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“Some Loyalists and Others”

No matter, how hard I tried, I could not get my tongue around the words of Bliss Carman’s “Moment Musicale”, furthermore I was supposed to have it memorized. To add to my dilemma I was to have an interesting fact about the author and to make matters worse Mum had gone to a special church service and would not be home until after I went to bed. I sure wished I had done my lessons before she left. It certainly was no point in asking Dad for help.

I was trying to read the poem aloud when Aunt Ethel stepped into the kitchen. Without hesitation, she recited:

“The round moon hangs above the rim
Of silent and blue shadowed trees,
And all the earth is vague and dim
In its blue veil of mysteries.”

She went on to tell me that when she attended Normal School in Fredericton, her class studied  about Bliss Carman.

I asked, “Do you know anything really, really interesting about him that no one else at school would know?”

She thought a minute, then replied, “His grandmother’s parents were drowned and she along with two siblings were brought up in Burton by the Street family who had two daughters and ten sons.”

In “Some Loyalists and Others” by Isabel Louise Hill, information is given on the twelve Street children. One of the sons, George Frederick Street, read law in England and practised there for ten years before returning to Fredericton where he was sometimes the envy of rival lawyers. In 1821 at age thirty-three he was challenged to a duel by George Ludlow Wetmore with the tragic outcome of a ricocheted bullet causing the death of Wetmore.

Another interesting gentleman who was involved in a duel but fortunately recovered was John Coffin who was a handsome young man, over six feet tall, vigorous and forceful. His first antagonist was Colonel Campbell who had commanded the King’s American Regiment. At a later date in 1797, he also fought a duel near Fredericton with James Glenie.

John Coffin had been married in Charlestown. His wife, two children, three black men and one black woman arrived in New Brunswick in May, 1784.  They settled at the mouth of the Nerepis River at “Glasier’s Manor” which became known as “Alwington Manor”.

Tragedy was no stranger to Frances Cornwell and Elijah Miles. Owing to hardships suffered in the revolution, their eldest child died. After settling in Maugerville with their two surviving children, a little son was drowned during the freshet of 1785. He was buried on the family property. Mrs. Miles died in 1799 and was survived by her husband and six children.

Mrs. Amos Botsford, daughter of Joshua Chandler lost her father, brother, sister, daughter and a grandson, due to accidents in the high tide of the Bay of Fundy.

Benjamina Woodbridge Clarke, the fourth daughter of Dr. Joseph Clarke married in 1790 William Hubbard, and bore him twelve children. A fire at the rectory in Gagetown took the life of the eldest daughter.  Benjamina lived and died in Burton, surviving her husband by forty-two years.

Ariana Margaretta Jekyll, daughter of James Chalmers, married Captain John Saunders in 1790 in England and crossed the Atlantic Ocean the following year on the ship “Earl of Mansfield” with her baby daughter to join her husband in New Brunswick. In 1806, she inherited from her father a large part of the Studholme grant in Kings County.

Isabel Louise Hill provides a look into the window of the past as she tells the life stories of the good times and the bad times of  “Some Loyalists and Others” in her 1976 publication. The inclusion of photographs of many of these folk add faces to the people she portrays in words.

The book is available for viewing at several libraries throughout New Brunswick.

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Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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