Saint John Globe - 1882-08-16

Titre de l'article
The Loyalist Monument
Type d'article
Contenu de l'article
At no time last evening were there one hundred gentlemen present at the meeting in the Institute, and, if the attendance is any evidence of the lack of interest in the matter, them the evidence is ample. The gentlemen present appear to have been divided in opinion upon the subject themselves. Judge Palmer was called to the chair, and E. T. C. Knowles, Esq., acted as Secretary. D. S. Kerr, Esq., made a lengthy speech in which he reviewed the history of the events which produced the Loyalist movement, and discussed with keen criticism the lack of justice done to the Loyalists by history. Their treatment at the conclusion of the peace, and their removal to these Provinces, the insufficient protection afforded them at the close of the war, were all touched upon. The speaker also dwelt upon the part their descendants – their sons – took in the war of 1812 – all of which led him up to the proposition that something should now be done to perpetuate the memory of these men. He adverted briefly to his opposition to the Memorial Hall project, and he sharply criticized the conduct of the Mayor of the city in not being present on this occasion. Many of the points in his address were warmly applauded. Mr. Kerr moved the following resolutions: Whereas, The United Empire Loyalists of our late sovereign George III. In the war, by His Majesty, against the thirteen British Colonies of North America, 1775, most honorably distinguished themselves throughout the battle by their unflinching loyalty and bravery, but in a peace improperly concluded in 1782 they were deprived of their homes and valuables most dear to them, reduced in their families to the saddest state of poverty and distress and finally brought in 1783 by their King (about thirty thousand in number) to various parts of Nova Scotia and the wilderness of this Province; the first comers landed at Parr Town (previously laid out for them) in St. John, the eighteenth day of May, 1783, and New Brunswick erected chiefly on their account in 1784, where they numerously settled and inhabited about Saint John and generally throughout this Province, from whence, however as from Nova Scotia and the States, about then thousand, at different times removing, resided in various parts of Canada, Prince Edward Island and other British possessions; and Whereas, In the war declared by the United States of America against Great Britain in 1812, while England was deeply involved in war with the tyrant Bonaparte and other powers of Europe, the whole of the British North American possessions of His Majesty was aimed at by the United States (see James’ History of War 1812, p.77) and with tenfold force attempted to be wrested from the Crown of England, and the sons of the Empire Loyalists, were largely instrumental in defeating the enemy and preserving such possessions to His Majesty, numbers of those brace and daring sons having fallen in the fierce conflict – most gallantly fighting for their Sovereign and country, with nothing to mark their deeds of valor or place of burial. And it is just and meritorious not only to record the above events connected with the early history of our Province as due to our ancestry, to ourselves and posterity, but also to present an honorable and lasting tribute to the memory and worth of those noble Loyalists and to their gallant sons, that a suitable monument of granite with proper inscriptions shall be erected where the Bell Tower stood, in the City of St. John, their place of landing, such proposed monument being at the head of King street and adjoining Charlotte street, so named after the King and Queen for whom the Loyalists and their sons fought and suffered; Therefore Resolved, that – be a committee to contract with some fit and responsible person to build a monument of granite on the site above named, with such particulars as may be specified not to exceed 100 feet in height exclusive of the top roof or covering nor to cost above -; to be built by subscriptions and donations of the inhabitants and others of the City and County of St. John – the inhabitants and donors of Fredericton in the County of York and by the inhabitants and donors of the several counties throughout the Province of New Brunswick and with such other aids by the corporations of the City of St. John and of Fredericton and by a grant from the Legislature of the Province of New Brunswick, if necessary, and by such special donations at home and abroad as may be generously given for the purpose; the work to proceed with all quickness, according as funds may be supplied, the monument to be completed, if possible, on or before the eighteenth day of May, 1883, but on no account later than in good time for the Dominion Exhibition at St. John in fall of 1883. Mr. James Hannay seconded the resolution, supporting it in a few well chosen words. Mr. George Steward supported the monument idea as being within the means of the people. His firm would give fifty dollars towards it. Messrs. A. A. Stockton and I Allen Jack both supported the idea of the Memorial Hall. Mr. W. P. Dole took the same view as these gentlemen, and was opposed to mixing up the war of 1812 in any way with the landing of the Loyalists. He favored a memorial to the actual founders of the city, not to their descendants, and he through a monument to the people who fought in 1812 would not be regarded with much favor by people with whom we are now on intimate and friendly terms. Mr. W. F. Best supported the idea of a memorial hall. He said there were many Americans who ridiculed Bunker Hall monument. Mr. S. G. Barr thought a memorial church would be the right thing. Judge King spoke in favor of united effort and harmony, but he disagreed with Mr. Dole’s ideas that the heroes of 1812 should not be honored. He thought regard for the honor of the Loyalists would be amply displayed by a monument. Mr. J. Travis moved and Mr. R. J. Dunn seconded an amendment to the resolution to the effect that the meeting appoint a committee to confer with the committees already appointed by other bodies on the general subject. This produced quite a discussion in which Dr. Christie, Mr. Stewart, Judge Palmer, Mr. Sears, and a number of other gentlemen took part. The amendment was carried, but as no one would serve on the committee, the meeting broke up without any practical result. We have always regarded the Memorial Hall as too much for the community to undertake, burdened as it already is with debts on other halls, churches, etc. Something ought to be done of a special kind to mark the foundation of the city. Whatever is attempted should be within our means, and should not be made to impose too heavy a burden on the community in the future. There can be no doubt, however, that mixing up the war of 1812 with the projected monument would be fatal to that scheme. The Loyalist movement and the war of 1812, are two separate things. Associated as the former is with the foundation of our city it appeals to every true citizen, who desires to foster civic pride and to keep alive the fires of civic patriotism, no matter whether he is of Loyalist origin or not. But while the memory of the brave New Brunswickers who participated in it are undoubtedly worthy of honor, we are quite in accord with the gentlemen who see the impropriety of mixing the two things together on one record. Still, this is a free country, and if there is any number of gentlemen desirous of putting up a monument which will record the two events and perpetuate the memory of them, by all means let them. In the meantime we have to point out that so far there is much talk and little money. If such descendants of the Loyalists as are in real earnest in this matter, will put up a few thousand dollars the first practical step will be taken to achieve a result.