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Showers,Violet Mary-Ann, 1957-
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THE PRICE OF LOYALTY: THE CASE OF BENJAMINMARSTON
A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THEREQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department ofHistory
This thesis is accepted. Dean of GraduateStudies
Violet Mary-Ann Showers, B.A. (Hons.) U.S.L. 1979
THEUNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK December, 1982
[copyright] Violet Mary-Ann Showers, 1982
ABSTRACT One of the most hotly debatedissues in Loyalist history is how much the American Loyalists suffered onaccount of their loyalty. Some scholars have stressed that all Loyalistswere victims of the revolution, and incurred irreparable losses. There areothers who hold that Loyalists were opportunists who greatly exaggeratedtheir sufferings in order to obtain favours from the British Government,and to enhance their positions in their new homes. One way of providing anobjective view is to move away from general studies and examine in detailcases of individuals or small groups. To this end, this thesis undertakesto trace the life of one American Loyalist after the outbreak of therevolution, in an attempt to show how much his life was affected becauseof the stand he took in the great conflict. In many respects, Benjamin Marston (1730-1792)was a stereotype Loyalist: he was from one of the most renowned familiesof Massachusetts; was a Harvard graduate; and a land owner and prosperousmerchant. Blessed with domestic happiness, wealth, and affluence, BenjaminMarston enjoyed a tranquil and comfortable life. This was brought to adramatic close at the onset of the revolution, when it was discovered that he was a Loyalist. From 1775, when he fledMarblehead, Massachusetts, until his death in 1792, there was onedistinct, continuous thread in his life -- the desire to restore hisshattered fortunes. Everything he did was geared to this end. In hisdetermination, he pursued a chequered career in New Brunswick and NovaScotia as sea merchant, surveyor, sheriff, and scientist. But all to noavail, he did not attain his goal. He spent most of his remainingseventeen years, after his flight from Marblehead, overcoming one tragedyafter another. His greatest asset was his optimistic nature. Heaccommodated all his problems with an unshaken hope for a bright future,usually flavoured with a sense of humour. This bright future was never tobe, but the thought kept him going, and most probably, without it he wouldnot have survived as long as he did. This study relies heavily on primary sources, themost valuable of which is Marston's own diary. From 1775 to 1787, herecorded, very often in great depth, even the most minute event in hislife, and those occurring around him. Fortunately, largely through theefforts of the late Rev. William 0. Raymond, a pioneer New Brunswickhistorian, this diary has been preserved intact. Equally detailed areMarston's letters to his relatives and friends, which have also provedvery useful in the writing of this thesis. Marston's own accounts aresupplemented by those of contem- poraries -- hisrelatives, friends, and superiors -- contained in various familymanuscript collections and official letter books.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My thanks are due tothe following people for their contribution to the preparation of thisthesis: my supervisor, Prof. Wallace Brown, for his valuable suggestionsand guidance; Mrs. Catherine Hilder of the Harriet Irving Library, forhelping me locate some primary source material; Mrs. Olive Cameron of theUniversity of New Brunswick Archives, for giving me permission to use theoriginals of Benjamin Marston's diary; and finally, the staffs of theManuscript Division of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, the NewBrunswick Museum Archives, the Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia, and thePublic Archives of Canada, for the assistance they rendered during myresearch.
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
| INTRODUCTION ||1|
|Chapter I. THE "SACRIFICE" BEGINS, 1775-1783||13|
|II. CHIEF SURVEYOR OF SHELBURNE, 1783-1784||40|
|III. REFUGE IN NEW BRUNSWICK, 1785-1786||73|
|IV. THE LAST SEARCH FOR COMPENSATION 1787-1792||105|
|APPENDIXES I. ADDRESS OF THE INHABITANTS OF MARBLEHEAD TO GOV.HUTCHINSON||145|
|II. COMMISSIONER PEMBERTON'S NOTES ON BENJAMIN MARSTON'S CLAIMFOR COMPENSATION ||147|
|III. POEM COMPOSED BY BENJAMIN MARSTON||151|
INTRODUCTION "He that is not asupporter of the independent States of America, in the same degree thathis religious and political principles would suffer him to support thegovernment of any other country, of which he called himself a subject, isin the American sense of the word, A TORY; and that instant he endeavoursto bring his Toryism into practice, he becomes A TRAITOR."1 This was Thomas Paine's definition of aLoyalist. Like Paine, many rebels regarded Loyalists as cowardlycriminals. Their crime was loyalty to the British Crown, for which theymust pay the price. The revolutionaries saw to it that they did. Harassment of those who, in one way or anotherindicated their opposition to the rebellion, began even before thedeclaration of independence. Mob action was the most common way ofpunishing Loyalists. The first serious mob action occurred as early asAugust 26, 1765, when Thomas Hutchinson, Chief Justice and LieutenantGovernor of Massachusetts, and his family were attacked. Although theHutchinsons succeeded in fleeing from the supper table into the streets,the mob practically demolished the house, and much valuable property wasdestroyed or scattered. As news of this event became known, people of allpolitical persuasions everywhere in the colonies wereshocked at such "savageness unknown in a civilized country." As BernardBailyn points out, the mob of August 26, 1765, was the most violent seenin the entire course of the revolution.2 it was, however, merely the first of aseries. The riots followed basically the same pattern --the angry crowd rushed to the houses of the "traitors," and destroyedtheir property. Many victims were fortunate to escape without beingcaught. The less fortunate who fell into the hands of the crowd weresubjected to all sorts of torture. Soon, the classic Whig treatment ofthose Tories who were caught became "Tarring and Feathering."3 It was the most inhuman punishment therevolutionaries inflicted on the Loyalists, and largely because of thisfact, the British Government believed that there was no better proof ofloyalty than enduring this punishment.4The callous process of this punishment was described by a contemporarythus:
The following is the Receipe for an effectualoperation. First strip a Person naked, then heat the Tar until it is thin,and pour it upon the naked Flesh, or rub it over with a Tar Brush,quantum sufficit. After which, sprinkle decently upon the Tar,whilst it is yet warm, as many Feathers as will stick to it. Then hold alighted Candle to the Feathers, and try to set it all on Fire; if it willburn, so much the better. But as the Experiment is often made in coldweather; it will not then succeed -- take also an Halter and put it roundthe Person's Neck, and then cart him the Rounds.5 Some punishments were usuallythe result of legislation or government action, although there was nounanimity on how the rebel governments should deal with the Tories. Thetreatment of the "traitors" varied according to time, place and circumstance. But one law common to all the States wasthat which required inhabitants to take oaths of allegiance to the newregime, faith in the revolution, and abjuration of George III. Those whorefused to comply were penalized in various ways such as imprisonment,disfranchisement, withdrawal of legal rights, banishment and confiscation. Thomas Jefferson recorded in his Notes onVirginia that "not a single execution for treason took place." ButJefferson's statement is wrong. There is ample evidence which shows thatalthough the exact number of executions is not known, death constitutedone of the rebel forms of punishment. There were, of course, theunofficial, mobbish lynchings. But some of the executions were legal. InJanuary, 1777, Massachusetts passed an act which prescribed death as thepunishment for "the crime of adhering to Great Britain." Pennsylvania hada "Black List" which contained the names of some 490 persons who weresentenced to death. However, in both these states, the death penalty wasnot always carried out, only a few Loyalists were actually led to thegallows.6 Although the rebel leaders were convinced thatthe traitors deserved to die, most, it seems, did not favour the idea ofhaving them killed, perhaps because they were aware of the impact such apenalty would have on the revolutionary cause, especially on the opinionof outside observers. For example, George Washington in a letter to JohnWashington noted:
With respect to theTory, who was tried and executed by your order, though his crime washeinous enough to deserve the fate he met with, and though I am convincedyou acted in the affair with a good intention, yet I cannot but wish ithad not happened. . . . The temper of the Americans and the principles onwhich the present contest turns will not countenance proceedings of thisnature.7 Rebel journalists were not as cautious asWashington: Whig newspapers of the period are full of accounts ofexecutions -- a factor which has caused those scholars familiar with thesources to believe that the number of executions was indeedsubstantial.8 Whatever the exact numberof executions, the important point here is that death was one of the waysin which Loyalists paid for their loyalty. Like all conflicts of comparable magnitude, theAmerican revolution caused a lot of mental strain. The group mostsusceptible to this was the Loyalists. For many, life after the outbreakof the revolution was unbearable; they had lost their property, beenimprisoned, flogged, tarred and feathered, or forced to leave their homesand loved ones. Consequently, many became mad, died or committedsuicide.9 Nevertheless, not all Loyalists ended their livesin tragedy. The degree of suffering varied. A few were fortunate enough tohave been left practically undisturbed throughout the entire course of therevolution, in spite of their indicating some sort of loyalty to theCrown. This was what happened in the case of theReverend John Tyler of Norwich, Connecticut. At the onset of therebellion, he chose to close his church and continue holding services inhis own home, rather than omit the prayer for the King. But he was notsubjected to violence, imprisonment or any kind of molestation.10 Some Loyalists weresmart enough to make arrangements for their property, so that after thewar, they were able to easily re-possess them. One way of doing this wasthat used by Ward Chipman who signed over his real and personal propertyto his mother and sister. They were allowed to enjoy it throughout thewar.11 After the peace negotiations in November, 1782,instead of the promised end to confiscations and further suffering, therewas ostracism, persecution, and new miseries for the Loyalists. This wasespecially true for New York, where until the end of the war, Loyalistshad been active. Many of them decided to leave at the end of the war.Interestingly, while they were making arrangements to leave the UnitedStates, some Loyalists were planning to return to less violent areas likeConnecticut, from where some happily reported that "the fierce spirit ofWhigism was dead."12 Some were glad tobe back in their native land. But most of them did not return. Not thatthey were necessarily happier in exile; some Loyalists, until they died,did not quite adjust, and were regarded as strangers in their new homes.Ironically, this was particularly the case for those who remained in England.13 It is intriguing to note that some people benefited fromtheir decision to remain loyal to Britain. This fact specifically appliesto the black Loyalists. Unlike many of the white Loyalists, the blacks didnot have anything to lose: they had little or no property to beconfiscated; and separation from loved ones was painful, but was somethingthat most of them were already accustomed to, given the mechanisms ofslavery.14 Those slaves who ran awayto join the British ranks were very willing to do so, being lured by LordDunmore's promise of freedom. They were not disappointed, because theybegan to reap the fruits of their loyalty almost immediately. To quote arunaway slave: "To escape the cruelty of my master, I determined to go toCharlestown and throw myself into the hands of the English. They receivedme readily and I began to feel the happiness of liberty, of which I knewnothing before."15 Unfortunately, whenthey got to Nova Scotia, their hopes soured as it dawned on them thatliberty did not mean equality. Nevertheless, life in Nova Scotia, wherethey were paid -- although meagre sums -- for jobs they did, was certainlyan improvement on their past life in the former colonies. As for those who were later repatriated to SierraLeone in 1792, they gained more than they had bargained for. Once inSierra Leone, they preferred to call themselves Nova Scotians, and becauseof the preferential treatment which they receivedfrom the Directors in charge of the colony (who wanted to make them amodel for future developments in Africa) they began to feel sociallysuperior to the native Africans around them.16 The black Loyalistsbelong to a group often regarded as the losers of the American Revolution.But one wonders how much of a loser they were. After all, on account oftheir loyalty, they got what they desired most -- their freedom, somethingfor which their counterparts in the United States had to wait anotherthree generations. The foregoing analysis is intended to bring out avery important point: that while it is reasonable to agree with scholarslike Lorenzo Sabine and Claude Van Tyne who stress that the Loyalistssuffered greatly because of their loyalty, we must not forget that theconsequences of loyalty differed according to individual, group andcircumstance. General studies are very valuable because of the range ofissues which they encompass. Nonetheless, special case studies of groupsor individuals are necessary to supplement these general studies. It iswith this view in mind that I undertake the present study, which focuseson the life of an American Loyalist after the outbreak of the revolution,in order to determine the consequences of his decision to remain loyal. Benjamin Marston, born on September 30, 1730,came from one of the renowned families of pre-revolutionary Massachusetts.His mother was a Winslow, a grand-daughter of one ofthe passengers on the celebrated Mayflower, which landed atPlymouth Rock in 1620. His father, a graduate of Harvard College, was oneof the most prosperous merchants in Salem, Massachusetts. He was also awell known public figure. According to the Salem town records, "he waschosen representative to the general court in 1727, 28 and 29; he was HighSheriff of Essex until 1737; and was Justice of General Session and CommonPleas Courts." Upon his death in 1754, his wife and son inherited a largepart of his estate including 170 acres of land in Manchester, NewHampshire, known as Marston farm. He also stipulated that part of hisestate should be used for propagating the gospel among the Indians."17 Coming from such a family, there is little wonderthat Benjamin Marston should spend the early part of his life in peace andcomfort. He graduated from Harvard in 1749 with a law degree. After hisgraduation, he travelled extensively, visiting some other British coloniesand some European countries.18 An important landmark in Marston's life is the year1755, when he married Sarah Sweet of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Lured bythe business prospects of that town,19after his marriage, he decided to leave Salem and settle there. He enteredinto a lucrative business partnership with his brothers-in-law, JeremiahLee, and Robert Hooper, who was better known in Marblehead as King Hooper.Marston could not have wished for a better business partner; Hooper was certainly one of the wealthiest and mostinfluential businessmen in Marblehead. In the 1750s and 60s, he held avirtual monopoly of the fishing industry of that town. It is recorded:"For awhile, he purchased all the fish brought into Marblehead, sent it toBalboa and other ports of Spain and received gold and silver in return,with which he purchased goods in England."20 By the 1770s, through the influence of hisbrother-in-law, and by his own knack for business, Benjamin Marston hadbecome a prosperous businessman in his own right. The most extensiveresearch into Marston's life before the revolution, was done by theReverend John Watson, a relative of Marston's. After a careful examinationof the schedule of Marston's property, which he left in the possession ofWatson's father, and some documents in the Marblehead town records, Watsonconcludes:
By 1775 when he left this country, he was avery rich man; he owned a store in King Street and other stores andwarehouses; and jointly with his partners -- who were his brothers-in-law-- several large ships, one of which was called the Salisburyand was in the London trade; besides other vessels. He owned a pleasantand commodious dwelling-house and much real estate and other property inMarblehead and elsewhere. He also owned a large and well-selected library,partly inherited from his father, and partly purchased for him inLondon.21> In addition to the above, Marston himselfmentioned in his claims for compensation that he owned a few Negroslaves.22 The town records ofMarblehead also show that Marston was a well-known public figure. He wasappointed Moderator of town meetings fourteen times in the period 1765 to1774. He was also a senior member of several committees which included theeducation committee, the committee for the relief of the poor, and thecommittee responsible for the construction of public buildings.23 There is no doubt about the peaceful andprosperous life Benjamin Marston led before the rebellion. Indeed if someof his contemporaries in Marblehead had had the opportunity to write anepitaph on his gravestone, that epitaph might have been what Watson wastold during his research: "he was considered by his friends and neighboursas a man of pure life and great integrity of character, active inbusiness, energetic in public matters, hospitable and benevolent inprivate; and a great reader and scholar, fond of literary pursuits; andalways occupying one of the most respectable positions in the society andgreatly esteemed by all who knew him."24 Benjamin Marston was enjoying his wealth andaffluence in a sober and useful manner when the American Revolution brokeout, and with it, an upheaval of all aspects of his hitherto well-ledlife.
Chapter I It is a year this day since Ileft M'hd, in which time I have seen more variety than in all my lifebefore. I have lived in a town beseiged, on board ships -- both of war andothers -- have lain in the woods, have been taken and now am in prison andnot worth a groat. Oh what a sacrifice. -Benjamin Marston, 17761 By the dawn of the 1770s, the life of BenjaminMarston had begun to take a different turn. He was already suspected ofbeing a Loyalist, and was beginning to feel the repercussions of hisdecision. His business was slowly falling as some of his townsmen began toboycott him; and frequent appointments to respectable town committees soonbecame for him, a thing of the past. It was quite clear that the heyday ofBenjamin Marston in Marblehead was over.2 What exactly did Marston do to arouse thesuspicion of his rebel townsmen? John Watson was the first researcher tosuggest that Marston was an "active and outspoken" Loyalist.3 In more recent years, many other scholarshave concurred with him.4Unfortunately, there are no records which point to his contribution to theLoyalist cause. Unlike some Loyalists who frequently recalled theiractivities, Marston recorded many things in his diary, but nevermentioned, not even once, his activities as a Loyalist. However, in his petition for compensation, he mentioned, forobvious reasons, that he declared his sentiments "freely and publicly infavour of the British government."5 Itis reasonable to believe that he was in fact telling the truth. it seemsthat he ranked among the active Loyalists of Marblehead, and indeedMassachusetts. For one thing, he was among those Loyalists who werementioned by name in the Banishment Act of that State. Secondly, judgingfrom his frankness later when he became Surveyor of Shelburne, we cansafely surmise that he was just as outspoken during the great debate. Nevertheless, Marston did not prove to histownsmen that he was a Loyalist by his mouth, but by his pen -- in fact,by his mere signature. In May 1774, after enduring a substantial amount ofpersecution, Governor Thomas Hutchinson decided to leave the troubledcolony of Massachusetts for England. On his departure, more than 200merchants, lawyers and some other citizens of Boston, Salem and Marbleheadpresented him with addresses approving his administration, desiring hisprosperity and expressing the wish that he would do something upon hisarrival in England, to restore peace. Benjamin Marston was one out ofthirty-three inhabitants of Marblehead who signed the address presented tothe ex-governor from that town.6 As James Stark correctly points out, theimportance of the addresses is out of all proportion to their apparentsignificance.7Read today, they seem like normal farewell speeches, but for the patriots,they were clear signs of treason. The Addressers, as the signatories sooncame to be known, were at once branded traitors. What were the factors that might have promptedMarston's loyalty? Watson, who was a relative of Marston's, maintainedthat: "it was from no personal considerations; from no expectation ofhonours and rewards, or desire of rank and distinction, but simply from adeep conviction of duty, a clear sense of loyalty to the British Crown,that he gave up everything that was dear to him."8 But were Marston's motives that simple andselfless? Unfortunately, again, Marston himself did not clearly point outwhat influenced him the most to cling to Britain. We can only speculate. Marston, like many of his kind, was conservative.He could not bear to see the old order change because he felt morecomfortable within a system he was familiar with than one that might turnout to be chaotic. He had every reason to desire the continuation of theold order; after all, it was a system in which he thrived. Portions of theaddress to Hutchinson testify to this. In that document, the addresserslamented the fact that with the governor's departure, their prosperity wasin jeopardy:
THE "SACRIFICE" BEGINS1775-1783
this is the only way we now have ofexpressing to you our entire approbation of your public conduct during thetime you have presided in this province and of making you a return of oursincere and hearty thanks for the ready assistance which you have at alltimes afforded us, when applied to in matters whichaffected our navigation and commerce . . . . We cannot omit theopportunity of returning you in a particular manner our most sincerethanks for your patronizing our cause in the matter of entering andclearing the fishing vessels at the custom-house and making the fishermenpay hospital money; we believe, it is owing to your representation of thematter that we are hitherto free from that burden.Thus, among other considerations, for thesefavours, the addressers were sad to see Hutchinson leave, and close at hisheels, a system which to a great extent, had worked to their advantage. Wemust not forget that Marston was one of these addressers. There is no doubt that his choice was partlybased on the odds. Until Yorktown, Marston like other Loyalists, wasconvinced that the rebels could not win. Britain was the most powerfulnation in the world, her navy, the supreme commander of the sea. In 1776,Marston noted:
What a miserable figure must such a newraised raw undisciplined, unprovided body of people make [the rebel army]when opposed to experienced veteran troops well provided with everythingnecessary to live in the field, and commanded by officers of a general whohas acquired the knowledge and skill in the art of war by long service andby being engaged against the best troops in the world. Their infatuationis beyond all example -- God have mercy upon them and open theireyes.9He also had a poor opinion of the leaders of therebellion. They were mere puppets who did not have the experience andability of the policy makers in the British administration. When he heardthat many essential commodities were scarce and expensive in the newStates, he remarked: "the new order is so chaotic, and yet this miserablydeceived people are made to believe they cansupport an independency."10 Indeed, that was how he felt from the beginning -- therebellion was absolutely incapable of succeeding, and Britain was bound toregain control of her colonies. Thus, the desire to stick with thesuperior and more orderly side seems to have been an important factor inMarston's decision to remain loyal. However, it must be emphasized thatwith regards to his motives, we can only surmise. The ink was hardly dry on the parchment beforethe persecution of the Addressers began. Somehow, a major attack onMarston did not occur until a little over a year after the "addressing"incident. However, it is very likely that he was molested in theintervening period, because according to the town records, he had begun todispose of some of his property. On November 24, 1775, the mob, which bythat time was quite common, directed its violence at him. The immediatecause of this attack is unknown. "The crowd destroyed some parts of hishouse, broke open his desks, embezzled his money and notes, and carriedoff some of his books and accounts."11Fortunately, he escaped, but not without some difficulty. It was a coldNovember night and he had to flee, taking nothing with him, not evensufficient clothing.12 He travelledall night in an open boat, and later arrived in Boston where he joinedother Loyalists who had been seeking refuge at the British garrison. Hiswife, possibly because of the strain caused by the attack on their houseand the flight of her husband, died shortly after,in the summer of 1776. From the records available, it is evident that theydid not have any children. Meanwhile, Marston tried to build up a new lifefor himself. In a letter to his business associates, he mentioned that hehad been able to collect about [pound sterling] 250 debts since he arrivedin Boston, and that he was planning a voyage to the West Indies in orderto buy some goods which he would sell to the British military officers onhis return.13 But this plan, like somany of his plans in his remaining sixteen years, did not materialize. OnMarch 17, 1776, General William Howe received orders to evacuate Bostonimmediately. This disastrous turn of events had come about very suddenly.The Tories, always confident that the well-equipped British battalionswould easily rout the mobbish rebel forces, were flabbergasted andcompletely unprepared for the personal upheaval involved in the evacuationorder. Over eleven hundred of them were forced to depart with the Britishforces. They were sent to Halifax, where their misfortunes continued. Theywere faced with two immediate problems. The first was accommodation.According to reports which reached George Washington from Halifax, "thesoldiers were obliged to encamp, although the ground was covered withsnow, and the Loyalists had to pay six dollars for sorry upper rooms andstowed in them, men, women, and children, as thick as the hair upon theirheads."14Thesecond problem was unemployment. The refugees were uprooted to Halifax ata time when the town was ill-prepared for their arrival. Even thepre-Loyalists themselves were encountering serious difficulties in gettingjobs.15 It is not known how Marston grappled with thefirst problem. He does not mention in his diary or any of his letters,where he lived on arriving in Halifax. The second problem did not existfor him. It was not his intention to seek government employment. He wasdetermined that he would rebuild his career as a businessman. Obviously, he still had the money he hadcollected in Boston, because within two months, he was a share-holder in acommercial venture. This time, his partners were Dr. John Prince ofHalifax and George Ervin, an English merchant. They purchased a vessel,the Earl Percy, for the purpose of engaging in the West Indiantrade. By the first week of June, 1776, they were ready to embark on thefirst voyage. Their timing was perfect, because General Howe had just beenordered to proceed from Halifax to New York with his army, so the EarlPercy was able to get the protection of the British fleet duringthe first and most dangerous part of the voyage. (This danger was theresult of the activities of American privateers which plied the Atlanticcoast.) The voyage was uneventful, but very long. Theyarrived at Roseau, the capital of Dominica, after forty days. The lengthof the journey marred the results of the venture, because as Marston explained, by the time they got to theirdestination, a great part of their cargo, which was mainly fish, wasunsuitable for the market. Consequently, they made an "indifferentsale."16 Nevertheless, they acquiredenough money to purchase some goods for sale, when they got back toHalifax. But this was not to happen. An American privateer, theEagle, captured the Earl Percy only a couple ofhours before they were supposed to have anchored in the Halifax harbour.Given this circumstance, it is not difficult to imagine how annoying thisevent must have been for Marston and his colleagues. The Earl Percy and its passengers weretaken to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the orders of the Captain of theprivateer, Elijah Freeman Paine, who was anxious to show off his prize.Marston found himself, perhaps sooner than he expected, back among hisrelatives and friends. But it was a sad homecoming, not the type he hadhoped for. He was a prisoner. The day after their arrival, he was broughtbefore the Committee of Safety, which decided that he should be confinedto jail. That night, as he sat in his cell, he decided to describe themembers of the committee, in his diary. His description shows his angerand disappointment, but more importantly, it reflects how contemptuous andsarcastic he could be -- two traits which he frequently displayed:
These are the men who sent me tojail: 1. "Deacon Tory," Chairman, a true Deacon. 2. Captain Weston; heowes his existence to the very people he is now insulting. His wig andhead would fill a corn basket. 3. Deacon Diamond, a pious whining body. 4.Mr. Drew, a gentleman with a ragged jacket and I think, a leather apron.5. * * * somebody I could not see, he sat in the dark and I forgot hisname. 6. Silas Bartlett, a good sort of man, made a tool to serve thepurpose of the occasion. 7. Mr. Mayhew, a simperinghow-do-you-do-sorry-for-your loss kind of body. 8. D. Lorthrop, one thathas been handsomely and kindly entertained in my house. He can do dirtywork. 9. Mr. Crosswell, a youngish looking kind of body.17 By this time, Marston's life had taken a dramaticturn. Until his flight from Marblehead, he was a man who did not knowhardship. How did he cope with this unfamiliar phase in his life? While hewas still in jail, he wrote a letter to Dr. Prince assuring him that hewas happy and satisfied because he was in good health, and that that waswhat mattered the most to him.18 Butin fact, he was very depressed. What bothered him most was the restrictionon his movements. He first admitted his melancholy to himself when herecorded in his diary that his enemies would not allow him to go anywhere,not even to church services. He felt that by so doing, they were treatinghim as if he did not have a soul, or that going tochurch would not do him any good. He was so frustrated, that he added thathe himself was convinced that indeed going to church would not save hissoul.19 A few days later, he pouredhis heart (in an elegant style) to a friend, Stephen Sewall:
Of my present situation; Quite unlike yours, who now at easeCan ramble wheresoe-er you please, In town or out, on foot or nag on, Tochurch, to Burdick's or the Dragon; While I poor D____ I am here confined(A state which no way suits my mind) For being -- you all know the story.A sad incorrigable Tory.20In the same letter, he admitted that it would bea great comfort to him if he saw an old friend he could chat with. He alsoimplored Sewall to go to a certain Tom in Marblehead, and collect some ofhis books, because he was beginning to feel that "his intellectual abilitywas languishing in jail." The American Tories have left many accounts ofthe cruelty of the rebels. Nevertheless, there were many occasions whenthe rebels proved to be very lenient. For instance, the very Committee ofSafety which Marston had so sarcastically described, agreed after only afew days, that he should be transferred to the house of his bail, hiscousin William Watson. The committee explained that, left to the membersalone, he would have been allowed complete freedom, but that it was thewish of the people that he should be put under house arrest. Thisexplanation was unacceptable to Marston, who knew that he was not a markedLoyalist in Plymouth. Instead, he was convincedthat the continuation of his captivity was the doing of only one person --J -- W Esq. whom he claimed, wanted to "satisfy his malice and revenge."He was so domineering, that he easily got members of the committee to dowhatever he recommended.21 This J -- WEsq. was undoubtedly one of Marston's relatives, James Warren, who was aprominent member of the Plymouth Committee of Correspondence. He was atloggerheads with his mother's Winslow relatives. The exact cause of thisenmity is not known, but the records show that whenever he had theopportunity, Warren tried to hurt his relatives. Marston was not the onlyone who complained. For example, Sarah Winslow, sister of Edward Winslow,once referred to Warren as "the compleatest Devil that was ever sufferedto live."22 Marston was justified forsuspecting his estranged cousin of wickedly prolonging his sentence. Whatever the real reasons for his house arrest,it is quite clear that he was satisfied with the results of the newarrangement. He wrote to Dr. Prince: "I am confined to a private house,with liberty of the yard and garden. I am in perfect health and in dangerof growing too fat through idleness and good living."23 The committee also granted him someamount of freedom of movement: he was allowed to attend church services.This was such a big thing to him that he observed: "The occurrences of mylife are at present so unimportant, that going to meeting has become aremarkable transaction. So that I put it down this day, I went to meeting all day and heard the Revd. Mr. Brown preach aboutnothing."24 Another sarcasticobservation, but his life was so monotonous that even a boring preacherwas more than welcome. To add to his woes, he lost his fight for theEarl Percy. As soon as he was safely in his cousin's house, hesent a letter to the Registrar of the Maritime Boats office, claiming hisvessel, which had been seized by Paine, the captain of the privateer. Hewas advised to appoint a lawyer and take the case to court. He got a Mr.Whitmore, with whom he made a convenient agreement, by which Whitmoreshould be paid his fees, only if his client won the case. Unfortunatelyeven before the trial commenced, a judge ordered that the vessel should besold at a public auction. Even the cargo, which was non-perishable, beingrum and cocoa, was not returned to Marston. In one day, he lost all heowned. His partners also lost what they had put into the venture, butunlike him, they had other business concerns. He was crushed; but he didnot try to question the judge's decision. Even if he had wanted to, he wasin no position, because he was just a powerless Tory in the midst ofrebels. Moreover, apparently, he was told that the judge's decision was an"accident." In a letter to Capt. Paine, he said: "But if it has been owingto unavoidable accident, I have not a word to say. I shall not prosecutethat matter any further, I have now no other object in view, but to obtain my liberty and return to Nova Scotia as soonas I can. "25 Throughout this unpleasant period in Plymouth,there was only one thing which helped to cheer Marston up -- his hopes fora bright future. In his mind, nothing lit the future brighter, than theinevitable doom of the rebellion. Still in confinement, he followed theconflict very closely. He did not hide his delight at the reports of chaosand hardship which reached him. He kept wondering why his "deludedcountrymen" should continue to fail to see the trouble they were headingfor, in spite of the fact that anarchy was evident. He recorded,presumably with some hope:
Salt is now 10 shillings ster.per bushel; flour about 6 dollars per cwt; woolens and linnens arescarcely to be had. Bread corn has got to a price which was hardly everknown of in times of greatest dearth, and yet there was scarcely everbetter crops.26 As for the morale of the rebel army, there was noquestion that it was no match for the invincible British army. The rebelswere also aware that they had a strong force to reckon with, so theysolicited and obtained the assistance of the French. When Marston heard ofthis, he was evidently amused because nothing seemed more remote fromreality: America would lend a helping hand to form anindependent state here, so large as the British colonies would make it allunited.27 Sound reasoning, but he failed to take intoaccount the intrigues of international politics. Ten years later, heturned to the same page of his diary and carefully squeezed in thesewords: "I find in this, I was much out of my guess." Indeed, he was wrong,but that kind of reasoning helped him more than he realized, during thosebleak days of his first captivity. It helped to lift up his spirits andgave him some hope for the future. After the sale of the Earl Percy,Marston became even more anxious to return to Nova Scotia and to theprotection of British authority. There was however something else whichkept luring him -- a lady, a certain Eliza C. from Windsor, whom heapparently met after he arrived in Halifax. Almost every day of the monthof December 1776, he recorded in his diary, how desirous he was of seeingher again. On December 18, without his requesting it, thecommittee decided that his movement around Plymouth was no longerrestricted. Three months later, he was asked to go to Boston to await anexchange of prisoners. While there, he could not resist seeing his belovedMarblehead again, so he made a flying visit to that town. It was a painfulvisit, because he learnt that nearly all of his property had beenconfiscated. Nonetheless, he was lucky that he left unharmed, becauseunder the Banishment Act, he was prohibited fromever setting foot on that town. Finally, towards the end of March 1777, he wasexchanged and allowed to return to Halifax. Much of the agony of the pastsix months was wiped out by the sight of his Eliza C.28 But unfortunately, everything was not asdelightful. For one thing, he was greatly appalled at the livingconditions in Halifax. After much effort, he managed to get a "dingy" roomin the house of a Mrs. Lloyd at one guinea per week.29 By that time, Marston had begun to adjust to hisnew life. In fact, it seemed as if he was beginning to enjoy it. Only afew weeks after he arrived in Halifax, he wrote to Eliza:
Nay, General Washington, who moves the puppets ofthis place, has the effontry to give out that a French fleet and Army willbe over early in the spring. A fleet from France! There will be one fromthe moon as soon. Strange stupidity to expect assistance from thatquarter, for can it be thought that any European power who has colonies in
Eliza dearest maid farewell, From you I now must part, Leaveyou in Halifax to dwell And ply the seaman's art; And we a very differentscene Around us shall survey, You beaus in red, in brown, in green Imonsters of the sea.Monstrous indeed were some of his voyages to theWest Indies. On his second voyage, he set out for St. Kitts from St.John's, Newfoundland, with a cargo of fish, but he did not make it to hisdestination, because after a six hour chase, his vessel, thePolly was captured by a Yankee privateer, GeneralGates, and for the second time, he became a prisoner. On August30, 1777, they arrived at Boston, and he was taken on board the guardship. The next day, by some stroke of luck, he was taken to the house ofan old friend, Samuel White, as a house prisoner,just as he was in the Watson house in Plymouth. Somehow, news of hiscaptivity reached Marblehead, and some of his former townsmen decided thatit was too risky to leave such a dangerous Tory at large. They wrote tothe Boston Committee of Safety expressing their feelings. In response, thecommittee immediately ordered Marston back to the prison ship, where hespent ten days. He does not provide much detail about his secondcaptivity. However, after his release he wrote: "I have learned that a manmay enjoy himself in prison."30 Fromthis, we may conclude that he was not treated badly. The experiences of the past months, if anything,only served to enhance his spirit of adventure. No sooner did he arrive inHalifax, before he started making plans to resume his activities inmaritime commerce. In fact, it is very unlikely that he even bothered toseek any other kind of employment. The odds were in his favour; duringthat period there was a considerable flow of trade between Newfoundlandand the West Indies, so he was easily employed as a super cargo by hisformer business partner, Dr. Prince, and a Halifax merchant, MulberryHolmes, both of whom were very involved in the West Indian trade. Between October 1778 and April 1782, Marstonundertook about eight voyages, all of which were, to say the least, veryhazardous. On one occasion he almost suffocated todeath because of a fire on the deck of the ship.31 The sea was infested with prize-hungryYankee privateers, who Marston noted, chased them during all theirvoyages. He and his crew ran out of luck on February 6, 1780, when theyfell into the hands of the Ariel. Consequently, Marston becamea prisoner for the third time in less than five years.32 It is quite clear fromthe entries in his diary that this third jail sentence was by far the mostunpleasant. The prison, which this time was in Philadelphia, was verybadly heated and its inmates were poorly fed. However, their problems wereconsiderably alleviated by the generosity of the citizens of that area,particularly the Quakers, who took them "fresh meat, vegetables, fruits,milk, eggs and clothes."33 Assistancealso came for Marston from another source: an old friend, an Irishman,called Collins. As soon as Collins learned that his friend was in jail, hestarted to send him food. When he realized that the chances for a quickexchange of prisoners were slim, he decided to bail him. According to thenew arrangement, he was granted parole and ordered to live in Collins'house in New York until an exchange was arranged. The joy of getting out of the miserable jail, wasslightly marred by the fact that when he arrived in New York, he wasinformed that their vessel and all its cargo had been auctioned. Butfortunately for him, in spite of the difficultieshe encountered in his voyages, he had been able to raise some money, withwhich he bought his own vessel, the Britannia. Another joyfulaspect of his sojourn in New York was his brief reunion with somerelatives and friends, among whom was one of his favourite cousins, Lieut.Col. Edward Winslow, then muster-master of the Loyalist troops.34 The difficulty which confronted Marston duringthe last of his commercial voyages, greatly surpassed in seriousness anyof the other problems he had encountered since his flight from Marblehead.The experiences were so grim, that it is a miracle that he survived atall. In view of this, it is appropriate to discuss that voyage in somedepth. In September 1781, Marston set out from Halifaxin his newly acquired vessel, for Annapolis Royal. His spirits weredampened when he arrived at the neglected garrison town. The endurance ofthe inhabitants baffled him: the town lacked such facilities as candlesand clean water, and the inhabitants were under constant threats ofpillage and abuse from the raiding parties which plied their shores.35 Nevertheless, for the sake of trade,Marston put up with the inconvenience. For about two months, he workedvery hard, selling off the goods he brought with him, and packing his newcargo which was made up of grain, apples and cider. Finally, on December1, he set out from Annapolis Royal for Halifax,pleased to be relieved of the miseries of living in that town. Moreover,he was departing with a huge cargo, which meant good business. But he didnot know what was in store for him. A winter gale was sweeping through the coast ofNova Scotia. The Britannia, weakened by its former days ofwhale chasing under its former owners, could not take the storm, and in notime, it started to leak. For several hours the crew labored fruitlesslyto stop the leakage. Eventually, they decided that the vessel must berelieved of some of the weight, so overboard went the grain, apples andcider which Marston had so strenuously acquired. But even this sacrificewas to no avail; the storm consistently grew more severe, and some strongnortheastern winds finally drove the vessel into ice near Cape Canso. As aresult, Marston and his men found themselves trapped in an uninhabitedregion. They quickly recognized that the chances of being rescued wereremote, so they abandoned the Britannia and attempted to cover theremaining 130 miles to Halifax on foot. By this time, Benjamin Marston wasno longer the contented Harvard graduate and businessman he used to be; hewas now an almost regular host to hardship and adventure. Nevertheless,the ordeal of the wreck was more than he could cope with. Treking 130 miles in winter was a dreadful taskwhich was not made any easier by an acute food shortage. Three days afterthey abandoned the Britannia, the men, particularly Marston, who was by far the oldest, began to feel very weak,having run out of food. Very reluctantly, they slaughtered Tiger, the"faithful" dog who was with them on that fateful voyage.36 But the small amount of Tiger's fleshwhich he ate, was still not sufficient to revive Marston, so he decidedthat his men should continue the journey and leave him to die in theisolated Indian hut which they had just discovered. His men veryunwillingly left him on December 28. Far too weak to move, he just layquietly and watched as 1781 made its exit, hoping that he would follow.But even before the end of the year, he was rescued by a group of Indians,whom his men had met after they left him.37 Until the middle of January, he lived with anIndian family who showed him much kindness. He proceeded from the Indiancommunity to Country Harbour where he built himself a hut and tarriedthere until the end of February. From there he went to Chedabucto (nowGuysboro) and stayed with an English family for a few weeks. Finally,towards the end of March, he boarded a crowded shallop which reachedHalifax after a ten day journey. After his third captivity, Benjamin Marstonworked very hard to gather his shattering fortunes. But the wreck robbedhim of all the fruits of his labour. He arrived in Halifax looking like"Robinson Crusoe," thin, ragged and almost penniless. In his hand, he heldonly one thing -- his journal, which itself is adequate testimony of theordeal of the period, being stained, blotted and the ink pallid from freezing. Possibly because of the vivid reminders of hislast adventure at sea, Marston did not at once seek employment in maritimecommerce. Instead, for the first time since arriving in Halifax fromBoston, he made efforts to acquire a military position. In April, 1782, hesent two applications to New York requesting the position of muster-masterof the provincial corps in Nova Scotia, because he was informed that theincumbent was planning to retire.38Unfortunately, his letters were not even answered. Nevertheless, in Augustof the same year, he performed some military services as a volunteer.Reports reached Halifax that year, that the fort at St. George's Island,in Halifax Harbour, was being threatened with an invasion. Therefore, forwant of something to do, Marston joined other volunteers who accompaniedthe troops to defend the fort. However, it proved to be a false alarm.Marston was very happy for this, because as he explained, the wholeexpedition was a farce. For example, when the alarm went off, most of themen were not in their positions; the men were not supplied with sufficientprovisions; and their weapons were too old. Therefore, Marston wasconvinced that if indeed there had been an attack, the fort would havefallen very easily.39 Soon after his return from St. George's Island,Marston realized how precarious his very existence had become. For many days, he could not even buy food, because he onlyhad one guinea which nobody would take because "there was a large slice ofits edge cut off."40 Most likelydriven by desperation, he started to hunt for business offers again. For awhile, the prospects looked good, but ended in two big disappointments.The first time, he was assured that he would be put in charge of a brigowned by his former employers, Prince and Holmes. However, these men wereoffered good money for the vessel, so even before Marston could start thejob, they disposed of it. The second big disappointment came after Holmeshad actually engaged him to go to Liverpool, England, to attend to somematters relating to a brig. Unfortunately, the people with whom he wassupposed to have discussed the business, came to Halifax and thatimmediately ended the contract. All the same, Holmes was generous enoughto give him some "odd job" for which he was very thankful, because itenabled him to get "a little pocket money."41 As 1782 slipped away,so did Marston's fortunes. Life was unbearably monotonous. He recorded:"My time lies very heavy on my hands -- having nothing to do. Foremployment -- I walk, when tired with that, write."42 It does not seem that he had any friendsto keep him company, strangely enough, not even his Eliza. There is noindication of what might have happened to her, he just stopped mentioningher in his diary. His journal became his closest friend. Every single day of the last four months of that year, herecorded all kinds of details: all the ships which came and left; theprogress of the war in the United States; how the prisoners were treatedby both sides; the Halifax government and its shortcomings; prices ofbasic commodities; and even trivial occurrences like a quarrel between thewife of the governor and the wife of the naval commander. No reader of his diary and correspondence canfail to see that throughout this period of woes, he remained optimistic.He once remarked: "I have one thing to always thank Heaven for, my hopesdo not fail me."43 Many people in thatposition might have died or fallen prey to some sort of mental ailment;but he survived. Probably what saw him through, was this philosophy whichhe maintained, he learnt to cling to: "Good Humour is a most effectualingredient to human Happiness -- He who is prospered of it can not bequite wretched -- in the most untoward situation of human affairs -- inthe most forlorn circumstances of life, a good humoured mind will findsomething to be pleased with -- something to be glad at -- it will evertake a pleasure in accommodating itself to its present circumstance."44 Helpful as this philosophy might havebeen, it did not prevent him from looking back and yearning for the past.Many of his poems, particularly one which he wrote while he was strandedat Saint John, clearly reflect this.45 In a most pitifulcondition, he watched the new year, 1783, move towards the end of thefirst quarter. Writing to his sister Lucia, he said: "My life has changedso much, Heaven knows what is to become of me. For my own part, I can'tguess how my present dark prospect will end, maybe my life will soon belike it was in M'hd."46 Indeed hecould not guess correctly, because if he had been able to, he would haveknown then, that his troubles had just begun.
CHIEF SURVEYOR OF SHELBURNE1783-1784
The ChiefSurveyor's job is a hard service and tho I make good wages, tis all earned-- the heat in the woods and the black flies are almost insupportable, andShelburne is composed of such a mixed multitude that it will take me allthe rest of my life to get myself well accommodated to their ways andhabits of acting and thinking. Benjamin Marston, 17831 As the revolutionary war came to a close, many ofthe displaced Loyalists became convinced that they would never be able tolive among the triumphant rebels in their new republic. Instead, theypreferred to settle elsewhere under King George. Accordingly, in 1781 someof them living in New York approached the governor of Nova Scotia, SirAndrew Hammond, who suggested a pioneer settlement at Port Roseway on thenortheast arm of the Bay of Fundy. About 120 heads of families gottogether and formed the Loyalist Association "for the purpose of movingand settling at Port Roseway." In 1782, with the firm support of Sir GuyCarleton, the associates sent two delegates, Joseph Pynchon and JamesDole, to acquaint John Parr, the new governor of Nova Scotia, with theirplans. Parr was even more enthusiastic than his predecessor. So cordialwas the reception of the delegates by the governor and council, andso favourable were the statements regarding thenatural resources of the region, that one of the delegates returned to NewYork filled with optimism and a determination to speed up the preparationsfor departure. His enthusiasm was so contagious that the membership of theassociation doubled within a short time. The associates had no misgivingswhatsoever about their decision to leave: they were convinced that theirarrival in Port Roseway would make significant changes in the history ofNova Scotia. To quote them: "Port Roseway would be transformed into anornament in the province of Nova Scotia."2 The vanguard of the Loyalist influx arrived inPort Roseway harbour on May 4, 1783. In July, the governor visited the newsettlement and much to the displeasure of the settlers, changed its nameto Shelburne. They were displeased because the town was named after theBritish minister who had so unfairly dealt with the Loyalist questionduring the peace negotiations. Parr entertained great hopes for thesettlement, convinced that one day it would be the most flourishing townin the whole province.3 The settlersthemselves harboured similar hopes, and they tried very hard to make thema reality. Thus, within the remarkably short space of one year, thewilderness of Shelburne became a thriving city. Unfortunately, it declinedjust as rapidly.4 Benjamin Marston features prominently in thishistory of Shelburne because he occupied what is perhaps the most crucialposition in any infant settlement, that of chief surveyor. At the close of the war, Edward Winslow, formerlymuster-master-general of the Loyalist forces in New York, came to NovaScotia as the military secretary to Henry Fox, the commander in chief ofthe forces in that province. With such an honourable position, it is notsurprising that unlike his cousin Marston, he did not encounter any majordifficulty upon his arrival. In fact, by his own admission, the receptionhe got was far beyond his sanguine expectations. His influence with thegovernor was so tremendous that he happily claimed: "There's not a manfrom this quarter that presumes to solicit from head quarters without myrecommendation."5 There is no indication of when Marston began tosolicit his cousin's assistance in acquiring a job. But one thing isclear; he did not ask specifically for the job of surveyor, because whenWinslow made an application on Marston's behalf, the latter did not evenknow.6 He was surprised when on April21, 1783, he received a letter from the surveyor-general of Nova Scotia,Charles Morris, requesting him to leave Halifax for Port Roseway, at thehead of a surveying team.7 He was giventhree assistants -- Messrs. Mason, Lyman and Tully. It is instructive tonote that Marston never acquired a formal trainingin surveying, and at that time, had no experience. Such was the influenceof Edward Winslow. Winslow's patronage did not stop there. He alsocajoled Parr into appointing Marston as one of five magistrates of the newsettlement. Winslow claimed that his cousin was the chief magistrate, inhis own words: "a kind of Governor-General."8 However, there is no evidence that theappointment was so prestigious. In any event, almost overnight, Marstonwho just a few months before was complaining of idleness, found his handsfull. It did not take him long to realize that thesettlement he was employed to survey was a total wilderness. Nevertheless,he was impressed, noting that the site was not as bad as he hadanticipated.9 The potential of theregion seemed limitless. Within a day, he observed that the soil was veryfertile, there was an abundance of cod fish and lumber, and the harbourwas very good.10 The night after hisarrival, he wrote to his sister and brother-in-law in the United States,telling them that he had found an ideal place to begin to gather the loosethreads in his life. He would find time off his work and make good use ofthe resources of the region by engaging in commerce.11 But, of course, by then he did not knowwhat the work really involved, and he had not met the settlers. For thesetwo factors, his work and the settlers were to be the two main sources ofpersistent misery throughout his fifteen month stay in Shelburne. Before Marston leftHalifax, the Surveyor-General gave him instructions pertaining to hisduties and a copy of the plan of the town, which had just been approved bythe governor. According to the instructions, Marston, after consultingwith representatives of the settlers, should choose the exact site andproceed to lay out the town. It should consist of five long parallelstreets, crossed by others at right angles, each square containing severallots, so that each associate might be given a town and water lot, and alsoa fifty acre farm lot. With the supervision of the chief engineer, Lieut.Lawson, Marston was also required to lay out crown lands that were to bereserved for public buildings such as barracks, wharves andhospitals.12 That Marston was a versatile person cannot bedenied. For example, he did not have any formal training or experience innavigation when he captained some vessels during his adventurous voyagesto the West Indies. But in spite of this versatility, the difficulties heencountered in his work first started with his lack of experience. He wasnot ashamed to admit to Winslow how confused he was: "I'm almost dinn'd todeath for Town lots and Water lots, for 50 acre and 500 acre lots. My headis so full of Triangles, Squares, Parallelograms, Trapezias, andRhombidses that the corners do sometimes almost put my eyes out."13 In a similar manner, he explained toLucia Watson that he would not be able tocorrespond with her as frequently as he used to, because he was "engagedin an unfamiliar job which was causing him much difficulty."14 If he ever thought that working on land, asopposed to the turbulent sea, meant an end to danger, he soon found out hewas mistaken. On one occasion, he fell to the ground almost unconsciousbecause of the heat and the black flies in the woods; he and the men inhis surveying team were once chased by a female bear; and on threeoccasions, heavy rain trapped him in the woods all night causing him tofeel some "terrible pain in his chest due to over-exposure."15 The early arrivals numbered over 2,000 whitecivilians, 1,000 blacks and 800 disbanded soldiers; and Marston wassupposed to lay out lots for each. It became customary for him to returnto his tent at the end of the day and find bundles of applications forland grants, waiting for him. This made him realize that his new jobinvolved an impossible task, that of pleasing everybody.16 The settlers were not only many, theywere also impatient, and among them, were many speculators. Within twomonths, Marston observed that many of the early arrivals were trying toacquire large tracts of land with a view of investing when the othergroups of settlers arrived.17 Consequently, the Chief Surveyor's job became sodemanding that Marston had to work every day (Sundays included) from dawnto dusk. He complained many times in his diary that the job prevented himfrom attending to his own personal business. Forexample, he started building a house for himself some time in the middleof 1783, but was unable to complete it before he left Shelburne. The attitude of the Nova Scotia government, orrather Governor Parr alone, only helped to make the job even moredifficult. Marston was always short of vital instruments and deputysurveyors. Charles Morris, his immediate boss, was fully aware of this. Heexplained to Marston that the chief surveyors of the other Loyalistsettlements at Annapolis, Digby and Guysborough were experiencing the sameproblems, but as surveyor-general, he could do nothing to alleviate thesituation because the governor had warned him not to spend any more moneyon new instruments or appointing deputy surveyors.18 The reason the governor gave for this,was that the government was "spending too much money on the Loyalists whoin turn behaved as if because of their loyalty the government owed themeverything."19 The governor was soirritated by this Loyalist attitude that it got to the point where hebecame reluctant to sign the statements of account approving thesurveyors' salaries. He decided the people must pay the surveyorsthemselves for laying out their lands. Again Morris was convinced that thegovernor was not treating the surveyors fairly. But it seems that he wasafraid to question the governor's action. Instead he wrote to Marston:
I am really at a loss to know howto conduct myself. I think it would be advisable for you all to addressthe Governor, and that some of the principal people should join you inremonstrating in the best possible manner, showing that it is impossiblefor your continuing to carry on this business unless some monies areforwarded to pay you; that the bulk of the people are utterly unable topay for the laying out of their land.20 James Macdonald, one of Parr's biographers,claims that the Loyalists have not given full justice to John Parr for hisceaseless exertions during their arrival. He further claims that thegovernor "was an eminently practical man, willing to avail himself of theadvice and experience of others especially his advisors."21 But in the present study of Marston'scareer in Shelburne, we discover evidence which points to the contrary.One of the things which bothered Marston most was the governor'spersistent interference and obstinacy. In July, 1783, the governor sent acircular letter to Surveyors in which he declared: with those already laid out for the settlers. Insuch cases, the governor left everything to Marston, instructing him toapologize to the people concerned and find "becoming" solutions. In thisway, the governor contributed to Marston's list of enemies.23 The governor's interference was so blatant, thatthere were times when he boycotted Morris and Marston, and dealt directlywith the deputy surveyors. For example, in February 1784, he asked one ofMarston's deputies, Lyman, to lay out some land. It is not clear whatexactly happened: whether he refused to do the work, or did not do itproperly. The governor became so enraged that he immediately recommendedthat Morris should look into Lyman's activities and determine if he shouldbe fired. Evidently, Morris did not think that Lyman was to blame, becausehe wrote to Marston: "I can assure you I have no idea of discharging sogood a man as you represent Mr. Lyman to be. How the governor becameprejudiced I know not."24 Work problems -- his lack of experience, theinhospitable woods, and the governor's interference -- were child's playwhen compared with the problems he encountered with the settlers. It isvery obvious to any reader of Marston's journal that nothing irritated himmore about Shelburne than the settlers -- to be specific the poor whites,who were also the majority. Before the refugees leftNew York, they were organized into sixteen companies with captains. Assoon as they arrived, Marston in accordance with the instructions he hadbeen given, settled on a town site after consulting with the captain ofeach company. But the choice was condemned by others as rough and uneven.So, ignoring Marston and their captains the settlers appointed three menfrom each company and a different location was chosen. We can here applythe cliché , "first impression goes a great way," because during thisfirst encounter, Marston discovered in the settlers, a bad quality whichhe was to always associate with them. That quality was "a cur'sdRepublican Town meeting spirit"25 It took him an equally short time to notice thatthe bulk of them were uneducated, being mostly barbers, carpenters,tailors, shoemakers and mechanics. He recognized only a handful ofrespectable Marblehead men among them, who because of the rigors ofrefugee life were not looking as good as they used to.26 The second batch of settlers were by farworse. In his own words: "These people are the very worst we've had yet.They seem to be the riff-raff of the whole."27 These were mostly disbanded soldiers,usually a troublesome segment of any society. The composition of the Shelburne settlers was abig disappointment to Marston. It is very likely that when he was toldthat he would be laying out land for "Loyalists,"he expected to see people of his calibreHarvard graduates, professionalmen and affluent citizenspeople he could freely associate with. Contraryto this, he found himself in the midst of "an insignificant set whompropriety of conduct, chastity and decency of manners seem to be nopart."28 Under the circumstances, he led an unhappy life,refusing to join in the social life of the settlement. He once admittedthat as much as he resented the rigorous demands of his job, he hatedgoing home at the end of each day to a "lonesome solitarytabernacle."29 But even this could notcompel him to join the settlers in their festivities. The firstcelebration they organized was in honour of the King's birthday, on June4. Marston admitted that he deliberately absented himself from thebirthday ball, and not only that, he prayed and was happy that his prayerswere answered, because it rained heavily that day thus terminating thefestivities earlier than was planned.30 A few weeks after, to commemorate St.John's day, the settlers organized two boxing matches. Marston wasappalled, noting that there was no better proof of their baseness.Needless to say, he did not attend.31Small dinner parties organized for visiting government officials, were theonly social activities he took part in. Unfortunately, these were veryrare. At the Centre of thiscontempt he felt for the Shelburnites, was one big fear: it seemed as ifthe evils of the United States were catching up with him in exile. Thesettlers reminded him too much of the rebels at home, and this made himfeel insecure. Their "cursd republican town meeting spirit" was reflectedin almost everything that they did. On three occasions he recorded withapprehension that the settlers held meetings, the purposes of which he didnot know. He did not put anything beyond them. That was why when a firebroke out only three weeks after the arrival of the first batch, he wasconvinced that it was not an accident: "I suspect that it was kindled onpurpose, tis not improbable that may be the case. For the ignorance,stupidity, mercilessness of the bulk of the collection here is sufficientto produce such disastrous Event."32 So worried was he about the rebellious attitudeof the settlers that he wrote to his superior, Morris, pleading with himto do something in the way of controlling them.33 Evidently, Morris felt that he was undulyworried, because in response, he merely said: "I must remind you of theold saying -- fret not thyself because of Evil doers."34 But he could not stop fretting as herecalled: "This cur'sd Republican Town meeting spirit has been the ruin ofus already [the revolution]. This spirit must be crushed by every meanswhatever or we shall be for rebellion soon."35 How justifiable were hisdescriptions of the settlers? Did he in his anxiety exaggerate their badqualities? Some historians are convinced that Marston was too severe inhis description of the character and ability of the settlers.36 Their criticism is valid to a certainextent. For example, one of the qualities which Marston made constantreferences to, was the laziness of most of the settlers. This was notquite true, because the spectacular growth of the town itself underscoredhow hard-working the settlers were. Furthermore, Marston contradictedhimself when he wrote in his journal: "Attended a ball in honour of theQueen in a house which stand where 6 months ago was an almost impenetrableswamp. So great has been the exertions of the settlers in this newtown."37 Besides this, however, all the other observationsseem to have been correct. For one thing, some contemporaries expressedthe same views. There is no question that the majority of the settlerswere uneducated and their ability left much to be desired. This wasexactly the view expressed by Parr when he wrote to Lord Sidney: "The mostliberal of the Loyalists would not go to Shelburne so that I had to makemagistrates of men whom God Almighty never intended for the office."38 The irony about this statement is that"our dear" Marston was one of the magistrates. Similar but more severeobservations were made by an anonymous contemporary in an article entitled"Shelburnian Manners."39 In anutshell, the article proposes that the Shelburne settlers were lazy,immoral, rowdy, extravagant and lacked a good foresight for business --all characteristics which helped to ruin the once prosperous town. The"Shelburnian Manners" although definitely harsher, gives some weight toMarston's account because they both use many of the same adjectivesdescribe the settlers. We must, however, be careful how we drawparallels between the two because while the "Shelburnian Manners"denounced all the settlers, Marston saw it fit to make some exceptions anda few times, even tried rationally to account for the settlers'misconduct. He admitted that in many ways some of them were victims ofcircumstances. Many historians like Plimsoll Edwards have drawn attentionto the fact that in assessing the character of the settlers, one must takeinto consideration the impact which the revolutionary war had uponthem.40 The war, just like any other,created vandals and frustrated beings out or reasonable men. Marstonclearly made this point when he noted:
Nothingis intended to you, and these unfortunate refugees lately arrived in thisprovince, but the greatest honour founded upon principles of justice withwishes to alleviate as much as is in our power the distress brought uponthose people by their loyalty. At the same time, their agents or surveyorsshall not point out to the Governor what shall be done, or what shouldhave been done before they left New York.22 Theoretically, Marston and Lawson, the chiefengineer, were given the mandate to select and lay out Crown lands inShelburne. In practice, however, it was the governor who chose most of thesites. As some letters in the Surveyor-General's Letterbook clearly show,there were many instances when Parr's choice of Crown lands interfered
Tis a task tryingto humanity; for while one is firstly exasperated at the insolence andimpatience of one sort of people they can't help -- they must feel for thedistress of the sensible part -- who have come from easy situations toencounter all the hardships of a new plantation.They are upon the whole, a collection of very unfit characters but I mustsay, some grumble, some are pleased.41From the second batch of settlers though, hecould make no exception. As has already been pointed out, most of themwere disbanded soldiers and their attitude was very unbecoming. EvenRaymond, who feels Marston was harsh in his descriptions, agrees that thearrival of this group was an element of weakness in the founding ofShelburne.42 There is no question that Marston believed thesettlers were not so unruly as to be uncontrollable. In fact from hisjournal, he seems to suggest that some of them became worse in their newabode. For this, he blames the Nova Scotia government. Only a month afterthe planting of the settlement, he sympathetically noted: "The people hereare suffering for a want of a civil establishment which to the shame ofthe government is most scandalously neglected."43 There is evidence of two occasions whenhe tried to bring this deficiency to the notice of the Nova Scotiagovernment.44 But it is very likelythat he did not get any response from Halifax. The provincial administration's inefficiencybegan even before the arrival of the settlers, when the settlement wasbeing planned. In the first place the administration did not undertake anextensive study of the area before recommending it so highly to thesanguine refugees. Secondly, adequate preparations were not made for theirarrival: contrary to Parr's promises to them, nosurveying was done, so that when they landed, all the settlers could seewas wilderness. Consisting of refugees from diverse locations,Shelburne needed a firm authority. On the contrary, civic matters were ina chaotic state. By the governor's own admission, the magistrates heappointed were not suited for the job. It is thus not surprising thatthere were frequent dissentions among the settlers especially over land,for which there was a big scramble. Entries in Marston's diary clearlyreflect his frustration in trying to maintain order in land allotment.Many of the late arrivals could not get land, and in their desperation,some tried to dispossess the early arrivals -- particularly the Negroes --of theirs. The Negroes were one group of settlers whomMarston did not detest. He was so sympathetic towards them that it beganto look as if he was favouring them against the poor whites. Upon thearrival of the free blacks, he saw to it that their land was laid out intheir own quarters, Birchtown, a satellite of Shelburne. It lay on thenorthwest arm of the Bay of Fundy, about three miles from the mainsettlement. His first encounter with the free Negroes was vastly differentfrom his first experience with their white counterparts: when he showedthem the site for their town -- chosen by the governor -- they did notargue with him. He recorded: "Went up North West with Col. Bluck to showhim the ground allotted for his people. They arewell satisfied with it, they are a good lot."45 Col. Stephen Bluck was an educatedmulatto of "good reputation" who was put in charge of the free blacks. The Birchtowners were organized into twenty-onecompanies, each under the command of a black captain, for the purpose ofconstructing public buildings, such as jails, barracks and jetties. Eventhough they were thus employed, Marston still employed them to help him insurveying. He did not hide the fact that he preferred them to the poorwhites because "they work very hard and labour cheaply."46 Besides cheap labour, it seems that Marston wasgenuinely in sympathy with them. How can we explain his attitude to thisgroup? Ellen Wilson makes a valid suggestion when she points out that hissympathy might have been triggered by an experience he had at Santa Cruzduring one of his adventurous journeys to the West Indies.47 He was the horrified spectator of a slaveauction. It affected him so much that he recorded the gruesome proceedingsin detail in his journal and sadly concluded:
Great God!What must be the feelings of a sensible human being to be torn from allthat is reckoned valuable and dear, and to be condemned to the mostservile drudgery and infamous uses without the least hope of relief. Butas it is only Miss Yawyaw and Miss Pawpee, and the young gentlemen Messrs.Quashee and Quomino whose skins are black, whose hair stout and curled,whose noses flat and lips thick, we think there can be no great harm init.48Although it is difficultto reconcile the above with the fact that Marston himself was the owner ofa few Negro slaves in Marblehead, it is quite reasonable to imagine thatthis experience in Santa Cruz changed his outlook regarding slavery, andinfluenced his relationship with the settlers of Birchtown. In any event, this relationship was not viewedkindly by the poor whites especially the disbanded soldiers many of whomwere both landless and jobless. The situation came to a head in the summerof 1784. Before that time, in September of the previous year, Marstonrecorded that the "people" had taken it upon themselves to appoint a Mr.Sperling to survey their land, and that this man was encroaching on theblack men's ground, a dirty job for which he was paid two dollars perhead.49 Evidently, he was able tocheck this menace, because he noted later on, that he had been able toretrieve some of the land for the Negroes.50 But harassment of the blacks continued.On May 18, 1784, Marston recorded that things were getting out of controland that some people were opposed to the drawing of certain town lots inspite of the governor's orders. He then predicted: "Since this curs'dlevelling spirit cannot be crushed, we shall be for rebellion verysoon."51 What an accurate prediction:on July 26, the disbanded soldiers, in a manner reminiscent of the rebelmob, attacked the free Negroes, pulled down about twenty of their housesand drove some of them out of the town. Thus beganthe first racial riot in the history of Nova Scotia. For Marston, the reason was quite simple: "it wasan attempt by the unruly disbanded soldiers to drive the Negroes out oftown because they labour cheaper than they will."52 He was right, the poor whites saw thefree Negroes as an obstacle to their advancement. But they also saw thechief-surveyor as being just as much an obstacle himself. Therefore on thesecond day, they began to look for Marston. Fortunately, some of hisfriends got wind of this and advised him to go to the barracks; but hesoon realized that he was not even safe there, so he decided to leaveimmediately for Halifax. The story of his life at the outbreak of therevolution was being replayed: he fled Shelburne in the same way that heleft Marblehead that fateful November night. After a tedious two dayjourney, he arrived safely in Halifax on the 29th. Later, he learnt fromsome loyal Shelburnites who visited Halifax, that he had been pursued asfar as Point Carleton, and that if he had been found, the rioters hadagreed that he was to be hung.53 Meanwhile, the governor decided to go toShelburne in order to placate the Shelburnites. By the time he got there,August 23, the riots had already subsided. The inhabitants turned out toreceive him with a "feu de joy," at a colourful welcome ceremony.54 The first task he executed upon hisarrival was the formation of a special board tolook into the riots and organize future land allocations. After one weekof mostly wining and dining, he returned to Halifax.55 Even before this visit to Shelburne, Parrhad made up his mind as to what really caused the riots -- it was theinefficiency and dishonesty of the chief surveyor.56 When Marston heard of this verdict, hewas stunned. In his typical sarcastic manner he recorded: "To answer somepurpose with his dear Shelburnites, he has been pleased tothrow a great deal of blame on my conduct. But I have the satisfaction toknow that the best people of that settlement are my friends -- and what aRabble thinks of me is never my concern tho a Governor may be among them."Nevertheless, a week later, he sent a memorial to the governor requestinga public inquiry into his work and conduct. It galled him that thegovernor, without mentioning names or presenting any evidence, wasasserting that "everybody" accused him of the most corrupt and partialconduct.57 His application was treated with the utmostcontempt. He was asked to see the governor in his office on September 18,at 12:00 noon in order to discuss his application. He arrived at thegovernor's office at the appointed time, only to be told that he had goneout. When Parr returned, several hours after, he refused to see him.Instead, he directed the secretary of the province to inform him that hisapplication had been referred to the newly formedboard at Shelburne. Marston saw this as a wicked denial of his desire tobring the matter to the people. He wanted to hear his accusers face toface.58 It is doubtful whether thismatter was ever brought to the notice of the board; because in theproceedings of the said board contained in the Port Roseway Records andthe White Collection, there is no allusion whatsoever to any investigationinto Marston's conduct. Thus, when a few weeks later, he was officiallydismissed, that decision must have been taken single-handedly by JohnParr. Was the governor's action justified? Contrary tohis claim, there is sufficient evidence that Marston was very efficient.As has already been pointed out, he spent most of his time surveying,scarcely having time for himself. It is, however, very likely that hisinexperience at times rendered him inefficient. For example, as soon asLieut. W. Booth arrived in Shelburne in 1789 he immediately noticed thatthe town was laid out by "an inefficient surveyor or an inexperiencedone."59 If anyone should know about Marston's work, itshould be the surveyor-general. Thus it is very significant to note thatCharles Morris never accused him of inefficiency. Instead he oftencommended him for his prompt surveying reports in spite of the persistentproblems of inadequate instruments and insufficient deputy surveyors.60 True, there was a delay in land distribution andthis was one of the main grievances expressed in the riots. But it washardly Marston's fault. Lured by the attractive reports about Shelburne,the number of people who eventually settled that town was far more thanwas anticipated.61 To make mattersworse, Marston's desperate pleas for assistants were unheeded. Most of thepeople in Shelburne attributed the delays largely to the shortage indeputy surveyors.62 It would be a fallacy to concur with Parr thatMarston was very partial in his distribution of land. For one thing, to alarge extent he was a maverick; secondly, it is evident that he did nothave any friends in Shelburne to whom he could render special favours. Twoepisodes which he related in his diary help to buttress this point. Thefirst is best told in his own words: "A Capt. McLean has this evening sentme a green Turtle about 7 ft. [sic]. He is to have a house lot, but thiswill not blind my eyes, he must have the same chance as his neighbours whohave no Turtle to send."63 The secondepisode: A Capt. Christian was sent to Shelburne by the governor todiscuss the laying out of lands for the blacks and some "decent" Loyaliststhe governor was expecting. As soon as Christian arrived, he invitedMarston to join him on board the Cyclops, so that they coulddiscuss after dinner. Marston, who was tired that evening, turned down theinvitation, suggesting a breakfast meeting the nextday. Of his response he recorded: "I just sent a verbal answer that Iwould see him at breakfast because I was too tired, too dirty, too hungryto sit down and write an answer to his billets. He may think me an oddfellow -- He is welcome to his opinion."64 Favouritism and selfishness, ironically, weremore associated with the governor. The settlers started accusing him ofthese as early as his first visit when he directed that 500 acres of landbe reserved for him and his family.65The surveyor-general's letterbook confirms that there were many occasionswhen the governor requested special privileges for certain people. Anoutstanding example was when he directed Morris to inform Marston that asa consolation gesture from him, Marston should lay out 500 acres of landfor the recently widowed Mrs. McNutt and her children; and that Marstonmust do this in such a way as not to draw the attention of other settlerswho have equal rights.66 Three yearsafter he left Shelburne, Marston recalled that the governor had given twogentlemen a licence of occupation for some land, which afterwards he"shamefully and wickedly gave away to Justice Finucane who in turn waswicked and shameless enough to receive it."67 However, we must be careful how we acceptMarston's accusation, because by that time, he and the governor werepractically enemies. But one thing is certain, Parrwho blatantly denounced Marston as a "partial shark" was not himselfexactly innocent. Of Marston's honesty, there is no question. Thereis absolutely no evidence that he ever sold land to the people or that hereserved more for himself than he was entitled to. He left Shelburne theway he had come -- a poor man. We cannot rule out the fact that he mighthave shown more favour to some people than others; but it is certainly nothalf as bad as Parr portrayed it. We can say with much certainty, thatParr's explanation for the riots was myopic and inaccurate; Marston cannotbe held solely responsible. Unfortunately, save for Marston's diary, thereare no detailed accounts of the disturbances. From the little there is, itis certain that the riots started as a racial quarrel. But they were inreality, the culmination of several grievances, most having emerged withthe inception of the settlement.68Restlessness among the settlers started as soon as they realized thatShelburne did not conform to the attractive reports they were given priorto their arrival. Agriculture was a failure; the forests and swamps wereimpenetrable; the harbour, one of the prime attractions, was as beautifulas was indicated in the reports, but it became frozen in winter andremained in this condition for almost half of the year -- thus terminatingwhatever advantages might emanate from it. Conquering these limitations needed zeal and financial resources,both of which the settlers desperately lacked, having just come out of awar in which they were losers. The Nova Scotia government, partly because of itsown shortcomings and the unanticipated numbers of settlers, could not doanything to curb restlessness and lawlessness. The special board appointedafter the riots discovered that next to the shortage of surveyors, theactivities of speculators were responsible for the delays and otherproblems in land allocation.69 Thevery same Marston whom Parr blamed for the disturbances, was among thefirst to point out this menace to the government. One of the greatest problems emerged when theBritish government decided that as from May 1, 1784, supplies were to bewithdrawn. As the Halifax Weekly Chronicle of April 6, 1784,reported, the settlers did not take this lightly; they were thrown intoconfusion because they knew that the King's bounty formed one of thebackbones of the settlement.70 Withthe assistance of General John Campbell, the commander in chief of theforces on the eastern coast, the British government agreed not to withdrawsupplies abruptly, but to phase them out systematically. Although anextension was allowed, the fact that supplies were drastically reducedaffected the town and its settlers considerably. Thus, by the middle of1784, the problems the settlers were trying to grapple with were many. Thedelay in land allocation, a major problem itself, only served as a fertileground for expressing the evils of the society; and Marston, caught in thecentre, was made a scapegoat.71 After critically examining the records, onebegins to suspect that there was some personal antagonism involved inMarston's dismissal. John Parr was a man who expected certain courtesiesfrom his subordinates. For example, after only his first meeting withParr, Joseph Pyncheon, one of the representatives of the New York Loyalistassociation, observed: "The governor who expects to be respected all thetime, is tenacious of his own prerogatives and will not be dictated to byanyone, though he appears willing to accommodate everyone in his ownway."72 Edward Winslow must havenoticed this trait, because he deemed it necessary to caution Marston:
Now my dear friend, I know you hate all mere matters ofceremony -- so do I -- but 'tis my maxim that when I can serve my countryor my friends to make little sacrifices of my own feelings. When thegovernor arrives, wait on him -- offer your services -- tell himeverything which tis necessary for him to know.73 But Marston did not give muchheed to his cousin's advice. He was always pointing out flaws to Morrisand the governor. It was no secret that he challenged the views of thegovernor, as is evident in the words of Amos Botsford, agent and chief surveyor of Annapolis: "The governor makesdifficult demands he expects us to fulfil. I hear that the Marblehead manin Shelburne does not listen to all he says."74 In view of this, it is quite reasonable toimagine that the riots of July 1784 came as a God-sent opportunity for thegovernor to be relieved of so disrespectful an employee as Marston. On theother hand, it is possible as Raymond suggests, that Parr, being a man ofhasty temper and apt to jump to conclusions without sufficient knowledgeof the facts of the case, dismissed Marston out of expediency rather thanjustice or injustice.75 Apparently, Marston himself spent a great deal of timepondering over his involvement in the Shelburne crisis. He wrote to theWatsons: "I can't understand why my work in Shelburne came to such adisastrous end."76 Had he been moreflexible in his dealings with the Shelburne populace, he might have savedhimself much trouble. But he failed to do precisely what Winslow advisedhim -- to sacrifice his feelings. He would have saved himself the drudgeryof the lonely evenings if he had, if even once in a while, joined thesettlers in their social activities. After all, respectable officials fromHalifax, including the governor, did not hesitate to mingle with thepeople in their celebrations. For example, Parr wrote to Lord Shelburneabout his first visit to the settlement, how hejoined the settlers in a ball which lasted until 5:00 a.m. Finally,perhaps if he had criticized the governor less frequently, themisunderstandings between the two of them might never have occurred. Whatever the reasons for his exit in disgracefrom Shelburne, one thing was certain: yet another experiment inrebuilding his life had failed.
REFUGE IN NEW BRUNSWICK1785-1787
This province isto be divided and a new one erected on the western side of the bay ofFundy by the name of New Brunswick. If I can get some Employment in thenew Government, I shall seek refuge and choose my residence there, as mostof the New England refugees will be there & among them, my nearest anddearest friends.Benjamin Marston, 17841 "A separate, exclusively Loyalist provincegoverned by Loyalist leaders themselves." This was the only version of anearthly paradise as conceived by the prominent Loyalists who settled theSt. John River valley.2 They came witha determination to attain this earthly paradise.3 Finding sound reasons to do this was easy.For one thing, geography was in their favour: the area north of the Bay ofFundy was detached from the metropolis, Halifax, and in large measure selfsufficient, because of the many rivers and harbours that it contained.However, it was the relationship between the Nova Scotia government andthe Loyalist leaders, rather than geographical factors, which actually gotthe movement for partition off the ground. The relationship between the Halifax governmentand the Loyalists north of the bay was hostile from the very beginning.The fear each group had of the other was the basisfor this hostility. Parr and his officials were quick to sense that theLoyalist leaders of the St. John were powerful politically because oftheir strong connections in London and the British army.4 The Loyalist leaders on the other hand,anxious to enhance their personal political ambitions, realized that theHalifax clique would pose a serious obstacle. The governor exacerbatedthis hostility by deliberately pursuing a negative policy with respect toLoyalist affairs in that region.5 Thegovernor's policy was no doubt geared to minimizing the influence of thisunique group of Loyalists, but it resulted in a chaotic situation, much tohis discredit. This more than any other factor, provided justification forthe division of the province. As a result of the deft manoeuvering of menlike Edward Winslow, Ward Chipman and Henry Fox, the Loyalist leaders wereable to convince the British government that the circumstances underscoredthe fact that the province had become too big for Parr and his officialsto handle successfully.6 In the summerof 1784, their dreams of an earthly paradise became a reality with theestablishment of the province of New Brunswick. While the struggle for partition ensued, BenjaminMarston was in Halifax, unemployed, and with ample time to review hisactivities in Nova Scotia since the evacuation of Boston. He arrived atthe conclusion that he was wrong to have imagined that he could eversucceed in rebuilding his life by working andliving in Halifax and Shelburne. A man could only succeed if he livedamong people of his calibre, people he could identify with.7 The Shelburne crisis, apart from costinghim his job, also deepened his sense of isolation. After the quarrel withParr, he knew he had no chance of gaining government employment. Althoughhis Watson cousins tried to talk him into returning to the United States,he was convinced that he was not yet ready to live among an "unruly anddeluded set of people."8 Therefore, it was with great joy that he receivednews of the progress of the plans for the creation of a new province. Thecomposition of the Loyalist leaders of that region was what attracted himthe most: they were educated, respectable men, most of whom he had knownin the late colonies and who were planning to establish the most"Gentlemanlike province on earth."9 Marston once again turned to his cousin andpatron, Edward Winslow. Apparently, he had developed a liking for his newvocation, because he specifically asked Winslow to help him procure a jobas surveyor in the new province. Fortunately, the Shelburne tragedy didnot mar the relationship between the two cousins. In fact, Winslow wasvery sympathetic to Marston, convinced that he was unfairly treated. Hisview of the Shelburne episode was influenced by two factors: firstly,Gideon White, whose sense of judgement Winslow greatly respected, hadwritten to him explaining how unfairly Marston hadbeen treated;10 secondly, by thattime, Winslow had little respect for Parr's administrative ability. Heonce referred to him as via man accustomed to dissipation, and ascompetent to the performance of the task assigned as a Spider would be toregulate the grand Manufactories at Manchester."11 Convinced that hiscousin was indeed an efficient surveyor, Winslow decided to ask the newlyappointed surveyor-general, George Sproule, to consider Marston for a postas one of his deputies in the new province. Mean while, Winslow advisedMarston to send another application to Sir John Wentworth,surveyor-general of the King's woods in North America. Winslow did notenvisage any difficulty because both men -- Marston and Wentworth -- hadknown each other very well in Massachusetts.12 Winslow was right; Marston was easilyemployed by Wentworth who felt that it was the "least he could do for sucha good friend in need."13 Determined that he was not going to start the newyear in Nova Scotia, Marston quickly set out for New Brunswick on December7. He was overjoyed to be leaving: "bade my last farewell to N.S. -- Inever knew that saying farewell can be so pleasant, but it is, when youare leaving troubled waters for a place of refuge."14 The journey was not easy: he had totravel on foot, horseback and canoe. Eventually, he arrived at the mouthof the Saint John on December 9. The dawn of 1785 brought with it a new life forBenjamin Marston. After almost a decade, he once again had the opportunityto enjoy the pleasures of good society; at last he was willing to live afull social life. He took up residence with one of the most prominentcitizens of the province, Ward Chipman, the solicitor general. The joys ofhis new life are clearly reflected in his journal where he carefully andhappily recorded his social activities. On January 2, he dined with somedignitaries -- the governor, Thomas Carleton, Judge Putnam, and theSecretary of the province, Jonathan Odell.15 On the 18th, he attended a ball given bythe governor in honour of the Queen's birthday. He recorded: "There werebetween 30 and 40 ladies, near 100 gentlemen. Although the gentlemen wereof all sorts, the ladies were of the best families only."16 Only a month after, he was guest atanother ball and supper given by Chipman in his house. Of this eventMarston noted: "The company was magnificent -- the Governor and his Lady,the Chief Justice, several of the councillors and some more of therespectable chosen ones with their Ladies. Because of this good company webroke up about 4 in the morning."17These accounts of his social life upon his arrival in New Brunswick arevery significant, because they demonstrate the kind of person that Marstonwas, or more specifically, his disdain of the lower class. We must recallthat when the settlers in Shelburne held theirparties until the early hours of the morning, for Marston, it was a signof indolence and baseness. But when he and his "type" did the same, he sawit as "good company." The nature of his new job was also different fromthat which he performed in Shelburne. This time he was not responsible forassigning settlers to their land, but to seek the interest of the King. Asfar back as the reign of Queen Anne, parliament stipulated that all pinetrees twenty-four inches or more in diameter were to be reserved for theCrown, for the use of the royal navy. In 1783, Sir John Wentworth,surveyor of the King's woods, now with his headquarters in Halifax, wasinstructed to reserve all the pine trees of the approved dimensions in theKing's remaining provinces, whether they stood on public or private lands.Thus, as his deputy, Marston's duty was to see that these provisions wereenforced in the new prowince. He was also required to survey and issuecertificates of approval to the settlers, for land grants on Crownreserves. Theoretically, Marston was solely answerable tohis chief in Halifax, whose jurisdiction was totally independent of thenew government. All of Wentworth's instructions emanated from the Lords ofthe Treasury and the Lords of the Admiralty in London. Wentworth used hisposition to wield enough power for himself and to vest considerableauthority in his deputies who in many cases appeared to be challengingthe authority of the governors.18 But no sooner did Marston arrive than hebegan to show signs of departure from this pattern. After only threemonths on the job, he wrote a lengthy letter to Carleton explaining thataccording to the conditions of his appointment, he was not entitled to afixed salary or any benefits of office from Halifax. Instead, he had beeninstructed by Wentworth to take a reasonable fee from each person to whomhe may issue a certificate for land grant on Crown reserves. Finding thisto be at variance with the King's instruction that all grants of land tothe Loyalists should be free, Marston felt that Wentworth was beingunfair. In spite of this conviction, he left the final say to Carleton,indicating that he was willing to charge fees for his services only with"his Excellency's approbation and allowance."19 Marston's adherence to the King's orderswas admirable; but at the same time, his action was a betrayal of hisemployer and a clear indication that he placed Wentworth's authoritysubordinate to Carleton's. That same year, when the charter was beinggranted to the city of Saint John, Wentworth proposed that the mostdesirable sites for wharves and mast-ponds in the estuary of the rivershould be under his jurisdiction. But when the charter was eventuallygranted, the control of these areas was vested in the city. According toWentworth, this was mostly Marston's fault because he "either negligentlyor deliberately failed to exert hisauthority."20 Marston's lukewarm attitude towards his job canbe best seen when a comparison is made between his tenure and that of hissuccessor, William Paine. Wentworth's Letter Book contains only twoletters from Marston which were of little significance. Contrary to this,the same Letter Book amply manifests that Paine, a doctor of medicine fromMassachusetts, diligently and enthusiastically carried out his duties. Hetravelled extensively, seeking great timber bearing areas which could bereserved for the Crown. In many cases when he realized that the interestsof Wentworth and the Navy Board were at stake, he successfully resistedexecution of grants of land by the provincial government. He realized thatthe only way he could do his job efficiently was to be always ready to sayno to the provincial government.21 Itwas precisely for this reason that Marston was so ineffective in the job:unlike his relationship with the Parr administration, in Saint John herefused to oppose the wishes of Carleton and his council. How can this uncharacteristic attitude beexplained? Unfortunately, unlike the Shelburne period, Marston made veryfew references in his diary to his job in Saint John. Nevertheless, twolikely explanations can be offered. The first: that Marston in fact didnot see anything to oppose the New Brunswick government for. He might havepreferred control of the King's reserves to be under New Brunswickprovincial jurisdiction. Secondly, it is verylikely that recognizing that his continuous challenge of the Nova Scotiagovernment contributed greatly to the loss of his job, he decided toconcur with the New Brunswick government, so as to prevent a recurrence. Whatever the reasons for his attitude, one thingwas certain, the job was not lucrative. This was not the result of hislack of enthusiasm, because even the hardworking Paine had to leave SaintJohn for the United States because he could not make a decent living fromhis profession, and he was up to his head in debt.22 Solely on account of the bleak financialprospects, Marston decided to look for another job. After only six months,probably with Winslow's assistance, he was appointed Surrogate, deputysurveyor and sheriff of Northumberland County, the largest of theprovince's eight counties. After a tedious two-week journey Marston arrivedat Miramichi Point on July 9. By now, we know that for Marston, one of themost important elements of any settlement was its inhabitants. Littlewonder then that the first thing he did was to study the type of peoplewho were settled in the region. Unfortunately, once more he was in themidst of a poor and low class of people:
The most of thepeople are illiterate and ignorant and much given to Drunkenness. Theydepend most of them upon the salmon fishery which being precarious theysometimes live poor enough. Necessity and the example of some few[incoming Loyalists] will as soon as the banks of the river are located,make them turn their attention to their lands. Theywant two things -- law to keep them in order, and Gospel, to give themsome better ideas than they seem to have and to civilize their manners,which attendance on public worship would tend to promote.23There was a great deal of truth in thisobservation: because some other accounts clearly show that the people did"live in a primitive fashion and were remote from Educational andreligious facilities."24 However,Marston's disrespect for the Miramichi inhabitants was nothing near hisabhorrence of the Shelburnites. While his diary for the Shelburne periodis heavily weighed with criticism of the settlers, the Northumberlandperiod carries only scant references to the settlers' shortcomings. As Northumberland's first sheriff, Marston did asplendid job in trying to establish an orderly basis of local government.It was not an easy task, because until his arrival, there had been noclearly defined form of government in the area. There was no court houseor any formal meeting place. Because of this deficiency, the first noticeMarston had to display -- the Charter of the county -- had to be nailed toa conspicuous tree.25 Landdistribution, perhaps the most delicate issue in a developing settlement,was in utter disarray: since there was no set plan to guide the laying outof land, the amount of land held by the settlers varied widely, from100,000 acres to 300.26 Rule by the strongest arm had almostbecome the accepted system. There were certain individuals who, because oftheir wealth and services to the community, came to wield such influenceas to be able to control some segments of the population. The mostoutstanding of these was William Davidson, a native of Scotland who in1765 laid the foundation for an English-speaking settlement on theMiramichi, when with John Cort, another Scot, he applied for a grant of100,000 acres of land from the Nova Scotia government. After thisapplication was granted, Davidson went to New England and persuaded somecolonists to come to the Miramichi. From then on, except for a fewsetbacks, things began to move smoothly for Davidson until the Americanrevolutionary war broke out. The war resulted in a drastic curtailment ofshipping to Nova Scotia. The Miramichi region was in turn to suffer fromthis, because it depended entirely on Halifax for supplies. The settlerswere also pillaged several times by American privateers. To add to thesewoes, the Indians were instigated by rebel sympathizers to attack Britishsettlers.27 As a result of theseproblems, Davidson decided to leave with some settlers, for the settlementat Maugerville on the St. John River. At the close of the war, he returnedto the Miramichi and found that the settlement was in a deplorablecondition. At once he embarked on reconstruction. One of the things he didwas supplying the settlers with provisions -- clothing, fishing gear and food -- a gesture which he claimed cost him over[pound sterling] 5,000.28 Because offavours like this, Davidson was almost revered by a large sector of thepopulation. It is thus not difficult to understand whypowerful settlers like Davidson resented the extension of control by theNew Brunswick government, and the appointment of a total stranger assheriff. It did not take Marston long to sense this resentment. He noted:
The people in general are well pleased with the prospectof having Rule and Order established among them by the proper authority --Some few of the oldest and first settlers excepted -- who looking upontheir own way as their right have used it accordingly. To them everyreformation appears a disturbance of their ancient rights and privilegesand foreseeing that ruling by the strongest arm must give way to morelegal authority, pretend to think that the country will then be no longerworth living in.29 But thisdiscovery was not sufficient to discourage the ever sanguine Marston who,as W.F. Ganong rightly observes, "was a person of unusual positiveness ofopinion of the future."30 Swearing in the first justice of the peace wasthe very first task that Marston executed as sheriff. This was veryimportant because as William Spray points out, justices of the peace werebadly needed to insure a measure of justice and protection for thesettlers in legal disputes, and to support the sheriff in his attempts toenforce the law. It was impossible for only one man to effectivelyintroduce law and order into a hitherto lawless area like the Miramichi.31 In March, 1785, four months before Marston'sarrival, the Miramichi settlers sent several memorials to the governorpetitioning him to appoint John Wilson as a justice of peace, because theyfelt that there was no person "better adapted for that office than him,being an honest, just and impartial man."32 Wilson was a Loyalist who first settledin Maugerville before coming to the Miramichi with some of the firstgroups of Loyalists who settled that region. It is not clear under whatcriteria Marston appointed Wilson as the first justice of peace. However,it is certain that he was acting according to orders he received from thegovernment in Saint John. The governor and council in turn must have beenguided by the memorials received from some of the inhabitants.Nevertheless, a sector of the population reacted bitterly to theappointment. The new Loyalist settlers as well as Davidson and his friendswere satisfied with it. But the "ancient and original inhabitants" opposedit largely on the basis that Wilson did not mingle with them enough forthem to know his capabilities. They also accused him of cutting hay which"belonged" to them and offered to sell it to them.33 This mixed reaction which met Wilson'sappointment was just one expression of the antagonism which existedbetween the old settlers and the new ones. Resentment of the new settlers by the old ones was caused largely by the specialtreatment the new settlers seemed to be getting from the provincialgovernment.34 The opposition toWilson's appointment was the first of a series of squabbles between thetwo groups in which Marston had to intervene. Fortunately, neither sideattempted to lay much blame on him. On the contrary, in some of theirpetitions, the old settlers mentioned some of the steps taken by SheriffMarston to reprimand the party at fault. There were a few occasionsthough, when he was suspected of taking sides.35 After three weeks living in Miramichi Point,Marston realized that there was so much to be done in the way ofintroducing law and order into the area. Therefore, he carefully drew up alist of suggestions which he sent to Jonathan Odell. Recognizing that a healthy economy usually makesa people less restive, he implored the New Brunswick government to improvethe primitive method of fishing used in the Miramichi. This was veryimportant because fishing was the mainstay of the economy. He alsorequested that something should be done to get the settlers to diversifythis economy. Because of the heavy reliance on fishing, very littlefarming was done. Not much attention was given to this plea. Stillrecalling the activities of the Shelburnites, Marston was gravelyconcerned about the lawless state of the region. He pointed out to thegovernment that the county needed more lawenforcement officers. Furthermore, without a jail, he was unable toeffectively isolate dangerous criminals. He therefore proposed that thegovernment should build a military post with a Guard House. He wasconvinced that the mere construction of such a post would indicate howserious the government was about enforcing the law, and quickly scarepotential criminals.36 The request for a military post was not granted,but his effort was not totally in vain: only a month later threemagistrates, Alexander Wishart, James Horton, and John Moody wereappointed. It is very likely that these appointments were prompted by hissuggestions.37 To maintain law and order, Marston was convincedthat the people needed something besides law enforcement officers: theyneeded religion. In his own words:
The people of thisriver are very desirous of having a clergyman of good sense, and a goodman would be a public blessing by his instructions among such an ignorantilliterate sett as the bulk of the people here are. The mere attendanceupon public worship if but now and then would have some tendency tocivilize and make them less licentious. If the Society for propagating theGospel were to send a missionary hither, they never would perhaps betterbestow their charity, for besides the good which an exemplary man might doin reforming the licentiousness of the people, he might if sent in time,prevent swadlers and sectaries getting any footing among them which wouldbe to prevent an evil which it is not easy to cure.38 This proposal begins to looklike a paradox when one takes into consideration the fact that Marstonhimself was far from being a religious person. In his diary of overten years, he recorded having attended churchservice only once -- when he was in jail and it was the only place that hewas permitted to go. It is interesting to recall that Marston alsorecommended the Gospel for the Shelburne settlers. Thus, one begins towonder what Marston must have believed were the functions of religion. Nodoubt, that it was most helpful for low class, uncouth people who neededto be redeemed from their baseness -- a cultural, civilizing force. Butperhaps even more important, it played a political role by encouragingpeople to conform to law and order. Also, it is quite obvious that the"Gospel" that Marston was referring to here, was the established church,the Church of England. His plea that "sectaries" must be prevented frominfluencing the people, was just another way of saying, keep theunorthodox churches out. He was not alone in his thinking. In fact all theNew Brunswick Loyalist leaders were members of the Church of England,which they tried very hard to see flourish, primarily because of itsinfluence in engendering respect and obedience from the people -- twoqualities which make for political stability.39 To understand why these Loyalists looked up tothe Church of England for this assistance, we must look back to therevolutionary era and see the role the churches played in the conflict. In1776, Dissenters and Anglicans, already antagonists over the Bishop'scontroversy,40 became inextricablyentangled in the larger political dispute. After a synod meeting in NewYork that year, the Presbyterians sent out apastoral letter declaring their favour of American liberty and approvingthe stamp act. This action automatically forced the Anglicans into adefence of British policy. By the end of the war, most of the Loyalistshad formed an opinion about the influence of the two groups: they wereconvinced that if the activities of the Church of England in America hadbeen better encouraged, the outbreak of rebellion would have beenprevented.41 On the other hand,Presbyterians were "as averse to kings as they were in the days ofCromwell and they wanted to form a republican empire in America.42 Thus, when Marston warned in his proposal thatsectaries must be kept out so as to prevent an "evil which was not easy tocure," it is certain that he was reflecting on the American Revolution andthe role the Presbyterians were supposed to have played. The governmentdid not respond to his request; and perhaps much to his relief, Dissentersdid not attempt to extend their activities to that area. In any event, hisfears were uncalled for, because uncouth as the inhabitants were, theywere not a rowdy lot. The first provincial election in New Brunswickwas a memorable event for its inhabitants. Although the storm-centre wasin the city and county of Saint John, it was an exciting affair everywherein the province. In Northumberland County, conducting the election is oneof the most remembered duties that Marston performed as sheriff. The franchise was extendedto every adult male who had lived in the province for at least threemonths. There was no property qualification. The fact that blacks were notallowed to vote was the only restriction. In spite of this generosity,Carleton still hoped for a house of "worthy" members, men who would concurwith decisions he had taken, and help to organize the province along thelines he had laid down.43 But by thattime, a violent party spirit had developed and Elias Hardy came forward asleader of an opposition that seemed poised to undo all of Carleton's work.Elias Hardy was an English lawyer who settled in New York. In NewBrunswick, he began to encounter the wrath of the leading Loyalists whenhe was appointed by the N.S. government to promote the escheat ofunsettled lands. Unfortunately, none of his writings exist today, but fromthe correspondence of Carleton and some other government officials, it isevident that he was a deadly government opponent. In Northumberland, four candidates came forwardto contest the two county seats. The notorious Elias Hardy, who was alsoDavidson's legal advisor, was one of them. The others were Davidsonhimself, George Leonard, and Stanton Hazard. George Leonard was a nativeof Plymouth who went to settle in Boston as a successful merchant and shipowner. Upon the evacuation of Boston, he was among refugees who sailed toHalifax with the British forces. He later went to Newport, Rhode Island, where he assisted the British troops, mainlyby preying on rebel shipping off the island in order to supply the troopswith provisions. After the war he was appointed as one of the Loyalistagents responsible for settling the refugees on the St. John River valley.Stanton Hazard was also a Loyalist agent. However, he does not seem tohave pursued a remarkable career because references to him are very scant.These two were from Saint John and like Hardy, completely unknown to mostof the inhabitants of the county. Sheriff Marston overtly showed hissupport for Leonard and Hazard, who were also the favourites of thehierarchy in Saint John. With these men, the government was assured of anenhancement of its policy, something for which Hardy and Davidson couldnot be relied on. Hardy and the following he had managed to gather inSaint John were against the government because the New Englanders who werealso the minority (most of the settlers were from New York and the othermiddle colonies) were trying to form a distinct upper class and hadsucceeded in capturing "all the positions worth having" -- meaningpositions in the government. It was thus the avowed intention of Hardy andhis supporters to prevent government officials from obtaining seats in theAssembly. As for Davidson, he resented what he viewed as government'sencroachment on Miramichi affairs. He felt that this interference wastotally unnecessary: the settlement could exist conveniently without dealings with Saint John, since all the businessmenin the area looked to Halifax for encouragement rather than to theprovincial capital which in reality had nothing to offer them.44 At the end of the election, these adversariesemerged victorious, much to Marston's disappointment. Actually, it issurprising that he had anticipated otherwise. As has already been pointedout, Davidson's influence was tremendous. He used this to secure votes notonly for himself, but for his friend Hardy as well. Another importantfactor is that the wide franchise meant that Davidson's workers were alleligible to vote. Later, Marston was able to see the situation morerationally, and as if to console himself noted:
To-dayheld an election for two members to represent this County in GeneralAssembly. Wm. Davidson, an inhabitant of this river, an ignorant, cunningfellow, but who has great influence over the people here, many of themholding land under him, and many others being tradesmen and laborers inhis employ, was chosen for one, and by the same influence Elias Hardy, anattorney of no great reputation in his profession, was chosen for theother. This will disappoint some of my friends, who hoped that GeorgeLeonard and Capt. Hazard would have obtained the election, but twasimpossible. They were unknown here and we who proposed and recommendedthem, were but strangers. 'Tis therefore no wonder we did not succeedagainst an artful man who had real influence and knew how to use it.45But obviously, the disparaging remarks about thetwo men were prejudiced and made out of pique. Davidson was not auniversity graduate, but was certainly fairly educated. The part he playedin organizing the settlement is proof of his intelligence. There is no evidence of any scandal or shady deals inhis business to point to his character as "a cunning fellow." As regardsHardy, he was by no means an attorney of no reputation. In fact, traditionhas it that in his profession he was, in his day, without a peer.46 Perhaps Marston would have been nearerthe truth if he had suggested that Hardy was an opportunist, trying to usethe people to topple a structure which he felt was blocking his path toprivilege. Marston must however be commended for conductinga fair and peaceful election. In spite of his overt support for two of thecandidates, he did not resort to any impolitic means to secure theirelection. Such action was not completely absent from the election: forexample, Sheriff William Oliver of Saint John County, through some highlyquestionable actions, assisted the government party to victory.47 Furthermore, the outcome of the electiondid not put Marston off, he continued to perform his duties with the samezeal. Entries in Marston's diary suggest that he wasvery hardworking in his surveying (he was also deputy surveyor), forexample entries like the following: "Ran Donald's line, attempted tofinish McLean's line, but the excessive heat overcame me; was unable to goon and with difficulty got back to our boat. I was so spent that I fell,and it was some time before I was able to recover myself."48 Moreover, his diary indicates that his job still involved risks and hostilityfrom disgruntled settlers. For example, he recorded:
Thisday I was informed by an Elderly man, one of good character -- and hisinformation was ushered in with the solemnity of an oath -- that ifStewart whom I have located next to Martin Lyons should fail of gettingthat lot, that my life will be in danger if I return to this Riveragain.49 Despite these remarkableentries, the standard of Marston's work as a surveyor had dropped. This isespecially clear when one turns the pages of the same journal back to theShelburne period, and makes a comparison of the two periods. This fact isfurther revealed in some other important sources. For example, part of apetition sent to Saint John by some Miramichi inhabitants reads: River. Sproule wasenraged over this particular survey because it was very important for"correcting and connecting the general plan of the province." Havingconvinced himself that Marston could not be relied on to do that survey,Sproule asked Odell to give him permission to hand over the responsibilityto Israel Perley a "better" deputy surveyor who was about to leave forMiramichi to do some private surveying for Davidson.51 It is unnecessary to cast doubts on thevalidity of Sproule's criticism: unlike the unhappy relationship withParr, the relationship between Marston and Sproule was cordial. This time inexperience and obstructive settlerswere not reasons for the flaws in Marston's work. The fact that he had toattend to other official duties being sheriff and surrogate, is oneexplanation. But perhaps a more important reason can be found in the factthat in the Miramichi Marston began to attend to his own personal matters,something his dedication to his work never gave him time for in Shelburne. Only three days after his arrival, Marston wroteto Winslow telling him that he was determined to engage in some privatebusiness ventures in order to supplement the meagre salaries he would begetting from his government employment. Before that time, the two men hadseriously discussed a business partnership, which would involveundertaking business transactions in New Brunswick for British merchantson commission. To this end, they contacted Lane andCo. of London. At one time, this company contemplated sending out goods tothem for the value of [pound sterling] 400 or [pound sterling] 500.Marston urged Winslow to speed up this transaction because in spite of the"impolitic methods" used in fishing in the Miramichi, the prospects ofthat industry were so great that he was sure that goods received from Laneand Co. would be easily traded for large quantities of fish.52 Unfortunately, at the last moment, plansfor the venture were dropped by the company because they decided to limittheir trading activities.53 Marston and his cousin never did do business together.It would seem that Winslow, perhaps because of his preoccupation with NewBrunswick politics, was not as interested as Marston. From the letters, itis quite evident that most of the effort for a joint business came fromMarston's side. However, by the end of the year Marston had found himselfa business partner. He was Mark Delesderniers, an amiable Swiss settler,who seems to have been able to get along with almost everybody in thesettlement.54 Marston and his partnerobtained goods from Halifax merchants, George DeBlois, Thomas Robie andMulberry Holmes, which they sold to Indians and white settlers for fursand fish.55 The goods were of a largevariety, as the following list on one of the fly leaves of his diaryshows:
Benjamin Marston says he has been surveying land and locatingLoyalists upon such land as had already been surveyed and laid out on theMiramichi from July 6 to September 24 and that he presented an account toGeorge Sproule, but without details. He spent only 10 days making newsurveys and-kept no particular account for locating persons on landsalready surveyed. He had to hire a room for an office and he devoted allhis time to that.50 But evenmore important is the chief surveyor's opinion. It is quite clear thatGeorge Sproule was dissatisfied with Marston's work. There is somecorrespondence in which he rebuked him for submitting late and vaguereports. So displeased was Sproule with Marston's work that once he wasforced to report him to the secretary of the province. Despite severalreminders from Sproule, Marston failed to survey the region between theGrand Lake and the Miramichi
Memo. Goods to be sold: Hats; belts and goldbuckles; silk; 2 guns; superfine blue and red broad cloth; silver lace;beads; red black and white round broaches; crucifixes; silver rings; and wine.The quality of the goods were not always good.For example, he noted:
I took off their hands, a parcel ofold "shopkeepers" which they had had by them a long while and but for suchan accident would probably have had still -- what I had of Holmes I amsure would. It was relies of a parcel of wines which had been in store, heknew not how long himself -- of all sorts and kinds which a Halifax pigwould not have drank.56 This business of trading asmiddlemen for Halifax merchants did not satisfy Marston and Delesderniers.Soon they came up with a much grander scheme. The Miramichi region wasrichly blessed with timber. When Sir John Wentworth visited that area forthe first time he was so impressed that he remarked: "I have found on thisriver, the best Mast timber in British America, great quantities of whichare on the Reservations. The pine timber for size, length and soundnessexceeds any I ever saw in New England."57 Predicting great prospects, Marston andhis partner began to make plans to exploit this abundant and magnific6ntnatural resource. The "Jack of all trade" that he was, Marston quicklydrew up a plan for a saw mill. In February 1786, they attached this planto a memorial which they sent to the governor and council requesting agrant of 500 acres at a strategic site, for the construction of the mill.To facilitate the transportation of the timber, they requested the land onthe north side of the river. They also asked for a further grant of a lotsituated at the mouth of a small river called BlackRiver. They wanted this to serve as a grazing ground for the cattle whichwould be used to work the mill.58 They were granted all the land they needed. InMarch, Marston went to Halifax to purchase large quantities of iron, andin July, construction began. This was a bold step, because at that timelumbering was still an infant industry in the province.59 In the meantime, Marston tried to securea market for their timber. He acquainted Winslow with his new venture andimplored him to use his influence to get the government to sign a contractwith them for the supply of masts.60There is, however, no indication that such a contract was ever made. Once Marston became involved in the mill project,he began to seriously neglect his official duties. Inevitably, he had tomake a choice between his business and his job as sheriff. The incentiveto carry out his official duties was lacking because of the meagresalaries that he received. On his arrival at the Miramichi he remarked:"My appointments here will be a meer [sic] sound and not much more. Theemoluments of them will never make it worth my while to remain here."61 In this disappointment, he was not alone;nearly all the Loyalist leaders were at that same time lamenting theappalling rewards of public office. It took Winslow a short time torealize that his appointment as surrogate general was meaningless becausefew people died in the new province and so therewere no estates to probate; frustrated, Chipman noted that despite thegovernor's lavish praise for his work as solicitor general, he had notreceived one penny in compensation.62The Loyalist leaders had to struggle against the "economics of thefrontier" -- the wilderness and all the sacrifices they had to make toconquer it.63 The choice was simple for Marston to make. InMarch he sent a memorial to Saint John:
Being engaged in aplan of business which will wholly engage my time and attention, and willfrequently occasion my being absent from the county of which you have doneme the honour to appoint me sheriff, I humbly beg the favour of yourExcellency and your Honours to permit me to resign that office. Thenecessary attention to my affairs and the proper attention to dutiesthereof being utterly incompatible.64However, he still retained his other positions asdeputy surveyor and surrogate. But it does not seem that he gave seriousattention to them, because as his diary clearly shows, he spent most ofhis time on the mill construction site. On October 18, seven months after hisresignation, he set out from Miramichi for Saint John, to present Sproulewith some surveying reports and to purchase some equipment for the mill.As he journeyed, his spirits were buoyant: the sale of the goods receivedfrom Halifax was going on smoothly; the construction of the mill wasmaking marked progress and soon he would begin to reap the fruits of alucrative business. He was convinced that thistime, his career as a successful businessman had been re-born.65 But little did he know that his days inNew Brunswick -- that land of refuge which he so willingly came to -- werenumbered, and that he was destined never to see the Miramichi again.
THE LAST SEARCH FOR COMPENSATION1786-1792
I will say thatI am determined to make a last attempt to get my compensation fromParliament, and hope that after I return from England my ramblings will beat an end, and that I shall be able to spend the rest of my life in theenjoyment of domestic tranquility.Benjamin Marston, 1787 1 Peace between the United States and Great Britainbecame certain with the signing of the first draft of the Treaty of Parison November 30, 1782. Two articles of this treaty related to theLoyalists. The fifth article stipulated that all persons, whether they hadborne arms or not, should be free to go to any part of the United Statesfor twelve months, unmolested, in the effort to obtain the restitution oftheir confiscated estates. Article VI, designed to protect the Loyalistsfrom future confiscations and persecutions, stipulated that no personsshould on account of the part taken in the war, be subjected to furtherloss or damage in their liberty or property. Protective as these articlesmight seem, the terms of the Paris treaty greatly dismayed the Loyalists,because the full enforcement of the provisions of Articles V and VI wasleft solely to Congress.2 From the onset, thedisillusioned Loyalists were certain that the States would not carry outthe conciliatory policy recommended by Congress as promised by theAmerican commissioners at the peace negotiations. Their fears werevindicated as the States, disregarding the treaty, continued to persecuteLoyalists.3 Thus fully convinced thatthe ambiguous terms of the treaty would never be enforced by theAmericans, Loyalist refugees concluded that the only way they could obtaincompensation for their losses was to convince the British government toassume full responsibility. Most of the effort for this came from theLoyalist refugees living in England who in January 1783, organizedthemselves into a coherent pressure group. So effective were theactivities of this group that it succeeded in getting the attention of thepublic; contributed to the fall of the Shelburne ministry; and mostimportantly, contributed in no mean measure to the passing of theCompensation Act by Parliament in July 1783.4 By this Act, a five-member commission wasappointed, with the authority to investigate the Loyalists' claims indetail and to recommend appropriate compensation fees. March 25, 1784, wasgiven as the deadline for submitting claims, because it was anticipatedthat the commissioners would complete their task within two years.However, it took an unforeseen six years. The commissioners beganhearing cases in October, 1783, in London. After almost two yearsdeliberation, it became evident that in order to do justice to Loyalistsliving out of England, commissioners must be sent to British North Americaand the United States. Accordingly, by the new Compensation Act of 1785,Thomas Dundas and Jeremy Pemberton were assigned to Nova Scotia andCanada, and John Anstey, to the United States. These commissioners weregiven the same powers as their counterparts in England. In Canada, theirwork began on November 17, 1785, and lasted until 1789. Claims were heardin Halifax, Saint John, Quebec and Montreal, and six reports werecompiled, showing that 1,401 claims were heard.5 Benjamin Marston was one of the Loyalists whopresented their claims before Commissioner Pemberton in Halifax on May 2,1786. Marston's memorial was typical of the standard format followed bythe Loyalists in their quest for compensation.6 It began with the indispensable preambledeclaring his unswerving allegiance to Great Britain. The commissionerssubjected the claimants to an intense, searching scrutiny, to the extentthat the Loyalists began to view the exercise as an inquest.7 Being aware of this, Marston appeared athis hearing, fully prepared. His claim was for [pound sterling] 476.28.8.As Pemberton's notes show, he produced adequate documentation, and awitness who attested to his loyalty, and the value of his property.8 Most probably because of this, he did notencounter much difficulty. Pemberton decided thathe was to receive an unspecified amount as compensation fees. He alsoadvised him to send a power of attorney to an agent in England,authorizing him to collect the money on his behalf.9 After this appearance before the claimscommissioner, Marston gave little thought to his compensation money. Withthe exception of one letter which he wrote to John Watson shortly afterhis hearing, Marston did not mention this issue in his diary or letters.In fact, the draft of the letter giving power of attorney to a Londonagent, is incomplete.10 He was thenpreoccupied with his Miramichi business which was just getting off theground. At the end of December, 1786, Marston concludedall the business transactions which had taken him out of Miramichi inNovember that year.11 But he postponedreturning to Miramichi immediately because he wanted to wait for "theriver to be strong enough to travel with safety."12 After spending about one month withEdward Winslow in Fredericton, he decided to stop over at Portland Pointand see his remaining Winslow relatives, on his way back to the Miramichi.(Edward Winslow's widowed mother, Hannah, and his sisters, Penelope andSarah, were living at Portland Point, now a part of the city of SaintJohn.) This turned out to be a very fateful decision. He found the familyin real distress. They were soon to face the commissioner in Saint John,and because they lacked all the required documents, were certain they would not receive anything from the Britishgovernment. Filled with sympathy and a desperate urge to display hisgratitude to the Winslows for all they had done for him, Marstonimmediately offered his services:
To procure these[documentation] I am now going to New England, and expect to sail in a dayor two. I hope I shall succeed. To be if only a mere instrument inprocuring so essential a Good to so deserving a family will afford a manvery comfortable reflections, let his other circumstances be asuncomfortable as they can.13 Abandoning his journey to theMiramichi, Marston at once sailed to Boston. There, he carried out histask so expeditiously that within two weeks he succeeded in getting allthe relevant documents, which he promptly posted to Winslow. In additionto this, he also arranged for the passage of two of Winslow's formerworkmen to join him in New Brunswick.14 As he was getting ready to leave, an unfortunateincident, reminiscent of his previous visits to the United States,occurred. He was arrested and he had to spend a few hours in jail. Thedetails of this incident are not very clear. However, it seems thatMarston had agreed to stand as surety for one of his Marblehead townsmenwho borrowed some money from a certain John Burman, another Marbleheadman. When the debtor failed to pay, Burman at once arranged for the arrestof his surety, Marston. Fortunately, he did not have to stay long in jail.The matter was somehow resolved and he was promptly bailed by a Mr. Amary.This incident convinced him that his stay in theUnited States was always attended by ill-luck. So, as soon as he wasreleased he wasted no time in returning to New Brunswick and "theprotection of the British government."15 Upon his arrival in Saint John, the Winslowsgladly informed him that they had begun to reap the fruits of his decisionto go to New England. But this decision also had another significanteffect which the Winslows did not notice: it diverted Marston's interestfrom other matters and he became very obsessed with the compensationissue. Instead of going back to Miramichi, he decided to discard the ideaof appointing an agent, and go to England himself to collect the money. This decision was somewhat erratic; he did noteven have one tenth of the amount needed to pay his passage to England.But typically, he relentlessly strove towards what seemed like theimpossible. He went to Winslow for assistance. Unfortunately the financesof his dedicated patron were at a low ebb. Without giving up, he went toWard Chipman who at once agreed to lend him the money.16 Before he left Chipman's house, he decided toleave a chest containing his surveying instruments, maps, correspondenceand his precious diary, in Chipman's care. By this, Marston performed oneof the most valuable services he ever rendered to himself. Without thosedocuments, a history of his life would have been highly deficient, evenimpossible. He made his final exitfrom New Brunswick in August, 1786, leaving behind him much unfinishedbusiness: (1) the saw mill, although making steady progress, was stillincomplete; (2) the fishing venture which he had just started, had to beterminated because he was not around to supervise his men;17 (3) the business as middleman for Halifaxmerchants was in utter disarray. A few months before he left Miramichi, hetook some goods to be sold. Before he left, he had succeeded in selling[pound sterling] 95 worth of goods; the remaining [pound sterling] 107worth of goods, he left in the charge of his partner, Mark Delesderniers.At the time of his departure, he did not have the slightest idea of whatmight have happened to these remaining goods. Furthermore, he owed theHalifax merchants an unspecified but substantial sum of money.18 He was so dead set on going to England that,without any hesitation, he turned down a business proposal from a certainWatson Edenton of North Carolina: "You must wait until whenever I return,because it is only then that I shall be better prepared to chalk out aplan."19 This was veryuncharacteristic of Marston, who was always ready to jump at any businesspossibility. In the light of the state of his affairs when heleft for England, one is at once tempted to criticize him. Why would anysensible person leave such diverse business matters unattended, in pursuitof uncertainty? But we must not be hasty inpassing judgements. Instead, an attempt must be made to understand thesituation. In the f irst place, Marston did not view the promise ofcompensation as an uncertainty. He, like many other Loyalists, had greatfaith in the British government. Furthermore, he was expecting a handsomesum, something worth travelling all that distance for. He was almostcertain that he would receive all the amount he had asked for, or at theworst, something very close to it: "I am going to London to receive thecompensation made me by the commissioner (how much, I know not for theydon't divulge). But I am sure it will be agreeable, and I will pay to yourorder in England, [pound sterling] 40 Ster. -- if my first dividend shallamount to [pound sterling] 300, then I think it can't be so little asthat."20 Perhapsmore importantly, we must try to understand what compensation meant forMarston and indeed other Loyalists. For them, it was not a privilege, itwas a right, the British government owed it to them. As Joseph Gallowayputs it: "It is a debt of the highest and most inviolable nature, fromwhich Parliament can never honourably and justly discharge itself, but bymaking adequate compensation; nor can the moral obligation to do it be byany means suspended, for a moment, but by national inability andinsolvency."21 The Loyalists' thinkingin this matter was different from that of William Pitt who explicitlypointed out that however strong their claims might be on the generosity of the nation, compensation should not beconsidered as a matter of right and strict justice.22 It was as if that fateful visit to the Winslowsin February, 1786, made Marston realize that he was failing to exercisehis right. From then on, he would never be at peace with himself until theBritish government paid him back the price he paid for his loyalty. Hesuddenly seemed to notice a vacuum which could only be filled bycompensation. For the first time since his flight from Marblehead, and thedeath of his wife, he contemplated remarrying: "When I return fromEngland, I will be able to settle down, and I will ask Betty W. to be myfemale partner, that is if she is not yet married to the preacher."23 Nevertheless, he was not so blinded by thedesperate urge to be compensated as not to see the risks involved. Thedifficulty he encountered in procuring adequate funds to travel wassufficient indication that his life might be taking a precarious turn. Buthe quickly consoled himself: "So let the consequence be as it may, I havenothing to blame myself for."24 Inspite of this readiness for difficulty, he did not anticipate the grimconsequences which attended his trip to England. Marston expected to be in England for only a fewmonths. Shortly after his arrival, the first installment of [poundsterling] 45 was given to him, and he was asked to wait for the balance.What was worse, the exact amount of this balance was not disclosed, and he had to wait for three agonizing yearsbefore he got it.25 This experience was not unique to Marston. Delayin payments was one of the major sources of dissatisfaction for theLoyalists, on the compensation issue. This problem was mostly the fault ofWilliam Pitt who insisted that he must know the total amount hisgovernment would be expected to pay, before committing himself to pay theLoyalists in full. Reasonable as this desire was, it worked to thedisadvantage of the claimants. A petition sent to Parliament in 1786 bythe Loyalists' agents in London, described the repercussions Pitt'scompensation policy was having on the Loyalists living in England:
It is impossible to describe the poignant distress underwhich many of these persons now labour, and which must daily increaseshould the justice of Parliament be delayed until all claims areliquidated and reported; ten years have elapsed since many of them havebeen deprived of their fortunes and with their helpless families reducedfrom independent affluence to poverty and want; some of them nowlanguishing in British jails; others indebted to their creditors, who havelent them money barely to support their existence and who, unless speedilyrelieved, must sink more than the value of their claims when received, andbe in a worse condition than if they had never made them; others havealready sunk under pressure and severity of their misfortunes; and othersmust, in all probability, soon meet the same melancholy fate, should thejustice due them be longer postponed. But on the contrary, shouldprovision be now made for payment of those whose claims have been settledand reported, it will not only relieve them of their distress, but givecredit to others whose claims remain to be considered.26 No sooner did Marstonarrive in England, before he joined the ranks of these victims. Hesuddenly realized that he was trapped: the first installment given to himfell far short of what he had expected, so he did not even have enoughmoney to pay his passage back to New Brunswick. The only alternative opento him was to wait for the balance. To do this, it was imperative that hefind himself a means of livelihood, and this became his first problem. Marston by himself did not have any influence inEngland. As always, he felt he could depend on Winslow's patronage inprocuring a job. Unfortunately, this time, the tide had turned; Winslow'sinfluence in England had begun to wane. After the end of the Fox-NorthCoalition, Winslow became little known among government officials.27 However, he was still in contact with twoinfluential men who could have been of some help to Marston -- Sir BrookWatson and Joshua Loring.28 ButMarston discovered that Watson was not as helpful as they had thought:"Brooky may be a good Factor in all matters to which percents are annexed,but as to anything thro mere friendship it. must not be expected." As forJoshua Loring, he was so ill that he had to stay in his house all thetime. He died a few months after Marston's arrival.29 Without Winslow's helping hand, the energeticMarston tried to fend for himself. On three occasions he was turned downat the last moment: (1) in the summer of 1788, through the recommendationof a Halifax merchant visiting London, he wasemployed as a companion for an English merchant going to St. John's,Newfoundland. Very suddenly, the merchant changed his mind and decided togo alone; (2) He was recommended again by the same Halifax merchant, to acompany which was contemplating opening a fishing business at either Cansoor Newfoundland. Because the company eventually decided on Newfoundlandwhere they already had an agent, Marston was dropped; (3) He was recruitedas a salesperson for an English company which was expecting a mastcontract in New Brunswick. They did not get the contract, and the venturewas abandoned.30 Frustrated over these futile attempts to obtainemployment, Marston decided to do his own private business. This time, itwas Marston the lawyer turned scientist. This venture involved theinvention of a navigational instrument which would be used to "determinethe sun's altitude when the horizon is invisible." Using, as he claimed,sophisticated mathematical methods, he developed such an instrument. In1789 when he completed it, his spirits were very high, and he referred toit as his "only hope." He gave it to an optician who promised to test itand promote its sale. Unfortunately, its effects are not known. It is,however, very unlikely that any substantial result emanated from theventure, because he stopped talking about it just as abruptly as hecommenced the experiment.31 In the middle of 1790,he finally got a job as a "service man" in charge of a 100 ton steam boatwhich transported people within London. For this, he was paid only fourguineas a month.32 Job disappointments were nothing, compared to theblow he received when his compensation was finally settled. Instead of the[pound sterling] 476.28.8 that he filed for, he was given only [poundsterling] 105. This was paid in two installments -- [pound sterling] 45 onhis arrival, and the remaining [pound sterling] 60, almost three yearsafter. In the intervening period, he had to borrow money for subsistence.Consequently, when he eventually received the balance, he found out thathe needed more than that amount ([pound sterling] 60) to settle his debtsin England alone.33 This underscoredthe futility of his trip to England. It meant that he was back where hestarted, in fact worse off, because he still owed Chipman the money forhis passage to England, and he still could not afford to pay his way back. How did he react to this calamity? Chipman wassure that he must have been "vexatiously disappointed."34 Indeed, he was vexed; but not at the Kingor the British government as an entity. He attributed his failure to getthe amount he requested to Pitt and those directly connected withcompensation:
What has brought us into this unpleasantsituation deserves a better fate, and there is no doubt, but that it wasthe intention of Parliament to have offered essential relief to allsufferers. But those who were appointed the distributors of its benevolence have in very many instances defeated itsdesign. The fact is, they are under the influence of a minister who looksupon the claims of the Loyalists rather unfavourably, because they aresome obstacle in the way of his ambition, which is to put the NationalDebt in a train of being all fairly discharged in the course of the livesof the present Generation.Besides Pitt's personal ambition, Marston wasconvinced that he and members of the claims commission were partial. Tobuttress this accusation, he sent Winslow a list of persons who were givensubstantial amounts, only because of their affiliation to influentialpeople in the government and the claims commission.35 His loyalty to the Crown remained unshaken. Inthe very letters that he wrote lamenting his failure to get the money duehim, he also stressed how happy he was that the King had recovered from analarming illness, to continue his reign. His admiration for the loyaltydisplayed by the King's subjects, was glaring:
What atriumph to the good old King to have such sincere unequivocaldemonstration of his People's hearty regard and affection. What is veryremarkable is that among this immense crowd, which was several hourstogether in the great City, there was no Riot, Tumult, nor Disorder, not awindow was broken, tho some few (Quakers) were nonsensical enough torefuse joining in the joyful exhibitions because it was Carnal Joy.36 Although his disappointing compensation was notsufficient reason for him to renounce the King, it jolted him to thegravity of his predicament. It became clear that it would take a miracleto get him back to New Brunswick or the UnitedStates. At once, he began to take steps to wind up all unfinished businessin those places. He wrote to Chipman, authorizing him to collect the keyto his blue chest which he left in his care, from his cousin, SarahWinslow. He instructed him to study the details of his Miramichi businessaccounts, and to get Delesderniers to account for the unsold goods. Hesaid he wanted to be treated as an absconding debtor, so Chipman shoulduse all the proceeds from the sale of those goods to pay off his debts tohim (Chipman), and the Halifax merchants.37 Chipman wrote to Delesderniers acquainting himwith Marston's instructions. But the latter did not bother to reply, andChipman did not pursue the matter further, because he claimed, he had beenmade to understand that Delesderniers was nothing more than "a slipperychap."38 Chipman does not mention hissource or provide evidence for his view of Delesdernier's character.Raymond, however, disagrees with Chipman, mainly because Delesderniers wasrecommended highly for the post of Sheriff of Northumberland County, whichhe assumed at the end of the tenure of Marston's successor.39 More important than Delesdernier's supposedlyshady character, Chipman felt that Marston had suffered enough. He decidedto abandon all attempts to recover what Marston owed him.40 Apparently the other creditors were notso understanding. Eventually, Chipman was forced to take steps. In 1794, two years after Marston's death, he askedpermission from the governor and council to sell a tract of land inMiramichi belonging to Marston, in order to pay off his debts.41 New Brunswick had become Marston's home, and itwas his ardent wish to join the other leading Loyalists in the developmentof that province. The impracticability of this became clear to him when hewas given the second and last installment of his compensation money. Atthe same time, he wanted to be remembered in that province. Therefore, hesent cherry, peach and plum seeds to Winslow, imploring him to carefullycultivate them into what should be called "Marston's Row." He suspectedthat Winslow might not take him seriously, so to show the significance ofthis request, he declared: "You'll laugh at my vanity, but I have avast desire to be remembered among you as a benefactor to N.Brunswick."42 In spite of thisemphasis, as he had anticipated, Winslow did not take him seriously. Thereis no indication that he did anything to fulfil Marston's wish. But itmust also be borne in mind that at that time, Winslow had many problems ofhis own to attend to. He was disappointed at not getting a position in thegovernment, after all the effort he put into the founding of the province;he was plagued by continuous attacks of gout; was in serious debt; andquarreled with his sister Sarah.43 Although Marstoncontinued to reject his sister, Lucia's plea that he should return to NewEngland, it is very likely that inwardly he was hoping that someday thingswould change and he would be able to settle down in his old home. For onething, he did not make any attempt to liquidate what was left of hisproperty. After his final compensation payment, he decided to do justthat. He drew up a detailed schedule of his property inNew England, which he sent to his nephew Marston Watson in Marblehead. Heinstructed Watson to sell whatever was left of his property -- realestate, books, household items, china, and glassware. Henry Gallison andCo., the company he did most of his business with before he leftMarblehead, still owed him some money. He implored Watson to try andcollect this money from them. All the money acquired through the sale ofhis property and the collection of debts, should be used to pay off hisown debts. Displaying how retentive his memory was, Marston listed all hiscreditors and how much he owed them, even the local butcher. He made itclear to his nephew that it was his sincere wish to have all his debtsliquidated, but at the same time, hoped that there would still be somemoney left over, that could be sent to him in London. He was desperatelyin need of money.44 This desperation notwithstanding, he wasdetermined that certain items must not be sold under any circumstances.These were: a dish, with the Winslow armsengraved on the rim; a small 8 sq. [sic] mirror; and a large oaken chest.He attached so much sentiments to these because they were brought fromEngland by his grandfather, Edward Winslow, on the celebratedMayflower. Marston instructed that these items be sent to theWinslows of New Brunswick through Ward Chipman, and that they must ensurethat they were preserved for posterity to see.45 They never found their way to NewBrunswick, but his wish that they should be preserved for posterity waspartly fulfilled: the mirror and the chest became favourite familypossessions of the Marstons and Watsons of Marblehead and Plymouth. As forthe dish with the engraving, it was never located. It is possible that itwas among the things looted by the mob which attacked his house inNovember, 1775.46 Facing his predicament and winding up allrelations with people and places that he loved must have been a painfulexercise. Thus, one wonders how he pulled through. As we have alreadyseen, Marston was very good at expressing his feelings, especially tohimself, in his diary. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine that he gaveup this habit during his stay in England. Unfortunately, none of hisbelongings after he left North America were ever located. Nevertheless,from some of the letters he wrote to his relatives and friends, we can beable to determine his feelings. Marston was a seasonedvictim of tragedies. He claimed that he did not care what happened to him;he became worried only when others were affected by his misfortunes. Forexample, in 1789, when Ward Chipman wrote to him telling him that he wouldbe greatly pleased if he could try to repay some of his money, he replied:
It adds greatly to the weight of my misfortunes to reflectthat any one, especially a friend should be put to any inconveniences bythem. While they terminated all in me, I cared little about them. A seriesof disappointments had inured me to adversity and had blunted its edgewhen the blow lighted upon me only; but it pierced my very soul to thinkof disadvantages arising to those who have made their friendly exertionsto assist me and I begin to fear I shall not be able to prevent it.47 Fortunately, he still possessed his sanguinenature to cheer him up. In his typical optimistic and facetious manner, hewrote to Edward Winslow: My dear Ned, don't letmisfortune depress your spirits. He who feeds the Moose and Caribou, thewild Ducks and Geese, the Shad, Gaspereaux, and Salmon, takes care of youand me also, and tho, we may be sometimes pinched, yet if we behaveourselves we shall be recompensed by an ample allowance of smart money. Idon't say this to cultivate in you, any liking to misfortune, no -- fight,scratch, kick, bite, throw stones, do anything to her. I hate the veryname of the Toad.48 But underneath this calm, light-hearted spirit,was a gravely worried man. At this point, he was beginning to face thereality that he might never be able to recoup his shattered fortunes. Theuncertainty of his life terrified him: by his own admission, hewas likethe fictional Robinson Crusoe, moving from one unforeseen danger to theother.49 His anxiety was clearlyreflected in one of his letters to his nephew, inwhich he expressed perhaps the most pathetic sentiment he ever utteredabout himself: "I am the only surviving brother of your Mother, who aftera series of hardships, misfortunes and disappointments, for the space ofnear 16 years, has not, now that he has passed his 60th year, a place thathe can command to lay his head."50 Hard as he might have tried not to bear anygrudge, there is no doubt that the hardships he endured in England causedhim to change his opinion about that country. He bitterly complained toWinslow: "Americans used to call this country Home, but it has become avery cold home to us in general. The original connections and attachmentsare long since worn out and dissolved."51 After living in England for four years,he discovered that that country was "in most respects, vastlyinferior to any other country he had seen and definitely, the worst prisonhe had ever been held up in."52 This experience was not unique to Marston. Indeedmost of the Loyalist exiles in Britain vented similar feelings. As MaryBeth Norton points out, it was easier for the younger Americans, those whohad been brought to the British Isles as children by their refugeeparents, to adapt to the English way of life. Their full acceptance intothe society was made even easier as they married into English families.But for the older refugees, adapting was an ordeal. Thomas Hutchinson, even with all the connections he had, foundEngland "a strange and callous world, and a dissolute world of statesmenwho were drunk through the night." It was a country he could notunderstand, and one far below his expectations. Benjamin Thompsonexpressed the opinion of many of his fellow exiles when after searching invain for a job, he remarked: "England is not a place for a Loyalist tomake his way."53 Marston found that out only a few months afterhis arrival. In nearly all his letters, he emphasized the fact that he wasstaying in England against his wish: "I am sincerely tired of England," hedeclared, "but how to get out of it is the question: without the means,tis impossible."54 The means presented itself with the dawn of 1792.In January of that year, he was employed as surveyor by a company whichwas planning a settlement on the island of Bullom on the West Coast ofAfrica.55 The details of how he gotthis job are unknown. The Bullom Island Company was a break-awayorganization of the Sierra Leone Company, formed in 1791. Henry HewDalrymple, governor of the Bullom settlement, was the first governorappointed for the Sierra Leone colony. But he fell out with the members ofthe company, and he decided to found his own company and a colony 300miles north of the original settlement. Unfortunately, this break-away company failed to register much success, incontrast to the parent body. In fact the Bullom settlement is little knownin the history of Sierra Leone. Merely to say that Marston was pleased to obtainthis job would be an understatement; he was overjoyed: "I have at lengthwaded thro the slough of Despond. I am now landed on the opposite side,and shall go on my way rejoicing."56No doubt, the overriding reason for this immense joy was the fact that atlast he was afforded the opportunity to leave England.57 The nature of the job was another significantreason. As much as Marston had wanted to rebuild his life, the upheavalsof the past sixteen years had given him some amount of pleasure and hadawakened in him the realization of an innate love for adventure. Thechallenges of his new job fascinated him. The thick jungle, wild animals,and savage inhabitants, stories of the "Dark Continent" so frequently toldduring that period, aroused his spirit of adventure. In his own words:
No expedition could have hit my taste and humour more exactlythan such an one as this promises to do. It is so much of the RobinsonCrusoe kind, that I prefer it vastly to any employment of equal emolumentand of a more regular kind that might have been offered me in this country. . . That rambling humour which was born with me -- and which has neveryet been fully gratified -- being now unrestrained by any localconnexions, will be yet prompting me to engage in adventures which willcarry me to new scenes, especially while I have vigor of body and mind offatigue and application.58 He also saw the projectas a crusade against slavery. It symbolized one of the many efforts "tocut off by the roots that most wicked traffic, the slave trade which allFlesh in this country are strongly setting their faces against." He wasdetermined that he would do all in his power to spread the gospel,"Civilization" and legitimate commerce, so as to discourage the inhumantraffic of human beings. In this respect, Marston was influenced by thephilanthropic fervour which engulfed Britain during that period. His eagerness to be part of the crusade againstslavery was also prompted by his desire to make up for "wrong" he did as aLoyalist. For the first time after seventeen years, Marston began toquestion the stand he took in the great revolution, to the extent thatMarston, the Tory, began to view the issue like a rebel. No betterevidence of this shift in thinking can be tendered, than the last letterhe wrote to his relatives in the United States:
There isnot remaining the least resentment in my mind to the Country [U.S.A.]because the party whose side I took in the late great Revolution, did notsucceed, for I am fully convinced it is better for the world that theyhave not. For it is the foundation -- the first step to what has sincefollowed in France, and of many others yet in Embryo in the other Europeankingdoms, in almost all of which the fermentation is already begun, -- andit will proceed till all Usurpation, all Lording of one over many, both inSpirituals and Temporals, will be entirely wrot off and despumated, andman be left master of himself . . . To be aidingin bringing about such events, tho confined to the humble station ofSurveyor of Lands, is more eligible, and in fact more meritorious than tobe at the head of 100,000 disciplined cut-throats, murdering one's fellowcreatures, to gratify the ambition, malice and avarice of some GreatScoundrel and Rascal, called King or Emperor.59 The above statement naturally leads to onequestion, did Benjamin Marston regret that he was a Loyalist? At once, oneis tempted to feel that the answer is simply, yes. But Marston himselfdenied this when in the same letter he added: "I don't mean by that to payany compliments to the instigators of our American Revolution, although ithas been of advantage to Mankind. I should as soon think of erectingmonuments to Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate and the Jewish Sanhedrin, forbetraying and crucifying the Lord of life because that event was soimportant and universally beneficial." On the whole, Marston was confused. It was aconfusion no doubt begotten of disappointments and hardships in a countryfor which he sacrificed a great deal. His noble intentions notwithstanding, theabundant material benefits likely to emanate from the new job formed abasic source of attraction for the impoverished Marston. He was to receivea salary of [pound sterling] 60 per annum, plus subsistence. This was nogreat thing for him, because he was convinced that the company should havepaid him more. But the generous amount of land that was given him wasbeyond his most sanguine expectations. He was entitled to 500 acres, free of charge. Other settlers had to pay [poundsterling] 30 for this. He was so excited about this that he began tospeculate even before he saw the land: in a few years time, the land wouldbe worth over [pound sterling] 500 and he would make enormous profits fromthe sale of some portions of it. He was also convinced that he had been offeredthe opportunity to do business on a scale even grander than the Marbleheaddays. The company was going in full force to establish a reciprocal tradesystem. Raw materials would be sent from the African settlement to areasin Europe and North America, in return for manufactured goods. Although hewas determined to perform his surveying job efficiently, Marston was surethat he would play a prominent and prosperous role in this commercialsystem.60 April 14, 1792, was a great day for Marston: hemade his final exit from England. There were 275 colonists, men, women andchildren, who boarded the Calypso for their new home in WestAfrica. After a long and tedious journey, during which they lost some oftheir numbers, they anchored off the island of Bullom, on June 5.Immediately, Marston began to see the difficulties involved in planting asettlement in an alien environment, difficulties which, in his excitementover the chance to escape from England, he had completely overlooked.Unpleasant encounters with the hostile natives, the inclement weather, andthe deadly malaria fever, doomed the settlement from the start. Soheavy was the toll of the malaria fever thatwithin a short time, the settlement became a death row, vindicating thereputation of that region as the White Man's Grave.61 The past seventeen years Marston had spentfighting, and to his credit, conquering one tragedy after another. Butthis time, the ageing adventurer succumbed to the destructive malariafever, and on August 10, 1792, he took his last breath in a rugged hutamong strangers. Because of the disorganized condition of the settlement,Marston, like the other settlers who died, was buried in a cursory manner,in an unmarked grave. It is not impossible that the poetic and facetiousMarston might, like his father, have prepared his own epitaph.62 But in the circumstance, it was not used. In the short time that Marston lived in Bullom,he succeeded in making a good impression on his fellow colonists. Forexample, two days after his death, Capt. Philip Beaver, member of thesettlement's legislative council, paid a moving tribute to Marston, in hisjournal. The sentiments expressed in this tribute are genuine, because asBeaver himself pointed out, he never saw Marston before the day they leftEngland, and he did not expect any favours from the dead man's family,whom he did not even know. In his tribute, Beaver recorded that in the shorttime he knew Marston, he discovered that he was an educated andintelligent man. In spite of these qualities, he was also a simple person. The manner in which Marston quietly andbravely accommodated his problems, baffled him. He never heard him railagainst the King and England. For Beaver was positive that such a good andresourceful man would never have found himself in such a destituteposition had it not been for his loyalty. He concluded: "Even though hedid not die a rich man, he died a good man."63 Meanwhile, Marston's relatives and friends inNorth America were ignorant of his tragic end. When Beaver published hisjournal as the African Memoranda, beneath the August 12, 1792entry, which was the tribute to Marston, he appended a note expressing hiswish that one day his book should find its way to Marblehead and thatthrough destiny, one of Marston's relatives or friends should read it andthereby learn of his fate. Just as Beaver wished, it was in this mannerthat the Marstons and Watsons of Plymouth and Marblehead learnt of theircousin's death, but only two years after it had occurred.64 The Watsons presumably passed on the tragic newsto Chipman and the Winslows of New Brunswick. Winslow received this withmixed feelings: he was very sad that his cousin's life should terminate sotragically, and at the same time, was relieved that all those "trying daysof suspense and hardship had finally come to an end."65 The search for compensation and tranquility wasover. When he left New Brunswick for England, Marston, even in his wildestimagination, could not have expected to set footon the continent of Africa. However, he was right about one thing -- thesearch for compensation was bound to put an end to his ramblings.Unfortunately, these ramblings were brought to an end, in a sad manner hedid not anticipate.
CONCLUSION In a list of the twenty-oneLoyalist leaders of New Brunswick, drawn up by a recent scholar, BenjaminMarston's column is unique: he was the only one without a "final place ofsettlement."1 This very neatly sums uphis fate after the outbreak of the revolution. As the preceding chaptersamply demonstrate, he pursued a chequered, and often precarious career,all in the effort of mending his shattered fortunes. But he failed. What was responsible for this failure? Until hetook his last breath, Marston was convinced that he was not to be blamedfor any of his misfortunes. He could stand on a pedestal and proclaim hisagility and his willingness to work at all times: "When my ill-fate isconsidered, my friends nor Enemies (if I have any) will not think that Ihave been wanting in my exertions, they shall never have it to say that Iam indolent and won't take business when tis offered. I am curs'd forbeing an incorrigible Tory."2 Thus, forhim, the answer was simple -- his failure was merely the inevitable priceof loyalty. Indeed his exertions, his efforts to achievesuccess were, as he said, never wanting. On some occasions they werethwarted by the cruel hand of fate: for example, when he lost all that heowned in the ship wreck off Cape Canso. However,to assert that his failure was inevitable because of his loyalty would bea fallacy. Ultimate failure was not a natural course followed by allLoyalists. We need not go far to find evidence for this. In New Brunswickwere men like Ward Chipman, Jonathan Odell, Joshua Upham and EdwardWinslow, who succeeded in recapturing some of the comforts of theirprevious life style. Admittedly, life was never the same for these men.Ward Chipman, for example, despite his success and affluence in the newprovince, lived in comparative poverty.3 As for Edward Winslow, the disparitybetween his life in Massachusetts and New Brunswick was very great.Finding it difficult to discard his previous lavish life style, Winslowunwittingly lived above his means, consequently finishing his days in debtand melancholy.4 Nevertheless, his casewas nothing compared to Marston's tragedy. Unlike the latter, he at leasthad a "final place of settlement." An historian once observed that biography isintended to re-make men, not to judge them. While acknowledging thevalidity of this observation, one cannot help but point out that Marstonwas partly responsible for his misfortunes. There were certain traits inhis character which served him adversely: he lacked tact; was too rigid;and over-sanguine. As has already been pointed out in Chapter III ofthe present study, his lack of tact and rigidity contributed in no mean measure to his calamity in Shelburne. It wasthat same rigidity which prevented him from going back to settle in theUnited States. It is possible that he might have attained success if hehad gone back. Some Loyalists returned and found life even easier therethan in their homes in exile. In Marston's case, as his last letter to theWatsons prove, even after confiscation he possessed more in New Englandthan he ever did in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. Furthermore, his sister,her husband and his other relatives there seemed fully prepared to helphim re-settle in his former home. Marston himself was aware of theseadvantages, but by his own admission, there was only one reason thatprevented him from returning -- the fact that he could not live among the"deluded rebels." So rigid was Marston that even the hardship in NovaScotia could not make him thaw. The tragedy in England was in some ways Marston'sown creation. True enough, Loyalists regarded compensation as a right, butthere were many Loyalists who claimed far more than he did, but did notmake the trip to England. Many received their compensation through agents.Even his cousin, Edward Winslow, remained in New Brunswick and fought forhis pension. What was worse, Marston did not even go back to the Miramichi(which he had unceremoniously left for over a year) to put his affairs inorder. This illustrates his lack of tact and a gross irresponsibility. It is hardly probablethat he displayed such irresponsibility in Marblehead; because if he had,he would not have been the prosperous merchant that he was, or appointedto those respectable committees. From this emerges an intriguingcontention: that it is in fact possible that the upheavals in his lifefollowing the outbreak of the revolution, disoriented him. From hisletters and diary, it is quite clear that Marston was thankful for onething, the fact that he was strong enough to accommodate his problems.Because he did not end up in a mad house, he was convinced that theprobiems caused by the revolution had not taken a mental toll on him. Butone wonders how accurate this is. Although he kept emphasizing how much hewanted to settle down, it is quite clear that he had developed a tendencyto keep moving. Did this tendency have something to do with his decisionto go to England? It was as if his spirit was gravely tormented, and theonly way to get rid of this was to be mobile. Was that innate love foradventure which he spoke about before he left England, really an inbornpassion or was it caused by the suffering he endured as a Loyalist? To answer these questions, we can only surmise.We cannot determine exactly to what extent Marston was responsible for hismisfortunes. But one thing is certain: in spite of the weaknesses in hischaracter, in spite of the cruel intervention of destiny, his decision toremain loyal to the British Crown remains a very influential factor inthe history of his life after 1775. Like anybody, Marston was not without his faults.For example, many might brand him a snob because of his disdain of thelower class. But this was a classic Loyalist attitude. Loyalists carriedan air of superiority wherever they went. In Nova Scotia and NewBrunswick, they tried to impose their superiority over the pre-Loyalists;it was the same thing in the Bahamas; and also in Sierra Leone where theblack Loyalists quickly drew a line of demarcation between themselves andthe "uncouth" native Africans they met there. There was a similardiscrimination within the Loyalist ranks. Contrary to the myth thatLoyalists came from the upper strata of the American society, there was alarge number of them from the lower classes. The Loyalist elite lookeddown on their less privileged counterparts. This was amply demonstrated inNew Brunswick where the Loyalist elite tried to create an oligarchy, muchto the displeasure of the rank and file.5 Marston appears unusual only because herecorded his feelings. In essence he was merely a typical Loyalist elite.In spite of this disdain of the lower class, Marston's sympathy for theblacks and his abhorrence of slavery were genuine. His argument againstthat inhuman institution was very constructive and worthy of praise.6 Like Thomas Jefferson, he was in thisissue, ahead of his time. He was fondly rememberedby his family who considered him something of a martyr. His nephew wrote:"We who bear his name are proud of it than if he had left rank and honorand large possessions. And I trust that I may with propriety express theopinion that few of those who embraced the cause of the Mother Country inthose trying times, were led by more honorable, or disinterested motives,or are more deserving of respectful remembrance than Benjamin Marston ofMarblehead."7 In Canada, he is important for his contributionto the study of the history of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, especiallyShelburne. Nowhere is Marston's intelligence and literary ability betterdemonstrated than in his diary, where he recorded and analyzedevents.8 He was also a talented artist.Unfortunately only one of his sketches has survived -- the sketch he madeof Fort Howe (in Saint John) from the deck of his vessel, theBritannia. This is a significant piece, because it is theoldest existing sketch of Fort Howe. Marston's efforts have been amplyrewarded by the fact that an enlarged copy of his sketch today hangs onone of the walls of the New Brunswick Museum. His diary, letters and poemsform a very valuable source for Loyalist history. Students of New Brunswick history are morefamiliar with prominent figures -- the founding fathers like Ward Chipman,Edward Winslow, and Jonathan Odell. Nevertheless, in the background, Marston also contributed immensely to thehistory of this province and Nova Scotia. We must agree, without anyreservations, with William 0. Raymond that "a more chequered andremarkable career than that of Benjamin Marston, from the day he wasforced to leave his pleasant abode in Marblehead until he died on thecoast of Africa, seventeen years later, is rarely to be found in the pagesof real life."9
Appendix I Marblehead, May 25, 1774. His Majesty having been pleased to appoint hisExcellency the Hon. Thomas Gage, Esq., to be governor andcommander-in-chief over this province, and you (as we are informed,) beginspeedily to embark for Great Britain: We, the subscribers, merchants,traders, and others, inhabitants of Marblehead, beg leave to present youour valedictory address on this occasion; and as this is the only way wenow have of expressing to you our entire approbation of your publicconduct during the time you have presided in this province, and of makingyou a return of our most sincere and hearty thanks for the readyassistance which you have at all times afforded us, when applied to inmatters which affected our navigation and commerce, we are induced fromformer experience of your goodness, to believe that you will freelyindulge us in the pleasure of giving you this testimony of our sincereesteem and gratitude. In your public administration, we are fullyconvinced that the general good was the mark which you have ever aimed at,and we can, sir, with pleasure assure you, that it is likewise the opinionof all dispassionate thinking men within the circle of our observation,notwithstanding many publications would have taught the world to think thecontrary; and we beg leave to entreat you, that when you arrive at thecourt of Great Britain, you would there embrace every opportunity ofmoderating the resentment of the government against us, and use your bestendeavors to have the unhappy dispute between Great Britain and thiscountry brought to a just and equitable determination. We cannot omit the opportunity of returning youin a particular manner our most sincere thanks for your patronizing ourcause in the matter of entering and clearing the fishing vessels at thecustom-house, and making the fishermen pay hospital money; we believe itis owing to your representation of the matter, that we are hitherto freefrom that burden. We heartily wish you, sir, a safe and prosperouspassage to Great Britain, and when you arrive there may you find such areception as shall fully compensate for all the insults and indignities which have been offered you.
ADDRESS OF THE INHABITANTS OF MARBLEHEAD TO GOV.HUTCHINSON.
- Henry Saunders,
- Richard Hinkly,
- Samuel Reed,
- John Lee,
- Robert Ambrose,
- Jonathan Glover,
- Richard Phillips,
- Isaac Mansfield,
- Joseph Bubler,
- Richard Stacy,
- Thomas Procter,
- John Fowle,
- Robert Hooper, 3d,
- John Gallison,
- John Prince,
- George McCall,
- Joseph Swasey,
- Nathan Bowen,
- Thomas Robie,
- John Stimson,
- John Webb,
- Joseph Lee,
- Thomas Lewis,
- Sweet Hooper,
- Robert Hooper,
- Jacob Fowle,
- John Pedrick,
- Richard Reed,
- Benjamin Marston,*
- Samuel White,
- Joseph Hooper,
- John Prentice,
- Robert Hooper, Jr.
Appendix II Case of Benjn.Marsten, of Marblehead, Massachusetts.
COMMISSIONER PEMBERTON'S NOTES ON BENJAMIN MARSTON'SCLAIM FOR COMPENSATION
Claimant sworn saith:
He isa native of America. Resided at Marblehead when Troubles began. From thefirst declared his sentiments freely & publicly in favour of Brit.Govert. Was one of the select men of the Town, & always ready toExecute the Laws in support of Brit. establish1d Government. In Novr., 1775, went from Marblehead to Boston tojoin the Brit. Went as soon as he could in an open Boat which wasaccompanied with considerable Hazard. Continued with the Brit. at Boston& came with General How to this Province. Was once employed to Conveya spy who was going into the Enemy's Country. On coming into the Provincehad intended to go into the Military Line, but was disappointed on whichhe went to sea in a Mercht. vessel as super Cargo. Was taken Prisoner onhis first voyage in 1776. Was carried into Plymouth, & kept prisoner 6months, & treated with uncommon severity owing to the Principles whichhe was known to have entertained & profest. Claimant was in Possession of an Estate atMarblehead, an house with buildings, Garden, orchard &c., containingabout one acre. Claimant lived upon it. Produces Deed ofConveyance from Rachel Majery to Claimt. of a Messuage in MarbleheadContaining 2 acres of Land in Considn. [pound sterling] 450, dated 1760.Laid out as much more as the Purchase money in Repairs and additionalBuilds. Sold one acre for about [pound sterling] 225 Sterl. Vals. the above estate at [pound sterling] 600Ster. 0n Claimant's leaving Marblehead, it was takenPossession of by Committee. It has been since leased to one MarstonWatson, Nephew to Claimt. There was no Mortgage or Incumbrance on thisEstate. A Store divided into twoTenements in King street, Marblehead. Produces Deed from Richd. Reed toClaimt. of a Tract of Land in King Street, Marblehead, with part of aWarehouse in Considn. [pound sterling] lOO, dated 1764. Produces Releasefrom Robt. Hooper to Claimant of all his right in the aforesaid Premisesin Considn. [pound sterling] 5, dated 1764. Richd. Hooper had an oldmortgage. Claimt. built a new store after the Purchase at[pound sterling] 150 lawful, divided into 2 Tenements, at [pound sterling]6 Ster. per ann. Kept the other himself. Vals. the whole at [poundsterling] 13.10 Ster. per ann. Vals. it at [pound sterling] 180 Ster. Produces a private Letter from his Nephew,Marston Watson, at Marblehead, May, 1782, by which it appears thatClaimant's personal Estate had been sold. The real Estate was then unsold,but 3 Commrs. had been appointed to take an acct. of Charges upon allClaimant's Estate. Letter says there would be probably little surplus.Claimant says he owed about [pound sterling] 550 Ster., of [poundsterling] 70 of which was due in London. 1-5 of a Farm commonly called Bootman's Farm. Thewhole farm consisted of 60 acres with 1-5 of the Stock. The farm hadbelonged to his wife. Claimt. & his Wife Conveyed this to IsaacMansfield Jany.,1773, in order that he might reconvey the Premises toClaimant. This was the way by which married Women made Conveyances,answering the purpose of a Fine. Produces Deed from Claimant & Wife to IsaacMansfield, dated Jany. 9, 1773. Isaac Mansfield Conveyed the Premises toClaimant immediately after the former Deed was recorded but Claimt. hasnot this Deed at present. Claimant & his Wife's Brors. & Sistersused to let this & the whole produce was a clear [pound sterling] 120lawful Mon. amongst the five. It came to his Wife as her Share on theDeath of an Elder Brother. Produces Copy of Will of his Wife's Father,Joseph Sweet, dated 1744, devising to his Son, Joseph, a farm consisting65 acres with buildings, stock, utensils, &c. Joseph Sweet, the Son,was in possession & died intestate without Children. 1-5 came toClaimt.'s Wife. Vals. them at [pound sterling] 220 Ster. Claimt. has not heard anything of the sale ofthis. Thinks a Brother & Sister of Claimt1s. Wife now living atMarblehead who are entitled to equal shares in it with Claimt1s. Wife. 1-5 of house inMarblehead, his Wife. Conveyed by Claimt. & Wife to Isaac Mansfield,in order to be Conveyed to Claimt. Produces Deed from Claimt. & Wifeto Isaac Mansfield in 1772. Has not the Deed whereby Isaac Mansfieldreconveyed. Had belonged to Joseph Sweet. Left to him by his Father'sWill, and was Mrs. Marston's share on her Bror.'s death. The whole of thishouse let at [pound sterling] 16 per ann. Vals. his share at [poundsterling] 45 lawful. Knows nothing of the sale. 9 acres of pasture near Marblehead, Wife's Est.Produces Copy of Will of Joseph Sweet, dated 1744, giving to his Daugr.Sarah Sweet -- afterwards Claimt.'s Wife -- 3 Cows, Commonages inMarblehead in Tail. This Consisted of about 9 acres. Produces Exemplification of Recovery in 1763, inorder to cut off the entail, and Deed to land, the leases of Recovery bywhich the said Premises are declared to be Conveyed for use of Claimant& his Heirs. Claimt. was in Possession of this. Has not heardof the sale. These Commonages were worth [pound sterling] 15 Ster. each.It was the Common Price. Lost furniture & merchandise according toInventory. Part left in Claimt.'s house at Marblehead. Part sent todifferent friends at different times in order to be secured. They weresoon found out & have been seized & sold. He had 3 Negroes. 2, a Woman & Child, wereleft at Mr. Bassets. Thinks they have been liberated by the State, butthinks they now live at Mr. Bassets. Worth [pound sterling] 55, the two. Had a young man left him with a friend. He thinkshe has been liberated. He went from the person with whom Claimt. left him.He afterwards went to sea & was lost. Worth [pound sterling] 25lawful. Was in Possession of all the different articlesin Inventory & has lost them all, amounting with Negroes to [poundsterling] 451.18.8 lawful. Adds in his Claim now [pound sterling] 25.10Sterling for various articles of personal propert.y. The several articlesfound out by Commrs. & Sold. Claims for rents from the fall of 1775. Claimant now resides at City of St. Johns, NewBrunswick. Peter Fry, Wits: Knew Claimant. Certainly a Loyalist, uniformlyso. Knew he had a house at Marblehead. Remembers his building it. In 1777there was an Execution on a Judgement against Claimant and an order toappraise this house, & set off part in satisfaction of this Debt. Itwas then appraised & Witness was one of the Commrs. who appraised it,but cannot perfectly recollect what it was appraised at. According to hispresent Judgement would vote it at [pound sterling] 500 Ster. Claimt. had rendered himself obnoxious &Wits. does not think it probable that he should gain any benefit, from theLease granted by Commrs. to his nephew. Knew Claimt.'s Wife. Remembers her BrotherJoseph. Died without Children. There were Cow Commonages in the Lands nearMarblehead. Thinks them worth about [pound sterling] 12 Ster. each. Knew that he had Negroes. Wits. thinks that thoseNegroes only were liberated who would take up arms. Does not remember anygeneral act for liberating. His furniture was tolerably good. Cannot formany exact Judgement. Thinks it likely he might have had to the amount inhis Inventory. Revd. Mr. Weeks: Knew Claimt. He was certainly a Loyalist. Knewhis house at Marblehead. Remembers him in Possession of it. Remembers hehad a Store. Remembers Claimant's Wife, Sarah Sweet. Knew No. 3 Bartman's Farm. It belonged to severalrelations, of which Mrs. Marston was one. The family used to have a Dinnerthere every year. It was well stocked. Remembers he had Negroes. Remembersthe Boy. His house was handsomely furnished. He had a pretty Library. Hewas a man of some education.
POEM COMPOSED BY BENJAMINMARSTON
I'm almost sick and tired to death
withstaying in this lonesome place,
Where every day presentsitself
With just the same dull looking face.
0! had I but somekind fair Friend
With whom to chat the hours away,
I ne'er wouldcare how blew the wind,
Nor tedious would I think my stay.
Ah!that was once my happy lot
When I with house and home was blest,
I'd then a fair companion got
With many female charms possest.
Yes, dearest Sally, thou wast fair,
Not only fair, but kindand good;
Sweetly together did we share
The blessings Heaven on usbestowed.
Nor scantily did Heaven shower down
Those giftswhich render life a blessing,
But did our cup with mercies crown,
Nor let us feel what was distressing.
Till base Rebellion diddisplay
Her banners fair with false pretence;
Then kindly Heaventook you away
From evils which have happened since.
Andcareless me, when I had lost
Of all my blessings far the best,
Didteach, and justly, at my cost,
The worth of what I once possessed.
'Tis often so -- we do not prize
The present good at its justrate,
But gone, we see with other eyes
What was its worth when 'tistoo late.
Now one more verse, fair Ladies nine,
And there'll beone a piece for you,
'Tis the way I sometimes spend my time
When Ihave nothing else to do.
PrimarySources A. Manuscripts
Public Archives of Canada.
-- -- -- .
-- ---- .
Port Roseway Records.
-- -- -- .
Provincial Archives of NewBrunswick.
Records of New Brunswick OfficialAppointments.
-- -- -- .
-- -- -- .
New Brunswick Museum Archives.
Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia.
Lieut. W. Booth, Diary.
-- -- -- .
-- -- -- .
-- -- -- .
University of New Brunswick Archives.
-- -- -- .
Winslow Papers. B. Printed Sources
Joseph Berry, ed.,
"Ward Chipman's Diary: ALoyalist's Return to New England in 1783,"
Essex InstituteHistorical Collections, LXXXVII (1951), 214-241.
Morton andPenn Borden, ed.,
The American Tory
Catherine Crary, ed.,
The Price of Loyalty:Tory Writings From the Revolutionary Era (New York, 1973).
Hugh Egerton, ed.,
The RoyalCommission on the Losses and Services of American Loyalists 1783 to1785(Oxford, 1915).
Peter Force, ed.,
American Archives, 5th. Ser., Vol. I(Washington, 1848-1853).
Alexander Fraser, ed.,
Second Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Provinceof Ontario(Toronto, 1905).
William Ganong, ed.,
"Historical-Geographical Documents relating to NewBrunswick," Collections of the New Brunswick HistoricalSociety, II (1899-1905), 163-188; 358-438; III (1907-1914), 301-484.
The Loyalists ofMassachusetts, Their Memorials, Petitions and Claims (London,1931).
William 0. Raymond, ed.,
The WinslowPapers (Boston 1972).
The United Empire Loyalists: Men and Myths(Toronto, 1967). C. Newspapers
The Halifax Gazette,1783-1784.
The Royal Saint John Gazette and NovaScotia Intelligencia, 1784-1786.
Secondary Works A. Books
TheAmerican Revolution, 1775-1783 (New York, 1954).
History of NovaScotia (3 vols.; Halifax, 1916).
The Ordeal of ThomasHutchinson (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974).
Colonial Americans in Exile, Founders ofBritish Canada (New York, 1932).
The Neutral Yankees of NovaScotia (New York, 1957).
The GoodAmericans, The Loyalists in the American Revolution (New York,1969).
-- -- -- ,
The King's Friends. The Compositionand Motives of the American Loyalist Claimants
Flight from theRepublic (New York, 1962).
History of Nova Scotia (Montreal, 1873).
The Loyalists. TheStory of those Americans who Fought Against Independence (NewYork, 1973).
An Accountof the Life of William Davidson (Saint John, 1947).
DividedLoyalties (London, 1933).
History of New Brunswick (Saint John, 1921).
Loyalists and LandSettlement in Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1937).
History of Nova Scotia (2vols.; Halifax, 1829).
History of New Brunswick (Saint John, 1909).
Foot-prints; orIncidents in the Early History of New Brunswick (Saint John,1883).
-- -- -- ,
The Judges of New Brunswick andTheir Times(Saint John, 1907).
Canadians in the Making, a Social Historyof Canada (Toronto, 1958).
The American Revolution and the British Press1775-1783 (Columbia, 1967).
The Atlantic Provinces(Toronto, 1965).
-- -- -- ,
New Brunswick. A History1784-1867 (Toronto, 1963).
History of Nova Scotia (3 vols.; Halifax,1867).
William H. Nelson
The British-Americans. The LoyalistExiles in England, 1774-1789 (Boston, 1972).
Creoledom, A Study of the Development ofFreetown Society (London, 1963).
History of the River St.John (Saint John, 1905).
The Loyalists of America and Their Times (2vols.; Toronto, 1880).
Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the AmericanRevolution (2 vols.; New York, 1902).
The Colonial Merchants and theAmerican Revolution 1763-1776 (New York, 1957).
Loyalists andRedcoats (Chapel Hill, 1964).
The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of theAmerican Revolution (Boston, 1910).
Men and Meridians. The History ofSurveying and Mapping in Canada (Ottawa, 1966).
Revolutionary VersusLoyalist,(Waltham, Massachusetts, 1968).
The American Revolution1776-1783(New York, 1905).
-- -- -- ,
TheLoyalists in the American Revolution (New York, 1902).
The Black Loyalists: TheSearch for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone,1783-1870 (New York, 1976).
The Loyal Blacks (New York,1976).
The Blacks inCanada; a History (Montreal, 1971).
Esmond Wright, ed.,
Causes and Consequences of the AmericanRevolution (Chicago, 1966).
The Loyalists of NewBrunswick (Fredericton, 1955).
-- -- -- ,
The Miramichi (Sackville, 1944).
Canadaand the American Revolution. The Disruption of the First BritishEmpire (New York, 1935). B. Articles
"Shelburne,Home of the Loyalists," The Loyalist Gazette, XVIII(1980), 6-8.
"Boston King:A Negro Loyalist who Sought Refuge in Nova Scotia," DalhousieReview, XXXXVIII (1968), 347-356.
"The Loyalists," National Geographic (April,1975), 510-512.
"BenjaminMarston, Loyalist," Dictionary of Canadian Biography,IV (1979).
-- -- -- ,
"The Loyalists and the AmericanRevolution," History Today, XII (March, 1962), 149-157.
"Chapters in the History ofHalifax, Nova Scotia," Americana, XII (1918), 184-204.
"The Shelburne that was andis not," Dalhousie Review, II (1922-23), 179-197.
-- -- -- ,
"Vicissitudes of a Loyalist City,"Ibid., 313-328.
"Clearing Decks for Loyalists," Canadian HistoricalAssociation, Report of the Annual Meeting (1933), 43-58.
---- -- ,
"Loyalist Attitudes," DalhousieReview, XV (1935), 320-339.
"The Partition of Nova Scotia, 1784," The CanadianHistorical Review, XIV (1933), 375-391.
"The Port Roseway Debacle: Some AmericanLoyalists in Nova Scotia," New England Historical andGenealogical Register and Antiquarian Journal, CXVII (1963), 3-18.
"Tar and Feathers: TheAdventures of Captain John Malcolm," Publications ofthe Colonial Society of Massachusetts, XXXIV (1941), 429-473.
"Memoir ofGovernor John Parr," Collections of the Nova ScotiaHistorical Society, XIV (1910), 41-78.
"Nova Scotia Loyalists," Social History, IV(1969), 17-48.
"LoyalistShelburne," Canada Magazine, XXXVII (1969), 67-71.
William 0. Raymond
"Benjamin Marston ofMarblehead, Loyalist, His Trials and Tribulations During the AmericanRevolution," Collections of the New BrunswickHistorical Society, III (1907-1914), 79-112.
-- -- -- ,
"TheDisbanded Soldiers at Shelburne,"
---- -- ,
"The North Shore: Incidents in the Early History ofEastern and Northern New Brunswick," Collections of theNew Brunswick Historical Society, II (1899-1905), 81-134.
-- -- -- ,
"A Sketch of the Life and Administration of General ThomasCarleton. First Governor of New Brunswick." Ibid.,439-472.
"Edward Winslow Jr.Loyalist Pioneer," Report of the Canadian HistoricalAssociation (1928), 101-112.
"The Loyalists at Shelburne," Collections ofthe Nova Scotia Historical Society, VI (1887-88), 53-91.
"The Party of the Loyalists of the AmericanRevolution," American Historical Review, I (1895),24-46.
Maud M. Vesey
"Benjamin Marston,Loyalist," New England Quarterly, XV (1942), 622-651.
"The Marston Family of SalemMassachusetts," New England Historical and GenealogicalRegister and Antiquarian Journal, XXVII (1873),390-403. C.Theses
"The Envy of theAmerican States. The Settlement of the Loyalists in New Brunswick: Goalsand Achievements" (Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Harvard University,1975).
"Edward Winslow, Portrait of a Loyalist" (UnpublishedM.A. Thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1960).
"The Loyalist Experiment in NewBrunswick" (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1933).
"The Loyalist Experience inNova Scotia, 1783-1791" (Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, QueensUniversity, 1975).
"WardChipman, United Empire Loyalist" (Unpublished M.A. Thesis,University of New Brunswick, 1958).
William A. Spray
"Early Northumberland County 1765-1825: A Study in LocalGovernment" (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of New Brunswick,1962). CURRICULUM VITAE Candidate's full name: Violet Mary-Ann IyaboShowers Place and date of birth: Lagos, Nigeria,February 2, 1957 Permanent address: 38 Campbell Street,Freetown, Sierra Leone Schools attended (with dates):Our Lady's Primary School Kaduna, Nigeria, 1962-1968 St. Faith's Secondary School Kaduna, 1969-1971 Methodist Girls' High School Freetown, 1971-1974 Universities attended (with dates and degreesobtained): Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, 1974-1979 B.A.(Hons.) University of New Brunswick, 1981-1982 NOTES FOR INTRODUCTION
1. Daniel Wheeler, ed., Life and Writingsof Thomas Paine (New York, 1908), III, 8.
2. Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson(Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974), XI.
3. WallaceBrown, The Good Americans, The Loyalists in the AmericanRevolution (New York, 1969), 134.
6. Morton and Penn Borden, ed., TheAmerican Tory (New Jersey, 1972), 63; James Stark, TheLoyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the AmericanRevolution (Boston, 1910), 58.
7. JohnFitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington(Washington, D.C., 1931), IX, 6-7.
8. Brown,Good Americans, 138.
9.Ibid., 132; George Washington himself admitted that manyLoyalists committed suicide; Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings ofWashington, IX, 6; Bailyn's analysis of Hutchinson's life afterthe outbreak of the revolution is an adequate illustration of the kind ofmental stress endured by some of the Loyalists.
10. James Shepard, The Episcopal Church and EarlyEcclesiastical Laws of Connecticut (New Britain, 1908), 83.
11. Catherine Crary, ed., The Price of Loyalty,Tory Writings From the Revolutionary Era (New York, 1973),433.
12. Ibid., 435-436.
13. See Mary Beth Norton, The British-Americans:The Loyalist Exiles in England, 1774-1789 (Boston, 1972.
14. Slave families were often separated as a resultof sal or when the youths were sent out to other areas as apprentices tolearn certain trades.
15. Phyllis Blakeley,"Boston King: A Negro Loyalist who Sought Refuge in Nova Scotia,"Dalhousie Review, XXXXVIII (1968), 356.
16. Arthur Porter, Creoledom, A Study ofthe Development of Freetown Society (London, 1963), 33.
17. Stark, Loyalists of Massachusetts,460.
18. Ibid.; John Watson, "TheMarston Family of Salem Massachusetts," New England Historical andGenealogical Register and Antiquarian Journal, XXVII (1873),390.
19. Although Marblehead was a fairly smalltown, it was well situated for fishing and commerce. In fact, during thattime, it was regarded as the principal fishing port in all the colonies.Stark, Loyalists of Massachusetts, 221.
20. Stark, Loyalists of Massachusetts, 222.
21. Watson, "Marston Family," 391.
22. See Appendix II.
23. Watson,"Marston Family," 391.
24. Ibid. NOTES FOR CHAPTER I
1. Benjamin Marston, Diary, November 24,1776.
2. Watson, "Marston Family," 391.
4. E.g.Wallace Brown, "Benjamin Marston," Dictionary of CanadianBiography, IV (1979), 516; William 0. Raymond "Benjamin Marston ofMarblehead, His Trials and Tribulations During the American Revolution,"Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society, 111(1907-14), 79-112; Maud Vesey, "Benjamin Marston, Loyalist," NewEngland Quarterly, XV (1942), 622-651.
5.See Appendix II.
6. See Appendix I.
7. Stark, Loyalists of Massachusetts,123.
8. Watson, "Marston Family," 403.
9. Marston, Diary, December 2, 1776.
11. Watson,"Marston Family," 392.
12. Marston to RobertAnderson & Co. of Gibraltar, Boston, February 17, 1776, ChipmanPapers, Vol. 78, No. 79.
14. Peter Force, ed.,American Archives, 5th. Ser. Vol. I (Washington, 1848-1853),98.
15. Norton, British-Americans,30-31.
16. Marston, Diary, September 19,1776.
17. Ibid., September 19,1776.
18. Marston to Dr. Prince, Plymouth,September 23, 1776, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 79.
19. Marston, Diary, October 13, 1776.
20. Marston to Stephen Sewall, Plymouth,October 15, 1776, Diary.
21. Marston, Diary,October 15, 1776.
22. Sarah Winslow to Marston,Halifax, November 29, 1783, William 0. Raymond, ed., The WinslowPapers (Boston, 1972), 152.
23. Marstonto Dr. Prince, Plymouth, November 14, 1776, Diary.
24. Marston, Diary, October 20, 1776.
25. Marston to Capt. Elijah Paine, Plymouth, November 1776,Diary.
26. Marston, Diary, December 2, 1776.
28.Marston, Diary, March 9, 1777.
29. Ibid., March20, 1777.
30. Ibid., September 18, 1777.
31. Ibid., June 20, 1780.
32. Ibid., February 6, 1780.
33.Ibid., March 1, 1780.
34. Ibid., April 8,1781.
35. Ibid., November 5, 1781.
36. Ibid., December 28, 1781.
37. Ibid., December 30, 1781.
38.Marston to E.W. Reg, Halifax, April 16, 1782, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No.79.
39. Marston, Diary, August, 1782.
40. Ibid., September 8, 1782.
41. Ibid., December 4, 1782.
42.Ibid., September 8, 1782.
43. Ibid., October 3,1782.
44. Marston to JohnWatson, Halifax (undated, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 79.
45. See Appendix III.
46. Marston toLucia Watson, Halifax, March 3, 1783, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 79. NOTES FOR CHAPTER II
1. Marston, Diary, June 19, 1783.
2. Minutes of the Loyalist Association, New York,November 30, 1782, Port Roseway Records, Vol. 1.
3. Governor John Parr to Lord Shelburne, Shelburne, July 25,1783, Shelburne Papers, Vol. 88.
4. See PlimsollEdwards, "The Shelburne that was and is not," Dalhousie Review,II (1922-23), 179-197; "Vicissitudes of a Loyalist City," DalhousieReview, II, 313-328; Anne Harding, "Port Roseway Debacle: SomeAmerican Loyalists in Nova Scotia," New England Historical andGenealogical Register, CXVII (1963), 3-18; Watson Smith, "TheLoyalists at Shelburne," Collections of the Nova ScotiaHistorical Society, VI (1887-88), 53-91.
5.Edward Winslow to Ward Chipman, River St. John, July 7, 1783, Raymond,ed., Winslow Papers, 98.
7. Marston, Diary, April 21, 1783.
8.Winslow to Chipman, July 7, 1783.
9. Marston,Diary, May 2, 1783.
10. Ibid., May 3, 1783.
11. Marston to Lucia and John Watson, Port Roseway,May 3, 1783, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80.
12. Surveyor-general's report, 1783, Charles Morris, LetterBook.
13. Marston to Winslow, Shelburne,February 6, 1784, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 164.
14. Marston to Lucia Watson, Shelburne, June 1783,Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80.
15. Marston,Diary, May 6, 1783; May 17, 1783; September 12, 1783.
16. Marston, Diary, August 5, 1783.
17. Ibid., July 12, 1783.
18. Morris to Marston, Halifax, September 9, 1783,Morris, Letter Book.
19. Ibid., Parrto Lord Shelburne, Halifax, March 22, 1784, Shelburne Papers, Vol. 88.
20. Morris to Marston, July 5, 1784, Morris, LetterBook.
21. James Macdonald, "Memoir of GovernorJohn Parr," Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society,XIV (1910), 46-47.
22. Parr to surveyors andagents of Loyalists, Halifax, July 12, 1783, Botsford Papers.
23. Morris, Letter Book, Passim.
24. Morris to Marston, May 21, 1784, ibid.
25. Marston, Diary, May 7, 1783.
26. Ibid., June 1, 1783.
27. Ibid., October 2, 1783.
28. Ibid., June 8, 1783.
29. Ibid., October 26, 1783.
30. Ibid., June 19, 1783.
31. Ibid., June 26, 1783.
32. Ibid., May 26, 1783.
33. Marston to Morris, Shelburne, July 12, 1783, Morris, LetterBook.
34. Morris to Marston, Halifax, July 20,1783, Morris, Letter Book.
35. Marston, Diary,May 18, 1784.
36. For example, William 0.Raymond, "The Founding of Shelburne," Collections of the NewBrunswick Historical Society, 111 (1907-14), 229; Ellen Wilson, TheLoyal Blacks (New York, 1976), 84; Edwards, "Shelburne," 185.
37. Marston, Diary, January19, 1783.
38. Parr to Lord Sidney, Halifax, May12, 1784, Shelburn Papers, Vol. 88.
39. It isnot certain who was the author of this article although there is a greatpossibility that it was written by a Mr. Frazer. It is now part of thePort Roseway Records at the Public Archives of Canada.
40. Edwards, "Vicissitudes of a Loyalist City," 325.
41. Marston, Diary, July 24, 1783.
42. Raymond, "Founding of Shelburne," 242.
43. Marston, Diary, July 2, 1783.
44.Marston to Morris, August 1783; December 18, 1783, Morris, LetterBook.
45. Marston, Diary, August 28, 1783.
46. Ibid., September 14, 1783.
47. Wilson, Loyal Blacks, 93.
48. Marston, Diary, March 20, 1779.
49. Ibid., September 18, 1783.
50. Ibid., October 20, 1783.
51. Ibid., May 18, 1784.
52. Ibid., July 26, 1784.
53. Ibid., August 4, 1784.
54. The Royal Saint John Gazette and Nova ScotiaIntelligencer, September 9, 1784, 5.
56. Parr to Lord Sidney,Halifax, August 13, 1784, Shelburne Papers, Vol. 88. In this letter, hereferred to Marston as "a shark trying to prey upon the helplesssettlers."
57. Marston, Diary, August 30,1784.
58. Marston toLucia and John Watson, Halifax, November 9, 1784, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78,No. 80.
59. Lieut. W. Booth, Diary, August 22,1789.
60. Morris to Marston, Halifax, August 13,1783; September 9, 1783; July 5, 1784; Surveyor General's Report, 1783,Morris, Letter Book.
61. Parr to Lord Shelburne,Halifax, October 25, 1783, Shelburne Papers, Vol. 88; Edwards,"Shelburne," 187-188.
62. "Findings of the BoardAppointed to Look into the Disturbances in Shelburne," August 1784, WhiteCollection, Vol. 3.
63. Marston, Diary, August9, 1783.
64. Ibid., August 26,1783.
65. Parr to Lord Shelburne, Halifax, April22, 1784, Shelburne Papers, Vol. 88.
66. Morristo Marston, Halifax, January 22, 1784, Morris, Letter Book.
67. Marston, Diary, July 1787.
68.James Walker, The Black Loyalists (New York, 1976), 49; RobinWinks, The Blacks In Canada: A History (Montreal, 1971),38.
69. "Findings of the Shelburne Board," WhiteCollection, Vol. 3.
70. Edwards, "Shelburne,"189.
71. Wilson, Loyal Blacks,92.
72. Note from Joseph Pyncheon to theAssociates. Minutes of the Port Roseway Loyalist Association, November 16,1782, Port Roseway Records, Vol. 1.
73. Winslowto Marston, Halifax, May 30, 1783, Raymond, ed., WinslowPapers, 85.
74. Amos Botsford to CharlesMorris, Annapolis Royal, June 1783, Botsford Papers.
75. Raymond, "Founding of Shelburne,"271.
76. Marston to Lucia and John Watson,Halifax, November 9, 1784, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80. NOTES FOR CHAPTER III
1. Marston, Diary, August 4, 1784.
2. Ann Condon, "The Envy of the American States. TheSettlement of the Loyalists in New Brunswick" (Ph.D. Thesis, HarvardUniversity, 1975), 172.
3. William S. MacNutt,New Brunswick. A History: 1784-1867 (Toronto, 1963), 42; EstherC. Wright, The Loyalists of New Brunswick (Fredericton, 1955),125-126.
4. Winslow to Ward Chipman, River St.John, July 7, 1783; Margaret Ells, "Loyalist Attitudes," DalhousieReview, XV (1935), 332.
5. Condon, "Envyof the States," 184-186; Margaret Ells, "Clearing Decks for Loyalists,"Canadian Historical Association, Report of the Annual Meeting(1933), 56-57.
6. Condon, "Envy of the States,"187-190; Marion Gilroy, "The Partition of Nova Scotia, 1784," TheCanadian Historical Review, XIV (1933), 375.
7. Marston, Diary, August 4, 1784.
8.Marston to Lucia and John Watson, Halifax, September 23, 1784, ChipmanPapers, Vol. 78, No. 80.
9. Marston, Diary,August 5, 1784; Winslow assured Chipman that if they succeeded in creatinga separate province, it would be the most gentlemanlike one, Winslow toChipman, July 7, 1783.
10. Gideon White toWinslow, Shelburne, Septmeber 6, 1784, White Collection, Vol. 3; White wasa native of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and a cousin of Winslow. He was aLoyalist, one of those who fought at the battle of Bunker Hill as avolunteer. After the war, he stayed briefly at Chedebucto, Guysboroughbefore going to Shelburne where he became a leading citizen.
11. Winslow to Brook Watson, January 10, 1784,Winslow Papers, Mss. Vol. 3.
12. Winslow toMarston, Granville, November 24, 1784, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No.80.
13. Sir John Wentworth to Winslow, Halifax,November 10, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80.
14. Marston to Lucia Watson, Windsor,December 10, 1784, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80.
15. Marston, Diary, January 18, 1785.
16. Ibid., January 18, 1785.
17. Ibid., February 16, 1785.
18. MacNutt, New Brunswick, 74.
19. Marston to Governor Thomas Carleton, Parr, April 29, 1785,Records of New Brunswick Official Appointments.
20. Wentworth to William Paine, September 17, 1785, WentworthLetters, Vol. 44.
21. Paine to Wentworth, SaintJohn, January 20, 1786, Wentworth Letters, Vol. 44; Marion Gilroy, "TheLoyalist Experiment in New Brunswick" (M.A. Thesis, Univ. of Toronto,1933), 38-39.
22. Paine to Wentworth, June 11,1787, Wentworth Letters, Vol. 44.
23. Marston,Diary, July 18, 1785; The population was mixed -- Indians, Acadians, Scotsand a handful of Loyalists.
24. William 0.Raymond, "The North Shore: Incidents in the Early History of Eastern andNorthern New Brunswick," Collections of the New BrunswickHistorical Society, II (1899-1905), 98; William Arthur Spray, "EarlyNorthumberland County 1765-1825: A Study in Local Government" (M.A.Thesis, Univ. of New Brunswick, 1962), 34.
25.Marston, Diary, July 18, 1785.
26. Spray,"Northumberland County," 28.
28. W.H. Davidson, AnAccount of the Life of William Davidson (Saint John, 1947),39.
29. Marston to Jonathan Odell, MiramichiPoint, August 14 1785, William Ganong, ed., "Historical-GeographicalDocuments Relating to New Brunswick," Collections of the NewBrunswick Historical Society, III, 335.
31. Spray, "Northumberland County," 29.
32. Northumberland County Memorial, No. 55.
33. Northumberland County Memorial, No. 108.
34. Spray, "Northumberland County," 31; Wright, Loyalists,24.
35. Spray, "Northumberland County," 31.
36. Marston to Odell, August 14, 1785, Ganong, ed.,"Historical-Geographical Documents," 335.
37.Spray, "Northumberland County," 36.
38. Marstonto Odell, August 14, 1785, Ganong, ed., "Historical-GeographicalDocuments," 335.
39. Condon, "Envy of theStates," 310-311.
40. Anglicans were makingplans to secure an American bishop, so that among other things, theirministers would no longer have to go to England to be ordained. TheDissenters fiercely opposed this mainly because they believed that theestablishment of an American episcopate would somehow reduce their ownpower.
41. A.H. Hoyt, "The Reverend ThomasBradbury Chandler, D.D., 1726-1790," New England Historical andGenealogical Register, XXVIII, 233.
42.William H. Nelson, The American Tory (Oxford, 1961), 17.
43. Gov. Carleton to Lord Sydney, Saint John,November 20, 1785.
44. MacNutt, NewBrunswick, 63.
45. Marston, Diary,November 17, 1785.
46. Raymond, ed., WinslowPapers, 206.
47. MacNutt, NewBrunswick, 61-62.
48. Marston, Diary,August 19, 1785.
49. Ibid., February15, 1786.
50. Northumberland County Petitions,No. 7.
51. George Sproule to Odell, April 24,1786, Sproule, Letter Book.
52. Marston to Winslow, Miramichi Point, July 17, 1785,Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 309.
53. Marston learnt of this at an interview with Mr. Lane inBoston in April 1787.
54. Spray, "NorthumberlandCounty," 47.
55. Raymond, "North Shore,"108.
56. Marston to Thomas Robie, Saint John,December 1786, Diary.
57. Wentworth to Winslow,October 18, 1788; Unfortunately, much of the timber was destroyed in thegreat Miramichi fire of 1825.
58. Marston andMark Delesderniers to the governor and council of the Province of NewBrunswick, Miramichi Point, February 14, 1786, Northumberland CountyPetitions, No. 69; the plan which they mentioned, unfortunately, is notamong the records.
59. Raymond, "North Shore,"105.
60. Marston to Winslow, Portland Point,March 11, 1786, reprinted in Raymond, "North Shore," 104.
61. Marston to Winslow, Miramichi Point, July 17, 1785,Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 309.
62. Winslowto Marston, March 16, 1786, Winslow Papers Mss., Vol. 3; Chipman toJonathan Sewall Jnr., April 9, 1792, Chipman Papers, Vol. 3.
63. Condon, "Envy of the States," 258.
64. Marston to the governor and council, Saint John,March 27, 1786, Northumberland County Petitions, No. 67.
65. Marston, Diary, October 29, 1786; Marston to Lucia Watson,Saint John, October 30, 1786, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80. NOTES FOR CHAPTER IV
1. Marston to John and Lucia Watson, SaintJohn, June 21, 1787, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No. 80.
2. For details on the peace negotiations, see Richard Morris,The Peacemakers: The Great Powers and the American Independence(New York, 1965).
3. Crary, ed., Price ofLoyalty, Chapt. II, passim; Egerton Ryerson, TheLoyalists of America and Their Times (Vol. 2, Toronto, 1880), 159;Van Tyne, Loyalists, 287.
4. Norton,British-Americans, 185-192.
5.Alexander Frazer, ed., Ontario Bureau of Archives Report(Toronto, 1904), 20.
6. See Appendix II.
7. Norton, British-Americans, 202.
8. See Appendix II.
9.Marston to John Watson, Saint John, May 2, 1786, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78,No. 80.
10. Marston, Diary, 1786.
11. See Chapt. III, p. 99.
12.Marston, Diary, January 10, 1787.
13.Ibid., February 8, 1786.
14.Ibid., April 9, 1786.
15.Ibid., May 13, 1787.
16. Marston toWinslow, New York, September 8, 1787, Raymond, ed., WinslowPapers, 347.
17. Little is known of thisfishing venture, because Marston mentioned it only once, in the letter toRobbie.
18. Marston to Mr. Thomas Robbie, SaintJohn, August, 1786, Diary.
19. Marston to Watson, Edenton, Saint John, June 28, 1787,Diary.
20. Marston to Robbie, August, 1786.
21. Joseph Galloway, The Claim of the AmericanLoyalists, Reviewed and Maintained (London, 1788), 114.
22. William Pitt, Opening Address to the House ofCommons, June 6, 1788.
23. Marston to John andLucia Watson, Saint John, June 21, 1787, Chipman Papers, Vol. 78, No.80.
24. Marston, Diary, July 22, 1787.
25. Marston to Chipman, London, March 2, 1791,Chipman Papers, Vol. 3.
26. Petition fromLoyalist Agents to the British Parliament, 1786, reprinted in Ryerson,Loyalists and Their Times, Vol. 2, 171-172.
27. Carle Duval, "Edward Winslow, Portrait of a Loyalist,"(M.A. Thesis, U.N.B., 1960), 86.
28. Sir BrookWatson was Commissary general to the British army serving in NorthAmerica. After the revolutionary war, he went back to London where he waselected mayor of the city. Joshua Loring was a Loyalist and a prosperousBoston merchant. He went to settle in England after the war.
29. Marston to Edward Winslow, London, June 1, 1787,Winslow Papers, Mss., Vol. 6.
30. Marston toWard Chipman, London, March 21, 1789, Chipman Papers, Vol. 3.
31. Ibid.; Marston to Winslow, London,March 17, 1790, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 375.
32. Marston to Chipman, London, March 2, 1791;Marston to Marston Watson, London, March 10, 1791, reprinted in Watson,"Marston Family," 397.
33. Marston to Chipman,London, March 21, 1789, Chipman Papers, Vol. 3.
34. Chipman to Edward Winslow, Saint John, May 3, 1794,Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 410.
35. Marston to Winslow, London, November 21,1789, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 372-373.
37. Marston toWard Chipman, London, March 21, 1789, Chipman Papers, Vol. 3.
38. Chipman to Winslow, Saint John, May 13, 1794,Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 410.
39. Raymond, "The North Shore," 109.
40. Chipman to Winslow, May 13, 1794.
41. Northumberland County Petitions, No. 497.
42. Marston to Winslow, London, March 17, 1790, Raymond, ed.,Winslow Papers, 376.
43. Raymond,ed., Winslow Papers, passim.; Duval, "EdwardWinslow," Chaps. IV and V, passim.
44. Marston to Marston Watson, London, March 10, 1791; Watson,"Marston Family," 397.
46. Watson, "Marston Family," 398.
47. Marston to Chipman, London, March 21, 1789, Chipman Papers,Vol. 3.
48. Marston to Winslow, London, March17, 1790, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 377.
49. Marston to Winslow, London, April 3, 1791, reprinted inRaymond, "The Founding of Shelburne," 275.
50.Marston to Marston Watson, London, March 10, 1791, Watson, "MarstonFamily," 397.
51. Marston to Winslow, London,March 17, 1790, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 376.
52. Marston to Elizabeth Watson, London, March 19,1792, Watson, "Marston Family," 399-400; Marston to Chipman, London, March26, 1792, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 708.
53. Norton, BritishAmericans, Chap. 8, passim; Bailyn, Hutchinson, Chap.VII, passim; Benjamin Thompson to Lord North, London, June 25, 1783.
54. Marston to Marston Watson, London, March 10,1791, Watson, "Marston Family," 399.
55. Bullomis an island off the coast near Freetown, the capital of present daySierra Leone.
56. Marston to Elizabeth Watson,London, March 19, 1792, Watson, "Marston Family," 399.
57. Ibid.; Marston to Chipman, London, March 26,1792, Raymond, ed., Winslow Papers, 708.
58. Marston to Elizabeth Watson, London, March 9, 1792.
60.Ibid.; Marston to Chipman, London, March 26, 1792.
61. These details of the few months of theunsuccessful Bullom settlement are contained in Capt. Philip Beaver'sAfrican Memoranda, a large portion of which is reprinted in Watson,"Marston Family."
62. Marston's father displayedthe same facetious quality of his son. The epitaph he wrote for himselfreads:
Col. Benjamin Marston lies here, who died [May 23rdbeing 57 years old] Art thou curious, Reader, to know What sort of a manhe was? Wait till the Day of Final Retribution, And then, thou mayest besatisfied.
63. "Life and Servicesof Captain Philip Beaver, reprinted in Watson, "Marston Family,"402-403.
64. Watson, "Marston Family," 403.
65. Winslow to Sarah Winslow, Fredericton, August14, 1794, Winslow Papers, Mss. Vol. 6. NOTES FOR CONCLUSION
1. Condon, "Envy of the States," Appendix A,401-403.
2. Marston to John Watson, Haliax,December 14, 1782, Chipman Papers, Vol. 3.
3. SeePatricia Ryder, "Ward Chipman, United Empire Loyalist" (M.A. Thesis,U.N.B., 1958), Chap. II, passim.
4.Duval, "Edward Winslow," Chap. VI, passim.
5. See Chap. III of present study.
6.See Chap. II of present study.
7. Watson,"Marston Family," 403.
8. Some researchers haveadmitted that for certain events in the early history of Shelburne, theyhave to rely solely on Marston's diary. E.g., Wilson, LoyalBlacks; Walker, Black Loyalists; and Raymond, "TheFounding of Shelburne."
9. Raymond, "The Foundingof Shelburne," 277.