Issue # 21, January 2003
As we hunker down for Winter, this issue of The White Fence hopes to entertain you (we hope!) with some historic biquering (of sorts!) and eavesdropping via fascinating family correspondence. In our last issue, I had informed you about the treasures Marcie Fullerton had dug from the rich Tantramar mine. I had received some information from Capt. Pickering Ward's ships' log for 1912 (what was left of it!) but I had also mentioned some historic letters that Marcie passed on to me and to relate to you. They are something else! Marcie had some letters which were exchanged between her great great great grandfather John Morice and his brother, her great great uncle, William Morice. These are beautifully crafted letters by fountain pen on 17 February and 5 and 10 March, 1860! Although the letters appear to be mainly an exchange of personal and business news between brothers, the letter of 5 March informs us of the unfortunate sinking of The Hungarian and the sad passing of William Boultenhouse. This is very timely for all of us as we prepare the home of Christopher Boultenhouse to house our museum and geneology center. These fascinating letters were found by Marcie in a box in the attic of the ancestral home where John had lived on the corner of Morice Drive and Main Street near Silver Lake in Middle Sackville. This lovely home is presently occupied by the 6th generation of Morices and the letters of its previous occupants are all in exceptional condition!
But, even with all the able assistance I received, there were some words that no one could recognize. Those words are simply written here with xs, In other words, an unrecognizable 3-letter word was simply written in as "xxx". But with the help of Ann Koval, Owan Corrigan, Gerry Parker, Al Smith and my dear wife Carrie Macmillan, I was able to transcribe the letters with most of the wording intact, as they were read by the Morice brothers 142 years ago!! But to fit them all in, we had to use a small font. So some of us will need the magnifying glass to read them all !!
Also included is the following account about the life and correspondence of Captain Amos Pickering Ward which was researched and written by descendent Jeff Ward. I asked Jeff if he was distantly related to "Capt. Pick". His interesting and informative response goes as follows:
I do hope you enjoy reading this issue of The White Fence as much as I enjoyed compiling it from all the rich sources mentioned above! And special thanks to prospectors Jeff Ward and Marcie Fullerton for their sharp eyes and concerns for our rich historical resources allowing us to re-live those years long ago! Consequently, I feel as though I've already met the Wards, somewhere in Rockport, and the Morice brothers in the grist mill last Saturday or was it Friday . . . ?
And so here follows the results of Jeff's research on Capt. A. P. Ward, based primarily on the good captain's correspondence which allow us to follow up on the few morsels Capt. Ward's log book provided us during our last stop at The White Fence. So now you can help yourselves to longer stopover and a full meal of rich history which you can only get when you stop at The White Fence !
Captain Amos Pickering Ward
by Jeff Ward
Captain Pick, as he was sometimes known (see White Fence no. 20), was born in Maine in 1849 to Seth Ward and Eunice Cole, originally from Wood Point. About 1878, he married Loretta Tower from Rockport. They had eleven children between 1879 and 1903. Captain Ward appears to have moved to Upper Rockport because of favorable shoreline conditions there. The land, which contained a stream inlet, was gently sloping and well-suited for a small shipyard ( Lorne Booth's property, presently for sale ed.). He had several sons who all helped work on the ships in their youth. Their youngest child, Charles, would take over the family property years later.
A substantial amount of Captain Ward's correspondence has survived and is preserved at the Dalhousie University Archives (Amos P. Ward Papers MS-2-200). These papers include letters and other materials sent and received during the period just after the turn of the century. During the period covered, he was captain of several vessels including the Rowena (1903-07), Lizzie Rich (1905), Stella Maud (1907-10), and the Carrie C. Ware (1913-15). A sampling of the letters reveals something of his character, family, local events, and of the businesses he came into contact with. He did business with several companies and brokerage houses including such timber suppliers as Robinson, Wright & Co. of Shulie; C. S. Hickman of Dorchester; F. W. Pickels Co. of Annapolis Royal; and J. Newton Pugsley and B. L. Tucker of Parrsboro. Buyers included Suncook Valley Lumber Co. and Stetson, Cutler & Co., both of Boston.
In 1903, he purchased the vessel that he would christen the Rowena, after one of his daughters. It was an 84 ton schooner. That year, oak would ship at $3.50 per 1,000 board feet, a good price. Communications were by mail, telegram or even by phone if Ward was in the right place; telephone service was available in Moncton and Dorchester. A typical order by mail might read, "We have lots of lumber ready for shipment and would like to have you come and load" (Robinson, Wright, October 28, 1904) or "We understand that you are to report at Rufus Seaman's mill at Rockport and load scantling and plank for Boston at freight of $3.25 per thousand feet" (Suncook, March 23, 1906). Sometimes, he would be asked to confirm the order by phone or telegram. All of his dealings were charters.
Sometimes communications were not as clear and the good captain must have been frustrated from time to time while waiting for orders. Long after the crash of 1907, when markets had improved somewhat, he got into a shouting match of sorts with Stetson, Cutler & Co. In a letter dated April 23, 1914, an officer of the company wrote:
"We have your letter of the 22nd, reading as follows: - ‘went to Sand River [Cumberland County] after that cargo I wired you about. Called up the manager at Shulie. He said he had never heard tell of it.'
We don't know why you ever went to Sand River, as we certainly never chartered you to go there. The only communications between us are shown in the following telegrams. Our telegram to you April 8th:- ‘we have all the Windsor tonnage wanted at present ... possibly we can load you at Sand River near Shulie ... answer if wanted.'
Your Telegram to us April 9th from Hantsport:- ‘will accept Sand River ... will proceed today.'
Now we took your message to mean that you would accept and proceed on the date of your message, providing we confirmed the charter. We certainly did not suppose you were going ahead anyway, as we had never told you positively that we could load you. Our message simply said ‘possibly' we could load you at Sand River. "
The confusion ended when Stetson, Cutler & Co. offered to ask the manager of the Shulie operation to make up an order of spruce and laths. But his dealings with Stetson, Cutler seem to have been often testy. An earlier letter, form 1908, reveals some of their frustration with him. It would appear he threatened them in some way:
"We see you ignored our reference to our having given you half of the River Hebert towage to which you were not entitled under terms of the option given us on your vessel. This would be equal to $15.00 or better and we note you offered to settle with Alexander for $5.00. We think this is a case where both sides of the matter should be weighed. If you care to come in here and talk with writer when you are next in Boston, we will go into the matter in detail but we don't care or propose to call in 3 or 4 captains to settle our business as we believe we are capable of attending to it ourselves. You can do things in an amicable way which you cannot accomplish by threat and your statement that a settlement will have to be effected with you before you discharge your cargo does not jar us a particle. If you fail to deliver the cargo we shall immediately libel* the vessel. We are willing to talk the matter over with you but this is the last letter we shall write. You have no right to claim that your carrying capacity is 140M (140,000 board feet) as you didn't carry it on your prior trip and the cargo of hemlock you mention carrying to Wickford was planed boards and if I deduct 1/8 for the planing you only had the equivalent of 120M of rough lumber."
As we can see from these letters, and from Ward's entries in the log book excerpted in the last issue of the White Fence, that it is clear that he was a tough businessman, not afraid to employ a little bluster in his dealings. This toughness did not apparently translate into his home life, however. Several letters between he and his wife are also among the Papers, and they reveal a more conciliatory, domestic side to the man. Here is an excerpt from letter he wrote in September 1913:
This has been a fine long lonesome day. Received your letter Friday night - would have written before. Will have the hull full tomorrow. Lumber very heavy. We will be all loaded by Wednesday and will be round home if the wind is southwest. You better have the potatoes dug right away. Will write you before we leave and send you that $500 cheque and the one that we got last night. Hope we will get around home. This ain't half what I want to say. Excuse this writing. Goodbye from Father to Mother.
His wife Loretta appears to have played a large part in his business because the two discuss business matters frequently, as can be seen from the following message, dated April 7, 1914. The letter also reveals that while he may have been tender with his wife, he was not always forthcoming:
It is a nice day here today. There is a big bill from Jonesport. Something more to worry about. You told me that you paid every cent on her the time you stopped in Jonesport. I don't know why you tell such stuff. Why didn't you pay it last summer and have it done with? And here is another bill. This is two of these that's come from New Haven. You had better draw some money out the Bank at Sackville and pay it and stop interest. I don't know where Lester is. Haven't heard a word since they were in Portland [their son Lester appears to have been captaining the Genevieve at this time -J.W.]. We don't more than get it in the bank before we have to draw it out. But it don't matter as long as we have it to draw ... Well, write as often as you can and let me know how you are getting along. Don't get out of patience. You will get loaded sometime as long as you are well. So long from Mother to Father.
Not long after this letter Captain Ward got a letter from the Boston commission merchants known as Splane Bros. who advised him of "very few freights from the Bay of Fundy and rates are ruling ridiculously low and there are no immediate prospects for improvement." Such were the ups and downs of the business. He must have prospered in his later years however, possibly from the sale of a vessel, as he is said to have purchased a car in 1918 (see Nowlan, Rockport Portraits, 1989). He could not have enjoyed it long, however, as he died the same year. He is buried in the Rockport Cemetery along with his wife Loretta, who died in 1938, and two of their sons, Hibbert and Bedford who both died as youths in the 1890's.
* The use of the word ‘libel' here refers to the written claims presented by a plaintiff in an action under admiralty law (Websters).
Aberdeen - Feb 17 1860
I write you by the way of Portland last week. I came from Liverpool to New Castle and could not find Meff from that to Glasgow could not find him there - arrived here last night and xxxxxxxx of uncle William talking about Jackson. I found him and took tea there last evening. He says Meff is at New Castle and will get the addrefs. I shall shortly go back. Jackson says he lost his wife last November and Christie Meff was married about 3 weeks ago to a respectable farmer about 20 miles out from here. I cannot tell any thing xxxx just now as the mail is just leaving or I would have called on him this morning. I do not think there will be any trouble about the insurance. Mr. Dickenson says their agent writes from London that the businefs is prospering. And in our case after a forfeit is made out they require a months notice. They will let me have what money I may want. And appear very friendly. I will expect a letter from you by the Cunard Line. I trust you are all well. I am very anxious to hear from you. I know since I landed I have a bad cold but am now considerably better. I trust you are getting along well with the businefs. As is expected that the government here will take off the duties on the Baltic Lumber & if so it will involve (include? - ed.) our deal and timber of half price and all parties here seem to think act very prejudicially against our wood trade. I am surprised to see such a Country as is here and such large population in the Cities. Glasgow contains they say 1/2 million of people and Manchester not much less known. they are very kind to me - wherever I go. I found Mr Hyan at Glasgow and he took me round some. and XXXX in haste. Respects to you and Most Affectionately
To John Morice
EDITOR'S NOTE: the mailing address on the envelope read as follows:
Via Cunard Line to Halifax, N.S.
In all his trials and troubles through life nothing can be compared with this. He wrote to his Father saying that he dreaded his cumming out in the winter but was very anxious to come home and see his family. We ought all to be thankful that the ship was so well insured but trust you will succed in getting the insurance to your satisfaction which we think will no more than cover the bills.
Boultenhouse is very anxious to have money but seems he cant wait till you come home - now will write you about our own affairs Margaret is a great deal better than when I wrote you last and think by good care she might recover. Mother is well, Father is about the same as when you left but his feet swells when he goes out to much. Elizabeth is quite smart - tending on the sick. Ann is well Humphrey is healthy running about Uncle John makes his visit same as usial is well Uncle Wm Morice quite Smart - going about Uncle Wm & C. Humphrey is all well. Weight is down and is getting on very well with his boat Bell and Boultenhouse is very much down on account of Wm B.
We are getting on very well with the machines but expect will have them done by last of April or sometime in May - if nothing happens. We have sent £50 to Woodcock and have ordered 2 selts of cards. The money we received from the Glenns came in play very well. There has not been many logs come yet to the Mill to buy but other people have drawn logs to get sawed on shares -. Have been busy in the Grist Mill this winter but at the same time the people do not like Alx having so many boys round him. It seems that he cannot do anthg in the mill till he is surrounded with them. Wrote you in our last letter if you could make arraingements with a good young man to come out in case he did not keep Alx to do so - I think we have to many Andersons about us now. We have done quite a businifs in the barley this winter. We have nearly all our wood and poles out -. If the wages should keep good for one week longer - will be done since March came in there has been a great thaw and the roards nearly bare and on the whole very little sleding done this winter.
To my dear son William
I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines. We have been setting up with Margaret every night since you left untill the first of March. And now she is so far recovered thank God that by Elizabeth laying in the room with her she makes out without any more assistance and she is getting stronger every day - And Dr Knapp has attended her every day since he commenced. As for Boultenhouse I cannot tell how he will get over this shock but the loss of his son Wm he cannot set himself to any kind of businifs he has been all winter in Picto preparing the Westmorland and not done yet. One of his sons has been at home all winter and they have got out 2 frames of spruce. They have done well. They say they will be about 300 tons each I have been thinking if you have money to share to get a carding machine 30 in cylinder a good selt of cards - and to have the doffer to shift end ways and addition to the carding machine to have a stock or comber for xxxxx all complete and I should like to get a thustle frame say about 50 or 60 spindles and a sluban to match for drawing out boles you will not forget the kiln top. I cannot mention any more for fear your money will not hold out. And if you get that machinery if you can engage a smart boy xxx 14 or 15 years old that used to attending such work will be very useful in the carding mill. As I consider the addition will be a great advantage to our concern. I hope you have met in with Mr Meff by this time. Give all our best respects to him and family. And hopes you will find them all well. Let Mr Meff know that my old mentor is in Glasgow his name is James Watts he had a shop in Anderston and if he is alive he will be glad to see you or any of the family. He will be able to give you a great deal of information that you might want in his line. We hope you will get out safe and would rather you come out in a wooden boat as we think they are safer than Iron - You had better wait a little longer - until the weather gets more settled we have but little news to send you but we shall send you a few of our news papers and you will get more news from them than I can send you. I forgot to inform you if you come across a young man a good farmer you had better indent him for 3 years or more if you can Bargin you had better get one or more to come out to this Country in the spring . . . This is what Father wrote to you and wishes you to get ahead for doubling (?) and twisting (?) which he forgot to put in case you get the machinery but will leave that to your self -
John Morice Sen
No doubt you was expecting a letter from us last mail but we missed the mail - till to late. But - endevour to remit you a letter after this by every mail from Halifax and trust you will do so to, McConnel is going to move his old store at the corner of his barn and I forbid him before xxxx he says that he will put it where he pleases - and says that we do not own a foot of land xxx When you come out you better take the Cunard Boats - will expect a letter by this mail from you trust you are wll - we all send our kind respect to you - from your Affectionate Brother
John Morice Sen
To William Morice
To John Morice Sackville NB
Dear Father & Family
Expect you have xxx this job and my letters excepting the first one sent by the Hungarian which was mainly stating the loss of the ship and my safe arrival here. William Boultenhouse sailed on the Hungarian and from accounts here all on board must have been lost. I have sent you and C. Boultenhouse a newspaper giving a list of passengers by the Boat of to day the Canada. Mirs Bramley More and Co. state there will now be no doubt but the insurance will be all right as the insurance company in London have written off. And the credit notes from the underwriters are expected here they say shortly which will then finally fix up the whole matter. The Hiphias (?) has been spoken 2 or 3 times since the time she was abandoned but Capt Miles thinks that now she must be broken up. All those things may deter the underwriter from settling fast now but all parties here state that should she be found and brought into port, the insurance would have to take her. but Mefs Bromley & co (?) state I may not be always uneasy about the businefs . . . under these circumstances not having it finally arranged I have so far deterred from making any purchases but have been through Sheffield and Manchester and some Cotten Shops machine & hardware & co. and think I have learned something. Lathes here are dear that is going to a machine shop and getting one made. I think I spoke in my former letter of a second hand nearly new lathe which W Meff showed me at New Castle. It is small but very handy back motion to completely made to cut screws to turn self acting turn taper - Complete slide rest can be turned by foot or power will turn up nearly 4 foot long and could be extended. The heads are about 5 in turn about 10 in diameter. The lathe was made by a first rate workman in Armstrong Girven manufacturing for his own amusement. Meff thought he offered it for about £17 which Meff says is very cheap. I have written Meff to inquire more particularly and also to find out what they would ask to put on a 3 jawed chuck. Speaking about lathes I priced one about the size of our Jack lathe yesterday in Manchester it was £95.00 and chucks and other stuff I wanted they asked about £12.10 more which would have made a very dear thing of it. As to the Common lathe without Rack they are nearly as high in performance.
So I think without I can get something cheap I shall not get any from here as I could get them cheaper in Boston hardware. If the lathe shown by Meff can be got around here for about £20 I would take it as it is a very useful article as would be to us.
I have fallen in with a tool maker in Sheffield he has a very good small hand drill either for hand or power can be used for either. one size is £11 and larger £13 ,, it will assume all the purposes that Harris & Alen would charge £20 for. If I get this I shall get a little improvement made on it; and have the bottom to turn which would make it able to drill out small xxxx by a verticle drill I do not think anything can be lost by the machine I have also got in with a large house which makes Cutting file saws and cast steel of all qualities. I shall get a few dozen of files to try them. Then sell at whole sale. But I have endeavour to get the insurance matter all right before I do much. As to getting cottens they are high just now. May bring out a few but will so arrange that if he should want could in future send. Wire is very cheap at Manchester. I have forgot the two which would answer for fans xxx xxxx you might write the no. in case I should not be away when it arrives as in case we make forms we would have to purchase minimum cloth in St John. As to the kiln plates we can get them as cheap from Pictou and xxxx covering as I wrote you soon rusts out.
This neat work I shall probably go to Suds and will see barly and will make particular enquiring about the Barly bolt. I find that almost Every improvement as also Cheapxxxx is confined to England and particularly about the manufacturing districts for nearly all articles. As barly knows about any improvements in Boultings. I shall also see something in the woolen line as Manchester is all in the Cotton. I may go to London. Bramly Munn who say I ought to go there by all means. Railway travelling is not very dear by taking the 2 or 3 Cars - and can go from here to London in 5 hours.
I wrote you I believe that I had seen Meff. he will go out to New York. Sometime in the spring. I recommended him to go there in preference to coming to St. John. His wife and family he will leave in Aberdeen or Glasgow. I shall write to parties in St. John to give him referances in New York so that he may get a situation if possible at once. His oldest boy with leave Gorden's Hospital this summer and intends to be an Engeneer and from some of his mothers friends think he can get into as apprentice the Napius (?) Establishment in Glasgow which no doubt will be a good place he is rather a smart boy - Miff himself xxxxx is in Armstrongs Celebrotio Gun factory for the Government a few miles from New Castle and gets pretty fair wages - but he says he has made up his mind for America and thinks he can do much better there than here ,,,, I am much disappointed in not getting a letter from you this mail. if you knew how anxious I am to hear from you, I think you would have taken the trouble to have written a few lines. Only if no more than to let me know how Margaret is - you mention in your letter about going on with 3 sets of machines. All very nice - but you had better be sure that you can get the orders. Butcher in Charlotte Town if he does not & has not written by the last of January he does not intend to have the machinery till next year. And if xxxx does not agree for the Frenchman without some other orders which I do not know of. You have the last one from P.E.I. a xx ,, which you xxxxxx which you will have to be particular about and Eugene of Stewart I wrote xxxxx from here when I got your letter to make enquiry about him. And your ,, deal here is supposed will not be very high. they are now falling in price and no fresh arrivals. So it is just as well not to exert our selves in getting logs - you had better let the businefs take (further pursuit) its own course and get what you can XXXX or settled (?). And keep the Shop (?) in operation as that is genering (?) xxxx sure.
I have written to Mr Milne to Enquire for a miller around about Aberdeen not to hire but to know if he at short notice could get one to come out to America as you mentionned. And also ploughman businefs here generally is brisk. And wages are getting up which is rather against getting xxx - I have been very sick since I have been here, some troubles with a slight cold but it is getting better. My love and kindest wishes to you all. Shall next (?) week (?) by xxxxx.
And Remain x xx Wm Morice
From Our President
Dear Members and Friends,
This is membership renewal time for the Tantramar Heritage Trust and I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you to renew your association with the Trust and to think about making a donation to one of our projects.
The summer of 2002 has been extremely busy with five students working on various projects. Under the capable leadership of Paul Bogaard and Al Smith, we had two students concentrating on finishing the cataloguing and starting the displays at the Campbell Carriage Factory. A great deal was accomplished and we now have the beginnings of displays which show how carriages were made. Some of you saw these at the open house we held in conjunction with the Sackville Fall Fair. Work has also continued on improving the "physical plant" with Ray Dixon and his wonderful team of volunteers. However, we still have much to do at this site and hope for your continued support.
The Trust office was moved this summer from Lorne Street to a renovated space in the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. With direction from Al Smith and Paul Bogaard, Blaine Smith and his team of two students and some volunteers, worked a miracle on the ell at the back of the house, giving us office space and meeting/work space. They managed to combine efficiency with an atmosphere consistent with the age of the house. Those who were able to come to the open house on November 10, 2002 were pleased with the results. Once again, there is much still to be done to turn the house into a Heritage Centre, including, we hope, a family history centre, for the Tantramar region. Please continue to support this project.
Over the summer, the Trust also had a student working with Bill Hamilton on a History of Sackville, one of our centennial projects. In addition, we are very pleased that researcher Matt Fullerton has been working with Bill this fall. This project also needs further support.
Directors Vanessa Bass, Marilyn Prescott and Ray Dixon and member Joanne Goodrich and their committee had a great success with the fall "pig roast" dinner, enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Thank you for supporting this event and we hope to have more in the future.
As always, Peter Hicklin and Leslie Van Patter have been doing an excellent job of writing, editing and lay-out for The White Fence . Please contact Peter if you have ideas or information he could use. The newsletter is a joint effort of all our members and we are lucky to have new director, Anne Koval involved also.
The Trust is now working on plans for Heritage Day on Saturday, February 15, 2003 as part of the celebration of Sackville's centennial year. We are hoping to portray some of the town's history through the eyes of its citizens. If you would like to be involved, you can get in touch with David Fullerton or me.
Mona Estabrooks has undertaken the job of treasurer for the Trust with the backup of Mariner Black who put our financial accounting system on computer last year. Thanks to both of them.
Paul Bogaard and Al Smith, representing the Trust, have been working closely with Renaissance Sackville and the historic sites committee. We are also working with nearby communities to try and coordinate our efforts to preserve the past and bring our joint history to life.
Please consider these options for participating in the work of the Tantramar Heritage Trust:
1.    Renew your membership using the form found in the last White Fence or by contacting Donna Sharpe, Membership.
2.    Make a donation, either to the general fund of the Trust or to a particular project. For donations received before the end of December, 2002, you will be given a receipt for the 2002 tax year.
3.    Volunteer your time and expertise. Fill in the appropriate area on the renewal form or give Donna Sharpe a call. Suggest an area where you might like to contribute or ask where you might be needed.
4.    Write an article for our Newsletter or give Peter Hicklin some interesting information about the Tantramar area.
The support shown by its members has been the reason that the Tantramar Heritage Trust has been able to accomplish so much over the last six years. With your continued support, we will be able to do much more.
BARBARA H. JARDINE
Tantramar Heritage Trust
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