By C. A. DUFF MILLER
(Agent-General, New Brunswick)
The province of tlie
British Empire with which I have to deal, and in which I take a very
deep interest, is very little heard of, probably on account of its
steady-going good behaviour, and consequently is not so well known as
many much less important countries of the world.
In the early days of
the French and English settlements in America, the province of New
Brunswick was a part of the French province or colony of Acadia, which
included within its somewhat elastic and not very clearly-defined
boundaries the countries now known as Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the State of Maine.
I say somewhat elastic
boundaries, as they were made to vary according to the changing fortunes
of the English, the French, or the New England Settlements, but
originally the extent of Acadia was as I have just described.
New Brunswick, which
was made a distinct province in 1784, occupies that part of the great
Dominion of Canada and of the Continent of America situated nearest to
As a practical
illustration of this, it may be stated that the port of Chatham on the
Miramichi River is nearer to Liverpool than any other port of any
considerable importance on the mainland of America, its distance by
shortest route through the Strait of Belle Isle being about 2430 miles,
whereas Halifax, in Nova Scotia, is distant 2450, Quebec 2633, and New
York 3105 miles respectively.
New Brunswick is a very
compact country, being almost square, and all its districts having at
the same time easy access to the ocean, being practically washed by the
sea on three sides, that is by the Bay of Chaleur, the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, and Northumberland Strait on the north and east, and by the
Bay of Fundy on the south, whilst the grand St. John River and the St.
Croix most effectively open up the western counties of the province to
It has good ports on
all these waters, the city of St. John at the mouth of the river of the
same name and that of Halifax being the two most important winter ports
of Canada, whilst St. Andrews (also open all winter) is beautifully
situated on the Passamaquoddy Bay.
This bay, covering an
area of 100 square miles, forms a magnificent harbour, with easy access
to the Atlantic Ocean, but the water is entirely sheltered, and here
could lie in stately repose the navies of every country in the world.
New Brunswick adjoins
the province of Quebec on the north, the State of Maine on the west, the
province of Nova Scotia on the south-east, and is separated from the
province of Prince Edward Island by the Strait of Northumberland.
Now, with regard to the
size and population of the country, I may say that it contains about
28,000 square miles of territory, making it considerably larger than the
two kingdoms of Holland and Belgium combined, or than Holland and
Switzerland put together. Nearly 1 5,000 square miles are forest and
It is divided into
fifteen counties, which in total area are equal to the twenty-seven
middle and southern counties of England, so that it is also, roughly
speaking, about two-thirds the size of England, and equal in size to all
England lying south of a line drawn from Chester on the Dee to the Wash.
The extreme length is 230 miles, and the width 190 miles.
Its population is now
estimated to be 325,000, making it the fourth in importance in this
respect of the provinces forming the Dominion. To compare it with the
Australasian and South African colonies, the population is rather over
that of South Australia, about half that of New Zealand, not far
inferior in numbers to the whole white population of the Cape Colony,
and, although only a third larger in extent of territory than Natal, it
contains six times as many white people.
Having now given a
general idea of the geographical position of New Brunswick, let us turn
to its early history in connection with its first visitors or
discoverers in medieval times.
Five years after
Columbus had discovered or, at any rate, reopened a road to the western
continent, in his search for a new and more direct route to the Indies,
John Cabot, who set sail from Bristol for the New World with Ietters-patent
granted by Henry VII., and with a man-of-war, the Matthew, and three
merchant ships, and, we are told, equipment worthy of the undertaking,
was the first European in modern and unquestioned history to set foot on
the Continent of America.
Whether the first land
seen by Cabot was Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, there is no question but
that he visited Acadia, lie having sailed alone the American shores some
one thousand miles and erected upon the coast the flag of England, in
token of its possession by his patron. The 400th anniversary of this
first landing or discovery of the mainland of America was celebrated in
1897, not only in the town of Bristol, from which this notable
expedition set sail, but also in Nova Scotia.
Cabot returned to
England with two of the natives, and in the following year (1498)
another expedition set sail under the command of his son, Sebastian
Cabot, who, after attempting the North-West Passage and being driven
therefrom by the ice, skirted along the whole coast of North America as
far as Florida. It is on the ground of these visits of the Cabots that
the English based their claims to the ownership of these countries in
the disputes which followed between the English and the French almost
continuously during the succeeding two centuries and a half.
Gaspar de Cortereal, a
Portuguese, was the next visitor to these shores, in the year 1500, and
being driven back, like Cabot, by the ice in the north, he visited a
country his description of which might well accord with Acadia, namely:
“ A country abounding in immense pines, with people attired in the skins
of wild animals; these natives were well made and fitted for labour,” so
much so, in his estimation, that he captured fifty-seven of them and
brought them back with him to Europe, where they were sold as slaves.
On his second voyage he
met with mishap, as neither he nor his ships were heard of more.
In 1524 Verazzano, a
Florentine, under the patronage of Francis I. of France, was the next
notable voyager to visit this part of America. He first touched in South
Carolina, and found that the farther northwards he proceeded the more
hostile the natives became. This is not to be wondered at, as the
conduct of the early European voyagers in carrying off the then friendly
aborigines to slavery was not calculated to dispose them favourably
towards other visitors of the same colour. He gave the name of New
France to the whole of the territory which lie visited. This was the
origin of the French claim.
The next expedition we
read of is that of Mr. Thomas Thorne, a learned and wealthy citizen of
Bristol, who having obtained the countenance and support of Henry VIII,
sailed forth in 1527 in the Dominus Vosbiscum accompanied by a canon of
St. Paul’s, a man of much wealth, and imbued witli a desire for
The voyage was not
prosperous, and having lost one of their ships in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, the other coasted along the shores of Arembec—the name given
by the English to Acadia—and returned to England the same year. Nothing
appears to have resulted from this trading and colonising expedition.
We now come to a much
more notable figure in the early history of Canada and Acadia, in the
person of Jacques Cartier, a very bold and skilful pilot of St. Malo, in
He sailed, with two
small vessels of sixty tons each, from that port in 1534. He touched at
Newfoundland, sailed through the Strait of Belle Isle to the north of
that island, and on the 30th June came in sight of the shores of New
Brunswick, at the mouth of the beautiful Miramichi River on the “ north
Cartier entered this
river, and speaks of it as “a very goodly river, but very shallow.”
Hannay also tells us, in his “History of Acadia,” that this, the first
explorer to describe New Brunswick itself, as distinguished from other
parts of Acadia or America, was charmed with the beauty and fertility of
the country, and speaks of it in glowing terms. The forest tree* were
principally pines, cedars, white elms, ash, willow, and yew trees, and
many others with which the navigator was unacquainted.
Amongst the latter, no
doubt, was the hemlock spruce, a very beautiful and lofty forest tree,
in no manner resembling the herb called hemlock with which Socrates
poisoned himself, but resembling the yew, or a tree between that and the
This tree is chiefly
valuable on account of its bark, which is rich in the most valuable form
of tannic acid for the manufacture of leather, and to its abundance in
Canada and the Eastern States of the Union is entirely due the most
important place that America holds in the great industry of tanning.
The industry of
gathering this bark for the making of leather and the manufacture of
tanning extracts gives employment to many of the inhabitants not only of
the Miramichi Valley but also to other districts of New Brunswick, at
seasons of the year when other work or occupation is difficult to
But to return to
Cartier, lie reports that where there were no trees, the ground was
covered with gooseberries, strawberries, and blackberries, wild peas,
and a species of wild corn which resembled rye. The climate was as warm
as that of Spain, and the birds were very numerous. The land was level,
and the natives manifested a friendly disposition.
Such is, in substance,
the account given (according to Hannay) of this part of New Brunswick by
its first recorded discoverer, who, fresh from the rumored coast and
severe climate of Newfoundland and Labrador, was the better able to
appreciate its beauties.
I quote at this length
in order to show that New Brunswick is by no means a country that is
always covered with snow the year round as some imagine, but that it
enjoys a delightful summer, and this is not astonishing when we remember
that it lies between the latitudes 45° and 48°, corresponding in this
respect to that part of France lying between Nantes and Bordeaux. An old
French writer on Acadia declared that every tree that flourished in
France would grow in Acadia— except the olive.
We need not follow
Jacques Cartier further, except to say that he proceeded along the coast
northwards, entering the great Bay of Chaleur, the northern boundary of
the province, which he so named on account of the great heat prevailing
while he sojourned there, and thence passed up the St. Lawrence River,
which, with the Great Lakes, forms the grandest waterway in the world,
containing, as it is said to do, half the fresh water of the adobe. He
thus became the first discoverer of Canada.
Some fifty years later
than Cartier’s first voyage, about the middle of the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh,
commanded the best-fitted expedition that had set sail for the New World
up to that time.
Besides carrying a
large stock of provisions and articles of traffic, its personnel was
carefully chosen, and consisted of blacksmiths, carpenters, shipwrights,
See., 260 men in all; but the expedition was unfortunate from first to
last from contagious disease having broken out shortly after sailing,
and also on account of storms and disaster.
first-mentioned cause the largest of the fleet, fitted out by Sir Walter
Raleigh himself and named after him, had to put back. Who amongst us in
our young days has not been impressed with the tragic story of the
adventures of the Delight, the Golden Hind, and of the loss of the
gallant commander in mid-Atlantic on board of the little Squirrel? As
Hannay justly says: “The death of Sir Humphrey Gilbert was a sad loss to
the New World as well as to the Old, for in his ocean grave was buried
the hope of Acadia being made a British colony at that time. Hoav
different might its history have been had that navigator’s designs been
carried into effect."
One more expedition to
Acadia is recorded just at the close of the sixteenth century, and that
was again French, under the command of Marquis de la Roche and the
auspices of the Huguenot king of France, Henry IV. This was just 300
years ago—in 1598— and 100 years after the visit of Cabot.
But all these
expeditions, although enjoying the encouragement of such notable
monarchs as Henry VII. and VIII., Queen Elizabeth, Francis I., and Henri
IV., really made during a whole century no solid progress towards the
foundation of colonies; nevertheless, the waters surrounding Acadia were
frequented by hardy and adventurous fishermen from the coasts of Great
Britain, Brittany, the Basque provinces of France and Spain, and also
from Portugal. They no doubt landed for supplies of fresh water and
fuel, and to dry or cure their fish and to trade with the natives, but
no real or permanent settlements were the result. We cannot but admire
their pluck and daring, continued without interruption to this day, in
quest of the boundless wealth of cod and other fish for which this
region, including the banks of Newfoundland, is so famous.
As an illustration of
this fact, it is stated that Sir Humphrey Gilbert, after his stormy
voyage across the Atlantic in 1583, found no less than thirty-six
fishing vessels of different nationalities lying in the harbour of St.
John’s, Newfoundland. To quote our great New Brunswick historian once
more: “ In this way the whole coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence became
well known long before Canada and Acadia contained a single white
settler, and the Atlantic coast of Acadia was equally familiar to these
traders and fishermen.”
But these were not the
first visitors or discoverers of Acadia, as there is no question but
that it was visited by the Norsemen at the end of the tenth and
beginning of the eleventh centuries, and whatever the claims of
Labrador, Newfoundland, Massachusetts, or Quebec may be as to their
being designated by the ancient Norse names of Helluland, Markland, or
Vinland, which they gave to the respective countries they visited, there
is little doubt that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick represent one or
other of these.
That the learned of
Europe knew of the existence of America long before Columbus is
evidenced by the fact that Pope Pascal II., in the year 1112, appointed
one Eric Upsi Bishop of Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland, and it is also
related that this good prelate visited the latter country in the year
However, space will not
permit of our following this very interesting subject. I will only
mention that even Vinland would apply to New Brunswick, as grapes grow
in abundance on the islands of the St. John River.
Nor have we time to
follow the history covering the period of 160 years, during which this
country passed backwards and forwards between the French and the
English, from the arrival in 1603 of De Monts, who was accompanied by
Champlain, the founder of Quebec, until the final surrender of the whole
of Acadia alonir with Canada to the English in the year 1763, although
it is a history full of romance and interest, as many of my readers will
recognise at the mention of such names as De Poutrincourt, Bicncourt,
Sir William Alexander, Sir David Kertk, De Kazilly, Denys, Abbe Laloutre,
and especially of Latour and Charnisay.
The chief fact,
however, of interest is that New Brunswick, though first really settled
as an English colony in 1761, is the creation of the American
Revolution, when in 1783 a fleet arrived from New York with 3000
loyalists, who left the United States to find a new home in a country
still under the British flag. The United Empire Loyalist element is to
this day the backbone and sinew of the country.
The first Governor was
Sir Thomas Carleton, who soon transferred the capital to Fredericton,
eighty-six miles up the St. John River, which was the old French post of
St. Anne, and which by way of the Nashwauk and the Miramichi opened up
the most ready means, in the French colonial days, of reaching the main
French province of Canada. Till this time New Brunswick formed part of
the province of Nova Scotia, but from this date was a separate province.
Since then the growth of population and the development of the resources
of the country have been gradual and sure.
I must not, however,
omit to mention the great Miramichi fire of 1825, when no less than
3,000,000 acres of valuable forest lands were burnt down, $1,000,000 of
property destroyed, and 160 lives lost. The settlers, with their
families and their cattle, were driven into the rivers and sea, together
with the wild animals, this being the only refuge from the flames.
To those who wish for
more information in regard to the history as well as the natural and
general features of New Brunswick, I would refer them to Hannay’s
“History of Acadia,” and to a new issue of Stanford’s “Compendium of
Geography,” Vol. I., just published, relating to Canada and
Newfoundland, by Dr. S. E. Dawson, to both of which I am especially
indebted for many facts and up-to-date information.
It has often been
remarked by visitors to America that the most English countries, as
regards both the people themselves and the general appearance of the
country, are the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
To quote from the
beautiful Jubilee number of the Toronto Globe, a copy of which was sent
to the Queen, and was exhibited among the Queen’s Jubilee presents, in
describing New Brunswick, it says: “A country may well claim to be
prosperous when it is found to have neither the extreme of great wealth
nor of great poverty among its people. This is the happy condition of
the maritime provinces of Canada as a whole, but in no one of them is
this more evident than in the province of New Brunswick. While it is not
a land where fortunes are rapidly Avon and lost in the fever of
speculation, it is yet a country where a competence may be gained as
easily as anywhere on the earth, and where there is the still more
important assurance that prosperity and comfort are the reward of the
sober, honest, and industrious of all classes. Its contour and physical
features are such as to make all parts of it easily accessible and
available for settlement as the increase of the population may demand.”
It is a remarkable
fact, that of the people of this province 94 per cent, are native-born
Canadians, and of the remaining 6 per cent, only 1 per cent. were born
outside the British Empire.
They are naturally a
seafaring people, largely descended from generations of sailors and
fishermen, and turn to the ocean for a livelihood, whether in connection
with the fisheries or navigation. The ship-building trade was formerly
the most important industry of the colon}", with the single exception of
lumbering, and still the wooden ships of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
are to be seen in every seaport of the world. Although the people of
these provinces have an inborn capacity for the management of such
vessels and are able to work them at a profit where others have failed,
we must admit that iron and steel vessels are speedily driving the
wooden ships off the seas.
I agree with Lord
Charles Beresford that when England requires more men of the right sort
to man her navy, she can look to her colonies to supply them, and not
the least suitable are those who hail from the Atlantic provinces of
Canada. It would, indeed, be a wise measure if the British and Canadian
Governments would join in providing a training-ship for the Maritime
New Brunswick has 545
miles of seaboard, and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have an even
greater extent of coast.
English tenant farmers,
or young men brought up to farming and who have a few hundred pounds
available, could do worse than seek a home in this country. They will
find with little trouble farms to suit their fancy and their fortune,
the owners being satisfied to accept a certain proportion of cash and to
leave the remainder of the purchase money as a charge, if desired,
extending over several years. This applies to those who have even £100
or £200 up to £2000,
These farms come into
the market from a variety of causes and reasons which it is not
necessary to enumerate here, but the chief cause is the desire of the
son of the old settler to better himself and to go farther west, where
he hears of what he thinks are better chances of improving his
condition, and, with his experience of rough life in the backwoods, this
is no doubt true; but the Englishman or Scotchman from the old country
will find it quite as big a step to transfer his energies to the—to
him—equally novel surroundings of an old-established colony like New
To him, however, who
has not got the desirable two or three hundred pounds at his disposal, I
would say, leave the little he has at home in the savings-bank, and on
arrival hire himself out to a farmer or take any work he can get for a
year or so; he will certainly be able to earn a living, if not to save
something, and when he has gained some experience of the country, take
up a free grant from the Government or buy a farm partially cleared.
Large areas of the finest land capable of sustaining hundreds of
thousands of farmers are still obtainable without encroaching much on
the large territories of forest, where the land is by no means bad, but
not of the best quality for profitable farming.
Land is easily obtained
; the conditions under which a lot of 100 acres can be secured by actual
settlers are so easy as to be within the reach of any man who has health
and energy.1 He may pay in cash to aid in the construction of the roads
and bridges in his locality, or he need pay no cash if he is willing to
perform work on roads and bridges for three years to the value of £2 a
year. Within two years after obtaining permission to occupy the land, he
must build on it a house not less than sixteen by twenty feet, and clear
at least two acres. When he has resided there three consecutive years,
cleared and cultivated ten acres, and complied with the conditions
already named, the 100 acres will be granted absolutely to him. In order
to make the conditions as to three years’ residence as easy as possible,
the settler may, from time to time, absent himself from the land in
order to procure means of support for himself and family. Application
may be made for Crown lands without any conditions of settlement, in
which case the land applied for is advertised and sold by public auction
at an upset price of one dollar an acre.
According to census of
1891, the occupied land amounted to four and a half million acres, of
which one and a half million were improved, over one million being under
crop, and nearly half a million acres in pasture, and some twelve
thousand acres reserved to gardens and orchards.
In 1898 there was an
increased acreage sown, due mainly to the large importation of seed
wheat and other agricultural seeds which were freely distributed through
the Agricultural Societies in various districts, and also to the
assistance in the construction of a sufficient number of modern
flour-mills in different localities, in order to encourage the farmer in
growing wheat. In 1898 there were about 29,000 acres in wheat, yielding
410,000 bushels, an increase of almost 100 per cent, since 1891. Owing
to the requirements of the lumbermen hay and oats always find a ready
sale, and last year there were produced in New Brunswick some 5,000,000
bushels of oats, an increase of nearly 2,000,000 bushels in seven years,
and owing to the improved methods of farming, a yield of 27 bushels per
acre, as against 19 some years ago. The production of hay was about
550,000 tons. There were also increased quantities of barley, buckwheat,
and potatoes grown last year.
The Government of New
Brunswick a few years ago followed the example set by the Government of
Ontario in encouraging farmers in different districts to produce butter
and cheese by giving grants in aid of the erection of cheese and butter
factories. There are in New Brunswick now some fifty-five cheese
factories and fourteen butter factories in operation. The production of
cheese last year (1898) amounted to nearly 850,000 lbs., valued at about
£14,000, and the output of butter amounted to nearly £4000 in value. The
establishment of these factories is a very considerable boon to the
farmers in country districts, giving them a ready market for all the
milk that they can produce. There is still a large field for increase in
the production of butter, as not more than one-half of the butter
consumed in the province is made there, the rest being imported from
Ontario and Quebec. With the contemplated increase in cheese and butter
factories during the next few years, New Brunswick should produce all
the butter required, and largely increase its exportation of cheese.
The financial affairs
of the Province are in an exceedingly sound condition. The total
indebtedness amounts to some £590,000, bearing interest at the rate of 3
and 4 per cent. The 3 per cent, bonds recently issued are selling at
par. To set against this debt are the valuable Crown lands of the
Province, comprising some 7,000,000 acres, which bring in a considerable
revenue. Including the subsidy from the Dominion Government, the total
revenue of the Province is about £150,000.
The above moderate
indebtedness has been incurred in judicious expenditures for railways,
roads, bridges, and educational purposes. With a continuance of wise and
careful administration, it will not be long before New Brunswick
Bonds—bearing 3 per cent, interest—will stand as high as any Colonial
securities in the financial market.
Lumbering—that is, the
getting out of timber and sawing same into deals and boards—is the chief
industry of New Brunswick; but of recent years many new industries have
been developed throughout the province, such as the manufacture of
cotton, boots and shoes, furniture, products of iron, tanning extracts,
leather, and, more recently, wood-pulp for paper-makin". Some of these
industries natural to New Brunswick are hampered greatly by the heavy
duties imposed by the neighbouring United States on these products, and
also by the restrictions imposed by France, where there is also a large
market for the three forest products above named—namely, timber, tanning
extract, and pulp; but these cannot be developed to their full extent
till we have a direct line between New Brunswick or Canada and France,
on account of the extra duties imposed on goods arriving by way of the
States or England, which render trade impossible.
The fisheries include
salmon, cod, mackerel, herring, shad, smelt, black-bass, trout,
lobsters, and oysters.
There are important
lobster-canning establishments all along the coast of the Strait of
Northumberland, and a large business is carried on in the shipment of
frozen salmon, trout, bass, and smelts to the New York and New England
markets. The fresh fish are kept in refrigerators, and shipped when the
prices rule the highest in these markets, excellent facilities having
been provided for rapid transit, both by rail and steamer.
Coal is found, also
gold, silver, lead, antimony, copper, iron, manganese, and other
valuable minerals in considerable quantities, but none have been worked
to any great extent. This is owing a good deal to the thick forest and
underbush covering most of the country, large portions of which even now
have been but superficially examined, and I have no doubt that the
future will unveil considerable mineral wealth in this country.
Besides its fair and
proportionate representation in the Dominion Parliament at Ottawa there
is the local parliament at Fredericton, in which there are forty-eight
members elected on a very popular franchise. The executive government
consists of seven members, and is responsible to the Assembly in the
manner usual in the British Colonies. Leading members of the Local
Government are the Hon. H. R, Emmerson, Premier and Chief Commissioner
of the Board of Works; the Hon. L. J. Tweedie, Provincial Secretary and
Receiver-General; the Hon. A. S. White, Attorney-General; while the Hon.
A. G. Blair ably represents the Province in the Dominion Cabinet.
Education is of the
very best. Schools are free and undenominational, and may be primary,
advanced, high, superior, or grammar schools, according to the extent of
the needs of the district they are provided for. The keystone of the
system is the University of New Brunswick, founded in 1S28, to which a
certain number of students from each county are admitted without the
usual fees, and which has the power to grant University degrees.
No colony should exceed
Canada in aptness for military matters. Its inhabitants are mainly
descended from soldiers and sailors disbanded at different periods, or
from those men loyal to the British throne, whether soldier or civilian,
who left the United States at the end of the War of Independence to cut
out for themselves, in a new and wild land, homes where the dear old
flag of England would still wave over their heads. This was the ease in
Nova Scotia between 1713 and 1749, and in New Brunswick in 1761, 1763,
and 17S3, and by the disbandment of regiments at various times since.
The different branches
of the service in Canada wear the same uniforms as in the corresponding
services in England. The finest regiments have often volunteered for
service abroad when they thought their services might be of use to the
mother country, and I would like to say that the cavalry regiment to
which I belonged during the Soudan and Afghan troubles of 1885
volunteered to a man to serve in either of those countries. We were not
a little disappointed when the Australian offer was accepted and our
proffered services declined, but we hope to be more fortunate at some
New Brunswick derives
its name from the reigning house of England; loyalty to the Throne of
England was its origin, and loyal to Queen and Empire it will remain.
As a sporting country,
New Brunswick has few rivals. I do not say that big game, or perhaps
even small game, is as abundant there as in many other countries, but
what I do say is that, with good sport, you have a grand, health-giving,
and exhilarating climate, and the most beautiful surroundings in which
to enjoy it.
With all this, you have
the most noble quarry in the whole world in the moose, not only on
account of his size and the magnificent trophy afforded by his head and
spacious antlers, but also in this, that he is one of the most difficult
of animals to approach and to get a shot at.
The caribou is another
noble inhabitant of the New Brunswick woods, of the same species as the
Lapland reindeer, though a larger and finer animal, as the Canadian
moose is also in comparison with his representative in Europe, the
Some years ago, when
staying at Fredericton, I went out with my brother to a noted district
for moose and caribou to enjoy a week’s sport. We had a delightful drive
over the crisp and sparkling snow to a fine old-fashioned settlement at
Stanley, and there took to the woods in a rough sled with a driver and
pair of horses, very comfortably stowed away amidst buffalo robes spread
over a goodly quantity of loose hay. We stopped overnight at a half-way
log hut provided for the teams going to and fro during the winter by the
large lumber kings operating in that district of country, and kept in
order by a man who acted as hotel manager, steward and cook, butler and
boots all in one, and a very sociable evening we spent together, with
good cheer in the shape of salt pork and fish, and nothing stronger than
very strong tea with no milk, but with a little molasses to sweeten it.
Next day by noon we
arrived at a large logging camp, containing probably twenty-five or
thirty men all in one log camp or house, the men provided with sleeping
accommodation on two long shelves four feet above the floor, and running
from end to end of the shanty. It also contained a large red-hot stove,
although the cooking was done in a log-house set apart for the purpose.
Here we met our
hunter-guide, whose business it was to provide fresh meat for this
lumbering camp. We started off with him at once and one other man to
pull our toboggan with our kit and supplies. We took to our snow-shoes
and made a detour through the woods with our guide in search of game. We
had not gone far when we came on a herd of fine caribou feeding on the
moss and lichen on the tops of the spruce trees recently cut down by the
lumbermen of the camp we had just left. Creeping up noiselessly on our
snow-shoes over the soft snow from cover to cover, four fine animals
fell to our guns. It was getting dusk, so we left them, after covering
them over with snow and branches, to return and carry them off on the
With buoyant spirits,
rendered the more so by the clear, crisp, and invigorating atmosphere,
we soon overtook our man with the toboggan on the frozen level surface
of the Clearwater River, a branch of the Miramichi, and were soon at our
rendezvous for the next few days, a trapper’s hut on the bank of the
river amongst the great spruce, pine, and hemlock trees. We quickly had
some choice portions of our caribou cut in steaks and frizzling in the
pan, and also four or five partridges, or rather forest grouse, impaled
on the ends of sticks stuck in the ground, roasting before the fire.
We made a most
excellent repast while listening to the highly-coloured tales of our
guide and our trapper friend, not always confined to strict veracity, I
We next proceeded to
hunt for the still nobler game and the real object of our journey, the
moose. The snow had fallen daily of late, so that it was with difficulty
we novices could see the traces of moose at all. Not so with our
experienced guide, but his difficulty was rather that the spoor was too
abundant, that is, that there were too many moose about, and that,,
having picked out the tracks of a fine big bull, he would lose it again
from its crossing and reerossing those of other moose, sometimes cows
and calves, which, of course, are not fair prey to the true sportsman,
and are now protected by law from interference. However, on the third or
fourth day, our guide had located our quarry, and starting at daybreak
the next morning, we were upon him, but before we could get a shot he
disappeared as if by magic. We followed his tracks in the snow all that
day, and so keen were we that at nightfall we decided to sleep in the
snow and give him chase again next morning. This we did, and our
persistence was crowned with success. His magnificent head and antlers
are now amongst my most cherished possessions.
Of course there is a
great deal of other game in this sportsman’s paradise, only eight days’
sail from England, which time will not permit me to more than mention,
such as deer, lynx, fox, marten, musk-rat, and beaver, with great
abundance of wood-grouse or partridge, wild geese and ducks, and,
indeed, wild fowl of all descriptions.
The game laws are
excellent and strictly carried out, so that game of all sorts is now
becoming more numerous instead of the reverse.
New Brunswick has been
called by the Indian “the land of many waters,” and it is needless to
say that its inland fishing is about the very best in the world. Salmon,
trout, and black-bass all afford excellent sport.
Englishmen should not
neglect this field, and I shall be very glad to afford every information
to those who desire to try it.
There are settlements
of Indians in different parts of the country; these belong both to the
Micmacs and Malicite tribes. They were always great friends of the
French, as against the English, and were always very well treated by the
former. However, the Indians of New Brunswick have not much to complain
of in this respect, as there is said to have been no material decrease
in their numbers since the first settlement of the country, which, as
you know, can hardly be said of any other part of America.
The Indians of Acadia
were essentially a race of hunters and warriors and despised
agriculture, and to this day they are averse to steady labour in the
fields or in the woods, though some work at the saw-mills and also at
peeling hemlock bark in the season, but they are chiefly useful as
guides and canoe-men.
Of course they are
perfectly peaceable, and although the Indian is often said to be morose
and taciturn, at least my own experience has not accorded with this. I
remember on one occasion when I made a journey of several weeks, on a
sporting expedition up the Restigouche and Upsalquitch, when we had
three canoes manned by two Indians each, the Indians were remarkably
loquacious round the camp fire at night, recounting their stories in
their own language and full of fun and laughter, one of them being
evidently the clown of the party. I may say there were only one or two
of them who were not strict teetotalers, being so brought up by the
Roman Catholic mission opposite Campbelltown.
However, in the old
days they did not require agriculture, as game was extremely abundant,
and about the time when De La Tour and Charnazay were fighting with each
other for possession of the country, as many as 3000 moose skins were
collected on the St. John each year; wild fowls in incredible numbers
were found on the marsh lands and up the rivers, as indeed they are
to-day. Charlevoix states that near St. John geese laid their eggs so
abundantly that they alone might have sustained the whole population.
Lescarbaut relates the same in regard to the St. Croix.
Besides this, there
were abundance of fish, and especially salmon, which the Indians not
only captured with hook and line, but with torch and spear, which was
their favourite method, and in which they are extremely expert to-day,
this mode of capturing salmon being permitted to the Indians alone.
They cooked their meat
and fish by broiling it on live coals, or roasting it on the ends of
sticks around the fire, but soup was their favourite food, which they
boiled in a spacious wooden caldrou made for the purpose in the stump of
a large tree hollowed out by fire. The soup was boiled by dropping in
red-hot stones, which as they cooled were replaced by others hot from
the fire, until the meal was cooked. Their camping grounds were often
chosen on account of these fixed caldrons, as naturally they were not
Wild grapes, it also
appears, formed part of the food of the St. John River Indians.
Although much has been
said as to the treachery of the Red Indians and of their attacking
defenceless settlements, they were certainly a chivalrous race before
the advent of the European, and were distinguished for their honesty;
and before they became demoralised by civilisation, previous to going to
war they were in the habit of informing their enemies by sending them
symbols to put them on their guard. They are very expert in making bark
canocs, birch dishes, snow-shoes, and moccasins.
West Indies and Canada
Our Colonial Secretary
has said, and not only said, but given it substantial effect too, that
he is desirous of favouring and helping onward the “undeveloped estates”
of the Empire. Well, I humbly represent one, and that is New Brunswick,
and I will include the other maritime provinces of Canada. I will even
go further and say that we have behind these the magnificent and
unlimited and but very partially developed estates of the whole grand
Dominion of Canada. Not far off, we have another “estate” that is
suffering vicissitudes of fortune at the present time, although largely
developed in the past—I refer to the West Indies.
Now, what the one group
of colonies produces, the other does not, or not to any great extent; in
fact, the one being tropical and the other situated in the colder
regions of the North, the one just requires what the other produces, and
The West Indies have
been reduced to their present condition largely and, I think I may even
say almost entirely, by the duties imposed against their products in
foreign countries, and most of all from the bounties given by these
foreign countries on the exported beet-root or other sugars from their
countries to Great Britain.
This is such a great
advantage, such an enormous boon, to the English consumer, that the
Government of this great country cannot see its way to tax foreign
sugars for the benefit of our West Indian colonies, however fond of them
wc all may be. This is perhaps quite natural, at least we can perfectly
understand it. But, if the value of these foreign-paid bounties is such
a substantial gain to this country, it would be a very gracious thing to
do, and also a very just and entirely defensible one, to expend a
portion of the money obtained at their expense to help our West Indian
brother countrymen, by subsidising a line of steamers from the West
Indian Islands to St. John, New Brunswick.
The West Indian Islands
get most of their imported goods from the United States. The Canadian
Pacific Railway has undertaken to help the Canadians to get a larger
share of the business than they have at present, and to this end has
accorded the same rates to St. John from the west as are current from
the same shipping points to New York, and has recently published a
report from an agent it has had in the West Indies making a study of the
The report shows the
West Indian imports in detail. Most of the goods could be supplied as
cheaply by Canadian manufacturers and farmers. Agricultural implements,
bran, box material, butter, candles, confectioneiy, coal, eggs, fish,
flour, canned and dried fruit, furniture, groceries, hay, ice, lumber,
chilled meats, oats, provisions, peas and beans, sheep, and many other
articles, now principally supplied by the United States, might be
supplied by Canada. You will notice that all the articles named in this
list of West Indian imports are imported also by England, so that the
trade should not compete with the exports of the home country, but only
with those of the United States.
On the other hand, we
in Canada want their raw sugar for our refineries, their bananas and
other fruit and tropical produce.
Since this was written
we have had the Colonial Secretary’s speech at Liverpool, in which lie
has announced that it is the intention of the British Government to
substantially help the West Indian colonies, and I venture to think what
I have just suggested would be one way of effectually helping them to
build up and secure a future and permanent outlet for their products in
a new field.
Chief Rivers and Towns
The St. John River is
over 500 miles long and drains half the province, flowing through the
most beautiful country, with farming lands on either bank and valuable
timber lands on its numerous tributaries. It is navigable for steamers
86 miles, as far as Fredericton, and for small steamers 126 miles to
Grand Falls, and after that break, 65 miles farther. A point of interest
is Jemseg, at the outlet of Grand Lake (which is 30 miles long, and 3 to
9 broad); it was a famous fort in the old colony days, and the scene of
many conflicts. Jemseg ms taken from the French in 1654 by Cromwell’s
expedition under Sedgwick.
Down to this point the
river flows through a level farming country with wooded borders,
intervale lands, and with many islands. South of Jemseg the banks become
hilly, and the river itself a long succession of lake expanses. Next we
come to Washademoak Lake and River.
The Kennebecasis flows
in about 5 miles above its mouth from behind a coast range. It finally
reaches the sea at the head of St. John harbour, flowing through a
narrow gorge between walls of rock 100 feet high, and here is presented
the unique phenomenon of a Reversible Fall.
The river, which at
Fredericton is half a mile wide and in its lower stretches much wider,
is here forced to flow for 400 yards through a gorge only 400 feet
across. The tide in St. John harbour rises from 25 to 30 feet, and the
gorge is so narrow that it can neither admit the tide quickly nor
discharge the river promptly; for the tide recedes faster than the
narrow outlet can permit the water to flow through. At low water the
level of the river is 11 to 15 feet above the sea, and at high water the
level of the sea is 8 to 12 feet above the river. There are therefore
two falls at every tide, one in and one out.
Four times in every
twenty-four hours there is a short period of equilibrium when vessels
can pass in or out. The spectacle here presented twice every day is
probably seen nowhere else in the world.
phenomenon is that of the bore on the Petticodiae at the head of the Bay
of Fundy. The tide, 25 to 30 feet at St. John, 45 feet at Sackville, and
at Shubenaeadie even 50 feet or more, runs at the mouth of the bay, at
Briar Island, at the rate of 3 miles, and thence proceeds up the
funnel-shaped estuary till at Chignecto it attains the speed of 6 to 7
miles and rushes up the Pettieodiac River, the foremost wave reaching 5
or 6 feet high; Aulac and Tantramar from mere brooks at low tide become
rivers 2 to 3 miles wide.
In this neighbourhood
are situated the important town of Moncton, and the machine shops and
chief offices of the Intercolonial Railroad, with about 1 2,000
inhabitants; Dorchester, the county town of the prosperous farming
county of Westmorland, with a population of about 2000; and Sackville,
the chief farming centre of the county, with an important College and
University; while at Memramcook is situated the Roman Catholic College,
which is so well known throughout America that it receives pupils from
all parts of Canada and the United States.
Towns on the St. John
River—St. John, population 50,000; Fredericton, the capital of the
Province, about 9000; Woodstock and Edmonston.
The St. Croix, 25 miles
long, forms part of the United States boundary; the chief towns on it
are St. Andrews, a winter port, with the finest harbour on the coast;
and St. Stephen, a stirring lumbering and manufacturing town.
The Miramichi, the
second river of New Brunswick, is 220 miles long, and reaches with its
aflluents all the interior of the country ; it is navigable for 3 5
miles. The chief towns are Newcastle, Chatham, Douglastown, and
Millerton. The district was formerly noted for wooden ship-building, now
for the manufacture of lumber, tanning extract, and wood-pulp for
paper-making, as well as a large and increasing fishing industry. This,
like all the rivers flowing into the clear waters of the gulf, is famous
The Ricliibucto, river
and town, with fair harbour and fishing; lumbering, and lobster-canning
The Nepisiquit, a
turbulent river with a fall of 140 feet. Bathurst is the chief town on
The Restigouche, a
beautiful clear river, with some of the finest salmon-fishing in the
world, emptying into the head of the Bay of Chaleur; tributaries,
Metapedia, Patapedia, and Upsalquitch, all famous for their
salmon-fishing and other sport; the latter river comes from the lake of
the same name, falls 400 feet in less than 2 miles over beautiful
cascades. Towns on its banks, Campbellton and Dalhousie, centres of
considerable importance for the production and manufacture of lumber.
Pleasure and Amusements
riding, picnics, camping-out parties, and field-sports give the people
ample opportunity lor enjoyment during summer. In winter they have the
so-called “Winter Sports” of sleighing, skating, tobogganing,
snow-shoeing, and ice-boating, and social entertainments of all kinds
which would surprise the inhabitants of towns in England of the same
paper was read before the Imperial Institute in January 1898, an oil
belt has been discovered, extending practically from the southeast
corner to the north-west corner of the province. The latest information
is that the oil is of good quality, as excellent samples have been taken
in more than one locality.
The law relating to
mining and the royalties payable to the Government was amended, in the
last General Assembly, by adding the following clause:—
Oil.—Five per cent, of
the output delivered at the well’s mouth, or five per cent, of the
commercial value thereof, at the option of the Lieutenant-Governor in
By the Crown Lands
Settlement Act of 1890, the conditions on which Free Grants are made
have been greatly simplified and improved, and the taking up of grants
of 100 acres in the new districts where settlements are to be made
should be greatly encouraged thereby, as will be seen by the following
extracts from the new law :—
shall cause surveys to be made of the Crown Lands in the different
counties of the province suitable for settlement, and shall cause public
roads to be made through such lands, and shall have the same laid off in
one-lnmdred-aere lots on both sides of such roads.
Free Grants for such
lots may be made to such persons as may become actual settlers.
Such person shall be of
the age of eighteen years or upwards.
(1) The allottee shall
commence clearing and improving within one month after publication 0f
the approval of his application, and shall within three months after
improve on his lot to the value of 20 dollars.
(2) And shall within
one year build a house thereon, fit for habitation, of not less
dimensions than 16 feet by 20 feet, and reside thereon.
(3) And shall chop down
and cultivate not less than two acres, by sowing or planting the same.
(4) Chop down,
cultivate, and clear not less than ten acres within three years, and
shall each year actually and continuously cultivate all the land chopped
down during such three years.
(5) Shall reside
actually and continuously upon such land for the term of three years
next succeeding such publication, and thence up to the issue of the
grant, except that absence during the months of July, August, January,
February, and March in any year shall not be held to be a cessation of
such residence, provided such land be cultivated as aforesaid.
Compliance with the
conditions above mentioned within a loss period than three years, and
actual residence up to the time of such compliance, shall entitle such
allottee to a grant.
In any district where
lands have been laid out for settlement, and not less than ten settlers
have taken up lands therein, the Surveyor-General may, at the expiration
of three years, give a bonus of one hundred dollars to the settler in
such district who has erected the best house and outbuildings, and has
his farm in the best condition.
In the ease of any
allottee during the first five years after the approval of his
application has been published, whether before or after he has obtained
his grant, prospecting and finding minerals on his land, he shall have
prior right to a lease under the General Mining Act, of mining rights on
such land, and any minerals mined thereon shall be exempt from royalty
for a period of five years after the taking out of such lease.