes that inhabited it. Champlain crossed over to
St. John from Port Royal in the autumn of 1605 to get him to point out
the location of a certain copper mine on the shores of the Bay of
Fundy, supposed to be of fabulous richness. Chkoudun readily agreed to
accompany his visitor and they proceeded to the mine, which was on the
shores of the Basin of Minas. The master miner, a native of Sclavonia,
whom de Monts had brought to Acadia to search for precious metals,
deemed the outlook not unpromising, but Champlain was disappointed,
and says: "The truth is that if the water did not cover the mines
twice a day, and if they did not lie in such hard rocks, something
might be expected from them."

The commercial spirit that has ever predominated in our good city of
St. John evidently goes back to the days of its discovery. Chkoudun
lived at "Menagoueche" in his fortified village on Navy Island when
Champlain invited him to go with the Sieur de Poutrincourt and himself
as guide on a tour of exploration along the coast of New England. They
set out in the month of September, 1606, and the chief took with him
in a shallop certain goods he had obtained from the fur traders to
sell to his neighbors the Armouchiquois, with whom he proposed to make
an alliance. The savages of New England were beginning to covet the
axes and other implements of civilization that their neighbors to the
eastward had obtained from the fishermen and traders who visited their

The Indians were now for a season to part with their friends and
allies. In 1607 de Monts decided to abandon his attempt to establish a
colony and Champlain and his associates were recalled to France.
Acadia was once more without a single European inhabitant. Three years
later Poutrincourt, to the great joy of the savages, returned to Port
Royal, and most of the rights and privileges formerly held by de Monts
were transferred to him.

The summer of 1611 was notable for the arrival of the Jesuit
missionaries, Pierre Biard and Enemond Masse.

It seems that the French traders did not quietly acquiesce in
Poutrincourt's monopoly of trade, and the masters of certain ships of
St. Malo and Rochelle boasted to the Indians that they would devour
Poutrincourt as the fabled Gougou would a poor savage. This was an
insult our nobleman was not disposed to endure, so accompanied by the
missionary Biard he crossed over to St. John and proceeded along the
coast as far as Passamaquoddy. The offenders were sternly admonished
and compelled to acknowledge his authority. Later it was discovered
that they had carried away nearly all that was valuable of the fur
trade for that season.

Biard at this time succeeded in reconciling Poutrincourt and the
younger Pontgrave who for some misdemeanor had been banished from Port
Royal and had spent the previous winter among the Indians of the St.
John river, living just as they did. Biard speaks of him as "a young
man of great physical and mental strength, excelled by none of the
savages in the chase, in alertness and endurance and in his ability to
speak their language."

Early in the month of October a little island in Long Reach called
Emenenic--now known as Caton's Island--was the scene of an exciting
incident of which Biard has left us a picturesque description. It
seems that Poutrincourt's son, Biencourt, wished to exact submission
on the part of a number of traders of St. Malo, who had established a
trading post on the island. Accordingly accompanied by a party of
soldiers and the Jesuit missionary he proceeded to the scene of
operations. Father Biard did not admire, as do our modern travellers,
the "reversing falls" at the mouth of our noble river. "The entrance
to this river," he says, "is very narrow and very dangerous * * and if
you do not pass over it at the proper moment and when the water is
smoothly heaped up, of a hundred thousand barques not an atom would
escape, but men and goods would all perish."

The party settled on the island of Emenenic included their captain,
Merveille, and young Pontgrave. Biard in his narrative terms them "the
Malouins"--or people of St. Malo. "We were still," he says, "one
league and a half from the island when the twilight ended and night
came on. The stars had already begun to appear when suddenly towards
the northward a part of the heavens became blood red; and this light
spreading little by little in vivid streaks and flashes, moved
directly over the settlement of the Malouins and there stopped. The
red glow was so brilliant that the whole river was tinged and made
luminous by it. This apparition lasted about five minutes and as soon
as it disappeared another came of the same form, direction and

"Our savages, when they saw this wonder, cried out in their language,
'Gara, gara, maredo'--we shall have war, there will be blood.

"We arrived opposite the settlement when the night had already closed
in, and there was nothing we could do except to fire a salute from the
falconet, which they answered with one from the swivel gun.

"When morning came and the usual prayers ware said, two Malouins
presented themselves upon the bank and signified to us that we could
disembark without being molested, which we did. It was learned that
their captains were not there but had gone away up the river three
days before, and no one knew when they would return. Meanwhile Father
Biard went away to prepare his altar and celebrate holy mass. After
mass Sieur de Biencourt placed a guard at the door of the habitation
and sentinels all around it. The Malouins were very much astonished at
this way of doing things. The more timid considered themselves as
lost; the more courageous stormed and fumed and defied them.

"When night came on Captain Merveille returned to his lodgings,
knowing nothing of his guests. The sentinel hearing him approach
uttered his "qui voila"--who goes there? The Malouin, thinking it was
one of his own people, answered mockingly, 'who goes there thyself?'
and continued upon his way. The sentinel fired his musket at him in
earnest and it was a great wonder (merveille) that Merveille was not
killed. But he was very much astonished and still more so when he saw
some soldiers upon him with naked swords who seized him and took him
into the house; you may imagine how soldiers and sailors act at such
times, with their cries, their theats and their gesticulations.

"Merveille had his hands bound behind his back so tightly that he
could not rest and he began to complain very pitifully. Father Biard
begged Sieur de Biencourt to have the sufferer untied, alleging that
if they had any fears about the said Merveille they might enclose him
in one of the Carthusian beds, and that he would himself stay at the
door to prevent his going out. Sieur de Biencourt granted this

"Now I could not describe to you," Biard goes on to say, "what a night
this was; for it passed in continual alarms, gun shots and rash acts
on the part of some of the men; so that it was feared with good reason
that the prognostications seen in the heavens the night before would
have their bloody fulfilment upon earth. I do not know that there was
one who closed his eyes during the night. For me, I made many fine
promises to our Lord never to forget His goodness if He were pleased
to avert bloodshed. This He granted in His infinite mercy. * *
Certainly Captain Merveille and his people showed unusual piety for
notwithstanding this so annoying encounter, two days afterwards they
confessed and took communion in a very exemplary manner, and at our
departure they all begged me very earnestly, and particularly young du
Pont, to come and stay with them as long as I liked. I promised to do
so and am only waiting the opportunity, for in truth I love these
honest people with all my heart."

The missionaries, Biard and Masse, were anxious to cultivate the
friendship of young du Pont, knowing that he could greatly assist them
in learning the Indian language, a knowledge of which was essential to
the work they hoped to accomplish amidst the forests of Acadia.
Inspired by their motto "ad majoram Dei gloriam," they shrank from no
toil or privation. Father Masse passed the winter of 1611-12 with
Louis Membertou and his family at the River St. John with only a
French boy as his companion, his object being to increase his
knowledge of the Indian language. He suffered many hardships, was at
one time seriously ill, but eventually returned in safety to Port
Royal. He describes the winter's experience with the savages as "a
life without order and without daily fare, without bread, without
salt, often without anything; always moving on and changing, * * for
roof a wretched cabin, for couch the earth, for rest and quiet odious
cries and songs, for medicine hunger and hard work."

The missionaries found immense difficulty in acquiring the language of
the natives. The task was not so difficult so long as they sought to
learn the names of objects that might be touched or seen, but when it
came to such abstract words as virtue, vice, reason, justice, or to
such terms as to believe, to doubt or to hope, "for these," said
Biard, "we had to labor and sweat; in these were the pains of
travail." They were compelled to make a thousand gesticulations and
signs that greatly amused their savage instructors who sometimes
palmed off on them words that were ridiculous and even obscene, so
that the Jesuits labored with indifferent success in the preparation
of their catechism. Their work was still in the experimental stage
when the destruction of Port Royal by Argal in 1613, and the capture
and removal of the missionaries brought everything to a stand and put
an end to all attempts at colonization in Acadia for some years.

The Indians, however, were not forgotten; the Jesuits had failed, but
in 1619 a party of Recollet missionaries from Aquitaine began a
mission on the St. John. These humble missionary laborers had no
historian to record their toils and privations, and unlike the Jesuits
they did not become their own annalists. We know, however, that one of
their number, Father Barnardin, while returning from Miscou to the
River St. John, in the year 1623, died of hunger and fatigue in the
midst of the woods, a martyr to his charity and zeal. Five years
afterwards, the Recollets were compelled to abandon their mission
which, however, was reoccupied by them before many years had passed.
Meanwhile the fur traders established a post on the River St. John as
a convenient centre for trade with the Indians.

The French, with young Biencourt at their head, still kept a feeble
hold on Acadia. Biencourt had as his lieutenant, Charles de la Tour,
who had come to the country many years before when a mere boy of 14
years of age. Biencourt and la Tour--such was their poverty--were
compelled to live after the Indian fashion, roaming through the woods
from place to place. In this rude life la Tour acquired an extensive
knowledge of the country and its resources, and in all probability
became familiar with the St. John river region. Biencourt at his death
left him all his property in Acadia.

The destruction of Port Royal by Argal was the first incident in the
struggle between England and France for sovereignty in Acadia, a
struggle that for a century and a half was to remain undecided.

The next attempt at colonization was made on the part of the British,
but it proved as futile as that of de Monts. James I. of England, in
the year 1621, gave to Sir William Alexander, under the name of Nova
Scotia, the peninsula which is now so called, together with a vast
adjacent wilderness as a fief of the Scottish crown. For several years
this favored nobleman seems to have contented himself with sending
annually a ship to explore the shores of his domain and to trade with
the Indians. Later he devised a scheme to facilitate the settlement of
a colony by the creation of an order of baronets of Nova Scotia, each
of whom was to receive an estate six miles in length and three in
breadth in consideration of his assistance in the colonization of the
country. In the course of 10 years more than 100 baronets were
created, of whom 34 had estates within the limits of our own province.
To that part of Nova Scotia north of the Bay of Fundy, now called New
Brunswick, Sir William gave the name of the Province of Alexandria.
The St. John river he called the Clyde and the St. Croix, which
divided New England and New Scotland, he not inaptly called the

When war broke out between England and France in 1627, young Charles
la Tour found his position in Acadia very insecure. However, he was
naturally resourceful and by his diplomacy and courage continued for
many years to play a prominent part in the history of affairs. He
sought and obtained from Louis XIII. of France a commission as the
King's lieutenant-general and at the same time obtained from Sir
William Alexander the title of a Baronet of Nova Scotia. He procured
from his royal master a grant of land on the River St. John and
obtained leave from Sir William Alexander to occupy it.

By the treaty of St. Germain, in 1632, Acadia was ceded to France.
Immediately after the peace de Razilly came to the country at the head
of a little colony of settlers, many of them farmers, whose
descendants are to be found among the Acadians of today. With de
Razilly came d'Aulnay Charnisay, who was destined to become la Tour's
worst enemy. De Razilly died in 1635, leaving his authority to
Charnisay, his relative and second in command. Charnisay made his
headquarters at Port Royal and nobody disputed his authority except la
Tour, who claimed to be independent of him by virtue of his commission
from the crown and his grant from the Company of New France. The
dissensions between la Tour and Charnisay at length culminated in war
and the strife was long and bitter.



Charles de Menou, Seigneur d'Aulnay Charnisay, came of a distinguished
family of Touraine. He married Jeanne Motin, a daughter of the
Seigneur de Courcelles. She came to Acadia with him in 1638. They
resided at Port Royal where Charnisay in his log mansion reigned like
a feudal lord.

Charles St. Etienne de la Tour was probably of less conspicuous
lineage than his rival, although in legal documents he is called "a
gentleman of distinguished birth." He married Frances Marie Jacquelins
who, according to the questionable testimony of his enemies, was the
daughter of a barber of Mans. She was a Huguenot and whatever may have
been her origin her qualities of mind and heart have deservedly won
for her the title of "the heroine of Acadia." Never had man more
faithful ally than Marie Jacquelins proved to Charles la Tour.

As early as the year 1630 la Tour had be concerned in a project to
erect a strong fort at the mouth of the St. John river in order to
ward off the incursions of hostile adventurers and secure control of
the far trade of the vast wilderness region extending from the mouth
of the river nearly to the St. Lawrence. It was not, however, until
the 15th of January, 1635, that the Company of New France granted him
his tract of land at St. John, extending five leagues up the river and
including within its bounds "the fort and habitation of la Tour."

The French government endeavored to establish a good understanding
between la Tour and Charnisay. A royal letter was addressed to the
latter in which he was cautioned against interference with la Tour's
settlement at the River St. John. La Tour received a like caution as
regards Charnisay's settlement at Port Royal. Charnisay was
commissioned the king's lieutenant-general from Chignecto to Penobscot
and la Tour was given like jurisdiction over the Nova Scotian
peninsula. Thus la Tour's settlement and fort at St. John lay within
the limits of Charnisay's government and Charnisay's settlements at La
Have and Port Royal lay within the government of la Tour, an
arrangement not calculated to promote harmony on the part of the

It is rather difficult to get at all the facts of the quarrel that now
rapidly developed between la Tour and Charnisay. The statements of
their respective friends are very diverse, sometimes contradictory,
and even the official records of the court of France are conflicting.
Nicolas Denys, the historian, had reason to dislike Charnisay, and
perhaps some of his statements concerning Charnisay's barbarity should
be received with caution. On the other hand the friends of Charnisay
have cast aspersions an the character of Lady la Tour that seem
entirely unwarranted.[2] The fact remains that Acadia, large as it
was, not large enough for two such ambitious men as Charles la Tour
and d'Aulnay Charnisay.

    [2] See "Feudal Chiefs of Acadia," by Parkman in Atlantic Monthly of
        January and February, 1893.

The exact site of la Tour's fort at the mouth of the River St. John
has been the subject of controversy, Dr. W. F. Ganong, a most
conscientious and painstaking student of our early history, has
argued strongly in favor of its location at Portland Point (the green
mound near Rankine's wharf at the foot of Portland street); the late
Joseph W. Lawrence and Dr. W. P. Dole have advocated the claims of
Fort Dufferin, but the site usually accepted is that known as "Old
Fort," on the west side of the harbor opposite Navy Island. It seems
probable that la Tour resided at one time at "Old Fort," in Carleton,
and his son-in-law the Sieur de Martignon lived there afterwards, but
whether this was the site of the first fort built by la Tour and so
bravely defended by his wife is at least a debatable question.

In the absence of positive information as to the exact location of la
Tour's first fort, it is perhaps unadvisable to disturb popular
opinion until a thorough search of the records in France shall have
been made in order if possible to settle the question.

Upon his arrival at St. John, la Tour speedily surrounded himself with
soldiers and retainers and established an extensive traffic with the
Indians, who came from their hunting grounds when the ships arrived
laden with goods for the Indian trade. Doctor Hannay gives a graphic
picture of la Tour's situation:--

"A rude abundance reigned at the board where gathered the defenders of
Fort la Tour. The wilderness was then a rich preserve of game, where
the moose, caribou and red deer roamed in savage freedom. Wild fowl of
all kinds abounded along the marsh, and interval lands of the St.
John, and the river itself--undisturbed by steamboats and unpolluted
by saw mills--swarmed with fish. And so those soldier-traders lived on
the spoils of forest, ocean and river, a life of careless freedom,
undisturbed by the politics of the world and little crossed by its
cares. Within the fort, Lady la Tour led a lonely life, with no
companions but her domestics and her children, for her lord was often
away ranging the woods, cruising on the coast, or perhaps on a voyage
to France. She was a devout Huguenot, but the difference of religion
between husband and wife seems never to have marred the harmony of
their relations."

In the struggle between the rival feudal chiefs, Charnisay had the
advantage of having more powerful friends at court, chief among them
the famous Cardinal Richelieu.

Representations made concerning the conduct of la Tour led the French
monarch in 1641 to order him to return to France to answer the charges
against him. In the event of his refusal, Charnisay was directed to
seize his person and property. The commission of la Tour was also

The contest now entered upon an acute stage. La Tour claimed that the
royal order had been obtained through misrepresentation, and
absolutely refused to submit to Charnisay. The latter, not daring to
attack la Tour in his stronghold, repaired to France where he
succeeded in fitting out five vessels and in obtaining the services of
500 soldiers to compel his rival to submission. He also procured
another and more definite order from the king, directing him to seize
la Tour's fort and person and to send him to France as a rebel and a

Meanwhile la Tour was not idle. His friends at Rochelle sent out to
him a large armed vessel, the Clement, loaded with ammunition and
supplies and having on board 150 armed men. When the vessel neared
St. John, it was discovered that Charnisay had established a blockade
at the mouth of the harbor and that entrance was impracticable. In
this emergency la Tour resolved to seek aid from the people of New
England, whose trade and friendship he had begun to cultivate. Boston
was then but a straggling village, in its 13th year, with houses
principally of boards or logs gathered around its plain little meeting
house. Eluding the vigilance of the blockading squadron, la Tour and
his wife succeeded in getting safely on board the Clement, and at once
repaired to Boston, where their arrival created some consternation,
for Boston happened to be at that time in a particularly defenceless
position. Governor Winthrop remarked: "If la Tour had been ill-minded
towards us, he had such an opportunity as we hope neither he nor any
other shall ever have the like again." However, la Tour had come with
no ill intent, and after some negotiations, which he conducted with
much skill and discretion, he was allowed to hire from Edward Gibbons
and Thomas Hawkins, four vessels with 50 men and 38 guns. He also
obtained the assistance of 92 soldiers. With these he hurried back to
the relief of his fort. Charnisay was compelled to raise the blockade
and retire to his defences at Port Royal, where he was defeated with
loss by the united forces of la Tour and his allies.

While at St. John, the Bostonians captured a pinnace belonging to
Charnisay, laden with 400 moose and 400 beaver skins; their own
pinnace went up the river to Grand Lake and loaded with coal. This
little incident shows that the coal mines of Queens county were known
and worked more than 250 years ago.

As the struggle with la Tour proceeded Charnisay became more and more
determined to effect the destruction of his rival. La Tour's resources
were nearly exhausted and his situation had became exceedingly
critical. He dared not leave his fort and yet he could not hold out
much longer unaided. His brave wife was equal to the emergency; she
determined herself to go to France for assistance. This was indeed an
arduous undertaking for a woman, but her spirit rose to the occasion,
and neither the perils of the deep nor the difficulties that were to
confront her at the court of France served to daunt her resolute soul.
Fearlessly she set out upon the long and dangerous voyage and in the
course of more than a year's absence endured disappointments and
trials that would have crushed one less resolute and stout hearted.
Her efforts in her native country were foiled by her adversaries, she
was even threatened with death if she should venture to leave France,
but setting the royal command at defiance she went to England and
there chartered a ship to carry stores and munitions of war to St.
John. The master of the ship, instead of proceeding directly to his
destination, went up the River St. Lawrence to trade with the Indians.
When, after a six months' voyage, they at length entered the Bay of
Fundy some of Charnisay's vessels were encountered, and the English
captain to avoid the seizure and confiscation of his ship was obliged
to conceal Madame la Tour and her people and proceed to Boston. Here
his own tribulations began for Madame la Tour brought an action
against him for violation of his contract and after a four days' trial
the jury awarded her two thousand pounds damages. With the proceeds of
this suit she chartered three English ships in Boston and proceeded
to St. John with all the stores and munitions of war that she had
collected. The garrison at Fort la Tour hailed her arrival with
acclamations of delight for they had begun to despair of her return.

Charnisay's attempt to reduce la Tour to subjection was foiled for the
time being, but his opportunity came a little later. In February,
1645, he learned of la Tour's absence and that his garrison numbered
only fifty men. He determined at once to attack the fort. His first
attempt was an abject failure. The Lady la Tour inspired her little
garrison with her own dauntless spirit, and so resolute was the
defence and so fierce the cannon fire from the bastions that
Charnisay's ship was shattered and disabled and he was obliged to warp
her off under the shelter of a bluff to save her from sinking. In this
attack twenty of his men were killed and thirteen wounded. Two months
later he made another attempt with a stronger force and landed two
cannon to batter the fort on the land side. On the 17th of April,
having brought his largest ship to within pistol shot of the water
rampart, he summoned the garrison to surrender. He was answered by a
volley of cannon shot and shouts of defiance.

The story of the taking of Fort la Tour, as told by Nicholas Denys, is
well known. For three days Madame la Tour bravely repelled the
besiegers and obliged them to retire beyond the reach of her guns. On
the fourth day whilst she, hoping for some respite, was making her
soldiers rest a miserable Swiss sentinel betrayed the garrison, and
when the alarm was given the enemy were already scaling the walls.
Lady la Tour even in so desperate an emergency as this succeeded in
rallying the defenders, who bravely resisted the attack, though
greatly outnumbered by their assailants. She only surrendered at the
last extremity and under condition that the lives of all should be
spared. This condition Charnisay is said to have shamefully violated;
all the garrison were hanged, with the exception of one who was spared
on condition of acting the part of executioner, and the lady commander
was compelled to stand at the scaffold with a rope around her neck as
though she were the vilest criminal.

It is but fair to state that our knowledge of the gross indignity to
which Lady la Tour was subjected is derived from Denys' narrative, and
its authenticity has been questioned by Parkman. Nevertheless accounts
of the transaction that have come to us from sources friendly to
Charnisay admit that he hanged the greater number of his prisoners,
"to serve as an example to posterity," and that Madame la Tour was put
into confinement where, as Charnisay's reporter somewhat brutally
observes, "she fell ill with spite and rage." The Lady la Tour did not
long survive her misfortunes. Scarcely three weeks had elapsed after
the capture of the fort she had so gallantly defended when she died
and was laid to rest near the spot consecrated by her devotion, the
scene of so many hopes and fears.

There will always be a peculiar charm for us in the story of our
Acadian heroine. Fearless, energetic, resolute undoubtedly she was,
yet who shall say that the motives that actuated her were other than
pure and womanly? A heart more loyal and true never beat in a human
breast. She gave her life to protect her husband, her children and
the humbler dependents that followed their fortunes from the hands of
a bitter and unscrupulous enemy.

The capture of his stronghold and the death of his faithful wife
involved la Tour in what appeared to be at the time irreparable ruin.
He found himself once more, as in his younger days, an exile and a

The booty taken by Charnisay was valued at £10,000 sterling and as it
had been accumulated in traffic with the Indians we may form some idea
of the value of the trade of the St. John river at this time.

When the capture of la Tour's fort was known at the court of
Versailles the young king was well pleased. He confirmed Charnisay's
authority in Acadia and even extended it--on paper--from the St.
Lawrence to Virginia. He could build forts, command by land and sea,
appoint officers of government and justice, keep such lands as he
fancied and grant the remainder to his vassals. He had also a monopoly
of the fur trade and with Fort la Tour, the best trading post in
Acadia, in his possession, the prospect for the future was very
bright. Charnisay possessed the instincts of a colonizer and had
already brought a number of settlers to Acadia. Everything at this
juncture seemed to point to a growing trade and a thriving colony; but
once again the hand of destiny appears. In the very zenith of his
fortune and in the prime of manhood Charnisay was drowned on the 24th
day of May, 1650, in the Annapolis river near Port Royal.

With Charnisay's disappearance la Tour reappears upon the scene. His
former defiant attitude is forgotten, he is recognized as the most
capable man of affairs in Acadia and in September, 1651, we find him
again in possession of his old stronghold at St. John. The king now
gave him a fresh commission as lieutenant-general in Acadia with ample
territorial rights. Disputes soon afterwards arose concerning the
claims of the widow of d'Aulnay Charnisay; these disputes were set at
rest by the marriage of the parties interested. The marriage contract,
a lengthy document, was signed at Port Royal the 24th day of February,
1653, and its closing paragraph shows that there was little sentiment
involved: "The said seigneur de la Tour and the said dame d'Aulnay his
future spouse, to attain the ends and principal design of their
intended marriage, which is the peace and tranquillity of the country
and concord and union between the two families, wish and desire as
much as lies with them that in the future their children should
contract a new alliance of marriage together."

There is no evidence to show that la Tour's second marriage proved
unhappy, though it is a very unromantic ending to an otherwise very
romantic story. His second wife had also been the second wife of
Charnisay who was a widower when he married her; her maiden name was
Jeanne Motin. Descendants of la Tour by his second marriage are to be
found in the families of the d'Entremonts, Girouards, Porliers and
Landrys of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

La Tour and his new wife were quietly living at St. John the year
after their marriage when four English ships of war suddenly appeared
before the fort and demanded its surrender. These ships had in the
first instance been placed at the disposal of the people of
Massachusetts by Oliver Cromwell for the purpose of an expedition
against the Dutch colony of Manhattan (now New York); but on the eve
of their departure news arrived that peace had been made with Holland.
It was then decided that the expedition should proceed under Major
Robert Sedgewick's command to capture the French strongholds in
Acadia. This was a bold measure for England and France were then
ostensibly at peace. La Tour at once saw that resistance was useless
and surrendered his fort and the flag of Britain was hoisted over the
ramparts. However, la Tour's address did not desert him; he went to
England and laid before Cromwell his claim as a grantee under the
charter of Sir William Alexander. He proved as skilful a diplomatist
as ever and obtained, cojointly with Thomas Temple and William Crowne,
a grant which practically included the whole of Acadia.

La Tour, now more than 60 years of age, was sagacious enough to see
that disputes were sure again to arise between England and France with
regard to Acadia, and not wishing to be the football of fortune, sold
his rights to Sir Thomas Temple his co-partner, and retired to private
life. He died in 1666 at the age of 72 years and his ashes rest within
the confines of his beloved Acadia.



After the capture of Fort la Tour by Sedgewick's Massachusetts
invaders in 1654, Acadia remained nominally in possession of the
English for twelve years. Half a century had elapsed since the attempt
of de Monts to establish his colony, yet little progress had been made
in the settlement of the country and the valley of the St. John
remained an almost unbroken wilderness. The first English trading post
on the river, of which we have any knowledge was that established in
1659 by Sir Thomas Temple at the mouth of the Jemseg.

As related in the last chapter, la Tour, Temple and Crowne received
from Oliver Cromwell a grant that included nearly the whole of Acadia,
and la Tour soon after sold his right to Temple, his co-partner. The
latter decided to establish a fortified post at the Jemseg as more
convenient for the Indian trade and less exposed to marauders than the
fort at the mouth of the river. There can be little doubt that Temple
would soon have enjoyed a flourishing trade, but unfortunately for his
prospects, Acadia was restored to France by the treaty of Breda, in
1667. He attempted to hold possession of his lands, claiming that they
did not fall within the boundaries of Acadia, but at the expiration of
three years, during which there was considerable correspondence with
the home authorities, he received the peremptory orders of Charles II.
to surrender the fort to the Sieur de Soulanges. In the formal deed of
surrender the fort is termed "Fort Gemisick, 25 leagues up the River
St. John." It was a palisaded enclosure, with stakes 18 feet high
connected by cross pieces fastened with nails to the stakes and firmly
braced on the inside with pickets nine feet high leaned against the
stakes. The gate of the fort was of three thicknesses of new plank. It
was evidently a frail defence, but sufficient for the Indian trade.
The armament consisted of five iron guns, varying in weight from 300
pounds to 625 pounds, mounted on wooden platforms. Within the palisade
was a house 20 paces by 10, two chimneys, a forge, two sheds and a
store house. The fort stood on a small mound near the top of a hill,
less than 100 yards from the bank of the Jemseg river. It commanded an
extensive view both up and down the River St. John. A fragment of the
rampart is still visible, and numerous relics have from time to time
been dug up at the site or in the vicinity. The fort site is now owned
by Mr. Geo. F. Nevars.

After the treaty of Breda the Chevalier Grand-fontaine was appointed
to command in Acadia, with Pierre de Joibert, Seigneur de Soulanges et
Marson, as his lieutenant. One of the first acts of Grand-fontaine was
to have a census taken, from which we learn that there were then only
a little more than 400 people in Acadia, very few of whom were to be
found north of the Bay of Fundy. Grand-fontaine was recalled to France
in 1673, and Chambly, who had been an officer in the famous Carignan
Salieres regiment, succeeded him as commandant. The control of affairs
in New France was now transferred to Quebec, where a governor-general
and intendant, or lieutenant-governor, resided.

About this time large tracts of land were granted as "seigniories" by
Count Frontenac and his successors. The seignior was usually a person
of some consideration by birth and education. He received a free
grant of lands from the crown on certain conditions; one of these was
that whenever the seigniory changed hands the act of "faith and
homage" was to be tendered at the Castle of St. Louis in Quebec. The
tendering of faith and homage was quite an elaborate ceremony, in
which the owner of the land, divesting himself of arms and spurs, with
bared head, on bended knee, repeated before the governor, as
representative of the sovereign, his acknowledgement of faith and
homage to the crown. Provision was made in all seignioral grants for
the reservation of oaks for the royal navy, of lands required for
fortifications or highways, and of all mines and minerals; the
seignior was also required to reside on his land or to place a certain
number of tenants thereon and to clear and improve a certain portion
within a stated time. From the year 1672 to the close of the century
as many as 16 seigniories were granted on the St. John river, besides
others in various parts of New Brunswick. The first in order of time
was that to Martin d'Arpentigny Sieur de Martignon. It included a
large tract at the mouth of the River St. John, on the west side of
the harbor, extending six leagues up the river from Partridge Island
(Isle de la Perdrix) and six leagues in depth inland. This seigniory
would now include Carleton and the parishes of Lancaster, Musquash and
Westfield. The owner of this valuable property is described as "an old
inhabitant of Acadia." He married Jeanne de la Tour, only daughter of
Charles la Tour by his first wife: she was born in Acadia in 1626. It
is stated in his grant that he intended to bring over people from
France to settle his seigniory, also that he was a proprietor of lands
on the River St. John "from the River de Maquo to the mines of the
said country of Acadia."[3]

    [3] Dr. Ganong is probably correct in identifying the "River de
        Maquo" with Maquapit and the "mines" with the coal mines at
        Newcastle in Queens county. In this case the sieur de
        Martignon owned the lands on the north side of Grand Lake
        including the site of the old Indian village at Indian point
        where so any relics have been discovered. It is quite possible
        that the sieur de Martignon and his wife, Jeanne de la Tour,
        may have lived there for a time.

After la Tour's death his son-in-law, the Sieur de Mantignon,
seems to have taken up his abode at the old fort on the west side of
the harbor, which in Franquet's map of 1707 is called "Fort de

In the little world of Acadia, Pierre de Joibert, sieur de Soulanges,
played a leading part during his eight years residence. He was a
native of the little town of Soulanges in the old French province of
Champagne. He had served as lieutenant in Grand-fontaine's company of
infantry and came with that officer to Acadia. It is said that "he
rendered good and praiseworthy service to the king both in Old and New
France." As a recognition of those services he was granted, October
20, 1672, a seigniory at the mouth of the St. John on the east side of
the river a league in depth and extending four leagues up the river;
this seigniory seems to have included the present city of St.
John--Carleton excepted. The Sieur de Soulanges, however, did not
reside there but at the Jemseg. This is evident from the fact that the
document that conveyed to him his St. John seigniory gave him in
addition "the house of fort Gemesik," which the great states "he shall
enjoy for such time only as he shall hold his commission of commander
on the said river in order to give him a place of residence that he
may act with more liberty and convenience in everything relating to
the king's service." The wife of Soulanges was Marie Francoise,
daughter of Chartier de Lotbeniere, attorney-general of Quebec. Their
daughter Louise Elizabeth was born at "Fort Gemesik" in 1673.

The sieur de Soulanges did not long enjoy peaceable possession of his
place of residence; disturbance came from an entirely unexpected
quarter. A band of Dutch marauders under their leader Arenson in the
summer of 1674 pillaged and greatly damaged the fort and seized and
carried off its commander, but soon after set him at liberty. As a
recompense for this misfortune Soulanges received the grant of a large
tract of land at the Jemseg, two leagues in depth and extending a
league on each side of the fort. It is stated in the grant that "he
had made various repairs and additions to the fort in order to make it
habitable and capable of defence, there having been previously only a
small wooden house in ruins surrounded by palisades half fallen to the
ground, in fact it would have been better to have rebuilt the whole,
for he would yet have to make a large outlay to put it in proper
condition on account of the total ruin wrought by the Dutch (les
Hollandois) when they made him their prisoner in the said fort two
years ago."

The little daughter of Soulanges, whose infant slumbers were disturbed
by these rude Dutch boors, was afterwards the marchioness de
Vaudreuil, the wife of one governor general of Canada and the mother
of another.

It is evident the authorities at Quebec knew little of the value of
the lands on the St. John river or they would hardly have granted
them with such prodigality. The Sieur de Soulanges seems to have been
highly favored by Frontenac for the three seigniories granted to him
included an area of more than a hundred square miles. The one at
the mouth of the river possessed all those natural advantages that
have made St. John the leading commercial city of the maritime
provinces. That at the Jemseg was for a short time the head
quarters of French power in Acadia and in its modest way the
political capital of the country. The third seigniory--at the very
heart of which lay the site of Fredericton--remains to be described.
In the grant to Soulanges it is termed, "the place called Nachouac
(Nashwaak), to be called hereafter Soulanges, upon the River St.
John 15 leagues from Gemesk, two leagues on each side of said river
and two leagues deep inland." The grant was made in consideration
of the services rendered by Soulanges and to encourage him to continue
those services; it was made so large because little of it was
thought to be capable of cultivation. This seigniory would include at
the present day the city of Fredericton and its suburbs, the town of
Marysville, villages of Gibson and St. Mary's and a large tract of the
surrounding country; the owner of such a property today would be
indeed a multi-millionaire.

Upon Chambly's appointment as governor of Granada he was succeeded as
governor of Acadia by the Sieur de Soulanges who did not, however,
long enjoy the honors of his new position, for he died about the year
1678 and his widow and children soon afterwards removed to Quebec.
Count Frontenac's interest in the family continued, and on March 23,
1691, a grant of a large tract of land on the River St. John was made
to Marie Francoise Chartier, widow of the Sieur de Soulanges. Her
seigniory included the larger portion of Gagetown parish in Queens
county, the central point being opposite her old residence or, as the
grant expresses it, "vis-a-vis la maison de Jemsec."

The seigniories granted to Soulanges and his widow proved of no value
to their descendants; either the titles lapsed on account of
non-fulfilment of the required conditions, or the lands were forfeited
when the country passed into the hands of the English.

Louise Elizabeth Joibert, the daughter of Soulanges, who was born on
the River St. John, was educated at the convent of the Ursulines in
Quebec. At the age of seventeen she married the Marquis Vaudreuil, a
gentleman thirty years her senior. She is described as a very
beautiful and clever woman possessed of all the graces which would
charm the highest circles; of rare sagacity and exquisite modesty. She
was the mother of twelve children. Her husband, the Marquis de
Vaudreuil, was for twenty-two years governor general of Canada, and
her son held the same position when the French possessions passed into
the hands of the English; he was consequently the last governor
general of New France.

La Valliere succeeded the Sieur de Soulanges and was for six years
commander of Acadia. He cared little for the dignity or honor of his
position provided he could use it for his own benefit. He established
a small settlement at the River St. John and engaged in fishing and
trading. Many complaints were preferred against him by rival traders.
They alleged that he encouraged the English to fish on the coasts,
granting them licenses for the purpose, that he traded with them in
spite of the king's prohibition; also that he robbed and defrauded the

These charges seem to have been well founded. An Indian captain named
Negascouet says that as he was coming from Neguedchecouniedoche, his
usual residence, he was met by the Sieur de la Valliere, who took from
him by violence seventy moose skins, sixty martins, four beaver and
two otter, without giving him any payment, and this was not the first
time la Valliere had so acted.

In 1685 la Valliere was replaced by Perrot whose conduct was, if
possible, even more reprehensible than that of his predecessor. He was
such a money making genius that he thought nothing of selling brandy
to the Indians by the pint and half-pint before strangers and in his
own house, a rather undignified occupation certainly for a royal
governor of Acadia.

Examples such as these on the part of those in authority naturally
found many imitators, indeed there was at this time a general
disposition on the part of young men of the better families in New
France to become "coureurs de bois," or rangers of the woods, rather
than cultivators of the soil. The life of a coureur de bois was wild
and full of adventure, involving toil and exposure, but the possible
profits were great and the element of danger appeared in the eyes of
many an additional fascination. The rulers of New France from time to
time enacted stringent laws against these "outlaws of the bush" but
they were of little avail. The governor of Quebec felt compelled to
represent the conduct of the Canadian noblesse in unfavorable terms to
his royal master. "They do not," he writes, "devote themselves to
improving their land, they mix up in trade and send their children to
trade for furs in the Indian villages and in the depths of the forest
in spite of the prohibition of his majesty."

The rapid progress of New England caused Louis XIV to express
dissatisfaction at the slow development of Acadia, and he desired a
report of the condition of the colony to be transmitted to Versailles.
Monsieur de Meulles, the intendant, accordingly visited Acadia in 1686
where he found the French settlements "in a neglected and desolate
state." He caused a census to be taken which showed the total
population to be 915 souls, including the garrison at Port Royal.
There were at that time only five or six families on the St. John
river. Bishop St. Vallier made a tour of Acadia the same year,
visiting all the Indians and French inhabitants he could find. The
Marquis de Denonville in a letter to the French minister of November
10, 1686, announced the safe return of the bishop to Quebec after a
most fatiguing journey and adds: "He will give you an account of the
numerous disorders committed in the woods by the miserable outlaws who
for a long while have lived like the savages without doing anything at
all towards the tilling of the soil."


_Par M. L'Evèque de Quebec_

A PARIS, Chez ROBERT PEPIE, ruë S. Jacques, à l'image S. Basile, au
dessus de la Fontaine S. Severin.


Many interesting incidents of the tour of Mgr. St. Vallier are related
in a work entitled "The Present State of the Church and of the French
Colony in New France," printed in Paris in 1688. A fac-simile of the
title page of the original edition appears opposite. As this rare
little volume contains the first published references to the upper St.
John region some extracts from its pages will be of interest. The
bishop was accompanied by two priests and five canoe men. They left
the St. Lawrence on the 7th of May and proceeded by way of the Rivers
du Loup and St. Francis to the St. John.

"Our guides," the bishop says, "in order to take the shortest road,
conducted us by a route not usually traveled, in which it was
necessary sometimes to proceed by canoe and sometimes on foot and this
in a region where winter still reigned; we had sometimes to break the
ice in the rivers to make a passage for the canoes and sometimes to
leave the canoes and tramp amid snow and water over those places that
are called portages (or carrying places) because it is necessary for
the men to carry the canoes upon their shoulders. In order the better
to mark our route we gave names to all these portages as well as to
the lakes and rivers we had to traverse.

"The St. Francis is rather a torrent than a river; it is formed by
several streams which descend from two ranges of mountains by which
the river is bordered on the right and left; it is only navigable from
the tenth or twelfth of May until about the end of June; it is then so
rapid that one could make without difficulty twenty to twenty-five
leagues in a day if it were not crossed in three or four places by
fallen trees, which in each instance occupy about fifteen feet of
space, and if they were cut out, as could be done with very little
expense, the passage would be free; one would not suppose that it
would cost 200 pistoles to clear the channel of these obstacles which
much delay the traveler.

"The River St. John is of much greater extent and beauty than that
just named, its course is everywhere smooth and the lands along its
banks appear good; there are several very fine islands, and numerous
tributary rivers abounding in fish enter its channel on both sides. It
seemed to us that some fine settlements might be made between Medogtok
and Gemesech, especially at a certain place which we have named
Sainte Marie, where the river enlarges and the waters are divided by a
large number of islands that apparently would be very fertile if
cultivated. A mission for the savages would be well placed there: the
land has not as yet any owner in particular, neither the king nor the
governor having made a grant to any person."

The place here referred to by St. Vallier afterwards became the
mission of Ekouipahag or Aukpaque. A mission for the Indians has been
maintained in that vicinity, with some interruptions, to the present
day. The islands which the bishop mentions are the well known and
beautiful islands below the mouth of the Keswick stream. There is no
mention by St. Vallier of the Indian village at Aukpaque, which was
probably of rather later origin: there may have been a camping ground
in that locality, however, for the Indians had many camping places on
the islands and intervals, particularly at the mouths of rivers, to
which they resorted at certain seasons. The name Ekouipahag or, as our
modern Indians call it, Ek-pa-hawk, signifies "the head of the tide,"
or beginning of the swift water. The charms of the place have excited
the admiration of many a tourist since St. Vallier's day. At the time
of the Acadian expulsion a number of fugitives, who escaped their
pursuers, fled for refuge to the St. John river, and took up their
abode at this spot where they cultivated the intervals and islands
until the arrival of the Loyalists in 1783, when they were again
obliged to look for situations more remote.

The progress of Bishop St. Vallier coming down the St. John river was
expeditious, the water being then at freshet height. At the mouth of
the Madawaska, which he named St. Francois de Sales, he met a small
band of savages, who pleaded for a missionary. The day following, May
17th, he came to the Grand Falls, or as he calls it "le grand Sault
Saint Jean-Baptiste." His book contains the first published
description of this magnificent cataract[4]. The rapidity of the
journey is seen in the fact that the bishop and his party slept the
next night at the Indian village of Medoctec, "the first fort of
Acadia," eighty miles below the Grand Falls. Here they found a hundred
savages, who were greatly pleased when informed that the bishop had
come for the purpose of establishing a mission for their benefit. This
promise was fulfilled soon after by the sending to them the Recollet
missionary Simon, of whom we shall hear more ere long. It is evident
that the French adventurers the bishop encountered in the course of
this wilderness journey led a pretty lawless life, for he observed in
his narrative: "It is to be wished that the French who have their
habitations along this route, were so correct in their habits as to
lead the poor savages by their example to embrace Christianity, but we
must hope that in the course of time the reformation of the one may
bring about the conversion of the other."

    [4] "Nous vimes l'endroit qu'on appelle le grand Sault Saint
        Jean-Baptiste, ou la riviere de Saint Jean faisant du haut
        d'un rocher fort eleve une terrible cascade dans un abime,
        forme un brouillard qui derobe l'eau a la veue, et fait un
        bruit qui avertit de loin les navigateurs de descendre de
        leurs canots."

Medoctec was undoubtedly the principal Indian village on the St. John
at this time; it was situated on the right bank of the river, eight
miles below the Town of Woodstock. Here the Maliseets had a palisaded
fort and large cabin, similar to that described by Lescarbot at the
village Ouigoudy on Navy Island, where de Monts was welcomed by
Chkoudun in 1604. The only other fortification constructed by the
Indians on the St. John river, so far as known, was that at the mouth
of the Nerepis, at Woodman's Point, called by Villebon, in 1697, "Fort
des Sauvages de Nerepisse." It was evidently merely a palisaded
enclosure, and on Southack's map of that period is marked "Wooden

Hitherto the Indians of Acadia had lived peaceably with the whites,
but the closing years of the seventeenth century were destined to
witness a sad transformation.



There lived at Quebec in the latter part of the seventeenth century
one Charles le Moyne, seigneur de Longueil, who is called by
Charlevoix the Baron de Becancourt; he was of Norman extraction, but
his sons were natives of New France. As was the custom with the French
noblesse each son adopted a surname derived from some portion of the
ancient family estate. At least five of Becancourt's sons were
prominent in the affairs of Acadia; they are known in history as
Menneval, Portneuf, Villebon, d'Iberville and des Isles.

In 1687 Menneval replaced Perrot as governor of Acadia, and as the
conduct of Perrot had given rise to grave dissatisfaction his
successor received elaborate instructions concerning his duties. He
was to rebuild the defences of Acadia, to resist the encroachments of
the English, to suppress the lawless trade of the Coureurs de bois, to
deal kindly and honestly with the savages, taking care to promote
their conversion to the Christian faith, and to restore to the crown
all seigniories and granted lands that had not been occupied or

The year that followed Menneval's appointment was notable for the
outbreak of the most dreadful Indian war in the annals of Acadia. All
the tribes east of the Merrimac took part in it, including the
Maliseets and Micmacs. This war is known in history as King William's
war, from the name of the English monarch in whose reign it occurred.
It lasted with little intermission for ten years, and during its
progress the settlers of eastern New England suffered the most fearful
outrages at the hands of the infuriated savages. Every settlement in
Maine save Wells, York, Kittery and the Isle of Shoals was over run,
and a thousand white people killed or taken prisoners.

As in the case of other wars which the Indians have waged with the
whites, the latter were responsible for its origin. About twelve years
before it broke out, Major Waldron treacherously seized a band of
Indians at Dover in New Hampshire and sent them to Boston, where
several of them were hanged for alleged complicity in Philip's war[5]
and others sold into slavery. This despicable act the Indians never
forgot nor forgave.

    [5] This war broke out in 1675 and was confined chiefly to the
        tribes of Massachusetts. It was of short duration; the Indian
        Sagamore Philip was slain.

The immediate cause of King William's war, however, was the ill
considered act of Governor Andros of pillaging the trading post of
Baron de St. Castin, at Penobscot. St. Castin had formerly served in
the Carignan Salieres regiment under Frontenac, but for twenty years
had lived in this region, where he had married a daughter of the
Maliseet chieftain Madockawando and was highly esteemed by the

It was at the instigation of St. Castin and Madockawando that the
Indians determined to take the war path. The first notable incident of
the war was the destruction of Dover, where Major Waldron and
twenty-two others were killed and twenty-nine taken prisoners. This
occurred in June, 1689, and the story of the affair, as told by the
St. John river Indians to their English captive, John Gyles, is in
substance as follows:--

There was a truce with the Indians for some days, during which time
two squaws came into the garrison. They told Major Waldron that a
number of Indians were not far away with a considerable quantity of
beaver and would be there to trade with him the next day. The weather
was inclement and the women begged leave to lodge in the garrison.
Some of the people were much opposed to this, but the major said: "Let
the poor creatures lodge by the fire." The defences of the place were
of the weakest kind, the gates had no locks but were fastened with
pins and the garrison kept no watch. The squaws had a favorable
opportunity to prosecute their design. They went into every apartment
observing the number in each, and when all the people were asleep
arose and opened the gates, gave the signal agreed upon and the other
Indians came to them and, having received an account of the state of
the garrison, they divided their forces according to the number of the
people in each apartment and soon took or killed them all. Major
Waldron lodged within an inner room and when the Indians broke in upon
him he cried out: "What now! What now!" and jumping out of his bed
seized his sword and drove them before him through two or three doors,
but upon his turning about towards the apartment he had just left, an
Indian came up behind him and knocked him on the head with his
hatchet, which stunned him and he fell. They then seized him, dragged
him out, and setting him up on a long table in his hall, bade him
"judge Indians again." Then they cut and stabbed him and he cried out
"O Lord! O Lord!" They called for his book of accounts and ordered him
to cross out all the Indian debts, he having traded much with them.
Then one and another gashed his naked breast, saying in derision: "I
cross out my account." Then cutting a joint from a finger, one would
say: "Will your fist weigh a pound now?" This in allusion to his
having sometimes used his fist as a pound weight in buying and
selling. And so they proceeded to torture him to death with every
refinement of savage cruelty, after which they burned the garrison
post and drew off.

A few days after this tragic event a number of people were killed by
the Indians at Saco, and in the month of August the important post at
Pemaquid, midway between the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers, was taken
and the adjoining settlement destroyed. According to Charlevoix a
large number of St. John river Indians participated in this exploit.
Among their prisoners was a lad named Gyles whose experience during
the nine years he lived in captivity on the St. John river is told in
his very interesting narrative published in Boston in 1736. We shall
have more to say about Gyles and his narrative further on, but it may
be observed in passing that we are greatly indebted to him for the
knowledge we possess of the life of the Indians of the River St. John
two centuries ago. As Doctor Hannay well observes: "By the light of
such a narrative we are able to perceive how wretched was the lot of
an Acadian Indian, even during the period when his very name carried
terror to the hearts of the settlers of Maine and New Hampshire.
Modern civilization may have degraded him in some respects but it has
at least rescued him from the danger of starvation and also from the
cruel necessity of abandoning his kindred to perish when unable longer
to supply their own wants or endure the constant journeys necessitated
by the nature of their nomad life."

Early in 1690 Count Frontenac dispatched an expedition from Quebec
to ravage the New England settlements; their leader was Portneuf,
brother of Menneval and Villebon. There were fifty French and
seventy Indians in the original party, which was afterwards joined by
thirty-six French and a large band of Maliseets from the St. John,
also by the Indians of Passamaquoddy and Penobscot, making a war
party of five hundred men. On the 26th of May they attacked the town
of Falmouth--now Portland. The inhabitants fled for protection
within the ramparts of Fort Loyal. At the expiration of four or five
days the garrison was obliged to surrender and Portneuf promised the
vanquished quarter and a guard to the nearest English town. The
terms of surrender were shamefully violated, Fort Loyal and Falmouth
were reduced to ashes and over one hundred men, women and children
murdered by the savages. From May to October their bodes lay
exposed to the elements and wild beasts but were finally buried by
Major Benjamin Church as he passed on an expedition to the eastward.

To revenge themselves on the French, whom they regarded as the
instigators of this savage warfare, the New Englanders fitted out an
expedition under Sir William Phips which captured Port Royal and
carried Menneval, the governor, away a prisoner. His brother Villebon,
who suceeded to the command, concluded to abandon Port Royal and to
re-establish the post at the mouth of the Jemseg on the River St.

Villebon, with all his faults, is one of the most picturesque
characters in the history of Acadia. He was greatly admired by the
savages who deemed him to be every inch a chief. Diereville, the poet
historian, saw him at St. John in 1700 and describes him as "a great
man of fine appearance and full of energy." Having served for several
years in a subordinate capacity at Port Royal he was now called upon
to fill a difficult position and it must be confessed he acted with
zeal and ability. Adverse fortune embittered him at the outset. Two
pirate vessels came to Port Royal while he was absent preparing for
his removal to the St. John river. These marauders burned the houses
and killed the cattle; they even hanged two of the inhabitants and
burned a woman and her children in her own dwelling. What was still
worse for Villebon they captured the ship Union, just arrived from
France with merchandize, provisions, ammunition and presents for the

Villebon was well fitted for such an emergency as this; he assembled
his dusky allies, explained the loss of their presents and offered
himself to go to their great father, the King of France, for more. The
Indians pledged their fidelity and promised him one hundred and fifty
warriors the next spring to aid him in his designs against the

At the court of France Villebon was favorably received and returned
with a commission from the king to command in Acadia. Soon after he
abandoned the Jemseg Fort and moved up the river to the mouth of the
Nashwaak where in the upper angle formed by the junction of that river
with the St. John he built in 1692 a new fort which he called Fort St.
Joseph. It was an ordinary palisaded fort about 120 feet square, with
four bastions, and had eight cannon mounted. In the old French
documents of the period it is usually called Fort Nachouac, with many
varieties of spelling, such as Naxoat, Naxouac, Natchouak, etc. The
older French maps place the fort on the south, or Fredericton side of
the river, but there can be no doubt as to its proper location in the
upper angle formed by the junction of the River Nashwaak with the St.
John. The greater portion of the site has been washed away, but traces
of the ramparts were visible within the memory of those yet living and
many cannon balls and other relics have been found in the vicinity.

Villebon had now been some years in Acadia, for Bishop St. Vallier
says that he was in command of the garrison at Port Royal at the time
of his visit there in 1686. He had ample opportunity of becoming
familiar with the country and its native inhabitants, and was in this
way fitted to second the ambitious designs of the French, which
embraced the destruction of New York and the conquest of New England.

When Count Frontenac came out to Quebec in 1689, to fill for the
second time the position of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of New
France, he was in his seventieth year, yet his old time vigor and
determination were unabated. It was part of his plan to avail himself
of the hostility of the savages to wear down and discourage the
English settlers and so to pave the way for French supremacy. He had
no abler lieutenants in the work he had undertaken than the sons of
Charles le Moyne, of whom Villebon, Portneuf and d'Iberville were
particularly conspicuous in the Indian wars. Immediately after his
arrival, Frontenac encouraged the savages to begin those operations
against the English settlements known in the history of New England as
the "winter raids." Montague Chamberlain tersely describes the
situation thus: "Frontenac decided that he could only succeed in
holding Canada for the French crown by enlisting the aid of the
savages, and to secure that aid he must permit them to make war in
their own savage way, and so from all the doomed hamlets came the same
horrifying tale--houses burned, men, women and children slaughtered or
carried into captivity."

It is difficult at this distant day to conceive the horrors of the
savage warfare that prevailed at this time on the New England
frontiers. The Indians roamed over the country like wolves, and the
white settlers never knew when their appalling war whoop would ring in
their startled ears. It was an age of cruelty and the outrages
perpetrated provoked reprisals on the part of the New Englanders. The
close alliance between the Indians and the French, and the fact that
in several of the raids the savages were led by French officers, led
to a bitter race hatred and mutual distrust between the descendants of
the Saxon and the Gaul, which lasted for generations.

In the course of the desultory warfare that followed the destruction
of Falmouth, more than 200 houses were burned in various parts of the
country, and Frontenac himself speaks of the ravages of the savages as
"impossible to describe." On the 5th February, 1692, they raided the
frontier settlement of York, which they left in ashes after killing
about seventy-five persons and taking 100 prisoners--among those
killed was the venerable Mr. Dummer, the minister of the place.

With the opening of the spring time Villebon received a delegation of
100 warriors of the Kennebec and Penobscot tribes at his fort. The
visitors were welcomed with imposing ceremonies; there was the usual
interchange of compliments and speeches by the chiefs and captains,
presents from the king were distributed and the inevitable banquet
followed with its mirth and revelry. It was agreed at this conference
to organize a great war party. Couriers were dispatched to summon all
the tribes of Acadia and the response was general. The site of what is
now the village of Gibson, opposite Fredericton, was dotted with the
encampments of the Indians, and as the warriors arrived and departed,
arrayed in their war paint and feathers, the scene was animated and
picturesque. The Maliseets of the St. John sent their delegation from
Medoctec, the Micmacs of the Miramichi arrived a few days later, and
then came another band of Micmacs from Beaubassin (or Chignecto),
accompanied by Father Baudoin, their priest. Speeches of welcome,
presents and feasts were made in turn to all, and each band proceeded
by the old and well known route[6] to the rendezvous on the Penobscot,
near Oldtown (Maine.) Here there gathered a war party of at least 400
men, including a score of Frenchmen. Their first attack was made on
the little village of Wells, where there were only some thirty men to
resist the attack, but they were led by Captain Converse, a very
courageous and determined officer, who had already tried the mettle of
the savages and who was not to be overawed even by overwhelming
numbers. The attacking party advanced with hideous yells, firing and
calling on the English to surrender, but the bullets of the defenders
was the only answer they received. Even the women of the settlement
took part in the fight, passing ammunition to the men, loading their
guns, and sometimes themselves firing on the enemy.

    [6] The route was up the St. John to the Medoctec village, thence by
        Eel river and the chain of lakes to the Mattawamkeag and down
        that river to the Penobscot.

The savages became discouraged and offered favorable terms to the
garrison, Converse replied: "We want nothing but men to fight with."
An Indian, who could speak English, shouted, "Don't stay in the house
like a squaw, come out and fight like a man!" Converse replied: "Do
you think I am fool enough to come out with thirty men to fight five
hundred?" The Indians at length abandoned the attack and retired
greatly crest fallen. Thus a few determined men foiled one of the most
formidable bands that ever took the war path in Acadia.

Same of the horrors of Indian warfare almost pass description and if
Villebon did not sanction he at least did little to hinder the
atrocities of his savage allies. He writes in his journal, "An English
savage was taken on the lower part of the St. John river; I gave him
to our savages to be burned, which they did the next day; one could
add nothing to the torments that they made him suffer."

From time to time the Indians appear to have grown weary of fighting.
Their failure at Wells, the rebuilding of Fort Pemaquid and the
erection of other fortifications by the now thoroughly aroused New
Englanders, the desire for the ransom of relatives held by the enemy
as hostages, and a suspicion that the French were making use of them
in their own interest inclined them to make peace with the English.
Villebon was obliged to exert all his influence to keep them on the
war path. He flattered and feasted the chiefs, made presents to the
warriors, provided powder and shot for their hunting and finally
adopted Taxous, one of their most famous chiefs, as his brother and to
honor the occasion gave him his own best coat.

The journals and correspondence of Villebon are full of interest to
the student of affairs on the St. John. At this time there came
annually to St. John harbor--then known by its Indian name,
Menagoesche--a French man of war with supplies for Fort Nachouac and a
variety of articles for the Indians. An inventory now in the Boston
Public Library, dated 1693, shows that in that year the frigate
"Suzanne" brought out for the "Malecites" a supply of powder, lead,
guns, bayonets; also shirts, blankets, laced hats, etc. The arrival of
the annual warships was eagerly looked for by the Indians and Villebon
was able to make good use of the articles he received. The reference
made by John Gyles in his narrative to the arrival of the ships from
France is of interest. "There came annually," he says, "one or two men
of war to supply the fort which was on the river about 34 leagues from
the sea. The Indians (of Medoctec) having advice of the arrival of a
man of war at the mouth of the river, they about forty in number went
on board, for the gentlemen from France made a present to them every
year, and set forth the riches and victories of their monarch, etc. At
this time they presented the Indians with a bag or two of flour with
some prunes as ingredients for a feast.

"I, who was dressed up in an old greasy blanket without cap, hat or
shirt, (for I had no shirt for six years, except the one I had on at
the time I was made prisoner) was invited into the great cabin, where
many well-rigged gentlemen were sitting, who would fain have had a
full view of me. I endeavored to hide myself behind the hangings, for
I was much ashamed, thinking how I had once worn clothes and of my
living with people who could rig as well as the best of them.... This
was the first time I had seen the sea during my captivity, and the
first time I had tasted salt or bread. My master presently went on
shore and a few days later all the Indians went up the river."

In connection with Villebon's endeavors to keep the savages loyal to
the king of France there are items in the accounts transmitted by him
to the French minister that are quite interesting and suggestive, as
for example the following:

"To the wife of Nadanouil, a savage, for making two pairs of snowshoes
for the King, tobacco 2 lbs."

"Jan., 1696. To 2 savages come from the river of Medoctic to bring
some letters of Father Simon to Mon. de Villebon, flour, 12 lbs.;
tobacco, 8 oz.

"July 10, 1696. M. Thury, missionary, having arrived with Taxous,
chief of the Canibas and other savages from Pentagouet; brandy, 1
gallon; tobacco, 2 lbs."

The garrison at Fort Nashwaak was always small, comprising only about
forty soldiers besides an armorer, gunner and surgeon. There was also
a chaplain of the Recollet order, Father Elizee, who is described as a
man so retiring by nature as to meddle with nothing outside his
ministerial duty. This was not the case with the other missionary
priests, however, who influenced by patriotic motives and encouraged
by the French authorities took quite an energetic part in helping on
the warfare against New England. The French owed much of the aid
afforded their cause, including the co-operation of their Indian
allies, to the zeal of the missionaries settled on the different
rivers, Ralle on the Kennebec, Thury on the Penobscot and Simon on the
St. John. The only woman who lived within the ramparts of Fort
Nashwaak seems to have been the wife of the armorer. She was deemed
one of the garrison and received her daily allowance with the rest.

In spite of Villebon's energy and ability and of his zeal in the
service of his country very serious complaints were made against him
by some of the French people living on the St. John river. They
asserted that his threats and ill usage had caused several of the
settlers to abandon their habitations and remove to Quebec with their
families; that he tried to monopolize the fur trade, sending his
brothers Portneuf and des Isles into the woods to engage in unlawful
traffic with the Indians; that the former was guilty of gross
immorality and the latter traded the peltry obtained from the savages
with one John Alden, an Englishman, by whom it was carried to Boston.
This John Alden was, by the way, the eldest son of the famous John
Alden of the "Mayflower," the Plymouth magistrate, by his wife
Priscilla, the Puritan maiden immortalized by Longfellow. He made many
trading voyages to the Bay of Fundy and on several occasions narrowly
escaped capture by the French.

That there was some ground for the charges preferred against Villebon
seems likely from the fact that most of the missionaries censured him
and confirmed the reports of the inhabitants concerning the misconduct
of his brothers. The chaplain at Fort Nachouac, however, spoke
favorably of Villebon, although he was silent with regard to Portneuf.
In his letters to the authorities in France, Villebon vigorously
replies to his accusers and brings counter charges; he is seemingly
very indignant with the d'Amour brothers of whom we shall hear more in
another chapter.

In consequence of the charges preferred against him Portneuf was
superseded by Villieu, an officer of reputation whom Count Frontenac
sent to Acadia in October, 1693, to lead the savages against the
English. This new lieutenant spent the winter at the Nashwaak fort and
as soon as the ice was out of the river went in a canoe to Medoctec,
where he assembled the chiefs who promised to assist him. He then
proceeded to Penobscot resolved to put an end, if possible, to the
parleys that the savages had been holding with the English and to
incite them to renew the war. After a week's negotiation, in which he
was aided by the powerful influence of the missionaries Bigot and
Thury, he returned to Fort Nachouac with a delegation of the Indians
to receive the presents which the King of France had sent to them, and
at the same time to secure the assistance of some of Governor
Villebon's soldiers. The governor, however, piqued by the dismissal of
Portneuf, contented himself with entertaining the delegates. He
declined to furnish provisions or supplies, and kept his soldiers from
joining the expedition. Father Simon, the Recollet missionary on the
St. John, also displayed little sympathy with Villieu and kept many of
the Indians from joining him. However, with the help of the Penobscot
and Kennebec tribes a band of 250 warriors was at last collected and
Villieu placed himself at their head arrayed in the war paint and
feathers of an Indian chief. It was decided to strike a blow at the
settlement of Oyster River, twelve miles from Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. The English settlers, having been informed that peace had
been made with the Indians and that they could now work with safety on
their farms, were totally unprepared for an attack. Among their
unprotected houses the carnage was horrible. One hundred persons,
chiefly women and children, half naked from their beds, were
tomahawked, shot, or killed by slower and more cruel methods, twenty
seven were kept as prisoners.

After engaging in some minor depredations Villieu proceeded to
Montreal accompanied by several of the chiefs where they presented a
string of English scalps to Count Frontenac as a token of their
success and received his hearty congratulations. Villieu thus summed
up the results of the campaign: "Two small forts and fifty or sixty
houses captured and burnt, and one hundred and thirty English killed
or made prisoners." He had done his work all too well and had sown
such seeds of distrust between the English and the Indians as to
render it almost impossible to re-establish peace between them. The
enmity lasted for generations and almost every year witnessed some act
of hostility even though the crowns of France and England were
themselves at peace.

In the midst of their triumphs an appalling pestilence swept away
great numbers of the Indians. On the River St. John more than one
hundred and twenty persons died, including some of the most noted
warriors and their chief. The pestilence scattered the savages in all
directions and for a time their town of Medoctec was abandoned. A
party of warriors who went with Montigny, an officer of Villebon's
garrison, to assist their brethren to the westward was sent back to
Medoctec on account of the contagion that had broken out among them.
The nature of the disease it is impossible at this distance of time to
determine. It could scarcely have been smallpox, according to the
description of John Gyles, who says: "A person seeming in perfect
health would bleed at the mouth and nose, turn blue in spots and die
in two or three hours." The first outbreak of the pestilence was in
the autumn of 1694. A year later Mon. Tibierge, agent of the company
of Acadia, writes that "the plague (la maladie) had broken out afresh:
there had died on the river more than 120 persons of every age and

The pestilence, however, did not put a stop to the Indian warfare.
In June, 1695, Villebon assembled at his fort a general representation
of the tribes of Acadia, including fourteen chiefs and their
attendants; the conference lasted three days and the proceedings are
reported at length in his journal. After the customary feasting
and distribution of presents a standard of prices for the purchase and
sale of goods was agreed upon more favorable to the natives than
heretofore. The chiefs departed firmly resolved to continue the war
against the English. Their opportunity did not come until the
following summer when a combined effort on the part of the French
and Indians resulted in the destruction of Fort William Henry at
Pemaquid. This fortification had just been rebuilt by the colony of
Massachusetts at a cost of £20,000 and was the strongest work the
English colonists had up to that time erected in America. The walls
had a compass in all of 747 feet and were of solid masonry, varying
from 10 to 22 feet in height. Eight feet from the ground, where the
walls had a thickness of six feet, there was a tier of 28 port
holes. At one corner was a round tower 29 feet high. The fort was
well manned and provisioned and was thought to be impregnable.

The leader of the enterprise, which resulted in the destruction of
Fort William Henry, was Villebon's brother d'Iberville, whose romantic
career has earned for him the description of "the Cid of New France."
D'Iberville's Indian auxiliaries included Micmacs from Cape Breton, a
large band of Maliseets and many of their kindred of Passamaquoddy,
Penobscot and Kennebec. Two warships lately arrived from Quebec,
accompanied the expedition.

Villebon left his fort on the 18th June to go to "Menagoesche" to
await the coming of the French ships. On his arrival there he
discovered the British ships Sorlings of 34 guns and Newport of 24
guns cruising near the harbor and sent information to d'Iberville in
order that he might guard against surprise. Soon after entering the
Bay of Fundy the French vessels sighted their antagonists and an
engagement ensued in the course of which d'Iberville in the Envieux
dismasted the smaller English vessel, the Newport, and obliged her to
surrender. Favored by night and fog the Sorlings managed to escape
after a combat with the Profond lasting three hours. The next day,
July 15, 1696, the vessels put into St. John harbor, where they were
welcomed by Villebon and Father Simon and a band of Indians. Before
proceeding to the attack of Pemaquid an attempt was made to capture
John Alden at Port Royal but with his usual good luck he sailed thence
just before the arrival of the French. Villebon with Father Simon's
assistance contrived to collect 150 Indians--Maliseets and Micmacs--to
join the expedition under his brother, which was further reinforced by
a small vessel owned and commanded by the Sieur de Chauffours, an
inhabitant of the St. John river.

The start of the expedition was not a very auspicious one, for on
leaving the harbor of St. John (or "havre de Menuagoesche," as
Villebon calls it) at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of the 2nd of August,
d'Iberville ran the Envieux upon a reef; however, the damage was not
serious as the ship floated when the tide rose. At Penobscot Baron St.
Castin joined the expedition with 130 Indians. The French priests
Simon and Thury, as the event proved, were no mere figure heads; they
actively assisted in the operations of the siege and at the same time
restrained the passions of the savages. Batteries were erected within
half cannon shot of the fort and it was summoned to surrender. Captain
Chubb, the commander, proved to be a weak man for so responsible a
position. He at first replied that though the sea were covered with
French ships and the land with Indians he would not surrender unless
compelled to do so, but the very next day ignominiously pulled down
his flag. D'Iberville sent the garrison to Boston in the vessel
belonging to the Sieur de Chauffours which he had brought from the St.
John river. The people of New England were greatly vexed at the
destruction of Pemaquid and enraged at the cowardly conduct of its
commander. Father Simon got back to Fort Nachouac on the 29th August
bringing the news of d'Iberville's success.



It was now proposed by the French authorities to re-establish the
stronghold at the mouth of the St. John. The old fort of four bastions
so far remained that it could readily be restored; the ditches needed
to be deepened, the parapets to be raised and new palisades
constructed. It was thought that 150 men would suffice to garrison the
post as well as that at the Nashwaak. The fort was needed to protect
French privateers and French commerce. Many English vessels were
brought to Menagoueche at this time by the privateersmen Baptiste and
Guyon. The company of Acadia, with Tibierge as their agent, continued
to develop a thriving trade, and it seems, too, that the forest wealth
of the country was beginning to attract attention for Villebon, a year
or two later, sent home to France a mast, as a specimen, 82 feet long,
31 inches in diameter at one end and 21 at the other.

The French privateers were not allowed to ply their vocation with
impunity, they often had spirited encounters with the British ships in
which there were losses on both sides.

In 1694 one Robineau of Nantes, who had taken several English vessels,
was forced to burn his ship in St. John harbor, in order to escape
capture by an English ship, and to defend himself on shore. The
vessels employed as privateers evidently were small, for they
sometimes went up the river to Villebon's fort. The prisoners taken
were kept at the fort or put in charge of the French inhabitants
living on the river, and from time to time ransomed by their friends
or exchanged for French prisoners taken by the English. Villebon
informs us that in June, 1695, an English frigate and a sloop arrived
at Menagoueche (St. John) on business connected with the ransom of
eight captives who were then in the hands of the French. Messages were
exchanged with Nachouac and the captain of the English ship, a jovial
old tar, expressed a wish to meet Governor Villebon and "drink with
him" and to see Captain Baptiste, whom he called a brave man, but his
overtures were declined.

The ships Envieux and Profond, before proceeding to the attack of Fort
Pemaquid, had landed at St. John a number of cannon and materials of
all sorts to be used in the construction of the new fort. This project
was not viewed with complacency by the people of New England, and
Lieut.-Governor William Stoughton, of Massachusetts, thus explains the
line of action proposed against the French in a communication
addressed to Major Benjamin Church, the old Indian fighter, who had
been sent from Boston in August, 1696, on an expedition against the
settlements of Acadia: "Sir, His Majesty's ship Orford having lately
surprised a French shallop with 23 of the soldiers belonging to the
fort (at Nashwaak) upon St. John's river in Nova Scotia, together with
Villieu, their captain, providence seems to encourage the forming of
an expedition to attack that fort, and to disrest and remove the enemy
from that post, which is the chief source from whence the most of our
disasters do issue, and also to favor with an opportunity for gaining
out of their hands the ordnance, artillery, and other warlike stores
and provisions lately supplied to them from France for erecting a new
fort near the river's mouth, whereby they will be greatly strengthened
and the reducing of them rendered more difficult."

Before the order from which the above extract is quoted was placed in
Major Church's hands he had arrived at St. John, having previously
devastated the French settlements at Chignecto. Being desirous, if
possible, to surprise the men engaged upon the new fort Church landed
at Manawagonish Cove, a little to the west of the harbor; what
followed we shall let him tell in his own quaint fashion. "Next
morning early the Major, with his forces, landed to see what discovery
they could make, travelled across the woods to the old fort or falls
at the mouth of St. John's river, keeping themselves undiscovered from
the enemy. Finding that there were several men at work, and having
informed themselves as much as they could, returned back (the enemy
being on the other side of the river could not come at them). But
night coming on and dark wet weather with bad travelling, were obliged
to stop in the woods till towards next day morning and then went on
board. Soon after the Major ordered all the vessels to come to sail
and go into the mouth of the river, the French firing briskly at them,
but did them no harm, and running fiercely upon the enemy they soon
fled to the woods. The Major ordered a brisk party to run across a
neck to cut them off from their canoes[7] which the day before they
had made a discovery of. So the commander, with the rest, ran directly
towards the new fort they were building, not knowing but they had some
ordnance mounted. The enemy running directly to their canoes were met
by our forces who fired at them, and killed one and wounded Corporal
Canton, who was taken. The rest threw down what they had and ran into
the woods. The prisoner Canton being brought to the Major told him if
he would let his surgeon dress his wound and cure him he would be
serviceable to him as long as he lived. So being dressed he was
examined and gave the Major an account of the twelve great guns which
were hid in the beach, below high water mark--the carriages, shot, and
wheelbarrows, some flour and pork all hid in the woods.

    [7] These canoes were probably lying in the cove at Indiantown just
        above the falls.

"The next morning the officers being all ordered to meet together to
consult about going to Vilboon's fort, and none amongst them being
acquainted but the Aldens, who said the water in the river was very
low so that they could not get up to the fort; and the prisoner Canton
told the commander that what the Aldens said was true * * so concluded
it was not practicable to proceed. Then ordered some of the forces to
get the great guns on board the open sloops and the rest to range the
woods for the enemy, who took one prisoner and brought him in. * * Now
having with a great deal of pains and trouble got all the guns, shot,
and other stores aboard intended on our design which we came out first
for. But the wind not serving, the commander sent out his scouts into
the woods to seek for the enemy. And four of our Indians coming upon
three Frenchmen undiscovered concluded that if the French should
discover them they would fire at them and might kill one or more of
them, which to prevent fired at the French, killed one and took the
other two prisoners. And it happened that he who was killed was
Shavelere (Chevalier), the chief man there."

Major Church's design was to make a raid on the settlement of Baron
St. Castin and his Indians at Penobscot by way of retaliation for the
destruction of Fort William Henry at Pemaquid, but as he was sailing
down the bay he met a small squadron having on board a reinforcement
of 100 men under Colonel Hawthorne. The command now passed to
Hawthorne as the senior officer, and it was decided to attempt the
capture of Fort Nachouac. This was against the advice of Major Church,
but as the expedition now numbered about 500 men, Hawthorne was
unwilling to return to Boston without striking a blow at the chief
stronghold of the French in Acadia.

Villebon was on the alert: he had stationed his ensign, Chevalier,
with five scouts at the mouth of the river and on the 4th of October
he learned of the presence of the English at Menagoueche. Chevalier
was at first alarmed by the appearance of Church's ships off Partridge
Island, and sent word directly to Fort Nachouac; a day or two later he
was killed by some of Church's Indians as already related. Villebon
sent his brother Neuvillette down the river to continue the look out
and in the meantime made every possible preparation for a siege. His
garrison, numbering about 100 soldiers, was busily employed in
throwing up new intrenchments and mounting additional guns, word was
sent to the French inhabitants of the vicinity to repair to the fort
and assist in its defence, and Villebon, on the 11th October, sent an
urgent message to Father Simon, the missionary at Medoctec, to get the
Indians to come down as soon as possible if they wished to fight the
English. He lost not a moment and having sent out word on all sides
(the Indians being then dispersed upon the river) he arrived the
afternoon of the 14th, with thirty-six warriors and expressed his
desire to remain at the fort as the chaplain was absent. Two days
later Neuvillette returned to the fort and reported that he had seen
the enemy in great force about a league and a half below the Jemseg.
The last preparations were now hurriedly made and on the evening of
the 17th, Villebon caused the "generale" (or assembly) to be beat and
all the garrison being drawn up under arms he addressed them in
stirring words, bidding them to maintain the honor of their country
and the reputation of French soldiers, adding that if any should be
maimed in the approaching combat the king would provide for him during
the rest of his life. This speech created the greatest enthusiasm and
the cry of "Vive le roy" awoke the forest echoes and was borne over
the waters. The same evening a dozen Frenchmen who lived in the
vicinity arrived at the fort. Among them were the brothers Mathieu and
Rene d'Amours and the privateersman Baptiste. Villebon assigned to
Baptiste and Rene d'Amours the duty of heading the Indians and
opposing the landing of the English.

The sketch on the next page, based upon a plan in the archives de la
Marine, Paris[8] will serve to give an idea of the general character
of Fort Nachouac. The space of ground enclosed by the palisade was
about 125 feet square; the site, as already stated, lay in the upper
angle formed by the junction of the Nashwaak with the river St. John,
nearly opposite the Cathedral in Fredericton. The general arrangement
of the buildings is shown in the plan. At the rear of the enclosure is
the commandant's lodging, on the right hand side the guard house and
on the left the soldiers' barracks; at the front is the gate and in
the lower left hand corner the bake oven; cannons were placed at each
corner. A small room in the left end of the commandant's lodging was
fitted up as a chapel. The ditches and ramparts that surrounded the
enclosure added considerably to the strength of the position. The
bastions were so arranged that the space outside the walls was
entirely commanded by the musketry fire of the defenders. The
loopholes at the corners from which the fire was delivered are shown
in the sketch.

    [8] The author is indebted to Dr. W. F. Ganong for his kindness in
        furnishing the sketch from which the accompanying plan of
        illustration has been made. It is not, of course, a copy of
        the original, but gives an idea of the general character of
        the fortification.

[Illustration: FORT NACHOUAC, A. D. 1696.]

Everything being now in order for the defence of his fort Villebon
ordered the garrison to pass the night under arms, as from the barking
of the dogs it was believed the enemy was drawing near. The next
morning between eight and nine o'clock, whilst Father Simon was
celebrating mass in the chapel, a shallop filled with armed men
rounded the point below, followed by two others. The alarm was at once
given and every man repaired to his post. The sloops approached within
the distance of half a cannon shot when the guns of the fort opened on
them and they were forced to retire below the point where they
effected a landing. Villebon did not deem it prudent to oppose the
landing as his men would have had to cross the Nashwaak river to do so
and this would have been very imprudent. The English took up a
position on the south side of the Nashwaak stream and threw up an
earthwork upon which they placed two field guns from which they opened
fire on the fort; a third gun of larger size was mounted soon
afterwards nearer the fort, but not being sheltered it was not much
used. The beseigers hoisted the royal standard of England and there
were cheers and counter-cheers on the part of the combatants. The
cannon fire was heavy on both sides but the guns of the fort being
better mounted and well served had rather the advantage. There was
also a sharp exchange of musketry fire, the St. John river Indians,
from the bushes along the shore, engaging in a vicious fight with
Church's Indians on the opposite side of the stream. When darkness
ended the day's struggle the English had made little or no progress.
The following night being very cold they made fires to keep themselves
from freezing, but this afforded a sure mark for the French cannon,
which opened on them with grape shot, and they were obliged to put
them out and suffer the inclemency of the weather. Major Church's men
being almost bare of clothing from their long service, suffered
extremely and were ill disposed to continue the siege. At daybreak the
musketry fire from the fort recommenced and about 8 o'clock the
English again got their guns into operation, but la Cote, who had
distinguished himself the evening before by firing rapidly and
accurately, dismounted one of their field guns and silenced the

It was now apparent that the fort could not be taken without a regular
investment and in view of the lateness of the season this was not
deemed advisable. The Massachusetts historian Mather quaintly
observes, "The difficulty of the cold season so discouraged our men
that after some few shot the enterprize found itself under too much
congelation to proceed any further." And so the following night
the New England troops re-embarked after lighting fires over a
considerable extent of ground in order to deceive the French. When the
morning dawned their camp was deserted and soon after Neuvillette,
who had been sent down the river to reconnoitre, reported that after
he had gone three leagues he found them embarked in four vessels
of about 60 tons and going down the river with a fair wind. On
their return towards the mouth of the river the invaders burned the
house and barns of Mathieu d'Amours at Freneuse, opposite the
Oromocto, and laid waste his fields. The sieur de Freneuse was
himself so much injured by exposure during the siege that he died
shortly afterwards. Major Church took back with him to Boston a
Negro man of Marblehead, who had been taken prisoner by the French
and kept amongst them for some time. He was probably the first of
his race to set foot within the borders of New Brunswick.

In the siege of his fort Villebon lost only one man killed and two
wounded while the English loss is said to have been eight soldiers
killed and five officers and twelve soldiers wounded.

The effect of the capture of Pemaquid by d'Iberville and the
repulse of the English by Villebon greatly encouraged the savages of
Acadia in their hostility and the following summer another raid on
the English settlements was planned. A large number of Micmacs came
from the eastward, some of them from the Basin of Minas, with St.
Cosme, their priest, at their head. They were entertained by
Villebon, furnished with ammunition and supplies and sent on to the
rendezvous at Penobscot. Father Simon and 72 Maliseets were sent in
the same direction soon afterwards with instructions to pick up the
Passamaquoddies on their way; they departed in high spirits with
the intention of giving no quarter to the enemy and Villebon
encouraged their animosity, exhorting them "to burn and to destroy."
This advice they followed to the letter for the Governor wrote in
his journal shortly afterwards, "the missionary, M. de Thury,
confirms the report I already had received of four small parties of
our Indians having killed fifteen or sixteen English and burnt one of
them alive on account of one of their chiefs being slain." The
vindictiveness of the Indians is further illustrated by an incident
that happened at the Medoctic village in the time of King William's
war, in which John Gyles and James Alexander, two English captives,
were cruelly abused. A party of Indians from Cape Sable, having
had some of their relatives killed by English fishermen, travelled
all the way to Medoctec in order to wreak their vengeance upon any
English captives they might find. They rushed upon their unfortunate
victims like bears bereaved of their whelps, saying, "Shall we, who
have lost our relations by the English, suffer an English voice to be
heard among us?" The two captives were brutally beaten and ill used
and made to go through a variety of performances for the amusement of
their tormenters. Gyles says: "They put a tomahawk into my hands
and ordered me to get up, sing and dance Indian, which I performed
with the greatest reluctance and while in the act seemed determined to
purchase my death by killing two or three of these monsters of
cruelty, thinking it impossible to survive the bloody treatment....
Not one of them showed the least compassion, but I saw the tears run
down plentifully on the cheeks of a Frenchman who sat behind." The
tortures were continued until the evening of what Gyles might well
call "a very tedious day." Finally a couple of Indians threw the
two wretched men out of the big wigwam, where they had been
tormented; they crawled away on their hands and knees and were
scarcely able to walk for several days.

The experience of Gyles was, however, nothing in comparison with that
of his brother and another captive taken by the Indians at the same
time as himself. This unfortunate pair attempted to desert, but failed
and were subjected to the most horrible tortures and finally burned
alive by the savages.

The people of the frontier settlements were now so on the alert that,
although the Indians roamed over the country like wolves, they were
usually prepared to meet them. Every little village had its block
house and sentinels, and every farmer worked in his fields with his
musket at his side. Nevertheless tragic events occasionally happened.
In February, 1698, Captain Chubb, of Pemaquid notoriety, and six
others were killed by the Indians at Andover, several of the
inhabitants were captured and many houses burned; Major Frost was
slain at Kittery and a number of people at Wells; Major Marsh had a
sharp fight near Pemaquid, in which he lost twenty-five of his men,
but succeeded in putting the savages to rout. This was the last blood
shed during King William's war. The Indians were becoming weary of
fighting and the peace of Ryswick deprived them of the open assistance
of their French allies. For a brief season peace reigned in Acadia.

The expedition under Church had interrupted the rebuilding of the fort
at St. John and shown the correctness of Villebon's prediction in a
letter written to the French minister in 1696 that it was impossible
with the few men at his disposal to attempt a work which, though easy
to repair could not be completed as quickly as the enemy could get
ready to destroy it. In the same letter he speaks of making plank near
Fort Nachouac for the madriens, or gun platforms, of the fort at
Menagoueche. As there were mills at this time at Port Royal, it would
be possible from this incident to frame a theory that Villebon had a
saw mill a short distance up the Nashwaak, say at Marysville, but it
is more probable the planks were cut in saw pits by the soldiers of
the garrison. The plan of the fort at St. John was agreed on in 1698,
and 3,000 livres granted for its construction. Villebon paid his
workmen 30 sous (about 30 cts.) a day, his laborers 20 sous, and the
soldiers 4 sous a day over their pay and a weekly allowance of 1 qr.
lb. tobacco. The walls of the fort were laid in clay and mortar, 24
pounders were placed on the bastions and 36-pounders could be placed
there three on each bastion. By the end of the year Villebon was able
to report the fort in a condition to do honor to whoever should defend
it. He had left Nachouac just as it was, leaving only two men to see
that nothing was spoiled by the savages.

A plan in the Marine Archives at Paris, made by Villieu in 1700,
shows that "Fort de la Riviere de St. Jean," or Fort Menagoueche, was
built at "Old Fort Site," behind Navy Island in Carleton. The
general plan was the same as that of Fort Nachouac, but it was
considerably larger, nearly 200 feet square. Within the enclosure
were barracks for the soldiers, a residence for the governor with
small chapel adjoining it, a house for the officers of the garrison,
lodgings for the surgeon, gunner and armorer, a small prison and a
well, and just outside the gate were two bake-houses. The water
supply of the fort seems always to have been inadequate. The
sieur des Goutins, who disliked Villebon, complains in a letter of
23rd June, 1699, "the Governor keeps the water within the fort for
the exclusive use of his kitchen and his mare, others being obliged
to use snow-water, often very dirty." Diereville, who visited St. John
during his short stay in Acadia describes the fort as "built of
earth, with four bastions fraised (or picketed) each having six
large guns." A new industry was now coming into existence, namely
the shipping of masts to France for the King's navy; Diereville sailed
to France in the Avenant "a good King's ship," mounting 44 guns which
had brought out the ammunition and provisions that Placentia and the
Fort on the River St. John received annually. This ship took on board
a number of fine masts that 14 carpenters and mast makers in his
majesty's service had manufactured at the River St. John. The
vessel left Acadia on the 6th of October and reached France in 33

The period of Governor Villebon's residence at St. John was of about
two years' duration. He died on the 5th July, 1700, and was buried
near the fort. The life of this devoted son of New France went out
with the century and with his death the seat of government of Acadia
was again transferred to Port Royal.

Brouillan now succeeded to the command. He found the fort at St. John
in good order, as was to be expected, it having been just rebuilt, but
in the opinion of the new governor it was of little use for the glory
of the King or for the preservation of the country. He condemned the
situation as being commanded on one side by an island at the distance
of a pistol shot, and on the other by a height at the distance only of
a hundred and odd fathoms (toises), and with a very insufficient water
supply. He therefore caused the fortifications to be razed, demolished
the houses, and carried away the guns and everything else of a
portable character to Port Royal. The inhabitants living on the River
St. John were left without protection and they seem almost without
exception to have removed, some to Quebec and others to Port Royal.
The valley of the St. John was thus left as deserted and desolate as
it had been previous to the arrival of Champlain. The Indian might
wander at will among the ruins of forts and dwellings abandoned to his
care, or left to be converted into hiding places for the wild beasts
and wonder at the folly of the white man who had forsaken the finest
river in all Acadia with its wealth of forest and stream and its
fertile lands awaiting the hands of industry and thrift.



Among the young adventurers who came to Acadia towards the close of
the seventeenth century were four brothers, sons of Mathieu
d'Amours[9] of Quebec. The father's political influence as a member of
the Supreme Council enabled him to obtain for each of his sons an
extensive seigniory. That of Louis d'Amours, the eldest, included a
tract of land of generous proportions at the Richibucto river; the
grant was issued September 20, 1684, but the seignior had already
built there a fort and two small houses, and for two years had been
cultivating a piece of land. His sojourn was brief, for in a year or
two we find him living on the River St. John, where his brothers
Mathieu and Rene were settled and where they were not long after
joined by their brother Bernard.

    [9] This gentleman married in 1652 Marie, the eldest daughter of
        Nicolas Marselot of Quebec; she was a very youthful bride,
        being only 14 years old at the time of her marriage; she was
        the mother of 15 children.

As mentioned in a previous chapter, it was customary among the French
noblesse for each son to take a surname derived from some portion of
the family estate; accordingly the sons of Councillor d'Amours figure
in history as Louis d'Amours, sieur de Chauffours; Mathieu d'Amours,
sieur de Freneuse; Rene d'Amours, sieur de Clignancourt and Bernard
d'Amours, sieur de Plenne.

After his arrival at the River St. John, Louis d'Amours fixed his
abode on the banks of the Jemseg and became the proprietor of the
seigniory formerly owned by the sieur de Soulanges. His brother, and
nearest neighbor, Mathieu's seigniory included all the land "between
Gemisik and Nachouac," two leagues in depth on each side of the river.
The wives of Louis and Mathieu d'Amours were sisters, Marguerite and
Louise Guyon of Quebec.

To Rene d'Amours, sieur de Clignancourt, was granted a seigniory
extending from the Indian village of Medoctec to the "longue sault."
The longue sault was probably the Meductic rapids twelve miles below
the village of Medoctec, although it may have been the Grand Falls
eighty miles above. The sieur de Clignancourt fixed his headquarters a
few miles above Fredericton at or near Eccles Island, which was
formerly called "Cleoncore"--a corruption of Clignancourt. An old
census shows he lived in that vicinity in 1696, and this is confirmed
by a statement in an official report of the same year that he lived a
league from Fort Nachouac. Rene d'Amours had an extensive trade with
the Indians, he was unmarried and lived the life of a typical "coureur
de bois."

Bernard d'Amours, the youngest of the quartette, came to Acadia
rather later than his brothers and was granted a seigniory at
Canibecachice (Kennebecasis), a league and a half along each side of
the river and two leagues in depth.[10] He married Jeanne le Borgne,
and their son Alexander was baptized at Port Royal in 1702 by a
Recollet missionary.

   [10] The grants of Louis d'Amours at Richibucto, and of Mathieu and
        Rene on the St. John river are of the same date, September 20,
        1684; that of Bernard on the Kennebeccasis is dated June 20,

The brothers d'Amours were in the prime of life when they came to
Acadia; the census of de Meulles taken in 1686 gives the age of Louis
as 32 years and that of Mathieu as 28. All the brothers engaged in
hunting and trading with the Indians and were in consequence disliked
by Governor Villebon, who viewed them with a jealous eye and mentions
them in unfavorable terms in his official dispatches. Villebon's
hostility was no doubt intensified by a representation made to the
French ministry in 1692 by Louis d'Amours that the Governor of Acadia,
to advance his own private fortune, engaged in trade, absolutely
prohibited by his majesty, both with the natives of the country and
with the people of New England.

Frontenac and Champigny at this time filled the offices respectively
of governor and intendant (or lieutenant governor) of New France, and
the king in his message to them, dated at Versailles June 14, 1695,
refers to matters on the River St. John in the following terms:

"His Majesty finds it necessary to speak on the subject of the grants
obtained by the Sieurs d'Amours, which comprehend an immense tract of
land along the River St. John. It is commonly reported that since they
have lived there they have not engaged in clearing and cultivating
their lands, that they have no cattle nor any other employment than
that of a miserable traffic exclusively with the savages; and as his
Majesty has been informed that the lands in those parts are the best
in the world, watered by large rivers and in a situation more
temperate and pleasant than other parts of Canada, the sieurs d'Amours
must be compelled to establish themselves upon a better footing; and
those people who are to have new grants of land are directed to this
part of Acadia where, as his Majesty is informed, the sieurs d'Amours
pretend to have exclusive possession of about thirty leagues of

That the sentiments of this royal message were inspired by Villebon is
evident from the tenor of the letters he addresses to the French
ministry at this time. In one of these he says of the brothers
d'Amours: "They are four in number living on the St. John river. They
are given up to licentiousness and independence for the ten or twelve
years they have been here. They are disobedient and seditious and
require to be watched." In another communication he scornfully terms
them "the pretended gentry" (soi disant gentilhommes). Writing to the
French minister the next year he observes: "I have no more reason, my
lord, to be satisfied with the sieurs d'Amours than I previously had.
The one who has come from France has not pleased me more than the
other two. Their minds are wholly spoiled by long licentiousness and
the manners they have acquired among the Indians, and they must be
watched closely as I had the honor to state to you last year."

Fortunately for the reputation of the brothers d'Amours we have
evidence that places them in a more favorable light than does the
testimony of Governor Villebon. M. de Champigny, the intendant at
Quebec, wrote to the French minister. "The sons of the sieur d'Amours,
member of the supreme council at Quebec, who are settled on the River
St. John, apply themselves chiefly to cultivating their lands and
raising cattle.

"I sent you, my Lord, the census of their domain, which has been made
by Father Simon, the Recollet, who is missionary on the same river, in
which you may have every confidence, he being a very honest man. It is
very unfortunate, my lord, that any one should have informed you that
they lead a licentious life with the savages for I have reliable
testimony that their conduct is very good. It seems as if all who
live in that locality are in a state of discord; the inhabitants make
great complaints against the Sieurs de Villebon and des Goutins. Some
who have come to Quebec say they are constantly so harrassed and
oppressed that if things are not put upon a better footing they will
be compelled to abandon the country."

That the inhabitants living on the river were turning their attention
to agriculture is shown by a communication to Frontenac or Champigny
in 1696, in which the writer, probably Villieu, says: "I informed you
last year, Monsieur, by the memo that I did myself the honor to send
you, that the inhabitants of this river begin to cultivate their
lands. I have since learned that they have raised some grain. M. de
Chouffours, who had sown so considerably last year, has not received
anything in return, the worms having eaten the seed in the ground; M.
de Freneuse, his brother, has harvested about 15 hogsheads of wheat
and M. de Clignancourt very little; M. Bellefontaine, about 5
hogsheads; the Sieur Martel very little, as he has only begun to
cultivate his land during the last two years; the other inhabitants
nothing at all, unless it is a little Indian corn. The Sieurs
d'Amours, except the Sieur Clignancourt, have sown this year pretty
considerably of wheat and the Sieur Bellefontaine also, the Sieur
Martel some rye and wheat and much peas. The other inhabitants have
sown some Indian corn, which would have turned out well only they have
sown too late on account of their land being inundated."

Baron la Hontan visited Fort Nashouac about 1694. He describes the St.
John as "a very pleasant river, adorned with fields that are very
fertile in grain." He says that two gentlemen of the name of d'Amours
have a settlement there for beaver hunting.

The census made in 1695 by Simon, the French missionary, shows that
there were then ten families, numbering forty-nine persons, on the St.
John river, besides the garrison at Fort Nachouac. Their live stock
included 38 cattle and 116 swine; there were 166 acres of land under
cultivation and 73 in pasture; the crop of that year included 130
bushels of wheat, 370 of corn, 30 of oats, 170 of peas.

The testimony of John Gyles, who spent three years in the family of
Louis d'Amours at the Jemseg, conclusively disproves Villebon's
assertion that the d'Amours tilled no land and kept no cattle. He
speaks of a fine wheat field owned by his master, in which the
blackbirds created great havoc and describes a curious attempt made by
a friar to exorcise the birds. A procession was formed, headed by the
friar, in his white robe with a young lad as his attendant and some
thirty people following. Gyles asked some of the prisoners, who had
lately been taken by privateers and brought to the Jemseg, whether
they would go back with him to witness the ceremony, but they
emphatically refused to witness it and when Gyles expressed his
determination to go, one of them, named Woodbury, said he was "as bad
as a papist and a d--d fool." The procession passed and re-passed from
end to end of the field with solemn words of exorcism accompanied by
the tinkling of a little bell, the blackbirds constantly rising before
them only to light behind them. "At their return," says Gyles, "I told
a French lad that the friar had done no service and recommended them
to shoot the birds. The lad left me, as I thought, to see what the
friar would say to my observation, which turned out to be the case,
for he told the lad that the sins of the people were so great that he
could not prevail against those birds."

A story analogous to this is related in Dr. Samuel Peters' history of
Connecticut, of the celebrated George Whitefield, the New England
Independent minister and revivalist: "Time not having destroyed the
wall of the fort at Saybrooke, Whitefield, in 1740, attempted to bring
down the wall as Joshua did those of Jericho, hoping thereby to
convince the multitude of his divine mission. He walked seven times
around the fort with prayer and ram's horn blowing, he called on the
angel of Joshua to do as he had done at the walls of Jericho; but the
angel was deaf to his call and the wall remained. Thereupon George
cried aloud: 'This town is accursed and the wall shall stand as a
monument of a sinful people!'"

Mathieu d'Amours, Sieur de Freneuse, seems to have thought seriously
of leaving the St. John river on account of the difficulties and
discouragements of his situation, for on the 6th August, 1696, he made
out to one Michel Chartier, of Schoodic, in Acadia, a lease of his
seignioral manor of Freneuse, consisting of 30 arpents (acres) of
arable land under the plough, meadow, forest and undergrowth, with
houses, barns and stables thereon, a cart and plough rigged ready for
work; also all the oxen, cows, bullocks, goats, pigs, poultry,
furniture and household utensils that might remain from the sale which
he proposed to make. Chartier was to enjoy the right of trade with the
Indians through the whole extent of the manor except where lands had
been granted by the Sieur de Freneuse to private individuals. The
lease was to be for a term of five years beginning with the first day
of May following, and the lessee was to pay the Sieur de Freneuse 600
livres annually, half in money and half in small furs, such as beaver,
otter and martins.

It is not likely that this transaction was ever consummated, for less
than three months after the lease was arranged and six months before
Chartier was to take possession, all the buildings of the Sieur de
Freneuse were burned, his cattle destroyed and his fields laid waste
by Hawthorne's expedition returning from their unsuccessful seige of
Fort Nachouac. The original lease, a very interesting document, is now
in possession of Dr. W. F. Ganong and a fac-simile of the signature of
the Sieur de Freneuse is here given.[11]

   [11] A copy of the original lease of the Seigniory of Freneuse, with
        translation, and remarks by Dr. Ganong, will be found in Vol.
        I., p. 121, of Acadiensis, printed at St. John by D. R. Jack,
        to whose kindness and that of Dr. Ganong I am indebted for the
        signature given above.--W. O. R.

[Illustration: Signature of Sieur de Freneuse]

The seigniory included both sides of the St. John river in Sunbury
county, and the most fertile portions of the parishes of Maugerville,
Sheffield, Burton and Lincoln. The name Freneuse is found in most of
the maps of that region down to the time of the American Revolution.
The residence of the Sieur de Freneuse stood on the east bank of the
St. John opposite the mouth of the Oromocto river.

Mathieu d'Amours, as already stated, died in consequence of exposure
at the siege of Fort Nachouac. Sixty years later the lands he had
cleared and tilled and the site of his residence were transferred to
the hands of the first English settlers on the river, the Maugerville
colony of 1763. His widow, Madame Louise Guyon, went to Port Royal,
where her indiscretion created a sensation that resulted in voluminous
correspondence on the part of the authorities and finally led to her
removal to Quebec.

Rene d'Amours, during his sojourn on the River St. John, was much
engrossed in trade with the natives. He made periodical visits to
their villages and was well known at Medoctec, where Gyles lived as a
captive, and it is not unlikely the Frenchmen living at that village
were his retainers. He seems to have made little or no attempt to
fulfil the conditions necessary to retain possession of his seignioral
manor, for to his mind the charms of hunting and trading surpassed
those of farming. His visits to Medoctec to purchase furs and skins
when the Indians had returned from their winter hunts were of doubtful
advantage to the poor savages, for Gyles tells us that "when they came
in from hunting they would be drunk and fight for several days and
nights together, till they had spent most of their skins in wine and
brandy, which was brought to the village by a Frenchman called
Monsieur Sigenioncor" (Clignancourt).

The latter portion of the narrative of John Gyles throws light on the
course of events on the St. John during Villebon's regime, and
supplies us with a particularly interesting glimpse of domestic life
in the home of Louis d'Amours on the banks of the Jemseg, where Gyles
spent the happiest years of his captivity. The wife of the Sieur de
Chauffours, Marguerite Guyon[12], appears in an especially amiable
light. Her lonely situation and rude surroundings, the perils of the
wilderness and of savage war, amidst which her little children were
born, evoke our sympathy. Her goodness of heart is seen in her
motherly kindness to Gyles, the young stranger of an alien race--the
"little English," as she calls him. But with all her amiability and
gentleness she possessed other and stronger qualities, and it was her
woman's wit and readiness of resource that saved her husband's
fortunes in a grave emergency. The story shall be told in Gyles' own

   [12] Louis d'Amours married Marguerite Guyon in 1686, about the time
        he settled on the St. John river. They had three children.

"When about six years of my doleful captivity had passed, my second
Indian master died, whose squaw and my first Indian disputed whose
slave I should be. Some malicious persons advised them to end the
quarrel by putting a period to my life; but honest father Simon, the
priest of the river, told them that it would be a heinous crime and
advised them to sell me to the French."

The suggestion of father Simon was adopted and Gyles, now in his
sixteenth year, went with the missionary and the Indians to the mouth
of the river, the occasion of their journey being the arrival of a
French man-of-war at Menagoueche with supplies for the garrison and
presents for the Indians.

"My master asked me," continues Gyles, "whether I chose to be sold
aboard the man-of-war or to the inhabitants? I replied with tears, I
should be glad if you would sell me to the English from whom you took
me, but if I must be sold to the French, I chose to be sold to the
lowest on the river, or nearest inhabitant to the sea, about 25
leagues from the mouth of the river; for I thought that if I were sold
to the gentlemen aboard the man-of-war I should never return to the
English. * * My master presently went on shore and a few days after
all the Indians went up the river. When we came to a house which I had
spoken to my master about, he went on shore with me and tarried all
night. The master of the house (Louis d'Amours) spoke kindly to me in
Indian, for I could not then speak one word of French. Madam also
looked pleasant on me and gave me some bread. The next day I was sent
six leagues further up the river to another French house. My master
and the friar tarried with Monsieur De Chauffours, the gentleman who
had entertained us the night before. Not long after father Simon came
and said, 'Now you are one of us, for you are sold to that gentleman
by whom you were entertained the other night.'

"I replied, 'Sold!--to a Frenchman!' I could say no more, but went
into the woods alone and wept till I could scarce see or stand. The
word 'sold,' and that to a people of that persuasion which my dear
mother so much detested and in her last words manifested so great
fears of my falling into; the thought almost broke my heart.

"When I had thus given vent to my grief I wiped my eyes, endeavoring
to conceal its effects, but father Simon perceiving my eyes swollen,
rolled me aside bidding me not to grieve, for the gentleman he said to
whom I was sold was of a good humor; that he had formerly bought two
captives of the Indians who both went home to Boston. This in some
measure revived me; but he added he did not suppose that I would ever
incline to go to the English for the French way of worship was much to
be preferred. He said also he would pass that way in about ten days,
and if I did not like to live with the French better than the Indians
he would buy me again.

"On the day following, father Simon and my Indian master went up the
river six and thirty leagues to their chief village and I went down
the river six leagues with two Frenchmen to my new master. He kindly
received me, and in a few days Madam made me an osnaburg shirt and
French cap and a coat out of one of my master's old coats. Then I
threw away my greasy blanket and Indian flap; and I never more saw the
old friar, the Indian village or my Indian master till about fourteen
years after when I saw my old Indian master at Port Royal, and again
about twenty-four years since he came from St. John to Fort George to
see me where I made him very welcome.

"My French master had a great trade with the Indians, which suited me
very well, I being thorough in the language of the tribes at Cape
Sable[13] and St. John. I had not lived long with this gentleman
before he committed to me the keys of his store, etc., and my whole
employment was trading and hunting, in which I acted faithfully for
my master and never knowingly wronged him to the value of one
farthing. They spoke to me so much in Indian that it was some time
before I was perfect in the French tongue."

   [13] The Micmacs, as distinguished from the St. John river Indians or

It was in the summer of the year 1695 that John Gyles was purchased of
the Indians by Louis d'Amours, having been nearly six years in
captivity at the Medoctec village. The strong prejudice against the
French instilled into his mind by his mother, who was a devout
puritan, was soon overcome by the kindness of Marguerite d'Amours.

The goods needed by the Sieur de Chauffours for his trade with the
Indians were obtained from the man-of-war which came out annually from
France, and Gyles was sometimes sent with the Frenchmen in his
master's employ to the mouth of the river for supplies. On one of
these trips, in the early spring time, the party in their frail canoes
were caught in a violent storm as they were coming down the
Kennebeccasis--having crossed over thither from Long Reach by way of
Kingston Creek, the usual route of travel. They were driven on Long
Island opposite Rothesay and remained there seven days without food,
unable to return by reason of the northeast gale and unable to advance
on account of the ice. At the expiration of that time the ice broke up
and they were able to proceed, but in so exhausted a state that they
could "scarce hear each other speak." After their arrival at St. John,
two of the party very nearly died in consequence of eating too
heartily, but Gyles had had such ample experience of fasting in his
Indian life that he had learned wisdom, and by careful dieting
suffered no evil consequences.

In the month of October, 1696, the quietude of the household at the
Jemseg was disturbed by the appearance of the Massachusetts military
expedition under Hawthorne and Church.

"We heard of them," says Gyles, "some time before they came up the
river by the guard that Governor Villebon had ordered at the river's
mouth. Monsieur the gentleman whom I lived with was gone to France,
and Madam advised with me; she then desired me to nail a paper on the
door of our house containing as follows:--

  'I intreat the General of the English not to burn my House or
  Barn, nor destroy my Cattle. I don't suppose that such an army
  comes up this River to destroy a few Inhabitants but for the Fort
  above us. I have shewn kindness to the English captives as we were
  capacitated and have bought two Captives of the Indians and sent
  them to Boston, and have one now with us and he shall go also when
  a convenient opportunity presents and he desires it.'

"This done, Madam said to me, 'Little English; we have shewn you
kindness and now it lies in your power to serve or disserve us, as you
know where our goods are hid in the woods and that Monsieur is not at
home. I could have sent you to the Fort and put you under confinement,
but my respect for you and assurance of your love to us have disposed
me to confide in you, persuaded that you will not hurt us nor our
affairs. And now if you will not run away to the English, who are
coming up the river, but serve our interest I will acquaint Monsieur
of it at his return from France which will be very pleasing to him;
and I now give my word that you shall have liberty to go to Boston on
the first opportunity, if you desire it, or that any other favor in my
power shall not be deny'd you.'

"I replied:--'Madam, it is contrary to the nature of the English to
requite evil for good. I shall endeavor to serve you and your
interest. I shall not run to the English; but if I am taken by them
shall willingly go with them and yet endeavor not to disserve you
either in your persons or goods.'

"This said we embarked and went in a large boat and canoe two or three
miles up an eastern branch of the river that comes from a large pond
[Grand Lake] and in the evening sent down four hands to make
discovery; and while they were sitting in the house the English
surrounded it and took one of the four; the other three made their
escape in the dark through the English soldiers and came to us and
gave a surprising account of affairs.

"Again Madam said to me, 'Little English, now you can go from us, but
I hope you will remember your word!' I said, 'Madam, be not concerned,
for I will not leave you in this strait.' She said 'I know not what to
do with my two poor little Babes.' I said 'Madam, the sooner we embark
and go over the great Pond the better.' Accordingly we embarked and
went over the Pond.

"The next day we spake with Indians, who were in a canoe and gave us
an account that Chignecto-town was taken and burnt. Soon after we
heard the great guns at Governor Villebon's fort, which the English
engaged several days, killed one man, and drew off and went down the
river; for it was so late in the fall that had they tarried a few days
longer in the river, they would have been frozen in for the winter.

"Hearing no report of the great guns for several days, I, with two
others, went down to our house to make discovery, where we found our
young lad who was taken by the English when they went up the river;
for the general was so honorable that, on reading the note on our
door, he ordered that the house and barn should not be burnt nor their
cattle or other creatures killed, except one or two, and the poultry
for their use, and at their return ordered the young lad to be put

"Finding things in this posture, we returned and gave Madam an
account. She acknowledged the many favors which the English had shown,
with gratitude, and treated me with great civility. The next spring
Monsieur arrived from France in the man-of-war, who thanked me for my
care of his affairs, and said that he would endeavor to fulfil what
Madam had promised me."

At the expiration of another year, peace having been proclaimed, a
sloop came to Menagoueche with ransom for one Michael Coombs, and
Gyles at once reminded the Sieur de Chauffours of his promise. That
gentleman advised him to remain, offering to do for him as if he were
his own child, but Gyles' heart was set upon going to Boston, hoping
to find some of his relations yet alive. His master then advised him
to go up to the fort and take leave of the Governor, which he did, and
says the Sieur de Villebon spoke very kindly to him. Some days after
he took an affecting leave of Madame d'Amours and his master went down
to the mouth of the river with him to see him on board. A few days
afterwards he arrived safely in Boston and was welcomed by his
relatives as one risen from the dead.

[Illustration: Signature of John Gyles]

After Villebon's death his successor, de Brouillan, dismantled Fort
Nachouac and the fort at the mouth of the St. John river and
transferred the garrisons to Port Royal. The French families living on
the river soon followed, as they found themselves without protection
and did not care to remain in a situation so exposed. The houses
abandoned by these settlers had been built upon the interval lands on
the east side of the river between the Nashwaak and the Jemseg. The
soil was very fertile, entirely free from rock or stone and little
incumbered by forest. But the situation had its disadvantages--as it
has still. In the spring of the year 1701 the settlers had a most
unhappy experience in consequence of an extraordinarily high freshet.
This event increased Brouillan's aversion to the St. John, and he

"The river is altogether impracticable for habitations, the little
the people had there being destroyed this year by the freshets
(inondations) which have carried off houses, cattle and grain.
There is no probability that any families will desire to expose
themselves hereafter to a thing so vexatious and so common on that
river. Monsieur De Chauffours, who used to be the mainstay of the
inhabitants and the savages, has been forced to abandon it and to
withdraw to Port Royal, but he has no way to make a living there for
his family, and he will unhappily be forced to seek some other retreat
if the Court pays no consideration to the services which he
represents in his petition, and does not grant him some position in
order to retain him in this colony."

The next year France and England were again at war and in the course
of the conflict the fortunes of the d'Amours in Acadia were involved
in utter ruin. The gentle spirit of Marguerite Guyon d'Amours did not
survive the struggle, and with the close of the century she passed
from the scene of her trials. Louis d'Amours, while serving his
country in arms, was taken by the English, and for more than two years
remained a prisoner in Boston. His brother, the Sieur de Clignancourt,
served in various expeditions against the New Englanders and for
several years is heard of in connection with military affairs.
Eventually most of the surviving members of the d'Amours family
removed from Acadia leaving behind them no abiding record of their
sojourn on the St. John river.

Two of the daughters of Louis d'Amours were married at Port Royal
while very young. Perhaps they possessed their mother's winsome
manners, perhaps, also the scarcity of marriageable girls in Acadia
may have had something to do with the matter; at any rate Charlotte
d'Amours was but seventeen years of age when she married the young
baron, Anselm de St. Castin. Their wedding took place at Port Royal in
October, 1707, just two months after young St. Castin had greatly
distinguished himself in the heroic and successful defense of Port
Royal against an expedition from New England.[14] The event no doubt
caused a flutter of excitement in the then limited society of Port
Royal. The officiating priest was Father Antoine Gaulin, of the
Seminary of Quebec, at which institution the young baron had finished
his studies only three years before. Among the witnesses of the
marriage were the Chevalier de Subercase, governor of Acadia;
Bonaventure, who had for some years rendered signal service as
commander of the "Envieux" and other warships; Mon. de la Boularderie,
a French officer who had been wounded in the recent siege, and the
bride's farther, Louis d'Amours--who, signs his name D'Amour

   [14] The mortification of the Bostonians at the failure of this
        expedition was extreme. So confident of success were they that
        preparations were made for a public rejoicing on the
        anticipated capture of Port Royal. The young baron St. Castin
        was wounded in the defence of Port Royal. His conduct in
        leading the defenders on several critical occasions was
        characterized by such dash and intrepidity that Governor
        Subercase in describing the siege wrote to the French minister
        at Versailles that if it had not been for the presence of the
        Baron St. Castin he knew not what would have been the result.
        See Murdoch's Hist. Nova Scotia, vol. I., p. 289.

A few years later the Marquis de Vaudreuil entrusted to St. Castin the
command of Acadia. After the treaty of Utrecht he retired to his
ancestral residence on the banks of the Penobscot, where he lived on
amicable terms with the English and kept the Penobscot Indians from
making encroachments on their neighbors. His sister, Ursule de St.
Castin, married his wife's brother, a son of Louis d'Amours, a
circumstance of interest not only as being a double marriage between
the families of St. Castin and d'Amours, but also from the fact that
the familiar titles of the d'Amours family seem to have been retained
in this, the oldest branch of their family. In proof of this fact, the
distinguished Acadian genealogist, Placid P. Gaudet, has shown that
among the Acadians residing at the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon
in 1767 (according to the census of that year), were Ursule de St.
Castin, widow of the only son of Louis d'Amours, then 71 year of age,
who resided with her son Joseph d'Amours, deChauffour, and his family.
Joseph d'Amours was at that time 49 years of age, and his wife,
Genevieve Roy, 44 years of age. They had seven children and the oldest
sons were Joseph d'Amours, aged 19 years; Paul d'Amours de Freneuse,
aged 16 years, and Louis d'Amours de Clignancourt, aged 13 years. As
the father himself retained the title of de Chauffours it is evident
that on his decease it would fall to his oldest son, Joseph.

Marie d'Amours, sister of the young Baroness de St. Castin, married
Pierre de Morpain, the commander of a privateer of St. Domingo. It
chanced that he had just brought a ship load of provisions to Port
Royal when it was attacked in 1707, and he was able to render good
service in its defence. Two years afterwards he was again at Port
Royal and in the course of a ten days' cruise took nine prizes and
destroyed four more vessels. Being attacked by a coast-guard ship of
Boston a furious engagement ensued in which the English captain was
killed with one hundred of his men and his vessel made a prize and
taken to Port Royal. The commander, Subercase, highly commended
Morpain's bravery and persuaded him to remain at Port Royal where, on
August 13, 1709, he married Marie d'Amours de Chauffours.

Louis d'Amours, Sieur de Chauffours, returned to Port Royal in 1706
after a two years captivity at Boston. On the 17th January, 1708, only
a few weeks after the marriage of his daughter to St. Castin, he took
to himself a wife in the person of Anne Comeau. The marriage was
witnessed by Governor Subercase and other officials at Port Royal,
also by his daughter Charlotte and her husband, the Baron de St.
Castin, and by the widow of his brother the Sieur de Freneuse. It
seems probable that his health had suffered through his long
imprisonment, for very shortly after his second marriage he was
stricken with an illness which proved fatal. The Recollet missionary,
Justinien Durad, records in his parish register the burial in the
cemetery of St. Jean Baptiste at Port Royal on May 19, 1708, of "Louis
d'Amour d'Echauffour, aged not far from sixty years [should be 54
years], after an illness of three months, during which he received the
sacraments with great edification." And this brings us to the last
incident in the romantic story of the brothers d'Amours.



Twelve miles below the town of Woodstock there enters the River St.
John, from the westward, a good sized tributary known as Eel River. It
is a variable stream, flowing in the upper reaches with feeble
current, over sandy shallows, with here and there deep pools, and at
certain seasons almost lake-like expansions over adjoining swamps, but
in the last twelve miles of its course it is transformed into a
turbulent stream, broken by rapids and falls to such an extent that
only at the freshet season is it possible to descend in canoes. The
Indian name of Eel River is "Madawamkeetook," signifying "rocky at its

[Illustration: Plan of Old Medoctec Village]

The Medoctec Fort stood on the west bank of the St. John four miles
above the mouth of Eel River. It guarded the eastern extremity of the
famous portage, five miles in length, by which canoes were carried in
order to avoid the rapids that obstruct the lower part of Eel River.
The rivers were nature's highway for the aboriginal inhabitants and a
glance at the map will show that Madawamkeetook, or Eel River, formed
a very important link in the chain of communication with the western
portion of ancient Acadie by means of the inland waters.

In early days the three principal villages of the Maliseets were
Medoctec on the St. John, Panagamsde on the Penobscot and Narantsouak
on the Kennebec. In travelling from Medoctec to the westward the
Indians passed from the lakes at the head of Eel River, by a short
portage, to the chain of lakes at the head of the St. Croix from
which there was communication by another short portage with the
Mattawamkeag, an eastern branch of the Penobscot. In the course of the
stirring events of the war-period in Acadia the Indian braves and
their French allies made constant use of this route, and the Medoctec
village became a natural rendezvous whenever anything of a warlike
nature was afoot on the St. John. But Medoctec possessed many local
advantages; the hunting in the vicinity was excellent, the rivers
abounded in salmon, sturgeon, bass, trout and other fish, and the
intervals were admirably adapted to the growth of Indian corn--which
seems to have been raised there from time immemorial.

The reader by examining the accompanying plan will have a better idea
of the situation of the old fort.

The site of this ancient Maliseet town is a fine plateau extending
back from the river about fifty rods, then descending to a lower
interval, twenty rods wide, and again rising quite abruptly sixty or
seventy feet to the upland. The spring freshet usually covers the
lower interval and the elevated plateau then becomes an island. The
spot is an exceedingly interesting one, but, unfortunately for the
investigator, the soil has been so well cultivated by the hands of
thrifty farmers that little remains to indicate the outlines of the
old fortifications. It is impossible to determine with absolute
certainty the position of the stockade, or of the large wigwam, or
council chamber, and other features commonly found in Indian towns of
that period. The only place where the old breast-work is visible is
along the south and east sides of the burial ground, where it is about
two feet high. The burial ground has never been disturbed with the
plough, the owners of the property having shown a proper regard for
the spot as the resting place of the dead. It is, however, so thickly
overgrown with hawthorn as to be a perfect jungle difficult to
penetrate. Many holes have been dug there by relic hunters and seekers
of buried treasure.

At the spot marked A* on the plan, between the grave-yard and the
river, there is a mass of ashes and cinders with numberless bones
scattered about. This is believed to be the site of the old council
fire. Here the visitor will find himself in touch with the events of
savage life of centuries ago. Here it was Governor Villebon harangued
his dusky allies; here the horrible dog feast was held and the hatchet
brandished by the warriors on the eve of their departure to deluge
with blood the homes of New England; here at the stake the luckless
captive yielded up his life and chanted his death-song; here the Sieur
de Clignancourt bargained with the Indians, receiving their furs and
peltry and giving in exchange French goods and trinkets, rum and
brandy; here good Father Simon taught the savages the elements of the
Christian faith and tamed as best he could the fierceness of their
manners; here too when weary of fighting the hatchet was buried and
the council fire glowed its brightest as the chiefs smoked their
calumet of peace.

Some have supposed the old Medoctec fort to have been quite an
elaborate structure, with bastions, etc., but it was more probably
only a rude Indian fortification with ditch and parapet surmounted by
a stockade, within which was a strongly built cabin, in size about
thirty by forty feet. Parkman in his "Jesuits in North America," gives
a good description of similar forts built by the Hurons and other
tribes of Canada. The labor originally involved in the erection of the
palisade must have been very great, and nothing but stern necessity is
likely to have driven so naturally improvident a people to undertake
it. The stout stakes were cut, pointed and firmly planted with no
better implement than the stone axe of prehistoric times.

In the lower right hand corner of the plan will be found the spring
referred to in the opening chapter[15] as the scene of the ludicrous
Mohawk scare. Its distance from the old fort is about half a mile, and
the situation and surroundings correspond so exactly with Gyles'
description that there is not the slightest doubt as to its identity.
The water that flows from it never fails and is very clear and cool.

   [15] See page 13.

At the back of the lower interval is a curious gully, something like a
broad natural roadway, which affords an easy ascent to the upland.
This no doubt was the commencement of the famous portage by which
bands of savages in ancient days took their way westward to devastate
the settlements of eastern New England.

The small stream which enters the St. John a little above the old
village site is known as Hay's Creek, but in some of the early maps
and land grants is called "Meductic river." About a mile from its
mouth there is a very beautiful cascade; the volume of water is not
large but the height of the fall, 95 feet perpendicular, is
remarkable, surpassing by at least ten feet the Grand Falls of the
River St. John.

Our knowledge of the village Medoctec, and the ways of its people two
centuries ago, is derived mainly from the narrative of John Gyles, the
English lad who was captured at Pemaquid in 1689 and brought by his
Indian master to the River St. John. At the time of his capture Gyles
was a boy of about twelve years of age. He seems to have met with
kindly treatment from his master though not from all the Indians. His
first rude experience was at Penobscot fort where upon the arrival of
the captives, some fifty in number, the squaws got together in a
circle dancing and yelling, as was their custom on such occasions.
Gyles says, "An old grimace squaw took me by the hand and leading me
into the ring, some seized me by my hair and others by my feet, like
so many furies; but, my master laying down a pledge, they released me.
A captive among the Indians is exposed to all manner of abuses and to
the extremest tortures, unless their master, or some of their master's
relatives lay down a ransom, such as a bag of corn, a blanket, or the
like, which redeems them from their cruelty for that dance."

After a long and wearisome journey the little captive at length neared
his destination, the canoes were paddling down the Madawamkeetook (or
Eel) river. When they reached the rapids they landed, and we shall let
Gyles tell in his own words the story of the last stage of his journey
and of his reception at Medoctec. He says: "We carried over a long
carrying place to Medoctock Fort, which stands on a bank of St. John's
river. My Indian master went before and left me with an old Indian
and three squaws. The old man often said (which was all the English he
could speak), 'By and by come to a great Town and Fort.' So I
comforted myself in thinking how finely I should be refreshed when I
came to this great town.

"After some miles travel we came in sight of a large Corn-field and
soon after of the Fort, to my great surprise; for two or three squaws
met us, took off my pack, and led me to a large hut or wigwam, where
thirty or forty Indians were dancing and yelling round five or six
poor captives. * * I was whirled in among them and we looked at each
other with a sorrowful countenance; and presently one of them was
seized by each hand and foot by four Indians, who swung him up and let
his back with force fall on the hard ground, till they had danced (as
they call it) round the whole wigwam, which was thirty or forty feet
in length. * *

"The Indians looked on me with a fierce countenance, as much as to say
it will be your turn next. They champed cornstalks, which they threw
into my hat as I held it in my hand. I smiled on them though my heart
ached. I looked on one and another, but could not perceive that any
eye pitied me. Presently came a squaw and a little girl and laid down
a bag of corn in the ring. The little girl took me by the hand, making
signs for me to come out of the circle with them. Not knowing their
custom, I supposed they designed to kill me and refused to go. Then a
grave Indian came and gave me a pipe and said in English, 'Smoke it,'
then he took me by the hand and led me out. My heart ached, thinking
myself near my end. But he carried me to a French hut about a mile
from the Indian Fort. The Frenchman was not at home, but his wife, who
was a squaw, had some discourse with my Indian friend, which I did not
understand. We tarried there about two hours, then returned to the
Indian village, where they gave me some victuals. Not long after I saw
one of my fellow-captives who gave me a melancholy account of their
sufferings after I left them.

"After some weeks had passed," Gyles continues, "we left this village
and went up St. John's river about ten miles to a branch called
Medockscenecasis, where there was one wigwam. At our arrival an old
squaw saluted me with a yell, taking me by the hair and one hand, but
I was so rude as to break her hold and free myself. She gave me a
filthy grin, and the Indians set up a laugh and so it passed over.
Here we lived on fish, wild grapes, roots, etc., which was hard living
for me."

Where the one wigwam stood in 1689, there stands today a town of 4,000
people. The stream which Gyles calls Medockscenecasis is the
Meduxnakik and the town is Woodstock. On the islands and intervals
there, wild grapes and lily roots, butter-nuts and cherries are still
to be found, and many generations of boys have wandered with light
hearts in quest of them without a thought of the first of white boys,
who in loneliness and friendlessness trod those intervals more than
two hundred years ago.

It seems to have been the custom of the Indians at the beginning of
the winter to break up into small parties for the purpose of hunting,
and Gyles' description of his first winter's experience will serve to
illustrate the hardships commonly endured by the savages.

"When the winter came on," he says, "we went up the river, till the
ice came down running thick in the river, when, according to the
Indian custom, we laid up our canoes till spring. Then we traveled,
sometimes on the ice and sometimes on land, till we came to a river
that was open but not fordable, where we made a raft and passed over,
bag and baggage. I met with no abuse from them in this winter's
hunting, though I was put to great hardships in carrying burdens and
for want of food. But they underwent the same difficulty, and would
often encourage me by saying in broken English, 'By and by great deal
moose!' Yet they could not answer any question I asked them; and
knowing very little of their customs and ways of life, I thought it
tedious to be constantly moving from place to place, yet it might be
in some respects an advantage, for it ran still in my mind that we
were traveling to some settlement; and when my burden was over heavy,
and the Indians left me behind, and the still evening came on, I
fancied I could see thro' the bushes and hear the people of some great
town; which hope might be some support to me in the day, though I
found not the town at night.

"Thus we were hunting three hundred miles from the sea and knew no man
within fifty or sixty miles of us. We were eight or ten in number, and
had but two guns on which we wholly depended for food. If any disaster
had happened we must all have perished. Sometimes we had no manner of
sustenance for three or four days; but God wonderfully provides for
all creatures. * * *

"We moved still farther up the country after the moose when our store
gave out; so that by the spring we had got to the northward of the
Lady Mountains [near the St. Lawrence]. When the spring came and the
rivers broke up we moved back to the head of St. John's river and
there made canoes of moose hides, sewing three or four together and
pitching the seams with balsam mixed with charcoal. Then we went down
the river to a place called Madawescok. There an old man lived and
kept a sort of a trading house, where we tarried several days; then we
went further down the river till we came to the greatest falls in
these parts, called Checanekepeag[16], where we carried a little way
over land, and putting off our canoes we went down stream still, and
as we passed the mouths of any large branches we saw Indians, but when
any dance was proposed I was bought off.

   [16] The Grand Falls of the St. John river, which the Indians still
        call Chik-seen-eag-i-beg, meaning "a destroying giant."

"At length we arrived at the place where we left our canoes in the
fall and, putting our baggage into them, went down to the fort. There
we planted corn, and after planting went a fishing and to look for and
dig roots till the corn was fit to weed. After weeding we took a
second tour on foot on the same errand, then returned to hill up our
corn. After hilling we went some distance from the fort and field up
the river to take salmon and other fish, which we dried for food,
where we continued till the corn was filled with milk; some of it we
dried then, the other as it ripened."

The statement has been made by the author in the opening chapter that
exaggerated ideas have prevailed concerning the number of Indians who
formerly inhabited this country. The natives of Acadia were not a
prolific race and the life they led was so full of danger and
exposure, particularly in the winter season, as not to be conducive
to longevity. An instance of the dangers to which the Indians were
exposed in their winter hunting is related by Gyles which very nearly
proved fatal to him.

"One winter," he says, "as we were moving from place to place our
hunters killed some moose. One lying some miles from our wigwams, a
young Indian and myself were ordered to fetch part of it. We set out
in the morning when the weather was promising, but it proved a very
cold cloudy day.

"It was late in the evening before we arrived at the place where the
moose lay, so that we had no time to provide materials for a fire or
shelter. At the same time came on a storm of snow very thick which
continued until the next morning. We made a small fire with what
little rubbish we could find around us. The fire with the warmth of
our bodies melted the snow upon us as fast as it fell and so our
clothes were filled with water. However, early in the morning we took
our loads of moose flesh, and set out to return to our wigwams. We had
not travelled far before my moose-skin coat (which was the only
garment I had on my back, and the hair chiefly worn off) was frozen
stiff round my knees, like a hoop, as were my snow-shoes and shoe
clouts to my feet. Thus I marched the whole day without fire or food.
At first I was in great pain, then my flesh became numb, and at times
I felt extremely sick and thought I could not travel one foot farther;
but I wonderfully revived again. After long travelling I felt very
drowsy, and had thoughts of sitting down, which had I done, without
doubt I had fallen on my final sleep. My Indian companion, being
better clothed, had left me long before. Again my spirits revived as
much as if I had received the richest cordial.

"Some hours after sunset I reached the wigwam, and crawling in with my
snow-shoes on, the Indians cried out, 'The captive is frozen to
death!' They took off my pack and the place where that lay against my
back was the only one that was not frozen. They cut off my snow-shoes
and stripped off the clouts from my feet, which were as void of
feeling as any frozen flesh could be.

"I had not sat long by the fire before the blood began to circulate
and my feet to my ankles turned black and swelled with bloody blisters
and were inexpressibly painful. The Indians said one to another: 'His
feet will rot, and he will die;' yet I slept well at night. Soon after
the skin came off my feet from my ankles whole, like a shoe, leaving
my toes without a nail and the ends of my great toe bones bare.... The
Indians gave me rags to bind up my feet and advised me to apply fir
balsam, but withal added that they believed it was not worth while to
use means for I should certainly die. But by the use of my elbows and
a stick in each hand I shoved myself along as I sat upon the ground
over the snow from one tree to another till I got some balsam. This I
burned in a clam shell till it was of a consistence like salve, which
I applied to my feet and ankles and, by the divine blessing, within a
week I could go about upon my heels with my staff; and through God's
goodness we had provisions enough, so that we did not remove under ten
or fifteen days. Then the Indians made two little hoops, something in
the form of a snow-shoe, and sewing them to my feet I was able to
follow them in their tracks on my heels from place to place, though
sometimes half leg deep in snow and water, which gave me the most
acute pain imaginable; but I must walk or die. Yet within a year my
feet were entirely well, and the nails came on my great toes so that a
very critical eye could scarcely perceive any part missing, or that
they had been frozen at all."

We turn now to the consideration of the state of affairs on the St.
John after the removal of the seat of government from Fort Nachouac to
Menagoueche and subsequently to Port Royal.

After the retirement of the French from the river, at the close of the
seventeenth century, our knowledge of that region for the next thirty
years is small. We know, however, that the Maliseets continued hostile
to the English. War parties from the St. John united with the
neighboring tribes, roaming over the country like hungry wolves,
prowling around the towns and settlements of New England, carrying
terror and destruction wherever they went. The resentment inspired by
their deeds was such that the legislatures of Massachusetts and New
Hampshire offered a bounty of £40 for the scalp of every adult male

For sixty years Indian wars followed in rapid succession. They are
known in history as King William's war, Queen Anne's war, Lovewell's
or Dummer's war and King George's war. In nearly every instance the
Indian raids were instigated or encouraged by their French allies, who
feared that otherwise the English would win them and thereby gain the

Civil and ecclesiastical authority in France were at this time very
closely united. The missionaries of New France were appointed and
removed by the authorities at Quebec and received an annual stipend
from the crown, and however diligent the missionary might be in his
calling, or however pure his life, he was liable to be removed unless
he used his influence to keep the savages in a state of hostility to
the English. The Maliseet villages on the St. John, the Penobscot and
the Kennebec rivers were regarded as buttresses against English
encroachments in the direction of Canada, and the authorities at
Quebec relied much upon the influence of the missionaries to keep the
savages loyal to France.

The first missionary at the Medoctec village, of whom we have any
accurate information, was Father Simon, who has already been
frequently mentioned in the extracts from John Gyles' narrative. He
belonged to the order of the Recollets, founded early in the 13th
century by St. Francis of Assissi. The missionaries of that order
began their labors on the St. John as early as 1620; they came to
Acadia from Aquitane. Father Simon was a man of activity and
enterprise as well as of religious zeal. He did all that lay in his
power to promote the ascendency of his country-men in the land they
loved to call "New France," but his influence with the Indians was
always exercised on the side of humanity. On this point Gyles'
testimony is conclusive. He says: "The priest of this river was of the
order of St. Francis, a gentleman of a humane generous disposition. In
his sermons he most severely reprehended the Indians for their
barbarities to captives. He would often tell them that excepting their
errors in religion the English were a better people than themselves."

We have no exact information as to the number of years Father Simon
labored at Medoctec, but he died near the close of the century.
Governor Villebon in December, 1698, wrote, "Father Simon is sick at
Jemseg," and as his name does not again appear in the annals of that
time it is probable that his sickness proved mortal. He was succeeded
in his mission by one of the Jesuit fathers, Joseph Aubery, who came
to Medoctec about 1701, remaining there seven years. He then took
charge of the Abenaki mission of St. Francis, where he continued for
46 years and died at the age of 82. Chateaubriand drew from his
character and career materials for one of the characters in his well
known romance "Atala."

The next missionary on the River St. John was Jean Baptiste Loyard,
who was born at Pau in France in 1678, and came out to Canada in 1706.
He remained almost constantly at his post, except that in the year
1722 he went to France to obtain aid for his mission. His position was
a difficult one, for the letters of the Marquis de Vaudreuil show that
in addition to his spiritual functions he was regarded as the
political agent of the French on the St. John.

By the treaty of Utrecht, in the days of Queen Anne (A. D. 1713), "all
Nova Scotia, or Acadia, comprehended within its ancient boundaries,"
was ceded to the Queen of Great Britain. But the question immediately
arose, what were the ancient boundaries? The British were disposed to
claim, as indeed the French had formerly done, that Acadia included
the territory north of the Bay of Fundy as far west as the Kennebec
river; but the French would not now admit that it included anything
more than the peninsula of Nova Scotia.

In 1715, Governor Caulfield endeavored to have a good understanding
with Loyard, assuring him that he would not be molested, and begging
him to say to the Indians of his mission that they would receive good
treatment at the hands of the English and that a vessel full of
everything they needed would be sent up the river to them.

But other and more potent influences were at work. On June 15, 1716,
the French minister wrote the Marquis de Vaudreuil that the King, in
order to cement more firmly the alliance with the savages of Acadia,
had granted the sum of 1,200 livres, agreeably to the proposal of the
intendant Begon, to be expended in building a church for the Indians
on the River St. John, and another for those on the Kennebec. The
Indians were wonderfully pleased and offered to furnish a quantity of
beaver as their contribution towards the erection of the churches. In
the years that followed the king made two additional grants of 1,200
livres each, and in 1720 the Marquis de Vaudreuil had the satisfaction
of reporting that the churches were finished; that they were well
built and would prove a great inducement to the savages to be loyal to

The probable site of the Indian chapel on the banks of the St. John is
shown in the plan of the Medoctec Fort and village near the north west
corner of the burial ground. A small stone tablet was discovered here
by Mr. A. R. Hay, of Lower Woodstock, in June, 1890. The tablet is of
black slate, similar to that found in the vicinity, and is in length
fourteen inches by seven in width and about an inch in thickness.

It was found quite near the surface, just as it might naturally have
fallen amid the ruins of an old building, covered merely by the fallen
leaves; the inscription is in an excellent state of preservation and,
without abbreviation, reads as follows:

[Illustration: SLATE-STONE TABLET.

A relic of the Indian Chapel of Saint Jean Baptiste. Found
at Medoctec, June, 1890.]

          Optimo Maximo
          In honorem Divi Ioannis Baptistae
          Hoc Templum posuerunt Anno Domin

          Missionis Procurator Ioanne Loyard Societatis Iesu

The translation reads:--"To God, most excellent, most high, in
honor of Saint John Baptist, the Maliseets erected this church A. D.
1717, while Jean Loyard, a priest of the Society of Jesus, was
superintendent of the mission."

The inscription is clearly cut, but not with sufficient skill to
suggest the hand of a practised stone engraver. It was in all
probability the hand of Loyard himself that executed it. The name of
Danielou, his successor, faintly scratched in the lower left-hand
corner, is evidently of later date; but its presence there is of
historic interest.

The Indian church of St. John Baptist at Medoctec, erected in 1717,
was the first on the River St. John--probably the first in New
Brunswick. It received among other royal gifts a small bell which now
hangs in the belfry of the Indian chapel at Central Kingsclear, a few
miles above Fredericton. The church seems to have been such as would
impress by its beauty and adornments the little flock over which
Loyard exercised his kindly ministry. It is mentioned by one of the
Jesuit fathers as a beautiful church (belle eglise), suitably adorned
and furnished abundantly with holy vessels and ornaments of sufficient

The chapel stood for fifty years and its clear toned bell rang out the
call to prayer in the depths of the forest; but by and by priest and
people passed away till, in 1767, the missionary Bailly records in his
register that the Indians having abandoned the Medoctec village he had
caused the ornaments and furnishings of the chapel, together with the
bell, to be transported to Aukpaque, and had caused the chapel itself
to be demolished since it served merely as a refuge for travellers and
was put to the most profane uses.

The Marquis de Vaudreuil in 1718 wrote to the English authorities at
Port Royal protesting against English vessels entering the River St.
John, which he claimed to be entirely within the French dominion. He
encouraged the French to withdraw from the peninsula of Nova Scotia,
promising them lands on the St. John river on application to the
missionary Loyard, who was empowered to grant them and in the course
of time a number of families resorted thither.

When Loyard went to France in 1722 he represented to the home
government that the English were making encroachments on the "rivers
of the savages"--meaning the St. John, Penobscot and Kennebec. "Why is
this?" he asks, "if not for the purpose of continually advancing on
Canada?" He points out that France has not cared for the savages
except when she has had need of them. The English will not fail to
remind them of this fact, and will perhaps by presents more valuable
than the missionaries can offer soon succeed in winning them. Loyard
recommends the court to increase the annual gratuity and to provide
for each village a royal medal to serve as a reminder of the king's
favor and protection. His advice seems to have been followed, and for
some years an annual appropriation of 4,000 livres was made to provide
presents for the savages, the distribution being left to the

[Illustration: BELL OF OLD INDIAN CHAPEL. (A. D. 1717.)]

Port Royal, under its new name of Annapolis, was now become the
headquarters of British authority and efforts were made to establish
friendly relations with the Indians of the St. John river. In July,
1720, nine chiefs were brought over to Annapolis in a vessel sent by
Governor Philipps for the purpose; they were entertained and addressed
and presents were made to them and they went home apparently well
pleased. However the English governor did not count much upon their
fidelity. He states that he was beset with Indian delegations from
various quarters; that he received them all and never dismissed them
without presents, which they always looked for and for which he was
out of pocket about a hundred and fifty pounds; he adds, "but I am
convinced that a hundred thousand will not buy them from the French
interest while the priests are among them."

Governor Philipps' lack of confidence in Indian promises of friendship
and alliance was soon justified, for in Lovewell's war, which broke
out in 1722 and lasted three years, the Indians surprized and captured
a large number of trading vessels in the Bay of Fundy and along the
coast, and a party of 30 Maliseets and 26 Micmacs attacked the Fort at
Annapolis, killing two of the garrison and dangerously wounding an
officer and three men. In retaliation for the loss of Sergt McNeal,
who was shot and scalped, the English shot and scalped an Indian
prisoner on the spot where McNeal had fallen, an action which, however
great the provocation, is to be lamented as unworthy of a Christian

Lovewell's war was terminated by a notable treaty made at Boston in
1725 with four eminent sagamores representing the tribes of Kennebec,
Penobscot, St. John and Cape Sable; Francois Xavier appearing on
behalf of the Maliseets of the St. John. The conference lasted over a
month, for the Indians were very deliberate in their negotiations and
too well satisfied with their entertainment to be in a hurry. The
treaty was solemnly ratified at Falmouth in the presence of the
Lieutenant-Governors of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia,
and about forty chiefs. The formal assent of the St. John Indians does
not appear to have been given until May, 1728, when three or four
sachems, accompanied by twenty-six warriors, came from Medoctec to
Annapolis Royal to ratify the peace and make submission to the British
government. Governor Armstrong with the advice of his officers made
them presents, entertained them several days and sent them away well

The ministry of Loyard was now drawing to a close. He seems to have
been a man of talents and rare virtues, esteemed and beloved by both
French and Indians, and in his death universally lamented. He
devoted nearly twenty-four of the best years of his life to the
conversion of the Indians, and when summoned to Quebec for the
benefit of his health, which had become impared by toil and
exposure, he had hardly recovered from the fatigue of the journey
when he requested to be allowed to return to his mission, where his
presence was needed. It was while in the active discharge of his duty
among the sick that he contracted the disease of which he died in the
midst of his people, who were well nigh inconsolable for their
loss. The obituary letter announcing his death to the other Jesuit
missionaries contains a glowing eulogy of the man and his work.
His disposition had nothing of sternness, yet he was equally
beloved and revered by his flock; to untiring zeal he joined
exemplary modesty, sweetness of disposition, never failing charity
and an evenness of temper which made him superior to all annoyances;
busy as he was he had the art of economising the moments, and he
gave all the prescribed time to his own spiritual exercises; over his
flock he watched incessantly as a good shepherd with the happy
consolation of gathering abundant fruit of his care and toil; he
was fitted for everything and ready for everything, and his
superiors could dispose of him as they would. The date of his death,
June 24, 1731, suggests some remarkable coincidences. The 24th of
June is St. John Baptist's day; Loyard's name was Jean Baptiste; the
church he built was called St. Jean Baptiste; it was the first
church on the banks of a river named in honor of St. Jean Baptiste
(because discovered on 24th June, 1604, by Champlain); and it was
fitting that the missionary who designed it, who watched over its
construction and who probably was laid to rest beneath its shade,
should pass from the scene of his labors on the day that honors the
memory of St. Jean Baptiste. By a pure coincidence the author finds
himself penning these words on St. John Baptist's day, 1903.

[Illustration: Jean Loyard Fac-simile, A. D. 1708.]

Loyard's successor was Jean Pierre Danielou, whose presence at
Medoctec is indicated by the occurrence of his name on the memorial
tablet. After his arrival at Quebec in 1715 he was employed for some
years as a teacher, but took holy orders about 1725. Danielou had been
but a short time in charge of his mission when he received a sharply
worded letter from the governor of Nova Scotia, ordering the Acadians
settled on the River St. John to repair to the port of Annapolis Royal
and take the oath of allegiance. The governor says that their settling
on the river without leave was an act of great presumption. A number
of the settlers accordingly presented themselves at Annapolis, where
they took the required oaths and agreed to take out grants.

The little French colony were settled at or near St. Anns (now
Fredericton) for a census made in 1733, for the government of France,
gives the number of Acadians on the river as 111, divided into twenty
families, and fifteen of these families, numbering eighty-two persons,
were living below the village of Ecoupay (or Aukpaque). Two families
lived at Freneuse and three at the mouth of the river.

The story of the old Medoctec village in later times will be told
incidentally in the chapters that are to follow.



After a long interval of peace from the time of the treaty of Utrecht
in 1713, war was declared between France and England in 1744. The
Indians of the St. John river, who had been fairly quiet for some
years, took the warpath with great alacrity. The war that ensued is
known as "King George's," or the "Five Years" war. At its commencement
the Maliseets played rather a sharp trick upon the English which Paul
Mascarene and Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, remembered
against them when peace was proclaimed five years later. On that
occasion Count de la Galissonniere wrote to Mascarene to inquire if
the Maliseets were included in the peace, "in which case," he says, "I
entreat you to have the goodness to induce Mr. Shirley to allow them
to settle again in their villages, and to leave their missionaries
undisturbed as they were before the war." The French governor
suggested that a reply might be sent through the missionary by whom he
had sent his own letter. Both Mascarene and Shirley replied at some
length to the letter of de la Galissonniere. They stated that when a
renewal of the war with France was daily expected, a deputation of the
St. John river Indians came to Annapolis professedly to make an
agreement to remain on friendly terms with the English in the event of
war with France. They were well received in consequence. But they had
come in reality as spies, and three weeks afterwards returned with
others of their tribe, the missionary le Loutre at their head,
surprised and killed as many of the English as they caught outside the
fort, destroyed their cattle, burnt their houses and continued their
acts of hostility against the garrison till the arrival of troops from
New England to check them. "For this perfidious behaviour," Shirley
says, "I caused war to be declared in his majesty's name against these
Indians in November, 1744, and so far as it depends upon me, they
shall not be admitted to terms of peace till they have made a proper
submission for their treachery."

During King George's war the Maliseet warriors did not, as in former
Indian wars, assemble at Medoctec and turn their faces westward to
devastate the settlements of New England, the scene of hostilities was
now transferred to the eastward, Annapolis Royal, Beausejour and
Louisbourg became the scene of hostilities and Aukpaque, not Medoctec,
the place of rendezvous.

Immediately after the declaration of war Paul Mascarene set to work to
repair the defences of Annapolis Royal. The French inhabitants at
first showed every readiness to assist him, but they retired to their
habitations when the Indians, to the number of about three hundred
fighting men, appeared before the fort. Among the leaders of the
savages was young Alexander le Borgne de Bellisle, who himself had
Indian blood in his veins, being the son of Anastasie de St. Castin.
The Indians failed in their attack and retired to await the arrival of
troops from Louisbourg under Du Vivier.

Some weeks later the united forces again advanced on Annapolis
but, after a siege lasting from the end of August to about the 25th of
September, they were obliged to retire without accomplishing
anything. Mascarene conducted the defence with prudence and energy
but honestly admits, in his letter to Governor Shirley, that it
was largely "to the timely succours sent from the Governor of
Massachusetts and to our French inhabitants refusing to take up arms
against us, we owe our preservation."

The people of New England cherished no good will toward the savages of
Acadia. The horrors of Indian warfare in the past were yet fresh in
their memories, and stern measures were resolved upon. Governor
Shirley, with the advice of his council, offered premiums for their
scalps, £100 currency for that of an adult male Indian, £50 for that
of a woman or child, and for a captive £5 higher than for a scalp.

After the failure of the French attack on Annapolis Royal, Shirley
planned an expedition against Louisbourg, "the Dunkirk of America."
This was indeed a formidable undertaking, for the French had spent
twenty-five years of time and about six millions and a half of dollars
in building, arming and adorning that city. The walls of its defences
were formed of bricks brought from France and they mounted two hundred
and six pieces of cannon. The leader of the expedition was William
Pepperell, a native of Kittery, Maine, a colonel of militia and a
merchant who employed hundreds of men in lumbering and fishing. His
troops comprised a motley collection of New Englanders--fishermen and
farmers, sawyers and loggers, many of them taken from his own vessels,
mills and forests. Before such men, aided by the English navy under
Commodore Warren, to the world's amazement, Louisbourg fell. The
achievement is, perhaps, the most memorable in our colonial annals,
but a description of the siege cannot be here attempted. After the
surrender of Louisbourg a banquet was prepared by Pepperell for his
officers, and Mr. Moody of New York, Mrs. Pepperell's uncle, was
called upon to ask a blessing at the feast. The old parson was apt to
be prolix on public occasions, and his temper being rather irritable,
none dared to suggest that brevity would be acceptable. The company
were therefore highly gratified by his saying grace as follows: "Good
Lord, we have so many things to thank Thee for that time will be
infinitely too short to do it. We must therefore leave it for the work
of eternity. Bless our food and fellowship upon this joyful occasion,
for the sake of Christ our Lord. Amen."

The capture of Louisbourg greatly relieved the situation at Annapolis,
and probably saved Acadia to the English. It acted as a damper on the
ardor of the Indians of the St. John river, who, under Marin, a French
officer from Quebec, had taken the warpath. They were encouraged in
their hostile attitude by their missionary Germain, lately come to
Aukpaque as Danielou's[17] successor.

   [17] Jean Pierre Danielou died at Quebec, May 23, 1744. His
        successor, Father Charles Germain, came to Canada in 1738 and
        a few years later, probably in 1740, was sent to the St. John

While the stirring events just mentioned were transpiring at
Louisbourg, Governor Mascarene was doing his best to place Annapolis
Royal in a proper state of defence and the chief engineer, John Henry
Bastide, was busily engaged in strengthening the fort. Early in the
summer of 1745 the Sieur Marin appeared before the town with a party
of six hundred French and Indians--the latter including many from the
River St. John and some of the Hurons from Canada. They captured two
Boston schooners, one of which was named the "Montague." Her captain,
William Pote, of Falmouth (now Portland) Maine, was taken to Quebec by
the Huron Indians, via the St. John river. He remained in captivity
three years. He contrived to keep a journal describing his capture and
subsequent adventures; this was concealed by one of the female
prisoners who restored it to Captain Pote after he was released. The
journal had a remarkable experience; it passed through many hands, was
discovered at Geneva in Switzerland about a dozen years ago by Bishop
John F. Hurst, and has since been printed in a sumptuous volume by
Dodd, Mead & Co., of New York. Thus after a century and a half of
obscurity this remarkable old document has at length seen the light.

We learn from its pages that Captain Pote was taken by land to
Chignecto at the head of the Bay of Fundy, where he found the captured
schooner "Montague" already arrived. The Indians called a council to
decide whether it was better to go to the River St. John in the
schooner or by land, but finally thought it better to go by land.
Accordingly on the 26th June, the "Montague" sailed with several
prisoners, including two of Pote's men and the master of the other
schooner taken at Annapolis and one of his men. Pote entreated the
Indians to be allowed to go in the schooner, but could not prevail. He
was taken by way of Shepody Bay up the River Petitcodiac in a small
schooner belonging to one of the "neutral French." The next day's
journey brought them to the carrying place between the Petitcodiac and
the Canaan river, which they crossed and encamped.

The events of the day following--Sunday, June 30--are thus recorded in
Pote's journal:

"This day in ye morning we had Intelligence that there was a priest
from ye River of Saint Johns expected to arrive at this place in a few
minutes, ye Indians made Great preparation for his Reception and at
his arrival shewed many symptoms of their Great Respect. Ye Priest was
conducted to ye Captain's camp, where after having passed many
compliments, the Priest asked ye Capt. of ye Indians who I was, and
when he Understood I was a prisoner, he asked me if I could speak
French. I told him a Little, and asked him concerning one Jonathan a
soldier that was a passenger on board of our Schooner when we was
taken, and was then at ye River of Saint Johns. Ye Priest gave me an
account of him, and told me to content myself in ye Condition that I
was then in, for I was in ye hands of a Christian nation and it might
prove very Beneficial both to my Body and Soul. I was obliged to
concur with his sentiments for fear of displeasing my masters. Ye
Indians built him a Table against a Large Tree, where he said mass,
and sung (louange au bon Dieu pour leur conservation jusqu'au present)
after they had concluded their mass, &c., the priest gave them
Permission to commence their making Connews and Took his leave of us.
This Day we was Imployed in making Connews of Elm and ash Bark."

The priest here mentioned was no doubt the Jesuit missionary, Charles
Germain, for the Governor General of Canada, the Marquis Beauharnois,
in his letter to the French minister, dated at Quebec 27 September of
this year, writes: "M. Germain, missionary on the lower part of the
River St. John, arrived here yesterday with the chief and 24 Indians
of his mission, the most of whom served in Mr. Marin's party."

The Indians with Capt. Pote made seven canoes, and in these they
proceeded down the Canaan river to Washademoak lake, thence up the St.
John river to Aukpaque. On the way several rather curious incidents
occurred. For example, on one occasion they caught some small fish,
which Pote attempted to clean, but the Indians snatched them from him
and boiled them "slime and blood and all together." "This," said Pote,
"put me in mind of ye old Proverb, God sent meat and ye D----l cooks."
On another occasion, he says, "we Incamped by ye side of ye River and
we had much difficulty to kindle a fire by Reason it Rained exceeding
fast, and wet our fire works; we was obliged to turn our connews
bottom up and Lay under them; at this time it thundered exceedingly,
and ye Indians asked me if there was not people in my Country
sometimes distroyed by ye Thunder and Lightning, yet I told them I had
known several Instances of that nature, they told me yt never any
thing hapned to ye Indians of harm neither by thunder nor Lightning,
and they said it was a Judgment on ye English and French, for
Incroaching on their Libertys in America."

On their way up the River St. John Mr. Pote and his companions passed
several French houses, and at some of these they stopped for
provisions, but found the people so "exceeding poor" they could not
supply any. When they arrived at Aukpaque, on the evening of the 6th
July, they found the schooner Montague had arrived some days before
with the other prisoners.

Pote and his friends met with an unexpectedly warm reception at the
Indian village, which we shall allow him to relate in his own quaint

"At this place ye Squaws came down to ye Edge of ye River, Dancing and
Behaving themselves, in ye most Brutish and Indecent manner and taking
us prisoners by ye arms, one Squaw on each Side of a prisoner, they
led us up to their Village and placed themselves In a Large Circle
Round us, after they had Gat all prepared for their Dance, they made
us sit down In a Small Circle, about 18 Inches assunder and began
their frolick, Dancing Round us and Striking of us in ye face with
English Scalps, yt caused ye Blood to Issue from our mouths and Noses,
In a Very Great and plentiful manner, and Tangled their hands in our
hair, and knocked our heads Togather with all their Strength and
Vehemence, and when they was tired of this Exercise, they would take
us by the hair and some by ye Ears, and standing behind us, oblige us
to keep our Necks Strong so as to bear their weight hanging by our
hair and Ears.

"In this manner, they thumped us In ye Back and Sides, with their
knees and feet, and Twitched our hair and Ears to such a Degree, that
I am Incapable to express it, and ye others that was Dancing Round if
they saw any man falter, and did not hold up his Neck, they Dached ye
Scalps In our faces with such Violence, yt every man endeavored to
bear them hanging by their hair in this manner, Rather then to have a
Double Punishment; after they had finished their frolick, that lasted
about two hours and a half, we was carried to one of their Camps,
where we Saw Some of ye Prisoners that Came in ye montague; at this
place we Incamped yt Night with hungrey Belleys."

Unpleasant as was the reception of Pote and his fellow prisoners at
Aukpaque they were fortunate in being allowed to escape with their
lives. It chanced that the previous year Capt. John Gorham had brought
to Annapolis a company of Indian rangers--probably Mohawks--as allies
of the English. Paul Mascarene justified this proceeding on the ground
that it was necessary to set Indians against Indians, "for tho' our
men outdo them in bravery," he says, "yet, being unacquainted with
their sculking way of fighting and scorning to fight under cover they
expose themselves too much to the enemy's shot." Gorham's Indian
rangers, it appears, had killed several of the Maliseets, and Pote
learned the day after his arrival at Aukpaque "That the Indians held a
counsell amongst ym weather they should put us to Death, and ye Saint
Johns Indians almost Gained ye point for they Insisted it was but
Justice, as they Sd there had been Several of their Tribe, murdered by
Capt. John Gorham at anapolis. Our masters being Verey Desirous to
Save us alive, Used all ye arguments In their power for that purpose
but could not prevail, for they Insisted on Satisfaction; howsoever
our masters prevailed so far with ym, as to take Some Considerable
quantity of their most Valuable Goods, and Spare our Lives; this Day
they Gave us Some Boill'd Salmon which we Eat with a Verey Good
Appetite, without Either Salt or Bread, we Incamped this Night at this
afforsaid Indian Village Apog. (Aukpaque.)"

Evidently the Indians had retained the practices of their forefathers
as regards their treatment of captives, for Pote's experience at
Aukpaque was just about on a par with that of Gyles at Medoctec rather
more than half a century before. But it is only just to remember that
this was a time of war and (as Murdoch well points out) Indian laws of
war permitted not only surprises, stratagems and duplicity, but the
destruction and torture of their captives. These practices being in
harmony with the ideas and customs inherited from their ancestors did
not readily disappear even under the influence of Christianity. And
yet it is well to remember that the Indians often spared the lives of
their captives and even used them kindly and however much we may
condemn them for their cruelty on many occasions we must not forget
that there were other occasions where men of our own race forget for a
season the rules of their religion and the laws of humanity.

Captain Pote's unhappy experience at Aukpaque caused him to feel no
regret when the Huron Indians took their departure with their captives
the next day. They had now come to the "beginning of the swift water"
and their progress became more laborious. The party included
twenty-three persons. One of the prisoners, an Indian of Gorham's
Rangers, taken on Goat Island at Annapolis, Pote says

"Was exceedingly out of order and could not assist ye Indians to
paddle against ye Strong Current that Ran against us ye Greater part
of ye Day, his head was So Exceedingly Swelled, with ye Squaws beating
of him, yt he Could Scearsley See out of his Eyes. I had ye Good
fortune to be almost well in Comparison to what he was, although it
was he and I was Companions, and Sat Next to Each other, In ye Time of
their Dance, and him they alwas took for my partner to knock our heads
Together. Ye Indians asked me In what Manner ye Squaws treated us,
that his head was So Exceedingly Swelld, I Gave them an account, at
which they feigned themselves much Disgusted, and protested they was
Intierly Ignorant of ye affair, and Said they thought ye Squaws
Designed Nothing Else, but only to Dance round us for a Little
Diversion, without mollisting or hurting of us In any manner."

As they ascended the river the party encountered occasional rapids
which caused some delay, particularly the Meductic rapids below the
mouth of the Pokiok, where they were obliged to land and carry their
baggage over clefts of rocks, fallen trees and other obstacles. The
Indians told Pote they would shortly arrive at another Indian village
and he asked, with some anxiety, if the Indians there would use them
in the same manner as those at Aukpaque. This question led to an
immediate consultation among the Hurons, and, Pote says,

"I observed they Looked with a Verey Serious Countenance on me; when I
Saw a Convenient oppertunity I spoke to this affect, Gentlemen You are
all Verey Sensible, of ye Ill Usage we met with at ye other Village,
which I have Reason to believe, was Intierly Contrary to any of Your
Inclinations or permission, and as you Call your Selves Christians,
and men of honor, I hope you'l Use your prisoners accordingly, But I
think it is Verey Contrary to ye Nature of a Christian, to abuse men
In ye manner we was at ye other Village, and I am Verey Sensible there
is no Christian Nation yt Suffers their prisoners to be abused after
they have Given them quarters, In ye manner we have been; the Indians
Looked verey Serious, and approved of what I said, and Talked amongst
themselves in Indian, and my master told me when we arrived to ye
Indian Village I must mind to keep Clost by him."

On the second morning after they left Aukpaque, the party drew nigh
Medoctec, passing as they proceeded, several small spots where the
Indians had made improvements and planted corn, beans, etc. Pote

"We arrived to ye Indian village about Noon, as soon as Squaws, saw us
coming In Sight of their Village, and heard ye Cohoops, which
Signified ye Number of Prisoners, all ye Squaws In their Village,
prepared themselves with Large Rods of Briars, and Nettles &c., and
met us at their Landing, Singing and Dancing and Yelling, and making
such a hellish Noise, yt I Expected we Should meet with a worse
Reception at this place that we had at ye other. I was Verey Carefull
to observe my masters Instructions, yt he had Given me ye Day before,
and warned ye Rest to do Likewise."

The first canoe that landed was that of the captain of the Hurons who
had in his canoe but one prisoner, an Indian of Capt. Gorham's
Company. This unfortunate fellow was not careful to keep by his
master, and in consequence

"Ye Squaws Gathered themselves Round him, and Caught him by ye hair,
as many as could get hold of him, and halled him down to ye Ground,
and pound his head against ye Ground, ye Rest with Rods dancing Round
him, and wipted him over ye head and Legs, to Such a degree, that I
thought they would have killed him In ye Spot, or halled him in ye
watter and Drounded him, they was So Eager to have a Stroak at him
Each of them, that they halled him Some one way and Some another, Some
times Down towards ye water by ye hair of ye head, as fast as they
could Run, then ye other party would have ye Better and Run with him
another way, my master spoke to ye other Indians, and told ym to take
ye fellow out of their hands, for he believed they would Certainly
murther him, In a Verey Short time."

The squaws advanced towards Pote, but his master spoke something in
Indian in a very harsh manner that caused them to relinquish their
purpose. The prisoners and their Indian masters were conducted to
the camp of the captain of the village who, at their request, sent to
relieve the poor Mohawk from the abuse of the squaws, and he was
brought to them more dead than alive. At this place Pote met a
soldier that had been with him on the schooner "Montague" when she
was captured who told him how the Indians had abused him at his
arrival. Captain Pote did not entirely escape the attentions of the
"sauvagesses," witness the following entry in his journal:--

"Thursday ye 11th. This Day we Remained In ye Indian Village called
Medocatike, I observed ye Squaws could not by any means Content
themselves without having their Dance. they Continued Teasing my
master to Such a Degree, to have ye Liberty to Dance Round me, that he
Consented they might if they would Promis to not abuse me, they
Desired none of ye Rest, but me was all they aimed at for what Reason
I cannot Tell. When my masters had Given ym Liberty, which was Done in
my absence, there Came Into ye Camp, two Large Strong Squaws, and as I
was Setting by one of my masters, they Caught hold of my armes with
all their Strength, and Said Something in Indian, yt I Supposed was to
tell me to Come out of ye Camp, and halld me of my Seat. I Strugled
with ym and cleard my Self of their hold, and Set down by my master;
they Came upon me again Verey Vigorously, and as I was Striving with
them, my master ordered me to Go, and told me they would not hurt me.
At this I was obliged to Surrender and whent with ym, they Led me out
of ye Camp, Dancing and Singing after their manner, and Carried me to
one of their Camps where there was a Company of them Gathered for
their frolick, they made me Set down on a Bears Skin in ye Middle of
one of their Camps, and Gave me a pipe and Tobacoe, and Danced Round
me till the Sweat Trickled Down their faces, Verey plentyfully, I
Seeing one Squaw that was Verey Big with Child, Dancing and foaming at
ye mouth and Sweating, to Such a degree yt I Could not forbear
Smilling, which one of ye old Squaws Saw, and Gave me two or three
twitches by ye hair, otherwise I Escaped without any Punishment from
them at the time."

While he was at Medoctec one of the chiefs desired Pote to read a
contract or treaty made about fourteen years before by his tribe with
the Governor of Nova Scotia. He also had an interview with one Bonus
Castine,[18] who had just arrived at Medoctec, and who examined him
very strictly as to the cargo of the Montague and took down in writing
what he said. Castine told Pote that the Penobscot Indians were still
at peace with the English and he believed would so continue for come
time. Pote thought it not prudent to contradict him, though he was
confident there were several Penobscot Indians in the party that had
captured the Boston schooners. At his master's suggestion he remained
close in camp, as the Indians were dancing and singing the greater
part of the night, and Castine had made use of expressions that showed
his life was in great danger.

   [18] In his journal Pote terms him "Bonus Castine from Pernobsquett;"
        there can be little doubt that he was a descendant of Baron de
        St. Castin, already mentioned in these pages.

The following day the Hurons resumed their journey and in due time
arrived at Quebec. At times the party suffered from lack of food,
though fish were usually abundant, and on one occasion they caught in
a small cove, a few miles below the mouth of the Tobique, as many as
fifty-four salmon in the course of a few hours.

Having considered, at greater length than was originally intended, the
adventures of Captain Pote, we may speak of other individuals and
incidents which figure in King George's War.

Paul Mascarene, who so gallantly and successfully defended Annapolis
Royal against the French and Indians, was born in the south of France
in 1684. His father was a Huguenot, and at the revocation of the edict
of Nantes was obliged to abandon his native country. Young Mascarene
was early thrown upon his own resources. At the age of 12 he made his
way to Geneva, where he was educated. Afterwards he went to England,
became a British subject and entered the army. He was present at the
taking of Port Royal by General Nicholson and, after serving with
credit in various capacities, was appointed Lieut.-Governor of Nova
Scotia in 1740. He eventually rose to the rank of a major general in
the English army.

Mascarene preserved his love for his native tongue and was always
disposed to deal kindly with the Acadians. Two very interesting
letters written by him in French to Madame Francoise Bellisle
Robichaux have been preserved. This lady came of rather remarkable
ancestry. She was the granddaughter of the Baron de St. Cactin, and
had as her great-grandsires on the one hand the celebrated Charles la
Tour, and on the other the famous Penobscot chieftain Madockawando.

In view of the fact that the Belleisle family lived for a considerable
time on the St. John river, where their name is preserved in that of
Belleisle Bay, it may be well to trace the lineage in fuller detail.

The eldest daughter of Charles la Tour by his second wife, the widow
of d'Aulnay Charnisay, was Marie la Tour, who was born in St. John in
1654.[19] She married when about twenty years of age Alexander le
Borgne de Belleisle, who was eleven years her senior. Their son
Alexander, born in 1679, married December 4, 1707, Anastasia St.
Castin, a daughter of the Baron, de St. Castin by his Indian wife
Melctilde, daughter of Madockawando, and as a consequence of this
alliance the younger le Borgne obtained great influence over the
Maliseets. Lieut.-Gov. Armstrong alludes to this circumstance in a
letter to the Lords of Trade, written in 1732, in which he observes,
"Madame Bellisle's son Alexander married an Indian and lived among the
tribe, being hostile to the British government." This statement is
hardly fair to Anastasie St. Castin, for, while her mother certainly
was the daughter of an Indian chief, her father was the Baron de St.
Castin and she herself a well educated woman. The genealogist of the
d'Abbadie St. Castin family, however, uses rather grandiloquent
language when he styles the mother of Anastasie St. Castin, "Mathilde
Matacawando, princess indienne, fille de Matacawando, general-en-chef
des indiens Abenakis."[20]

   [19] Marie la Tour, widow of Alexander le Borgne was living at
        Annapolis Royal in 1733 at the age of 79 years.

   [20] See Transactions Royal Society of Canada 1895, p. 87.

In spite of the supposed hostility of Alexander le Borgne de Belleisle
to British rule in Acadia, he came before the governor and council at
Annapolis and took the oath of allegiance. He also presented a
petition requesting the restoration of the seignioral rights of his
father as one of the la Tour heirs; this was ordered to be transmitted
to the home authorities. For several years the sieur de Belleisle
lived with his family at Annapolis and the governor and council
regarded him with favor, but failed to obtain the recognition of his
seignioral rights. After a time the la Tour heirs got into litigation
among themselves, and one of their number, Agatha la Tour, who had
married an officer of the garrison, Ensign Campbell, seems to have
outwitted the other heirs and to have succeeded in selling the rights
of the la Tour family to the English crown for three thousand guineas.
This naturally was displeasing to Alexander le Borgne de Belleisle. He
retired to the St. John river about the year 1736 and settled near the
mouth of Belleisle Bay. He had a son Alexander (the third of the
name[21]), who married Marie Le Blanc and settled at Grand Pre, where
he died in 1744. Francoise Belleisle, who had the honor of being a
correspondent of Lieut.-Governor Mascarene, married Pierre Robichaux.
The wedding took place at Annapolis Royal, January 16, 1737, the
officiating priest being St. Poncy de Lavennede. The contracting
parties are described in the old church register as "Pierre Robichaux,
aged about 24 years, son of Francois Robichaux and Madeleine Terriot,
and Mademoiselle Francoise de Belle Isle, aged about 22 years,
daughter of Sieur Alexandre Le Borgne de Belle Isle and Anastasie de
St Castin of the Parish of Ste Anne." The bride signs her name
Francoise le Borgnes. It is evident that the "Parish of Ste. Anne" was
the parish or mission of that name on the St. John river from the fact
that two years later a second daughter of the Sieur de Bellisle
married a Robichaux and in her marriage certificate she figures as
"Marie Le Borgne de Belle Isle, daughter of Alexandre Le Borgne de
Belle Isle and of Anastasie St. Castin of the River St. John."

   [21] The name "Alexander" descended through at least two more
        generations, as I am informed by Placide P. Gaudet, who is by
        all odds the best living authority in such matters. Alexander
        le Borgne de Belleisle, mentioned above, left at his death a
        widow and seven children, of whom six were transported with
        their mother to Maryland at the time of the Acadian expulsion.
        The remaining child Alexander Belleisle (the fourth) went to
        L'Islet in Quebec, where he married Genevieve Cloutier in 1773
        and their first son, Anthony Alexander, was baptized the year
        following.--W. O. R.

The brothers Robichaux settled after their marriage near their
father-in-law on the St. John river and it was from them that the
little settlement of Robicheau, above the mouth of Belleisle Bay,
derived its name.[22]

   [22] See Ganong's Historic Sites in New Brunswick: Transactions of
        the Royal Society of Canada for 1899, p. 271.

[Illustration: (_From the Calnek-Savary History of Annapolis, by
permission of the Hon. Judge Savary._)]

Francoise Belleisle Robichaux wrote to Paul Mascarene early in 1741
respecting her claim to some property in dispute with her relatives at
Annapolis. The governor in his reply gives her some information and
advice, adding, "I think you too reasonable to expect any favor of me
in what concerns my conduct as a judge; but in every other thing
that is not contrary to my duty I shall have real pleasure in
testifying to you the esteem I have for you. Let me have your news
when there is an opportunity, freely and without fear."

When the war with France began, three years later, the sieur de
Belleisle and his son Alexander took sides with their countrymen. The
father evidently cherished a hope that in the course of events Acadia
might revert to France, in which case he expected to obtain the
recognition of his seignioral rights. Young Alexander le Borgne was,
as already stated, a leader of the Indians in the attack on Annapolis
early in 1744, which attack failed on account of the energy and
bravery of Mascarene. The following letter of the Lieut.-Governor to
Frances Belleisle Robichaux is of interest in thin connection.

  Annapolis Royal, Oct. 13, 1744.

  Madame,--When I learned that your father, in the hope of
  recovering his seigneurial rights, had sided with those who came
  to attack this fort, I confess I was of opinion that the whole
  family participated in his feelings; and the more so, as your
  brother was with the first party of savages who came here last
  summer. I am agreeably surprised, however, and very glad to see by
  your letter that you did not share in those sentiments, and that
  you have remained true to the obligations which bind you to the
  government of the King of Great Britain, I am unwilling that the
  esteem which I have entertained for you should be in any manner

  With respect to the protection which you ask for your establishment
  on the river St. John, it is out of my power to grant it. We
  cannot protect those who trade with our declared enemies. Therefore
  you must resolve to remain on this [the English] side during the
  continuance of the present troubles, and to have no intercourse
  with the other. Should you come and see us here, you will find
  me disposed to give you all the assistance that you can reasonably

  Be assured that I am, Madam,

  Your friend and servant,


The next glimpse we get of the name of Belleisle on the River St. John
is in connection with a notable treaty made with the Indians in 1749.
In the summer of that year, peace having been proclaimed with France,
Capt. Edward How went to the St. John river in the warship "Albany,"
and had several interviews with the Indian chiefs, who agreed to send
deputies to Halifax to wait upon Governor Cornwallis and renew their
submission to the King of England. Accordingly on the 12th of August,
Francois Arodowish, Simon Sactawino, and Jean Baptiste Madounhook,
deputies from the chiefs of the St. John river, and Joannes
Pedousaghtigh, chief of Chignecto, with their attendants, arrived at
Halifax to pay their respects to the new governor, and to agree upon
"articles of a lasting peace."

Great must have been the wonder of these children of the forest at the
busy scene that met their eyes on landing at old Chebucto. A colony of
two thousand five hundred persons had settled on a spot hitherto
almost without inhabitant, and the Town of Halifax was rising, as if
by magic, from the soil which less than eight weeks before had been
covered by a dense forest. The sound of axes, hammers and saws was
heard on every hand.

Two days after their arrival the Indians were received on board the
man-of-war "Beaufort" by Cornwallis and his entire council. The
delegates announced that they were from Aukpaque, Medoctec,
Passamaquoddy and Chignecto, and that their respective chiefs were
Francois de Salle of Octpagh, Noellobig of Medoctec, Neptune
Abbadouallete of Passamaquoddy and Joannes Pedousaghtigh of Chignecto.
They brought with them a copy of the treaty made with their tribes in
1728 and expressed a desire to renew it. After the usual negotiations
the treaty was engrossed on parchment and signed by the Indians, each
man appending to his signature his private mark or "totem." Eleven
members of the council also signed the treaty as witnesses.

A few days later the Indians returned with Capt. How to the St. John
river, where the treaty was duly ratified, and thirteen chiefs signed
the following declaration:--

"The Articles of Peace concluded at Chebuckto the Fifteenth of August,
1749, with His Excellency Edward Cornwallis Esq'r, Capt. General
Governor and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Province of Nova
Scotia or Acadie, and signed by our Deputies, having been communicated
to us by Edward How Esq'r, one of His Majesty's Council for said
Province, and faithfully interpreted to us by Madame De Bellisle
Inhabitant of this River nominated by us for that purpose. We the
Chiefs and Captains of the River St. Johns and places adjacent do for
ourselves and our different Tribes confirm and ratify the same to all
intents and purposes.

"Given under our hands at the River St. Johns this fourth day of
September, 1749."

At first glance it would seem that the interpreter, Madame Belleisle,
must have been Anastasie St. Castin, wife of Alexander le Borgne de
Belleisle, but as she was then more than sixty years of age it is
possible the interpreter may have been her daughter, Francoise
Belleisle Robichaux. That the latter had a position of some influence
with the Indians is shown by the fact that when the chiefs of the
River St. John went to Halifax in 1768 (nearly twenty years later)
they complained that the ornaments of their church "were taken by
Francoise Belleisle Robicheau and carried to Canada by her, and that
she refused to give them up." The natural presumption is that the
ornaments were intrusted to her care by the missionary, Germain, when
he left the mission of Ste. Anne, and that she took them with her for
safe keeping.

The English colonial authorities congratulated Cornwallis on the
treaty made with the Indians. "We are glad to find," say they, "that
the Indians of the St. John river have so willingly submitted to His
Majesty's government and renewed their treaty, and as they are the
most powerful tribe in those parts, we hope their example may either
awe or influence other inferior tribes to the like compliance."

Cornwallis in reply said, "I intend if possible to keep up a good
understanding with the St. John Indians, a warlike people, tho'
treaties with Indians are nothing, nothing but force will prevail."

Alexandre le Borgne de Belleisle was living on the River St. John as
late at least as 1754 and was regarded by the Nova Scotia authorities
as "a very good man." The site of his residence is indicated on
Charles Morris' map of 1765 and there can be little doubt that a
settlement of four houses in the same vicinity, marked "Robicheau" in
the Morris map of 1758, was the place of residence of Frances
Belleisle Robichaux.

The name Nid d'Aigle, or "The Eagle's Nest," is applied to this
locality in Bellin's map of 1744, D'Anville's map of 1755 marks at the
same place "Etabliss't Francois," or French Settlement. The place is
nearly opposite Evandale, the site of the well known summer hotel of
John O. Vanwart. Here the St. John river is quite narrow, only about a
five minutes paddle across. The British government during the war of
1812 built at Nid d'Aigle, or "Worden's," a fortification consisting
of an earthwork, or "half-moon battery," with magazine in rear and a
block-house at the crest of the hill still farther to the rear, the
ruins of which are frequently visited by tourists. The situation
commands an extensive and beautiful view of the river, both up and
down, and no better post of defence could be chosen, since the
narrowness of the channel would render it well nigh impossible for an
enemy to creep past either by day or night without detection. There is
some reason to believe that the French commander, Boishebert,
established a fortified post of observation here in 1756.

[Illustration: OLD FORT AT WORDEN'S]

It is altogether probable that the name "Nid d'Aigle" was given to the
place by the sieur de Belleisle or some member of his family, and one
could wish that it might be restored either in its original form, or
in its Saxon equivalent, "The Eagle's Nest."

Colonel Monckton, by direction of Governor Lawrence, ravaged the
French Settlements on the lower St. John in 1758, and in the report of
his operations mentions "a few Houses that were some time past
inhabited by the Robicheaus," which he burnt. It is possible that
Francoise Belleisle Robichaux went with her family to l'Islet in
Quebec to escape the threatened invasion of which they may have had
timely notice, but it is more probable the removal occurred a little
earlier. The situation of the Acadians on the River St. John in 1757
was pitiable in the extreme. They were cut off from every source of
supply and lived in fear of their lives. The Marquis de Vaudreuil says
that in consequence of the famine prevailing on the river, many
Acadian families were forced to fly to Quebec and so destitute were
the wretched ones in some instances that children died at their
mother's breast. The parish records of l'Islet[23] show that Pierre
Robichaux and his wife lived there in 1759.

   [23] A child of Pierre Robichaud and Francoise Belleisle his wife was
        interred at l'Islet, December 10, 1759.

Francoise Belleisle Robichaux died at l'Islet January 28, 1791, at the
age of 79 years, having outlived her husband six years. They had a
number of children, one of whom, Marie Angelique, married Jean
Baptiste d'Amour, de Chaufour, and had a daughter, Marguerite d'Amour,
whose name seems very familiar to us.

The parish records at l'Islet give considerable information concerning
the descendants of the families d'Amours, Robichaux and Belleisle, but
the space at our disposal will allow us to follow them no further.



The St. John river region may be said to have been in dispute from the
moment the treaty of Utrecht was signed in 1713 until the taking of
Quebec in 1759. By the treaty of Utrecht all Nova Scotia, or Acadia,
comprehended within its ancient boundaries, was ceded to Great
Britain, and the English at once claimed possession of the territory
bordering on the St. John. To this the French offered strong
objection, claiming that Nova Scotia, or Acadia, comprised merely the
peninsula south of the Bay of Fundy--a claim which, as already stated
in these pages, was strangely at variance with their former contention
that the western boundary of Acadia was the River Kennebec.[24] For
many years the dispute was confined to remonstrances on the side of
either party, the French meanwhile using their savage allies to repel
the advance of any English adventurers who might feel disposed to make
settlements on the St. John, and encouraging the Acadians to settle
there, while the English authorities endeavored, with but indifferent
success, to gain the friendship of the Indians and compel the Acadians
to take the oath of allegiance to the British crown. The dispute over
the limits of Acadia at times waxed warm. There were protests and
counter-protests. Letters frequently passed between the English
government at Annapolis and the missionaries on the St. John--Loyard,
Danielou, and Germain, who were in close touch with the civil
authorities of their nation, and were in some measure the political
agents of the Marquise de Vaudreuil and other French governors of

   [24] In a letter to the French minister, written in 1698, Villebon
        observes "J'ai recu par mons'r de Bonaventure qui est arrive
        ici le 20 Juillet la lettre de votre Grandeur et le traite de
        Paix fait avec l'Angleterre [the treaty of Ryswick]. * * Comme
        vous me marquez, Monseigneur, que les bornes de l'Acadie sont
        a la Riviere de Quenebequi." [Kennebec]. etc.

It is possible that the Marquis de Vaudreuil felt special interest in
the St. John river country, owing to the fact that his wife Louise
Elizabeth Joibert, was born at Fort Jemseg while her father, the Sieur
de Soulanges, was governor of Acadia. At any rate the marquis stoutly
asserted the right of the French to the sovereignty of that region and
he wrote to the Lieut. Governor of Nova Scotia in 1718, "I pray you
not to permit your English vessels to go into the river St. John,
which is always of the French dominion." He also encouraged the
Acadians of the peninsula to withdraw to the river St. John so as not
to be under British domination, pledging them his support and stating
that Father Loyard, the Jesuit missionary, should have authority to
grant them lands agreeably to their wishes.

Lieut. Governor Doucett, of Nova Scotia, complained of the aggressive
policy of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, asserting that he was entirely
mistaken as to the ownership of the St. John river, for it was "about
the centre of Nova Scotia;" he was satisfied, nevertheless, that the
Acadians believed it would never be taken possession of by the
British, and if the proceedings of the French were not stopped they
would presently claim everything within cannon short of his fort at

The policy of the French in employing their Indian allies to deter the
English from any advance towards the St. John region was attended with
such success that the infant colony of Nova Scotia was kept in a
constant state of alarm by the threats and unfriendly attitude of the
Micmacs and Maliseets. There were, however, occasional periods in
which there were no actual hostilities, and it may be said that the
peace made at Boston in 1725, and ratified by the St. John river tribe
in May, 1728, was fairly observed by the Indians until war was
declared between England and France in 1744.

During this war the St. John river was much used as a means of
communication between Quebec and the French settlements of Acadia,
smart young Indians with light birch canoes being employed to carry
express messages, and on various occasions large parties of French and
Indians travelled by this route from the St. Lawrence to the Bay of
Fundy. The Indian villages of Medoctec and Aukpaque afforded
convenient stopping places.

In the year 1746 a great war party, including the Abenakis of Quebec
as well as their kinsmen of the upper St. John, arrived at Aukpaque.
Thence they took their way in company with the missionary Germain to
Chignecto. They had choice of two routes of travel, one by way of the
Kennebecasis and Anagance to the Petitcodiac, the other by way of the
Washademoak lake and the Canaan to the same river. As the war
proceeded the Maliseets actively supported their old allies the
French. Some of them took part in the midwinter night attack, under
Coulon de Villiers, on Colonel Noble's post at Grand Pre. The English
on this occasion were taken utterly by surprise; Noble himself fell
fighting in his shirt, and his entire party were killed, wounded or
made prisoners. From the military point of view this was one of the
most brilliant exploits in the annals of Acadia, and, what is better,
the victors behaved with great humanity to the vanquished.

The missionaries le Loutre and Germain were naturally very desirous of
seeing French supremacy restored in Acadia and the latter proposed an
expedition against Annapolis. With that end in view he proceeded to
Quebec and returned with a supply of powder, lead and ball for his
Maliseet warriors. However, in October, 1748, the peace of Aix la
Chapelle put a stop to open hostilities.

Immediately after the declaration of peace, Captain Gorham, with his
rangers and a detachment of auxiliaries, proceeded in two ships to the
River St. John and ordered the French inhabitants to send deputies to
Annapolis to give an account of their conduct during the war.

Count de la Galissonniere strongly protested against Gorham's
interference with the Acadians on the St. John, which he described as
"a river situated on the Continent of Canada, and much on this side of
the Kennebec, where by common consent the bounds of New England have
been placed." This utterance of the French governor marks another
stage in the controversy concerning the limits of Acadia. He stoutly
contended that Gorham and all other British officers must be forbidden
to interfere with the French on the St. John river, or to engage them
to make submissions contrary to the allegiance due to the King of
France "who," he says, "is their master as well as mine, and has not
ceded this territory by any treaty."

The governors of Massachusetts and of Nova Scotia replied at some
length to the communication of Count de la Galissonniere, claiming the
territory in dispute for the king of Great Britain, and showing that
the French living on the St. John had some years before taken the oath
of allegiance to the English monarch.

The Acadians on the St. John, whose allegiance was in dispute, were a
mere handful of settlers. The Abbe le Loutre wrote in 1748: "There are
fifteen or twenty French families on this river, the rest of the
inhabitants are savages called Marichites (Maliseets) who have for
their missionary the Jesuit father Germain." His statement as to the
number of Acadian settlers is corroborated by Mascarene, who notified
the British authorities that thirty leagues up the river were seated
twenty families of French inhabitants, sprung originally from the Nova
Scotia side of the bay, most of them since his memory, who, many years
ago, came to Annapolis and took the oath of fidelity. He adds, "the
whole river up to its head, with all the northern coast of the Bay of
Fundy, was always reckoned dependent on this government."

Both Mascarene and Shirley strongly urged upon the British ministry
the necessity of settling the limits of Acadia, and a little later
commissioners were appointed, two on each side, to determine the
matter. They spent four fruitless years over the question, and it
remained undecided until settled by the arbitrament of the sword.
Shirley was one of the commissioners, as was also the Marquis de la
Galissonniere, and it is not to be wondered at that with two such
determined men on opposite sides and differing so widely in their
views, there should have been no solution of the difficulty.

The period now under consideration is really a very extraordinary one.
Ostensibly it was a time of peace. By the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in
1748 England gave back Cape Breton (or Isle Royale) to France and
France restored Madras to England, but there remained no clear
understanding as to the boundaries between the possessions of the
rival powers in America.

So far as the French and English colonies were concerned the treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle scarcely deserved the name of a truce. It was merely a
breathing time in which preparations were being made for the final
struggle. The treaty was so indefinite that a vast amount of territory
was claimed by both parties. The English were naturally the most
aggressive for the population of the English colonies was 1,200,000
while Canada had but 60,000 people.

Count de la Galissonniere, the governor-general of Canada, though
diminutive in stature and slightly deformed, was resolute and
energetic; moreover he was a statesman, and had his policy been
followed it might have been better for France. He advised the
government to send out ten thousand peasants from the rural districts
and settle them along the frontiers of the disputed territory, but the
French court thought it unadvisable to depopulate France in order to
people the wilds of Canada. Failing in this design, the Count
determined vigorously to assert the sovereignty of France over the
immense territory in dispute. Accordingly he claimed for his royal
master the country north of the Bay of Fundy and west to the Kennebec,
and his officers established fortified posts on the River St. John and
at the Isthmus of Chignecto. He at the same time stirred up the
Indians to hostilities in order to render the position of the English
in Nova Scotia and New England as uncomfortable as possible, and
further to strengthen his hands he endeavored to get the Acadians in
the peninsula of Nova Scotia to remove to the St. John river and other
parts of "the debatable territory." His policy led to a counter policy
on the part of Shirley and Lawrence (governors respectively of
Massachusetts and Nova Scotia) namely, that the Acadians should not be
allowed to go where they liked and to do as they pleased but must
remain on their lands and take the oath of allegiance to the English
sovereign or be removed to situations where they could do no harm to
the interests of the British colonies in the then critical condition
of affairs.

Ostensibly there was peace from the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle until
war was declared between the rival powers in 1756. But in the meantime
there was a collision between them on the Ohio river, where the French
built Fort Duquesne on the site now occupied by Pittsburg. The
governors of the English colonies held a conference and decided on
rather a startling programme for a time of peace. Gen. Braddock was to
march on Fort Duquesne and drive the French from the Ohio valley;
Shirley, of Massachusetts, was to lead an expedition against Niagara;
William Johnson, was to take Crown Point and secure control of Lake
Champlain; while, in Acadia, Colonel Monckton was to attack the French
position at Fort Beausejour. In every instance the English were the
aggressors but they justified their action on the ground that the
places to be attacked were on British territory. This the French as
emphatically denied. Braddock's attempt resulted in a most disastrous
failure, Shirley's expedition was abandoned, William Johnson won a
brilliant victory at Lake George and Colonel Monckton captured

The course of events on the River St. John and in other parts of
Acadia harmonizes with the general situation of affairs in America at
this time.

As the period under consideration is one of which comparatively little
has been written, it may be well to make use of the information
contained in the voluminous correspondence of the French ministers and
their subordinates in America.

Early in the summer of 1749 the Count de la Galissonniere sent the
Sieur de Boishebert to the lower part of the River St. John with a
small detachment to secure the French inhabitants against the threats
of Capt. Gorham, who had been sent by the Governor of Nova Scotia to
make the inhabitants renew the oath of allegiance to the English
sovereign, which de la Galissonniere says "they ought never to have
taken." The Count expresses his views on the situation with terseness
and vigor: "The River St. John is not the only place the English wish
to invade. They claim the entire coast, from that river to Beaubassin,
and from Canso to Gaspe, in order to render themselves sovereigns of
all the territory of the Abenakis, Catholics and subjects of the king,
a nation that has never acknowledged nor wishes to acknowledge their
domination and which is the most faithful to us in Canada. If we
abandon to England this land, which comprises more than 180 leagues of
seacoast, that is to say almost as much as from Bayonne to Dunkirk, we
must renounce all communication by land from Canada with Acadia and
Isle Royal, together with the means of succoring the one and retaking
the other." The Count further argues that to renounce the territory
in dispute will deprive the Acadians of all hope of a place of refuge
on French soil and reduce them to despair, and he apprehends that the
English, having no reason to care for them, will suffer them to have
no missionaries and will destroy at their leisure their religion. "It
is very easy," he adds, "to hinder the English establishing themselves
on these lands. They will have to proceed through the woods and along
narrow rivers, and as long as the French are masters of the Abenakis
and the Acadians are provided with arms and supplies from France the
English will not expose themselves to their attacks."

Both sides began to consider the advisability of taking forcible
possession of the disputed territory, but the French were the first to
take action. In June, 1749, Mascarene reported two French officers
with twenty or thirty men from Canada and a number of Indians had come
to erect a fort and make a settlement at the mouth of the river, and
that two vessels with stores and materials were coming to them from
Quebec. On receipt of this information, Cornwallis, who had just
arrived at Halifax, sent Captain Rous in the sloop "Albany" to St.
John to ascertain what works were in course of erection by the French,
and to demand the authority for their action. He also issued a
proclamation in French prohibiting the Acadians from making a
settlement on the St. John.

When the "Albany" arrived no one was found at the old fort and for
some time no inhabitants, either French or Indian, were seen. At last
a French schooner entered the harbor, laden with provisions. Captain
Rous took her, but offered to release her provided the master would go
up the river and bring down the French officers. The master
accordingly went up the river in a canoe, and the next day a French
officer with thirty men and 150 Indians came down and took position,
with their colors flying, at a point on the shore within musket shot
of the "Albany." The commander of the French was Pierre Boishebert. He
had fixed his headquarters ten miles up the river at the place now
known as Woodman's Point, just above the mouth of the Nerepis, where
in Governor Villebon's time there had been an Indian fortress.

Captain Rous ordered the French to strike their colors; their
commander demurred, and asked to be allowed to march back with his
colors flying, promising to return the next day without them. Rous
ordered the colors to be struck immediately, which being done, the
officers were invited on board the "Albany." They showed their
instructions from the governor of Canada, Count de la Galissonniere,
by which it appeared they had at first been ordered to establish a
fortified post, but afterwards the order had been countermanded and
they were required merely to prevent the English from establishing
themselves till the right of possession should be settled between the
two crowns.

The letter of Captain Rous to Boishebert, upon the arrival of the
former at St. John harbor, is rather quaint reading. The original is
in French.

  From the River St. John, 3 July, 1749.

  Sir,--I am directed by the King, my master, to look into and
  examine the various ports, harbors and rivers of His Majesty's
  province of Nova Scotia, and am now here for that intent. Being
  informed that you are upon this river with a detachment of
  soldiers of the King of France. I should be pleased to know by
  what authority and with what intention your are engaged in a
  similar procedure. It would afford me much pleasure if I could
  have the honor of a personal interview in order to convince you of
  the rights of the King, my master.

  I shall be delighted to see some of the Indian chiefs in order to
  inform them of the peace and of the harmony that prevails between
  the two crowns, also to confer with them.

  Until I shall have the honor, as I hope, of seeing you,

  I am very truly, etc.

In the subsequent interview with the savages, Father Germain and
Captain Edward How acted as interpreters, and the missionary wrote an
account of the interview to the governor of Quebec, in which he
mentions the fact that Cornwallis, the governor of Nova Scotia,
claimed jurisdiction over the St. John river region and beyond it to
Passamaquoddy, deeming it a part of Acadia according to its ancient
limits. Boishebert, in his letter to the Count de la Galissonniere,
says that one of the best reasons the English had for laying claim to
the territory north of the Bay of Fundy was that the commission of
Subercase, the last French governor who resided at Annapolis Royal,
fixed his jurisdiction as far west as the River Kennebec. In the
spirit of a true soldier, Boishebert wishes that war might speedily
recommence, and that France might be more fortunate as to the conquest
of Acadia than in the last war. Meanwhile he had arranged with Capt.
Rous to remain undisturbed on the River St. John until the next
spring, on the understanding that he was to erect no fortification.

The St. John Indians having made peace with the governor of Nova
Scotia at Halifax, it was decided that a present of 1,000 bushels of
corn should be sent "to confirm their allegiance"; and it seems their
allegiance needed confirmation, for a little later Father Germain
warned Captain How that an Indian attack was impending. Nor was it by
any means a false alarm, for on the 8th of December about 300 Micmacs
and Maliseets surprised and captured an English officer and eighteen
men and attacked the fort at Minas.

Father Germain evidently was a warrior priest and had used his powers
of observation to some purpose; he strongly recommended the erection
of a fort for the defence of the river at the narrows ("detroit")
about a league and a half above where the river enters the sea. The
English, he says, could not pass it with 600 men if there were but 60
or 80 men to oppose them.

The Marquis de la Jonquiere, who succeeded as governor general this
year, at once displayed anxiety in regard to the St. John river
region--"Being the key of this country," he says, "it is essential to
retain it." He confides his policy to the minister at Versailles, in
his letter of October 9, 1749. "It is desirable," he writes, "that the
savages should unite in opposing the English even at Chibuctou
(Halifax).... The savages must act alone without co-operation of
soldier or inhabitant and without it appearing that I have knowledge
of it. It is very necessary also, as I wrote the Sieur de Boishebert,
to observe much caution in his proceedings and to act very secretly in
order that the English may not be able to perceive we are supplying
the needs of the said savages. It will be the missionaries who will
attend to all the negotiations and who will direct the proceedings of
the said savages. They are in very good hands, the Rev. Father
Germain and the Abbe Le Loutre being well aware how to act to the best
advantage and to draw out all the assistance they can give on our
side. They will manage the intrigue in such a way that it will not be
known. They will concert in every instance with the Sieurs de la Corne
and de Boishebert. If all turns out as I hope it will follow,--first
that we will hold our lands and the English will not be able to
establish any settlements before the boundaries have been determined
by the two crowns, and second that we shall be able to assist and
gradually to withdraw from the hands of the English the French of

It is not necessary for us to criticize too harshly the policy of the
French governor and his subordinates, but we need not be surprised
that in the end it provoked resentment on the part of the governors of
Nova Scotia and Massachusetts and was one of the causes of the Acadian
expulsion. That it was in a measure successful is proved by the reply
of Lawrence a few years later to the suggestion of the Lords of Trade,
who had been urging upon him the importance of making settlements:
"What can I do to encourage people to settle on frontier lands, where
they run the risk of having their throats cut by inveterate enemies,
who easily effect their escape from their knowledge of every creek and

Boishebert, prevented from immediately establishing a fortified post,
seems to have moved freely up and down the river. At one time he
writes from "Menacouche" at the mouth of the river, at another
from "Ecoubac"--the Indian village of Aukpaque--at another he is at
"Medoctec," the upper Indian village. He organized the few Acadians
on the river into a militia corps, the officers of which were
commissioned by Count de la Galissonniere.

Meanwhile the Abbe Le Loutre was employing his energies to get the
Acadians to leave their lands in the Nova Scotian peninsula and repair
to the St. John river and other places north of the isthmus. To such a
proceeding Cornwallis objected and Le Loutre then wrote to the French
authorities an earnest letter in behalf of the Acadians, in which he
says, "Justice pleads for them and as France is the resource of the
unfortunate, I hope, Monseigneur, that you will try to take under your
protection this forsaken people and obtain for them through his
majesty liberty to depart from Acadia and the means to settle upon
French soil and to transport their effects to the River St. John or
some other territory that the authorities of Canada may take
possession of."

The French still cherished the project of establishing a fortified
post at the mouth of the St. John and, as they had opportunity, sent
thither munitions of war and garrison supplies. In the summer of the
year 1750, the British warship "Hound," Capt. Dove, was ordered to
proceed to St. John in quest of a brigantine laden with provisions
and stores from Quebec, and said to have on board 100 French
soldiers. Before the arrival of the "Hound," however, Capt. Cobb in
the provincial sloop "York" got to St. John, where he found the
brigantine anchored near the shore at the head of the harbor. She
fired an alarm gun on sight of the "York." The English captain
brought his vessel to anchor under the lee of Partridge Island and
sent a detachment of men in a whale boat to reconnoitre. They were
fired upon by the French and Indians, and the French commander,
Boishebert, insisted that Cobb should quit the harbor, as it belonged
to the French king, and threatened to send his Indians to destroy
him and his crew. Nothing daunted, Cobb proceeded up the harbor in
his sloop until he discovered "a small fortification by a little
hill," where the French were assembled and had their colors hoisted.
Boishebert's forces included fifty-six soldiers and 200 Indians. He
summoned to his aid the inhabitants living on the river and they
responded to the number of fifty or sixty. The governor of Canada
had lately commissioned Joseph Bellefontaine, an old resident, to be
"major of all the militia of the River St. John,"[25] and it is to
the presumed he was active on this occasion. Cobb allowed himself to
be enticed on shore under a flag of truce, and was made a prisoner
and compelled to send an order to his vessel not to molest the French
brigantine. His mate, however, pluckily declined to receive the
order, and announced his determination to hold the French officers
who had come with the message until Cobb should be released. This
Boishebert was obliged to do and the commander of the "York," by way
of retaliation, took six prisoners from the French brigantine and
brought them to Halifax.

   [25] The date of Joseph Bellefontaine's commission was April 10,

Capt. Dove did not reach St. John with the "Hound" until after the
"York" had left. He did not enter the harbor but sent his lieutenant
in a whale boat to investigate the state of affairs. The lieutenant's
experience was similar to that of Cobb. He was induced by Boishebert
to come on shore, was made a prisoner and only released on promising
that the six prisoners carried off by Cobb should be set at liberty.

In the autumn of the year 1750 Captain Rous, while cruising in the
"Albany," fell in with a French man-of-war and a schooner off Cape
Sable. The schooner had been sent from Quebec with provisions and
warlike stores for the Indians on the River St. John. Rous fired
several guns to bring the enemy to, but in response the ship cleared
for action and when the "Albany" ran up alongside of her, poured in a
broadside. A spirited engagement ensued, which resulted in the capture
of the French ship, but the schooner got safely into St. John. One
midshipman and two sailors were killed on board the "Albany," and five
men on board the Frenchman.

Governor Cornwallis reported this as the second instance in which the
governor of Canada had sent a vessel into a British port with arms,
etc., for the Indian enemy. The governor of Canada, the Marquis de la
Jonquiere, however, viewed the matter from a different standpoint and
demanded of Cornwallis an explanation in regard to the vessel
captured. He again asserted the right of the French king to the lands
occupied by his troops, and by his orders four Boston schooners were
seized at Louisbourg as a reprisal for the brigantine taken by the

The correspondence between the Governor of Quebec and the French
colonial minister supplies some interesting details of the sea-fight
in the Bay of Fundy in the autumn of 1750. It seems that Boishebert
and the missionary Germain had sent an urgent request to the Quebec
authorities for provisions for the women and children of the Indian
families, during the absence of the men in their winter hunting, and
for supplies needed by the French garrison on the St. John.
Accordingly Bigot, the intendant, fitted out the St. Francis, a
brigantine of 130 to 140 tons, to escort a schooner laden with the
required articles to the mouth of the St. John river. The St. Francis
carried 10 guns and had a crew or 70 men, including 32 soldiers, under
command of the sieur de Vergor.

On the 16th of October, as the brigantine and schooner were entering
the Bay of Fundy, Captain Vergor noticed, at 11 in the morning, an
English frigate, which put on all sail and came after him. A quarter
of an hour afterwards the frigate fired a cannon shot and displayed
her flag. Vergor immediately hoisted his own flag and responded with a
cannon shot, continuing on his way. The English frigate continued the
chase and a half hour later fired a second shot followed by a third,
which went through the little top-mast of the St. Francis. Vergor then
made preparations for the combat, the frigate continuing to approach
and firing four cannon shots at his sails. When within speaking
distance Vergor called through his trumpet that he was in command of a
ship of the King of France carrying provisions and munitions to the
troops of his majesty. The English captain in reply ordered him to lay
to or he would sink him. Vergor repeated his announcement in English,
but, for answer the frigate discharged a volley of all her guns
damaging the ship and killing two of his men. He in turn now fell upon
the frigate, discharging all his guns and musketry. The fight lasted
nearly five hours, at the expiration of which the St. Francis was so
crippled by the loss of her mainmast and injuries to her sails and
rigging that Vergor was obliged to surrender. His long boat having
been rendered unserviceable, the English captain sent his own to
convey him on board. Vergor found the frigate to be the Albany, of 14
guns and 28 swivel guns and a crew of 120 men, commanded by Captain
Rous. The Albany did not pursue the schooner, which proceeded to St.
John, but sailed for Halifax with her prize, where she arrived three
days later.

Vergor was sent on shore and confined to a room in the house of
Governor Cornwallis. The governor treated him courteously, heard his
version of the affair and called a council meeting the next day to
inquire into the circumstances of the case.

Vergor's official report conveys the idea that Cornwallis was rather
doubtful as to whether Rous had acted in a legitimate manner. The
council held five or six meetings without coming to any decision.
Meanwhile, with the governor's approval, Vergor had a new main-mast
cut and drawn from the woods by the crew of the St. Francis and
arrangements were made to repair the damaged sails and shrouds.
However the matter was soon afterwards taken out of Cornwallis' hands
by Captain Rous, who brought the case before the Admiralty Court,
where the St. Francis was confiscated for engaging in illicit commerce
in the province of his Britannic Majesty.

The French authorities took up the matter and sent a spirited
remonstrance to the British ambassador, claiming that the transaction
was opposed to every kind of law and demanding the restoration of the
captured vessel with exemplary punishment of Captain Rous and the
admiralty officers at Halifax, as well as orders on the part of his
Britannic Majesty to all officers in his ships and colonies to observe
the peace and to undertake nothing contrary thereto. A demand was also
made that the English should in no way hinder the migration of the
Acadians from the peninsula of Nova Scotia to the mainland or
elsewhere. It is needless to say that the British government did not
comply with these demands and here was one of the many grievances that
led to a renewal of the war a little later.

The Sieur de Vergor and the crew of the St. Francis were sent to
Louisbourg, and the brigantine retained at Halifax as a prize on the
ground that she was engaged in furnishing warlike munitions to the
Indian enemy and interfering with British rights on the River St.

Cornwallis evidently felt the difficulties of his position very
keenly. Halifax was yet in its infancy and in a comparatively
defenceless state; Louisbourg and Quebec were supporting the French on
the St. John and he had neither the men nor the money to oppose their
proceedings. It seems, too, that he had been called to account for the
large expenditure he had made in Nova Scotia. In his letters to the
Lords of Trade he expresses himself as distracted between his desire
to lessen expenses and his fears of losing the province. He was
doubtful if, with the forces at his disposal, he could prevent the
French from fortifying St. John and Beausejour, and he observes, with
some irritation, that it has been said, "What has he to contend with?
Three or four hundred Indians: it is a time of peace and no other
enemy to fear." So far from this being an adequate representation of
the situation, he claimed the facts were that the French had taken
possession of all Nova Scotia north of the Bay of Fundy, and had
obliged many of the Acadians of the peninsula to remove thither and
swear allegiance to the king of France; that the governor of Canada,
through his emissary le Loutre, had offered a premium for every
prisoner, head, or scalp of an Englishman; that the French had sent a
ship of thirty-six guns and 300 men to the Bay of Fundy and had not
only incited the Indians to hostilities but had behaved as if there
were open war.

The French at Quebec, in view of the difficulty of keeping in touch
with their posts on the north side of the Bay of Fundy, endeavored to
improve the route of communication via the River St. John. During the
previous war they had made a road from Riviere du Loup to Lake
Temisquata, but the woods were growing up again and deep holes began
to render it impracticable. Bigot, the intendant, therefore spent
600 or 700 livres in improving it, and in consequence couriers were
able to come to Quebec in ten or twelve days from Shediac, and in
eight from the River St. John. For the convenience of travelers
three magazines of supplies were established, one at Riviere du Loup,
one at Temisquata and one at the head of Madawaska river. The Marquis
de la Jonquiere anticipated great advantages from the overland route
of communication. He says in a letter to France, dated May 1, 1751:
"We have made a road and are going to make some flat-bottomed
conveyances so that in winter we will be able to transport by hauling
over the snow the things most needed for the River St. John, and in
summer we shall be able to make the transport by means of carts and
flat-bottomed batteaux. These arrangements will be very useful
supposing that the English continue to stop the vessels we send

"As the English have boasted that they are going to establish
themselves at the River St. John," continues the Marquis, "I have
given orders to the Sieur de Boishebert, who commands there, to repair
the old fort named Menacoche (Menagoueche) at the mouth of the river
and to make there a barrack for the officers and 100 men in garrison
with necessary magazines. The whole will be built of logs and I have
very expressly recommended Boishebert, to have it done without expense
to the King, or at least very little, and to that end he is to employ
the soldiers and militia."

This fort stood in Carleton opposite Navy Island on the point at the
foot of King street, still called "Old Fort." The Marquis la Jonquiere
says the terraces of the fort were about twenty-five feet high outside
and twelve inside and the defences were such as would enable the
garrison to withstand a lively attack.

It was intended to place four cannons of 8 L. to cannonade any ships
that might attack it. The chief difficulty of the situation was the
scarcity of water. The fort was quite indispensable for if the French
were to abandon the lower part of the St. John river the English would
immediately take possession. The savages were instructed to annoy the
English on all occasions and to plunder any of their ships that landed
on their shores. The Marquis even went so far as to suggest that some
of the Acadians, dressed and painted like the savages, should join in
the attacks upon the English in order that the savages might act with
greater courage. He says he cannot avoid consenting to what the
savages do in keeping the English busy and frustrating their advance
since the French were restrained from open hostilities by the peace.
"I beg you to be assured, Monseigneur," the Marquis continues, "that I
will manage everything so as not to compromise myself and that I will
not give up an inch of land that belongs to the king. It is time the
limits should be settled and that we should know positively what we
are to hold, so as to put an end to all hostilities and to avoid the
immense expense that is occasioned."

La Jonquiere, in the month of February, sent on the ice a detachment
of fifty Canadians to strengthen the garrison at the mouth of the
River St. John, and as the services of Boishebert were required
elsewhere, the Sieur de Gaspe,[26] lieutenant of infantry, was sent to
replace him and remained two years and a half in command.

   [26] Ignace Philippe Aubert, Sieur de Gaspe, was born at St. Antoine
        de Tilly near Quebec in 1714. He was an ensign in Acadia under
        de Ramezay in 1745 and was with Colombier de Villiers in the
        attack on Minas the following winter. He died at St. Jean,
        Port Joly, in 1787. He was grandfather of the author of the
        "Anciens Canadiens."

The situation of the Acadians on the St. John at this time was a very
unenviable one. Fort Boishebert, at the Nerepis, was a frail
defence, and they were beginning to be straitened for supplies on
account of the vigilance of the English cruisers. Father Germain
wrote to the commandant at Annapolis Royal for leave to buy
provisions there for the French living on the river, but the
governor and council objected on the ground that French troops
occupied the place and the Indians there were hostile. We gather
some interesting information from a letter written at this time to
the French minister by the Sieur de Gaspe, who was in command of
the fort at the mouth of the Nerepis.[27]

   [27] I am indebted to Placide P. Gaudet for a copy of the original
        letter of which a translation is given on next page. It is one
        of the many interesting documents that have never yet been
        published.--W. O. R.

  Fort de Nerepice, 16th June, 1751.

  Monseigneur: On my arrival at this post on the River St. John, to
  which I am sent by my general, the Marquis de la Jonquiere, to
  relieve M. de Boishebert, the commandant of the place, I found at
  anchor the frigate "Fidele," commanded by M. Maccarti, who was
  landing the provisions and other supplies sent for this post. The
  coming of this ship, Monseigneur, convinces me that you wish to
  hold possession of this post.

  I have only just arrived here. I learn that the English threaten
  to come and build a fort at the mouth of the river near that which
  the Marquis de la Jonquiere has caused to be begun and has ordered
  me to continue. I will do my best to carry out his orders so far
  as circumstances permit, and the governor will furnish you with an
  account of his intentions.

  In order to fix ourselves here we must keep up communication by
  way of La Baie Francaise [the Bay of Fundy] so as to furnish
  provisions; for the place cannot be supplied by land, especially
  if we must afford subsistence to those families of Acadians who
  are obliged to seek refuge on the river, as has been stated to me.
  I will receive them, Monseigneur, in order to settle the country,
  which at present has only twenty-eight French inhabitants,[28] who
  can give no assistance in providing for the support of others,
  not having as yet enough cultivated land for themselves.

  M. Maccarti, commander of the frigate, has taken note of the
  harbor [at St. John] on the other side of the fort, and of the
  other advantages, or disadvantages, we must encounter in this
  place, where I will endeavor to maintain the rights that we have
  and to oppose the Englishman if he attempts to build here.

  I am with very profound respect, Monseigneur,

      Your humble and very obedient servant,


   [28] This refers, I imagine, to the Acadians on the lower St. John
        and does not include the colony at Ste. Annes.--W. O. R.

[Illustration: WOODMAN'S POINT. (The Star shows the site of Fort

Resolute attempts continued to be made to withdraw the Acadians from
the peninsula of Nova Scotia, both by threats and persuasions, and the
Marquis de la Jonquiere issued a proclamation to those living within
the bounds of what is now New Brunswick, declaring that all who did
not within eight days take the oath of allegiance in the militia
companies would be considered as rebels and driven from their lands.
The companies of militia were ordered to drill on Sundays and Feast
days and to hold themselves in readiness to defend themselves at any
moment. A few months later the governor of Canada was able to report
that all the Acadian inhabitants who were upon the lands of the king
had taken the oath of fidelity. Twelve blank commissions were sent
from Quebec to be issued to those most capable of fulfilling the
duties of officers in the militia.

At Fort Menagoueche the work did not progress as fast as anticipated.
The workmen had no tools except axes, and the Sieur de Gaspe
complained that he had not been able to make the soldiers of the
garrison work. He says "they are very bad subjects" and he dared not
compel them to work apprehending their desertion. The fort was
surrounded by four bastions and, in addition to the barracks and
magazines, it was proposed to construct a building of logs, squared
with the axe, to accommodate the chaplain and surgeon and to serve as
a guard house.

Fort Boishebert, at Woodman's Point on the Nerepis, was a difficult
post to maintain owing to the insufficiency of the troops at de
Gaspe's disposal. He complains that the savages had broken in the door
of the cellar and he thought it advisable to abandon it altogether.
The Marquis de la Jonquiere ordered him to consult with Father Germain
on the subject and meanwhile to double the guard. The missionary wrote
he was of the same opinion as the Sieur de Gaspe, and permission was
accordingly given to abandon the fort and to transport the supplies
wherever they might be needed.

The Jesuit missionary at Penobscot, Father Gounon, proposed to spend
the winter at "Nerepisse" with his Indians, but the governor of Canada
did not at all approve of it, fearing that if the savages were to
abandon their village the English would advance from the westward
towards the River St. John. He apprehended that if only a small number
of Indians remained at Penobscot, and these without a missionary, the
enemy would win them to their side and, as a direful result, the
English would presently establish themselves at Matsipigouattons,
advancing to Peskadamokkanti (or Passamaquoddy) and so by degrees to
the River St. John.



The situation on the St. John had now become a matter of international
interest in view of the boundary dispute. The deliberations of the
French and English commissioners began in 1750 and lasted four years.
In preparing the French case the Marquis de la Galissonniere summoned
to his aid the Abbes de L'Isle-Dieu and Le Loutre, who were both well
informed as to the situation of Acadia and also filled with intense
zeal for the national cause. We learn from letters of the Abbe de
L'Isle-Dieu, written at Paris to the French minister early in the year
1753, that the two missionaries, in consultation with the Count de la
Galissonniere, prepared several documents to elucidate the French
case. Copies of these very interesting papers are now in the Canadian
Archives at Ottawa, and have been published at Quebec in 1890 by the
Abbe Casgrain in "Le Canada Francais." The three most important of
these documents are entitled:

1. Memorandum on the necessity of determining the limits of Acadia.

2. Plan for the settlement of the country in order to hasten the
determining of the aforesaid limits.

3. Representation of the present state of the missions, French as well
as Indians, in the southern part of New France in Canada.

In the first of these documents the following references are made to
the River St. John:

"This post, so important to retain for France, has as commandant M. De
Gaspe at Fort Menagoeck, built at the mouth of the river. The
missionary on the river is Father Germain, Jesuit, who makes his
residence at Ekauba (Aukpaque), distant about forty leagues from Fort

"The savages of Father Germain's mission are Marechites, and he has in
addition the care of some French families settled on the river.

"Since the month of August last, Father Audren has been sent as
assistant to Father Germain, but his assistance will be much more
hurtful than beneficial to the mission if, in accordance with the plan
of the Jesuit provincial, it is decided to recall Father Germain to
Quebec to fill the office of superior general of the house of the
Jesuits in Canada. This is not merely a groundless surmise, for the
destination and nomination to office of Father Germain are already
determined, at least Father Germain himself so states in his last
letter to the Abbe l'Isle-Dieu, and he adds that he has made every
possible representation to at least delay his recall. The Abbe
l'Isle-Dieu, who perceives all the consequences of his removal, has
already endeavored to prevent its being effected by the Provincial,
and it is thought that, under the present circumstances, the court
should as far as possible employ its authority to hinder the
retirement of Father Germain from his mission, where the esteem and
confidence, the respect and authority, that he has acquired over the
savages and the few French who are found in his mission, give him a
power that a young missionary could not have. Besides Father Germain
joins to a disinterestedness without example, to piety the most
sincere, and to a zeal indefatigable, consummate experience. All this
is necessary in connection with various operations that are now to be
undertaken, in which a man of such qualifications can be of great

"At a distance of eighteen leagues from Father Germain's post of duty
is another called Medoctek, which is dependent on the same mission and
served by the Jesuit father Loverga, who has been there nine months,
and who has the care of a band of Marechites; but, in addition to the
fact that Father Loverga is on the point of leaving, he would be
useless there on account of his great age and it would be better to
send there next spring Father Audren, since this mission is daily
becoming more important, especially to the savages whose chief
occupation is beaver hunting.

"The French inhabitants of the River St. John have suffered much by
different detachments of Canadians and Indians, to the number of 250
or 300 men, commanded by M. de Montesson, a Canadian officer, whom
they have been obliged to subsist, and for that purpose to sacrifice
the grain and cattle needed for the seeding and tillage of their own
fields. In the helpless position in which these inhabitants find
themselves, it is thought that in order to afford them sufficient
relief it would be advisable that the Court should send them
immediately at least 1,000 barrels of flour, and the same quantity
annually for some time, both for their own subsistence and for that of
the garrison and the Indians. It would be well also to send them each
year about 250 barrels of bacon; this last sort of provision being
limited to this quantity because it is supposed, or at least hoped,
there will be sent from Quebec some Indian corn and peas as well as
oil and fat for the savages."

The reference to the St. John river region in the document from which
this extract is taken, concludes by strongly recommending that the
supply of flour and bacon should be sent, not to the store houses at
Quebec and Louisbourg, but directly to St. John, where it would arrive
as safely as at any other port and with less expense to the king and
much more expedition to the inhabitants.

It may be well now to pause in the narration of events to look a
little more closely into the situation on the River St. John at the
time of the negotiations between the rival powers with regard to the
limits of Acadia.

The statement has been made in some of our school histories, "Acadia
was ceded to the English by the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, and has
remained a British possession ever since." The statement is, to say
the least, very misleading, so far as the St. John river country is
concerned, for the French clung tenaciously to this territory as a
part of the dominions of their monarch until New France passed finally
into the hands of their rivals by the treaty of Paris in 1763.

There was no part of Acadia that was more familiar to the French than
the valley of the River St. John, and the importance attached to the
retention of it by France is seen very clearly in a memorandum,
prepared about this time for the use of the French commissioners on
the limits of Acadia. There can be no doubt that the Abbes de
L'Isle-Dieu and Le Loutre had a hand in the preparation of this
document, which is an able statement of the case from the French point
of view. They assert "that the British pretensions to ownership of the
territory north of the Bay of Fundy have no foundation. That the
French have made settlements at various places along the shores of the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, where they have always lived peaceably and
quietly under the rule of the French king. This is also the state
there at present, and the English desire to change it, without having
acquired any new right of possession since the treaty of Utrecht, and
after forty years of quiet and peaceable possession on the part of the
French. It is the same with regard to the River St. John and that part
of Canada which adjoins the Bay of Fundy. The French, who were settled
there before the treaty of Utrecht, have continued to this day to hold
possession under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the King of
France, enjoying meanwhile the fruit of their labors. It is not until
more than forty years after the treaty of Utrecht that the English
commissioners have attempted, by virtue of a new and arbitrary
interpretation of the treaty, to change and overturn all the European
possessions of America; to expel the French, to deprive them of their
property and their homes, to sell the lands they have cultivated and
made valuable and to expose Europe by such transactions to the danger
of seeing the fires of war rekindled. Whatever sacrifices France might
be disposed to make, in order to maintain public tranquility, it would
be difficult indeed for her to allow herself to be deprived of the
navigation of the River St. John by ceding to England the coast of the
continent along the Bay of Fundy."

Continuing their argument, the writers of the document state: "That it
is by the River St. John that Quebec maintains her communication with
Isle Royal and Isle St. Jean, [Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island],
and also with Old France, during the season that the navigation of the
River St. Lawrence is impracticable; and as this is the only way of
communication for a considerable part of the year, possession of the
route is indispensably necessary to France. All who have any special
knowledge of Canada agree on this head, and their testimony finds
confirmation in an English publication that lately appeared in London,
entitled 'The Present State of North America,' in which the writer
sounds the tocsin of war against France and, although partiality,
inspired by love of country, has led him into many errors, he does not
seek to disguise how important it is to deprive France of the right of
navigation of the River St. John, which affords the only means of
communication with Quebec during the winter. 'The French,' says the
English author, 'have often sent supplies and merchandise from Old
France to Quebec, both in time of peace and of war, by the River St.
John, so as to avoid the difficulties and risks of navigation by the
River St. Lawrence. * * If we suffer them to remain in possession of
that river they will always have an open communication between France
and Canada during the winter, which they could have only from May to
October by the River St. Lawrence.'

"This testimony makes us feel more and more how essential it is for
France to keep possession of the River St. John so as to have
communication with Quebec and the rest of Canada during the seven
months of the year that the St. Lawrence is not navigable. The
communication which the English pretend they require by land between
New England and Nova Scotia, along the coast of the Etchemins[29] and
the Bay of Fundy, is only a vain pretext to mask their real motive,
which is to deprive France of a necessary route of communication.

   [29] The country of the Etchemins, or Maliseets, included eastern
        Maine, and the western part of New Brunswick.

"Considering the length of the road by land from New England to Port
Royal and Acadia, the obstacles to be encountered in the rivers that
fall into the sea along the coast, which will be more difficult to
cross near the mouth; all these circumstances render the communication
by land a veritable chimera; the more so that the way by sea from the
remotest part of New England to Port Royal is so short and so easy,
while that by land would be long, painful and difficult. We may be
perfectly sure that if the English were masters of all the territory
they claim they would never journey over it, and the only advantage
they would find would be to deprive the French of a necessary route of
communication. We do not fear to say that the object of the English is
not confined to the country they claim under the name of Acadia. Their
object is to make a general invasion of Canada and thus to pave the
way to universal empire in America."

It is little to be wondered at that the French nation should have been
very reluctant to part with their control of the St. John river. From
the days of its discovery by Champlain it had become of increasing
importance to them as a means of communication between the widely
separated portions of New France. But more than this the river was in
many of its features unrivelled in their estimation. Its remarkable
falls near the sea, its massive walls of limestone at "the narrows"
just above--which the French called "cliffs of marble"--its broad
lake-like expansions, its fertile intervals and islands, the fish that
swarmed in its waters and the game that abounded in its forests, its
towering pines and noble elms were all known to them and had been
noted by their early explorers. Champlain, L'Escarbot, Denys, Biard,
La Hontan, Cadillac and Charlevoix had described in glowing words the
wealth of its attractions. It is worth while in this connection to
quote the description which Lamothe Cadillac penned in 1693--just two
hundred and ten years ago:

  _River St. John._--"The entrance of this river is very large. Two
  little islands are seen to the left hand, one called l'Ile
  Menagoniz (Mahogany Island) and the other l'Ile aux Perdrix
  (Partridge Island), and on the right hand there is a cape of which
  the earth is as red as a red Poppy. The harbor is good; there is
  no rock and it has five or six fathoms of water.

  _Fort._--There is a fort of four bastions here, which needs to be
  repaired. It is very well situated and could not be attacked by
  land for it is surrounded by water at half tide. Less than an
  eighth of a league above there are two large rocks, perpendicular,
  and so near that they leave only space sufficient for a ship
  cleverly to pass.

  _Gouffre._ Just here there is a fall, or abyss (gouffre), which
  extends seven or eight hundred paces to the foot of two rocks.
  There is a depth of eighteen fathoms of water here. I think that I
  am the only one who has ever sounded at this place. The falls are
  no sooner passed than the river suddenly expands to nearly half a
  league. It is still very deep and a vessel of fifty or sixty tons
  could ascend thirty leagues, but it would be necessary to take
  care to pass the falls when the sea is level, or one would
  certainly be lost there. It must be conceded that this is the most
  beautiful, the most navigable and the most highly favored river of
  Acadia. The most beautiful, on account of the variety of trees to
  be found, such as butternut, cherry, hazel, elms, oaks, maples and

  _Masts._--There is a grove of pine on the boarders of a lake near
  Gemseq (Jemseg), fifteen leagues from the sea, where there might
  be made the finest masts, and they could be conducted into the St.
  John by a little river which falls in there.

  _Pewter mine._--Near the same lake there in a mine of pewter. I
  have seen the Indians melt and manufacture from it balls for their

  It is most navigable, by reason of its size and depth and the
  number of lakes and rivers that empty themselves into it. The most
  highly favored, by reason of its greater depth of fertile soil, of
  its unrivalled salmon fishing, and of its reaching into the
  country to a depth of eighty leagues. The bass, the trout, the
  gaspereau, the eel, the sturgeon and a hundred other kinds of
  fishes are found in abundance. The most highly favored, also,
  because it furnishes in abundance beavers and other fur-bearing
  animals. I have ascended this river nearly one hundred and fifty
  leagues in a bark canoe. I pass in silence other attractions that
  it possesses for I must not be too long.

  One single thing is to be regretted, which is that in the most
  beautiful places, where the land and meadows are low, they are
  inundated every spring time after the snow melts. The continuance
  of this inundation (or freshet) is because the waters cannot flow
  out sufficiently fast on account of those two rocks, of which I
  have spoken, which contract the outlet of the river. It would not
  be very difficult to facilitate the flow of the waters. It would
  only be necessary to mine the rock that is to the right hand on
  entering, and which seems to want to tumble of itself. It is
  undeniable that the waters would flow forth more freely, and the
  falls would be levelled, or at least diminished, and all this flat
  country protected from inundation.

  _Forts of the Micmacs and Maliseets._--Thirty leagues up the river
  there is a fort of the Micmacs,[30] at a place called Naxouak, and
  at thirty leagues further up there is one of the Maliseets. This
  latter nation is fairly warlike. They are well made and good
  hunters. They attend to the cultivation of the soil and have some
  fine fields of Indian corn and pumpkins. Their fort is at

  At forty leagues still farther up there is another fort which is
  the common retreat of the Kanibas, or Abenakis, when they are
  afraid of something in their country. It is on the bank of a
  little river which flows into the St. John, and which comes from a
  lake called Madagouasca, twelve leagues long and one wide. It is a
  good country for moose hunting."

   [30] Cadillac seems to have so termed Villebon's fort because the
        Micmacs of eastern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia often made it
        a rendezvous; perhaps also it was a fanciful distinction by
        way of comparison with the Maliseet fort at Medoctec.

In another edition of his narrative Cadillac says that Madawaska lake
and river turn northward so those who journey from Acadia to Quebec go
across the portage from the lake to the River St. Lawrence, opposite
Tadoussac. This route was from very early times considered by the
French as the easiest and best and was greatly valued by them as a
means of communication both in time of war and in time of peace.

Cadillac's idea of protecting the low lying lands of the St. John
river from inundation during the spring freshet, by enlarging the
outlet at the falls, has been revived on more than one occasion. For
example, sixty years later we find the following note in the statement
prepared by the missionaries Le Loutre and de L'Isle-Dieu for the use
of the commissioners engaged in the attempt to settle the boundaries
of Acadia--:

"The River St. John is very extensive and the soil is excellent,
easily cultivated, capable of supporting at least 1,000 families, but
there exists an inconvenience which up to the present prevents the
place from being inhabited as it should be. This inconvenience is due
to the frequency of the floods occasioned by a fall where the waters
do not discharge themselves fast enough and in consequence flow back
upon the lands above, which they inundate. But if the proposed colony
be established at this place it would be possible to give vent to the
flood by removing a small obstruction [portage][31] less than an
eighth of a league wide; this would certainly prevent the inundations,
dry up the lands and render cultivation practicable."

   [31] It would be interesting to know the exact location of the
        "portage" referred to above. Was it the rocky neck between
        Marble Cove at Indiantown and the Straight Shore? Or was it
        the comparatively slight obstruction at Drury's Cove that
        prevents the river finding an outlet by way of the Marsh Creek
        into Courtenay Bay? See on this head Dr. George F. Matthew's
        interesting paper on "The Outlets of the St. John River:" Nat.
        Hist. Society bulletin No. xii., p. 42.

A bill was once introduced into the House of Assembly for the purpose
of enabling the promoters to remove, by blasting, the rocks that
obstruct the mouth of the river and thus allow the waters to flow more
freely. It was claimed that many benefits would follow, chiefly that
the lumbermen would be able to get their logs and deals to market more
expeditiously and at less cost, and that the farmers, of Maugerville,
Grand Falls and Sheffield would be saved the serious inconveniences
occasioned by the annual freshet. However, popular sentiment was
strongly opposed to the project. People speedily realized that not
only would the beauty of the river be destroyed but that navigation
would be rendered precarious and uncertain. The project, in fact,
would have changed our noble St. John into a tidal river, unsightly
mud flats alternating with rushing currents of turbid waters, while so
far as protection of the low-lying lands goes the remedy would in all
probability have proved worse than the disease, for instead of an
annual inundation there would have been an inundation at every high
tide. Moreover the harbor at St. John would have been ruined. There
can be no secure harbor at the mouth of a great tidal river where
swirling tides pour in and out twice in the course of every
twenty-four hours.

Cadillac mentions the convenient route to Quebec via the River St.
John. The Indians had used it from time immemorial and the French
followed their example, as at a later period did the English. The
missionaries Le Loutre and de L'Isle-Dieu in the statement prepared by
them in 1753, already mentioned, say:--

  "It is very easy to maintain communication with Quebec, winter and
  summer alike, by the River St. John, and the route is especially
  convenient for detachments of troops needed either for attack or
  defence. This is the route to be taken and followed:--

  "From Quebec to the River du Loup.

  From the River du Loup by a portage of 18 leagues to Lake

  From Lake Temiscouata to Madaoechka [Madawaska.]

  From Madaoechka to Grand Falls.

  From Grand Falls to Medoctek.

  From Medoctek to Ecouba [Aukpaque], post of the Indians of the
  Jesuit missionary, Father Germain.

  From Ecouba to Jemsec.

  From Jemsec, leaving the River St. John and traversing Dagidemoech
  [Washa demoak] lake ascending by the river of the same name,
  thence by a portage of 6 leagues to the River Petkoudiak.

  From Petkoudiak to Memeramcouk descending the river which bears
  that name.

  From Memeramcouk by a portage of three leagues to Nechkak

  From Nechkak to Beausejour."

By this route the troops commanded by the French officers Marin and
Montesson arrived at Beausejour in less than a month from the time of
their departure from Quebec, the distance being about 500 miles.

In the war of 1812 the 104th regiment, raised in this province, left
St. John on the 11th day of February and on the 27th of the same month
crossed the St. Lawrence on the ice and entered Quebec 1,000 strong,
having accomplished a march of 435 miles in midwinter in sixteen days
and, says Col. Playfair, without the loss of a man.

In the year 1837 the 43d Light Infantry marched from this province to
Quebec in the month of December in almost precisely the same time, but
the conditions were distinctly more favorable; the season was not
nearly so rigorous, roads and bridges had been constructed over the
greater portion of the route and supplies could be obtained to better
advantage. Yet it is said the great Duke of Wellington observed of
this march of the 43d Light Infantry, "It is the only achievement
performed by a British officer that I really envy." How much greater a
feat was the march of the gallant hundred-and-fourth whose men, poorly
fed and insufficiently clad, passed over the same route on snowshoes
in the middle of a most inclement winter, a quarter of a century
before, to defend Canadian homes from a foreign invader?

During the negotiations between the French and English commissioners
on the boundaries of Acadia, the suggestion was made by the Abbes de
L'Isle-Dieu and Le Loutre, that if it should be found impossible to
hold all the lands north of the Bay of Fundy for France the St. John
river region should be left undivided and in possession of its native
inhabitants. As early as the year 1716 the Marquis de Vaudreuil had
stated to the French government: "The English wish to seize upon the
lands that the Abenakis and Indians of the River St. John occupy,
under the pretext that this land forms part of Acadia ceded to them by
the king. The Indians so far from withdrawing on this account have
answered that this land has always belonged to them, and that they do
not consider themselves subjects of the French, but only their

Vaudreuil admits that he encouraged this idea, and that his proposal
to build a church for the Maliseets at Medoctec had as one of its
principal objects the cementing of their alliance with the French and
providing them with another inducement to cling to the locality where
their church stood, and not by any means to abandon their old fort and

In 1749 Charlevoix, the well known Jesuit historian, writes the French
minister at Versailles not to delay the settlement of the boundaries,
for the English, who are colonizing and fortifying Acadia, will soon
be in a position to oppress their Indian allies, the Abenakis
(Maliseets), if steps are not taken in season to prevent them and to
guarantee to the Indians peaceable possession of their country, where
it is necessary they should remain in order to defend it against the
English, otherwise there would be nothing to hinder the English from
penetrating as far as the French settlements nearest Quebec; besides
where would the Abenakis go if they were obliged to abandon their
country? "In short," Charlevoix adds, "it seems to me certain that if
time is given the English to people Acadia before the limits are
agreed on, they will not fail to appropriate all the territory they
wish, and to secure possession by strong forts which will render them
masters of all that part of New France south of Quebec; and if this
should be done it will certainly follow that the Abenakis will join
them, will abandon their religion, and our most faithful allies will
become our most dangerous enemies."

Of all the leaders of the French in Acadia, none was more active and
influential than the Abbe Le Loutre. But while his energy, ability and
patriotism are undoubted, his conduct has been the subject of severe
criticism not only on the part of his adversaries but of the French
themselves. He did not escape the censure of the Bishop of Quebec for
meddling to so great an extent in temporal affairs, but the Bishop's
censure is mild compared to that of an anonymous historian, who
writes: "Abbe Loutre, missionary of the Indians in Acadia, soon put
all in fire and flame, and may be justly deemed the scourge and curse
of this country. This wicked monster, this cruel and blood thirsty
Priest, more inhumane and savage than the natural savages, with a
murdering and slaughtering mind, instead of an Evangelick spirit,
excited continually his Indians against the English. * * * All the
French had the greatest horror and indignation at Le Loutre's
barbarous actions; and I dare say if the Court of France had known
them they would have been far from approving of them."

It is only fair to the Abbe Le Loutre to mention that the officer who
criticizes him in this rude fashion was the Chevalier Johnston, an
Englishman by birth and a puritan by religion and as such prejudiced
against the French missionary. Johnston, however, served at Louisbourg
on the side of France with great fidelity in the capacity of
lieutenant, interpreter and engineer.

Father Germain, the missionary to the Indians and French on the St.
John, was a man of courage and of patriotic impulses. He deemed
himself justified in making every possible effort to keep the English
from gaining a foothold north of the Bay of Fundy, but it does not
appear that he ever incited the Indians to indulge their savage
instincts, or that he was guilty of the duplicity and barbarity that
have been so freely laid to the charge of the Abbe Le Loutre. It is
evident, moreover, that the Marquis de la Galissonniere and his aides
were particularly anxious to retain the services of Germain. He had
been twelve or fourteen years in charge of his mission on the St.
John, and during most of that time had labored single handed. Recently
Father Loverja had come to stay with the Maliseets of Medoctec in
consequence of their urgent request for a missionary, their village
being eighteen leagues from Aukpaque, where Father Germain was
stationed. Another missionary named Audren (or Andrein) had just
arrived to replace Germain, who had been nominated superior of the
house of Jesuits at Quebec. The Abbes de L'Isle-Dieu and Le Loutre
endeavored to convince the French minister that it was very
undesirable, under existing circumstances, that Germain should be
removed, as he was valued and beloved by his people--French and
Indians alike--and his services could not well be spared. There was
no chaplain at the fort, lately re-established at the mouth of the
river, and Loverja's age and infirmities would oblige him shortly to
remove to Quebec. The two missionaries would then have sufficient
occupation, especially as they would have frequently to repair on the
one hand to Medoctec, and on the other to the garrison of Fort
Menagoueche. In consequence of these strong objections to his
retirement it was decided by Father Germain's superiors to allow him
to remain at his mission.

The Abbe de L'Isle-Dieu wrote the French minister, early the next
year, that there was neither priest nor chapel at Fort Menagoueche,
and that a missionary was needed on the lower part of the river.
Father Germain had now for a long time been missionary to the
Maliseets at Aukpaque (l'isle d'Ecouba) and having more than eighty
families under his care found the fort too far removed to give due
attention to the wants of the garrison.

The situation on the St. John at this time was not viewed with
complacency by the authorities of Nova Scotia and New England. On the
18th October, 1753, Governor Hopson, of Nova Scotia, wrote the Lords
of Trade and Plantations that he had been informed by Governor
Shirley, of Massachusetts, that since the arrival of a French
missionary at the River St. John the conduct of the inhabitants had
altered for the worse; the French had now 100 families settled on the
river, had greatly strengthened the old fort at its mouth with guns
and men, and had built a new one. Fort Boishebert, some miles up the
river armed with twenty-four guns and garrisoned by 200 regulars. He
also says a French frigate of thirty guns lay behind Partridge Island
waiting for a cargo of furs, and that the French seemed to be entirely
masters of the river.

It is not unlikely this statement is exaggerated, for the following
summer Lieut.-Governor Lawrence says the French had at St. John only a
small fort with three bad old guns, one officer and sixteen men; while
of Indians there were 160 fighting men.



As time went on the Acadians became impatient at the delay in settling
the limits of Acadia. In vain they were annually told the boundaries
would soon be determined, all negotiation proved fruitless. Those who
had crossed the isthmus into what is now the County of Westmorland
found themselves undecided as to their future course. Their
inclination--a very natural one--seems to have been to return to the
fields they had abandoned, but the Abbe Le Loutre urged them to remain
under French rule as the only way of enjoying unmolested the
privileges of their religion. For their encouragement and protection
Fort Beausejour was erected.

In the month of January, 1754, Lieut.-Governor Lawrence informed the
Lords of Trade that the French were hard at work making settlements on
the St. John and were offering great inducements to the Acadians of
the peninsula to join them. He could not prevent some families from
going, but the greater part were too much attached to their lands to
leave them. In the opinion of Lawrence it was absolutely necessary,
for the development and control of Acadia as an English colony, that
the forts of Beausejour and the mouth of the River St. John should be
destroyed, and the French driven from the settlements they were
establishing north of the Bay of Fundy. Although the Indians had
committed no hostilities for two years, he believed no dependence
could be placed on their quietude so long as the French were allowed
to exercise their disturbing influence among them.

Lawrence now began to consult with the Governor of Massachusetts, Sir
William Shirley, about the removal of the Acadians from Chignecto and
the River St. John. He proposed that two thousand troops should be
raised in New England, which with the regular troops already in Nova
Scotia would be sufficient for the business, the command of the
expedition to be given to Colonel Robert Monckton. It was intended the
expedition should sail from Boston about the 20th of April, but it was
delayed more than a month awaiting the arrival of arms from England,
and it was not until early in June that it arrived at Chignecto. To
aid the expedition Captain Rous[32] was sent with a small squadron to
the Bay of Fundy. The details of the seige of Fort Beausejour need not
here be given, suffice it to say that after four days' bombardment the
Sieur de Vergor was obliged, on the 16th June, to surrender to Colonel

   [32] Capt. John Rous in his early career commanded a Boston
        privateer. Having distinguished himself in several minor
        expeditions, he commanded the Massachusetts galley "Shirley,"
        of 24 guns, at the first seige of Louisbourg, and bore the
        news of the surrender to England, where as a reward for his
        gallant services he was made a captain in the Royal Navy. He
        commanded the Sutherland of 50 guns, at the second seige of
        Louisbourg, and was with Wolfe in 1759 at the seige of Quebec.
        It was from his ship Wolfe issued his last order before
        storming the heights. Capt. Rous died at

Captain Rous, with three twenty-gun ships and a sloop, immediately
sailed for St. John, where it was reported the French had two ships of
thirty-six guns each. He anchored outside the harbor and sent his
boats to reconnoitre. They found no French ships and on their
appearance Boishebert, the officer in command of the fort, burst his
cannon, blew up his magazine, burned everything he could and marched
off. The next morning the Indians invited Captain Rous ashore and gave
him the strongest assurances of their desire to make peace with the
English, saying that they had refused to assist the French.

A few weeks after Boishebert had been thus obliged to abandon Fort
Menagouche there occurred the tragic event known as the "Acadian
Expulsion." The active agents employed by Lawrence and Shirley in this
transaction were Colonel Monckton and his subordinates, of whom
Lieut.-Colonel John Winslow and Capt. Murray were the most actively
engaged. These officers evidently had little relish for the task
imposed on them. Winslow in his proclamation to the inhabitants of
Grand Pre, Minas, etc., says: "The duty I am now upon, though
necessary, is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper." The
hostility of the New England troops to the Acadians added to the
difficulties of their officers. Murray wrote to Winslow: "You know our
soldiers hate them, and if they can find a pretence to kill them they

Of recent years there has been much controversy concerning the
expulsion of the Acadians and widely differing opinions have been
expressed on the one hand by Parkman, Murdoch, Hannay, Hind and Aikins
and on the other by Casgrain, Richard, Porier, Gaudet and Savary. Upon
the merits of this controversy it is not necessary to enter, and it
will be more in keeping with our present subject to refer to the
Acadian Expulsion only as it concerns the history of events on the
River St. John.

The position of the Sieur de Boishebert after the capture of
Beausejour and the fort at St. John was a very embarassing one. His
letter to the Chevalier de Drucour, who commanded at Louisbourg, is of
interest in this connection.

  "At the River St. John, 10 October, 1755.

  "Monsieur,--As the enemy has constantly occupied the route of
  communication since the fall of Beausejour, I have not had the
  honor of informing you of the state of affairs at this place.

  "I was compelled to abandon the fort--or rather the buildings--that
  I occupied on the lower part of the river in accordance with
  orders that I had received in case of being attacked. I have beaten
  a retreat as far as the narrows (detroits) of the river, from
  which the enemy has retired, not seeing any advantage sufficient
  to warrant an attempt to drive me from thence.

  "I have succeeded, sir, in preventing the inhabitants of this
  place from falling under the domination of the English.

  "Monsieur de Vaudreuil, approving this manoeuvre, has directed me
  to establish a temporary camp (camp volant) sit such place as I
  may deem most suitable. Even were I now to go to Quebec he could
  not give me any assistance, all the troops and militia being in
  the field.

  "I received on the 16th of August a letter from the principal
  inhabitants living in the vicinity of Beausejour beseeching me to
  come to their assistance. I set out the 20th with a detachment of
  125 men, French and Indians."

Shortly after his arrival at the French settlements on the Petitcodiac,
Boishebert had a sharp engagement with a party of New England troops
who had been sent there to burn the houses of the Acadians and who
were about to set fire to their chapel. The conflict occurred near
Hillsboro, the shiretown of Albert county, and resulted in a loss to
the English of one officer and five or six soldiers killed, and a
lieutenant and ten soldiers wounded, while Boishebert's loss was one
Indian killed and three wounded. He returned shortly afterwards to
the River St. John accompanied by thirty destitute families with whom
he was obliged to share the provisions sent him from Quebec.

Evidently the Marquis de Vaudreuil relied much upon the sagacity and
courage of his lieutenant on the St. John river in the crisis that had
arisen in Acadia. In his letter to the French colonial minister, dated
the 18th October, 1755, he writes that the English were now masters of
Fort Beausejour and that Boishebert, the commander of the River St.
John, had burnt his fort, not being able to oppose the descent of the
enemy. He had given him orders to hold his position on the river and
supplies had been sent him for the winter. He hoped that Father
Germain, then at Quebec, would return without delay to his Indian
mission and act in concert with Boishebert. The marquis summarises his
reasons for wishing to maintain the post on the River St. John as

  "1. As long as I hold this river and have a detachment of troops
  there I retain some hold upon Acadia for the King, and the English
  cannot say that they have forced the French to abandon it.

  2. I am assured of the fidelity of the Acadians and the Indians,
  who otherwise might think themselves abandoned and might yield to
  the English.

  3. Mon. de Boishebert will rally the Acadians from far and near
  and will try to unite them and their families in one body. These
  Acadians, so reunited, will be compelled for their own security
  actively to resist the enemy if he presents himself.

  4. Mon. de Boishebert will in like manner be engaged rallying the
  savages and forming of them a body equally important, and by
  corresponding with M. Manach, the missionary at Miramichi, will be
  able, in case of necessity, to unite the savages of that mission
  to his own in opposing the advance of the enemy.

  5. He will be able constantly to have spies at Beausejour and
  Halifax, and to take some prisoners who will inform him of the
  situation and strength of the English.

  6. He will be able to organize parties of Acadians and savages to
  harras the enemy continually and hinder his obtaining firewood for
  the garrison at Beausejour (Fort Cumberland).

  7. By holding the River St. John I can at all times have news from

The Marquis adds that even if France failed to establish her claim to
the territory north of the Bay of Fundy and should be forced to
abandon it he hoped, by the aid of Boishebert and the missionaries, to
withdraw the Acadians and their Indian allies to Canada. The Acadians
north of the isthmus he estimated were about two thousand (perhaps
3,000 would have been nearer the truth) of whom seven hundred were
capable of bearing arms. "It would be vexatious," adds the Marquis,
"if they should pass to the English."

After Boishebert was forced to retire from the mouth of the River St.
John he established himself at a "detroit," or "narrows," up the
river, where he constructed a small battery, two guns of a calibre of
2L., and twelve swivel guns. The following summer he entertained no
fears as to his security. He had made an intrenchment in a favorable
situation and hoped if the English should venture an attack to have
the best of it. "I have particularly recommended him," writes the
governor, "not to erect any fortifications which might in case of some
unfortunate event be hurtful to us, to retain always a way of retreat
and to use every effort to harass the enemy ceaselessly, day and
night, until he shall have reduced him to the stern necessity of

There are but two places on the lower St. John to which the word
"detroit" could apply, namely the "Narrows" just above Indiantown,
near the mouth of the river, and the narrows at "Evandale," a little
above the mouth of the Bellisle[33]; the latter is the more
probable location. The situation as a point of observation and for
defence of the settlements above could not be excelled, while at the
same time it was not sufficiently near the sea to attract attention on
the part of an English cruiser. It is therefore quite probable that
the old fort at Worden's, erected during the war of 1812, the remains
of which are in a fair state of preservation and are often visited by
tourists, was built on the site occupied by Boishebert's "Camp
Volant" of 1755, afterwards fortified by him and for some little time
his headquarters.

   [33] See under "Nid d'Aigle," Ganong's Place-Nomenclature of New
        Brunswick, p. 257. D'Anville's map of 1755 shows here
        "Etabliss't. Francois," signifying French Post or Settlement.
        See observations already made at page 91.

From the month of October to the end of December, 1755, nearly seven
thousand of the unfortunate Acadians were removed from their homes and
dispersed amongst the American colonies along the Atlantic seaboard as
far south as Georgia and the Carolinas. A fleet of two ships, three
snows, and a brigantine, under convoy of the "Baltimore" sloop of war,
sailed from Annapolis Royal on the morning of the 8th December. On
board the fleet were 1,664 exiles of all ages whose destinations were
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and South Carolina. One of the
snows[34] had her mainmast broken in a heavy gale just before her
arrival at Annapolis and Charles Belliveau, a ship-builder and
navigator of experience, was employed to replace the broken mast,
which he did in a workmanlike manner; but upon his claiming payment
for the job the captain laughed in his face. Belliveau, indignant at
such treatment, seized his axe to cut down the mast and this brought
the captain to terms.

   [34] A snow was a vessel similar to a brig; the Marquis de Vaudreull
        says the one above referred to was a Portuguese vessel.

It chanced that shortly afterwards Belliveau and a number of his
unfortunate compatriots (32 families, 225 persons in all) were placed
on board this vessel to be transported to South Carolina. The
"Baltimore" only went as far as New York and the snow, with Belliveau
and his friends on board, was left to pursue the rest of her voyage
unattended; not, however, without a parting caution on the part of the
commander of the "Baltimore" to her captain to be careful, for amongst
his captives were same good seamen. This advice was not heeded as the
sequel will show.

The voyage proved a tedious one and from time to time small parties of
the Acadians were allowed on deck for air and exercise. A plot was
laid to seize the ship. Accordingly six of the stoutest and boldest
lay in readiness, and when those on deck were ordered below and the
hatchway opened to allow them to descend, Belliveau and his friends
sprang from the hold and in the twinkling of an eye were engaged in a
desperate struggle with the crew. Reinforced by those who followed,
the master of the vessel and his crew of eight men were soon
overpowered and tied fast.

Belliveau, the leader of the spirited encounter, now took the helm and
the course of the ship was reversed. Under full sail she careened to
the wind until her former master cried to Belliveau that he would
certainly break the main mast. He replied: "No fear of that; I made it
and it is a good one."

In due time the vessel reached the Bay of Fundy without other
adventure than a trifling conflict with an English privateer, which
was beaten off without loss. The French soon after released and put on
shore the English captain and his crew, and on the 8th day of January
anchored safely in the harbor of St John.[35]

   [35] The incident related above is mentioned by several writers,
        French and English, but the details were gathered by Placide
        P. Gaudet about twenty years ago from an old Acadian of
        remarkable memory and intelligence, whose grandfather was a
        brother of Charles Belliveau.

The names of most of the families who arrived at St. John in this ship
have been preserved, including those of Charles Belliveau, Charles
Dugas, Denis St. Sceine, Joseph Guilbault, Pierre Gaudreau, Denis St.
Sceine, jr., M. Boudrault and two families of Grangers.

Charles Belliveau, the hero of the adventure just related, was born at
the Cape at Port Royal about 1696; he married in 1717 Marie Madeleine
Granger and had eight children whose descendants today are numerous.

On the 8th of February, 1756, an English schooner entered the harbor
of St. John, under French colors, having on board a party of Rangers
disguised as French soldiers. Governor Lawrence writes to Shirley: "I
had hopes by such a deceit, not only to discover what was doing there
but to bring off some of the St. John's Indians. The officer found
there an English ship, one of our transports that sailed from
Annapolis Royal with French Inhabitants aboard bound for the continent
(America), but the inhabitants had risen upon the master and crew and
carried the ship into that harbor; our people would have brought her
off, but by an accident they discovered themselves too soon, upon
which the French set fire to the ship."

We learn from French sources that on this occasion the captain of the
English vessel made some French signals and sent his shallop on shore
with four French deserters, who announced that they had come from
Louisbourg with supplies and that other ships were on their way with
the design of re-establishing the fort at the mouth of the river and
so frustrating a similar design on the part of the English. The story
seemed so plausible that an unlucky Acadian went on board the ship to
pilot her to her anchorage, but no sooner was he on board than the
captain hoisted his own proper flag and discharged his artillery upon
the people collected on shore. Belliveau and the people who had lately
escaped transportation to South Carolina were living in huts on shore
and perceiving that the English were approaching with the design of
carrying off the vessel in which they had escaped, they succeeded in
landing some swivel guns and having placed them in a good position
made so lively a fire upon the enemy that they soon abandoned the idea
of a descent and returned to Annapolis Royal.

The sole result, of this bit of strategy seems to have been the
capture of one poor Frenchman from whom the English learned that the
Indians had gone, some to Passamaquoddy and others with Boishebert to
Cocagne, also that there was "a French officer and about 20 men
twenty-three miles up the River at a place called St. Anns."

The Indians who had gone to Passamaquoddy managed to surprise at night
a large schooner lying at anchor in Harbor L'Elang, bound from Boston
to Annapolis Royal with provisions for the garrison. The schooner
carried six guns and had on board a crew of ten men besides her
captain and an artillery officer of the Annapolis garrison. The vessel
was carried to St. John and hidden on the lower part of the river. The
savages pillaged her so completely that on her arrival there remained
only a small quantity of bacon and a little rum. The prisoners were
sent by Boishebert to Canada along with others captured on various

The Acadian refugees continued to come to the River St. John in
increasing numbers, and Boishebert and the missionaries soon found
themselves reduced to sore straits in their endeavors to supply them
with the necessaries of life. The Marquis de Vaudreuil was determined
to hold the St. John river country as long as possible. He wrote the
French minister, June 1, 1756: "I shall not recall M. de Boishebert
nor the missionaries, nor withdraw the Acadians into the heart of the
colony until the last extremity, and when it shall be morally
impossible to do better." It was his intention to send provisions and
munitions of war to the Acadians and Indians.

Boishebert was endeavoring at this time, with the approval of the
Marquis de Vaudreuil, to draw as many of the Acadians as possible to
the River St. John and to induce them to oppose any advance on the
part of the English. The French commander, however, soon found his
position an exceedingly difficult one. After sending many families to
Quebec and to the Island of St. John he had still six hundred people,
besides the Indians, to provide for during the winter, and many
refugees from Port Royal and elsewhere desired to come to the River
St. John. The number of Acadians dependent on him received additions
from time to time by the arrival of exiles returning from the south.
In the month of June five families numbering fifty persons, arrived
from Carolina and told Boishebert that eighty others were yet to

The difficulties surmounted by these poor people in the pathetic
endeavor to return to their old firesides seem almost incredible. A
small party of Acadians of the district of Beaubassin, at the head of
the Bay of Fundy, were transported to South Carolina. They traveled
thence on foot to Fort Du Quesne (now Pittsburg) from which place they
were transported to Quebec. One might have thought they would have
been well satisfied to have remained there, but no, so great was their
attachment to their beloved Acadia that they would not rest content
until they had arrived at the River St. John.

The idea that dominated the Marquis de Vaudreuil in providing these
unfortunates with the necessaries of life seems to have been to
utilize their services for the defence of Canada. "It would not be
proper," he says, "that they should be at the charges of the King
without giving tangible proof of their zeal for the service of his
majesty." The governor not being able to provide for all the refugees
at the River St. John, on account of the difficulty of transporting
supplies by way of Temiscouata, gave directions to the Sieur de
Boishebert to send to Miramichi the families he could not subsist on
the St. John. The number of Acadians at Miramichi soon amounted to
3,500 persons.

The ensuing winter proved most trying to the destitute Acadians. The
harvest had been extremely poor. In some cases the old inhabitants had
nothing to live upon but the grain needed for seeding in the spring
time. The conditions at Miramichi were probably not more wretched than
on the River St. John. Of the former the Marquis de Vaudreuil writes
in the following plaintive terms:----

"This part of Acadia holds out for the King although reduced to the
most wretched state. Although ourselves in want, M. Bigot has sent a
vessel with provisions to Miramichi, but she has unfortunately been
delayed on the way by head winds. The misery of the Acadians there is
so great that Boishebert has been compelled to reduce their allowance
to ten pounds of peas and twelve pounds of meat per month, and it
would have been further reduced had not forty bullocks been brought
from Petitcodiac. This was the allowance for the month of January and,
the fishery being exhausted, he could not hope to have the same
resource the months following. In a word the Acadian mothers see their
babes die at the breast not having wherewith to nourish them. The
majority of the people cannot appear abroad for want of clothes to
cover their nakedness. Many have died. The number of the sick is
considerable, and those convalescent cannot regain their strength on
account of the wretched quality of their food, being often under the
necessity of eating horse meat extremely lean, sea-cow, and skins of
oxen. Such is the state of the Acadians.

"The intendant, M. Bigot, is going to send a ship, as soon as the ice
breaks, to carry such supplies as we can furnish them. Unless some
assistance is sent by sea, the lands, cattle, and effects hidden in
the woods must all be sacrificed, and the Acadians obliged to go

At the beginning of the year 1756, the governors of Massachusetts and
Nova Scotia discussed the situation of affairs on the St. John river,
and agreed that steps must be taken as soon as possible to dislodge
the French.

In one of his letters to Governor Lawrence, Shirley observes, "I look
upon dispossessing the French of the St. John River, and fortifying
it, to be necessary for securing the Bay of Fundy and the Peninsula
against attempts from Canada. * * * If I am rightly informed, nothing
hath yet been done towards it, except making a visit up the River as
far as the lower Fort, near the mouth of it, upon which the French
abandoned it, having first destroyed the stores and burst the cannon,
and there still remain the settlements they have above that Fort, by
means of which they keep the Indians inhabiting it in a dependence
upon them, and have a passage across a carrying place into the River
Patcotyeak (Petitcodiac) whereby a communication may be maintained
between St. John's River and Cape Breton across the Gulf of St.
Lawrence." In another letter Shirley wrote that it was essential the
French should be dislodged from the St. John and their settlements
broken up, since, if suffered to remain, they would soon be very
strong and able to maintain communication by the river with Canada,
depriving the English of the fur trade upon it and maintaining
absolute control of the Indians.

The Indians were at this time decidedly hostile to the English and
Lawrence determined to wage against them a merciless warfare.
Accordingly, with the advice and approval of his council, he issued a
proclamation offering a reward of £30 for every Indian warrior brought
in alive, a reward of £25 for the scalp of every male Indian above the
age of sixteen years, and for every woman or child brought in alive
the sum of £25; these rewards to be paid by the commanding officer at
any of His Majesty's Forts in the Province on receiving the prisoners
or scalps.

This cold-blooded and deliberately issued proclamation of the chief
magistrate of Nova Scotia and his council can scarcely be excused on
the plea that the Abbe Le Loutre and other French leaders had at
various times rewarded their savage allies for bringing in the scalps
of Englishmen. As for the savages, they had, at least, the apology
that they made war in accordance with the manner of their race,
whereas the proclamation of the Governor of Nova Scotia was unworthy
of an enlightened people. Nothing could be better calculated to lower
and brutalize the character of a soldier than the offer of £25 for a
human scalp.

About this time, two of the New England regiments were disbanded and
returned to their homes, their period of enlistment having expired,
and the difficulty of obtaining other troops prevented anything being
attempted on the St. John for a year or two. Lawrence and Shirley,
however, continued to discuss the details of the proposed expedition.
Both governors seem to have had rather vague ideas of the number of
the Acadians on the river and the situation of their settlements.
Shirley says he learned from the eastern Indians and New England
traders that their principal settlement was about ninety miles up the
river at a place called St. Annes, six miles below the old Indian town
of Aukpaque. He thought that 800 or 1,000 men would be a force
sufficient to clear the river of the enemy and that after they were
driven from their haunts the English would do well to establish a
garrison of 150 men at St. Annes, in order to prevent the return of
the French and to overawe the Indians. He also recommended that the
fort at the mouth of the river, lately abandoned by Boishebert, should
be rebuilt and a garrison of 50 men placed there.

During the years that followed the expulsion of the Acadians
occasional parties of the exiles, returning from the south, arrived at
the River St. John, where they waited to see what the course of
events might be. Their condition was truly pitiable. Some had
journeyed on foot or by canoe through an unexplored wilderness;
others, from the far away Carolinas, having procured small vessels,
succeeded in creeping furtively along the Atlantic coast from one
colony to another until they reached the Bay of Fundy; and thus the
number of the Acadians continued to increase until Boishebert had more
than a thousand people under his care. Some of them he sent to Canada,
for his forces were insufficient for their protection, and his
supplies were scanty.

The locations of the French settlements on the river at this period
are described in detail in Dr. Ganong's "Historic Sites in New
Brunswick." The largest settlement, and that farthest up the St. John,
was at St. Annes Point, where the City of Fredericton stands today.
Here the Acadians had cleared 600 or 700 acres of land and built a
thriving village with a little chapel (near the site of Government
House) and probably there was a sprinkling of houses along the river
as far up as the Indian village of Aukpaque, six miles above. Their
next settlement was at the mouth of the Oromocto, where 300 acres of
land had been cleared. A very old settlement existed near the
abandoned fort at the mouth of the Jemseg, but its growth had been
retarded by the annoyances of the spring freshets and many of the
inhabitants had been obliged to remove. There was an important
settlement on the site now occupied by the village of Gagetown and
houses were scattered along the river for several miles below. Another
small settlement existed above the mouth of the Bellisle, and there
may have been a few inhabitants at the mouth of the Nerepis where
stood Fort Boishebert. At St. John the French had cleared some land on
the west side of the harbor, and in Bruce's map of 1761 the places
cleared are marked as "gardens," but it is probable that the
inhabitants abandoned them and fled up the river in 1755 when their
fort, "Menagoueche," was destroyed by Captain Rous.

In the year 1756 England declared war against France and the capture
of Louisbourg was proposed. The governor of Canada ordered Boishebert
to hold himself in readiness to aid in its defence, and he accordingly
proceeded to Cape Breton with a force of 100 Acadians and Canadians
and about 250 Indians, many of them Maliseets of the River St. John.
The latter did not go very willingly, for they had been reduced to so
great a state of misery in consequence of not receiving the supplies
they had expected from the French that they had entered into peace
negotiations with the English. However by means of harangues and
promises Boishebert contrived to bring them with him.

The Chevalier de Drucour, the commander at Louisbourg, urged the
French minister to send at once presents and supplies for the savages.
"These people," he observes, "are very useful in the kind of warfare
we are making, but unless we act towards them as they have been led to
expect I will not answer that we shall have them with us next year."
He urges the French minister to send him some medals for distribution.
The distinction of possessing one was very highly prized and often
retained the fidelity of a whole village of the savages.

The expected assault of Louisbourg did not take place until 1758 and
Boishebert, who had retired to Canada, was ordered to repair thither.
The Marquis de Montcalm wrote from Montreal to the French minister,
April 10th, "Monsieur Boishebert, captain of troops of the colony,
leaves in the course of a few days, if the navigation of the St.
Lawrence is open, to proceed to the River St. John and thence to
Louisbourg with a party of 600 men, including Canadians, Acadians and
savages of Acadia."

The governor and other officials at Quebec seem to have placed every
confidence in the courage and capacity of Boishebert, who, it may be
here mentioned received this year the Cross of St. Louis in
recognition of his services in Acadia. "It is certain," writes the
Marquis de Vaudreuil, "that if, when the former siege of Louisbourg
took place, the governor there had agreed to the proposal to send
Marin thither with a force of Canadians and Indians the place would
not have fallen, and if Boishebert were now to collect 200 Acadians
and 200 St. John river Indians and the Micmacs he would be able to
form a camp of 600 or 700 men, and Drucour could frequently place the
besiegers between two fires."

The expectations of Montcalm and de Vaudreuil as to the usefulness of
Boishebert's detachment in the defence of Louisbourg were doomed to
disappointment, for Boishebert did not arrive at Louisbourg until near
the end of the siege and with forces not one-third of the number that
Drucour had been led to expect. Two depots of provisions had been
placed in the woods for the use of the detachment, but the fact that
Boishebert had only about 120 Acadians and a few Indians in addition
to a handful of regulars, entirely frustrated Drucour's design of
harrassing the attacking English by a strong demonstration in their
rear. About twenty of Boishebert's Indians were engaged in a skirmish
with the English and two of their chiefs having fallen the rest were
so discouraged that they returned to their villages. Boishebert
himself had a few unimportant skirmishes with outlying parties of the
English, and then came the news of the surrender of Louisbourg. He
immediately sent away the sick of his detachment, set fire to a
thousand cords of wood and a quantity of coal to prevent its falling
into the hands of the enemy, and on the 29th July set out on his
return to the St. John river. The English made a lively but fruitless

Boishebert left his sick at Miramichi, and having sent sixty
prisoners, whom he had taken on various occasions, to Quebec, he then
took part in an expedition against Fort George, on the coast of Maine,
where he gained more honor than at the seige of Louisbourg.[36] He
returned to Quebec in November, and about the same time there was an
exodus from the River St. John, both of Acadians and Indians, the
reason for which the next chapter will explain. From this time the
Sieur de Boishebert ceases to be an actor in the events on the St.
John, and becomes merely an on-looker.

   [36] The Chevalier Johnson writes, "Boishebert came early in the
        Spring to Louisbourg with several hundred men, 12 Canadian
        Officers and 6 others from the garrison of Louisbourg; and he
        kept his detachment with such prudence so concealed at Miry
        during the siege, five leagues from Louisbourg, that neither
        the English nor the garrison had ever any news of them."




The territory north of the Bay of Fundy, which now forms the Province
of New Brunswick, was for nearly half a century a bone of contention
between the French and their English rivals. It might indeed be said
that from the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 to the Treaty of Paris in 1763
the controversy continued to disturb the peace of Europe. Sometimes
the points at issue were warmly debated at the council board, where
the representatives of either nation vainly tried to settle the limits
of Acadia, and sometimes they were yet more fiercely disputed amidst
the clash of arms and bloody scenes of the battle field.

But as years passed on, and the growing power of the English colonies
began to overshadow that of "La Nouvelle France," it seemed that the
Anglo-Saxon race must in the end prevail. The policy of the governors
of Nova Scotia and New England became more and more aggressive. In
vain did the valiant Montcalm, as late as the year 1758, represent to
his country that in fixing the limits of New France it was essential
to retain possession of what the English claimed as Acadia as far as
the Isthmus of Chignecto, and to retake Beausejour; also that France
should keep possession of the River St. John or, at least, leave the
territory there undivided and in the possession of its native
inhabitants: no such compromise as this would now satisfy the

Louisbourg surrendered to General Amherst on the 26th July, 1758, and
a few weeks later Colonel Monckton was sent with a body of troops,
flushed with their success, to drive the hapless Acadians from their
settlements on the River St. John. The particulars connected with this
expedition are found in an unpublished document, of which the original
is in the Public Record Office in London, entitled "Report of the
Proceedings of the Troops on the Expedition up St. John's River in the
Bay of Fundy under the command of Colonel Monckton."[37]

   [37] For a copy of this valuable paper I am indebted to Dr. W. F.
        Ganong. The name of Monckton is preserved in that of the
        second largest town of the province.

As Monckton was the principal agent in an event of such historic
importance to us as the permanent occupation of the St. John river, a
few words may very properly be devoted to him.

Robert Monckton was the second son of John, first Viscount Galway, by
his wife Lady Elizabeth Manners, youngest daughter of the Duke of
Rutland. He began his military career in Flanders in 1742, where he
fought in several battles. Later he came out to America, and in 1752
we find him in charge of the garrison of Fort Lawrence, keeping watch
over the French stronghold of Beausejour, across the Misseguash. A
little later he was commandant of the garrison of Annapolis Royal. He
commanded the English forces at the reduction of Beausejour, in June,
1755. The year following he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Nova
Scotia. He commanded the 4th battalion of the 60th regiment, or "Royal
Americans," at the siege of Louisbourg, and in 1759 served as second
in command to Wolfe at the taking of Quebec, on which occasion he was
conspicuous for his bravery and was severely wounded. A year or two
later he was Governor of New York. In the course of time he attained
the rank of lieutenant-general in the army, and at his death, in 1782,
was a member for Portsmouth in the British Parliament.

Among those who, in a subordinate capacity, rendered essential service
in the expedition to the River St. John none was more conspicuous than
our old friend, Captain Cobb, of the Province sloop "York;" a few
words may fittingly be devoted to him.

Sylvanus Cobb was born in Plymouth, New England, in 1709. Shortly
before the capture of Louisbourg by Sir Wm. Pepperrell, in 1745, he
raised a company in his native town for Colonel Gorham's regiment and
served with credit during the operations of the seige. He was
subsequently in command of a small armed vessel employed by
Government to cruise in the Bay of Fundy. After Halifax was founded,
in 1749, he was employed by Governor Cornwallis and his successors
for nearly ten years as master of the Provincial armed sloop "York."
When at Louisbourg in 1758 he was selected by Monckton to conduct
Wolfe to reconnoitre the fortress previous to an assault. As they
sailed up the harbor no one was allowed to stand on deck but Wolfe at
the fore-sheet and Cobb at the helm. The shot flew thickly around
them, and Wolfe at length signified that they had approached as near
to the fortifications as was necessary, but Cobb made yet another
tack, eliciting Wolfe's admiration and the remark, "Well, Cobb! I
shall never again doubt but you will carry me near enough." Capt. Cobb
lived for some years at Liverpool, N. S. He died of fever in 1762
while serving in an expedition against Havana, and is said to have
expressed his regret that he had not met a soldier's death at the
cannon's mouth. His descendants in Queens county, N. S., are

The troops that accompanied Colonel Monckton to the River St. John
included several New England companies of Rangers under captains
McCurdy, Brewer, Goreham and Stark, a detachment of artillery, the 2nd
battalion of the Royal American Regiment[38] and the 35th regiment of
light infantry. The troops embarked on board the transport ships
"Isabella," "Wade," "Alexander the Second," "Viscount Falmouth," "Lord
Bleakeney," the sloops "York" and "Ulysses" and other vessels, under
convoy of the "Squirrel" man-of-war. Vessels and troops had lately
returned from the siege of Louisbourg.

   [38] The Royal American Regiment, or 60th Regiment of Foot, was
        raised in America about 1756 or 1757. It was commanded by Maj.
        Gen. James Abercrombie, who was succeeded by Gen. Sir Jeffrey
        Amherst in February, 1758. The corps included four battalions
        each of 1,000 men. Robert Monckton was appointed colonel in
        the regiment Sept. 28, 1757. (See Murdoch's Hist. Nova Scotia,
        Vol. 2, p. 329.)

The fleet sailed from Halifax on Monday the 11th September and on the
18th anchored off Partridge Island sending in Cobb and Rogers[39] with
their sloops to reconnoitre. They proceeded up the harbor and on their
return reported that they had seen only two or three people. However,
Monckton learned later that there were more than two hundred Indians
in ambush at the mouth of the river when the English landed, but
their chief, overawed by the strength of the invaders, would not
suffer them to fire and retired with them up the river, and "upon
their return to Oauckpack (their settlement about two leagues above
St. Anns) Pere Germain, their priest, expecting, as he termed it,
'Quelque coup de Trahison' from them, marched them off for Canada."

   [39] Capt. Jeremiah Rogers commanded the armed sloop "Ulysses" in the
        pay of the Government of Nova Scotia, as early as January,

The next day the fleet anchored in the harbor and Monckton sent Cobb
with his sloop to Chignecto for some Acadian prisoners to serve as
pilots up the river, also for some whale boats and Captain Benoni
Danks company of Rangers.

We come now to a day worthy to be held in remembrance--the memorable
20th of September, 1759--when the control of the River St. John passed
finally into the hands of Great Britain and a permanent English
settlement was made upon the shores of our harbor, Monckton's journal
contains a brief record of the event:

  "Sep'br. ye 20th.--Made the Signal for Landing about nine and soon
  after landed near the Old Fort, with as many Men as the Boats
  could take, being about 400. Met with no opposition. The 2d.
  Division being landed I sent off Maj'r Scott with about 300 Light
  Infantry and Rangers to make discovery and advanced the two
  companys of Grenadiers to support him in case of necessity. The
  Maj'r returned, having been above the Falls; he found some few
  Tracks but not the least signs of any Road or Path--the woods very
  thick and bad marching. The troops being all landed I ordered the
  Tents to be got on shore and encamped the two regiments just at
  the back of the Fort. The Light Infantry and Rangers under Maj'r
  Scott encamped on the Hill above."

The next few days were spent in getting provisions and supplies on
shore. The detachment of artillery and three field pieces were also
landed. A number of exploring parties were sent out and all agreed
that it was impracticable to proceed with the expedition by land.
Monckton had already sent word by Capt. Rogers to Annapolis and by
Capt. Cobb to Fort Cumberland to press into the King's service any
sloops or schooners available to transport provisions and stores up
the river, as the majority of his vessels were too large to attempt
the passage of the falls. Meanwhile he determined to repair the old
fort and work was begun upon it on the 24th September. "My reasons,"
writes Monckton, "for fixing on this spot, though somewhat commanded
by the Hill on the back were, that it was so much work ready done to
our hands, the command it would have of the Harbor, the conveniency of
landing our stores, and the great difficultys that would have attended
its being erected further from the shore having no conveniency of
moving our stores but by men. Besides, as the season was so far
advanced and we had still to go up the River, I thought it best to fix
on what would be soonest done. And in regard to the Hill that has some
command of it, it is only with cannon, which the enemy would find
great difficulty in bringing, and this may hereafter be remedy'd by
erecting some small Work on it."

In the construction of the works at the fort 600 men were employed
daily until the 24th October, when the number was reduced to 300 in
consequence of the departure of the expedition up the river to destroy
the Acadian settlements. Capt. Cobb returned from Fort Cumberland the
last day of September with Danks' company of Rangers, five whale boats
and nine French prisoners. From the latter Monckton learned that it
would have been almost impossible to have gone up the river by land,
and that it would have been dangerous to attempt to pass the falls
with such vessels as they had with them. Their opinion, as to the
difficulty of passing the falls, was confirmed by observations and
soundings made by Capt. Willock and the masters of the transports.

While the fort was building, Monckton was engaged in collecting
military stores, provisions and supplies of various kinds for which he
sent vessels to Fort Cumberland, Annapolis, Halifax and Boston. The
officers' barracks at Fort Frederick were erected on the 2nd of
October and the work of building the fort made rapid progress, but it
was not until the 21st of October that the expedition was in a
position to proceed up the river. Even then the start was not a very
auspicious one as we learn from Monckton's journal, in which he

  "Having got together several sloops and schooners and victual'd
  them, I order Cobb & Rogers to pass the Falls to cover the other
  vessels as they might be able to get through. They accordingly get
  under way. Cobb being the headmost passes the Narrows, but is too
  late to get over the Falls and obliged to come too in a little
  cove below. The Ulysses, Capt. Rogers, in passing the Narrows
  strikes on a Rock, and is drove by the Tide into a creek above
  Cobb where the vessell sunk in a short time, and it was with great
  difficulty the Light Infantry who were in her and crew were saved.
  Upon hearing this and that Cobb did not lay very safe I ordered
  him down again and very luckily for at Low Water he would have
  struck on the Rocks."

The captain of the man of war "Squirrel" endeavored to raise the
"Ulysses" but was forced to abandon the attempt and she proved a total

Having at length got all the smaller vessels safely above the falls
and the troops on board, with provisions for a fortnight, Monckton
himself embarked in Capt. Cobb's sloop "York," leaving Captain Bellen
of the 35th regiment in command of the troops left behind. The force
that proceeded up the river numbered about 1,200 men.

To understand the subsequent proceedings of the expedition the reader
will do well to refer occasionally to the accompanying plan[40] based
on that transmitted by Monckton, along with his report, to Major
General Amherst.

   [40] The original of this plan, which is in the British Museum, was
        made by Major Charles Morris, Surveyor General of Nova Scotia.
        He was with Monckton at the River St. John.

On the morning of the 30th October the little fleet got under sail but
the wind being contrary little progress was made; indeed the ordnance
sloop was very nearly sharing the fate of the "Ulysses," and only
escaped by casting anchor in a rather perilous position just above the
falls. Next day the vessels succeeded in crossing Grand Bay and
anchored off "Pointe aux Tourtres,"[41] about two leagues above the
mouth of the Nerepis. On their way they observed the remains of the
fort built by Boishebert at Woodman's Point.

   [41] This place is known as Salmon Point, but in the plan is given as
        Pidgeon's Point.

[Illustration: Sketch of St. John's Harbour, and a Part of the River.]

[Illustration: "ISLE AU GARCE," OR "EMENENIC." (Now Called Caton's
Island, in Long Reach.)]

On November 1, the wind being contrary, little progress was made, and
in the evening the "York" anchored off an island called "Isle aux
Garces." Monckton landed on the island, which he describes as "a verry
fine one--the wood Oak, Beech, Birch, and Walnut, and no underwood."
This island was none other than the famous Emenenic, where some
traders and fishermen of St. Malo had a small settlement in the year
1611--probably the first European settlement within the confines of
the province. It was here the Jesuit missionary, Father Biard, held
the first religious service on the St. John river of which we have any
record. As mentioned in a previous chapter, the Indians still call the
island "Ah-men-hen-ik," which is almost identical in sound with
Biard's "Emenenic," thus proving that the old Indian name has
persisted for well-nigh three hundred years. The name "Isle au garce,"
found in the plan of the river, is not easy of explanation. "Garce"
may possibly be a misprint for "grace," and the name "Isle of grace"
would harmonize very well with the French missionary's visit and
religious services in October, 1611, but Placide P. Gaudet--who, by
the way, is no mean authority as regards the French regime on the
River St. John--is disposed to consider the word "garce" as
signifying a "merry maiden." If so, the name is suggestive of an
untold story and there is material for a romance in connection with
our historic "Isle au garce." The island is now owned by County
Secretary George R. Vincent. The soil is fertile, well wooded and
excellent spring water is abundant; fine oaks grow there as in
Monckton's day. A little cove, which may be seen in the view of the
island a little to the right of the wood-boat, affords an excellent
landing place.

The plan of the river accompanying Colonel Monckton's report is of
special interest on account of the curious admixture of French and
English names. This feature is quite in harmony with the epoch which
was one of transition. Instances today are not infrequent where the
existing name has been translated from the French, a familiar example
being that of the island at the mouth of St. John harbor, called by
the French "Isle au Perdrix" and translated into the English
"Partridge Island." Another familiar instance occurs in connection
with Oak Point in Long Reach. Describing their progress up the river
Monckton says, "We came too off Point aux Chaines to sound." Point aux
Chaines in English means Oak Point, and the identity of the situation
of Oak Point and of Monckton's Point aux Chaines is clearly shown in
the plan of the river.

Monckton describes the country along the lower part of the River St.
John as "verry Mountainous and Rocky," but above the Bellisle
comparatively flat and well timbered.

On the evening of the 2nd November the sloop "York" came to anchor
"under an island called the Great Island," or Long Island. Some of the
party landed on the island where, Monckton tells us, they found
walnuts (or butternuts) much like English walnuts.

The expedition was now approaching one of the principal Acadian
settlements and Captain Benoni Danks was sent with a party and a guide
to try to take a prisoner in order, if possible, to obtain further
information, but the Acadians evidently received timely warning of
their danger and had abandoned their village.

It may be mentioned, in passing, that there are some very uncomplimentary
references to Captain Danks and his Rangers in Rev. Hugh Graham's letter
to Rev. Dr. Brown, written at Cornwallis, N. S., in 1791.[42] See for
example the following: "A considerable large body of the French were at
one time surprised by a party of the Rangers on Petitcodiac River; upon
the first alarm most of them threw themselves into the river and swam
across, and by this ways the greatest part of them made out to elude the
clutches of these bloody hounds, tho' some of them were shot by the
merciless soldiery in the river. It was observed that these Rangers,
almost without exception, closed their days in wretchedness, and
particularly a Capt. Danks, who rode to the extreme of his commission in
every barbarous proceeding. In the Cumberland insurrection (1776) he was
suspected of being 'Jack on both sides of the bush,' left that place
in a small jigger bound for Windsor, was taken ill on the passage,
thrown down into the hold among the ballast, was taken out at Windsor
half dead, and had little better than the burial of a dog. He lived under
a general dislike and died without any to regret his death."

   [42] This letter will be found in the Collections of the Nova Scotia
        Historical Society, Vol. II., pp. 135-145. Many of Mr.
        Graham's remarks savor of exaggeration and in reading the
        extract above this fact should not be lost sight of.

Saturday, the 4th of November, was an unhappy day for the poor
Acadians living at the little village of Grimrose--the site of the
modern village of Gagetown. The story shall be told in Monckton's own

  "Nov'br ye 4th,--The party returns without any Prisoner, having
  been at the Village of Grimrose which they found had been but
  lately deserted by the inhabitants.

  "Give orders for landing. Having got a body of about 700 Men on
  Shore, we march to the further end of the Village, being about a
  league. From whence, by the tracks we found, we judged that the
  Inhabitants had but lately retired and drove off their cattle.
  Here we found the Lime that had been taken in a schooner in the
  spring, which they had landed as our Pilots supposed to lighten
  the schooner, to get her higher up or to hide her in some
  Creeke--as they supposed that they would certainly have carry'd
  the Lime up to St. Anns would the depth of the River have admitted
  of it.

  "It being late in the day I gave orders for Burning the Houses &
  Barns, being in all about 50, and for destroying all the Grain, of
  which there was a good deal, and everything else that could be of
  the least service to the Inhabitants hereafter. Having Burnt and
  destroyed everything we marched backe and reimbarked.

  "As we were disembarking in the morning some canoes were seen
  crossing the head of Grimerose River [Gagetown Creek], and near
  where we landed there had lately been some Birch canoes made. Much
  cleared Land here--Fine Country. This Village was settled by the
  Inhabitants of Beausejour, when drove off from thence in 1755."

The day following the expedition continued up the river to Isle
Mettis, or Grimross Island. The pilots now refused to take charge of
the vessels any higher, as they did not think there was sufficient
water to pass. The accuracy of their judgment was soon evident. In
attempting to proceed Capt. Cobb ran his sloop aground, and several of
the transports had a like experience, but the bottom being sandy all
soon got off again without damage. Monckton sent Capt. Rogers, late of
the sloop "Ulysses," and a mate of the man-of-war "Squirrel," who had
accompanied the expedition, to take soundings but they could find no
practicable channel.

The commanding officer now reluctantly abandoned the idea of
proceeding on to St. Annes. He might perhaps have attempted it by
means of whale boats if the season had not been so far advanced and
his provisions so nearly expended. After enumerating in his journal
the difficulties that confronted him in the event of proceeding
further he writes, "I therefore determined to return and destroy
everything we could on our way down." Meanwhile, by Monckton's orders,
Captain McCurdy had been scouring the country with his rangers and had
succeeded in killing some cattle which were divided among the

Captains Danks and Brewer were sent with their companies to burn some
houses near what is now Upper Gagetown. After burning the houses they
marched their troops down the "Neck" towards the village of Grimrose
and on their way came across three or four Frenchmen who were driving
off about forty head of cattle. The New Englanders made a dash for
this prize, the Acadians escaped, but most of the cattle were

Captain McCurdy was sent by Monckton across the river to Jemseg to
destroy all the houses and grain that he might find in that quarter
and to kill the cattle, and these orders were duly obeyed. Monckton
burnt the little settlement called Villeray's (about three miles below
Gagetown), and as he came down the river sent a small party on shore
to burn the historic settlement of the Sieur de Belleisle and his
sons-in-law, the brothers Robichaux, just above the mouth of Belleisle
Bay. On the 8th day of November, after an absence of ten days, he
arrived at the place above the falls where the troops had embarked.

Colonel Monckton evidently was not very much elated at the success of
his expedition, for a few days after his return he wrote to Lieut.
Governor De Lancey of New York: "I am sorry I can't give you a better
acct. of our Proceedings up this River. But it was attended with so
many unavoidable delays and impediments that we were only able to go
up about 23 Leagues, which is above 10 Leagues short of St.
Annes--where, if we had been able to have reached, it is by very
certain accounts of no consequence, being only a Village and not the
least signs of a fort.

"We burnt one village and some straggling Houses and destroyed
everything that could be the least serviceable to them, so that I
should think that they will in the spring be obliged to retire to
Canada. The River, after passing the Falls, is as fine a River as ever
I saw, and when you get up about 10 Leagues the country is level, with
fine woods of Oak, Beech, Birch and Walnut, and no underwood and the
land able to produce anything. We have just finished a pretty good
fort here, where the old French Fort stood, which will be a footing
for anything that may be thought proper to be undertaken hereafter."

The Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor general of Canada, was not ignorant
of Monckton's operations on the River St. John, but he was in no
position to make any effectual resistance. In his letter to the French
minister of November 5, 1758, he states that the English were engaged
in rebuilding the old Fort at Menagoueche; the Indians of the River
St. John had retired with the Rev. Father Germain, their missionary to
Canada, where Bigot, the intendant, had provided for their wintering,
and the greater part of the Acadians had also retired to Canada.

During Colonel Monckton's absence up the river work was continued at
the fort, so that it must have been nearly finished at the time of his
return. It received the name of Fort Frederick, and the remains of its
ramparts may still be seen at "Old Fort" in Carleton.

In the plan of St. John harbor made by Colonel Robert Morse of the
Royal Engineers in 1784, there is an outline of Fort Frederick very
nearly identical as regards situation and general form with the sketch
of Fort Menagoueche (or "Fort de la Riviere de St. Jean") made in
October, 1700, by the Sieur de Villieu.[43] We have further proof of
an interesting nature that the situation and general plan of the new
fort was identical with the old French fort in one of the letters of
the Marquis de Vaudreuil, in which he tells us that about the time
Fort Frederick was nearing completion a French Canadian, kept there
as a prisoner, made his escape, and on his return to Canada described
the new fort as exactly the same size as the old but much stronger,
the terraces being at least ten feet in thickness, and upon the
terraces were palisades ten feet high in the form of "chevaux de
frise." The Frenchman had counted 18 cannons mounted of a calibre of
18L., and the English had told him they expected to mount in all 30
cannons of 20L. and of 18L.

   [43] The plan of Villieu appears in Dr. Ganong's Historic Sites in
        New Brunswick, p. 279.

On the 11th November Colonel Monckton sent Major Scott to Petitcodiac
with the Light Infantry and Rangers in quest of a French privateer
that had been at the St. John river and which, with one of her prizes,
was said to have taken shelter there. He was directed to seize the
vessels and bring them off, together with any of the Acadian
inhabitants he could find, and to burn and destroy all the houses,
barns, cattle, grain, etc. On his return he was to send Captain Dank's
company to Fort Cumberland.

Major Scott certainly acted with promptitude, for barely a week had
expired when he returned to St. John with the privateer schooner and
prize sloop, which he had found in two different creeks up the
Petitcodiac river. The parties sent out by the Major destroyed upwards
of 150 houses and barns, much grain and a good many cattle. They
captured 30 prisoners, including women and children. The Acadian seem
to have made some resistance, however, and a Lieutenant McCormack and
three men of Captain McCurdy's Company and two men of the Light
Infantry were captured by them.

The troops that had served in the St. John river expedition were now
distributed among the garrisons at Fort Cumberland, Windsor, Annapolis
and Halifax, with the exception of McCurdy's, Stark's and Brewer's
companies of Rangers and a small detachment of artillery, ordered to
remain at Fort Frederick under command of Major Morris. This was a
more considerable garrison than could well find accommodation there
during the winter, but such was not Monckton's intention, for he
writes in his journal: "The Fuel of the Garrison not being as yet
lay'd in, I leave the three companies of Rangers, viz., McCurdy's,
Stark's, and Brewer's, and have ordered that Captain McCurdy's company
should Hutt and remain the Winter, the other two after compleating the
wood to come to Halifax in the vessels I had left them."

Monckton sailed for Halifax in the man-of-war "Squirrel" on the 21st
of November, and with him went the 2nd Battalion of the Royal American
Regiment of which he was the commander.

In the month of January following, a tragic event took place at or
near St. Anne's, an account of which has been left us by our early
historians, Peter Fisher and Moses H. Perley, in substance as

After the winter season had fairly set in, a party of the rangers at
Fort Frederick, under Captain McCurdy, set out on snow-shoes to
reconnoitre the country and to ascertain the state of the French
settlements up the river. The first night after their departure they
encamped at Kingston Creek, not far from the Belleisle, on a very
steep hillside. That night Captain McCurdy lost his life by the
falling of a large birch tree, which one of the rangers cut down on
the hillside--the tree came thundering down the mountain and killed
the Captain instantly, Lieutenant Moses Hazen[44] succeeded to the
command, and the party continued up the river to St. Ann's Point (now
Fredericton), where they found quite a town. They set fire to the
chapel and other buildings, but a number of the French settlers
gathered together, whereupon the Rangers retreated, and, being hotly
pursued committed several atrocious acts upon the people who fell in
their way, to prevent their giving information. By reversing their
snow-shoes and making forced marches they got back safely to St.

   [44] Moses Hazen was an older brother of William Hazen, who settled
        at St. John. He distinguished himself under Gen. Wolfe on the
        Plains of Abraham. In the American Revolution he fought
        against the British, raised a corps known as "Hazen's Own,"
        and became a Major General in the American army.

This story, considerably modified in some of its details, finds
confirmation from a variety of sources. (1) Sir Jeffery Amherst,
commander of the forces serving in America, writes in a letter to
Governor Lawrence, "You will have heard of the accident poor Capt.
McCurdy met with as likewise of the success of his Lieutenant in
demolishing the settlements at St. Anne's: on the recommendation of
Major Scott I have preferred Lieut. Hazen to Capt. McCurdy's Company."
In a subsequent letter Amherst says: "Major Morris sent me the
particulars of the scouting party and I gave a commission to Lieut
Hazen, as I thought he deserved it. I am sorry to say what I have
since heard of that affair has sullied his merit with me as I shall
always disapprove of killing women and helpless children. Poor McCurdy
is a loss, he was a good man in his post." In another letter Amherst
describes this sad affair more fully. See Appendix.

(2) Further confirmation of the charge of barbarity is found in the
journal of Rev. Jacob Bailey[45] of Pownalboro, Maine. This gentleman
had occasion to lodge at Norwood's Inn, in the town of Lynn,
Massachusetts, on the night of Dec'r 13, 1759, and speaking of the
company he found there says: "We had among us a soldier belonging to
Capt. Hazen's company of rangers, who declared that several Frenchmen
were barbarously murdered by them, after quarters were given, and the
villain added, I suppose to show his importance, that he 'split the
head of one asunder, after he fell on his knees to implore mercy.' A
specimen of New England clemency!"

   [45] Rev. Jacob Bailey was a prominent loyalist during the American
        Revolution, and afterwards Rector of Annapolis. N. S.

(3). A statement is to be found in a dispatch of the Marquis de
Vaudreuil, dated May 8, 1759, that a number of Acadians living at the
River St. John were surprised on the night of the 27-28 January, 1759,
by a detachment of New England troops who burned their houses, carried
off twenty-three prisoners and killed two women and four children,
whose scalps they bore away.

(4). Still further light is thrown upon this transaction by some notes
appended to the names of certain Acadians, who had served as officers
of militia in Acadia, and who were living in 1767 at Cherbourg. We
learn that the Sieur Joseph Bellefontaine had once owned a large tract
of land on the River St. John, near St. Anne's, and that he was
appointed Major of the militia on the river by order of the Marquis de
la Galissonniere, April 10, 1749, and always performed his duties with
fidelity until made a prisoner by the enemy. At the time of the
mid-winter raid on St. Anne's he had the misery of seeing one of his
daughters with three of her children massacred before his eyes by the
English, who desired by this act of cruelty and the fear of similar
treatment to compel him to take their side. On his refusal he barely
escaped a like fate by his flight into the woods, carrying with him
two other children of the same daughter. The young mother so
ruthlessly slain was Nastasie Bellefontaine, wife of Eustache Pare.
The other victims of this tragedy of the wilderness were the wife and
child of Michel Bellefontaine--a son of Joseph Bellefontaine. This
poor fellow had the anguish of beholding his wife and boy murdered
before his eyes on his refusal to side with the English.

The village of St. Anne's was left in a state of desolation. Moses
Perley says that when the advance party of the Maugerville colony
arrived at St. Anne's Point in 1762, they found the whole of what is
now the Town plat of Fredericton cleared for about ten rods back from
the bank and they saw the ruins of a very considerable settlement. The
houses had been burned and the cultivated land was fast relapsing into
a wilderness state. Nevertheless the early English settlers reaped
some advantage from the improvements made by the Acadians, for we
learn from Charles Morris' description of the river in 1768, that at
the site of the old French settlement at St. Anne's Point there was
about five hundred acres of cleared upland in English grass from
whence the inhabitants of Maugerville got the chief part of their Hay
for their Stock. "They inform me," says Mr. Morris, "that it produces
about a load and a half to an acre." He adds, "The French Houses are
all burnt and destroyed."

An interesting incident connected with the French occupation was
related many years ago by the grandmother of the late Judge Fisher to
one of her descendants. This good old lady came to St. Anne's in the
fall of 1783 with the Loyalists. Not very many months after their
arrival, there was so great a scarcity of provisions that the
unfortunate people in some cases were obliged to dig up the potatoes
they had planted and eat them. As the season advanced their hearts
were cheered by the discovery of some large patches of pure white
beans, marked with a black cross. They had been planted by the French,
but were now growing wild. In their joy at this fortunate discovery
the settlers called them "the staff of life and hope of the starving."
Mrs. Fisher says she planted some of these beans with her own hands
and that the seed was preserved in her family for many years.

The close of the year 1759 brought its anxieties to Colonel Mariot
Arbuthnot, who had succeeded Major Morris as commandant at Fort
Frederick. Quebec had fallen and the long and costly struggle between
England and France for the possession of Canada and Acadia had
terminated in favor of England.

The Massachusetts troops in garrison at Fort Frederick expected to be
now relieved, as their period of enlistment had expired and the crisis
of the war was over. But unfortunately for them, General Amherst at
Crown Point found the force at his disposal insufficient, he could not
spare a man, and Monckton, who commanded at Quebec, was in precisely
the same predicament. Lawrence at Halifax had no troops at his
disposal. Unless, therefore, the Massachusetts men remained Fort
Frederick would be left without a garrison. In this emergency the
Massachusetts legislature took the responsibility of extending the
period of enlistment of the troops of their colony, at the same time
voting money necessary to provide them with beds and other comforts
for the approaching winter. General Amherst strongly commended the
patriotic action of the legislature, and wrote to Governor Lawrence,
"They have judged very rightly that the abandoning any of the
Garrisons may be attended with most fatal consequences to this
country; and as they have made a necessary provision for the men to
continue during the winter, if the men do not stay and serve
voluntarily, they must be compelled to it by force."

Evidently the men remained with great reluctance, for the following spring
we find the Governor of Massachusetts writing to Governor Lawrence, "I
find our people who are doing duty in your garrison--notwithstanding
the favor and attention this Province has shown them for continuing their
services through the winter, and notwithstanding the great encouragement
given to those who would continue--have worked themselves up to such a
temper of dissatisfaction that they have long ago threatened to come off,
if not relieved."

This threat was not meaningless for the governor goes on to say
"already seventy men in one schooner and about eighty in another have
openly come off from Fort Frederick at St. John's."

The conduct of these Massachusetts rangers was a source of mortification
to Lieut. Governor Hutchinson, who speaks of "the unwarrantable
behaviour of the garrison at St. John's River, all of whom have
deserted their post except 40 men and the continuation of those forty
seems to be precarious." Steps were at once taken to enlist a fresh
detachment for service at Fort Frederick.

The conduct of the garrison was not unnatural, although from a
military point of view it was inexcusable. The men had enlisted for a
great and, as the event proved, a final struggle with France for
supremacy in North America. With the downfall of Louisbourg and Quebec
the crisis had passed. The period of their enlistment had expired,
what right had the Assembly of Massachusetts to prolong it? Why should
they remain? So they reasoned. Meanwhile garrison duty at Fort
Frederick was found to be extremely monotonous. The country was
deserted, for the few habitations that once existed in the vicinity of
the fort had been abandoned and destroyed when the French fled up the
river, and no English settlers had as yet appeared. Amidst their
privations and the loneliness of their situation the charms of their
own firesides seemed peculiarly inviting. Most probably, too, the fort
and barracks were little more than habitable in consequence of the
havoc wrought by a terrible storm on the night of the 3-4 November,
1759. This storm was the most violent that had till then been known,
and from all accounts must at least have rivalled the famous "Saxby"
gale of 1869. The tide attained a height of six feet above the
ordinary, and huge waves, driven by the storm, broke through the dykes
at the head of the Bay of Fundy, flooding the marsh lands reclaimed by
the Acadians. Much damage was done along the coast, thousands of trees
were blown down all over the country, while near the coastline the
forest was levelled as with a scythe. A considerable part of Fort
Frederick was washed away by the storm and Lieutenant Winckworth
Tonge, of the Engineers, was sent with a party of men to repair it and
put it in the most defensible state the situation would allow, taking
such tools and materials from Fort Cumberland as were needed. He found
the condition of the fort even worse than he had anticipated. Governor
Lawrence consulted General Amherst as to what should be done, and in
answer the general wrote: "By Lt. Tonge's report to you of the state
of the works at Fort Frederick, it must doubtless undergo great
alterations to put it in a proper state of defence, but as this will
require many more hands than you can provide at present, we must for
the time being rest satisfied with the work you have ordered,
especially as the line of strong Pallisadoes you mention will secure
it against any insult for the present."

Colonel Arbuthnot's anxieties were not confined to tidal waves and the
discontents of his garrison. About the end of October a party of some
two hundred Acadians came down the river to Fort Frederick and
presented to him a certificate of their having taken the oath of
allegiance to the English sovereign before Judge Cramahe, at Quebec;
also an order signed by General Monckton giving them permission to
return to their former habitations. Whether these Acadians were old
inhabitants of the river, or fugitives who had taken refuge there at
the time of the Expulsion is not very clear. Lawrence surmised that
the certificates had been obtained from Judge Cramahe on the
supposition that the people belonged to some river or place in Canada
known as St. Johns, and not to the River St. John in Nova Scotia, and
that they never could have had any sort of permission from Monckton to
settle in Acadia.

The Abbe Casgrain comments severely on the course pursued by Governor
Lawrence on this occasion: "Not being able," he says, "to dispute the
genuineness of the letters of Monckton and Cramahe, Lawrence claimed
that the Acadians could only have obtained them by fraud, and he
decided with his council, always ready to do his bidding, that they
should be regarded as prisoners of war and transported as soon as
possible to England. He took care not to disclose this resolution in
order to keep them securely at the fort, and to have them ready to his
hand when ships should arrive to transport them. This precaution was
almost superfluous for the Acadians, having exhausted their last
resources, were no longer in a state to return to the woods where they
would have died of hunger."

Evidently it was part of the settled policy of Lawrence and his
advisers to keep the Acadians out of the province and to people it
with English speaking inhabitants, and with this policy General
Amherst seems to have been in accord, for he wrote the Governor of
Nova Scotia, "The pass you mention the two hundred Inhabitants of St.
John's River to have from Mr. Monckton, was by no means meant or
understood to give the French any right to those lands; and you have
done perfectly right not to suffer them to continue there, and you
will be equally right in sending them, when an opportunity offers, to
Europe as Prisoners of War."

And yet it was very natural that, after the surrender of Quebec, the
Acadians should believe that upon accepting the new regime and taking
the oath of allegiance to the king of Great Britain they would be
treated in the same way as the French Canadians. The Abbe Casgrain
says, not without reason, that the Acadians had an even greater right
than the Canadians to clemency at the hands of their conquerors as
their sufferings were greater: ["Ils y avaient d'autant plus de droit
qu'ils avaient plus souffert."]

The expulsion at so late a period as this of two hundred Acadians from
the Valley of the River St. John, where they had vainly hoped to
remain in peace, is an incident of some importance. There is an
unpublished letter of the Jesuit missionary Germain to the Marquis de
Vaudreuil, written at Aukpaque on the River St. John, under date
February 26, 1760, which is of some interest in this connection. "I
arrived at the River St. John," writes Father Germain, "on All Saints
Day (Nov. 1, 1759), where I unfortunately found all the inhabitants
had gone down to the English fort with their families, which made me
resolve to go and join them, as I did eight days afterwards, with the
intention of accompanying them wherever they might be sent in order to
help them--some to die as Christians in the transport ships and others
to be of good cheer in the calamity that has befallen them as it did
their brethren who are exiles in New England. But by a stroke of
Providence, Monsieur Coquart, missionary to the French, arrived, and I
desired the commandant to give me leave to retire which he granted
together with a passport permitting me to remain at the priests' house
in my mission where I am now."[46]

   [46] I am indebted to Placide P. Gaudet for the above extract. Father
        Germain was the missionary of the Indians, while Coquart
        seems to have ministered to the Acadians. The latter was a
        "secular priest," or one not connected with any religious
        order.--W. O. R.

Colonel Arbuthnot had reported to Governor Lawrence that the Acadians
begged leave to remain upon their lands on their promise to be
faithful and true to His Majesty's Government. To this he made answer
that they must come down to the Fort and remain there till he could
apply to the Governor to know what should be done; they came down
accordingly, and were to remain at the Fort until his excellency's
pleasure should be known. The poor Acadians were represented to be in
a starving condition. Their case came before the Governor and Council
for consideration on the 30th November, at a meeting held at the
Governor's house in Halifax, and the decision arrived at was this:
"The Council are of opinion, and do advise that His Excellency do take
the earliest opportunity of hiring vessels for having them immediately
transported to Halifax, as Prisoners of War, until they can be sent to
England; and that the two Priests be likewise removed out of the
Province." The resolve of the council seems to have been carried into
effect. In the month of January, Lawrence sent to the River St. John
for the French inhabitants who, to the number of 300, were brought to
Halifax until he could send them to England. Colonel Arbuthnot was the
agent employed in collecting these unfortunate people and sending them
to Halifax, and being a gentleman of a humane disposition he doubtless
found his task a most uncongenial one. Among his assistants was Joseph
Winniett,[47] a member for Annapolis Royal in the Nova Scotia House of

   [47] This gentleman afterwards received an order from Mr. Bulkeley,
        the provincial secretary, to take for his own use one of the
        French boats "forfeited to the Government by the Acadians that
        were at Annapolis," as a reward for his services in going up
        the River St. John and assisting Colonel Arbuthnot in bringing
        in the French. Winniett had a violent altercation with Captain
        Sinclair of the Annapolis garrison about this boat. See
        Murdoch's Hist. of N. S., Vol. II., p. 409.



On the west bank of the St. John, about six miles above the City of
Fredericton, is the site of the old Indian village of Aukpaque. It
looks out upon a charming panorama of interval and islands, amidst
which the river creeps lazily with many windings. In the background
across the river there rises the steep slope of Currie's Mountain,
volcanic in its origin. Weird legends connected with this mountain
have been handed down from ancient days, which the Indian guides will
sometimes rehearse when they find appreciative listeners.

The surroundings of Aukpaque are indeed very beautiful, and as long
ago as 1686 they won the admiration of Monseigneur St. Vallier, who,
after describing the extent and varied scenery of the river, its
smoothly flowing waters and fertile islands embosomed by the tide,
says: "Some fine settlements might be made between Medoctec and
Jemseg, especially at a certain place which we have named Sainte
Marie, where the river enlarges and the waters are divided by a large
number of islands that apparently would be very fertile if cultivated.
A mission for the savages would be well placed there; the land has not
as yet any owner in particular, neither the King nor the governor
having made a grant to any one."

Evidently there was not at this time any Indian village at Aukpaque,
but it is probable the place was occasionally used as a camping
ground. In the course of the next half century, however, there grew
into existence a village that rivalled and in time eclipsed the more
ancient village of Medoctec. Doubtless the presence of the French on
the lower St. John, and the establishment of Villebon's fort, at the
mouth of the Nashwaak, served to draw the savages in that direction.

At the time of Monseigneur St. Vallier's visit they were beginning
very generally to embrace Christianity. The Indians and the Acadians
were visited occasionally by Claude Moireau, a Recollet missionary,
who went up the river as far at least as Fort Jemseg where, in July,
1680, he baptized nine Indian children of ages varying from five
months to nineteen years. Their names, with those of their parents and
sponsors, are duly recorded in his register. One or two of the entries
are here inserted as of historic interest:--

  "The year of grace 1680, the 7 July: I have baptized at Jemseg,
  according to the forms of our Holy Church, Claude, son of Soksim,
  savage, and of Apolline Kedekouit, Christian, aged 18 years, and
  named at the font Claude by Claude Petipas, notary royal, and
  Isabella Petipas, his sponsors.

  [Signed] Claude Moireau, Recol.

  "The same day baptized Marie, sauvagesse, aged one year, daughter
  of Tobuk and of Marie Noktomkiache, Christian, and named at the
  font Marie by Rene Lambert and Catherine Bugaret, her sponsors.

  [Signed] Cl. Moireau, Recol."

Two baptisms in the following year, one at Jemseg and the other at St.
John, are of equal interest:--

  "At Jemsek, the year of grace 1681, the 25 May, have baptized
  according to the forms of our Holy Church, Marie Anne Denis, aged
  4 months, daughter of Sieur Richard Denis, Esquire, and of Anne
  Partarabego, sauvagesse, and has been held at the font by
  damoiselle Marie Chartier, dame de Marson, her godmother, who has
  named her Marie Anne.

  [Signed] Claude Moireau, Recol.

  "At Menagoueck, the year of grace 1681, the 2 June, have baptized
  according to the forms of the Church, Jeanne Guidry, child of
  Claude Guirdy dit la Verdure and of Keskoua, sauvagesse, who has
  been held at the font by Claude Petipas and Jeanne de la Tour,
  wife of Martignon, her sponsors, who have named her Jeanne.

  [Signed] Claude Moireau, Recol.

A little later Father Simon of the Recollet order became the
missionary of the Indians on the river with headquarters at Medoctec.
Some account of his interesting personality and of his zealous labors
will be found in a previous chapter. After his death the work among
the Indians passed into the hands of the Jesuit missionary, Joseph
Aubery, and his successors Jean Baptiste Loyard, Jean P. Danielou and
Charles Germain. The whole river was included in the mission and the
priest had many journeys to make, but Medoctec, as the principal
village, was for years the headquarters of the mission. This was so
down to the time of Loyard's death. His successor, Danielou,
ministered to the Indians of Medoctec, also, as is shown by the
presence of his name on the slate-stone tablet of the Medoctec chapel.
But it is probable that Danielou was frequently at Aukpaque, and he
certainly had the spiritual oversight of the Acadians at St. Anne's

[Illustration: Inscription on Medoctec Stone]

The Indians of the River St. John were regarded by the English as the
most powerful and warlike tribe of Acadia and the Governor of Nova
Scotia endeavored to gain their good-will, and to induce them to
adhere to the treaty made with the eastern tribes by the authorities
of New England and Nova Scotia in 1725. In the year 1732 Lieut.
Governor Armstrong of Nova Scotia sent Paul Mascarene to Boston to
treat with Governor Belcher about the erection of a "truck-house" for
the Indian trade on the St. John river, and Mascarene was instructed
to recommend the lands on the St. John to the people of Massachusetts
as a very desirable place of settlement. Belcher expressed the opinion
that unless the crown would build a fort at the mouth of the river,
the "truck-house" project would fail, but in case of its erection
Massachusetts would probably send a sloop with goods to the Indians
Spring and Fall. However the idea of an English post at the mouth of
the St. John remained in abeyance until the surrender of Beausejour.

So far as known to the author, the first mention of the Indian village
of Aukpaque occurs in connection with the census of 1733 which states
that fifteen French families reside below the "Village d'Ecoupay."
From this time onward there are frequent references to Aukpaque, some
of which are indicated in the foot-note below.[48]

   [48] Probably the name of no place in New Brunswick has appeared in
        so many varied forms as that of this Indian village. The list
        that follows does not pretend to be exhaustive, but will
        suffice for illustration:--

        (1.) Ecoupay--Census, 1733. (2.) Ocpaque--Lt.-Gov.
        Armstrong's letter, 1735. (3.) Apoge--Capt. Pote's Journal,
        1745. (4.) Octpagh--Treaty proceedings at Halifax, 1749.
        (5.) Ekauba--Report of Abbe de L'isle-Dieu, 1753. (6.)
        Ocpaque--Letter of James Simonds, 1765. (7.) Aughpack--Map
        of Charles Morris, 1765. (8.) Ekouipahag--Register of l'Abbe
        Bailly, 1767. (9.) Aughpaugh--Letter of James Simonds,
        1768. (10.) Ekoupahag--Indian negotiations at Halifax, 1768.
        (11.) Okpaak--Report of Rev. T. Wood's, 1769. (12.)
        Augpeake--Letter Lt. Gov. Franklin, 1777. (13.) Auque
        Pawhaque--Letter of Indians to Major Studholme, 1778. (14.)
        Aupaque--Letter of Gen'l Haldimand, 1782. Oak Park--Letter of
        Sam'l Peabody, 1782, also report of Exploration Committee to
        Major Studholme, 1783. (16.) Ek-pa-hawk--Modern Indians.

The little colony of fifteen families mentioned in the census of 1733
seems to have settled in the vicinity of St. Anne's Point a few years
previously. It was a typical Acadian hamlet. Its people were of simple
habits and wished to live in peace. Naturally they were loyal to their
mother country and devout members of their mother church. But
France--sunny France--with all her marvellous resources and splendid
opportunities, proved an unworthy mother. And what has been the
result? A colonial empire shrunken almost to insignificance. And even
if her colonial empire were today what it was in the days of Louis
XIV, the colonies would be as empty cradles for which there are no
children. The progress and development of the Acadians of the maritime
provinces and of the French Canadians of the Dominion tell what France
might have been if her people had been true to high ideals.

The colony of New France was never supported as it should have been.
While New England was making rapid progress and the tide of
immigration set strongly in that direction, Canada was left to take
care of itself. After the days of Frontenac the governors of Quebec
were haunted by the fear of encroachments on their territory on the
part of the people to the south. It became their policy to employ the
Indians and Acadians as buttresses against the inflowing tide of the
Anglo-Saxons. The Acadians would fain have lived in peace but, alas
the trend of events left little room for neutrality.

The Maliseets of the St. John were naturally disposed to resent the
intrusion of the whites on their hunting grounds, and the French
encouraged this sentiment as regards any advance made by the English.
In the year 1735, Francis Germaine, "chief of Ockpaque," with one of
his captains came to Annapolis Royal to complain of the conduct of
some English surveyors, whom they seem to have regarded as trespassers
on their lands. For some reason they missed seeing the governor, but
he wrote them a very friendly letter, assuring them of his favor and
protection. This, however, did not satisfy the Indians, for a few
months afterwards they interfered with the loading of a vessel that
had been sent to St. John for limestone by the ordnance storekeeper
at Annapolis and robbed the sailors of their clothes and provisions,
claiming that the lands and quarries belonged to them. Not long
afterwards the Governor of Nova Scotia addressed a letter to "The
Reverend Father Danilou, priest of St. John's River," complaining that
a party of Maliseets under Thoma, their chief, had surprised, Stephen
Jones, an English trader, as he lay sleeping aboard his vessel at
Piziquid [Windsor, N. S.] and robbed him of goods to the value of £900
and of his book of accounts valued at £700 more, and he hoped the
missionary would use his influence to induce the Indians to keep the
peace and, if possible, obtain redress for the unfortunate man they
had robbed.

Two of the principal Acadians, living at or near St. Ann's, Mich'l
Bergeron and Joseph Bellefontaine, had an interview with Governor
Armstrong in 1736, and by request gave him a list of the Acadians then
living on the river, numbering in all 77 souls, besides the missionary
Jean Pierre Danielou. The governor ordered the Acadians to make their
submission to the British government and not to receive any missionary
without his approbation. It does not appear, however, that he was on
unfriendly terms with Danielou, who came to Annapolis the next year
and exercised the functions of his ministry.

Under the care of Danielou's successor Germain, the Acadians and their
savage allies had a chequered experience indeed, but this has been
already related in the previous chapters.

At the time of Monckton's invasion of the river in 1758 most of the
Indians abandoned the village of Aukpaque and retired with their
missionary, Germain, to Canada, but they returned after the capture of
Quebec and some of their chiefs went to Fort Frederick and took the
oath of allegiance to the English monarch. Colonel Arbuthnot was
directed to encourage them to come to Halifax and make a treaty of
peace and such arrangements as were necessary for trade with the

During the session of the House of Assembly held at Halifax in the
winter of 1759-60, Governor Lawrence urged the House to make provision
for the establishment of "truck-houses" for the Indians; he also
recommended legislation for the purpose of preventing private trade
with them, and the Assembly soon afterwards passed an act for that

On the 11th of February, Colonel Arbuthnot came to Halifax from Fort
Frederick, with two Indian chiefs of the Passamaquoddy tribe, to make
peace on the basis of the old Indian Treaty of 1725. Representatives
of the St. John river tribe arrived a few days later. The Indians
appeared before the Governor and Council with an interpreter. They
were received with every courtesy and presented with gold lace
blankets, laced hats, etc. It was agreed that the treaty should be
prepared in English and French, that the chiefs should be sent back in
a vessel to St. John, and that Col. Arbuthnot should accompany them,
taking the treaty with him to be ratified. After a fortnight's
deliberation the treaty was signed, on the 23rd February, by Ballomy
Glode, chief of the St. John Indians, and Michel Neptune, chief of the
Passamaquoddies. The treaty was based on those of 1725 and 1749, with
an additional engagement on the part of the Indians not to aid the
enemies of the English, to confine their traffic to the truck-house at
Fort Frederick and to leave three of each tribe there as hostages to
ensure performance of the articles of the treaty.

In order the better to carry out the provisions of this treaty, and of
similar treaties made at this time with the different tribes of
Acadia, Benjamin Gerrish was appointed Indian commissary. Gerrish
agreed to buy goods and sell them to the Indians for furs, he to
receive 5 per cent on goods purchased and 2-1/2 per cent on furs sold,
and the prices to be so arranged that the Indians could obtain their
goods at least 50 per cent cheaper than hitherto.

At their conference with the Governor and his council the Indians
agreed upon a tariff of prices[49] for the Indian trade, the unit of
value to be one pound of the fur of the spring beaver, commonly known
as "one beaver," equivalent in value to a dollar, or five shillings.
Under the tariff the following articles were to be sold to the Indians
at the following prices: Large blanket, 2 "beavers"; 2 yards stroud, 3
"beavers"; 14 pounds pork, 1 "beaver"; 30 pounds flour, 1 "beaver";
2-1/2 gallons molasses, 1 "beaver"; 2 gallons rum, 1 "beaver"; and
other articles in proportion.

   [49] This tariff of prices is given in full in Murdoch's Hist. of
        Nova Scotia, Vol. II., p. 395.

Furs and skins sold by the Indians at the "truck-house" were to be
valued by the same standard: Moose skin, 1-1/2 "beavers"; bear skin,
1-1/3 "beavers"; 3 sable skins, 1 "beaver"; 6 mink skins, 1 "beaver";
10 ermine skins, 1 "beaver"; silver fox skin, 2-1/2 "beavers," and so
on for furs and skins of all descriptions. By substituting the cash
value for the value in "beavers," we shall obtain figures that would
amaze the furrier of modern days and prove eminently satisfactory to
the purchaser, for example: Bear skin (large and good), $1.35; moose
skin (large), $1.50; luciffee (large), $2.00; silver fox, $2.50; black
fox, $2.00; red fox, 50cts.; otter, $1.00; mink, 15 cts.; musquash, 10
cts. And yet these prices, ridiculously low as they appear, were
considerably better than the Indians Had received from the French
traders. It was no doubt on such terms as these that Messrs. Simonds,
White and Hazen traded with the Indians after they came to St. John.

Benjamin Gerrish soon afterwards took steps to establish the
"truck-house" promised the Indians, and by order in council of July
19, 1760, Captain Doggett was instructed to proceed directly to the
River St. John and deliver the stores that Mr. Gerrish had shipped on
board his vessel for the truck-master at Fort Frederick.

Colonel Arbuthnot reported that the Indians behaved well and came to
the fort to trade. The delegates from the River St. John, who went to
Halifax, seem to have acted in accordance with the advice of their
missionary Germain, who accepted the logic of events after the fall of
Quebec and advised the Indians to submit to their conquerors. The
establishment of a "truck-house" at St. John was of advantage to them
and the missionary determined to cultivate friendly relations with the

Governor Lawrence reported that he had induced the Assembly of Nova
Scotia to pass a law, with severe penalties, against private trading
with the Indians. The provisions of this act, however, found little
favor with the Lords of Trade, by whom it was considered "an improper
and unreasonable restraint upon trade." Their objection found
expression in the proclamation of George III., at the Court of St.
James, Oct. 7, 1763:--

  "We do by the advice of our privy council declare and enjoin that
  the trade with the said Indians shall be free and open to all our
  subjects whatever, provided that every person who may incline to
  trade with the said Indians do take out a license for carrying on
  such trade from the governor or commander-in-chief of any of our
  colonies where such person shall reside, and also give security to
  observe such regulations as we shall at any time think fit to
  direct or appoint."

The proclamation required the governor to issue such licenses without
fee or reward, the license to be void and the security forfeited if
the person to whom it was granted failed to observe the regulations

We have now arrived at the period when the first permanent English
settlement was to be made on the St. John river, but before
proceeding to the consideration of that event a glance at the
general situation on the river is necessary. The only foot-hold the
English had as yet obtained was at Fort Frederick on the west side of
St. John harbor. A considerable number of Acadians still lingered
furtively in their hiding places up the river, the majority of them
near the Indian village of Aukpaque. For their benefit, as well as
that of the savages, the missionary Germain desired to remain at his
post. He accordingly made overtures to the Nova Scotia authorities
to be allowed to continue his ministrations, promising to use his
influence in the interests of peace. To this proposition the
Governor and Council cheerfully assented, promising the missionary
a stipend of £50. A year or two afterwards he wrote acknowledging
the receipt of his salary and stating it was his desire to inspire
the Indians with the respect due to the government. He complained
of their irregularities and says that in spite of his efforts to
promote harmony he feared "they will shortly pay no regard to what he

In Kidder's "Military operations in Eastern Maine and Nova Scotia
during the Revolution," the statement is made that Aukpaque signifies
a beautiful expanding of the river occasioned by numerous islands,
but, while this is perfectly correct as descriptive of the locality,
it is more probable that Aukpaque--or its Indian equivalent
Ek-pa-hawk--means "the head of the tide," or beginning of swift water.
Kidder speaks of the site of Aukpaque as "almost unknown and difficult
to locate." Commenting on this statement, the late Sir John C. Allen
(whose grandfather, Colonel Isaac Allen, purchased of the Indians the
site of the village of Aukpaque), makes the following remark:--

  "It is an error to suppose that there is any difficulty in
  locating Aukpaque. It is laid down, under the name Opack, on a
  plan in the Crown Lands office in Fredericton of a survey of land
  in the old Township of Sunbury while this province formed a part
  of Nova Scotia. In addition to this there are several persons
  living who can point out the place that was used as the Indian
  burial ground and who remember that a large piece of cleared land
  adjacent to it and separated from it by a deep ravine, being a
  part of the tract of land reserved for the Indians, was formerly
  known as the 'Chapel Field'--no doubt from the fact that the
  chapel of the Indian settlement had stood upon it. There is also
  further evidence in the plan of the survey of the lands in the
  Parish of Kingsclear, the grant of which issued in 1799, upon
  which a cross is marked on this lot of land, which is well known
  to indicate the site of a church or chapel. There is very little
  doubt that at the time of the survey the chapel, or the remains of
  it, were standing, as the Indians had been in occupation of the
  land till within a few years of that time."

We may add that the claim of the Indians to the lands in the vicinity
of their village was early recognized by the Government of Nova
Scotia, and when the first grant of a large tract of the surrounding
country was made in 1765 to Thomas Falconer and sixty-six other land
speculators, there was expressly reserved for the Indians "500 acres,
including a church and burying ground at Aughpack, and four acres for
a burying ground at St. Ann's point, and the island called Indian (or
Savage) Island." This island is probably that mentioned in 1753 by the
Abbe de L'Isle Dieu as "l'isle d'Ecouba," the residence of the
missionary Charles Germain.

The situation of Aukpaque is shown in the accompanying sketch:--


Although the Indians were ostensibly at peace with the English they
viewed them with suspicion, and were jealous of any infringement of
their aboriginal rights. After the erection of Fort Frederick they
seem, for the most part, to have abandoned the lower part of the
river, and Charles Morris tells us that about the year 1760 they
burned much of the timber along the Long Reach and on both sides of
the Washademoak and probably at other places.

When the exploring party of the Maugerville colony arrived at St.
Anne's point in 1762 and were about to begin their survey, a large
party of Indians came down from their priest's residence, with his
interpreter, their faces painted in divers colors and figures, and
dressed in their war habits. The chiefs informed the adventurers that
they were trespassers on their rights, that the country belonged to
them, and unless they retired immediately they would compel them.

The chiefs claimed that they had some time before had a conference
with Governor Lawrence and had consented that the English should
settle the country up as far as Grimross. The surveyors promised to
remove their camp towards Grimross. This answer did not appear to
fully satisfy the Indians, but they made no reply. The settlement of
the New England people, in consequence of the attitude of the Indians,
did not embrace St. Anne's Point as originally intended.

Plans of the River St. John were made by the Hon. Charles Morris,
surveyor general of Nova Scotia, as early as the year 1761. A little
later he wrote an interesting description of the river. He describes
"Aughpack" as about seven miles from St. Anne's, and says the Acadians
had settlements upon the uplands between the two places but drew their
subsistence from the cultivation of the intervals and islands. At
Aukpaque was the Indian church and the residence of the French
missionary. Their church and buildings adjoining had been demolished
by the Indians themselves. The island opposite Aukpaque, called Indian
Island, was the place where the Indians of the river made their annual

"On this island," adds Mr. Morris, "is their town, consisting of forty
mean houses, or wigwams, built with slender poles and covered with
bark. In the centre of the town is the grand council chamber
constructed after the same manner as the other houses."

The reason for the destruction by the Indians of their church we need
not go far to seek. In the summer of the year 1763 three chiefs came
to Halifax to inquire why Father Germain had been removed from his
post. They were told that he had gone of his own accord to Quebec and
had been detained there by General Murray, and that the government of
Nova Scotia were not responsible for it. They then desired Lieutenant
Governor Belcher to provide them with another priest, which he
promised to do. The Indians were satisfied and departed with their
usual presents. The intention of the lieutenant governor was
frustrated by an order from the Lords of Trade forbidding the
employment of a French missionary. Governor Wilmot regretted this
action as likely to confirm the Indians in their notion of the English
as "a people of dissimulation and artifice who will deceive and
deprive them of their salvation." He thought it better to use the
Indians generously and mentions the fact of their having lately burned
their church, by direction of the priest detained at Quebec, as a
proof of their devotion to their religious guides.

The site of the old church at Aukpaque was in all probability the old
"chapel field" mentioned by Sir John C. Allen. Hard by, on the other
side of a little ravine, is the old burial ground of the Acadians and
Indians. One of the descendants of the Acadians, who visited the spot
a few years ago, writes mournfully of this little cemetery:

"Not a stone, not a cross, not even an enclosure to divide it from
other fields; here in this corner of the world, remote and almost
unknown, repose the ashes of some of our ancestors, the first
cultivators of the soil of Madawaska. Freed from all the troubles and
vicissitudes of the past they hear only the gentle, harmonious murmur
of the waters of La Riviere St. Jean, the river they loved so well
even in the days of their misfortune."



The erection of Fort Frederick, in the autumn of 1758, gave the
English a permanent foothold on the River St. John, which possibly was
rendered a little more secure by the destruction of the Acadian
settlements at Grimross and St. Annes, and the subsequent removal by
Colonel Arbuthnot of a large number of the French inhabitants.

Shortly after the Acadian expulsion, the Lords of Trade and
Plantations urged Governor Lawrence to re-people the lands vacated by
the French with settlers from New England. The idea was quite in
accord with the governor's own mind, but he was obliged to defer it
for a season. In the existing state of affairs he could not spare the
troops necessary to defend new settlements, and nothing was
practicable until the country should be possessed in peace. However,
very shortly after Monckton's occupation of the St. John River
Lawrence issued the first of his celebrated proclamations, offering
favorable terms to any industrious settlers from New England, who
would remove to Nova Scotia and cultivate the lands vacated by the
French, or other ungranted lands. The proclamation stated that
proposals on behalf of intending settlers would be received by Thomas
Hancock at Boston, and by Mesrs. De Lancey and Watts at New York, and
by them transmitted to the Governor of Nova Scotia.

This proclamation had the effect of directing attention to the River
St. John. Young and adventurous spirits soon came to the fore anxious
to be the pioneers of civilization in the wilds of Nova Scotia. But
first they wished to know: What terms of encouragement would be
offered? How much land each person would get? What quit-rents and
taxes would be required? What constitution of government prevailed,
and what freedom in religion?

In answer to their inquiries a second proclamation was issued, in
which it was declared that townships were to consist of 100,000 acres
(about 12 miles square) and were to include the best lands, and rivers
in their vicinity. The government was described as similar to that of
the neighboring colonies, the legislature consisting of a governor,
council and assembly and every township, so soon as it should consist
of fifty families, would be entitled to send two representatives to
the assembly. The courts of justice were similar to those of
Massachusetts, Connecticut and the other northern colonies, and full
liberty of conscience was secured to persons of all persuasions,
"papists" excepted, by the royal instructions and a late act of the
Assembly. As yet no taxes had been imposed or fees exacted on grants.
Forts garrisoned with troops were established in the neighborhood of
the lands it was proposed to settle.

The Lords of Trade approved of Governor Lawrence's proceedings in
settling the province, and at the same time desired that land should
be reserved "as a reward and provision for such officers and soldiers
as might be disbanded in America upon a peace." This led the governor
to desist from making further grants of the cleared lands to ordinary
settlers. He did not, however, anticipate much benefit to the
province in consequence of the attempt to people it with disbanded
British soldiers, and he wrote to the Lords of Trade:

"According to my ideas of the military, which I offer with all
possible deference and submission, they are the least qualified, from
their occupation as soldiers, of any men living to establish new
countries, where they must encounter difficulties with which they are
altogether unacquainted; and I am the rather convinced of it, as every
soldier that has come into this province since the establishment of
Halifax, has either quitted it or become a dramseller."

Soon after the treaty of Paris, a proclamation of George III. (dated
at the Court of St. James, Oct. 7, 1763) signified the royal sense and
approbation of the conduct of the officers and soldiers of the army,
and directed the governors of the several provinces to grant, without
fee or reward, to disbanded officers and soldiers who had served in
North America during the late war and were actually residing there,
lands in the following proportions:--

To every field officer, 5,000 acres.

To every captain, 3,000 acres.

To every subaltern or staff officer, 2,000 acres.

To every non-commissioned officer, 200 acres.

To every private man, 50 acres.

Like grants of land were to be made to retired officers of the navy
who had served on board a ship of war at the reduction of Louisbourg
and Quebec.

Petitions and memorials of retired officers of the army and navy who
were desirous of obtaining lands in Nova Scotia as a reward for their
services, now flowed in upon the provincial and imperial authorities.
The desire to obtain land on the River St. John became so general that
government officials, merchants and professional men joined in the
general scramble. The result was not only detrimental to the best
interests of the country, but in many cases disastrous to the
speculators themselves.

The ideas of some of the memorialists were by no means small. For
example, in 1762, Sir Allan McLean applied for 200,000 acres on the
River St. John to enable him to plant a colony; and in the same year
Captains Alexander Hay,[50] John Sinclair, Hugh Debbeig,[51] Alex.
Baillie, Robert G. Bruce and J. F. W. DesBarres applied for another
immense tract on behalf of themselves and 54 other officers.

   [50] Capt. Alex. Hay is said to have saved the life of the Duke of
        Cumberland, during the rebellion of 1745.

   [51] In Des Barres' splendid chart of St. John harbor, published
        according to act of parliament in 1780, the well-known Reed's
        Point is called "Point-Debbeig."

War with the French and Indians had been so constant previous to the
peace of 1763, that a large proportion of the young men of New England
had seen service in the "provincial regiments." To those who had held
commissions the inducements contained in Lawrence's proclamations were
especially attractive.

Among the retired officers of the Massachusetts regiments, who became
interested in the River St. John at this time were Francis Peabody,
William Hazen, James White, James Simonds, Nicholas West and Israel
Perley. Captain Francis Peabody was somewhat older than the others;
he had served with distinction in the late war, and is mentioned in
Parkman's "Wolfe and Montcalm" [p. 428]. From the active part he took
in settling the township of Maugerville, as well as from his age and
character, he must be regarded as the most prominent and influential
person on the St. John river while he lived. He died in the year 1773.
Three of his daughters married respectively James Simonds, James White
and Jonathan Leavitt.

A few years ago the writer of this history had the good fortune to
find, in an old rubbish heap, a letter of James Simonds detailing the
circumstances under which he came to take up his residence at St.

"In the years 1759 and 1760," he says, "proclamations were published
through the colonies which promised all the lands and possessions of
the Acadians, who had been removed, or any other lands lying within
the Province of Nova Scotia, to such as would become settlers there.
In consequence of these proclamations I went through the greater part
of Nova Scotia, in time of war, at great expense and at the risk of my
life, in search of the best lands and situations, and having at length
determined to settle at the River St. John, obtained a promise from
Government of a large tract of land for myself and brother Richard,
who was with me in several of my tours."

The attention of Mr. Simonds may have been particularly called to St.
John by the fact that his cousin, Captain Moses Hazen, commanded the
garrison at Fort Frederick in 1759. It may be noted, in passing, that
this post was occupied for the first two years after it was rebuilt by
Monckton, by the Massachusetts troops. They were relieved by a company
from one of the Highland regiments. In 1762 the post was garrisoned by
a detachment of the 40th regiment of foot under Lieutenant Gilfred
Studholme. The fort afterwards continued to be garrisoned by a company
of British regulars under different commanders until 1768, when the
troops were withdrawn and the fort remained for several years under
the nominal care of Messrs. Simonds and White.

About the time James Simonds decided to settle at St. John, the harbor
was carefully surveyed by Lieut. R. G. Bruce of the engineers, whose
plan is reproduced in the accompanying illustration. A glance will
suffice to show that the rocky peninsular on the eastern side of the
harbor, where the business part of the city stands today, was at that
time uninhabited. The military post at Fort Frederick imparted a
little life to the immediate surroundings but on the other side of the
harbor everything remained in its virgin state, except at Portland
Point, where there was a small clearing and the ruins of a feeble old
French Fort. The few Acadians who once lingered there had fled before
the English invaders, and only when some wandering savage pitched his
wigwam on the shores of "Men-ah-quesk," as he called it, was there any
tenant save the fox, the bear or other wild forest creature. The rocky
peninsular of east St. John with its crags and swamps was considered
of so little value that it remained ungranted up to the time of the
landing of the Loyalists. In the words of James Simonds it was "the
worst of lands, if bogs, morasses and rocks may be called lands."

Sounded in September 1761 BY R.G. BRUCE ENGR. Scale 300 yds to an inch]

The circumstances under which James Simonds made choice of the Harbor
of St. John, as the most promising place for an extensive trade, are
detailed at some length in his evidence in the famous chancery suit
which arose about the year 1791 in connection with the division of the
lands of Hazen, Simonds and White, and occupied the attention of the
courts for more than twenty years. It is chiefly from this source we
learn the particulars that follow.

James Simonds was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in the year 1735.
After the death of his father, Nathan Simonds, and the settlement of
his estate, finding the property falling to him to be inconsiderable,
he set out in company with his younger brother Richard to seek his
fortune. In the course of the years 1759 to 1762, different parts of
the old province of Nova Scotia were visited, including the River St.
John, with a view of ascertaining the most advantageous situation for
the fur trade, fishery and other business. Finding that the mouth of
the St. John river was an admirable situation for trade with the
Indians, that the fishery in the vicinity was excellent, and that
there was a large tract of marsh land, and lands that afforded great
quantities of lime-stone adjacent to the Harbor of St. John, Mr.
Simonds eventually gave the preference to those lands on account of
their situation and the privileges attached to them, and having
previously obtained a promise from Government of a grant of 5,000
acres in such part of the province as he might choose he with his
brother Richard took possession. In the month of May, 1762, they burnt
over the large marsh (east of the present city) and in the ensuing
summer cut there a quantity of wild hay. It was their intention
immediately to begin stock raising, but they were disappointed in
obtaining a vessel to bring from Massachusetts the cattle they
expected. They accordingly sold or made a present of the hay to
Captain Francis Peabody, who had recently come to St. John and built
himself a house at Portland Point. This house is said to have had an
oak frame, which was brought from Newburyport. In 1765 it became the
property of James Simonds (Captain Peabody having moved up the river
to Maugerville) and later it was owned by James White. It was not an
elaborate or expensive building[52] but it had the honor of being the
first home of an English speaking family on the St. John river.

   [52] When the affairs of Hazen, Simonds and White were wound up some
        twenty-five years later the house was valued at £40.

The situation of the new-comers at Portland Point would have been very
insecure had it not been for the protection afforded by Fort Frederick
across the harbor. The Indians had not yet become accustomed to the
idea of British supremacy. Their natural allegiance--even after the
downfall of Quebec--was to "their old father the King of France."
Their prejudice against the English had been nurtured for generations
and embittered by ruthless warfare, and we need not wonder that the
coming of the first English settlers was viewed with a jealous eye.
Even the proximity of the garrison at Fort Frederick did not prevent
the situation of James Simonds and his associates from being very
precarious, when the attitude of the Indians was unfriendly. Richard
Simonds, who died January 20, 1765, lost his life in the defence of
the property of the trading company when the savages were about to
carry it off.

While the brothers Simonds were endeavoring to establish themselves at
St. John, a settlement upon a more extensive scale was being projected
by a number of people in the County of Essex in Massachusetts. An
advertisement appeared in the "Boston Gazette and News-Letter" of
September 20, 1762, notifying all of the signers under Captain Francis
Peabody for a township at St. John's River in Nova Scotia, to meet at
the house of Daniel Ingalls, inn-holder in Andover, on Wednesday, the
6th day of October at 10 o'clock a. m., in order to draw their lots,
which were already laid out, and to choose an agent to go to Halifax
on their behalf and to attend to any matters that should be thought
proper. The advertisement continues: "And whereas it was voted at the
meeting on April 6th, 1762, that each signer should pay by April 20th,
twelve shillings for laying out their land and six shillings for
building a mill thereon, and some signers have neglected payment, they
must pay the amount at the next meeting or be excluded and others
admitted in their place."

The agent chosen at this meeting was Captain Francis Peabody.[53]

   [53] Beamish Murdoch in his History of Nova Scotia, Vol. II, p. 428,
        refers to the settlement made at this time at Maugerville and
        observes, "A Mr. Peabody was the principal inhabitant and
        agent for the English settlers."

According to the late Moses H. Perley, whose well known and popular
lectures on New Brunswick history were delivered at the Mechanics
Institute in 1841, the government of Massachusetts sent a small party
to explore the country east of Machias in 1761. "The leader of that
party," says Mr. Perley, "was Israel Perley, my grandfather, who was
accompanied by 12 men in the pay of Massachusetts. They proceeded to
Machias by water, and there shouldering their knapsacks, they took a
course through the woods, and succeeded in reaching the head waters of
the River Oromocto, which they descended to the St. John. They found
the country a wide waste, and no obstacles, save what might be
afforded by the Indians, to its being at once occupied and settled,
and with this report they returned to Boston."

The result of this report is seen in the organization of a company of
would be settlers shortly afterwards.

There is in the possession of the Perley family at Fredericton an
old document that contains a brief account of the subsequent

"In the year 1761 a number of Provincial officers and soldiers in New
England who had served in several campaigns during the then French war
agreed to form a settlement on St. John's River in Nova Scotia, for
which purpose they sent one of their number to Halifax, who obtained
an order of survey for laying out a Township in mile squares on any
part of St. John's River (the whole being then a desolate wilderness).
This Township called Maugerville was laid out in the year 1762, and a
number of settlers entered into it, encouraged by the King's
proclamation for settling the lands in Nova Scotia, in which, among
other things, was this clause, that people emigrating from the New
England Provinces to Nova Scotia should enjoy the same religious
privileges as in New England. And in the above-mentioned order of
survey was the following words--viz., 'You shall reserve four Lots in
the Township for Publick use, one as a Glebe for the Church of
England, one for the Dissenting Protestants, one for the maintenance
of a School, and one for the first settled minister in the place.'

"These orders were strictly comply'd with, but finding difficulty in
obtaining a Grant of this Township from the government of Nova Scotia
on account of an order from England that those lands should be
reserved for disbanded forces, the settlers did in the year 1763 draw
up and forward a Petition or memorial to the Lords of Trade and

In this memorial were set forth the services that Captain Peabody and
his associates had rendered to their country in the late war, the
expenses they had incurred and the inducements offered by the
government of Nova Scotia to them to settle on the lands they had
surveyed. The memorial was signed by Francis Peabody, John Carleton,
Jacob Barker, Nicholas West and Israel Perley on behalf of themselves
and other disbanded officers. This memorial was submitted by Mr.
Peabody to the Governor and Council at Halifax, who cordially approved
of the contents and forwarded it to Joshua Mauger,[54] the agent for
the Province in London, expressing their opinion that the officers and
disbanded soldiers from New England, settled on the reserved lands on
the St. John River, ought not to be removed. They would be of great
use and their removal would cause their total ruin. The settlers
earnestly solicited the influence of the agent in England to obtain a
speedy answer to their memorial. He took the liveliest interest in
their cause and largely through his efforts the Lords of Trade on the
20th December, 1763, recommended that the memorial of the disbanded
officers of the Provincial forces be granted, and that they be
confirmed in possession of the lands on which they have settled on the
St. John River. The matter was finally settled in the Court of St.
James, the 10th day of February, 1764, by the adoption of the
following resolve on the part of King George the III. and his

"Whereas the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations have
represented to His Majesty that a memorial has been presented to him
on behalf of several disbanded officers of His Majesty's provincial
forces in North America, setting forth that induced by several
encouragements they have sold their lands in New England and settled
themselves and families upon the St. John River in His Majesty's
province of Nova Scotia at the distance of 200 miles from any other
settlement and praying that the possession of the lands upon which
they have settled themselves at a very great expense may be confirmed
to them by His Majesty: The Governor of Nova Scotia is ordered to
cause the land upon which they are settled to be laid out in a
Township consisting of 100,000 acres, 12 miles square, one side to
front on the river. Also to reserve a site for a town with a
sufficient number of lots, with reservations for a church, town-house,
public quays and wharves and other public uses; the grants to be made
in proportion to their ability and the number of persons in their
families, but not to exceed 1,000 acres to one person. That a
competent quantity of land be allotted for the maintenance of a
minister and school-master and also one town lot to each of them in

   [54] Joshua Mauger was a merchant from England who made his
        residence at Halifax shortly after its founding by Cornwallis
        in 1749. He traded extensively in Nova Scotia and had
        contracts with government. He returned to England in 1761,
        became agent there for the Province of Nova Scotia and held a
        seat in Parliament.

For months the settlers of Maugerville remained in a state of suspense
and in much anxiety as to the fate of their memorial. They were
naturally greatly relieved when the order of the King in Council
arrived confirming them in possession of the lands they had settled.
The kindness and generosity of Joshua Mauger, who bore the expense of
their appeal and exerted himself in their behalf, were fully
appreciated, and as a tribute of respect and gratitude to their patron
the settlers gave to their township the name of "Maugerville."

The Township of Maugerville was laid out early in the year 1762 by a
party under Israel Perley their land surveyor. In the survey Richard
Simonds acted as chain bearer and James Simonds, who was one of the
patentees of the township, also assisted, receiving the sum of £40 for
his services.

The first published account of the founding of the Maugerville
settlement is that of Peter Fisher,[55] printed by Chubb & Sears at
St. John in 1825, and a very readable account it is as the extracts
that follow will show.

   [55] Peter Fisher was the father of the late Judge Fisher and of L.
        Peter Fisher (for many years mayor of Woodstock), and
        grandfather of W. Shoves Fisher of St. John. His penmanship
        was superior to that of some of his descendants, judging from
        the fac-simile of his signature that appears above.

[Illustration: Signature Peter Fisher]

Under the title "A narrative of the proceedings of the first settlers
at the River St. John, under the authority of the Government of Nova
Scotia," Mr. Fisher tells us that "In the year 1761, a number of
persons from the County of Essex, province of Massachusetts, presented
a petition through their agent (Francis Peabody), to the Government of
Nova Scotia, for the grant of a township twelve miles square at the
River Saint John; they received a favorable answer and obtained full
authority to survey a tract of that dimension, wherever it might be
found fit for improvement. In consequence many of the applicants
proceeded in the course of the winter and spring following to prepare
for exploring the country and to survey their township; they provided
a vessel for that purpose and on the 16th May, 1762, embarked at
Newburyport and arrived in three days at the harbor of Saint John. * *
* *

"The exploring and surveying party proceeded to view the lands, round
the harbor and bay of Saint John in a whale boat they brought with
them, for they could not travel on the land on account of the
multitude of fallen trees that had been torn up by the roots in a
violent gale of wind nearly four years previous.[56] The same gale
extended as far up the river as the Oromocto, and most of the country
below that place was equally incumbered with the fallen trees.

   [56] The exact date of this gale was Nov. 3, 1759.

"After making all the discoveries that could be made near the harbor,
it was the unanimous opinion that all the lands near that part of the
country were unfit for their purpose and in about ten days from their
first arrival they set out to view the country as far as Saint Anne,
ninety miles up the river, where they expected to find an extensive
body of cleared land that had been formerly improved by the French
inhabitants. On their way they landed wherever they saw any appearance
of improvement. All such spots as far up as Mill Creek[57] were
supposed not to exceed one hundred acres, most of which had been very
roughly cleared.

   [57] Just below the town plot of Fredericton.

"On the arrival of the exploring party at St. Anns, they lost no time
in making a shelter for themselves nearly opposite the river Nashwaak
... and they commenced their survey at the small gravelly point near
Government House, with the intention of surveying a township to
terminate twelve miles below that place, but after surveying the
courses of the river about four miles downward, a large company of
Indians, came down about nine miles, from their Priest's residence
with his Interpreter, all having painted faces of divers colours and
figures and dressed in their war habits. The chiefs, with grave
countenances, informed the adventurers that they were trespassers on
their rights; that the country belonged to them and unless they
retired immediately they would compel them."

"The reply made to the chiefs was to this effect: that the adventurers
had received authority from the Governor of Halifax to survey and
settle any land they should choose at the River Saint John; that they
had never been informed of the Indians claiming the village of Saint
Anne, but as they declared the land there to be their property (though
it had been inhabited by the French, who were considered entitled to
it, till its capture by the English) they would retire further down
the river.

* * * The surveying party removed their camp, according to their
promise, almost as far down as the lower end of Oromocto Island on the
east side of the river, whence they finished their survey twelve miles
below the first mentioned bounds and returned to Fort Frederick."

The circumstances that led to delay in procuring the grant from
government have already been mentioned in this chapter.

There can be no doubt that Mr. Fisher's statement--corroborated by
Moses H. Perley--that the township was laid out in lots in the earlier
part of 1762 is correct, for on Sept. 2nd a meeting of the intending
settlers was advertised to be held for the purpose of drawing the lots
which were described as "already laid out." But the statement of Mr.
Fisher (in which he is again followed by Moses H. Perley) that one or
two families from Newburyport accompanied the surveying party in the
month of May, and brought with them the frame of a small dwelling
house and boards to cover it, together with a small stock of cattle,
and that on the third day after their arrival the house was finished
and inhabited--is probably a misapprehension resulting from the
confounding of incidents, which occurred in the course of the same
year but were separated by an interval of several months. At any rate
the late John Quinton, who was born in 1807, states most emphatically
in a letter to Joseph W. Lawrence that it was not until the 28th day
of August that his grand-parents, Hugh and Elizabeth Quinton, Capt.
Francis Peabody and family, James Simonds and others came to reside at
the River St. John. He says that accomodation was provided for
Quinton and his wife, Miss Hannah Peabody and others in the barracks
at Fort Frederick, where on the very night of their arrival was born
James Quinton, the first child of English speaking parents, whose
birth is recorded at St. John.[58] The remainder of the party encamped
on the east side of the harbor at the site of an old French Fort, the
place since known as Portland Point, or Simonds' Point, where they
erected a dwelling into which the Quintons and others in Carleton soon
afterwards removed. Hannah Peabody was at this time about twelve years
old: she afterwards became the wife of James Simonds.

   [58] John Quinton says he heard this story many times from his
        grandmother's lips. She was a woman of remarkable memory and
        lived until the year 1835. It would seem very improbable she
        could be mistaken as to the date of such an event.



The township of Maugerville, as described in the grant of October 31,
1765, began "at a Pine Tree on a point of land a little below the
Island called Mauger's Island," extending 12-1/2 miles up the river
with a depth of nearly 11 miles. It embraced the principal part of the
parishes of Maugerville and Sheffield, including Oromocto Island and
"the Island lying off Wind-mill Point called Middle Island." In the
grant the "Rights" or "Shares" were fixed at 500 acres but the
surveyor-general of Nova Scotia, Charles Morris, had intended that the
grantees should have 1,000 acres each on account of their being the
first adventurers and also on account of the large proportion of
sunken lands and lakes within the limits of the township.

At the time the Maugerville grant was made out the obnoxious Stamp Act
was about coming into force in America and the Crown Land Office at
Halifax was besieged with people pressing for their grants in order to
save the stamp duties. In the hurry and confusion existing Mr. Morris
says that the shares of the township were inadvertently fixed at 500
acres each, whereas it had been his intention to lay out one hundred
farm lots, each forty rods wide and extending one mile deep into the
country, and to give each grantee the balance of his 1,000 acres in
the subsequent division of the rest of the township. It is quite
likely the Maugerville settlers were glad to accept the smaller shares
allotted them in view of the fact that they had been so near losing
the whole by the decision of the British government to reserve the
lands for the disbanded regulars of the army.

By the terms of the grant it was provided that all persons who failed
to settle on their lots, with proper stock and materials for the
improvement of their lands, before the last day of November, 1767,
should forfeit all claim to the lands allotted them. The township was
supposed to consist of 200 shares but only 61 shares were included in
the grant of 1765. At least two other grants were passed prior to the
coming of the Loyalists--one in 1770, the other early in 1783; but
there were still some vacant lots which were gladly taken up by these
unfortunate exiles. For their accomodation also a grant was made Dec.
22, 1786, of the rear of the township and such men as Samuel Ryerson,
Justus Earle, Joseph Ryerson, Wm. Van Allen, Abraham Van Buskirk,
Samuel Tilley and Lodewick Fisher[59] were among the grantees.

   [59] Samuel Tilley and Lodewick Fisher were the progenitors
        respectively of Sir Leonard Tilley and Hon. Charles Fisher,
        the one came from Long Island, N. Y., the other from New
        Jersey. It is curious they should have settled on adjoining
        lots in view of the intimate relations of their distinguished
        grandsons in the battle for responsible government. The other
        names given above are those of officers in Lt.-Col. Van
        Buskirk's battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers who were of
        Dutch descent.

Nearly all the original settlers in the township of Maugerville were
from Massachusetts, the majority from the single county of Essex. Thus
the Burpees were from Rowley, the Perleys from Boxford, the Esteys
from Newburyport, while other families were from Haverhill, Ipswich,
Gloucester, Salem and other towns of this ancient county which
antedates all others in Massachusetts but Plymouth. These settlers
were almost exclusively of Puritan stock and members of the
Congregationalist churches of New England.

The list of the grantees of the Township of Maugerville, alphabetically
arranged, includes the following names:--

  Benjamin Atherton,
  Jacob Barker,
  Jacob Barker, jr.,
  Thomas Barker,
  Richard Barlow,
  Benjamin Brawn,
  David Burbank,
  Joseph Buber,
  Jeremiah Burpee,
  Jonathan Burpee,
  James Chadwell,
  Thomas Christy,
  Joseph Clark,
  Widow Clark,
  Edward Coy,
  Moses Davis,
  Jos. F. W. Desbarres,
  Enoch Dow,
  Joseph Dunphy,
  John Estey,
  Richard Estey,
  Richard Estey, jr.,
  Zebulun Estey,
  Joseph Garrison,
  Beamsley P. Glazier,
  William Harris,
  Thomas Hart,
  Geo. Hayward,
  Nehemiah Hayward,
  Jeremiah Howland,
  Ammi Howlet,
  Samuel Hoyt,
  Daniel Jewett,
  Richard Kimball,
  John Larlee,
  Joshua Mauger,
  Peter Moores,
  William McKeen,
  Elisha Nevers,
  Jabez Nevers,
  Phinehas Nevers,
  Samuel Nevers,
  Nathaniel Newman,
  Daniel Palmer,
  Moses Palmer,
  Jonathan Parker,
  Francis Peabody,
  Oliver Peabody,
  Richard Peabody,
  Samuel Peabody,
  Stephen Peabody,
  Asa Perley,
  Israel Perley,
  Oliver Perley,
  Humphrey Pickard,
  Moses Pickard,
  Hugh Quinton,
  Nicholas Rideout,
  Thomas Rous,
  John Russell,
  Ezekiel Saunders,
  William Saunders,
  Gervas Say,
  John Shaw,
  Hugh Shirley,
  James Simonds,
  Samuel Tapley,
  Giles Tidmarsh, jr.,
  Samuel Upton,
  James Vibart,
  John Wasson,
  Matthew Wasson,
  John Whipple,
  Jonathan Whipple,
  Samuel Whitney,
  Jediah Stickney,
  John Smith,
  Johnathan Smith,
  Charles Stephens,
  Isaac Stickney.

The majority of the surnames in the above list will seem wonderfully
familiar to the residents of the St. John river counties where their
descendants today form a large and influential element in the

In his lecture on New Brunswick history delivered in 1840, Moses H.
Perley says that in the year 1763 the Maugerville township was settled
by 200 families, comprising about 800 persons, who came from
Massachusetts in four vessels. There cannot be the slightest doubt
that Mr. Perley has greatly over-estimated the number of the original
settlers. We have every reason to believe that the population of the
township continued steadily to increase and about two years later
(Dec. 16, 1766), a census was submitted to the government of Nova
Scotia by Lieut. Governor Francklin showing that there were then
living at Maugerville 77 men, 46 women, 72 boys and 66 girls, a total
of 261 souls; and it may be added that during the year 17 new settlers
had arrived and 14 children were born, while the number of deaths was
but 3. That the new settlers were anxious to fulfil the conditions of
their grants is shown by the fact that they already possessed 10
horses, 78 oxen and bulls, 145 sows, 156 young cattle, 376 sheep and
181 swine. Their crop for the year included: Wheat 599 bushels, Rye
1,866 do., Beans 145 do., Oats 57 do., Pease 91 do., Flaxseed 7 do. A
grist and saw-mill had been built and two sloops were owned by the
settlers. Some attempt had also been made at raising flax and hemp.

The settlement at Maugerville was visited by Hon. Charles Morris, the
surveyor general of Nova Scotia, in 1767, and it is not improbable the
census taken by order of Lieut. Governor Franklin was made under his
supervision. Mr. Morris was evidently much surprised at the progress
the settlers had made, for in a letter of the 25th January, 1768, he

"Opposite to Oromocto River, upon the northerly side of the River St.
John's, is the English settlement of disbanded soldiers from New
England, consisting of about eighty families, who have made great
Improvements, and are like to make an established Settlement there.
And by some tryals they have made of hemp upon the intervale it
succeeded beyond their expectation. I measured myself Hemp that was
nine feet high, that had not come to its full growth in the latter end
of July. They generally have about twenty bushels of Maze and about
twenty bushels of Wheat from an acre of land, that was only cleared of
its woods and harrowed without ever having a Plow in it. When I was on
the River last year, I saw myself eighty bushes of Indian Corn raised
from one acre of land that had been ploughed and properly managed. I
would observe that the Corn raised on this River is not the same kind
as the Corn in New England; neither the climate or soil would be
suitable to it; they get their seed from Canada and they sow it in
rows about three feet distant as we do Pease in our gardens; it takes
about a bushel to sow an acre; the ears grow close to the ground as
thick as they can stick one by another, pointing outwards like a
Cheveaux de Frise upon each side of the rows; the richness of the
soil, the manner of sowing it and of its growing, may account very
easily for its producing so much to the acre. Some of the old French
Inhabitants of the River have informed me that they have raised, in a
seasonable year, near one hundred bushels of Indian Corn per acre."

The alluvial character of the soil of Maugerville, its freedom
from stone and from dense forest growth, no doubt attracted the
first English settlers and decided the choice of their location,
just as the same features attracted the brothers d'Amours and
others of the French nearly a century before. The French, too,
recorded as the principal drawback of the location, the losses and
annoyances consequent upon the inundation of their fields and
premises by the spring freshets.[60] A short experience convinced
the English settlers that the complaints of their predecessors
were well founded.

   [60] See previous chapters, pp. 63, 110.

As Maugerville divides with Portland Point the honor of being the
first permanent English settlement at the River St. John, it is proper
to describe in some fulness of detail the movements of its founders.
They were a sturdy and adventurous race. The great majority had seen
active service in the "old French war"--some of them had fought under
Wolfe at the taking of Quebec. The Indian war-cry was a sound not
unfamiliar to their ears, and so their interview with the savages of
Aukpaque, upon their arrival, taught them the dangers of their
situation. It really required more hardihood to plunge into the
wilderness than to settle under the protection of Fort Frederick at
the river's mouth.

The proximity of the Indian town of Aukpaque; a few miles above,
probably induced the majority of the Maugerville people to settle in
the lower part of the township. At any rate for some years no one
resided farther up the river than lot No. 57, about five miles below
the Nashwaak, where lived the Widow Clark, a resolute old dame whom
nothing could dismay.

It is interesting to note that Simonds and White contemplated at one
time the erection of a Truck-house at Maugerville for their Indian
trade, and a frame was prepared for the building, but before it was
raised some difficulties arose between the Indians and the Whites and
the matter was deferred for a year or two. The frame was then sent up
the river in the sloop "Bachelor" and landed on lot No. 66, belonging
to Mr. Simonds, "near the then upper settlement of Maugerville." This
was the only place available as none of the settlers desired to have
the Truck-house near them. However the carpenters found the frame so
warped as not to be worth setting up and the project was abandoned.

The first band of settlers came to Maugerville in 1763, probably in
small vessels hired for the occasion. From time to time the colony
received additions from New England. The later comers usually took
their passage in some of the vessels owned by Messrs. Hazen, Simonds
and White, which furnished the readiest means of communication. There
are many interesting items in the account books[61] kept by Simonds
and White at their store at Portland Point in connection with the
Maugerville settlers. For example Captain Francis Peabody is charged
with the following items, under date January 15, 1765:--

  "To passage in schooner of 4 Passengers from
        New England at 12s.                            £ 2 8 0
   Freight of 9 Heiffers at 12s.                         5 8 0
   Club of Cyder for 5 men at 13s. 6d. each              3 7 6
   5 Tons of Hay for cattle on passage                  10 0 0
   Freight of sheep                                      3 6 0

   [61] Several of these books are now in my possession.--W. O. R.

In the same schooner there came Jacob Barker, jun., Oliver Perley,
Zebulon Estey, Humphrey Pickard and David Burbank, each of whom paid
twelve shillings passage money from Newburyport to St. John and 13s.
6d. for "his club of Cyder" on the voyage. David Burbank brought with
him a set of Mill irons, which is suggestive of enterprise, but his
stay appears to have been but brief, for on the 20th April, 1767, he
sold his land (about five miles below the Nashwaak) to William Brawn,
the son of an original grantee of the township, and the deed was
acknowledged before John Anderson, Justice of the Peace at Moncton[62]
the 29th of April.

   [62] John Anderson was one of the first magistrates of the original
        county of Sunbury, appointed Aug. 17, 1765. He had a trading
        post, which he called "Moncton," just above the Nashwaak on
        the site of the modern village of Gibson. The deed referred to
        above is one of the earliest on record in the province.

The upper boundary of the Township of Maugerville now forms a part of
the dividing line between the Counties of York and Sunbury. The lower
boundary of the township began near the foot of Maugers' Island, about
two miles above the Queens-Sunbury county line. Middle Island, which
occupies a middle position between Oromocto Island above and Mauger's
(or Gilbert's) Island below, was in a sense the centre of the
township, and it must not be forgotten by the reader that what was in
early days the principal section of the Township of Maugerville is now
the Parish of Sheffield. The lots are numbered beginning at Middle
Island and running down the river to No. 39, then starting again at
the upper end of the grant, at the York county line, and running down
the river to Middle Island, so that the last lot, No. 100, adjoins the
first lot. The oldest plan of the township in the Crown Land office
shows the state of settlement at a date subsequent to that of the
original grant, and during the interval a good many changes had
occurred. The early grantees were about eighty in number.

Reference to the accompanying plan of the river will show the
locations of the early settlers of Maugerville; they will be mentioned
in order ascending the river.

The lower ten lots of the township and Mauger's Island were granted to
Joshua Mauger. Just above were the lots of Gervas Say, Nehemiah
Hayward, John Russell, Samuel Upton, Zebulon Estey, John Estey,
Richard Estey and Edward Coy.

At the head of Mauger's Island were the lots of Matthew Wason, Samuel
Whitney and Samuel Tapley.

Between Mauger's Island and Middle Island the lots were those of
Jeremiah Burpee, Jonathan Burpee, Jacob Barker, Daniel Jewett, Ezekiel
Saunders, Humphrey Pickard, Moses Pickard, Jacob Barker, jr., Isaac
Stickney and Jonathan Smith.

Opposite Middle Island, in order ascending, were Thomas Barker, John
Wason, Daniel Palmer, Richard Kimball, Joseph Garrison, Samuel Nevers,
Peter Mooers, Richard Estey, jr., Jabez Nevers, Enoch Dow and Hugh

Between Middle and Oromocto islands were Thomas Christie, Elisha
Nevers, Jedediah Stickney, Stephen Peabody, Capt. Francis Peabody and
William McKeen.

Opposite Oromocto Island were Israel Perley (at the foot of the
island), Lt.-Col. Beamsley P. Glasier, John Whipple, Nathaniel
Rideout, Capt. Francis Peabody, Alexander Tapley, Phineas Nevers,
Joseph Dunphy, William Harris, Ammi Howlet, Samuel Peabody and Oliver

Above Oromocto Island we find the lots of Asa Perley, Oliver Perley,
George Munro, James Simonds, Joseph Buber, Joseph Shaw, Benjamin
Brawn, Daniel Burbank, Thomas Hartt and the Widow Clark. Thence to the
upper boundary of the township, a distance of two miles, there were at
first no settlers, but in the course of time Richard Barlow, Nehemiah
Beckwith, Benjamin Atherton, Jeremiah Howland and others took up


The names of the majority of the Maugerville grantees appear in the
account books kept by Simonds and White at their store at Portland
Point and a lot of interesting family history might be gleaned from
the old faded pages. There are other items of interest in the records
of the old County of Sunbury.

In nearly all the early settlements made on the River St. John some
encouragement was offered for the erection of a mill, and when the
signers under Captain Francis Peabody met at Andover in April, 1762,
previous to their leaving Massachusetts, it was agreed that each
signer should pay six shillings towards erecting a mill in their
township. The streams in Maugerville are so inconsiderable that it may
be presumed some difficulty would arise on this head. This is
confirmed by the fact that in the grant of 1763 the point of land
opposite Middle Island is called "Wind-mill Point." However an old
deed shows that Richard Estey, jr., had on his lot No. 100 (opposite
Middle Island) a mill built on what is called Numeheal creek, of which
the first owners were Mr. Estey and his neighbor, Thomas Barker. This
mill was sold in 1779 to James Woodman and was employed in sawing
boards and other lumber for the Loyalists at St. John during the
summer of 1783.

Not all of the grantees of the Township of Maugerville were actual
settlers. Of several we know little more than the names. This is the
case with James Chadwell, whose name appears first in the grant, and
with Moses Davis, Thomas Rous, Jonathan Parker, Hugh Shirley,
Nathaniel Newman and James Vibart.

Two other non-resident grantees were men of influence and in their day
made sufficient stir in the world to claim further notice. The first
bore the imposing name of Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres. This
gentleman is believed to have been a native of Switzerland. He
obtained a commission in the English army and served with distinction
under Wolfe at the siege of Quebec. At the time the Maugerville
settlement was founded he was a lieutenant in the 60th Regiment, but
being an excellent engineer, had lately been engaged by the Board of
Admiralty to make exact surveys and charts of the coasts and harbors
of Nova Scotia. In this work DesBarres was employed a good many years.
Nearly two seasons were spent in making a careful survey of Sable
Island--the grave-yard of the Atlantic--where DesBarres tells us the
sands were strewn with wreckage and thousands had already perished for
want of known soundings. Some of the results of his prolonged labors
may be seen in the three huge volumes of the Atlantic Neptune (each as
large as a fair sized table) in the Crown Land office at Fredericton.
Commenting on the length of time spent in his surveys DesBarres

"Interruptions from fogs and precarious weather, unavoidably made
tedious a performance in which accuracy is the chief thing desired,
and rendered many years necessary to complete it for publication; but
when the author reflects that the accuracy and truth of his work will
stand the test of ages, and preserve future navigators from the
horrors of shipwreck and destruction, he does not repine at its having
employed so large a portion of his life."

The engrossing nature of his occupation as engineer did not hinder
DesBarres from being an ambitious land speculator. In 1765 he
obtained, in conjunction with General Haldimand and one or two others,
a grant of the Township of Hopewell, comprising 100,000 acres on the
Petitcodiac river. But he derived little benefit from his lands, as
he was unable to fulfill the conditions of settlement, and eventually
they reverted to the crown.

In 1784, Des Barres was appointed Lieut. Governor of Cape Breton, and
afterwards Lieut. Governor of Prince Edward Island. He died at Halifax
on the 27th October, 1824, and was honored with a state funeral at
which the attendance was great and the interest felt very remarkable.
This was due, in some measure, to the fact that had he lived another
month he would have attained the extraordinary age of 103 years.
Beamish Murdoch observes:

"Colonel DesBarres' scientific labors on our coasts, and his repute as
one of the heroes of 1759 under Wolfe at Quebec, gave him a claim on
the gratitude and reverence of all Nova Scotians."

This sentiment was not shared by the Acadians of Memramcook, who found
difficulty in resisting the claims of the heirs of DesBarres to the
lands they had settled. Two Lots in the upper part of the Township of
Maugerville were granted to Governor DesBarres and had he settled
there he would have been the next-door neighbor of the Widow Clark,
but there is nothing to show that he made any attempt to improve his
lands in that quarter and so his connection with the settlement is
nothing but a name.

Joshua Mauger, the other non-resident grantee to whom reference has
been made, was an English merchant who came to America as a contractor
under government for furnishing supplies to the army at Louisbourg.
When Cape Breton was restored to France, in 1749, Louisbourg was
evacuated and Mauger came with the troops to Halifax. Shortly after
his arrival he and other merchants asked permission to build wharves
on the beach for the accommodation of their business. In 1751 he was
appointed agent for victualling the Navy. Grog was at that time freely
dispensed in the army and navy, and Mauger erected a distillery where
he manufactured the rum required for the troops and seamen. As the
business was lucrative he soon accumulated much property in and around
Halifax, including the well known Mauger's Beach at the entrance of
Halifax harbor. He had also shops at Pisiquid and Minas--or, as they
are now called, Windsor and Horton--where he sold goods and spirits to
the French and Indians. He returned to England in 1761 and was
appointed agent for the Province of Nova Scotia in London. The year
following he was elected a member of Parliament.

Joshua Mauger in his position as Agent for the province was able to
render it essential service, and in the year 1766 the legislature
of Nova Scotia voted the sum of £50 for a piece of plate as a
testimonial of their appreciation of his "zeal and unwearied
application" in their behalf. As already mentioned, it was chiefly
due to his energy that the Massachusetts settlers on the River St.
John were confirmed in possession of their township. For his
services in this connection, however, he was not unrewarded; not
only was the township named in his honor, but the large island,
since known as Mauger's or Gilbert's Island, was granted to him,
together with ten lots, at the lower end of the township. When the
Loyalists arrived they looked with somewhat covetous eyes on these
interval lands which were settled by tenants at a yearly rental of
£3 for each lot. Mauger's Island was purchased by Colonel Thomas
Gilbert, the well known Loyalist of Taunton, Massachusetts, and by
him bequeathed to his eldest son, Thomas Gilbert, jr. The latter
writes so entertainingly and so enthusiastically of his situation,
in a letter to his sister and her husband, that we venture to depart,
for a moment, from the chronological order of events in order to
give some extracts.

  "On Board Major's Island, Sept. 30, 1799.

  Dear Brother and Sister,-- * * * I have made great improvements on
  board this island. Three summers ago I built a large house, the
  Carpenter just as he had finished the work took a brand of fire by
  accident and burnt it all to ashes with three hundred pounds of
  property in it. It happened the 15th of November, winter set in
  next day. I fled to a small house I had on the island. Ice making
  in the River there was no passing, but my Neighbors knew my
  situation and assembled of their own good will[63]--in four weeks
  put me into a good framed house forty feet long twenty wide with a
  good chimney, where I lived the winter very comfortably. In the
  spring I went to work and built a House 38 by 36 and set it on to
  the other, which occupies the same ground that the other did, and
  I finished it to a latch from top to bottom. * * * * The summer
  past I have built me a barn 80 feet by 34 completely finished and
  said to be the best in the Province.

  'I wonder you don't come yourself or send some of your family to
  help us enjoy this fine country. We feel no war nor pay any tax.
  Our land brings forth abundantly; it is almost incredible to see
  the Produce; it makes but little odds when you plant or sow, at
  harvest time you will have plenty. This last spring was late, the
  water was not off so that I could plant till the 21st of June, and
  so till the 26th we planted, and you never saw so much corn in any
  part of the States to the acre as I have got, and wheat and
  everything to the greatest perfection. I wonder how you and my
  Friends can prefer digging among the Stones and paying Rates to an
  easy life in this country. Last year I sold beef, pork and mutton
  more than I wanted for my family for three hundred Pounds, besides
  two colts for forty pounds apiece. A few days ago I sold four
  colts before they were broke for one hundred and ten pounds and I
  have sixteen left. I have a fine stock of cattle and sheep--butter
  and cheese is as plenty here as herrings are at Taunton--a tenant
  lives better here than a Landlord at Berkley. I am blesst with the
  best Neighbors that ever drew breath--they are made of the same
  stuff that our forefathers were that first settled New England. *
  * * * I live under the protection of the King, and I am stationed
  by his Laws on this Island, the finest farm in the Province. I
  don't intend to weigh my anchor nor start from this till I have
  orders from the Governor of all things--then I hope to obey the
  summons with joy and gladness--with Great Expectation, to meet you
  in Heaven where I hope to rest."

   [63] He means that intercourse with the shore was cut off in
        consequence of floating ice but that his neighbors had seem
        the misfortune and, realizing the need of prompt action, of
        their own good will met together and began to prepare the
        frame and materials for a new dwelling.

Benjamin Atherton removed to St. Anns about 1769 where at the time the
Loyalists arrived he is reported to have had a good framed house and
log barn and about 30 acres of land, cleared in part by the French.
This land was near the Government House, and here in early days,
Messrs. Simonds & White established a trading post to which the
Indians and Acadians and some of the English settlers resorted. The
store was managed by Benjamin Atherton who had an interest in the
business. Mr. Atherton was a man of ability and good education and
filled the office of clerk of the peace of the county of Sunbury--at
that time including nearly all New Brunswick.

Hugh Quinton, Samuel Peabody, Gerves Say and William McKeen removed at
an early date to the mouth of the river and we shall hear more of them
in connection with that locality.

Edward Coy, Thomas Hart and Zebulun Estey removed to Gagetown. Some
facts concerning Edward Coy are related in a curious old book
published at Boston in 1849 entitled "A Narrative of the Life and
Christian Experience of Mrs. Mary Bradley of Saint John, New
Brunswick, written by Herself." From this source we learn that the
Coys were originally McCoys but that the "Mac" was dropped by Edward
Coy's grandfather and never resumed by the family. The Coys came from
Pomfret in Connecticut to the River St. John in 1763 and the family
removed from Gagetown to Sheffield in 1776. One of Edward Coy's
daughters is said to have been the first female child of English
speaking parents born on the St. John river. The curious "cul de sac"
in the river opposite the mouth of the Belleisle known as "The
Mistake" was formerly called "Coy's Mistake"--the name doubtless
suggests the incident in which it had its origin. Many a traveller
since the time of Edward Coy has incautiously entered the same
cul-de-sac, thinking it the channel of the river, and, after
proceeding two or three miles, found he too had made a "mistake" and
retraced his way a sadder and a wiser man.

Zebulun Estey and Thomas Hart went to Gagetown while the war of the
Revolution was in progress. The sentiments of the two were diverse
during the war. Mr. Hart was one of the committee who helped to
organize the party that went with the Americans, under Colonel
Jonathan Eddy, against Fort Cumberland, in 1775. He is described in
Major Studholme's report as "a rebel." Zebulun Estey on the other hand
is described as "a good man and his character very loyal."

Naturally the large number of those who removed from Maugerville on
account of the inconveniences of the spring freshets went across the
river to the Township of Burton, in some cases still retaining their
property in Maugerville. Among those who so removed were Isaac
Stickney, Israel Estey, Moses Estey, John Larlee, Amos Estey, John
Pickard, Benjamin Brawn, Edward Barker, Israel Kinney, John Shaw and
Thomas Barker. These were chiefly original grantees or their sons, who
all removed to Burton during the progress of the Revolution, excepting
John Larlee and Israel Kinney who went there in 1767. John Larlee was
one of the old time doctors, a man highly respected whose descendants
now are chiefly residents of Carleton county. Israel Kinney was
probably the first blacksmith in the community.

Among those not included in the original band of settlers at
Maugerville, but who arrived there shortly afterwards, was Moses
Coburn, who came from Newburyport to St. John in the schooner Eunice
early in 1767. This little vessel had quite a number of passengers for
the River St. John, including James Simonds, Oliver Perley, Alexander
Tapley and Stephen Hovey, but the voyage is of special interest from
the fact that there was a bride on board, the young wife of James
Simonds, formerly Hannah Peabody--a bride of sixteen. The Eunice had a
fine passage and arrived at St. John on the 26th April, 1767.

Moses Coburn settled on lot No. 23, not far below the present
Sheffield Academy. The lot had been drawn by Edward Coy, one of the
original grantees of the township, who took up his residence in
Gagetown, but afterwards removed to Maugerville.

Alexander Tapley was one of the passengers in the Eunice. He lived at
Maugerville prior to April 22, 1765, for on that date he sold 8-1/2
lbs. of Beaver to Simonds & White for the sum of £2 2s. 6d., and
purchased in return a number of articles including a pair of women's
shoes at 5 shillings, and a pair of "men's pomps" at 7 shillings. A
curious incident in connection with Alexander Tapley is to be found in
the old court records of the County of Sunbury. It seems that having
been appointed constable he declined to qualify and take the oath of
office. In consequence he was summoned on the 20th May, 1774, to
appear before Israel Perley and Jacob Baker, two of the magistrates,
"to give a reason (if any he hath) for the refusing to serve as a
constable for said town of Maugerville." To this citation Tapley paid
no regard, whereupon the magistrates, in high dudgeon, fined him forty
shillings and issued a warrant to Samuel Upton, constable, who "took a
cow of the said Tapley to satisfy the fine and costs, which sum was
ordered to remain in the said constable's hand till called for."

Giles Tidmarsh was one of the transient settlers of Maugerville. The
account books of Simonds and White show that he lived on the river at
least as early as October, 1765--the first item charged in his acount
is: "Oct. 23d, To 1 Fusee, £2." On July 23, 1767, Tidmarsh was granted
1,000 acres in the township of Maugerville. Some years later his name
appears as a Halifax magistrate, and in the year 1775 he was a Planter
in the Island of Grenada. On Nov. 30th of that year he sold to Jacob
Barker, jr., the half of lot No. 11, in Upper Sheffield, about 250
acres, for £32.

The descendants of the early settlers on the River St. John will find
some very interesting information in the old accounts of Simonds &
White as to the date and manner of the arrival of their forefathers in
this country, and something too as regards their way of living.

In the early days of Maugerville it was quite a common occurrence for
an intending settler to leave his family in New England till he had
succeeded in making a small clearing and had built a log house for
their accommodation, and a hovel for such domestic animals as he chose
to bring with him. This in some measure explains the fact that while
according to the census of Michael Francklin there were 77 men in
Maugerville at the close of the year 1766 there were only 46 women.
Here is an example from the account books of Simonds & White which
will serve for illustration in this connection; it appears under date
August 18, 1769:--

  Nehemiah Hayward to Simonds & White, Dr.

  To his passage to Newbury in the Polly last March.   20s.
  His and wife's passage to this place                 20s.
  1 Cow, 10s.; 1 Child, 5s.                            15s.

Evidently Mr. Hayward had made a home for his wife and child on the
banks of the St. John and had now gone to bring them on from
Newburyport. His farm was in the lower part of Sheffield.

Most of the live stock for the Maugerville people was shipped from
Newburyport to St. John in the vessels of Hazen, Simonds and White.
One of the first horses in the settlement was owned by Ammi Howlet,
who paid £2 as freight for the animal in a sloop that arrived in May,

It is manifestly impossible to follow the history of every family
represented in the grantees of Maugerville. Of the 261 souls that
comprised the population of the township in 1767, all were natives of
America with the exception of six English, ten Irish, four Scotch and
six Germans. The majority were of Puritan stock and members of the
congregationalist churches of Massachusetts. Scarcely had they settled
themselves in their new possessions when they began the organization
of a church. Dr. James Hannay in his very interesting paper on the
Maugerville Settlement, published in the collections of the New
Brunswick Historical Society, gives a copy of the original church
covenant certified as correct by Humphrey Pickard, the church clerk.
The covenant is signed by Jonathan Burpee, Elisha Nevers, Richard
Estey, Daniel Palmer, Gervas Say, Edward Coy and Jonathan Smith. The
opening paragraph reads:

  "We whose names are hereto subscribed, apprehending ourselves
  called of God (for advancing of His Kingdom and edifying ourselves
  and posterity) to combine and embody ourselves into a distinct
  Church Society, and being for that end orderly dismissed from the
  Churches to which we heretofore belonged; do (as we hope) with
  some measure of seriousness and sincerity, take upon us the
  following covenant, viz.:--

  "As to matters of faith we cordially adhere to the principles of
  religion (at least the substance of them) contained in the Shorter
  Catechism of the Westminister Assembly of Divines wherewith also
  the New England Confession of Faith harmonizeth, not as supposing
  that there is any authority, much less infalibility, in these
  human creeds or forms; but verily believing that these principles
  are drawn from and agreeable to the Holy Scripture, which is the
  foundation and standard of truth; hereby declaring our utter
  dislike of the Pelagian Arminian principles, vulgarly so called.

  "In a firm belief of the aforesaid doctrines from an earnest
  desire that we and ours may receive the love of them and be saved
  with hopes that what we are now doing may be a means of so great
  an happiness; we do now (under a sense of our utter unworthiness
  of the honour and privileges of God's Covenant people) in solemn
  and yet free and cheerful manner give up ourselves and offspring
  to God the Father, to the Son the Mediator, and the Holy Ghost the
  instructor, sanctifier and comforter, to be henceforth the people
  and servants of this God, to believe in all His revalations, to
  accept of His method of reconciliation, to obey His commands, and
  to keep all His ordinances, to look to and depend upon Him to do
  all for us, and work all in us, especially relating to our eternal
  salvation, being sensible that of ourselves we can do nothing.

  "And it is also our purpose and resolution (by Divine assistance)
  to discharge the duties of Christian love and Brotherly
  watchfulness towards each other, to train up our children in the
  nurture and admonition of the Lord: to join together in setting up
  and maintaining the Publick worship of God among us, carefully and
  joyfully to attend upon Christ's Sacrament and institutions; to
  yield all obedience and submission to Him or them that shall from
  time to time in an orderly manner be made overseers of the flock,
  to submit to all the regular administrations and censures of the
  Church and to contribute all in our power unto the regularity and
  peaceableness of those administrations.

  "And respecting Church discipline it is our purpose to adhere to
  the method contained in the platform or the substance of it agreed
  upon by the synod at Cambridge in New England Ano. Dom. 1648 as
  thinking these methods of Church Discipline the nearest the
  Scripture and most likely to maintain and promote Purity, order
  and peace of any.

  "And we earnestly pray that God would be pleased to smile upon
  this our undertaking for His Glory, that whilst we thus subscribe
  with our hands, to the Lord and sirname ourselves by the Name of
  Israel; we may through grace given us become Israelites indeed in
  whom there is no Guile, that our hearts may be right with God and
  we be steadfast in His Covenant, that we who are now combining
  together in a new church of Jesus Christ, may by the purity of our
  faith and morals become one of those Golden Candlesticks among
  which the Son of God in way of favor and protection will
  condescend to walk. And that every member of it thro' imputed
  righteousness and inherent grace may hereafter be found among that
  happy Multitude whom the glorious head of the Church, the Heavenly
  Bridegroome shall present to Himself a glorious church not having
  spot or wrinkle or any such thing."

No date is attached to this church covenant, but it was in all
probability drawn up within a year or two of the date of arrival of
the first settlers. Jonathan Burpee, whose name comes first in the
order of signers, was a deacon in the church, and for some years the
leader in all church movements. He lived in that part of Sheffield
just above the Academy and was the ancestor of the Hon. Isaac Burpee,
who was minister of customs in the Mackenzie government, and of many
others of the name. His son, Jeremiah Burpee, lived beside him and a
grandson, David Burpee, was another neighbor.

It was not until some years after the organization of the church that
there was any settled minister on the St. John river and those
desirous of entering the holy estate of matrimony were obliged like
James Simonds to proceed to Massachusetts or to follow the example off
Gervas Say and Anna Russell, whose marriage is described in the
following unique document:--

  "Maugerville, February 23, 1766.

  "In the presence of Almighty God and this Congregation, Gervas Bay
  and Anna Russell, inhabitants of the above said township enter
  into marriage Covenant lawfully to dwell together in the fear of
  God the remaining part of our lives, in order to perform all ye
  duties necessary betwixt husband and wife as witness our hands.

    Daniel Palmer,            Gervas Say,
    Fras. Peabody,            Anna Say.
    Saml. Whitney,
    Richard Estey,
    George Hayward,
    David Palmer,
    Edwd. Coye.

Gervas Say was one of the signers of the church covenant as also were
three of the witnesses, Richard Estey, Daniel Palmer, and Edward Coye,
and it may be assumed that the marriage was regarded as perfectly
proper under the circumstances and it is not improbable that, in the
absence of a minister, this was the ordinary mode of marriage. Gervas
Say was afterwards a magistrate of the county and a man of integrity,
ability and influence.

During the earlier years of the settlement at Maugerville there was no
resident minister, but the place was occasionally visited by a
clergyman. It is said that the first religious teacher there was a Mr.
Wellman who came to Maugerville with some of the first settlers but
did not remain. There is nothing to show that when the church covenant
was signed, in the year 1765, there was any resident minister. The
Reverend Thomas Wood of Annapolis, a Church of England clergyman,
visited the River St. John in the Summer of 1769, and on Sunday, July
9th, landed at Maugerville, where he held service and had a
congregation of more than two hundred persons. He stated in his report
to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, that owing to the
fact that the congregation was composed chiefly of Dissenters from New
England, and that they had a Dissenting minister among them, only two
persons were baptised by him, but, he added, "if a prudent missionary
could be settled among them I believe all their prejudices would

The next year the little settlement had a minister, Zephaniah Briggs,
who remained from May to August, preaching on Sundays at the houses of
Daniel Palmer, Jacob Barker, Hugh Quinton, Jonathan Smith and Elisha
Nevers. After a while came a Mr. Webster who, like his predecessor,
seems to have been an itinerant preacher and did not tarry long.

It was not until the arrival of the Rev. Seth Noble[64], in 1774, that
the church had a resident pastor, but in the intervals religious
services were held on the Lord's Day at private houses, conducted by
the deacons and elders of the church, consisting of prayer and
exhortation, reading of a sermon and singing. Among the early deacons
were Jonathan Burpee, Samuel Whitney, John Shaw, and Humphrey Pickard.
The elders were chosen annually.

   [64] The Rev. Seth Noble was grandfather of the Rev. Joseph Noble who
        at this date (1904), is the oldest Free Baptist minister in
        the Province. For this information I am indebted to H. G.
        Noble of Woodstock, N. B.--W.O.R.

The records of the church, which are yet in existence, show that the
promise, made by the signers of the original covenant, to maintain
"Brotherly watchfulness toward each other," was by no means lost sight
of for many of the entries in the church records are devoted to
matters of discipline. In September, 1773, for example, two rather
prominent members of the church, Israel Kenny and Benjamin Brawn, were
called to account, and after due acknowledgment of their faults before
the congregation were "restored to their charity again." One of the
two offending brethren, who had been charged with "scandalous sins,"
was elected a ruling elder of the church less than two years

The year 1774, gave to Maugerville its first settled minister, the
Rev. Seth Noble, and the circumstances connected with his appointment
are thus stated in the minutes of the clerk of the church, Daniel

  "At a meeting held by the subscribers to a bond for the support of
  the Preached gospel among us at the House of Mr. Hugh Quinton
  inholder on Wednesday ye 15 of June 1774.

  1ly Chose Jacob Barker Esqr. Moderator in Sd. meeting.

  2ly Gave Mr. Seth Noble a call to settle in the work of the
  ministry among us.

  3ly to give Mr. Seth Noble as a settlement providing he accept of
  the call, one hundred and twenty Pounds currency.

  4ly Voted to give Mr. Seth Noble yearly salary of sixty five
  pounds currency so long as he shall continue our Minister to be in
  Cash or furs or grain at cash price.

  5ly. Chose Esqrs., Jacob Barker, Phinehas Nevers, Israel Pearly,
  Deacon Jonathan Burpee and Messrs. Hugh Quinton, Daniel Palmer,
  Moses Coburn, Moses Pickard a Committee to treat with Seth Noble.

  6ly Adjourned the meeting to be held at the House of Mr. Hugh
  Quinton on Wednesday ye 29 Instat, at four of the clock in the
  afternoon to hear the report of the committee.

  Met on the adjournment on Wednesday ye 29 of June 1774 and voted
  as an addition to the salary of Mr. Seth Noble if he should except
  of our Call, to cut and haul twenty five cords of wood to his
  house yearly so long as he shall continue to be our Minister. The
  meeting dissolved."


The call having been accepted by Mr. Noble, the people the following
year set about the erection of a meeting house, which was to serve
also as a residence for their pastor. In January, 1776, it was so far
advanced that the exterior was nearly completed, for in David Burpee's
book of accounts, under that date, there is a charge for work done by
Messrs. Plummer and Bridges in "clapboarding one third of the east end
of the meeting house." When finished the building was doubtless a very
unpretentious little structure not at all like a modern church edifice
and very unlike its successor, the Congregational church in Sheffield,
but it was the first Protestant place of worship erected on the River
St. John.

In the order of survey of the Township of Maugerville, made by the
Government of Nova Scotia in 1761, were the words "You shall Reserve
four Lots in the Township, for Publick use, one as a Glebe for the
Church of England, one of the Dissenting Protestants, one for the
maintenance of a School, and one for the first settled minister in the

In accordance with this arrangement Lot No. 15, where the Sheffield
Congregational church now stands, was fixed on in the year 1764 as a
glebe for the "Dissenting Protestants." Improvements were made upon
the lot and a part of it used as a burial ground. The first meeting
house, however, was not built there. It probably stood on lot 13, the
property of Jeremiah Burpee and later of his son, David Burpee. In the
church records we have the following minute bearing upon the subject,
the meaning of which, however, does not seem perfectly clear:--

  "At a meeting of the Subscribers for the support of the Preached
  Gospel held at the meeting house in Sheffield on the 15th day of
  December, 1788--

  Chose Mr. Daniel Jewett Chairman.

  "2ndly. Voted that the meeting house be set on the public lot in

  "3rdly. Voted to remove the meeting house in Maugerville to the
  public lot in Sheffield if the proprietor thereof consents

  "4thly. Chose Messers. Nathan Smith, Silvanus Plumer, Eben Briggs,
  Elijah Dingee and Jacob Barker, Esq., managers to remove the

The meeting house was removed early in the spring, placed upon a stone
foundation, a steeple erected, and many improvements made.

If the Rev. Seth Noble had remained he would doubtless have had a
grant of the lot reserved for the first settled minister in the
township, but his removal in the year 1777 not only lost him the lot
but caused it to pass eventually to the Rev. John Beardsley, rector of
the church of England congregation.

Some years after he left Maugerville Mr. Noble wrote to his former
congregation respecting this lot but they gave him rather a tart
reply: "You was indeed told," said they, "that there was a lot of land
in Maugerville reserved by Government to be given to the first settled
minister in fee simple, and had you continued as such undoubtedly you
would have obtained a grant of it. But when you left this country you
then (in the eyes of the government) forfeited all pretentions to that
privilege and the man that would ask for it in your behalf would only
get abuse. By your leaving us the dissenters have lost that privilege
and the Church of England minister gets the lot. Though we must
observe that during Mrs. Noble's residence here she had the
improvement of it which was worth about five pounds per annum."[65]

   [65] The lot here referred to was No. 60 in Upper Maugerville, now
        owned by Alexander and Walter Smith. Rev. Seth Noble was a
        warm sympathizer with the revolutionary party in America and
        in consequence was obliged to leave the River St. John in
        1777. His wife remained at Maugerville for more than two years

Lot No. 90, reserved as a glebe for the Church of England, is that on
which Christ Church in the Parish of Maugerville stands today. The
Congregational and Episcopal churches, at the time New Brunswick was
separated from Nova Scotia, represented respectively the Puritan and
Loyalist elements of the community, and their relations were by no
means cordial. Mutual antipathy existed for at least a couple of
generations, but the old wounds are now fairly well healed and the
causes of discord well nigh forgotten.

The intercourse between the Maugerville people and the smaller colony
at the mouth of river was so constant that it is difficult to speak of
the one without the other. For a few years the people living on the
river were in a large measure dependent for supplies upon the store
kept by Simonds and White at Portland Point, and the names of the
following Maugerville settlers are found in the ledger of Simonds and
White in the year 1765 and shortly after, viz.: Jacob Barker, Jacob
Barker jr., Thomas Barker, Jeremiah Burpee, David Burbank, Moses
Coburn, Thomas Christie, Zebulun Estey, Richard Estey, jr., John
Estey, Col. Beamsley Glacier, Joseph Garrison, Jonathan Hart, William
Harris, Nehemiah Hayward, Samuel Hoyt, Ammi Howlet, Daniel Jewett,
Richard Kimball, John Larlee, Peter Moores, Phinehas Nevers, Elisha
Nevers, Samuel Nevers, Capt. Francis Peabody, Samuel Peabody, Israel
Perley, Oliver Perley, Daniel Palmer, Humphrey Pickard, Hugh Quinton,
Nicholas Rideout, Jonathan Smith, John Shaw, Gervis Say, Isaac
Stickney, Samuel Tapley, Alexander Tapley, Giles Tidmarsh, John
Wasson, Jonathan Whipple and Samuel Whitney.

In return for goods purchased the settlers tendered furs, lumber,
occasionally an old piece of silver, sometimes their own labor and
later they were able to supply produce from their farms. Money they
scarcely ever saw. Very often they gave notes of hand which they found
it hard to pay. The furs they supplied were principally beaver skins
at five shillings (or one dollar) per pound. They also supplied
martin, otter and musquash skin, the latter at 4-1/2 pence each. The
lumber supplied included white oak barrel staves at 20 shillings per
thousand, red oak hogshead starves at 20 shillings per thousand, "Oyl
nut" (Butternut) staves at 16 shillings per thousand, clapboards at 25
shillings and oar rafters at £2 per thousand feet. Considering the
labor involved--for the manufacture was entirely by hand--prices seem
small; but it must be borne in mind that 2s. 6d. was a day's pay for a
man's labor at this time.

The Indians had for so long a time enjoyed a monopoly of the fur trade
that they regarded the white hunter with a jealous eye. Indeed in the
year 1765 they assembled their warriors and threatened to begin a new
war with the English. The settlers an the river were much alarmed and
the commandant of Fort Frederick, Capt. Pierce Butler, of the 29th
Regiment, doubled his sentries. Through the persuasion of the
commandant, assisted by Messrs. Simonds and White and other leading
inhabitants, the chiefs were induced to go to Halifax and lay their
complaints before the Governor. One of the most influential
inhabitants on the river accompanied them, whose name is not stated
but it was very probably James Simonds, at least he writes to his
partners at Newburyport in November of this year, "The dispute with
the Indians is all settled to the satisfaction of the government as
well as the Indians."

At their first interview the chiefs insisted that the white settlers
interfered with the rights of the Indians by encroaching on their
hunting grounds, clamming that it was one of the conditions of a
former treaty that the English settlers should not be allowed to kill
any wild game beyond the limits of their farms and improvements. They
demanded payment for the beavers, moose and other animals killed in
the forest by the settlers. The inhabitants of Maugerville were able
to prove that the charges brought against them were greatly
exaggerated, most of the wild animals having been killed not far from
their doors, while the aggregate of all animals slain by them was much
less than stated by the Indians. In the end the chiefs seemed to be
satisfied that they were mistaken and appeared ashamed of their
conduct in alarming the country without reason, but they still
insisted that the young warriors of their tribe would not be satisfied
without some compensation for the loss of their wild animals. The
Governor gave his decision as follows: "That although the grievances
the Indians had started were by no means sufficient to justify their
hostile proceedings, yet to do them ample justice, he would order to
be sent them a certain amount in clothing and provisions, provided
they would consider it full satisfaction for any injuries done by the
settlers; and that he would also send orders to restrain the settlers
from hunting wild animals in the woods." The chiefs accepted this
offer and the Indians remained tranquil until the American Revolution
some twelve years later.

One of the results of the conference seems to have been the
reservation to the Indians in the grant of the Township of Sunbury of
"500 acres, including a church and burying ground at Aughpack, and
four acres for a burying ground at St. Ann's Point, and the island
called Indian Island." The well known Maliseet chief, Ambroise St.
Aubin, was one of the leading negotiators at Halifax as appears by the
following pass furnished to him by Governor Wilmot:

  "Permit the bearer, Ambroise St. Aubin, chief of the Indians of
  St. John's river, to return there without any hindrance or
  molestation; and all persons are required to give him all
  necessary and proper aid and assistance on his journey.

  Given under my hand and seal at Halifax this 7th day of September,

  RICH'D BULKELEY, Secretary."



When the attention of James Simonds, was directed to the River St.
John, by the proclamation oaf Governor Lawrence inviting the
inhabitants of New England to settle on the vacant lands in Nova
Scotia, he was a young man of twenty-four years of age. His father had
died at Haverhill; August 15th, 1757. The next year he went with his
uncle, Capt. Hazen, to the assault of Ticonderoga, in the capacity of
a subaltern officer in the Provincial troops, and shortly after the
close of the campaign proceeded to Nova Scotia in order to find a
promising situation for engaging in trade. The fur trade was what he
had chiefly in mind at this time, but the Indians were rather
unfriendly, and he became interested along with Captain Peabody,
Israel Perley and other officers of the disbanded Massachusetts troops
in their proposed settlement on the River St John. His future partners
of the trading company formed in 1764 were, with the exception of Mr.
Blodget, even younger men than himself. William Hazen, of Newburyport,
had just attained to manhood and belonged to a corps of Massachusetts
Rangers, which served in Canada at the taking of Quebec. Samuel
Blodget was a follower of the army on Lake Champlain as a sutler.
James White was a young man of two-and-twenty years and had been for
some time Mr. Blodget's clerk or assistant. Leonard Jarvis--afterwards
Wm. Hazen's, business partner and so incidentally a member of the
trading company at St. John--was not then eighteen years of age.

While engaged in his explorations, James Simonds obtained from the
government of Nova Scotia the promise of a grant of 5,000 acres of
unappropriated lands, in such part of the province as he should
choose, and it was under this arrangement he entered upon the marsh
east of the city of St. John (called by the Indians "Seebaskastagan")
in the year 1762 and cut there a quantity of salt marsh hay and began
to made improvements.

Mr. Simonds says in one of his letters: "The accounts which I gave my
friends in New England of the abundance of Fish in the River and the
convenience of taking them, of the extensive Fur trade of the country,
and the natural convenience of burning Lime, caused numbers of them to
make proposals to be concerned with me in these branches of business,
among whom Mr. Hazen was the first that joined me in a trial.
Afterwards, in the year 1764, although I was unwilling that any should
be sharers with me in the Fur trade, which I had acquired some
knowledge of, yet by representations that superior advantage could be
derived from a Cod-fishery on the Banks and other branches of
commerce, which I was altogether unacquainted with, I joined in a
contract for carrying it on for that year upon an extensive plan with
Messrs. Blodget, Hazen, White, Peaslie and R. Simonds."

Early in 1763, James Simonds and William Hazen engaged in a small
venture in the way of trade and fishing at St. John and Passamaquoddy.
They had several men in their employ, including Ebenezer Eaton, master
of the sloop Bachelor, and Samuel Middleton, a cooper, who was
employed in making barrels for shipping the fish. Among others in the
employ of Simonds and his partners, several seem to have had a
previous acquaintance with St. John harbor; Moses Greenough, for
example, was there in 1758, and Lemuel Cleveland in 1757, when he says
"the French had a fort at Portland Point where Mr. Simonds' house was
afterwards built."

The following is a copy of what is probably the first document extant
in connection with the business of Hazen and Simonds:--

  Passamaquada, 26th July, 1763.

  Sir,--Please pay unto Mr. Ebenezer Eaton the sum of Five pounds
  one shilling & four pence Lawfull money, half cash & half Goods,
  and place the same to the acct. of,

  Yr. Humble Servant,
      Jas. Simonds.

  To Mr. William Hazen,
      Merchant in Newbury.

The success of their first modest little venture encouraged Hazen and
Simonds to undertake a more ambitious project, namely the formation of
a trading company to "enter upon and pursue with all speed and
faithfulness the business of the cod fishery, seine fishery, fur
trade, burning of lime and every other trading business that shall be
thought advantageous to the company at Passamaquoddy, St. Johns, Canso
and elsewhere in or near the province of Nova Scotia and parts

Evidently the project was regarded as in some measure an experiment,
for the contract provided, "the partnership shall continue certain for
the space of one year and for such longer time as all the partys shall
hereafter agree." Examination of the document shows that when first
written the period the contract was to continue was left blank and the
word "one" inserted before "year," evidently after consultation on the
part of those concerned.

Shortly before the formation of the trading company, James Simonds
went to Halifax to procure a grant of land at St. John and a license
to trade with the Indians, but did not at this time succeed in
obtaining the grant. However the governor gave him the following
license to occupy Portland Point:

  "License is hereby granted to James Simonds to occupy a tract or
  point of land on the north side of St. John's River, opposite Fort
  Frederick, for carrying on a fishery and for burning lime-stone,
  the said tract or point of land containing by estimation ten

  [Signed] "MONTAGU WILMOT."

  "Halifax, February 8, 1764.

Upon this land at Portland Point the buildings required for the
business of the company were built. The partnership was in its way a
"family compact." Samuel Blodget, was distantly related to Wm. Hazen
and the latter was a cousin of James and Richard Simonds; Robert
Peaslie's wife was Anna Hazen, sister of Wm. Hazen, and James White
was a cousin of Wm. Hazen. It was agreed that Blodget, Hazen and James
Simonds should each have one-fourth part in the business and profits,
the remaining fourth part to be divided amongst the juniors, Messrs.
White, Peaslie and Richard Simonds.

Blodget and Hazen were the principal financial backers of the
undertaking and agreed to provide, "at the expense of the company,"
the vessels, boats, tackling, and also all sorts of goods and stock
needed to carry on the trade, also to receive and dispose of the fish,
furs and other produce of trade sent to them from Nova Scotia. The
fishery and all other business at St. John and elsewhere in Nova
Scotia was to be looked after by the others of the company, and the
junior partners were to proceed with James Simonds to St. John and
work under his direction, so far as to be ruled by him "at all times
and in all things which shall relate to the good of the concerned
wherein the said White, Peaslie and R. Simonds shall differ in
judgment from the said James Simonds, tho' all parties do hereby
covenant in all things to consult and advise and act to the utmost of
their power for the best good and advantage of the Company."

It is evident that the plans of our first business concern at St. John
were not drawn up without due consideration.

There is no evidence to show that any of the partners except the
brothers Simonds had been at St. John previous to the year 1764. The
statement has been frequently made that James White visited the harbor
in 1762 in company with James Simonds and Capt. Francis Peabody, but
his own papers which are still in existence clearly prove that he was
almost constantly engaged in the employ of Samuel Blodget at Crown
Point during that year.

William Hazen and James Simonds were undoubtedly the prime movers in
the formation of the trading company that began its operations at St.
John in 1764. By their joint efforts they were able to organize a firm
seemingly happily constituted and likely to work together harmoniously
and successfully. As a matter of fact, however, the company had a very
chequered career and at length the war of the Revolution seemed likely
to involve them in financial ruin. This seeming calamity in the end
proved to be the making of their fortunes by sending the Loyalists in
thousands to our shores. But of all this more anon.

The financial backers of the company at the first were Hazen and
Blodget, who carried on business at Newburyport and Boston respectively.
These towns were then rising into importance and were rivals in
trade although it was not long until Boston forged ahead. The goods
required for trade with the Indians and white inhabitants of the
River St. John and the military garrison at Fort Frederick were
conveniently supplied from Newburyport and Boston, and these places
were good distributing centres for the fish, furs, lumber, lime and
other products obtained at St. John. The furs were usually sold in
London; the other articles were either sold in the local market or sent
to the West Indies.

The Company having been formed and the contract signed on the 1st day
of March, 1764, the Messrs. Simonds, James White, Jonathan Leavitt and
a party of about thirty hands embarked on board a schooner belonging
to the Company for the scene of operations. The men were fishermen,
laborers, lime burners, with one or two coopers--a rough and ready
lot, but with one or two of superior intelligence to act as foremen.
Comparatively few of the men seem to have become permanent settlers,
yet as members of the little colony at Portland Point and almost the
first English-speaking residents of St. John, outside of the Fort
Frederick garrison, their names are worthy to be recorded. The
following may be regarded as a complete list: James Simonds, James
White, Jonathan Leavitt, Jonathan Simonds, Samuel Middleton, Peter
Middleton, Edmund Black, Moses True, Reuben Stevens, John Stevens,
John Boyd, Moses Kimball, Benjamin Dow, Thomas Jenkins, Batcheldor
Ring, Rowley Andros, Edmund Butler, John Nason, Reuben Mace, Benjamin
Wiggins, John Lovering, John Hookey, Rueben Sergeant, Benjamin
Stanwood, Benjamin Winter, Anthony Dyer, Webster Emerson, George
Carey, John Hunt, George Berry, Simeon Hillyard, Ebenezer Fowler,
William Picket and Ezekiel Carr.

The Company's schooner, with William Story as master, sailed from
Newburyport about the 10th of April, arriving at Passamaquody on the
14th, and at St. John on the 18th. The men set to work immediately on
their arrival, and the quietude that had reigned beneath the shadow of
Fort Howe hill was broken by the sound of the woodsman's axe and the
carpenter's saw and hammer. Among the first buildings erected were a
log store 20 feet by 30 feet, a dwelling house 19 feet by 35 feet, and
a building adjoining it 16 by 40, rough boarded and used as a cooper's
shop, kitchen and shelter for the workmen.

Portland Point lies at the foot of Portland street at the head of St.
John harbor--the locality is better known today as "Rankin's Wharf."
Before the wharves in the vicinity were built the Point was quite a
conspicuous feature in the contour of the harbor. The site of the old
French fort on which James Simonds' house was built, with the
company's store hard by, is now a green mound unoccupied by any
building. The place was at first commonly called "Simonds' Point" but
about the year 1776 the name of "Portland Point" seems to have come
into use. Nevertheless, down to the time of the arrival of the
Loyalists in 1783, the members of the company always applied the names
of "St. Johns" or "St. John's River" to the scene of their operations,
and it may be said that in spite of the attempt of the French governor
Villebon and his contemporaries to perpetuate the old Indian name of
Menaquesk, or Menagoeche, and of Governor Parr in later years to affix
the name of "Parr-town" to that part of our city to the east of the
harbor, the name given by de Monts and Champlain on the memorable 24
June, 1604, has persisted to the present day. The city of ST. JOHN,
therefore, has not only the honor of being the oldest incorporated
city in the British colonies, but traces the origin of its name to a
known and fixed date three hundred years ago. Indeed as regards its
name St. John is older than Boston, New York, Philadelphia or any city
of importance on the Atlantic coast as far south as Florida.

However the first English colonists who established themselves on a
permanent footing at "St. John's" thought little of this historic
fact. It was not sentiment but commercial enterprise than guided

Among those who came to St. John with Simonds and White in April,
1764, none was destined to play a more active and useful part than
young Jonathan Leavitt. He was a native of New Hampshire and at the
time of his arrival was in his eighteenth year. Young as he was he had
some experience as a mariner, and from 1764 to 1774 was employed as
master of one or other of the Company's vessels. He sailed chiefly
between St. John and Newburyport, but occasionally made a voyage to
the West Indies. He received the modest compensation of £4 per month
for his services. In the course of time Mr. Leavitt came to be one of
the most trusted navigators of the Bay of Fundy and probably none knew
the harbor of St. John so well as he. In his testimony in a law suit,
about the year 1792, he states that in early times the places of
anchorage in the harbor were the flats on the west side between Fort
Frederick and Sand Point, which were generally used by strangers, and
Portland Point where the vessels of the Company lay. It was not until,
1783 that vessels began to anchor at the Upper Cove (now the Market
Slip), that place being until then deemed rather unsafe. Jonathan
Leavitt and has brother Daniel piloted to their landing places the
transport ships that carried some thousands of Loyalists to our shores
during the year 1783.

Jonathan Leavitt gives an interesting synopsis of the business carried
on at St. John under the direction of Simonds and White: "The
Company's business included Fishery, Fur trade, making Lime, building
Vessels and sawing Lumber, and they employed a great number of
laborers and workmen in cutting wood, burning lime, digging stone,
cutting hoop-poles, clearing roads, clearing land, curing fish,
cutting hay and attending stock. The workmen and laborers were
supported and paid by the partnership and lived in the outhouse and
kitchen of the house occupied by Simonds and White. There was a store
of dry goods and provisions and articles for the Indian trade."

When he was at St. John, Leavitt lived in the family of Simonds and
White who lived together during the greater part of the ten years he
was in the Company's employ, and when they separated their families he
staid sometimes with one and sometimes with the other. Simonds and
White were supplied with bread, meat and liquors for themselves and
families from the store, and no account was kept whilst they lived
together, but after they separated they were charged against each
family; the (workmen also were maintained, supported and fed from the
joint stock of the store, as it was considered they were employed for
the joint benefit of the company, but liquors and articles supplied on
account of their wages were charged against the individual accounts of
the men. Part of the workmen and laborers were hired by William Hazen
and sent from Newburyport, others were engaged by Simonds and White at
the River St. John.

About the year 1772 Jonathan Leavitt married Capt. Francis Peabody's
youngest daughter, Hephzibeth, then about sixteen years of age, and
thus became more closely identified with James Simonds and James
White, whose wives were also daughters of Capt. Peabody.[66]

   [66] The concluding part of Capt. Peabody's will is of interest in
        connection with the above:

          "Item, I give to my daughter Elizabeth White thirty
          dollars to be paid by my two eldest sons in household

          "Item, to my daughter Hannah Simonds five dollars to be
          paid by my two eldest sons.

          "Item, to my daughter Hephzibeth I give three hundred
          dollars to be paid by my two eldest sons in household
          goods on the day of her marriage.

          As to my household goods and furniture I leave to the
          discretion of my loving wife to dispose of, excepting my
          sword, which I give to my son Samuel. I appoint my dear
          wife and my son Samuel executors of this my last Will and

          As witness my hand,
          FRANCIS PEABODY, Sr.

            Delivered this 26th day of October
            the year of our Lord 1771,
            In presence of us

            ISRAEL KINNEY,
            PHINEHAS NEVERS.

          BENJAMIN ATHERTON, Registrar.

          This Will was proved, approved, and registered this 25th
          day of June, 1773.

          JAMES SIMONDS,
          Judge of Probate.

When Jonathan and Daniel Leavitt had for several years been engaged in
sailing the company's vessels, it is said that they became discouraged
at the outlook and talked of settling themselves at some place where
there was a larger population and more business. James White did his
best to persuade them to remain, closing his argument with the
exhortation, "Don't be discouraged, boys! Keep up a good heart! Why
ships will come here from England yet!" And they have come.

In addition to the Leavitts and the masters of some of the other
vessels, who were intelligent men, nearly all at St. John were
ordinary laborers: however, the company from time to time employed
some capable young fellows to assist in the Store at the Point. One of
these was Samuel Webster, whose mother was a half-sister of James
Simonds. He remained nearly four years at St. John, during which time
he lived in the family of Simonds and White. While he was at St. John
goods were shipped to Newburyport and the West Indies by the Company
in considerable quantities. There were he says at times a very
considerable number of workmen and laborers employed, and at other
times a smaller number, according to the time of year, and as the
nature of the employment required. The laborers were fed, supported
and paid out of the store, and lived in a house only a few rods from
Mr. Simonds' house. Emerson spent most of his time in the store,
buying and selling and delivering small articles. He generally made
the entries in the Day Book.

Another lad, Samuel Emerson, of Bakerstown, Massachusetts, came to St.
John with James Simonds in April, 1767, as a clerk or assistant in the
store, and remained nearly four years in the Company's service.

At the expiration of the first year several changes occurred in the
Company. Richard Simonds had died on the 20th January, 1765. Robert
Peaslie seems not to have come to St. John, although it was stipulated
in the contract that he should do so, and early in 1765 he withdrew
from the Company. In the autumn of 1764, Leonard Jarvis, a young man
of twenty-two years of age, became associated with William Hazen as
co-partner in his business in Newburyport and became by common consent
a sharer in the business at St. John. So far as we can judge from his
letters, Mr. Jarvis was a man of excellent business ability. The
accounts kept at Newburyport in connection with the Company's business
are in his handwriting and he attended to most of the correspondence
with the St. John partners.

The writer of this history has among his historic documents and papers
a number of account books in a very fair state of preservation,
containing in part the transactions of the company during the years
they were in business at St. John. One of these, a book of nearly 100
pages, ordinary foolscap size with stout paper cover, is of special
interest for it contains the record of the initial transactions of the
first business firm established at St. John a hundred and forty years
ago. At the top of the first page are the words

                        Day Book No. 1.
                        1764. St. Johns River.

The book is intact and very creditably kept. The entries are in the
hand writing of James White. The accounts during the continuance of
the partnership were kept in New England currency or "Lawful money of
Massachusetts." The letters L. M. were frequently employed to
distinguish this currency from sterling money and Nova Scotia
currency. The value of the Massachusetts currency was in the
proportion of £1 sterling to £1. 6s. 8d. L. M.; the Nova Scotia
dollar, or five shillings, was equivalent to six shillings L. M. It is
a fact worth recording, that the Massachusetts currency was used in
all ordinary business transactions on the River St. John down to the
time of the arrival of the Loyalists in 1783. This fact suffices to
show how close were the ties that bound the pre-loyalist settlers of
the province to New England, and it is scarcely a matter of surprise
that during the Revolution the Massachusetts congress found many
sympathizers on the River St. John.

While accounts were kept according to the currency of New England, the
amount of cash handled by Simonds and White was insignificant. For
years they supplied the settlers on the river with such things as they
required often receiving their payment in furs and skins. In securing
these the white inhabitants became such expert hunters and trappers as
to arouse the jealousy of the Indians and to give rise to the
pseudo-nym "the bow and arrow breed," applied to them by some of the
half-pay officers who settled among them at the close of the American
Revolution. With the Indians the trade was almost entirely one of
barter, the staple article being the fur of the spring beaver.

The fur trade assumed large proportions at this period. The account
books of Simonds and White that are now in existence do not contain a
complete record of all the shipments made from St. John, but they show
that during ten years of uninterrupted trade from the time of their
settlement at Portland Point to the outbreak of the Revolution, they
exported at least 40,000 beaver skins, 11,022 musquash, 6,050 Marten,
870 otter, 258 fisher, 522 Mink, 120 fox, 140 sable, 74 racoon, 67
loup-cervier, 8 wolverene, 5 bear, 2 Nova Scotia wolf, 50 carriboo, 85
deer, and 1,113 moose, besides 2,265 lbs. of castor and 3,000 lbs of
feathers, the value of which according to invoice was £11,295 or about
$40,000. The prices quoted are but a fraction of those of modern days
and by comparison appear ridiculously small. Other traders were
engaged in traffic with the Indians also, and if Messrs. Simonds and
White sent on an average 4,000 beaver skins to New England every year,
it is manifest that the fur trade of the river was a matter of some

James White was the principal agent in bartering with the Indians who
had every confidence in his integrity. Three-fourths of their trade
was in beaver skins and "a pound of spring beaver" (equivalent to 5
shillings in value) was the unit employed in trade. Mr. White was
usually called by the Indians "K'wabeet" or "Beaver." It is said that
in business with the Indians the fist of Mr. White was considered to
weigh a pound and his foot two pounds both in buying and selling. But
the same story is told of other Indian traders. The Indians were fond
of finery and ornaments. Among the articles sent by Samuel Blodget in
1764 were nine pairs of green, scarlet and blue plush breeches at a
guinea each; one blue gold laced jacket and two scarlet gold laced
jackets valued at £3 each; also spotted ermine jackets, ruffled
shirts and three gold laced beaver hats (value of the latter £8 6s.
4d.) These may seem extravagant articles for the Indians yet their
chiefs and captains bought them and delighted to wear them on special
occasions.[67] It was customary in trading with the savages to take
pledges from them, for the payment of their debts, silver trinkets,
armclasps, medals, fuzees, etc. In the autumn of 1777 a Yankee
privateer from Machias, whose captain bore the singular name A. Greene
Crabtree, plundered Simonds & White's store at Portland Point and
carried off a trunk full of Indian pledges. This excited the
indignation of the Chiefs Pierre Thoma and Francis Xavier who sent the
following communication to Machias: "We desire you will return into
the hands of Mr. White at Menaguashe the pledges belonging to us which
were plundered last fall out of Mr. Hazen's store by A. Greene
Crabtree, captain of one of your privateers; for if you don't send
them we will come for them in a manner you won't like."

   [67] Col. John Allan, of Machias, had a conference with the Indians
        at Aukpaque in June, 1777, and writes in his journal: "The
        Chiefs made a grand appearance, particularly Ambrose St.
        Aubin, who was dressed in a blue Persian silk waistcoat four
        inches deep, and scarlet knee breeches: also gold laced hat
        with white cockade."

The goods kept in the store at Portland Point for the Indian trade
included powder and shot for hunting, provisions, blankets and other
"necessaries" and such articles as Indian needles, colored thread,
beads of various colors, a variety of buttons--brass buttons, silver
plated buttons, double-gilt buttons, scarlet buttons and blue mohair
buttons--scarlet blue and red cloth, crimson broadcloth, red and blue
stroud, silver and gold laced hats, gilt trunks, Highland garters,
silver crosses, round silver broaches, etc., etc.

The old account books bear evidence of being well thumbed, for Indian
debts were not easy to collect, and white men's debts were harder to
collect in ancient than in modern days. In point of fact the red man
and the white man of the River St. John ran a close race in their
respective ledgers. For in a statement of accounts rendered after the
operations of the company had lasted rather more than two years, the
debts due were as follows: From the English £607 11s. 9d. and from the
Indians £615 7s. 9d. Old and thumb-worn as the account books are,
written with ink that had often been frozen and with quill pens that
often needed mending, they are extremely interesting as relics of the
past, and are deserving of a better fate than that which awaited them
when by the merest accident they were rescued from a dismal heap of

In their business at Portland Point, Simonds and White kept four sets
of accounts: one for their Indian trade, a second for their business
with the white inhabitants, a third for that with their own employees,
and a fourth for that with the garrison at Fort Frederick.

In glancing over the leaves of the old account books the first thing
likely to attract attention is the extraordinary consumption of West
India spirits and New England rum. This was by no means confined to
the Company's laborers, for at that time the use of rum as a beverage
was almost universal. It was dispensed as an ordinary act of
hospitality and even the preacher cheerfully accepted the proffered
cup. It was used in winter to keep out the cold and in summer to keep
out the heat. It was in evidence alike at a wedding or a funeral. No
barn-raising or militia general muster was deemed to be complete
without the jug, and in process of time the use of spirits was so
habitual that Peter Fisher was able to quote statistics in 1824 to
prove that the consumption of ardent liquors was nearly twenty gallons
per annum for every male person above sixteen years of age. While the
use of rum may be regarded as the universal custom of the day, at the
same time tobacco was not in very general use. The use of snuff,
however, was quite common.

In the course of a few years the variety of articles kept in stock at
the company's store increased surprisingly until it might be said they
sold everything "from a needle to an anchor." The paces at which some
of the staple articles were quoted appear in the foot note.[68] Among
other articles in demand were fishing tackle, blue rattan and
fear-nothing jackets, milled caps, woollen and check shirts, horn and
ivory combs, turkey garters, knee buckles, etc. Among articles that
strike us as novel are to be found tin candlesticks, brass door knobs,
wool cards, whip-saws, skates, razors and even mouse traps. Writing
paper was sold at 1s. 3d. per quire. The only books kept in stock were
almanacks, psalters, spelling books and primers.

   [68] Flour pr. bbl., £2 2 6; Indian corn pr. bushel, 5 shillings;
        potatoes do., 2s. 6d.; apples do., 2s. 6d.; butter pr. lb.,
        9d.; cheese pr. lb., 6d.; chocolate pr. lb., 1s.; tea per lb.,
        7s.; coffee per lb., 1s. 3d.; pepper pr. lb., 3s.; brown sugar
        7d., per lb.; loaf sugar, 1s. 2d. per lb.; raisins, 9s. per
        lb.; tobacco, 7d. per lb.; salt, 10d. per peck; molasses, 2s.
        6d. per gallon; New England rum, 1s. 6d. per quart; West India
        do., 2s. 6d. per quart; beef, 4d. per lb.; pork, 6d. per lb.;
        veal, 3-1/2d. per lb.; cider, 12s. to 18s. pr. bbl.

        Boots, 20s.; men's shoes, 6s.; women's do., 5s.; men's pumps,
        8s.; mittens, 1s. 6d. hose, 4s.; beaver hat, 20s.; black silk
        handkerchief, 6s. 9d.; check handkerchief, 2s. 6d.;.
        broadcloth, 10s pr. yd.; red stroud, 8s. per yd.; scarlet
        German serge, 8s. per yd.; scarlet shalloon, 3s. 9d. per yd.;
        English duck, 1s. 9d. pr. yd.; white blanket, 13s. 3d.; 1 oz.
        thread, 6d.; 1 doz. jacket buttons, 7-1/2d.; pins, 1 M., 9d.

        Axe, 6s. 3d.; knife, 1s.; board nails. 1s. 2d. per C.; ten
        penny nails, 50 for 8d.; double tens, 1s. 7d. per C.; shingle
        nails, 6d. per C.; 1 pane glass (7 by 9), 6d.; pewter
        porringer, 1s. 8d.; looking glass, 16s.; steel trap, 15s.;
        powder, 2s. 6d. per lb.; shot, 5d. per lb.; buckshot, 1s. 3d.
        per lb.; 6 flints, 6d.

Still though the variety at first glance seems greater than might have
been expected, a little further inspection will satisfy us that the
life of that day was one of extreme simplicity, of luxuries there were
few, and even the necessaries of life were sometimes scanty enough.

One hundred and forty years have passed since James Simonds and James
White set themselves down at the head of Saint John harbor as pioneers
in trade to face with indomitable energy and perseverance the
difficulties of their situation. These were neither few nor small, but
they were Massachusetts men and in their veins there flowed the blood
of the Puritans. The determination that enabled their progenitors to
establish themselves around the shores of the old Bay States upheld
them in the scarcely less difficult task of creating for themselves a
home amidst the rocky hillsides that encircled the Harbor of St.

Today the old pioneers of 1764 would hardly recognize their ancient
landmarks. The ruggedness of old Men-ah-quesk has in a great measure
disappeared; valleys have been filled and hills cut down. The
mill-pond where stood the old tide mill is gone and the Union depot
with its long freight sheds and maze of railway tracks occupies its
place. "Mill" street and "Pond" street alone remain to tell of what
has been. The old grist mill near Lily Lake and its successors have
long since passed away. It certainly was with an eye to business and
not to pleasure, that Hazen, Simonds and White built the first roadway
to Rockwood Park. Could our pioneers in trade revisit the scene of
their labors and note the changes time has wrought what would be their
amazement? They would hardly recognize their surroundings. Instead of
rocks and crags covered with spruce and cedar, with here and there an
open glade, and the wide spreading mud flats at low tide they would
behold the wharves that line our shores, the ocean steamships lying in
the channel, grain elevators that receive the harvests of Canadian
wheat-fields two thousand miles away, streets traversed by electric
cars and pavements traversed by thousands of hurrying feet, bicyclists
darting hither and thither, squares tastefully laid out and adorned
with flowers, public buildings and residences of goodly proportions
and by no means devoid of beauty, palatial hotels opening their doors
to guests from every clime, institutions for the fatherless and the
widow, the aged, the poor, the unfortunate, the sick the insane,
churches with heaven directing spires, schools whose teachers are
numbered by the hundred and pupils by the thousand, public libraries,
courts of justice and public offices of nearly every description,
business establishments whose agents find their way into every nook
and corner of old-time Acadie, railways and steamboats that connect
the city with all parts of the globe, splendid bridges that span the
rocky gorge at the mouth of the St. John where twice in the course of
every twenty-four hours the battle, old as the centuries, rages
between the outpouring torrent of the mighty river and the inflowing
tide of the bay.

A few years since the writer of this history in an article in the New
Brunswick Magazine endeavored to contrast a Saturday night of the
olden time with one of modern days.[69]

   [69] New Brunswick Magazine of October, 1898, p. 190.

[Illustration: A COTTAGE OF TODAY.]

"Saturday night in the year 1764--The summer sun sinks behind the
hills and the glow of evening lights the harbor. At the landing place
at Portland Point, one or two fishing boats are lying on the beach,
and out a little from the shore a small square sterned schooner lies
at her anchor. The natural lines of the harbor are clearly seen. In
many places the forest has crept down nearly to the water's edge.
Wharves and shipping there are none. Ledges of rock, long since
removed, crop up here and there along the harbor front. The silence
falls as the day's work is ended at the little settlement, and the
sound of the waters rushing through the falls seems, in the absence of
other sounds, unnaturally predominant. Eastward of Portland Pond we
see the crags and rocks of the future city of the Loyalists, the
natural ruggedness in some measure hidden by the growth of dark spruce
and graceful cedar, while in the foreground lies the graceful curve
of the "Upper Cove" where the forest fringes the waters edge. We may
easily cross in the canoe of some friendly Indian and land where, ten
years later, the Loyalists landed, but we shall find none to welcome
us. The spot is desolate, and the stillness only broken by the
occasional cry of some wild animal, the song of the bird in the forest
and the ripple of waves on the shore.

The shadows deepen as we return to the Point, and soon the little
windows of the settlers' houses begin to glow. There are no curtains
to draw or blinds to pull down or shutters to close in these humble
dwellings, but the light, though unobstructed shines but feebly, for
'tis only the glimmer of a tallow candle that we see or perhaps the
flickering of the firelight from the open chimney that dances on the

In the homes of the dwellers at St. John Saturday night differs little
from any other night. The head of the house is not concerned about the
marketing or telephoning to the grocer; the maid is not particularly
anxious to go "down town;" the family bath tub may be produced (and on
Monday morning it will be used for the family washing), but the hot
water will not be drawn from the tap. The family retire at an early
hour, nor are their slumbers likely to be disturbed by either fire
alarm or midnight train. And yet in the olden times the men, we doubt
not, were wont to meet on Saturday nights at the little store at the
Point to compare notes and to talk over the few topics of interest in
their monotonous lives. We seem to see them even now--a little
coterie--nearly all engaged in the company's employ, mill hands,
fishermen, lime-burners, laborers, while in a corner James White pores
over his ledger posting his accounts by the light of his candle and
now and again mending his goose-quill pen. But even at the store the
cheerful company soon disperses; the early-closing system evidently
prevails, the men seek their several abodes and one by one the lights
in the little windows vanish. There is only one thing to prevent the
entire population from being in good time for church on Sunday
morning, and that is there is not any church for them to attend.

Then and now! We turn from our contemplation of Saturday night as we
have imagined it in 1764 to look at a modern Saturday night in St.
John. No greater contrast can well be imagined. Where once were dismal
shades of woods and swamps, there is a moving gaily-chattering crowd
that throngs the walks of Union, King and Charlotte streets. The
feeble glimmer of the tallow candle in the windows of the few houses
at Portland Point has given place to the blaze of hundreds of electric
lights that shine far out to sea, twinkling like bright stars in the
distance, and reflected from the heavens, serving to illuminate the
country for miles around. Our little knot of villagers in the olden
days used to gather in their one little store to discuss the day's
doing; small was the company, and narrow their field of observation;
and their feeble gossip is today replaced by the rapid click of the
telegraph instruments, the rolling of the steam-driven printing press
and the cry of the newsboy at every corner; the events of all the
continents are proclaimed in our streets almost as soon as they

And yet from all the luxury and ease, as well as from the anxiety and
cares of busy modern days, we like sometimes to escape and get a
little nearer to the heart of nature and to adopt a life of rural
simplicity not far removed from that which once prevailed at Portland
Point, content with some little cottage, remote from the hurry and din
of city life in which to spend the good old summer time."



The circumstances under which the trading company of Blodget, Simonds,
Hazen, Peaslie, White and Richard Simonds was organized in 1764 have
been already described. The original contract is yet in existence and
in a very excellent state of preservation. It is endorsed "Contract
for St. Johns & Passamaquodi."[70] A fac-simile of the signatures
appended to it is here given.

   [70] The contract was drawn with much care and has been preserved in
        the Collections of the N. B. Historical Society, Vol. I., p.

[Illustration: Signatures]

A short account may be given of each member of the partnership.

Samuel Blodget was a Boston man, somewhat older than the other members
of the company, careful and shrewd, possessed of some money and little
learning. He had been associated with William Hazen in contracts for
supplying the troops on Lake Champlain in the recent French war; there
seems to have been also a remote family connection between Samuel
Blodget and James Simonds. Mr. Blodget's connection with the company
lasted a little more than two years. During this time a considerable
part of the furs, fish, lime and lumber obtained by Simonds and White
at the River St. John were consigned to him at Boston. In return
Blodget supplied goods for the Indian trade and other articles needed,
but his caution proved a source of dissatisfaction to the other
partners and Hazen & Jarvis at the end of the first year's business
wrote to Simonds & White, "Mr. Blodget tells us that he never expected
to advance more than a quarter of the outsets. We think in this he
does not serve us very well, as we can't see into the reason of our
advancing near three-quarters and doing more than ten times the
business and his having an equal share of the profits. Pray give us
your opinion on that head. You may rest assured that we will not leave
one stone unturned to keep you constantly supply'd and believe, even
if we should not have the requisite assistance from Mr. Blodget, we
shall be able to effect it." To this James Simonds replies, "With
respect to Mr. Blodget's not advancing more than precisely 1/4 part of
the outsets is what I never before understood; I am sure by his
situation that he can do but a little part of the Business and
therefore think he ought to excell in his proportion of Supplys rather
than to fall short."

A second year of the partnership passed and Samuel Blodget became
exceedingly serious about the ultimate outcome of the venture. He
wrote a letter on the 18th March, 1766, to Simonds & White of which
the extract that follows is a part:

  "I have been Largely concerned in partnerships before Now but
  Never so Ignorant of any as of the present, which I am willing to
  Impute it to your hurry of Business, But Let me Tell you that
  partners are in a high degree guilty of Imprudence to Continue a
  Large Trade for Two years without Settling or knowing whether they
  have Lost a hundred pounds or not--although they may be ever so
  Imersed in Business, for the Sooner they Stop the better, provided
  they are Losing money--as it seames in Mr. Hazen's oppinion we
  have Lost money--perhaps you may Know to the Contrary. But then
  how agreable would it be to me (who have a Large Sum in your
  hands) to know as much as you do. Pray Suffer me to ask you, can
  you wonder to find me anxious about my Interest when I am so
  Ignorant what it is in? I am sure you don't Gent'n. I am not in
  doubt of your Integrity. I think I know you Both Two well. But
  common prudence calls Loudly upon us all to adjust our accounts as
  soon as may be. I have not the Least Line under yours and Mr.
  White's hands that the Articles which we signed the first years,
  which was dated the First of March, 1764,--which was but for one
  yeare--should Continue to the present Time, nor do I doubt your
  onour, but Still mortallety Requiyers it to be done and I should
  take it Coind to Receive Such a Righting sent by both of you."

Mr. Blodget's uneasiness as to the outcome of the business was set at
rest very shortly after he wrote the above, for on April 5th Hazen and
Jarvis tell their partners at St. John:--

  "We have purchased Mr. Blodget's Interest, for which we are to pay
  him his outsetts. We are in hopes that we shall be able to carry
  on the Business better without than with him. * * We must beg you
  would be as frugal as possible in the laying out of any money that
  benefits will not be immediately reaped from, and that you will
  make as large remittances as you possibly can to enable us to
  discharge the Company's debt to Blodget, for we shall endeavor all
  in our power to discharge our obligations to him as we do not
  chuse to lay at his Mercy."

Thus it appears that if Samuel Blodget's two years connection with the
company was not greatly to his advantage, it did him no material
injury. From this time he ceases to have any interest for us in the
affairs at Portland Point.

James Simonds, whose name is second among the signers of the
business contract of 1764, may be regarded as the founder of the
first permanent settlement at the mouth of the River St. John. His
most remote ancestor in America was William Simonds of Woburn,
Massachusetts. This William Simonds married Judith Phippen, who came
to America in the ship "Planter" in 1635. Tradition says that as
the vessel drew near her destination land was first described by
Judith Phippen, which proved to be the headland now called "Point
Judith." Among the passengers of the "Planter" were the ancestors
of many well known families in America, bearing the familiar names
of Peabody, Perley, Beardsley, Carter, Hayward, Reed, Lawrence,
Cleveland, Davis and Peters. In 1643 Judith Phippen became the
wife of William Simonds. The house in which they lived at Woburn,
Mass., and where their twelve children were born, is probably yet
standing--at least it was when visited a few years since by one of
their descendants living in this province. William Simonds' tenth
child, James, was the grandfather of our old Portland Point pioneer.
He married Susanna Blodget and their sixth child, Nathan, was the
father of James Simonds, who came to St. John. Nathan Simonds married
Sarah Hazen of Haverhill, an aunt of William Hazen, and their oldest
child James (the subject of this sketch) was born at Haverhill,
December 10, 1735.

James Simonds, as mentioned in a former chapter, served in "the old
French war" and was with his cousin Captain John Hazen in the campaign
against Fort Ticonderoga. His subsequent career we have already
touched upon and he will naturally continue to be a leading character
in the story of the early history of St. John. He was evidently a man
of stout constitution and vigor of body, for he not only survived all
his contemporaries who came to St. John, but he outlived every member
of the first New Brunswick legislature and every official appointed by
the crown at the organization of the province. He passed to his rest
in the house he had built at Portland Point at the patriarchal age of
95 years. His widow Hannah (Peabody) Simonds died in 1840 at the age
of 90 years.

Of James Simonds' large family of fourteen children several were
prominent in the community. Hon. Charles Simonds was for years the
leading citizen of Portland. He was born the same year the Loyalists
landed in St. John, and was a member for St. John county in the
House of Assembly from 1821 until his death in 1859, filling during
that time the positions of speaker and leader of the government.
Hon. Richard Simonds, born in 1789, represented the county of
Northumberland in the House of Assembly when but twenty-one years of
age and sat from 1810 to 1828, when he was appointed treasurer of the
province. He filled for a short time the position of speaker of
the assembly, and from 1829 until his death in 1836 was a member of
the Legislative Council. Sarah, one of the daughters of James
Simonds, married (Sept. 10, 1801) Thomas Millidge, the ancestor of the
Millidges of St. John; her youngest sister Eliza married (Aug. 9,
1801) Henry Gilbert, merchant of St. John, from whom the members of
this well known family are descended.

William Hazen, the third of the signers of the partnership contract,
was born in Haverhill July 17, 1738. His great-grandfather, Edward
Hazen, the first of the name in America, was a resident of Rowley,
Massachusetts, as early as the year 1649. By his wife Hannah Grant he
had four sons and seven daughters. The youngest son Richard, born
August 6, 1669, inherited the large estate of his stepfather, George
Browne, of Haverhill. This Richard Hazen was grandfather of James
Simonds as well as of William Hazen; he married Mary Peabody and had a
family of five sons and six daughters (one of the latter was the
mother of James Simonds.) The third son, Moses Hazen was the ancestor
of the Hazens of New Brunswick.

The wife of Moses Hazen was Abigail White, aunt of James White who
came to St. John. Their sons John, Moses and William have a special
interest for us. John, the oldest distinguished himself as a captain
of the Massachusetts troops in the French war. He married Anne Swett
of Haverhill, and had a son John, who came with his uncle William to
St. John in 1775 and settled at Burton on the River St. John, where he
married Dr. William McKinstry's daughter, Priscilla, and had a family
of twelve children. J. Douglas Hazen, of St. John, M. P. P., for
Sunbury County, is one of his descendants.

Moses Hazen, the second son has been mentioned as commander of one of
the companies of the Fort Frederick garrison in 1759; he became a
Brigadier General in the American army in the Revolutionary war.

William Hazen, the third son and co-partner of Simonds and White, was
born in Haverhill, July 17, 1738. He married, July 14, 1764, Sarah Le
Baron of Plymouth.

Their family was even larger than that of James Simonds and included
sixteen children. Of these Elizabeth married the elder Ward Chipman,
Judge of the Supreme Court, and at the time of his death in 1824
administrator of government; Sarah Lowell married Thomas Murray
(grandfather of the late Miss Frances Murray of St. John, one of the
cleverest women the province has ever produced) and after his early
decease became the wife of Judge William Botsford--their children were
Senator Botsford, George Botsford and Dr. Le Baron Botsford; Charlotte
married General Sir John Fitzgerald; Frances Amelia married Col.
Charles Drury of the imperial army, father of the late Ward Chipman

Among the more distinguished descendants of William Hazen by the
male line were Hon. Robert L. Hazen--popularly known as "Curly
Bob"--recorder of the city of St. John, a very eminent leader in
our provincial politics and at the time of his death a Canadian
senator; also Robert F. Hazen who was mayor of St. John and one of its
most influential citizens.

The elder William Hazen died in 1814 at the age of 75 years. His
eldest daughter, Mrs. Chipman, died at the Chipman House May 18, 1852,
the sixty-ninth anniversary of the landing of the Loyalists and her
son, Chief Justice Chipman, died November 26, 1851, the sixty seventh
anniversary of the organisation of the first supreme court of the
province. The widow of Chief Justice Chipman died the 4th of July,
1876, the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. And finally a
William Hazen, of the fourth generation, died June 17, 1885, the same
day on which his ancestor left Newburyport for St. John one hundred
and ten years before.

The first three signers of the articles of partnership under which
business was undertaken at St. John in 1764, viz. Samuel Blodget,
James Simonds and William Hazen, had each one-quarter interest in the
business, the junior partners, Robert Peaslie, James White and
Richard Simonds had only one-twelfth part each. The articles of
partnership provided that James Simonds and the three junior partners
should proceed to St. John as soon as possible, and there do what
business was necessary to be done during the co-partnership, and that
Samuel Blodget and William Hazen should remain at Boston an
Newburyport to forward supplies and receive what might be sent from
St. John or elsewhere by the company. For some reason Robert Peaslie
did not go to St. John. He married Anna Hazen, a sister of William
Hazen, and settled in Haverhill, retiring not long afterwards from the
company. Another of the junior partners, Richard Simonds, lost his
life, as already stated, on the 20th January, 1765, in the defence of
the property of the company when the Indians were about to carry it

In the autumn of the year 1764, Leonard Jarvis, then a young man of
twenty-two years of age, entered into partnership with William Hazen
at Newburyport and became, by common consent, a sharer in the business
at St. John. He was a man of ability and education. The accounts kept
at Newburyport in connection with the business are in his handwriting,
and he conducted the correspondence of Hazen & Jarvis with Simonds &
White in a manner that would do no discredit to a modern business
house. In a letter of the 3rd April, 1765, Mr. Jarvis informs James
Simonds that "Mr. Peaslie has determined to settle down in Haverhill
and to leave this concern, and as by this means and the death of your
Brother, in which we sincerely condole with you, one-eighth part of
the concern becomes vacant, we propose to let Mr. White have
one-eighth and to take three-eighths ourselves--this you will please
consult Mr. White upon and advice us. * * * We must beg you will send
all the accts. both you and Mr. White have against the Company, and
put us in a way to settle with Mr. Peaslie."

James White, the fifth signer of the articles of partnership, was born
in Haverhill in 1738, and was a lineal descendant of the Worshipful
William White, one of the well-known founders of the place. He served
as Ensign or Lieutenant in a Massachusetts regiment, but after the
fall of Quebec retired from active service and entered the employ of
William Tailer and Samuel Blodget, merchants of Boston, at a very
modest salary, as appears from the following:--

  "Memorandum of an agreement made this day between William Tailer &
  Co., with James White, that we, the said Tailer & Co., do allow
  him the said James White twenty dollars pr. month as long as the
  said White is in their service at Crown Point as Clark.

  "William Tailer & Co.

  "Test: Geo. Willmot.
      "Crown Point, July 1st, 1762."

James White's papers, now in possession of a gentleman in St. John,
show that he was engaged in the business of Tailer and Blodget at
Crown Point continuously from September, 1761, to July, 1763;
consequently the statement, commonly made, that he came to St. John
with Francis Peabody, James Simonds, Hugh Quinton and their party in
1762 is a mistake.

In the early part of 1764 James White was employed by Samuel Blodget
in business transactions in Haverhill, New Salem and Bradford. The
first occasion on which he set foot on the shores of St. John was
when he landed there with James Simonds and the party that established
themselves at Portland Point in the month of April, 1764. The
important part he played in the early affairs of St. John will
abundantly appear in these pages. He was one of the most active and
energetic men of his generation and filled several offices in the old
county of Sunbury, of which county he was sheriff. This office seems
to have had special attractions for the White family, for his son
James was sheriff of the city and county of St. John for more than
thirty years, and one of his daughters married Sheriff DeVeber of
Queens county. Mr. White was collector of customs at St. John when the
Loyalists landed. The emoluments of this office were small, for in the
year 1782 only a dozen vessels entered and cleared at St. John, the
largest of but 30 tons burden. James White spent the closing years of
his life on his farm at the head of the marsh about three miles from
the City of St. John. His residence was known as Gretna Green, from
the fact that a good many quiet weddings were celebrated by the old
squire, who was one of the magistrates specially commissioned to
solemnize marriages. He died in 1815 at the age of 77 years.

Having now spoken of the individuals composing St. John's first
trading company, the nature of the business pursued claims a little
attention. The task that lay before James Simonds and James White was
no easy one. Difficulties, many of them entirely unforseen, had to be
faced and the great diversity of their business rendered their
situation arduous and sometimes discouraging. At one time the fishery
claimed their attention, at another bartering with the Indians, at
another the erection of houses for themselves and their tenants, at
another the dyking of the marsh, at another the erection of a mill, at
another the building of a schooner, at another laying out roads and
clearing lands, at another the burning of a lime-kiln, at another
furnishing supplies for the garrison at the fort, at another the
building of a wharf or the erection of a store-house.

Communication with New England in these days was slow and uncertain
and often the non-arrival of a vessel, when the stock of provisions
had run low, caused a good deal of grumbling on the part of the hands
employed. This was particularly the case if the supply of rum chanced
to run out. The wages of the laborers employed by the company were
generally 2s. 6d., or half a dollar, a day and they boarded
themselves. As a rule the men took up their wages at the store and the
item most frequently entered against their names was New England rum.
The writer had the curiosity to examine the charges for rum in one of
the old day books for a period of a month--the month selected at
random--when it appeared that, of a dozen laborers, four men averaged
half a pint each per day, while with the other eight men the same
allowance lasted three days. Tea, the great modern beverage, was
rather a luxury and appears to have been used sparingly and rum, which
retailed at 8 pence a pint, was used almost universally. Human nature
was much the same in the eighteenth as in the twentieth century. The
men often drank to excess, and some of them would have been utterly
unreliable but for the fact that Simonds and White were masters of the
situation and could cut off the supply. They generally doled out the
liquor by half pints and gills to their laborers. On one occasion we
find Mr. Simonds writing, "The men are in low spirts, have nothing to
eat but pork and bread, and nothing but water to drink. Knowing this
much I trust you will lose no time in sending to our relief."

At various times the privations were exceedingly great and even after
the little colony had been for some years established at Portland
Point they suffered for lack of the necessaries of life. Mr. Simonds
thus describes their experience in the early part of 1770:

  "Most difficult to remedy and most distressing was the want of
  provisions and hay. Such a scene of misery of man and beast we
  never saw before. There was not anything of bread kind equal to a
  bushel of meal for every person when the schooner sailed for
  Newbury the 6th of February (three months ago) and less of meat
  and vegetables in proportion--the Indians and hogs had part of
  that little."

He goes on to say that the flour that had just arrived in the schooner
was wet and much damaged; no Indian corn was to be had; for three
months they had been without molasses or coffee, nor had they any tea
except of the spruce variety.

In one of his letters, written a few months after the commencement of
operations at St. John, Simonds urges the careful attention of Blodget
and Hazen to their part of the business, observing: "I hope if I
sacrifice my interest, ease, pleasure of Good Company, and run the
risque even of life itself for the benefit of the Company, those who
live where the circumstances are every way the reverse will in return
be so good as to take every pains to dispose of all effects remitted
to them to the best advantage."

The first year of the Company's operations was in some respects
phenomenal. On the 30th September, 1764, a very severe shock of an
earthquake occurred at St. John about 12 o'clock, noon. The winter
that followed was one of unusual severity with storms that wrought
much damage to shipping. Leonard Jarvis wrote to James Simonds on
April 3, 1765, "There has not been in the memory of man such a winter
as the last and we hope there never will be again." Mr. Simonds in his
reply says "The winter has been much here as in New England."

In the same letter just referred to Mr. Jarvis says: "We hope in
future, by keeping the schooner constantly running between this
place and yours, that we shall be able to surmount our greatest
difficulties. At present we can only say that nothing shall be wanting
on our parts (and we are well assured that you will continue to
endeavour) to make this concern turn out in the end an advantageous
one. It would give us great pleasure could we ease you of part of
your burden and know what difficulties you have to go through * * We
have sent you by this schooner some table linen and what other table
furniture we thought you might have occasion for. If there is
anything more wanting to make you not only comfortable but Genteel,
beg you would advise us and we will furnish you with it by the return
of the schooner Wilmot."

In reply to this Mr. Simonds writes, "I am obliged to you for sending
some furniture, for truly none was ever more barely furnished than we
were before. Gentility is out of the question."

The business of Simonds and White was not confined to St. John,
they had quite an important post for the Indian trade and the
fishery on an island adjacent to Campobello, now known as Indian
Island. And it may be observed in passing that this was an island of
many names. James Boyd, a Scotchman who lived there in 1763, called
it Jeganagoose--evidently a form of Misignegoos, the name by which
it is known to the Indians of Passamaquoddy. A French settler named
La Treille lived there in 1688, and this explains the origin of the
name Latterell Island, applied to it in early times. In the grant of
1765 it is called Perkins Island. This place owing to its proximity
to New England had been the first to attract Mr. Simonds' notice.
The smaller vessels of the Company, such as the sloops "Bachelor" and
"Peggy & Molly" and the schooners "Eunice" and "Polly," were for
several years employed in fishing at Passamaquoddy from April to
October. The masters of the vessels received £4 per month for their
services. The crews employed were for the most part engaged by Hazen
and Jarvis and at the close of the season returned to their homes in
New England. It was the custom for a year or two for one of the
partners, Simonds or White, to attend at Passamaquoddy during the
fishing season. From 1765 to 1770 Isaac Marble of Newburyport was
their principal "shoresman." The partners had a keen eye to
business; on one occasion they purchased a whale from the Indians
and tried out the oil, but this seems to have been merely a stray
monster of the deep for, in answer to the query of Hazen & Jarvis,
James Simonds writes, "With respect to whaling, don't think the sort
of whales that are in Passamaquada bay can be caught."

It was from Passamaquoddy that the first business letter extant of the
company's correspondence was written by James Simonds to William Hazen
on the 18th August, 1764. The business was then in an experimental
stage, and Mr. Simonds in this letter writes, "If you & Mr. Blodget
think it will be best to carry on business largely at St. John's we
must have another house with a cellar; the latter is now dug and
stoned & will keep apples, potatoes & other things that will not bear
the frost, for a large trade; this building will serve as a house and
store, the old store for a Cooper's shop. If the lime answers well we
shall want 150 hogsheads with hoops and boards for heads; also boards
for a house, some glass, etc., bricks for chimney and hinges for two
doors. I think the business at St. John's may be advantageous, if not
too much entangled with the other. We can work at burning Lime,
catching fish in a large weir we have built for bass up the river at
the place where we trade with the Indians, trade with the Soldiers and
Inhabitants, etc. Next winter we can employ the oxen at sleding wood
and lime stone, Mr. Middleton at making casks; don't think it best to
keep any men at Passamaquada [for the winter]."

It was the intention of Simonds & White to bring the hands employed at
Passamaquoddy to St. John in a sloop expected in the fall with goods
and stores, but on the 16th December we find Mr. Simonds writing to
Blodget & Hazen, "Have long waited with impatience for the arrival of
the sloop; have now given her over for lost. All the hopes I have is
that the winds were contrary in New England as they were here all the
fall; that detained her until too late and you concluded not to send
her. We had a fine prospect of a good trade last fall, and had the
goods come in season should by this time have disposed of them to
great advantage; but instead of that we have missed collecting the
greater part of our Indian debts, as they expected us up the river
and have not been here on that account.... I have not heard from
Passamaquada for six weeks, but fear they have little or no
provisions, and am sure they have no hay for a cow that is there. She
being exceeding good, shall endeavor to save her life till you can
send hay for her. I shall go there as soon as the weather moderates
(it has been intensely cold lately) and employ the men there as well
as I can, as they are confined there contrary to intention for the
winter, and return here as soon as possible."

The non-arrival of provisions for the men and of hay for the oxen Mr.
Simonds deplores as likely to overthrow all pans for the winter. They
had intended to use the oxen to sled wood and lime-stone--a much
easier way than carting in the summer. He says, "We have stone dug for
500 hogsheads of lime and near wood enough cut to burn it; that must
now lay till carting, and we shift as well as we can to employ our men
so as not to have them run us in debt. * * can think of nothing better
than to make a resolute push up the river with our men, employ some of
them at making lumber, others at clearing land and fitting it for
grain in the spring."

The Company had some formidable rivals at Passamaquoddy for the next
spring we find James Simonds telling Hazen & Jarvis, "There is such a
number of traders at Passamaquoddy that I don't expect much trade
there this spring: have prevailed with the Commandant at Fort
Frederick to stop them going up this river: there has been no passing
the falls till now (May 27th) by reason of the freshet. Shall go over
this afternoon and proceed directly to Ocpaque, an Indian village
eighty miles up the river."

Notwithstanding the favor shown them by the commandant of the
garrison, Simonds & White found rivals in the Indian trade even an the
River St. John. Among the earliest were John Anderson and Captain
Isaac Caton. The minutes of the council of Nova Scotia show that on
August 9, 1763, license was granted Mr. Anderson to occupy 50 acres of
any lands unappropriated on the St. John river, and under date June 7,
1765, we have the following:--

  "License is hereby granted to John Anderson to traffick with the
  Tribes of Indians on St. John's River and in the Bay of Fundy, he
  conducting himself without Fraud or Violence and submitting
  himself to the observance of such regulations as may at any time
  hereafter be established for the better ordering of such commerce.
  This license to continue during pleasure."

Anderson selected as his location the site of Villebon's old Fort at
the mouth of the Nashwaak, where he obtained in 1765, a grant of 1,000
acres of land, built himself a dwelling house and established a
trading post convenient to the Indian village of Aukpaque, a few miles
above. He had the honor to be the first magistrate on the River St.
John, his commission dating August 17, 1765; the next appointed was
colonel Beamsley P. Glacier, on 15th October, same year. John Anderson
obtained his goods and supplies of Martin Gay, merchant of Boston, and
one Charles Martin was his bookkeeper and assistant. He called his
place "Monkton," a name it retained for many years.[71] Early in 1768
Anderson had the misfortune to lose a vessel laden with goods for
the India trade. James Simonds mentions this incident in a letter to
Hazen & Jarvis and remarks: "We imagine the loss of Mr. Anderson's
vessel will cause more trade to come to us than we should have had if
she had gone safe."

   [71] The ferry between Fredericton and the Nashwaak was called in
        early times Monkton ferry.

Captain Isaac Caton was granted a licence "to traffick with the
Indians on Saint John's river and the Bay of Fundy," on Nov'r. 9,
1765. He probably made his headquarters at the old French trading post
on the historic Island of Emenemic, in Long Reach, of which he was a
grantee about thus time, and which has since been called Caton's

Simonds and White did not find the Indian trade entirely to their
liking and after a few years experience wrote (under date June 20,
1767), "The Indian debts we cannot lessen being obliged to give them
new credit as a condition of their paying their old debts. They are
very numerous at this time but have made bad hunts; we have got a
share of their peltry, as much as all the others put together, and
hope soon to collect some more. There is scarcely a shilling of money
in the country. Respecting goods we think it will be for our advantage
not to bring any Toys and Trinkets (unnecessary articles) in sight of
the Indians, and by that means recover them from their bankruptcy.
They must have provisions and coarse goods for the winter, and if we
have a supply of those articles, by keeping a store here and up the
River make no doubt of having most of the Trade. Shall have a store
ready by September next, and hope to have it finished by the last of
that month."


The store was built near the site of Government House and according to
Moses H. Perley it was carried away by one of those periodical
ice-jams for which the vicinity of St. Ann's Point has been noted from
time immemorial. See illustration on preceding page of a recent
ice-jam at this place.

Another store was built and Benjamin Atherton took charge of it. In
addition to trade with the Indians he did business with the white
settlers under the name and title of Atherton & Co. Furs and produce
were frequently transported to St. John from the post at St. Anns in
summer in gondolas and in the winter on ice by means of horses and

The volume of business in the aggregate was quite large for those
days. In addition to the exportation of furs and peltry to the value
of $40,000, the company sent to New England and the West Indies large
quantities of pollock, mackerel and codfish taken in the Bay. The
gasperaux fishery at St. John was also an important factor in their
trade; in the seven years previous to the Revolutionary war Simonds &
White shipped to Boston 4,000 barrels of gasperaux valued at about
$12,000. They also shipped quantities of bass, shad, salmon and
sturgeon. Perhaps their profits would have been even greater had not
many of the men who were at other times in their employ engaged in
fishing on their own account. The community was not an ideal one for
Mr. Simonds writes: "In the spring we must go into the Weirs every
tide to keep our men from selling bait to the fishermen for rum, which
is not only attended with the loss of the fish so sold, but of the
men's time who would drink so to excess as not to be able to do

In the Champlain's map of St. John harbor and its surroundings a lake
or pond is shown at the spot where the Union depot and freight sheds
stand today. At the outlet of this pond a dam and tide mill were built
by Simonds and White in the year 1766. The mill was put in operation
the next season and from that day to this lumber has been one of St.
John's staple articles of export. Primitive as was this saw-mill some
difficulty was experienced in procuring proper hands to run it. James
Simonds in his letter of June 20, 1767, to Hazen & Jarvis writes:

  "The sloop Bachelor did not return from up the River before this
  morning. We have but few fish; the men that undertook the weirs
  were very slow and unfaithful, and not only neglected the
  fisheries but the Mill also, for which reason we have not a full
  load for the Sloop. The Mill we have not nor shall be able to keep
  at work without more and better hands; have four less than we
  ought to have for different branches of work, if all of them was
  good boys, and with those that are bad must make a bad figure. We
  have promised 30 to 40 hogsheads Lime to Mr. Best of Halifax and
  hourly expect a vessel for it, and have encouragement of a
  contract for the King's works there; expect nothing but to
  disappoint him as that rascal negro West cannot be flattered or
  drove to do one fourth of a man's work; shall give him a strong
  dose on Monday morning which will make him better or worse, no
  dependence can be put on him. * * We want three men, one that
  understands tending a mill and two teamsters, which we beg you
  will send in next vessel."

The correspondence of the partners shows that the manufacture of lime
continued to engage their attention. The first kiln was built in rear
of the store and dwellings at Portland Point near the base of Fort
Howe hill. When James Simonds visited Halifax in September, 1764, he
wrote a very interesting letter to Samuel Blodget in which he says: "I
have been with the King's chief Mason; have shewn him a sample of our
lime; he likes it well and gives me encouragement that he will take
all of me that he wants either for public or private use (he is the
only dealer in town) at a rate that will net at St. John's three
dollars or more pr. hogshead."

Several coopers were sent from Newburyport by Hazen & Jarvis to
manufacture hogsheads for the lime business, one hogshead being
considered about as much as a man could make in a day. With the view
of securing a more desirable class of employees the company began at
this time to take into their service married men with families for
whose accommodation they built comfortable log houses. Yet even here
there were disappointments, as we learn from another of Mr. Simonds'
letters in which he says: "Our help mostly failed us last fall, and
the hay season was the wettest that was ever known, which prevented
our having a sufficient quantity of lime-stone dug and wood cut to
employ the teams to good advantage. * * Old Abbot (the cooper) did not
do one day's work for sixty days after his wife arrived; no dependence
can be placed on him, and as Stevens goes a fishing in the Spring on
his own account we shall want another cooper and three labourers. It
will make a material difference if these men are of a tractable

The lime manufactured was shipped to Halifax, Boston and the West
Indies, and on one occasion a cargo was sent to Newfoundland.

There is in possession of the Hazen family an inventory of the
property of the company at St. John, dated the 12th of February,
1767, which will give the reader some little idea of the nature of the
Company's business and the condition of their trading post at Portland
Point at this time. The inventory is as follows:


      Dwelling House 19 by 35, part finished              £ 90. 0.0
    1 Building 16 by 40, Rough boarded, improved for
        Cooper's Shop & Kitchen                             15. 0.0
    1 Log Store 20 by 30, without floor                     20. 0.0
    1 Barn 24 by 35                                         16. 6.0
    1 Log house 14 by 18, occupied by Black                  6.12.0
    1 House 16 by 20, occupied by Bradley                    7.10.0
    1 Well 15 feet deep                                      1.10.0
    1 Necessary House                                        1.10.0
    1 Lime Kiln                                             14. 0.0
    1 Gondalo                                               10. 0.0
    1 Wherry                                                 1. 0.0
    2 Large Seines                                          14. 0.0
    1 Cart 100s., 2 Sleds, 18s.                              5.18.0
    1 Drag 9s., 1 Harrow 15s.                                1. 4.0
    2 Iron bars 20s., 1 Crow-bar 10s                         1.10.0
    3 Stone Hammers @ 7s.                                    1. 1.0
    4 Spades @ 6s. 8d., 3 Shovels @ 3s.                      1.15.8
    1 Broad Axe 12s., 6 Narrow Axes @ 6s.                    2. 8.0
   15 Old Axes @ 3s.                                         2. 5.0
      Whipsaw 40s., 1 Cross cut do. 30s.                     3.10.0
    4 Augers 12s., 3 chisels 6s.                               18.0
    2 Iron Squares, 8s., 3 pitch forks 12s.                  1. 0.0
    7 Hoes @ 2s. 8d.                                           18.8
    1 Set Cooper's Tools                                     2. 5.0
    2 Nail hammers 3s., 1 plough 18s.                        1. 1.0
    2 Scythes @ 6s., 2 pick axes @ 5s.                       1. 4.0
    7 Chains                                                 4.10.0
    1 Beetle 1s. 6d., 2 Wedges 3s.                              4.6
  160 Hogsheads Lime stone at ye Kiln @ 5s. 4d.             42.13.4
   50 Hogsheads at the Quarry dug @ 1s.                      2.10.0
   50 Cords wood at Kiln @ 3s. 6d.                           8.15.0
   80 Cords wood in ye Woods & 1s. 6d.                       7. 6.8
      Wire 60s., Spruce Logs at the Water 80s.               7. 0.0
   84 Pine logs at the falls worth                          22. 8.0
  119 Pine logs scattered in ye River @ 3s.                 17. 7.0
    8 Oxen worth at St. John                                60. 0.0
    3 Cows                                                  14. 8.0
    1 Pair 3 year old steers                                 9. 0.0
    1 Bull 54s., 1 do. 30s.                                  4. 4.0
    6 Sheep @ 18s., 7 Hogs @ 16s.                           11. 0.0
    1 Burch Canoe                                            1. 0.0
    2 Carpenter's adzes @ 7s., 2 drills @ 6s.                1. 0.0
    4 Pairs Snow Shoes @ 7s. 6d.                             1.10.0
    2 Steel plated handsaws @ 8s.                              16.0
    1 Set mill irons                                         7. 0.0
   2M Staves shaved and joined                               4.16.0
                                                          £451. 4.10

There is also an inventory of the goods in the company's store at this
time, which were valued at £613. The goods were such as were needed by
the white settlers up the river as well as for the Indian trade. There
was quite a varied assortment, yet the many deficiencies indicate the
simplicity of living then in vogue.

The list of household goods and chattels, the property of Simonds and
White, was a very meagre one indeed. The more common and necessary
articles of furniture such as bedsteads, tables, benches, etc., were
probably manufactured on the premises by means of the carpenter's axe,
adze, hammer and saw. In addition they had a small supply of bedding,
6 camp chairs, 1 desk, 1 writing desk, 1 lamp, 4 iron candlesticks, 1
ink stand.

Dishes--4 pewter plates, 2 pewter platters, 2 pewter porringers, 2
metal teapots, 8 stone plates, 1 stone platter, 1 stone jug, 1 earthen
teapot, 3 china cups and saucers, 2 quart basons, 2 punch bowls.

Cutlery, etc.--1-1/4 doz. case knives and forks, 1-1/2 doz. spoons, 1
large spoon, 6 silver tea spoons. Kitchen utensils--2 frying pans, 2
tea kettles, 1 chafing dish, 1 cullender, 4 iron pots, 1 brass kettle,
2 quart pots, 2 two-quart pots, 3 pints, 2 tin kettles, 1 pail, 1 pair
dogs, 1 shovel and tongs, 1 tea-chest, 1 coffee mill, 2 pairs steel
yards, 1 beam scale, 2 sets weights.

The total value of household articles was but £33, 17, 5, and it is
doubtful whether the personal belongings of Simonds and White would
have added much to the common stock. No wonder James Simonds observed
with grim humor, as he described life at St. John in those days,
"gentility is out of the question."

William Hazen was afraid the business during the first year had been
unprofitable, and at the end of the year called for a settlement of
accounts in order to find out the exact state of affairs. James
Simonds wrote: "We are sensible of the necessity of settling our
accts. soon, but have always been obliged to work so much abroad as
not to be able to have our books posted up, besides the necessity of
taking an exact acct. of all goods on hand and making an exact
computation of the cost of all buildings and works cannot be hurried
over and would require time. We could have had all those things ready,
but must have neglected completing preparations for the winter's work,
which we think would be far greater damage to us than the accts.
remaining unfinished for a few months and for us to finish them in the
winter evenings."

Doubtless the winter evenings were entirely at their disposal. There
were no social engagements to fill, no societies to attend, no places
of amusement to while away the hours. The church, the lodge room, the
club were reserved for coming generations. Even the satisfaction to be
derived from good, general reading was wanting for an inventory of
household effects made in 1775 shows that Mr. Simonds owned a Bible
and Prayer Book and Mr. White a Bible and a copy of Watt's psalms and
hymns, and the only other book of which mention can be found is an
almanac. It would seem that one at least of the partners was fond of
fiction, for Samuel Blodget writes in a letter to James White--the
latter then at Crown Point--Dec. 8, 1762: "I confess I was a little
surprised att your opinion of Roderick Random, for it is allowed by
all that I ever heard judg of it, that it is a well wrote Novell."

No account of the business of St. John during the period of the
operations of its finest trading company, would be complete without
some mention of its shipping. Naturally it was the day of small things
with the future "winter port" of Canada. The ship that bore de Monts
and Champlain to the Bay of Fundy in the month of June, 1604, was a
little vessel of 150 tons, smaller than some of our coasting schooners
of today; but the vessels employed in the business of Hazen, Simonds
and White and their associates, were smaller still, ranging from ten
to eighty tons burden.

The qualities essential to successful navigation--pluck, enterprise
and skill--were admirably displayed by the hardy mariners of New
England, the pioneers of commerce in the Bay of Fundy. In their day
there were no light houses, or beacons, or fog-horns and even charts
were imperfect, yet there were few disasters. The names of Jonathan
Leavitt and his contemporaries are worthy of a foremost place in our
commercial annals.

The following list of the vessels owned or chartered by Hazen, Simonds
and White in their business at St. John, A. D. 1764-1774, is probably
as complete as at this distance of time it can be made:

  Names of Vessels and Masters.

  Schooner Wilmot, William Story.
     "     Polly, Jon. Leavitt, Jas. Stickney, Henry Brookings.
     "     Eunice, James Stickney.
     "     Betsy, Jonathan Leavitt.
     "     Seaflower, Benjamin Batchelder, Jonathan Leavitt.
     "     Sunbury, Jonathan Leavitt, Daniel Leavitt.
     "     Essex; Isaac Marble.

  Sloop Bachelor, William Story.
    "   Peggy & Molly, Henry Brookings
    "   Merrimack, Jon. Leavitt, Samuel Perkins, Daniel Leavitt.
    "   St. John's Paquet, Richard Bartelott, Hen. Brookings,
            Joseph Jellings.
    "   Speedwell, Nathaniel Newman
    "   Dolphin, Daniel Dow.
    "   Woodbridge, David Stickney.
    "   Sally, Nathaniel Newman.
    "   Deborah, Edward Atwood.
    "   Kingfisher, Jonathan Eaton.

Of the vessels enumerated the schooners Wilmot, Polly, Eunice and
Betsy and the sloops Bachelor, Peggy & Molly, Merimack and St. John's
Paquet were owned by the company.

For some years the company paid insurance at the rate of 3 per cent.
on the vessels and their cargoes, but the insurance was obtained with
difficulty and after a time was discontinued on the ground that the
business would not bear the expense.

When the partnership was formed in 1764, the company owned the
schooner Polly of 20 tons, the sloop Bachelor of 33 tons, and the
sloop Peggy & Molly of 66 tons. The same year Isaac Johnson of
Newburyport built for them the schooner Wilmot of 64 tons and James
Simonds paid £180 as his share of her hull. Samuel Blodget purchased
in Boston a quantity of yarns, strands and cordage, which were
delivered by Wm. Hazen to Crocker, a ropemaker of Newburyport, to be
worked up for the schooners Polly and Wilmot, the sloop Bachelor and
the sloop Peggy & Molly. The company afterwards bought or built the
schooners Eunice and Betsy and the sloops Merrimack and St. John's
Paquet. The sloop Merrimack was a square sterned vessel of 80 tons,
built at Newburyport in 1762. She was hired for the company's service
in 1767 and purchased for them in 1771 by Hazen & Jarvis for £150.
James Simonds says she was then a mere hulk entirely unfit for sea,
but after being repaired was employed in coasting to St. John and in
carrying lumber to the West Indies. William Hazen and his family had
good reason to remember the Merrimack, for it was in this vessel they
embarked for their new home in St. John in the month of May, 1775.
They were cast away on Fox Island and in addition to the discomfort
experienced, many of theirs personal belongings and some valuable
papers connected with the company's business were lost. The crew and
passengers were rescued and brought to St. John in a sloop of Captain
Drinkwater's, the captain consenting to throw overboard his load of
cordwood to make room for the rescued party and their possessions.
Most of Mr. Hazen's valuables and the rigging and stores of the
Merrimack were saved.

The sloop St. John's Paquet was another vessel that had an unfortunate
experience. She made occasional voyages from St. John to St. Croix in
the West Indies. In the year 1770 she sailed from St. John with a
cargo of lime for Newburyport, having on board William Hazen, who had
been on one of his periodical business trips to St. John. Simonds and
White asked to have the sloop and cargo insured, but Hazen says the
reason they gave, namely, that the paquet was "an unlucky vessel," did
not make any impression on the minds of himself or Mr. Jarvis, and, as
it was a good season of the year, they did not effect it. The vessel
unfortunately proved true to her reputation. She got on the shoals at
Newburyport and taking "a rank heel" got water amongst her lime, which
set her on fire. The sloop and her cargo were sold in consequence for
£300 where she lay. The vessel was afterwards hired by Hazen & Jarvis
and again sent to St. John to load for the West Indies.

The Wilmot proved unfit for the company's business and on May 23,
1766. Hazen & Jarvis wrote their partners: "We have purchased a very
good and valuable cargo for the schooner Wilmot. It consists of oxen,
cows, calves, flour, cyder, boards and bricks, and we have sent her
under care of Captain Beck to Newfoundland for sale. We hope we will
get a good price for her." This hope was not realized, for the
schooner lost her deckload of cattle in a storm and the voyage was

During the earlier years of the partnership the schooners Eunice and
Polly, sloop Peggy & Molly and other small vessels were employed from
April to October in fishing in the Bay of Fundy and at Passamaquoddy.
The correspondence of the company contains many references to this
important branch of business, a few of which are to be found in the
footnotes below.[72]

   [72] "The sloop Bachellor is now ready to sail; the contents of cargo
        251 quintles Cod and Pollock of her crew's catching, 30 do. of
        Hunt's. The great sloop arrived ten days ago; has made but an
        ordinary fare, said to be 300 quintles. Will sail with dry
        fish in about a fortnight. * * Pollock will sell best in the
        country, pray sell as many that sort as is possible." [Letter
        of James Simonds written from "Passamaquada," 18th August,

        "Leavitt in the Polly has just arrived from Annapolis; he says
        he has lost a fare of fish for want of sufficient length of
        cable to ride at anchor, and that he must have one by the
        middle of August or he shall lose one or two fares more at
        Grand Manan." [Letter of James Simonds of 22nd June, 1768]

        "We have put Lovitt in skipper of the schooner Polly and have
        given Stickney the schooner Eunice. We have sent down four
        fishermen for the whale boats. (Mr. Marble and three
        labourers.) * * Mr. Marble does not chuse to have any
        connection with the delivery of stores [rum, etc.] to the men
        at Passamaquada, and indeed we think with you that his
        discipline is too moderate for such a sett of men as fishermen
        for the most part are." [Letter of Hazen & Jarvis of 5th
        April, 1766.]

The company, finding the fishing at Passamaquoddy declining on account
of the multitude of their rivals in that locality, determined to
dispose of some of their smaller vessels, and Mr. Jarvis writes to
Simonds & White, under date May 23, 1766: "If you think we would be
likely to sell the "Peggy & Molly" at Halifax, please to advise us * *
* We look upon it in general to be the better way to, sell all vessels
when they come to be old and crazy, as we find by experience that old
vessels are great moths. Therefore if you can dispose of the sloop
Bachelor and schooner Polly, we think you had better do it, provided
you can obtain their worth, and we could build such vessels as you
shall think will be most advantageous."

Hazen and Jarvis sold one half of the Eunice for £133 to a Frenchman
named Barrere, who sailed with her to the West Indies, where he was
detained until the outbreak of the Revolution in America, and this was
the last of her so far as the Company was concerned.

Of all the company's vessels none seems to have done more excellent
service than the little schooner Polly. For twelve years she bore an
almost charmed life, and in that time was employed in a great variety
of ways. At one time a fishing at Annapolis or Passamaquoddy, at
another trading with the Indians up the River St. John, at another
transporting settlers and their effects from Massachusetts to
Maugerville, at another on a voyage to the West Indies.

Hazen & Jarvis for the accommodation of their trade had hired the Long
Wharf at Newburyport and the stores on it at an annual rental of £70.
In the month of March, 1765, Leonard Jarvis writes of the occurrence
of a tremendous gale which was as severe as was ever known and which
did great damage to the wharves and shipping. He adds: "We had the
schooner Polly drove on one of the wharfs from whence we had to launch

While returning from the West Indies in July, 1776, the Polly was
taken by an American privateer sailed by one O'Brien and sent to
Newburyport. She was claimed by William Hazen and after some little
delay restored to her owners and brought to St. John where she
discharged her cargo. Not long after she was again captured and
carried to Falmouth, where her super-cargo Peter Smith again succeeded
in obtaining her release.

The first vessel built and launched at St. John was the little
schooner "Betsy," the construction of which was undertaken by Simonds
& White at Portland Point in 1769. Little did her designers and
builders imagine that they were the pioneers of an industry that would
one day place St. John in the fourth place among the cities of the
British empire as a shipowning port and lead her to claim the proud
title of "the Liverpool of America." And we may note in passing, that
at the time of the turning of the first sod of the Intercolonial
railway in 1853, employes from seventeen shipyards--1,090 men in
all--marched in the procession and shipbuilding had not then attained
its greatest development. It was an important industry indeed in its

The materials used in building, the Betsy were cut almost upon the
spot, and the rigging was sent from Newburyport by William Hazen,
while about half the iron was taken from one of the company's old
vessels. One Michael Hodge agreed to build the schooner for 23 1-3
shillings per ton. Adonijah Colby was his assistant. The schooner was
launched in the autumn of the year 1769 and named the Betsy in honor
of Miss Elizabeth Peabody, who about this time was married to James
White. The little vessel sailed for Newburyport with her first cargo
on the 3d of February following, Jonathan Leavitt going in her as
master. She was sold the next year for £200, and Mr. Simonds expressed
his satisfaction at the price as better than he had expected.

This first venture in the line of shipbuilding was followed in due
course by others. Jonathan Leavitt and Samuel Peabody in 1773 built a
schooner which they called the "Menaguash," in honor of the old Indian
name of St. John, and the following year William Hazen made an
agreement with James Woodman and Zebedee Ring to build a vessel at St.
John, Woodman's wages to be art the rate of 4 shillings a day, and the
payment in part to be one hundred acres of land at two shillings an
acre. The land referred to was situated in the old township of Conway
opposite the Indian House--probably at Pleasant Point.

With a view to pursuing the business of shipbuilding William Hazen at
the time he settled at Portland Point brought with him one John Jones,
a master ship-builder. The outbreak of the Revolutionary war put a
stop to every kind of business, but it is said that Mr. Jones'
employers paid his wages for some time in order to retain his services
under the expectation that the war would soon be over and they would
be able again to build ships. Mr. Jones improved the waiting time by
taking to himself a wife, Mercy Hilderick, who had come to St. John on
a visit to her sister, the wife of Samuel Peabody. There being no
clergyman at hand the ceremony was performed by Gervas Say, a Justice
of the Peace for the county of Sunbury, who then lived on the west
side of the Harbor in the Township of Conway.



A great impetus was given to the settlement of the wilderness parts of
Nova Scotia by the proclamations issued by Governor Lawrence in 1758
and 1759 offering free grants of lands to those who would become
settlers. In consequence of these proclamations attention was directed
to the St. John river. The fertile lands along its borders greatly
pleased the men of Massachusetts who explored it, and led to their
founding the Township of Maugerville, while, almost simultaneously,
Messrs. Simonds and White established their little colony at Portland

The Royal proclamation, issued at the Court of St. James in October,
1763, offering grants of lands to officers, non-commissioned officers
and soldiers that had served in the late French war, in token of his
majesty's appreciation of their conduct and bravery, had the effect of
creating a species of land-hunger which ere long led to a general
scramble for the possession of all lands that were of value and were
not already appropriated. However, up to the year 1765, only three
land grants on the St. John river were recorded at Halifax. Then came
the deluge! In the course of the month of October some twenty grants
were issued, comprising nearly 750,000 acres of the best land on the
River St. John, and immense tracts were granted in other parts of Nova
Scotia. Charles Morris, the surveyor general at this time, explains
that the vast number of applicants for land and their importunity were
due to the fact that the obnoxious "stamp act" was about coming into
operation and those desirous of securing lands were pressing hard for
their grants in order to avoid the stamp duties.

This land boom, if we may so term it, had the effect at first of
stimulating the settlement of the country, but it is, to say the
least, very doubtful whether subsequent growth and development were
not retarded by the rashness of Governor Wilmot and his council in
giving away the unsettled lands from the power of the crown and the
people in so prodigal a fashion.

The land grants of this period were usually made under the following

First--The payment of a yearly quit rent of one shilling sterling to
be made on Michaelmas day for every fifty acres, the quit rent, to
commence at the expiration of ten years from the date of the grant.

Second.--The grantee to plant, cultivate and improve, or inclose,
one-third part within ten years, one-third part within twenty years
and the remaining third part within thirty years from the date of the
grant, or otherwise to forfeit such lands as shall not be actually
under improvement and cultivation.

Third.--To plant within ten years one rood of every thousand acres
with hemp, and to keep up the same or a like quantity during the
successive years.

Fourth.--For the more effectual settling of the lands within the
province the grantees shall settle on every five hundred acres one
family at least with proper stock and materials for improvement of
the said lands within two years of date of grant.[73]

   [73] The last of the conditions above quoted was a somewhat variable
        one, and is sometimes found in this form, "The grantees shall
        settle one-fourth part within one year, in the proportion of
        one family of Protestants (to consist at least of four
        persons) to every thousand acres, one-fourth part within two
        years, another fourth part within three years, and the
        remaining fourth part within four years, otherwise the lands
        remaining unsettled to revert to the crown."

The arrival of so considerable a number of English speaking
inhabitants as came to the River St. John in the course of a few years
after Lawrence had published his proclamations, rendered it necessary
that measures should be adopted for their government. When Nova Scotia
was divided into counties, in 1759, what is now New Brunswick seems to
have been an unorganized part of the County of Cumberland. For a year
or two the settlers on the River St. John were obliged to look to
Halifax for the regulation of their civil affairs, but this proved so
inconvenient that the Governor and Council agreed to the establishment
of a new county. The county was called Sunbury in honor of the English
secretary of state, the third Earl of Halifax[74] who was also
Viscount Sunbury.

   [74] It was after the same English secretary of state that the city
        of Halifax was named in 1749.

The first intimation we have of the formation of the new county is
contained in a letter of James Simonds to William, Hazen, dated at
Halifax, March 18, 1765, in which the former writes: "I am just
arrived here on the business of the inhabitants of St. Johns. * * I
have seen Captain Glasier, who informs me that he is getting a grant
of a large tract of land at St. Johns for a number of officers and
that your brother is one of them. St. Johns is made a county [Sunbury]
and I hope will soon make a formidable appearance." The decision of
the government in this instance seems to have been consequent upon the
visit of Mr. Simonds, who doubtless was supported in his advocacy of
the new measure by Capt. Beamsley Glasier. The latter was elected one
of the first two representatives of the county in the Nova Scotia
legislature, with Capt. Thos. Falconer as his colleague. The
announcement contained in Mr. Simonds letter anticipated the action of
the governor and council, for it was not until the 30th April, six
weeks later, that the matter was carried into effect by the adoption
of the following resolution, viz: "That St. John's River should be
erected into a county by the name of Sunbury, and likewise that Capt.
Richard Smith should be appointed a justice of the peace for the
County of Halifax." The terms of this grotesque resolution are
suggestive of the idea that in the estimation of his excellency and
the council of Nova Scotia the appointment of a Halifax J. P. was
about as important a matter as the organization of the County of
Sunbury, although the latter was as large as the entire peninsula of
Nova Scotia.

The County of Sunbury did not, as has been commonly supposed, include
the whole of the present province of New Brunswick. Its eastern
boundary was a line starting from a point "twenty miles above Point
Mispeck, up the Bay of Fundy, being the eastern point of Head Land of
the Harbor at the mouth of the River Saint John, thence to run north
by the needle till it meets the Canada Southern boundary."

Captain Beamsley Perkins Glasier was a very important and influential
person at this time in the affairs of the new county. He was an
officer in the 60th or Royal American Regiment, and subsequently rose
to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel. On the 14th December, 1764, Capt.
Glasier on behalf of himself, Capt. Thomas Falconer and others,
presented a memorial to the governor and council at Halifax for a
tract of land to include both sides of the River St. John and all the
islands from the lower end of Musquash Island to the Township of
Maugerville, and if there was not in the tract any river proper for
erecting mills then "as settlements can't be carried on without, the
memorialists pray for any river that may be found fit for the purpose
by their committee, with a tract of 20,000 acres of timber land as
near the mills to be erected as possible." Application was made at the
same time for a Point or Neck of land three-quarters of a mile from
Fort Frederick with 60 acres adjoining to it "for the making and
curing fish." It was ordered by the governor and council that the
lands on the river should be reserved for the applicants, but that the
point and sixty acres adjoining, situate near Fort Frederick, should
be a matter for further consideration. It is not improbable the point
referred to was the peninsula on the east side of St. John harbor, on
which the principal part of the city stands today. Had it been granted
to the applicants at this time it is hard to say what might have been
the effect on the future, but very likely St. John, as the "City of
the Loyalists," would have had no existence.

Capt. Beamsley Glasier and Capt. Thomas Falconer were the active
agents of an association or society, composed of more than sixty
individuals, who designed to secure and settle half a million acres of
land on the River St. John. The association included Governor Thomas
Hutchinson of Massachusetts, General Frederick Haldimand (afterwards
governor of Quebec), Sir William Johnson of New York, Capt. Isaac
Caton, Capt. William Spry, Capt. Moses Hazen, William Hazen, James
Simonds, Rev. John Ogilvie, Rev. Philip Hughes, Rev. Curryl Smith,
Richard Shorne, Daniel Claus, Philip John Livingston, Samuel Holland
and Charles Morris. The membership of the association represented a
very wide area for among its members were residents of Quebec,
Halifax, Boston, New York and the Kingdom of Ireland. A little later
the association was termed the Canada Company probably because General
Haldimand and some of its most influential members lived in Quebec.

The company obtained in October, 1765, a grant of five townships on
the River St. John known as the townships of Conway, Gage, Burton,
Sunbury and New-Town, of which all but the last were on the west side
of the river. The first three were named in honor of Gen. Henry S.
Conway, Secretary of State; Gen. Thomas Gage, who was one of the
grantees; and Brig. Gen. Ralph Burton, who was stationed in Canada at
the time. The location and extent of the townships may be generally
stated as follows:

1. Conway, 50,000 acres, included in its bounds the parish of
Lancaster and a part of Westfield extending from the mouth of the
river up as far as Brandy Point.

2. Gage or Gage-town, 100,000 acres, extended from Otnabog to Swan
Creek and included the present parish of Gagetown.

3. Burton, 100,000 acres, extended from Swan Creek to the River
Oromocto, including the present parish of Burton and part of the
adjoining parish of Blissville.

4. Sunbury, 125,000 acres, began at Old Mill Creek, a little below
Fredericton, and extended up the river as far as Long's Creek,
including the City of Fredericton, the parish of New Maryland and the
parish of Kingsclear. A part of this grant (20,000 acres) was added a
little later to the Township of New Town on the opposite side of the

5. New Town extended about eight miles up the river from the Township
of Maugerville on the east side opposite Fredericton and at first
contained 20,000 acres, afterwards increased to 40,000.

It is an interesting circumstance that the site upon which Alexander
Gibson's mills at Marysville stand today, was selected by Beamsley
Glasier and his associates in 1765 as the most desirable mill site
along the St. John river. We even know the names of the pioneers of
milling in that locality.

In the month of July, 1766, the sloop, "Peggy and Molly" sailed from
Newburyport for St. John and on the way she called at Portsmouth and
took on board Capt. Beamsley Glasier and five mill-wrights, Jonathan
Young, Hezekiah Young, Joseph Pike, Tristram Quimby and John Sanborn
each of whom paid Simonds & White 20 shillings passage money. Soon
after their arrival they framed and erected the first saw mill on the
Nashwaak, probably the first built by English hands in the province.
In September, same year, the "Peggy and Molly" brought a large
consignment from New England for Capt. Glasier, including all the mill
gear, a quantity of seed corn, barley and garden seeds, some live
stock and fowls, household utensils and provisions. Capt. Glasier says
in a letter to Wm. Hazen written in August, 1766, "Young and all the
Carpenters intend to stay and settle here and he begs you'll be so
good as to acquaint his wife and family of it." No permanent
settlement, however, seems to have been made at the Nashwaak at this
time other than Anderson's trading post at the mouth of that stream.

Shortly after obtaining the grants of their townships the Canada
Company appointed Nathaniel Rogers of Boston their treasurer, and
Colonel Beamsley Glasier their agent, and levied a tax of one hundred
dollars on each member of the company to defray the expenses of
management. The conditions of the grants required the grantees to
settle one-fourth part of their lands in one year in the proportion of
four Protestant[75] persons for every 1,000 acres, one-fourth part in
the same proportion in two years, one-fourth in three years and the
remainder in four years, all lands remaining unsettled to revert to
the Crown.

   [75] This word was designed to exclude the Acadians as settlers.

An immediate attempt was made by Col. Glasier, Capt. Falconer and the
more energetic of their associates to procure settlers and improve the
lands, but the task was a gigantic one and settlers of a desirable
class by no means easy to obtain. The difficulties the Company had to
encounter will appear in the references that will presently be made to
some very interesting letters and documents that have been preserved
respecting the settlement of the townships.

As early as the 27th of January, 1765, the plans of the Canada Company
had so far developed that Captain Falconer sent one Richard Barlow as
storekeeper to the River St. John, where the company's headquarters
was about to be established under the supervision of Colonel Glasier.
Barlow was promised a lease of 200 acres at a nominal rent, and at
once removed with his family to the scene of operations. There were
frequent business transactions in the course of the next six years
between Simonds & White and the agents of the Canada Company, who
figure in their accounts as "Beamsley Glasier & Co.". In the years
1765 and 1766, for example, Mr. Rogers, the treasurer of the Canada
Company, paid Hazen & Jarvis £146 for certain goods supplied by
Simonds & White at the River St. John.

The value of the lands on the River St. John had not escaped the
notice of the keen-eyed pioneers at Portland Point, and in the first
business letter extant James Simonds writes to Wm. Hazen, "the lands
are very valuable if they may be had." Again on the 16th December,
1764, he writes, "I have been trying and have a great prospect of
getting one or two Rights [or shares] for each of us concerned in our
company, and to have my choice in the townships of this River, the
land and title as good as any in America." Hazen & Jarvis manifested
much interest in the matter and soon afterwards obtained a footing
among the proprietors and promoters of the scheme.

The arrival of Colonel Glasier with his millwrights and carpenters in
the fall of 1766 has been already mentioned. The progress made in
settling the townships during the first two years was, however, slow
and the mills on the Nashwaak were some time in being completed.
Simonds & White on the 20th June, 1767, wrote to their partners in
Newburyport, "When Col. Glasier left this place he was in such a
hurry, the vessel being bound directly to sea, that we could not make
a complete settlement, not having the people's accounts up the River
that had worked on the mills, logging, etc. We have inclosed his order
for what could be settled. The lots in Gage Town are drawn, Moses and
William Hazen Nos. 53, 54, Mr. Simonds No. 12, none of them either the
best or the worst in the Township. * * If young cattle are cheap at
your place we recommend sending some every opportunity; the growth of
them is profitable, and the King's Instructions to the Government are
that three cattle be kept on every fifty acres of land granted."

The manner of laying out and drawing lots in the townships, as first
agreed on, did not work very well and led to a vigorous remonstrance
on the part of Capt. William Spry, which is dated at New York, April
11th, 1768. The "remonstrance" appears to have been framed after
consultation with others of the committee appointed by the Proprietors
to carry on the settlement of the Townships, and its contents were
approved at a meeting held the next day. The "remonstrance" was
addressed to Rev.'d Dr. Oglevie and William Johnstone, Esq., and to
such other Proprietors, or their attornies, as were then in New York.
The document is of sufficient historic value to be quoted in full:--


  Of Capt. William Spry, one of the said Proprietors, sets forth,--

  "That the manner in which the Townships of Gage and Sunbury have
  been divided among the Proprietors, puts it out of their power to
  settle their respective shares, the Lots being only sixty-five
  rods in breadth, and from four to six miles in depth; that
  therefore no family at the first settling of those lands will go
  so far back into the Woods as to be deprived of the advantages of
  the River, and that there is not breadth enough in the lots but
  for very few families to be accommodated even supposing the
  Proprietors under the necessity of granting away the most valuable
  part of their lands, which would probably be the case, as the time
  allowed to complete the settlement is nearly expired.

  "That even granting those long narrow slips of land could be
  settled, their being situated in so many places (in the several
  townships) and so different from each other, makes it absolutely
  impossible for a Proprietor to look after them with that care and
  attention which the establishing of new settlements must require.

  "That the inclosing those several lots must of course be attended
  with great expense and the fixing their boundaries be very liable
  to create disputes.

  "Capt. Spry therefore proposes the following Plan to the Society,

  "1st. That every Proprietor shall have his proportion of all the
  lands in the several Townships (except Conway, as will be
  hereafter explained) in one Township only, that Townships to be
  fixed by Ballot.

  "2nd. That when the Proprietors have drawn the Township their lot
  is to be in, they draw again for their particular lot in that

  "3rd. That the lots in each Township be divided so as to be as
  nearly of equal value with one another as possible, the expense of
  which to be defrayed by the Society in general, in case the
  division cannot be settled by the survey already taken.

  "4th. That all the Islands be divided into sixty-eight lots and
  drawn for, except Perkin's Island which is to remain in common
  among all the Proprietors.[76]

   [76] It was perhaps at the suggestion of William Hazen or James
          Simonds that in the grant of the Township of Burton, of
          which they were grantees, there was included the "island
          in Passamaquody bay called Perkins Island," now known as
          Indian Island, where the fishing station of Simonds &
          White had been for several years established.

  "5th. That the Saw Mill also remain in common among all the
  Proprietors for Twenty years from the date of the Grant, and then
  to devolve to the Proprietors of the Township it is in.

  "6th. That as the Townships of Gage and Sunbury have been surveyed
  and the places for the Town Plots fixed by Charles Morris, Esq.,
  surveyor of Nova Scotia, that as ten families were sent to the
  River last Fall and could get no farther than Fort Frederick, by
  reason of contrary winds, and therefore are not as yet fixed to
  any particular Township, and as several other families have been
  procured to be sent this Spring by different Proprietors, who
  without an immediate drawing for the respective Townships cannot
  know to what Township to send their settlers, it is proposed that
  there should be a drawing for these Townships without loss of
  time, and also for the lots in the Townships of Gage and Sunbury,
  in the presence of two Magistrates of this City, which said lots
  Capt. Spry will undertake to make as equal a division of as the
  nature of the thing will allow.

  "The Division of the Townships among the Proprietors is proposed
  to be as follows, viz:--

  "The Townships of Gage, Burton and Sunbury, containing 100,000
  Acres each, to be divided among twenty Proprietors to each
  Township, which will be 5,000 acres to each Proprietor.

  "The Township of Conway, containing 50,000 acres, being
  conveniently situated for the Fishery, to be divided among all the
  Proprietors in equal lots and drawn for, which will be about 735
  acres to each.

  "The tract northwest of Maugerville of 20,000 acres (granted
  separately) and that of 20,000 acres adjoining, granted with the
  Township of Sunbury, to be made one Township of 40,000 acres and
  to be called New-Town, and divided among eight Proprietors, which
  will be 5,000 acres to each Proprietor, the same as in the other

  "By this method of dividing the townships all the lots will have a
  sufficient breadth upon the River, and the worst lot there can
  possibly be among them, will be of more value to any one
  Proprietor than the five best lots of the several Townships laid
  out as they are at present."

  Signed W. SPRY.

A meeting was immediately held at the house of George Burns,
innholder, in New York, and it was unanimously decided by the
proprietors of the townships and their agents, to annul the former
division of lands and adopt the proposals of Capt. Spry. In accordance
with this decision the proprietors or their representatives, held a
meeting on Wednesday the 20th of April, 1768, and in the presence of
Dirck Brinckerhoff and Elias Desbrosses, justices of the peace and
aldermen of the City and County of New York, made a drawing of the
townships in the manner proposed, the result of which appears below.

[Illustration: Map of the River St John in the province of Nova Scotia.
Exhibiting The Grants to Officers &c. in 1765 with other
From the Survey of Mr Chas Morris and other surveyors.]


  Lot. No.

  1.  John Lewis Gage.
  2.  Daniel Disney.
  3.  John Fenton, Esq.
  4.  Beamsley Glasier, Esq.
  5.  Dr. Thomas Blair.
  6.  James Finlay.
  7.  Jacob Jordan.
  8.  George Johnstone.
  9.  Thomas Clapp.
  10. Oliver Delancey, jr., Esq.
  11. Col. Frederick Haldimand.
  12. William Keough.
  13. Rev. Phillip Hughes.
  14. Charles Morris, jr., Esq.
  15. William Johnstone, Esq.
  16. Synge Tottenham.
  17. William Spry, Esq.
  18. George Gillman.
  19. Frederick Haldimand, jr.
  20. Guy Johnstone.


  Lot. No.

  1.  Alexander John Scott.
  2.  Dr. Robert Bell.
  3.  Thomas Hutchinson, Esq.
  4.  John Collins, Esq.
  5.  John Irving, jr., Esq.
  6.  John Desbruyeres. Esq.
  7.  Francis Greenfield.
  8.  Daniel Carleton.
  9.  Thomas Smelt, Esq.
  10. Richard Shorne.
  11. George Fead.
  12. Edward Bulkely, Esq.
  13. John Leake Burrage.
  14. Oliver Shorne.
  15. Isaac Caton.
  16. John Norberg.
  17. Hugh Parker.
  18. James Allen.
  19. James Simonds.
  20. Nathaniel Rogers, Esq.


  "The Town Plot not being fixed this Township could not as yet be
  divided into lots, but is to be as soon as possible: the
  Proprietors who drew the Township were: John Porteus, Thomas
  Falconer, sen'r, Esq., John York, Esq., Daniel Robertson, Joseph
  Peach, Esq., William Parker, Charles Pettit, Ralph Christie, Esq.,
  Daniel Claus, Esq., William Evins, Esq., John Campbell, Esq.,
  Joseph Howard, John Cox, Thomas Falconer, jun'r, John Treby, Esq.,
  James Porteus, Richard Burton, John Livingston, Esq., Samuel
  Hollandt, Esq., Benjamin Price, Esq.


  "This Township is under the same circumstances with that of
  Burton; the Proprietors who drew the Township were: Thomas
  Moncrief, Esq., Rev. John Ogelvie, D. D., Moses Hazen, James
  Jameson, William Hazen, Richard Williams, Charles Tassel, Esq.,
  and James Hughes."

It was agreed that the various islands in the River St. John belonging
to the townships should be surveyed as soon as possible and divided
into 68 lots. It was also agreed that the Saw Mill, erected or in
course of erection in the Township of New Town should remain the
common property of all the members of the society for the space of
twenty years from the date of the grant, expenses attending the
building or repairing of the mill to be borne by all the proprietors
of the several townships, and after the expiration of twenty years to
become the property of the grantees of New Town.

It will be noticed that in the division of the townships the Rights,
or shares, of Moses and William Hazen were drawn in New Town and that
of James Simonds in Sunbury. Mr. Simonds evidently was quite satisfied
for he wrote to Hazen & Jarvis, June 22, 1768.

  "The Township of Sunbury is the best in the Patent and New Town is
  the next to it according to the quantity of land, it will have a
  good Salmon-Fishery in the river which the mills are to be built
  on, which runs through the centre of the tract. The mills are to
  be the property of the eight proprietors of the Township after
  seventeen years from this time, and all the Timber also the moment
  the partition deed is passed."



Since the preceding chapters were printed the author chanced to
discover some interesting manuscripts in the collections of the
Massachusetts Historical Society which throw a good deal of light upon
the history of the old townships on the River St. John. It is to be
regretted that this discovery was not made a little sooner, but it is
not too late to give the reader the benefit of it in a supplementary

The association that undertook the settlement of the townships of
Conway, Gage, Burton, Sunbury and New-town has been referred to in
these pages as "The Canada Company," but its proper name was "The St.
John's River Society." The original promoters of the gigantic land
speculation--for such we must call it--set on foot at Montreal in
1764, were chiefly army officers serving in Canada, hence the name,
"The Canada Company." When, however, it was determined to enlarge the
association by the addition of the names of gentlemen in Boston, New
York, Philadelphia, and Halifax, and when the valley of the River St.
John was selected as the place where the most desirable lands were to
be had the Canada Company took a new name and was known as "The St.
John's River Society."

The president of the society was Captain Thomas Falconer, who was
at this time at Montreal with his regiment. The most active
promoter of the society's plans for several years, however, was
Beamsley P. Glasier. This gentleman has already been frequently
spoken of in connection with events on the St. John. He was a
captain in the Royal American Regiment and afterwards attained the
rank of lieutenant-colonel. He had previously served in the Fifth
Massachusetts Regiment, in which he was commissioned ensign early
in February, 1745. The regiment rendered gallant service under Sir
William Pepperrell at the taking of Louisburg, and we have abundant
evidence of Glasier's reputation as a brave determined leader in the
following document, the original of which is to be found in the
archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society:

  "AGREEMENT. We whose names are underwritten have enlisted
  ourselves voluntarily to go on ye attack of the Island Battery at
  the mouth of the Harbor of Louisburgh provided Beamsley Glaizer is
  our Capt. on said attack and then wee shall be ready att Half am
  Hours warning[77]" [Signed by forty individuals.]

   [77] The date of this document is probably May, 1745. The Island
        Battery was one of the most formidable defences in Louisburg.

Captain Glasier served subsequently under Sir Wm. Johnson and Gen'l
John Winslow.

The idea of securing large grants of land in Nova Scotia was taken up
by officers of the Royal Americans, the 44th foot and other regiments
at Montreal early in the year 1764. Among the promoters were Capt.
Thos. Falconer, Capt. Beamsley Glasier, Capt. John Fenton, Rev. John
Ogilvie, D. D., (chaplain of the Royal American regt.), Major Thos.
Moncrief, Capt. Daniel Claus, Capt. Samuel Holland, Brig. Gen'l. Ralph
Burton, Lieut. Wm. Keough, Lieut. Richard Shorne and others.

Captain Glasier seems to have obtained am extended leave of absence
from his military duties and for three years most of his time was
spent in trying to settle the society's townships. He sailed from
Quebec on the 28th of August, 1764, and after exploring the southern
coast of Nova Scotia and entering many of the harbors in order to get
"the best information of the Goodness of Land, and Conveniency for
carrying on the Fishery," he at length reached Halifax on the 26th of
October. The events subsequent to his arrival we shall let him
describe in his own words.

  "Upon my arrival I waited on the governor, and gave him my
  letters; he rec'd me with great politeness and ordered a meeting
  of Council the next day in order to consult where I should pitch
  upon a tract of land suitable for such a Grand Settlement, for it
  is looked upon as the most Respectable of any in the province, and
  I must say that everybody in authority seem'd to interest
  themselves in the thing and give me all the advice and assistance
  in their power. Many Places was talked of, but none was so
  universally approved as the River St. Johns. It was therefore the
  opinion of the Council, and all that wished well to the
  establishment, that I should go across the country to Pisiquid
  (Windsor), and take passage on board a Vessell that was going from
  thence with Provisions for the Garrison of Fort Frederick, which I
  accordingly did, and arrived the 18th of November. * *

  "As soon as I arrived I procured a Boat and went up the River
  above the falls as far as where the good land begins to make its
  appearance; but an uncommon spell of cold weather had set in and
  frozen over the small rivers leading into the Main River. * *

  "Besides what I saw, which answered exactly with the account I had
  of it before, I had the best information from the Indians and
  Inhabitants settled 40 miles up the River and the Engineer of the
  Fort, who had Just been up to take a plan of the River, so that I
  was not at a loss one moment to fix on that spot for the

Capt. Glasier spent about four days in examining the river. It will be
noticed he speaks of "an uncommon spell of cold weather;" nevertheless
the river was open for a good distance. This goes to show that the
winter season did not begin any earlier 140 years ago than it does

Judging by the account of his journey from Fort Frederick to Halifax
Capt. Glasier was a good traveller. He says, "We breakfasted at the
Fort, dined at Annapolis and walked from thence to Halifax 5 days 145
miles in company with a brother of Lord Byron, who made the tour with
me to see the country."

Beamsley Glasier would have made a good immigration agent, for he
certainly describes the country in glowing colors, yet his description
of the valley of the St. John is in the main quite accurate and it is
exceedingly interesting to have a glimpse of that region in its
pristine state.

  "The entrance of St. John's River," he writes, "forms like a Bay
  between two points[78] about 3 leagues apart from thence it grows
  narrower gradually up to the Falls, which is 200 yards broad. The
  Falls, which has been such a Bugbare, is rather a narrow place in
  the River than Falls, for at half tide it is as smooth as any
  other place in the River, the tide then just beginning to make and
  grows gradually stronger until high water, from that till two
  hours ebb a Vessell of 500 tons may go up or down. I know of very
  few Harbours in America that has not a barr or some other
  impediment at the entrance so as to wait for the tide longer than
  at St. Johns; here if you are obliged to wait you are in a good
  harbour out of all danger of bad weather.

  "On each side the falls the rocks are high and so continue about
  four leagues, all Lime stone; then begins the finest Prospect in
  the world, the Land becomes flat, not a stone or pebble for 60
  miles * * the banks something higher than it is a little way in;
  it runs level from six to twelve miles back and some places
  farther, such land as I cannot describe. The New England People
  [in Maugerville] have never plowed but harrowed in their grain,
  such Grain of all kinds, such Hemp, Flax, &c, as was never seen."

   [78] Mispeck Point on the east and Negro Head on the west.

Capt. Glasier's description of the interval lands in their virgin
state, untouched by the white man's axe, is particularly interesting.
It serves to explain why these lands were not over-run by forest fires
and were considered so desirable by the early settlers.

  "The trees," he says, "are all extremely large and in general very
  tall and chiefly hard wood;[79] no Spruce, Pine, Firr, &c. Neither
  is there underwood of brush, you may drive a Cart and Oxen thro'
  the trees. In short it looks like a Park as far as ever your eye
  can carry you. The pine trees fit for large masts are farther back
  and bordering on the small Rivers as I am told by the Indians.
  These fellows are the most intelligent people I ever saw; near 400
  live about 60 miles up the River, and seem to be well pleased at
  our coming here, I saw all their Chiefs at the Fort. The land on
  the N. E. side the River has been overflowed sometimes, but it
  goes off immediately and leaves such a manure as you may
  imagine--tho' it has not for several years past; the other side is
  higher, the lands not so good in general. When I said not so Good
  I would not be understood to mean that they are not good, for even
  those are as good as any I ever saw in America, with the same kind
  and quality of wood, but does not run back so far.

   [79] A few giant elms of the primeval forest are yet to be found
          on the bank of the St. John. The author not long since
          examined the stump of a large elm that grew a few miles
          below the town of Woodstock. It was four feet in diameter
          and the number of concentric rings 325, so that it must
          have been a sapling in the days of Queen Elizabeth.

  "I suppose we shall have the Proprietor's Town on the west side,
  tho' the New England People are all settled on the other side. The
  whole Country abounds with Game; there is likewise plenty of Moose
  weighing from 1000 to 1500 lbs. each, fatt and finer than beef,
  which you may kill every day. Wild fowl of all kinds, cocks,
  snipes, and partridges are so plenty that the Gentlemen who was
  with me swore that it was no sport, as we could shoot 3 or 4 at a
  shot. An Indian made me a present of a pair of horns of a small
  Moose as he called them, for he assured me that some was twice as
  heavey. These measured 5 feet and 2 inches and weighed 33-1/2 lb.,
  judge you the biggness of the owner.

  "Upon the Interval land you have a long kind of Grass[80] which
  the Cattle in that country fatten themselves upon. I never in my
  life saw fatter beef than one I saw killed there, & the New
  England People vowed that the heiffers of the same breed that had
  a calf in Boston at 3 years old came in at 2 years at St. Johns,
  so much they improved in growth and Wantonness as they called it.

   [80] This grass still grows naturally on the St. John River
          intervals, and is known to the farmers as "blue-joint."

  "Their Hoggs and Sheep they keep on the Islands, which are
  overflowed generally when the River brakes up which is commonly
  about the middle of April. This overflowing leaves these Islands
  so rich that the Hoggs grow fatt by eating Ground nuts without
  any other food in summer (in our Grant we have some of these
  Islands) nor do they put up their Horses in the Winter, except
  those that work, tho' you may cut any quantity of Grass. Can I say
  more of the Soil, Trees, situation, &c.? Be assured it is all

  "The fish is the next thing. This River abounds with all sorts of
  small fry, Trout, Salmon, Bass, Whitefish & Sturgeon. The Bass is
  ketcht in Wiers just under the Point below the Fort, so that good
  voyages may be made in that branch; all the expence is in making
  the Wiers, and as to Sturgeon they are more remarkably plenty than
  any place upon the Continent, and if there was persons that
  understood pickling them it would be a very profitable undertaking
  and fetches ready money in London."

The Glasier letters (which have just been printed in the Collections
of the N. B. Hist. Society) show that before Beamsley Glasier left
Montreal, as the accredited agent of the St. John's River Society,
there had been a good deal of discussion about the location of the
townships it was desired to procure and settle. It was ultimately
decided that this matter should be left to the discretion of Captain
Glasier after he had made a personal examination of certain localities
and obtained reliable information respecting the ungranted lands in
Nova Scotia. Glasier wrote from Halifax on the 15th December, 1764, to
Captain Thos. Falconer and the Society's committee at Montreal,
informing them of his selection of the valley of the River St. John as
by all odds the most desirable situation. He says:

  "When I compare this place to any other we ever thought of I am
  surprised it had not been fixed on before I came away. The island
  of St. Johns (or Prince Edward Island) is not good land, besides
  being so far to the northward it is too exposed if a war should
  happen, as is all up the Gut of Canso, Bay Challeurs, etc. Besides
  the whole of that part of the country, as well as all the coast to
  the head Cape Sable and up the Bay of Fundy, is bound with fog
  almost three months in the year. In this River you have none above
  the falls, nor have you Musquitos here in any sort of comparison
  to any other part of this country. Besides you are so near the
  settled parts of New England that you may sail with a good wind to
  Boston in 30 hours, or if you have a mind to coast along shore you
  may harbour every 4 or 5 Leagues all the way to Boston and that
  all winter. I think we are very happy not to settle on the Lake
  where we proposed, for if we had anything to send to market it
  would take more time and be a greater risk to get it out of the
  River St. Lawrence than to go from here to Europe."

On the 1st March following Capt. Glasier addressed a letter to John
Fenton of Boston informing the members of the Society in that quarter
of the success of his subsequent proceedings. He apologizes for the
tardiness of his communication by saying, "I have put off writing, as
the world puts off Repentence till the last moment." Glasier is very
enthusiastic as to the outlook.

  "The interval lands on the St. John," he says, "are wonderful, not
  a stone and black mold 6 feet deep, no underwood, large tall Trees
  all hardwood; you may drive a Coach through the Trees, we can cut
  what Grass we please and we may improve the land immediately; in
  short I can't describe it to you. * * * * I hope we shall be able
  to begin something this summer, there is the D--l and all of
  people applying for lands in this province. There is now settled
  50 families just above us, all Yankys[81]; they are not very good
  Farmers you know but they raised fine grain last year."

   [81] The reference is to the settlement made at Maugerville two or
        three years before, which at this time seems to have been
        called the Township of Peabody, in honor of Captain Francis

In the choice of the St. John river valley as the best situation for
the townships that were to be laid out and settled, Beamsley Glasier
seems to have been guided very largely by the advice of Charles
Morris, the surveyor general of Nova Scotia, and his son Charles
Morris, junior. The younger Morris had a personal interest in the
Society and Capt. Glasier writes of him:

  "Mr. Morris's son is one of our Proprietors and is to go with me
  in April to survey the whole tract I have asked for. He is Deputy
  to his Father and very clever, as you'll have occasion to know
  hereafter. We propose setting out from Halifax about the beginning
  of April and take a survey of Port O'Bear[82] on our way to St.
  Johns. I imagine the whole will take us a great deal of time as we
  shall go up all the small rivers. I have engaged a little schooner
  for the purpose. As places for our Mills and good Timber, oak as
  well as pine, is a great object, and as Mr. Morris is a Conesieur
  in the Goodness of Lands, if we don't fix upon convenient spots to
  answer all our purposes it will be our faults."

   [82] Probably Port Le Bear (or Hebert) near Shelburne on the southern
        coast of Nova Scotia.

The task of surveying and exploring proved of greater magnitude than
Glasier had anticipated, and at the end of the summer the Surveyor
General of Nova Scotia and his son had only been able to make a
general sketch of the river and townships, not an accurate survey, and
Glasier expressed the opinion that it would be a work of two years at
least before the River would be thoroughly known. Just how much time
was spent in the work of exploration and survey we do not know, but
the younger Morris spent three months in the summer of 1766 surveying
the townships of Gage and Sunbury, and in addition to this he says:
"The Surveyor General and myself expended more than a Hundred Pounds
Sterling of our own Money in surveying the River last year."

Captain Glasier was very desirous of obtaining the best lands on the
river and he states frankly, in one of his letters, "what we want is
the good lands only, or as small a quantity of the bad as is
possible." He was not ready to make definite application for lands,
therefore, until he had ascertained the whereabouts of all lakes,
ponds, sunken and bad lands, etc., in order to avoid paying quit rents
to the crown for that which was not improvable.

Meanwhile trouble was brewing at Halifax, and it was only by the good
offices of Governor Wilmot, Charles Morris, sr., and other members of
the Council that the St. John River Society was saved from disaster.
We get an idea of the threatened danger in a letter of Hon. Michael
Francklin to Captain Glasier of July 22, 1765, in which great concern
is expressed that Glasier had not yet made his choice of the lands he
desired. "You cannot conceive how the Government is embarrassed,"
writes Francklin, "by the daily applications that are made. We have no
less than three agents from Pennsylvania who are put off on your
account. * * * My dear Sir be thoroughly persuaded that no set of
people will have the preference to your Gentlemen in anything that can
be done for them, but pray do reflect and consider the Government here
and our situation, how disagreeable it is to lock up a whole River,
sufficient for fifty Townships, and people applying every day that we
are obliged to put off until you are served. Consider what a risque
the Government runs of losing a number of valuable settlers. I beg of
you, on my own account and as one who has the welfare and prosperity
of the Province at heart, that you will by some means or other make
your choice as soon as possible and transmit it to the Governor."

Captain Glasier comments on this in a letter to Nathaniel Rogers of
Boston. "Some of the Council are wanting to establish those companies
belonging to Philadelphia who are waiting at Halifax, as you'll see by
the inclosed letter from one of them to me. I see through the whole,
the Governor[83] keeps them off till I return."

   [83] Captain Glasier seems to have been on excellent terms with Gov'r
        Wilmot. On 1st March, 1755, he wrote to Capt. Fenton of
        Boston, "I have received great civility from all sorts of
        people here in Halifax. I have made your compliments to the
        Gov'r and he has desired his to you; poor D----l has had the
        Gout all winter, which seems to be the General Distemper in
        this place amongst people of Rank."

By the advice of Governor Wilmot the society filled up the number of
their Proprietors to sixty and at once began to make preparations for
the settlement of the lands promised, and which were granted in the
month of October, 1765. Glasier advised the establishment of a
magazine of stores at Fort Frederick, also the sending of horses,
cattle, sheep, and swine, with any settlers they could procure, as
soon as possible. He adds, "As young strong Fellows might be hired in
Canada for 120 livres a year, 20 of them might be hired and sent here
next spring; the Canada horses are much the best for this country * *
* The men you hire will be able to hew or cut timber for your houses,
clear the land where you have the Town, provide a covering for the
cattle, and cut hay, raise potatoes for your hogs--there is a Spanish
potatoe in this country that yields so much that a boy of 12 years old
will raise as many as will keep 20 hogs, they are made use of for that
purpose throughout all New England. * * The Iron for Saw Mills I think
should be bought in Canada as that Iron is so good. Any French that
have taken the oath of allegiance may become your settlers."

An assessment of £30 was now ordered to be made on each member of the
Society to meet necessary expenses. The Rev. Dr. Ogilvie of New York
was chosen as Treasurer. Richard Barlow, late a sergeant in the 44th
regiment, was appointed store keeper at St. John. Capt. Falconer, who
sent him from Montreal, described him as "a steady man used to
business of that nature, who proposes to be a settler, has a family
and some money to enable him to begin tolerably well." Barlow was to
receive 12 shillings N. Y. currency pr. week and "oneration of
provisions," also 200 acres of land and a town lot. He was directed to
proceed from Montreal to Boston and there take upon him the care of
the tools, utensils, materials and stores of all kinds and embark with
them for the River St. Johns in Nova Scotia.

A large assortment of materials, stores, tools and other articles were
purchased by Nathaniel Rogers in Boston, including mill geer,
carpenter's tools, farming implements, also three yoke of oxen and
tackling necessary for drawing logs, etc. These were shipped to St.
John in the schooner "Lucy," James Dickey, master, "consigned to
Richard Barlow storekeeper at St. John's and passenger on board for
the use of the St. John's society."

Capt. Glasier's expectation was that a majority of the settlers of the
township might be expected from New England. He says, "There is a
number of Families from N. England come this summer (1765) on a
presumption that there was sufficient land to be had, as one Peabody
and his associates had settled themselves the same way about four
years ago and had a great struggle to get their Grant this year after
all their improvements. These people want to become our settlers, but
it is not possible for me to settle them for I can't tell them, 'fix
your selves on such a spott and it shall be yours;' no, the lands must
be lay'd out in proper form, lots No. 1, 2, 3, &c., and drawn for. The
people are waiting for my answer, as I have told them there will be
lands for them when we can come into a proper method. They have all
got stock and all materials to carry on farming and will want no help
from us."

The difficulties experienced by Capt. Francis Peabody and his
associates in securing their lands at Maugerville have been referred
to already--see page 154--but further light is thrown upon the
matter in the appendix to this Chapter, in which will be found the
memorial of the Maugerville people to the Lords of Trade and
Plantations, together with a letter addressed to Joshua Mauger by
Charles Morris and Henry Newton, who had been sent to the River St.
John by the Governor of Nova Scotia to investigate the situation.

An important meeting of the members of the St. John's River Society
and their representatives was held at New York on the 3d of June,
1766, when it was decided that steps should be taken as soon as
possible for dividing the lands belonging to the society; that a
surveyor should be employed to lay out the town either at Grimross or
some other place more convenient or proper for the purpose; that a
grist and saw mill should be immediately built on "Nishwack creek";
that Captain Glasier should agree with proper persons to build the
mills, lay out the town, survey the lots for division and take
possession in due form of all grants (including the island called
Perkins Island, in the Bay of Passamaquoddy) in,the name of the
Society. It was further decided that as a sum of money was required
for the expenses of surveying and dividing the lands into lots,
building the mills, etc., that the second year's subscription money
should be paid on or before the 24th of August.

Two sites were regarded with favor for the town, Grimross and St.
Ann's Point. Both places had been originally cleared and settled by
the French. Glasier states in one of his letters: "At Grimross there
is timber and lime, which the French had prepared to build a church;
there is cleared land three miles in length, an old settlement where
our Principal Town must be built, if we can't have St. Anns Point,
which is the finest spot on the River for our purpose. There are many
difficulties to surmount, which you will know hereafter; there is but
one good stream on all the River fit to erect Mills upon, which I have
got for us, and, between ourselves, have been obliged to pop them
between two other grants (by the assistance of Mr. Morris). There is
about 100 Families in the Township of Peabody, they have not one mill
of any kind, nor can there be; they have been obliged to bring all
from New England. These mills must be our first object; we shall be
able to furnish our neighbors with Lumber as well as ourselves. I
have arranged for the Timber and all other materials to be prepared
and inclose you Mr. Simonds estimate of the cost. * * * Mr. Simonds is
perfectly acquainted with the business of Saw-mills and knows every
minivar [manoeuvre] belonging to them. I think we are lucky in having
him on the spot to manage so material a part of our establishment.
These Mills properly managed will pay for themselves at least four
times a year, besides we can't carry on our Settlement without them."

James Simonds' estimate of the cost of the mills will be found in the
letter which follows. It was probably considerably under the mark for
people are usually optimistic in such things:--

  "Passamaquoddy, August 20th, 1765.

  "Sir,--Agreeable to your desire I have made the nearest
  calculation I could of the cost of two mills and dam on Nashwog
  River, and am of opinion that two hundred pounds currency will
  complete them. The first cost is very great, which will be mostly
  for the dam, yet as the stream is sufficient for an addition of
  three or four mills on the same dam, it will be cheaper in the end
  than to build the same number of mills and a dam to each on small
  brooks that will be almost dry near half the year.

  "I must advise you Sir to have your Iron work made of the best
  Iron, as breaches in any part of mills is of fatal consequence to
  the profit of them. I have sent the dimensions of the cranks,
  knowing it to be the practice in New England to make them so small
  as to retard the business of sawing, besides frequently
  breaking--the breaking of one may be a greater damage than the
  cost of two. I have described them something large, but think you
  had better exceed the size than fall short of it.

  "The best workmen will be the cheapest as the whole depends on the
  effectual laying the foundation of the dam, etc. I make no doubt
  but when the mills are completed they will saw at least 5 M boards
  pr. day.

  "I am Sir, your most obedient servant,


It may be noticed, in passing, that Mr. Simonds writes from
Passamaquoddy. The headquarters of the trade and fishery there was at
Indian Island, or as it was sometimes called, Perkins Island. Mr.
Simonds and Wm. Hazen were members of the St. John's River Society and
it would appear from Capt. Glasier's letter to Nathaniel Rogers of
10th Nov'r., 1765, that the Society had ambitious designs with regard
to this locality. "Our Fishery at Passamaquoddy," writes Glasier, "is
an object worth our attention; it is the best in the province. A
Block-house will be built there next spring and I can get a party from
the Fort sand some small cannon which will secure the Fishermen
against any insult from the Indians. This spot is more valuable than
you can imagine. I was promised by some of the principal Fishermen
belonging to New Hampshire if I got a grant of this Island they would
came to the number of 100 families with all their crafts, etc., and
become our settlers at Saint Johns, and if we get Grand Manan[84] it
will give us a chain of Harbours all the way to Mount Desert, which
will be all we want."

   [84] In another part of his letter Glasier says, "Capt. Falconer, who
        is on the spot, is desired to petition the Lords of Trade for
        this Island." Capt. Falconer intended to have gone to the
        River St. John to assist in the management of affairs there,
        but this plan was upset by his being ordered with his regiment
        to Ireland.

The avidity manifested by the agent of the St. John's River Society in
seeking favors at the hands of government would seems to countenance
the idea, suggested in the preceding chapter of this history,[85] that
when he memoralized the government of Nova Scotia for a grant of "the
Point or Neck of land bearing three quarters of a mile from Fort
Frederick, with 60 acres of land adjoining to it, for the making and
curing Fish," he had in view the valuable peninsula on the east side
of the harbor of St. John, on which the principal part of the city now
stands; but further investigation shows that this is not the case and
that the point of land meant was the neck adjoining the fort, on the
Carleton side of the harbor.[86]

   [85] See page 208, ante.

   [86] Speaking of the fishery in St. John harbor, Captain Glasier
        writes, under date December 15, 1764, "The Bass is ketcht in
        Weirs just under the Point below the Fort," that is on the
        Carleton side of the harbor, and in the next sentence he goes
        on to identify this point or neck of land with that adjoining
        Fort Frederick. "The Cod Fish," he says, "strikes in here a
        month sooner than at Cape Sable shore & goes off a month
        sooner; you ketch the Fish a league within the mouth of the
        Harbour and quite up to the Island [Navy Island] near the
        Point of Land I have asked for."

We have ample testimony as to Beamsley Glasier's zeal and energy as
director of the affairs of the St. John's River Society. Charles
Morris, junior, says of him, "Capt. Glasier has done everything that
was possible for any man to do, and more than any one else in his
situation would have done to serve the Society," adding that he had
not been properly supported, and if he had retired "there would have
ended the Grand Settlement of St. John's River, for as soon as he had
left it, in all probability the Indians (who have been made to believe
our Dam will destroy their Fishery) would have burnt and destroyed all
that has been done this summer at the Mills, and before we could build
other mills and get things in so good a way again the lands would be
forfeited, for there will be a court of Escheats held and all the
lands that have been granted in this province that are not settled and
improved agreeable to the express condition of the Grant will
absolutely be declared forfeited." "But," he continues, "I can't
imagine the Society will suffer theirs to be forfeited, for I am well
convinced that less than £30 sterling from each proprietor will build
all the mills, divide all the lands and pay every expense that has
attended the settlement from first to last; and each proprietor will
then have 7,000 acres of good land laid out into lots, mills built and
everything ready and convenient to carry on and make a fine settlement
of it."

Glasier rarely complained of the difficulties with which he was
confronted, but on one occasion be admits "I am in a very disagreeable
situation and am heartily tired of it, and was it not for ingaging in
the Mills, would curse and quit the whole business. I have not been
well treated; to agents for all the Philadelphia and other Companys
have been genteely appointed and every expence paid with honor. What I
have done by myself has been ten times more than they all together and
the expence not the fifth part in proportion."

Whilst engaged in his work on the River St. John, Glasier was obliged
to make occasional trips to Boston, taking passage usually in the
vessels of Hazen, Simonds and White. The excitement produced in New
England by the operation of the obnoxious Stamp Act gave him some
concern. He writes in November, 1765, "I have some things to settle
with the Governor & Council next time they sit, that prevents my
going to Boston by this vessel, but I shall go the next time she
sails, if you Boston people don't burn her, which I should be very
sorry should happen as she carrys no stamps. My heart bleeds for my
Country, what will be the end of all this?"

Two projects especially claimed Glasier's attention in the summer of
1766: The first the founding of a town, the second the building of his
saw-mill. "I propose," he says, "to lay out the Town at Grimross in 80
squares, in addition to public squares; then they are to be numbered
and drawn for by some person on the spot in the form of lottery
tickets, which I shall have sent to the proprietors so that we may fix
as many families as can be had this Summer on the Town lots. * * I
must have young Mr. Morris from Halifax to survey and lay out the
Town, as nothing can be done at Grimross before he arrives."

In connection with the erection of the Nashwaak mills Capt. Glasier
acknowledges his obligation to Hazen & Jarvis of Newburyport. He says:
"They have procured me men to build the mills and stores of all kinds
for the workmen." The mill geer came this season, but on the 25th
October Glasier writes, "The mills won't be finished this fall, it is
such a work it was not possible to get through with it. * * * * My
time has been divided between the Mills and the Surveying. I am
condemned to tarry here this winter and can know nothing of what is
doing in the world."

On the 2nd February following, he writes Mr. Nath'l Rogers of Boston,
"We are now employed in getting logs to the mills. I hope we shall get
them going early in the summer. They will begin to pay something of
the expense before the fall. It's impossible for me to tell you in a
letter the expenses of the different branches of business which I am
obliged to carry on to complete the whole. It is not only building
mills, surveying, etc., but clearing up the land, building houses,
making roads, hiring oxen (for we have not half enough of them) and in
fine so much I shall never pretend to write it. James Simonds, Esq.,
who is the Bearer of this, will be able to inform you much better than
I can. * * * I am determined to finish what I have undertaken and then
quit it. I am not in the best situation in the world, as I believe
you'll think when I tell you I am not only shut out from all society
and know nothing of what is carrying on in the world, but my stores
are all expended, nor is there one thing to be bought here, pray send
me last year's magazines and some English newspapers as well as the
Boston ones. * * * I should be glad if you'd send the oxen, they may
be not old nor of the largest kind but good to draw. I pay half a
dollar a day for each yoak I hire so that they'll almost pay for
themselves in one year in work. Those that we have here have worked
more than one hundred days since I came, so that if we had been
obliged to have hired them at the rate I pay others it would amount to
a large sum. Twelve is the least that can be employed always at the
mills hauling logs, as they will cut 8,000 feet a day, I am told, when
they are finished. * * * * I told you I would not write you a long
letter, as there is nothing I hate so much; it's the D----l to have
ten thousand things to say."

Beamsley Glasier's connection with the St. John river was now drawing
to a close. In the summer of 1767 he went to New York where we find
him engaged, in company with the Rev. Dr. Ogilvie, in collecting the
second annual subscription from the members of the society. The
military gentlemen proved very dilatory in paying their subscriptions.
Whether Capt. Glazier became disheartened at the outlook, or whether
he received peremptory orders to rejoin the Royal American Regiment is
uncertain. But about the end of August, 1767, James Porteous,
representing the Montreal committee, wrote to Nathaniel Rogers: "We
are now informed Capt. Glazier is at New York on his way to join his
Regiment, it therefore becomes necessary to appoint another person to
transact the Society's business, for which purpose we have appointed
Mr. James Simonds, one of the Proprietors, agent with whom you will
please correspond on any occurrence regarding the settlement."

Messrs. Hazen & Jarvis, as well as their partners at St. John,
manifested great interest in the attempts of the Society to settle
their townships. Many details are mentioned in their letters, such as
those contained in the following to James Simonds. These details may
appear of little importance, yet everything that throws light upon the
methods employed in peopling a new country ought to have an interest
for after generations. In explanation of the subject matter of the
letter below it should be mentioned that Philip John Livingston and
others of the more energetic proprietors of the townships were sending
settlers, from New York, and other places to the River St. John.

  Newburyport, Octo. 8th, 1767.

  "We wrote you last Sunday by a sloop that came in here from New
  York for some cattle, sheep and hogs. She took on board the cows;
  the hogs and sheep go by this vessel. There is ten families [of
  settlers], each of which was to have 1 cow, 1 sow, and 6 sheep,
  but as they thought it necessary to have one of the hogs a boar,
  and it was impossible to procure all the creatures of an equal
  goodness, we must beg you will assist them (if they need it) in
  the division of them. There was put on board this sloop 90 bushels
  of ears of corn, 60 of which is on the Company's account and 30
  for these families' hogs, so that what may be more than 60 bushels
  upon their arrival with you, please to deliver with the hogs. The
  freight of these hogs and sheep we shall charge here.

  Mr. White is arrived with our Wm. Hazen and writes you by this
  vessel. We suppose he will tell you that we think it will not be
  best to build a vessel with you this winter.

  We have sent all we could procure of your memo. by this,
  vessel--the remainder will come by Mr. White who will sail the
  last of next week. You will observe there are seven hogsheads of
  rye and Indian corn wanting of the number in the invoices. These
  we took out to get ground and you shall have them when Mr. White

  Please to get as much lime as possible on board Capt. Newman, as
  we have agreed with him to land it in Portsmouth, you will
  therefore please to consign him to Mess. John & Temple Knight in
  that place.

  There are 100 sheep on board the sloop which cost upon an average
  about 6s. 10d. a head. Now as the ten families who came from Now
  York were to have 60 ewe sheep (and as they chose a ram or two in
  the number) you will please to deliver them their number out of
  the old sheep which we shall charge at seven shillings per head.
  There is a very likely ram on board (without horns) which we
  bought of Capt. White for the Company. This you will take care

  Since writing the above we have been getting the sheep on board
  and find several very old, which please to take for the Company's
  use, and we will get an abatement made by the person whom we
  bought them of and who has deceived us in them.

  Please to dispatch Newman as soon as possible as he has been
  detained here longer than he ought to have been. What will be
  wanting to fill up Newman besides the lime please to make up in

  We would recommend it to you not to tarry till Mr. White's arrival
  with you before you go up the River.

  Mr. Pickard and Mr. Hartt will give you an account of what freight
  they have on board which you will receive of them at the customary

      We are Sir,
          Your sincere Friends and devoted hum, Serv's.


  To Jas. Simonds, Esq'r.

Philip John Livingston, who has been mentioned as a promoter of the
settlement of the townships, was a member of a distinguished and
wealthy New York family. His mother was Catherine de Peyster and his
wife a daughter of Samuel Bayard. His brother, John W. Livingston, and
his wife's brother, Abraham de Peyster, were both captains in Col.
Edmund Fanning's King's American Regiment during the Revolutionary
war. Philip John Livingston was himself high sheriff of Dutchess
County, Now York, and during the Revolution held several important
positions under British authority in the City of New York. His father,
brothers and sons were all Loyalists.

About the close of the year 1767 Col. Glasier wrote from New York,
seemingly in excellent spirits at the prospect of speedy settlement of
the lands. "He informs us," writes Leonard Jarvis, "that one hundred
families will go down next year to settle on the St. John river--that
a vessel from Ireland will arrive there this fall--that Mr.
Livingston, a gentleman of fortune, has purchased three shares, and
that the Patent is daily getting into fewer hands. This gives us
encouragement to think that some time hence our interest in your River
will be valuable."

Among the proprietors of the townships who labored to effect their
settlement and improvement was Richard Shorne, a native of Ireland,
with whom were associated the Rev. Curryl Smith of Alminsta, West
Meath, Ireland, and his sons John and Robert Smith of the city of
Dublin. Mr. Shorne took up his residence at the River St. John in 1767
and lived there for several years. He was on July 8, 1768, returned a
member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for Sunbury county, his
colleague being Phinehas Nevers of Maugerville. He seems to have made
his headquarters at or near St. Anne's Point, where supplies were sent
to him from Newburyport by Hazen & Jarvis.

Simonds & White informed their partners at Newburyport in a letter
dated June 22, 1768, that they had been obliged to make considerable
advances out of their stores to some settlers that Mr. Livingston had
sent to the St. John river. Livingston it seems found fault with
certain items charged to him in the accounts and this led to a rather
indignant remonstrance on the part of Simonds & White. They wrote, "We
are surprised that he should mention anything as to the sums not being
due, when not only that but near as much more has been advanced to
save the lives of the wretched crew he sent. We have ever found that
the doing business for others is an office the most unthankful, and
equally unprofitable." In the same letter mention is made of the
arrival of Richard Shorne at St. John, with some families from New
York, to settle his own and other lands for which he was agent. It
appears that James Simonds introduced Richard Shorne to his friends at
Newburyport for in one of his letters he writes: "Mr. Shorne, the
bearer of this, is a Proprietor in our Lands and has left Ireland with
an intention of settling a number of Rights on this river and for that
purpose is invested with power from his friends to draw on them for
any sum that may be necessary. I must beg your kind assistance and
advice on his behalf as he does not appear to be much acquainted with
the settlement of Lands."

Still another extract--this time from a letter of Philip J. Livingston
to James Simonds, will throw additional light upon the story of the

  "New York, September 12, 1769.

  Sir, * * *

  I intreated the favour of you last year to procure two families
  for Sir Charles Dabers, who purchased the Right of James Allen,
  No. 18, in Sunbury Township, and desired Peter Carr might be fixed
  in that Township. If Sir Charles's families will accept of the
  same quantity of land as Captain Spry's and Mr. Morris's have
  done, I should be glad the lots were laid out in the same manner
  for them. I have only to add with respect to Sir Charles's two
  families that you will be pleased to furnish them with such
  provisions as may be necessary for their subsistence and draw for
  the amount. As to my families Hendrick and Baker, and West--who I
  am desired to attend to and who I am informed talk of prosecuting
  me--be pleased to furnish the ungrateful fellows, if they mend
  their manners, in such manner as best consists with strict
  frugality--for the large sums I have expended in the purchase of
  my several Rights and in prosecuting schemes of settlement
  (together with the sums I have been under the necessity of
  advancing to the Society, and still must advance to discharge a
  protested will of Glaziers, in this extreme scarcity of current
  specie) makes such an order prudential.

  I hope you have taken the cattle from Brooks, or received the
  worth of them for me and be pleased to inform me particularly of
  the state of the families. You no doubt will hear from Halifax of
  our petitioning the Government to confirm our division of lands
  and therefore shall say nothing about it but refer you to Capt.
  Spry and Mr. Morris.

  As soon as the committee of Montreal will be pleased to furnish us
  with cash we shall write to you about finishing the Mills: till
  then nothing need be said about it. I should however be glad to
  know what sum you think would put the Mills in working order. I
  intend, and it is my fixed resolve to be on St. John's River as
  soon as the weather will permit in the Spring, which will be about
  the 1st of May. If Mr. Ogilvie should not send you an order to
  furnish James Marrington with provisions--who was to settle
  General Burton's Right--I think it advisable to take that family
  for Sir Charles Dabers, as General Burton is dead, and the family
  without credit can't subsist.

      I am, Sir,
          Your Much Obliged
              And Very Humble Servant,


We may be pretty certain,that the complaints of the settlers mentioned
by Livingston were not entirely unreasonable. They had not anticipated
the hardships before them and were ill prepared to grapple with them.
Probably the attractions of the River St. John had been represented in
an exaggerated form, a circumstance not unknown in the case of
promoters of colonization of a more recent date than that we are at
present considering.

Peter Carr and Thomas Masterson, two of Livingston's tenants, settled
on the west side of the river opposite Musquash Island; both seem to
have proved good settlers. John Hendrick, one of Livingston's
"ungrateful fellows," was also a valuable settler; he was the father
of five sons and Major Studholme commended him in 1783 as "a good
subject, an old soldier and a very deserving man." Henry West, another
of Livingston's settlers, is also commended by Major Studholme as an
exceedingly good subject.

Notwithstanding the efforts of individuals, the progress made by the
Saint John's River Society in the settling of their townships was
unsatisfactory, and about this time Hazen & Jarvis expressed their
conviction that half of the proprietors would not settle their lands
at all; they therefore desired Simonds & White to take such measures
as would secure their own Rights in Sunbury and New-Town as well as
those of Moses Hazen and Governor Thomas Hutchinson--that of the
latter having been lately purchased for Mr. Jarvis. Simonds & White
seem to have agreed with their partners as to the improbability of
settling the townships, for in July, 1770, they write: "The Society's
Lands will be forfeited if not settled this year. We think it best to
engage as many families, and fix them in Conway, as will secure our
whole interest on the River, if they can be had." This advice was
based on the opinion of the authorities at Halifax that settling the
required number of families in one township would quite as effectively
protect the interests of the grantees as if they were dispersed over
the several tracts.


  Halifax, 5th August, 1763.

  Sir,--We beg leave to trouble you with a memorial of a number of
  officers and disbanded soldiers, who came from New England, and
  are settled on St. John's River. We were sent to them lately as a
  Committee of Council, by order of the Lieut.-Governor, to inform
  them that they could have no Grant of the Lands they were upon,
  and that they must remove therefrom, as these Lands were reserved
  by His Majesty for disbanded Troops. However, we are very
  apprehensive that their case must by some means or other have been
  misrepresented to the Lords of Trade, or not clearly understood.

  They are chiefly American soldiers, officers or privates; they
  have sold their Farms in New England, and have transported
  themselves at their own expense; they have brought considerable
  stock with them, and their Families, and if it is the intention of
  the Ministry to settle disbanded Troops on that River, we are of
  Opinion these people will be of use and service, as it cannot be
  expected that English Soldiers can bring any great stock with
  them. The removing these people now they are settled, will be
  their utter ruin, the particular circumstances of which they have
  set forth in their Memorial to the Lords of Trade, which we beg
  the favor of you to present to them, and are with great Respect,

  Sir, your most obedient and very Humble Servts.,

    Chas. Morris,
    Henry Newton.

  Joshua Mauger, Esqr.


  To the Right Honourable and Honourable the Lords of Commissioners
  of Trade and Plantations:

  The Memorial of Francis Peabody, John Carlton, Jacob Barker,
  Nicholas West and Israel Perley, late officers in the American
  service and now Disbanded, In behalf of themselves and others
  disbanded from the said service and now settled at St. John's
  River in Nova Scotia, Humbly Sheweth:--

  That your Memorialists, previous to their entering into his
  Majesty's Service, among other Encouragements were induced thereto
  by a Proclamation of his late Majesty promising that at the
  Expiration of the service they should be entitled to a Grant of
  Lands in any of his Majesty's colonies for them to Settle upon.
  That they have many of them been in Service during this Present
  war, and as Americans are not intitled to half pay, as his
  Majesty's British Troops are, and therefore expected no other
  Recompense than a Donation of Land agreeable to his late Majesty's
  Promise to them.

  That having been sollicited to settle in Nova Scotia, by Colonel
  McNutt, who appeared to us to be authorized by your Lordships,
  having produced to us an Instrument Signed by your Lordships and
  under seal promising a Right of Land to each Settler equal to
  those already Granted to Horton, Cornwallis and Falmouth, we were
  induced to come into the colony of Nova Scotia, and accordingly
  sent a Committee of us to view Lands proper for a Settlement. That
  our Committee accordingly viewed several Tracts of Lands in Nova
  Scotia at our Expense and advised us to settle upon St. John's
  River about seventy miles from the Mouth in one of the Extreme
  parts and Frontiers of Nova Scotia, that we therefore applyed to
  the Governor and Council of Nova Scotia for a Grant of the Lands,
  not doubting of having the same confirmed to us, as they had
  Granted several Townships in this Province of Nova Scotia to other
  New England Proprietors who had not been in the Service. That the
  Governour and Councill of Nova Scotia gave your Memorialists
  encouragement, by telling your Memorialists that the Lands about
  St. John's River were reserved by your Lordships for disbanded
  Troops and that they would refer your Memorialists' Petition to
  your Lordships.

  In confidence of this, and being ourselves Soldiers, we
  apprehended we might with great safety prepare ourselves for
  settling the Lands we Petitioned for, and accordingly sold our
  Estates in New England, and have at near a Thousand Pounds
  Sterling expence Transported ourselves, Families and Stock, and
  are now Settled to the number of one Hundred persons, on St.
  John's River seventy miles from the Mouth; and a large number of
  disbanded officers and soldiers in confidence of the same
  Encouragement have now sold all their Possessions in New England
  and are hiring Vessels to Transport themselves and Settle among

  We were not a little astonished when we were informed by his
  Majesty's Governor and Council here that we could not have a Grant
  of the Lands we have settled ourselves upon.

  We therefore humbly apply to your Lordships to Lay our Cause
  before his most Gracious Majesty for whose service we have often
  exposed our lives in America, that he would be pleased to direct
  the Governor and Council here to Grant us these Lands, we are now
  settled upon, as the Removal therefrom would prove our utter Ruin
  and Destruction. We have been at no expence to the crown and
  intend to be at none, and are settled two hundred miles from any
  other English Settlement.

  And your Memorialists as in duty bound shall ever pray.

  Recd. & Read Decr. 16, 1763.



The circumstances under which James Simonds, William Hazen and their
associates organized the first trading company at St. John have been
already related. Their business contract was signed on the 1st of
March, 1764. In the course of a year or two the character of the
original company was essentially altered by the death of Richard
Simonds, the retirement of Samuel Blodget and Richard Peaslie and the
admission of Leonard Jarvis as a new partner. Questions had also
arisen as to the rights of the several partners in the lands granted
in 1765 to James Simonds, James White and Richard Simonds. In order to
settle these questions a new business contract was signed at
Newburyport, on the 16th April, 1767, by James Simonds, Leonard Jarvis
and William Hazen. The original contract is yet in existence amongst
the papers of the Hazen family. It is in the handwriting of Leonard
Jarvis and is a well worn document which bears marks of having been
repeatedly handled. This is not to be wondered at for this contract
proved a veritable storm-centre in the litigation that ensued relative
to the division of the lands between the partners. The legal
proceedings assumed various phases and occupied the attention of the
courts for a period of twenty years.[87]

   [87] The second contract, or Articles of Partnership, entered into by
        William Hazen, Leonard Jarvis, James Simonds and James White
        is printed in Collections of the N. B. Hist. Soc., Vol. I. p.
        191. It is entered also in the book of records of the old
        County of Sunbury. The original document bears the following
        certificate, "Registered by me March 9th, 1782, Ja. Simonds,
        Dep'y Reg'r."

Under the new contract Hazen and Jarvis were to have a half interest
in the business, James Simonds one-third and James White one-sixth,
and all the lands on the River St. John that had been granted to any
or either of the partners (Mr. Simonds' lot in Maugerville excepted)
were to be put into the common stock and divided in the following
proportions, namely, one-half to Hazen and Jarvis, one-third to
Simonds and one-sixth to White. The same division was to be made of
any lands that should thereafter be obtained by the members of the
company, either individually or collectively, during the continuance
of the partnership.

Mr. Simonds sailed from St. John for Newburyport in the schooner
Eunice on the 4th March, 1767, but owing to head winds he was twenty
days in arriving at his destination. He submitted to Hazen and Jarvis
the accounts of the business at St. John for the three years of the
company's operations and then repaired to Haverhill, about fourteen
miles distant, to visit his relations. On his return he was
accompanied by his sister Sarah and by his young bride, Hannah
Peabody, who were about to settle with him at St. John. On his arrival
at the store of Hazen and Jarvis, the new contract was presented to
him for his signature. The proposition relative to the division of
lands led to "a warm altercation and dispute." Hazen and Jarvis
positively declined to continue in the business or to furnish supplies
unless they were allowed an interest in the lands. They stated
further that the goods on board the schooner Eunice should not leave
Newburyport, nor would they furnish anything for the spring trade but
insist upon immediate payment of the balance due them unless Mr.
Simonds should execute the contract. Much as he disliked the proposal
the situation of Mr. Simonds did not admit of delay. He was anxious to
settle his family at St. John, his workmen and tenants needed his
supervision and the Indian trade for the season would be lost unless
the goods on board the Eunice were delivered as speedily as possible.
Under these circumstances he deemed it best to sign the contract.
Hazen & Jarvis claimed the company were at this time indebted to them
in the sum of £3,135, but in the subsequent proceedings in the court
of chancery this was disputed by Mr. Simonds and the statements of the
parties interested are so much at variance that it is difficult to
determine the exact truth in the matter.

James White declined to sign the new contract stating:

  "That having one-fourth part of the duties, trouble and services
  to undergo and perform in transacting the business of the
  Copartnership, yet he was by the said Contract entitled to
  one-sixth part only of the lands to be divided under the contract.
  But that, although he disliked as aforesaid his having no greater
  share than one-sixth part in the Concern, he nevertheless joined
  with James Simonds in carrying on the business in full confidence
  that some equitable allowance would be made him for his services
  over and above his proportion of the said profits and lands."

On the occasion of James Simonds' visit to Halifax early in 1764 he
obtained a license to occupy ten acres of land at Portland Point for
carrying on the fishery and burning limestone, but it was not until
the 2nd October, 1765, that a grant was made to him, in conjunction
with his brother Richard, and James White, described as follows:

  "Beginning at a point of upland opposite to his (Simonds') House
  and running East till it meets with a little Cove or River; thence
  bounded by said Cove till it comes to a Red Head on the east side
  of the Cove--thence running North eleven degrees fifteen minutes
  west till it meets Canebekssis river, thence bounded by said
  river, the river St. John and harbour till it comes to the first
  mentioned boundary."

The bounds of this tract are shown in the accompanying plan. It was
supposed to contain 2,000 acres "more or less," but in reality it
contained upwards of 5,000 acres. Elias Hardy in 1785 claimed that the
grant must have originated in misrepresentation, either in the
application or survey, otherwise the quantity could not have been so
much mistaken. To this Ward Chipman replied that the land had never
been actually surveyed, but making allowance for lakes, sunken and
broken ground, etc., it was supposed not to contain much if any more
than the number of acres mentioned in the grant. The grant was made in
accordance with the return of the surveyor describing its boundaries
and expressing them to be "with allowance for bad lands, containing in
the whole by estimation 2,000 acres more or less." Chipman adds, "no
misrepresentation can well be supposed to have taken place at the time
of passing this Grant when the lands upon the river St. Johns were
considered as of very little value and there could be no inducement to
such a step."

However, in view of the fact that when surveyed the grant was found to
contain 5,496 acres, it must be admitted that the allowance for "bad
lands" was tolerably liberal, and the grantees were fortunate to
escape without the loss of at least half of their property. The line
running from Mr. Simonds' house eastward to Courtenay Bay is that now
followed by Union street. It will be observed that the peninsula south
of this street which now contains the business part of the city of St.
John, and which was laid out for the Loyalists in 1783 as Parr-town,
was not included in the grant. The primary object of the grantees was
evidently to obtain possession of the limestone quarries and the big
marsh, and they probably deemed the land south of Union street to be
hardly worth the quit rents.

[Illustration: Plan of Grants to Simonds & White]

The first grant at the mouth of the River St. John included only
a small part of the great marsh--then called by the Indians,
Sebaskastaggan--and a further tract in that locality was applied
for by James Simonds in a memorial to the government of Nova Scotia.
The memorial stated that James and Richard Simonds and James White
had obtained a grant of 2,000 acres of mountainous and broken
land at the mouth of the River Saint John in the year 1765, which
had been improved by building houses, a saw mill and lime kiln,
and the company had settled upwards of thirty people on it who were
engaged in carrying on those two branches of business, but that
the wood and timber so necessary for them was all consumed,
therefore praying that 2,000 acres additional to the eastward of
the said tract might be granted to the said James Simonds.

It can scarcely be believed that all the wood from the harbor of St.
John to the Kennebeccasis had been consumed in the five years of the
company's operations at Portland Point. But probably the lumber in the
vicinity of the saw-mill and the wood most convenient to the lime
kilns had been cut and this was sufficient to afford a pretext for
another grant. Mr. Simonds' memorial was considered by the Governor in
Council December 18, 1769, and approved. The grant did not issue till
May 1, 1770. The bounds are thus described:

  "Beginning at a Red Head in a little Bay or cove to the eastward
  of the Harbor at the mouth of Saint John's River described in a
  former grant to James Simonds in the year 1765, being the south
  eastern bound of the said grant, thence to run north 75 degrees
  east 170 chains, thence north 15 degrees west 160 chains or until
  it meets the river Kennebeccasis, and from thence to run westerly
  until it meets the north eastern bound of the former grant."

The boundaries of the second grant may be readily traced on the plan.
Like the former grant it included a good deal more than the 2,000
acres it was supposed to contain, and in this case, too, the grant
escaped curtailment. The grant was in the name of James Simonds, but
the other partners relied upon the clause in their business contract
as a sufficient guarantee of their interests.

It must be admitted that as the first adventurers to settle in an
exposed and at times perilous situation the first grantees of the
lands at the mouth of the River St. John were entitled to special
consideration. James Simonds had to make repeated visits to Halifax in
connection with the business at St. John and these visits were
sometimes attended with risk as will be seen from the following
extract of one of his earliest letters.

  Halifax, Oct'r 1st, 1764.

  "Last night arrived here after four days passage from St.
  John's--the first 24 hours were at sea in a severe storm, the
  second passed a place called the Masquerades where there was seas
  and whirlpools enough to have foundered the largest ships--we were
  providentially saved with the loss of all our cable and anchor
  endeavoring to ride at anchor till the tide slacked, but in vain.
  It was unlucky for us that we happened to fall in with that
  tremendous place in the strength of flood tide in the highest
  spring tide that has been this year. Gentlemen here say it is
  presumptuous to attempt to return the same way at this season in
  an open boat; but as the boat and men are at Pisiquit (Windsor),
  and I have no other way to get to St. John in season for my
  business this fall, shall get our business done here as soon as
  may be and return the same way I came. The plea of the above
  difficulty will have a greater weight than any other to have
  business finished here immediately. This morning I waited on the
  Governor, Secretary and all officers concerned in granting
  license, etc., who assure me that my request shall be granted
  directly so that I hope to be on my way to St. John's tomorrow."

We cannot but admire the courage and enterprise of a man who after so
fatiguing and perilous a journey, was ready, on the second day after
his arrival in Halifax, to remount his horse and travel forty-odd
miles over a very rough road to Windsor to face again the perils of
the Bay of Fundy in an open boat at a stormy season.

The establishment of Fort Frederick on the west side of the Harbor of
St. John, by Brig. General Monckton, in the fall of the year 1759,
contributed not a little to the advantage of the first settlers. The
Indians were disposed to be troublesome to the English, and the
presence of the garrison rendered their situation less lonely and
added very greatly to their sense of security. Not only so, but the
garrison brought quite an amount of business to the store of Simonds &
White. In the old accounts of the year 1764 are to be found the names
of Lieut. Gilfred Studholme of the 40th Regt., Lieut. John Marr and
Commissary Henry Green. Captain Pierce Butler, of the 29th Regt., was
in command at Fort Frederick the following year and his name also
appears in the accounts. For a year or two after the fort was
established the garrison was furnished by the provincial troops of
Massachusetts, afterwards by detachments of British regiments under
various commanders. In addition to the trade with the officers and
soldiers, Simonds & White furnished wood and other supplies to the
garrison, and doubtless it was not the least satisfactory incident in
this connection that the pay-master was "John Bull." The Indians were
unreliable customers and bad debts were not infrequent, the white
settlers on the river had but little money and their pay was chiefly
in shingles, staves, spars, clapboards, musquash and beaver skins;
John Bull paid cash.

About three years after the arrival of Simonds and White at St. John
their trade with the garrison was interrupted by the removal of the
troops to Boston in consequence of some riots in connection with
the enforcement of the Stamp Act. Mr. Simonds speaks of this
circumstance in a letter dated July 25, 1768, in which he writes:
"The troops are withdrawn from all the outposts in the Province
and sent to Boston to quell the mob. The charge of Fort Frederick
is committed to me, which I accepted to prevent another person
being appointed who would be a trader. I don't know but I must
reside in the Garrison, but the privilege of the fisheries on that
side of the River and the use of the King's boats will be more than
an equivalent for the inconvenience." The defenceless condition of
the port of St. John brought disaster to the settlers there some
years later, but of this we shall hear more by and by.

The names of most of the heads of families settled at Maugerville
appear in the earlier account books of Simonds & White, and later we
have those of the settlers at Gagetown, Burton and St. Anns. In the
course of time branches of the company's business seem to have been
established at convenient centres up the river, and their account
books contain the invoices of goods shipped to Peter Carr, who lived
just below Gagetown, to Jabez Nevers of Maugerville, and to Benjamin
Atherton at St. Ann's Point. The goods appear to have been sold on
commission and returns were made chiefly in lumber, furs and produce.
The invoices of goods shipped to Hazen & Jarvis at Newburyport by
Simonds & White included pine boards, shingles, clapboards, cedar
posts, spars and cordwood, besides some 50,000 white and red oak
staves, most of these articles having been taken in trade with the
settlers on the river. Messrs. Hazen & Jarvis carried on quite an
extensive trade with the West Indies where, in consequence of the
manufacture of rum and molasses, there was a large demand for
hogshead and barrel staves, these were obtainable in considerable
quantities on the River St. John, and the terms at which they were
purchased may be seen in the following agreement:--

  "St. Johns River, Nov'r. 10th, 1772.

  "It is agreed between Simonds & White on the one part and Joseph
  Garrison & William Saunders on the other, that the said Garrison &
  Saunders make and lay at the bank of the said River, at convenient
  place to load on board a vessel, five thousand of White Oak barrel
  staves and the same number of White Oak hogshead staves, the
  hogshead staves to be well shaved and both to be merchantable
  according to the laws of Massachusetts Bay, for which the said
  Simonds & White are to pay, for Barrel Staves twenty-five
  shillings for each thousand and for the Hogshead forty shillings;
  the said staves to be ready by the 20th day of April next and at
  farthest to be received by the 20th day of June.

  "To the performance of the above agreement each of the parties
  hereby bind themselves to each other in the sum of Twenty pounds
  currency, to be paid in default of fulfilment of either
  party.      "Witness our hands,


Joseph Garrison it may be observed was the grandfather of William
Lloyd Garrison, the celebrated advocate of the abolition of slavery.
He was one of the original grantees of Maugerville, and drew lot No.
4, opposite Middle Island in Upper Sheffield. He was on the River St.
John as early at least as July, 1764, and is said to have been the
first of the English speaking race to work the coal mines at Grand
Lake. Another early miner was Edmund Price of Gagetown, who in the
year 1775 delivered nine chaldrons of coal, to Simonds & White for
which they allowed him 20 shillings per chaldron.

Nearly all the settlers on the river obtained their goods from the old
trading company at Portland Point, and for their accommodation the
little schooner "Polly" made frequent trips to Maugerville and St.
Anns. Inspection of the old accounts shows that on the occasion of a
trip up the river in May, 1773, goods were sold to thirty families at
various points along the way. In November, 1775, goods were sold in
like manner to more than forty families. At that time there were to be
found in the company's day book the names of 120 customers, nearly all
of them heads of families. Of these, 25 were residents at Portland
Point, 20 lived across the harbor in Conway, 45 belonged to
Maugerville, 20 to other townships up the river and ten were casual
visitors, fishermen and traders.

The partners amidst all their variety of business continued to make
improvements upon their lands at St. John. They cleared up the Great
Marsh and cut hay there, for in June, 1768, Mr. Simonds writes to
Newburyport, "Please send half a dozen Salem scythes; Haskel's tools
are entirely out of credit here; it would be a sufficient excuse for a
hired man to do but half a day's work in a day if he was furnished
with an axe or scythe of that stamp." The next year plans were
discussed for the general improvement of the marsh, and a number of
indigent Acadians were employed to assist in the construction of a
"Running Dike" and aboideau. These Acadians probably lived at French
Village, near the Kennebecasis, and the fact that they had some
experience in dykeing marsh lands shows that they were refugees from
the Expulsion of 1755. The situation of the first dyke was not, as
now, at the mouth of the Marsh Creek but at a place nearly opposite
the gate of the cemetery, where the lake-like expansion of the Marsh
begins. The work was completed in August, 1774, by the construction of
an aboideau. Those employed in the work were the company's laborers,
six or eight Acadians and a number of the Maugerville people--about
twenty-five hands in all. William Hazen was at St. John that summer
and he and James White gave their personal attendance, "not in
overseeing the work only but in the active and laborious parts
thereof," the company providing the implements, tools, carts, several
teams of oxen, gundolas and other boats, materials and supplies of
every kind including rum for the workmen. This dyke and aboideau
served the purpose of shutting out the tide from about 600 acres of
marsh land. Ten years later Hazen & White built a new aboideau a
little above the first one which had fallen into disrepair. A much
better one than either was built at the mouth of the creek in 1788 by
James Simonds at a cost of £1,300. The House of Assembly voted £100
towards building a bridge at the place and Mr. Simonds agreed to erect
a structure to serve the double purpose of a public bridge and
aboideau. The width of the structure was 75 feet at the bottom and 25
feet at the top. Not long afterwards Mr. Simonds built here two tide
saw-mills. These were not a profitable investment, and in 1812 one had
fallen into total decay while the other was so much out of repair as
to be of little benefit to its owner.

After the first Marsh Bridge had been in existence about twenty-five
years there arose a controversy as to what proportion of the cost of
repairs should be borne respectively by the province, the City of St.
John and the proprietors of the marsh. This controversy has continued
to crop up at regular intervals during the last century and the end is
not yet.

When the Loyalists arrived in 1783 the dyked marsh lands produced
about 400 tons of hay, but it was said that "if tilled and ditched
they would produce much more." Today the marsh raises at least four
times the quantity of hay named above.

After building the first running dyke in 1769, Hazen, Simonds and
White continued to devote considerable attention to the task of
reclaiming and improving the marsh. In order to have ready access a
road was laid out running back of Fort Howe hill and along Mount
Pleasant to the marsh. Not far from the present station at Coldbrook
they built a house with hovels for cattle and put up fences and
settled a family there. A few years later they built two more houses
and settled two more families there, each with a stock of cattle. The
first tenants on the marsh were Stephen Dow, Silas Parker and Jabez
Salisbury. The houses built for their accommodation cost from £15 to
£20 apiece. About this time or a little later a small grist mill was
built at the outlet of Lily Lake.

One of the inducements that led James Simonds to fix upon the harbor
of St. John as a place of settlement was the abundance and excellent
quality of the limestone there and its convenience for shipment. The
license of occupation given under the hand of Governor Montagu Wilmot
on the 8th of February, 1764, was in the terms following:

"License is hereby granted to James Simonds to occupy a tract or point
on the north side of St. John's River, opposite Fort Frederick, for
carrying on a fishery and for burning limestone, the said tract or
point containing by estimation ten acres." Soon after the formation of
the trading company in the course of the same year, the manufacture of
lime became an object of consideration. Some reference has been made
already in these chapters to the progress of the industry.

The company had four lime kilns, the situation of which will be best
understood by reference to modern land marks. One was at the base of
Fort Howe hill at the head of Portland street, a second near the site
of St. Luke's church, a third near the present suspension bridge, and
a fourth on the road leading to the old "Indian House." The work of
quarrying and burning limestone was carried on in a very primitive
fashion by the laborers of the company. In the winter a number of them
were employed in quarrying the stone and hauling it with oxen to the
kilns. The wood needed for burning grew almost at the spot where it
was wanted, and its cutting served to clear the land as well as to
provide the fuel necessary. In the course of ten years Simonds & White
shipped to Newburyport and Boston more than 3,500 hogsheads of lime
for which they received four dollars per cask; they also sent lime to
Halifax, Cornwallis and other places in Nova Scotia. The facilities
for manufacturing in those days were very inadequate, the men lacked
experience, casks were hard to get, and for a time the lack of a wharf
and warehouse caused much delay in the shipment.

And now a word as to the present condition of the lime industry at St.
John. It cannot be questioned that the splendid quality of the
limestone, its vast abundance, its convenient situation for shipment
and the abundance and cheapness of the fuel needed, clearly prove that
the manufacture of lime is destined yet to become an important
industry in this community. Fifteen years ago the industry was rapidly
developing, when the McKinley tariff and the Dingley bill completely
excluded the St. John manufacturers from the United States market
which passed into the hands of their rivals of Rockland, Maine. It is,
however, only a question of time when there will be a removal of the
prohibitive tariff in the interests of United States consumers, and
this will be hastened as the deposits of limestone at Rockland are
exhausted. This circumstance, together with the increasing demands of
the Canadian market, will cause the manufacture of lime at St. John to
become eventually an industry as great as that of shipbuilding in its
palmiest days.

About the year 1888 the prospects of the St. John lime burners seemed
particularly bright. Extensive operations were being carried on at
Randolph, Robertson's Point, South Bay, Glencoe, Adelaide Road,
Brookville and Drury's Cove. Probably at least 400 men were employed
and a dozen draw kilns and twenty square kilns were in operation. In
order to show the prospective development of that which in the time of
Simonds & White was an infantile industry, it may be stated that the
capacity of the draw kiln is from 70 to 100 barrels of lime every
twenty-four hours, while that of the square kiln is about 400 barrels
per week. The draw kiln is more expensive in construction than the
other, but its capacity is greater, and it is not necessary to
extinguish the fire, the lime being drawn out as it is burned and
fresh stone put in. At several of the lime kilns at the Narrows, above
Indiantown, the facilities are unrivalled. The stone is quarried from
the cliff a few rods from the kiln, dumped in at the top by cart or
wheelbarrow, drawn out at the bottom at the water's level and loaded
on scows. The wood for the kiln grows on the surrounding hillsides or
may be obtained from the saw-mills in the vicinity at nominal cost. At
the time the manufacture of lime was interfered with by the McKinley
bill, the following persons were actively concerned in the development
of the industry: Hornbrook and Wm. Lawlor & Son at Brookville, Jewett
& Co. at Drury's Cove, Isaac Stevens and A. L. Bonnell at South Bay,
Frank Armstrong and J. & F. Armstrong at the Narrows, Hayford &
Stetson at Glencoe above Indiantown, Charles Miller at Robertson's
Point, Randolph & Baker at Randolph, W. D. Morrow and Purdy & Green on
the Adelaide Road.

It is impossible with the data on hand to form any proper estimate of
the quantity of lime manufactured by these firms, but it may be stated
that in the year 1887, Hayford & Stetson alone expected to burn 50,000
barrels in their draw kilns at Indiantown and 30,000 barrels in their
square kilns. In the work of quarrying the use of the steam drill was
then being introduced. Perhaps there is no better way of contrasting
modern methods with the methods of those who first embarked in the
industry one hundred and forty years ago, and at the same time showing
the difficulties with which the pioneers had to contend, than by
giving extracts from James Simonds letters to Hazen & Jarvis.

  St. John's River, 27th May, 1765.

  Gentlemen:--I Rec'd yours of 3d. of April the 1st inst., and of
  the 18th on the 9th inst. [The letters came by the schooner
  "Polly" and the schooner "Wilmot."] The schr. Polly was dispatched
  immediately fishing: she is now near loaded. I am sorry the same
  dispatch could not be made with the schr. Wilmot. A cargo of Lime
  could not be prepared before hand for want of Oxen to draw wood.
  Have had bad luck in burning the Lime, the wood being wet, as the
  snow was but just off the ground. One-third of the kiln is not
  burnt. * * * If you can get freight to this place, we believe it
  will be best to keep the schooner [Wilmot] constantly running
  between here and Newburyport. If the Lime answers well can burn
  any quantity whatever. The want of Hhds. is the greatest
  difficulty, the want of a house to cover it the next.

  "I doubt not of your making the greatest dispatch in all business
  relating to this concern, and wish I could make you sensible of
  the disadvantages we are under to do the same. I thank you for the
  willingness you express to relieve me and that you think there is
  any difficulty to go through in these parts. You may depend upon
  it that no pains will be spared in this quarter to make the
  Concern advantageous. * * * I shall be extremely glad to wait upon
  Mr. Hazen when the schooner returns.

  "Have been obliged to credit the inhabitants up the River to the
  amount of a considerable sum, which is to be paid part in furs and
  part in lumber (the lumber is not brought down). The Officers and
  Soldiers supplies and wooding the garrison is to be paid by a
  draft on the pay-master at Halifax. * * * Since the lime is all
  put in hogsheads I find there is near seventy (empty) hogsheads
  remains. They chiefly want one head each--twenty or thirty more
  will be sufficient for another kiln. If you send the Schr.
  directly back, boards must be sent for heads, and should think it
  would be best to send 100 refuse shook hogsheads for a third kiln
  with boards for heads and hoops, as they cannot be had here, also
  5 M. boards to cover a frame that is now decaying and will serve
  for a Lime House and Barn. Have borrowed 12 C. boards of Mr. Green
  (of the garrison). Shall have a kiln ready to set fire to in three
  weeks after the Schr. sails. Dispatch in shipping lime can never
  be made without a Lime house to have it ready when any vessel
  arrives. * * *

  In Great haste, I am, Gentlemen,
      Yr. Most Obedient & Humble Servt,
          JAS. SIMONDS.

  To Messrs. Hazen & Jarvis.

In the year 1769 the company built a wharf and warehouse at Portland
Point. Their work was often interfered with by the nature of the
season, the winters then, as now, being exceedingly variable. Mr.
Simonds writes, under date March 6, 1769:--

  "Have had but little snow this winter, but few days that the
  ground has been covered. Have got to the water side a large
  quantity of wood and wharf logs; about 300 Hogshead Lime Stone to
  the Kiln, and should have had much more if there had been snow.
  Our men have been so froze and wounded that we have not had more
  than three men's constant labour to do this and sled sixty loads
  of hay from the marsh, saw boards for casks, look after cattle and
  draw firewood. Shall continue drawing or draging wood and stone as
  long as the ground is frozen, and then cut the timber for a
  schooner and boat stone for a Lime Kiln, which with the wharf will
  take 400 tons."

The next winter was of a different sort, for Mr. Simonds writes on May
10, 1770, "This spring has been so backward that there has been no
possibility of burning any lime. The piles of wood and stone are now
frozen together." The next winter was extremely mild, and Mr. Simonds
writes on February 18, 1771, "There has not been one day's sledding
this winter, and the season is so far advanced there cannot be much
more than enough to get the hay from the marsh; but shall haul logs to
finish the wharf and for plank for Fish Cisterns if it can by any
means be done."

The popular idea that the climate of this Province was much more
severe in ancient than in modern days is not borne out by the
correspondence of Simonds & White with Hazen & Jarvis. From it we
learn that 140 years ago the navigation of the River St. John, as now,
opened early in April, and that the river could be relied on as a
winter route of communication to St. Anns "only between the first of
January and the last of February and then many times difficult." In
the extracts just quoted Mr. Simonds states that during the winter of
1769 there had been but few days that the ground was covered with
snow, and two years later he says that up to the 18th of February
there had not been a single day's sledding. This testimony does not at
all accord with the popular idea of an old-fashioned winter. It is not
likely that there have been any material changes in the climate of
this region since the days of Champlain, and this conclusion is
strengthened by the fact that the weather reports made to the Dominion
government since the time of Confederation do not indicate any
alteration in our climatic conditions during the last 35 years.

The first Business Contract under which William Hazen, James Simonds,
James White and their associates engaged in business at the River St.
John was signed on March 1st, 1764. The members of the company
immediately proceeded to engage their workmen and a very interesting
illustration of the way they set about it has been preserved in an old
indenture dated 13th March, 1764, in which James Simonds, "trader,"
made agreement with one Edmund Black of Haverhill, "bricklayer," to
pay the said Black £16. 16s. for eight months labor at brickmaking,
fishing, burning lime, or any other common or ordinary work at
Passamaquoddy, St. John, Annapolis Royal or any other part of Nova
Scotia, in the Bay of Fundy. In addition to his pay, at the rate £2.
2s. per month, Mr. Simonds agreed to furnish Black with "suitable
victuals and drink and lodging."

The exact date of the arrival of Simonds and White, and their party at
St. John is put beyond doubt by the following memorandum in Mr.
White's handwriting, found by the author among a collection of old
papers: "Haverhill, New England, 1764. Set off for River St. John,
Nova Scotia, 1st day of April--Arrived 16th April."

By the second business contract, entered into by William Hazen,
Leonard Jarvis and James Simonds on the 16th April, 1767, it was
provided that "all trade and business in Nova Scotia shall be done and
transacted by James Simonds and James White and whatever business is
to be transacted at Newbury-Port shall be transacted by William Hazen
and Leonard Jarvis." The remittances of Simonds & White consisted for
the most part of fish, furs, lime and lumber and were at first sent to
Newburyport, but it was soon found to the advantage of the company
that remittances should be made to Boston where Leonard Jarvis went to
dispose of them and to forward supplies needed at St. John. This was
the commencement of St. John's trade with Boston. There was no market
for the Spring catch of Alewives (or Gasperaux) at Newburyport, so
they were usually sent to Boston. Seven eighths of the furs and a
large proportion of the lime and lumber were also sold in Boston.

As might reasonably be expected the first outlay of the company was
comparatively large while the returns were small, but as time went on
the remittances from St. John gradually increased and the outlay for
supplies slightly diminished. During the earlier years of the
partnership attention was given to deep water fishing, and large
quantities of cod and pollock were taken in the Bay of Fundy and at
Passamaquoddy, but this branch of business was eventually discontinued
and greater attention paid to the shore fisheries in which weirs were
used to good advantage. In the first seven years of their operations
the Company sent 745 barrels of Gaspereaux to Boston, but in the next
four years more than 3,000 barrels were shipped.

About the close of the year 1775 the Revolutionary war put an end to
all trade with New England and the business of Hazen, Jarvis, Simonds
& White as a company practically ceased. In the course of the dozen
years of their operations, the goods and supplies received at St. John
from Boston and Newburyport amounted in value to at least $100,000.
The partners were not agreed as to the general results of the
business; Mr. Simonds claimed that the receipts had more than repaid
the outlay, while Hazen & Jarvis contended that no money had been made
but that there had probably been a loss.

During the continuance of the business, 72 cargoes of goods and
supplies were sent to St. John, an average of six cargoes per annum.
The value of goods and outfit sent the first season amounted to
£3,891. 16s. 0-1/2d. The value of goods and supplies furnished under
the first business contract, which lasted only three years, was
£6,850. 9s. 10d. Messrs. Blodget, Peaslie and Simonds, jr., then cease
to be concerned in the business and the partners under the second
contract were Hazen, Jarvis, Simonds and White.

As early as the second year of their operations at St. John, Hazen &
Jarvis began to feel the large outlay they had made and wrote, under
date May 23, 1766, to Simonds & White, "We must beg you will do all in
your power to remit us largely this summer. By having such a stock
with you we are much straitened for cash, and we are sometimes obliged
to do our business to a disadvantage."

Not long afterwards Hazen & Jarvis were unfortunate in their
mercantile transactions at Newburyport and this, together with the
loss of some of their vessels, made it necessary for them to take
special care of their interests at St. John, consequently after the
signing of the second business contract William Hazen came frequently
to St. John. Early in 1771 he determined to discontinue business
altogether at Newburyport and remove to St. John with his family.
James White says that it was the wish of both Mr. Simonds and himself
that Mr. Hazen should settle near them, making choice of such
situation as he might deem agreeable to his taste, but that as the
partnership business was drawing to a close the house to be erected
should be built with his own money. Mr. Hazen made his choice of
situation and built his house accordingly.

In the evidence given in the law suit concerning the division of the
lands obtained from time to time by the company, James Simonds states
that so far as the business at St. John was concerned Mr. Hazen's
presence was not needed since the business was conducted there by
himself and James White when there was five times as much to be done.
To this Mr. Hazen replies that Mr. Simonds' letter of July, 1770,
speaks a different language,[88] and he quotes figures to show that
while for the first four years after the signing of the second
contract the value of the supplies sent to St. John was £8,053 and the
remittances from St. John £7,650; leaving a deficit in the business of
£403; during the next four years, when he (Hazen) spent a large part
of his time at St. John, the cost of supplies was £6,803 and the
remittances £8,245, showing a surplus of £1,442; a difference of
£1,845 in favor of his being at St. John.

   [88] This letter has unfortunately been lost.

When William Hazen decided to take up his residence at St. John in
order more effectually to promote the interests of the company by
superintending, in conjunction with Simonds and White the various
operations that were being carried on there, his partner Leonard
Jarvis removed to a place called Dartmouth, one hundred miles from
Newburyport, leaving his investment in the business untouched so as
not to embarrass the company at a critical time. The supplies required
at St. John were now furnished by his brother, Samuel Gardiner Jarvis,
of Boston.

As will presently appear, fortune did not smile upon the removal of
William Hazen and his family from their comfortable home in
Newburyport to the rugged hillsides of St. John. However, Mr. Hazen
was a man of resolution and enterprise, and having once made up his
mind in regard to a step of so much importance was not likely to be
easily discouraged. He at once began to make preparations for the
accommodation of his family by building a house of greater pretensions
than any that had yet been erected at Portland Point.

The first known reference to the Hazen house is found in a letter
dated Feb.'y 18th, 1771, in which James Simonds writes, "We shall cut
Mr. Hazen's frame in some place near the water where it may be rafted
at any time." The house was erected in July following by the company's
carpenters and laborers. When nearly finished it was unfortunately
destroyed by fire. A new house was begun the next year, which like the
other was built at Mr. Hazen's expense by the company's carpenters and

As soon as the house was ready for occupation Mr. Hazen repaired to
Newburyport to bring on his family, and in the month of May, 1775,
they embarked in the Company's sloop Merrimack of 80 tons. Mr. Hazen's
tribulations were by no means ended, for on the voyage the Merrimack
was unluckily cast away on Fox Island and a good deal of her cargo,
together with papers containing accounts of the Company's business,
was lost. However, all the passengers were saved, as well as most of
their valuables, and were brought to St. John in Captain Drinkwater's
sloop. Drinkwater was obliged to throw overboard a load of cordwood to
make room for the rescued passengers and crew and their possessions.
For this he was of course remunerated by the Company. The Hazen family
proved a great addition to the limited society of Portland Point. We
learn from an enumeration of the inhabitants made this year that the
Hazen household included 4 men, 3 women, 3 boys and 2 girls, 12 in
all. Mr. Hazen's nephew, John, who subsequently removed to Oromocto,
was one of the family at that time. With such a family to provide for
the grocery bill at the Company's store grew rapidly. The first item
charged to the account of the household after their arrival was 67
lbs. of moose meat at 1d. per lb.; and it is of interest to notice
that beef was then quoted at 2d. per lb., or double the price of moose
meat. It is altogether likely that with the Hazens moose steak was a
much greater rarity on their arrival than it subsequently became, for
at the time it was one of the staple articles of food and almost any
settler who wanted fresh meat could obtain it by loading his musket
and going to the woods.


This illustration is taken from a water color sketch of
St. John now in possession of Mrs. William Hazen. The original sketch was
made by a member of the Hazen family more than eighty years ago. In the
foreground appears the Hazen house, square and substantial, and nearly in
line with and beyond it is the Chipman house, overlooking the valley;
these two houses are the oldest now standing in the city. To the right of
the Chipman house may be seen the Block-house, which formerly stood at
the corner of King and Wentworth streets. Still further to the right is
the old wind-mill tower, where the Dufferin Hotel now stands, and to the
right of this is old Trinity Church before its first spire was destroyed
by fire.]

The Hazen house still stands, considerably modernized it is true, at
the corner of Simonds and Brook streets, having withstood the ravages
of time and escaped the numerous conflagrations that have occurred in
the vicinity for more than 130 years. The present foundation is new
with the exception of the stone wall on Brook street which formed
part of the original foundation. The roof formerly pitched four ways,
running up to a peak in the centre. Some of the old studs, lately cut
out to admit of the placing of new windows, were found to be merely
spruce poles flattened on two sides with an axe; the boards too are
roughly sawn. The sheathing of the house has all been renewed and an
ell, which used to extend up Simonds street, has been taken down. The
lower flat is at present used as a grocery, the upper flat as a hall.
In olden times, and for many years, Mr. Hazen's garden and grounds
extended to the water. His residence was by far the best and most
substantial yet erected at Portland--indeed in early days it was
considered quite a mansion. The exact date of its erection, curiously
enough, has been preserved. An entry in the old day book in James
White's handwriting reads thus:--

"Nov'r 17, 1773--Wm. Hazen Dr. To 4 Gall. W. I. Rum, 3 lb. Sugar, 3
Qts. N. E. Rum, Dinner, &c., &c., 25 shillings--for Raising his

The entry shows that old time customs prevailed on the day of the
"raising." It doubtless was quite a gala day in the settlement with
everybody there to help and share in the refreshments provided.

The removal of William Hazen and his family from Newburyport to Saint
John had been planned, as already stated, several years before it was
carried into effect. It was not in any way influenced by the
threatening war clouds which at that time hung low in the sky. Mr.
Hazen's departure from Newburyport, however, was nearly coincident
with the clash of arms at Lexington, and it was not long ere the
events of the war between the old colonies and the mother country
closed the ports of Massachusetts. This unfortunate circumstance
interfered greatly with the business of Hazen, Simonds and White at
St. John.

The retirement of Leonard Jarvis from the company necessitated a new
business arrangement on the part of the remaining partners, and in
May, 1773, a verbal agreement was made between Hazen, Simonds and
White to carry on the fishery and trading in the proportions of a half
interest to William Hazen a third to James Simonds, and a sixth to
James White.

There is in one of the old account books an interesting memorandum in
the handwriting of James Simonds, covering several pages, which shows
that the company had then a large and varied assortment of goods on
hand. The list bears the following heading: "Invoice of Goods removed
from the Old to the New Store, July 21st, 1775." The "new store" was
finished about the time of Mr. Hazen's arrival; it stood a little to
the west of the first store built at the Point.

Among the buildings at Portland Point when the Hazen family arrived
were the residences of the three partners, the Lime Store, the Salt
Store--or Cooper's Shop, the Log Store, the New Store, a blacksmith
shop, two or three small dwelling houses and one or two barns, besides
a saw mill at the outlet of the mill pond, a grist mill at Lily Lake,
and one or two hovels on the marsh. The English-speaking population
settled around the shores of the harbor did not exceed one hundred and
fifty souls. Our authority on this point is indisputable. Two
documents are preserved amongst the archives at Halifax, one entitled
"A Return of the State of the Settlement at the mouth of the Harbour
of the River St. John the First day August, A. D. 1775"; the other,
"A Return of the state of the Township of Conway on the western side
of the Harbour and River St. John on First of August, 1775." The list
of inhabitants given below is compiled from these returns and shows
that the number of persons living on the opposite sides of the harbor
was nearly equal, namely, on the east side seventy and on the west
side seventy-two. The enumeration seems to have been made by James

                          PORTLAND POINT.

  Name of Master or Mistress
  of the Family.               Men. Women.  Boys. Girls. Total.
      James Simonds             4      1      4      3      12
      James White               4      1      1      4      10
      William Hazen             4      3      3      2      12
      George DeBlois            1      1      1     ..       3
      Robert Cram               1      1      1      7      10
      Zebulon Rowe              1      1     ..      2       4
      John Nason                1      1      2      3       7
      John Mack                 1     ..     ..     ..       1
      Lemuel Cleveland          1      1      1      1       4
      Christopher Blake         1      1     ..      2       4
      Moses Greenough           1      1      1     ..       3
                               --     --     --     --      --
                               20     12     14     24      70


  Name of Master or Mistress
  of the Family.               Men. Women.  Boys. Girls. Total.
      Hugh Quinton              2      2      2      4      10
      Jonathan Leavitt          1      1      1     ..       3
      Daniel Leavitt            1     ..     ..     ..       1
      Samuel Peabody            1      1      1      2       5
      William McKeen            2      1      5      1       9
      Thomas Jenkins            1      1      3     ..       5
      Moses Kimball             1      1     ..     ..       2
      Elijah Estabrooks         1      1      3      3       8
      John Bradley              1      1      2      4       8
      James Woodman             2     ..     ..     ..       2
      Zebedee Ring              2      1      2      1       6
      Gervas Say                1      1     ..     ..       2
      Samuel Abbott             1     ..     ..     ..       1
      Christopher Cross         1      1     ..     ..       2
      John Knap                 1     ..     ..     ..       1
      Eliakim Ayer              1     ..     ..      1       2
      Joseph Rowe               1      1      1      2       5
                               --     --     --     --      --
                               21     13     20     18      72

Both of these little communities were of purely New England origin for
it appears from Mr. Simonds' return that every individual at Portland
Point, with the solitary exception of an Irishman, was a native of
America, and at Conway all the inhabitants, save two of English
nationality, were born in America. The Conway people, it will hardly
be necessary to remind the reader, lived in the district now occupied
by Carleton, Fairville and adjacent parts of the parish of Lancaster.
At the time of the census they had 2 horses--both owned by Hugh
Quinton, 13 oxen and bulls, 32 cows, 44 young cattle, 40 sheep and 17
swine; total number of domestic animals, 148. On the other side of the
harbor Hazen, Simonds and White were the owners of 57 horses and
mules, 18 oxen and bulls, 30 cows, 35 young cattle, 40 sheep and 6
swine; the other settlers owned 8 cows, 4 young cattle, 4 sheep and 6
swine; total number of domestic animals on the east side, 208.

It will be noticed that the names of all the adult male inhabitants do
not appear in the census lists of 1775; in the case of the households
of Messrs. Simonds, White and Hazen, for example, twelve males are
returned. These included either relatives such as John Hazen and
Stephen Peabody, who are known to have been then living at St. John,
or employes and servants who lived with their masters--among the
latter were probably Samuel Beverley, Levi Ring, Jonathan Clough,
Jacob Johnson, Edmund Black, Reuben Harbut and Michael Kelly.

Quite a number of the settlers in Conway were employed by the company
in various capacities, and as they were nearly all tenants of Hazen,
Simonds and White they generally traded at the Portland Point store.
These people suffered severely at the hands of American privateersmen
as the war progressed, and most of them were forced to abandon their
homes and move up the river for greater security.

In the years 1776 and 1777, business being nearly at a stand in
consequence of the war and the stock of goods at Portland Point much
diminished, it was agreed that James White should take charge of the
store and keep the books at a commission of five per cent. His sales
during the two years amounted to £3,150.

The war of the American Revolution was at the outset a source of
intense disappointment to Hazen, Simonds and White, although in the
end it was destined to prove the making of their fortunes by sending
the exiled Loyalists in thousands to the River St. John and thereby
rendering the lands they owned much more valuable. The war, however,
completely overturned the plans the company had in view. Our old
pioneers had learned by their experience of a dozen years to conduct
their business to the best advantage, and they now had everything in
train for a promising trade with St. Croix in the West Indies. The
hardships incident to the establishment of new settlements were over,
and the partners were now settled in comfortable homes with their
wives and children.

It may be noted in passing that early marriages were much in vogue in
those days, particularly with the ladies. Sarah Le Baron was not
sixteen years of age when she married William Hazen. Hannah Peabody
had not passed her seventeenth birthday when she married James
Simonds. Elizabeth Peabody was about seventeen when she married James
White and her sister Hephzibeth somewhat younger when she married
Jonathan Leavitt. In most cases the families were large and the "olive
branches" doubtless furnished sufficient occupation for the mothers
to keep them from feeling the loneliness of their situation. James
Simonds had fourteen children. James White and Jonathan Leavitt had
good sized families, but the Hazens undeniably carried off the
palm. Dr. Slafter in his genealogy of the Hazen family says that
William Hazen had sixteen children; possibly he may have omitted
some who died in infancy for Judge Edward Winslow writes on Jan'y
17th, 1793, to a friend at Halifax, "My two annual comforts, a child
and a fit of the gout, return invariably. They came together this
heat and, as Forrest used to say, made me as happy as if the Devil
had me. The boy is a fine fellow--of course--and makes up the number
nine now living. My old friend Mrs. Hazen about the same time
produced her nineteenth!"[89]

   [89] The following inscription on the monument of Mrs. Sarah Hazen
        was written by her grandson, the late Chief Justice Chipman:

            Sacred to the Memory of
            MRS. SARAH HAZEN,

          Widow of the Honorable William Hazen, Esquire; who was
          born in the Province of Massachusetts-Bay on the 22d
          February, 1749; and died in the City of St. John on the
          3rd April, 1823.

          Exemplary for Christian piety and benevolence and the
          exercise of every female virtue. She bears to her Grave
          the fond recollections of a numerous host of Descendants
          and the esteem and respect of the community.

While the presence of young children in their homes may have served to
enliven the situation of Saint John's pioneer settlers it added
greatly to their anxiety and distress in the ensuing war period. More
than this the absence of church and school privileges was becoming a
matter of serious consequence to the little community at Portland
Point and their friends across the harbor. We shall in the next
chapter say something of the religious teachers who endeavored to
promote the spiritual welfare of the inhabitants upon the St. John
river at this period.



Our knowledge of affairs on the River Saint John down to the period of
English occupation is largely derived from the correspondence of the
Jesuit missionaries, the last of whom was Charles Germain. After his
retirement the Acadians and Indians remained for several years without
any spiritual guide, a circumstance that did not please them and was
also a matter of concern to the Governor of Nova Scotia, who in
December, 1764, informed the Secretary of State that a promise had
been made the Indians of the River St. John to send them a priest,
which the Lords of Trade had now forbidden. The governor regrets this
as likely to confirm the Indians in their notion that the English "are
a people of dissimulation and artifice, who will deceive them and
deprive them of their salvation." He thinks it best to use gentle
treatment in dealing with the Indians, and mentions the fact of their
having lately burned their church[90] by command of their priest
detained at Quebec, as a proof of their zealous devotion to their

   [90] This statement is corroborated by Charles Morris, who writes in
        1765, "Aughpack is about seven miles above St. Anns, and at
        this place was the Indian church and the Residence of the
        French missionary; the church and other buildings about it are
        all demolished by the Indians themselves."

In the summer of 1767, Father Charles Francois Bailly came to the
River St. John and established himself at Aukpaque, or, as he calls
it, "la mission d'Ekouipahag en la Riviere St. Jean." The register of
baptisms, marriages and burials at which he officiated during his
year's residence at Aukpaque is still to be seen at French Village in
the Parish of Kingsclear, York county. The records of his predecessor,
Germain, however, were lost during the war period or while the mission
was vacant. That there was a field for the missionary's labor is shewn
by the fact that in the course of his year's residence on the River
St. John he officiated at 29 marriages, 79 baptisms and 14 burials.
His presence served to draw the Indians to Aukpaque, where there were
also some Acadian families who seem to have been refugees of the
expulsion of 1755. The older Indian village of Medoctec was now
deserted and the missionary ordered the chapel there to be destroyed,
seeing that it served merely as a shelter for travellers and "was put
to the most profane uses." The building had been standing for fifty
years and was much out of repair. The ornaments and furnishings,
together with the chapel bell,[91] were brought to Aukpaque.

   [91] This chapel bell was most unfortunately destroyed by fire when
        the chapel at French Village was burned early in March, 1904.
        An illustration and some account of the bell will be found in
        a previous chapters. See pages 75, 76 ante.

For some reason the presence of the Acadians at Aukpaque and its
vicinity was not acceptable to the authorities of Nova Scotia, and
Richard Bulkeley the provincial secretary, wrote to John Anderson and
Francis Peabody, Esqrs., justices of the peace for the county of
Sunbury, under date 20th August, 1768: "The Lieut. Governor desires
that you will give notice to all the Accadians, except about six
Families whom Mr. Bailly shall name, to remove themselves from Saint
John's River, it not being the intention of the Govern-ment that they
should settle there, but to acquaint them that on their application
they shall have lands in other parts of the Province."

It is remarkable with what persistence the French clung to the
locality of Aukpaque in spite of repeated attempts to dispossess them.
The New Englanders under Hawthorn and Church tried to expel them as
long ago as 1696, but Villebon repulsed the attack on Fort Nachouac
and compelled them to retire. Monckton in 1759 drove the Acadians from
the lower St. John and destroyed their settlements, but the lowness of
the water prevented his ascending the river farther than Grimross
Island, a little above Gagetown. A little later Moses Hazen and his
rangers destroyed the village at St. Ann's and scattered the Acadians,
but some of them returned and re-established themselves near the
Indian village at Aukpaque. The governor of Nova Scotia apparently was
not willing they should remain, hence his orders to Anderson and
Peabody in 1768.

What these magistrates did, or attempted to do is not recorded, at any
rate they did not succeed in effecting the removal of the Acadians for
we find that the little colony continued to increase. The missionary
Bailly wrote from Aukpaque, June 20, 1768, to Bishop Briand, "There
are eleven Acadian families living in the vicinity of the village, the
same ones whom your Lordship had the goodness to confirm at St. Anne.
* * It is a difficult matter to attend to them for they live apart
from one another during the summer on the sea shore fishing and in the
winter in the woods hunting." It appears that these poor people were
reduced to the necessity of leading almost an aboriginal life to save
themselves from starvation, yet they clung to the locality.

Major Studholme sent a committee of four persons to explore the River
St. John in July, 1783.[92] The committee reported sixty-one families
of Acadians settled in the vicinity of Aukpaque. There were in these
families 61 men, 57 women and 236 children. About twenty-five families
lived on the east side of the river, most of them near the mouth of
the Keswick; the others lived not far from the Indian village on the
west side of the river, and there were in addition two or three
families at St. Anne's Point. In their report to Major Studholme the
committee describe the Acadians as "an inoffensive people." They had a
considerable quantity of land under cultivation, but few, if any, of
them had any title to their lands save that of simple possession.
Those who claimed longest residence were Joseph Martin who came in
1758 and Joseph Doucet who came in 1763. The settlement began to grow
more rapidly after the arrival of the missionary Bailly, for out of
the sixty-one heads of families included in the Committees report to
Studholme nine came in 1767, thirteen in 1768, ten in 1769 and four in
1770. All of these enjoyed the ministrations of l'Abbe Bailly. The
missionary seems to have remained a year in residence and then at the
instance of the Governor of Nova Scotia was sent to the Indians and
Acadians of the peninsula to the eastward of Halifax. He, however,
paid occasional visits to the River St. John as is shown by the
records of the baptisms, marriages and burials at which he officiated
when there.[93] He is heartily commended by Lord William Campbell, the
governor of Nova Scotia, for his tact in dealing with the Indians and
his loyalty to the constituted authorities of the province. It is not
probable that there was very much ground for the complaint of Simonds
& White in their letter of June 22, 1768, in which they say, "We have
made a smaller collection of Furrs this year than last, occasioned by
the large demands of the Priest for his services, and his ordering the
Indians to leave their hunting a month sooner than usual to keep
certain festivals, and by our being late in getting to their village,
the reason of which we informed you in our last. * * It's expected
that there will be a greater number of Indians assembled at Aughpaugh
next fall than for several years past." The extract quoted serves to
show that the Abbe Bailly's influence was felt while he lived on the
St. John river. He returned to Canada in May, 1772, and was afterwards
consecrated Bishop Co-adjutor of Quebec.

   [92] The members of the committee were Ebenezer Foster, Fyler
        Dibblee, James White and Gervas Say. The first two were
        Loyalists,the others old English settlers. Ebenezer Foster was
        one of the first members for Kings county in the House of
        Assembly. Fyler Dibblee was an attorney-at-law and agent for
        settlement of the Loyalists. James White and Gervas Say were
        justices of the peace in the old county of Sunbury and have
        already been frequently mentioned.

   [93] One of the Abbe Bailly's registers is preserved at French
        Village in York county and another, which seems a continuation
        of the first, is at Caraquet, Gloucester county.

During the year of his sojourn on the River St. John and in his
subsequent visits the Abbe Bailly baptized, married and buried many of
the Acadians as well as Indians. The names of a good many individuals
occur in his register whose descendants are numerous in Madawaska,
Bathurst, Caraquet, Memramcook and other places in the province. Among
them may be mentioned Joseph Martin, Jean Baptiste Martin, Louis
Mercure, Michel Mercure, Jean Baptiste Daigle, Olivier Thibodeau, Jean
Thibodeau, Joseph Terriot, Ignace Caron, Joseph Cyr, Pierre Cyr, Jean
Baptiste Cyr, Paul Cyr, Francois Cyr, Pierre Pinette, Francois
Violette, Joseph Roy, Daniel Godin, Paul Potier, Francois Cormier,
Jacques Cormier, Jean Baptiste Cormier, Pierre Hebert, Joseph Hebert,
Francois Hebert, Louis Le Jeune, Joseph Mazerolle, and Jean Baptiste

Of these families the Cormiers, Cyrs, Daigles and Heberts came from
Beaubassin at the head of the Bay of Fundy; the Martins from Port
Royal (or Annapolis), the Mercures and Terriots from l'Isle St. Jean
(or Prince Edward Island); the Violettes from Louisbourg, and the
Mazerolles from Riviere Charlesbourg.

It is worthy of note that despite the hardships and misfortunes
endured there are instances of marvellous longevity among the old
French settlers. Placide P. Gaudet, who is by all odds the best
authority on this head and whose wonderful knowledge of Acadian
genealogy has been attained by years of hard study and patient
research, gives a striking instance of this fact amongst his relatives
of the Vienneau family. The ancestor of this family was one Michael
Vienneau, who with his wife Therese Baude were living at Maugerville
in 1770: both were natives of France. The husband died at Memramcook
in September, 1802, at the age of 100 years and 3 months; his widow in
March, 1804, at the age of 96 years. Their son Jean died at Pokemouche
in August, 1852, at the extraordinary age of 112 years, leaving a son
Moise who died at Rogersville in March, 1893, aged over 96 yeas. The
united age of these four individuals--father, mother, son and
grandson--are equivalent to the extraordinary sum total of 404 years.

In the course of a year or two after the arrival of the Loyalists the
greater portion of the Acadians living on the St. John river above
Fredericton removed--either from choice or at the instigation of
government--to Madawaska, Caraquet and Memramcook. A few, however,
remained, and there are today at French Village, in York county, about
31 families of Acadian origin numbering 149 souls, and 17 families in
addition reside at the Mazerolle settlement not far away. The most
common family name amongst these people is Godin; the rest of the
names are Mazerolle, Roy, Bourgoin, Martin and Cyr. The influences of
their environment can hardly be said to have had a beneficial effect
upon these people, few of whom now use the French language. And yet
the fact remains that from the time the valley of the River St. John
was first parcelled out into seigniories, in the year 1684, down to
the present day--a period of 220 years--the continuity of occupation
of some portion of the soil in the vicinity of St. Ann's has scarcely
been interrupted, and the records of the mission on the River St. John
may be said to have been continuous for about the same time. The
missionaries as a rule spoke well of the people of their charge.
Danielou said that there were 116 Acadian inhabitants in 1739 and that
Monsieur Cavagnal de Vaudreuil, governor of Trois Rivieres, was
"Seigneur de la paroisse d'Ekoupag." He claims as a special mark of
divine favor that in the little colony there was "neither barren woman
nor child deformed in body or weak in intellect; neither swearer nor
drunkard; neither debauchee nor libertine, neither blind, nor lazy,
nor beggar, nor sickly, nor robber of his neighbor's goods." One would
almost imagine that Acadia was Arcadia in the days of Danielou.

It may be well, whilst speaking of the remarkable continuity of the
French occupation of the country in the vicinity of St. Anns, to state
that after Chapter VII. of this history had been printed the author
chanced to obtain, through the kindness of Placide P. Gaudet, some
further information relating to the brothers d'Amours, the pioneer
settlers of this region.

The brothers d'Amours, Louis, Mathieu and Rene, were residents on the
St. John as early at least as the year 1686, when we find their names
in the census of M. de Meulles. A document of the year 1695[94] shows
that their claims to land on the St. John river were rather
extravagant and hardly in accord with the terms of their concessions.
Louis d'Amours, sieur de Chauffours, claimed as his seigniory at
Jemseg a tract of land extending two leagues along the St. John,
including both sides of the river two leagues in depth. He also
claimed another and larger seigniory, extending from a point one
league below Villebon's fort at the Nashwaak four leagues up the river
with a depth of three leagues on each side. His brother Rene d'Amours,
sieur de Chignancourt, lived on this seigniory a league or so above
the fort.

   [94] This document is entitled "Memoire sur les concessions que les
        sieurs d'Amours freres pretendent dans la Riviere St. Jean et
        Richibouctou." A copy is in the Legislative Library at

The statement made in a previous chapter that Rene d'Amours was
unmarried and lived the life of a typical "coureur de bois" is
incorrect. The census of 1698 shows that he had a wife and four
children. His wife was Charlotte Le Gardeur of Quebec. The names of
the children, as they appear in the census, are Rene aged 7, Joseph 5,
Marie Judith 2, and Marie Angelique 1. While fixing his residence in
the vicinity of Fort Nashwaak, Rene d'Amours was the seignior of a
large tract of land on the upper St. John extending "from the Falls of
Medoctek to the Grand Falls," a distance of more than ninety miles.
After the expiration of eleven years from the date of his grant, Rene
d'Amours seems to have done nothing more towards its improvement than
building a house upon it and clearing 15 acres of land. Even in the
indulgent eyes of the Council at Quebec, of which his father was a
member, this must have appeared insufficient to warrant possession by
one man of a million acres of the choicest lands on the St. John
river. He made rather a better attempt at cultivating the land near
his residence upon his brother's seigniory, for the census of 1695
shows that he had raised there 80 minots [bushels] of corn, 16 minots
of peas, 3 minots of beans. He had 3 horned cattle, 12 hogs and 60
fowls; two men servants and one female servant; three guns and a

The seigniory of Mathieu d'Amours, sieur de Freneuse, lay between the
two seigniories of his brother Louis at Jemseg and Nashwaak, extending
a distance of seven leagues and including both sides of the river.
Both Louis and Mathieu made far greater improvements than Rene, having
a large number of acres cleared and under cultivation, together with
cattle and other domestic animals. They had a number of tenants and
eight or ten servants.

The census of 1695 contains the following interesting bit of
information: "Naxouat, of which the Sr. Dechofour is seignior, is
where the fort commanded by M. de Villebon is established. The Sr.
Dechofour has there a house, 30 arpents [acres] of land under
cultivation and a Mill, begun by the Sr. Dechofour and the Sr. de

The reference to a mill, built by the brothers Louis and Mathieu
d'Amours in the neighborhood of Fort Nashwaak, may serve to explain
the statement of Villebon in 1696, that he had caused planks for
madriers, or gun platforms, to be made near the fort.[95] This mill at
any rate ante-dates by the best part of a century the mill built by
Simonds & White at St. John in 1767 and that built by Colonel Beamsley
Glacier's mill wrights at the Nashwaak in 1768. Doubtless it was a
very primitive affair, but it sawed lumber, and was in its modest way
the pioneer of the greatest manufacturing industry of New Brunswick at
the present day.

   [95] See Murdoch's Hist. of Nova Scotia, Vol. I., p. 223.

Among the contemporaries of the brothers d'Amours on the River St.
John were Gabriel Bellefontaine, Jean Martel,[96] Pierre Godin,
Charles Charet, Antoine Du Vigneaux, and Francois Moyse. The author is
indebted to Placide P. Gaudet for some interesting notes regarding
the family of Gabriel Bellefontaine. Mr. Gaudet has satisfied
himself in the course of years of genealogical research, that the
Godins now living on the River St. John and in the county of
Gloucester, the Bellefontaines of the county of Kent, and the
Bellefontaines and Beausejours of Anichat and other parts of Nova
Scotia all have a common origin, and that in each case the real family
name is Gaudin, or Godin. To any one conversant with the practice
of the old French families of making frequent changes in their
patryonymics this will not appear surprising. The common ancestor
of the Gaudin, Bellefontaine, Beausejour and Bois-Joly families in
the maritime provinces was one Pierre Gaudin, who married Jeanne
Roussiliere of Montreal, Oct. 13, 1654, and subsequently came to
Port Royal with his wife and children. Their fourth child, Gabriel
Gaudin (or Bellefontaine) born in 1661, settled on the St. John
river in the vicinity of Fort Nashwaak. He married at Quebec in
1690, Angelique Robert Jeanne, a girl of sixteen, and in the census of
1698 the names of four children appear, viz., Louise aged 7, Louis 5,
Joseph 3, Jacques Phillipe 7 months. Of these children the third,
Joseph Bellefontaine, spent the best years of his life upon the St.
John river and his tribulations there have been already noticed[97]
in these pages. He was living at Cherbourg in 1767 at the age of 71
years, and was granted a pension of 300 livres (equivalent to
rather more than $60.00 per annum) in recognition of his losses and
services which are thus summarised:

   [96] Martel and Bellefontaine have been mentioned already. See page
        57 ante.

   [97] See Chapter xiii., p. 135

"The Sieur Joseph Bellefontaine or Beausejour of the River St. John,
son of Gabriel (an officer of one of the King's ships in Acadia) and
of Angelique Roberte Jeanne, was commissioned Major of the militia of
the St. John river by order of M. de la Galissonniere of 10th April,
1749, and has always done his duty during the war until he was made
prisoner by the enemy. He owned several leagues of land there and had
the sad misfortune of seeing one of his daughters and three of her
children massacred before his eyes by the English, who wished by such
cruelty and fear of similar treatment to induce him to take their
part, a fate that he only escaped by fleeing to the woods, bearing
with him two other children of the same daughter."

Notwithstanding all their misfortunes and persecutions the Acadians
living on the St. John continued gradually to increase. After the
return of the missionary Bailly to Canada they were without a priest
until the arrival of Joseph Mathurin Bourg in September, 1774. This
intrepid missionary was the first native of Acadia to take holy orders
and as such is a subject of especial interest. He saw the light of day
at River Canard in the district of Mines on the 9th of June, 1744. His
father, Michel Bourg, and his mother, Anne Hebert, with most of their
children, escaped deportation at the time of the Acadian expulsion in
1755 and sought refuge at the Island of St. John [Prince Edward
Island], from which place they were transported by the English to the
northern part of France. Young Joseph Mathurin became the protege of
the Abbe de l'Isle-Dieu, then at Paris. He pursued his studies at a
little seminary in the Diocese of St. Malo and on the 13th of
September, 1772, was ordained priest at Montreal by Monseigneur
Briand. After a year he was sent to Acadia as missionary to his
compatriots of that region. He took charge of his mission in
September, 1773. It at first extended from Gaspe to Cocagne, but in
August, 1774, the Bishop of Quebec added the River St. John (including
"Quanabequachies," or Kennebeccasis) and all the rest of Nova Scotia
and the Island of Cape Breton. The bishop also appointed the Abbe
Bourg his grand vicar in Acadia. Almost immediately afterwards he
visited the River St. John and the little settlement at French Village
near the Kennebeccasis where, early in September, he baptized a
considerable number of children, whose names and those of their
parents are to be found in the register which is still preserved at
Carleton, Bonaventure Co., in the province of Quebec.

[Illustration: (Signature) Joseph Mth. Bourg prétre Grand. V.]

The missionary made his headquarters at Carleton (on the north side of
the Bay of Chaleur) but from time to time visited different parts of
his immense mission. During the Revolutionary war he paid special
attention to the Indians on the River St. John, who largely through
his efforts were kept from taking the warpath and going over to the
Americans. The raids made by the Machias rebels under Jonathan Eddy
and John Allan, in 1776 and 1777, interfered in some measure with the
visits of the missionary, for Col. Michael Francklin in his interview
with the Maliseets at Fort Howe in September, 1778, assured them that
Mons'r. Bourg would have visited them sooner but for the apprehension
entertained of his being carried off by the rebels.

The chapel at Aukpaque was not entirely disused during the absence of
the missionary. We learn from John Allan's narrative that while he was
at Aukpaque in June, 1777, a number of Acadians came on Sundays to
worship at the Indian chapel and that he and his prisoners, William
Hazen and James White, also attended. While there they witnessed the
funeral of an Indian girl. The ceremony was a solemn yet simple one.
The body was borne into the chapel, the bell tolling the while; after
a short prayer they sang funeral hymns, that done some of the chiefs
bore the coffin to the grave where there was another prayer followed
by a funeral hymn. The coffin was then deposited in the grave and a
handful of earth cast upon it by the relatives and friends of her sex.
Immediately afterwards the family wigwam was struck and removed into
the thickest part of the village that the parents might be the better
consoled for the loss of their child.

The important services rendered by Father Bourg to government during
the American Revolution will be told in another chapter.

The first clergyman of the Church of England to visit the River St.
John was the Rev'd. Thomas Wood, a native of the town of New Brunswick
in the then British province of New Jersey. Mr. Wood went to England
in 1749--the year of the founding of Halifax--to be ordained by the
Bishop of London. He bore with him testimonials declaring him to be "a
gentleman of a very good life and conversation, bred to Physick and
Surgery." He became one of the missionaries of the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel and was transferred from New Jersey to Nova
Scotia in 1753. Halifax and Annapolis were destined to be the chief
scenes of his labors, but he made frequent tours amongst the new

Mr. Wood was an excellent French scholar and his gifts as a linguist
were of no mean order. While at Halifax he lived on terms of
friendship and intimacy with Antoine Simon Maillard, the missionary of
the Indians and Acadians. In the year 1762 Mr. Wood attended the Abbe
Maillard for several weeks during his last illness, and the day before
his death, at his request, read the Office for the Visitation of the
Sick in the French language in the presence of a number of Acadians,
who were summoned for the occasion by the venerable missionary. Mr.
Wood also officiated at the burial of M. Maillard, reading over his
remains in French the burial service of the Church of England in the
presence of "almost all the gentlemen of Halifax and a very numerous
assembly of French and Indians."

As the Indians were for the time being without any religious teacher
Mr. Wood resolved to devote much attention to them. He applied himself
diligently to the study of their language, in which he had the
assistance of the papers left him by the Abbe Maillard and by devoting
three or four hours daily to the task he made such progress that upon
reading some of M. Maillard's morning prayers the Indians understood
him perfectly and seemed themselves to pray very devoutly. He resolved
to persevere until he should be able to publish a grammar, dictionary
and translation of the Bible. He writes in 1764, "I am fully
determined that nothing but sickness or the Bastille shall impede me
in this useful service." Two years later he sent to England the first
volume of his native grammar, with a Micmac translation of the Creed,
Lord's Prayer, etc. He was now able to minister to the Indians in
their own language.

In July, 1767, the Indians attended a special service held in St.
Paul's church, Halifax, at which there were present, the Governor of
Nova Scotia, Lord William Campbell, the officers of the army and navy
and the principal inhabitants. The service was in the Micmac tongue.
An anthem was sung by the Indians at the beginning and again at the
close. On the 12th of August in the same year Mr. Wood married Pierre
Jacques, an Indian, to Marie Joseph, eldest daughter of old Thoma, who
deemed himself "hereditary king of the Mickmacks." There were present
at the wedding, besides the Indians, Sir Thomas Rich--an English
baronet, and other gentlemen. After the ceremony Mr. Wood entertained
the company at his own house.

It was in the summer of the year 1769 that Mr. Wood made his first
tour up the River St. John. Lord William Campbell provided him with a
boat and party of men, under the direction of Capt. William Spry of
the Engineers. Capt. Spry will be remembered as one of the active
promoters of the settlement of the townships on the St. John river,
where he had large land interests. His knowledge of the river made him
an excellent guide.

The English missionary arrived at St. John harbor on the 1st day of
July, and the day following, which was Sunday, held the first
religious service conducted by an English speaking minister at
Portland Point.

The account books of Simonds & White suffice to show that no business
was transacted at their establishment on Sunday, and doubtless the day
was honored as a day of rest, but up to this time there had been no
opportunity for church-going. Among those who heard the first sermon
preached at St. John in English were in all probability, the Messrs.
Simonds & White and their employes, Edmund Black, Samuel Abbott,
Samuel Middleton, Michael Hodge, Adonijah Colby, Stephen Dow, Elijah
Estabrooks, John Bradley, William Godsoe, John Mack, Asa Stephens, and
Thomas Blasdel. To these may be added the wives of James Simonds, of
Black, Abbott and one or two other workmen; also a few settlers living
in the vicinity. It may be observed in passing that Edmund Black was
foreman in the lime burning; Abbott, Middleton and Godsoe were
employed in making hogsheads and barrels for lime and fish; Hodge and
Colby were shipwrights engaged in building a schooner for the company;
the others were fishermen and laborers. Doubtless the service held by
Mr. Wood was a very simple one, and if there were any hymns they were
sung from memory, for there is reason to believe that there was not a
single hymn book in the community, with the exception of a copy of
Watt's psalms and hymns owned by James White.

Notwithstanding the difficulties of the situation, the Rev'd. Thomas
Wood on the occasion of his first Sunday at St. John established a
record which, after the lapse of nearly a century and a half, remains
unequalled for interest and variety. In the morning he held divine
service and preached to the English settlers and baptized four of
their children. In the afternoon he conducted a service for the
benefit of a number of Indians, who chanced to be encamped there,
baptized an Indian girl and addressed them in their own language. In
the evening, many of the French inhabitants being present, he held a
third service and preached in French, the Indians again attending as
many of them understood that language. These French people were
chiefly Acadians living at what is now called French Village, in Kings
county. They were at that time employed by Simonds & White in building
an aboideau and dykeing the marsh. In one respect the Indians perhaps
did better than the English or the Acadians, for at the close of their
service Mr. Wood desired them to sing an anthem which, he says, "they
performed very harmoniously."

The next day the missionary sailed up the river, visiting the settlers
in their homes as he proceeded. At Gagetown he baptized Joseph and
Mary Kendrick, twin children of John and Dorothy Kendrick. Mr. Wood
says the children were born in an open canoe on the river, two leagues
from any house, a circumstance that illustrates the exigencies liable
to arise in a region so sparsely inhabited as the valley of the River
St. John then was.[98]

   [98] Major Studholme in 1783 states that John Kendrick was a good
        subject, an old soldier and very deserving. He lived near
        Gagetown with his wife and five children. He settled there
        about the year 1768.

On Sunday the 9th of July Mr. Wood held service at Maugerville, where
he had a congregation of more than two hundred persons but, owing to
the fact that the people were chiefly "Dissenters from New England,"
he baptized only two infants. He thought, however, if a prudent
missionary were settled among them their prejudices against the Church
of England would speedily vanish. He speaks in his letter to the S. P.
G. of the rising townships of Gagetown, Burton and Maugerville as a
most desirable field for a missionary and commends the Indians to the
special consideration of the society. After making a call at
Morrisania, a little below Fredericton, where two children were
baptized, Mr. Wood and his companions proceeded to "Okpaak" which he
terms "the farthest settlement upon the River." He thus describes the
reception they met with on their arrival:

  "The Chief of the Indians came down to the Landing place and
  handed us out of our boat, and immediately several of the Indians,
  who were drawn out on the occasion, discharged a volley of
  Musketry turned from us, as a signal of receiving their friends.
  The Chief then welcomed us and introduced us to the other Chiefs,
  and after inviting us to their Council Chamber, viz. their largest
  wigwam, conducted us thither, the rest of the Indians following.
  Just before we arrived we were again saluted with their musketry
  drawn up as before. After some discourse relative to Monsieur
  Bailly, the French Priest that Government have thought proper to
  allow them, finding them uneasy that they had no priest among them
  for some time past, I told them that the Governor had employed him
  to go to the Indians to the eastward of Halifax and had sent me to
  officiate with them in his absence. They then seemed well enough
  satisfied, and at their desire I began prayers with them in
  Mickmack, they all kneeling down and behaving very devoutly. The
  vice concluded with an anthem and the blessing."

Mr. Wood says that although there were then at Aukpaque Indians of
three different tribes, Micmacs, Maliseets and Caribous,[99] they all
understood the Micmac language, and he expresses regret that he had
not been sent among them two years before, being satisfied that he
could have gained their confidence and good will.

   [99] Probably Canibas or Kennebec Indians.

The Reverend Thomas Wood closed a laborious and successful ministry of
thirty years at Annapolis, where he died December 14, 1778.

Some account has already been given, in the chapter descriptive of the
progress of the settlement at Maugerville, of the first religious
teachers in that locality, Messrs. Wellman, Webster and Zephaniah
Briggs. We shall have something more to say of their first resident
minister, the Rev'd. Seth Noble, when we come to deal with events on
the river at the time of the American Revolution. As already stated
the first Protestant church on the river was erected at Maugerville in
the year 1775. This building was at first placed on a lot the title of
which was afterwards in dispute, and regarding the possession of which
there was rather a bitter quarrel between the old inhabitants and the
Loyalists. In consequence the building was removed to the lot in
Sheffield where the Congregational Church now stands. An interesting
account of this incident is given in the narrative of the Rev. Joshua
Marsden, a Methodist pioneer missionary on the St. John river, who

  "The Presbyterian [i. e. Congregational] chapel at Sheffield, was
  a church-like building of frame-work, with a spire steeple and a
  spacious gallery. This chapel had been drawn down upon the ice of
  the river more than five miles: it had first been erected at
  Maugerville, upon a litigated lot of land, which the society, not
  choosing to bring to the issue of a law-suit, they determined to
  remove the chapel bodily to their own glebe, five miles lower down
  the river. The whole settlement, men, horses and more than one
  hundred yoke of oxen, were present to assist in this more than
  herculean enterprise. The chapel was raised from its stone
  foundation by immense lever screws. Prodigious beams of timber
  were then introduced under the whole length of the building; into
  these were driven large staples, to which the oxen were yoked with
  strong chains of iron. When all things were ready for a movement,
  at a given signal, each man standing by his horse or oxen, this
  great building, capable of holding eight hundred persons, was
  drawn along and down the bank of the river to its appointed place,
  where another foundation having been prepared, it was again raised
  by levers upon it with very little damage. Not a single pew in the
  gallery or bottom having been removed in the process. In this
  emigrated chapel, I had the satisfaction of preaching the gospel
  of the kingdom to a large congregation. Perhaps you will wonder
  how the ice of this mighty river bore upon its bosom so ponderous
  a body; but your surprise will cease when I inform you that in the
  depth of winter, it is from two to three feet in thickness, making
  a bridge of aqueous crystal capable almost of bearing up a whole



When the county of Sunbury was established in 1765, there was no
English settlement north of St. Ann's and the river was but sparsely
settled from that place to the sea. Nevertheless the immense forest
wealth of the St. John was gradually becoming known and appreciated.

The French ship of war "Avenant," as long ago as the year 1700, after
discharging her cargo of supplies for Villebon's garrison and goods
for the French traders, took on board some very fine masts for the
French navy that had been cut upon the River St. John. Afterwards,
when the control of Acadia passed into the hands of the British, they
in turn began to procure masts for the navy on the St. John. England's
place among the nations then, as now, depended very largely on the
efficiency of her navy, and the reservation of trees suitable for
masts for the largest ships of war became a matter of national
concern. In consequence Governor Legge, at the request of the home
government, desired Charles Morris, the Surveyor general of Nova
Scotia, to report as to ungranted lands in the province that might be
reserved for the purpose of supplying masts for the navy. On the 21st
May, 1774, Mr. Morris submitted his report. He states that his
knowledge of the country was based upon personal observations during a
residence of nearly twenty-eight years, in the course of which he had
visited nearly all parts of the province. In the Nova Scotian
peninsula there were very few pines fit for masts, but on the River
St. John, above the settlements, and on the other rivers flowing into
it were great quantities of pine trees fit for masts and great
quantities of others growing into that state, which being so far
inland, protected by growth of other timber and by hills, and remote
from those violent gales which infest the coast would prove the most
desirable reserve for the purpose intended. Mr. Morris adds: "I am of
opinion that a reserve of all the lands on the River St. John above
the settlements for the whole course of the river, at least
twenty-five miles on each side, will be the most advantageous reserve
to the Crown of lands within this province, especially as the river is
navigable for boats and rafting of masts the whole course of it, as
also for rafting of masts in the several branches of it; and in this
tract is contained a black spruce, fit for yards and topmasts, and
other timber fit for ship-building."

The importance to coming generations of the "black spruce, fit for
yards and top-masts," was little dreamed of by Charles Morris.
However, it seems that in accordance with his recommendation the
region of the upper St. John was at this time reserved to the crown
because its towering pines supplied the best masts in the world for
the British navy, and at the close of the American Revolution it was
still unbroken forest.

After the formation of the County of Sunbury, April 30, 1765,
magistrates and other officers were appointed and representatives
chosen to sit in the House of Assembly. Some of our local historians,
including the late Moses H. Perley, have stated that the first
representative of Sunbury County was Charles Morris jr., but although
Mr. Morris may have been the first to take his seat he was not the
first elected representative. The late Thos. B. Akins, of Halifax,
a recognized authority on all points of local history, in a
communication to the late J. W. Lawrence states that the election
writs on file at Halifax give the names of Capt. Beamsley Glasier and
Capt. Thomas Falconer as the first representatives of the County of
Sunbury. It does not appear that either of these gentlemen attended
the sessions of the House of Assembly, and as it was the rule for
members who were absent two years to forfeit their seats for
non-attendance, a new election was held in 1768, when Richard
Shorne and Phinehas Nevers were returned. The House of Assembly was
dissolved two years later, and at the ensuing general election
Charles Morris, jr., and Israel Perley were returned; the former took
his seat but Mr. Perley appears never to have done so and in 1773
James Simonds was elected in his stead. Mr. Simonds was in attendance
in October, 1774, and took the customary oath, being the first
inhabitant of the county to take his seat in the legislative halls of
Nova Scotia. A little later William Davidson was elected a member
and he and James Simonds were the sitting members when the old
Province of Nova Scotia was divided at the isthmus and the Province
of New Brunswick constituted in 1784.

Among the earliest magistrates of the County of Sunbury were John
Anderson, Beamsley Glasier, Francis Peabody, James Simonds, James
White, Israel Perley, Jacob Barker, Phinehas Nevers and Gervas Say.
The Courts of General Sessions of the Peace meet regularly at
Maugerville and transacted such business as was necessary, appointed
constables and other parish officers, administered justice and so
forth. Benjamin Atherton was clerk of the peace for the county,
James Simonds registrar of deeds and judge of probate, and James
White deputy sheriff. The first collector of customs was Capt.
Francis Peabody, who died in 1773. The attention given to the
collection of duties was but nominal and Charles Newland Godfrey
Jadis, a retired army officer who had settled at Grimross on the
St. John river, wrote to the secretary of state in 1773 calling
his attention to the prevalence of smuggling of which "Major-Ville"
was the centre, connived at, as he alleges, by the magistrate and
collector. This little incident is an indication that the sentiment
of the Massachusetts settlers of Maugerville was identical with that
of their kinsmen in New England in regard to the enactment of the
stamp act and the duties imposed by the British government.

A few particulars of interest regarding the settlers on the River St.
John are to be gleaned from the papers of David Burpee,[100] at one
time deputy sheriff of the county. There were very few framed
dwellings, nearly all the settlers living in log houses. As late as
1783 there were in Gagetown, Burton, and at St. Anns and vicinity
about 76 houses occupied by English inhabitants, of which only 9 were
framed buildings. The proportion of framed dwellings in Maugerville
was little better, the vast majority being log houses.

  [100] See Hannay's article on the Maugerville Settlement, Collections
        of N. B. Hist. Soc., Vol. 1, p. 63.

Horses were few and nearly all the ordinary farm work was done by
oxen. It is doubtful if any of the settlers owned a carriage, wagon or
sleigh at this time. Carts were generally used in summer and sleds in
winter. Some of the men owned saddles, of which there was much
borrowing, and there were a few pillions for the ladies. Traveling in
the summer time on land was either on horseback or afoot for the roads
were too bad to admit of the use of wheeled vehicles.

All the cooking in those days was done at old-fashioned fireplaces and
the utensils included a gridiron, toasting iron, frying pan, iron
kettle and a number of pots and pans. The dishes used in the farm
houses were mostly of pewter and their number limited.

A broadcloth coat or a beaver hat was a valuable asset which might be
handed down to the second or even the third generation. A decent
broadcloth suit would cost a man as much as he could earn in three
months at the current rate of wages, after paying his board;
consequently the early settler did not often indulge in the luxury of
a new suit. Leather breeches were commonly worn, and from their
lasting qualities were an economical garment.

The money handled by the early settlers was quite insignificant;
nearly all transactions were of the nature of barter. Corn and furs
were the staple articles of trade. The value of corn varied
considerably, according to the season, from 4 shillings to 8 shillings
a bushel, the average rate 5 to 6 shillings. Half a bushel of corn was
the equivalent of a week's board. The ordinary rate of farm wages was
2s. a day except for such work as mowing, framing, hoeing corn, and
raking hay, for which the rate was 2s. 6d. a day. The wages of a woman
servant were 10s. a month and as all articles of clothing were very
dear compared with modern prices, they became excessively so when the
rate of wages was taken into account. It took a whole month's wages to
purchase a pair of stays and two months wages to buy a gown. A pair of
silk mits cost 5s. 6d. and a lawn handkerchief 6s. 6d. Calico was
charged as high as 6s. a yard and cotton wool at 6s. 6d per lb. As a
rule everything that had to be purchased out of a store was dear,
while the prices of country produce were exactly the reverse. Butter
sold as low as 6d. per lb.; lamb at 2-1/2d. per lb.; beef, 1-1/2 to
3d. per lb.; geese at 3s. each; fowls 1s.; potatoes 1s. 3d. a bushel.

Dr. Hannay quotes the following as a transaction on the part of Mr.
Burpee, which would be regarded as unusual at the present day:

  "September 30, 1778.

  "Took a hog of Mr. Joseph Howlin of Burton to fat, the hog weighs
  now 113 lbs. and I am to have as many pounds of pork as he weighs
  more when I kill him.

  "Dec. 1st, 1778, killed Mr. Howlin's hog. Weighed before he was
  killed 181 lbs."

  Showing that Mr. Burpee obtained 68 lbs. of pork as the result of
  his bargain.

  David Burpee taught school one winter, receiving 4s. per month for
  each pupil. The tuition fees were paid in a great variety of ways;
  in work, in grain, leather, musquash skins, rum, hauling hay and
  making shoes; he only handled 10s. in cash for his entire winter's

In the year 1770 Mr. Burpee kept a diary which, while it contains some
facts of interest, serves on the whole to show how narrow and
monotonous was the life of the early settlers on the St. John. On
Sundays they attended religious services held at the houses most
convenient for the purpose and in the winter there was some social
visiting. However, we are now to speak of more stirring events.

Many were the trials and tribulations of the dwellers on the St.
John--particularly of those living at the mouth of the river--during
the American Revolution. Most of their calamities might have been
avoided had an efficient garrison been maintained at Fort Frederick,
but the troops were withdrawn from that post in 1768 and sent to
Boston in consequence of disturbances there, and for five or six years
the care of the fort and barracks was entrusted to James Simonds.

Lord William Campbell reported, about the close of 1771: "Since Fort
Frederick at the entrance of St. John's river has been dismantled and
the garrison, which formerly consisted of an officers' command,
reduced to a corporal and four privates, he had had frequent
complaints of the Indians on the river." The presence of a half dozen
soldiers was of little utility at any time and of no utility whatever
after the Revolution began. It was not until the erection of Fort Howe
that adequate steps were taken for the protection of the inhabitants.

The year 1774 was an extremely busy one at St. John. Our old pioneers
James Simonds, James White and William Hazen were making strenuous
efforts to place settlers upon their lands in the township of Conway,
while at the same time Mr. Hazen's house was being finished at
Portland Point, an aboideau was being built to reclaim the "great
marsh," and the business of the fishery, lime-burning and general
trade was being vigorously prosecuted. Troublous times were now at

The situation of Hazen, Simonds and White when hostilities arose
between the old colonies and the mother country was very embarrassing.
By birth and early association they were New Englanders and most of
their old time friends and neighbors were hostile to the crown.
Massachusetts was practically the cradle of the Revolution, and the
vast majority of its inhabitants were bitterly opposed to the King and
his government. But while Simonds, White and Hazen were Massachusetts
men they now held various official positions under the government of
Nova Scotia and had sworn true allegiance to the King. Very likely
they would have gladly assumed a neutral attitude in the approaching
contest, but alas for them the force of events left no room for

It is clear that at the beginning of the war the people of Massachusetts
hoped for the cordial support of the settlers on the River St. John. This
is probably the reason why the small colony at Portland Point was not
molested during the early stages of the war and that William Hazen was
able on two occasions to obtain the release of the company's schooner
"Polly" after she had been taken by American privateers. But as the war
progressed considerate treatment gave place to acts of vandalism, and the
sentiments of the settlers at St. John towards their old compatriots of
Massachusetts became intensely bitter. Their tenants in the township of
Conway were driven from their homes and obliged to seek refuge up the
river, and those living at Portland Point suffered equal hardships.

When the Loyalists arrived in 1783, it was proposed that the township
of Conway should be escheated for their benefit. James Simonds
protested stoutly against this, representing the expense that had been
incurred in the endeavor to settle the township and the losses and
sufferings of the tenants who were for a long time unprotected against
the depredations of the enemy. He adds, "Instead of our being stripped
of our rights to make amends for the losses of the Loyalists, who were
plundered in New York or elsewhere, we have at least as weighty
reasons as they can possibly offer to claim restitution from
Government for the value of all the property taken from us, our
distress by imprisonment, etc. They had a numerous British army to
protect them, we had to combat the sons of darkness alone. In a word
we had much less than they to hope for by unshaken loyalty and
incomparably more to fear."

The statement of Mr. Simonds is confirmed by Major Studholme who wrote
to Gov'r. Parr, "Messrs. Hazen and Simonds, two of the original
proprietors of Conway, have at different times placed a number of
settlers on the lands of that Township and have used every effort on
their parts to comply with the terms of their Grant, but the continual
robberies committed by the Rebel boats during the war, to which these
settlements have been exposed, obliged a number of their tenants to
remove. However, as every exertion was used by them I take the liberty
to recommend their claims on that Township to your consideration."

During the earlier stages of the Revolution the attitude of the people
of Machias on the one hand, and of the inhabitants of the township of
Cumberland on the other, proved a matter of concern to the dwellers on
the River St. John. Machias was settled in 1763 by a colony from
Scarborough, one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts. During the war
it was the asylum of disloyal spirits who fled thither from various
parts of Nova Scotia. The township of Cumberland included a
considerable portion of what is now the county of Westmorland. The
inhabitants were mostly natives of New England, and many of them warm
sympathizers with the revolutionary pasty. Jonathan Eddy was their
representative in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1774, and John
Allan in 1776. Eddy and Allan, aided by William Howe and Samuel
Rogers, succeeded in stirring up an active rebellion in Cumberland,
which called for prompt action on the part of the Government of Nova
Scotia. The leaders fled to Machias and a reward of £200 was offered
for the apprehension of Eddy and £100 for each of the others.

The attitude of the Indians was another matter of serious concern to
the settlers on the River St. John. Immediately after the Declaration
of Independence the American congress authorized Washington to call
forth and engage the Indians of Nova Scotia, St. John and Penobscot to
take up the hatchet and fight against the English. With strange
inconsistency Congress a few days later, in an address to the people
of Ireland, denounced the King of England on the ground that "the wild
and barbarous savages of the wilderness have been solicited by gifts
to take up the hatchet against us, and instigated to deluge our
settlements with the blood of defenceless women and children."

The Micmacs seem to have been reluctant to take sides in the contest
and in answer to John Allan's solicitations they said, with quiet
dignity, "We do not comprehend what all this quarreling is about. How
comes it that Old England and New England should quarrel and come to
blows? The father and the son to fight is terrible! Old France and
Canada did not do so; we cannot think of fighting ourselves till we
know who is right and who is wrong."

The style of argument employed to induce the simple minded natives to
side with the Americans is seen in the letter addressed to them by the
agent of the Congress of Massachusetts (May 15, 1775), in which the
following statements occur: "The ministry of Great Britain have laid
deep plots to take away our liberty and your liberty; they want to get
all our money and make us pay it to them when they never earned it; to
make you and us their servants and let us have nothing to eat, drink
or wear but what they say we shall; and prevent us from having guns
and powder to kill our deer and wolves and other game or to send to
you to kill your game with so as to get skins and fur to trade with us
for what you want. * * * We want to know what you our good brothers
want from us of clothing or warlike stores, and we will supply you as
fast as we can. We will do all for you we can and fight to save you at
any time. * * * The Indians at Stockbridge all join with us and some
of their men have enlisted as soldiers and we have given each of them
a blanket and a ribbon, and they will be paid when they are from home
in the service, and if any of you are willing to enlist we shall do
the same for you. * * * Brothers, if you will let Mr. John Preble know
what things you want he will take care to inform us and we will do the
best for you we can."

In consequence of the inducements of Allan and the other agents,
Pierre Tomah and Ambroise St. Aubin, leading chiefs of the Maliseets
of the River St. John, went to the trading post the Americans had
established at Penobscot, and signed an agreement to the following
effect: "We heartily join with our brethren the Penobscot Indians
in everything that they have or shall agree with our brethren of the
colony of Massachusetts, and are resolved to stand together and
oppose the people of Old England that are endeavoring to take your and
our lands and liberties from us. * * * We desire that you will help
us to a priest that he may pray with us to God Almighty, etc.,
etc." The Indians agreed to bring their furs and skins to Penobscot
and to procure their provisions, goods and ammunition there. Many
of them were heavily in debt to Simonds & White, so that the prospect
of a new trading post with no old scores to settle appeared to them
particularly inviting.

Washington honored the Indians with letters accompanied by belts of
wampum, after the approved Indian fashion. A delegation from the St.
John river, Pierre Tomah at its head, went soon afterwards to
Washington's headquarters on the Delaware, where they received a
flattering welcome and were sumptuously entertained. On the 24th
December, 1776, Washington thus addressed them:

"Brothers of the St. John's tribe: It gave me great pleasure to hear
by Major Shaw that you keep the chain of Friendship, which I sent you
in February last from Cambridge, bright and unbroken. I am glad to
hear that you have made a treaty of peace with your brothers and
neighbors of Massachusetts Bay. My good friend and brother, Gov'r
Pierre Tommah, and the warriors that came with him shall be taken good
care of, and when they want to return home they and our brothers of
Penobscot shall be furnished with everything necessary for their
journey. * * * Never let the King's wicked counsellors turn your
hearts against me and your brethren of this country, but bear in mind
what I told you last February and what I tell you now."

Washington's overtures were not without effect. This is evident from
the fact that the Maugerville people in May, 1776, reported that Gen.
Washington's letter had set the Indians on fire, and they were
plundering all people they thought to be Tories, and that perhaps when
the supply of Tories was exhausted others might share the name fate.
"We think it necessary," they added, "that some person of consequence
be sent among them." The Indians had always been allies of the French
and had never fully accepted the change of ownership on the River St.
John. They were disposed to view the cause of the Americans with
favor, more particularly when the French became their allies.

John Allan was by far the most active and energetic agent of Congress
in dealing with the Indians. He was born in Edinburgh and when four
years of age accompanied his parents to Halifax when that city was
founded by Cornwallis. At the commencement of the Revolution he lived
near Fort Cumberland, on the New Brunswick side of the isthmus of
Chignecto and carried on an extensive Indian trade visiting all the
villages as far west as the Penobscot river. His estimate of the
Indians is not particularly flattering. He says: "The Indians are
generally actuated according to the importance or influence any one
has who lives among them. They are credulous to a degree, will listen
to every report, and generally believe it and think everything true
that is told them."

We shall presently see that Allan was able to make good use of his
knowledge of the weaknesses of Indian nature. He was appointed
superintendent of the Eastern Indians in 1777 by the Massachusetts
Congress, with the military rank of Colonel. He was the most
persevering and troublesome antagonist the British had in Eastern New
England. Had it not been for his exertions it is probable the
Americans would have lost their outpost at Machias, and it is possible
that the English would then have held the country as far west as the
River Kennebeck.



In the year 1775 armed vessels were fitted out in several of the ports
of New England to prey on the commerce of Nova Scotia. Many of these
carried no proper commissions and were manned by hands of brutal
marauders whose conduct was so outrageous that even so warm a partizan
as Col. John Allan sent a remonstrance to congress regarding their
behaviour: "Their horrid crimes," he says, "are too notorious to pass
unnoticed," and after particularizing some of their enormities he
declares "such proceedings will occasion more Torys than a hundred
such expeditions will make good."

The people of Machias were particularly fond of plundering their
neighbors, and that place was termed a "nest of pirates and rebels" by
General Eyre Massey, the commandant at Halifax.

Early in the summer of 1775 it was rumored that Stephen Smith of
Machias, one of the delegates to the Massachusetts congress, had
orders to seize Fort Frederick, and the Governor of Nova Scotia
recommended the establishment of a garrison there to prevent such an
attempt. But the military authorities were too dilatory and in the
month of August a party from Machias, led by Smith, entered St. John
harbor in a sloop, burned Fort Frederick and the barracks and took
four men who were in the fort prisoners. The party also captured a
brig of 120 tons laden with oxen, sheep and swine, intended for the
British troops at Boston. This was the first hostile act committed in
Nova Scotia and it produced almost as great a sensation at Halifax as
at St. John. The event is thus described by our first local historian,
Peter Fisher, in his Sketches of New Brunswick:--

"A brig was sent from Boston to procure fresh provisions for the
British army, then in that town, from the settlements of the river
Saint John. The same vessel was laden with stock, poultry, and sundry
other articles mostly brought from Maugerville in small vessels and
gondolas, all of which had been put on board within about fifteen days
after the brig had arrived. While she was waiting for a fair wind and
clear weather an armed sloop of four guns and full of men from Machias
came into the harbor, took possession of the brig, and two days after
carried her off to Machias; the first night after their arrival the
enemy made the small party in the Fort prisoners, plundered them of
everything in it, and set fire to all the Barracks, but at that time
they did not molest any of the inhabitants on the opposite side of the

The burning of Fort Frederick seems to have been made known at Halifax
by James Simonds and Daniel Leavitt, who went to Windsor in a whale
boat to solicit to protection of government. Their report caused a
mild sensation on the part of the military authorities, and they began
to take measures for the defence of the province, although it was more
than two years before any adequate protection was afforded the
settlers at St. John. Being apprehensive that the company's effects
in the store at Portland Point might be carried off by marauders, Mr.
Simonds a few weeks afterwards carried a portion of the goods to
Windsor in the schooner "Polly" and disposed of them as well as he

The next year was a decidedly uncomfortable one for the people living
at Portland Point. In the month of May two privateers entered the
harbor, remaining more than a week. Their boats proceeded up the river
as far as Maugerville and informed the people that the province would
soon be invaded from the westward, that privateers were thick on the
coasts and would stop all manner of commerce unless the settlers
joined them. They threatened, moreover, that should the Americans be
put to the trouble and expense of conquering the country all who sided
with the mother country must expect to lose their property and lands.
About this time some Indians arrived with letters from General
Washington, and it was believed that the whole tribe was about
entering into an alliance with the Americans, as they showed a decided
predilection in their favor and even threatened to kill the white
inhabitants unless they would join the "Boston men." There can be
little doubt that the majority of the people on the River St. John
were at this time not indisposed to side with the Revolutionary party.
A public meeting was held on the 14th of May, 1776, at the meeting
house in Maugerville, at which a number of highly disloyal resolutions
were unanimously adopted. One of the leading spirits at this meeting
was the Rev. Seth Noble, who had already written to Gen'l. Washington
to represent the importance of obtaining control of western Nova
Scotia, including the River St. John. Jacob Barker, Esq'r., was chosen
chairman and a committee, consisting of Jacob Barker, Israel Perley,
Phineas Nevers, Daniel Palmer, Moses Pickard, Edward Coy, Thomas
Hartt, Israel Kinny, Asa Kimble, Asa Perley, Oliver Perley and Hugh
Quinton, was appointed to prepare the resolutions which were
subsequently adopted by the meeting. One of the resolutions reads:--

  "Resolved, That it is our minds and desire to submit ourselves to
  the government of Massachusetts Bay and that we are ready with our
  lives and fortunes to share with them the event of the present
  struggle for liberty, however God in his providence may order

The resolutions adopted were circulated among all the settlers on the
river and signed by 125 persons, most of them heads of families. The
committee claimed that only twelve or thirteen persons refused to
sign, of whom the majority lived at the river's mouth. If this
statement be correct, the resolutions certainly could not have been
submitted to all the inhabitants, for there is evidence to show that
at least thirty families outside of the township of Maugerville were
steadfastly and consistently loyal to the government under which they
lived. The names of these people are as deserving of honor as the
names of the Loyalists, who came to the province from the old colonies
in 1783. In the township of Maugerville the sentiment of the people
was almost unanimous in favor of the Revolution and we have no data to
determine who were loyalists--if any. But at St. Anns we have Benjamin
Atherton and Philip Weade; in the township of Burton, John Larley,
Joseph Howland, and Thomas Jones; in Gagetown Zebulon Estey, Henry
West, John Crabtree, John Hendrick, Peter Carr and Lewis Mitchell; on
the Kennebecasis Benjamin Darling; in the township of Conway, Samuel
Peabody, Jonathan Leavitt, Thomas Jenkins, John Bradley, Gervas Say,
James Woodman, Peter Smith, and Christopher Cross; at Portland Point,
James Simonds, James White, William Hazen, John Hazen, William Godsoe,
Lemuel Cleveland, Robert Cram, John Nason, Moses Greenough,
Christopher Blake and most of the men in the employ of Hazen, Simonds
& White.

A number of Acadians too were loyal to the government of Nova Scotia
and should be mentioned in this connection. Louis Mercure and his
brother Michel Mercure rendered good service to the Governor of Nova
Scotia in carrying dispatches to and from Quebec during the war
period. Of the Martin family, Jean, Simon, Joseph, Francois and Amant
were warmly commended by Major Studholme for their fidelity and active
exertions on various occasions. Members of the Cyr family also
rendered important services as guides or pilots, Oliver, Jean Baptiste
and Pierre Cyr being employed in that capacity by Major Studholme and
Lieut. Governor Michael Francklin.

At this distance of time it is difficult to determine the number of
people on the river who were disposed to be actively disloyal. That
they had many inducements to cast their fortunes with their friends in
Massachusetts is undeniable. At Maugerville the powerful influence of
the pastor of the church, Rev. Seth Noble, and of the leading elders
and church members was exerted in behalf of the American congress.
Jacob Barker, who presided at the meeting held on the 14th May, was a
justice of the peace and ruling elder of the church. Israel Perley and
Phineas Nevers were justices of the peace and had represented the
county of Sunbury in the Nova Scotia legislature. Daniel Palmer,
Edward Coy, Israel Kinney and Asa Perley were ruling elders of the
church. Moses Pickard, Thomas Hartt and Hugh Quinton were leading
church members. The gentlemen named, with Asa Kimball and Oliver
Perley, were appointed a committee "to make immediate application to
the Congress or General Assembly of Massachusetts Bay for relief under
the present distressed circumstances."

At the Maugerville meeting it was unanimously agreed that the
committee, whose names have just been mentioned, should have charge of
all matters civil and military until further regulations should be
made, and that all who signed the resolutions should have no dealings
with any person for the future who should refuse to sign them. The
tone of several of the resolutions was that of open defiance to the
constituted authority of Nova Scotia, the signers pledging themselves
to support and defend the actions of their committee at the expense,
if necessary, of their lives and fortunes. One of the resolutions

  "Resolved that we will immediately put ourselves in the best
  posture of defence in our power; that to this end we will prevent
  all unnecessary use of gunpowder or other ammunition in our

Asa Perley and Asa Kimball, two of the committee, were sent to Boston
to interview the Massachusetts congress on behalf of the people living
on the river. The commissary general there was directed to deliver
them one barrel of gunpowder, 350 flints and 250 weight of lead from
the colony's stores; they were also allowed to purchase 40 stand of
small arms.

So far all seemed favorable to the promoters of rebellion, but bitter
humiliation was in store, and within a year the vast majority of those
who had pledged themselves to the people of Massachusetts as "ready
with their lives and fortunes to share with them the event of the
present struggle for liberty, however God in His providence may order
it," were compelled to take the oath of allegiance to His Majesty King
George the Third for the defence of the province of Nova Scotia
against all his enemies.

An impartial review of the situation on the St. John at this stage of
the American Revolution would seem to show that the sympathies of a
large majority of the settlers were with the revolutionary party, at
the same time many of the people were much less enthusiastic than
their leaders and if left to themselves would probably have hesitated
to sign the resolutions framed by their committee. The presence of the
privateersmen, who came up the river at the time the meeting at
Maugerville was held, was an incentive to many to sign the resolutions
and the attitude of the Indians was a further inducement to stand in
with the people of Massachusetts, who had lately entered into an
alliance with the savages.

During the autumn of this year (1776) the Bay of Fundy was so infested
with pirates and picaroons that the war vessels Vulture, Hope and
Albany were ordered around from Halifax. They were not entirely
successful in their endeavor to furnish protection, for the privateers
frequently managed to steal past the large ships in the night and in
fogs and continued to pillage the defenceless inhabitants.

Another hostile act was now undertaken by the people of Machias of a
more ambitious kind than the destruction of Fort Frederick. This was
nothing less than an attempt to capture Fort Cumberland, where Lieut.
Col. Joseph Goreham was in command with a detachment of the Royal
Fencible Americans. This attempt was in the end a miserable fiasco,
but it occasioned much alarm at the time and was the cause of some
distress to the loyal inhabitants of that region.

The leader of the expedition against Fort Cumberland was Jonathan
Eddy, who had lately been commissioned a lieutenant colonel by the
Massachusetts congress. He was a native of Norton (Mass.), and had
settled in Cumberland about 1763, but early in the Revolution returned
to Massachusetts. About the time of the Declaration of Independence,
in July, 1776, Eddy set out from Boston in company with Jonathan Rowe
(lately a resident at St. John) and proceeded to Machias. He left that
place about the middle of August in a schooner with only 28 men as a
nucleus of his proposed army. At Passamaquoddy a few people joined
him. The party did not meet with much encouragement on their arrival
at St. John, although Hazen, Simonds and White from motives of
prudence refrained from any hostile demonstration. Proceeding up the
river to Maugerville Eddy met with greater encouragement. "I found the
people," he writes, "to be almost universally hearty in our cause;
they joined us with one captain, one lieutenant and twenty-five men,
as also sixteen Indians." The captain of the St. John river contingent
was probably Hugh Quinton[101] who has as his lieutenant one Jewett
of Maugerville. Others of the party were Daniel Leavitt, William
McKeen, Elijah Estabrooks, Edward Burpee, Nathan Smith, John Pickard,
Edmund Price, Amasa Coy, John Mitchell, Richard Parsons, Benjamin
Booby and John Whitney. The rest of the party lived in Maugerville but
their names are not known.

  [101] Hugh Quinton is called Captain Quinton by the rebel Col. John
        Allan in his diary, printed in Kidder's "Military Operations
        in Eastern Maine and Nova Scotia during the Revolution." The
        report of Major Studholme's exploration party in 1783 states
        that "Quinton was one of the Cumberland party, but since hath
        taken the Oath of Allegiance to his Majesty and behaved in a
        loyal manner; turned out sundry times and fought the rebel

On his arrival at Cumberland Jonathan Eddy was joined by many of the
settlers there who, like himself, were originally from New England.
His whole force probably did not exceed 200 men, badly equipped and
without artillery. The Indians of the St. John were under the
leadership of Ambroise St. Aubin, one of their chiefs, and Eddy says
they "beheaved most gallantly."[102] However, the expedition failed to
achieve anything of importance. The rebels plundered some of the loyal
inhabitants, seized one or two small provision sloops and captured
several prisoners, including the Rev. John Eagleson, acting chaplain
of the garrison. All attempts to take the fort were futile, and the
arrival of Major Batt and Captain Studholme with reinforcement from
Windsor rendered Eddy's situation exceedingly precarious. On the 28th
November his forces were utterly routed by Major Batt and hastily
retired to the River St. John. They suffered great hardships on the
way and arrived at that place in a very miserable condition. Unwelcome
as they had proved to the people of Portland Point on the occasion of
their advance they were still more unwelcome visitors on their return.
In their forlorn condition Hazen, Simonds and White were obliged to
furnish them with provisions and supplies in order to keep them from
plundering their houses and stores. All that the trading company
obtained in return was a bill of exchange on the Massachusetts
congress, which probably was never paid:

  "Gentlemen,--At sight of this our second Bill (first of same tenor
  and date not paid) please to pay to Messrs. William Hazen, James
  Simonds and James White, or order, forty-one Spanish milled
  Dollars for value received of them.


  Portland, Nova Scotia, December 14th, 1776.

  To the Honorable Council of Massachusetts State.

  [102] A pretty full account of the siege of Fort Cumberland will be
        found in the Canadian Archives for 1894, pp. 355-366. Other
        particulars are to be found in Kidder's Military Operations in
        Eastern Maine and Nova Scotia, pp. 67-74.

James White says the supplies furnished to Prescott & Co., were
regarded as for the common cause and benefit to get rid of a needy
lawless banditti.

On the 10th February ensuing General Massey wrote to the secretary of
State that Eddy, Rogers, Allen and Howe were at the River St. John
preparing with the Indians for attacks on various points in the
Spring. To counteract the designs of Eddy and his associates Colonel
Michael Francklin was appointed Superintendent of Indian affairs about
this time.

Early in May, 1777, a serious attempt was made by John Allan to
establish a trading post for the Indians on the River St. John. James
Simonds proceeded via Windsor to Halifax, and reported the matter to
the civil and military authorities. Lieut.-Governor Arbuthnot at once
sent Colonel Arthur Goold and an armed party, commanded by Major
Studholme, to investigate, and on their arrival at St. John the
Machias rebels promptly decamped. On the 9th May Goold wrote a letter
to the inhabitants of the townships up the river stating that the
government of Nova Scotia was well informed of their treasonable
doings, and that the tenure of their present possessions was due to
the clemency of "the most just, generous and best of Princes." He
informed them that his object was to effect a reconciliation for them
with Government, and added that while he came to them with the olive
branch of peace, in the event of a refusal of his overtures an armed
force would follow and employ a very different argument.

A meeting was immediately held at Maugerville, and in reply to Goold a
letter was sent "by order of the body of the inhabitants assembled,"
written and signed in their behalf by Israel Perley. In this letter
the inhabitants aver "that their greatest desire hath ever been to
live in peace under good and wholesome laws," and they declare
themselves "ready to attend to any conditions of lenity and oblivion
that may be held out to them."

Colonel Goold in his reply expresses his pleasure at the unanimity of
their resolution to observe loyalty and obedience to the government
under which they lived and his surprise that they should suffer a few
incendiaries to disturb the public tranquillity. He hoped the word
"Committee" had nothing so terrible in its sound as to frighten a
majority of the loyal people. "Why not," he says, "form a Committee in
favor of Government and see which is strongest? I will throw myself
into your scale and make no doubt but we shall soon over balance these
mighty Law-givers."

On the afternoon of May 13, two of John Allan's lieutenants, William
Howe and John Preble, arrived at Manawagonish Cove[103] in a whale
boat, not knowing of the presence of a British sloop of war at St.
John. Captain Featus, the commander of the "Vulture," promptly
dispatched a boat to the place and took their whale boat, but Howe and
Preble and their party fled to the woods and eventually got back to
Machias. The captain of the "Vulture" also intercepted two schooners
laden with supplies for the proposed Indian "Truck House."

  [103] Commonly called Mahogany Cove, about three miles to the west of
        the harbor of St. John.

Evidently there was a lack of harmony and mutual confidence among
the inhabitants of Maugerville at this time, for on the 16th May
they wrote to Colonel Goold a letter in which, after representing
their recent conduct in the best light they could and admitting
that they had acted in opposition to this Majesty's Government, they
say: "As your honor is pleased to tell us that you bring the Olive
Branch of Peace we humbly crave the benefit, and as we were
jointly concerned in the first transgressions we now humbly
request that no distinction may be made as to a pardon, there
being in this place as in all others private prejudices and
contentions, and perhaps some persons may avail themselves of this
opportunity to got revenge by representing their private enemies
as the greatest enemies of Government. We earnestly request no such
complaint may prevail upon your Honor to make any distinction with
regard to any person, on the River, and we beg your Honor's answer
to this petition from your Honor's most humble servants.

    [Signed]. Israel Perley, Seth Noble, Jonathan Burpee, Elisha
Nevers, junr."

In reply to the letter, from which the foregoing is taken, Colonel
Goold said that his ears would be shut to all insinuations as to the
honesty of their submission, that their letter "seems to breathe the
sentiments of a sincere repentance for inconsiderate follies past" and
that he had not the least doubt it would meet with as favorable a
reception as they could desire.

In spite of Goold's tact and diplomacy there were a few irreconcilables,
and on the 19th of May he wrote from Maugerville to Major Studholme, who
had remained with the troops at the mouth of the river:

  "As notwithstanding every measure which I have taken to reclaim
  some of the principal people concerned in the late defection,
  amounting to rebellion, on this river has proved fruitless, and
  they still continue obstinately bent on quitting their houses and
  families rather than submit to his Majesty's gracious offers of
  clemency, I think it my duty to give you their names--Seth Noble,
  Elisha Nevers, Jacob Barker--that you may act upon the occasion
  agreeable to the orders you may have received from Major General

Colonel Goold administered the oath of allegiance to all but a few of
the people and, as his last word, charged them on no account to suffer
those who inconveniently absented themselves from accepting the
proposals of the Lieutenant Governor to return to their habitations
without first proceeding to Halifax to beg pardon for their past
behaviour. "I have nothing more to observe to you," he adds, "but that
you are not to pay any more respect to those Gentlemen, who lately
styled themselves your rulers, than to every other common member of
the community."

On his return to Halifax, Col. Goold reported to Lt.-Gov'r Arbuthnot
that the inhabitants at the River St. John had cheerfully taken the
oath of allegiance, after delivering up two pieces of ordnance,
formerly concealed by the French inhabitants.

While he was at the River St. John Goold had an interview with the
Indians and made a speech to them in French, which seems to have
produced a strong impression. Eight of the chiefs and captains swore
allegiance to King George the Third in the name of their tribe, and
had they been let alone by Allan it is probable the Indians would have
given no further trouble to the Government or Nova Scotia. Colonel
Goold regarded his arrival as opportune as Allan, Howe and others from
Machias were assembled "to play the same game as last year." Before he
left the river he addressed a letter to the Indians in French,
promising that he would represent to Lieut. Governor Arbuthnot their
great desire to have a priest, and expressing his confidence that they
might have Mons'r. Bourg, then stationed at the Bay of Chaleur, who
would be put on the same footing as their late missionary Bailly.

John Allan was altogether too determined a man to abandon the struggle
for supremacy on the St. John without another attempt. He learned on
the 29th of May that the "Vulture" had returned to Annapolis and he
set out the very next day from Machias with a party of 43 men in four
whale boats and four birch canoes. At Passamaquoddy he met with some
encouragement and thirteen canoes joined the flotilla, which proceeded
on to Musquash Cove, where they arrived on the evening of the 1st of
June. Having ascertained that there were no hostile vessels at St.
John harbor, Allan sent one of his captains named West with a party to
seize Messrs. Hazen, Simonds and White. The party landed at
Manawagonish Cove and marched through the woods to the St. John river
above the falls, crossing in canoes to the east side of the river and
landing at what is now Indiantown. Proceeding on through scrubby woods
and over rough limestone they reached Portland Point undiscovered and
took William Hazen and James White prisoners. James Simonds and Israel
Perley had accompanied Col. Goold to Halifax, and in this way Mr.
Simonds escaped capture, but it seems that a little later he was not
so fortunate. There was now no good will between the people of
Portland Point and their neighbors to the west. Allan states in his
journal "Hazen and Simonds jeered our officers, saying that they made
breastworks of women and children." Tradition has it that on one
occasion James Simonds told a party of marauders who had come to
pillage that they would never dare to face the King's soldiers for
their blood was nothing but molasses and water.

Leaving a guard of sixty men at the mouth of the river under Capt.
West, the rest of the invaders proceeded up the river taking their
prisoners with them. West and his party took possession of Woodman's
store and buildings opposite Indiantown and occupied them for
barracks. Allan directed them "To range the woods from Hazen's across
the river above the falls round to the Old Fort," and in accordance
with his instructions, the party came over every day to the Portland
shore in order to capture any vessel that might enter the harbor and
to prevent the landing of marines or seamen from any British man of

Allan in his diary gives an account of his trip up the St. John, which
is of much local interest. He claims that the majority of the
settlers, despite their late submission to Colonel Goold, were
friendly to the American cause, although some were "great Zealots for
Britain." Gervas Say and Lewis Mitchell are said to have been
instrumental in bringing Col. Goold to the river, and Allan endeavored
to seize them. Mitchell's influence was feared on account of his being
of "an insinuating turn, particularly among the French and Indians."
Mitchell was captured by strategy at his house above Grimross, but a
few days later he "made his elopement" and with the assistance of
other loyalists was not long in bringing a hornet's nest about the
ears of his captors.

On the 5th of June, 1777, John Allan and his party arrived at the
Indian village of Aukpaque where forty or fifty Indians arrayed in war
costume of paint and feathers fired a salute of welcome. The visitors
responded and in order still further to impress the Indians landed
their two cannon and discharged them. Allan says that he found several
of the Indian captains were vastly fond of Colonel Goold and seemed
undetermined what to do. The inclinations of the head chiefs were
diverse. Ambroise St. Aubin favored the Americans but Pierre Tomah,
the head chief, inclined the other way. Allan, knowing full well by
experience as an Indian trader the weak points of Indian character,
flattered them, appealed to their cupidity, promised them presents and
supplies at the trading posts he was about to establish, recalled the
days when they regarded the French as their brothers affirming he had
come to do them justice with the same authority Monsieur Boishebert
had exercised in the French time. He was formally admitted into their
tribe and as they had then no missionary the priest's house, adjoining
the chapel, was placed at his disposal. During the next four weeks
there were formal conferences with the Indians with the usual
harangues, exchange of wampum belts and other ceremonies, in all of
which the American agent appeared to advantage. The chiefs made quite
a grand appearance on these occasions, particularly Ambroise St.
Aubin, who was attired in blue Persian silk coat, embroidered crimson
silk waistcoat, scarlet knee breeches and gold lace hat with white
cockade. In the intervals between the formal conferences Allan visited
the various wig-wams exercising his powers of persuasion. Messengers
were sent up the river to invite delegates from Medoctec and Madawaska
and they were not long in coming when they learned that Allan had a
quantity of supplies and presents at his disposal. The Madawaska
delegates arrived on the 20th of June in three birch canoes; in their
party were seven chiefs and captains, one of whom had lately assumed
the name of Washington. Allan wrote to Boston that he needed an
abundance of things sent him as he had been forced to be very lavish
in his dealings with the Indians. In the same letter he says of the
white inhabitants on the river: "I am sorry to say that the people
have not acted with that spirit that becomes the subjects of Liberty.
Much division has been among them * * and having no encouragement of
success from the Westward and being surprised so suddenly by Col.
Goold the whole gave up and are now become the subjects of Britain.
The greatest part, I believe, is as zealous as ever and it is their
earnest desire that a sufficient force be sent from the continent."

William Hazen and James White had been left by Col. Allan prisoners on
parole at the mouth of the river but a little later they were brought
up the river to Aukpaque by Capt. Preble. James White's long
acquaintance with the Indians gave him an influence which Allan seems
to have feared, for after they had been with him a week he issued the
following order:--

  "Wednesday, June 18, 1777, Prisoners Hazen and White are to mess
  by themselves for the future, not any of our people to join

The very next day they were sent to the mouth of the river again and
placed in charge of Capt. West and his party.

After the arrival of the Indian delegates from Medoctec and Madawaska
a general conference was held at Aukpaque, and it was agreed "that
peace and friendship be now established permanent and lasting between
the United States and the several tribes"; also that a truck house be
established by John Preble where the Indians should obtain good prices
for their furs.

The account of John Allan's doings at Aukpaque, as found in the diary
kept by his lieutenant, Frederick Delesderniers, is very interesting
reading. It is apparent to one who reads between the lines that Allan
felt he was engaged in a game at which two could play, and he feared
the outcome. In spite of his zealous efforts and apparent success he
was suspicious of his native allies. He complains that the impression
Colonel Goold had made seemed to occasion in them an unsteady conduct,
so much so that notwithstanding their fair speeches, he at times
thought that they would desert him after all. He was the more uneasy
when informed by Israel Perley, on his return from Halifax, that the
government of Nova Scotia had appointed so competent a man as Col.
Michael Francklin agent of Indian affairs.

As soon as the authorities at Halifax were informed of Allan's
expedition and of what was going on at the River St. John they sent
the warship "Mermaid" and the sloops "Vulture" and "Hope" with a
detachment of troops under Major Studholme to put a stop to the
proceedings. Allan's force at the mouth of the river consisted of
about sixty men under command of Captains West and Dyer. The "Vulture"
arrived on June 23rd and an attempt was made to land a party of troops
at Portland Point, but being fired upon by the enemy and having no
exact information as to their strength, nothing further was attempted
until the arrival of the other ships. Allan says "The 'Vulture'
anchored within cannon shot of Simonds[104] where our party lay."

  [104] That is Simonds house at Portland Point.

On the morning, of the 30th of June about 120 men under command of
Major Studholme left the ships in eight barges and landed at "Mahogany
bay," opposite the house of Samuel Peabody. They marched thence
through the woods two and a half miles in the direction of the falls.
Near what is now called Fairville, Studholme encountered about 40 men
under Captain West and a sharp conflict ensued in which several were
killed on both sides. The American invaders were soon put to flight
and retired with great precipitation. It is said that one poor fellow
climbed into a tree and might have escaped, but the cracking of a
branch betrayed his hiding place, and a soldier "dropped him like a
little carrier pigeon." The next day Colonel Francklin arrived from
Windsor with about 150 troops and militia.

Finding Studholme in hot pursuit West and his men ascended the
Oromocto and crossing to the head waters of the Maguadavic managed to
reach Machias. They had little or no provisions and endured almost
intolerable hardships. When tidings of the disaster were brought to
Aukpaque all was consternation. Pierre Tomah and some of the Indians
were disposed to listen to the overtures of Michael Francklin, but
Ambroise St. Aubin and the others were of a contrary mind.

The approach of the British filled the Indians with serious alarm, and
this Allan did not try to allay, his greatest fear being that Pierre
Tomah, "always considered a Tory," might induce the majority to make
terms with the English. He succeeded in persuading the Indians that
their safest course was to retire with him, assuring them that the
Americans would shortly regain possession of the river, and that the
Massachusetts government would provide for them and in the end reward
them for their fidelity. The Indians resolved to accompany Allan to
Machias. They abandoned their cornfields, took down their chapel bell
and moved across the river to the mouth of the Keswick. A conference
was held with the Indians in Mazroles's barn on Sunday, July 6th, at
which Delesderniere says Colonel Allan made a very moving speech. The
same night Allan's men were surprised at Aukpaque by a British
detachment who secured the baggage, provisions, cannon and arms they
had in charge. The party had separated and gone to various French
houses in the vicinity that they might not crowd one another,
otherwise they must inevitably have all been taken. According to
Delesderniers' story the French did all they could to save Allan's men
and for recompense had their houses pillaged and burned and some of
themselves made prisoners by the English. It was reported that the
English soldiers had expressed their determination to follow Allan to
the gates of hell to take him--they would at least follow to Medoctec.
All this time Pierre Tomah was trying to make terms with the British
and was much dejected that he could not carry his tribe with him.

Allan now donned the garb of an Indian chief, resolved to wear it to
Machias. On his arrival at Medoctec he was in such a sorry plight that
he wrote to his friends "I am at present destitute of everything, I am
forced to put up with the fare the Indians can provide. I must again
implore some help for the Indians; I am still suspicious if I leave
them they will turn."

Arrived at the old historic village of Medoctec (eight miles below the
modern town of Woodstock) John Allan and his dusky companions did not
long hesitate what course to pursue. Two Indian scouts sent down the
river quickly returned with information that the English had given up
the chase of West and his party, who fled by way of the Oromocto
river, and were on their way to Medoctec in pursuit of Allan. This
decided the Indians to proceed at once to Machias. The exodus was a
remarkable one even for so migratory a people as the Maliseets. On
Sunday, July 13th, a party of about 480 Indians--men, women and
children--embarked in 128 canoes. The journey to Machias occupied
three weeks and the party had a sorry time of it. The midsummer heat
was excessive, the mosquitoes abundant, provisions scanty and the
lowness of the streams greatly retarded the progress of the canoes. At
each of the carrying places along the route a lively scene presented
itself. "It is incredible," says Delesderniers in his diary, "what
difficulties the Indians undergo in this troublesome time when so many
families are obliged to fly with precipitation rather than become
friends to the tyrant of Britain. Some backing their aged parents,
others their maimed and decrepid brethern, the old women leading the
young children, mothers carrying their infants, together with great
loads of baggage. As to the canoes the men make it a play to carry
them across." The Indians after a time became impatient and desirous
to return. They represented to Allan that they had abandoned the
fertile banks of the St. John, their cornfields and hunting grounds
for his sake, and requested that the Americans would vigorously exert
themselves to take possession of and fortify that river, promising
that they would assist in an expedition to gain and hold it or lose
their lives in the attempt.

Allan's enthusiasm over the spirit displayed by the Indians and their
loyalty to him as their leader was somewhat dampened by their alarming
consumption of his provisions and supplies, which he was obliged to
dispense with a free hand or run the chance of their leaving him.

The account of Colonel John Allan's operations on the River St. John
given in the former part of this chapter may be supplemented by
Colonel Michael Francklin's official report to the Governor of Canada,
Sir Guy Carleton, which follows:

  Nova Scotia, River St. John,
      Maugerville, 23d July, 1777.

  Sir,--The Continental Congress having by their Emissarys taken
  every method to alienate the affection of the savages of this
  Province from His Majesty so far prevailed as to induce part of
  the Tribes of this River, Passamaquoddie and Penobscott to
  associate last Fall with a few banditti from the eastern parts of
  New England, who together with some of our Provincial Rebels
  plundered the peaceable inhabitants of the County of Cumberland,
  seized upon the King's provision vessels, and presumed to invest
  Fort Cumberland, but were finally defeated by His Majesty's Troops
  under the command of Major Batt of the Royal Fencible American

  Since last Fall a John Allan, late an Inhabitant of this Province,
  has been appointed by the General Congress agent to the Indians,
  and the beginning of June entered the River with Two pieces of
  cannon and about 120 Rebels, who were to be followed by a more
  considerable body. These Rebels were defeated the 30th of June at
  the mouth of the River by the King's Troops under the command of
  Brigade Major Studholme, sent by Major General Massey. The day
  following I arrived in a civil capacity with about 150 Troops and
  militia from Windsor. These Rebels in their flight have been
  obliged to divide, one part passing over our western Boundary at
  about twenty miles from the sea, but Allan with the other part
  have been pursued up this river more than 120 miles and have
  retired from Medoctic by way of Penobscott. This last party were
  joined by Ambrose St. Auban, an Indian Chief, and some others whom
  I could not possibly draw off frown assisting the enemy, without
  whose aid they must have perished, having lost their little
  baggage, provisions, cannon and arms by one of our detachments
  falling on them on the 6th instant at Augpeake, ninety miles up
  this river. We are friendly with Pierre Toma, the other Indian
  chief, and part of the savages, and hostilities have not even been
  committed by us against the others.

  "I have been particular that you Excellency may know our
  situation. An Indian war is of all others the most to be
  dreaded by this Government from the scattered situation of our
  settlements, and a word from your Excellency to the savages of
  this River, Passamaquoddie and Penobscott, sent by some of your
  well affected Indian Chiefs of the neighborhood of Quebec may
  have a very great weight with them and prevent much ruin and

    "I have the honor to be, with respect,
        Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,


The hint contained in the last paragraph of Francklin's letter
evidently was not lost upon Sir Guy Carleton, for later on, deputies
from the Ottawas, Hurons, Algonquins, and other nations of Canada
arrived at the River St. John and ordered the Micmacs and Maliseets to
withdraw from the Americans and to remain quiet otherwise they would
declare war against them. Upon receipt of this message, Francklin
says, the Indians almost universally withdrew from Machias and
remained tranquil to the close of the war. But this is anticipating
the course of events.

Michael Francklin, though a native of the South of England, was
admirably fitted for the position of superintendent of Indian affairs
in Nova Scotia. He was at one time a captive with the Indians and had
learned their language and customs. He was also conversant with the
French tongue and this gave him still greater influence.

Unfortunately for the settlers at the mouth of the river a garrison
was not left there for their protection by Francklin and Studholme,
and as soon as the English ships departed Portland and Conway were as
defenceless as ever. Privateers again appeared. The people were robbed
and maltreated so that many were compelled to abandon their homes and
seek refuge up the river.

Late in the autumn of this year an American sloop carrying eight guns
entered St. John Harbor. Her captain, who bore the singular name A.
Greene Crabtree, proved the most unwelcome and rapacious visitor that
had yet appeared. Many of the settlers fled to the woods to escape the
vandalism of his crew. From the store at Portland Point 21 boat loads
of goods were taken. The plunder included a lot of silver ornaments,
fuzees and other articles left by the Indians as pledges for their

  [105] Some of the Indian pledges were valuable. Wm. Hazen says
        that among the articles that escaped the notice of the
        privateers-men on this occasion were eight silver arm
        clasps, two of which he afterwards sold for £4.

John Allan seems to have had doubts as to whether this kind of thing
came within the pale of civilized warfare, for in a letter written at
Machias, November 18, 1777, he says:

  "Capt. A. Greene Crabtree arrived here yesterday. He has been to
  the mouth of the St. John's where he found a Truck House erected
  by the Britons under the care of Messrs. Hazen, White and Simonds.
  He took everything of their property only. Also all the Indian
  Pledges he has bro't and delivered me, expecting some payment. I
  cannot say how far this was legal for a Privateer, but I am
  extremely glad it is done."

The situation at the mouth of the St. John had now become intolerable;
the inhabitants were well nigh beggared and the end of their trials
apparently had not yet been reached. William Hazen therefore
proceeded to Windsor and urgently demanded protection. Col. Small, of
the Royal Highland Emigrants, went with him to Halifax and by their
united efforts the authorities were convinced of the necessity for
immediate action. A considerable body of troops was ordered to St.
John with directions to either repair Fort Frederick or to build a
new fort as might seem most desirable. General Massey's choice of
Gilfred Studholme as commander of the expedition was a wise one. He
was not only a brave and capable officer but his former experience
as commander of the Fort Frederick garrison, and his intimate
knowledge of the River St. John and its inhabitants--Whites and
Indians--rendered him peculiarly fitted for the task to which he was

We come now to consider the circumstances under which Fort Howe was

[Illustration: FORT HOWE IN 1781]

Lieut.-Governor Arbuthnot wrote to the Secretary of State, Lord George
Germaine, on the 11th October, 1777, that in consequence of frequent
attacks on the settlements on the St. John river by the Machias rebels
he had requested Brig.-Gen. Massey to establish a fortified post at
the mouth of that river with a garrison of fifty men; this with the
aid of a British frigate he thought would secure the inhabitants from
further molestation, and prevent the Americans from occupying the
post, an object they had long coveted. In the latter part of November,
Brigade Major Studholme was sent to St. John with fifty picked men, a
framed block-house and four six-pounders. The small force was brought
in a sloop of war, which remained in the harbor for their protection
till the next spring.

Studholme at first thought of restoring Fort Frederick, which the
rebels had burned the year before, but in the end it was decided to
erect a new fortification on the commanding site since known as Fort
Howe. The lateness of the season rendered it necessary for the
garrison to lose no time. They set to work vigorously and with the
assistance of the inhabitants erected the blockhouses, threw up the
necessary defences, and were in snug winter quarters ere the cold
weather set in.

The accompanying illustration is taken from a sketch of Fort Howe in
1781 by Capt. Benjamin Marston on board his vessel the "Brittania",
which was then lying at anchor in the harbor; the original is believed
to be the only representation of Fort Howe before the arrival of the
Loyalists that is in existence.

Colonel Robert Morse of the Royal Engineers thus describes the fort as
he saw it in 1783:--

  "This little work was erected in the course of the late war in
  preference to repairing a small square fort thrown up during the
  former war [Fort Frederick] the position of the latter being low
  and commanded, and not so well situated for the protection of the
  houses built in the cod of the bay, where two or three persons
  lived of a company to whom a large tract of land had been granted
  and who carried on a considerable trade with the Indians and
  persons settled up the river. The ridge upon which the new fort
  stands was offered by them and a work in which there are eight
  pieces of cannon, barracks for 100 men, and a small block-house
  was accordingly erected, together with a larger block-house at the
  other end of the ridge. The block-houses remain, but the work,
  which was composed of fascines and sods, is falling down, and the
  ridge on which it stands is too narrow to admit of any useful
  works being constructed upon it."

The armament of Fort Howe, according to Col. Morse, consisted of 2
five and a half inch brass mortars, and 8 iron guns; the latter
comprising 2 eighteen-pounders, 4 six-pounders, and 2 four-pounders.
In the barracks were twelve rooms for the officers and accommodation
for 100 men.

The guns of Fort Howe would be no better than pop-guns in modern
warfare. Indeed they appear never to have been fired upon an invader.
On Royal anniversaries and in honor of national victories they
thundered forth a salute from their iron throats, and we may believe
that on the ever memorable 18th of May, 1783, they gave a right royal
welcome to the Loyalist founders of the City of St. John.

Scarcely had Major Studholme got his defences in order at Fort Howe,
when the old Machias pirate, A. Greene Crabtree, reappeared upon the
scene. He had disposed of his former booty and returned to complete
the work of destruction. In order to accomplish his design he landed a
party from his eight-gun vessel at Manawagonish, and proceeded through
the woods intending to surprise the settlement at Portland Point; but
in this case the surprise was his own. The sight of the British flag
waving from the ramparts of Fort Howe was quite sufficient; he showed
no inclination to try the mettle of Studholme's garrison, and beat a
hasty retreat.

General Massey, who had sent Studholme's party to St. John, was of the
opinion that a rigorous policy should be set on foot against the
privateers, and in a letter to Lord Germaine laments that Arbuthnot
did not command the naval squadron. "If he did," he says, "these
trifling pirates could not appear on the coast without meeting their
deserved fate." In the course of the next summer Captain Fielding
succeeded in destroying six privateers in the space of three weeks
time, and this served to render the Bay of Fundy coast a little more
secure. But already much damage had been inflicted. In the township
of Conway, on the west side of St. John harbor, the settlers had been
obliged to abandon their homes. Daniel and Jonathan Leavitt built
small houses in Carleton near old Fort Frederick, where they were
under the protection of Fort Howe. Messrs. Samuel Peabody, Gervas Say,
Elijah Estabrooks, James Woodman, Thomas Jenkins, Zebedee Ring, John
Bradley, John Jones and Peter Smith were so harrassed "by the
continual robberies of the Rebel boats" that they were compelled to
move up the river to escape the dangers of their exposed situation.

James Simonds also decided to change his residence at this time, and
in the month of May (1778) he removed his effects and placed them on
board a small vessel, lying above the falls, and with his family
proceeded sixty miles up the river to a tract of land in the parish of
Sheffield, which he had purchased of Charles Morris. The property
comprised about 2,000 acres, but at the time of Mr. Simonds' arrival
not a single tree had been cut upon it. He built a small log house on
the bank of the river just above Loder's Creek as a shelter for his
young and helpless family, and here they were destined to spend the
next nine years of their lives. He left to Lemuel Cleveland the care
of his house at Portland Point, and leased all his lands and buildings
at the mouth of the river to Major Studholme for £60 per annum.

The presence of the garrison at Fort Howe did not entirely prevent the
Machias marauders from interfering with the loyal inhabitants of St.
John, and Messrs. Hazen and White arranged with John Curry of
Campobello to give them warning whenever possible of any danger that
might threaten from the direction of Machias.

John Curry was a native of Ireland. He came to Passamaquoddy about
1770, settled there and was appointed a justice of the peace in 1774.
He was a man of intelligence and ability, but apparently had not
enjoyed the advantages of a liberal education. He had himself several
encounters with the privateers. In 1778 his house was plundered while
he was absent, and many of his possessions carried off, including the
records of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace of Passamaquoddy
district, which met on the island of Campobello. Curry was an Indian
trader and during the Revolution received supplies from Hazen and
White. The following letter is of interest in this connection:--

  "Campobello, July, 1781.

  "Gentlemen,--Things here is much more peasable than I expected:
  the Indians appear very friendly which I think deters others from
  committing aney depredations in the neighbourhood. Have disposed
  of all the Goods I brought home and want the remainder of my Goods
  much, therefore if Hutchins and Archibald's sloops is got to St.
  Johns beg you would desire them to proceed hear immediately, as I
  want to dispose of the Goods while the Weather is calme. * *
  Please send me a cask of flower as Bread begins to grow scarce:
  pray Hurrey Archibald along and tell him to come in the Night
  least sum Thiefe Should Bee lurking about the harbor."

A few months later Mr. Curry again wrote to his friends to warn them
of impending danger:

  Campobello, March 22, 1782.

  "Gentlemen,--In my last I Refur'd you to Major Studholme for sum
  inteligeance which was this: there is a small privateer at Machias
  that I expect will sale every day. She is own'd and man'd by a
  parcle of Cumberland Refugees who is determined to suply
  themselves with Beef for use of the Crue at your expence by
  privately going to the Marsh (at St. John) and killing your
  Cattle. You may look for them every day after you receive this:
  they are bound up ye Bay a plundering. Take care of yourselves and
  pray keep this a profound secret."

[Illustration: Signature of Major G. Studholme]

The comparative security enjoyed by the people living on the River St.
John after the erection of Fort Howe was largely due to the ability
and zeal displayed by Major Gilfred Studholme. It is to be regretted
that no portrait of this really eminent man is in existence, a
fac-simile of his signature is given.[106] He was a native of Ireland
where has family owned a considerable estate. On the 22nd November,
1756, he was commissioned an ensign in the 27th Foot, and embarked at
Cork for Halifax in May following. He was commissioned Lieutenant in
the 40th Foot November 10, 1761, and it was as an officer of this
regiment he commanded the garrison at Fort Frederick. He was
transferred to the 24th Foot, September 1, 1771, and temporarily
retired from active service July 16, 1774. When the American
Revolution broke out he offered his services and was appointed captain
in Governor Legge's "Loyal Nova Scotia Volunteers," but was afterwards
transferred to the command of a company in the Royal Fencible American
regiment under Lieut. Col. Joseph Goreham. He served with credit at
Fort Cumberland, sharing in the spirited attack of Major Batt, in
which the beseigers under Eddy were driven off in great disorder and
compelled to retire to the River St. John. The next summer Studholme
drove John Allan from the St. John.

  [106] The memory of Gilfred Studholme is preserved in Guilford
        (properly Gilfred) street in Carleton. For some years
        Charlotte street in St. John was called Studholme street. A
        parish of Kings County also bears his name.

Lieut.-Governor Arbuthnot wrote Lord Germaine that the establishment
of a fortified post at St. John was a necessity since it was a place
coveted by the rebels, who wished to settle the river with people of
rebellious principles after removing the inhabitants who were loyal
subjects. It was at his request and that of the inhabitants at St.
John that General Massey sent Major Studholme with fifty picked men to
take post there, and although it was reported that John Allan had five
hundred men at Machias, the general had no apprehension as to
Studholme's ability to maintain his post. General Massey wrote Lord
Germaine on the 13th of March, 1778, that he continued to hear from
Major Studholme every fortnight--that Fort Howe was perfectly secure.
Some weeks later, however, on learning that a large force was
assembling at Machias, he sent a reinforcement which arrived safely.

By the joint efforts of the garrison and of the inhabitants it was not
long before Fort Howe was in a fairly good state of defence, barracks
were built, with signal station adjoining, also a blockhouse at
the east end of the ridge. These are shown in the illustration

  [107] This illustration is made from a water color sketch in the
        possession of Mrs. William Hazen--the oldest known picture of
        Saint John. The sketch was taken from a point about the site
        of the deBury residence south of St. Luke's Church. It dates
        about the year 1818.

Small as were the numbers of the Indians--perhaps not more than 500
warriors in all Acadia--they were capable of devastating remote
settlements and of creating general uneasiness and alarm.

[Illustration: Fort Howe in 1818]

Rumors now began to prevail of an Indian uprising. John Allan
contrived after his flight to Machias to keep in touch with the
Indians of the River St. John and sent emissaries among them, who were
very liberal in their promises of rewards, and who assured the savages
that their old father the King of France had now joined hands with the
Americans against the English.

Michael Francklin now began to act with vigor in the capacity of
Superintendent of Indian affairs, and in consequence of his
representations Lieut. Gov'r. Hughes sent to the Bay of Chaleur for
the missionary Bourg to come and use his influence with the savages.
He also wrote a letter to James White, appointing him his deputy on
the River St. John:--

  "Windsor, 23d July, 1778.

  "Sir,--Upon the Recommendation of Major Studholme & from what I
  know of your zeal to serve Government and from your knowledge &
  acquaintance with the Indians of the River St. John and its
  environs, I do hereby authorize and appoint you to act as my
  Deputy at and in the neighborhood of the said River St. John. You
  will therefore take under your care the said Indians and inform me
  from time to time of their wants and wishes, and what measures you
  conceive may at any time be adopted to promote his Majesty's
  interest to the end they may not be led astray by the machinations
  and devices of his Majesty's rebellious subjects or other of the
  King's enemies. But in all your proceedings you are to consult
  with and follow the advice of Major Studholme who will be so
  obliging as to supply them, at your request, now and then with
  some provisions, but sparingly & when they shall be in absolute
  want of them.

  "I have no salary to give or promise you, but as I have made a
  strong representation to the King's minister of the necessity of a
  fund to defray the necessary expenses, if my representation shall
  be approved you may depend that I shall not fail of providing you
  with an annual allowance. You will not fail writing me by all
  opportunities. I am sir,

  "Your most humble servant,
      "Mich. Francklin.

  "James White, Esq.

A crisis now rapidly developed. John Allan prevailed on the Indians to
return the British flag to Fort Howe and to send in a declaration of
war. The Indians even went so far as to take several English vessels
and to commit other acts of hostility.



The establishment of Fort Howe rendered the situation of the people at
the mouth of the St. John comparatively secure, but the following
summer was a very anxious and trying time to those who lived in the
townships up the river. The Indians were restless and dissatisfied.
They complained bitterly of being left without a missionary, and it
was in vain that Lieut. Gov. Arbuthnot and Colonel Franklin endeavored
to keep them in good temper by promising that a missionary would be
sent them immediately.

Most of the settlers in the townships were natives of New England, and
the threatened Indian uprising was particularly terrifying to them on
account of their forefathers' familiarity with the horrors of savage
warfare. The Indians were supposed to be hostile only to those who
were in opposition to American Independence, but it was felt that they
would not be very nice in their distinctions if they once took the war
path, and that the Whig might fare little better than the Tory.

The Indians had probably some grievances, but it is evident that the
real disturbing influence emanated, as usual, from Machias. John Allan
in his zeal for the conquest of Nova Scotia was determined to make
every use of his Indian allies in order, if possible, to drive all
English sympathizers from the St. John river. The formal declaration
of war sent to Major Studholme was his composition. It was approved by
the Maliseets at Machias and then forwarded to Aukpaque and after
approval by the Indians there sent to Studholme at Fort Howe. The
document read as follows:

  "To the British Commanding Officer at the mouth of the River St.

  "The Chiefs, Sachems and young men belonging to the River St.
  John's have duly considered the nature of this Great War between
  America and Old England. They are unanimous that America is right
  and Old England is wrong. The River on which you are with your
  soldiers belongs from the most ancient times to our Ancestors,
  consequently is ours now, and which we are bound to keep for our
  posterity. You know we are Americans and that this is our Native
  Country: you know the King of England with his evil councillors
  has been trying to take away the Lands and Libertys of our
  Country, but God the King of Heaven, our King, fights for us and
  says America shall be free. It is so now in spite of all Old
  England and his Comrades can do.

  "The great men of Old England in this country told us that the
  Americans would not let us enjoy our religion; this is false, not
  true, for America allows everybody to pray to God as they please;
  you know Old England never would allow that, but says you must all
  pray like the king and the great men of his court. We believe
  America now is right, we find all true they told us for our Old
  Father the King of France takes their part, he is their friend, he
  has taken the sword and will defend them. Americans is our
  Friends, our Brothers and Countrymen; what they do we do, what
  they say we say, for we are all one and the same family.

  "Now as the King of England has no business, nor never had any on
  this River, we desire you to go away with your men in peace and
  to take with you all those men who has been fighting and talking
  against America. If you don't go directly you must take care of
  yourself your men and all your English subjects on this River, for
  if any or all of you are killed it is not our faults, for we give
  you warning time enough to escape. Adieu for ever.

  "Machias, August 11, 1778.

  "Auque Pawhaque, August 18th, 1778.

Michael Francklin was able at this critical moment effectually to
check-mate the designs of John Allan. During the previous winter an
express messenger had been sent to Sir Guy Carleton at Quebec to get
permission for Father Bourg, the French missionary, to reside among
the Indians of the River St. John. In his reply, dated February 23rd,
1778, Governor Carleton wrote that the missionary had orders to repair
to Halifax in order to receive instructions for the establishment of
his mission.

Just as Francklin and the missionary were about to leave Halifax they
received information "that the Malecetes had plundered an English
vessel, taken and ransomed another, robbed and disarmed many of the
inhabitants and killed several cattle belonging to the King's Loyal
subjects on the River St. John, whom they had stiled Torys, and that
they had even proceeded the length to return to Fort Howe the King's
Flag, accompanied with a formal declaration of war in writing."

The services of James White at this time were invaluable. As early as
the 2nd of April and at various times during the summer he went among
the Indians to pacify them at great personal risk, always returning
unharmed. This was due to the confidence placed in him by the majority
of the savages, who had long known him in the capacity of an Indian
trader. Mr. White went up the river to meet the Indian war party. He
found among them many of the Penobscots and Passamaquoddies under
Nicholas Hawawes, a noted chief. They had been instructed by Allan to
return the colors sent the previous year by Major Studholme, to ravage
the country in the vicinity of Fort Howe, to take prisoners and
encourage the soldiers of the garrison to desert. Allan wrote the
Massachusetts congress, "I earnestly and sincerely wish I had a
hundred or two good troops at this juncture to go in boats along the
shore to act in concert with the Indians."

Our early historian, Moses H. Perley, says that James White, unarmed
and without any escort, met the war party at the head of "Long Reach"
as they were coming down the river in ninety canoes. He had a long
conference with the chiefs, of whom the majority were disposed to be
hostile; but Pierre Tomah, the head chief, said that before giving a
final answer he must consult the Divine Being and throwing himself
upon his face in the sand lay motionless for the space of nearly an
hour. Then rising he informed the other chiefs that he had been
counselled by the Great Spirit to keep peace with King George's men.
This decision was not acceptable to several of the chiefs, and Mr.
White was still engaged in his negotiations when Colonel Francklin and
Father Bourg arrived at St. John, having crossed from Annapolis in the
war ship "Scarborough." Messengers were immediately sent up the river
to Mr. White desiring him to come down at once with Pierre Tomah and
the other chiefs and captains to meet Col. Francklin and the
missionary Bourg, assuring them of a friendly reception. Francklin
also wrote a letter to the Indians, which is here given.

  "Fort Howe, 14 Sep. 1778.

  "To Pierre Thomas and others
      the Indians of the River St. John.

  "BRETHREN:--According to my promise last fall I have brought with
  me Mr. Bourg, your Priest, to instruct you and to take care of
  your eternal welfare.

  "BRETHREN:--I am come to heal and adjust every difference that may
  exist between you and your Brethren the faithful subjects of King
  George your father, my master.

  "BRETHREN:--As my heart is good, my hands clean and my intentions
  as white as snow; I desire Pierre Thomas and two or three other
  principal Indians do immediately come down to Fort Howe with Mr.
  White my Deputy to speak to me and to Mr. Bourg that we may settle
  in what manner to proceed to accomplish my good intentions towards
  you, and that your minds may be made easy I do hereby pledge
  myself that no harm shall happen to you from any of the King's
  Troops or others His Majesty's subjects.

  "I am your affectionate Brother,

      "Superintendent of Indian Affairs."

The Indians promptly accepted the invitation and a conference was held
which Francklin terms "A grand meeting of the Indians at Menaguashe in
the Harbour of the River St. John near Fort Howe on Thursday, the 24th
September, 1778." There were present on the part of King George the

Michael Francklin, Superintendent of Indian affairs; Major Studholme,
commanding the garrison at Fort Howe; Capt. Mowatt, commanding his
Majesty's ship Albany; Rev. Mr. Bourg, missionary to the Indians;
James White, agent for Indian affairs at St. John, and several other
officers and gentlemen. The Indian delegates included Pierre Tomah,
supreme sachem or chief of St. John River; Francis Xavier, 2nd chief;
and four captains and eight principal Indians, representing the
Maliseets of the St. John. There were also present delegates of the
Micmacs of Richibucto, Miramichi, Chignecto and Minas.

Col. Francklin informed the Indians that according to his promise he
had brought them a priest and it was his desire to settle and adjust
amicably all differences between the Indians and his Majesty's
subjects. The proceedings of the conference are detailed at length in
Francklin's report to the Governor of Nova Scotia. The Indians after
listening to the addresses of Francklin and Monsieur Bourg declared
that they had been deceived by John Allan of Machias who had not
spoken their sentiments but his own; they acknowledged their offences
and offered to restore to the white inhabitants the arms and other
articles in their possession (not consumed or destroyed) which they
had taken, and promised that they would deliver to James White in the
course of the winter, two hundred pounds of Beaver, or as many moose
skins, in lieu thereof, towards making good the damage sustained by
individuals. They added that they were poor and had been kept from
hunting by the idle stories of John Allan and his friends.

Michael Francklin did not lose the opportunity to give Allan "a
Rowland for his Oliver." As Allan had been the author of the Indian
declaration of war so would Francklin now dictate the message of
reply. This message was couched in the following terms:--

  "To John Allan and his Associates at Machias:

  "The Chiefs and Great men of the Malecete and Mickmack Indians
  hereby give thee notice:--

  "That their eyes are now open and they see clearly that thou hast
  endeavored to blind them to serve thy wicked purposes against thy
  lawful sovereign King George, our forgiving and affectionate

  "We have this day settled all misunderstanding that thou didst
  occasion between us and King George's men.

  "We now desire that thee and Preble, and thy Comrades will remain
  in your wigwams at Machias and not come to Passamaquadie to
  beguile and disturb our weak and young Brethren. We will have
  nothing to do with thee or them or with your storys, for we have
  found you out; and if you persist in tempting us we warn you to
  take care of yourselves. We shall not come to Machias to do you
  harm, but beware of Passamaquodie for we forbid you to come

  "At Menaguashe, the 24th September, 1778.


      Pierre Thomas x, Francis Xavier x, Chiefs of the
      Malecetes and in their behalf. Jean Baptiste Arimph
      x, Chief of Richibouctou and in behalf of the

During the conference Father Bourg produced a letter he had lately
received from the Bishop of Quebec instructing him not to suffer any
Indian to enter his Church who should molest the white settlers or
take part in the rebellion against the constituted authorities of Nova
Scotia, and directing him to forward a list of the names of any
Indians who should disobey his orders to Quebec that he might "cast
them out of the Church as disobedient and undutifull children."

The Indians were not long in deciding to make terms with the British
and in signifying their willingness to take the oath of allegiance to
the King. Accordingly the chiefs and captains and other delegates on
their knees took a solemn oath in which they pledged themselves to
bear faithful and true allegiance to his Majesty King George the
Third. They also promised to give information to the King's officers
and magistrates of any hostile designs of the enemy that should come
to their knowledge; to protect the persons of Michael Francklin and
Joseph Mathurin Bourg, their missionary, from insult, outrage or
captivity; not to take any part directly or indirectly against the
King in the troubles then existing, but to follow their hunting and
fishing in a peaceable and quiet manner; not to go to Machias or hold
any communication with the people of that neighborhood or other
rebellious subjects of his Majesty.

Having taken the oath in behalf of themselves and their several tribes
the Indians delivered to Col. Francklin a string of Wampum as a solemn
confirmation of their act and deed. They also delivered the presents
sent them by Washington together with the treaty they had made with
the Massachusetts government on July 19, 1776, in which they had
promised to furnish 600 warriors for the service of the United States

Although the Indians, by the treaty they had just signed, ostensibly
settled all the differences between themselves and "King George's
men," there were still certain functions dear to the savage heart to
be performed before the grand pow-wow was ended.

The oath of allegiance having been taken and the treaty duly signed,
all the chiefs and captains united with the English delegates in
drinking the King's health, and Colonel Francklin decorated the chiefs
and captains with his own hands and distributed to the other Indians a
variety of clothing and presents. After this, we are informed, "the
night, altho' rainy, was spent in the open air with great mirth under
the British Flag." The next day the Indians went on board the Albany
man-of-war, where they again very cheerfully drank the King's good
health, and were presented with a pound of gunpowder each. They
concluded the afternoon and evening on shore "with great satisfaction
and good humor." Colonel Francklin concludes his official report of
the proceedings as follows:--

  "The 26th September the Indians, being on their departure, were
  saluted at 12 o'clock by the cannon of Fort Howe and his Majesty's
  ship Albany, and it was returned by three Huzzas and an Indian
  Whoop. Then the Micmac Chief made a handsome speech and delivered
  to the Superintendent [Francklin] a string of Wampum on behalf of
  the whole Micmac nation, as their seal of approbation and
  agreement to everything that had been transacted. This being
  finished, the Superintendent, Major Studholme and Rev. Mr. Bourg,
  were desired to seat themselves, when a Malecete captain began a
  song and dance in honor and praise of the Conference and those
  concerned therein. On his finishing, a Micmac captain began
  another song and dance to the same purpose. The Superintendent
  then, with Major Studholme and the Rev. Mr. Bourg and the other
  Gentlemen, marched off with the Indians to the portage above the
  falls of the River St. John and stayed there until Mr. Bourg and
  the Indians embarked, when the Gentlemen on the landing were
  saluted by the musquetry from the Indian canoes."

During the continuance of the conference the Indians received every
attention on the part of Francklin, Studholme and the white
inhabitants. Francklin kept a table for their entertainment which cost
him £40, and the value of the presents and supplies furnished on the
occasion amounted to £537 more. The goods required were mostly
obtained from the store at Portland Point and the account rendered to
Francklin by William Hazen is yet in existence. It contains some
curious and interesting items. The presents for the Indians included
blankets, hats, ribbons, gold and silver lace, intermixed with axes,
pots, kettles, knives and tobacco. Among the more expensive presents
were "1 large Silver plated Cross with the figure of our Saviour on
it, £3 10 0," and "1 small Gold plated Cross with the figure of our
Saviour on it. £2 6 8." The heading of the account reads: "The Hon'ble
Michael Francklin Esq'r., Superintendent of Indians, to Wm. Hazen Dr.
for sundrys paid and supplies furnished by his order for the use of
the Indians assembled at Menaguashe, near Fort Howe, from the 13th
September to 19th October, 1778." Some of the expenditures were
evidently dictated by motives of policy; see for example the

  "Paid Dr. Sharman, surgeon at Fort Howe, for attendance and
  medicines to Pierre Thoma and four other sick Indians, £5 16 8.

  "Pd. Acmobish for 3 Beaver Traps stolen last year by the soldiers,
  £1 10 0.

  "Pd. Charles Nocout ten dollars to make up for an Englishman's
  beating of him.

  "To sundrys delivered to aged and infirm people, viz. Magdalen
  Katpat, Magdalen La Porte, Marie Barishe & others, £13 10 0."

Quite a number of the white settlers and several Acadians were engaged
by Francklin in various capacities while the negotiations with the
Indians were in progress. Gervas Say and Capt. Quinton received £7 for
going to Aukpaque and attending the Indians coming down to Fort Howe.
Daniel Leavitt, Lewis Mitchel, John Hartt, Louis Goodine, Augustin
LeBlanc and Messrs. Peabody and Brawn acted as couriers, express
messengers and negotiators under direction of Francklin, Studholme and
James White.

The general result of the grand pow-wow was considered exceedingly
fortunate for the Province of Nova Scotia under the circumstances then
existing. Sir Richard Hughes, the lieutenant-governor, writing to Lord
Germaine, expresses his great satisfaction at the result of the
conference and praises the talents, zeal and diligence of Francklin
"to whose discreet conduct and steady perseverance," he says,
"assisted by Major Studholme and M. Bourg, the priest, we owe the
success of this treaty." Francklin, on his part, seems disposed to
award the meed of praise to Studholme and writes Sir Henry Clinton:
"In justice to Major Studholme, commanding at Fort Howe, I am obliged
to say that his constant zeal and singular address and prudence has
been a great means of keeping the Indians near his post quiet." But
while both Francklin and Studholme are deservedly entitled to credit
for the success of their negotiations, there is not the least doubt
that the man to whom even greater credit is due is James White, the
deputy agent of Indian affairs at the River St. John. Mr. White,
although acting in a subordinate capacity, was in direct contact with
the savages at the time they were most unfriendly, and it was his tact
and fearlessness that paved the way for the subsequent negotiations.
For six months he devoted his time and energies to the task of
conciliating the Indians, receiving from government the modern sum of
one dollar for each day he was so employed.[108] Most potent of all
perhaps in the ultimate result of the conference, was the presence of
the French missionary Bourg. It was this that inspired the Indians
with confidence in the good intentions of the government of Nova
Scotia, and when the missionary accompanied them on their return to
Aukpaque their satisfaction was unbounded.

  [108] In Col. Franklin's memorandum of expenses incurred in
        negotiating the Indian treaty the following item appears: "To
        cash pd. to James White, Esq'r, for services among and with
        the Indians from the 2d. April, 1778, to the 20th October
        inclusive, part of which time he ran great risques both of his
        life & being carried off Prisoner, £50.10.0.

The Indians of the River St. John still possess a traditionary
knowledge of the treaty made at Fort Howe in September, 1778, and
refer to it as the time when the Indian and the Englishman became
"all one brother." Some of the Indians claim that when the treaty was
made it was understood that an Indian should always have the right
to wander unmolested through the forest and to take the bark of the
birch tree for his canoe or the splints of the ash tree for his
basket-making regardless of the rights of the white owner of the
soil. In many parts of the province there is an unwritten law to
this effect, and the Indian roams at pleasure through the woods in
quest of the materials for his simple avocations and pitches his tent
without let or hindrance.

In order to cultivate friendly relations with the Indians and to guard
against the insidious attempts of the people of Machias to wean them
from their allegiance it was decided to establish a trading house for
their accommodation at the landing place above the falls at the mouth
of the St. John. This locality still bears the name of Indiantown, a
name derived from the Indian trading post established there in 1779.
In old plans Main street, Portland, is called "Road to ye Indian

On the 8th of December, 1778, Colonel Francklin sent instructions to
James White to proceed with the building of the Indian House which was
to cost only £30. He says in his letter, "The ground should be very
well cleared all about or the Brush will sooner or later most
assuredly burn it. The boards required may be sawed from the Spruces
on the spot if you have a whip-saw. The Shingles can be made by any
New England man in the neighborhood." The house was built in the
course of the next few months by James Woodman, who was by trade a
shipwright. For some reason the sum of £30 voted by the Council of
Nova Scotia for the erection of the building was never paid, and it
remained the property of Hazen, Simonds and White. The three partners
not long afterwards cleared a road to the Indian House, the course of
which was nearly identical with that of the present "Main street."
They also built a wharf at the landing and a small dwelling house
which was occupied by one Andrew Lloyd, who has the distinction of
being the first settler at Indiantown.

Not many weeks after the signing of the treaty at Fort Howe, Col. John
Allan of Machias sent Lieut. Gilman and a band of Penobscot Indians to
make a demonstration at the River St. John. They captured a small
vessel about sixty miles up the river and plundered one or two of the
inhabitants but the only result was to create an alarm amongst the
settlers without producing any effect upon the Indians. Pierre Tomah
and most of his tribe were at this time encamped at Indian Point on
the north side of Grand Lake.

To offset the influence of Father Bourg, Col. John Allan induced the
American Congress to obtain a missionary for the Indians at Machias
and Passamaquoddy and he hoped by this means to seduce the Indians
remaining on the St. John from their allegiance and draw them to
Machias. Never in their history did the Maliseets receive such
attention as in the Revolutionary war, when they may be said to have
lived at the joint expense of the contending parties. The peace of
1783 proved a dismal thing indeed to them. Their friendship became a
matter of comparative indifference and the supplies from either party
ceased while the immense influx of new settlers drove them from their
old hunting grounds and obliged them to look for situations more

After the alliance formed between France and the old English colonies
in America was known to the Indians of Acadia, Francklin's task of
keeping them in hand became more difficult and as regards those on the
River St. John he might have failed but for the powerful influence of
the Abbe Joseph Mathurin Bourg.

The Indians resisted every temptation held out to them by the
Americans during the year 1779, and welcomed Colonel Francklin and the
Missionary Bourg in their principal villages with great rejoicing.

Major Studholme's post at Fort Howe was rendered more secure at this
time by the capture of Castine, at the mouth of the Penobscot River.
The place was then known by its Indian name of Megabagaduce. Had there
been a little more energy and foresight on the part of Admiral
Collier, Machias would have shared the same fate, and the result might
have been greatly to the advantage of the maritime provinces today.
The importance of such a move was self-evident. It was seriously
discussed both in England and America, and a plan was very nearly
adopted that might have altered the map of America to the advantage of
the Canadian dominion. This plan was nothing less than to divide the
colony of Maine, giving to that part extending from Saco to the River
St. Croix the name of New Ireland and settling it with Loyalists who
had been driven from the other colonies in rebellion. The project is
believed to have been countenanced by the King and the ministry, but
eventually it was abandoned in consequence of the opinion of
Wedderburne, the English attorney-general, that the whole of Maine was
included in the colony of Massachusetts and that the charter of that
colony should be respected.

There is extant a very interesting letter, written at New York in 1780
by the Rev. Wm. Walter to his friend, the Rev. Jacob Bailey, then in
Nova Scotia, which shows that the project was seriously discussed in
America as well as in England. Mr. Walter writes:

  "If you have not already heard it permit me to acquaint you that
  there is a plan in considerable forwardness to erect the Province
  of Maine into a Province by itself, to extend from Saco to St.
  Johns river, making Falmouth [now Portland] the capital;[109] to
  secure this new Province by strong Forts and Garrisons; to invite
  the Refugees from the other Provinces in rebellion to settle in
  this, and by liberality of its constitution to show to the other
  Provinces the great advantages of being a portion of the Empire
  and living under the protection of British Government. Sir William
  Pepperrell is talked of as Governor. The large tracts of land
  belonging to companies and individuals, which are not forfeited,
  will be purchased and the whole distributed in farms of 200 acres
  to every settler. These distributions and appointments are to be
  in the management and recommendaton of a respectable Board of
  Refugees [Loyalists] which is now forming under the auspices of
  Government in this city [New York]."

  [109] Lorenso Sabine in his Loyalists of the American Revolution
        credits William Knox, of Georgia, with proposing the formation
        of the eastern part of Maine into the Province of "New
        Ireland," with Thomas Oliver for governor and Daniel Leonard
        as chief-justice.

It is a curious fact that a little after the close of the Revolutionary
war an attempt was made of a very different character to erect this
territory into the "Free and Independent State of New Ireland." A
constitution and frame of government were prepared by a committee for
the consideration of a convention of delegates. In the preamble of their
report the Loyalists are termed "the Sons of Slavery and Dregs of the
human species in America." The committee evidently entered upon their
work of constitution making with great gusto as will appear from the

  "Agreeable to the trust reposed in us by the good People of New
  Ireland, We, anticipating the glorious morning of American
  Freedom, which will shortly shine upon them with a lustre superior
  to any other spot on the terraqueous Globe, after consluting with
  the sagest Politicians of the Age, and carefully examining the
  several frames of Government already erected in this new Empire,
  and particularly all the advantages which Divine Revelation
  affords; have drawn up the following Frame of Government for New
  Ireland, which, from the knowledge we have of the dispositions of
  our Constituents we have ground to believe will be very acceptable
  to them, and calculated to render them and their posterity the
  happiest People on the earth."

Among the provisions of the Constitution were several that may be
mentioned for their oddity. Not only were all tavern keepers debarred
from holding office "lest spirituous liquors should influence the
choice," but the legal fraternity were viewed with suspicion and it
was ordained that "Practising Lawyers or Attornies shall not be
eligible for any office of profit or trust in the State whilst they
continue such."

In order still further to keep the morals of the people pure and
uncorrupted, and for the encouragement of piety and virtue and the
suppression of vice and immorality, it was provided that "no Stage
Plays, Horse-racing, Cock-fighting, Balls and Assemblies, Profane
swearing and cursing, Sabbath-breaking, Drunkenness, nocturnal
revelling, whoredom, Cards, Dice, and all other games whatsoever,
commonly called Games of Chance (Lotteries ordered by the Legislature
to raise money for public uses excepted) shall be permitted."

The would-be founders of New Ireland close their report by expressing
their hope that Europeans, panting after the sweets of Liberty and
Independence will flock thither. "Here," say they, "are no griping and
racking Landlords to oppress you; no avaricious Priests to extort from
you the Tenth of all your increase and labors and whom you must pay
for the liberty to come into the world, of being married, of having
children and likewise of leaving the world. * * * Send here the frugal
and industrious; no half Gentlemen with long pedigrees from Nimrod and
Cain, nor any who expect to make their fortunes by any other methods
than the plain beaten paths of honest industry, for idle indolent
people, unwilling to work, ought not to eat but to live in all places

But to return from this digression; it is clear that if the British
forces had routed John Allan and his Indians out of Machias in 1779,
as they might easily have done if a serious effort had been made, the
American congress would then have had no foothold east of Saco, so
that Portland and all the coast to the St. Croix would have been, at
the close of the war, as firmly in the possession of the English as
any part of Nova Scotia. The American writer Kidder, in his
interesting account of the military operations in eastern Maine and
Nova Scotia during the Revolution, says: "It is now generally conceded
that our present boundary was fixed mainly on the ground of
occupation, and had we not been able to hold our eastern outpost at
Machias, we cannot say what river in Maine would now divide us from a
British province."



In the year 1779 many of the Indians at Machias and Passamaquoddy
began to waver in their adherence to the Americans and to imagine they
would fare better by withdrawing from John Allan and returning to
their old haunts on the River St. John. Allan wrote in the autumn of
this year, "The unsteady conduct of the Indians has obliged me to use
every means to prevent their going to St. Johns. I have not met with
such difficulty previous to this summer." He managed to keep them a
little longer, but in July of the next year came the great defection
which had been so long impending. The immediate cause of this
defection it will be of interest now to consider.

Sir Guy Carleton, not long after his appointment to the command at
Quebec, secured the allegiance of the principal Indian tribes of
Canada, and at his instigation messages were sent to Machias early in
April 1779, desiring the Indians there to have no further connection
with the Americans, adding that the Indians of Canada were coming
across the woods, as soon as the leaves were as big as their nails, to
destroy the settlements on the Penobscot and the Kennebec. In order to
impress the Indians with the importance of the message the delegates
who bore it were furnished with an immense belt of wampum of 1500
pieces. "We send you this Great Belt," say the Canadian Indians, "for
every one of you to see and think of, and to show it to the St. Johns
and Micmac Indians, and then to return the belt to us immediately."
The message contained a further assurance that nine thousand Indians
were ready to execute any orders they might receive from the British
general in Canada. The arrival of this message made a great impression
on the Indians, and occasioned in them "a fluctuating and unsteady
conduct," but John Allan was able, with the help of Mon. de la Motte,
a French priest, to keep them in control.

Curiously enough at this crisis the old St. John river chieftain,
Pierre Thoma, arrived at Machias in quite an indignant frame of mind.
His annoyance was caused by General McLean's ordering Major Studholme
not to furnish any more provisions to the Indians. Francklin
considered this order a mistake, and at once represented to the
secretary of state the necessity of keeping the Indians in good humor
as the cutting of masts and timber for the Royal Navy, the safety of
the English settlers on the River St. John and communication with
Canada might all be endangered by losing their good will. His
statements were strongly supported by Sir Richard Hughes, the
lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia. The next spring Col. Francklin
invited the Indians at Passamaquody and Machias to a conference at
Fort Howe.

Two English schooners arrived at Passamaquody on the 1st of June. John
Allen at once issued an order to the Indians not to hold any
intercourse with unwelcome visitors, but, he adds, "Pierre Tomma the
chief of St. John, always considered a Tory, and Lewis Neptune of
Penobscot went on board and received presents." They were told that
Col. Franklin and Father Bourg were at Fort Howe with presents and
supplies and desired a conference with them. Soon after three special
messengers arrived from Father Bourg desiring the Indians to attend
him immediately on business of the church. The result of these
invitations we shall presently see, but in the meantime an important
conference was being held at the River St. John.

There are many references to this conference but we shall first
consider a letter which Col. Franklin wrote from Windsor to Sir Henry
Clinton, 21st August, 1780. In this letter Franklin states, "A meeting
was held the 24th June about ninety miles above Fort Howe attended by
upwards of 900 Indians. Deputies from the Ottawas, Hurons, Algonkins,
Montanagais, Abenakies and Canabas attended and made the speech

This speech was addressed to the Malecete, Passamaquoddie and Mickmack
Indians and was in substance as follows:

  "Our dear Brothers, We come to warn you that the Boston people,
  having destroyed several of our villages, killed our wives and
  children and carried off our young women by force, we to revenge
  ourselves for these outrages have declared war against them. If
  there are yet remaining among them [i. e. the Americans] any of
  your people, let them withdraw immediately, for they will be
  treated like the enemy if they remain with them. Therefore our
  dear Brothers we tell you to remain quiet and in peace. We have
  13,000 men assembled, who are allied against the Boston people and
  they have already taken twenty-seven villages larger than Three
  Rivers in Canada, and to burn their villages they sent more than
  300 lighted arrows which instantly destroyed their houses, great
  part of the Inhabitants were burnt and those who attempted to
  escape were put to death. Now we demand your answer."

The Micmacs and Maliseets presented belts of wampum and replied that
so long as the King of England should continue to leave them free
liberty of hunting and fishing and to allow them priests sufficient
for the exercise of their religion they promised to keep quiet and

This grand Indian pow-wow seems to have been brought about largely by
Franklin's diplomacy. He was not himself present at the meeting but
the interests of the English were well looked after by Major
Studholme, James White and the Missionary Bourg. The conference with
the visiting delegates was held at Aukpaque and 300 warriors were
present besides 600 women and children. A considerable quantity of
presents and supplies had been sent from Windsor to Fort Howe by the
schooner Menaguash, Peter Doucet, master, to be given to the
Indians--blankets, shirts, blue and scarlet cloth, beaver bats,
ribbons, powder and shot, and lastly, "one cask of wine sent by Mr.
Francklin for the squaws and such men as do not drink rum."[110]

  [110] The receipt of these articles at the hands of James White was
        acknowledged at Aukpaque, June 26, 1780, by Francis Xavier,
        and five other chiefs.

The arrival of the messengers sent by Studholme to the Indians of
Machias and Passamaquody, assuring them that if they would give their
attendance at Fort Howe they would be well treated and receive
handsome presents, made them extremely anxious to at least have a
look at the presents; at the same time urgent invitations from Father
Bourg gave them a good excuse for going. For two days John Allan
exercised all his powers of persuasion to keep them, but in vain; go
they would. They assured him "that they only meant to see the priest,
their souls being heavy and loaded with burthens of sins, and that
they acted upon a duty commanded in their church which they could not

On the 3rd July nearly all the Indians, some women and children
excepted, set out for Fort Howe. In a letter to the Massachusetts
Congress Allan mournfully observes: "I am very unhappy in being
obliged to acquaint you of this, after the success I have experienced
in disappointing the Priest and Mr. Francklin these three years."

The substantial results of Francklin's policy of conciliation were the
inducing of the Indians who had acted with enemy to return to their
former villages and live peaceably there, second the opening of a safe
route of communication via the St. John river with Quebec and thirdly
protection of the King's mast cutters.

Colonel Francklin wrote to Lord Germaine on the 21st November, 1780,
that the disposition of the Indians during the summer and autumn had
been very tranquil and he attributed the fact largely to the
conference held on the River St. John on the 24th of June, when the
deputies of the Ottawas, Hurons and other nations of Canada required
the Micmacs and Malissets to withdraw from the Americans and to remain

The situation of Gilfred Studholme, as commandant at Fort Howe, was at
times a difficult and uncomfortable one. His garrison was none too
large at the best, and, although the majority of his soldiers
displayed remarkable fidelity, there were occasional desertions. John
Allan naturally used every means in his power to render the post
untenable. In August, 1778, he sent Nicholas Hawawes, an Indian chief,
with a small party to the mouth of the St. John with orders to destroy
the cattle around the Fort, that were intended for the use of the
troops[111], to take prisoners and encourage desertion. The Indians
were provided with letters, written by deserters who had already come
to Machias, which they were instructed to convey secretly to the
soldiers of the garrison.

  [111] The requirements of the garrison insured a ready market for all
        the beef Hazen, Simonds & White and their tenants could
        furnish, indeed at times it was necessary to send to the
        settlements up the river for a supply. When the garrison was
        first fixed at Fort Howe, James White made a trip to
        Maugerville and purchased nine yoke of oxen for their use from
        Asa Perley, Thomas Barker, Daniel Jewett, Henry Miller, John
        Esty, Nathan Smith, David Dow, Peter Mooers and Richard
        Barlow. The agreement in each case was similar to the

          "Maugerville, November 16, 1777.

          "I promise to deliver to Mr. James White, or his order,
          two oxen coming five years old, when the ice is strong
          sufficient to bear them to drive to the mouth of this
          River, said White paying me on delivery fifty-five
          dollars. Witness my hand--

          "ASA PERLEY."

Studholme was compelled to take stern and it may even seem terrible
measures to repress desertion, as will be seen in the following note
which he addressed to James White:

  "Sir,--I shall esteem it as a favor if you will endeavour to get
  some Indians to bring in the three deserters, for each of which I
  will give Ten Guineas. Should the soldiers make any opposition
  the Indians are to make use of force, and if compelled to kill
  them, they are to bring in their Heads, for each of which they
  will receive Ten Guineas.

    "I am, Sir,
  "Your most obedient servant,
          "G. STUDHOLME."

Among the important services which Major Studholme was able to
accomplish while at Fort Howe should be mentioned the establishment of
excellent communication between Halifax and Quebec by way of the St.
John river. This had been the customary route of travel between Acadia
and Canada during the final conflict between England and France for
supremacy in North America (A. D. 1744-1759) and was well known to the
French and their Indian allies; it now proved of equal service to the

In order to facilitate communication with Quebec, and at the same time
to afford protection to the settlements on the St. John, a block house
was built at the mouth of the Oromocto river and a few soldiers
stationed there under command of Lieut. Constant Connor. The post was
named Fort Hughes in honor of Sir Richard Hughes, the lieutenant
governor of Nova Scotia. A number of log huts, or post-houses were
built, at intervals of about a day's journey, from the block house at
Oromocto to the St. Lawrence. Over this route important messages were
carried between the civil and military authorities of Halifax and
Quebec, and sometimes dispatches were sent from the Commander-in-chief
of the forces at New York to Sir Guy Carleton and Sir Frederick
Haldimand at Quebec. Indians were occasionally employed to carry the
messages, but greater confidence was placed in the Acadians. The most
famous couriers probably were Louis Mitchel and the brothers Louis and
Michel Mercure. The couriers were aware of the value of their
services, and they demanded, and generally received, one hundred
dollars for each trip from Fort Howe to Quebec. This was regarded as
extravagant by Major Studholme and General Haldimand, but they could
do no better. They dared not trust the Indians with important
dispatches, and when the Acadian couriers were not available messages
were usually carried by officers accompanied by Indians as guides.

The route via the River St. John was used both in summer and winter.
It is said that when the water was high the Indians were able to
deliver letters from Quebec to the French commander at the mouth of
the St. John in four or five days, a distance of 430 miles. This
statement is made by John Allan and there is nothing impossible about
it. The Messrs. Straton of Fredericton, some years since, paddled in a
bark canoe from the Grand Falls to Fredericton, 133 miles, in 14 hours
46 minutes, making a short stop at Woodstock on the way. Short
distances have been covered at much greater rates of speed. The
Acadian couriers were usually a fortnight going from Oromocto to
Quebec in the summer and about double that time in the winter.

Like others of their race the Indians of the St. John were fleet
of foot and possessed of great endurance, qualities that are by no
means wanting in their descendants. Some forty years ago a Maliseet
Indian, named Peter Loler, gave a remarkable exhibition of speed
and endurance, which is still talked of by the older residents of
Woodstock. The circumstances, briefly stated, were these. One
pleasant summer morning Loler presented himself to the driver of
the old four-in-hand stage coach which was just about leaving the
hotel at Fredericton for Woodstock, the distance being rather more
than sixty miles. The Indian desired a passage and offered the
customary fare. The driver on the occasion was John Turner, one of
the most accomplished whips of the old stage coaching days, and
popular with all travellers. As the stage coach was pretty full and
the day promised to be very warm Turner, after a brief consultation
with the passengers, declined the Indian's money and upon Loler's
remonstrating, told him in plain Saxon that the other passengers
didn't like the smell of him, that his room was better than his
company. This angered Peter and he said, "All right, John! Me be in
Woodstock first!"

At 8 o'clock, a. m., Indian and stage coach left Fredericton together,
and together they proceeded and in spite of Turner's endeavor to throw
dust in the Indian's face the latter was always a little in advance.
He stopped at every place the stage stopped to change horses (this
occurred four or five times on the route) and took his dinner with all
the solemnity of his race in the kitchen of the "Half-way House" where
the passengers dined.

As they drew near their destination the Indian's savage nature seemed
to assert itself; he ran like a deer, waving his cap at intervals as
he passed the farm houses, and shouting defiantly. Turner now began to
ply the whip, for he had no intention of allowing the red-skin to beat
him out. The passengers began to wager their money on the result of
the race and grew wild with excitement. The Indian village, three
miles below Woodstock, was passed with Loler fifty yards in advance,
but the village was not Peter's destination that day. He saluted it
with a war-whoop and hurried on. It was still early in the afternoon
when the quiet citizens of Woodstock were aroused in a manner entirely
unexpected. The stage coach came tearing into town at the heels of an
Indian who was yelling like a demon and running as for his life, John
Turner plying the whip in lively fashion, and four very hot and tired
horses galloping at their utmost speed. The finish was a close one,
but the Indian was ahead. As soon as he had regained his breath
sufficiently to speak, Loler walked over to where Turner was standing
and philosophically remarked, "John! me here first!" Turner's answer
is not recorded.

Our story should end here, but alas for poor human nature, it remains
to be told that the Indian was soon surrounded by a crowd of friendly
admirers, and before the close of the day was gloriously--or shall we
say ingloriously--drunk.

From the year 1779 onward the cutting of masts for the navy became an
industry of growing importance on the River St. John and Col.
Francklin's efforts were largely directed to the protection of the
workmen so employed from being molested by the Indians. The
consideration of the "masting" industry will be taken up in the next

Michael Francklin died Nov. 8, 1782, deeply lamented by all classes of
society. His last general conference with the Maliseets was at
Oromocto in the month of November, 1781, when he distributed presents
to nearly four hundred Indians who had assembled there. On this
occasion he settled amicably some jealousies that had arisen about
the election of chiefs. He tells us that the Indians were eager to go
to the defence of the block house on the occasion of a recent alarm,
that they were grateful for the continuance of their missionary Bourg
and were resolved to again plant corn on the river. At the close of
the conference they quietly dispersed to their hunting.

In spite of the interference of war the traffic in furs with the
Indians was still very considerable, and about this time Hazen and
White sent a consignment to Halifax in the ship Recovery, to be
shipped to England for sale, which included 571 Moose skins, 11
Caribou, 11 Deer, 3621 Musquash, 61 Otter, 77 Mink, 152 Sable, 40
Fishers, 6 Wolverene, 11 "Lucervers," 17 Red Fox, 6 Cross Fox, 9

Michael Francklin continued to the last to cultivate the friendship of
Pierre Thoma the old Maliseet chieftain whose descendants, it may be
observed, are numerous at the present day. The name of this well known
Indian family (variously spelled Thoma, Toma, Tomah, Tomer) is clearly
of French origin, and was originally Thomas, which pronounced in
French fashion sounds like Tomah. The name Pierre Thoma was very
common among both the Micmacs and the Maliseets, so common indeed as
to make it difficult to distinguish between individuals. A few
observations will enable the reader to see what splendid opportunities
there are for confusion with regard to those Indians who bore the name
of Pierre Thoma.

In the month of August, 1827, the Lieut.-Governor of New Brunswick,
Sir Howard Douglas, visited the historic Indian village of Medoctec,
where he was introduced to an Indian name Pierre Thoma (or Toma
Pierre) aged 93 years. The old warrior, who had lost an eye and an arm
in the battle of the Heights of Abraham in 1759, was carefully
provided for by the kindly hearted governor. Our first conclusion
naturally would be--this is the old chieftain of Revolutionary days.
But further investigation shows such a conclusion to be very
improbable. If old Tomah, who greeted Sir Howard Douglas, were 93
years old in 1827, he must have been born in 1734, and in that case
(supposing him to have been Francklin's old ally) he would have filled
the office of supreme sachem or head chief of the St. John river when
about thirty years of age, which is very unlikely. But this is not
all. In the sworn testimony submitted to the commissioners on the
international boundary in 1797, John Curry, Esq., of Charlotte County
says that when he came to the country in 1770 there was an Indian
place of worship and a burial ground on St. Andrew's Point at the
mouth of the River St. Croix, and that among those whom he recollected
to have been buried there were John Neptune (alias Bungawarrawit),
governor of the Passamaquoddy tribe, and a "chief of the Saint John's
Tribe known by the name of Pierre Toma." There can be little doubt
that the latter was our old chief Thoma. His wife was one of the
Neptune family whose home was at Passamaquoddy. The burial ground at
St. Andrew's Point was abandoned by the Indians when the Loyalists
settled at St. Andrews in 1783. We may therefore conclude that Pierre
Thoma did not long survive his old friend and Patron Michael
Francklin. Their acquaintance began as early at least as the summer of
1768, when Governor Thoma and Ambroise St. Aubin had an interview with
Lieut.-Governor Francklin and his council at Halifax. At that time the
chiefs made a favorable impression. They requested that their
missionary Bailly, lately arrived might remain with them, complained
that rum was much too common for the good of their people, desired
lands for cultivation and that their hunting grounds should be
reserved to them. Having completed their business they stated "We have
nothing further to ask or represent, and we desire to return soon,
that our people may not be debauched with liquor in this town."

The previous summer (12th August, 1767) Rev. Thomas Wood officiated at
a notable wedding at Halifax the contracting parties being a young
Indian captain named Pierre Jacques and Marie Joseph, the oldest
daughter of "old King Thoma." An English baronet, Sir Thos. Rich, and
other distinguished guests were present on the occasion. However this
Thoma was not our old Maliseet chief, for Mr. Wood observes of him,
"Old King Thoma looks upon himself as hereditary king of the
Mickmacks." Moreover the date is too nearly coincident with an
interesting event at Aukpaque in which Pierre Thoma was concerned. The
event was a christening at the Indian chapel the particulars
concerning which we find in the old church register. The Abbe Bailly
on two consecutive days baptized thirty-one Indian children, viz.,
sixteen boys on August 29th and fifteen girls on August 30th. Among
the boys we find a son of Ambroise St. Aubin and Anne, his wife, who
received the name of Thomas and had as sponsors Pierre Thoma, chief,
and his wife Marie Mectilde. The following day the compliment was
returned and Ambroise and his wife stood as sponsors at the
christening of Marie, the daughter of Pierre Thoma.

The next year (June 5, 1768) there was a double wedding in the family
of Governor Thoma at which the Abbe Bailly officiated and which no
doubt was the occasion of great festivity at the Indian village. The
old chief's son Pierre Thoma, jr, wedded an Indian maiden named Marie
Joseph, and his daughter Marie Belanger married Pierre Kesit. The
younger Pierre Thoma was most probably his father's successor as chief
of the Maliseets. At any rate when Frederick Dibblee[112] made a
return of the native Indians settled at Meductic in 1788 he includes
in his list Governor Thoma, his wife and four children. The Indians
were always migratory and two years later we find Governor Thoma
living at the mouth of the Becaguimec and tilling his cornfield since
become the site of the town of Hartland. This Governor Thoma, may be
the same referred to in the following paragraph in the Courier of
January 6, 1841:[113]

  "Friday last, being New Years day, a large body of the Milicete
  tribe of Indians including a considerable number of well dressed
  squaws, headed by their old-old-chief Thoma, appeared at
  Government House to pay their annual compliments to the
  representative of their Sovereign, and were received by His
  Excellency with great kindness. His Excellency availed himself of
  the occasion publicly to decorate the worthy old chief with a
  splendid silver medallion suspended by a blue ribbon, exhibiting a
  beautiful effigy of our gracious sovereign on one side, with the
  Royal Arms on the reverse."

  [112] Frederick Dibblee was a Loyalist, a graduate of Columbia College
        (N.Y.); afterwards rector of Woodstock, N. B. He went to
        Medoctec as a lay missionary teacher to the Indians under an
        arrangement with an English Society for the propagation of the
        Gospel amongst the Indians. There were at Medoctec in 1788
        about seventy Indian families including 98 men, 74 women, 165
        children; total, 337 souls.

  [113] The author is indebted for the above extract to the kindness of
        Mr. Ward.

Many of the Thoma family were remarkable for their longevity. When the
writer of this history was a boy there lived at the Indian village,
three miles below the Town of Woodstock, a very intelligent and
industrious Indian, whose bent, spare figure was a familiar object to
travellers along the country roads. It would be hard to count the
number of baskets and moccasins the old man carried on his back to
town for sale. He was born at Medoctec in 1789 and died at Woodstock
not long ago at the age of nearly one hundred years. The old fellow
was famous for his knowledge of herbs, which he was wont to administer
to the Indians in case of sickness; indeed it was not an uncommon
thing for the white people to consult "Doctor Tomer" as to their
ailments. In the year 1877 "Tomer" came to pay a friendly visit to
Charles Raymond, the author's grandfather, who was then in his 90th
year and confined to his room with what proved to be his first and
last illness. The pleasure of meeting seemed to be mutual. The two had
known one another for many years and were accustomed from time to time
to compare ages. "Tomer" was always one year younger, showing that the
old Indian kept his notch-stick well. He is believed to have been the
last surviving grandson of the old chieftain, Pierre Thoma.

While speaking of the Maliseets and their chiefs, mention may be made
of the fact that the Indians, as a mark of especial confidence and
favor, occasionally admitted one of the whites to the order of
chieftainship. This compliment the Maliseets paid to the French
Governor Villebon, when he commanded at Fort Nachouac, and a like
compliment was paid some sixty-five years ago to the late Moses H.
Perley. In early life Mr. Perley was very fond of the woods and
frequently visited the Indian villages on the upper St. John to buy
furs, which he paid for in silver dollars. So great was the confidence
reposed in him by the Indians that he became their agent with the
provincial government, and was in the end adopted as their chief. In
1840 he visited England and was presented to Queen Victoria in the
character of an Indian chief, wearing on the occasion a very
magnificent costume of ornamental bead-work, plumes, and so forth. He
received at the Queen's hands a silver medal three inches in diameter,
on the edge of which was engraved, "From Her Most Gracious Majesty to
M. H. Perley, Chief Sachem of the Milicetes and Wungeet Sagamore of
the Micmac nation. A. D., 1840." This medal is still in the possession
of Mr. Perley's descendants.

It will be noticed that the St. John river Indians are termed
"Milicetes" in the above description. The form Milicete, or Melicete,
used by Dr. Gesner and Moses H. Perley, has been followed by the
majority of our provincial writers. Dr. Hannay, however, in his
history of Acadia, retains the spelling of Villebon and the early
French writers, Malicite, which is almost identical with the Latin
form, Malecitae, on the stone tablet of the chapel built by the
missionary Jean Loyard at Medoctec in 1717. Either of these pronounced
in French fashion is practically identical with Maliseet, the form
adopted by modern students of Indian lore, and which the writer has
followed in this history.



The enormous lumbering operations carried on upon the St. John river
and its tributaries in modern times had their small beginning, two
centuries ago, when masts for the French navy were cut by order of the
King of France.[114] The war of the Revolution obliged the English
government to look for a reserve of trees suitable for masts in the
remaining British colonies. In the year 1779, arrangements were made
with William Davidson to provide a number of masts at the River St.

  [114] Mon. Diereville states that in 1700 the man of war Avenant, of
        44 guns, shipped at St. John some very fine masts for the
        French navy, which had been manufactured by 14 carpenters and
        mast makers. These were safely delivered in France after a
        prosperous voyage of 33 days.

Colonel Francklin was quite aware of the necessity of giving careful
attention to the Indians at this juncture, for the Machias rebels
threatened to destroy the "King's masts" and endeavored to get the
Indians to harass the mast cutters and obstruct, them in every
possible way. In consequence Francklin sent the following letter to
Pierre Thoma by James White, his deputy:--

  "Windsor, 29th November, 1779.

  "My Brother.--Mr. Davidson is now employed on the River St. John
  for the King my Royal master. I therefore request you will afford
  him and all his people every assistance and protection in your

  "My Brother,--I request and flatter myself if any party of Rebels
  or Indians should attempt to disturb Mr. Davidson that you and
  your people will prevent it, and if necessary take up arms for
  that purpose.

  "My Brothers,--The Governor of Nova Scotia sends to Major
  Studholme some presents for you; they are intended to encourage
  you to protect Mr. Davidson; receive them and be true to the trust
  that his Excellency reposes in you.

  "My Brother,--Major Studholme is your friend and your advocate and
  desires that all your faults may be overlooked and buried,
  therefore they are all forgot and will be thought of no more.

  "My Brother,--Present my best compliments to all the Captains,
  Councillors, and other Indians of the River St. John, and I do not
  forget their wives and children.

  [Seal.] "MICH. FRANCKLIN."

The Indians promised to protect the workmen who were employed in
cutting masts. Francklin soon afterwards sent a consignment of goods
from Windsor to Fort Howe in the schooner Menaguashe, as a further
inducement to them to protect Mr. Davidson's men in their work. In the
letter accompanying the presents he says:--

  "Brethern,--King George wants masts for his ships and has employed
  people to provide them on your river, depending on you to protect
  them in cutting them and conveying them to Fort Howe. The Governor
  sends you some presents, which Major Studholme will deliver you.
  They are intended to bind fast your promise that you will protect
  the Mast Cutters."

The presents were delivered at Aukpaque by James White[115] and the
masts were brought safely to Fort Howe. The first cargo of masts
arrived at Halifax on 22nd November, 1780, in one of the navy

  [115] Among the James White papers is the following:

        "Aupahag, 26th June, 1780.

        "Received from James White, Esq., agent to Indians, River St.
        John, the goods sent them by the Governor for the purpose of
        protecting the Contractor, his people and masts from the
        Rebels, etc., etc.

        (Signed) Francis Xavier, Nichola Nepton, Francis Joseph,
        Andrew Fransway, Joseph Pemahawitt, Pierre Meductsick.

The River St. John now assumed an importance in the eyes of English
statesmen it had not before possessed. England's power, then as now,
centred in her navy, and the larger warships required masts of such
magnificent proportions that pine trees suitable for the purpose were
rare. The rebellion of the old colonies having cut off the supply in
that quarter the reservation of suitable trees in the remaining
colonies became a matter of national concern.

As long ago as in the time of George I. the British parliament passed
an act (A. D. 1722) prohibiting the cutting or destroying of White
Pine trees 12 inches in diameter and upwards in the King's Woods in
North America. In 1729 it was further enacted that the same penalties
should be extended to trees growing on granted lands. So great was the
anxiety manifested by the British government for the preservation of
trees suitable for masts, that in the grants made in New Brunswick at
the close of the American war the words were inserted, "Saving and
reserving nevertheless to us, our heirs and successors (i. e. to the
Crown) all White Pine Trees." Under the regulations of parliament the
Surveyor General of the Woods and his deputies had a legal right to
seize all White Pine timber found in the possession of any one,
although it might have been cut on his own land. It was the custom of
the Surveyor of the Woods to grant licenses to the proprietors of
lands to cut and take away such pine timber as was "unfit for His
Majesty's service and the standing of which was detrimental to
cultivation;" but this was only done after a previous inspection, and
marking with the "broad-arrow" such trees as were fit for the navy.

The enforcement of the regulations for the protection and preservation
of White Pine trees was entrusted to Sir John Wentworth,[116] Surveyor
of the King's Woods in North America. He was a discreet and able man,
of polished manners and amiable disposition, but the office he filled
was by no means a popular one, and brought him into conflict not only
with individual owners of the soil, but on one occasion, at least,
with the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.

  [116] John Wentworth was the last Royal Governor of New Hampshire. He
        was a classmate and friend of John Adams, at Harvard. He was
        an active Loyalist, and at the close of the Revolution, came
        to Nova Scotia. He was made a baronet and for sixteen years
        filled the position of Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. He
        died at Halifax in 1820 in the 84th year of his age.

It was not many years after the establishment of the province that Lt.
Gov'r Carleton wrote the English Secretary of State:--

  "Under the regulations for preserving masting timber the deputies
  appointed by the surveyor of the woods have, or assume to have,
  authority to seize all the pine timber which they find in the
  possession of any one, though it may have been cut on his own
  ground. * * * I feel it my duty to submit it to the consideration
  of his Majesty's ministers whether it may not be expedient to
  relinquish these restrictions on private property, which have an
  evident tendency to discourage the advancement of cultivation and
  settlement in the province."

Sir John Wentworth justified the enforcement of the regulations as a
matter of national importance. He quoted the experience of New England
where, after the restrictions of the surveyor general's office were
removed, the mast timber had been so largely destroyed that it was
scarcely possible to procure a cargo of large masts, and those that
were to be had were held at enormous prices. Even if the government
should grant all the land available for settlement, it did not follow,
he argued, that the efficiency of the navy should be imperilled or the
mast timber pass into the hands of speculators; nor did he think that
its preservation should be left entirely to the discretion of the
owners of the soil.

Wentworth's representation to the Home Government proved effectual at
the time; his deputies continued to range the woods, and many a tall,
stately pine bore the mark of the "broad-arrow" in token that it was
reserved for the royal navy. It was not until about the year 1811 that
the reservation of White Pine trees was no longer insisted upon by the

The masting business was a very important one in the early days of New
Brunswick. Vessels were built expressly for the trade, and, being of
large size, and usually sailing under protection of a man-of-war, soon
became the favorite passenger ships.

The development of the masting industry proceeded very rapidly after
the arrival of the Loyalists, but even before that date it had
attained considerable proportions. Sir Richard Hughes wrote to Lord
Germaine on the 30th April, 1781, that upwards of 200 sticks for
masts, yards and bowsprits had been cut, squared and approved by the
King's purveyor at the River St. John in the course of the last fall
and winter, and that one of the navy transports was then at Fort Howe
loading a cargo of masts.

The year the Loyalists arrived, Captain John Munro, in reporting to
General Haldimand the state of settlement of the country, said:--

  "On the River St. John are the finest masts and spars that I have
  ever seen. I saw at Fort Howe about six thousand pounds worth. Two
  ships were loading when I left that place. I suppose there were
  masts sufficient there to load ten ships."

The masts, spars, bowsprits and other timber, having been prepared in
the woods by the workmen, were hauled to the water by oxen. Trees
growing near the stream were "bowsed out"--that is, hauled with block
and tackle to the river's bank. In the month of March it was customary
for the King's purveyor to certify the number and sizes of the sticks
that had been brought to the stream, "trimmed four-square and fit for
rafting," and on receipt of the purveyor's certificate the contractor
was at liberty to draw one-half of the money due on the fulfilment of
his contract, from the naval storekeeper at Halifax. The masts were
rafted and floated--or towed by sloops--to Fort Howe, where they were
stored for shipment in the mast pond.

The mast pond was a little cove to the west of Portland Point, just
east of the site of the present Portland Rolling Mills. The situation
will be seen in the accompanying plan. It was closed and fenced in by
the British government for the purpose of receiving the masts.

[Illustration: St. John Harbor]

A few words now concerning William Davidson, who may be said to have
been the first man to engage in lumbering on the River St. John. Mr.
Davidson came from the north of Scotland to Miramichi in 1764, the
same year that James Simonds and James White established themselves at
the mouth of the River St. John. Cooney, the historian of the North
Shore, tells us that at the time of Davidson's arrival the abandoned
houses of the French had been destroyed by the Indians, and our Scotch
immigrant found himself the only white man in a vast and desolate
region. If this be so he did not long remain solitary, for the next
year a grant of 100,000 acres on the south side of the Miramichi was
made to him and John Cort. Mr. Davidson was a resolute and energetic
man. He prosecuted the fishery, and about the year 1773 built the
first schooner launched upon the Miramichi. At the time of the
Revolutionary war the Micmacs were so hostile and troublesome that he
removed with his family to Maugerville, where he became the purchaser
of two lots of land near the head of Oromocto Island. His associations
with James Simonds, Wm. Hazen and James White were not of the
pleasantest kind. In consequence of purchasing some land at Morrisania
(below the present city of Fredericton) the title to which was in
dispute, he became involved in litigation with James Simonds, and the
result was a suit in the court of chancery,[117] which proved rather
costly to both parties. As regards Messrs. Hazen and White there was,
as we shall presently see, a lot of trouble arising out of the masting
business in which both parties were actively engaged.

  [117] This was probably the first suit of the kind in the Province of
        New Brunswick. Elias Hardy was Davidson's attorney and Ward
        Chipman appeared on behalf of James Simonds.

Mr. Davidson's influence on the St. John river is shown by the fact
that he was elected a member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for
the County of Sunbury. He returned to Miramichi about the time the
Loyalists came to the province, and died there in 1790. His tomb-stone
in the old cemetery on Beaubair's Island bears the following


  Representative of the County of Northumberland,
  Province of New Brunswick, Judge of the Court
  of Common Pleas, Contractor for Masts for His
  Majesty's Navy.

  He died on the 17th of June, 1790, aged 50. He
  was one of the first settlers of the river,
  and greatly instrumental in promoting the
  settlement. He left a widow and five children
  to deplore his loss.


The success that attended William Davidson's masting operations led
Messrs. Hazen and White to engage in the same business. They were
fortunate enough to secure the co-operation of Colonel Francklin, with
whom they entered into partnership in the summer of 1781 for general
trade and "masting." Francklin's political influence at Halifax and
the personal friendship of Sir Andrew Snape Hamond, the lieutenant
governor of Nova Scotia and Commissioner of the navy yard, proved of
very great advantage to the partners in their business. A few
quotations from the original papers of the firm, which are now in the
possession of the author, will throw light upon the nature of their
subsequent operations.

  "CONTRACTED and agreed on the 9th day of August, 1781, with Sir
  Andrew Snape Hamond, Commissioner of his Majesty's Navy, resident
  at Halifax, by us Michael Francklin, Esqr., of Windsor, and Wm.
  Hazen and James White, Esqrs., of the River St. John in the
  Province of Nova Scotia, And we do hereby covenant and agree to
  deliver, free of all charges to his Majesty, at the mouth of the
  River St. John, the undermentioned North American White Pine
  Masts, Yards, and Bowsprits, Ash Rafters, Elm Timber, Oak Timber,
  Anchor Stocks of White Oak, and Crooked or Compass Timber, in the
  quantities, of the dimensions and at the prices expressed against
  each size * * to be brought to the mouth of the River Saint John
  by or before the 1st day of July, 1782, and there to remain at
  our risque until they shall be embarked on board such ships or
  vessels as shall be sent to transport them to England, Halifax or
  elsewhere. * * *

  "It is further agreed by Sir Andrew Snape Hamond for the
  encouragement of the said Contractors, that in case the enemy
  should make a descent on the Port of Saint John in order to
  destroy the masts lying there, that the damages sustained thereby
  should fall on Government and not upon the Contractors, provided
  it shall appear that all proper endeavors on the part of the
  Contractors were used to save the masts."

Great Britain was at this time engaged in a struggle for national
existence. She was at war, not only with the colonies in rebellion,
but with France, Holland and Spain, and that without a single ally.
Under such circumstances it was absolutely necessary that the navy
should be kept as efficient as possible. The dockyards were busy
places and we need not be surprised that good prices were paid for
masts, yards, bowsprits and ship timber in general. In the contract
signed by Francklin, Hazen and White the prices offered by government
are stated in detail, but the table of prices is too long to quote in
full. The sums paid varied with the size of the tree as will be seen
from the following examples selected from the table in the contract:

  Masts of 36 inches diameter, 36 yards long, £136.
  Masts of 35 inches diameter, 35 yards long, £110.
  Masts of 34 inches diameter, 34 yards long, £95.
  Masts of 32 inches diameter, 32 yards long, £68.
  Masts of 31 inches diameter, 31 yards long, £61.
  Masts of 26 inches diameter, 28 yards long, £25.
  Masts of 18 inches diameter, 23 yards long, £10.
  Yards of 25 inches diameter, 35 yards long, £52.
  Yards of 23 inches diameter, 32 yards long, £40.
  Yards of 21 inches diameter, 29-1/2 yards long, £20.
  Yards of 14 inches diameter, 22 yards long, £4.16.
  Bowsprits 38 inches diameter, 25 yards long, £42.10.
  Bowsprits 34 inches diameter, 23 yards long, £32.10.
  Bowsprits 30 inches diameter, 20-1/2 yards long, £30.
  Bowsprits 25 inches diameter, 17 yards long, £10.2.

The rapid increase in price as the maximum dimensions were neared was
due to the fact that timber of such size was exceedingly rare.

The certificate of the naval storekeeper, George Thomas, shows that on
the 6th July, 1782, Francklin, Hazen & White had delivered under the
protection of his Majesty's Post at Fort Howe, in pursuance of their
contract of the 9th of August, 1781, 37 masts valued at £1098.16.3; 65
yards valued at £1502.13.4; 8 bowsprits valued at £181.1.11-1/2 and 20
M. feet white ash oar rafters valued at £156.5.0; so that the firm
received upwards of $14,000 from government on their first year's
masting operations. Some of the sticks obtained were of very large
size, including one mast, 35 inches in diameter and 91-1/2 feet long,
and a yard 26 inches in diameter and 108 feet long; for these two
sticks they received respectively $450 and $350.

It was essential to the success of the masting business that a
good practical man should be at the head of it, and Mr. White's
brother-in-law, Samuel Peabody, was selected for the position. He
was given an interest in the contract and was also allowed "seven
shillings and six pence per diem in consideration of his care and
trouble in taking upon him the management of the business."

At the time the agreement was made with Mr. Peabody, Michael Francklin
was at the River St. John.[118] The agreement specified that the
masts, yards and bowsprits were to be converted into eight squares
carrying their dimensions in their several parts conformable to the
rules of the navy.

  [118] The document was dated at Maugerville the 15th October, 1781.
        The parties to the agreement were on the one hand Francklin,
        Hazen & White; and on the other hand Francklin, Hazen, White &
        Peabody. The second party were to deliver to the first at Fort
        Howe "by the first Freshes in the Spring" the masts, yards,
        etc., mentioned in the contract. One third of the profit or
        loss to be the said Samuel Peabody's and two-thirds to be the
        said Michael Francklin, Wm. Hazen and James White's.

While the profits derived from the mast business may have been
considerable, the expenses also were heavy. There were many unforseen
contingencies. The demand for workmen and laborers in a short time
nearly doubled the rate of wages, and the cost of provisions and
supplies increased. In the course of a few months Col. Francklin sent
three consignments of goods to St. John, amounting in value to about
$3,000. A bill of lading in those days was a quaint document, witness
the following:

  "SHIPPED by the Grace of God, by John Butler Dight in and upon the
  good Ship called the Young William Naval Store Ship, whereof is
  master, under God, for this present Voyage, George Hastings, and
  now riding at anchor in the Harbour of Halifax, and by God's Grace
  bound for Fort Howe, River St. John in the Bay of Fundy.

  To say, one Hogshead, three Casks, one Case, three Bales, one
  Large Trunk, one Bag Coffee, six Boxes, twenty Barrels Pork, and
  twenty firkins Butter--by order of Mich'l Francklin, Esq., for
  account and risque of himself, Wm. Hazen & James White, consigned
  to Messrs. Hazen & White at Fort Howe as aforesaid, being marked
  and numbered as in the margin, and are to be delivered in good
  order and well conditioned at the Port of Fort Howe (the danger of
  the seas only excepted.)

  In Witness whereof the master of the said Ship hath affirmed to
  three Bills of Lading, all of this tenor and date; the one of
  which three Bills being accomplished, the other two to stand

  And so GOD send the Good Ship to her desired Port in safety.

  "Dated in Halifax 23rd April, 1782.


Col. Francklin procured at Halifax many articles needed for the mast
cutters, such as chains, blocks and tackle, camp supplies, etc. Flour
retailed in Halifax at this time at $11.00 per bbl., and the freight
to Fort Howe was $1.50 per bbl. Pork cost at Halifax $25.00 per bbl.
and upwards. The population on the St. John river was small, and men
and oxen were in demand both in winter and summer. The cultivation and
improvement of farms was retarded and a spirit of speculation
introduced into the country, destined ere long to bear pernicious
fruit. Francklin sent from Windsor some skilled hewers of timber.
Nevertheless the masting operations were carried on after a primitive
fashion, and Mr. Peabody was constantly obliged to write for articles
needed by his workmen. A few sentences culled from his correspondence
with Hazen & White will shed a little light on the difficulties that
attended the masting business:

  "There is no prospect of the business being in one place as we
  expected when Mr. Francklin was here; at present have given up
  trying at St. Anns, for the Pine proves so rotten that it would
  never pay the expense of cutting a road to where it grows." [Nov.
  2d, 1781.]

  "The men are very bad off for Bread, and people cannot work
  without good food, besides it takes much time in baking Indian
  cakes for them in the woods, one hand continually imploy'd. * * We
  are very badly off indeed for Chalk lines, having nothing of that
  kind to make use of but twine." [Jan. 21, 1782.]

  "Davidson is almost done--his situation is this: no workmen, no
  rum, no provision, he's nearly possesst of Pandora's Box." [Feb.
  5, 1782.]

  "Men's wear is much wanted, such as thick clothes, a few blankets
  if you can procure them, as some men are obliged to sleep without
  blankets in the camp." [Feb. 9, 1782.]

  "Pork, beef and corn is very scarce and dear, the two former not
  to be bought. Have engaged what wheat and Indian corn we could on
  the river." [March 23d, 1782.]

  "Our common laborers value their hire very high, as there is so
  many mast cutting, running from place to place to get sticks for
  the highest bidder." [Dec. 25, 1782.]

  "Some chocolate is wanted for our Masting Camp for at present we
  use Spruce Tea, which causes some murmuring." [Feb. 2, 1783.]

In order to fill the contract at the time fixed, Samuel Peabody found
it necessary to cruise the woods over a wide area selecting trees that
grew not far from the banks of the streams which might be "bowsed in"
by oxen with block and tackle. In consequence of the competition with
Mr. Davidson the hire of a yoke of oxen became as high as seven
shillings and six pence a day and difficult to obtain at that. The
exigencies of the situation were such that Hayes and Peabody ventured
to press into their service a pair of fat oxen that had been sent down
the river from St. Anns by Philip Weade for an entirely different
purpose. This was displeasing to Hazen & White who wrote: "We are much
surprised that you stopped the particular pair of oxen which we
desired last Fall to be stall fed for the use of the officers of the
garrison here and ourselves, which hath left them and us without a
good slice of beef."

It is rather a curious circumstance that very soon after Francklin,
Hazen and White embarked in the masting business they found
themselves at logger heads with William Davidson, whose workmen they
had for two years been endeavoring to protect from interference on the
part of the "rebels" and Indians. In point of fact Mr. Davidson
suffered greater annoyance at the hands of Samuel Peabody and his mast
cutters than he ever experienced from the rebels or the Indians. Under
the arrangements at first made with the government of Nova Scotia, a
good deal of latitude was allowed the mast cutters. Mr. Davidson had
a special order to cut masts, yards, etc., for his Majesty's
service, wherever he could find them. Under this roving commission
his workmen came into contact on several occasions with those of
the other contractors and in a very short time there was bad blood
between them.

Samuel Peabody, who had charge of the operations of Francklin, Hazen
and White, was a man of resolute and somewhat aggressive spirit.
William Davidson on the other hand, possessed all the energy and
determination for which the Scotch race is noted. The state of affairs
on the River St. John in consequence of the rivalry created by the
masting business was not at all harmonious. The sentiments of the
people were divided. There were some who sided with Hazen, White and
Peabody while others took the part of Wm. Davidson and Israel
Perley--the latter being in Mr. Davidson's employ. A couple of letters
of the period will serve to show how the rivals regarded one another.

Samuel Peabody writes as follows:

  Maugerville, 2nd Nov'r, 1781.

  "Messrs. Hazen & White, Merchants at Fort Howe,

  "Gentlemen,--Since I wrote to you by John Hart, giving you account
  of the badness of the Pine Lumber back of St. Anns, I sent 3 hands
  up Nashwalk to try the timber in that place, and find the timber
  to be small near the waterside. Upon Davidson's understanding I
  was determined to try that place, he immediately sent a party of
  French up that River, commanded by Israel Perley, to cut all the
  Timber that fell in his way, among which was a large Tree that I
  suppose was marked by Mr. Hayes, as he tells people that it had
  several Broad Arrows on it. At the same time that Davidson
  dispatched this party he sent another party back of Thomas
  Langin's[119] upon the growth of Pine Mr. Hayes had pitched upon
  for us, and has his small party sallying out upon all quarters,
  and bids defiance to any Proprietors stopping him from such
  proceedings. Now if he is allowed to cut Timber upon the Society's
  Land[120] it will be impossible for me to furnish half the
  quantity of sticks I could if I had the privilege of all the above
  mentioned lands.

  [119] Thomas Langan lived at this time about four miles above St.
          Ann's Point. On his lot there was a log house and he had
          about 20 acres of land, cleared chiefly by the French. He
          lived there about six years but was disturbed by the
          Indians, who, about this time, killed his cattle and made
          his situation so precarious that he moved down the river
          with his family to Burton.

  [120] The townships of the St. John's River Society are here
          referred to, more particularly Burton, Sunbury and
          New-town. Wm. Hazen, James Simonds and James White were
          proprietors of lands in these townships, and Peabody
          regarded Wm. Davidson as an intruder.

  "Tomorrow morning I am a going with 8 or 10 hands to cut sum fine
  Trees up Oromocto, near whear Davidson is stearing his course, as
  he should be paid in his own coin. I have imployed sum men to cut
  Trees by the jobb up Oromocto, and by searching, they say, that
  there may be had some fine lengthy Trees, but not the greatest

  "I hope one of you will come up soon and reside a few days, for,
  as I mentioned to you in my last letter it is very difficult for
  me to procure hands at suitable times, as I am in the woods the
  cheaf of the time, and at present there is no prospect of the
  business being in one place, as we expected when Col. Francklin
  left this place. At present I have given up trying at Saint Anns,
  for the Pine proves so rotten that it never will pay the expense
  of cutting a road in to where it groes

  "There is sum that pertended to undertake to ingage to get us sum
  sticks, by what I can learn has ingaged them to Davidson,
  especially that scoudril John Tibbits, although he gave Mr.
  Francklin good incurragement, as I thought, that we should have
  all the sticks that he could procure.

      I am, with respect,
          Your Humble Serv't,


A year later William Davidson writes in quite as emphatic terms to
Samuel Peabody:

  Maugerville, 9th December, 1782.

  "Sir--I'm not a little surprised at a piece of your conduct that
  has lately come to my knowledge; which is your triming my masts,
  etc., on the streame of Rushaganes and its vicinaty. I cannot
  conjecture upon what principle you pretend to have acted. I had (&
  have) a speciall order from Government to cutt masts, yards, etc.,
  for His Majesty's use wherever I could find them, when I cutt
  those sticks, which constitute as good a right in them to me as
  any that could be given. If (by some kind of means) the people
  you're concerned with afterwards got a grant of the lands on which
  they were, it could not be supposed to extend to a prior right any
  other person had derived from as good authority. But in the mean
  time I shall not take the trouble to say any more on the subject
  than to desire you will from this time desist from meddling with
  any sticks that have been cut for me, and also relinquish what you
  have already medled with.

  "I wish to live peaceably, but I have lately experienced so many
  instances of your most bare-faced and wanton oppression, to my
  prejudice, that there's no longer a doubt with me what course I
  must be under the disagreeable necessity to take, that I may
  obtain redress and do justice to myself and family. I shall expect
  your immediate answer for my future government, and am, sir,

      "Your Humble Serv't


The fact that William Davidson was the first in the field gave him
some local advantages that were increased considerably by the
predilection in his favor displayed by Constant Connor, the commander
of the small garrison posted at the Oromocto blockhouse. This we know
from one of the letters of the government purveyor, John Hayes, who
was exceedingly friendly to Hazen & White. He wrote "I am sorry to say
that Lieut. Connor is much atached to Davidson and Andrews,[121] his
orders from Sir Richard Hughes specifying to give Davidson all the
assistance in his power, and on that account Davidson carries much
more sway than he otherwise would."

  [121] The reference is to George Andrew, government purveyor, who
        surveyed the masts furnished by Mr. Davidson's workmen.

Sir Richard Hughes, it may be observed, was succeeded as Lieut.
Governor of Nova Scotia by Sir Andrew Snape Hamond in 1781. Both
Hughes and Hamond held in turn the office of commissioner of the naval
yard at Halifax. Colonel Francklin had himself been lieutenant
governor of Nova Scotia from 1766 to 1776, and seems to have kept on
excellent terms with his successors. Through his influence at
headquarters the government patronage passed largely to the firm of
which he was the senior partner. Francklin was an adept in the art of
diplomacy. During the Revolutionary war, as we have already seen, his
tact and judgment prevented the Indians from becoming actively hostile
to the English and restrained the New Englanders, settled in
Cumberland and other parts of Nova Scotia, from taking up arms on the
side of the rebellion. A specimen of his diplomacy in small matters is
found in one of his letters to Hazen & White in which he writes:
"However high Indian corn may be, I wish you would send twenty bushels
to Sir Andrew for his poultry, in which Lady Hamond takes great
delight, and pray don't omit getting her some wood ducks in the
approaching season."

Some further light is thrown upon the state of affairs on the River
St. John at this period, and the "modus operandi" of the mast cutters
by the following letter, written by Hazen & White, to Colonel

  "Fort Howe, 23rd March, 1782.

  "Dear Sir,--Since our last we have been at Maugerville viewing the
  masts, etc, etc. Mr. Peabody has cut down and procured as many
  sticks as could be expected under the disadvantage of having the
  other contractor at his elbow. You will find enclosed Mr. Hayes
  account and certificates of the number and sizes of sticks on the
  banks, trimmed four square and fit for rafting. They have about
  120 more cut, many of which cannot be got out this season. Mr.
  Peabody set off on the 14th inst. to view a glade of Pines on the
  Grand Lake, about 40 miles from Mr. Simonds' house, where he has a
  number of men to work. * * The French people at Kanibikashes have
  about 100 sticks cut. They say they will be able to get out and
  bring here this Spring about 40 sticks, the others they can get
  out in Summer. Pork, beef and corn is very scarce and dear; the
  two former not to be bought. Have engaged what wheat and Indian
  corn we could on the River. * * Davidson expects to have 200
  sticks out this season and near as many more cut in the woods; he
  gives the people larger prices for sticks (and takes them at
  Maugerville or elsewhere afloat) than we give Mr. Peabody
  delivered here. * * We must have two or three hundred pounds in
  cash here by the first conveyance.

  "Yours etc.,
          "Hazen & White."

The pines of our primeval forests were evidently of magnificent
proportions. Samuel Peabody mentions cutting a yard 110 feet in
length and 26 inches in diameter, and a mast 38 inches in diameter,
and other timber of nearly equal size. Many of the largest pines grew
on the banks of the Rushagonish, a branch of the Oromocto. By the
favor of Lieut. Governor Hamond and his council Messrs. Hazen,
White and Peabody obtained possession of a tract of 8,000 acres of
land in that quarter. The grant was made in the first instance to
William Hazen, James White, Jacob Barker and Tamberlane Campbell,
as officers serving in the provincial troops in the last French war.
Tamberlane Campbell immediately sold his share to Samuel Peabody
for a small consideration.

The extent of William Davidson's masting operations must have been
very considerable, for Hazen & White wrote to Colonel Francklin in
March, 1782, "Davidson will have about 200 sticks out this season and
near as many more fell in the woods, having employed almost half the
Inhabitants in cutting. We should not be surprised to hear that he,
with many of the Inhabitants, should memorialize the Navy Commissioner
to have all his sticks received; if so, and he should succeed, another
contract for us would be but of little advantage as he has raised the
price of provision and men and Ox labour--oxen to 7s. 6d. pr. pair pr.
day and men in proportion."

The masting business seems to have been remunerative, and was the
means of putting in circulation a considerable amount of specie, which
was greatly appreciated by the settlers on the River St. John. On
April 25, 1782, Col. Francklin wrote to his partners, Hazen & White,
"There is no doubt of another contract, or of Sir Andrew's friendship
to me, therefore go on and get out as many sticks as you can, and
throw down as many as you are sure of getting out between this and
Xmass, at least, for be assured we shall have another contract, and I
mean to apply for a standing one when I go to Halifax again, which I
expect will be in ten days or a fortnight, or even sooner if the
annual ships (from England) arrive." The letter from which this
extract is taken is the last that has been preserved of Francklin's
interesting correspondence with William Hazen and James White. He died
at Halifax, Nov. 8, 1782. The masting business was, however, carried
on by Hazen, White and Peabody for several years longer. William
Davidson also continued to engage in the business. Although some
improvement was gradually made in the way the masting business was
conducted by the pioneer "lumbermen"--if we may so term them--the
methods employed down to 1825 were very crude. In that year Peter
Fisher writes. "In this country there is no article that can in any
degree furnish export equal to the pine, which is manufactured in the
simplest manner with but little trouble. So simple is the process that
most settlers who have the use of the axe can manufacture it, the
woods furnishing a sort of simple manufactory for the inhabitants,
from which, after attending to their farms in the summer, they can
draw returns during the winter for the supplies which are necessary
for the comfort of their families." Mr. Fisher enters a strong protest
against what was, even then a growing evil, namely, the wanton
destruction of valuable young timber by persons who were merely
speculators, and had little regard for the future.

The rapid increase in the lumber industry is seen from the fact that
in 1824 there was shipped from the port of St. John alone 114,116 tons
of Pine and Birch timber; 11,534,000 feet of Pine boards and planks;
1,923,000 staves; 491,000 Pine shingles; 1,918 masts and spars; 2,698
handspikes, oars and oar rafters; and 1,435 cords of lathwood; while
in addition large quantities were shipped from Miramichi, St. Andrews,
Richibucto and Bathurst. Up to 1825 there is scarcely any mention of
Spruce lumber as an article of export. The first Spruce deals cut in
New Brunswick were sawn in 1819, and the first cargo, which consisted
of only 100,000 superficial feet, was shipped to England in 1822.

In 1782, Hazen, White and Peabody had a small saw mill in operation on
the Oromocto stream, and about this time they erected another and
larger one. The mills were not profitable at first, but they became
more valuable after the close of the Revolutionary war, when the
arrival of the Loyalists created a great demand for sawn lumber.

Before we turn from the consideration of the small beginnings of our
great lumbering industry to other matters, a few words may be added
concerning the Glasier family, so famous in the annals of the province
for their enterprises on the River St. John. Colonel Beamsley
Glasier's connection with the mills erected on the Nashwaak in 1788,
by the St. John's River Society, has already been related. His brother
Benjamin, who was a somewhat younger man, came to the St. John river
from Massachusetts in 1779 as a shipwright. The Revolutionary war,
however, rendered it impracticable to carry on ship building, so he
moved up the river to what was then called "Morrisania," about six
miles below Fredericton, where in 1782 he purchased from Benjamin
Bubier, for the sum of £200, a tract of 1,000 acres of land on which
his desendants of the fourth generation still reside. Benjamin
Glasier's commission as a lieutenant in the Massachusetts infantry is
yet preserved in the family. It bears the signature of Thomas
Hutchinson, the last Royal Governor of Massachusetts. Lieut. Glaiser
served in the French and Indian wars and was taken prisoner at the
siege of Fort William Henry.

Benjamin Glasier was the progenitor of the well known family, of which
the late Senator John Glasier (familiarly known as "the main John
Glasier") and his brothers Stephen, Duncan and Benjamin were members.
The operations of the Glasier family in lumbering and shipbuilding
extended over very nearly a century. At one time they were undoubtedly
the largest operators in New Brunswick, employing over six hundred
men. For many years their production was principally pine timber,
which was shipped to Liverpool.

The late Senator Glasier began his lumbering operations on the
Shogomoc, in York County, and afterwards in company with his brother
Stephen, extended them to the waters of the upper St. John. He was the
first lumberman to bring a drive over the Grand Falls, and is said to
have been the first white man to explore the Squattook lakes. The
phrase "the Main John Glasier" originated with an Irishman named Paddy
McGarrigle, who was employed as a cook.[122] It was soon universally
adopted by the lumbermen and, strange to say, has spread over the
continent. In the western states today men employed in lumbering apply
the term, "He is the main John Glasier" to the manager of any big
lumbering concern. It is said that only a few of those who use the
term know its origin. It was undoubtedly carried to the west by men
who went there from the River St. John. Senator Glasier died at Ottawa
in his 84th year, during the session of 1894, while engaged in the
discharge of his parliamentary duties.

  [122] My authority for this is Adam Beveridge, Esq., of Andover, than
        whom few, if any, living men are better posted on the history
        of lumbering on the St. John river.--W. O. R.

It is a curious circumstance that the present members for Sunbury
County in the provincial legislature, Parker Glasier and J. Douglas
Hazen, are great-grandsons respectively of Benjamin Glasier and John
Hazen, old neighbors and worthy residents of Sunbury one hundred and
twenty years ago. At that time Sunbury included nearly the whole of
the province, now it is a very modest little constituency indeed.

The origin of the famous "Wood-boats" of the St. John river is
revealed in the correspondence of Hazen and White. Previous to the
arrival of the Loyalists all the vessels used on the river were either
small schooners and sloops or gondolos; but in November, 1783, Hazen
and White determined to build two schooners or boats to bring wood to
market to carry about eight cords. These little vessels they state
were to be managed by two men and were not decked.



Considerable information has already been given in the preceding
chapters of this history concerning the first English settlers on the
River St. John, and the names of such men as Francis Peabody, Israel
Perley, James Simonds, James White, William Hazen, Jonathan and Daniel
Leavitt, Beamsley P. and Benjamin Glasier, Benjamin Atherton, William
Davidson, Gilfred Studholme and others will be familiar to the
majority of our readers. Some further information concerning the early
settlers may prove of equal interest.


Nehemiah Beckwith was an active and well known man on the St. John
river in his day and generation. He was a descendant of Mathew
Beckwith, who came to America from Yorkshire, England, in 1635. The
branch of the family to which Nehemiah Beckwith belonged lived chiefly
at Lyme in Connecticut. Two brothers, Samuel and John, emigrated from
that place to Nova Scotia in 1760, in consequence of the inducements
offered by Governor Lawrence to New Englanders to occupy the lands
vacated by the Acadians. A fleet of 22 vessels from Connecticut,
carrying a considerable colony, entered Minas Basin on the 4th day of
June, and the settlers landed near the town plot of Cornwallis.
Nehemiah Beckwith was born at Lyme, February 29, 1756, and was the
seventh, and youngest, child of Samuel Beckwith by his wife Miriam,
who was a daughter of Capt. Reynold Marvin. At the time of his arrival
in "bluenose land" he was little more than four years old. The exact
date of his arrival at Maugerville is uncertain, but it was probably
not long before the 16th December, 1780, when--as we learn from old
Sunbury County records--he purchased half of lot No. 78 in Upper
Maugerville from Joseph Dunphy for £100. Nehemiah Beckwith is
described in the deed of conveyance as "late of Cornwallis but now of
Maugerville, Trader." Mr. Beckwith was quite an enterprising man in
the early days of New Brunswick. He was the first to attempt the
establishment of regular communication by water between St. John and
Fredericton, and for that purpose built in August, 1784, a scow or
tow-boat to ply between Parrtown and St. Anns. A little later he built
at Mauger's (or Gilbert's) Island a ship called the Lord Sheffield,
which he sold on the stocks in May, 1786, to Gen'l Benedict Arnold. In
consequence of sharp practice on the part of Arnold he was financially
ruined. However, in a few years he succeeded in extricating himself
from his difficulties and again became an enterprising and useful
citizen. At the first general election in this province Mr. Beckwith
and James Simonds were candidates for the County of Sunbury, their
opponents being Capt. Richard Vanderburg and William Hubbard. The
election was conducted after the old fashioned style of open voting,
and lasted several days, during which the poll was held in succession
at the principal centres. After a sharp party contest between the old
inhabitants and the loyalists, the former were outvoted and Simonds
and Beckwith consequently defeated. This election helped to intensify
the ill-will and jealousy already existing between the "old" and "new"
inhabitants. Mr. Beckwith married Miss Julia Le Brun and, after a
time, made his residence at Fredericton, where he met his death by
drowning in 1815. His son, the late Hon. John A. Beckwith, born in
Fredericton, December 1st, 1800, filled many high offices. He was for
a time mayor of Fredericton, chairman of the provincial Board of
Agriculture, a director of the Quebec and New Brunswick railway and
for many years agent of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land
Company. His son Harry Beckwith was for several years mayor of
Fredericton; another son, Charles W. was for years city clerk, and a
third, Adolphus G., filled for some time the position of chief
engineer of the provincial public works department. A daughter married
James Hazen of Oromocto, Sunbury County, and is the mother of J.
Douglas Hazen, M. P. P.


Hugh Quinton, who was one of the pioneers who came to St. John in 1762
with Captain Francis Peabody, was born in Cheshire, New Hampshire, in
1741. Being of an adventurous spirit he served, while only a lad in
his teens, in one of the provincial regiments at Crown Point in the
French war. His wife, Elizabeth Christie of Londonderry, New
Hampshire, was born in the same year as her husband. They were married
at the age of twenty and came to St. John a year later. According to
the late John Quinton (who was Hugh Quinton's grandson and derived
much of his information directly from his grandmother's lips) Hugh and
his wife Elizabeth arrived in St. John on the 28th August, 1762, and
on their arrival found shelter at the Old Fort Frederick barracks in
Carleton where, on the night of the day of their arrival, their first
child James Quinton was born: to him therefore appertains the honor of
being the first child of English speaking parents born at St. John.
Not long afterwards Hugh Quinton went up the river to Maugerville, of
which township he was one of the first grantees. He is described in an
old legal document as "Inn-holder," from which it is evident he
furnished entertainment to travellers, or kept a "tavern." In those
days the keeper of a tavern was usually quite an important personage.
Many of the first religious services at Maugerville were held at Hugh
Quinton's house, as being centrally situated and more commodious than
those of the majority of the settlers. He was himself a member of the
Congregational Church. In 1774 he sold his lot of land opposite Middle
Island, and removed to Manawagonish in the township of Conway where,
as we learn from an enumeration of the settlers made 1st August, 1775,
(yet preserved at Halifax) he lived with his family, comprising ten
persons in all, in a small log house, his stock of domestic animals
including 2 horses, 4 oxen and bulls, 5 cows, 6 young cattle, 13 sheep
and 5 swine. In common with the majority of the settlers who came from
New England, the sympathies of Hugh Quinton in the Revolutionary war
were at first with the "rebels." He was one of the "rebel committee,"
formed at Maugerville in May, 1776, and accompanied Colonel Jonathan
Eddy in his quixotic expedition against Fort Cumberland. After this
unlucky escapade Hugh Quinton thought better of his conduct, took the
oath of allegiance and on several occasions turned out and fought the
rebel parties. At the peace in 1783 he drew a lot in Parrtown, at the
corner of Charlotte and Princess streets, (where the residence of the
late Dr. John Berryman now stands), also one in Carleton. For many
years he kept a well known house of entertainment at Manawagonish,
Parish of Lancaster. He died in 1792, but his widow lived until the
year 1835. He was the ancestor of all of the name who are now resident
in the province.


John Jones, the ancestor of the late Hon. Thomas R. Jones and many
others of the name in the province, claims a little notice at our
hands. His grandfather came to America from Wales about the year 1700,
accompanied by his family. They landed at Newburyport, settling, a
little later, at Amesbury. This immigrant ancestor met a tragic death
at the hands of the Indians. John Jones, who came to St. John, was the
youngest of his father's children. He learned the ship-carpenter's
trade, and came to St. John with William Hazen in 1775 as a master
workman to build ships for the firm of Hazen, Simonds and White. The
first vessel he was employed in constructing was on the stocks and
partly planked when she was burned by a party of marauders from
Machias. Mr. Jones' employers paid him his daily wages for some time,
in order to retain his services, under the impression that the
Revolutionary war would soon be ended and they would be able to resume
the business of ship-building. During this waiting period Jones was
not entirely idle--at least he found time to marry a New England girl,
Mercy Hilderick by name, who was visiting at the home of her
brother-in-law Samuel Peabody. The marriage ceremony was performed by
Gervas Say, Esquire, a neighboring justice of the peace. The ravages
of the Yankee privateers that infested the shores of the Bay of Fundy
obliged Mr. Jones and nearly all his neighbors of the Township of
Conway to move up the river. But previous to their departure there
occurred John Allan's famous invasion of the St. John. Allan left a
guard of sixty men at the mouth of the river to oppose the landing of
the troops under Major Studholme and Col. Francklin. The British
landed eventually at Manawagonish Cove near the house of Samuel
Peabody and were guided by Messrs. Jones, Peabody and others through
the woods to the place where the enemy were encamped on the west side
of the river near the falls. The Americans were apprised of their
coming and had ambushed themselves--some of them climbing into trees.
Major Studholme sent out flanking parties, which fired upon the enemy
from either side, killing eight of their number, who were buried in
one grave near the spot where they fell; the rest fled terror stricken
with all possible speed to Machias. John Jones at first went up the
river to Jemseg Point, which was then covered with white oak trees.
Later he became acquainted with Edmund Price and, concluding to become
his neighbor, removed to the head of Long Reach and settled at the
place called "Coy's Mistake" on Kemble Manor, where he had a property
of 400 acres of land. It would be quite impossible in this chapter to
follow the various ramifications of the Jones family, for John Jones
had a family of eight sons and seven daughters, fourteen of whom
married and reared large families. One of the sons, Samuel, born while
the family were at Manawagonish, in the first years of the last
century had the responsible duty of carrying his Majesty's weekly mail
from St. John to Fredericton. There was, by the way, a curious
circumstance connected with this mail, namely, that letters from
Halifax to St. John were first carried to Fredericton, as the
headquarters of the province, and then returned to St. John. This
involved a delay of about a week in delivery. Naturally the beauties
of such a system did not strike the citizens of the commercial
metropolis at all favorably, and the consequence was a vigorous "kick"
on the part of the citizens of St. John that led ere long to a change
for the better. The house of John Jones, at the head of Long Reach,
was a favorite stopping place for travellers in early times, and the
reputation of the family for hospitality was proverbial. The loyalist
settlers at Kingston during the summer of 1783 met with much kindness
from the Jones family while they were living in their canvas tents and
busily engaged in the construction of log houses and in making
preparations for the ensuing winter.


The first of the Burpee family in America appears to have been Thomas
Burpee, who settled at Rowley in the County of Essex, Massachusetts.
This town lies near the north-east corner of the "Old Bay State." It
was settled about 1639, and Thomas Burpee bought a lot there
immediately after the first settlement was made. It was from this town
and its vicinity that many of the first settlers of the township of
Maugerville came in 1762-3. Included in the number were the Burpees,
Barkers, Perleys, Jewetts, Palmers and others whose decendants are
quite numerous in the province today. Rowley was a stronghold of New
England puritanism and, if we are to credit the testimony of the
Rev'd. Jacob Bailey, who was born there in 1731 and was a contemporary
of Jonathan Burpee and of Jacob Barker, the citizens of Rowley were
not remarkable for their enterprise. Mr. Bailey writes that in his day
"every man planted as many acres of Indian corn, and sowed the same
number with rye; he ploughed with as many oxen, hoed it as often, and
gathered in his crop on the same day with his grandfather; he salted
down the same quantity of beef and pork, wore the same kind of
stockings, and at table sat and said grace with his wife and children
around him, just as his predecessors had done before him." "An uniform
method of thinking and acting prevailed, and nothing could be more
criminal than for one person to be more learned, religious, or polite
than another."[123]

  [123] Many facts of interest concerning the early days of Rowley are
        to be found in the History of Rowley by Thomas Gage, printed
        in 1840. It contains a genealogical register of the families
        of some of the first settlers of the town.

Doubtless the emigration of the men of Massachusetts, who settled on
the River St. John, deprived New England of some of the more
enterprising of its people. An indication of the Puritan ancestry of
these immigrants who settled on the St. John river is furnished by the
Biblical names of a very large majority of the original grantees of
Maugerville.[124] Among these names we find the following:--Enoch,
Moses, Joshua, Elisha, Samuel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Nehemiah,
Jedediah, Isaac, Israel, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Zebulun, David,
Jonathan, Phinehas, Jabez, Nathaniel, Asa, Ammi, Thomas, Matthew,
Stephen, Peter, James and John.

  [124] See names of grantees at page 159 of this history.

In the town and parish records of Rowley the name of Thomas Burpee
frequently appears--the surname usually in the form of Burkby or
Burkbee. The name of Jonathan Burpee (who was probably a great
grandson of the first ancestor in America) appears in the list of the
first grantees at Maugerville. He was a deacon of the Congregational
Church and his name is first in order among the signers of the
Church covenant agreed to at Maugerville shortly after the settlement
was founded. He was the head of nearly all Church movements up to
the time of his death in June, 1781. The papers connected with the
administration of his estate are still in existence, and much of
the information contained in Dr. Hannay's valuable sketch of the
Township of Maugerville is based upon them. His estate was appraised
by Jacob Barker and Daniel Jewett, two of his old neighbors and
life-long friends, and was valued at £525. He was considered, in his
day, one of the well-to-do farmers of the township.

The simplicity of life which prevailed in this country in the year
1781, is shown by the fact that Jonathan Burpee had no carriage or
wagon of any kind and no sleigh--probably the roads were too bad to
admit of the use of wheeled vehicles. The deacon, however, had a
saddle for himself and a pillion for his wife and daughters. Household
furniture was indeed meagre, for that of Deacon Burpee was valued at
only £5. 7. 8. But his three good feather beds with pillows, coverlets
and bankets were valued at £16. 11. 3.

The cooking in those days was done at the old-fashioned fire place
with swinging crane, and the cooking utensils were few and simple. All
the dishes in use were of pewter and their number was quite limited. A
similar remark applies to the wearing apparel of that time. A beaver
hat or a broadcloth suit was regarded as a valuable asset that might
be handed on to the second or even to the third generation. Deacon
Burpee's library included "a number of books valued at £2. 2. 6.," and
probably it was as good as any in the settlement.

Commenting on these facts Dr. Hannay justly observes, "We may gather
from all this that life was somewhat hard and dry in the Maugerville
Settlement, and that even the richest had very few of those things
about them which a modern man regards as essential to his comfort."

Jonathan Burpee's grandson, David, was a man of mark in the community
in which his lot was cast. He filled for a time the office of Sheriff
of the old County of Sunbury. To him also appertains the honor of
being the first school teacher, of whom we have certain knowledge,
within the limits of New Brunswick. In the winter of 1778-9 he
conducted a school distant only a few rods from the site of the famous
Sheffield Academy of later times.

Among the later descendants of Jonathan Burpee the names of the Hon.
Isaac Burpee, minister of Customs in the McKenzie government, and of
E. R. Burpee manager of the "Western Extension" R. R., were not long
ago as familiar in the province as household words. Descendants of
Jonathan and Jeremiah Burpee are now to be found in nearly all the
counties bordering on the River St. John.


The first of the name in America is believed to have been John Palmer,
a sergeant in the British army, who settled in Rowley, Mass., in 1639.
Daniel Palmer who was one of the founders of Maugerville, settled in
what is now Upper Sheffield in 1763. He was one of the seven signers
of the Maugerville Church Covenant and an Elder of the church. Many of
the early religious services were held at his house. His name in
common with most of the early settlers is found in the account books
of Simonds and White in the year 1765. He supplied them with musquash
and beaver skins, hogshead staves, clapboards and oar rafters in
return for such goods and supplies as he needed. Like the majority of
his neighbors he was disposed to sympathize with the Americans at the
outbreak of the Revolution and was one of the "Rebel Committee" but
afterwards accepted the situation and took the oath of allegiance to
the King. His grandson, David Palmer, born at Grand Lake, Queens Co.,
in 1789, was a man of literary ability, who in 1869, published a
volume from the press of J. & A. McMillan, entitled New Brunswick and
other Poems.


Several persons of this name were grantees of Maugerville, including
Elisha, Jabez, Phinehas and Samuel. The Nevers family settled at
Woburn, Massachusetts, nearly a century before the pioneers came to
Maugerville. The first of the name was Richard Nevers (or Neverds) who
is mentioned in the town records of Woburn, August 26, 1666. Several
of his decendants served in the old French war, which ended with the
conquest of Canada, and it is probable that the offer of free grants
of lands to disbanded provincial troops led Elisha, Phinehas and
Samuel Nevers to associate themselves with Captain Francis Peabody in
the application for a township, "at St. John's River in Nova Scotia,"
made in the year 1762. Elisha Nevers was one of the seven signers of
the original Maugerville Church Covenant, and religious meetings were
often held at his house in early times. Phinehas Nevers was quite a
leading man in the early days of Maugerville. He was one of the first
magistrates, and in 1768 was chosen a member for the county of Sunbury
in the Nova Scotia legislature. He practised medicine and was the
first doctor, in all probability, who lived on the river. The practise
of medicine was by no means a lucrative one in his day, for we learn
from the account books of Messrs. Simonds & White, that in February,
1773, he attended one of the men in their employ, having come down
from Maugerville for the purpose, and received £1. 4. 0. for board for
sixteen days and £2. for his professional services. Dr. Nevers was a
strong sympathiser with the Americans at the time of the Revolution
and when John Allan invaded the River St. John in 1777, he joined him,
and when a little later Allan was compelled by Major Studholme to flee
to Machias, he was accompanied thither by Phinehas Nevers. Other
members of the family however took the oath of allegiance and were
thenceforth loyal to the king. Samuel Nevers was a man of enterprise
and was one of those who furnished masts to enable Francklin Hazen and
White to fulfil their contract for the royal navy.


The founder of the Perley family in New England was Allan Perley,
who came from London in 1635 in the ship "Planter." A good deal of
information regarding the family may be found in the historical
collections of the Essex County Institute of Massachusetts. Israel
Perley was a native of Boxford, in the vicinity of Rowley, and the
house in which he was born was standing not many years ago and may
be still in existence. He was born in 1740, was educated as a
land surveyor, and came to the River St. John in 1761 at the head
of an exploring party said to have been sent by the governor of
Massachusetts to report upon the condition and resources of the
country with the view of effecting the settlement of a township
in that region. The story of the establishment of this township and
the important services of Israel Perley in that connection have
been already referred to in these chapters. At the time of his
arrival in the country he was a young man of twenty-one years of
age but in the course of time his education and natural abilities
made him one of the most prominent citizens of Maugerville. He was
elected a representative for Sunbury county in the Nova Scotia
legislature in 1768, and his name occurs a few years later as a
justice of the Peace for the county. Several of Justice Perley's
court documents are to be found among the old records of the
county of Sunbury, one of which reads as follows:

  "County of Sunbury:--Be it Remembered that on the Seventh Day of
  July, 1774, Nathaniel Barker of Maugerville in the County of
  Sunbury and Province of Nova Scotia, yeoman, cometh before Me,
  Israel Perley, one of his Majesty's Justices assigned to keep the
  Peace in the sd County, and Informeth against himself that he had
  been this day guilty of a breach of the King's Peace, viz., by
  Striking with his fist the body of Rich'd Estey Jun'r of the town,
  County and Province aforesaid, yeoman, for which offence he is
  willing to submit to such a fine as the Law Requires.

  "The sd Richard Estey Jun'r personally appeareth at the same time
  and Declareth before me that he forgives the sd. Nathaniel Barker
  the Injury he had Done him, being Convinced that it was not of
  malice aforethought but the Effect of sudden passion: for which
  Breach of peace I have fined the sd Nath'l Barker to the king one


However all the cases that came before Esquire Perley were not settled
in a manner so creditable to the offending party. The following case
will serve for illustration:

On the 22 June, 1775, a resident of Morrisania,[125] who shall be
nameless, was arrested on information laid by Richard Barlow for using
seditious and profane language. Abigail Barlow, wife of the
complainant, testified that the offender had in her presence uttered
the following words "The king I believe is a d--d Roman, and if he was
standing now in that corner by G-- I would shoot him, or stab him,"
with many other words to the same purpose. The prisoner was convicted
of profane swearing, and the magistrate decreed that he should forfeit
for that offence the sum of two shillings currency to the use of the
poor of the town of Maugerville, and it was further ordered that the
prisoner "stands charged with the Treasonable words spoken against the
King till he shall be further called upon to answer the same--there
being at present no gaol in the sd. county wherein to confine said
prisoner nor Courts held to determine such matters."

  [125] Morrisania was in the Parish of Lincoln below Fredericton.

Israel Perley was a leading member of the Congregational Church and
frequently occupied the chair as moderator at important public
meetings. He was one of the committee who, in 1774, arranged with the
Rev. Seth Noble to become the pastor of the church at Maugerville. The
friendship that existed between Mr. Perley and the Rev. Seth Noble
very nearly involved the former in serious difficulty a few years
later, as will be seen in the following letter addressed by Major
Studholme to James White, Esquire.

  "Fort Howe, 4 November, 1780.

  "Sir,--The Inclosed letter from Mr. Perley to Seth Noble of
  Newbury having fallen into my hands in the course of inspecting
  the letters to be sent by the cartel, I have thought it necessary
  instantly to secure the person of Mr. Perley and shall send him to
  your house about 9 this morning, when I must request you will
  closely examine him on the subject of the Inclosed letter. I
  cannot but think it will be very difficult for him to reconcile
  his styling himself the 'sincere friend' of a notorious rebel with
  his own situation as one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace. *
  * * "I am sir, etc., etc.


In the examination that followed Lieut. Samuel Denny Street, a lawyer
by profession and at this time a lieutenant of the garrison, appeared
for Major Studholme, and Mr. Perley was required to explain certain
paragraphs and expressions in his letter, also to explain why he
attempted a correspondence with "a declared and notorious rebel to
whom in his letter he subscribes himself a sincere friend." Mr. Perley
replied, "I meant not to maintain any correspondence with him, but as
his wife was going to him in the cartel I wrote the letter now
produced to acquaint him of the broken situation of the church here,
and that there would be no encouragement to him to think of

In regard to the expression, "your sincere friend," Israel Perley
stated that the Rev. Mr. Noble was "an old acquaintance before the
present disturbances arose and I had no reference, in styling myself
his friend, to anything but his person. I did not mean that I was a
friend to his principles."

Evidently there was a vein of humor in Mr. Perley's character. He is
said to have declined a second election to the House of Assembly of N.
S., after having served one term. The chaplain's prayer, "Prevent us,
O Lord, in all our doings," etc., he construed to mean, "We should be
prevented from doing the half we do there." Israel Perley died at
Maugerville in 1813 in the 73rd year of his age.

Oliver Perley, who was his brother, came to the River St. John in
January, 1765, in company with Jacob Barker, jr., Zebulun Esty,
Humphrey Pickard and David Burbank, as passengers in a schooner
belonging to Hazen, Simonds & White. His wife was a Palmer, whom he
married at Newburyport. In common with the majority of their neighbors
they were inclined to sympathize with the New England "rebels" at the
outbreak of the American Revolution, and the name of Oliver Perley
appears as one of the "rebel" committee appointed at the meeting held
at Maugerville in May, 1776. Soon after the peace, in 1783, he is said
to have removed to Newburyport, at the solicitation of his wife, but
they found so little to admire in the squabbles that prevailed between
the followers of Adams and Jefferson that they soon returned to the
River St. John declaring that the Americans were "cursed with
liberty." One of Oliver Perley's sons, Solomon, was married by Rev.
John Beardsley, March 8, 1798, to Elizabeth Pickard; another son,
Moses, was married by the same clergyman, March 10, 1802, to his
cousin Mary, daughter of Israel Perley. This Moses Perley and his wife
were members of the church of England and their son Moses H. Perley
was eminent in the history of his native province. Amos Perley,
another son of Oliver Perley seems to have inherited some poetical
taste from the Palmers, and is credited with the following amongst
other rhymes:--

                "Wrapt in dark mantles of the night
                Was Bonnel when he took his flight;
                Elijah-like he tried to fly
                To the bright mansions in the sky.
                But snow was scarce and sleighing bad,
                And poor success our deacon had;
                For lo! his chariot, as you see,
                Is lodged in this old willow tree."

The incident that gave rise to this effusion was a practical joke
played on a pious itinerant preacher, whose sleigh the Maugerville
boys had hoisted into the forks of a large willow. The family of
Oliver Perley lived at the spot now known as McGowan's wharf. Asa
Perley, another of the early Maugerville settlers lived at the head of
Oromocto Island in Upper Maugerville. The descendants of the Perleys
in the province are so numerous and so highly respected that it will
be needless to try to follow further their history.


The founder of the Peabody family in America was Lieutenant Francis
Peabody of St. Albans, Herefordshire, England, who came to America in
April, 1635, in the ship "Planter," Capt. Nicholas Travice. The same
vessel brought the first of the Perleys, Beardsleys and Lawrences to
this continent. Lieut. Francis Peabody was then about 21 years old. He
lived a year or two at Lynn, Mass., and then removed to Hampton in Old
Norfolk County, where he married a daughter of Reginald Forster and
had a family of seven sons and six daughters.

Captain Francis Peabody, who came to the St. John river in 1762, as a
prime mover in the establishment of the township of Maugerville, seems
to have been a native of Rowley. By reason of his rank and character,
and the active part he took in the settlement of the River St. John,
he may justly be regarded as the most influential person on the river
while he lived. He served with honor in the old French war, and is
mentioned in Parkman's "Wolfe and Montcalm," (Vol.I., p. 428.) He was
one of the magistrates appointed under the first commission of the
peace for the county of Sunbury, August 11th, 1766, and was the first
collector of customs at the River St. John. The names of Richard,
Samuel, Stephen and Oliver Peabody appear in the list of Maugerville
grantees of 1765. Of these Richard was a brother of Captain Francis
Peabody[126] and seems not to have become a permanent settler; the
others were sons of Capt. Peabody. Samuel the eldest, has been
frequently referred to in these chapters. He was a man of parts--a
farmer, surveyor, mast contractor, ship-builder, trader and mill
owner. He died at his residence, parish of Lincoln, in 1824, at the
age of 82 years. Descendants of Stephen Peabody lived for some years
in the parish of St. Mary's, York County. Francis Peabody, the third
son, went to Miramichi where he became a prosperous merchant and a
very influential citizen. The youngest son, Oliver, married, Dec. 31,
1789, Hulda Tapley of Maugerville, removing to Woodstock, N. B., with
his family about 1812, where his descendants still reside and are
enterprising and successful farmers. Oliver Peabody died in 1819, but
his widow survived for more than thirty years. Mary Peabody, wife of
Captain Francis Peabody, lived to quite a ripe old age; she died on
the 22nd December, 1803, aged 84 years.

  [126] Nathan Frazier of Andover, Essex Co., Mass., merchant, on 15th
        October, 1767, delivered sundry articles--such as crockery,
        sugar, spices, cloth goods, etc., to Richard Peabody "for his
        brother, Capt. Francis Peabody." The articles amounted in
        value to £311.18.1, old currency, and Richard Peabody gave his
        note for this amt.

Captain Peabody's was the first will admitted to probate in the county
of Sunbury. It is a document of sufficient historic interest to be
quoted in full. And here it may be well to state that in the year of
grace, 1771, a will was made out in more solemn form than is the case
in modern times. As a rule it was read immediately after the funeral,
in the presence of kith and kin, and rarely were its provisions
disputed. Captain Peabody mentions his daughter Heprabeth in his will;
she married Jonathan Leavitt about the year 1773.

  In the name of God. Amen.

  I, Francis Peabody, of Maugerville in the County of Sunbury and
  Province of Nova Scotia, being thro' the abundant goodness of God,
  though weak in body, yet of a sound and perfect understanding and
  memory, do constitute this my last will and testament, and desire
  it may be received by all as such.

  First, I most humbly bequeath my soul to God my maker, beseeching
  his most gracious acceptance of it through the all-sufficient
  merits of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I give my body to the earth
  from whence it was taken, in full assurance of its resurrection
  from hence at the last day. As for my burial I desire it may be
  decent, at the discretion of my dear wife and executors hereafter
  named. As to my worldly estate I will, and positively order, that
  all my just debts be paid first. I give my dear and loving wife
  one third part of all my estate in Nova Scotia, real and personal,
  (excepting my wearing apparel), and one third part of my land in
  Middleton and Rowley and Canada, and the use of two hundred
  dollars now in New England, during her natural life, and the
  principal if necessity calls for it.

  Item, to my son Samuel I give one-fourth part of all my lands not
  yet disposed of, excepting the land on Oromocto Island, and all
  the money I have in New England, except two hundred dollars given
  his mother, his paying all my just debts in New England, and
  fifteen dollars to his sister Elizabeth White, and two dollars and
  a half to his sister Hannah Simonds, and one hundred and fifty
  dollars to his sister Heprabeth on her marriage day.

  Item, to my son Stephen I give the same quantity of lands as I
  gave to my son Samuel, his paying the same sums to his three
  sisters as ordered for his brother Samuel to pay.

  Item, to my son Francis I give one half of my lands not yet
  disposed of.

  Item, to my son Oliver I give all my lands not yet disposed of.

  Item, I give to my daughter Elizabeth White thirty dollars, to be
  paid by my two eldest sons in household goods.

  Item, to my daughter Hannah Simonds five dollars, to be paid by my
  two eldest sons.

  Item, to my daughter Heprabeth I give three hundred dollars to be
  paid by my two eldest sons in household goods on the day of her
  marriage. As to my household goods and furniture I leave to the
  discretion of my loving wife to dispose of, excepting my sword,
  which I give to my son Samuel. I appoint my dear wife and my son
  Samuel executors of this my last Will and Testament.

  As witness my hand,


  Delivered this twenty-sixth day of October, the year of our Lord
  1771; in presence of us:

  Israel Kinney, Alexander Tapley, Phinehas Nevers.

  This Will was proved, approved and registered this 25th day of
  June, 1773.

  JAS. SIMONDS, J. Probates.


There were three of this name among the original grantees of
Maugerville, Jacob Barker, Jacob Barker, jr., and Thomas Barker. All
were natives of Rowley. They settled near one another in what is now
Upper Sheffield, just above the Sheffield Academy, having as near
neighbors John Wasson, Isaac Stickney, Humphrey Pickard, Samuel Tapley
and several members of the Burpee family. Jacob Barker, sr., served as
an officer in one of the Massachusetts regiments in the old French
war, and after his arrival at the River St. John was a leading man in
the affairs of church and state. He presided as moderator at important
church meetings and was one of the ruling elders. He was also one of
the early magistrates of the county. At the outbreak of the American
Revolution his sympathies were with the revolutionary party, and his
son Jacob Barker, jr., was termed by Major Studholme "a bitter rebel."
The father presided as chairman of the famous meeting held at
Maugerville on the 24th, May, 1776, at which resolutions hostile to
Great Britain were adopted. He regained the confidence of the
authorities of Nova Scotia, however, for we find that on the 3rd of
August, 1782, Lieut.-Governor Sir Andrew Snape Hamond made a grant of
8,000 acres on the Oromocto river to William Hazen, James White, Jacob
Barker and Tamberlane Campbell, as disbanded provincial officers who
had served the King in the late French war. Thomas Barker and his
neighbor, Richard Estey, jr., owned the first mill in the township.
This they sold to James Woodman in 1782. Thomas Barker also owned and
improved a tract of land in the township of Burton. He died shortly
before the arrival of the Loyalists.

Jacob Barker, jr., came to Maugerville from New England in January,
1765, along with Oliver Perley, Zebulon Estey, David Burbank, Humphrey
Pickard and others, in the schooner "Wilmot." He paid passage and
freight amounting to £1. 10. 5; and 13s. 6d. for his "clubb of Cyder
on the Passage." On November 13, 1775, Jacob Barker, jr., paid the sum
of £32. 10s. to Giles Tidmarsh of the Island of Grenada, planter, for
half of Lot No. 11 in the Township of Maugerville, comprising about
250 acres. Giles Tidmarsh lived for a while at Maugerville and was one
of the original grantees of the township.

Among the decendants of Jacob Barker may be mentioned Thos. B. Barker,
who was born in Sheffield in 1820 and came to St. John in 1853, where
he was associated in the drug business with the late Sir Leonard
Tilley, and eventually became the head of the firm of T. B. Barker &
Sons. The Hon. Frederic E. Barker, judge of the supreme court, is also
a descendant of Jacob Barker and a native of Sheffield.


Benjamin Atherton, the first English speaking settler at St. Anns, was
born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, December 20, 1746. His acquaintance
with Nova Scotia dates back to the time of the Acadian Expulsion, when
as a young man of less than twenty years of age he enlisted in Captain
Willard's company in Lieut. Colonel Scott's battalion of Massachusetts
troops. He sailed from Boston on the 20th of May, 1755, in the sloop
"Victory," and served a year in Nova Scotia under Colonel John

In the year 1769, by arrangement with James Simonds, Benjamin Atherton
settled at St. Anns Point, where he established a trading post near
the site of Government House, Fredericton. The position of a trader on
the outskirts of civilization, in the vicinity of Aukpaque, the
largest Indian village on the St. John, required tact and courage, but
Mr. Atherton was equal to the emergency. In 1783, when the Loyalists
arrived, he had at St. Anns "a good framed house and log barn, and
about thirty acres of land cleared--partly by the French." On March
30th, 1773, Benjamin Atherton married Abigail Mooers of Maugerville.
She was a daughter of Peter Mooers and a sister of Mrs. Israel Perley.
At the time of her marriage she was a girl of seventeen. She died at
Prince William, N. B., June 28th, 1852, at the great age of 97 years.
By exchange with government Benjamin Atherton acquired a valuable
property in Prince William in lieu of his lands at the upper end of
Fredericton. His place in Prince William was well known to travellers
of later days as an inn kept by one of his descendants, Israel
Atherton, for many years. Benjamin Atherton was a man of excellent
education. He filled the offices of clerk of the peace and registrar
of the old county of Sunbury when it formed part of Nova Scotia; a
little later he was a coroner. The old prayer book from which he used
to read prayers on Sunday for the benefit of his assembled neighbors
in the absence of a clergyman, is still in existence. Benjamin
Atherton died June 28th, 1816, and his ashes rest beside those of his
wife in the little burial ground in Lower Prince William, hard by
"Peter Smith Creek." His descendants are numerous and widely
scattered; among the number is Dr. A. B. Atherton, the well known
physician and surgeon of Fredericton.


Joseph Garrison was born in Massachusetts in 1734 and came to the
River St. John as one of the pioneer settlers. He married in 1764,
Mary Palmer, who was born in Byfield, Mass., in 1741, and who was most
probably a daughter of Daniel Palmer, sr., his next door neighbor at
Maugerville. Whether the marriage ceremony was performed at the River
St. John or in New England the writer of this history is unable to
say; but if at the former place it was probably celebrated after the
fashion described in the following document:--

  "Maugerville, February 23, 1766.

  "In the presence of Almighty God and this Congregation, Gervas Say
  and Anna Russell, inhabitants of the above said township, enter
  into marriage covenant lawfully to dwell together in the fear of
  God the remaining part of our lives to perform all the duties
  necessary betwixt husband and wife as witness our hands.


  (Witnesses.) Daniel Palmer, Fran's Peabody, Sam'l Whitney, Richard
  Estey, George Hayward, David Palmer, Edw'd Coy."

The respectability of the witnesses, and the solemn terms of this
marriage covenant, suffice to show that marriages thus solemnized were
regarded as perfectly regular, and it is probable that in the absence
of a minister competent to perform the ceremony this was the ordinary
mode of marriage.[127] It will be noticed that Daniel Palmer, whose
daughter Mary had married Joseph Garrison a little before this time,
was the first witness to the marriage covenant of Gervas Say and Anna

  [127] See Dr. Hannay's sketch of the Township of Maugerville; N. B.
        Hist. Society Collections, vol. I., p. 72.

Joseph Garrison's lot in the township was No. 4, opposite the foot of
Middle Island in Upper Sheffield. His father-in-law Daniel Palmer and
his brothers-in-law Daniel Palmer jr., and Abijah Palmer were his
nearest neighbors. His third son, Abijah Garrison, born in the year
1773, married Fanny Lloyd who was born on Deer Island, near St.
Andrews, in 1776. Their youngest son, William Lloyd Garrison, was the
celebrated advocate of the abolition of slavery. Joseph Garrison is
said to have been the first of the settlers to engage in mining coal
at Grand Lake. The coal was shipped to New England on board one of the
vessels of Simonds & White. His name occurs among the first customers
in their books after the establishment of their trading post at the
mouth of the river in 1764, and he had frequent business transactions
with the firm.[128]

  [128] See Page 234 of this history.


The progenitor of those of this name now living in the province was
Edward Coy, who came to the River St. John from Pomfret in Connecticut
in 1763. The name was originally McCoy; but the "Mc." was dropped by
Edward Coy's grandfather and was not again resumed by his descendants.
By his wife, whose maiden name was Amy Titus, Mr. Coy had a family of six
sons and five daughters. His third daughter was the first female child
born of English or American parents on the River St. John. The well
known inlet on the river, called "The Mistake," was originally called
"Coy's Mistake," the name doubtless suggests by the circumstance of
Coy's mistaking the channel in ascending the river, and after
proceeding some miles finding himself in a "cul de sac." Edward Coy was
one of the original grantees of Maugerville, his lot being opposite the
head of Gilbert's Island, but for some years he lived at Gagetown,
where his daughter Mary was born in 1771. This daughter published in
1849 a narrative of her life and christian experience, including
extracts from her diary and correspondence during a period of upwards of
sixty years. It is a curious and interesting old book. Edward Coy was an
active member of the Congregational church and one of the signers of
the original church covenant. As the children of the family grew up,
Mrs. Bradley informs us, their parents instructed them in the ways of
religion, furnishing them with such education as their situation and
circumstances admitted, which was little more than they learned at home,
except in the case of the two youngest. The early years of the family were
rendered more arduous by reason of ill health on the part of the
mother and failing sight on the part of the father. Edward Coy settled at
Upper Gagetown under arrangements with Col. Wm. Spry, who gave him (July
12, 1770,) a lease of 200 acres of land. Under the terms of the lease Coy
was to pay at the expiration of two years 4 shillings per annum, and at
the expiration of four years 8 shillings per annum for ever. This was not
a very large rental for a farm of 200 acres, but the tenant system was
never popular on the St. John. Mr. Coy was required to "leave a row of
trees on each side of the high road, thereafter to be laid out, at the
distance of about six rods from each other." About this time he sold
his lands in Maugerville to Moses Coburn.

At the outbreak of the Revolution the attitude of the Indians was so
threatening, and reports of the lawlessness of privateers so alarming,
that Mr. Coy removed his family once more to Sheffield, which was then
by far the most thickly settled place on the river. He attended the
meeting held on the 24th May, 1776, at which resolutions strongly
favoring the cause of the colonies in rebellion were adopted, and was
appointed one of the "rebel committee." His son Amasa went in arms
with Jonathan Eddy against Fort Cumberland. Both father and son,
however, subsequently took the oath of allegiance to the King and were
thenceforth loyal subjects. The family returned to Gagetown in a few
years, the public mind having become more settled respecting the
American war. Mrs. Bradley, in her narrative, gives a good description
of the general interest and excitement created in the Spring of 1779,
by the coming of the celebrated New-light preacher and evangelist,
Henry Alline, which made an indelible impression on her mind, although
she was only a child at the time. Shortly afterwards the small-pox
broke out in the settlements, and Edward Coy determined to have his
family "inoculated." Inoculation, it may be observed, was regarded as
the best preventative of small-pox before vaccination was introduced
by Dr. Jenner. The results, however, were not uniformly satisfactory.
In the case of the Coy family, Mr. Coy and his wife lay at the point
of death for a considerable time, and their second son, aged 24 years,

  [129] Rev. Jacob Bailey writes regarding an epidemic of smallpox at
        Annapolis in 1794. "What is somewhat remarkable, numbers died
        under inoculation, while the old sexton who took it in the
        natural way, though 98 years of age, recovered."

When the Loyalists arrived in 1783 Edward Coy was living in a log
house on his lot at Upper Gagetown where he had cleared about 15
acres of land. The circumstances of the pioneer settlers were still
rather straitened, but the exiled Loyalists were in a much more
unfortunate condition. Speaking of their distress, Mrs. Bradley says;
"My heart was filled with pity and affection when I saw them in a
strange land, without house or home, and many of them were sick
and helpless. I often looked upon them when they passed by in boats
in rainy weather and wished for them to call and refresh themselves
and was glad when they did so." Edward Coy shared with a Loyalist
family the accommodation of his humble dwelling until they could
provide themselves a shelter.


The ancestor of the Esteys in America was Jeffrey Estey, an English
puritan, who sought refuge in New England from the persecutions of Old
England. He was living at Salem, Mass., in 1636, but removed later to
Long Island, N. Y., where he died in 1657. His son, Isaac Estey,
married Mary Towne, who was born in Yarmouth, England, about 1634. She
was among the unfortunate witchcraft martyrs of Salem in 1692; she
wrote a remarkable letter to the judges and court denying the charges
preferred against her. Isaac Estey was grandfather of Richard Estey
who came to the St. John river with the Maugerville colony. Richard
Estey lived at Rowley but he was born at Topsfield, Mass., the home of
his parents and grand-parents. His wife was Ruth Fisk of Ipswich,
Massachusetts. He was a member of the Congregational church in Rowley
until he was dismissed to the church at St. John river in May, 1764.
Among his children who were born at Rowley and came to Maugerville
were the following:--

  1. Richard Estey, jr., born Feb. 9, 1728, married Hannah Hazen.
  2. Sarah Estey, born Oct. 12, 1736, married Thomas Barker.
  3. John Estey, born about 1739, married Mary Hart.
  4. Zebulon Estey, born Dec. 14, 1742, married Molly Brawn and
     died Oct. 10, 1806.

Richard Estey, sr., was one of the seven signers of the original
church covenant at Maugerville and served on important church
committees. The Esteys were well known and active men in the
community, and were among the pioneers of milling on the St. John
river. Richard Estey, jr., had a saw mill in 1779, on what was then
called Numahael creek. His brother Zebulon moved to Upper Gagetown
about 1778, where he built a grist mill--the first in that vicinity
and used by farmers on both sides of the river. The committee sent by
Major Studholme early in 1783, to explore the river and report upon
the state of settlement, mention the fact that Zebulon had been
settled about 5 years on his location. He had built a house and grist
mill and cleared about 3 acres of land. He had a wife and 8
children. The committee add:--"Said Estey is a good man, his
character very loyal and we beg to recommend him to be confirmed
in his possessions."

Moses, Israel and Amos Estey, who were of a younger generation,
removed from Maugerville to the Burton side of the river prior to
1783, induced thereto in all probability, by the inconveniences
consequent upon the Spring freshets.

Zebulon Estey was a ruling elder of the Congregational church at
Maugerville in 1775. Through the ministry of the Rev. Joseph Crandall,
one of the fathers of the Baptist denomination in the maritime
provinces, a considerable number of the old Congregationalists of
Waterborough and the vicinity were led to organize a Baptist church.
Their leader, Elijah Estabrooks, was foremost in the movement, which
was much aided by the unexpected conversion of the "old squire"
Zebulon Estey to Baptist principles. Father Crandall writes of that
day: "Nearly thirty candidates were baptized, and the meeting did not
break up until the going down of the sun. It was truly solemn and
delightful to hear the praises of the Lord sung by great numbers of
happy converts in boats returning home from the delightful scene. The
work of that day I can never forget. The clear setting sun, the large
expanse of unruffled water, the serenity of the atmosphere, the
delightful notes of the feathered songsters, and the solemn sound of
hymns sung by many happy voices, presented to me an emblem of the
paradise of God. It seemed as though heaven had come down to earth,
and that I was on the brink of the eternal world."

Of the church organized at Waterborough in 1800, Elijah Estabrooks
became the pastor, Edward Coy and Joseph Estabrooks deacons, and
Zebulon Estey clerk, "all by a unanimous vote."

Further particulars of the organization of this church, which was the
first of the denomination in western New Brunswick, will be found in
Dr. Bill's History of the Baptists.

The Esteys proved a prolific stock and their descendants on the River
St. John are numerous.


The first of this name in America is supposed to have been Joseph
Estabrooks, who was born in Enfield, Middlesex County, England,
and came to Concord, New Hampshire in 1660. It is said that he had
two brothers, one of whom, Thomas, was at Swansea in 1683, but
subsequently went to Concord. Elijah Estabrooks, who settled on the
River St. John, had in his lifetime many places of abode. He was
probably a native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, where his son, of same
name, was born in May, 1756. The family came to Halifax about the
year 1763, removing soon afterwards to Cornwallis, and from thence
to St. John. On the 18th October, 1765, Mr. Estabrooks entered the
employ of Simonds & White. In 1773 he made an agreement with Wm.
Hazen and James Simonds to settle in the township of Conway, near the
mouth of the river, Hazen and Simonds guaranteeing him a deed of
250 acres of land. An old return, or census, of the township,
dated 1st August, 1775, shows that Mr. Estabrooks' family included
a wife, three sons and three daughters. He had cleared and
improved seven acres of land and built a log house. His domestic
animals were one cow, two young cattle and two hogs. Before he had
made more than a good beginning the Revolutionary war brought
everything to a stand. We learn from Major Studholme's report that
Elijah Estabrooks was one of those who accompanied Hugh Quinton in
the expedition against Fort Cumberland in 1776, and shared in the
discomfiture of the party. His predilection for the American cause
did not save him from being molested by the "rebel privateers,"
and he was obliged in the Spring of 1777 to remove his family from
their exposed situation at the mouth of the river to the vicinity
of Gagetown. It is a little remarkable that Elijah Estabrooks and
his immediate neighbors on the St. John should have come from
Cornwallis and other parts of Nova Scotia, although they were in the
first instance natives of New England. They seem to have had no
legitimate title to the lands on which they settled themselves, while
awaiting the issue of the struggle between Great Britain and the
colonies in rebellion. The arrival of the Loyalists in 1783 rendered
their situation exceedingly precarious. However, they were befriended
by Governor Parr, who directed that such lots as were occupied by old
inhabitants of the country (although the occupants might not have
any legal claim) should not be appropriated by the Loyalists until
they had paid for the improvements made by those in possession. This
policy was continued, after the formation of the Province of New
Brunswick, by Governor Carleton and his council. A valuation of the
improvements made at Upper Gagetown by Robert Lasky, Robert Lasky,
jr., Elijah Estabrooks, sr., Elias Clark, Arculus Hammond, John
Richardson, Samuel Hersey, Francis Grant, Moses Clark, Samuel
Kemble and Benjamin Boober was made by Thomas Hart, Samuel Upton and
John Hart. As the valuators were old settlers and neighbors, the
interests of their friends were not likely to suffer at their
hands. They placed the value of the buildings and improvements of
the eleven individuals named above at £603.12s.6d. which was more
than the Loyalists who had drawn the locations were disposed to
pay; consequently the old settlers remained in possession. The
valuation put upon the house of Elijah Estabrooks, sr., was £10;
that of his "improvements" £46.

Elijah Estabrooks, jr., was led by the visit of Rev. Henry Alline, in
1779, to connect himself with the church formed on "New-light"
principles at Waterborough, and a few years later he commenced
preaching. In May, 1780, he was baptized by Rev. Joseph Crandall, and
his example being followed by several others a small Baptist church
was constituted in Waterborough of which Mr. Estabrooks was the
pastor. Several of the incidents of his ministry are related in Rev.
Dr. Bill's History of the Baptists. During the years he labored in
Waterborough and the adjoining settlements he supported himself and
his family by his own industry. He was held in universal esteem by
persons of all denominations and all descriptions. Today his
descendants and those of his brothers are very numerous on the St.
John river.


There were twenty-three proprietors of a township, which was
originally called "Amesbury" in honor of James Amesbury, a Halifax
merchant, one of the grantees. Among the few inhabitants of the
township, prior to the arrival of the Loyalists, mention may be
made of Benjamin Darling, the first English speaking settler on the
banks of the Kennebecasis. Mr. Darling was born at Marblehead,
Massachusetts, in 1730, and came to the St. John river a few years
before the war of the American Revolution. He used to trade with the
Indians and became very friendly with the chief of a small village at
Nauwigewauk. Here in early times the Indians used to raise corn and
tobacco. They were inclined to resent the intrusion of the whites
into their domain but Benjamin Darling, after prolonged negotiation,
obtained from the local chief possession of the island, the
consideration offered and accepted being two bushels of corn, one
barrel of flour, a grindstone, some powder and shot and sundry knives,
hatchets and other implements. Darling built himself a comfortable
log dwelling, the upper part of which served as a store-room for
goods for the Indian trade. After his wife's death his daughter Hannah
became the housekeeper with a young girl friend as companion. The
Indians, though otherwise friendly enough, objected to all attempts
to clear and till the land and would not even allow the young ladies
to beautify their premises by the cultivation of flowers. On one
occasion Benjamin Darling went in company with the Indian chief to
visit a beaver dam not far away. During their absence an Indian
entered the house with the avowed intention of taking one of the
girls for his "squaw." There being no man about the premises the
prospect was certainly alarming, but woman's wit proved equal to the
emergency. As the intruder advanced to lay hands upon her Hannah
Darling offered to go with him of her own free will, but immediately
after leaving the house cleverly eluded the Indian, slipped in again
at the door and fastened it. The despicable savage advanced to the
window with diabolical threats, whetted his knife before their eyes
and finally seized a club to make forcible entry only to find himself
confronted at the doorway by the plucky girl with a loaded musket in
her hands. Her spirit was now thoroughly aroused; she ordered him
off the premises forthwith, and the Indian after glancing at her
determined face slunk away. The old chief was greatly incensed at
this occurrence, and a day or two later the culprit was brought
before the young woman with his hands tied, the chief demanding
"shall we kill him?" To which she answered, "Oh, no! let him go." He
was thereupon chased out of the neighborhood and forbidden to return
under penalty of death. Hannah Darling, the heroine of this spirited
adventure, afterwards married Christopher Watson, and is said to have
attained the wonderful age of 108 years.


Among the large land grants on the River St. John, passed in the year
1765, was one of 20,000 acres to General Thomas Gage and nineteen
other individuals, most of them residents of New York. The tract
included the lower part of the parish of Hampstead and the upper part
of Greenwich, extending in front along the river from about the foot
of Long Island to Jones' Creek, a little below Oak Point. Many of the
original grantees were related by blood or marriage and the
association was in its way a "family compact." General Gage served in
the seven years war in America and was commander-in-chief of the
British forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. His wife was a daughter
of Peter Kemble, president of the Council of New Jersey; Stephen
Kemble and Samuel Kemble, who were proprietors of the township, also
were her brothers.[130] Henry Gage, son of General Gage, although only
a child of five years, was one of the proprietors.[131] Other
proprietors were William, Samuel and Robert Bayard; they were related
to the Kembles. The Bayards were leading Loyalists and among their
descendants we have still with us Dr. William Bayard, the nestor of
the practising physicians of the maritime provinces. Archibald McCall,
a wealthy merchant of Philadelphia, was another proprietor; his wife,
Edith Kemble, was a sister of Stephen and Samuel Kemble. Another
notable proprietor was John Watts, a member of the Executive Council
of New York, a gentleman of wealth and reputation; his daughter
married Sir John Johnson, who was also one of the associates in the

  [130] See Jonas Howe's interesting account of "Kemble Manor" in the
        New Brunswick Magazine of September, 1898.

  [131] Henry Gage served as lieutenant in the Seventh regiment during
        the Revolutionary war, and on the death of his uncle, Viscount
        Gage, inherited the family titles and estate in Sussex,


On the 27th of May, 1767, fifteen of the original grantees, including
General Thomas Gage, transferred their rights to Stephen Kemble[132]
for a very small consideration--ten pounds current money of the
Province of New York--and the grant was thenceforth known as the
Kemble Manor.

  [132] Stephen Kemble was born in 1740 at New Brunswick in New Jersey;
        was ensign in the 44th regiment under Lord Howe at Ticonderoga
        in 1757. In 1765 he became captain in the 60th or Royal
        American regiment, major in 1775 and Lieut.-Colonel in 1778.
        He was for a while Deputy Adjutant General of the forces in
        America, a position filled a little later by Major John Andre.
        Col. Kemble retired from active service in 1805. He eventually
        returned to his native town of New Brunswick in New Jersey and
        died in the house where he was born, Dec. 20, 1822, in the
        82nd year of his age.

In the year 1774 Col. Kemble appointed Joseph Frederick Wallet
Des-Barres to act for him in the settlement of the manor, with power
to substitute and appoint one or more agents. Des-Barres immediately
named James Simonds as his deputy; the duties of the latter are
specified in the records of the old county of Sunbury under the
following heading:

  "Instructions for carrying into execution the letter of Attorney
  of Stephen Kemble, Esq., to Joseph Frederick Wallet Des-Barres,
  Esq., to be observed by James Simonds, Esq., his substitute for
  this purpose specially appointed."

Under the instructions the manor was to be divided into one hundred
lots of 200 acres each, to be laid out in such a way as to allow
communication with the river to as many settlers as possible. Half the
lots were offered at £5 sterling each to purchasers or to tenants at a
renewable lease of ten shillings per annum, but it was not until about
the year 1782 that any effectual measures were taken for the
settlement of the grant, the explanation probably being that Mr.
Simonds and his partners were too much engaged in securing their own
lands from forfeiture to pay much attention to those of Col. Kemble.
However on the arrival of the Loyalists a number of lots were speedily
disposed of and by the efforts of Ward Chipman, who succeeded James
Simonds as agent, the greater part of the lands were saved from
escheat. Col. Kemble visited the River St. John in 1788. His
correspondence with Ward Chipman relative to the improvement of the
Manor is of interest. The last of the lots on the river was sold in
1811, and in 1820 the rear of the property, comprising about one half
of the whole, was sold to Nehemiah Merritt, of St. John, for £1000.


Another considerable grant in the year 1765 was that made to Captain
Walter Sterling of the Royal Navy, and nine others[133], 10,000 acres
at the foot of Kingston peninsula, now known as "Lands End." This
tract was forfeited for non-fulfilment of the conditions of the grant.
Capt. Walter Sterling visited the River St. John in August, 1775, and
some business transactions with him are to be found in the old account
books of Hazen, Simonds and White.

  [133] The names of the associates in this grant were Dorothy Sterling,
        Walter Sterling, jr., Christopher Sterling, Ann Sterling,
        William Sterling, Andrew Sterling, John Ewer, Walter Ewer and
        John Francis.


Another large grant of this period was known as "Glasier's Manor"
(subsequently as "Coffin's Manor"), extending from Brundage's Point in
the parish of Westfield up the river to a point two or three miles
above the Nerepis. Colonel Glasier is believed to have made his
headquarters during his sojourn on the River St. John at or near the
site of Fort Boishebert at Woodman's Point. The Nerepis stream was at
one time known as "Beaubear's river;" for