Elliott, Bruce, 2004-2005: Emigrant Recruitment by the New Brunswick Land
Company: The Pioneer Settlers of Stanley and Harvey.
|Table of Contents, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Previous << 8>> Next, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,
18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37
The Children's Friend Society shared an overlapping directorship with the New Brunswick Land Company, and it was at their behest that the New Brunswick Company's commissioner in Fredericton, Lieut. E.N. Kendall, was instructed to call a public meeting to gauge public willingness to form a local committee of the CFS.(18) The New Brunswick Courier denounced the idea as a conspiracy to unload on the province "the most depraved and vicious of the human race", urchins more fitted for a convict colony.(19) At the meeting held 9 January 1834 at Fredericton Court House, Kendall countered that "the illegitimate and pauper children ... of the London Parishes" would be brought here "while they are still at an age when it is practicable, by a well considered system of moral discipline, to reform their vagrant habits, and to render them worthy and industrious members of society." In a country with a shortage of labour they would make capital apprentices in trades, or house or store servants. "The Youth sent hither, having no ties of kindred, would naturally look to their employers as to persons standing in relation of Parents to them, and the latter, if for no other motive, would be prompted by their own interests to treat them kindly." Despite the St Andrews Standard joining the Saint John papers in protesting the plan, terming the boys "a moral leprosy on the people of New Brunswick", (20) a committee was duly organized and a bill passed the New Brunswick legislature in March 1834 allowing the importation of pauper apprentices for the next two years.(21)
As already noted, local historians record the names of eleven boys, but the Company brought out to the province either 39 or 41 boys and 1 girl, of whom in total eighteen have been identified. In 1835 the Company paid £18.10 for the "Passage of four Boys to New Brunswick".(22) They arrived at Miramichi in the spring of that year aboard a ship called the 574.
We can identify them thanks to a letter from one printed in a pamphlet the CFS published in 1837. Henry Potter (23) wrote from Campbell, 4 November 1835, that after a voyage of six weeks and four days they had landed at Chatham "about ninety miles below this place, and walked up." He reported that Mr Duncan (the Company's agent at Campbell (24)) was going to put him to a shoemaker to learn the trade. He reported that the other boys were one Hawkins, who had run away, Hunter, working as a farm servant, and Thomas, working as a servant to a blacksmith.(25) The CFS reports state that two boys also went to New Brunswick in the Henry Bell in 1835, but no further information is given. They may not have come out under the auspices of the New Brunswick Land Company, as the Company's balance sheet for 1835 notes that they paid expenses only for four.
(18) New Brunswick Courier, 11 January 1834, p. 2, col. 7.
(19) New Brunswick Courier, 22 January 1834, p. 2, col. 5.
(20) Quoted in New Brunswick Courier , 25 January 1834, p. 2, cols. 6-7.
(21) New Brunswick Courier, 18 January 1834, p. 2, cols. 6-7; p. 3, col. 1; 15 March 1834, p. 4, col. 2.
(22) General Report on the Tract of Land purchased from Government, by the New Brunswick Land Company, CIHM fiche N.8808, 26, balance sheet for 1835.
(23) Not that Harry Potter!
(24) New Brunswick Courier, 18 June 1836, p. 2, col. 3
(25) Blackburn, Children's Friend Society, 246-7.