New Brunswick Courier, February 18th, 1826, "St John's settlement," dated Boston, February 2d., 1826.
The Eastern boundary line crosses the St John's about two miles above the grand falls, and from the line to the Madaweska River is about 30 miles; the settlers on each side of the river are situated about 90 or 100 rods apart nearly the whole distance.
We counted the houses, in all 222, averaging 8 or 10 persons to each, making in all about 2000 persons.
They are industrious, civil and hospitable people, and well deserve the fostering care of government; many of whom have patents, or grants of their lands from the Province of New Brunswick, but have little confidence in the value of those grants.
Between the Grand Falls and Eel River, we undertook to number the houses on the west bank in order to have some means of estimating the amount of population, but the smoke came upon us so dense and suffocating, from surrounding woods, that we were frustrated in the attempt. We, however, obtained information upon inquiry, to satisfy us that there are more than 250 families.
These settlers compose half pay officers, refugees, and their descendants; also many Irish and some Scotch. We conversed with many of them, to learn their dispositions, for or against an exchange of territory, and we found generally that the descendants of Yankees would be pleased with it, but the half pay officers, and those in the employ of Government, would be opposed to it; the first class are the most numerous.
The land on the west side of the Saint John's River, generally speaking, is of an excellent quality, greatly superior to that on the east. There are large tracts of rich interval, and back of the intervals the land rises beautifully; resembling art more than nature; this description is, however, not without exceptions. The settlers raise large supplies of wheat, oats, barley, and hay ; an indeed, every article commonly raised in New England they have in abundance, with the exception of Indian corn. The land on the Aroostook river is also of excellent quality for cultivation; there are upwards of twenty families settled on the banks of the river, and are all doing something in Agriculture; and are very anxious to be quieted in their possessions, but we had no authority relating to them.
On our way to New-Brunswick, we were informed that the government of that Province has received instructions from home, not to grant any more permits for cutting timber on the Aroostook and Madawaska rivers, until the boundary line should be established. This information has been confirmed to us by the lumbermen, who likewise informed us that permits given for the approaching winter, have been recalled; which has disappointed a great many who had previously got their supplies up the river, with a view to carry on the business extensively. We thought, under these circumstances, it would be well to make some provision by which they might obtain timber from our soil, and prevent their disappointment, inasmuch as the supplies that had of provisions, &. near our lines would undoubtedly enable them to plunder, and would be so used, if not permitted.--We therefore appointed an agent at Madawaska, and another at the Aroostook, with power to grant permits on certain conditions.
Thanks to Béatrice Craig for providing me with this text.
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