1785-1889: The Old City and the New

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1785-1889: The Old City and the New
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1785-1889. The Old City and the New. The subjoined account of matters in connexion with the first mayoralty of St. John are taken from Mr. J. W. Lawrence’s valuable Footprints. They will be read with interest at the initiation of the new city:— The charter of St. John was a royal one, prepared by the acting attorney general, Ward Chipman. The following refers to the charter:— “Sir: The draft of the charter of the city has been so long delayed that I have taken the liberty to send the enclosed without postponing it so long a time as would necessarily take to have a fairer copy made out. When the governor and council shall have approved of any part of the draft, and filled up the blanks, if they think proper, such sheets may be taken off and be engrossed on parchment, while the remaining parts shall be under consideration. “I humbly submit whether the city should not be called the city of St. John, instead of the city of St. John’s. “I am, with great respect, “Your most ob’t. and very humble servant, “WARD CHIPMAN. “HON. JONATHAN ODELL, “Secretary of Council.” The suggestion to call the city (now the oldest in the British colonies) the city of St. John in the place of St. John’s, was adopted, and though nearly a century has gone, and all the actors then on life’s stage have passed away, the happy suggestion on the part of Ward Chipman should be named to his praise. The 18th of May, 1785, the second anniversary of the landing of the first Loyalists, Parr Town and Carleton, with a section of land north of Union street, the property of Simonds, White and Hazen, with Navy and Partridge Islands, and the three islands in the falls, were incorporated a» the city of St John. THE FIRST MAYOR OF ST. JOHN. “My dear sir: — “Halifax, January 13th, 1735. “I cannot express how highly and sincerely I am gratified at your first secret respecting Col. Ludlow, of all things possible the most fortunate in my opinion—a character so dignified, so perfectly unexceptionable, must give dignity to the office. “The moment the idea of a city was suggested, I cast about to find a man calculated to commence operations as mayor; there was not, among my many extensive connexions, an individual who was not, in some respect or other, to my mind, exceptionable. Interest, party, ignorance, temper, imperiousness, indolence, were traits that distressed and embarrassed me. “I dare not think of our friend seriously, for fear that such a circumstance would rather offend than please. The more I considered the business, the more the perplexity increased, and I at last ventured to express my sentiments to the governor and Mr. Odell. “I know of no duty that is so irksome and unpleasant as that of giving an opinion of individuals, and yet it is very important. “The judge named several persons to me, some of whom I declare I love sincerely, but I was sure that the consequence of either of their appointments to that office would have been unfortunate for themselves, and an injury to the public, and to him I stated my reasons without restraint. “I have never been an enthusiast for towns and cities, but I declare if this event takes place in all its parts, and Mr. Hardy is induced to accept the other appointment, I shall expect to see Halifax evacuated by the most respectable of its inhabitants, and Shelbourne totally eclipsed, and this immediately .... “Yours, “EDW. WINSLOW. “Ward Chipman, Esq.” HON. GABRIEL G. LUDLOW, was a New York Loyalist, and through the war commanded one of the Loyal American regiments. At its close, with other leading Loyalists, he went to England; after remaining there a short time, he came to Parr Town with his brother, Judge Ludlow. He drew three lots in Carleton, a spot formerly used by the French as a garden; for many years it had a fine orchard. Col. Ludlow was appointed a member of the first council, and at the incorporation of the city of St. John, mayor. On the organization, 1787, of the Court of Vice Admiralty, although not a member of the bar, he was appointed judge. in 1795, he resigned the office of mayor, and in ISOS, when Governor Carleton left for England, Col. Ludlow, as senior counsellor (after chief justice) was sworn in at St. John, president and commander in chief, residing at Carleton, except during the meeting of the legislature. The residence of Col. Ludlow is standing and known as the “old government house.” In the graveyard, Carleton, is a stone inside of an iron rail enclosure, with the following inscriptions:— In Memory of the Honorable Gabriel G. Ludlow, Esq., Late President and Commander-in-chief of this Province. Born April 16, 1736. Died February 12, 1808. Sacred to the memory of Ann Ludlow Relict of the late Gabriel G. Ludlow. Born Oct. 11, 1743. Died Dec. 13. 1822. In Trinity Church, St. John, at the time of the burning, June 20th, 1887, was a tablet to the memory of Col, Ludlow; on it was recorded;— "He was Truly a Good Man."