Dr. George Frederick Clarke's


Since today was June 23 and the school year was drawing to a close,  I couldn’t understand why we still had to have lessons. Tonight’s assignment was to write a paragraph on what did the date of June 24 mean to us. I didn’t have a clue what to write. Naturally this would be the evening the minister’s wife was visiting with Mum.

I was sitting at the kitchen table chewing on the end of my pencil when Gram and Gramp walked in so I asked for their ideas. Gram knew that Addie’s birthday was that date but that was no help.

Gramp thought for a moment and then he said, “All I know is that tomorrow is Saint John the Baptist Day and it was on the twenty-fourth of June of 1604 that Champlain sailed into the Saint John harbour where the river flowed into it. He landed on a sandy point and set up a high cross with the fleur de lys on it, claiming the country for the King of France. The river, which the Indians of the valley called Wul-ahs-tuk - Champlain named Saint Jean and now we call in the Saint John River.”

Now if I had been the granddaughter of  dentist Dr. George Frederick Clark of Woodstock, he could have told me lots of things about the exploring of Acadia by de Monts who had a ship of 120 tons with several servants, besides 120 men who included artisans, soldiers, a mineralogist and, for the king had allowed de Monts to take malefactors from the prisons of their ‘soul’s’ good, a fair sprinkling of such. One gentleman who accompanied him was Jean de Biencourt, Baron de Poutrincourt. There were Catholics as well as Huguenots, and since it had been stipulated that religious tolerance and freedom of worship should prevail in the colony, they were accompanied by both priests and ministers. And last, and greatest among the crew was Champlain, who had become close friends with de Monts and had the official position of King’s Geographer. Champdere was the chief navigator. The vessel set sail from Havre de Grace on 7 March 1604.  Another vessel left three days later.

Champlain chose the small island that he named St. Croix, now called Dochets Island, to settle his colony. But this was an unfortunate choice.

When spring arrived, Champlain was on the mainland when he noticed an Indian woman picking some short green ferns and putting them into a basket. He thought they resembled fiddleheads.

Dr. Clarke retired from his dental practice in 1953 and devoted himself wholly to writing. In 1958, his four hundred page book. “TOO SMALL A WORLD” was published. This publication chronicles the Acadians, Norsemen, Jacques Cartier, Port Royal, Revoking of De Monts’s Charter, the colony of Madame De Guercheville, the Pilgrims and Sir William Alexander, Claude LaTour and his son Charles, Rival Governors, Thomas Temple, Phips takes Port Royal, Boston aroused, No Peace in Acadia, Attack on Port Royal and many other topics, ending with, “They Sailed Away”. This comprehensive history of the events that helped shape our land and its people is a book to read and pass on to our descendants.

“TOO SMALL A WORLD” by Dr. George Frederick Clarke is available in several research institutions in New Brunswick.

* *
By the way, this is one June 24 that will be remembered by many in Saint John, not only for all the festivities of it being the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s visit to our area, but the fireworks show over the harbour at 10:30 p.m., synchronized with a soundtrack, will be unlike any other seen before in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Query 1176
Hegarty: In the book, ‘Flight From Famine’ by Don MacKay mentions is made on page 236 that Jeremiah Hegarty was the first registered death from the famine. Since my Irish immigrant ancestor was Jeremiah Hegarty, I would like to learn more about this immigrant as well as any others of this name.
John M. Haggarty
580 N. Algoma Street
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada,  P7B 3V4.
E-mail jhaggart@shaw.ca.

Query 1177
Blizzard: I'm looking for information on the Loyalist Blizzard family who settled near Salisbury, Kings County, New Brunswick, about 1784. I would also be interested in getting information on the origins of the Black and European Blizzards in Canada.

William Terry Blizzard
370 Kensington Avenue
Westmount, MTL
Quebec, Canada
H3Z 2H3
E-mail wblizzard@OGS.net

Query 1178
Morrell: John Morrell, the son of Loyalist Daniel and Jemima Morrell, was born in 1773 in New York. His brothers were Salyer and James.  John married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Was James Morrell who was born about 1807 and settled in Morrell Siding, the son of John Morrell?
 R. Walch
175 West 200 South, Suite 2000
Salt Lake City, Utah 
USA, 84101
E-mail walchfamilyut@comcast.net  

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