Old St. Andrews



The Irish Immigrants



The Irish Emigrants in St. Andrews (1817 onwards)


To the Honorable the House of Assembly for the Province of New Brunswick
The Petition of the undersigned, Oversers of the poor for the Parish of St. Andrews, humbly sheweth,
            That in consequence of the extraordinary influx of emigrants from Ireland into this port of the province during the last season, this parish has been incumbered with the maintenance of a number of aged, feeble and diseased persons, and in some instances whole families, in a most wretched and distressed situation.
            Your petitioners from motives of duty and humanit have exerted themselves to the utmost to relieve or at all events to mitigate the sufferings of those unfortunate persons, by procuring them shelter in and about the town of St. Andrews, with food, raiment and medical attendance; notwithstanding which several of them died of a fever contracted on the passage, and communicated the distemper to those with whom they were boarded, to such a degree, as rendered them equally the objects of  public charity.
            That at the General Sessiosn of the Peace for the County of C harlotte in April last, an assessmnt was orderd for this parish by the justices, for one hundred and twenty pounds, and at anltehr sessions in September following an additional assessment of seventy pounds, but those sums falling so far short of what was immediately wanted, your petitionser were obliged to solicit a loan from individuals in Saint Andrews, and also make very considerable advances toward the support of those distressed objects, relying upon the justice and liberality of your honorable house to relive them from the unprecedented and responslbiel situation in which they are now placed.
            Your petitioners beg leave very respectullly to suggest to your Honorable House the expediency of passing an Act to prevent in future the indiscriminate admission of emigrants from the Mother Country to si province without some security given to indemnify the prish they may arrive at having found from eperince that a large proportion of those who possess the means of removing have gone to the United States, leaving behind tonly such as yor petitioners have been objlged to prlivide for.
            Under all the circumstances your petitioners are induced to request that your Honorable House will grant them thesum of one hundred seventy three pounds to remunerate them for the extraordinary expences already incurred as aforesaid, as will appear by their certified account herewith.
            And your petitioners as in duty bound will every pray,
            Peter Stubs
            Henry Hutching
            6th Jan, 1818


St. Andrews Herald
August 1, 1820
Notice to Emigrants
The undersigned having been appointed to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, with the advice of His Majesty’s Council, a Committee for Charlotte County, to enquire into the characters, testimonials and claims, of all such Emigrants as may arrive at or come into this County from the Mother Country, and to recommend and report, such as wish to become settlers in the same, to His Excellency, for location tickets, if they may, after due enquiry, think eligible—they therefore give notice, that they will pay immediate attention to any applications made to them for the above purposes.
            Hugh Mackay
            John Campbell
            Peter Stubs
—St. Andrews Herald, August 1, 1820


June 12/1834
William Corry making arrangements for bringing emigrants from Belfast "during the season of emigration."


June 19/1834
Deception in attracting Irish immigrants to St. Andrews.  See editorial and photocopy. Sample ad describing Saint John with a day's easy walking distance, for example.


May 27/1842
18 immigrant ships have left Cork, with 3,690 persons: 1542 land at Saint John, 1211 in Quebec, 733 New York, 204 in St. Andrews. More extensive emigrations than ever before. Fire at Indian Point in building owned by H. O'Neill and occupied by emigrant families.


May 27/1842
18 immigrant ships have left Cork, with 3,690 persons: 1542 land at Saint John, 1211 in Quebec, 733 New York, 204 in St. Andrews. More extensive emigrations than ever before. Fire at Indian Point in building owned by H. O'Neill and occupied by emigrant families.


Sept 1/1840
Piece on American slavery from Montreal Courier. Americans see our treatment of Irish and British Indians as worse than their own slavery.


July 1, 1842
Mr. Editor—
[Editorial] We are informed that since the arrival of the late passenger vessels, our Poor House is nearly filled with poor emigrants, many of whom we are told, have had their passage paid by some charitable individual at home; and many of them on their landing here, had not as much money as would purchase a meal of victuals. What is to be done in such circumstance? We are told that the Parish is in debt to the full amount of the advances made of the support of the Emigrant last year. The Banks, we are told, will not make advances on the Government warrants. The Treasury Debentures will not be received in payment of duties—there, what are they worth:” How then are these poor people to be supported—they are chiefly women and children whose fathers and husbands have left them in search of employment, and this we fear, in the depressed state of thing, is a vain pursuit. Who, we would ask will, in the present state of business, make advances for an indefinite period? It has been said that the Commissioners are obliged to support them, and the poor emigrant is told this on his arrival, and in many cases they demand it as a right; and in a majority of cases the husband leaves his family under the is impression: then we would ask, what are the Commissioners to do? We know of no law to compel a public officer to advance money for public purpose. Here are a multitude of people cast on our shores in a starving state, and no labor for them. We would gain ask, what is to be done? The poor stranger cannot be allowed to starve—humanity forbids it—our better feeling revolt at the idea of the poor innocent child calling for food, and not being supplied, it cannot be-they must be fed. We are told that under the late Board of Health law, they were empowered to draw, to the amount of two hundred pounds for each county in any one year, even in anticipation of their wants; but he Commissioners of the Poor House it appears, must first make the advances, render their account on oath—petition, and run the risk of having the amount refused, as was once partially the case, after laying out of it one year. Such a state of things appears to us inexplicable. Are the commissioners or overseers entrusted with the management of the Poor less to be trusted with the expenditure of public money, than the gentlemen composing the Board of Health? It has been said that the emergency is not so great as the preservation of the public health demand that immediate steps be taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases; but we ask, how long will the healthy remain so, if not fed; and is not the present a sufficient emergency to call for some extra steps to be taken, where so many of our fellow creature are cast upon us destitute of the means of support, deluded by the designing people at home, with the prospect of immediate employment on their arrival here. They land with empty pocket and empty stomachs, and must be fed, we again reiterate what is to be done.


April 15/1846
Conditions in Ireland increasingly deplorable.


June 17/1846
We are informed that the brig Pero from Cork, with passengers, which arrived here last week, had two cases of small pox among the emigrants. The vessel was ordered to Hardwood Island, the Quarantine station, the sick removed to hospital and the brig is being ventilated. The Board of health will, no doubt, observe every vigilance, lest communication be had with the main land. If this dreadful disease should once gain a footing in our County, its spread could hardly be prevented at this time of the year, and its effects we have every reason to believe, would be fearfully disastrous. We learn by private advices from Boston, that this scourge is prevalent in that city at the present time.


June 24, 1846
More emigrants.
Our streets for the last day or two have presented quite a lively appearance, from the additional number of those sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle, which have arrived. Their appearance is healthy. Some of them with whom we have spoken, informed us, that they were desirous of obtaining land and settling; others again, with simple earnestness, were enquiring “the way to Boston.” Many of them may be seen in groups, in the streets, discussing the appearance of “America.” The seductive legends of the West have been wafted over the Atlantic, and these people are fast hastening to that land which has been erroneously pointed out as a place where they can pick up “dollars on the silvery shores.” Every encouragement should beheld out to these people to remain, and clear our forest, where they will find land as fertile as any in the State, and where they can live under a government which will extend to them equal rights and privileges.


June 16/1847
Vessel arrives in Miramichi with many sick, dead of typhus fever. 467 passengers en route from Dublin, 117 dead.


Dec 8/1847
Bldg. known as Old Poor House fitted up as an orphan asylum for children of emigrants. Already has received 163. Alderman Smith and Henry Chubb manage it. "The children are exceedingly clean, and comfortably clad in new garments of homespun cloth."


May 31,, 1848
Arrival of Emigrants
The ship “Star” Capt. Baldwin, fro New Ross, arrived on the Ballast ground on Sunday last, with 383 passengers emigrants from Earl Fitzwilliam’s estate. We regret to learn that ten of the passengers died previous to the arrival of the vessel, and that there are twenty six now lying sick from Ship fever, the invalids are to be landed at Hospital Island, where they will continue to receive medical attendance. We understand that James Boyd Esq. has been directed by His Excellency to take charge of these passengers, as Emigration Officer. We learn since the above was written that one more of the passengers has died, and ten more are added to the sick list.


June 7/1848
A large number of immigrants who came out in the Star, have been discharged from Quarantine Island, and are now in town, where they have been provided with lodgings. We understand that houses are in course of erection for them, near the line of the Railroad, which are to be completed by Monday next, when, we are informed, the labourers will commence working on the road.


June 21/1848
We have much pleasure in stating that the labourers on the Railway are making satisfactory progress with the work. Little more than a week has elapsed since they commenced, and a good road has been already made some distance from the Bar road toward the Point at Katy’s Cove. It is also gratifying to hear those sons of the Emerald Isle expressing themselves satisfied with the treatment and speaking in warm terms of commendation of the Directors of the Rail Road Company. While viewing the work the other day, we were forcibly struck with the regularity with which each department was carried on—the willingness with which the men worked, and even the youth from 14 years upwards seemed to vie with each other in the endeavour to give satisfaction—and it is a pleasing sight to witness the perfect harmony which pervades the whole. Could the wealthy Irish landlords, see the labourers sent out by Earl Fitzwilliam, at work on the Railroad, and hear, as we have, their expressions of contentment we feel confident they would not hesitate in following the noble example of the Earl. While speaking of the Railroad we would call attention to an able article on Colonization in our columns copied from the London Railway Record—one of the most respectable and ably conducted Railway Journals in England.


June 18/1851
Quarantine regulations. Esp. concerned about small-pox, yellow fever and Asiatic cholera.


July 9/1851
Small-pox on a vessel at Ledge. Patients placed in hospital on Quarantine Island.


April 27/1853
Arrival of Laborers. On Wednesday evening last, upwards of 100 navies arrived here, via Boston, from England; and, after being well provided for, were sent up the line in Messrs. Sykes and Co.’s wagons to work on the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway. In the course of a few days another large lot of emigrants are expected, having been sent out by Messrs. Sykes and co., who are determined to push the work forward with all possible speed.


May 11/1853
260 labourers from Liverpool via Saint John. Steamer Eastern City running between Saint John and Boston weekly, touching at Eastport and Portland.


July 27/1853
More labourers for railway, with families. 60 men. Envy of Saint John, getting nowhere with ENA.


Oct 20/1858
Paupers from the United States
For some years past, our neighbors “over the Line” have been in the habit of shipping from their poor houses large number of paupers to this province; in some instances a schooner load has been landed on our shore, who, from the destitute condition, have become a Parish charge. So late as Friday last, a whole family, the majority of whom were helpless children, were sent by the Overseers of the Poor at Eastport, by steamer to St. Andrews, their father having been lodged in Machias jail for some misdemeanour, and the family consequently unable to support themselves became town charge; but the Eastport Overseers determined to relieve themselves of this tax upon the town, and sent them here to be supported, and they become a Parish charge. The commissioners have more now than they can support, and it behoves the people to stir in the matter, and obtain an Act of the Legislature to put a stop to this growing evil by passing a law to prevent the landing of indigent emigrants from a foreign country and to make the owners of vessels landing paupers liable to pay for their support. The United States law are stringent enough on this point, and our Legislators at the next session should pass a similar act.


Oct 20/1881
Part three of the Summer Visitor’s Correspondence to Norfolk Register. Scenery and drives in the vicinity of the town.
. . . Bocabec, and Chamcook, almost at our feet, with their harbors, coves and headland, off which place lie Hog, Hardwood (Big and Little, the later formerly used as quarantine, and where hundreds of emigrants’ bones lie, who died of ship fever in years past),


Feb 18/1892
Scraps of History
Gleaned from the Old Sessions Records of Charlotte
            Who has not heard the old resident dating his affairs “from the time of the cholera?” The first mention of “cholera” appears in the records of the Sessions of charlotte, of April 11, 1832. The following resolutions were then adopted by that body:--
            “Whereas it is enacted by the laws of the Province that all vessels having on board the small pox, yellow fever, putrid bilious fever, or other pestilential or contagious distempers at the time of her departure were known or supposed to prevail or on board of which vessel any person during the voyage had died or been sick of any such distemper or having passengers on board should be subject to such rules and regulations made at any General Session of the Peace.”
            “And whereas a contagious distemper called the cholera morbus, among others, is now raging in the continent of Europe and in Great Britain, and it is highly necessary and expedient that necessary measures should be used to prevent the introduction of all contagious distempers into this Provinces, especially the cholera morbus,”
            “therefore ordered, that all vessels from Europe bound to this County or from any other port having passengers on board shall anchor between the eastern end of St. Andrews island and the Sand reef; that pilots shall furnish masters of vessels with a copy of the printed regulations, or read and explain the same to them. Vessels on arriving within sight of the harbor of St. Andrews to make the signal pointed out by law in the day time and at night to have light in its stead. Captains and supercargoes of any vessel ordered to perform quarantine may hand over to the physician any letters or any papers in such manner as he may direct, which after being sufficiently fumigated to be forwarded to their destination.”
            The day following, the Sessions passed another resolution, ordering “that the pest house on Little Hardwood Island e finished with all convenient dispatch, and that Mr. Hatheway, Mr. Wyer and Mr. Hatch be a committee for that purpose.”
            When the court resumed its business the next day, the Clerk was “directed to borrow two hundred pounds on the credit of the County for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred in erecting buildings, furnishing provisions, medical attendance, etc., for the emigrants reported diseased, or on board the brig Susan and for preventing the spreading of the cholera morbus and other infectious distempers in this county.


Sept 22/1892
St. Andrews, 1822
Saint Andrews Herald and Commercial Advertiser, Printed and Published by Howe and Storey, Every Thursday Morning
. . . Charlotte County Agricultural and Emigrant Society announce the celebration of its anniversary by a dinner at McFarland, in St. Andrews, on Tuesday, 8th day of January. John Stange, Harris Hatch, peter Subs, stewards, William Allen, secretary.


July 25/1895
Poem on Hospital Island
On this island great numbers of Irish emigrants during the “Famine Years” were quarantined and died. Not long ago their bones could be seen protruding from the sides of the island and were being washed away by the tide. Since then they have been removed to the interior and there reburied by some charitable person.—Globe


July 25/1907
Picture with History
SA Fifty Years Ago Sought by Tourist
There is a picture in the writing room of Kennedy’s hotel that has an interesting history. It is a lithograph of SA, made by Frederick Wells, an officer of the 1st Royals, which regiment was stationed here about fifty years ago. Presumably that is about the age of the picture. At present it is the property of Mrs. R. M Hazen, of Saint John. Some years ago, the late Miss Hazen, of Saint John, was visiting a member of her family at Tonbridge, Kent, England. One day, in passing a bookseller’s shop she noticed this lithograph in the window and she at once secured it. After Miss Hazen’s death it fell into the hands of Mrs. Hazen, who prizes it very highly
            The picture bears below it the following inscription, which indicates that even at that remove period St. Andrews had a reputation as a tourist resort, besides being an aspirant for winter port honors:
            VIEW OF THE TOWN OF ST. ANDREWS, NB, WITH IS MAGNIFICENT HARBOR AND BAY. From the extreme beauty of its scenery and the salubrity of its climate, the town is much resorted to by tourist from all parts. It is situated at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy, at the southern and warmest extremity of NB; and lying in close proximity to the US at their nearest point to Great Britain it commands the whole of their extensive system of railways and is probably destined at no distant period to occupy an important position in the history of British north American, particularly as on the completion of the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway (the great trunk line to the Canadas and which is now in active progress under the Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord Ashburton, and other gentlemen) it will become the winter port to those vast provinces and that line being the shortest which can be constructed to reach them on British territory it will naturally be much resorted to as a port of disembarkation for emigrants, who will doubtless long cherish it in grateful remembrance as the spot where after the perils of their voyage they first touched the hospitable shores of their adopted home. [circa 1857 then]