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Dr. William Canniff Papers

17 Interviews - Folder G6 (6)

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This folder contains loose pages of notes, numbered 4 to 36, taken during interviews mostly in 1864. The first 3 pages of this interview set are missing. A single unnumbered page is included in the folder and may have been the first page.

Thanks to Carm Foster and Doug Smith for doing much of the transcription work. Transcribed as spelled with some punctuation added for clarity.
Source: Dr William Canniff Fonds, Archives of Ontario, F1390, MU 492, G6 (2)
Randy Saylor, Feb 2014

Use these links to the numerous interview subjects on this page.
  1. A.O Petrie
  2. Shubal Dunham Foster, aged 77
  3. Mary [Meyers] Ashley, dau. of Jacob Walden Meyers, 63
  4. Sarah [Alger] Huff, age 90
  5. Jonas Canniff, son of Daniel Canniff
  6. Abram Browning Phillips, Sally [Canniff] Barnes, John W. Canniff
  7. Mrs Phebe Ackerman, born 1795
  8. Dunham Ackerman
  9. Mrs [Dunham] Peterson, sister to Mrs Ockerman
  10. Frenchman Peter Beaupret, aged 74
  11. Dr Smith, came to Belleville 47 years ago
  12. Margaret Pringle, born Diamond
  13. Richard Solmes, 77
  14. James Hubbard Meacham, aged 56
  15. Philip John Roblin
  16. Mr Maybee, aged 84 of Belleville
  17. Mrs Martha [McArthur] Maybee, born McArthur, aged 74





[page not numbered]

A.O. Petrie April 7th 1864 [possibly Alexander Oliphant Petrie - see memorial #506]

Preached in Capt. McIntosh’s occasionally, and up the Front at old Mr Gilberts. At this time the roads in province few. Mr Petrie ferried the Rev Mr McDowell across the bay on one occasion when Mr McD told Petric that he had walked from Fredericksburg, where he lived and preached, to York, Toronto. Along the beach there were no bridges and he crossed the streams as best he could. The steamer Princess Charlotte, the first steamboat on the Bay, came up in 1818 commanded by old Capt Gildersleeve. The steamer Frontenac, the first steamer on Lake Ontario, and in Upper Canada. It was commanded by Capt. McKenzie and plied between Kingston and York. Petrie was purser I think he said and the Frontenac came along with the Princess Charlotte as far as the upper gap and went out by it for the first and last time. The Charlotte came in middle of the summer.


Sept 1864 His house was built in 1814 while the land belonged to the Indians. Thinks the river Moira was so named of the Earl Moira, Gov. General of the East Indians. The first English Church was erected in 1819. Thinks the Rev Mr Campbell came just before it was finished in 1820. No stationed minister here before.


[pages 1, 2 & 3 are missing] 4  

Apr 8, 1864, Shubal Dunham Foster aged 77 last Oct

Born at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Moved to York State when a boy. Came into Canada in 1810, 7 Dec. A young man, 23, crossed over to Kingston accompanied with a John Canniff a near neighbour in the states, Albany Co, now Green Co, This Canniff was a 2nd cousin to old John Canniff. They walked 10 miles up the bay then got aboard a batteaux and worked their passage up as far as Doverport where the forming ice stopped their further progress. Crossed to the Indian woods wandered about looking for a tavern kept by Capt. John, paid a boy a york shilling to show the way.  Paid a quarter for priviledge of lying on the floor in wet clothes.  Walked the remainder of the way to Belleville.  Stopped for dinner at Fermans  tavern a few miles below Belleville.  Put up at Leavens tavern in Belleville.  He worked at his trade as well.  Went right out Canniff’s Mills.  Hired out to John Canniff.  At that time there was no house from Capt Miers until came to the mill, no clearing at my fathers place.  My father commenced clearing next spring.  The road runs along the river, some corduroy.


  Phebe wife of Shubal Foster, daughter of John and Elizabeth Canniff. (This Elizabeth Canniff had been the widow of Philip Roblin, who is referred to in Playter’s History as one of the purchasers of log Chapel in Adolphustown.  Her maiden name was Miller was from Dutchess Co.)  Mrs Foster was born in Adolphustown (Hay Bay), Barkers Point.  Her age now is 67.  Her father from Dutchess Co. a U.E.L came in soon after the Revolutionary war.  Moved to Belleville in the year bought the property at Cannifton part from


[page] 5

MacDougall and some from a Carr, had 800 acres altogether. The descendants of Carr afterwards claimed the property. At that time (Mrs F[oster] remembers well) there was only the saw mill and the house, a frame one. The grist mill was built afterwards. Mr Foster assisted Jno. Canniff to build, and especially to make mill stones, which, which he had brought from the bend of the river at Ross’ place. They were made out of one stone. He drilled holes around and drove in wedges so as to split it. These stones were used for about 2 years, were not very good, and then a set of bars were got at the Trent. All the tools used had to be taken to Belleville to be sharpened. Mr & Mrs Foster were married in by Rev McDowell from Fredericksburg. My father went for him. At that time John and Saml Reed were settled Reed, and old William Ketcheson. Dr Meacham was the only Doctor, lived on the Hutton place. Often saw Capt. Miers was a rough coarse made man.


Farleys first wife was the 1st or about the first who buried in the Methodist burying ground. The land was bought from John Canniff for 20.


April 6th 1864

Mrs Ashley - Mary Miers - aged 63 daughter of Jacob Walden Miers, who was the son of Capt. Miers. John, she says was Capt. Miers Christian name. Capt Miers was born near Hudson in Dutchess Co. Captain during the Revolutionary war, in no battles as she knows came to Lower Canada after the war. Thinks it was at Three Rivers, lived there 3 years about. had a farm and kept a diary. Removed up the Bay to within about 3 miles of the Trent River. Drew a great deal


[page] 6

of land many hundred acres, each of his children also drew 6 hundred acres.  The Capt. also had a pension of ⅚ a day.  The Captains’ father was a Rebel, and was very bitter against the son.  Followed for days with a rope in his pocket to hang him.  The Capt was married at that time, his wife was with him during the war, and absent from and children for 7 years.  The Capt had some narrow escapes.  On one occasion the Rebels came upon his house unexpectedly he had barely time to jump through a trap door into the cellar; but his soldiers cap was left lying on the floor his wife sat herself down on the trap covering it up.  Just as soldiers were coming in when she saw the cap.  She just had time to give it kick under the bed out of sight.  The wife pretended great kindness and invited them to stay to tea but her civility frightened them.They feared strangers and took themselves off in a hurry.  The Rebels were always seeking to arrest him and not only often visited his house but resorted to cruel treatment of the family to learn of his whereabouts.  On one occasion, a son 12 years of age was hanged up by the neck to compel him to tell where his father was.  He was kept suspended until almost suffocated but the lad had his fathers pluck.  The Capt lived for some time near the Trent on the old place clearing it up and then came to Belleville.  There were in Belleville at that time John Tailors house.  Harris’ also buildings around the mouth of the river.  Capt McIntosh built afterwards, also the Leaven’s.  The Capt built a little log house where now stands Wheadons office.  There was only a foot-path along the river and the Bay


[page] 7

to the Trent.  The Capt built his mills and then commenced to build the Brick house on the hill.  The Capt bought the land of John Tailor in this way.  Tailor had drawn the land from Government but had not taken out the deed.  He therefore empowered Capt Miers to take out the deed in his own name and he consequently went to Toronto and did it.  Does not remember the dates but the brick house was built she thinks rising 70 years ago, for her age is 63 and her father and mother were married in the brick house she was the child.  The brick for the house was burned up on the old place where Tobias Miers now lives.  The log cabin built by the Capt had only one room.  Mrs. Ashley remembers when the first English church was built and Mr Campbell preached the first sermon.  There were very few attendants.  The church was commenced by Allen Tailor who died before it was finished and was buried in the centre of the building.  The Capt lost 2 children during the war.  Had when in Canada 7 children, George, Leonard, Tobias, John, Jacob, Katy.  Tobias was shot while out shooting by his brother George. He was to have been married in about 3 weeks.


[page] 8

Mrs Huff - Sarah Alger, age 90 next Aug.

From Nine Partners.  The family consisted of father mother 6 girls and one boy.  Landed at Barkers Point Adolphustown was accompanied by Martin Foster, wife and child.  Came in May.  Were called Yankees at Kingston, was then 24 years of age.  On journey took boat Schenectady.  There first saw him who became her husband.  She and her sisters before she had spoken to him were picking out their husbands.  She selected him.  The family lived on Huff’s island.  Went there about 1825. by going all got in the ice.  There was no other inhabitant on the island.  No neighbour except old Elijah Wallbridge (Lewis grand father) on Massagua Point, and at Demorestville and Belleville; belonging to Demorest.  Uncle E Wallbridge made whiskey in Belleville.  At first did not like the inhabitants on the Bay of Quinte at all, but longer she lived the more she liked them, (and indeed judging from the manner in which she stroked my face and that of Mr Anderson ex M.P.P. and congratulated him on the birth of a son.  I think she spoke the truth.)  Her husband was living in Canada some years before she came, he was 10 years old when he came immediately after the Rev. war, was from Long Island, settled in Adolphustown.  His father Paul Huff raised the first frame barn in 4th. town.  As many as 60 persons came to see it, such a curiosity.  She has been an Episcopal Methodist some 50 years.  Her husband Soloman Huff son of Paul was on duty at Kingston during the war of 1812.  He was anxious to get leave to visit his island home, and went to the Colonel with a friend. &c.

 

[page] 9

Apr 3 1864, Jonas Canniff (cousin) son of Daniel C[anniff]

Tells me in reference to the lumber which was cut for the houses for the Indians on Grape Island, that while my father sawed the lumber the Indians themselves cut the logs on their reserve in Tyendenaga drove them to the mills by river, then the lumber to Belleville, and there made it into rafts.


Apr 3 1864, Abram (Browning) Phillips age 79,  Fishkill Plains

Sally Barnes, daughter of A Canniff

John W Canniff

All born in Dutchess Co. Phillips came in after the war of 1812 in 1819, year of peace, went to 4th town till winter. Knew my father’s grandfather who lived in Fishkill plains, Jonas Canniff Browning has had many a “scrape” there, he was a farmer, was living when Phillips came in. Knew the Dorlands. John W C[anniff] says that old Jonas Canniff came from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick after the Rev War(?) His father, or mother not sure which was French, thinks the mother, but some [say] it was Irish. One of the Canniff girls was married to a Cox at Newbury. Uncle Rheuben’s daughter married a Methodist preacher named Haist. Browning says old Jonas Canniff was high Dutch has heard him talk dutch, he was a dark skinned man, large middling tall, something like my grandfather James Canniff. Old Mr Perry has told Browning that when he lived in 4th town at first he had to go to the “other side” and then 40 miles for a bushel of salt. The first year Browning came in Perry took flour from Sidney


[page 10]

to Kingston in winter with on nothing his feet but a coarse pair of shoes, no socks and (no boots here then) his trousers were strapped down under his feet to keep the ankles warm.

My Grandfather had brothers, first and oldest John, next Daniel then grandfather, Levi, Isaac, Rheuben, Abram.  Those who came into Canada were John James and Abram.  Levi made a visit, then went west and died at Pittsburgh.  Their fathers name was Isaac.  John Reed living up the river at one time went to the states to get something to eat his wife had nothing to eat except the fish she caught, and as soon as done she would take it and cook it for the children.  Had no salt to eat it with.


17th Feb 1864 Mrs Phebe Ockerman [Ackerman]

born Dunham in the year 1795 at the Nine Partners in Dutch[ess] Co. N.Y. Left when 6 years old. 22 souls started together, accompanied by a Lucy Home an old maid. Her father had 12 children[,] 7 sons & 5 daughters. One son had come to Canada 2 years before, who subsequently moved to the west. They started from Dutch[ess] Co in Feb. Were all Quakers. Stopped at Albany 1st night Mr Dunham took all the children to a dancing school at Albany. Travelling by sleighs, 6 lumber sleighs and a cutter. Brought the clothes and bed linens. Passed through Chanandago [Channerdogo?] wood and river over a condemned bridge, the water being very deep. Through 10 miles of woods. Arrived at Cornwall. Slayed 4 weeks occupied a room in a house. Children went out to work. After navigation opened started in one large batteaux drawn by 7 or 8 men. Horses sent by one of the sons by land. Harness brought in boat. Sleighs left at Cornwall till following winter. Took, she thought, nearly a week to reach 4th town, their destination.


[page] 11

The family landed at VanAlstines point near to Dorlands who kept the ferry. Lived there a year. Dunham there bought the place that old Bill Ketcheson settled on when he first came to Canada, situated in the 2nd concession. “Bill” was a great old tory. He planted an apple tree and swore he would shoot the first man who took an apple off it. The tree did not bear for many a year till at last the bark was stripped off and basswood bark put around it. The following year it bore. The popular belief was that it did not bear before because of the allegiance oath. This same Bill Ketcheson said the prettiest sight he ever saw was that of a child which had been run through with a bayonet and then held up while “quivering” in death. He was in the habit of telling of his killing a person he had taken during the Rev War while a British soldier, Contrary to orders. To get out of the difficulty he cut of his head with a sword and “wiped it on the fence”. Phebe Dunham lived in the 2nd concession until she married Jacob Ockerman in the year 1810. Jacob’s farm joined Dunhams. Mr & Mrs Ockerman lived there 5 years and then removed to Belleville. Started in April out of the cove between Dorlands point and 4th town point. Came first day to between Blunt[?] point and in the Reach and Big Bay. At night it thundered and lightened and rained. The boat leaked and Mrs O[ckerman] had to bail most of the time. Reached Belleville the 2nd day. Brought with them clothes and furniture. On the journey the children were stored away in a cupboard which Dunham Ockerman possess. Mrs O[ckerman] walked to Canniffs mills along Miers River and carried 2 children most of the way. Around there same night and stayed at little John Ochermans, distantly related. Remembers house in Belleville then, (1815) Widow Simpson, tavern keeper, Leavens, Blacksmith house on the


[pages 12 and 13 are missing here]


[first page] 14

bank of the river, Leavens[?]. A log house under the hill somewhere near the jail. Another log house where is now the upper Bridge. (Reynold Lumber W.C.) next Miers Mill & Brick house. (The Capt was wont to say then that his house was built “mits bricks & stones” (The roof was restored last year (1863). The other part is that first put on). Going down the Kingston road  there was Tailors house on the summit of the hill, nearby opposite was a house occupied by Harris,. Belleville was not then laid out into town lots. Continuing up the river, after Miers, the first house was my fathers log house next Canniffs mill, woods all the way. The only persons there being at the mill were the Canniffs and J Ockerman the cooper (Foster must have been there then). Mrs O[ckerman] has heard often about the “Hard summer”. During that year her mother in law left for New Jersey. This was when the famine commenced. To get provisions she went in company with different neighbours. Some families were represented by their husband some by their wife according to circumstances.


She got was 100 lb of flour. Probably this was all there was room for. When she returned (one of the children had accompanied her) her husband and 2 children were in a half famished state - pale and emaciated. During her absence, he and the children had lived on the milk of one cow and one laddle of flour a day. The flour was borrowed from “Cas” Vandusen. The flour was stirred in the water boiling. Fish was had occasionally. The cow subsequently mired in a marsh on John Dunhams farm. Mrs Ockerman remembers to have accompanied her mother in law to see “old ducks bones, and the old lady cried over them[,] for that cow[,] said she[,] had preserved the life of her husband and children. Mrs Ockermans grand father was Col Bell. Probably engaged in the war of 1812. His father landed in Fredericksburgh


[page] 13

a creek or cove. Came with batteaux. The family then pitched their tents, and took possession of the land or that spot where they had their tents is now a burying ground  in which are buried the family for 3 generations.


Dunham Ockerman tells me of Geo Sills, an Episcopal minister, whom he was travelling with down the bay on the Bay of Quente 9 years ago last summer (62) that is in the summer of 1854. He was then about 90. He told Mr O[ckerman] that 79 years before that very summer he, then a boy of 15, started from Fredericksburgh with 2 men, purposely to explore for curiosity, the upper end of the bay. They went in a birch canoe. Passed up the south side, and explored all the bays coves creeks etc carefully up to the Trent, then down the north side. Mr O[ckerman] thinks that there there were no houses to be seen of the shores of the bay. At the mouth of the Miers River (Miers must then have been living near the Trent) there were no buildings, but several Indian wigwams on the plains (The indians were in the habit of tenting here for many years after Belleville was settled) The party shot a blue jay here and roasted it. Geo. Sills had been a soldier, when married was ignorant of letters but his wife, a sister of Col Bell taught him at nights while she spun flax by light. Geo Sills Died in the spring of 59. The Bell Family married to Bisco[?] were U.E.L. from Jersey. They suffered much during the Rev War from the “Rebs”. Bells ruffed up by ruthless soldiers. They had money, which was preserved from the soldiers by the women who concealed in the large rolls of hair then worn on the head.


March 5th 1864 Mrs Peterson - sister to Mrs Ockerman Oct 79 daughter of John Dunham.

Family left Dutchess Co. 15 Feb 1801, route up the Hudson to Albany ??


[second page that is numbered 14] 14

Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain.

Passed through Wilsburg wilderness and Cataraqui? woods, one tavern in the woods, a shanty where they rest up. Did not get much to eat. Something for horses. Had provision with them to Salmon river, which empties into the St Lawrence. Drove 10 miles on this river there being but little snow. Crossed over to Cornwall on ice which was so bad that one horse got in. There was no snow on the Canada side, but they dragged along two days and reached Wethersheds’ tavern 100 miles from Kingston. The party remained at Wethersheds for 4 or 5 weeks. The horses were sent out at once to 4th town by two men. These as soon as the ice was out of the bay hired a batteaux and returned to Wethersheds for the family.


(There were 11 teams left Duchess Co town of Slowford? between Poughkeepsie and Klenebec [Kennebec?]. Some came in by Montreal which was further spent one night in the Chatages woods. It was a very wild winter. Mrs Peterson was struck with the black appearance of the soil there heavy no snow on the ground. They travelled over 40 miles.) Thinks it took about a fortnight to come from Wethersheds to 4th town in the batteaux. (The town where was Wethersheds tavern was called ?Glen Sotty?) Having no experience in the use of batteaux they did not get along fast had to wait for winds. It was before the first day of April when they left Wethersheds. The sleighs were left.

Mr Dunham worked or shared for one year a farm which had belonged to Major VanAlstein who was then dead. The Major had built a large house before he died. It is now Hardings?


Fourth town at that time was settled on the front the first town except Kingston. There were churches built. A Methodist church on Hay Bay and a Quaker Meeting House -

.

[page] 15

The Court house at the Front was built.


The first Steamer on the Bay the Sharlotte was acceptable to some; but to owners of the Schooners it was a day of tribulation. The Sharlotte was very accommodating to passengers along the bay it would stop anywhere for a signal, - at any kind of wharf, or if a boat put out.


Recollects to have heard Willet Casey say that his farm was very productive when first cleared. After it was sowed the 1st time and the crop reaped the grain sprang up so thick that he let it alone and the 2nd crop was better than the 1st. Her husband has told her that he so;d wheat at Kingston for half a dollar a bushel. This was when he was 16 years old. He came to the County when an infant in the year 1783 with the fleet by way of Quebec.  This fleet was sent by the British Government.


The Americans - the U.E.L. were settled on the north shore of the bay each drawing 200 acres of land. The south shore of the bay 5th town? was settled by the troops - Hessians were mostly Dutch. Some Scotch and a few Irish.Utensils and materials of iron for cultivation and chores were fetched from England and supplied to the U.E.L. Also three years provision. The 5th towners suffered a good deal of famine, did not make good bush whackers. They lived by fishing principally. Said that during the famine some ate articles for food which were poisonous and which caused their death. The 4th Towners did not think the the 5th Towners fit to associate with them consequently kept apart. Mrs P. says the 1st settler in Belleville was Haunce (John) Gerry - afterwards known by the name of Capt Miers. His whole name was, she thinks, Haunce Gerry Walter Miers. His name was altered when he came to America, she thinks


[page] 16

he was assured of so much Dutch among the Americans. He was a Capt. in the British army. So pretty confident he came here in 1783. Thinks he was one of the U.E.L. ( Was he not an officer in the Hessian troops.)

Remembers a English church in Earnest town. The clergyman was Longhorn. After he died it the church went to Mier. Mrs P. remembers some ancient buildings in Albany the brick of which were fetched from Holland. The roofs steep and the chimney outside the building. (Mrs P. says that in the time of Queen Elizabeth there were no chimneys.)

Mrs P. remembers when they came to Miers mill to get wheat ground. The settlers got wheat from Oswego and from Montreal it was the latter which brought the Canada thistle.


When first came to 4th town there was one Doctor there Stickney one also in Earnest town.


Feb 16/64 Have been talking with a Frenchman Peter Beauprets aged 74; born back of L’Assumption, was in the war of 1812. Enlisted for the war in the Incorporated Regiment. (were called the Copperheads) His period of service was 3 years. The Capt. was judge McLain Judge Sherwood was Col. for a while but was a poor one. After him the Colonel was Robinson an Englishman, he was wounded. Beauprets was at the Battle of Lundys Lane and some others. Was servant to McLain when he was taken prisoner, and [had]  Beauprest not had good legs he would have been taken also. Saw General Brock once. The General spoke to his company in kind words.


Apr 28/64 Dr Smith came to Belleville 47 years ago.[1864] Dr Hayden was the only Dr when he came: but he had no licence and was rejected. He had a diploma from some Society in N.Y. Smith studied in N.Y. also got a certificate to practice from the “Quebec ordinance”. Was examined by a board consisting of Dr


[page] 17

Dr McCauly Surgeon General, Dr Rush and Dr Baldwin. Understood him to say that he was examined in Belleville or Toronto. This was in 1801. There was a law subsequently enacted making it free to practice. This he thinks was 1806 or 7. The Quebec ordinance was never disannulled. The Board of U.C. was not then established.

Dr S says that Dr Cooper who practiced in Belleville was the greatest imposter ever lived. Dr Stickney was no doctor. ?ondue? and Smith both say had no licence and never studied. Dr S speaks of a Doctor Ladd who lived up at White’s, he used to come to Belleville to see patients. Kellogg S says was a clever man.


May 2nd/64 Margaret Pringle - born Diamond, Oct 69.

Born on Hay Bay in Fredericksburgh in the month of May. Her father’s name John Diamond. Was born in Albany, was Dutch or part Irish and Dutch. Her mother was born in Philadelphia, was pure German. Her maiden name was Loyst. John Diamond was a U.E.L. Came to Canada after the Rebellion commenced. The mother lived near Bunkers Hill. She saw the smoke of the battle. She used to carry dispatches for the Royalists. Mrs Pringle has often heard her mother tell of the barbarous treatment they were subjected to from the Rebel soldiers. [They] would come daily and seize anything they could lay their hands upon and never paid for anything perhaps knock down a cow or an Ox. They would say to her we will have a battle and Tory beef tomorrow you damn little bitch; but Miss Loyst wouldn’t be bluffed and would reply yes and rebel buff and be damned loyal. She was not afraid of them. The Royalists had hard work to get away. (Mrs Pringle’s parents were married at Montreal.) In coming to Canada they sometimes suffered much. Her mother’s brother was almost starved and even ate the hoof of a horse which he found.


A Ryckly, who settled on Hay Bay was once taken as spy and sentenced to be shot and put in hand cuffs.


[page] 18

But he managed to get one arm loose. Then when at a creek to get a drink attended by a guard he suddenly drew out his hand and dealt such a blow that he stiffened the guard. But whether he killed him or not he never knew. And then he ran as only one who runs for his life can run. Through the woods tripping and tumbling but yet ever onward.

When her parents came to Hay Bay it was all a woods. It must have been soon after they were married in Montreal. He drew 300 acres. The Front was then settled. He had only an axe and a hoe and few clothes; built a little log shanty in which lived for about a year until a more comfortable abode was erected.


Her mother before her death requested to be buried on the spot where the shanty has stood but it was so near the shore that her wish could not be granted, but a little higher up she was placed to rest.


At first they made a lot of sugar. She has often heard her mother tell how she would laugh at her old man as he would tumble in the snow carrying sap.


The Government (King) gave him one years provision. J. Diamond had a brother come in years after who settled in Richmond.


At first the settlers were few and scattered; but it made them all brotherly. However she used to say that Church at the Front cheated her in getting flour. Her mother often or always went for the flour to the front and carried it home on her back so that her husband could continue his work, a distance of about 7 miles.

Her father made three of the coffins for those drowned in the Hay Bay on a Tuesday.

Mrs P. was the 2nd child. The eldest a brother. She was born about 8 years after they were married. The time of their settlement on the Bay then must have been about 1786.


Richard Solmes 77

Came to Canada when 6 years old. His father’s name was Nathaniel Solmes. Richard was born in Poughkeepsie and so was his father and his mother whose name was widow Dorland. Her maiden name was Rickerson. His father was 96 when he


[page] 19

died in the fall of 1849.

He Nathaniel came into Canada in 1793. He was with the Rebs at first but through the influence of the Dorlands he turned right around and joined the Tory party - the “British”. They all had to come to Canada. (It would seem from Mr Solmes statement that only a few hours notice was given for them to get away and consequently they had no time to pack. Many took a few valuables and ran; the families were left behind. The men endured many hardships in getting away and into Canada)


Nat. Solmes had to run for his life. There were some 40 persons who had to leave who subsequently settled along the bay. (But it seems that many settlers on the bay came out only after the war was over and some 15 or 20 or 30 years after who were induced to come by relatives who had settled on the bay and who wrote that there was a place yet unoccupied near at hand. etc.)


Mr Solmes gives the names of settlers supplied?

Guilliam Demorest “Demoney”? where is now Demorestville was the 1st settler; he built a mill.

Philip Roblin purchased the whole Gore and settled his family on it. (It would appear that others had squatted on some part of it)


He made application to Government and managed to get the whole. (The others of course had to leave.)


Every settler got 200 acres. Some got more in consequence of the broken front, even 300 acres. Each had to pay a fee for the deed, 4 or 5 s. The Governments gave certificates to those upon [whom] grants were bestowed. These were often sold by the holders sometimes for little or nothing. (It seems they did not consider the land very worthy perhaps thought it was too far away)


One farm (Mathew Cronks) was sold for half a barrel of Salmon. Another, the Foster place, where Bug were said to live, was sold for an old horse. This is one of the best farms in the County value now perhaps $7 or 8000. At one time a whole block 8 or 9 miles in extent might have been bought for 500.


[page] 20

Capt. Miers of Belleville used to keep a batteaux on the bay to carry freight down and ? for passage back. Did this for many years and made money at it. Always kept his grog in the Cabin in the stern of the boat. Would trust all hands. Was a good fellow. His wife was a thick short woman. Has been to the house often.


Remembers the way they used to ground corn when his father lived and has helped.


An oak tree was cut down and a piece sawed out. One end of which would be hollowed out. Then the corn put [in] and crushed with a pestle of hard wood.


Until Cartwright built a mill at Napanee they had to go to Gananoque for flour. Once in a while would go to Consecon where was a mill. There was also a mill above and back on the “York” road. This fact that they had to go so far for flour was the cause of using the pestle and mortar.


Wooden ladles were commonly used instead of spoons. The first spoon moulds “seen” in the County was sent to his father. Made the spoons out of pewter.


The Mohawk indians were settled right across the Bay from his father’s. There was an indian village composed of about 50 log houses. There were two tribes. The Bear tribe and the Wolf tribe. Capt Isaac was the chief of the Wolf tribe, Capt John of the Bear tribe. There was a feud between them and a meeting to settle the matter. Even?  women and children. No pacific settlement could be made and they came to blows. Capt Isaac and his son were killed. The son had his abdomen cut open died some six hours after word. He said his father was to blame. The women also pulled hair etc.

The windows gradually receded from the shore as wood became scarce.


The first settlers were all poor but it made them kind to each other.


After Mr Solmes had grown up he was working at Bloomfield a farm on shares. He boarded with a man thought to


[page] 21

eat principally potatoes - no bread - flour, ate nothing but potatoes for two months.


There is a place called Devils Hill near the ferry to 6th town. Many of the first settlers were Dutch and were superstitious. Used often to dig for money. A large rock and the belief was that money was concealed under it. Many digged and digged. This rock was turned over but found no money.


Dr Stickney was the first doctor in the neighbourhood - practiced for 40 miles around. He came from Kinderhook. He claimed land as a doctor but when he went to Toronto to get it as he had no licence he could not get it. The place was near father’s. He never had his licence. Seems he went to get it but as he had not taken the oath of allegiance he did not get [it]. (Was this an excuse for being rejected?)


The 1st or one of the 1st Churches in the County was a Roman in 2nd town, a village this side of Bath.

Surveyor Smith surveyed the whole of 6th town. He lived between Carrying Place and Brighton. (Was it Smithville?) The land was afterward surveyed as the people became dissatisfied. The Carrying Place so called because Batteaux were drawn overland to the lake on wheels. (?)


1666 Referring to last page about the 2 tribes of Indians, the Wolf and the Bear, I find in the Documentary Hist of N.Y.

The Iroquois Nation consists of 9 tribes, which forms two divisions, one of four tribes and the other of five. They call the first division Guey-motit-eshesque which means the four tribes. The first is that of the Tortoise, the second that of the Wolf and is brother of the Tortoise. The 3rd is the Bear, the 4th the Beaver, is brother of the Bear. (1st Pg)

1736 Doc Hist of NY page 17


At Sault St. Louis -- The Iroquois who compose exclusively the village are nearly 300 and 3 bearing arms. These two villages proceeding from the Iroquois of Lake Ontario or Frontenac, have the same armorial devices. The three principal tribes carry the Wolf, the Bear and the Tortoise. They usually ornament them mostly with charcoal.


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Sault St. Louis “Toniata” (Whose is it?)

Some Iroquois, to the number of 8 or 10 men have returned to this quarter. Their device is without doubt like that of the village from which issue the Deer the Plover etc.

Lake Ontario or South of Frontenac

There are no more Iroquois settled. The Mississaques are dispersed along this lake, some at Quinte, others at the River Toronto and finally at the head of the Lake, to the number of 150 in all.

North of Lake Ontario


The Iroquois are in the interior and in 5 villages about fifteen leagues from the Lake on a pretty straight line although one day’s journey distant from the other. This nation, though much diminished, is still powerful.

At the end of Little Lake St Clair, there is a small village of Mississaques which numbers 60 men. They have the same devices the Mississaques after Manitouiti? and of Lake Ontario, a Crane.


James Hubbard Meacham, age 56. Born within what is now the corporation limits.  Then not in Belleville - at the Zwicks house, still standing, on the shore of the Bay at the mouth of the river. The Zwicks lived in the lower part of the house, Meacham in the upper part. His father, Seth Meacham was born in New Hampshire. He came to Canada in 1801, direct to Belleville. He was a Physician, studied his profession, probably at Yale (?) (Mr M[eacham] has often seen his diploma)


He was a natural born American, but he preferred the British Government and left home because he disliked the American Government. He sacrificed much, his brothers and uncles would have made him influential and rich but he left an price fell?. Took oath of allegiance. He crossed at Brockville into Canada was 3 weeks on the road. Did not know where he was going, had never heard of Belleville. He was traveling along, up the County and meeting some American by birth here in Belleville he was induced to settle here. He put up at Harris’


[page] 25

representative of the family now I believe in Belleville. Mr Johns was a Rev. of the Meth[odist] Epis[capalian], I believe. He died in Buffalo in 1850 and his body was brought back to Belleville. (Although away his love for Belleville must have been great. WC). He must wanted the Church of England.


I had been shown where had stood Tailor’s house, it was just a log one.


We passed old Mr Maybee. He was superintending the plowing of a potato plot. When asked what he was doing he said he was going to plant “paties” “What”, said Petrie, “You?” “Yes”, said the old man now 83, “And hoe them, too.” Maybee said that he would have been dead 30 years ago if God didn’t answer prayers. Said that anyone that could hoe potatoes and say his prayers at the same time is ready to pass to the next world.


Petrie was telling him that he was looking at a ledger the other day in which was over a hundred named living some 45 years ago. Of them only 3 were now living, big Ian Farley, Maybee himself and Petrie himself. Maybee was telling how he first became converted, etc.


On our road we passed within view of the rear part of Harris’ house. Petrie said he risked his neck many years ago etc. The house was on fire, a dying man within. Petrie managed some way, I forget, to get up, raised and through (the roof was steep) Then another managed to put out the fire. Petrie was always at the fire and did good service.


The first person buried in the churchyard was an Englishman. Petrie did not know his name, who was a clerk in Colemans store which he kept near his mill ( in ?)

This was before the church was built, forgets the year-

The carne is in the north east corner.

I copy while in the yard.

“Sacred to the memory of the Revd Thomas Cambell, 15 years minister of the Church of England at this place, who departed this life Sept 17 1835, aged 47 years.”


I also copy the following

“Sacred to the memory of John Canniff, who departed this life Feb 21, 1843, aged 86 years and 29 days. (I well remember not only his death but some time before when from time to time he was sickly. It was thought almost dying)


On our way Mr Petrie tells me that when the church was building and when the pulpit was erected and a rough way of getting to it. The Rev. Dr Cambell went up and into it, when one Shaun Smith, fond of fruit, went up and so closed the door that the Rev Guilliam could not get out. Where for informed his C-- that he would not be allowed to pass out until he sent for a bottle of whiskey. He says the one you send to - mentioning his sisters name who kept house for him and she will let you have it. And so the (Crater) was obtained. Mr Cambell then laid on the spot where is near by erected the new Methodist Chapel.


(On our way passing Mrs Tailor ( I think) Mr Petrie winks? at the widows? and tells an old lady with her? that day after tomorrow he will with her permission come and take a cup of tea with her.)

He afterwards informs me that 45 years ago the day after tomorrow Allen Tailor died. I think the ? of that woman. It was the same Allen Tailor who built the English Church, until he died which was before it was completed and who was buried in the centre of the church. When the church was pulled down ( I happened to see it falling) the back was allowed to remain and now


[No number follows from page 25]

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no one knows the exact spot where he lies. The Maybee? before referred to did the mason? work of the first Church.

In the Kirk, in the south east corner is the grave of a lumberman who was in the employ of Donald Murcheson. The coffin floated in water when put in the grave.


Dr Cooper is buried in this yard. It is spelled Cowper, but Petrie says it should be Cooper. He studied at a rural place near Stirling, Scotland.


Petrie was Purser for one season on the Frontenac, the first steamer in Upper Canada about the year 1818 or 19. The steamer was commanded by Capt. McKenzie a Commander of the Royal Navy. Petrie was not going at first, as he thought the Capt. wouldn’t sit at table with him but he was mistaken. This steamer was built on the Quinte in Fredericksburgh. The Charlotte was built out of the timber left after the building of the Frontenac.

Petrie tells me that during the war of 1812, batteaux and canoes had to come up and be hauled across the Carrying Place as the route was safer. (No doubt years before the French did the same.)


Before we left Mr Petrie’s house he told me that he dreamed last night that Abram ?? was not dead but very sick and that he Petrie was engaged most of the night with him in prayer. Petrie thinks it portends something and he tells me of an occurrence in 1813. He had purchased some things in Montreal, among the best 3 kegs of Scotch Herrings. All but these came to hand. At that time Mathews, the father of the one who was subsequently hung as a rebel had a small sloop which plied up and down the Bay. It was a craft of 10 or 15 tons. Well, he dreamed one night that the Herrings and sure enough old Mathews brought them. He also told me of another dream he had when on a visit to Scotland. On ship he dreamed that a certain girl, unmarried, had a child. It turned out when he came back that it was true. And he afterward found a memorandum that he had taken of his dream.


Hubbard Meacham again

Dr Marshall who attended Meacham in his last illness was the next Doctor in Belleville. Next was Dr Cooper, who studied in Scotland. Then Dr Ridly, Dr McIan, practiced 3 or 4 years. Then Kellogg in 1829. He was an American studied in the States, was in Kingston with Dr Simpson a sufficient time to go to the Board, which he passed. Dr Smith and Hayden had no licence and could not practice, although had studied.


Philip John Roblin

Aged 67 Born in Adolphustown Son of John Roblin who was a U.E. Loyalist and came into Canada in 1784 by way of New Brunswick and the St Lawrence. Spent the winter at Sorel. Was born in the state of New York. Among those who accompanied him were Orra Ferguson, John Baker, Stephen Roblin ( great uncle of Mr R), William Moor, a German either John or Christopher (Grandfather of the German living in Belleville) He drew the lot on Caseys Point, then traded with Wm. Casey for a lot on the south side of Hay Bay (4th town) Another was George Rutter settled in Adolphustown, a regular Dutchman who was accustomed to talk of the Rebel “Luggers” (Buggers) whom his ship had chaste for 12 days and when overtaken had no courage to fight


[page]  27

but at once surrendered, another was Joseph Ruttan, captain, (John Ruttan as his son). Old Geo Sills was another. His son Geo Sills had a UE Loyalist list. All of those who came to Canada as UEL and settled on the Bay of Quinte met at Major VanAlstines at the Lake of the Mountain to sign a document. This was in the year 1784 or 5. They were summoned? there in order to receive land for their children by order (probably of the governor). (Mr Roblin saw this list 2 or 3 years ago). His father settled in 3 concession of 4th town. Died therein in Feb, last day, 1813 aged 44. He was a local preacher. Was elected to the legislature 3 times, 1st in 1808 & 1811 and in 1812. When elected first in 1808 parliament after he sat in the house for two years expelled him because he was a local preacher of the Methodists. On coming home to his constituents they elected him by a large majority. Again returning to Parliament the house after a few days  expelled him again for the same reason. The Parliament  either by vote or certain resolution declared that he should not sit.  There was a law English that no clergyman should be eligible for a seat in the house and on that ground he was expelled. Still he was elected again as he declared  that the parliament had no authority to invent such law. He died before the Parliament met in consequence of the war. Parliament treated James Wilson of Prince Edward as did Roblin. Mr Roblin great uncle was wounded in the war of 1775 near New York a ball passed through his thigh. All his ancestors took part in the Revolutionary War staunch for the British flag and forsook all for it. Another person who accompanied the party [by] Sorel was Nicholas Wessells who had a large family. He settled near Barkers ferry in 6th town. Mr Roblin’s grand mother was Elizabeth Roblin  - born [blank space] afterward wife of John Canniff. Is buried Canifton. Her husband Roblin was buried  on Paul Huff’s farm north corner of where is now an orchard. Thinks the spot is now washed away. Mr Roblin has seen six generations of his family. Has heard is [sic] grandfather Moor, and Capt Thomas Dorland talk of the scarce summer. The Capt said he had sold bran for $8.00 a hundred to keep persons from starving.They would eat birch bark, dig for roots etc. Geo Sills who has the UE list lives in Fredericksbugh.


J W? Maybee [John Way Maybee, husband of Martha Maybee] aged 84 next Oct of Belleville, born in [New] York State, Fishkill. Came to Canada with his father in 1793, was about 14 years old. His grandfather was a German, grandmother Dutch – His mother was English, by name Way. His father was an American revolutionary soldier. Settled a little below Picton towards Stone Mills about 2 miles. The inhabitants of Picton (or rather Hallowell, that is about where Picton now is, which was then all woods)Were Richard Hare, Capt Richardson, Ebenezer Washburn came in about a year afterwards.  (That was about 1800.)


[page]  28

Washburn built a little stone house on the shore, Johnsons lived opposite, -  a mile below someone else. Paylius, Major Young and someone else lived at Little Lake. He “knew all the people in Upper Canada”, Captain Richardson was related to George Henderson of Belleville. Hare sold his property to Richardson and removed to Haldimand. As a Mason used to go up and down the bay to do work, with Trowers? who lived near his father. Trowers? was his first boss for a year. Went on the bay in bark canoes.  Was first in Belleville in 1801. Mrs. Simpson had recently come in and built a small log house where Wallbridge’s house now stands. The house was probably 20 x 12 (Mrs. Maybee says it was floored with slabs, Mrs. Simpson afterward built across the street a respectable frame house.) At that time batteaux went up and down to York across the Carrying Place. The batteaux would carry about 7 ton more ungainly looking perhaps 50 feet long. (Knew John Smith the first settler in Cobourg. The grandfather of Sidney Smith late PM General. Port hope was there a poor looking place.) (Old Mr. Keeler was the first settler in Colborne. Mr. K[eeler] often stayed at his house.) Asa Meller a tavern keeper at the carrying place used to draw the batteaux across the land on trucks drawn by oxen. One batteaux generally passed up and down to & from York once a week. Would carry passengers. There were no roads then, Mrs. Maybe says that in the 1812 the soldiers went up the bay in long birch canoes and along the shore.This was for safety, no roads suitable to travel by, Belleville was known as Myers creek. Built the stone foundation for Miers frame mill, thinks in the year 1803 (Mrs. Maybe says 1805.) The brick house was then building (Mrs. Maybee says the house was built in 1801.) Inhabitants of Belleville at that time, Mrs. Simpson, Captain Meyers and an Indian trader who had a log shanty, where now stands the brick house in which Dr. Walton lived, belonging to Henderson. Old John Tailor lived in a log house of 18 or 20 feet on the ground where Benjamin’s house now stands. Chisholm lived on the hill. Miers had at first a log mill. Maybee came to Belleville to live in 1806 or 7. Thinks Miers came in 1785 or six, had been living near Trent, he and Capt Marsh lived near together, both cantankerous and were always quarrelling, so Miers came to Belleville and bought of Tailor thinks 100 acres out of the 200 Tailor had drawn; Chrysler, an Englishman lived a little above the Indian woods. When he came to Belleville were but few clearings along the bay from Hallowell. There was old Mr. Cronk, Daniel Way in Sophiasburgh, Sager at Napanee. Has seen the preacher Losee, he preached in Adolphustown and up the bay. Then came Ryan whom he knew, and then Case. When his father settled in Picton Mat Steele lived over the bay was a local preacher has heard him preach many a time; He was a homespun one and a rattler, but did a good deal of good


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was then no ordained preacher of any denomination. Mr. Langhorn was the first clergyman (English) who could solemnize matrimony. He settled in Ernestown, was from England, used to preach in Kingston as well, occasionally came up and preached to the Mohawks, that was some 60 years ago. They used to go from far and near to get Langhorn to christen their children, as well as to marry a couple or party would get in a batteaux and go to him to get married. Has heard them laugh at his long services in marrying. The Methodists had been preaching six or seven years before Langhorn came to the bay but they could not marry till sometime after. When they did get the liberty the people generally got them to marry them. (John Roblin went to Toronto to get the act passed. Capt Trumpour went to oppose it. Mrs. Maybee says it was in Bidwells time that the law was enacted. He says it was in 1810.) Within Mrs. M[aybee’s] recollection the Squires, magistrates, were allowed to marry when no minister lived within 18 miles. Squire Cuthor married them, he lived 3 miles from the Demorestville and 4 miles above Northport, Squire Lazier of 6th town, Squire Young of the Carrying Place, and Squire Bleeker of the Trent used to marry. The Rev. Mr. McDowell came to Ernestown about 8 or 10 years after Langhorn. He lived at old Mr. Shibley’s. When Mr. Maybee came into Canada, Kingston was a small place, a few small houses, 7 or 8. A fort and some soldiers. At first his father had to go to mill to Judge Cartwright, was at the Napanee River or to the windmill in 3rd town which had been built by the government for the good of the settlers. As the wind might not blow and they had to go, for it was uncertain going to the windmill. Old George ordered it to be built. Judge Cartwright lived at Kingston. He had the first mill along the bay, a great while before anyone else thought of building one. They used to go to his mill from all directions. Heard tell of the hard summer before he came into the country of how they suffered, having nothing but fish, how they cut down green wheat and boiled it. Old John Tailor here in Belleville, he says he was a native of York State but Mrs. M says he was born in Scotland. After the Rev War Tailor went to Nova Scotia, afterward, came with four or five others through the woods with knapsacks on back to Quebec then to Kingston to Belleville. Tailor told Maybee this. Tailor was a private soldier, and drew here in Belleville 200 acres, lot number five, joined in N.Y. He would not fight for the Congress. Thinks Tailor had lived here 7 or 8 years before Captain Meyers. Captain Meyers owned a batteaux, which was run by Jacob Steiners and down the bay to Montreal, carried produce at one time. Captain Meyers had quite a store in Belleville. When Maybee first came to Canada there was a schooner on the lake commanded by Capt Steadman. This schooner plied between Kingston and York about the year 99 in the fall it left York for Kingston and was never heard of. A Captain Ferguson was disappointed in getting out and he was saved.


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Mrs. Martha Maybee --- born McArthur, aged 74 next April (Born in ’91) at Schuthen?  ---  now Brockville.  Her father’s name was Chas McArthur was born in Scotland.  Died in 1827 at Presque Isle --- brought to Belleville and buried in Tailor’s burying ground.  Emigrated to America & settled in the Mohawk river.  When Revolutionary War broke out he fought for the British in Burgoyne’s army.  Came to Canada right after the war & settled at S[chuthen?] Brockville.  Was then married but had no children, 4 afterward born in S[chuthen?]. The mother died and the family removed to the head of Bay Quinte to her aunt’s, by name of widow Ferguson, relic[t] of Israel Ferguson.  This Ferguson was a Lieutenant, sometimes called Capt. and lived with Captain Singleton.  The following history of Capt. Singleton and Ferguson and families was told to Mrs. Maybee by her aunt Mrs Ferguson who subsequently was married to Abram Cronk (and 9 children) of Sophiasburgh in 1796. (to which place Mrs. M. then went).  Lieut. Ferguson made his escape to Lower Canada from the Mohawk from the time of the war.  Came in boats below Quebec.  Lived for a time at Sorel.  Moved from Sorel to 3rd Town in company with Capt Singleton (who was married (afterwards I suppose) to Mrs. Maybee’s half sister) and his servant and wife by name of old Johnson.  In the 3rd Town Capt. Singleton had drawn 200 acres of land here he built a comfortable nice log house with several rooms.  Lived there probably 2 years.  Capt. Singleton had also drawn 400 acres in Thurlow so hither the whole party[,] 3 men and wives removed and settled on the place between Bleekers and John Tailor’s on the Front 200 acres.  Built a comfortable log house --- length of 2 logs --- was divided into 2 parts one of which was for a trading house with the Indians (Mrs. Maybee knows not whether Tailor had then settled in Belleville).  Down the bay then there was 1st a house where is Fowler’s place. here lived Archy Chisholm 3 miles below Squire Sherwood, where Hector Leavens now lives.  When Capt. Singleton left 3rd town he reserved one of the rooms in his house so that he could at any time in going up and down the bay stay there.  (John Singleton the Capt’s son was 8 months [sic, weeks] old when his father died, he was born in June 23rd 1789) the Capt. died in Sept).  A fortnight before he died he with Ferguson and Johnson the 3 wives and the baby John Singleton started from Thurlow in a Batteaux owned by Singleton and Ferguson for Kingston.  The women at least were going to stay in 3rd Town until the batteaux came back from Kingston.  When crossing the big bay Singleton took ill, he thought it was sea sickness, the party wanted to return but he would not.  The 1st night they stayed with Capt. John (Indian), his wife a squaw doctored him and in the morning he was better and pressed on his way, was sick all day, 2nd night stayed at Capt Trumpours.  The next day got to his place 3rd Town went to his house and getting worse there he died 9 days after.  A doctor was procured from Kingston.  Johnson his servant took the same disease (whatever it was) and died a few days after.  Capt Singleton was a nice man --- a perfect gentleman beloved by all who knew him.  Ferguson now had the two widows and the baby with his own wife, then he brought back to Thurlow.  At this time provisions was very scarce, there was no flour in Thurlow.  Ferguson brought a barrel flour.  Mrs. M. forgets how much


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was paid for the barrel but it was a great price.  This flour was a precious thing to them and neighbours, not so extravagant as to bake bread in a loaf, it was used by little made into cakes.  They did not keep it all but sent to others a quart now and then.  Mrs. M. has often heard her aunt talk about this flour.  It was the more precious thing and the most useful she ever had.  Sad to say just 3 months after Capt. Singleton and his servant died Ferguson died also of pleurisy  (this must have been in December[)]  It can be imagined how useful that barrel of flour was.  Here were 3 widows and a child all living in one house.  Ferguson was buried in the Tailor burying ground (Tailor was no doubt the first settler about Belleville, Include the fact that upon his ground is the burying ground goes far to prove that. Yet according to the custom of burying on the farm it would be that whoever lost a friend first might commence the establishment of a burying place to which all the neighbours would thereafter go. W.C.).  Old John Tailor of Belleville had with him his mother and grandmother her mother.  She died at the age of 90.  She was spinning hemp the very day she died, 2 hours before, she suddenly stopped, told them to put away the wheel as she was done spinning and so died.  She it is likely was the first person white buried in Belleville.  This history was told to Mrs. Maybee by her aunt and thinks it occurred between 1780-90.


The widow Ferguson when Mrs. M. went to live with her resided between the Trent river and the head of the bay on the shore.  There then lived up there Peter Huffman & family, Donald McDonnell, John Bleeker, Esq., & John McArthur.  They all lived between the Trent and the head of the bay.  All around was a wilderness.  Huffman was right at the head of the bay.  Bleeker’s near the river.  He owned where Trenton now is.  (Mrs. Maybee remembers well when she was 3 years old.)  Then down the bay 3 1/2 miles below was Capt. Marsh, near by one Soper then no more till came to Chrysdale’s (Ostrom’s place) who lived in a miserable log hut with no fireplace nor other comfort.  Up to 1808 Trenton was a cedar swamp.  In 1806 A. H. Miers [Adam Henry Meyers] came from Belleville and built a mill about a mile up the Trent raising 1st a sawmill afterward a flouring mill.  The whole place was desolate enough a single track up to the mill for sleigh, if two met would have turn them up to pass.  There were no roads up and down the bay --- traveled in batteaux in summer and on the ice in the winter.  Mrs. M. lived in Sophiasburgh until she married Mr. M. which took place in 1808, moved to Belleville in 1810.  During the years she lived in Sophiasburgh she often visited with her mother up the bay, at that time they would take a week or longer and make a general visit to all the settlers.  She often came to see her half-sister Mrs. Singleton [later Chisholm, then Marsh], had a sister living with her.  Remembers distinctly when the ground now Belleville was a cedar swamp about 1790[.] There were plains down by the bay and here Indians in large numbers were encamped in their wigwams.  It was called Miers Creek.  There was one log hut down on the river side somewhere near Ridley’s occupied by Asa Walbridge, a regular Yankee speculator.  He kept a sort of store in a corner of the room which he sold to the people, his was the only shop except that where Capt. Singleton had settled now held by Col. Alex Chisholm, from Scotland directly who had married the widow Singleton. A. Wallbridge peddled in a bateaux up and down the bay. He was a bachelor, and quite old


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(He must have been the uncle of Lewis’s grandfather, who planted orchards.  W.C.) The Indians were very numerous about Belleville, and all along the bay. Were worthless and lazy and drunken. Has seen them laying about Chas Holmes[?] house drunk. Were peaceable. They came yearly to Kingston for their presents from the gov[ernment] of blankets and brass kettles etc. These were dispersed? of for liquor and when winter came they were always destitute. They were ingenius[?] in making baskets and in the use of porcupine ornaments in birch bark. They would also make kegs of bass wood bark in which they would bring sugar which they had made, and rice which they had collected.  Mrs. Maybee remembers when rice grew in the bay, it looked like rye. She has bought it from the Indians it is very good in soup. Her aunt Mrs. Ferguson –Cronk understood the Indians tongue well (Mass[issauga]). She was a favorite with them and would call to talk with her. Has seen 100 canoes on the bay to gather on their way to Kingston for presents. Would put up a blanket for sail and when the wind was contrary go ashore. When they moved to Miers creek in 1810 it was quite a place. There was living here the McNabs McIntosh, Simpson, Henderson, Leavens, Captain Thompson, Jas Harris, Mr. Maybee who lived right in the cedar swamp near on Pinnock St. in a log hut of rough cedar, which had been built via A. Silver , a Miller who had a brother. There was an Indian path leading to the house. Hennesy lived here (Squire H) related to the Hennessey’s across the bay.  He came to Belleville probably next after A Wallbridge. John Tailor there lived down the Kingston road about seven miles, and kept tavern[?], He lived here about five years till the close of the war. Thinks Miers brick house was built about 1790, was there when it was building, was on a visit up the bay with her mother. Col Chisholm lived by Mrs. Singleton the family of 8 boys & 2 girls.


Again with Mrs. Maybee   About Dress

The men wore, at the time of her earliest recollections, long vests and coats with lapelles, wide skirts, knee breeches, shoes with high heels and silver buckles. The latter was also worn by the women. The buckle was two or 5 inches broad. The less stylish were Brass buckles or steel. The men had their hair tied up in a queue behind very long, sit upon it. Went to school to one John Jones who had it very long and thick, as large as the arm. Has seen his wife doing it up for him, and tied  it with an eel skin. Mr. Maybee for a time after he was married wore his this way. The hats worn by old men were low crowned, and broad brimmed. They would go in her recollection to Kingston for clothes.


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Mrs. Maybee

Calamink 2/8 a yd.  Calico 4/ – The dress for the women, on grand occasions were of silk, that is of the better to do, (very  likely rather those who had been well off before the revolution and could manage to bring their clothes with them. For it is the not likely after the war the UE’s had money to spent to procure them. These fine dresses were in the main most likely but relics of bye gone peaceful days happily spent on the bountiful Hudson etc. The waist was long with a point behind down about three or 4 inches fit very snugly to the waist and falling back traveling into a train which was lifted when they walked. Under this was a skirt of the same material[,] a handkerchief of white muslin around the neck. The hair was done up into a single pleet behind, upon the head was worn a fur hat low crown & broad brim for the young – for the older a bonnet with a high crown and scoop shaped front. The hat was not taken off except on retiring at night[,] a veil or a feather. In visiting for an afternoon it would be kept on, and also at meals. This dress was for very extra occasions and only and by the well off. The lower class wore home made clothes, flax etc, Lindsay Woolsey petticoat, handkerchief around the neck. Whenever she was married she had a woolen drugget pressed made into a dress. The extravagance was deemed beyond character by the natives. The people around Belleville were always stylish compared with Sophiasburgh.  The women’s were made of linen lower crown set in very full. The borders very full down and around the ears, so that could scarcely see the face. Cramped. Nancy Singleton had in her drawers with lace that cost $2 a yard. (60 years ago there was a wedding a little above Meyers Creek, Benj Way of Sophiasburgh was married to Miss Chisholm of Sidney, a sister of Colin Chisholm’s father Archy C[hisholm]. After the wedding they started for Sophiasburgh in a batteaux, quite a large wedding party. The boat was rowed by men and would seat 25 or 30. Mrs. M[aybee] then about 14, remembers the occasion well, she was not in the wedding party at Way’s, although it was mor[?] her stepfathers or uncle - but she heard it all described. The party was very brilliant for the Bay of Quinte. The bride in her flowing silk robe with ?? of the same, a rich fur hat, with a feather from under which being down behind the broad plait of hair. trimmed with faultless care. The bridesmaid who were dressed in a similar manner. The groom with his dress half Quaker and half of the fashion something like a Wm. Pecum? and a jay coupey? filled the house and table.


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Of the happy bride groom, thinks they were married by a Mr. Turvey, a Baptist minister.


Mrs. M. has been at Laziers, a grandfather of the Bogarts when very young, and on the table was a very large pewter platter covering, almost, the table this was filled with supper, there was also a dish of milk. Each one who sat at the table had a round pewter spoon of Dutch style. Each one would make a hole in the meal against him or her in which would be poured a little milk. Then with the spoon each would take his meal, putting in milk from time to time, (until the several compartments were united beyond Mrs. M say if not. But I suppose the thin partitions were left for the children.)

Mrs. M tells of a singular but affectionate custom at the table while the mother would pour the tea, the father would sit to her right and, the two having a plate in common, he would cut the bread for her as well as for himself.


First minister. There was a Mr. Atty., A Baptist. Joseph Foster and Betty Giles, were working at the same farm. She a help, he a worker on the farm. Ministers were scarce, and magistrates and although a pair might desire to enter to the holy bonds of matrimony they could not always satisfy that desire, as traveling to Kingston or further to 3rd town was out of the question. While Jose & Betty determined to be one there was [no] opportunity and in the mean time consoled one another with generous and no doubt honest love. One time a party travelled along that region, near the head of the Bay of Quinte, among the party was Squire Bleecker. This occurred in 1790. The family with whom the engaged pair were working, so soon as the squire arrived bethought them that now was the time for Betty and Jose to be tied. So forthwith Betty was called from the kitchen and Jose from the field all begrimed with dirt and sweat, and the two were duly and legally united as man and wife, one of the witnesses of the interesting ceremony was a bright eyed boy who talked unceremoniously to the bride & groom calling them respectively fadde & masser – The time, strange to say, arrived when this boy possessed the means to which he purchased the very farm on which his father & mother lived and he was born – The owner having become unwell.


[This doubled sided page is found in folder G6 (2) but fits here based on the numbering and context.]

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Mrs Maybee

Tells me that Mrs Solmes Margaret Canniff was married in Calico.


Tells about the Reeds who settled up the river Moira. Were “poor as poor could be” 3 brothers and a sister. The sister afterwards married Billy Foster. Sammy Reed and this sister lived together. They had 2 cows, would gather herbs for greens, and basswood leaves etc. These and milk were the principal articles of diet. But the cows got lost, were away for 3 days; could not find them. They were beginning to be famished . Were walking down the river looking for the cows when, they saw opposite a large fine buck which presently lunged into the river, to swim across. A gun was hurriedly got, with which the deer was shot. He was carried home when good luck would have the cows were there. Behold a family almost famishing, then suddenly supplied with luxuries, for such they were to them, greens, a fresh deer, and milk after 3 days of fasting.


The sister afterward married Billy Foster, in Sophiasburgh, who bought years before a farm for a horse. The two added farm to farm in their life. Although after they were married they had no chairs in their house , no blankets, the bedstead was made by boring holes in the logs of the house in which were put poles, and basswood bark twisted made the cords, a kind of straw tick and pillow of the same. She was wont to say to her children that when she was young she had no pillow for her head much more for her body. There was growing about the yard a kind of hemp. Spun it and went to tan yard, most people did their own tanning of leather, and gathered the hair lying around. She knocked out the lime which was in it, with a stick, thoroughly cleaned it, carded and spun it, and double & twisted it. It was made into a blanket birds eye style. Sheets of hemp & flax. Salyer Reed was this woman’s nephew.


The 1st Methodist Mr M[aybee] heard preach was Coutes [Coates?], a traveling minister, preached Spencer, John Spencer.


Old Sall, a colored woman, a slave, John Cronk, were the first 1st Methodists in 6th town up to 1808. They would go 4th town to quarterly meeting. The old wench would fix up and start off


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for the meeting walking all the way, she had a family of children was the property of [space] was brought in by him --


Elder Winn was the second preacher Mr M[aybee] heard, about 1790 or 1800. Mr McDowell of 3rd town was appointed to to preach in 6th town, every quarterly - 4 times a year, when there was always a great turn out. The 3rd Meth[odist] preacher.


the Kingston Gazette the first paper, posted through the country. Was first carried by one Huff on foot, once a fortnight, he also brought pamphlets all of which were greatly looked for, this was about 1800.


Up the Moira at first lived Ketcheson & Reed. There were then when Mrs M[aybee] went up to head of bay to live when 3 years old, to Mrs Fergusons. The young wheat boiled in milk was good. The Cronks and Ways were the first settlers  below Northport. Mrs M[aybee]’s aunt Mrs Ferguson married A C Cronk. Cronk and Way were the only settlers then living there. No family down the bay until came to Havits?, John Trumpour. Cronk and Mrs Ferguson were married in 1796. He had 6 boys & 3 daughters, all but one settled around him within 4 miles. After this, other Ways & Cronks came in from the States. Remembers to have heard them sit and tell of the hardships, of driving in herds through Black river country, and suffering much, sleeping out, little to eat.