Acadia At the
End of the 17th Century
lessons tonight was not one of my priorities. I just could not keep my
mind on studying. But Mum insisted that I was to know about the Treaty
of Utrecht before I went out to play ball with Cliff.
First, I could not remember how to spell the name of the treaty. I knew
the date was 1713 but I thought Queen Anne was from the Netherlands
instead of knowing she was the Queen of England and the treaty was
signed in the Netherlands. I thought the other Royal person was King
Louis the fourth of England instead of King Louis XIV of France.
As I was reading John Clarence Webster’s 1934 publication, “Acadia At the End of the 17th Century”,
I realized there were many events of that time period that I had not
studied very well.
I didn’t remember the Treaty of Whitehall that was signed on 16 Nov
1686 between France and Great Britain with an agreement that although
the countries should be at war in Europe, their Colonies in America
would remain at peace.
It seems that about 1926, Dr. Webster acquired in New York an
interesting collection of original French manuscripts. Among these were
a number of journals, letters and memoirs by Joseph Robineau De
Villebon who was sent by Frontenac to Port Royal in Acadia and was
governor of Acadia from 1690 to 1700. Villebon had established himself,
first, in 1690, at Jemseg, then at Nashwaak and then at Fort St. John,
where, having just located himself there, he died in 1700.
Through Villebon’s correspondence to his superiors, one gets an inside
look at the many events in daily life from organizing the forts, making
arrangements for the soldiers, exchanging of prisoners, skirmishes with
the English, dealings with the native tribes to the French privateers,
names of ships and commanders. The appendix is filled with
biographical information on the players in this saga. All this
information provides not only a clearer picture of that time period but
may provide details for the family researcher.
March 30, 1692 - Villebon wrote in his journal to Count Pontchartrain,
“We were obliged to abandon the fort [at Jemseg], the water having
quite suddenly reached the interior of the dwelling. I had the powder
and provisions removed on the previous day.”
On June 15, 1693, his notes in the journal were, “ M. Chevalier arrived
from Port Royal, following the death of his wife who had died on the
way to Boston, he had abandoned the post which the English had given
Aug 7, 1693, “The men Latreille and Alben, who had been prisoners in
Boston, the latter being one of the two who were taken at the mouth of
the St. John River during my conference with Alden, arrived at the fort
to tell me they had left Boston 20 days before, and preparations were
under way for an expedition of 800 men to capture this post.”
May 19, 1694, “Provisions for the garrison had begun to diminish
rapidly. The Sr. de Villieu and his wife, de Montigny and two servants
having, since their arrival, been fed at the expense of the soldiers,
because they had procured no supplies for themselves. . .”
When Villebon died in Saint John, his successor, Brouillan decided to
return to the old seat of government at Port Rotal and abandon the St.
John River. As there would be no protection whatever, the few people on
the river wanted to move away. Margaret Guyon, wife of Louis Damours,
died about this time and her widowed sister, Madame de Freneuse,
undertook the care of her children, although she had several of her
own, and moved to Port Royal. This lady’s story is most
“Acadia At the End of the 17th
Century” by John Clarence Webster is available at several
libraries in New Brunswick. It can be read online at http://www.ourroots.ca/e/toc.asp?id=6151.
By the way, Joseph D'Amboise, New Hampshire found in Webster’s book
some interesting information on his ancestor "Amboise" being brought
from a frigate moored at Manawagonish by English longboat, for ransom,
to an island in the harbor at Saint John.
Mr. D'Amboise plans to visit New Brunswick this summer and looks
forward to a stroll on Saints Rest beach while gazing at Manawagonish
Island and daydreaming about an obscure event that took place so long
ago.....the ghostly silhouette of a British frigate on 20 June
1695....and the figure of a man named "Amboise", elbows on the rail,
lost in his own reverie of the freedom soon to come..... If you
have information to share with him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the history of the man called "Amboise" can be
found at http://www.acadian.org/bergeron.html.
Byrne - McDonnell:
Philip Byrne, who married Mary McDonnell at St. Malachy's Church, Saint
John, New Brunswick on 9 Jan 1826 was born circa 1780 in County
Wexford, Ireland, and worked as a mason in Ireland and in Canada.
Apparently he owned and operated an inn in Musquash, a small village
west of Saint John. Philip died 16 Jan 1865 and is buried in St.
Elizabeth's Cemetery in Musquash. Mary died on 16 Apr 1868 at 82 years.
Can anybody give me information on the parents of Philip and Mary and
where in Ireland they came from?
12 Mintleaf Gate
Canada, L3P 5X4
Brady - Logan - Sterrett:
Dr. John Brady,
was born at Rathfriland, County Down, Ireland and went to Philadelphia,
USA where he worked for several years before attending a medical
school. Immediately after receiving his diploma in medicine, in about
1857, he came to Barnesville, New Brunswick, Canada on the urging of
his schoolmate from Ireland, the Rev. J. R. Lawson, who had settled
here ten years before him. Dr. Brady’s wife was Sarah Sterrett, of
Philadelphia. He died on June 9th, 1887, at Barnesville,. His daughter
Margaret married W. Bliss Logan of Moncton. She died on May 14, 1950
and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Moncton. Dr. Brady’s
mother-in-law, Esther Sterrett, may have been born in County Donegal,
emigrated to Saint John in 1821 and then moved to Philadelphia.
Seeking information on Dr. Brady and his family. Would also like very
much to have a picture of him and members of his family. Need obituary
for Margaret Logan.