New Brunswick

New Brunswick

a province of British America, originally a part of Nova Scotia, is situated to the north of that province, and to the south-east of Canada. It has an area of 27,322 square miles, with a coast-line of 500 miles in extent. The population of New Brunswick in l881 amounted to 321,233. The scenery of this province is beautiful, its soil is rich, and the land abounds in mineral wealth. The northern districts of the province, from the Bay of Chaleurs to the St. John, are occupied by metamorphic slates. In the south the carboniferous and new red sandstone systems (including deposits of red marl and gypsum, and extensive beds of coal) prevail. One third of the surface of New Brunswick is underlaid by a bed of coal. Many of the coal- measures, however, are thin and impure; but the coal of Albert County is one of the most valuable deposits of bituminous coal on the American continent, and is apparently inexhaustible. Throughout the province 2842 tons of coal were mined in 1851, and 18,244 tons in 1861; but mining has not yet become an important branch of industry. Gold and silver occur in New Brunswick; copper and iron ore of excellent quality abound; gypsum, plumbago, and limestone are very abundant; and the freestone of the province, unsurpassed for beauty and durability, commands a high price in the United States. In 1861, 42,965 casks of lime, 42,476 grindstones, 14,080 tons of building-stone, and 14,000 tons of gypsum were brought into the market. Wild animals abound in the province, the lakes and rivers are well stocked with fish, and along the coasts cod, haddock, salmon, and other fish are caught in great plenty. Indeed, its fisheries are a principal source of income to the province. The autumn — and especially the season called the Indian summer-is particularly agreeable, and the severity of the winter has been already much mitigated by the clearing of the forests. In the interior, the heat in summer rises to 80°, and sometimes to 95°; and in winter, which lasts from the middle of December to the middle of March, the mercury sometimes falls as low as 40° below zero. At Frederickton, the capital, situated on St. John River, 65 miles from the south, and 130 miles from the north coast, the temperature ranges from 35° below to 95° above zero, and the mean is about 420. In its social circumstances New Brunswick is preferable to any territory in the same latitude. Though not much given to agricultural development, a healthy state pervades all classes of society, as may be learned from the fact that the provincial penitentiary of St. John contained only thirty convicts (on Dec. 31, 1873). Altogether the province has fourteen jails, and these only contained in all 149 inmates, according to the census of 1871. This unusually high moral status of the community is fostered by a system of free public schools, which was last improved by an act of 1871. The schools are under the general supervision of a chief superintendent of education of the province, with a county inspector for each county, and boards of trustees for the several districts, and are supported by a provincial grant and a county tax equal to thirty cents per head, supplemented by a local tax, which includes a poll-tax of one dollar per head. The expenditures from tie provincial treasury for school purposes during the year ending April 30, 1874, were $122,067 69. The number of schools in operation during the summer term ending Oct. 31, 1874, was 1049, with 1077 teachers and 45,539 pupils; number in attendance some portion of the year ending on that date, 60,467; number of school districts, 1392; number of school-houses, 1050. A provincial training and model school is sustained at Fredericton; besides which there is the University of New Brunswick at Fredericton, established since 1800, which embraces in its curriculum a classical course of three years, and special courses in civil engineering and surveying, agriculture. commerce, and navigation. There is an annual scholarship of $60 for one student for each county, who also receives tuition free; and there are five free scholarships, distributed among the counties and cities, exempting from the payment of tuition fees also. In 1872-73 the number of professors was 7; students, 51. The Methodists since 1862 own Mount Allison Wesleyan College at Sackville, which is in connection with the provincial university, and is open to both sexes. It has classical, scientific, and special classes, and provision is made for theological instruction. A male academy and commercial school, in operation more than thirty years, and a female academy, organized in 1854, are connected with it. In 1873-74 these institutions had 15 professors and instructors (5 in the college), 213 students (34 in the college), and a library of 4000 volumes. The Roman Catholics have the St. Joseph's College at Memramcook; it has a commercial course of four years. and a classical course of five years, both taught through the medium of the French and English branches. In 1874-75 it employed 18 professors and instructors, and had 140 students, and a library of 1000 volumes.

The first Wesleyan missionary sent out to this country was the Rev. A. J. Bishop, who arrived in the city of St. John, the capital of the colony. Sept. 24, 1791. He found the inhabitants in a state of great spiritual destitution, and commenced his labors in the true missionary spirit. From this small beginning much good resulted, and the Methodists have become a powerful and a respectable body in the country. The Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians have also done much for the spread of the Gospel. Although the work, as carried on by all denominations in New Brunswick, resembles in many respects that of the mother country, there is still a loud call for an increase of evangelical agency to' meet the spiritual necessities of a scattered population in many parts of the colony, as numbers are still to be found who seldom hear a Gospel sermon. The number of the inhabitants in 1871 belonging to the various religious denominations, and the number of churches and buildings attached thereto, are shown in the following table:

Of the Baptists, 27,866 were Free-will Baptists, and of the Methodists, 26,212 were Wesleyans. The principal denominations not named in the table were Adventists (711), Christian Conference (1418), Congregationalists (1193), and Universalists (590).

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia originally formed one French colony, called Acadic or New France. The first settlement within the present limits of New Brunswick was made by the French on the Bay of Chaleurs in 1639. Other settlements were made in 1672 on the Miramichi River, and elsewhere on the east coast. This accounts for the large number of Roman Catholics in the country. In 1713 Acadia was ceded to the English by the treaty of Utrecht. The first British settler established himself on the Miramichi in 1764, and in 1784 New Brunswick was separated from Nova Scotia, and erected into a distinct colony. The first legislative assembly met at St. John in January, 1786. At the close of the American Revolution about 5000 royalists from the United States settled there, and their descendants now form a considerable portion of the population. In 1867 New Brunswick was made a British province of the Canadian dominion, and is now ruled by a lieutenant governor, who holds office for five years, assisted by an executive council of nine members, who are all responsible to an assembly of the people. See for further details the American Cyclopaedia, s.v.

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