The "Records of Chignecto" is an accounting of who was living on the Isthmus of Chignecto
before the Deportation of 1755 and who then settled in the Chignecto Region once the Acadians
had been deported and were no longer in the there.
RECORDS OF CHIGNECTO
William Cochrane MILNER (1846-1939)
*Chignecto Project Electronic Edition, January 1999.*
COLLECTIONS OF THE NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
VOLUME XV, HALIFAX, N.S., WM. MACNAB & SON, 1911
The Isthmus of Chignecto, is a country of low lands and marshes, with rivers running southerly into the Bay of Fundy and northerly into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and four upland ridges terminating abruptly at the Bay of Fundy side and running out north-easterly. The first one is the Fort Lawrence ridge, two miles from Amherst. This is the site of the former Acadian settlement of Beaubassin, next to Port Royal, probably the most ancient in Acadia. The English erected a fort there, a portion of the breastworks of which may still be seen. The I. C. R. cuts through this ridge and slices off a corner of the rampart. A quarter of a mile further west, is the Missiquash river, at present the boundary line between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The Treaty of Utrecht not having assigned any boundary between English and French territories, the French adopted this river as the boundary between the two powers. The rival garrisons at Fort Lawrence and Fort Beausejour, separated by a river and a mile of marshes--exchanged sometimes civilities and sometimes pot shots across this river. On the western side of the river is an island in he marshes now known as Tonge's Island. In the old French days it was known as Isle La Valliere. The manor house of the seigneur de La Valliere occupied this ground in 1677. It was from this place that he administered the government of Acadia when appointed governor by Frontenac in 1686.
A mile further west the I. C. R. circles around the promontory of Fort Cumberland, the old Beausejour of the French. The embankments and entrenchments are still to be seen from the train and the old powder magazine still resists storm and time. It ceased to be a military post in 1833; but it is only within thirty years that the ancient casements have fallen in and the old barracks dropped into ruins from age. On the third ridge four miles further west is the town of Sackville, the ancient Tantramar of the French. On the west side of Sackville ridge is the town of Dorchester. The fourth ridge is westerly two miles between the Memramcook and Petitcodiac rivers. On it were located the Memramcook and other French villages. This, as well as other parts of the Isthmus, has been the scene of continuous conflicts in other days--when France and England were at war, and generally when they were not at war.
The struggle between England and France, and afterwards between England and the revolted colonies for the possession of the Isthmus of Chignecto, arose from a conception of its value and importance as a stragetical position. In times of peace, its trade was valuable; in times of war, it became virtually the key to Acadia. With it in possession of the French, no English settlement in Acadia was safe. In possession of the English, the French settlements on the St. John River and along the St. Lawrence to the walls of Quebec could be menaced. Therefore the government of Mass. Bay always gave marked attention to all movements in this locality.
In 1696, Capt. Church from Boston appeared off Beaubassin, in whale-boats, with a force from Massachusetts Bay to raid the settlement and to assert British authority.
In 1703, Vaudreuil, Governor of Quebec, sent Beaubassin, son of La Valliere, the Seigneur of Chignecto, to ravage the country from Casco to Wells. Beaubassin was a noted Indian fighter, as ruthless as he was daring. He divided his French and Indian force into bands and assailed fortified places and houses at the same time, sparing neither the white hairs of old age, nor the infant at the breast of its mother. It seemed as if at the door of each dwelling a hidden savage found its prey. All were destroyed or taken into captivity. Three hundred persons were massacred at their homes. The next year the government at Boston determined on reprisals. The venerable Capt. Church, whom the recital of the ravages of the French had filled with indignation, came on horseback sixty miles to Boston to offer his services. A punitive expedition to Chignecto was organized, and a little later a fleet of whale-boats suddenly appeared in Beaubassin and ravaged the settlement again.
Governor Shirley of Boston writes to the Duke of Bedford in 1749:
"The French are determined to obstruct British settlement in Nova Scotia as much as possible, especially in Minas and Chignecto, which are districts absolutely necessary to be secured, and that the making of English settlements there will be no slight work, nor be held when effected, without a regular fort strongly garrisoned between Bay Verte and Beaubassin, and that I cannot but look upon the point now in dispute--the boundary line--as what must finally determine the mastery of the continent between the French and English."
At Chignecto, Father La Loutre, a veritable pro-consul of France, reigned almost for a generation over the French settlements of Acadia and his Micmac and Milecite allies. That place served as a base of operations for the continual raids of that Prince of Courrier du Bois--Bois Hebert, who as lieutenant had charge of the frontiers. It was a highway between Quebec and Port Royal and a half way house between Louisburg and Quebec. The French had made a military road from bay to bay, and, at the mouth of the Gaspereaux (Port Elgin) river, they constructed an outpost. The two posts were also connected by water for canoes and batteaux, except a short portage of some 400 yards. At that point warehouses had been erected, where military stores and merchandise were stored in transit. It was from Beausejour that Coulon de Villiers led a detachment of French and Indians in the depth of winter (1747) to attack Col. Noble's force then billetted amongst the Acadian farmers at Grand Pre, which they surprised and massacred. It was from this place that 300 Indians issued in 1744 under de Ramesay to attack Port Royal, an attack that was repeated by the same commander two years later with 700 men.
When the Continental Congress desired to detach Acadia from British rule, an expedition was organized at Boston (1776) under Colonel Eddy, a resident of Chignecto, to capture Beausejour, then Fort Cumberland. He actually laid siege to the fort, but was beaten back by the garrison under command of Major Batt, assisted by the newly arrived Yorkshire settlers. From these various movements, it may be seen as a military base it was probably held in higher value in those days than any other position in Acadia.
From Biencourt to La Valliere was about 70 years; from La Valliere to La Loutre's departure was about 80 years; from La Loutre to the present time is about 155 years. Therefore the European history of Chignecto spans a period of nearly 300 years.
The history of this district embraces four periods:-- 1st. Acadian settlement. 2nd. New England Immigration. 3rd. Yorkshire Immigration. 4th. Loyalists.
Christmas in the year 1610 was celebrated by the governor of Port Royal--Jean de Biencourt, with a little colony of 23 persons. It had then been established five years, or one year longer than the Jamestown settlement of 120 persons from London. That was the beginning of the colonization of Acadia. The 50 or 60 French families D'Aulnay brought to Port Royal twenty-five years later, are the original stock from which the Acadians have sprung. Thirty-six years later (1671) they had expanded to 400 persons, divided into 67 families.
It was from these that the first settlements at Chignecto took place.
The first European who visited Chignecto, of whom we have any record, was Diego Homen a Portuguese settled at Venice. In 1558 he voyaged into the Bay of Fundy and made a map showing Chignecto Bay. It is probable that Portuguese and French fishermen cast their nets into these waters even before that date. Cartier and Boberval did not go so far South. Champlain sailed with De Monts into the Bay of Fundy in 1604. The next visitor of whom we have a record is Biencourt.
Jean de Biencourt with four Indians made the trip accompanied by Father Biard, a member of that Order, whose sons forced their way through trackless wastes of the vast solitudes of the west planting the cross and watering it with their blood.
Father Biard in his record of the trip says: "At Chignecto, there is a beautiful prairie as far as you can see. Several rivers discharge themselves into the Bay. The Indians number 60 or 80 souls, and they are not so vagabondish as others, because this spot is more retired and more abundant in chase for food. The country is for the most part agreeable and to my mind of great fertility if cultivated."
Caulfield writes to the Board of Trade in 1715 of Chignecto:
"A low lying country used mostly for raising black and white cattle. Were, in our necessity supplied with about 70 barrels of extraordinary good beef. The greatest resort for the Penobscot and St. John Indians, who barter to the French great quantities of furs and feathers for provisions. They have oxen and cows about 1000; sheep about 100; hogs about 800; corn to support their families (about 50). Computed at 6000 bushels."
At this time Minas had about two hundred settled families and raised about three times as much stock. It is also recorded that at this date the catch of fish on our shores by New Englanders was 100,000 quintals per annum. A large trade was carried on between the Acadian settlements on the Bay of Fundy and Louisburg. Beef, cattle, grain and other products were transhipped over the Isthmus of Chignecto and carried down the coast in small vessels, receiving back European goods.
Thirty years later (in 1750) Surveyor General Morris reported to governor Shirley of Massachusetts that the French population had grown to:
At Annapolis 200 families
At Minas and Canard 350 families
At Pisiquid 150 families
At Cobiquid and all settlements north to the Missiquash had been burned and their inhabitants, 350 families, had emigrated beyond that river.
This was an enormous increase of population.
To keep the 700 Acadian families south of the Missiquash in order and to protect the frontiers from incursions by the Acadians and Indians, required in 1750, 1000 men, 450 of which garrisoned Fort Lawrence. At this date, there were 1000 Acadians fighting men north of the Missiquash, who had sworn allegiance to the French king; 200 regulars, 300 Indian warriors and in addition 90 Hurons, lately sent from Quebec and employed as rangers and scouts. Total 1,600 men, ready for any enterprise calculated to harass or destroy Port Royal or the newly settled town of Halifax.
It was the policy of Mr. Grandfontain, governor of Acadia, to establish seigneuries in Acadia the same as Frontenac had granted in Quebec to his comrades in arms of the regiment of Carignan de Salieres--a regiment sent over by Louis XIV to protect the Richilieu and other settlements on the St. Lawrence from the Iroquois. Having accomplished that purpose they were disbanded and accorded land grants--and accordingly the seigneury of Chignecto was granted to La Valliere, Captain of Frontenac's guard, of Cipoudy to Thibideau the miller of Port Royal, of Petitcodiac to Guillaume Blanchard, of Port Royal and some other grants were made.
In 1676, Michael Le Neuf de la Valliere, seigneur of Chignecto, obtained from Frontenac a grant of the territory between River Philip and Spring Hill on the south-easterly side and the Petitcodiac and Shemogue rivers on the north-westerly side--lordly domain, embracing forests and fisheries, mines and marshes and the rivers and coasts of the two great bays--a domain nature had generously endowed.
La Valliere was a member of the Poterie family, that came with the Repentigny family from Caen to Quebec in 1638. Talon, in a memorial written in 1667, states there were only four noble families in Canada--two mentioned and the Tilly and Aillebout--and these were probably four too many for their own comfort. The Intendant at Quebec (1687) wrote the French Minister for the aid for Repentigny and his thirteen children and for Tilly and his fifteen, stating they must have help or they will starve. The others were almost equally poor. The French noblesse and gentilhomme, when deprived of their official pay, became helpless. The profession of arms was their life. They had no taste for the strenuous toil of the backwoods settler. Their home was naturally in the army; their trade was not the pioneer's axe or mattock but the sword.
Outside of his poverty, La Villiere was a man of consequence. While he held the Commission of Captain of the Count's guards, he was a voyageur, a wood ranger, a mariner, a trader and a diplomat, and in one capacity or another was constantly on the move on the frontiers of French domain in Canada--at one time in the wilds of Hudson's Bay and at another a beau gallant at Boston.
Having received his grant, he departed from Quebec in a small vessel with his family and retainers for Chignecto. When he arrived there, he found his territory already occupied by one Jacques Bourgeois, a resident of Port Royal and four families with him, who had settled about 1672 at Beaubassin (now Fort Lawrence).
This was the second European settlement in New Brunswick--the first being a small one from St. Malo at Bay des Verts by a fishing company in 1619. Bourgeois was attracted by the fertility of the land, the fisheries and the fur trade. The latter then was the greatest source of profit to French adventurers who ranging the woods collected vast quantities of furs. La Valliere did not attempt to dislodge Bourgeois but established himself across the Missiquash river in feudal style at Tonge's Island; he had a secretary named Hache Galand, who married an Acadian lass named Anne Courmier and their descendants today number hundreds of families. He had an armourer named Perthuis, and other settlers with families. La Valliere made clearings, erected stockades, cast up dykes enclosing marsh, built a mill and ran a trading vessel called the St. Antoine. The Bishop of Quebec in his pastoral visit to Acadia in 1689 sailed from point to point in her. It is said this vessel was no saint; that she classed with those African missionary ships of New England fitted out by pious hands with bibles and New England rum. In 1686, he built a church--probably the second in Acadia.
In 1677, Mr. Marsen, governor of Acadia, with head quarters at Jimseg on the St. John river, was bagged by a marauding Dutch trader cruising up the St. John river--and taken away thus leaving the governorship vacant and La Valliere was appointed by Frontenac in his place. Thus Chignecto--the exact geographical centre of the maritime provinces, became the capital of Acadia, about 70 years before Cornwallis made a settlement at Halifax.
While La Valliere was promised a salary of 1800 livres, none was paid him, and he was left to forage for himself and sustain the dignity of his office at his own cost. To do both, he gave permits to the merchants of Boston to fish on the costs of Acadia for a consideration. In this he interfered with fishery rights previously granted by Louis XIV to Sieur Bergier and other merchants of Rochelle. In 1684 Bergier captured eight Boston vessels fishing on his grounds. He sent them to France. Two of them holding La Valliere's licenses were acquitted and Bergier had to return them to their owners and pay damages. In return La Valliere's cruiser confiscated the property at a fishing station of Bergier's at Cape Breton. Both Bergier and La Valliere carried their grievances to Versailles, but Bergier's Company had the direct ear of the Minister of Marine while La Valliere had only indirect communications via Quebec and he was bowled out. A decree was issued depriving him of his governorship . He afterwards returned to Quebec with his family, leaving his lands to be exploited by his son-in-law, La Villieu. He was granted a seigneury at Three Rivers, which he afterwards occupied.
During the first half of the 18th century the French settlement in Nova Scotia developed greatly in wealth and population, while practically no advance was made by the English except at Port Royal until 1749 when Halifax was settled. There was no safety or security for any English settlers beyond the range of the guns of the outposts. The policy followed by Abbe La Loutre was to harry English settlements and prevent their establishment. The Society of Foreign Missions sent him to Canada in 1737, and seven years later he was found leading an attack on the English settlement at Port Royal. In 1745, the English offered a reward for his arrest. He evaded arrest until 1755, when on a passage from Quebec to France, his vessel was captured by an English cruiser and he was sent to the Island of Jersey, where he remained a prisoner of war for eight years. Capt. John Knox writes that he saw him there in 1762, where he lived most luxuriously drawing upon London for 12 pounds per month. He relates that a sentinel placed over him had been a prisoner of the French in Nova Scotia, was doomed to be scalped by father La Loutre's orders who marked him with a knife around the forehead and poll in order to strip off the entire scalp. The sentinel recognizing him, unfixed his bayonet to run him through and was only prevented by force from bayonetting him. His rage was so intense that he was removed to England and exchanged into another corps.
In 1755, England and France were nominally at peace with each other, but the peace was only the calmness of expectancy before the storm bursts. French power in America was seated in Louisiana and Quebec and the government had conceived and were carrying out the bold policy of connecting these two domains by a chain of forts and trading posts by the Ohio, and west of the Alleghany Mountains, in order to confine he British Colonies to a strip of the Atlantic coast east of the Alleghanies and leave the whole southern, western and northern part of this continent for French expansion and dominion. Although the Colonies mustered a population of over a million and the French in Canada only fifty thousand, the military prowess of France was equal to this mighty scheme of Colonial conquest, if it had been directed here, but it was wasted and dissipated in continental battle fields. This was a period of great alarm amongst the frontier settlers and traders and of grave anxiety to the people of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, who were alive to the menace to their existence by the establishment of an Indian and French power at their doors. The English government was no less conscious of the impending danger and common measures were taken with the utmost secrecy to strike at French aggressions. Four separate expeditions were planned for this purpose to capture:
1) Du Quesne, where Pittsburg now stands on the Ohio.
2) Beausejour, to destroy French power in Acadia.
3) Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, commanding the southern highway to Lake Ontario.
4) Niagara, cutting off communication between Canada proper and the Great Lakes.
Of these four, that against Beausejour alone was successful. Braddock led his troops to an overwhelming disaster; the battle of Lake George was won by Sir. Wm. Johnson without gaining Crown Point, and the expedition under Shirley to Niagara was abandoned.
Thus, while England and France were at peace, the Massachusetts assembly was making preparations to make war on the French on this Isthmus. The French appeared to be laying claims to Nova Scotia and treating the English as intruders there; their Indian allies were harassing and destroying posts and settlements and killing and scalping settlers. Their trail was marked by fire and blood. The French were preventing the Acadians from taking or obeying their oaths of allegiance; they were forcing them from their homesteads and lands on British soil and keeping them in a state of restless disaffection and hostility, in order that they might not furnish English posts with aid or supplies, and to enable them to be used in the first hostile movement made. The French official despatches, between Du Quesne, Governor General at Quebec and La Loutre, shew it was the intention of the French to make a pretext for attacking Fort Lawrence.
From 1749 to 1756--history was making fast in Acadia, especially at Chignecto.
The British Government exhibited renewed activity in their possessions here. They sent Cornwallis to occupy and settle Halifax. This was followed by the change in the seat of Government from Annapolis to Halifax. Preliminary steps were taken to check the encroachments of the French. By the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Acadia was ceded to Great Britain. The bounds of Acadia were not defined, perhaps from lack of exact geographical knowledge. While the English at once demanded submission of the Acadians in New Brunswick as part of Acadia, the French assumed that the bounds of Acadia were limited to the peninsula of Nova Scotia, and in the process of time came to dispute the British claims. In 1764 Chevalier La Corne visited and examined Beaubassin. He was a distinguished French officer, son of Captain La Corne, town Major of Quebec. He was next in command to De Ramsey at the affair of Grand Pre in 1749. La Corne was sent (1749) from Quebec with 70 regular troops to take possession of the heights at Beaubassin and established a post there, which was called Beausejour after an Acadian who lived there, and not as has been supposed--from the magnificent view obtainable there.
M. de Lery was Engineer in charge; the sub engineer was Jacquet de Fredmond afterwards immortalized at the seige of Quebec. In the spring, Beausejour was commenced, half in earthwork, the other half in palisades; with barracks, store-houses, and powder magazine. At the end of summer the place was ready for a seige. It had five bastions with 32 small cannons mounted, one mortar, and 18 eight pounders. The garrison consisted of 6 officers and 60 men. The fort was built of stone to the height of the ditch and the ditch was palisaded.
A COMPANION FORT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISTIHMUS WAS CONSTRUCTED
Fort Gaspereaux was in the form of a square. The four bastions at the angles were constructed solidly of timber, piece upon piece, and with a platform upon which mounted six pieces of cannon. The curtains consisted of two rows of pickets, driven against each other, behind which was a road of earth four feet wide by three feet nine inches in height. A fosse was excavated six feet from the enclosure. In 1751, the garrison, consisting of an officer and fifteen men, lived in huts outside pending the erection of the barracks, which were never completed.
At this time the following Acadian refugees found shelter under its protection:
These people possessed 63 horned cattle, 7 horses and 43 pigs.
All supplies and stores shipped to Beausejour from Quebec were landed at this place and transported over the Isthmus, either by the old French road or by water, down the Missiquash river. A good trade was carried on by the inhabitants across the Isthmus on one side and by vessel on the gulf on the other side. When the post capitulated in 1755 there were 25 houses, a chapel and a priest's house, well furnished. The people seemed to be more prosperous and comfortable than in other settlements in Acadia.
1750 the next year, Cornwallis dispatched Captain Lawrence with a force of 400 men, to maintain British supremacy there. On his arrival, he found the French flag flying upon the shore, La Corne in possession and his men drawn up to dispute a landing. Lawrence and La Corne had an interview. In answer to the former's question as to where he should land, La Corne pointed to Beaubassin across the Missiquash River, stating the French claimed that as the boundary line, until otherwise settled. Lawrence proceeded to land his troops at Beaubassin, (now Port Lawrence) when suddenly a conflagration broke out in the village--consuming the church and all the dwellings. La Loutre himself, it is said set the torch to the church and his emissaries did the rest. The houseless and homeless occupants were thus obliged to seek shelter across the River at Beaubassin and adjacent villages. One hundred and fifty houses were said to have been burned, but this must have been largely exaggerated. Lawrence, powerless to effect anything, left with his command for Halifax.
About the same time La Corne was relieved by Captain De Vassan and the construction of the Fort was resumed by De Clerg, a son of the Military Engineer of Quebec.
The English claims being thus challenged, Major Lawrence was again sent to Beaubassin with a considerable force -- Lascelle's regiment, 400 strong and 300 men of Warburton's.
When this force attempted to land at Beaubassin, they were opposed by French and Indians, posted behind the dykes. These were driven off, after the English had lost six killed and twelve wounded. Lawrence landed, encamped and hastily fortified himself. He built four bastions connected by double palisaded curtains, calculated to accommodate 150 men.
Much has been written about the assassination of Captain How. This barbarous and treacherous act evoked the indignation of the French and English officers on the spot, both of whom placed the responsibility on La Loutre, whom they claimed had incited a Micmac named Copt to commit the foul deed.
La Loutre himself placed the blame on the Micmac chief. All accounts agree that How was a gifted and accomplished man, and was influential with the Micmacs as well as Acadians, with whom he had an extensive acquaintance. Aman of that stamp would be extremely repugnant to the designs of LaLoutre. One account states that the meeting between him and How was to arrange for an exchange of prisoners; another account says that some of the French posts needed provisions, and the Commissary at Louisburg was authorized to treat with the English for them, and to furnish How with any sureties he might require. The interview on the banks of the Missisquash was to settle details.
The garrison at Fort Lawrence, made that place at once a trading centre, which has more than a local fame, from its connection with Sir Brook Watson ,General Joshua Winslow, Captain John Huston and others. The Acadian refugees surreptitiously traded here, notwithstanding the wrath and orders of La Loutre, who owned a storehouse at Bay Verte. Graft had made prices high at Beausejour and thrifty Acadians did not believe that their nationality ought to deprive them of the right to make good bargains. 1752 Jacan de Piedmont, a distinguished artillery officer was sent from Quebec to Beausejour to superintend the works. In 1753, La Loutre sailed to France and returned with 50,000 livres to build an aboideau across the au Lac River, a work that is today still in evidence. The Bishop of Quebec at the same time appointed him Grand Vicar. These successes augmented his power, and while De Vassan would not tolerate him in military affairs, he monopolized all civil powers of the command.
In 1753, De Vassan was relieved of the command and succeeded by Captain de la Martiniere, and Captain Scott succeeded Lawrence as Commandant at Fort Lawrence. Martiniere left in 1754 and was succeeded by Vigor son of Du Chambon, one of the men who bravely defended Louisburg in 1745. He was a man of loose morals and a grafter. The welfare of his people and the honor of his country were all sacrificed to his personal desires. A writer has said that the French Governors and Intendants went to the Colonies to enrich themselves and when they embarked they left their honor and probity behind them. The 18th century was not alone in possessing men who prostituted high public positions to the basest uses. Virgor had a comrade in Bigot, the Intendant of Quebec, who wrote him advising him to "Clip and Pare" all he could, to be able to join him in France later on. Virgor accepted this advice and plundered the King's stores. He was the Commandant of the post at Wolfe's Cove at the capture of Quebec in 1758. He was negligent at his post enabling the Highlanders to effect a landing and scale the heights and he has been charged with corruptly deserting his duty. Whether justly or unjustly, he has bequeathed for all time a name redolent with shame.
1754 Governor Lawrence sent Monckton to Boston to propose to Governor Shirley to raise 2,000 men to subjugate Beausejour, Shirley submitted the proposal to the Massachusetts assembly in secret session, where it was adopted with considerable enthusiasm. Governor Shirley commissioned John Winslow to raise 2,000 volunteers for the service. Winslow, a Marshfield farmer, was descended from the early Governors of Plymouth Colony, His family had given many of their sons to honorable public service.
A graphic story of the stirring events at Chignecto in 1755 is from the pen of John Thomas, of Marshfield, Mass, a surgeon, who accompanied Winslow from Boston, was a spectator and kept a diary of the moving scenes enacted there. He left his home on 9th April, 1755, on horseback, put up at Morse's tavern at Boston Neck and went into Boston next morning with 50 troopers. From that date until the 22nd of May, when the fleet sailed, Mr. Thomas was very much engaged in social functions at Boston and on the fleet, which had gathered at Deer Island Roads. Three men of war, The Success, the Mermaid and the Syren and 33 transports, containing a force of 2,100 men, were enlisted for the attack on Beaubassin. Four days after sailing the fleet anchored in Annapolis Basin and on 1st June the fleet set sail and arrived at the Joggins 15 miles below Beaubassin that night.
How are these proceedings interesting the garrison at Beaubassin?
At 2 o'clock on the morning of 2nd June, M. Virgor in command was rudely awakened from his sleep by the guard who told him of the arrival of a messenger stating a fleet of vessels had them anchored at Maranguin 15 miles below.
Virgor was now all vigor. He sent word to the Acadians, of whom there was almost 1200 capable of bearing arms to report for service. Many of them were refugees from abandoned English settlements at Cobequid, Shubenacadie, Grand Pre, etc; and naturally dreaded the English finding them in arms as in that case they had been warned they would be dealt with severely. The next afternoon the fleet sailed up the Bay and anchored below the two forts. The boats were got out and the force was landed at once on the marsh below Fort Lawrence. Mr. Thomas remarked that the wind blew hard as it generally does there in the summer months from the southwest. They pitched their tents about the fort. The second day after, the drums beat to arms and at break of day the men were dressed three deep for the march.
The attacking force consisted of 2,100 men of New England, with 250 regulars from Fort Lawrence. For artillery they had four brass field pieces and a six pounder. Capt. Adams led the advance guard of 60 men, up the right or easterly bank of the Missiquash river, about four miles where the road crosses the salt marsh between the two ridges of upland.
The real battle for the possession of the Isthmus then took place at Pont a Buot - now Point de Bute. When the English crossing the Missisquash effected a landing on the ridge, west of the river, they were enabled to gain the highland in the rear of the Fort, entrench themselves and plant there seige guns, after which capitulation was only a matter of a few days. A repulse of the English efforts to cross the Missiquash river and effect a lodging might have been disastrous to them. The post at Pont a Buot was established not only for defensive purposes but to protect the line of communication across the Isthmus to Fort Gaspereaux.
It was screened from observation at Fort Lawrence, and military stores and supplies could be safely laden or unladen at this place when carried by batteaux. Store houses were built at the Portage at Bay Verte road to receive supplies in transit either way. Franquet, a distinguished French military engineer, who inspected these posts in 1751, says there were thirty men attached to this post, besides a Commandant, Ensign Bilaron. The entrenchment was triangular and consisted of an enclosure made by double rows of palisades, driven against each other, and behind them a bank of earth three feet high. At the angles were platforms for guns. Two ships guns were mounted, taken from an English Brigantine, which the Indians had surprised. An Acadian named Buot lived at this place, who it is believed escaped to Prince Edward Island at the time of the dispersion of the French. In the rear of the post, quarters had been erected for the Commandant and his company, the former one consisting of a picket structure 14 feet square covered with boards and for the latter one 36 feet long and 14 feet wide.
When the English debouched from the woods on the eastern side of the Missisquash on 4th of June and laid down their pontoon bridge across the Missisquash, the French had 450 men - French soldiers, Acadians, and Indians to dispute their passage. The English brought their field pieces into action and advanced, and a canonade and brisk musketry fire on both sides ensued lasting about an hour, when the English rushed the works and the French fled, burning the buildings as they left. Before night the church and nearly all the dwellings about the settlement were fired by the French and destroyed, and their live-stock - horses, cattle and hogs were found running at large.
In this encounter the French lost 14 killed and wounded and the English 3 killed and 10 wounded. Beausejour was guarded on both sides of the ridge by block houses - on the easterly side by one on the heights east of the Fort, then called Butte Amirande - and the other on the opposite side of the ridge on the Bulmer Farm.
When the English captured Pont a Buot of 4th, they afterwards laid a pontoon bridge across the Missisquash at Butte Amirande and brought up their seige guns by barges from the squadron anchored in the bay below.
On 10th a French officer named De Vanne with 180 men made a sortie from the Fort, but returned without getting near enough to the enemy to receive a shot. Later the same day another one, Captain de Baillent made another one and was more successful. He received a musket ball and was chased back to the Fort.
On 12th Captain Scott commenced the entrenchments for regular siege operations, the trenches for which may still be seen, and two days later, the English had in place an 18 pounder and a five inch mortar with which they commenced the bombardment. The same day the French fired 1509 cannon shot and four nine inch bombs into the entrenchments.
On 13th the English having completed their roads moved their guns up to their entrenchments 300 yards from the Fort. When the English appeared Virgor sent express messengers to St. John, Louisburg and Quebec, making urgent demands for help.
CAPTURE OF BEAUSEJOUR.
On 13th a reply came from Drucour at Louisburg, stating he was unable to render any assistance. A council of war was called and it was decided to hold out as long as possible, but to conceal the news from the Acadians who had become restive and been demanding a release. The news was divulged through the wife of an official with whom Virgor was accused of carrying on an intrigue, and the French became at once greatly excited and alarmed demanding they be released from a hopeless struggle. They represented that the Fort afforded no security against the English shells, and that their lives would be sacrificed to no good purpose.
On 16th the contest was brought to an issue by a shell, which broke into a casement, where Ensign Hay, a prisoner captured on 8th, and four French officers were taking breakfast. Of these Hay, and Messrs. Rambrant, Fernaudand Chevalier de Billy were killed. This event created a panic and Virgor wrote to Monckton for 48 hours of cessation to arrange terms of capitulation. Monckton drew up the articles of capitulation himself and sent them back by the messenger, with the intimation that unless the Fort was surrendered before 7 o'clock that evening, firing would be recommenced.
All discipline was abandoned at the Fort the last day, The French officers and officials looted all portable things of value they could carry away. The robberies were committed in the face of Vigor and the store keeper refused in his presence to sign any statements of the stores supposed to be on hand.
La Loutre opposed surrendering, stating he would rather bury himself under the ruins of the fort than surrender. Some of the officers also opposed it, but De Vannes was sent as a herald to Monckton's camp to accept the terms.
The Acadians fled across the marshes of Tantramar. La Loutre escaped to Gaspereaux. From there he hastily escaped to Quebec where he was received with reproaches by the Bishop of Quebec.
Tradition says that Priest Manach accompanied La Loutre as far as Gaspereaux, and the English afterward seized him and deported him to France. A letter of Mascarene contradicts this and states he was at Miramichi at the time of the capture.
La Loutre was a type of the meddlesome and ambitious ecclesiastic, common to all sects in all ages, who commits mischief in proportion to the degree the ignorant and deluded are foolish enough to trust him.
At 7 o'clock that night a detachment under Capt. Scott entered the Fort, filed along the ramparts and hoisted the British flag. Capt. De Villeray in command at Gaspereaux surrendered the following day. The French troops arrived at Gaspereaux on the 24th, where they were placed in vessels and sent to Louisburg, at which place they arrived on 6th of July.
Tradition says that the French officers entertained the British victors at a dinner party the night after the surrender. The professional duty of the former to shoot the latter on sight did not blind them to their duties as hosts to entertain pleasantly.
The light hearted gayety with which these men accepted defeat and misfortune, is in strong contrast to the many evidences they had shown of their bravery and enterprise in war.
The wives and children of the Acadians from their house tops at Tantramar five miles away watched with the keenest interest and anxiety the course of the artillery duel between the English batteries and Beausejour, which ended on 16th June, by the appearance of a white flag at the fort and later by the lowering of the ensign of France. The next morning with grief they beheld the garrison march forth and take the road to Bay Verte thence to be shipped to Louisburg.
The French reports of the operations at Fort Cumberland are very meagre, and for the only detailed account of it, we are indebted to one Pichon or Tyrell, who Parkman says was one of the peculiar products of the times, but political mercenaries are common at all times. He was in the pay of both countries. He was born in France - his mother was an Englishwoman and his father a Frenchman. While he was nominally in the employ of France - being commissary of stores, he had opened up a secret correspondence with Captain George Scott, who commanded the English at Fort Lawrence, in which he gives copies of La Loutre's correspondence, which he had purchased from La Loutre's clerk. Pichon must have been as largely equipped with brains as he was deficient in morals, for he was an author of some distinction, having published a work in 1760 on "The Islands of Cape Breton and St. John" and at the time of his death in London in 1781, he is said to have enjoyed the society of many of the savants. He had had a medical education, and filled a number of appointments with apparent credit, such as Inspector of Forage at Alsace, and Secretary to the Governor of Louisburg. He unveiled the designs and movements of the French Government at Quebec respecting Acadia especially the proceedings of "Moses", by which name Pichon denominated the Loutre because he pretended to have led the Acadians from the land of bondage, and thus did not a little to precipitate open war between the two powers.
The burning of the villages at Chignecto and the emigration of the inhabitants to the protection of the French flag at Beausejour, were a complete and absolute abandonment of any rights they possessed as subjects of Great Britain. When this was followed five years later by their enrollment and arming against the English, there was no reason to treat them otherwise than as enemies. Four days later, 250 of the Acadians appeared at the fort. They were promptly arrested by Col. Monckton and conducted by Major Bourn with a guard of 150 men to Fort Lawrence where they were held as prisoners. At the same time raiding parties were despatched as follows:
Major Preble with 200 men to Tantramar. Capt. Percy with 100 men to Point d' Boet. Capt. Lues of the Rangers to Cobequid and Ramshag.
The later captured two vessels at Ramshag loaded with cattle and sheep for Louisburg.
Four days later, Capt. Willard returned from Cobiquid with several prisoners and reported to have burned a number of villages. Three days later Major Frye and 200 men left in vessels for Shepody and Petitcodiac rivers to destroy the settlements and bring on the inhabitants. Capt. Gibbert with 50 men went on the same errand to Bay Verte. Frye's expedition met with a repulse. The account is as follows:
During the last days of August a strong force was despatched from Beausejour on board of two vessels to capture the French at Chipoudy and along the Petitcodiac River. At Chipoudy they found the men had fled leaving 25 women and children who were taken prisoners. They burned 181 houses and barns. On 3rd Sept. they sailed up the Petitcodiac and finding the villages deserted set fire to the buildings for a distance of 15 miles on the north side of the river and 6 miles on the south. They then attempted to fire the Mass house, when they were attacked by a superior force of Acadians and Indians under Bois Hebert and forced to flee to the vessels with a loss of two officers - Dr. Marsh and Lieut. Billing and six privates. The whole force narrowly escaped extermination as the armed vessels had drifted down in the tide and it was not till the flood they could afford protection. They destroyed 253 buildings and the Mass house.
THE ACADIAN DEPORTATION
On 7th August a despatch came to Col. Winslow ordering him to Minas with four companies. This despatch probably contained the first order from Lawrence at Halifax issued a week before relating to the great Acadian tragedy then impending, but the contents of which Thomas appears to have been ignorant. Then follows act after act in this terrible drama. Orders were sent to the French in the settlements about to come in to the Fort. These settlements contained a population of 4000 persons. They were filled with Acadians from Nova Scotia, who had poured into the villages west of Missiquash - Beaubassin, Memramcook, Shediac and Petitcodiac. They were supported by rations issued at Beausejour - two lbs. of bread and a half a lb. of beef per day per man.
Also the following villages:
Peccoukac (Petitcodiac/Petkodiac), Chipoudy, Memramcook, Veska (Port de Mer), Tantramar, (Big Village with Missionary), La Coup, Le Lac- Gedaygue (Shediac), where a French trading post under a storekeeper was established.
On 10th Sept. the first detachment of 50 Acadians were put on board the transports. On 1st Oct. 86 Acadians escaped from Fort Lawrence by digging under the wall and getting away in the woods.
On 11th Oct. the last of the French prisoners were sent on board and on 13th Capt. Rous sailed with a fleet of 10 vessels, carrying 960 Acadians to South Carolina and Georgia.
The scenes at embarkation were very painful. Even at this lapse of time one cannot but regard with sorrow, mingled with a feeling of horror the tortures of a defenceless people and the cruelties perpetrated on innocent women and children. Abbe La Guerne says that many of the married women, deaf to all entreaties and representations, refused to be separated from their husbands and precipitated themselves in the vessels, where their husbands had been forced.
During October and November the escaped Acadians, no doubt wrought up to a state bordering on frenzy by the persistent hunting to which they were subjected, by the deportation and the confiscation and destruction of their property, inaugurated on their part a guerilla warfare. On 23rd October a brush took place on the River Hebert between a command from the fort bringing in horses, sheep and cattle and a large party of French and Indians. The former prudently retreated. The same day another encounter took place at Au Lac, and other ones at Tantramar, Westcock, &c.
At the close of the year 1755, we find the populous French villages on the Isthmus as well as at Chipoudy, along the Petitcodiac, at Shediac and from thence to Pugwash destroyed, their ancient owners scattered from Quebec to Georgia or else hiding in the forests with their Indian allies. Those who escaped into the forests struggled forward to Miramichi and a few found homes at the head waters of the St. John. From both of these places numbers were able to seek permanent homes in Quebec. At this period Miramichi had a French population of 3,500 people. Eleven years after the deportation, a column 800 strong of Acadian men, women and children formed in Boston and marched 600 miles through the unbroken wilderness to reach their old homes. All history does not furnish so touching and pathetic a picture; many of them dropped by the wayside and found there forgotten graves. Those who gained their old homes on the Memramcook, Petitcodiac and Hebert rivers found them in ashes. Despair urged them on to make an attempt to commence life anew, and some 50 or 60 families pressed on to Tantramar, Beaubassin, and River Hebert and found their farms had been regranted and were occupied by an alien race. How bitter must have been their hearts - without a home and without a country! The large French population of Westmorland is descended either from those who escaped the deportation or those who returned from United States.
In 1761 Capt. Rod MacKenzie in command of a Highland regiment at the fort fitted out two vessels at Bay Verte and seized 787 Acadians then living at Nepisiquit. He brought away 335 of them; the others made peace with him. Those who were made prisoners were shipped to Massachusetts. The government there refused to admit them; they were returned and settled along the eastern coast of Nova Scotia.
One morning a Frenchman came timidly into the settlement that had been re-peopled at Petitcodiac. He gave his name as Belliveau. He alone remained of all the Acadians who occupied farms on the south side of the Petitcodiac. He said that on the approach of the English, his people had sought safety in the woods, where the English were unable to find them, until one calm morning they were betrayed by the crowing of a cock. Their encampment was immediately surrounded and they were driven at the point of the bayonet to the river opposite Monckton, there to be embarked. In despair many had thrown themselves in the river; some escaped; some were drowned; the balance were carried into captivity Belliveau being away hunting had escaped. He had since subsisted by hunting and fishing. His powder had long been exhausted, but he had managed to exist. He was welcomed and proved a valuable addition to the infant community which prospered with the years. Most of these families have multiplied enormously. He lived till he was nearly a hundred years of age and recollected to the last these events. His descendants are now occupying Belliveau Village Dorchester.
One of the Acadians enlisted by Coulon de Villiers in his attack on Noble's force at Gaspereaux, was an Acadian named Zedore Gould. He was 20 years of age at the time. He escaped with others to Miramichi at the time of the deportation and some years after returned and became a tenant of Governor Des Barres at Minudie. He lived long and was able to give a vivid account of the expedition against Nobel - its march in winter to Bay Verte, thence along the shore to Tatamagouche, thence up that river to Shubenacadie. When they reached Meloncon village, now Judge Weatherby's orchards at St. Uulalie, they were halted. A wedding was in progress and they were regaled with cider, cheese and rolls of black bread. There were two puncheons of cider, which was served by Meloncon's two daughters. This was a pleasant introduction to the carnage that followed.
THE ENGLISH GARRISON FORT CUMBERLAND
Thomas recorded 15th November, as a "pleasant day." On that day the British burned 97 houses and a large Mass house at Tantramar - now Upper Sackville. The force augmented to 700 men under the command of Col. Scott, marched to Westcock and from thence to Memramcook, where two days later they burned 30 houses and brought away 200 head of neat cattle and 20 horses. On 20th, they gathered 230 head of cattle, 2 horses and sheep and pigs at Tantramar, burned 50 houses at Westcock and returned to Fort, exchanging shots with the Acadians. For nine years the Fort at Piziquid - (Fort Edward, Windsor) formed a prison house for captive Acadians. The average number of them detained there was three hundred and forty-six. They were employed on government works and paid wages with which they supplied their families.
Those who had escaped and sought shelter in the recesses of thew woods, from its security beheld the smoke curling from the ruins of their houses. If man is sometimes merciful, war is pitiless, and one cannot even at this distance of time regard without commiseration the misfortunes of the race who first sought an asylum and a home in our unbroken forests.
From 10th June till 1st December, when Surgeon Thomas took passage in a vessel with Col. Winslow for Halifax, he seems to have been pleasantly situated. Small garrisons were maintained at both posts, and there was a constant exchange of visiting and dining. Game and fish were abundant, and if the garrisons did not live sumptuously in sybarite fashion, they at least did not starve. The shallow lakes and ponds of the Tantramar and Missiquash marshes are recorded as alive with geese, ducks and other game. One alleged origin of the name Tantramar is so much noise - derived from the calls and screaming of flocks of birds, while as to the other bay, the variety it afforded of table delicacies warms up the surgeon's heart with recording the abundance of clams, oysters, lobsters and mackerel. In addition to the garrison at Fort Lawrence, it had become quite a trading post. Capt. Huston with Commissary Winslow had carried on a truck business with the Indians and also with the Acadians, against the prohibition of La Loutre and Virgor. He had in his employ the famous Brook Watson. The latter is supposed to have received his business training at Chignecto with Huston and to have been tutored by Joshua Winslow. The latter was the father of Alice Greene Winslow, whose diary, edited by Alice Morse Earle was one of the features of the American book trade about fifteen years ago. Alice Greene was sent by her father from Cumberland to Boston to be educated and her daily records are graphic pictures of life there. Joshua Winslow with his family remained at Chignecto until some time after 1770. He became paymaster general of the British forces in America and died in Quebec in 1801. He was the brother of John Winslow. The latter was the father of General Joshua Winslow, who at the revolutionary war sided with the Americans. It is recorded that both uncle and nephew had threatened to hang each other if either caught the other. General John did capture General Joshua, but released him on parole. The latter bequeathed most of his property to his rebellious nephew. His descendants live at Niagara in an old Colonial mansion filled with furniture, books, and arms belongings of that period. Amongst others at Fort Cumberland was a Col. Gay, a very high spirited gentleman. He purchased a farm on the eastern flank of the fort where he lived, becoming on the organization of New Brunswick a local notability. He held the office of judge of the Court of Common Pleas and other places. It is recorded he had trouble with Col. Goreham, which led to a duel. He ran the point of his sword through Goreham's arm and pinned him to the door of the barracks. The door with the sword point was to be seen for many years after. Surgeon Thomas also records he supped at Fort Lawrence with Mr. Allan. This was probably the Colonel Allan, who twenty years afterwards became Eastern Indian agent of the Continental Congress with headquarters at Machias and who competed with Michael Franklin for ascendancy with the Micmac and Passamaquoddy tribes, and later, at the time of the revolutionary war, was a very active agent in trying to dispossess the British in Acadia.
Life at Chignecto then was not all pleasure; it had its seamy side. There was sickness and casualties and operations to be performed. There were court martials for disturbances, sometimes because of too much rum, sometimes because there was not enough. Whipping and riding the horse were favorite penalities. Many expeditions were undertaken either to break up Acadian settlements, to punish Indians or to protect loyalists. There were almost constant alarms and bloodshed. The famous Courrier du Bois - Bois Hebert, in charge of the Indians of Acadia was a dreaded foe. His tactics were to suddenly strike and as suddenly disappear, as elusive as anigneus fatuus; when pursued, he left no traces. Occasionally he would ostentatiously shew himself to his enemies, resplendant in a uniform of white and gold - with laced hat and waistcoat and then the mystery and silence of the woods would hide him. Expeditions almost within sight and sound of Fort Cumberland or Fort Monckton were destroyed by him. The shadows of the forest contained keen eyes and relentless hands for those who ventured within their reach.
Bois Hebert while described as leader of a company of Courreur du Bois, was officially in command of the Acadian Militia and had no connection with the former, who were of two classes - those going to the original haunts of beaver amongst the Assiniboines, Dekatohs, and other tribes or those going to the Long Sault, to meet Indians and French who came down and traded goods and brandy for pelts. Bois Hebert's command consisted of expert wood rangers and hunters recruited from amongst the Micmacs, Canadians and Acadians. He was a typical Frenchman, daring and resourceful and capable of making himself at home with and winning the confidence and respect of the Micmacs. Why men of his class, so highly gifted, were not able to compete with the Anglo-Saxon in the arts of colonization, is a problem that some historians find a solution in the malign influence that the Roman Empire exercised in Continental Europe in centralizing authority, and wiping out those self governing local municipal institutions, that from immemorial times, had been the training schools of Anglo-Saxons in the art of government.
But it was not all war at Chignecto. There was also peace. The Surgeon makes many records of one Mr. Phillips, an army Chaplain - who preached on the parade all day. These all day preachings were generally followed closely by a raid on the enemy - perhaps not so much on the principle that peace and war are comrades, as that getting shot or scalped may have been considered a welcome interlude between all day preachings. On the last day of August, 1755, he records the preaching of Mr. Woods, the first missionary sent there by the S. P. G. This missionary came from New Jersey to Annapolis. He was an indefatigable worker. He mastered the Micmac language, and is said to have made a grammar and dictionary in the Micmac tongue and translated the Bible. A trip he made some years later up the St. John River is one of the interesting records of the S.P.G. He and priest Maillard were close friends . When the latter was on his death bed at Halifax, Mr. Woods administered to him the last rites of the Church.
Mr. Thomas was no stiff necked Protestant. On 13th July he records ,that with a guard of 16 men, he rode to Bay Verte and attended mass there.
The New England volunteers seem to have regarded the expedition as a religious duty - much the same as an Israelitish raid on the uncircumcised Philistines. Such names on the muster roll as Abiah, Hezekiah, Obediah, Aranish, Josiah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah - added to the severe Puritanism of the life, give them a likeness to the ancient followers of Moses.
Col. Frye's diary at this time does not present his men as models of circumspection. He writes: "Whereas some of the troops from Massachusetts now in the garrison have taken sundry suits of clothing and other things out of the Purser's stores and sold them for spirituous liquors contrary to 3rd Section of the Articles of War, therefore no person or persons shall sell them liquors or anything from the government stores from there."
Orders were issued against soldiers going out to shoot game with the King's ammunition, but the order is kindly tempered by the qualification that if they did go, the officers were to have the first choice of game brought in.
All news to Chignecto came by occasional packets from Boston or from Halifax via Minas or Port Royal, and their arrival was, as may be imagined, eagerly watched, to obtain news of their friends or of the stirring events of the outside world. On 12th August two whale boats sailed into the Bay, bring Capt. Joseph Gorham, carrying despatches and the news of Braddock's defeat, his death and the almost annihilation of his army. The gloom cast by this terrible disaster was scarcely relieved by the news that came two months later by vessel from Boston of General Johnson's victory over the French at Lake George.
The year Beausejour was captured two French ships of the line bound for Louisburg were captured and taken into Halifax. Amongst the material of war found was some thousands of scalping knives. They were for use against somebody. At the same time, a price for English scalps was being paid for at Quebec. The French were not the only offenders against the code of civilized warfare if any warfare can be considered civilized.
The English displayed equal enterprise. The government of Massachusetts Bay issued a proclamation offering rewards for scalps, the same as bear bounties were paid at a later date.
A story of English butchery, brutal enough to make one blush for his country, is told in a letter written by Hugh Graham, a gentleman living in Cornwallis in the year 1791. A company of Colonel John Gorham's Rangers -(A military body organized to protect the English settlements in Acadia, from the depredations of the French and Indians), came upon four Acadian Frenchmen who had ventured out from their skulking retreats to pick up cattle or treasure, and had just sat down on the bank of the Napan River to rest and eat. The Acadians were completely taken by surprise and were at the mercy of their foe. The officers in command turned their backs, and in a minute all was over with the poor Frenchmen; they were shot and scalped as they lay. It is stated that a party of Rangers brought in one day, to Fort Cumberland 25 scalps pretending they were Indians, and the Commanding officer at the Fort, then Colonel Wilmot, afterwards Governor Wilmot ordered that the bounty paid in Indian scalps should be given them. Capt. Huston, who at that time had charge of the Military chest objected to such a scandalous proceeding. The Colonel told him that the bounty in Indian scalps was according to law, and tho' the law might in some instances be strained a little, yet there was a necessity for winking at such things.
Thereupon Huston, in obedience to orders paid down 250 pounds, telling them that the curse of God should ever attend such guilty deeds. On another occasion, some Acadians were surprised on the banks of the Petitcodiac by Rangers and not expecting much mercy from such ruthless hands, jumped into the river, attempting to swim across. One would have supposed that so bold an effort as attempting to brave the strong swollen tide of that river would have appealed a little to the admiration of the blood-hounds at their heels. It did not. They fired vollies at these poor wretches in the water. It is a matter of poetical justice, that the curse of the Almighty seemed to rest upon them; nearly all of them ended their lives wretchedly. One of the most reckless and brutal of their number, one Capt. Danks, who was suspected in the Eddy war of being on both sides of the bush, left Fort Cumberland in a small jigger bound for Windsor, took sick on the passage, was thrown into the hold amongst the ballast, was taken out at Windsor half dead, died after and had little better than the burial of a dog. Danks Point, east of the Tignish river owes its name to this ruffian.
Previously to 1755, the French had a thriving settlement at the Minudie, with a road leading up River Hebert and over the Boar's Back to the Basin of Minas. It is not stated or recorded if the inhabitants, who were know as French neutrals and were nominally at least under the protection of the British government, had engaged in any of the filibustering expeditions against the English. At this distance of time, it is impossible to find any evidence in the matter. Here they had erected houses and farms, dyked their marshes and were living in peace. Col. Monckton, who was then in command at Fort Cumberland sent Lieutenant Dixson with a Company of New England Volunteers to Minudie to dislodge them. Dixson arrived there at night; posted his men to form a cordon in the rear of the settlement, and at sunrise in the morning, the French were awaked by a discharge of musketry. The French awakening from their dreams by such a rude blast, sought safety in flight. Observing at once that retreat was cut off on the land side they fled to the ford towards Amherst Point. The tide was in but they preferred to trust to the mercy of the swift current. In they plunged; the volunteers following them sharply, made targets of these poor wretches struggling in the water. It was afterwards told that the volunteers exulted in that bloody work, and when a poor Acadian was hit and turned up in the water from gravity, a shout was raised, "See how I made his forked end turn up."
Major Thomas Dixson had some unpleasant half hours with Bois Hebert. His experiences were numerous and thrilling enough to fill one of Cooper's volumes. He was a Dublin lad and a dare-devil Irishman, but he was matched by a dare-devil Frenchman in Bois Hebert. He commenced his military career a second lieutenant in a New England regiment. After some guerilla fighting with the Indians in New England, he went with his command to Chignecto, and was at the capture of Beausejour. He was attached to Gorham's Rangers. For some years after the Acadians were very active in bush ranging. One Sunday morning they tomahawked and scalped five soldiers from the fort at Jolicure at a place now called Bloody Bridge. At Fort Monckton, they tomahawked and scalped nine soldiers who were cutting wood near the fort. In 1758, Dixson with a company of rangers was despatched to pursue Bois Hebert, then on the march to Quebec. This was during autumn, when the woods were flaming with the hues of Indian summer. Dixson followed his trail to the Miramichi, where he caught the glare of Hebert's camp fires burning on an island in the river, now called Beau Bear Island, after Beaubair, French Governor, who had a battery and small garrison therein the early part of the 18th century. Reaching the Island, he found his foe had fled and left him nothing but the smouldering ashes. The season being well advanced, and becoming cold, and the game on which they subsisted becoming scarce, they determined to return. On their march back, their privations had become so extreme, that ten miles from Fort Beausejour the command gave out. Two started for the fort. One died on the way. The other reached it, and sleds were sent out to bring the others in. The next season, June 1759, Dixson was sent out with a scouting party of twenty men and an Acadian guide to dislodge a French camp at Barnum's Tongue. He reached the camp which had been deserted hurriedly, destroyed it and then turned back, arriving at the Au Lac river where it joins a small stream called La Coup. Finding the tide had risen to high water, they started to retrace their steps to cross at an aboideau further up. A yell from the Indians shewed that they were ambushed. Except Dixson they were all tomahawked and scalped. Dixson with a bullet hole in his shoulder was saved for a ransom and was marched to Quebec, where he was held as a prisoner. When Wolfe appeared off Quebec, he was sent to Three Rivers and on the capitulation he returned to Chignecto via Boston. A devotee of Venus as well as Mars, he renewed there his attentions to Catherine Weatherhead - a sister of the first sheriff of Westmorland - to whom he as married and some of their descendants in the fourth and fifth generation live in Chignecto.
A monument was erected by the New Brunswick Government in 1875 at Port Elgin to the memory of those who fell at Fort Monckton. The inscription is as follows: -
"by the New Brunswick Legislature, A.D.,1875, in memory of the Fort Moncton soldiers buried there in 1775
"Here lies the body of Capt. Joseph Williams, who died October 9th aged 50 years.
Also Sergeant Mackay and eight men killed and scalped by the Indians in bringing in firewood, February 26th.
Also, James Whitcomb, killed by the Indians, July 23rd, aged 23 years.
Also, Nathaniel Hodge died, aged 32 years.
John Wescomb, R.N., died 1855, aged 70.
FIRST SETTLERS OF CHIGNECTO
The second part of the design of Lawrence and his Council at Halifax was now in order, namely to replace the French by English immigrants to strengthen English rule and power over Acadia. The removal of the French in 1755, and the fall of Louisburg three years later, opened the way for permanent settlements and a fixed government. A legislature was summoned at Halifax in 1758, and the vacated lands of the French, over 100,000 acres of intervals and 100,000 of upland, were ordered to be advertised for settlers. Townships were set off and all immigrants were guaranteed liberty of conscience. The next year, a committee from Connecticut arrived at Halifax with proposals to settle Chignecto. In November of the same year, delegations from about 1000 Acadians in New Brunswick appeared at Fort Cumberland and offered their submission to Col. Frye. They were received and helped with provisions, and a few months after the Indian Chiefs from the Passamaquoddy and Micmac Indians appeared there to make treaties of peace. In 1761, Capt. Winkworth Yonge, Joshua Winslow, John Huston, John Jenks, Joshua Sprague, Valentine Estabrooks and William Maxwell were appointed a committee to admit persons into the township of Sackville, and two years later (1763) 65 families had settled in the townships of Sackville and Cumberland, being either disbanded soldiers or immigrants from New England.
There were English garrisons at Beausejour, Fort Lawrence and Fort Monckton and the only English settlers were disbanded soldiers and tradesmen who had commenced to locate themselves around these posts and within the range of their protection. The French inhabitants had been so completely driven off that nine years later (1764) they only numbered 388, men, women and children, in this portion of Acadia, when instructions come from the English government to allow them to become settlers on taking the oath of allegiance. Special inducements were held out to the irregulars of New England to become settlers, if they would remain in duty six months longer. To a Colonel was offered 2000 acres of choice land; Major 750 acres; Captain 500; Ensign 450; Private soldier 200.
Applications were to be made to Thomas Hancock, Boston, province agent at Boston, who being applied to by persons desiring to know the kind of government in Nova Scotia and whether toleration in religion was allowed, a second proclamation was issued on 11th January, guaranteeing representative institutions and full liberty of conscience, except to papists.
1759, on 19th July, Messrs. Liss Willoughby. Benjamin Kimball, Edward Mott and Samuel Starr, junior, a committee of agents from Connecticut appeared at Halifax proposing to make a settlement at Chignecto and they were given a vessel to visit the locality. In September they returned and proposed some alterations in the grant, which were agreed to.
While there were three garrisons on the Isthmus, settlement was very much hindered by the absence of any security to life or property. The Indians and French scoured the woods, ready to pick off any stragglers. They would even show themselves ostentatiously before the walls of the forts; any settlement out of the reach of the guns was not only hazardous but impracticable. The French and Indians exhibited in their raids a skill, and a bravado amounting to recklessness. In April of this year, (1759), two vessels, were at anchor at Grindstone Island, one the armed schooner "Monckton" belonging to the Province, the other a transport loaded with beef, pork, flour, bread, rice, peas, rum, wine, sugar, lemons, beer, shoes, shirts, stockings and other goods laden at Halifax for the shopkeepers at the Fort. During the night of 4th, the transport was captured by canoes manned by Acadians and French from the shore, and in the morning, they made a most determined effort to capture the "Monckton", chasing her down the Bay for five hours. The "Monckton" had a boy killed and two men wounded in the fight. The schooner was afterwards ransomed for 1500 pounds the French taking the cargo.
The Indians along the North Shore and on the Richibucto, Miramichi rivers were very ferocious. History relates many stories of their daring and cruelty. They were greatly dreaded by English settlers. Even the first immigrants into Halifax suffered by them. Captives were treated with wanton and inhuman barbarity.
In 1723, assisted by a party of the Penobscot tribe, they raided Canso and carried off plunder to the amount of 20,000 pounds. They were commanded by Argimoosk - or "White Witch", a very cunning a daring chief. Three years later they made another raid and captured 17 sail of fishing vessels from Massachusetts. Forty of the crew were captured, of them fifteen were rescued, 9 murdered and the remainder sent as slaves to Richibucto river.
On 24th September 1778 a Treaty of peace was made in St. John Harbour between Governor Franklin and 26 Indian Chiefs, which ended all wars. Michael Arjiman, Chief, Barnard Cataup and Joseph Portes, Captains, signed on behalf of the Micmacs of Chignecto.
A military government at Halifax early fell into disrepute. Within a year after the expulsion of the Acadians, the people fell foul of the Lawrence government. After seeking redress without avail, they appointed Fernando John Paris of London their agent, and his letter dated 26th January, 1757, contains a number of charges of extravagance and nepotism, against Lawrence, Cotterell, Bulkeley, Green and Saul. It charges them with having made no return of 20,000 pounds worth of cattle, hogs, rum and molasses captured from the French. The letter charges Lawrence with arranging a scheme for an Assembly that would throw the representation in his own hands. He had represented Cumberland as a township and entitled to a representative, whereas this famous township consisted of 5 old sergeants and soldiers, all sutlers to the garrison and subject to military orders. Annapolis and other places the same. As a matter of fact the Provost Marshal returned on 22nd August, 1759, for the township of Cumberland, Joseph Frye and John Huston and for the County, Winkworth Tonge and Simon Newcomb.
Brooke Watson came to Chignecto - now Fort Lawrence - in 1750, with Capt. Huston. He was then fifteen years of age. In 1755, when he was only 20 years of age, he was not only given an independent command to bring in the Acadians, but he was employed to victual the transports, for their removal. He then entered into a business partnership with Mr. Slayter of Halifax, but this lasted only two years, when he removed to England. When he was 25 years of age he married there Miss Helen Campbell of Edinburgh. He was then in partnership with a Mr. Mauger and doing a large colonial business. When he was 46 years of age he was made Commissary General of America. When he was 49, he was elected to Parliament from London and retained his seat for nine years. Ten years later he was made a baronet and he died childless in 1803. The title is now held by William Brooke Kay the fifth baronet, his great great grand nephew. This was the career of a waif who was doomed to the clutches of the select men of Boston, to be bound out as an apprentice to a tailor against his vehement protests, when rescued by Capt. Huston and taken to Chignecto.
After leaving Chignecto, Watson went to sea and in the harbor of Havana had his leg bitten off. Caricatures of him printed when he had attained wealth and power in London, represents him as walking on a wooden stump. That he should have overcome this and the impediments that surrounded him at boyhood, shows an extraordinary amount of power and resolution.
Capt. Huston represented Cumberland in the Local Assembly. He died at Canard at the venerable age of 85 years. To the last the closest intimacy was maintained between him and his baronet protege.
Jedediah Preble, who was Major under Monckton, was made a Captain at Louisburg nine years before. He was father of Commodore Preble and grandfather of Admiral George H. Preble of United States naval service fame.
Col. Monckton in command at Beausejour came of a distinguished family. His father was Viscount Galway; his mother a daughter of the Duke of Rutland. His grandfather William Lord Russell was distinguished enough to get beheaded in 1663 for political reasons. Monckton commenced his military career in Flanders and was in many engagements. Eleven years later he was sent to Halifax and was actively engaged in Canada until the fall of Quebec, where he commanded as a Brigadier General. He afterwards commanded an expedition that captured Martinico. He was afterwards governor of New York and later governor of Portsmouth and a member of Parliament.
There were three Gorhams in the English service - a father and his two sons and all of them colonels. They were a Massachusetts family. Col. Gorham sr., was in command of a Provincial regiment at Louisburg and died there. His son John Gorham succeeded to the command. He was afterwards in command of a body of Rangers (of half blood Indians) raised in Boston for service in Acadia.
His connection with Acadia ceased after 1752. His brother Joseph Gorham was a Lieutenant Colonel in the regular army and was very active during the French and Indian wars. His name constantly appears in reports and orders. Michael Franklin came from the South of England to Halifax in 1752 to engage in mercantile business. He was employed in public affairs in which he seems to have been unusually successful. He organized the Militia and was commissioner of Indian affairs. He was most influential with the Indians. He married a granddaughter of the famous Peter Fanuel of Boston. He has descendants in the Uniacke name in Halifax.
Amongst the notabilities in Cumberland after 1762 was Joseph Morse. He received the land grants of a Colonel and had some sort of a command at Fort Lawrence, but his name does not appear in any army list. He was originally a resident of Medfield, Mass., to which place his forbears emigrated from England in 1635. He had been the possessor of large means and was in intimate terms with Sir Jeffrey Amherst, by whom he was induced to advance supplies for the expedition Amherst undertook in 1759 up Lake George to reduce Ticonderoga and Crown Point Morse was made a prisoner by the French, sent to France, where he was kept in close confinement, so that when exchanged his health was shattered. He was sent to London and received marked favor from George III, after which he sailed for Acadia and took up his residence at Fort Lawrence where he died. His descendants are numerous, many of them occupying prominent places in civil and public life.
Governor Franklin was very successful in his efforts to introduce English settlers on the vacant French farms; largely the result of his work, many scores of immigrants landed between 1772 and 1776.
THE EDDY WAR
On the 24th of May, 1776, a meeting took place at Maugerville, N.B., at which a committee was appointed to make application to the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay "for relief under their present distressed circumstances".
The committee consisted of Jacob Barker, a J. P., and a ruling elder of the Congregational church; Phineas Nevers, Isreal Perley, Daniel Palmer, Edward Coye, Israel Kinney, Asa Perley, Moses Pickard, Thomas Hartt, Hugh Quinton, Asa Kimball and Oliver Perley. One hundred and twenty-five signed resolutions to join Massachusetts. Nine persons at the mouth of the St. John river and three others refused, as follows:
William Hazen, Thomas Jenkins, James Simonds, Samuel Peabody, John Bradley, James White, William Mackeenell, Zebedee Ring, Peter Smith, Gervas Lay, Lewis Mitchell, --------- Darling, John Crabtree, John Hendrick, Zebalon Estey, John Tarlee, Joseph Howland, Thomas Jones and Benjamin Atherton.
The most violent animosity existed between the old settlers and the new -- between settlers from New England, who were naturally imbued with the principles of the declaration of independence and were in active sympathy with the revolutionists of Lexington and Concord on the one hand, and on the other hand the immigrants from Yorkshire, who, in their steadfast loyalty, scorned the party of rebels. The latter, in their attempted capture of Fort Cumberland, occupied the surrounding country sufficiently long to commit many depredations on the loyalist settlers in which they were aided and abetted by the disaffected inhabitants. The position of the newly arrived Yorkshire families at this date was perilous enough to create grave disquietude. A very large proportion of the immigrants from the Atlantic States were open and avowed sympathisers with the war against the mother country. From Cumberland to Onslow and from Falmouth to Yarmouth they formed an overwhelming majority. When it was proposed at Halifax to enroll the militia as a measure of defence against threatened invasions, it was abandoned on account of disaffection. Montreal had been captured by the Americans and Quebec was beseiged. Two hundred Indians had gathered at Miramichi threatening an incursion into the English settlements. Halifax, itself, was not fortified and fears were entertained that the ordnance stores at the dock yard would be destroyed by incendiaries. Moreover it possessed no such body of regulars as could repel a well organize expeditionary force of invasion. Fourteen inhabitants of Cumberland were said to have gone to the Continental Congress with a petition signed by some 600 persons asking for a force to help capture Fort Cumberland--from whence it was proposed to make a descent on Halifax and wipe out the last vestige of British authority in old Acadia. So open were the disloyal elements in their designs and so certain of success that they were accustomed to hold their meetings in a tavern within the range of guns from the Fort Cumberland and every man of prominence who did not join them was marked.
In Londonderry, Onslow and Truro all except five refused to take the oath of allegiance. In Kings Co., a liberty pole was cut and was ready to be hoisted when a company of Rangers arrived.
The rebellious element in Cumberland numbered about 200 people, many of them being persons of means and consequence, and their assistance to Eddy was of extreme importance in furthering his projects. He had counted on their support and also the co-operation of the disaffected element at Cobiquid to carry the country. The Indians played but a minor part in the episode.
In August, 1775, Charles Baker of Hillsboro reported at Halifax that the New England rebels had cleared a road from St. John river to Shepody, to enable a force to march on Fort Cumberland This news caused some alarm as General Gage had withdrawn nearly all the Nova Scotia garrisons to reinforce the English army in New England.
This news was confirmed in October, 1776, by the intelligence that a force was being gathered on the frontier to invest Fort Cumberland and capture Acadia, and steps were at once taken to provide for its defence. Defensive plans had already been designed by Michael Franklin. He had been made a member of the Council in Halifax in 1762, and Lieutenant Governor five years later. He held that position for ten years and was then made Indian agent, a place requiring diplomatic gifts of a high order. He had been a prisoner with Indians as a youth and understood their language and their ways. His personal influence was such that he was able to enrol a corps of volunteer militia in the Minas townships 450 strong.
Michael Franklin, while a resident at Windsor, was also proprietor of the Franklin Manor, situated on the River Hebert at the upper end of the Minudie marshes. He had introduced North of England immigrants into Cumberland and his property was well tenanted. He, as well as most of the settlers, were plundered by the invaders.
On November, 1776, Col. Eddy a Cumberland man appeared before Fort Cumberland with a force of 180 men, recruited chiefly at Machias and at Maugerville on the St. John River. He made a couple of night assaults on the Fort, which were repulsed by Col. Goreham then in command. Eddy had however made some minor captures. An outpost at Shepody, he had captured, and a vessel loaded with supplies in the creek below the fort he had seized. He made some forty prisoners, amongst them Parson Eagleson. They were sent to Boston.
Mayor Dixson, who had already distinguished himself in the affairs of 1755-6, volunteered to carry despatches to Halifax, and he successfully eluded the watchful eyes of the enemy and reached there.
Franklin threw a detachment of his militia corps into Fort Edward, which enabled General Massey, then Commander in Halifax, to send Major Batt with two companies to Fort Cumberland.
On 26th November, the garrison beheld with joy 4 small vessels sail into the Basin and anchor below the Fort, conveying Batt's force. On 28th, Batt made a sortie dispersing Eddy's force and killing two Indians and one white man. Eddy and his compatriots fled through the woods back to the St. John River. The lateness of the season, and the cold, together with loss of equipment, rendered their toils and sufferings almost unbearable.
Amongst the prisoners taken on 28th November were Dr. Parker Clark, James Avery of Cobiquid, Capt. Thomas Falconer, of Cobiquid, who joined Eddy with a company of 25 men, to remove the yoke of British tyranny and Richard John Uniacke. They were taken to Halifax. Avery escaped from jail, Clark and Falconer were indicted. Uniacke's name appeared in the indictment as a witness, but as he was not present at the trial, it appeared that the Attorney General had adopted this method of pardoning him on account of his youth. The Crown witnesses were, Lieut. Dixson, William Black and Thomas Robinson. Both Clark and Falconer were convicted, both pleaded pardon and their cases were respited. They were probably released, as there is no further record of them.
Col. John Allen, who was a large land-owner in the district and a violent sympathizer with the rebellious element, presented a long memorial to the Council Board of Massachusetts Bay dated February 19th, 1777, stating: "Notwithstanding the iron rod of despotism keeping them from having a share in the glorious revolution, yet they openly avowed their sentiments during unnatural and cruel war, ***with pain and grief have they from time to time seen supplies procured in the neighborhood for the use and benefit of the enemy of America *** nothing could be done without assistance from other parts *** with longing eyes did wait the expected relief, the last spring when to their great affliction heard that Capt. Eddy was come without succor for them and to aggravate their distress he immediately leaves the country with his family. ***It was judged that unless five hundred men could be secured with a good commander and sufficient supplies there would be no probability of success. In this time Mr. Franklin, late Lieut. Governor of the Province, came to Cumberland and offered an enlistment for the inhabitants to sign in which they were to promise with their lives and fortunes to support the dignity of the Crown. A few of the emigrants signed it, but the body of inhabitants declared their detestation and abhorrence."
"In the beginning of November Capt. Eddy arrived, acquainting them that he had come by authority of Massachusetts State to assist them in throwing off the yoke of British tyranny, but seeing the small number of his men (about 60) told him there was no probability of success. He told them that as they had supplied the enemies of the Americans, Congress doubted their integrity.*** If they would now assert their rights publicly against the King's government, he was come to help them and in fifteen days expected a reinforcement of a large body of men. Most of the English and all of the French capable of bearing arms immediately formed and joined under Capt. Eddy. After a few days they attempted to storm the Fort. They began to suspect that they had been imposed on and that the men who came with Capt. Eddy, were induced to it by expectation of much plunder. The inhabitants chose a committee and sent an express to your honours for aid. On 29th November reinforcements to the enemy came. A sally determined on, the camp was surprised and all fled except one white man who was killed. The enemy pursued with all expedition for six miles, burning during their pursuit twelve houses and twelve barns, in which were contained one quarter of the bread of the country. Capt. Eddy and his men retreated to Sackville, and from there to the river St. John, leaving signs of devastation and destruction behind them. Col. Gorham issued a proclamation offering pardon to those who would come in and lay down their arms; many were compelled to comply.*** Great numbers of the inhabitants choosing rather to face difficulty and danger than submit to the British yoke were forced to leave their habitations, nearly seventy families of English were left without a man amongst them, the French Acadians fled to the woods; many outrages were committed by some who came with Mr. Eddy."
At the conclusion of peace, Col. Eddy obtained a grant at Eddington, Maine, where he has many descendants. His farm, also within the Cumberland township, was escheated with that of Allans, and also that of Capt. How, second in command to Eddy . He had previously married Joseph Morses' widow, with whom he had gained an extensive property.
In 1785 Congress granted the following lands at Eddington Maine to those who fled from Nova Scotia:--
Jonathan Eddy 1500 acres.
Ebenezer Gardner 1000 acres.
Zebulun Roe 750 acres.
William Maxwell 750 acres.
Robert Foster 550 acres.
Parker Clark 500 acres.
Atwood Fales 450 acres.
Elijah Ayer 400 acres.
Wm. Eddy 350 acres.
Phineas Nevers 1000 acres.
Nathaniel Reynolds 300 acres.
Samuel Rogers 300 acres.
Thomas Forkner 230 acres.
John Day 230 acres.
Anthony Burk 150 acres.
John Eckley 150 acres.
Jonathan Eddy. Jnr., 150 acres.
Wm. Howe 150 acres.
Total 9360 acres.
Elijah Ayer was Quarter-Master of the American troops at Machias in 1776.
Col. Allen made his home in Massachusetts, where his descendants live.
In 1785, Col. Eddy published the names and residences of 61 men who had fled from Acadia in 1776. He says these were 63 others whose names and addresses he could not find.
Lieut. Wm. Eddy was a Lieut. in the Continental Army. He was married to Olive daughter of Joseph Morse. He was killed by a shot from a British frigate in 1778, near Eastport while in an open boat on his way to Sackville.
Privateering was a branch of industry actively pursued during the revolutionary war. In May 1782, H. M. S. Atlanta overhauled in Bay Fundy an American privateer carrying six guns.
The crew escaped in three boats to the shore and took to the woods. The crew consisted of Eddy men, a leader of them being Rogers, in the invasion of 1776 and for whose apprehension 100 pounds was offered by the Nova Scotia government.
Uniacke had an adventurous and brilliant career. Moses Delesdernier a native of the Canton of Geneva, a resident of North Joggins, Sackville, N.B., and an army contractor, was in Philadelphia in the year 1774, no doubt on a trading cruise. Happening to notice a number of immigrants landing on a wharf from a West Indian vessel, he was attracted by the appearance of a young man of striking personality. He accosted him and this led to an acquaintance. The young man was a stripling in age.. had left his home in Ireland to seek his fortune. Delesdernier invited him to return with him to Sackville. The latter accepted. From such a slight circumstance, originated not only a romantic episode but an event that has served in some degree to mould the history of Nova Scotia. Arriving at Sackville he proceeded to fall in love with his host's daughter. He was 21 years of age and she was 13. The record states that Richard John Uniacke and Martha Maria Delesdernier were duly married on the 3rd of May, 1775. He afterward returned to Ireland, studied law there, returned to Nova Scotia and in 1783, was elected a member of the Assembly for Sackville, being first Solicitor-General and then Attorney-General. Thus was founded a family that became prominent in Nova Scotia and has contributed many members to the public service of the country.
Richard John Uniacke after the affair of 1776 returned to Ireland where he studied law, and in 1781 he was admitted attorney at law at Halifax.
Another militant Nova Scotian namely, S. G. W. Archibald's name has been associated with that of Uniacke in connection with the Eddy troubles in Cumberland. This is a popular error. Archibald was not born until 1776, the year Fort Cumberland was invested by Col. Eddy. He entered the Legislature of Nova Scotia in 1806, the year Uniacke retired. That his father was treacherously killed in a duel with a British officer in the West Indies, for disloyal sentiments that he openly declared, has been a long cherished fiction, that was given some credence by reason of the distance and the difficulty of communication in those days. The facts supported by ample evidence are that he was taken sick at one of the W. I. Islands of a fever and died eleven days after.
Franklin charged Delesdernier and Samuel Wetherbe with being hostile to the Crown and they were dismissed from all employment. Delesdernier in his letters to the government denies strenuously any disloyalty. Gorham's reports exculpated Delesdernier. He was a heavy loser and he never received any compensation for it.
Gorham in the proclamation of pardon which he issued excepted, Jonathan Eddy, Samuel Rogers, William How, John Allen and Zebulon Rowe; a reward of 200 pounds was offered for the apprehension of Eddy and 100 pounds for the latter named.
Parson Eagleson was a stormy petrel of troublesome times. He was brought up in the Kirk of Scotland and afterwards changed to the Church of England. One account says he was ordained by the Bishop of London, being highly commended by Chief Justice Belcher and Lt. Governor Franklin and was appointed missionary for Cumberland in 1770. Another account is that he came from Quebec to Fort Cumberland as chaplain to a detachment of the 54th in 1765. At the same time there came two young men named Payzant and their sister. Some years before the Indians had descended on their father's place at Mahone Bay, killed and scalped him, set fire to the house and carried these boys and their mother into captivity. The children were kept at St. Anne's, now Fredericton, but Mrs. Payzant was separated from her children and sent to Quebec, where a daughter was born. Through the efforts of R. C. Bishop, Mrs. Payzant recovered the possession of her children and one of the boys became a dignitary of the R. C. Church. After the reduction of Quebec the others returned to Nova Scotia.
A tradition is, that Mr. Eagleson lived his last days with a Siddal family at Wallace. One account of him makes him a bibulous, free and easy clerical. The enmity he provoked shows he was a staunch loyalist, and the journals of the S.P.G.P., covering a period from 1772 to 1781 shews the Society had absolute confidence in him. He was taken prisoner by the Eddy party in Nov. 1776, and shipped to Boston, and it was not until ten months after that the Society learned the fact. He was kept a prisoner for sixteen months when he effected his escape and returned to Cumberland, when he found his house had been raided, and his property dispersed. He wrote in 1778 to the Society lamenting the absence of any place of public worship, but said he was holding services in a borrowed mansion, to wit that of Joseph Morse. Later, in 1781, he advised the Society that he had been obliged to leave Cumberland again for fear of capture, as the rebel boats were in the Bay. He was then stopping at Windsor, and that up to the time of his leaving he had officiated at the fort to a considerable number of people. His ministrations were probably the first regular Anglican services held at the head of the Bay.
ARRIVAL OF LOYALISTS
In 1785 the Loyalists received large grants at Cobequid (Westchester) and Ramshag (Wallace). At Cobequid 31,750 acres were distributed on the 2nd of June among 85 persons representing 246 men, women and children. The grantees were:
Stephen Seaman, Matthew Dallaway, Ezekiel Seaman, Peter Rushlin, Jesse Ogden, Thomas Wheaton, Moses Simmonds, David Pugsley, Israel Parker, John Glieson, Henry Piers, James Ackel, James Morris, Charles Jennings, Wright Weeks, William Lopree, Johnathan Palmer, John Mayby, Joseph Sears, Jeremiah Seaman, John Crawford, Joseph Purdy, David Mills, Joseph Peime, Daniel Dickerson, Shubad Lewis, Stephen Purdy, William Coon, Charles Vincent, Jesse Schofield, Josiah Baker, James Mead, Samuel Bishop, John Williams, Samuel Wood, John Sherwood, James Chasse, Nathaniel Hodge, John Ogden, Lieut, Samuel Embree, Zacchriah Snieder, Joshua Horton, John Wilson, Jeremiah Rushtin, Lieut. Abraham Covert, Henry Stultz, Henry Gray, Simon Outhouse, Robert Purdy, Peter Maby, Lieut. Gilbert Haveland, Jabez Rundle, John Rushtin, Sr.; Martin Creary, Jonathan Snider, Nathan Golding, Obadiah Simpson, Aaron Fountain, Henry Frenchard, John Baxter, Nathaniel Purdy, David Ackley, Joseph Embree, Jr.; John Hunter, John Rimiss, James Miller, James Lounsbury, Henry Purdy, Elijah Smith, Jonathan Warden, Daniel Holmes, James Austen, John Austen, Samuel Horton, Caleb Griffin, Amos Fowler, John Myers, John Brisbane, Capt. Gideon Palmer, Nathaniel Ackley and Benjamin Chamberlain.
The Ramsheg Grant of 20,300 acres was made on the 16th June, 1785, to the following 106 grantees; Isaac Ackley, jr., Alexander Piers, Joseph Earles, Joel Edget, John Hunt, Sybal Beardsley, Samuel Neills, James Totten, jr., Joseph Tidd, Samuel Halstead, James Brisbane, Lank Steves, Capt. Gilbert Totten, Samuel Cornell, Obediah Ackerley, Nathaiel Wyatt, James Derry. Reuben Mills, Isaac Tidd, Thomas Jenkins, Oliver Smith, Capt, Frederick Williams, Zinns Golding, Nathaniel Niles, John Edgett, Daniel Tidd, Job Bryant, Samuel Holliday, Joshua Ferris, Gilbert Purdy, John Derry, William Williams, Samuel Holmes, Capt, Moses Knapp, Daniel Dunn, John Rushtin, jr., Lockwood Baxter, John Robblee, John Baker, Thos. Hasteed, John Stephens, Michael Lloyd, Robert Hatch, Jonathan Fowler, Ensign Augustus Baxter, John Brown, Jeremiah Merritt, Frederick Philips, Samuel Haveland, Jos. Piers, William Foster, Solomon Horton, Capt. Barnes Hatfield, Daniel Totten, John Tidd, Ensign Ephraim Piers, James Totten, Isaac Ackely, jr.; William Budd, James Totten, sr., Oliver Ackeley, Peter Winne, Angus McFen, Capt. Samuel Kipp, Samuel Williams, Gabriel Purdy, Zekel Piers, John Angevine, John Jacobs, John Chatterton, Mencus Myers, James Tidd, Absolom Smith, Jacob Veal, John Lusargee, Samuel Horton, Thomas Cornell, John Ganong, Frederick Baxter, James Huson, Joshua Brundige, Moses Tidd, Ebenezer Brown, Paul Carpus Schoffield, John Totten, John Parre, John Lowe, Josiah Fowler, John Piers, John Edmunds, Noah Webb, Andrew Fosner, John Pugsley, Jesse Schoffield, Daniel Pugsley, Nathaniel Hoeg, James Chase, Daniel Piers, James Golding, James Knipp, Jeremiah Newman, James Tellet, Jesse Mills.
FIRST PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED
In 1758, when the Nova Scotia Assembly was first called, the province not being divided into counties, the first members were elected somewhat promiscuously from the inhabitants pursuant to a summons from the provost marshal. A settlement of 25 qualified electors was entitled to send a member, but a Cumberland name does not appear amongst the nineteen members elected. When the next Assembly met, (1759), the province had been divided into five counties, and the township of Cumberland had two members and the county two. Messrs. Winkworth Tonge, Joseph Frye, and John Huston all connected with the military establishment at the Fort, were returned as elected. In 1765 the Township was represented by Josiah Troop and the county by Benoni Danks and Gam. Smeethurst.
In the "Long Parliament" from 1770 to 1784 Jonathan Eddy represented the Township, and John Huston and Joshua Winslow the county.
In 1774 Jotham Gay succeeded Winslow who had left Chignecto.
In 1775, William Scurr succeeded Huston and John Allan took the place of Eddy.
The seat of Allan, Scurr and Rodgers, were declared vacant for non-attendance.
In 1777 Thomas Dixon is associated with Gay as member and H. D. King as member for the Township. In 1783 Richard John Uniacke was elected for the township of Sackville. New Brunswick was set off as a separate province in 1784. A general election took place in 1785, when John Butler Dight (of Commissary Dept.) and Christopher Harper, were elected for the County and for Amherst, William Freeman. The former being absentees in 1786 their places were taken by Phillip Marchiston and Charles Hill.
Dight was the nephew of the Hon. Joseph Butler; he inherited his estate and assumed his name; he was the father of the late Col. Butler of Windsor. Marchiston was a New York merchant who removed to Halifax and finally retired to Cornwallis, where he died. He was grandfather of Major Welsford, of Sebastpool fame. In the general election of 1793 William Freeman and Samuel Embree were elected for the county, and Thomas Lusby from the township.
In 1799 Thomas Roach and George Oxley were elected for the county and Thomas Lusby for the township.
In 1806 Mr. Roach was re-elected, with Henry Purdy for the County, and Edward Baker for the township.
In 1812 the same re-elected. In 1820 Mr. Purdy was succeeded by Richard Blair, the owner of the Franklin Manor. Mr. Blair returned to England in 1825 and resigned his seat.
In 1818 Mr. Baker was succeeded by Hon. James Shannon Morse who held sat 1836. From 1826 to 1836 the county was represented by (Judge) Alexander Stewart and Joseph Oxley.
ENGLISH SETTLERS IN CUMBERLAND
The township of Cumberland being first settled about two hundred and fifty years ago there have been many grants, changes of ownership and changes of population. The grants since the Acadian deportation only are dealt with here.
A grant was made of 34,500 acres on 27th, November, 1763, addressed to John Huston, Joshua Winslow and William Allan, Esquires, Abiel Richardson, Elijah Ayer Josiah Throop and Joseph Morse, Committee of the Township of Cumberland ratifying a former grant signed by M. Wilmot, Governor of Nova Scotia, and R. Bulkeley as Secretary. following grantees:
This grant was enclosed between Au Lac and LaPlanche Rivers on the one bay and the rivers Gaspereaux and Tidnish on the other Bay. Each right consisted of 500 acres. The quit rent was one shilling per each 50 acres which, if not paid for three years and no distress found the grant is void. One third had to be cultivated or forfeited in ten years, another third in 20 years and the balance in 30 years; also plant two acres of hemp and settle in one year. No rights could be alienated in within ten years without consent of governor. This permission was to secure Protestant settlers. Each right had to be occupied within a year after the grantee with proper stock, implements, &c.
A grant was issued of 15,750 acres on 17th September, 1764, signed by Montague Wilmot, Governor, and Richard Bulkeley addressed to Joshua Winslow, and William Allan, Esquires, Abiel Richardson, Elijah Ayre, Josiah Throop and Joseph Morse, Committee of the Township of Cumberland. The grant recites that a former grant was insufficient to secure the properties. The names of the grantees were: Thomas Throop, Benoni Danks, Samuel Weatherbe, Thomas Hunt, Samuel Smith, Thomas Maul, Atwood Vails, Moses Pierce, John Spring, William Bearisto, Enoch Gooding, Theoph. Fitch, Caleb Eady, Wm. Maxwell, Mariner Maxwell, Caleb Sherman, Jesse Converse, Timothy Davis, Joshua Tufts, William Cooley, John Sampson, Samuel Weatherbe, Nat Sheldon, Simon Newcombe, Sr., Mark Patton, Jos. Burnham, Moses Barnes, Alex. Mills, Wm. Maxwell, John Brown, Simon Newcomb, Samuel Danks, Asel Danks, Godfrey Richardson and John Eddy.
An office for the registry of land titles was opened at Fort Cumberland in February, 1764. It was probably the third one in the Maritime Provinces, those at Port Royal and Halifax ante dating it, the latter fifteen years. During the first five years the transfers related to lands in Sackville and Cumberland now the parish of Westmorland. The first transfer relating to lands in the present town of Amherst or present County of Cumberland, did not take place till 22nd day of August, 1768, when Ebenezer Fitch, who is styled "Captain of the town", exchanges lot 64 for lot 65 with Simon Fitch.
The first deed registered was on 10th February, 1764, when Mark Patton sold to John Huston, 6 acres at Green Hill for sterling 7.5.0. The second deed, dated 8th February, 1764, transferred 30 acres of land on the Missiquash belonging to Abiel Richardson to Benoni Danks for 30 pounds. The third and fourth deeds related to exchanges of land between Abiel Richardson and John Brown. The fifth deed was for 5 acres at Green Hill sold by William Milburn to Abiel Richardson for 5 pounds. The Glebe land 500 acres was conveyed by Wm. Allan, Benoni Danks and Thomas Dixson to Rev. Caleb Gannet on 10th April 1769.
At this time two members of the Gooden family now so numerous appear on the records. On the 10th February, 1764, Enoch Gooden conveyed to Benoni Danks one acre in the town plot for 1 pound. On the 12th February, 1767, Daniel Gooden, conveyed to William Allen, Attorney of Martin Gay of Boston lot 27B and 20 acres of Marsh for 40 pounds. In 1764, 22 deeds were registered; in 1765, 24 deeds.
When New Brunswick was erected into a Province in 1784, a registry office was started in Cumberland County. When the population of Cumberland Isthmus was estimated at 900 and at Partridge Island 700. Up to this date 18,000 loyalists had arrived in Nova Scotia.
TOWNSHIP OF AMHERST
Before the re-christening of Amherst after Lord Amherst in 1759, it was called by the French "Les Planches." A small settlement of Acadians lived there; their dwellings were burned at the time La Loutre destroyed Beau Bassin (Fort Lawrence).
A trail made across the marsh from Fort Lawrence, turning west at the upland and skirting it, led towards Amherst Point and Nappan. While its name is placed on the old maps, none of the old literature available mentions it. It therefore commences its historical existence when under English occupation it was laid off with other townships in Acadia and grants made. Grants were issued as follows: John Jackson, 800 acres, 4th January, 1764 John Jackson, 1000 acres, 19th January, 1764; Alex Legrier, 500 Acres, 10th August, 1764; Hugh Goddard, 1000 acres, 21st October, 1764; Nicholas Cox, 1000 acres, 24th November, 1764, John Saunders, et al, 26,750 acres, 30th October,1765.
The inhabitants of the Isthmus in 1767 were:
Males Females Irish Americans Acadians
Amherst 68 57 85 29 4
Cumberland 190 144 28 269
Monckton 34 26 4 7 (49 Germans )
Sackville 181 168 5 343
English and Scotch in these settlements numbered less than 40.
In May 1765 is met the name of Joseph Frederick Wallet De Barres as a victim of land lust. He with others obtained a grant of 8000 acres of land at Minudie on which returned Acadians squatted. He sought to eject them and this produced in after years much litigation. The bulk of the property was afterwards purchased by Amos Seaman known locally for many years as "King Seaman." In August 1765 Des Barres obtained a grant of 20,000 acres at Tatamagouche. Des Barres was a Colonel in the English Army and also Colonial Governor. His varied experiences made his life a picturesque and stirring one. His services to the Crown were many and important; few of the colonial worthies of that day are more deserving to have their names perpetuated. Governor Franklin was also afflicted with the same land disease; he obtained a grant of 20,000 acres adjoining Des Barres at River Hebert, called the Franklin Manor. The Saunders grant, signed by Governor Montague Wilmot, was registered on the 9th of July, 1772, the grantees names were as follows: John Saunders, Joseph Coghran, Thomas Coghran, John Stuart, David Forrest, Matthew Crawford, Thomas Jnee, James Henry John Grace, John Croghan, Matthew Dickey, Patrick Porter, James Law, John Clark, John Campbell, Francis Campbell, John Vance, Richard Webber, Nicholas Head, Robert Berry, Matthew Sharpe, Robert McGowan, Samuel Creelman, Robert Martin, William Martin, Jael Smith, William Zelory Tufts, Nathaniel Reynolds, James Roberts, George McNutt, John Simpson, Jonathan Davidson, James Fulton, Elishah Freeman, Francis Freeman, Francis Sheen, Alex. Huston, Ebenezer Fitch, Simon Fitch, Mark Patton, Jr., James Coghran, William Nesbit, a Ministers Lot, a Glebe lot, a share or lot for schoolmaster. Each share contained 500 acres. The Saunders grant did not cover the lots along Victoria street, but occupied the ridge towards the Nappan River. A grant was made to Peter Campbell, et al, of 5,500 acres on 11th January, 1768. His co-grantees were Elisha Blackman, Jonathan Baker, Samuel Baker, Antrobus Shaw, John Star, and William Freeman.
On March 1774, the ship "Two Friends" sailed from Hull for Halifax with immigrants from Yorkshire.
The letter below from James Metcalf to his intended wife throws a sidelight in the conditions of life in Cumberland in 1772. The letter, though rude in form, exhibits a man of strong purpose and high character. It was two years reaching Ann Gill. She arrived at Fort Cumberland in 1774 and despatched a messager to Mr. Metcalf, who awakened him at 2 o'clock in the morning with news. He started at once with a led horse for the Fort where he met her. They were married at Fort Lawrence that day. They left two daughters, one of whom married Wm. Sharpe and the other Charles Atkinson. Amos (King) Seaman married a daughter of the latter. August, 1772:
"My Dear: This comes to let you know that I am in good helth as these Lines I hope I shall find you, wee are meany Leagues part but Distance or lenth of time since we parted hath not made mee to forgit you, I have got 207 acers of land 33 acers of clear land very good land a good part of it will bee easly cleared, because it hath been formerly cut by the French, I and other two have 45 acers more for 5 years, and orchard that grows plenty of appels we desire to plow ye 45 acers and to sow it with wheat and other grane it is a pleasant and will be a frutefull place with cultivation I need not say much of my place nor of the countery by this letter for I have described it in the other letter to my master only one thing I would tell you and that is a little flye caled a misketo that is troublesome in somer time and bites like a midge but I am told by the people that came to the place 8 or 9 years since that there is becom much fewer of them it is oweing to ye want of inhabitance and cattel to eat up the gras this is the only thing I have to say against the Country and now I put you to your promis that you promisd mee saying I will surely come to you and my Dear I shall be very glad to see you fulfill your promise to mee and I will fulfill mine to you if you come I will be a kind Husband to you and take you before aney other for I must marry for I cannot live well as I am, and as to your passage you need not bee affraide nor to let your thoughts to trouble you or to think how shall I undertake such a journey only try come and be not affraid I sopose that you will have plenty from Yorkshire to acompaney you O would I wear in the place of these lines and that I might be your companion but that must not be I have great besiness to do and cattle to look after so I cannot I can only pray to our God to protect and be your soport and guide when I was at sea I was sick but 2 half days half a day ye day that we imbarked and again sometime after when the sea was very Ruff and we all had a very good passage and were very helthfull. The people here are of different persusaions in religion they are mostly prisbyterians and Baptists ye church of England are fewer that either I believe that if one of our methodist preachers wear here he would be gladly received by people of all persusaions they are very strict in regard to ye Lords day and consious of family dutys but as to the mane thing in religion would it were more known among all people I trust that religion in its purity will be preached here also people here are naturally kind one to another even the Indians when a countryman comes to their wigwams are if they have aney meat at all they give him some. Spinning wheels are very dear here for they are twenty shilings a peece English money pay for more then in England Ye Guney pays for thre and twenty and fower pence but all ye money in ye place is not English, there is a dollar that is 5s the pisterence that goes for a shiling every countrys money goes if peopel know its worth, all linen cloth and woolen cloth is very dear hear but they almost all grow thir own line and dres it themselves and the French and New England peopel, the women are mostly weavers and work their own both linen and wolen if you come pray be so good as to bring about a bushel of wheat if you can of 4 different kinds for seed let yellow Kent be one and Hampshire brown another for it will be of great servis hear be carefull to keep it from salt water you may if you please lay it like a pillow in your bed or in aney place where ye salt water does not come, provide a little tea or something that is nourishing provided you should be sea sick, I should be glad to see my master Wilkison hear but altho ye countrys good I would not advise him to come lest things should not do well so I might be blamed but he should I think he might do well hear, is nothing but the misketoes that is troublesome and they are bad to that they make a smoke at ye door sometimes in the evening to keep them out of their houses they are more troublesome then may imagin but as I said it is for want of the Gras being mowed or eaten or burnt. This is ye only thing that I have to say against the place all things I things I think will be made up when inhabitance comes and trade increases if you come be not discoriged by aney thing in ye country for it is good if you come you will sail up to Fort Cumberland and when you are there write a line or two to me and send it to me to Maccan River by aney man and I will pay him and come for you but as soon as you receive my letter let me know your mind by letter and I will be as good as my word, the passage is paid at Liverpool before you go on bord but if you should not be abel to pay make friends to some that come and I will pay write to James Shanks at Liverpool about it. I must conclude for this time may ye Lord bles you and conduct you safe hither from
If you write to mee you must direct to me at Maccan near Fort Cumberland to ye care of Govener Franklin at Halifax Nova Scotia. (directed to Miss.) "
Mrs. Ann Gill With Mr. Thomas Wilkinson Martin Lordship near Ganongwould in Yorkshire, England.
Amongst the Loyalists were three brothers by the name of Purdy. Gabriel settled at Westchester, Gilbert at Malagash and Henry at Fort Lawrence. The late Amos Purdy, M.P.P., of Amherst descended from the first. Henry died in 1826; he also had been a member of the Assembly, Colonel of Militia and a Judge of Common Pleas.
ENGLISH SETTLERS IN SACKVILLE
1758, on 12th October, a proclamation was adopted in council in Halifax offering the vacant lands to settlers, which "consist of one hundred thousand acres of intervals plough lands, cultivated for more than 100 years and never fail of crops nor need manuring - also a hundred thousand acres cleared and stocked with English grass, planted with orchards, vineyards, &c. All these are situated about the Bay of Fundy upon rivers navigable for ships of burden."
The first actual settlement in Sackville after the deportation of the French may be placed at 1761 - six years after their deportation and two years after the fall of Quebec. The invitation extended in the above proclamations met with a ready response and a movement took place in Rhode Island to send a contingent there.
Some twenty-five families settled there that summer and others came to seek locations and erect habitations to bring their families the next following spring. No record of their names is known to have been preserved, but in the Archives at Halifax there is a "list of subscribers for the township lying on the Tantramar river, represented by Benjamin Thruber, Cyprian Sterry and Edward Jinks from Providence in Rhodeisland." It is not dated but it probably belongs to the year 1760 or 1761.
Some of the names, as Tower, Young, Estabrooks, Jinks, Foster, Curry, Bateman, Cahoun, Brown, Smith, Cole, King, Finney, Carpenter, Briggs, Sprague, Robinson, Seaman, Power, Tucker, Parker, Emerson, Davis, etc., represent well known families in the community. Many of the others probably never came to the country at all and others not satisfied with the prospect returned again to the other colonies.
The first town meeting or meeting of the committee for Sackville township took on 20th July, 1762. It was held at the house of Mrs. Charity Bishop, who kept an inn at Cumberland. There were present Capt. John Huston, Doctor John Jencks, Joshua Sprague, Valentine Estabrooks, William Maxwell and Joshua Winslow. Capt. Huston was made chairman and Ichabod Comstock, clerk.
The conditions and locations of the proposed new grant of Sackville were of the first interest to the newly arrived settlers and the proceedings were largely taken up with settling such matters. It was resolved that a family of six, and seven head of cattle should have one and a half shares or 750 acres.
At the next meeting held on 31st August, Me Elijah Ayer's name appears as a committeeman.
In 1763, Sackville's inhabitants consisted of nearly 20 families only, and only 200 acres of upland had then been cleared. They had 12,000 acres of marsh land. At the same time Cumberland, (now the parish of Westmorland) possessed 35 families who owned 600 acres of cleared land and 18,800 acres of marsh land.
At a town meeting held 18th April, 1770, Robert Scott was appointed moderator and Robert Foster clerk. They with John Thomas were appointed a committee to settle with the old committee for the survey of the lands.
The first actual grant at Sackville appears to have been made on 12th October, 1765. Previous to that date, settlers had no title to lands they occupied beyond orders-in-council, issued at Halifax and which the grant confirmed. This grant was for the 35,250 acres. The consideration was a quit rent of one shilling sterling for ten years for every hundred acres. If no rent be paid for three years and no distress be found, or if the granters sell the same within ten years the grant is void.
The township was to consist of 100,000 acres. It was divided into three sections, known as letters A B and C. Letter B division, embraced the district between Foundry St.: 'C' north, Morice's mill Pond. There were home lots for actual settlers who had wood lots and marsh lots bearing corresponding numbers.
The wood lots were not then nor until many years later after considered of any commercial value and when their owners left the country and the new owners took no interest or charge of them the ownership of many became obscured. When the timber on them commenced to be valuable, there suddenly grew up a small class of land jumpers, who ran out vacant lots and exercised acts of ownership. These acts led to a great deal of litigation and, for many years the Supreme Court was kept more or less busy over 'Sackville rights'.
Many of the original grants of lots were voided for want of settlement and other grants issued over the same lands.
Most of these are said to have represented actual settlers at the time, but when the war of independence broke out sixteen years later, many of these settlers returned to United States. Some of them joined Col. Eddy in his attack on fort Cumberland and fled to Machias at his defeat. For these and other reasons this grant seems to have been superseded by other and later grants over the same lands.
In 1767, Sackville had already made considerable progress. A return made by Lieut. Governor Franklin, embracing a census of the 30 townships into which the Province was then divided, shows Sackville had then a population of 349 persons, 343 of them were Americans.
At this time the of Amherst had a population of 125, and the township of Cumberland 325; Hopewell (all Albert County) 159; Monckton 60.
Another grant dated January 30th, 1773, is signed by Lord William Campbell, styled Captain General and Governor in Chief in Acadia. By this document 51 shares or rights of 500 acres each are granted. It is recited that the township consisted of 200 rights, being in all 100,000 acres.
The terms of this grant were a quit rent of one shilling for every 50 acres granted payable every Michaelmas, the grant to be void in case no payment be made for three years and no distress be found on the premises; also the grantees bound themselves to cultivate or enclose one third in a year, one in every eleven years and one third in twenty one years; also each grantee is to plant annually two acres in hemp; also actual settlement shall be made before the last day of January 1775, or the grant is void.
The next grant is dated 22nd of July, 1774, and signed by Frances Legge, Captain General, &c., and is for 24 ' shares or rights comprising 12,250 acres.
The terms are the same as in the former grant except the quit rent is made one farthing per acre and actual settlement has to be made within two years.
An assessment of the land owners in Sackville made in 1777 showed 90,000 owned or occupied.
The largest land owner was Samuel Rogers of Eddy war fame, who died in 1831, a very old man and a town charge. He owned 4,746 acres.
Estabrooks and Mason owned 3,346 acres; John Barnes 2,750 acres; Charles Dixon 2,510 acres; Elijah Ayer 2090 acres; Edward Barron 2,000 acres; Benjamin Emmerson 2,000; Robert Scott 2,000.
About 1786, the inhabitants of Sackville made a return of the state of the settlement to the governments to show that if a proposed escheat was made it would be attended with great confusion as but few of the grants had not been improved.
It was not until 1767 that Sackville secured the right to a member, a petition having been sent to the government in 1765 representing that there were 80 families in this place.
Mr. A. Foster was the first member. His name occurs for the first time in 1774, in the proceedings of the House. In 1775, Samuel Rogers succeeded Mr. Foster.
Joseph Crandall, a pioneer Baptist Minister was compelled by the Legislature to elect between the church and politics. He decided for the former and resigned his seat.
Mr. Monagle was a resident of Mount Whatley and was drowned in crossing a branch of the St. John, on his way to Fredricton.
During the first part of the 19th century, Westmorland produced two men whose works were effective in making permanent changes in the face of the country. The first one was Tolar Thompson of Tantramar. He was the first English Marsh (dyke) builder. Whatever methods La Valliere in 1675 and La Loutre in 1750 pursued, has passed into forgetfulness in the turmoil and confusion of war. The first English settlers had the benefit of the dykes, aboideaux and sluice boxes constructed and left by the Acadians, but it appears they did little or nothing in the way of excavating channels for tidal deposits, tho' the fertility and value of those lands had been recognized by even the first pioneers and recorded in various official reports.
As soon as there was any safety for life and property in the Isthmus, the government was alive to the fact that the marshes must have some sort of administration. Accordingly in 1764, Sewer Boards were appointed - the Sackville Board consisted of Daniel Hawkins, Ebenezer Sallisbury, Robert Foster, and Jonathan Cole. The Amherst Sewers were Josiah Throop, James Fulton, and Elisha Freeman.
Very little progress seems to have been made in marsh building for at least a generation thereafter. Marsden, the Methodist circuit rider, mentions in his notes the dangers of travelling across the Tantramar marshes between Point de Bute and Tantramar. He required a guide armed with a pole to go ahead and find safe footing amidst the bogs, pools and streams.
Mr. Thompson day after day and season after season made his home amongst the lakes and streams of this vast expanse of waste land, the screaming waterfowl his only companions. The apparently simple but really complicated problems of tidal flow in creating new drainage channels and securing deposits of mud were thought out by him and put into successful practice. The Tolar and the Goose Lake Canals by which many thousands of acres of marsh were reclaimed are enduring monuments of his skill. He left a great estate in the perpetuation of a name devoted to the public service. Mr. Thompson was the grandson of Viscount Glandine and Earl of Norbury, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, Ireland-a man distinguished for his learning and wit. Tolar's father was his coachman. Herein appeared a spice of romance. A daughter of the Earl fell in love with the handsome coachman. They eloped, were married, emigrated and settled in Sackville. Their son Mr. Thompson was a large and commanding man, possessing a dignified presence and was help in great respect in the community where he lived and died.
The other notable was Charles F. Allison, the founder of Mount Allison Educational Institutions. Mr. Allison was a man of deep piety and intense earnestness.
The lack of secondary schools where the youth of both sexes could obtain an advanced education on Christian lines to enable them to command the employment being offered in our growing communities was a problem of great magnitude, with which he was not afraid to grapple single handed. Pictou Academy, while ranking high as an educational institution, was only a local school. Kings, at Windsor, while originally endowed by public funds as national institution had been seized by a clerical faction and converted into a sectarian school, feeble as it was narrow, and gaining the confidence of only a section of its own denomination.
Possessing broad and high minded views, Mr. Allison gave a large portion of his own fortune in founding two seminaries of learning. Their growth and success testified by the hundreds of students attending them, are perpetual monuments of his patriotism and philanthropy. He was a partner of Hon. Wm. Crane, a son of Col. Jonathan Crane, who for thirty-four years held a place in the Nova Scotia Assembly as one of its most brilliant speakers. Mr. Crane as a youth emigrated form Kings County, N.S. to Sackville - his fortune tied up in a pocket handkerchief. He died at Fredericton in 1853, speaker of the New Brunswick Assembly and one of the wealthiest men in Eastern Canada. In 1838, when crossing the Atlantic in a delegation from the New Brunswick government, his vessel passed the 'Serius', the first transatlantic steamer. In the Cunard memoirs published in the London Times, he is given the credit being the first to urge upon the Colonial Minister, Lord Glenelg, the importance of subsidizing a line of steamers to Halifax, which led to the Cunard Contract.
Amos Botsford, a lawyer of New Haven, was appointed by Lord Dorchester an agent for settling the Loyalists in Nova Scotia in 1782 and arrived in Annapolis that year. He afterwards removed to Westmorland and was elected to the first Assembly in 1786, of which he became Speaker, a position which he held till his death in 1812. His son William succeeded him as representative and speaker in 1812 which he held until 1823, when he was made a judge of the Supreme Court. Three of his sons, Hazen, Bliss and Chipman were also at various periods elected members of the Assembly; Bliss became Speaker and died County Court Judge. A fourth son, Amos, became a Senator of Canada, of which he was at one time speaker.
Col. Joshua Chandler, a wealthy lawyer of New Haven, and a member of the Legislature, sided with the Loyalist at the Revolution and was forced to abandon his home precipitately on the 5th of July, 1779, when the town was evacuated by Gen. Tyron. He sailed with his family for Annapolis, N.S. intending to settle there. In March, 1787, he crossed the Bay of Fundy from Annapolis to St. John, in his schooner. The rest of the story is told on a monument in the rural cemetery at St. John:
'Here lyeth the Bodies of Col. Joshua Chandler, aged 61 years and William Chandler His Son aged 29 years who were shipwrecked on their passage from Digby to St. John on the Night of the 9th of March, 1787 and perished in the woods on the 11th of said Month.
Here lyeth the Bodies of Mrs. Sarah Grant, aged 38 years. Widow of the late Major Alex'r Grant; and Miss Elizabeth Chandler aged 27 years who were ship wrecked on their passage from Digby to St. John on the 9th day of March, 1787, and perished in the Woods on the 11th of said Month.'
His son Charles H. Chandler was sheriff of Cumberland for 38 years and was succeeded in turn by his son Joshua who held it for 28 years. Another son, Edward B., represented Westmoreland in the Assembly of New Brunswick, became leader of the Conservative party of the Province, and died in 1880, in his 80th year, while occupying the position of Lieut. Governor
Any Historical sketch of the Isthmus would be incomplete that did not refer to the marvellous advances made by the Acadians in trade, industry, education, social position and political influence, in all of which, they have within half a century secured at least an equality with their Anglo-Saxon neighbors. These splendid results are largely the work of two men - Father La France and Father Le Febvre, who inspired by a noble ambition to uplift their people, spent their lives in their service. Father La France was the pioneer in education and he was succeeded by Father Lefebvre. The fine educational establishments at St. Joseph's, Memramcook have been most potent in moulding and developing the later generations of Acadians.
Charles Dixon, the ancestor of the Dixon family of Sackville, was born at Yarm, Yorkshire in 1720. He was a paper maker by trade. In 1761, he married Susannah Coates. In 1772, he was induced by Governor Franklin's proposals to come to Nova Scotia and embarked in the Duke of York with 62 other settlers. After a six weeks passage they arrived at Halifax and on 21st May at Fort Cumberland, where his family was housed in the barracks. He records that this first impressions were gloomy as everybody owning land wanted to sell and leave the country, but on examination of the Isthmus he became pleased with its prospects and purchased a farm (Dixon's Island) Sackville from Daniel Hawkins for 260 pounds, Hawkins returning to the United States . Mr. Dixon became a prominent man, being a Justice of the Peace, Collector of customs, Member of the Assembly and Judge of the Inferior Court.
Commodore Ayer - son of Elijah Ayer one of the original settlers ran a schooner between Westcock and Eastport. He lived at Westcock, but removed to Eastport and did some privateering from there during the war of 1812. On one occasion he appeared in the Tantramar river in an armed schooner and sacked the Dixon homestead. This was supposed to wipe off an old feud that survived the Eddy war, when it was alleged that a party of loyalists fired the Eddy house at Middle Sackville when Mrs. Eddy and her children were alone in it. Capt. Eddy owned practically all Middle Sackville which was confiscated.
FIRST CANADIAN HOME OF METHODISTS AND BAPTISTS
Amongst the Immigrants in 1763 to Sackville were Nathan Mason and wife, Thomas Lewis and wife, Experience Baker, all of the Second Baptist church of Swansea, Benjamin Mason and wife, Charles Seamans and wife and Gilbert Seamans and wife from other churches, immigrated to Sackville, N.B., and on 21st April that year. These 13 persons organized the First Baptist church in Canada, with Nathan Mason as pastor -- afterwards Job Seamans became their pastor.
Rev. Job Seamans' father Charles immigrated from Reabothe Mass, with his family to Sackville, N.B., in 1761, where he commenced farming. Five years later the Newlight movement spread to Sackville. Job, then eighteen years of age, attended the meetings, became interested and was finally converted and determined to devote his life to the work of the ministry. In 1773, he was ordained at North Attleboro, Mass. He ministered to the Church there for fourteen years and was a moving spirit in two revivals in which more than 100 persons were baptized. In 1788, he was called to New London, N.H., where he died in 1830.
The writer has a letter from him, dated 1st October, 1796, addressed to James Estabrooks of Sackville, N.B., and another on dated 20 years later. Their phraseology is quaint, but they breathe earnest prayers for the spiritual welfare of the recipient and his family. The names Nathan Mason, Thomas Lewis, Gilbert Seaman, Benjamin Mason occur in a document in the Archives at Halifax seven years later (1770) reciting the names of the residents here. The others are said to have returned to Massachusetts in 1771.
But the Isthmus is not alone the birth place of the Baptist denomination in Canada, but of the Methodist also. Many of the Yorkshire immigrants were born in the home of Wesleyanism and brought with them the spiritual fire lighted at the flame that that immortal teacher kindled. In 1779, meetings were held at Point du Bute, and at a quarterly meeting held at Wm. Trueman's in 1780, Wm. Black, of Amherst, afterwards known as Bishop Black, received spiritual blessings. From that time until 1786, when the first conference took place, the Cumberland district was under the direction of Mr. Black. Two years later (1788) the first Methodist Church was built at Point du Bute, and two years later one was erected at Sackville. These were the first Methodist Churches built in Canada. The Presbyterians were organized and had a church building in Amherst in 1788.
The first European settlers along the Petitcodiac river after the deportation were Germans. A contingent of nine families left the Rhine in 1749, landed at Philadelphia and settled in the Schuylkill 12 miles above that city. After living there 14 years, they chartered a vessel and came to Westmorland, landing at Halls' Creek, Monckton. The Creek is named after the Master of their vessel. They were induced to come by the prospect of large grants of free lands. The names of the immigrants were Steeves, Lutz, Smith, Ritchie, Summers, Trites, Johns -- now Jones, Wortman and Copple. The latter name became extinct. The other families settled and have become very numerous. The original Mr. Steeves had seven sons. His descendants today do not number less than 2,500 people. The German strain proves today a very important element amongst the most prosperous and influential of our people.
In 1788, by a return made by Stephen Milledge, Crown Land surveyor, there were 12 families living in what is now the parish of Moncton. They had amongst them 224 acres of upland cleared, 582 acres of dyked Marsh, 19 horses, 84 cows, 56 oxen, 105 young cattle and 200 sheep. Heinrich Steeves and his seven sons had settled at Hillsboro where they ultimately obtained grants of land to the extent of three square miles. The names of the families were:- Jacob Trites, Sr., Jacob Trites, Jr., Christian Trites, Andrew Summers, Christopher Horsman, Michael Lutz, John and Henry Jones, Frederick and Christian Steeves, William Wilson, Jacob Martin and John Wortman.
Col. Des Barres purchased from one Joseph Gingham a grant he had obtained from the Nova Scotia Government of 20,000 acres of land between the Petitcodiac and Memramcook rivers. His agent, a woman named Polly Cannon, granted long leases to the French Acadians. When Col. Des Barres died in 1824, his son Augustus, who was his heir, commenced to look after his rights. In 1840, he instituted some 50 or 60 actions. A test case was tried before Chief Justice, Sir James Carter, at Dorchester in 1841. The final result was that the French succeeded as respects the lands they occupied, but not as respects the forest lands. These they afterwards purchased.
Messrs, Hope and Cummins of Philadelphia obtained large grants of land in on the Albert side of the Petitcodiac river, and Messrs, Peter and John Hughes, William Grant and Clarckson and Co. of the same city of land in the Westmorland side, on condition of settling the same. They appeared to have made some agreement with the settlers before mentioned. The agreement between them seemed never to have been fulfilled and the settlers obtained judgments against the grantees, sold the lands at Sheriffs sale, purchased them and became permanent settlers.
A brief reference may here be made to the early settlements at Shepody. After the deportation of the French large grants had been made to Generals Haldimand and Bouquet, on condition of actual settlement. They expended considerable sums of money in making efforts to introduce settlers, but they met with very slender success, and before 1773 the properties reverted to the Crown.
Mr. Thomas Calhoun was agent for General Haldimand up to 1770. He and his brother William and two other men were (1771) floating stone on rafts from Grindstone Island to load in a vessel at Shepody river, when through some mishap, they were all drowned.
MOSES DELESDERNIER SETTLED IN SHEPODY
In 1775, in partnership with Mr. DeWitt, he established a truck business at Hopewell Hill. The next year the Eddy contingent sacked his place and he and his family had to seek shelter at Fort Cumberland. Delesdernier died in 1811, at the venerable age of 95 years.
At the close of the Revolutionary War, five large grants of land were made about Shepody Bay. These were partly made over previous grants to General Haldimand and others.
SETTLEMENT OF SHEDIAC
The first English settler in Shediac was William Hanington. His father was a member of the Fishmonger's Guild, London. He landed in Halifax, in 1783 - the year after peace was proclaimed between Britain and her revolted colonies. He had purchased for two shillings an acre a tract of 5,000 acres abutting on Shediac harbor that had been granted in 1768 to Joseph Williams and others. After a tramp through the unbroken forests he arrived at his future home in March, 1784.
For a London man, the prospect must have seemed hopeless but Mr. Hanington's vigor and self-reliance were equal to the emergencies. He was the first English settler in the Gulf Shore between Pictou and Miramichi. When he arrived he found neighbors in two French settlers at Shediac and two more on the shore had made clearings and put up log cabins. It was then twenty years since the expulsion and twenty since the ordinance against them had been repealed. These settlers belonged to the Gaudet and Gallant families. The next English settlers were Samuel Cornwall, John Atkinson and Bowen Smith - all early in the 19th century.
John Welling, a Loyalist, not satisfied with his situation at St. John, found his way to P. E. Island, settling in 1798 on what is since known as Welling's Point, near Summerside.
His wife was Elizabeth Darby. Mr. Hanington married her sister Mary. Tradition makes the affair rather a romantic one. He was driving along the road with his ox cart, and he espied in the barnyard of a nearby homestead, a young woman feeding chickens. It was a case of love at first sight. The exigencies of pioneer life did not permit any prolonged dallying. He was a man of action. He proposed and was accepted on the spot. He claimed her at once and succeeded in overcoming her reluctance and objections. She mounted the cart with him, wended their way to a justice of the peace, parsons being scarce, where the ceremony was performed. His son Hon. Daniel, represented Westmorland many years in the Assembly and was Speaker. His grandson Hon. Daniel L. was at one time leader of the government and died in 1909, a Judge of the Supreme Court.
The Irishtown Road settlement was first made by John and William Wood and Walter Crowley.
Other immigrants followed. The Wards, Crawleys, FitzSimmons, Lurings, Dunphys, Kennedys and others came from Ireland and settled at Irishtown near Moncton between 1812 and 1818.
In 1835-6, the Immigrant Road between Gaspereaux and Cape Tormentine was settled by the Carrolls, Mahoneys, Sweeneys, Murphys, Barrys and others from Ireland, whose descendants have built up a very prosperous community.
In 1800, John Rayworth, a tanner and currier of London, England, emigrated to P. E. Island. He left there and landed at Rayworth's brook, Little Cape. The country was then a wilderness. He walked in winter to Fredericton to obtain a grant, and secured one of 1200 acres in one block, where he made a home for himself and brought up a family. He is the progenitor of the numerous and influential family by that name.
The toils of these early immigrants, their privations and dangers, their achievements and exploits in subduing nature and making permanent homes, if recorded, would form some of the most interesting literature the country could afford.
In 1787, Mr. Powell, a loyalist settled at Richibucto. At this time, the inhabitants there, besides the Indians, were four families of Acadians, and in the whole stretch of country from Bay Verte to the Miramichi there were only eight families of settlers. Mr. Powell was the ancestor of Hon. H. A. Powell, K.C.
FREE REPRESENTATIVE INSTITUTIONS
The loyalists were not the pioneers of Acadia. When they arrived they found settlements already in existence. A representative government had been established for a quarter of a century based on principles recognized at the time as most liberal. Courts of law had been established and the same security to life and property was afforded as in any of the older communities of the Empire. This had been accomplished by the efforts of the first immigrants from New England, who had remained steadfast in their loyalty. When the province of New Brunswick was created in 1784, the founders there had little to do but duplicate the governmental institutions long in successful operation.
Nothing occurred after the declaration of peace 1782 to check the growth and prosperity of Chignecto; in all material aspects it has been one of progressive advancement. The war of 1812 in no way hindered the ordinary pursuits of the people, though the feuds engendered during the Eddy conflict produced an aftermath in 1812. The settlements along the Bay of Fundy were kept in constant alarm, by armed schooners and whale boats, which carrying letters of marque, scoured our shores. In some cases, they were piloted by former inhabitants of the country, who fled when the Eddy incursion collapsed. They made some captures of vessels and looted homesteads but did no permanent damage.
The development of our country has proceeded by well defined stages. At first the fur pelt and fishing business attracted a roving population. This was followed by the mast and square timber trade, which, requiring but an axe in the way of machinery proved profitable. And then followed in due course the construction of vessels for coastwise trade, the first square rigged vessel launched in Acadia was built by a Mr. McNab at Wallace, N.S. The utilization of water mills for sawing lumber opened up an immense business with England. In 1786, the Government paid a bounty of 20 pounds each for the construction of 22 saw mills, one being to Mr. Charles Taylor, Dorchester, and another to Mr. Pettis of Parrsboro. The clearing of land led to the raising of potatoes and grain and the keeping of live stock. The next, and final stage, was the creation of manufacturing industries under the stimulus of the national policy, by which the labor-employing industries of the country were immensely diversified. These, to some extent, replaced the wooden ship building industry, which the making of iron ships rendered unprofitable. The domestic growth of wheat, which could not compete with Western grain after the opening of the North West, was largely abandoned and farm properties fell in value.
During this period Cumberland produced two men of commanding ability; the first one was Simon Newcombe, Rear Admiral of the United States Navy, who is accorded front rank as a scientist's - the second Charles Tupper, whose achievements in the great work of creating and building a Canadian nationality in the widely separated British communities of North America, place him amongst the first of Imperial statesmen.
Chignecto being the fighting ground of the contending powers for the possession of Acadia, a vast amount of material is available bearing on the movements in that locality, but owing to the limited space necessarily given this paper, many interesting occurrences and striking incidents are either ignored or only touched on, while personal details and family history of many who bore a worthy part in the conflicts and struggles about Chignecto are omitted. The maps of Chignecto are photographs of the originals found in the British Museum. The writer begs to acknowledge his obligations to Prof. W. G. Ganong, of Smith College, Northampton, Mass., and to the N.E.H.G. Society, Boston, for valuable aid given him.
Records of Chignecto Editor & Coordinator:
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Anne Andrea (Holbrook, Massachusetts)
Michelle Burton (Coquitlam, British Columbia)
Wanda Hamilton (Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia)
Phyllis Perry (Amherst, Nova Scotia)
Beth Rollins (Oshawa, Ontario)
Jorge Woods (Weston, Australia)
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Published by The Chignecto Project
*This electronic edition is brought to you by the volunteers of The Chignecto Project (http://www.chignecto.net). The Chignecto Project's mission is to create easily-accessible electronic editions of genealogical and historical material for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for the public domain. We have exercised all possible diligence to ensure the accuracy of this edition.
This edition is released to the public for not-for-profit use only, and for such use it may be freely distributed. For all other use, especially commercial, copyright applies and permission must be sought from The Chignecto Project. The Chignecto Project is not legally liable for any errors or omissions that may have crept in; this electronic text is provided on an "as is" basis.
© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
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