Letter by David Taylor dated April 14, 1873, written at Fredericton, New Brunswick; published in Stonehaven Journal, Thursday 08 May 1873
NEW KINCARDINESHIRE COLONY.— On Thurs-last, a letter was received from the Secretary of the new colony, who has gone out to make arrangements for the colonists previous to their arrival, from which we give the following extract. From it, friends of the colonists left behind will be glad to see that they are likely to meet with a very warm reception:—
Fredericton, 14th April, 1873.
Having arrived at St. John this day week, we there spent two days—leaving on Wednesday for this place—the political capital of New Brunswick. It is a city of about 6500 inhabitants, and one of the prettiest places I ever saw. The streets are wide and airy, and on either side are some of the neatest and prettiest cottages you ever saw. There are also some splendid public buildings scattered through the city, notably the Exhibition Buildings, Parliament Buildings, and Government House. There are also some very fine churches. We attended the Scotch Kirk twice yesterday, a plain looking building on the outside, but beautifully decorated inside. There is also a very fine organ and full choir. The congregation stands while the choir is singing, and during prayer stand with their backs to the minister. There is an exception to this rule when the second or Lord’s Prayer is being said, when the congregation stands still, facing the pastor. I endeavoured to get at the bottom of this custom, but nobody could tell me. On leaving church, after evening service, a gentleman from Aberdeen and his wife were introduced to us, who insisted on our going along with him to his house, where we were introduced to several Scotch, and amongst the rest one also hailing from Aberdeen who came out only last year, and who had in the capacity of commercial traveller, done business with the principal grocers in Stonehaven. We spent a very pleasant evening and did not regret going.
The house was in session when we arrived here and on presenting my letters of introduction to the provincial secretary—Mr. Fraser—he gave us a very kindly welcome. We were then introduced to the several members of government, and some of the more prominent members of the House. The kindness and affability with which each and all welcomed us made us soon feel at ease. In the evening a meeting of the Government was held at which we were requested to attend. We met there at half-past seven and sat together for nearly four hours. It was then arranged that we should stay over till Tuesday (by which time the house would be prorogued), when the Surveyor-General and several other members of the Government go up along with us to the new settlement. This afternoon we are all to dine with the Lieutenant Governor of the Province. I forgot to mention that while in St. John, we met a Committee of the St. Andrew Society of that city—all Scotchmen, to whom I had to explain everything in connection with the colony. A resolution was passed unanimously to give the emigrants some sort of a reception and appointing a small committee to collect subscriptions from the members of the society and from Scotchmen in the city (non-members). They calculated up raising 5000 dollars, and I have no doubt from the amount subscribed that night they will be successful. At my suggestion, the balance of the money, after defraying the cost of the entertainment is to be vested in a committee of ourselves for the purpose of assisting the more necessitous amongst the emigrants. The Government are also to entertain them at Fredericton and Woodstock, at which places they will pass a night, so as to make the route light and easy for the women and children. As far as I have seen, the Government are anxious to do everything in their power to make the emigrants as comfortable as possible on their arrival.
David Taylor (1847-1907) was just 26 when he came to New Brunswick with three other colonists a month before the Castalia arrived. He served as secretary for the committee planning the New Kincardineshire colony and hoped to publish a Colony newspaper. He seemingly reluctantly ran a store in the Colony that followed an unpopular credit scheme set up by the Government. After three years, his young family moved to Montreal where he labored in the newspaper business until his death at age sixty.
Source of the letter: The British Newspaper Archive, https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/; Stonehaven Journal, Thursday 8 May 1873; Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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