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Elliott, Bruce, 2004-2005: Emigrant Recruitment by the New Brunswick Land
The Pioneer Settlers of Stanley and Harvey.


The Harvey Settlement

By the spring of 1837 the Company's New Brunswick activities were in abeyance because Commissioner Kendall had left the Company's employ and his replacement had not yet arrived. Into this administrative void sailed a second party of 137 Borders settlers, who arrived at Saint John from Berwick aboard the Cornelius of Sunderland on 14 July 1837.(72)


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Although there is no longer a train station in the village Harvey in York County is still known as Harvey Station to distinguish it from the Harvey in Albert County, New Brunswick. Source, Bruce S. Elliott, 2002.


It will be recalled that the previous autumn the English emigrants at Stanley had given the Company's agent, Mr Nicholson, a letter addressed to "the Inhabitants of Wooler & Ford" endorsing his efforts to recruit further settlers for the Company lands near Stanley.   At that time they had been willing to paper over their dawning grievances.   They acknowledged that "the Contractors who engaged to prepare the Land for Crop, & Build Houses for our occupation failed to do their duty for want of Workmen" but asserted that "instead of being a disappointment we consider rather a fortunate circumstance, as every one has been allowed to chose his own Farm from the best Land round Stanley, and to have his House built to answer his taste & to suit the prospects of his Family."   They were being given three years from the day of landing to repay their passage money, and reported favourably on the prices of farm produce, which were higher that year than normal.(73)

The Black Bull Inn, Wooler, Northumberland, where a recruitment agent named Nicholson met with potential recruits for the St. Lawrence Canal works in Upper Canada through the spring of 1837. Was he the same Nicholson who was recruiting concurrently for the N.B. Land Company?

Source :   Hamish Dunn, Wooler

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It is unclear from the documentation whether the agent Nicholson was the Norman Nicholson who had recruited the ill-fated Skye party the year before, or an Edward Nicholson who published a spirited defense of emigration to Canada (i.e. Upper Canada) in the Berwick Advertiser of 18 March 1837, writing from Newcastle-on-Tyne.(74)

It likely was Edward, a 16-year resident of the Canadas, who made the rounds of inns at Morpeth, Wooler, Alnwick, and Newcastle through March and April recruiting labourers for the St Lawrence River Canal works.(75)  He reportedly engaged "a considerable number of agricultural labourers in Glendale Ward ... who are not at liberty till after the 12 th of May".   The Berwick Advertiser reported, confusingly, that 170 emigrants (in another place 110) sailed on the ship Cornelius the morning of 29 May for Saint John, "the male portion of which are engaged to work on the St. Lawrence Canal, and are principally from Wooler and Glendale Ward".   Nicholson had advertised that he would be in Berwick on 26 May with a first class vessel to embark the labourers who had engaged with him for Canada, and perhaps this led the Advertiser to confuse the two parties.   The Cornelius had been advertised for New Brunswick, without reference to either Nicholson or the Company, by a different set of local agents.(76)  Whether Edward Nicholson was simultaneously recruiting settlers for the New Brunswick Land Company and labourers for a St Lawrence canal contractor, or whether there were two different Nicholsons recruiting in the region at the same time, we may readily understand the reporter's confusion.(77)




72. New Brunswick Courier , 15 July 1837, p. 3, col. 2.


73. C.O. 188/60, ff. 153-4, Stanley, 26 November 1836.


74. Berwick Advertiser , 18 March 1837, p. 2, col. 3, writing from Newcastle 14 March in response to a letter from "Spectator" in the issue of 4 March 1837, p. 2, col. 4, who had advised against emigration and emigration societies on the basis of what Nicholson condemned as seriously outdated literature.   To compound matters, the interpreter for the Skye party was a Samuel Nicholson.


75. Berwick Advertiser, 1 April 1837, p. 1, col. 2.


76. Berwick Advertiser, 15 April 1837, p. 4, col. 2; 20 May 1837, p. 1, col. 3; 27 May 1837, p. 4, col. 3; 3 June 1837, p. 4, col. 3.


77. The Advertiser does not report any other major emigration in 1837, however, and the Quebec Gazette notes only 21 passengers arriving from Berwick that season.