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THE MUSQUASH MARSHES. 141
Oct. 7.-I started this morning for St Andrews, a distance of sixty-five miles. The mayor of St John, Mr Wilmot, to whom I had been indebted for many previous civilities, was kind enough to convey me with his own carriage and horses, and to give me the pleasure of his own company over this long and rough road. Generally speaking, the same poor metamorphic-slate and igneous-rock country continues along the Bay of Fundy, all the way from St John to St Andrews. The first ten miles presented only a repetition of the rude district between St John and Loch Lomond; after which, five miles of rocky barrens, with scattered scrub-pines, brought us to Tilson's at the Musquash Marshes. These marshes are formed at the mouth of the river Musquash, which here falls into the Bay of Fundy, and, like the marsh of St John, are very different from the marsh-lands at the head of the Bay of Fundy. I have already stated generally, of all the New England marshes also-of which there are many, at the mouths of creeks, and the head of bays and inlets, along the Atlantic border—that they have all one common inferior character. They consist for the most part of accumulations of black vegetable matter, spongy, soft, retentive of water, but very wasteful of manure, and very unlike, in richness or permanent fertility, to those which are formed by the mingling of animal and vegetable matters with the fine. mud that floats in the waters of Cumberland Basin in New Brunswick, of the Bay of Minas in Nova Scotia, or in those of the Nile, the Rhine, or the Humber. They have little permanent richness in them at all. Like most other marsh-lands, they may be renovated by
been good, trade has revived, the imports have increased, and with them the revenue—so important a means of still further developing the internal resources of the country. It is to be hoped that better times will induce calmer and sounder reasoning on matters which concern the most important interests of the province, present and future.
142 MUSQUASH MARSHES AND UPLAND.
flooding; but if the surface be subjected to the plough and exhausted, they are not restored, as warped lands are, by a deeper ploughing. They grow fair crops of hay for a while, and therefore are dyked where it can easily be done, and are much valued; but they neither deserve nor are they held in the same esteem as the dyked marshes of Sackville and Amherst. The Musquash Marsh produces from 5 cwt. to 14 ton of hay per acre—a produce which indicates its inferior quality. Of the dyked marsh, 50 acres produce about 40 tons of hay, which may be sold for £2 a ton, and the price asked for it is £10 to £15 an acre—a merely nominal or accommodation price, as it is rarely sold alone. A farm of 50 acres of dyked marsh, 50 of cleared upland, and 300 of wood and rock, sold here recently for £800 currency; and for another farm, now on sale, consisting of 100 acres of dyked marsh under the plough, 50 of intervale, and 850 of cold clay and stony upland, £1500 are asked. Colonel Anderson, the owner of a large tract of this marsh, mentioned to me the singular circumstance, that about ten years ago, armies of grubs advancing in a line, and almost filling up ditches on their way, devoured the grass off the marshes, making them quite bare. About a month after, the whole was covered with a short growth of white clover. A similar circumstance, it was added, had been observed in the Sackville marshes in 1845. Three miles beyond Tilson's, I conversed with Mr M'Crain, an Irishman from Belfast. He had been in the province nine years, was prosperous, thriving, and content, and would recommend his countrymen to come here. He had this year raised 380 bushels of potatoes from twenty of seed. In this, as in Albert County, are many small waterfalls, with saw-mills erected upon them by the owners of
HOW TO RUIN A MAN. 143
the land. The presence of this water-power has tempted so many to enter imprudently into lumbering, to the neglect of their farms, that it has here become a proverb, “If you want to ruin a man, give him a mill.” Mr Wilmot, besides being mayor of St John, was also one of the members for the county of St John, through which we were now travelling. There had lately been serious rioting in the city, in consequence of a premeditated and previously announced attack of the Roman Catholics upon a Protestant procession. The fear of one another in these North American countries is very great, and influences the conduct of public men in the discharge of any duties which may render them unpopular. It was alleged that certain of the magistrates of St John had disappeared on the day of the anticipated riot, to avoid being called upon to discharge an unwilling and unpopular duty. The proper steps, however, after some delay, were taken; certain lives were lost, and much excitement and discontent were the result; but Mr Wilmot was acknowledged to have done his duty well and boldly. In the country, among the people we met, I was pleased to find that this was appreciated. One man said to us, as we stopped at his door—“Well, sir, are you coming to canvass? I am ready for you. I didn't vote for you last time, but I mean to do so this, for the way you behaved at the riots.” Another we met on the road said, “I have four votes now, sir—myself and my three sons—and you shall have them all.” There is no really free country in the world where men will not be the more honoured the more faithfully their duty is performed. On the Lepreau River, about five miles in advance, we passed some marsh, and a little improved land; and at Point Lepreau, a few miles to our left, good deep red loams occur. A patch of the red marl rocks is found there, and extends some miles up the river; but the
144 MECHANICAL CONDITION OF ROCKS.
close proximity of a granitic district on our right cuts them off abruptly, and has probably changed very much their physical and mechanical characters. Nothing more clearly shows the importance of the physical and mechanical characters of a rock on the kind of soils it is capable of producing, than the different aspect and capability of two adjoining districts, over which the rocks are the same in kind and in general chemical composition, but in one of which they occur, if stratified, in their natural unchanged condition, in the other in what is called a metamorphic or hardened state—a condition they have been made to assume by the agency of heat. Tracts of rich wheat and hardwood land may extend in the former district, alongside of poor, stony, inhospitable stunted pine-lands on the latter. A knowledge of the ultimate chemical composition of its rocks or soils is not of greater importance, in reality, than that of the mechanical condition of the rocks of a country, or of the fragments that form its soils. Cedar-swamps, alternating with naked rocky hills and rarer banks and slopes of better soil, accompanied us to Macgowan's, half-way to St Andrews, when dark night overtook us. We were still, however, five miles from Macadavic, where we were to quarter for the night, when daylight forsook us, and upon the low black swamps, with dark pine-forests closing us in on either side, we very soon began to find it difficult to pick our way. While the country was level, we crawled along without much apprehension; but on approaching a long steep descent with a ravine on the right, we were happy to avail ourselves of the pilotage of a native, whom we picked up at a house on the wayside. The darkness was as impenetrable as a London fog, with the additional discomfort of intense blackness; but two hours of alternate walking and driving brought us in safety through the Pennfield Settlement, which we could not
THE MORE LAND THE WORSE OFF. 145
see, to the village of Macadavic. If the starry nights be more bright and beautiful than we enjoy at home, certainly the moonless and cloudy ones are as much more obscure and impenetrable.
November 8.-The town of St George, or Magaguadavic, abbreviated into Macadavic, stands on the lower falls of a river of this latter name, ten miles above its entrance into Passamaquoddy Bay. The falls are high, five in succession making together a hundred feet, the body of water great, and the power immense. Large saw and other mills, therefore, have long been erected along the narrow gorge through which the water rushes; and a town has sprung up containing several indifferent inns, an Episcopal, and two or three other places of worship, and the usual supply of comfortable houses for the lawyers, doctors, and dealers of the place. After breakfast, we engaged a light waggon, and drove ten miles up the river to the higher falls, where we found extensive saw-mills, and a village, chiefly of persons connected with and supported by the mills. Some fine scenery, bold hills and precipices crowned with wood, long bends and reaches of the river, and extensive intervales, made our drive pleasant; but the land in general was poor— sandy on the intervales and stony on the upland—and thinly settled. This river runs a long course of sixty miles through the province, taking its principal rise in a lake of the same name; but, for the most part, it passes through a poor, slaty, or metamorphic country; and, except where it occasionally widens, and forms desirable patches of intervale-land, there are few settlers along its banks, or in the country through which it flows. I suppose it is to the possession of poor land like this that the proverb they have in New Brunswick especially applies—“Land is like self-righteous men; the more a man has, the worse he is.”
WOL. II. K