History   Documents   Census Records    Genealogy    Maps    Gallery  Reunion 2007   Scrapbook Ship


Return to Harvey Historical Documents Index

Brown, J. 1860. Third Essay. New Brunswick as a home for emigrants: with the best means of promoting immigration, and developing the resources of the province. Barnes and Company, 21 p. 0.9 MB download. Digitized 24 January 2006.

Link to pdf of scan of entire book. 0.9 MB download. Google Books. Original from New York Public Library.

There are several entries in this essay referring to Harvey beginning on p. 11:

In the spring of 1837, about thirty emigrant familes arrived at St. John, and went to Fredericton, intending to settle on the lands of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company. They were a mixture of English and Scotch, from the banks of the Tweed, - farm labourers, healthy and strong, but without means. Disappointed in their engagements with the Company, they applied to Sir John Harvey, then Lieutenant Governor, who sent a message, recommending their case to the consideration of the House of Assembly, then in Session. At that time, the whole region from Hanwell to Magaguadavic (about thirty five miles) was an unbroken wilderness, and through it a line for a Great Road from Fredericton to Saint Andrews had just been explored and marked out; and a member of the Assembly who had assisted in the exploration, proposed to settle them on this line. He informed the House, that the line passed through an extensive tract of good hard wood land, near the Great Oromocto Lake. His plan, or scheme, was to lay off thirty-two lots, each of 80 rods front and 200 rods long, sixteen lots on each side of the road; to put all the men under the direction of two judiciious persons, well acquiainted with clearing land; to furnish them all with axes and provisions; cut down and prepare for burning an opening, twenty-eight rods wide and four miles long peel spruce bark to cover the houses; burn the chopping, clear the land (three acres on the front of each lot); build a log house on each; bring out the families; furnish them with supplies; let them prepare more ground for burning sow and plant each his three acres in the following spring; and pay for all in road work.

Such was the outline of the scheme then proposed, and which was agreed on at the time by the House of Assembly, but on preparing for the proposed survey, its was discovered the 2,200 acres of the intended land had previously been selected by three individuals, and could not, therefore, be obtained. This was a great disappointment, and a great hindrance at the outset. Another tract of land, less favourable, had to be selected; some of which was swampy, and not food for first crops. No conitnuous opening could be made, as in the first proposed scheme; the chopping had to be made in separate places, and the poor fellows, instead of getting each three acres ready for sowing and planting the following spring, had to toil on for three whole years, before they all got settled on their separate allotments. They proved firts rate road makers, and ultimately paid for all the supplies furnished by the Government. The following is an extract of the Report of the Hon. L. A. Wilmot, Commissioner of the Harvey settlement, to his Excellency Sir William M.G. Colebrooke, dated at Fredericton 9th February, 1844: -

"The great success which has followed the labours of these industrious and valuable settlers, is and unquestionable proof of what may yet be done on our millions of acres of wilderness lands. The return shews, that from land where not a tree had been felled in July 1837, there have been taken, during the past autumn, 260 tons of hay and straw, and 15,000 bushels of grain, potatoes and turnips.

"It is desirable that the return may be circulated among settlers friends and country men, in the north of England, as well as other parts of the United Kingdom, so that the capabilities of our new land soil may appear, and that it may also be made known, that we have at least five millions of acres yet undisposed of, a great proportion of which is of better quality than the land at Harvey, whereon the sober and industrious emigrant may create a home under the protection of British laws, and in the enjoyment of British institutions."

Those settlers began with nothing. They sufffered many hardships, but they were inured to labour, and overcame them all. They commenced in 1837, and in 1843 had property in cleared land, farm produce, cattle, sheep, swine, etc. of the value of £4,289. During all that time, only two deaths had occurred, while there had been thiry-nine births, and all without medical aid!


An additional entry referring to Harvey is to be found on p. 16 through 18 where the author describes at length how to clear the land and build a log cabin.

...But where a number of persons combine together to form a new settlement, a very different process should be adoped.

1st. A suiltable tract of wilderness land should be selected, and a road be carefully explored and marked out, to connect it with some road or setltment previously made.

2nd. The shape and size fo the block to be occupied should be determined on, and the outsde lines marked off. An oblong space, with tow parallel lines marked off. An oblong space, with tow paralled sides, and four square corners, is the most convenient.

3rd. A line of road through this block, from one end to the other, should then be explored and marked out by some suitable person, say a practical lumberer, who understands looking out and clearing roads in the woods, and hauling loads thereon. This is a most important part of the process, as all steep hills should be carefully avoided.

4th. The Surveyor should then lay off one tier of lots, of one hundred acres each, on each side of the line of road so marked out. Those lots, though all of one size, would not be all of the same shape; as the line of road, unless the land were level, or nearly so, would be crooked, so that the lots would differ from one another both in length and breadth.

This done, an opening should be made through the entire legnth of the block, by cutting down the trees on the fronts of all the lots on each side of the line of road, in the manner heretofore described in the case of the Harvey settlers.

Having previously described the whole process of clearing, sowing, planting, and harvesting, as applicable in this case, I shall now make a few remarks on the subject of building. "The building spot" should, in the first place, be well cleared and burnt, - no standing trees of combustible materials should be left on it. Some people fancy, that in clearing the land many of the forest trees should be left for "ornament and use." But this cannot well be done. Trees so left are very apt to be blown down. They are, therefore, dangerous neightbours when left standing within the reach of any building, hindrances to cultivation where they stand in the fields, and great nuisances after they fall. Trees of the original forest, when singled out and separated, will not live. Trees intended for ornament, shade, or shelter, must either be planted when young or small, or grown from the seed. But to the building:

1st. in the latter part of June, or any time in July, (no other time of the year will answer)l, take an axe and an adze into a spruce swamp, and peel as much bark as wil cover the intended house. Hack through the bark of a tree in a circle round the bottom with the axe; several feet above this make another circle through the bark with the adze; draw a perpendicular line with the edge of the axe form the upper circle to the lower, clean through from this line raise the edge of the bark from the tree with a sharpened stick - continue the process clear round, and in a few minutes you have a sheet of bark seven feet long, and as wide as the length of the circumference of the tree. Lay the first sheet on the level ground, (white side down)., and all the rest over it, like leaves in a book; put a weight on the top, and in a few days they will be straight and ready for use.

2d. Cut your building logs 22 feet long for the side walls, and 16 feet for the end walls. Dig your cellar of such size and depth as you can afford, or as may be most suitable. Make your house 20 feet long and 14 feet wide, inside, notching your logs togehter at the coners. Put plenty of sleepers at the bottom to support the floor and beams overhead, leaving seven feet clear for the height of your rooms. Notch your logs in suitable places for a door and three windows and saw them out with a cross-cut saw. Make the rafters nine feet long, four on each side. Put three ribs on each side of the roof, and a ridge-pole on the top; and let your ribs extend a foot over each gable end, and the walls of your house are up.

3d. Lay on your bark, one tier of sheets on each side of the roof, and double the third tier over the ridge-pole. Secure your bark with poles on the outside, placed exactly over the ribs, and fasten them to the same with withs at each end, and you have a good tight roof.

4th. Build your chimney close to the end wall. Split the jambs and mantel out of stone, if convenient; if not, take flat stones, and make a wide, high fire place, with a mantel of hemlock, which will stand fire better than any other wood. Build to the top with stone and clay if you can, if not, use sticks, with clay mixed with straw.

5th. If boards can be had, lay your floors with them. Set off seven feet across the end, for two bed rooms, which will leave your other room 13 X 14 feet. The Harvey settlers sawed their own boards with whip saws; but if this cannot be done, the ground floor can be made of hewn spruce, and the upper floor of straight poles. Three small windows will suffice, the one in the end lighting both bedrooms. A ladder, by the side of the chimney, will answer for stairs, and a hole in the gable end, with a suiltable wooden shutter, will serve for the garret window. Your cellar should be about 14X12 feet; it might do for a time without being walled, but will require to be carefully drained, and will be most conveniently entered by a trapdoor, in front of the fire place.