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AND DESIRE OF ANNEXATION.
it may be, for a similar reason. I had not observed much feeling on the subject throughout the province generally; and, if the population were polled, a very large majority, I think, would vote against any proposal to disturb the British connection.
As another reason, it was alleged to me by a tire Judge of the Supreme Court, himself sprung from an American loyalist, that old recollections—the traditions and narratives of their fathers—had an influence upon the descendants of those who, at the close of the American war, left the States, and settled on lands assigned to them in this quarter by the British Government. Tales of happier lives spent in the old colonies, of which the dark days are forgotten, and of possessions which memory represented to old men in brighter colours, have created in the minds of the sons and grandsons an impression in favour of the United States, which is different in kind and in extent, as well as in origin, from that which is entertained by the sons of the original home-settlers in the province. One can imagine, indeed, that upon some minds sentiment may thus sway
and lead sons to desire what their fathers have regretted — forgetting their fathers’ loyalty, and inheriting only their regrets.
Oct. 3.-Another more direct and personal cause, however, has brought these sentiments into play. The failure of the wheat and potato crops for a series of years has awakened dissatisfaction, and made the farmers see causes of complaint where they had never thought of looking for them before. All the crops, with the exception of the hay, have been good in Albert County this year; and another good season, as one of the county members observed to me yesterday, would amazingly improve the character of the Provincial Legislature in the eyes of the rural population.*
* Such a good season they have had in 1850; and abundance, it is to be hoped, has brought with it thankful satisfaction and political content.
IMPRUDENCE CREATES DISCONTENT.
The gentleman to whom I was indebted for conducting me the first twenty miles on my journey to-day, illustrated to me another source of the discontent of his own neighbourhood : “ Most of us have burned our fingers in lumbering. We have each our own small mill, on our own small creek, and saw the lumber we cut upon our own farms. On the faith of this trade we have lived dashingly, spent our money, and even contracted debt, instead of laying by in good times. And now, when times are bad, we blame the law-makers instead of our own imprudence. I have suffered in this way; and though I am not ruined, yet if I had stuck to my farm alone, I should have been better off to-day.” But it is so always, and in every country. The relative loudness of popular complaints is by no means a criterion of the intensity of the popular grievances.
I left my landlord Colquhoun in Hopewell early this morning, to cross Albert County in a north-westerly direction. Four miles of poor grey-sandstone soils brought me to the village of Hillsborough, which stands on the rising ground above the right bank of the Petitcodiac, and has extensive flats of dyked marsh below it, which are valued at £7 to £15 an acre. Up this river for thirty miles, rich marsh-lands of greater or less width occur; and these, with a border of fertile red upland, give a succession of farms of very superior quality.
The Acadian French first occupied this rich tract of country, and on the peninsula between the Petitcodiac and the Memramcook Rivers they still hold much land, and are said to be an improving body of people. Many of them are leaseholders upon the De Barre property, an old grant of the times of the French. I heard much in praise of the wise energy and of the lessons in improvement given them by their old priest, who had recently died.
There are few races of men among
DUTCH FAMILIES ON THE PETITCODIAC.
whom an instructed priest will find more opportunity of promoting the material as well as spiritual good of his flock, than among the French Acadians, all the way from Montreal in Canada to Yarmouth in Nova Scotia.
The French on the Petitcodiac were succeeded by Dutch from Pennsylvania; and among the marsh-lands of this river, and its estuary, this people found as congenial a settlement as my Aberdeen friend on the rocky shore of the Bay de Chaleur, or the veteran Sullivan beside his black bog in Caraquet. And though intermarriages, indiscretion, and misfortune have now removed many of the best farms from the possession of the families of pure Dutch descent, yet the features and the prevailing names-Steeves, Trites, Sherman, Lutz, Recker, Beck—tell how much of the blood of Holland flows in the veins of these Hillsborough farmers. The name of Steeves predominates in the churchyard. A union of the Steeves clan can still carry the day in contested affairs, local or political ; and the name is represented in the Provincial Legislature by the head of one of its oldest houses. I had the pleasure of his society yesterday, on my visit to Cape Enrage, and I am sorry to say that I found reason to suspect that my hospitable friend was a rank Annexationist.
To the lot of the poor Irish who have come without capital, and have located themselves in this county, poorer land has fallen. The New Ireland Settlement, which my friend Mr Brown visited yesterday, is generally on the poor grey-sandstone soil, with here and there a patch of the good red loam. They do not appear so prosperous, therefore, as many other settlements we have seen.
From Hillsborough we were accompanied by five miles of good red loams, which used to be good wheatland, producing twenty to forty bushels an acre. A poorer grey sandstone and gradually rising country then commenced, after which the road ran much through the
forest, with only occasional clearings. The settlers are chiefly of Dutch descent—the natural increase driven by necessity to seek the most eligible spots in the still uncleared forest. Here, as elsewhere in the provinceindeed, I believe, from what I have heard, it is very much the same in all parts of North America-landspeculators have secured all the best land which is readily accessible, and hold it in a wilderness state till a rise in price induce them to sell. Thus the poor men, who cannot afford to give these capitalists their price, must be content with inferior locations, and encounter greater difficulties in providing for their families. The Provincial Legislature has adopted various measures with the view of remedying this state of things. An annual tax on all such granted lands as are still unimproved—such as has been imposed in Canada-and applicable to purposes of local improvement, is as likely a method of forcing some of this land into the market on reasonable terms as any other that has yet been proposed.
I have been told that some of the largest fortunes in the United States have been made by land-speculations; and the interest of private holders of large grants has often been the principal exciting cause of those violent emigration fevers which have periodically heated the blood and unsettled the lives of so many thousands, not only in the British Islands and on the continent of Europe, but in North America also from St John in Newfoundland to Buffalo on Lake Erie, and even to St Louis on the Missouri.
From the higher central part of Albert County, through which we were now passing, several streams run in a northerly direction, and fall into the Petitcodiac. This river, as I have on a former occasion mentioned, about twenty miles above its mouth, turns at nearly a right angle, and, from flowing west by north, runs south by east down to Shepody Bay. From near The Bend,
POOR SCRUB-PINE AND LARCH BARRENS.
as the small town situated at the angle is appropriately called, and on the south side of the river, a broad belt of elevated flat grey-sandstone country extends for twenty or thirty miles. It is interrupted by stripes of richer land, and of more or less extensive intervales, where the streams from the south traverse it on their way to the Petitcodiac.
The crossing of this tract, which we did in a diagonal direction, formed the principal feature in this day's journey. For some miles before our arrival at the Turtle Creek, one of these cross-streams, it proved to be a poor flat sandy, in many places stony, scrub-pine and larch barren. Here and there naked green spots of limited extent were seen, the sites of ancient beaverdams, where these intelligent creatures, taking advantage of occasional hollows, had contrived to arrest and dam up the water. The distinguishing physical character of the whole tract is its extreme flatness, which causes the water of heaven to stagnate upon it, and renders naturally worthless many more capable places, which, at some future day, by means of arterial drainage, may be converted into profitable farms.
On the Turtle Creek some marsh-land and intervale occurred, not equal to the marshes of the Petitcodiac River, yet yielding two tons of hay an acre—and again on the Coverdale Creek five miles beyond; but all else was the same scarcely broken carriboo wilderness of poor flat country, swampy because it was level, and covered with perpetual scrub-pine, larch, and spruce. .
After a ride of twenty-four miles, we crossed the Petitcodiac, and presently arrived at Nixon's, where I bade adieu to my friends from Albert County, and hastened on my farther journey.
Albert County has many advantages. It is picturesque and beautiful. It has rich red uplands, most fertile dyked marshes, and abundant fish along its shores. Its