Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB
June 28, 1894
GLIMPSES OF THE PAST
Contributions to the History of Charlotte County and the Border Towns.
CXXII WEST ISLES AND CAMPOBELLO LOYALISTS-Continued.
Among the Deer Island Loyalists was one Patrick Flinn, who seems to have been in 1804 the leader of an unsuccessful attempt on the part of a number of residents to establish a claim to the land on which they lived. Quaint letters of his are in existence,1 which show how uncertain was Capt. Ferrels title to the island previous to the regrant in 1810.
According to these letters, and other documents bearing on the subject, Col. Gorham sold the island to Capt. Ferrel, in 1770, for £470 sterling. The terms and conditions of the grant not having been complied with, the island was liable to escheat. Meanwhile other claimants appeared. In 1785, Attorney General Blowers, of Nova Scotia, wrote to Ward Chipman, Solicitor General, at Parr, New Brunswick, that Messrs. McMaster & Co. of Halifax, had taken administration on the estate of one Thomas McDonald Reid, with a view to possess themselves of the island called Deer Island; and that if the division of the old province of Nova Scotia had not taken place they would by that time have secured an order from the governor and council to sell said island to satisfy a claim against the estate of Reid. Accordingly, in May 1786, a memorial was presented by Patrick McMaster to the governor and council of New Brunswick, stating that Thomas McDonald Reid claimed to have purchased the island from Ferrel, and at the time of his death to hold a good sufficient and legal title from Joseph Gorham, the original grantee of the island; and praying for license to sell such part of the island as would satisfy the debt of £168 14 10 Halifax currency with interest due, which sum had been paid to the late Reid as part of a sum agreed on for purchase of Deer Island by the McMasters, the transaction taking place at New York in 1778. Reid died (without having executed the deed) at the house of Bennet the Herring Smoaker, who kept a public house in New York; and Bennet said he had paid ten guineas to Ferrell for Reid on one occasion, and at another time about twenty guineas.
The petition of the inhabitants of Deer Island states that Ferrell sold the island to Thomas McD. Reid of North Carolina in 1778, for the same amount he had paid Gorham, viz. £470 stg. It appears, however, that Ferrell still claimed possession, and proceedings were stayed.
In 1789, David Reid, son and heir of Thos. McD. Reid, claimed the property, and appointed Daniel McMaster, merchant in Campobello, Bay of Passamaquoddy, and Daniel Campbell, Lieutenant, late of North Carolina but now of Nova Scotia, his true and lawful attorneys. In 1796, he came to New Brunswick to try to effect a settlement of his claims. Ferrell, it is presumed, contested the case.
Meanwhile the unsatisfactory state of titles was retarding the settlement of the island, and was a source of anxiety to the people who had already settled there. A curious petition signed by Patrick Flinn and twenty one others states that they were at the time (1804) living in possession of the island unmolested, and have been seeking for an owner these twenty years past but could find noe owner for it to grant us a title, which is a Great Damage to the Island at present.
They asked for a grant of 200 acres each.
The names of the memorialists were,
|Patrick Flinn||Edmond Lambert|
|Daniel Leeman||Joseph Hardy|
|Paul Cook||Henry Card|
|Daniel Hill||Gideon Pendleton|
|Daniel Lambert||Thos. Pendleton Jr.|
|John Lambert||John Good|
|Sargent I. Stuart||David Weaver|
|John Walsh||Daniel Hill Jr.|
|Gideon Dean||David Butler|
|James Cook||Samuel Dean|
|William Stuart||James Brown|
If they had been on the island twenty years, as is stated in their memorial, they must have gone there at the time of the Loyalist settlement, not all Loyalists themselves.
Capt. Ferrells claims, or his influence, in the end secured for him the regrant; but, as before stated, 2 he seems to have dealt very liberally with the inhabitants and encouraged the settlement of the island.
1Ward Chipman MSS.
Article CXXIV contains the following correction to this one: 'The paragraph before the last should read: 'Since they had been on the island twenty years, as stated in their memorial, if not all Loyalists, they must have gone there at the time of the Loyalist settlement or earlier.''