History    Historical Items/Documents Gallery

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


The success of this system depended upon the word of mouth back to Ireland or England being favourable, and the chief advantages here were favourable terms and genuinely good land.   The land in Huron County was some of the best in Upper Canada.   Neither the Eastern Townships lands of the British American Land Company, nor the tract in York County of the New Brunswick Land Company were so attractively fertile as to counteract the difficulties of access or, more importantly, other discouraging factors.   These included obstacles put in place by the colonial governments, and the overwhelming positive publicity overseas about Upper Canada.   By contrast, first impressions of Stanley, New Brunswick were often unfavourable, as the Company's settlement road "unfortunately ... [was] made upon a rocky & comparatively barren [tract] of Land, whereas admirable Soil is to be found within a Short distance on either side."(12)  

The New Brunswick Company made four concerted attempts at direct overseas recruitment that I will now outline.   The first targeted poor children institutionalized in London, the second farm labourers and tradesmen in the eastern Borders between England and Scotland.   The third party was recruited, disastrously, in the Scottish highlands, and the fourth was a second party from the Borders.   The first three parties were settled in and around Stanley, with varying degrees of success; the fourth escaped the Company's control and founded Harvey, south of Fredericton.

(12) Sir John Harvey, C.O. 188/60, f. 136, National Archives of Canada reel B-14.   The 1878 map of Stanley in the Atlas of York County, New Brunswick (Frederiction: Halpenny & Co., 1878) reveals the abandonment of some lands on the original Stanley Road for better lands to its east and west, and especially to its north.