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Loyalists’ Centennial Souvenir - 1887 - p36-38

Year: 
1887
Article Title: 
n. t.
Author: 
J. W. Lawrence
Page Number: 
36-38
Article Type: 
Language: 
Article Contents: 

MR. MAYOR: Of the many large gatherings I have witnessed in this hall the present is the most representative. While there are some from all the old Provinces in Canada, the 50,000,000 citizens of the United States are represented in the person of the American Consul, General WARNER. In all my sixty years' residence on King street I have never witnessed such an enthusiastic gathering as the one to-day. That broad street is another evidence of the forethought of those brave men who landed here one hundred years ago today. Had it been twenty feet narrower on the day of the great fire, in 1877, it is doubtful if anything could have prevented the fire spreading over the northern portion of the city."
After reading some extracts from an old paper, dated September 9, 1784, showing the location of the first post office in Parr Town, on the lot where Clarke, Kerr & Thome's store is at present, Mr. LAWRENCE continued
" Masonry was first brought into prominence by a meeting mentioned in this paper, which had taken place at the house of Brother KIRK, on Brittain street, on August 7th. I would advise the owner of this lot to hold on to it, for now that its historic connections are known, he can secure almost any amount of money for it. Four of the leading merchants in the early days of St. John were Scotchmen — WILLIAM PAGAN and WILLIAM CAMPBELL, the former of Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, and the latter of Worcester, Mass. The other two, HUGH JOHNSTON and JOHN BLACK, came direct from North Britain their fatherland. From 1786 to 1816 Mr. PAGAN was one of the representatives from the County of St. John, and at his death at Fredericton, in 1819, was a Legislative Councillor. For twenty years, from 1796, Mr. CAMPBELL was Mayor of St. John, and also Postmaster, resigning both offices in 1816 from age, the city giving him a pension of £100 per annum till his death, 1823. Governor WILMOT owes his name to ROBERT DUNCAN, a Scotchman, who died at Fredericton in 1808; he was a partner of JOHN M. WILMOT, fifty years ago Mayor of St. John. Commander CHEYNE said if he should ever get to the North Pole .the first man to shake his hand would be a Scotchman. There were only six Mayors in St. John during the first fifty years. There was no talk at that time about the second term. (Laughter.) When a citizen died without heirs the Mayor and Council attended the funeral. They stood by the grave of WILLIAM CAMPBELL sixty years ago, and they should stand there now and look at the neglected grave and broken tombstone; (turning to His Worship) a word to the wise is sufficient. (Laughter.) The first and last Mayor of St. John who died in office (1828) was Hon. JOHN ROBINSON. The leading representative men of New Brunswick to-day are descendants of Loyalists — Hon. R. D. WILMOT, Governor; Sir LEONARD TILLEY, Minister of Finance; Hon. JOHN C. ALLEN, Chief Justice; CHARLES W. WELDON, M. P., leader at the Bar; and SIMEON JONES, Mayor of St. John. The river counties to-day are to the front. York is the birthplace of Governor WILMOT, Chief Justice ALLEN, and Mayor JONES. In Sunbury Hon. ISAAC BURPEE was born, while Queen's is the birthplace of Sir LEONARD TILLEY.
"The past, after to-day, must, not engage too much of our thoughts; it is the future that claims attention. In New Brunswick we have a noble heritage, and a city beautiful for situation — the oldest Colonial city under the Crown."