"Schedule of Persons entitled to the Bounty for raising Bread Corn on New Lands in the County of York in the years 1817, 1818, 1819 & 1821 under an Act of the General Assembly entitled 'An Act to encorage the raising of Bread-Corn on new lands.' and the Act in amendment explanation and continuation thereof."
Transcription and introduction by Norm DeMerchant
During the years 1815 to 1817 the growing season in New Brunswick was greatly reduced because of volcanic activity in the South Pacific. Of course this was unknown to the locals, but the effects were well observed. Due to unseasonably cold weather many crops failed and wide spread famine occurred in the province.
In an early history of New Brunswick, Peter Fisher recollects those times:
"For several years prior to 1816, the seasons had been growing gradually cooler - less warmth being felt on a mean in each succeeding year till 1816, when the cold appeared to have arrived at its acme...the genial warmth of the sun appeared nearly lost for when shining in meridian splendour in the months of June an July, a cold rigorous air was felt. There was a fall of snow, which was general over the Province and extended to the United States, on the 7th of June, to the depth of three or four inches in the northern parts of the country. This was followed by severe frosts in each month in that year. The crops were very light: fields of wheat were totally destroyed. Even the never failing potato was chilled and did not yield half a crop." [Fisher, pp.28-29]
James Hannay in his work History of New Brunswick explains the creation of the grain bounty a little further:
"An act was passed at the same session , forbidding the exportation of corn, meal, flour and potatoes, from the province for four months.
"This threatened famine seems to have aroused the Legislature to the necessity of doing something to increase the productiveness of the province, for at this session, an act was passed granting bounties on wheat, rye, Indian corn, buckwheat, barley and oats, grown on new land. This act was continued by an act passed in 1820, and again in 1826, and expired in 1833." [Hannay, vol.1, p.343]
Hannay and other historians felt that the timber trade had led to farms being neglected and a bounty would help keep people on their farms and out of the woods. It never happened:
"the profits of the merchants and timber barons were immediate, not some long-term dream. The legislators of the day were not sympathetic to any tariffs on imported foodstuffs to protect the struggling agriculture industry in the province. In fact, they opposed any type of protectionism because profits could be made importing the food as well as freeing more labour for the lumber business." [DeMerchant, p.19]
The document transcribed here is entitled "Schedule of Persons entitled to the Bounty for raising Bread Corn on New Lands in the County of York in the years 1817, 1818, 1819 & 1821 under an Act of the General Assembly entitled 'An Act to encorage the raising of Bread-Corn on new lands.' and the Act in amendment explanation and continuation thereof." It is an alphabetical listing of those person who received the grain bounty between 1817 and 1822 in York County, which comprised the current counties of Madawaska, Victoria, Carleton, and York. It was submitted by Deputy Clerk H.G. Clopper on 15 June 1822. The original document can be found at Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, "RS570 - Bounties".
Information for each person includes the year, the number of bushels of 6 crops raised, and the total amount of bounty paid.
The list was over nine pages, and is in roughly alphabetical order by last name.
Note on French names: For Albert, see Albeur; for Levasseur, see Vasseur; for Thériault, see Terrio; for Violette, see Vilet
A special thanks to Frederick C. Burnett for providing this document for transcription.
For questions or other informatio, contact
Page 1: Anderson, Henry -- Barker, Thomas
Page 2: Barker, Thomas -- Clements, George
Page 3: Cameron, Kenneth -- Foster, James
Page 4: Flannagan, John -- Hallett, William
Page 5: Hughes, James -- Murphy, Patrick
Page 6: Murphy, Patrick -- Patterson, David
Page 7: Patterson, William -- Shea, Elkana
Page 8: Snow, Edward -- Vasseur, John B.
Page 9: Vilet, Augustin -- Young, Joel
Return to the Upper St.John River Valley page
Last revised 25 Sep 2004