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New Brunswick, Canada

NEW BRUNSWICK, a province of the Dominion of Canada, bounded on the N. W. by the province of Quebec, from which it is separated by the River Restigouche; N. by Baie Ghaleurs; E. by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait, the latter separating it from Prince Edward Island; S. by the Bay of Fundy and part of Nova Scotia; and on the W. by the State of Maine, from which it is separated by the St. Croix and St. John rivers; extending from lat. 45° 5 to 48° 40' N., lon. 63° 50' to 68° W.; greatest length from N. to S. 230 miles; breadth 190 miles; area 27,322 square miles, equal to 17,480,230 acres. Its coast line is about 500 miles in length, interrupted only at the, point of junction with Nova Scotia, where an isthmus of not more than 11 miles in breadth connects the two territories and separates the waters of Northumberland Strait from those of the Bay of Fundy, and which it is proposed to unite by means of a canal, called the Bay Verte Canal.

The surface of the country is generally flat or undulating. There are some hills skirting the Bay of Fundy and the Rivers St. John and Restigouche, but they nowhere assume mountain summits. The shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait abound in fine ship harbors (each at the mouth of a considerable river) from which is exported much fine timber. For about 12 miles inland the country is low and skirted with marshes.

The face of the province is traversed in all directions by navigable rivers, chief of which is the St. John, 450 miles in length. It is navigable for vessels of 100 tons to Fredericton, 90 miles from the sea. Above this point smaller steamers ascend 65 miles, to Woodstock, and occasionally make trips as far as the Tobique, 75 miles further up and even to the Grand Falls, a magnificent cataract 70 or 80 feet perpendicular, 225 miles from the sea. Above the Falls the St. John has been navigated by a steamer to the mouth of the Madawaska, 40 miles; from this point boat; and canoes may ascend almost to its sources. The Madawaska river is also navigable for small steamers to Lake Temiscouata, a sheet of water 27 miles long, from 2 to 6 miles broad, and of great depth throughout. From the upper part of this lake to the River St. Lawrence, at Trois Pistoles, the distance is only about 18 miles The country drained by the St. John and its tributaries comprises about 9,000,000 acres in New Brunswick, 2,000,000 in Quebec, and 6,000,000 in Maine. The valley is remarkable for its fertility, and picturesque beauty. After the St. John, the largest river of New Brunswick is the Miramichi, flowing N. E. into an extensive bay of its own name. It is 225 miles in length, and 7 miles wide at its mouth. It is navigable for large vessels 25 miles from the Gulf, and for schooners 20 miles further, to the head of the tide, above which, for 60 miles, it is navigable for tow boats. The river has many large tributaries, spreading over a great extent of country. The Petitcodiac is a large river, flowing into Cumberland Basin, near the head of the Bay of Fundy. It is about 100 miles in length, and is navigable for vessels of the largest size for 25 miles, and for schooners of 60 or 80 tons to the head of tide, 12 miles further. The Richibucto is a considerable river flowing into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The tide flows up it 25 miles. It is navigable for small vessels 15 miles. The Restigouche, at the north eastern extremity of the province, is a noble river, 3 miles wide at its entrance into the Baie des Chaleurs, and navigable for large vessels for 18 miles from the Bay. The principal stream of the Restigouche is over 200 miles in length. His Indian name signifies "the river which divides like the hand" — in allusion to its separation, above the tide, in five large streams. The main river, and its tributaries, drains over 4,000 square miles of fertile and finely timbered country. Among the numerous bays with which the const is indented, the most important is the Baie des Chaleurs, an immense haven 90 miles in length, and from 12 to 25 miles in breadth, with many excellent harbors Throughout its whole extent there is neither rock, reef, nor shoal, nor any impediment to navigation. On the southern, or New Brunswick, side of this Bay the shores are low, the water deepening gradually from them. On the northern, or Quebec, side, the shores are bold and precipitous rising into eminences, which almost may be called mountains. Besides the Miramichi already mentioned, the principal bays on its east coast are Richibucto, Buctouche, Cocagne and Shediac; on the south coast are Passamaquoddy Bay, separating New Brunswick from Maine, and on the S.W., St. John Harbor and Chignecto Bay. The lakes are numerous but of small extent. The principal is Grand Lake, 30 miles long and 2 to 7 miles wide, communicating with the River St. John 50 miles from the sea.

Along the shores of the Baie des Chaleurs and the Gulf of St. Lawrence gray sandstone and gray clayslate predominate, with detached rocks of granite, quartz, and ironstone; on the south coast, limestone, graywacke, clayslate, with sandstone, interrupted occasionally by gneiss, trap and granite. Specimens of amethyst, carnelian, jasper, &c, have been picked up in various places. Coal is plentiful and iron ore abundant; the former is said to extend over lo,000 square miles. The Albert coal mine is the most valuable deposit of bituminous matter on this continent. It produces 100 gallons of crude oil per ton. Copper and manganese also abound. A large de-posit of the former has been dis-covered on the banks of the Nepisiquit river, which falls into Bathurst Bay, and another of plumbago within half a mile of St. John. The supply of the latter is said to be inexhaustible. Gypsum, limestone, freestone, and grindstone abound. Salt springs, strongly saturate), are numerous, and some sulphurous springs have been discovered.

The climate of New Brunswick is subject to great extremes of heat and cold. The ranges of temperature ar: at St. John from 18° below to 88° above; at Richibucto from 20° below to 90° above; and at Fredericton from 24° below to 93° above. The prevailing summer winds are from the W.S.W. and S.; when from the S.W. dense fogs are often produced on the Bay of Fundy, and extend from 15 to 20 miles inland. The autumn is a season of exceeding beauty, the air being dry and clear, and the woods glowing with innumerable tints of the richest and most brilliant hues.

Of the soil and capabilities of New Brunswick it is impossible to speak too highly. There is not a country in the world so beautifully wooded and watered. A large portion of the surface is covered with flense forests of pine, hackmatac, spruce, cedar, &c, which provide immense quantities of timber both for export and shipbuilding. All kinds of cereals and fruits (except peaches) ripen perfectly and are of excellent quality. The potatoes raised in this province are the best in the world. Turnips, peas, beans, and other leguminous plants thrive admirably. A most profitable crop is grass, which occupies about four-fifths of the land on every large farm. Agriculture, however, has made but slow progress, and the demand for food is far beyond the supply raised on the soil. The inhabitants generally find it more profitable to follow the lumbering business. The rivers, lakes and sea coast of New Brunswick abound with fish of almost every variety. In Baie des Chaleurs immense shoals are seen, darkening the surface of the water. The Bay of Fundy has long been celebrated for its fisheries. The yield from its waters in 1870 was valued at $270,239. In 1871 there were 5,161 men employed in the New Brunswick fisheries, and the total value of fish caught was estimated at $1,185,033. The salmon fisheries of New Brunswick are among the finest in the world. The Buctouche, Caraquette and Cocagne oyster beds are as prolific as they are famous, and the finest lobsters are found in profusion.

Shipbuilding is extensively prosecuted in the province, more especially at St. John and on the Miramichi. Vessels are also built at St. Andrews, at various coves a id harbors on the Bay of Fundy, along the banks of the St. John and Petitcodiac; and at Cocagne, Richibucto, Bathurst, Dalhousie, Campbellton, and other ports on the north shore. The total number of vessels built in 1871 was 108, with an aggregate bur-then of 33,353 tons; in 1872, 93 vessels were built (tons 36,464.)

The principal articles manufactured in New Brunswick are sawn lumber, leather, cotton and woolen goods, wooden ware of all descriptions, paper, iron castings, nails, mill machinery, locomotives, steam engines, &c. The number of saw mills in the province is very large.

The great extent of sea coast, with its numerous bays and navigable rivers flowing into them, furnish admirable facilities for commerce. The principal exports are fish, timber and lumber, iron, coal, gypsum, shooks, hay, &c. The chief imports arc wheat, flour, and cornmeal, corn and other grain, salted meats, coffee, sugar, tea, molasses, tobacco, woolen, cotton and silk manufactures, fruits, &c. The total value of the imports for 1872 amounted to $9,364,652, of which $5,738,439 were from Great Britain, and $2,599,811 from the United States. The exports for the same period amounted to $5,719,734. The imports for St. John alone amounted to $7,354,099, and exports $3,650,181. There are five railways in the province, two of which are under construction—the Intercolonial and the Fredericton and Riviere du Loup roads. The Intercolonial (completed) runs from St. John to Halifax, with branch to Shediac. The head offices are at Moncton, from which westward to Trois Pistoles the building of the Intercolonial is being rapidly pushed forward. The European and North American railway (consolidated) runs from St. John westward to the State of Maine, connecting at Fredericton Junction with the Fredericton Branch railway, at McAdam with the New Brunswick and Canada railway, and at Bangor with the railway system of the United States. It is intended that this road shall form a connection with the St. Francis and Lake Megantic International railway, now in course of construction from Sherbrooke eastward. When this road is built the distance by rail, between Montreal and St. John, will be reduced to 430 miles. (By the Intercolonial the distance is 763 miles). The New Brunswick and Canada railway (the oldest railway in the province) proceeds from St. Andrews to Woodstock, with branches to St. Stephen, and Houlton, Me. At Woodstock it connects with a branch of the Riv. du Loup railway. This line is running between Fredericton and Woodstock and Hartland. From the latter place it is being built to Riv. du Loup.

Telegraph wires connect New Brunswick with the United States and the western provinces of the Dominion on the one hand; and with Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Europe on the other.

The province is divided into 14 counties, the names of which, and population in 1871, with their capitals are exhibited in the following table:

Counties Pop County Town
Albert 10,072 Hopewell
Carleton 19,933 Woodstock
Charlotte 25,882 St. Andrews
Gloucester 18,810 Bathurst
Kent 19,101 Richibucto
Kings 24,953 Hampton
Northumberland 20,116 Newcastle
Queens 13,847 Gagetown
Restigouche 5,575 Dalhousie
St. John 52,303 St. John
Sunbury 6,824 Oromocto
Victoria 11,641 Grand Falls
Westmorland 29,335 Dorchester
York 27,140 Fredericton



Total area of the above counties, 17,393,410 acres.

There are two Roman Catholic dioceses in the province — St. John and Chatham; and one Church of England. Fredericton. The following table, taken from the census returns of 1871, shows the various religious denominations and the number of their adherents:

Church of England 45,481
Church of Rome 96,013
Church of Scotland 9,530
Presbyterians 29,322
Baptists 70,597
Wesleyan Methodists 26,212
Other Methodists 8,523
Congregationalists 1,193
Other Denominations 3,149
Of no religion 131
No creed stated 392
Jews 43
Total 285,594

New Brunswick devotes annually rut of the Provincial revenue $120,000 to educational objects. The educational institutions supported by law are a Provincial University, a Training or Normal school for teachers and a system of common schools ranging from the primary to the grammar or high school department The common schools are free to all being supported from the Provincial revenue, and by rate upon the entire property of the country.

The chief part of the inhabitants are emigrants from Great Britain, and their descendants. There are a number of French Acadians, settled chiefly in the counties on the north shore and in the valley of the Madawaska, and there are also a small number of Micinacs, Melicites, and other Indians in the northern part of the province, and on the St. John River. The number of Indians in New Brunswick in 1871 was 1,403.

The affairs of the province are ad-ministered by a Lieutenant Governor, aided by an Executive Council of 9 members a Legislative Council of 18 members, appointed for life, and a House of Assembly of 41 representatives, elected every 4 years. The judicial department comprises a Supreme Court, with a chief and 4 puisne judges having Law and Equity jurisdiction; one of Marriage and Divorce a Vice Admiralty Court, and a County Court for each county in the Province The provincial legislature meets at Fredericton.

New Brunswick was first settled by the French in 1639 It continued to form part, with Nova Scotia, of Acadia, or New France, till it fell into the bands of the British, after the conquest of Quebec The first British settlers in the province emigrated from Scotland to the Miramichi in 1764; and in 1784, New Brunswick was separated from Nova Scotia and erected into a separate province. In 1825 the standing timber in the district around Miramichi Bay took fire, and enveloped an area of 6,000 square miles in flames, consuming two thriving towns, many large vessels lying in Miramichi River and destroying 500 human beings. In 1867, this province united with Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia in forming the Canadian Confederation, and is the fourth largest Province, as regards population in the Dominion.

Lovell's Gazetteer of British North America, Edited by P.A. Crossby, 1873


Lovell's Gazetteer of British North America

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