By Peter Fisher
AS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 1825
(With a few additional Explanatory Notes)
NOW RE-PRINTED JOINTLY BY
The Government of New Brunswick
William Shives Fisher
(Grandson of the Author)
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
THE NEW BRUNSWICK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
St. John, N. B.
The tale of the Loyalists; their loyalty to high ideals of national duty—to fulfil which they underwent untold losses, privations and sufferings when they abandoned their homes and their all, and sought new homes and commenced a new life in a northern wilderness—is a story that appeals wherever patriotism is an honor and self-sacrifice a virtue. In this Province of New-Brunswick, settled mainly by families torn and rent by the American revolution and whose descendants are reaping the reward of their sacrifice, it is of peculiar interest.
In 1825, when Peter Fisher published the first Historical work, the Province of New-Brunswick had received the loyalist immigration forty-three years before, at which date it was constituted a separate Province. The progress of the country during a period when its political institutions and industrial life were in a formative condition is of deep interest. The account given of it in Mr. Fisher's work is of sufficient value in the opinion of the New Brunswick Historical Society to warrant its being reprinted. In addition to the original work, there has been embodied with it, notes and observations prepared by the Venerable Archdeacon Raymond and published in Vol. X of the records of the Society. A copy of the history not being available, this is printed from a photostat copy furnished by the Dominion archives.
AN ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF THE PROVINCE,
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION
COUNTRY, CLIMATE, PRODUCTIONS, INHABITANTS, GOVERNMENT,
RIVERS, TOWNS, SETTLEMENTS, PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS,
TRADE, REVENUE, POPULATION, &c.
An Inhabitant of the Province.
"Whatever concerns my country, interests me;
I follow nature, with truth my guide."
PRINTED BY CHUBB & SEARS,
To the Reader.
Having at different times collected what information I could obtain relating to the Province of New-Brunswick, I intended whenever I had a sufficient fund of correct materials, to publish them in such a shape as to diffuse a general knowledge of the Country, its productions, sources of wealth, &c. For this reason I had kept the different Counties, as well as the several subjects of which I intended to treat, separate, in order to receive such additions as I could from time to time make. But as I am happy to find that it is one of the objects of the New-Brunswick Agricultural and Emigrant Society, to publish a Geographical and Statistical Account of the Province, as soon as materials can be collected, I have given up my first design—being convinced that such a Society can collect correct information and the materials for such a desirable object with far greater facility and accuracy than an individual. In the mean time, I have given these Sketches to the public, hoping they may serve to give a faint knowledge of the Country, till a more perfect Work is prepared. It is no small matter to give any thing like a full description of a new Country like New-Brunswick, where the Compiler has but few helps—where there are but few written documents to resort to, and where neither Animals, Minerals, or Plants, have been properly arranged; and where there are but few correct materials to guide him in pointing out the changes of the seasons and other natural phenomena, with many other things which are requisite in a complete description of a new Country. The labour of even arranging the different Parishes was considerable, which the statement of the population of the Province, (had I possessed that document in time,) would have at once supplied.
It was my intention to add a concise history of the principal transactions that have taken place in the Country from its first occupation to the present time, from such sources both written and oral, as came within my researches; but have for the reasons before stated relinquished that design.
The description of some of the Counties is not so full as I could wish, but it may be observed this is but an outline of what I at first designed; and that the information I had collected of some of the Counties, was very scanty; but that I intended to extend it to considerable length, as correct materials could be procured. Having therefore abandoned my first design, I had to contract the description of some of the Counties of which I had a fuller knowledge, to make the Work more uniform; and not to appear partial to some parts of the Province, or to have forgotten others.
Fractional accuracy cannot be expected in such a brief outline; neither indeed is it of much consequence. I have, however, endeavoured to come as near the reality as possible, and given as full a detail as the size of the Work would allow.
Old Settlers on the River Saint John. New-Brunswick erected into a Government, and settled by the Loyalists in 1783-4. Difficulties of the first Settlers. List of successive Governors and Presidents.
The Province of New-Brunswick formerly formed a part of Nova-Scotia, which was the first European settlement on the Continent of North America.—The first grant of land in it was given by King James the First to Sir William Alexander, in 1621—from whom it had the name of Nova-Scotia or New Scotland. It was at that time regarded by the English as a part of Cabot's discovery of Terra-Nova. The first settlers, however, were emigrants from France, who as early as the year 1604 came to the Country with De Mont, a French adventurer, and gave it the name of Acadia.
This country frequently changed masters; passing from the French to the English, and back again, till it was finally ceded in full sovereignty to the British at the peace of Utrecht in 1713.
In 1760, a number of persons from the County of Essex, in Massachusetts, obtained a grant of a Township, twelve