The Loyalist Memorial: Meeting of the St. John Historical Society

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The Loyalist Memorial: Meeting of the St. John Historical Society
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THE LOYALIST MEMORIAL. MEETING OF THE ST. JOHN HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Interesting Paper by J. W. Lawrence, Esq., in the form of an Address to the Lieut. Governor. The annual meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society was held last evening in the office of Mr. R. C. John Dunn, Lawrence’s building, King Street. Mr. J. W. Lawrence, the President, occupied the chair. There was a large attendance. The following officers were elected for the coming year: -- J.W. Lawrence, president; G. Murdoch, A. A. Stockton, vice-presidents; T.W. Lee, recording secretary; D.P. Chisholm, treasurer; G. Herbert Lee, corresponding secretary; C.C. Lawrence, curator; Jas. Hannay, W.P. Dole, J.C. Miles, D.H. Waterbury, R.C. John Dunn, standing committee. A vote of thanks was tendered to the following gentlemen: -- Rev. E. F. Slafter, Boston, for a copy of Champlain’s Voyages; James Hannay, Esq., for a copy of the History of Acadia; G. Herbert Lee, Esq., for [a] copy of First Fifty Years of the Church of England in New Brunswick. The following gentlemen were elected corresponding members: Charles Rogers, LL.D., Corresponding Secretary, Royal Historical Society of Great Britain; George Stewart, Jr., Quebec; J. T. Bulmer, Secretary Natural History Society of Halifax, N.S.; J.M. LeMoine, President Historical Society, Quebec. His Honor, Lieut. Governor Wilmot, was elected Patron of the Society. Chief Justice Allen, Sir S.L. Tilley, J.M. Putnam, London; Dr. Egerton Ryerson, Toronto; Thos. B. Aikens, Halifax; Rev. E. F. Slafter, Boston; Robert Sears, Toronto, were elected honorary members. The following letter addressed to the Lieut. Governor, advocating the erection of a Memorial Hall, was read by Mr. J. W. Lawrence: -- To Honorable Robert Duncan Wilmot, Lieut. Governor of New Brunswick: -- “Consider the days of old and the years that are past.” The semi-centennial of the landing of the Loyalists at Parr Town and Carleton (now the city of St. John) was observed in 1833 with fitting ceremonials. Among other manifestations of respect was a public dinner at St. John, in which numbers of “Old Loyalists” from far and near participated. On the right of his Worship the Mayor, (your father,) was the Lieut. Governor of New Brunswick, Sir Archibald Campbell, and on his left the father of the city, the venerable John Ward. One of the toasts from the chair was, “To His Honor the Chief Justice, their Honors the Judges of the Supreme Court and the professional gentlemen of the Bar; may they ever maintain and support the principles of Justice and Honor.” Robert Parker, Solicitor General, responded: “Mr. Mayor, as a descendant of an American Loyalist and a member of the legal profession, I trust I may be excused in making a few remarks, while returning thanks for the honor done to the Bar of the Province. “Never on any occasion have I felt more proud of my connexion with the city than at present, and much did I rejoice when I heard at a distance the determination of the Corporation that the fiftieth anniversary of the first landing of the Loyalists on these shores was to be celebrated in a manner befitting an event so highly interesting to the survivors and descendants of that faithful band. “Sir, when we remember with what ceremonies and solemnities the citizens of the United States hailed the jubilee of the day of their independence, we should have been wanting in proper feeling had we suffered this day to pass unnoticed here; unless, indeed, after half a century’s reflection, we are ashamed of our fathers in that memorable period. But, sir, this is not the case; we still glory in their loyalty on that occasion, and stand forth to avow that we do not hold our allegiance so light a thing that it may be thrown aside or changed as a cloak, when we are tired of the cut or color of it. “Sir, we have no cause to regret this sentiment. “Fifty years have passed, and the place where we now assemble has been changed from a desolate wilderness to a flourishing city. “We live in a country where, under the dominion of the British Crown, equal laws are regularly and impartially administered to the poor and the rich – where the spirit of the British constitution, pervading our Government and institutions, ensures protection to everyone’s person and property. “The celebration of this day will stand as a memorial, that we take the same side as our fathers have taken; that we accept their opinions; we approve of their principles, and, sir, it is a pledge, if need be, we are ready to imitate their example. “In 1846, Mr. Parker, then one of the judges of the Supreme Court, urged the erection and endowment of a public hospital, as a memorial to the Loyalists.” In the House of Assembly it was advocated by John R. Partelow, one of the members for St. John. The member most eloquent in its behalf was William End, of Gloucester. “He would go for one thousand pounds, to mark the spot where those noble, brave, and devoted men first set their feet upon New Brunswick ground. The toils they underwent they bore cheerfully, so long as they could behold the proud flag of Britain waving above them. He did not claim to be a descendant of that class, but he was an Irishman, a loyal Irishman, and he considered himself a privileged man in being thus permitted to stand in his place and advocate so noble a cause.” The time chosen proved inauspicious, and nothing was done. It is said, “there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at its flood, leads on to fortune.” As the closing year of the Century is near, the flood tide for the Loyalists is now. WHAT FORM SHOULD THE MEMORIAL TAKE? In the view of Judge Parker, not the column nor the obelisk should be chosen for a memorial, but the useful in the form of a “Public Hospital.” Happily that has been provided, and therefore is not one of St. John’s requirements. As the age is eminently practical, a Hall for the New Brunswick Historical Society, Art Union, Natural History Society, and Free Library, would be a fitting memorial, and serve as the repository of collections, illustrative of the times of the Loyalists, the expiring Century and the coming years – objects of great and educational interest, to the stranger, provincialist and citizen. The windows of the hall to be of stained glass, showing the progress of the past one hundred years in arts, science, manufactures, commerce and civilization. Had the founders of St. John in the morning of its history, established like institutions, their value to-day would be incalculable. Unfortunately with the Fathers, the times were not favorable for these things. With the present generation it is otherwise; let therefore a foundation broad and deep be laid, and when the first decade of the coming Century shall have passed, the New Brunswick Historical Society, Art Union, Natural History Society and Free Library, will leave their impress deep on the passing years. For this building is indispensable, central, well lighted, fire-proof, and on historic ground. WHAT SPOT WILL BEST MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS? The block to the eastward of King Square was reserved by the Loyalist for a burial ground and church. In the spring of 1784, the frame was cut on the ground where the present Court House stands. In the summer a fire from the burning of brush near the Centenary Church lot spread, and only stopped when the waters of the Kennebeccasis were reached. This led to the abandonment of many lots in the N.E. section of Parr Town, and the adoption of a site for the Church, the gift of Messrs, Cochran, Coffin and Whitlock. The corner stone of “Old Trinity” was laid by Bishop Inglis, August 20th, 1788, opened for worship by the rector, Dr. Mather Byles, Christmas Day, 1791, and the following summer consecrated by the Bishop of Nova Scotia. The founders of St. John had no objection then to the use of a portion of the burial ground for a building, nor, as seen from the following, over a quarter of a century after: -- TO THE PUBLIC. The committee of the vestry of Trinity Church, appointed to superintended the building of a new church, upon the east side of King Square, will receive proposals for the foundation and frame of the lower floor. The site for the building is part rock and part of earth, which should be examined, as the contractor will be required to establish the foundation walls, in a perfect manner. WILLIAM SCOVIL, ZALMON WHEELER, THOMAS BARLOW. St. John, January 18th, 1823. Consequent on an offer of ground at the end of Wellington Row, by the elder Ward Chipman, the church was erected there, and long known as the “Stone Church.” THE OLD BURIAL GROUND, CARLETON. The city corporation in 1854, gave the Presbyterians, on the west side, a spot in the “Old Burial Ground,” on which to erect a church. Under its shadow is the grave of the Hon. Gabriel G. Ludlow, the first mayor of St. John, and at his death, 1808, President and Commander in Chief of New Brunswick. In the “Old Burial ground” on the east side are the graves of the second and third Mayors of St. John, William Campbell and John Robinson, chief magistrates over thirty-two years; the latter the first and last who died in office. In the same ground is the tomb of the Hon. James Putnam, the last attorney general of Massachusetts Bay under the crown, and the first of the judges of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, who laid aside the judicial robe for the robe of the grave; those of William Wanton (a son of Governor Wanton of Rhode Island), for thirty years Collector of Customs; of Robert Parker, thirty-six years comptroller; of Barton Wallop, Naval Officer; and of William S. Oliver, the first sheriff of St. John, a son of the last Lieut. Governor of Massachusetts Bay, are there. Also the first three rectors, Rev. George Bisset, Rev. Mather Byles, D.D., and Rev. George Pidgeon. There, too, is the grave of the wife of the Hon. George Duncan Ludlow, twenty-five years Chief Justice and President of Council. Also the graves of the wife and elder son of the Hon. Jonathan Bliss, twenty-five years a resident of St. John, and Attorney General, and at his death, at Fredericton, thirteen years Chief Justice, and President of Council. The grave of the mother of Sir William Fenwick Williams, the Hero of Kars, is also there. In the same ground, in the year 1800, at the age of 98, was buried Richard Partelow, the Patriarch of St. John, and great-grandfather of the Hon. John. R. Partelow, twenty-seven years a member of a Legislature, the first in the Parliament House of New Brunswick to claim a recognition of the Loyalists. Then was the seed time: the reaping time is now. On whom in the new house, 1883, the mantles of Mr. Partelow and William End will be found, championing the cause of the Loyalists, is yet in the womb of time. Of all places none is more historic than the Old Burial Ground, and none so fitting on which to erect a “Temple” to arts, science, and literature, as a memorial to the founders of St. John, the spot twice allotted for a church, and for the past twenty years occupied by the city flag staff. THE CENTENNIAL HALL. To secure a proper celebration, and the erection of a hall, a commission with power from the Legislature, the coming session, will be necessary. A commission constituted as follows would command confidence at home and abroad: -- The Lieutenant Governor, The Chief Justice, The Mayor of St. John, the Sheriff, the three members of the House of Commons, the six members of the Provincial Legislature, six appointed by the Common Council, representing the Free Library, six of the Historical Society, six of the Art Union, and six of the National History Society. With an Executive like this, a Memorial Hall and a fitting celebration of the year of St. John’s Centennial will be assured. WAYS AND MEANS. The erection of a hall implies an expenditure. As the objects sought are educational and patriotic, the work, if taken hold of with a brave spirit, will be a grand success, stamping indelibly on the page of New Brunswick’s history the year 1883 as the red letter year of the century. In this, as in everything demanding persistent effort, there are those who will see a lion in the way: he will be there. One of the duties of the Commission will be to chain him, and on the 18th day of May, 1883, at the laying of the corner-stone, to show him as a trophy, collared with the inscription, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” In providing “ways and means,” doubtless the ladies of New Brunswick will be found willing and most efficient workers. In their path no lion will appear. LOYALISTS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. A public meeting was held at City Hall, St. John, 1815, on behalf of the widows and orphans of those who fell at Waterloo. The leading contributors were: William Pagan, Hugh Johnston and Henry Gilbert, each £50; Ward Chipman, John Robinson, William Hazen, John Coffin and Thomas Millidge, £30; Robert Parker, senr., John Ward, senr., John M. Wilmot, Wm. Donald, Robert. W. Crookshank, Hugh Johnston, junr., and Ward Chipman, junr., £20; Andrew S. Ritchie and James Simonds, £15; Rev. George Pidgeon, John Currie, Wm. Donaldson, John Chaloner and James Hay, £11 13s. 4d.; Wm. S. Cody, Thomas Smith, Stephen Humbert and James T. Hanford, each £10. The City Corporation voted £100. The total from two hundred and twenty-two subscribers was over £1,472. Three only are living: Lewis Bliss, London; George Mathew, Ontario, and Charles Ward, St. John. Nothing will better illustrate the munificence of the subscription, than at this time there were no banking institutions in St. John, and only four places of worship, where to-day there are thirty-five. WHO WILL FOLLOW? The Wiggins’ Male Orphan Institution was erected and endowed, through the munificence of the late Stephen Wiggins, Esq., of St. John, a son of one of the loyal men of 1783. The Ward Chipman bequests of $40,000, and the Brinley Hazen bequest of $25,000 to the Diocesan Church Society of New Brunswick, and the George Swinney bequest (of which Trinity Church is the almoner), and the bequest to that church by Charles Merritt, are all noble gifts, honorable to their donors. The magnificent stained glass window in the chancel of “New Trinity,” on which Mr. Kemper, an artist of the highest standing in Europe, was instructed to spare no pains or expense to make it in every respect a first class work of art, is the gift of Lewis Bliss, a native of St. John, and in early years a worshipper in “Old Trinity,” a church rich in historic associations, and the most venerable of the “old landmarks” that passed away in the great fire of 1877. Of other gifts to that church, the most costly is the chaste and beautiful “lectern,” in memoriam of W. Colebrook Perley, a descendant of Israel Perley, the pioneer in the settlement, 1763, of Maugerville, on the River St. John. The Sackville Academy owes its existence largely to the munificence of the late Hon. Charles F. Allison, of Westmoreland. In Nova Scotia, from which (August 16th, 1734,) New Brunswick was taken, one of her sons, George Munro, now a leading publisher of New York, endowed two chairs in Dalhousie College, Halifax, each with an income of $2,500, and established a number of bursaries, of the annual value of $400. Louis Adolph Thiers, the Historian and ex-President of France, left at his death his residence, library, and works of art for public use, to be forever kept as memorials of his interest in history and welfare of his country. Are there not sons and daughters of New Brunswick, far and near, with the spirit of a Wiggins, Chipman, Hazen, Swinney, Merritt, Bliss, Allison, Munro or Thiers, who will aid in the erection and endowment of a “Memorial Hall,” as well as contribute paintings, statuary, relics, records, books, papers, etc.? Nor is it alone the descendants of the founders of St. John, who are interested in the year of its centennial, all who at any time have been identified with its history, along the line of its first one hundred years, have a common interest with them in a “Memorial.” “May their fond attachment to the well known place, Where first many started into life’s long race, Maintain its hold with such unfailing sway, As to feel it even in age to their latest day.” Let the bugle blast sound forth, “Calling on the north to give up and to the south keep not back, bringing her sons from far and her daughters from the ends of the earth” – “To honor with their gifts these true men of old, Who clung to the Crown of their King and his cause, The sons of such sires should be proud to uphold, The Bible, their Queen, her sceptre and laws.” J.W. LAWRENCE, President New Brunswick Historical Society. St. John, Nov. 25th, 1880. NOTE. The grandfather of Chief Justice Allen, the Hon. Isaac Allen, in the war was Lieut. Col., 2nd Battalion New Jersey Volunteers. At its close he went with his family of thirteen, of whom five were slaves, to Wilmot, Nova Scotia. He also drew two lots at Parr Town, on the east side of Prince William street, between Church and Princess, each 50 feet front, with depths of 200 feet. In 1784 he sold them to Thomas Horsfield for £5 each. After his appointment to the Bench and Council of New Brunswick, 1784, he drew 1500 acres at Aukpaque on the river St. John, and purchased the “Isle Sauvage,” of 500 acres from the Indians. Judge Allen resided there, and died in 1806, at the age of 65 years. His son, Hon. Col. John Allen, was born at Wilmot, and for many years was one of the representatives of York; he died on the old homestead in 1875, at the age of 90 years. Miss Allen, the last of the second generation, died at Fredericton in 1879, in her 91st year. Aukpaque (signifying head of tide) over 200 years ago, was the principal mission station of the Indians on the river St. John; (Ouygondy) is now the property of Chief Justice Hon. J.C. Allen, the grandson of one of the first Bench of New Brunswick. The thanks of the Society were tendered to Mr. Lawrence, and he was requested to have it published in these daily papers. The following committee was appointed to give effect, if possible, to the views advocated in Mr. Lawrence’s letter: -- J.W Lawrence, A.A Stockton, W.P. Dole, G. Murdoch, James Hannay, J.H. Lee.