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M. L 



3 1833 00858 4473 


Daniel McNeill Parker, M.D. 

His Ancestry and a Memoir 
of His Life 

Daniel McNeill and His Descendants 






Copyright, Canada, 1910, by 
William Frederick Parker 



in mind and character peculiarly adapted to her husband 
who through fifty-three years supported every 
effort of his noble life ; sustained and solaced 
him ; made his domestic life a fount of 
strength, and love, and happi- 
ness, as deep, and pure, 
and perfect as mortal 
man may find 



Chapter. Page. 

Introductory 7 

Daniel McNeill and His Descendants 9 

I. The Parker Family 31 

II. The McNeill Family 45 

III. Early Years 8S 

IV. 1845 to 1861 Ill 

V. The American Tour of 1861 146 

VI. 1861 to 1871 203 

VII. Edinburgh; 1871 to 1873 261 

VIII. First Years of Consulting Practice, 1873 to 1881 322 

IX. Across the Continent 335 

X. The Closing Years of Activity 372 

XI. The Jubilee 387 

XII. Politics, and the Legislative Council 413 

XIII. The Declining Years 489 

XIV. " Denominational " 505 

XV. From Life to Life 521 

XVI. Characteristic, and General 540 


A. Recollections of Travel, Fanny A. Parker 561 

B. Lectures Before the Mechanics' Institute 563 

C. Cheloid. The last paper read before a Medical Society 598 


" Scribere jussdt amor." 
— Ovid. 

Fob the instruction and benefit of the children, grandchildren 
and future descendants of my father, I desire to leave some record 
of his ancestry and his life. 

In this ancestry, humble though it be, they will discover no 
cause for shame ; while in the imperfect narrative of my father's 
life they will find that to which they may ever point with pride. 
From him they derive the heritage of a noble name — clarum et 
venerabile nomen; of a character and career which should ever 
be to them a memory and example of an exalting and inspiring 

My narrative is necessarily imperfect. Apart altogether from 
my own limitations as a narrator, I am embarrassed by the scant 
measure of material at my disposal. After he had relinquished 
the practice of his profession in the year 1895, many times did I 
press upon my father a suggestion that he should employ some of 
his leisure in writing something of a biographical or reminiscent 
nature. But I was always checked in this by that innate spirit 
of humility which characterized him. and which relentlessly for- 
bade any such thing. Great has been our loss as a family in 
consequence; irreparable the loss to one who would attempt my 

For the ancestral record materials are not altogether wanting. 
William Parker, senior, left a brief chronicle of family names 
and dates, with some other slight information. Since my father's 
death I discovered the original of this in the possession of Mrs. 
Sarah Dimock, of South Rawdon, Hants County, who derives 
descent from William through his daughter Mary, with whom he 
left these family notes. The chronicle appears to have been con- 
tinued by Mary after her father's death. Through the kind offices 
of a kinsman, Mr. Lewis Parker, of the Assistant Receiver-Gen- 
eral's Office at Halifax, I have procured a copy of it. 

Material concerning the McNeill family I have derived from 
my father himself, from my personal investigations in North 
Carolina in 1898, as well as by correspondence with members of 
the family in Georgia, New York and Washington. I have thus 
been enabled to prepare a fairly accurate family chart or " tree " 
of the McNeills, which I have in my possession. Other sources 


of information are the books : " Revolutionary Incidents and 
Sketches of Character, chiefly in the Old North State," by Rev. 
E. W. Carruthers, D.D., published in 1854, and " Colonel Fan- 
ning's Narrative of his Exploits and Adventures as a Loyalist of 
North Carolina in the American Revolution," published first at 
Richmond, Virginia, in 1861. Judge Savary, of Annapolis, Nova 
Scotia, published an edition of this Narrative in 1908, critically 
annotated from the Loyalist point of view. Other books of 
reference are noted hereafter. 

For information concerning the Nutting family I am chiefly 
indebted to the late Charles Martyr Nutting, who received it, many 
years ago, from a Miss Mary Nutting, of Boston, Mass. ; and to 
Page's " History of Cambridge, Massachusetts." 

A biography of the Reverend William Black was first written 
by Rev. Matthew Richey in 1839. Rev. T. Watson Smith, in his 
" History of Methodism in Eastern British America," devotes con- 
siderable attention to this ancestor of my mother, and in 1907 a 
smaller biography of him was published by Rev. John Maclean. 
An historical record of Reverend William Black's posterity was 
published by Cyrus Black, of Amherst, N.S., in 1885. 

Concerning the Grants and other families who enter into the 
record I have attempted, I rest upon authenticated tradition, 
received from members of those families, from my father, and my 
uncle, Francis G. Parker. 

It seems necessary to add that my monograph entitled " Daniel 
McNeill and his Descendants " was written by request in 1906 
to supply some data for an historical record of the McNeill family 
which Mr. Lewis S. Atkins, of the Postmaster-General's Office 
at Washington, and another member of the family had in contem- 
plation, and also for the more immediate information of kinsfolk 
in North Carolina, Georgia and Texas. This paper of mine, 
therefore, was restricted in its scope, and confined, in point of 
time, to the McNeills in Nova Scotia and their descendants. I 
have now revised it in some particulars, and I prefix it to the 
narrative more immediately relating to my father. In detailing 
the events of his life in the latter, I have tried to avoid any repe- 
tition of statement found in the former, and to make the sub- 
sequent narrative supplement and fill out the earlier one, in which 
only the more prominent facts in his career are given, and in con- 
densed form. 

It remains to be said that the volume which I now present has 
been compiled with no commercial intent, but solely as a labor of 
love ; as a memorial record of my father, for the use of his 
immediate family and his descendants. 

W. F. Parker. 

Wolfville, N.S., 

January 31st, 1910. 


(Revised. ) 

Daniel McNeill, son of Archibald and Janet (Bahn) 
McNeill, was born at Lower Little River, Cumberland County, 
North Carolina, in 1752. Upon the outbreak of the American 
Revolutionary War he espoused the British cause, and for a time 
served as lieutenant in the 7 1st regiment. He first took service 
in May, 1776, when Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Sir Peter 
Parker were at Wilmington, N.C., on their way from New York 
upon the first expedition against Charleston, S.C. In 1780 he 
obtained a commission in a North Carolina Royalist regiment, as 
appears by an original certificate which seems to have been granted 
to replace his commission, which had been lost. This certificate 
is as follows : 

" Inspk.-Genl's. Office, New York, 
30th Aug., 1783. 
" It appears by the Records in this Office that Daniel McNeil, 
Esqr., was appointed captain of a company in the North Carolina 
Volunteers by the Right Honorable Lieut.-General Earle Corn- 
wallis, bearing date the twenty-fourth June, one thousand seven 
hundred and eighty. 

" (Sgd.) Aug. Prevost, 
" Dy. Ins.-Generl. B. A. Forces." 

Captain McNeill's next commission in the British forces is 
here given, from the original, as a matter of historical curiosity. 
The regiment mentioned is not the same as that named in the 
foregoing certificate. 

" By His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, Knight of the Moft 
Honorable Order of the Bath, General and Commander in Chief 
of all His Majefty's Forces within the colonies laying on the 
Atlantic Ocean, from Nova Scotia to Weft Florida, inclufive, 
&c. &c. &c. 

" To Daniel McNeil, Esq. 

" By virtue of the Power and Authority in Me vefted I Do 
hereby eonftitute and appoint you to be Captain of a Company 


10 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

in the North Carolina Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant 
Colonel Commandant John Hamilton. You are therefore to take 
the faid Company into your care and charge, and duly to exercife 
as well the Officers, as Soldiers thereof in Arms and to ufe Your 
beft Endeavours to keep them in good order and Difcipline : and 
I Do hereby command them to obey You as their Captain: and 
You are to obferve and follow fuch Orders and Directions from 
Time to Time, as You fhall receive from the General or Com- 
mander in Chief of His Majefty's Forces in North America, now 
and for the Time being, Your Lieut. Colonel Commandant, or any 
other Your Superior Officer, according to the Rules and Difcipline 
of War in Purfuance of the Truft hereby repofed in You. 

Given under my Hand and Seal, at Head Quarters in New 
York the Twentieth day of August, one thoufand Seven Hundred 
and Eighty One in the Twenty First Year of the Reign of our 
Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God, of Great 
Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith : and f o 
forth : 

" By His Excellency's Command 
"(Sgd) John Smith. 

"(Sgd) H. Clinton." 

Of the Captain's personal experiences in his military service 
few particulars have been preserved to his Nova Scotia descendants 
now living. He served, however, through the war from beginning 
to end, and was wounded twice. When his grandson, Dr. Daniel 
McNeill Parker, removed his remains from one cemetery to 
another, he extracted from one of the thigh-bones a bullet which 
was embedded in the bone. It was a rough slug of rolled lead, 
and must have been fired at close quarters to retain the position in 
which it was found. 

At the close of the war there was a large outpouring of Royal- 
ists from the States into the British Provinces, in part com- 
pulsory and in part voluntary. These exiles became known in 
Canadian history as the United Empire Loyalists. Of this 
exodus Nova Scotia received its share. In March, 1783, the com- 
manding officers of fourteen Provincial (Loyalist) regiments peti- 
tioned the Crown for grants of land in the colonies to the Loyalist 
officers and men, for pensions, half-pay, etc. On June 6th of that 
year the Governor of Nova Scotia informed the British Secretary 
of State that since the 15th of January upwards of 7,000 refugees 
had arrived in Nova Scotia, and that they were to be followed by 
3,000 of the Provincial forces, and others besides. Murdoch, in 
his " History of Nova Scotia," states that between November, 
1782, and August, 1783, upwards of 13,000 Loyalist refugees had 


arrived in the Province, and that in July, 1784, the total number 
of Loyalists arrived in Nova Scotia was 28,347. 

Captain McNeill first appeared in Nova Scotia in November, 

1783, when he was in Halifax in connection with the business of 
procuring a Crown grant of land for North and South Carolina 
Loyalists. On the 13th of May, 1784, a grant was made to about 
400 officers, non-commissioned officers and men of Captain 
McNeill's regiment and the King's Carolina Rangers. Among 
the grantees were some South Carolina Royalists. The grant 
contained 61,250 acres at Country Harbor in what was then part 
of Halifax County, but now lying within the County of Guys- 
borough. Captain McNeill's share, set off to him, was 1,250 
acres. These settlers were brought from St. Augustine, Florida, 
by sea, at the expense of the British Government, in the spring of 

1784. They called their settlement Stormont, a name which has 
been perpetuated in what is now known as the Stormont Gold 
District, under the Mining Laws of the Province. Murdoch, 
speaking of the place in August, 1784, says: "At Country 
Harbor (anciently called Mocodome) a new settlement or town 
on the East side of it, called Stormont, was in progress. The 
inhabitants were nearly 400 in number. Some were officers who 
had served in the late war." 

While living here, Captain McNeill married, at Halifax, Mary 
Nutting, daughter of Captain John Nutting, of the corps of Royal 
Engineers in the British Army, and his wife, Mary Walton (Nut- 
ting), a native of South Reading, Mass. The date of the mar- 
riage was November 27th, 1788. James Walton Nutting, for 
fifty years Clerk of the Crown and Prothonotary (Chief Clerk) 
of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, was a brother of Mrs. 
McNeill. Another brother, John, was a captain in the Royal 
Artillery. Mary Nutting was born in Cambridge, Mass., March 
6th, 1768. Her father, John, as a young man, served with Massa- 
chusetts troops against the French in America. Proscribed as a 
Royalist in 1778, he was forced to leave his home and property in 
Cambridge, and came, with his wife and family of eleven children, 
to Halifax. He was employed by the British Government as 
King's Messenger to carry despatches between America and Eng- 
land during the Revolutionary War. At one time when so 
engaged he was captured by a French man-of-war and imprisoned 
in France. Being well up in Freemasonry, he was assisted by 
brother Masons to escape, and so got safely to England. After- 
ward? he received a commission in the Royal Engineers and served 
in the Revolutionary War, being several times wounded. As 
captain in that corps, later, he was employed for some years at 
Halifax in constructing the defences of that city. Among other 
works, he built the old " Chain Batterv " near the entrance of 

12 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

the North-west Arm of Halifax Harbor, which, with a chain boom 
beneath it, was designed to protect the city from attack in the rear. 
He died in 1800, and his wife in 1830. In consideration of her 
husband's services to the Crown, and his heavy losses of property 
at Cambridge by confiscation, the Duke of Kent (father of Queen 
Victoria), while Commander-in-Chief in Nova Scotia, procured 
for the widow a special pension from the Crown. Mrs. McNeill's 
father (John) was a grandson of Jonathan Nutting, of Cambridge, 
Mass., and a great-grandson of John Nutting, a New England 
Puritan who was living in Woburn, Mass. in the year 1650, was 
one of the petitioners for the town of Chelmsford, Mass., and one 
of the " original proprietors " of Groton, Mass., in which latter 
place he settled about the year 1660. According to the family 
tradition this ancestor was killed in an attack by Indians on his 
garrison house in King Philip's War. 

Little is known of Captain McNeill's life at Stormont. He 
had ten slaves employed upon his plantation, which must have 
proved an unpromising undertaking, for the locality was largely 
a wilderness of rock and poorly timbered. It has since proved 
rich in gold; but as the Crown grant of 1784 reserved this royal 
mineral the settlers lost nothing through ignorantly living over 
potential gold mines. Here his elder daughter, Mary Janet, was 
born, September 24th, 1789. The McNeills visited Halifax fre- 
quently. The Captain had business interests there, and the social 
life of the Provincial Capital was made attractive by the presence 
of the large military and naval forces maintained there during 
the European wars of the period. There were no roads in the 
eastern part of the Province, and communication between Stor- 
mont and Halifax was by small coasting vessels or open boats. 
On one occasion the Captain, in default of better conveyance, 
employed two Frenchmen from Cape Breton to take him to 
Halifax, about 110 miles distant, in a small open boat. These 
men knew that he had a sum of money with him, and arranged 
to murder him on the voyage. They talked of it as they rowed, 
little thinking that their passenger knew some French, and that 
he was armed. When their time came they threw down their 
oars, one reached for an axe in the bottom of the boat, and the 
other drew a knife. Throwing back his military cloak, their 
intended victim whipped out a brace of horse-pistols, and covering 
both of the villains, bade them, in vigorous if not elegant French, 
to row, threatening to kill instantly either of them who dropped 
a stroke. There were yet many miles to go, but all night he kept 
them at it, calmly but ruthlessly sitting with a pistol on each knee. 
Arrived at the landing beach in Halifax next day, the weary 
Frenchmen took to the water before the boat was beached, and, 
despite the Captain's efforts to have them detained by the people 


en shore, they broke through the busy throng, and taking to the 
woods, were never discovered. But the Captain had the boat by 
way of compensation. In her correspondence with members of 
the Nutting family his elder daughter refers to some of the family 
excursions to Halifax. In one letter she describes a return voyage 
to Stormont after a visit to the city to do some shopping. The 
passengers were huddled in the cabin of a little schooner for the 
night. Yet, she says, " the voyage would have been pleasant 
enough but for the continual screaming of Captain Marshall's 
cross baby." Captain Marshall was a brother officer of her father, 
who became one of the Stormont settlers. This obnoxious infant 
became Chief Justice John G. Marshall, of the Court of Common 
Pleas for Cape Breton, and his daughter married a brother of the 
second wife of Dr. Daniel McNeill Parker, Captain McNeill's 

During his military career Daniel McNeill had met at New 
York Captain Robert Grant, of the 42nd Highland Regiment 
(" The Black Watch "), and an intimate friendship arose between 
them. Grant was the British officer who, to win a wager, can- 
tered his horse through Trinity Church — up the main aisle from 
the Broadway entrance, wheeling to the right before the altar, and 
out by the rear door into the churchyard — during divine service 
on a Sunday morning. This occurred when the British cause 
was waning at New York, and the mad prank might have cost him 
his life. Grant quitted the army at the close of the war. He 
married a Miss Bergen, of New York, and, removing to Nova 
Scotia, had settled at " Loyal Hill," on the Avon River, about 
eight miles below Windsor, the county town of Hants, and fifty 
miles west of Halifax. Their son, Michael Bergen Grant, mar- 
ried, July 10th, 1800, Sophia Elizabeth Nutting, a sister of Mrs. 
Daniel McNeill. 

Captain McNeill often visited the new " Loyal Hill " planta- 
tion. Windsor, near by, the seat of King's College, a busy little 
town rapidly increasing in size and importance through the 
Loyalist immigration, and being, moreover, a garrison town, was 
a much more desirable place than Stormont ; while the better soil 
for tillage and the fine natural scenery about the Avon and the 
Basin of Minas must have proved most attractive to one coming 
from the rougher and less congenial eastern part of the Province. 
To these considerations add the prospect of having the Grants 
for neighbors, and it is not difficult to understand McNeill's reso- 
lution to remove into the neighborhood of " Loyal Hill." In or 
about the year 1797 he removed thither and founded a new home 
on the eastern shore of Minas Basin, in Hants County, calling 
the place Cambridge, after old Cambridge, the birthplace of his 
wife, whence, as a child ten years of age, she had fled with her 

14 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

proscribed father from the Massachusetts " Whigs." His brother- 
in-law, James, acquired an adjoining estate, though living most 
of the time in Halifax. Previous to his permanent removal to 
Hants County, the Captain's twin children, Archibald John and 
Sophia Margaret, were born at Windsor, March 27th, 1793. The 
son died in early boyhood. 

In 1811 Captain McNeill revisited North Carolina. His 
father had died, and, as appears by his will, dated April 17th, 
1801, had devised to his son Daniel 323 acres of land in Chatham 
County, near the mouth of New Hope, and other land on McKay's 
Creek, in Cumberland County (N.C.), with a provision that " in 
case my son Daniel nor any of his heirs in Nova Scotia should 
never come to claim the said plantations," then they should be 
equally divided between " my son Hector's son Daniel and my 
grandson John McNeill's son also named Daniel." The will 
also bequeathed to Captain Daniel " twenty milch cows out of my 
stock to be sold and the money put to interest for the benefit of 
Daniel and his heirs " ; and there was a contingent reversionary 
devise of another plantation to Daniel and his heirs. It is known 
that the Captain, during this visit, engaged in litigation with his 
brother Neill (who was an executor of the will), and with other 
persons, concerning his interests under his father's will; but his 
Nova Scotia descendants are unaware of the particulars of this 
controversy. In a letter, dated Cumberland County, N.C., July 
17th, 1838, Dr. John McKay, who married Mary McNeill, 
youngest daughter of Margaret McNeill, Daniel's sister, informs 
Francis Parker, Daniel's son-in-law, " that the Captain made 
some arrangement of his business when he returned to Nova 
Scotia, expecting in a short time to return to North Carolina," 
but that since he left, he, Dr. McKay, and his wife had never 
heard anything more of this business. It seems that the Captain 
never returned. By his will, dated January 8th, 1814, and pro- 
bated at Windsor, N.S., he devised the two plantations first above 
mentioned to his daughter, Mary Janet, but no steps were taken 
by her to recover these properties. While in his native State on 
this occasion the following letter to him from his younger brother 
John (copied from the original) may be of interest to the family. 
It is addressed : " Mr. Danl. McNeill, Cape Fear, Sproule's Ferry 
Cumberland County," on the cover, with the added words, 
" favored by Mr. A. Gilchrist." 

The letter is as follows : 

" Moore County, Deep River, 
"June 3rd, 1811. 

" Dr. Brother, — Last night I had the pleasure of Mr. Mal- 
colm Buie's company, and Mr. Archd. Gilchrist, lately from Ten- 
nessee, by whom I shall send these few lines, as he is going directly 


down to Mr. D. Shaw's. Since I came to this place there has no 
remarkable occurrance taken place which is worthy of incerting 
in a letter. I am happy to inform you that I am perfectly satis- 
fyed with my situation, that I have interviews with agreeable com- 
panions and hospitable citizens. The inhabitants of this vicinity 
are more accomplished, there manners and customs more refined 
than is common in Country villages. This is an advantage which 
induces me to make choice of this place in preference to any other 
country situation and even town itself. When I first came I com- 
menced memorising the Greek grammer. I have gone partially 
through it once and have began to read the Greek Testament, and 
I must confess that I find it more difficult than any study I have 
ever undertaken ; but I hope time and application will surmount 
this difficulty. My classmate, Mr. Moor, is a very agreeable 
young man and spares no pains to give me every information he 
can and in making me acquainted with the most respectable 
citizens. It is now late in the morning, I must go to school. I 
have been perfectly well since I came here, hoping this may find 
you and the family enjoying the same. I wish you every success 
with your farm. I remain your most affectionate Brother, etc. 

" (Sgd.) John MacNeill. 
" D. McNeill. 

" N.B. — It is expected we will have an exhibition at our school 
about the first of July, when there will be a fortnight's vacation. 
If so I shall write you by the mail if no other opportunity." 

Early in 1812 Captain McNeill returned to Nova Scotia, 
bringing with him a considerable number of slaves. A short time 
before he landed at Windsor, doubts as to the legality of slave- 
owning in the Province had arisen, in consequence of some ill- 
considered, off-hand dicta of Chief Justice Blowers in deciding, 
upon a writ of habeas corpus, a question of the custody of a slave 
at Halifax who had run away from Shelburne. The deliverance 
of the Chief Justice was taken by the people for law. Slaves were 
encouraged to desert their service, and the losses to slave-owners 
proved serious in many cases. Most of these slave-holders were 
Southern Loyalists. As Judge Haliburton, of the Nova Scotia 
Supreme Court, says in his History of the Province, writing of 
this period: " On this subject there prevailed much romance and 
false sentiment in Nova Scotia as well as in England." He, in 
common with many other of the best legal authorities in the 
British Provinces, held that slavery there contravened no law 
previous to the British Emancipation Act of 1833, which rendered 
it illegal in all British possessions. However, Captain McNeill's 
slaves, on landing, were told by certain officious persons in Windsor 

16 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

that they were " free niggers " when they touched British soil, and 
nearly all the male slaves ran away. 

Dr. T. Watson Smith, in his book, " The Slave in Canada w 
(p. 115), relating this incident, prefaces the account by saying 
that " perhaps no experience at this period was more trying than 
that of Captain Daniel McNeill." Dr. Smith states that these 
slaves had been accepted by the Captain on account of his property 
claims in North Carolina. In July, 1812, five hundred acres of 
the Stormont property were sold. The remaining seven hundred 
and fifty acres were never disposed of, and fell into the possession 
of squatters who were never disturbed. 

It appears to have been about the year 1800 that the Captain 
lost his wife. Hers was a tragic end. Delirious in fever on a 
winter's night, she escaped from her nurse. Her naked footprints 
in the snow were traced to the brink of a bluff overhanging the 
waters of Minas Basin, near the house. The Fundy tide, which 
there rapidly ebbs and flows a full fifty feet, beat against the cliff. 
Search was unavailing. Her body was never recovered. 

Owing to the loss of the family Bible, to which reference is 
made elsewhere, the date of this event cannot now be ascertained ; 
nor can the date of the marriage of Captain McNeill's elder 
daughter. She, Mary Janet, married Francis Parker, of 
Windsor, N.S., probably in 1819. He was a merchant doing 
business there at the time of this marriage, but later he removed 
to Petite Riviere, a few miles north of Cambridge, where through 
his success in shipbuilding, the quarrying and export of plaster 
and gypsum, and in the conduct of a general mercantile business, 
he founded and built up a village which he named Walton, after 
the maiden name of his wife's grandmother. 

No portrait of " Jennet " McNeill in early life remains ; but 
old people who remembered the youth and fashion of Windsor 
when she was a bride were wont to remark to her descendants that 
" Jennet McNeill and Francis Parker were the handsomest 
couple " appearing either in Windsor or in Halifax society. She 
had a mind well formed and cultivated. As a wife and mother 
she was to her husband and children incomparable. To the com- 
munity in which she lived and to all comers she appeared to 
embody a catalogue of the graces, and by no means least, that of 
hospitality. Francis Parker, born January 17th, 1797, was a 
son of John Parker, of Newport Township, County of Hants, N.S., 
and Sarah Grant, his wife, a daughter of Captain Robert Grant, 
of " Loyal Hill," the soldier friend of Captain McNeill. John 
Parker was the son of one of three Yorkshire Parkers (brothers) 
who, sailing from Hull, England, in March, 1774, came to Halifax 
and settled, two in Hants and one in Colchester County, as farmers 
and graziers. Francis Parker, from the time of his settlement in 


Walton until old age, was the chief magistrate of his township. 
He was well read in law, though not a lawyer, and was a man of 
fine and discriminating literary taste. His nobility of character 
comported well with a distinguished courtliness of demeanor, which 
made him what is called a " gentleman of the old school." In 
charity he might have rivalled Saint Martin of Tours. The open- 
handed hospitality of the " Squire's " home is proverbial to this 
day. He was prosperous in business ; and had not his Maine 
and Massachusetts rivals in the business of milling and grinding 
plaster leagued against him to secure from Congress a prohibitive 
duty on ground plaster, thus shutting the manufactured material 
out of the American market, he would have been comparatively 
wealthy. Three of his larger ships, " The Walton," " The Pem- 
broke," and " The Wentworth," noted vessels in their day, were 
commanded by three of his sons. He was originally a member 
of the Church of England, but in middle life united with the 
Baptist Church at Walton. Mrs. Parker, too, followed this course 
of her husband in religious matters. 

Captain Daniel McNeill died of apoplexy at Cambridge on 
May 5th, 1818, aged 66 years, and was interred in the Loyal Hill 
family burial ground of the Grants. Years afterwards, the Loyal 
Hill plaster quarry at the beach having gradually encroached upon 
this old cemetery, his grandson, Dr. Daniel McNeill Parker, 
removed his body to the Parker family cemetery at Walton, where 
his dust now mingles with that of his two daughters and many of 
his descendants. 

Mary Janet Parker died at Walton, March 7th, 1866, aged 
76 years. Francis Parker died at Walton, August 24th, 1882, 
at the age of 85. 

Descendants of Francis Parker and Mary Janet Parker. 

The children of Francis and Mary Janet Parker are: James 
Walton, Daniel McNeill, John Nutting, Frederick H., Francis 
Grant, Wentworth Foster, Mary Sophia. 

1. James Walton Parker was born at Windsor, in the 
County of Hants, Nova Scotia, about 1820. He followed the sea 
from early life, and while commanding one of his father's ships 
upon a voyage to the East, perished with the ship, which was never 
heard of after setting sail. He was never married. 

2. The Honorable Daniel McNeill Parker, M.D., 
L.R.C.S. Edin., D.C.L., was born at Windsor, in the County of 
Hants, Nova Scotia, April 28th, 1822. In his early childhood 
his father removed to Walton, in the same county. Daniel, when 
not at school, was employed in getting out ship timber for his 
father. The only boasting he was ever known to indulge in was 


18 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

that at eight years of age he could handle a team of as many oxen 
in the lumber woods, — and do it as well as any other man. His 
early education was obtained principally at King's Collegiate 
School, Windsor, and at Horton Collegiate Academy, Wolfville, 
N.S. He began the study of Medicine at Halifax, N.S., with Dr. 
William Bruce Almon, the son of a Georgia loyalist army officer ; 
and in 1842 went to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. On 
July 1st, 1845, he received the diploma of the Royal College of 
Surgeons, Edinburgh, taking the gold medal for Anatomy. On 
August 1st of the same year he graduated M.D. at the University 
of that city. During his course of study there he served, in his 
vacations, as clinical clerk to Sir James Y. Simpson, the distin- 
guished gynecologist and discoverer of chloroform; and also to 
Sir Robert Christison, a notable physician. Among many cele- 
brated men of Scotland who were his friends during these years of 
study was Dr. Thomas Chalmers, the Presbyterian divine. For 
fifty years Dr. Parker practised his profession in Halifax, N.S., 
frequently going abroad for advanced study and information, that 
he might keep pace with the rapid advance of medical and surgical 
science. In 1871 he relinquished his practice and went to Edin- 
burgh, where, until 1873, he engaged in special surgical research, 
sometimes visiting London and some of the European capitals. 
Upon his return to Halifax he established himself as a consulting 
surgeon, in which capacity his services were sought throughout 
Nova Scotia and the adjacent Provinces. In August, 1895, he 
retired from practice. He is an honorary member of the Gyne- 
cological Society of Boston, Mass., and of many other medical and 
surgical societies, and has contributed much to the periodical 
literature of his profession. Much of his time has been given, 
during a busy life, to philanthropical and educational work, as 
well as to the more public service of his country. He was a com- 
missioner from Nova Scotia for the International Exhibition of 
1851, at London, and for his services received from the Prince 
Consort a commemorative medal. In 1867, previous to the con- 
federation of the British Provinces, he was appointed a member 
of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia, the Upper House of the 
Legislature; and when he resigned this office in 1901, on account 
of impaired health, he was the sole surviving member of that body 
who derived appointment from the Government of Great Britain. 
A few extracts from the speeches of his colleagues in the Legis- 
lature upon the occasion of his voluntary retirement will be indica- 
tive of the esteem in which he has been held in private as well as 
public life. Said one : " He is a man prized for his sterling 
worth, his uprightness and integrity, and his great business and 
executive ability. Notwithstanding Hon. Dr. Parker's political 
views, I never knew him once actuated solely by party motives. 


He was always anxious to do what was right and just in con- 
nection with private bills, and what was right and wise in connec- 
tion with public measures, so that bills coming from the Lower 
House to this House were often amended in most important par- 
ticulars through his instrumentality. He was a perfect gentle- 
man, one of nature's noblemen, and it is but voicing the sentiments 
of honorable members of this House to say that the better he was 
known the more highly he was appreciated. He was at all times 
at his post in the Committee on Bills, and he took an active part 
in the debates of this House. Universal regret has been expressed 
by honorable members of this House when he tendered his resigna- 
tion. It is a loss, not only to this House, but to the Province at 

Speaking for the Government, of which Dr. Parker was an 
opponent, the Chairman of the Council's Committee on Bills said : 
" In recent years we (the Government) have told him (Dr. 
Parker) again and again that if he did not feel able to devote the 
entire day to the work of the House and its committees, we would 
be glad to have him come and remain a short time while the House 
was in session, so that we could still have his valuable assistance. 
The long period he had spent in this chamber gave him a large 
experience in legislation and enabled him to speak with matured 
judgment in every matter that came before it." These remarks 
had reference to two previous occasions when Dr. Parker had 
withdrawn his resignation at the earnest request of the Govern- 
ment and his colleagues. In the speech of another colleague in 
the Legislative Council occurs this tribute : " I realize that Dr. 
Parker maintained here that high standard in regard to public 
matters, which in private matters has always been associated with 
his name. I regard Dr. Parker as one of the choice spirits of this 
Province. The words ' integrity ' and ' honorable dealing ' hardly 
express to my mind the rare qualities which go to make up the 
doctor's personality. He is a man of most tender regard for the 
feelings as well as the rights of others, which make all his dealings 
with his fellow men emanate from the bed-rock of justice. 
He knows neither Trojan nor Tyrian in church or state. He has 
that sense of dealing with his fellows as he would be dealt by, 
which makes his public and private life an embodiment of the 
golden rule." 

In 1877, Dr. Parker was chosen by his political opponents, 
the Government of the day, as a delegate to the Fredericton 
Conference on the matter of a Union of the three Maritime 
Provinces of Canada, and in his capacity of legislator he was 
frequently engaged in special political service and prominent in 
the counsels of his country. Yet he uniformly declined various 
offers of political preferment, both in Provincial and Federal 

20 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

affairs. In his contributions to educational and philanthropic 
work in Nova Scotia he has filled, among others, the following 
offices : He was a Commissioner of Schools for the City of Halifax 
upon the institution and organization of the Free School System 
in Nova Scotia. For about twenty-nine years he was a member of 
the Board of Governors of Acadia College at Wolfville, N. S. 
He was active in promoting the establishment of the Halifax 
Medical College, and for many years was an examiner for that 
Institution. For many years he occupied a prominent position 
on the original commission which governed the affairs of the 
Provincial and City Hospital, and of the Poor's Asylum, at 
Halifax, and was later a valued member of the Boards of the 
Victoria General Hospital, the Halifax Dispensary, and the 
Provincial Board of Health. Early in his career he was Chairman 
of the Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Hospital for the 
Insane. He was long a consulting physician and surgeon of 
the Hospitals above mentioned, and of the Halifax Infirmary. 
He has been President of the Provincial Medical Association of 
Nova Scotia and of the Canada Medical Association. For thirty 
years he was President of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 
at Halifax, and for many years President of the Home for the 
Aged, in the same city, and a Director of the Protestant Orphans' 
Home there. In early life he was a manager of the Mechanics' 
Institute at Halifax, and a frequent lecturer for that Society. 
He also served on the Managing Board of the Industrial School 
at Halifax for a time. As a Director of the Halifax Young Men's 
Christian Association, he contributed much to its work. With 
the development of all these institutions he has been closely 
identified. A member of the Baptist denomination, he was active 
in all its work, filling positions from time to time on various 
Managing Boards of the Baptist Convention of the Maritime 
Provinces, of which Convention he was, for a term, the President. 
In 1882, Acadia College conferred upon him the honorary degree 
of D.C.L. In business life he was for many years a Director of 
the Halifax Gas Light Company, and President, both of the 
Nova Scotia Benefit Building Society and the Halifax and 
Dartmouth Steam Ferry Company. He was also one of the 
first Directors of the Windsor and Annapolis Railway (during 
the period of construction). 

Dr. Parker travelled much in the British Isles, Europe, the 
West India Islands, the United States and Canada. He has been 
an eye-witness of historic events, including the final scene in 
the disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843, the beginning 
of one great war in the bombardment and surrender of Fort 
Sumpter in 1861, and the closing scenes of another, after the 
bloody work of the Commune at Paris which followed the surrender 


of that city to the Germans in 1870. When the Civil War in the 
United States was beginning, Dr. Parker was at McNeill's Ferry, 
North Carolina, the guest of Colonel Archibald McNeill. During 
that exciting period he saw, both in the South and in the North, 
the preparations for that awful struggle. He saw Major Anderson 
carried a prisoner through the streets of Charleston, and was him- 
self shut up in that city for a few days, a virtual prisoner, for- 
bidden to leave, write or telegraph, and afterwards having to 
make his way North with the Southern army, and then on to 
Philadelphia across country by teams and along the coast in small 

When Dr. Parker retired from the practice of his profession, 
in August, 1895, he was the recognized leader, and father of the 
profession in his native Province, and he has since been styled 
" the Dean of Canadian Medicine." Such recognition was eulogis- 
tically given him by his professional brethren in an address 
presented to him by them at that time. His published reply to 
this address embodies an interesting historical retrospect of the 
progress of medicine and surgery in Nova Scotia during his pro- 
fessional career. From this we learn that he was the first surgeon 
in Nova Scotia, and probably in Canada, to employ an anesthetic 
in surgery, first testing it upon himself to see if it would prove 
harmless to his patient. Among the many tributes of esteem 
rendered him at that time by the secular and religious press of 
the Maritime Provinces, the following, from the " Presbyterian 
Witness " of Halifax, perhaps embodies most concisely the general 
sentiments expressed. " On the 1st August, Hon. Dr. Parker 
attained to his ' golden jubilee ' as a physician. His career has 
been long, and it has been honorable, stainless, and altogether 
worthy of a Christian. He has been a public-spirited citizen, 
showing his interest in all that concerned the welfare of the 
people. For twenty-nine or thirty years he has been a member 
of the Legislative Council. He has given of his time and means 
unsparingly to help philanthropic and religious societies. 
A member and trusted office-bearer of the Baptist Church, he 
has at the same time manifested his generous interest in all 
Christian work. It is not for us to speak of his admirable and 
signally successful professional career. As a physician, he won 
the respect and confidence of thousands, and he placed very many 
under life-long obligations. We respectfully tender to Dr. Parker 
cur congratulations, and we wish him many additional years of 
usefulness. Our young physicians could hardly err in marking 
the career of Dr. Parker, and in imitating as closely as may be 
his devotion to his profession, his Christian integrity, his unswerv- 
ing fidelity to principle, and the blameless purity of his whole 


Dr. Parker was twice married. His first marriage, on June 
10th, 1847, was to Elizabeth Ritchie Johnstone, daughter of the 
Honorable James W. Johnstone, Attorney-General of Nova Scotia, 
and afterwards the Judge in Equity of that Province. Judge 
Johnstone was of a Georgia family. His father, as a Loyalist, 
having been obliged to flee the country, his mother, after the 
father's death in Jamaica, made a new home in Nova Scotia. 
By this marriage there was one son, James Johnstone Parker, 
born August 15th, 1852, died July 1st, 1872, while a medical 
student at the University of Edinburgh. The mother survived 
the birth of her son only for a few days. On August 26th, 1854, 
Dr. Parker married Fanny Holmes Black, daughter of the Honor- 
able William Anderson Black, of Halifax, N.S., merchant, a 
member of the Provincial Government with a seat in the Legisla- 
tive Council. Mr. Black was a son of the Reverend William 
Black, who was the first emissary of John Wesley in America, 
and who sowed the earliest seeds of Wesleyan Methodism from 
Upper Canada and Newfoundland to Maryland and the West 
Indies. It is a curious coincidence that in 1774, the paternal 
great-grandfathers, both of the doctor and the second Mrs. 
Parker, came to Halifax from Hull, Yorkshire, in England, 
strangers to each other, in the same ship. By his second marriage, 
Dr. Parker had the following children : William Black Parker, 
born April 26th, 1856, died April 28th, 1856. Mary Ann 
Parker, born August 14th, 1857; married, July 25th, 1894, 
Reverend Elias Miles Keirstead, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Moral 
Philosophy and English Literature in Acadia College, Wolf- 
ville, N. S. ; later Professor of Systematic Theology in McMaster 
University at Toronto, Ont. Dr. Keirstead is a descendant of 
Hans Keirstead, an early Dutch settler of Manhattan Island, 
whose land comprised the site of Trinity Church, on Broadway, 
New York City. His nearer ancestors were United Empire Loyal- 
ists, expelled from their New York homes to found new ones in 
the wilds of New Brunswick. Dr. Keirstead has a widespread 
reputation throughout Canada and the United States for pro- 
found scholarship and exceptional ability as a teacher and orator. 
His cultured mind has been enriched by travel and study in 
many lands. Ida McNeill Parker, born July 26th, 1859 ; 
died May 25th, 1860. William Frederick Parker, born Sep- 
tember 16th, 1860; married, April 5th, 1886, Kate Bell Welton, 
daughter of the late Reverend Daniel Morse Welton, D.D., Ph.D. 
(Leipsig), Professor of Semitic Languages at McMaster Univer- 
sity, Toronto, Ontario, and earlier a professor at Acadia College 
in his native Province of "Nova Scotia. Dr. Welton' s ancestors 
were Loyalist refugees from Connecticut, driven from their homes 
ftt the close of the Revolutionary War. His wife, Sarah Messenger, 


derives a Scottish ancestry through a Colonel Graham who com- 
manded a Highland regiment under Wolfe at the taking of Quebec. 
The Messengers were of New England stock. Mr. Parker was 
educated at Halifax, N.S. ; Edinburgh, Scotland; Acadia College, 
Wolfville, N.S.j and at Harvard University. Admitted to the Bar 
of Nova Scotia on January 10th, 1885, he practised his profes- 
sion for sixteen years at Halifax, and afterwards removed 
to Wolfville, N.S., to reside, on account of impaired health. 
Lauka McNeill Pakker, born May 30th, 1862; married, 
October 26th, 1887, McCallum Grant, of Halifax, merchant, a 
great-grandson of Captain Robert Grant, of the 42nd High- 
landers, who has been referred to earlier as a friend and fellow- 
soldier of Captain Daniel McNeill. Mr. Grant fills a large part 
in Halifax commercial circles, and is Imperial Consul for Germany 
at that port. Fanny Aline Parker, bom July 14th, 1868. She 
is unmarried and resides with her parents at Dartmouth, N.S. 

The children of Mary Ann Keirstead are: Ronald McNeill 
Keirstead, born June 20th, 1895, and Mary Frances Keirstead, 
born September 30th, 1896. 

The children of William Frederick Parker are : Fred- 
erick Daniel Parker, born April 5th, 1888; Arthur McNeill 
Parker, born June 28th, 1895, and William Allan Parker, born 
June 20th, 1901. 

The children of Laura McNeill Grant are: Eric McNeill 
Grant, born May 8th, 1889 ; Gerald Wallace Grant, born March 
22nd, 1891; Margaret Frances Grant, born August 8th, 1893; 
John Moreau Grant, born July 17th, 1895 ; Grainger Stewart 
Grant, born July 5th, 1897; Harold Taylor Wood Grant, born 
March 16th, 1899. It may interest the Southern reader to know 
that the last-mentioned child was named, in part, for the late 
Captain John Taylor Wood, of Halifax (a dear friend of the 
family), who, during the Civil War in the United States, rendered 
distinguished service to the South as Commander of the Con- 
federate cruiser " Talahassee " ; as a lieutenant on the " Merrimac " 
in her engagement with the United States fleet at Hampton Roads 
which culminated in the famous duel with the " Monitor " ; also 
as commander of a naval detachment in the defence of the James 
River against the Northern gunboats. Captain Wood was a grand- 
son of President Zachary Taylor (his mother being General 
Taylor's eldest daughter), and a nephew (by marriage) of Presi- 
dent Jefferson Davis, whose first wife was General Taylor's second 
daughter. At the close of the war Captain Wood was on Presi- 
dent Davis' staff with the rank of colonel, and was with him at 
the time of his capture. After a romantic escape from his captors, 
Captain Wood made his home in Halifax, N.S., where he died 
in 1905. 


3. John Nutting Pakker (born 1824, died September 26th, 
1868, and buried in Liverpool, England), engaged in a seafaring 
life and became commander of one of his father's ship3, trading 
mostly between China and Great Britain. In 1868 he was 
accidentally drowned at Liverpool, England, where his ship was 
lying. He never married. 

4. Frederick H. Parker (born in 1825, died December 3rd, 
1858), like his brothers James and John, went to sea from his 
boyhood, and became a captain in his father's service. His voy- 
ages took him chiefly to the Indian and China seas and the 
Mediterranean, in the barque " Walton." He too, lost his life 
in following his profession. He was never married. His body 
was interred at Cardiff, Wales. 

5. Wentworth Foster Parker was born at Walton in 1828. 
He began life as a clerk in a bank at Windsor, N.S., and after- 
wards engaged in business in Walton. He married Eliza Mary 
Eatchford Crane, of Cumberland County, N.S., a daughter of 
Silas Hibbert Crane. The Cranes were of a New England Loyal- 
ist family, exiled after the Revolutionary War. Mr. Parker's 
career was short. He died on October 18th, 1868. 

The children of Wentworth Foster Parker are: Susan 
Haliburton, died in infancy; Anne Chandler, born at Walton, 
January 13th, 1861. She took up the profession of a nurse, 
receiving her training at the Boston City Hospital, where she 
became a superintendent of nurses. For some years Miss Parker 
has been the superintendent of the Hale Hospital at Haverhill, 
Mass. ; Janet McNeill, born at Walton, September 13th x 1863, 
died at Amherst, N.S., October 27th, 1889, unmarried. Helen 
Sophia Grant, born November 21st, 1866. Resides with her 
mother at Amherst, N.S. 

6. Francis Grant Parker was born at Walton, Hants County, 
Nova Scotia, August 15th, 1830. In early life he was engaged in 
business in Chicago, and afterwards in New York. In 1864 he 
began business in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a wholesale dealer in 
flour, tea and salt. Later he engaged in the milling of flour, in 
partnership with his brother-in-law, John Grant. He was active 
in promoting the manufacturing interests of Halifax, and was 
a public-spirited citizen. He was President of the Nova Scotia 
Cotton Mills Company, and of the Starr Manufacturing Company, 
whose business consists in the making of the Starr " Acme " patent 
skate, and in all kinds of iron and steel manufacture, including 
the construction of bridges. He was also a Director of the People's 
Bank of Halifax, a chartered bank of Canada. He was actively 
engaged in politics, and was the first President of the "Morning 
Herald " Printing and Publishing Company, which, in his time, 
conducted the chief Nova Scotia newspaper in the interests of the 
Conservative party. 


About 1895 Mr. Parker retired from business, having become 
a prey to inflammatory rheumatism, which confined him much of 
the time to his home. 

On June 5th, 1867, he married Marianne Grant, daughter of 
John Nutting Grant, of Loyal Hill, and a great-granddaughter 
of Captain Robert Grant of the 42nd Highlanders. There were 
no children of the marriage. Mr. Parker died on the 9th day of 
August, 1905. His wife survives him. He was of an ardent, 
impulsive, generous and loving temperament. A friend to the 
poor and to every good cause calling for benevolence or charity, 
a friend of every child within a wide radius of his home, especially 
devoted to his entire family connection, his memory is ever fresh ; 
for " to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." 

1. Maey Sophia Parker was born at Walton in 1834. She 
inarmed Charles Rathburn Allison of Windsor, N.S., merchant, 
in 1857. In 1875 she became a widow, and afterwards resided 
with her father until his death. She died at Hampton, New 
Brunswick, July 22nd, 1898. Her seven children are: 
(1) Frederick Allison, died in infancy; (2) Frances Allison, 
died in infancy; (3) Foster Allison, who followed the sea and 
became a captain in the merchant service. He died on board his 
ship, of yellow fever, at Havana, June 23rd, 1882, aged about 22. 
He was unmarried; (4) Mary McNeill Allison, born September 
6th, 1861, married, April 20th, 1887, Rev. Charles Arthur 
Warneford, of New Brunswick, an Episcopal clergyman, son 
of Rev. Edmund Arthur Warneford, a native of Surrey, England. 
She died in the Province of New Brunswick on August 7th, 1888, 
leaving no child; (5) Harriet Penniston Allison, born Novem- 
ber 18th, 1864, married, July 20th, 1888, Percy H. Warneford, 
of Hampton, New Brunswick, Physician, a brother of her sister 
Mary's husband. She died at Hampton, April 26th, 1905, survived 
by her husband and the following children: Arthur Kemys 
Sweeting Warneford, born April 9th, 1890; Harry McNeill 
Warneford, born April 17th, 1892; Eric Percy Warneford, 
born June 9th, 1897; (6) Charles Rathburn Allison, born in 
1866, went to sea when a boy and became a master's mate on a 
Nova Scotia ship. During the summer of 1886, while on a voyage 
to Central America from the West Indies, the officers and crew 
were stricken with yellow fever, and among those who died and 
were buried at sea was young Allison. The ship was found in the 
Gulf of Mexico with two or three dying men on board and was 
towed to port; (7) Frank Hector Allison, born in 1872, died 
at Amherst, N.S., March 11th, 1889. 

In consequence of the loss of Francis Parker's family Bible in 
a fire which destroyed Dr. Warneford's house at Hampton, certain 
dates in the foregoing narrative cannot be supplied. 


Descendants of Sophia Margaret McNeill. 

Sophia Margaret McNeill was twice married. Her first 
husband, whom she married, probably in 1809, was Stephen 
Teriiune, who was of a Loyalist family from New York, settled 
in Hants County. Of this marriage there were four children: 
Daniel McNeill Terhune, born September 6th, 1810 ; Mary 
Ann Terhune, born May 13th, 1812 ; Sarah Eliza Terhune, 
born April 23rd, 1814; and Janet Belinda Terhune, born June 
15th, 1816; died April 17th, 1869. Save in the case of Janet 
Belinda, further records of the Terhune family cannot now be 
ascertained. The children and grandchildren have removed to 
the United States, where they seem to have scattered widely. 
Daniel McNeill, Mary Anne and Sarah Eliza are dead, and their 
descendants have not communicated with their Nova Scotia kins- 
folk. Daniel's son, Alpheus, resides in Everett, Mass., Sarah 
Eliza married a Salter, and a son of hers lives in Hantsport, N.S. 
Janet Belinda Terhune, married, February 23rd, 1835, 
Isaac O'Brien of Noel, Hants County, farmer. Mr. O'Brien 
died March 29th, 1894. Their children are: (1) Adela O'Brien, 
born January 21st, 1836, married January 18th, 1859, Isaac O. 
Christie, of Truro, Colchester County, N.S., farmter, who died 
May 13th, 1862; (2) Lorenzo O'Brien, shipbuilder, born June 
24th, 1838, married December 14th, 1865, Margaret Stirling of 
Maitland, Hants County, N.S. They are now living in Humbolt 
County, California. They have no children; (3) Albert S. 
O'Brien, born September 10th, 1843; drowned at sea May 13th, 
1865 ; unmarried. 

The children of Isaac O. and Adela Christie are : ( 1 ) John 
Christie, electrician, born October 22nd, 1859 ; married Decem- 
ber 17th, 1890, Mary Adelia Ruggles, of Weymouth, Digby 
County, N.S., and who has three children: Marjory Adela, 
born April 13th, 1892, died January 30th, 1902; Andrew 
Campbell, born December 4th, 1893, and Mary Alice, born June 
7th, 1900. (2) Isaac O. Christie, Jr., born December 13th, 
1861; married December 2nd, 1886, Lillie Archibald of Truro, 
N.S. ; died in Nevada, April 16th, 1906. His widow and one son, 
Alexander L., born October 16th, 1887, survive him, and reside 
in Boston, Mass. 

The Second Husband of Sophia Margaret McNeill 
(Teriiune) was William Parker, of Walton, to whom she was 
married on March 19th, 1820. He was born in Hants County, 
N.S., September 10th, 1792, and was an elder brother of Francis 
Parker, the husband of Mary Janet, the elder sister of Sophia 
Margaret. William Parker's earlier life was spent at sea. At the 
age of twenty-eight, after he had been for some years a sea captain, 


he relinquished that profession and took up farming at Walton. 
He was a man of fine parts, resembling his brother in most char- 
acteristics, save that Francis was of a more energetic, impetuous 
and sanguine temperament. William was a man universally 
respected, and beloved by all the large circle of his family and 
his friends. In point of character and accomplishments as well as 
in appearance, there was a strong resemblance between the sisters 
Sophia and Janet Parker. 

The Walton farmhouse (with "the latch outside") and the 
" Squire's " home vied with each other as centres of family attrac- 
tion and a boundless hospitality. William Parker died at Walton, 
August 18th, 1874, within a month of 83 years of age. Sophia 
Margaret, his wife, died at Walton December 19th, 1875, aged 83. 

Descendants of William Parker and Sophia Margaret 


The children of William and Sophia Margaret Parker are: 
Caroline, Archibald McNeill, Mary Walton, William Dixon and 
Ellen Sophia. 

1. Caroline Parker was born January 1st, 1821. She 
married, December 22nd, 1840, Thomas Parker, of Colchester 
County, N.S., farmer, who was born October 6th, 1816, and was 
a descendant of one of the Yorkshire Parker immigrants of 1774. 
Her husband died March 9th, 1889. Their children are: 
(1) Belinda Parker, born September 22nd, 1841; (2) William 
Parker, born September 29th, 1843; (3) Mary Parker, born 
June 4th, 1846. In 1871 Mary married in Boston, Mass., 
William Richard Dingwall. Their children are: Nelson 
Webster Dingwall, born in Boston January 31st, 1872, who 
married June 2nd, 1896, Christine Rethwisch, of Port au Prince, 
Haiti, West Indies, and has the following children: Dorothy 
Lorna, born October 28th, 1900, in New York City; Eleanor 
Emily, born June 19th, 1902, died July 12th, 1904; Beatrice, 
born November 7th, 1.903 ; Caroline Parker Dingwall, born in 
Boston, Mass., who married in 1898, at Souris, Prince Edward 
Island, Henry P. Duchemin, and has the following children: 
E. Parker, born June 15th, 1899 ; Adela Irene, born December 
19th, 1900; Roy DesBarres, born June 22nd, 1902; Rohan 
Compton, born June 15th, 1905 ; Belinda Landelles Dingwall, 
born at Fortune Bridge, Prince Edward Island ; Adella Ding- 
wall, born at Fortune Bridge, P.E.I. ; Chester Dingwall, born 
at South Lake, P.E.I., deceased. (4) George Parker, born 
January 24th, 1849. He was for some years in business in 
Halifax, N.S., but is now doing business in Sydney, N.S. George 
married at Halifax, N.S., December 7th, 1872, Hannah Thompson 
(born February 20th, 1847), and has the following children: 


Belinda, born October 12th, 1873; married Joseph A. Ervin, 
of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, January 21st, 1903 ; George, 
born December 26th, 1874; Charles, born October 28th, 1876; 
Allen, bom December 7th, 1879; Burton, born October 
10th, 1883; Caroline, born November 26th, 1887; Ethel, 
born April 12th, 1890. (5) Samuel Parker, born April 
22nd, 1851. (6) Joseph Parker, born September 11th, 1853. 
(7) Sophia McNeill Parker, born August 21st, 1856. She 
married January 1st, 1874, William Irvine Boomer, of Sydney, 
Nova Scotia, and has the following children: Ira Leigh, born 
June 10th, 1875, who married, November 15th, 1902, Marion 
McKenzie, and resides at Montreal, Canada; Muriel Beatrice, 
born February 22nd, 1880, who married, April 13th, 1905, 
Nelson F. Kennedy; Gertrude Caroline, born February 
]2th, 1890. (8) Henry Parker, born September 25th, 1859. 
(9) Margaret Parker, born March 31st, 1864; married 
January 6th, 1885, Burton Fulton, of Colchester County, N.S., 
who was born February 20th, 1862. Their children are: Foster 
Leland Fulton, born November 7th, 1887; Caroline Gertrude 
Fulton, born January 17th, 1889 ; Nellie Parker Fulton, born 
April 2nd, 1891; Mary Elina Fulton, born September 3rd, 1893; 
Muriel Louise Fulton, born October 21st, 1896 ; Henry Burton 
Fulton, born November 5th, 1898. 

2. Archibald McNeill Parker was born January 11th, 
1823, at Walton, where he spent part of his life in farming. He 
was never married. Deprived, by lameness, of many of life's 
activities, he read widely and cultivated intellectual tastes. For 
many years he was collector of customs of the Port. He had a 
striking personality and a genial, warm-hearted disposition. 
Anyone regarding the celebrated picture of Sir Walter Scott and 
his friends at Abbotsford, can see in James Hogg, " the Ettrick 
Shepherd," an almost perfect portrait of Archibald McNeill 
Parker. He died at Walton, December 8th, 1890. 

3. Mary Walton Parker, born April 1st, 1825, married 
Michael Terhune Parker, of Walton, builder and farmer, 
December 22nd, 1843. He was a first cousin of his wife, being 
the son of Joseph, who was the son of John Parker. She died 
September 3rd, 1904. Her husband is still living. Their children 
are: (1) Rupert Eaton Parker, who married in June, 1868, 
Susan Parker of Walton, and died in 1878, leaving the following 
children: Edith, who died in July, 1904; Maynard, who died in 
November, 1904; Clifford Mosher and Almon Rupert; 
(2) Caroline Parker, who married in October, 1869, Captain 
C. W. M. Geitzler, of Norway. She died in January, 1881, and 
her husband, while in command of a ship, was drowned off 
Delaware Breakwater in March, 1888. Their children are: 


Hector Frantz, who died May 2nd, 1880 ; Julia Maude, Arthur 
Leland, a sea captain, and Charles Rupert Geitzler; (3) Abtiiur 
Dixon Paekee, a contractor in Truro, N.S., who married in 
January, 1880, Lillian Bigelow, of Kingsport, Kings County, N.S., 
and has the following children : Clara Blanche, Mary Josephine, 
Ethel Elizabeth ; Helen Gwendoline ; Vera Lois ; Arthur Bernard ; 
(4) Norman William Paekee, born September 10th, 1849; 
married November 3rd, 1875, to Emiline Crowe (born February 
15th, 1855). Their children are: Lillian, born September 30th, 
1876, who is a school teacher; Archibald Stewart, born November 
8th, 1878, who is a builder and unmarried ; Elmore Nutting, born 
December 31st, 1880, and who is a seaman, unmarried; Partis 
Fulton, born December 15th, 1882, and Carl Richmond, born 
September 6th, 1895; (5) Ada Sophia Paekee, married Septem- 
ber 1876, to Silvius J. Lake of Cheverie, Hants County, of which 
marriage there are the following children : Eva Blanche, Gertrude 
Maud, Ethel Winnifred (died in February, 1880), Irene Madge, 
Hector, Bertha R., Perry Parker and Trenholm; (6) Edgae M. 
Paekee, died in infancy, 1855; (7) Irene Maegaeet Paekee, 
married in May, 1880, Charles P. Cochrane, of Windsor, N.S., a 
sea captain, who died at sea in April, 1897. The widow survives, 
with three children : Madge Irene, Muriel F. and Charles 
Maxwelton; (8) Lawrence Edgar Parker, married in August, 
1887, Annie Ellen Hunter, of Newport, N.S. He is a sea captain. 
The. children of Captain Parker are Grace Lenore, Annie Laurie, 
Albertha, Clyde Whitney, Nila, and Howard Bligh; (9) Geeteude 
Maude, died unmarried, in 1881; (10) Lena Caelotta, the 
youngest child of Mary Walton Parker and Michael Terhune 
Parker, married J. W. Boomer, of Sydney, N.S. 

4. William Dixon Paekee, of Walton, farmer, was born 
April 27th, 1831, and on January 10th, 1853, he married Hannah 
Archibald Braden (born April 22nd, 1832), daughter of Samuel 
Braden, Esq., and Mary Logan Braden, of Musquodoboit, Halifax 
County, N.S. The children of William Dixon Parker are: 
(1) Heney Angus Paekee, of Walton, farmer, born December 
13th, 1853, who married, December 31st, 1879, Mary Janet Weir 
of Walton, and has three children: Julia Frances, born October 
8th, 1880; Foster Leland, born October 23rd, 1882; Harry Weir, 
born September 20th, 1891; (2) Fostee Beaden Paekee, of 
Walton, farmer, born December 9th, 1855, who married, June 
14th, 1899, Mabel Pooley, of London, England, and has one child, 
Margaret Favell, born September 19th, 1905 ; (3) Maeion Sophia 
Paekee, born September 22nd, 1857, who married, January 1st, 
1883, Hibbert Binney Weir, of Walton, and has the following 
children: William Parker Weir, born December 12th, 1883; 
Frederick Harold Weir, born February 5th, 1886; Edna Marion 

30 DANIEL McNEILL and his descendants 

Weir, born September 25th, 1888; Percy Braden Weir, born June 
25th, 1895; Caroline Frances Weir, who died in infancy, March 
1st, 1900, and Ernest Conradi Weir, who died in infancy, May 
19th, 1903 ; (4) William Parker, a retired sea captain residing 
m Boston, Mass., who was born September 21st, 1859, and married, 
March 4th, 1889, Kathleen Davison, of Hantsport, N.S. His 
children are: Ernest Wellesley, born January 11th, 1891; Frank 
Watson, born March 19th, 1895 ; George Bertrand, born December 
17th, 1897 ; Rex Arnold, born January 6th, 1899 ; Adria Valentine, 
born February 14th, 1900 ; William Dixon, born July 2nd, 1902 ; 
Evelyn May, born April 4th, 1906; (5) Percy Parker, a sea 
captain, born January 5th, 1862 ; married August 5th, 1893, Isabel 
Mary Patterson, of Yarmouth, N.S. ; died in New York City, 
April 30th, 1905, leaving his wife and two children; Mary 
Dorothy, born September 12th, 1894, and Jack Walton, born 
July 18th, 1896; (6) Mary Janet Parker, born December 11th, 
1863; married March 25th, 1885, George William Bradshaw, of 
Windsor, N.S., and has the following children: Helen Madge 
Bradshaw, born May 5th, 1886; Bertha Jean Bradshaw, born 
December 4th, 1888; Janet Mary Bradshaw, born August 20th, 
1891; Isabel Margaret Bradshaw, born September 23rd, 1893. 
George William Bradshaw, died June 22nd, 1897; (7) Samuel 
Adams Parker, born December 9th, 1865, is a sea captain, and 
is unmarried; (8) Ernest Leslie Parker, born September 10th, 
1867, who is a merchant in Boston, Mass., and married, October 
16th, 1894, Sarah Morris, of Walton. He has three children: 
Max Yerxa, born August 18th, 1895 ; Helena Morris, born Decem- 
ber 4th, 1897; Ernestine Mildred, born February 19th, 1901; 
(9) Caroline Parker, born June 17th, 1870, who married, 
July 30th, 1895, Avard Longley Starratt, of Annapolis County, 
N.S., a sea captain. They live in Walton and have two children: 
Ralph Parker Starratt, born July 17th, 1896, and Francklyn 
Zwicker Starratt, born June 20th, 1904; (10) Helen Wing 
Parker, born December 15th, 1872, who resides with her parents 
at Walton, and is unmarried; (11) Bertrand Everett Parker, 
born November 5th, 1875; died unmarried, May 19th, 1901. 

5. Ellen Sophia Parker, born December 8th, 1834, married 
Joseph Moxon, of Walton, now a. contractor and builder in the 
vicinity of Boston, Mass. They have several children. Their 
present location is unknown. 

Wolfville, N.S., 

September, 1906. 




" Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault, 
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, 
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault 
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise." 

— Gray. 

It is to be noted at the outset, that this family, so far as 
known, is not connected with the Parkers of Annapolis and Kings 
Counties in Nova Scotia, who derive their ancestry through settlers 
from the New England colonies. 

Our earliest progenitor of this name of whom we have any 
knowledge is John Parker, originally of Plympton, near Knares- 
borough, in the Parish of Spanforth, Yorkshire, England. He was 
born, probably, near the close of the seventeenth century, and 
died previous to the year 1769. In his later years he appears to 
have resided at Cold Carum, Yorkshire. He was a farmer and 
grazier. In religion the family were Quakers. His wife, Mary, 
whose maiden name has not been preserved by any record known 
to us, was born at Plympton in the year 1700, and died at the 
home of her son, William Parker, senior, near Windsor, Nova 
Scotia, May 27th, 1780. 

John and Mary had the following children: 

1. Francis, born at Plympton in 1738; died at Shuben- 
acadie, Nova Scotia, May 3rd, 1800. 

2. Joseph, born at Plympton, in 1740; died at Newport, 
Nova Scotia, September 9th, 1815. 

3. William (distinguished hereafter as William Parker, 
senior) born at Cold Carum, in the Parish of Kilburn, Yorkshire, 
February, 1742; died at Rawdon, Nova Scotia, September 17th, 

On the 10th of January, 1769, at Masham, Yorkshire, William 
(Senior) married Mary Hardaker, daughter of Thomas and Mary 


32 DANIEL McNEILL pabker, m.d. 

Hardaker, of Ullishaw, near Masham, in the Parish of Kirby 
Moorside, Yorkshire. Mary Hardaker, wife of this William 
Parker, was born at Cold Carum, in January, 1734, and died at 
Rawdon, Nova Scotia, December 30th, 1810. Her father, Thomas, 
died at Bromley Grange, near Ripon, in Yorkshire, April 4th, 
1785. No other information concerning her family has been 
transmitted to her descendants, except that they were Quakers. 
William and Mary Parker were married according to the quaint 
and simple rite of the Quakers, which had become recognized by 
English law. The Friends held that marriage was the Lord's 
joining of man and woman, and therefore was not performed by 
man. Men were but witnesses. The following is a copy of the 
record of this marriage ceremony. It served as the marriage 

" William Parker, of Cold Carum, in the Parish of Kilburn, 
and County of York, Husbandman, son of John Parker (deceased) 
and Mary, his wife, late of Plympton in the Parish of Span- 
forth and County aforesaid, and Mary Hardaker, daughter of 
Thomas Hardaker, and Mary, his wife, of Ullishaw, in the Parish 
of Kirby Moorside and County aforesaid, having declared their 
intentions of taking each other in marriage, before several meet- 
ings of the people called Quakers, in the County aforesaid, and the 
proceedings of the said William Parker and Mary Hardaker, 
after due enquiry and deliberate consideration thereof, were 
allowed by the said meetings, they appearing clear of all others, 
and having their parents' consent and relations concerned. 

" Now these are to certify all whom it may concern that for the 
accomplishing of their said marriage this 10th day of the first 
month (called) January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand 
seven hundred and sixty nine, they, the said William Parker 
and Mary Hardaker, appeared in a public assembly of the afore- 
said people and others in their meeting house at Masham, in the 
County aforesaid, and he, the said William Parker, taking the 
said Mary Hardaker by the hand, did openly and solemnly declare 
as followeth: 

" Friends, in the fear of the Lord and before this assembly, 
I take this my friend Mary Hardaker to be my wife, promis- 
ing thro' divine assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful 
husband, until it shall please the Lord by death to separate us 
(or words to that effect) and the said Mary Hardaker did then 
and there in the said assembly in like manner declare as followeth: 

" Friends, in the fear of the Lord and before this assembly, 
I take this my friend William Parker to be my husband, promis- 
ing through divine assistance to be unto him a loving and faith- 
ful wife until it shall please the Lord by death to separate us 
(or words to that effect) and the said William Parker and Mary 



Hardaker as a further confirmation thereof, and in testimony 
thereunto did then and there to these presents set their hands. 

" Sgd. William Parker. 
" Sgd. Mary Hardaker. 

" We whose names are hereunto subscribed being present among 
others at the solemnizing of the above said marriage and subscrip- 
tion in manner aforesaid as witnesses have also to these presents 
subscribed our names the day and year above written. 


Thompson, Richard Thompson, Thos. Hardcastle, 
Mulden, Elizabeth Fulton, Esther Kel- 
vin, Lydia Kelvin, Mary Kelvin, John Binks, 
Richard Binks, Mary Weatherhead, Edith Holds- 
worth, Armistead Fielden, Catherine Wells. 

" Relations. 

" Sgd. Thos. Hardaker, A. Fred Parker, Elizabeth Cold- 
beck, Joseph Parker, John Coldbeck, Sarah 
Parker, William Johnson, Mary Parker, Henry 
Hardaker, William Thistlethwaite, Saml. Ash- 
ton, Thos. Cook, John Janson, John Thompson, 
Eliz. Thompson." 




According to the custom, this record would be entered in the 
Friends' register of births, deaths, and marriages kept at Masham, 
or at Richmond, in the North Riding. 

The list of "relations" who signed as witnesses opens up 
interesting speculations as to families in England to whom the 
Parkers are allied. 

The parties to this marriage, William Parker, senior, and 
Mary Hardaker, were the great-grandparents of my father Daniel 
McNeill Parker. John Parker, above referred to as our earliest 
known progenitor, and Mary, his wife, were my father's great- 
great-grandparents. From my children (inclusive) to the last 
named ancestors there are thus seven generations. 

Of the lives or condition of the Parkers in Yorkshire, no 
record or tradition remains to us. As appears by the marriage 


record William was a farmer. They lived in a part of England 
where breeding live stock for the London market was a consider- 
able industry, and doubtless some of them were graziers as well 
as farmers. 

It was only in 1722 that the Act for the relief of the Quakers 
from their political disabilities was passed. Previous to that, 
under their form of affirmation in lieu of an oath, they were 
unable to answer in Courts of Equity, take probates of wills, 
prove debts on commissions of bankruptcy, take up their freedoms, 
and to poll their votes at elections, as freeholders. John Parker's 
father, and possibly, he himself, lived during the fierce persecu- 
tion and stubborn resistance of the Quakers under the Conventicle 
Act in the reign of Charles II. The father of John was doubtless 
living when the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, 
George Fox, in the year 1658, shortly before Cromwell's death, 
" laid the suffering of Friends before him," when, as Fox wrote, 
" before I came to him as he rode at the head of his life guards, I 
saw and felt a waft of death go forth against him; and when I 
came to him he looked like a dead man." Between the years 
1661 and 1697 over 13,000 Friends were imprisoned in England, 
198 were transported as slaves, and 338 died in prison or of 
wounds received in assaults while attending meetings; and for 
the sole cause of professing and practising their religious beliefs. 
This historical setting of these forefathers of ours I thus briefly 
sketch because, without doubt, the moral and religious fibre of 
such ancestors as these bluff and sturdy Quaker Yorkshiremen 
schooled by family tradition and actual knowledge to " hold fast 
the form of sound words," even at the cost of imprisonment, 
banishment, wounds and death itself, became the heritage, by 
blood, of Daniel McNeill Parker. Such an ancestry, in large 
measure, may account for certain temperamental qualities which 
he had, as also for the strength and depth of his religious nature 
and convictions, with their practical manifestation in his life. 

Two sons were born to William Parker, senior, and Mary, 
his wife, in Yorkshire, namely, John Parker, born March 8th, 

1771, at Ullishaw, and William Parker, junior, born August 16th, 

1772. This son, John, was the grandfather of my father. 

In the year 1758 Governor Lawrence of Nova Scotia had 
issued a proclamation inviting settlers from the older American 
Colonies to come in and take up the lands of the French Neutrals, 
or Acadians, who had been deported, mainly in 1755. Public 
interest in Great Britain and Ireland was also aroused, soon 
afterwards, by the advantageous inducements thus held out ; and, 
about 1760, immigrants from the old country began to arrive 
in Nova Scotia in considerable numbers. During the period of 
emigration which followed, four different parties came from 


Yorkshire, the first arriving in 1772. In the 178th chapter of 
Knight's History of England, volume 6, there is an account of 
the discouraging conditions of rural Yorkshire at this period, 
due in part to what would be called general " hard times " in 
England, in part to the exhaustion of the soil through many 
generations of antiquated and unprogressive methods of farming, 
and in part to the inability of the people to extend the area of 
cultivation in proportion to the growth of population. The 
Marquis of Rockingham, leader of the Whig party, Sir Digby 
Legard, the Earl of Darlington, Mr. Danby, and other large 
landed proprietors of the shire were just beginning their public- 
spirited and ultimately successful labors for the amelioration of 
these conditions. Mr. Danby was a colliery owner at Swinton, 
near Masham, the town where William Parker was married, and 
which was in the immediate vicinity of Ullishaw, the home of 
Mary Hardaker before her marriage, and where William appears 
to have located after that event. At this period the older 
American colonies were seething with discontent, and already 
startling overt acts of rebellion had occurred; the people were 
organizing and arming for the inevitable war for independence. 

From such circumstances as these it is not difficult to con- 
jecture why the four parties of Yorkshire folk referred to should 
emigrate, and choose Nova Scotia for their future home, nor 
why our ancestors should join them. 

The three brothers, Francis, Joseph, and William Parker, 
senior, sons of John, with their wives and families, embarked 
at Hull, Yorkshire, for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 5th day of 
March, 1774, and landed at Halifax on the 7th day of May 
following. Emigrants at that time usually came in slow-sailing 
brigs, which fact may account for the length of this voyage. 
Their widowed mother, Mary, accompanied them. 

The names of the wives of Francis and Joseph, who were of 
the party, were, respectively Mary; born in Yorkshire in 1737, 
died at Shubenacadie, N.S., October 17th, 1809; and Elizabeth, 
born in Yorkshire, died at Newport, N.S. 

William brought with him his two children, John, three years 
of age, and William, Junior, a baby of nineteen months. By what 
seems a singular coincidence, William Black, my mother's great- 
grandfather (the father of the future Reverend William Black) 
was a fellow passenger with the great-grandparents and the 
infant grandfather of my father on this voyage. Dr. Richey, the 
Reverend William Black's biographer, says : " His father having 
for some time entertained the design of emigrating to America, 
deemed it prudent to visit the intended land of his adoption him- 
self, before he should finally determine on a step so deeply 
involving the future fortunes of his family. Accordingly, in 

36 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

the spring of 1774, he came to Nova Scotia, purchased an estate 
at Amherst in the County of Cumberland, and returning to Eng- 
land in the autumn, moved to America with his family the 
ensuing Spring." 

Owing to the discovery of William Parker's family record, I am 
able thus to correct the tradition, given in my monograph on Daniel 
McNeill and his descendants, that the Parkers came out in the 
brig " Jenny " in April, 1775, when William Black, Senior, 
brought out his family, including his young son, the future dis- 
tinguished Wesleyan pioneer preacher. 

The three immigrant Parker brothers settled as follows : Francis 
on a farm at Shubenacadie ; Joseph at Mantua, a section of New- 
port, near Windsor, on a farm known later as the John Allison 
farm; William, also near Windsor on a property which he desig- 
nates in his record as " Margaret Farm." The mother went to 
live with her son William. It is very probable that each of these 
three farms had belonged to deported French Acadians. Some 
years passed, after the main body of these unhappy people had 
been removed in 1755, before all the farm properties from which 
they had been torn were taken up. As late as 1762 the Acadians 
were still being removed, and in 1765 there were many of them 
imprisoned at Fort Edward in Piziquid (later called Windsor), 
only nine years before the arrival of the Parkers. 

When they came to this Province Francis was 38 years of age, 
Joseph 34 and William 32. 

At " Margaret Farm " three more sons and a daughter were 
born to William, senior, and Mary his wife, namely, Thomas 
Parker, born October 28th, 1774, whose birth was registered at a 
monthly meeting of Friends at Richmond in Yorkshire ; Mary 
Parker, born February 9th, 1777 ; Joseph Parker, born May 5th, 
1779, and Francis Parker, born July 25th, 1782. The only other 
known family event connected with " Margaret Farm " is the death 
of the elder William's mother, Mary, which occurred there May 
27th, 1780, at the age of 80. 

Sometime previous to the year 1810, William Parker, senior, 
removed to Rawdon, in Hants County. His daughter Mary had 
married Timothy Dimock at Petite (afterwards Walton), Decem- 
ber 29th, 1795, and they had settled in Rawdon. His sons Joseph 
and Francis had also founded homes there, where they both 
married in 1805. His sons John and William, junior, had settled 
at Petite and had married, John on November 8th, 1791, and 
William on November 25th, 1793. This accounts for the mar- 
riage of their sister Mary taking place there. 

Thomas Parker, the first son of William, senior, to be born in 
this province, settled at Newport, where he married on January 
21st, 1804. 


Mary (Hardaker) Parker, wife of William, senior, died at 
Rawdon on December 30th, 1810. Of the life there he records this 
incident, — the only attempt at narration which his family chron- 
icle makes. I give it in his own words : " A remarkable acci- 
dent happened in my family the 16th day of the eleventh month, 
1812. The two daughters, one of Timothy Dimock, the other of 
Francis Parker, namely Hannah Dimock, aged nine years and 
ten m'ths, & Elizabeth Parker, aged six years and ten m'ths, being 
sent to drive in a cow about three o'clock of the above day, the cow 
turning into the woods, the children followed and became bewil- 
dered. Leaving the cow, they tried to make their way home or to 
their uncle's house, but, missing their way, made into the wilder- 
ness. An alarm was made to their neighbours. A band of twelve 
men was quickly raised who exerted themselves to the best of their 
knowledge, seeking them till past three in the morning, about which 
time the moon set, and then for some time it had snowed and was 
very cold, though not much frost. By morning a considerable 
of snow had fallen. About sunrise fifty men went in search of 
them, and about nine in the morning, to the astonishment of the 
greatest part of the searchers, found them, hearing them hullow 
in answer to the men's hullow one for another. They were found 
in perfect health, with a good appetite. They were lightly clothed 
and bare-headed." 

From this narration it will be seen that William continued to 
record his dates according to the old Quaker method. Throughout 
his chronicle he never uses the heathen names of the months, but 
numbers them. 

Beyond the circumstance that William, senior, caused the birth 
of his son Thomas to be recorded in the Quaker register at home, 
as has been stated above, there is nothing to show to what extent, 
or for what length of time the family continued in the Quaker con- 
nexion. There was no Society of Friends in Nova Scotia when 
they came to the Province, and I am not aware that there ever 
has been one. The descendants of the immigrant brothers for the 
most part connected themselves with the Church of England. 
Others worshipped with the religious congregations which hap- 
pened to be nearest them. In point of religious association, the 
family became divided, through the influences of neighborhood or 
environment. But nevertheless the inheritance of the Quaker 
lineage has often revealed itself in certain family characteristics. 
The forms of faith have passed, but their ethical import and influ- 
ence have remained ; though it must be confessed that, sometimes, 
there has occurred that natural deterioration from type which is 
sure to affect, in some degree, the scions of an older civilization 
when grafted upon the crude and rougher conditions of a remote 
colony upon the frontier of human habitation. 

38 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

In the year 1815 William Parker, senior, his sons and his son- 
in-law, Timothy Dimock acquired large tracts of land at and about 
Petite Riviere, where there had formerly been a small settlement 
of French Acadians. The name, in time, had become abbreviated 
to "Petite." The following grants are of record in the Crown 
Land Office at Halifax. The inclusion of Michael B. Grant and 
James W. Nutting in the grants is explained by their connection 
with the family, which appears later. 

Book E, page 125. Grant, dated June 3rd, 1815, to Michael 
B. Grant, of Newport, Francis Parker, John Parker, William 
Parker the third, Joseph Parker and Thomas Parker, of 2,225 
acres, divided thus: To Michael B. Grant, Lot 1, 325 acres, and 
Lot 2, 175 acres. To Francis Parker, Lot 3, 202 acres, and Lot 
7, 148 acres. To John Parker, Lot 4, 450 acres. To William 
Parker the third, Lot 5, 200 acres. To Joseph Parker, 350 acres. 
To Thomas Parker, 375 acres. 

William Parker the third, here mentioned, is the eldest son 
of John, my father's favorite " Uncle Willie," who was at this 
time about twenty-three years of age. 

Book E, page 129. Grant, dated June 26th, 1815, to William 
Parker, senior, William Parker, junior, James W. Nutting, 
Timothy Dimock and John Warren, of 1,900 acres, divided thus: 
To William Parker, senior. Lot 3, 200 acres. To William Parker, 
junior, Lot 5, 375 acres, and Lot 6, 125 acres. To James W. 
Nutting, Lot 1, 500 acres, and the remaining 700 acres to Dimock 
and Warren. 

The last named grantee does not appear to have been connected 
with the family. William Parker, senior, owned land in the 
vicinity earlier. In his family record there is this entry : " I 
bought the lands at Petite of Wm. Graham, of Halifax, in the 4th 
month, 1781, and all the writings are registered in Halifax register 

In the year 1797, Captain Daniel McNeill had acquired by 
grant his estate, " Cambridge," adjacent to Petite, the record of 
the grant in the Crown Land Office being as follows: Book 20, 
page 48. Grant dated December 18th, 1797, to Daniel McNeill, 
" A half-pay captain in His Majesty's service." This land, esti- 
mated at one thousand acres in extent, is described by metes and 
bounds in Description Book 5, page 254. It is situated on the 
south-western shore of the river, and its frontage extends thence 
southerly along the shore of Minas Basin. 

The Parkers, Grants, McNeills, Nuttings, Dimocks and other 
families were now becoming associated in and near the com- 
munity afterwards to be known as Walton, which was to be the 
future centre of the Parker family life for many years. 


William Parker, senior, died of apoplexy, at Rawdon, Sep- 
tember 17th, 1819, in his seventy-eighth year. 

I have now brought down the lineage of my father to his grand- 
father, John, eldest son of William, senior. After John had 
settled at Petite he married, November 8th, 1791, Sarah Grant, 
daughter of Captain Robert Grant, of Loyal Hill, concerning whom 
I have furnished some particulars in my other narrative. John 
was a bridegroom of 20, and Sarah a bride of 17. 

Of this marriage there were the following children : 

William Parker, born September 10th, 1792 ; Hannah Parker, 
born June 11th, 1795; Francis Parker, born January 17th, 1797; 
Joseph Parker, born February 28th, 1799; John Grant Parker, 
born March 9th, 1801. The third child, Francis, was the father 
of Daniel McNeill Parker. 

Sarah (Grant) Parker died at Petite on the 31st of October, 
1802, " aged 28 years 7 m'ths, married 11 years wanting 10 days," 
as her father-in-law has minutely set it down in his chronicle. 
John Parker subsequently married Sarah Lockhart; and of this 
second marriage the children were: Wentworth, Maria, Thomas 
Woodbury, Daniel Dixon, Sophia, Collingwood, Charles and 

John Parker died at Petite June 25th, 1854, aged 83. A brief 
account of his children, other than William and Francis, with 
whom I have dealt in my other narrative, seems in order here. I 
recall a few facts which my father told me relating to his uncles 
and aunts. 

Hannah died early. 

Joseph married his cousin, Jane Parker, born March 3rd, 1807, 
the eldest daughter of his uncle Joseph. Their children were: 
Wentworth, who became a sea-captain and died at sea ; Michael, 
Jane and one other daughter. Joseph died in New Brunswick, 
where he had made his home. 

John Grant Parker married Mary Potter. 

Of the children of the half blood : Wentworth became a clerk 
with the firm of W. A. & S. Black (my mother's father and uncle) 
at Halifax, and died there of smallpox, in early life. 

Maria married James Smith, son of James. The father was 
a Scottish-born Loyalist refugee from Rhode Island, who, during 
the American Revolutionary War, settled in Newport, Hants 
County, and lived on what became the Bennett property, Poplar 
Grove, until his death in 1852. Maria's husband, James, junior, 
was born in 1793, and died in 1849, at Portland, Maine, where 
they resided. Maria became the mother of eight children. Her 
husband's brother, Woodbury Smith, entered the British Navy as 
a purser's clerk, at Halifax, married in England, and after attain- 

40 DANIEL McNEILL pakkek, m.d. 

ing the rank of a captain in the Navy, died at Greenwich, England, 
in 1853, leaving no issue. 

Thomas Woodbury Parker died, unmarried, at the home of 
Francis, my grandfather, in Walton. 

Daniel Dixon Parker was born in 1813, and when a mere boy, 
went to begin life for himself in Eastport, Maine. There he died, 
December 6th, 1830, at the age of 17. 

Sophia Parker died in infancy, January, 16th, 1816. 

Collingwood Parker was lost at sea while supercargo of a ship 
which was never heard of after sailing. 

Augusta Parker married a Payson, of Weymouth, Nova Scotia. 
The Misses Payson, who formerly lived in Halifax, were daughters 
of her husband's brother. 

Charles Parker went to New Orleans to reside. 

Michael Parker once did business in Wolfville, N.S., and after- 
wards moved to the United States. My father, in 1854, met him 
at a railway station while travelling in the United States, but when 
he told me this, late in his life, he could not remember the name of 
the place. Michael then held some office in a railway company. 

Of the children of William Parker, senior, other than John, — 
my father's grand-uncles and grand-aunts — there is the following 
record : 

The second son, William Parker, junior, at the age of 21 years, 
married, November 25th, 1793, Letitia Grant, daughter of Captain 
Robert Grant, of Loyal Hill, a younger sister of his brother John's 
wife, Sarah. They had the following children: 

Mary Parker, born September 18th, 1794, who married James 
Mitchener, October 15th, 1815, and had a son Abel, born August 
25th, 1816. John Grant Parker, born January 29th, 1796, who 
married Mary Ann Terhune. Sarah Parker, born November 20th, 
1797, who married John Shaw. Elizabeth Parker, born October 
1st, 1799; died March 27th, 1872. Thomas Parker, born June 
25th, 1801. Stephen Parker, born December 18th, 1803, who 
maried a Miss Ryan. Timothy Parker, born January 23rd, 1806, 
died May 9th, 1882, Rachel Parker, born September 22nd, 1808 ; 
died December 12th, 1815. William Parker, born August 28th, 
1810. Letitia Parker, born January 23rd, 1813. 

Letitia (Grant) Parker died at Petite, January 23rd, 1813, 
in giving birth to her last child and namesake. 

William Parker, junior, died at Petite, May 8th, 1857, aged 
85 years. 

The third son of William Parker, senior, Thomas, married at 
Newport, January 31st, 1804, Anne Mumford. They had the 
following children : 

Mary Parker, born December 10th, 1804. George Parker, 
born March 7th, 1807. William Parker, born November 22nd, 


1808. Benjamin Parker, born December 25th, 1810. Thomas 
Hardaker Parker, born February 2nd, 1813 ; died December 23rd, 
1815. Phoebe Ann and Sarah Letitia Parker (twins), born May 
10th, 1815. Francis Parker, born June 29th, 1818. Eunice 
Jane Parker, born July 5th, 1820. 

Mary, only daughter of William Parker, senior, married 
Timothy Dimock, of Rawdon, December 29th, 1795, at the age of 
19. They had issue as follows : 

Shubael Dimock, born November 27th, 1796, who married 
Hannah Baker (born January 6th, 1799). Thomas Dimock, born 
August 2nd, 1798; died April 26th, 1805. William Dimock, 
born August 28th, 1800, who married Elizabeth Parker, his cousin, 
daughter of Francis Parker, July 24th, 1828. Hannah P. Dimock, 
born January 18th, 1803, who married March 26th, 1827, James 
Higgins. The only child of this marriage was Dr. Daniel Francis 
Higgins, for many years Professor of Mathematics in Acadia 
College. Her husband died July 8th, 1829. She afterwards 
married William Whittier, December 2nd, 1834, and had another 
son, James Whittier. Joseph Dimock, born October 4th, 1804, 
who married Hannah Dimock, September 3rd, 1829. John 
Dimock, born February 22nd, 1807, who married Sarah Dimock, 
January 24th, 1833. Daniel Dimock, born September 16th, 1809 ; 
died November 24th, 1813. Timothy Dimock, born March 25th, 
1811; died December 22nd, 1815. Francis Knowlton Dimock, 
born April 5th, 1813 ; died the day of his birth. 

Timothy Dimock died at Rawdon, December 21st, 1838, aged 
69 years. Mary (Parker) Dimock died at Rawdon, December 
30th, 1863, aged^86. 

The fourth son of William Parker, senior, Joseph, married 
Anne McLalan (or McLennan) at Rawdon, December 26th, 1805. 
Of this marriage there were the following children : 

Jane Parker, born March 3rd, 1807. Alexander Parker, born 
February 16th, 1809. 

Anne (McLellan) Parker died at Rawdon, February 24th, 

Joseph was married a second time, to Catherine Terhune, on 
February 7th, 1810. The following were the children of this 
marriage : 

Ananias Parker, born December 26th, 1810. Hiram Parker, 
born March 24th, 1826; died June 29th, 1898, at Windsor, N.S. 
Catherine Parker, born January 16th, 1828. 

The fifth son of William Parker, senior, Francis, married 
Sarah Bond, at Rawdon, February 12th, 1805. They had the 
following children : 

Elizabeth Parker, born January 4th, 1806, who married Wil- 
liam Dimock, her cousin, son of Timothy and Mary (Parker) 

42 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

Dimock, July 24th, 1828. Phoebe Maria Parker, born February 
29th, 1808, who married Charles S. Dimock, June 17th, 1834. 
Sarah Ann Parker, born September 7th, 1810, who married John 
Doyle. William John Parker, born November 11th, 1812, who 
married Harriet Nowel Masters, December 2nd, 1834. 

Sarah (Bond) Parker died, February 1st, 1815. Francis was 
married again to Anne Lomer, October 5th, 1820. 

Having thus completed the genealogical line of William Parker, 
senior, the immigrant brother through whom my father's descent 
is derived (except as contained in my monograph on Daniel 
McNeill and his descendants), I extend the record to the other 
immigrant brothers, Francis and Joseph, my father's great-grand- 
uncles, and their families. By so doing I hope to contribute to 
the perpetuation of all the information which the brief chronicle 
of my father's great-grandfather affords ; but little remains to be 

The eldest of the three immigrant brothers, Francis, resided 
always at Shubenacadie, where he had first settled, and he died 
there, May 3rd, 1800, at the age of 62. He was married before he 
left England, but the maiden name of his wife, Mary, has not been 
recorded. She was born in Yorkshire in 1737, and died at Shuben- 
acadie on October 17th, 1809. They had a son, Francis R., born 
in Shubenacadie, who resided there and attained great age — I 
think, 96 years. He was the leading man in that locality for many 
years, a Justice of the Peace, widely known and respected as a man 
of high character and excellent qualities of mind and heart. About 
the year 1892 I had occasion to examine him as a witness in a law 
suit concerning the old Shubenacadie canal, before a Referee of 
the Exchequer Court of Canada. The meeting for this purpose 
took place at his house. Unfortunately I took no notes of a con- 
versation we had on family history. He was about twenty years 
old when his uncle, my father's great-grandfather, died, and knew 
and remembered him well. Though totally blind when I met him, 
he was robust in body, still of a fine physique, a burly, florid, dis- 
tinguished-looking old gentleman, who seemed rather of the eigh- 
teenth than the nineteenth century, and would have made a fine 
model for my idea of a typical old-time Yorkshire farmer. I could 
not resist the notion that in him there was reproduced before my 
eyes a sort of composite portrait of my father's English fore- 
fathers. To meet with him was like stepping back a century. His 
now sightless eyes had seen my ancestors of four generations past. 
In general appearance he resembled Francis, my grandfather. 
Like him, he ^vas always " Squire Parker " to everyone. His 
mental faculties were alert and keen, so that he made an excellent 
witness in the law suit, as to things he had seen and known thirty 
to forty years before. To attest the family traditions, not only of 


longevity, but of obedience to a certain injunction laid upon the 
patriarchs, he had then a rather young wife and a son of about 
twelve or fourteen years of age. This wife was of the Etter family, 
and a remote collateral relative of my mother, on the maternal 
side of the Black family. 

Of the remaining immigrant brother, Joseph Parker, and his 
family, who were settled in Newport, the most meagre information 
has come down to us. Like his brothers, he married in England 
before coming to this Province. His wife's maiden name is not 
known, but she was of Yorkshire birth, and her given name was 
Elizabeth. She died at Newport, where Joseph, as already stated, 
died on the 9th of September, 1815. Whether they left children or 
not the records at present available do not disclose. 

For further information of the Parker family, in the direct 
line of my father, and through the two Parker-McNeill marriages, 
reference may be had to the Daniel McNeill monograph of the year 

To the record of William Parker, senior, as continued by his 
daughter, I have added, in the lines collateral to my father's 
descent, only a few names of descendants, from information which 
I chanced to have. To bring the record down to date, in all its 
branches, would be a most voluminous undertaking. 

chapter ii. 
the McNeill family. 

" 'Tis opportune to look back upon old times, and contemplate our 

— Sir Thomas Browne. 

The Clan MacNeil was divided into two septs, those of Gigha, 
and others of Barra, two islands off the coast of Argyle, says the 
author of " The Scottish Clans and their Tartans " ; and he adds : 
" The name of MacNeil first appears in a charter by Robert I. of 
lands in Wigton to John, son of Gilbert MacNeil ; but the oldest 
charter to the name for the Isle of Barra — confirmatory of one 
from Alexander, Lord of the Isles — is dated 1427, and is granted 
to Gilleonon, son of Roderick, son of Murchard, the son of Neil. 
The Gigha branch were, so far back as 1472, keepers of the Castle 
of Swen, in North Knapdale, under the Lords of the Isles." This 
branch, or sept, had also proprietary rights of ancient date in Kin- 
tyre (Cantyre), as evidenced by a sale by Neil MacNeil to James 
MacNeil, the exact date of which is buried in obscurity. There 
were also MacNeils in the Isle of Colonsay, and many of the name 
occupied the western portion of the mainland of Argyle. In the 
course of time, and through changes in locality, the name has 
acquired several variations of spelling, but the families who came 
to North Carolina have spelt it, almost uniformly, " McNeill." 

The war-cry of the clan is " Buaidh no Bas " — " Victory or 
Death." The clan pipe march is " Spaidsearachd Mhic Neill " — 
" MacNeill's March." The clan badge is " Machall Monaidh." 
— Dryas. 

When, in the summer of 1745, Prince Charles Edward landed, 
first on the Island of Eriskay, between the islands of Barra and 
South Uist, and a little later at Borodale on the mainland, he was 
in the immediate neighborhood of the MacNeills, and many of the 
clan answered the summons to his standard. The autumn of the 
following year, which saw the Stuart Prince hunted through the 
western isles, brought to his Highland followers dire disaster. 
After the cause was forever lost upon Culloden Muir, the MacNeills 
were among the victims of the atrocities suffered by the clansmen 
at the hand of that royal butcher, the Duke of Cumberland. 
Wearied, at length, of hangings, slaughters, and the less merciful 
barbarities perpetrated upon the prisoners taken at Culloden and 


the McNeill family 45 

long afterwards in Argyle and the adjacent islands, this odious 
brother of George the Second gave to many remaining in his power 
the privilege of taking the oath of allegiance to the Brunswick 
King and then removing with their families to the American plan- 
tations, as an alternative to expiating their rebellion by death. 
Several families of MacNeills availed themselves of this " saving 
grace." For some reason these were permitted to linger on at 
home, under surveillance, suffering the penalties of proscription, 
extortionate exactions and of persecution, until the year 1748; in 
which year, but after their departure, the Act was passed for dis- 
arming the Highlanders, abolishing the national dress, and impos- 
ing other punitive disabilities upon this proud and sensitive people. 

There had been some few Scottish settlers on the Cape Fear 
in North Carolina as early as 1729. " Black " Neill McNeill, the 
earliest known progenitor of our branch of the McNeills, came first 
to America, from Argyle, in the year 1742, or 1743. He seems to 
have been then well advanced in life, probably about 70 years old. 
In 1747 he explored the Cape Fear country with a view to founding 
a colony of his distressed clansmen and other fellow-sufferers. 
Whether he had revisited Scotland in time to participate in the 
Forty-Five is uncertain, but tradition says that his son Lauchlin 
and his grandson Archibald fought at Culloden. At all events, 
after his second voyage to America and his tour of exploration in 
North Carolina in 1747, he returned once more to Argyle and the 
next year brought out his family and a colony of Highlanders, 
variously estimated at from three hundred to six hundred souls. 
All the men of fighting age among them had been out in the Stuart 
rising, and they brought their arms among their treasured pos- 
sessions. The claymore was to drink blood in another royal cause, 
which was to be lost upon another continent. 

With them came Flora, or, as she wrote her name, " Florey," 
McDonald, and her future husband, a McDonald. When through 
her compassionate courage and sagacity Prince Charles Edward 
was enabled to escape from South Uist to Skye, thence to the Isle 
of Easay, back to Skye, and finally to the mainland, from which 
he sailed to France, tradition says that some of these McNeills, 
knowing well the intricacies of the islands and their approaches, 
were rendering assistance to the fugitives. That she chose to cast 
in her lot with Black Neill's colonizing party, and, after first sett- 
ling at Cross Creek (Fayetteville), removed to Little River to 
reside in the immediate neighborhood of the Bahn McNeills, are 
circumstances which lend color to the tradition, well established in 
the Cape Fear region, that our immigrant ancestors were among 
the friends of Flora McDonald, a name ever to be numbered in the 
illustrious roll of heroic women. 

Black Neill placed his colony at Cross Creek, now within the 


town of Fayetteville, at the head of navigation (except for small 
boats) on the Cape Fear River, 120 miles by water above Wilming- 
ton. This settlement they called " Campbellton," in honor of 
Farquhard Campbell, who, from the Highland point of view, was 
the principal personage among them. The town became " Fayette- 
ville " after the Revolutionary War, a tribute at once to the popu- 
larity of La Fayette and to the detestation of the Loyalist or 
" Tory " Highlanders. 

It was from this point that my father, in 1861, and I, in 1898, 
began our tours of investigation and our visits to the North Caro- 
lina kinsfolk. 

From there, as a centre, the Scottish settlements spread, until, 
in a few years, they extended down to the sea, along the river, far 
up the Cape Fear and Deep Rivers and thence back to the Pedee. 
The Deep River flows into the Cape Fear about 29 miles above 
Lillington. All this region, known as " the Cape Fear," is still 
very largely inhabited by the descendants of these original settlers, 
who preserve a remarkable survival of the clan spirit and racial 
pride ; which has been fostered by intermarriage, by the retention 
of immense tracts of land in families, and, to a certain extent, by 
slavery — the two latter circumstances tending to the exclusion of 
other settlers. 

With Black Neill McNeill came his son Lauchlin and Mar- 
garet, his wife, whose maiden name was Johnstone; also Neill's 
grandson, Archibald McNeill, son of Lauchlin. Other children 
of Lauchlin were of the party, but their names do not enter into 
the record. Hector, a son of Lauchlin, who will hereafter appear, 
made his peace with the British government by entering the army, 
and did not appear in North Carolina until after 1763. 

Soon after the arrival of the colonizing party in 1748, Archi- 
bald married Jennet (Janet) Smith. Her father, John Smith, 
a lowland Scotsman of that ilk, had emigrated to the Cape Fear 
country with the earlier Scottish settlers in 1729. His wife, Mar- 
garet, whose maiden name was Gilchrist, had died on shipboard 
during their voyage. They had two children born in Scotland, 
Malcolm Smith and Jennet. Archibald McNeill and Jennet were 
both born about the year 1720. She died in 1791, and he on June 
26th, 1801. 

Archibald and Jennet (Smith) McNeill were my father's 
great-grandparents; Lauchlin and Margaret (Johnstone) McNeill 
were his great-great-grandparents, and Black Neill McNeill, whose 
wife's name has not been transmitted to her descendants, was his 
great-great-great-grandfather; while, on the maternal side, my 
father's great-great-grandparents were John and Margaret (Gil- 
christ) Smith. From my children to Black Neill McNeill there 
are (inclusively) eight generations. 


Black Neill must have been born in the reign of Charles the 
Second. He was a Covenanter, and the son of a Covenanter. 
His memory would go back to the insurrection of 1679, the bloody 
work of Claverhouse, and the fierce fighting at Drumclog and 
Bothwell Brig, where his father may have borne his part. He 
himself was then probably a lad of six. 

That his family should support the Stuart cause in 1745 is not 
strange to a student of the times and Highland character. The 
McNeills of the Isles remained Catholic. Those on the mainland 
of Argyle, though the Campbell influence had brought them into 
the Covenant, could not be parted from their clan in a war declared 
for Scottish kingship. 

I have alluded to Daniel McNeill Parker's Quaker ancestry, 
on his father's side, with its spiritual inheritance. May we not 
discover in this heritage of the Covenanter blood, through the 
maternal line, some further explanation of those strong spiritual 
characteristics which distinguished him ? The Quaker and Cov- 
enanter blend might well in after years produce, now and then, 
a composite type of character like my father's. 

In accordance with the blunt and quaintly significant fashion 
of the Scots to designate individuals by physical or temperamental 
peculiarities, in order to distinguish them from others of their 
name, Jennet McNeill became known as Jennet " Bahn " (fair- 
complexioned and light-haired), and Archibald, I regret to say, 
acquired the appellation of " Scorblin " (or " Scrubblin "), mean- 
ing no good, or worthless. To this day in North Carolina, even 
in family Bibles and other records which I have examined, they 
remain " Jenny Bahn " and " Archie Scrubblin " ; and to add 
the surname would be deemed redundant. But it has been 
explained to me that Archibald's designation is not to be taken too 
literally, and may mean merely that he was a man of little force 
of character and unsuccessful as a planter. And, again, he 
appears to have suffered by comparison with his wife, who seems 
to have been a woman of strong intellect, deep sagacity of the 
practical sort, and of untiring energy — a veritable queen bee in 
the community. The shortcomings of Archie were amply 
redressed by his spouse, and though we find other " Scrubblins " in 
the family tree, they prove to be sons-in-law of the clan and not his 

The descendants of Archibald and Jennet have always been 
known as the Bahn McNeills, by which prefix they are still dis- 
tinguished in the " Old North State " from the McNeills descended 
from the same ancestor, Black Neill, through other children of 
Lauchlin, and also distinguished from other McNeills not of Black 
Neill's stock. To be a Bahn NcNeill, or to be allied to one by 
marriage or descent has yet a certain social and even political 


significance of a favorable kind, at least in the Counties of Cumber- 
land and Harnett. 

Archibald and Jennet had the following children: 

Hector, known as " One-Eyed " Hector, to distinguish him 
from his uncle and other kinsmen of that name. He married 
Susanna Barksdale and had nine children. 

Archibald, who was killed in childhood by falling from a tree. 

Malcolm, who married Jennet McAllister and had seven 

Lauchlin, who died unmarried, November 11th, 1795. 

Neill, who married Grissella Stewart and had four children 
who left descendants, and several others who died in infancy. 

Colonel Archibald S. McNeill, who was my father's host at 
McNeill's Ferry (formerly Sproul's Ferry) in 1861, was a son 
of Neill. Colonel " Archie " was born in 1804 and died in 1876. 

Daniel, born in 1752, died May 5th, 1818. He was my 
father's grandfather, and is still distinguished in the family as 
" Nova Scotia Dan'l." 

John, known as " Cunning John," for reasons which will 
appear later. He married Agnes Shaw, and had one son. 

Margaret ("Peggy"), who married John McNeill, " Scrub- 
blin," and had nine children. 

Mary (or Maron) who died at the age of 15. 

The order of birth of these grand-uncles and grand-aunts of 
my father is not known, but John is thought to have been the 
youngest son. 

The various families of the McNeills early became prominent 
and influential in the Counties of Bladen, Cumberland, Moore, 
Chatham and Randolph. Archibald and Jennet resided in various 
places, but their principal homestead and the one upon which they 
were living during the Revolutionary War was the plantation at 
Anderson's Creek, Lower Little River, in Cumberland County. 
This county was afterwards divided into two, and the northern 
part of it, comprising the Little River settlement, became Harnett 
County. Jennet seems to have been a remarkable woman, with 
a versatility of talent which scorned the ordinary limitations of 
her sex. One shrinks from speculating on what she might have 
been if she had been projected out of the pioneer period forward 
into a civilization which has evolved the has bleu and the suf- 
fragette. As to her personality, she was small in stature, resem- 
bling in that respect her granddaughter, Mary Janet, my father's 
mother ; of her complexion and hair I have already spoken. The 
following traditionary account of her, illustrative of her business 
capacity, shrewdness and canny ways, I received from some of her 
descendants amid the scenes of her activities. She acquired large 
herds of cattle, and had cattle-pens and grazing grounds in many 

the McNeill family 49 

widely scattered localities. Accompanied by a band of trusty 
slaves, she would roam over several counties, visiting and herding 
her cattle, exploring for fresh pasturing lands, driving her beasts 
sometimes as far as Campbellton to market, and camping at night, 
all the time, wherever night might overtake her. While she was 
bearing rule, dictating the policy of the entire family connection, 
transacting business, such as procuring grants of land, squatting 
on other Crown lands through her servants and tenants, entering 
upon and surveying after her own fashion large tracts of valuable 
timber lands, and directing the management of several extensive 
plantations — all in addition to the cattle business, Archie, " Scrub- 
blin," who seems to have been a steady, plodding, hard-working 
sort of man, remained at home and took care of the family, while 
directing affairs generally at the homestead plantation. Jenny 
Bahn had an original system of surveying the lands which she 
acquired for her husband, whether by Crown grant, purchase, or 
by the simpler process of mere entry and possession. She would 
guess at the points of the compass and run lines through the 
forest by sending in slaves on various imaginary courses, with 
instructions to walk on and blaze the trees until she rang a bell. 
Following behind, by a code of signals with her bell she controlled 
the movements of the negroes, and would enclose, " in black and 
white," as it were, by this idyllic method of surveying, tracts which 
would aggregate a principality. By virtue of such mystic rites 
of engineering she would sometimes assert claims to portions of 
the earth with a complacency that was not altogether shared by 
her neighbors. Nor have the consequences of her achievements 
" along these lines " been appreciated by some of her successors in 
title ; though it must be said that lawyers have risen up and called 
her blessed. It is to be feared that, as a " woman of affairs," her 
ethical standards were not superior to our present-day code, sum- 
marized in the phrase, " Business is business." Yet despite the 
speculative inquiry which I have suggested on a preceding page, 
tradition says that, in her family life, she was altogether feminine, 
a model wife and mother, and not at all what one would call a 
mannish woman or she-man. Her sharpness in making bargains 
is illustrated in the incident of her purchase of McNeill's Ferry 
and the 440 acres to which the ferry was appurtenant, from the 
original grantee of the land and ferry franchise, one Sproul, or 
Sproal. The owner, an immigrant, discouraged in mind and sick 
in body, said to her one day when she " cried in " upon him during 
one of her cattle-driving expeditions, that he had half a mind to 
sell out and go home to Scotland. With feigned indifference she 
listened to the recital of his troubles and failure in the new life, 
and laying due stress upon the utter lack of purchasers for such 
an unpromising property, and her own condition of being " land 


poor," she gradually led her poor fellow-countryman, homesick 
for Scotland and fearful of death in the wilderness alone, into 
making an improvident bargain with her. Nor did she resume 
her journey until she was able to carry with her a written agree- 
ment for the sale at a small figure of what was really a possession 
of great value. The Ferry property and franchise remained in 
the family until about the year 1905, and until the era of railway 
extension which came to that section of country some twenty years 
after the War of Secession, the ferry franchise itself was always 
very remunerative. It lies on what used to be the great North and 
South highway of travel and commerce. Over the ferry passed 
enormous quantities of cotton and tobacco, going north. It is an 
historic spot. Washington's continental army of the South crossed 
and recrossed it; and there Sherman, returning from the march 
through Georgia, crossed the Cape Fear with his triumphant 
forces. In the Revolutionary War it was the centre of stirring 
incidents in the southern campaigns. 

Some idea of Archibald's and Jennet's possessions in land may 
be gathered from his will. I shall give this document in its place. 
But they seem to have acquired quantities of land for speculative 
purposes, which was profitably sold to later settlers, in their life- 
time. Their sons, too, were rich in land ; or, rather, poor, because 
they had so much of it. We can trace certain of these sons, the 
grand-uncles of my father, in North Carolina histories and his- 
torical sketches relating to the Revolutionary period. Anecdotes 
of them still pass current among their descendants and further 
illustrate the men and their times. In such reminiscences their 
exiled Tory brother, Daniel, finds a place. 

In my monograph on Daniel McNeill and his descendants, 
research beyond the time of his coming to Nova Scotia was not 
called for. Since that paper was written, investigation has 
revealed something of his earlier career ; and I have found mate- 
rials to supplement this in some notes concerning him, made from 
traditionary sources when I was among the North Carolina kins- 
folk. In the following account of the McNeills in the Revolu- 
tionary War, history and tradition are combined, omitting such 
of the latter as I consider to be against probability, or lacking in 
corroboration by dates and contemporaneous circumstances. The 
member of the family most frequently mentioned by Wheeler, 
Caruthers, Foote, Moore, Fanning and other writers of North 
Carolina history, is Hector McNeill (senior), who was a brother 
of Archibald (Scrubblin) and an uncle of my great-grandfather, 
Daniel. As I have already stated, the elder Hector had entered 
the British service about the time his family emigrated. It 
appears that he served in one of the Highland regiments added 
to the army through the sagacity of Pitt at the commencement of 

the McNeill family 51 

the terrible contest known as the Seven Years' War, to which regi- 
ments, twenty years later, when Earl of Chatham, in one of those 
remarkable speeches in the House of Lords urging conciliation 
towards America, the great statesman thus alluded : " I remember, 
after an unnatural rebellion had been extinguished in the northern 
parts of this island, that I employed these very rebels in the 
service and defence of their country. They were reclaimed by 
this means ; they fought our battles ; they cheerfully bled in 
defence of those liberties which they attempted to overthrow but a 
few years before." 

The name of Hector's regiment and the particulars of his 
European military career have not been recorded. By valor and 
distinguished services in action he had obtained an ensign's com- 
mission before the peace of 1763, and, sometime later, retiring 
from the army as a half-pay captain, he sought out his family in 
North Carolina and settled in Bladen County, where he had become 
a colonel of militia before the Revolution. 

When the long-smouldering embers of rebellion were flaming 
into declared and open war, North Carolina was the first of all the 
American provinces to declare by a Provincial Congress for abso- 
lute independence of the mother country. Yet among the people 
there was a strong dissenting minority, which was very largely 
represented in the Cape Fear and other Scottish settlements, where 
public sentiment was almost altogether Royalist. Any form of 
government but the monarchical was scarcely conceivable to the 
minds of these Highland folk, permeated by the still fresh mem- 
ories and traditions of their Old- World descent, and by their nat- 
ural habit of thought on matters of State, which postulated the 
conditions of chieftainship and kingship. The seeds of repub- 
licanism could not easily germinate in such soil. Again, before 
their emigration the elders among them had taken the oath of 
allegiance to the British Crown, represented in the person of 
George II. ; and though taken in many cases under duress, this 
oath, they believed and taught their sons and grandsons, was bind- 
ing on themselves and on their posterity. The covenant idea of 
the ancient Scottish Presbyterian cast of mind appears in this. 
The benefit of their sworn allegiance, to their minds, descended 
to the next ruler of the Hanoverian dynasty, George III., and the 
burden of it descended to their children. This argument of the 
oath proved unanswerable to any who might otherwise waver in 
choosing sides, and unto the second and third generation it pre- 
vailed. The general result was that the Stuart rebels of the Forty- 
Five in Britain, with their descendants, fought for the House of 
Hanover against the rebels in America. 

Caruthers, the fierce North Carolina Whig partisan writer, 
after denouncing these Scottish Tories for their course at this 


time, reluctantly admits that they were the flower of the popula- 
tion, and he pays the following significant tribute to them and 
their fellow-countrymen overseas : " The Scotch people, taken as 
a whole, have generally been regarded as feeling more solemnly 
bound by their oath than any others, and I have been told by native 
Scotchmen, who were pretty well acquainted with Scottish history, 
that in the High Court of Edinboro', notwithstanding all the vigil- 
ance and careful enquiry into the matter on the part of the court, 
only four cases of perjury had been known in a hundred years." 
Caruthers wrote in the years 1851 and 1852. 

Goldwin Smith, in his " Political History of the United 
States," says that these Highlanders of North Carolina were 
among the better elements of population in the Province. Moore, 
in his " History of North Carolina," says : " These Scotch people 
were brave, industrious and frugal, and North Carolina has always 
esteemed them as a part of her best population." 

As early as 1775 began the bitter persecution by the " Regu- 
lators " and other Whig, or rebel, partisans, against those who 
were well affected towards the government. This could be effec- 
tually met and checked only by reprisals in self-defence, even by 
Tory sympathizers who desired simply the privilege of holding 
their own opinions while remaining neutral in conduct. There 
were many such, who, goaded by the fiendish excesses of the 
" patriots," exacted a terrible toll of compensation and revenge. 
The Loyalists became the victims of domiciliary visits by self- 
constituted committees or bands of their Whig neighbors. They 
were whipped, tarred and feathered, dragged through horse-ponds, 
ridden on rails with the word " Tory " on their breasts, plundered, 
shot from ambush, and openly murdered. Their young men were 
drafted or impressed as soldiers in the continental army. The 
Tories of the Cape Fear, as elsewhere, organized, as a matter of 
course, and retaliated in kind as the one means of defending their 
homes, their families and themselves. When the Highland blood 
was up, and the Scots went into the business of " regulating " for 
themselves, things happened, and happened quickly. They were 
aided by the better class of the original Regulators, who had taken 
the oath of allegiance after their organization had been shattered 
for a time by the prompt measures of Martin, the last of the Pro- 
vincial governors under the colonial regime. The most frightful 
type of civil war ensued — an irresponsible, scattered guerilla war- 
fare of divided communities, and even families, comparable to the 
Italian vendetta or to the ancient clan feuds recorded in the history 
of Scotland. Society was dissolved. Law was transmuted into 
the primitive code of " an eye for an eye ; a tooth for a tooth." 
When, late in the course of this inhuman war of factions, during 
the discussion of a proposed cessation of hostilities, the rebel 

the McNeill family 53 

Colonel Balfour declares that there could be " no resting-place for 
a Tory's foot on the earth," and the desperado Tory Colonel Fan- 
ning shoots him on sight for saying so, we get, as in the lightning's 
flash, a vivid illustration of the men and the spirit of these times. 

Out of the resistance to the " Patriots' " persecutions grew and 
was organized the Tory Army of North Carolina, composed of 
such portions of the Provincial militia as remained loyal, various 
volunteer corps, and irregular or guerilla forces such as the des- 
perate band led by the notorious Colonel Fanning. This com- 
posite Provincial force, which comprised one corps of Highlanders 
armed only with the claymore and dirk, survivals of Culloden, 
amounted in the whole to about two thousand men as early as Feb- 
ruary, 1776. Flora McDonald rendered valuable services in their 
organization at Campbellton, the place of rendezvous. Two Brit- 
ish officers, of the 42nd Highland regiment, Donald McLeod and 
Donald McDonald, had been sent into the Province to rouse and 
enlist the Scots of the Cape Fear country ; and they undertook the 
organization of the Tory army. Hector McNeill became asso- 
ciated with McLeod in North Carolina's civil war some time before 
the arrival from Charleston of the regular British troops under 
Lord Cornwallis in the spring of 1780. Like McNeill, Donald 
McLeod became a colonel of Loyal Militia. 

Commanding the Loyal Militia of Bladen County, Colonel 
Hector McNeill, during the earlier part of the war, was engaged 
on detached service against the Whig volunteers or militia, between 
Wilmington and Deep River. In many successful skirmishes and 
minor engagements he proved himself a daring and resourceful 
commander and won the devotion of his troops. In the course of 
these operations he took a great many prisoners of war, whom he 
sent or personally conducted to Major Craig, the Commandant of 
the British base at Wilmington. The Colonel's nephew, Neill Mc- 
Neill, of Little River, in Cumberland, brother of Daniel McNeill, 
and a grand-uncle of my father, was a captain in this regiment of 
his uncle. 

Near Little River, in July, 1781, Colonel Hector, having then 
with him only 300 men, was about to be attacked by the rebel 
Colonel Wade with 660 men, encamped at McFall's Mills. The 
redoubtable guerilla leader, Fanning, was in the forest not far 
away, and had received information of the intended attack on 
McNeill. In his narrative, Fanning writes : " I instantly des- 
patched an express to know his situation, and offering assistance ; 
in three hours I received for answer he would be glad to see me 
and my party. I marched direct, and by daylight arrived there 
with 155 men." More trustworthy authorities say that he brought 
only his usual complement of about forty men, but they were all 
well mounted and of the best fighting material. 


Readers of Farming's narrative must largely discount his 
account of the fight which followed, and of all his performances 
in the war. The purpose of his egotistical story, written in New 
Brunswick after the war, was to support his application to the 
British government for some reward for his services and com- 
pensation for his losses. From his narrative one would gather 
that he was the head and front of all the Loyalist military achieve- 
ments in which he participated, and in others where it is well 
established that he had no part whatever. He makes scant mention 
of other commanders, except where it is necessary to find some 
one upon whom the blame for his reverses might be cast. He was 
a man of very bad character, notoriously untruthful, savage and 
brutal, guilty of the most atrocious crimes in his mode of warfare. 
Such was the estimation in which he was held after the peace, 
that the State of North Carolina specially excepted him from its 
Act of Oblivion, and the British government declined to enter- 
tain his claims for reward and compensation. Yet the Scottish 
leaders recognized and employed his marvellous sagacity, daring, 
and a certain genius for generalship which possessed him; and 
they often gave him the chief command in action, especially when, 
as at McFall's Mills, his bush-ranging adventures had made him 
well acquainted with the ground. The terror which the very 
name of Fanning inspired in the rank and file of the Whigs was 
something to conjure with, and often compensated for a dis- 
parity of numbers in battle. Thus, Colonel Hector McNeill 
gave to his unsavory ally the chief command in this " battle," 
as the local histories term it. 

Not waiting for Wade to make the attack he had planned, 
the Tories took the offensive in a spirited attack upon his posi- 
tion on a hill. After an hour and a half of brisk fighting the 
event was decided by a charge of McNeill's Highlanders, which 
swept Wade's Whigs from the summit of the hill. The affair 
then became a chase, which the victors gave over after a pur- 
suit of seven miles. The Whigs lost about fifty men. The Tory 
loss was trifling. They captured many prisoners, who were 
sent to Wilmington, and 250 pack horses laden with plunder 
from many Loyalist homes in the neighborhood which Wade had 

Colonel Hector fought a great many of such small engage- 
ments, and he was never defeated. 

At McFall's Mills he and Fanning separated. Afterwards 
they co-operated at times, as occasion required, but Fanning, at 
such times, commanded only his roving, free-booting corps, which 
averaged forty or fifty men, all pretty much of his own stamp. 
David L. Swain, when Governor of North Carolina in 1834, 
delivered a series of lectures on the British invasion of that State, 

the McNeill family 55 

which were afterwards published in the University Magazine. 
He says that " when Fanning and McNeill united for the pur- 
pose of striking sudden and effective blows, at remote and effec- 
tive points, they commanded alternately day by day." Caruthers, 
in referring to this statement, and to Fanning, says : " but 
according to the most reliable traditions I have heard, it was 
not a general or frequent thing; for I am told that the Scotch 
would not fight under him, nor be commanded by him. They 
disliked his character, and all the better part of them abhorred 
his atrocities. In those days, 'tis said, they would not fight under 
any other than a Scotch commander; and on this occasion (the 
capture of Governor Burke) they merely co-operated with him 
for the purpose of accomplishing the object." 

On the 17th of August, 1781, Hector McNeill, commanding 
a brigade composed of his own regiment and those of Colonels 
Ray and Slingsby, took the town of Campbellton (now Fayette- 
ville), which was held by a Whig garrison under Colonel Emmet. 
Slingsby was an Englishman who, after settling in Bladen County, 
had married Mrs. McAllister, a widowed sister of Hector, named 
Isabella. At midnight, between the 16th and 17th, McNeill 
contrived to get into Emmet's hands a delusive message that 
Fanning with 180 men had crossed the river, late in the evening, 
below the town and had encamped for the night at Lower Camp- 
bellton. Ignorant of the proximity of a real enemy in the 
opposite direction, for the Tories had arrived with great rapidity, 
by forced inarches, Colonel Emmet fell into the trap. So eager 
was he to destroy or capture the devastating Fanning, whom he 
supposed to be upon one of his dreaded raids down the river, 
that he at once inarched out of the town to surprise Fanning's 
camp in a night attack, with a large part of the garrison. Of 
course he failed to find Fanning, who was not in the expedition 
at all ; and on returning from his " fool's errand " in the morning, 
he found the town occupied by the Tory force, which had beaten 
his reduced garrison. After some resistance he surrendered to 
McNeill, along with Captain Winslow and many other leading 
Whig officers. The garrison was despatched, prisoners of war, to 
Wilmington. Colonel Emmet's report to the Whig Governor of 
the Province, Thomas Burke, is found in Swain's contributions 
to the University Magazine. 

Early in September following this exploit, there was a 
general muster of the Loyalist forces near Crane's Creek, in the 
lower side of Moore County, on the Cape Fear, when a plan was 
formed for an attack on Hillsborough in the northern County 
of Orange, where the rebel governor, Burke, had established his 
seat of government, far enough, as he thought, from the region 
of conflict to be safe as to his own skin and dignities. He held 

56 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

the rank of general, and was protected by a garrison, with artillery. 
Referring to this Loyalist muster of troops, Caruthers says: 
" Colonel McNeill was there, and had the command of the whole. 
It belonged to him, according to military usage, as the senior 
officer; but it would have been conceded to him out of respect 
as the oldest man, for he was now advanced in life, and had the 
full confidence of all who knew him. Colonel Duncan Ray, 
young, talented and enterprising, was also present; and Colonel 

McDougall Much the largest body of Tories 

was now assembled that appeared in arms at any one time after 
independence was declared." The strength of this assemblage is 
not recorded, but it has been estimated at three thousand. On the 
march to Hillsborough, which was conducted with marvellous 
rapidity, Fanning joined near Deep River, with what he himself 
calls " 950 men of my own regiment." His figures are ques- 
tioned by all other writers on the events of these times, and it 
seems clear that he never had a " regiment." His account of 
this expedition, and of the battle at Cane Creek which followed, 
is cunningly contrived in such an equivocal manner that the casual 
reader would infer that he was in command of the entire forces ; 
and, of course, he appropriates to his own use the whole credit 
of these achievements as valuable material for his impudent and 
preposterous appeal to the British government, which has already 
been referred to. All other writers, and the traditions which I 
have found well established throughout the Cape Fear region in 
my personal investigations there, are in accord with Caruthers 
as to the facts of these events, and the following quotations relat- 
ing to them and to Colonel Hector McNeill are from this author. 

Early in the march to Hillsborough there was a smart skirm- 
ish at Kirk's farm between the advanced guard and a strong party 
of the enemy, who were unaware of this Tory movement. About 
one-third of the Whigs were killed, and the rest dispersed; but 
McNeill lost some important officers. An account of this fight 
is preserved in historical memoranda left by one McBride, a rebel 
partisan who was present. 

" The capture of the governor was one of the most remark- 
able feats of the Tories during the war, and one of the most 
memorable events in North Carolina." 

Orange County, of which Hillsborough was the county town, 
was one of the strongest Whig neighborhoods. A regiment of 
continental regulars, under Colonel Robert Mebane, and a large 
embodiment of rebel militia lay encamped not far off, all com- 
manded by General John Butler. There was no suspicion that 
a single Tory existed within a hundred miles of the town. It was 
therefore a complete surprise for the governor and his garrison 
when, a little before daybreak on September 12th, the Loyalists 

the McNeill family 57 

stealthily entered Hillsborough in three divisions by separate 
roads and took possession of the principal streets, with the public 
buildings, including the quarters of the governor and his staff. 
They received the fire of sentries and the main guard, and a 
desultory fire of musketry from various houses was maintained 
for some time. But there was not time to get the garrison regularly 
under arms before their quarters were surrounded. The rebels 
had fifteen killed, twenty wounded, and some hundreds of prisoners 
were taken. A multitude of ordinary prisoners was not desired. 
There was better game in hand; so, many of the Whig troops 
were allowed to take to the woods. The Loyalists took what pieces 
of cannon there were, and abundant military stores. The town 
was looted. Among the prisoners taken were the governor, all 
the members of his Council, several colonels, captains and sub- 
alterns of the continental army (regulars), and seventy-one con- 
tinental soldiers who had occupied a church for defence. Thirty 
Loyalists and British soldiers were released from the gaol, one 
of whom was to have been hanged that day. The invaders' Joss 
was one man wounded. 

" But to remain long there was neither policy nor interest." 
An encounter with Butler and Mebane on the long march to 
Wilmington, burdened with the care of so many prisoners and a 
heavy baggage train of plunder, was to be avoided, if possible. 
So, in the afternoon of the same day the victors set out upon their 
return. However, fugitives from Hillsborough had quickly carried 
the news to General Butler's camp, and he instantly took measures 
to intercept the returning Tory force and to bring it to action in 
some favorable position. With celerity and good judgment he 
chose his ground at a point on Cane Creek commanding the only 
road in that rugged and swampy locality by which his enemy 
could pass southward. Here he was able to conceal his troops 
behind elevated ground and to set an ambuscade in advance of his 
main position. He was re-inforced by Colonel Alexander Mebane, 
an escaped prisoner from Hillsborough who had returned to his 
home, spread the alarm among the Whigs of Orange, and collected 
a considerable volunteer force of riflemen with which he joined 

Authorities and traditions alike are at variance as to the 
numbers engaged at the Battle of Cane Creek, and speculation is 

McNeill commanded the advance guard of his force. He was 
too experienced and wary a leader to fall into the ambuscade pre- 
pared for him. Detecting it, he fell back across the creek for 
the night and prepared to attack next morning. 

That night the old Colonel's mind was possessed by " a pre- 
sentiment, or what he regarded as a presentiment of his death 

58 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

Officers of high standing in their profession, 

and of undoubted courage, have often had, on the eve of a battle, 
such a presentiment or impression of their approaching fate, as 
to become depressed in spirits and comparatively inactive. Several 
such instances occurred on both sides, during the revolutionary 
war, and with men who could not be charged with idle fears or 
superstitious notions. Col. McNeill, on this occasion felt con- 
strained to disclose the state of his mind to some of his friends, 
who tried to laugh or reason him out of his sombre mood, but in 
vain. The brave old Hector, who had witnessed more appalling 
scenes than the one now before him and had stood firm when a 
thousand deathful balls were flying around him, quailed when 
summoned, and so distinctly, as he supposed, to appear in the 
presence of his Maker, that there was no possibility of escape. 
He was not a man, however, who would bear the charge of coward- 
ice, nor would he shrink from what he considered his duty on 
such an occasion .... In the morning, old Hector, like 
Ahab, King of Israel, when going up to battle at Ramoth Gilead, 
laid aside his regimentals and appeared at the head of his men 
in disguise, clothed in a hunting shirt and other parts of dress 
corresponding, very much like a common soldier; but his time 
was come and his destiny could not be changed." 

As the Tories were crossing the Creek and deploying on a strip 
of low ground beyond, the Whigs, who during the night had 
advanced their whole strength to the crest of the opposing slope, 
where they were well covered among forest trees, delivered a 
tremendous volley with withering effect upon McNeill's formation 
of his advance guard for the attack. Seeing, at a glance, that 
if they continued to advance in a frontal attack, it would involve 
an unwarranted sacrifice of life, Colonel McNeill ordered a retreat 
for the purpose of carrying out a flanking movement which he 
had planned as an alternative mode of attack if he should discover 
the enemy too strongly concentrated in his immediate front. 
The troops were falling back in good order, accordingly, when 
Colonel McDougall, commanding a Scottish regiment, a violent, 
hot-headed fighter, but with no more notion of tactics than a 
maddened bull, rode up to McNeill, cursing his commanding 
officer and taunting him with cowardice for retreating. Had he 
been in a normal state of mind, the latter would have sent 
McDougall to the rear, a prisoner ; but " the presentiment " had 
upset his natural balance for the time. Stung by the taunt and 
scorning to make any explanation, sacrificing his better judgment 
to the vehement but ignorant zeal of his insubordinate inferior 
officer, the gallant and infuriated McNeill halted and reformed 
his men for a second advance. Of course the result was the same 
as in the first ; but this time the presentiment (was it the " second 

the McNeill family 59 

sight" of the Highlands?) was fulfilled. Leading a charge to 
certain death, Colonel MeNeill fell at the first volley, with three 
balls through his body and five through his horse. " When he 
fell someone thoughtlessly cried out : ' The Colonel is dead.' ' It's a 
lie !' exclaimed McDougall, in a bold, strong voice, ' Hurrah, 
my boys, we'll gain the day yet ! ' His death was very prudently 
concealed, for many of the Scotch declared afterwards that had it 
been known at the time, they would not have fired another gun, 
but would have sought safety in any way they could." 

The retreat was not orderly this time. In hasty council the 
officers chose the rash but brave McDougall to take the command, 
and the proposed flanking movement of McNeill was forced upon 
him. The invincible Fanning was the better man to succeed 
McNeill, but the Scots refused to move if he led. Yet, though 
" regarded merely as a co-adjutor, responsible only to himself and 
having the command of none except his own men," he it was who 
retrieved the fortune of the day amid all this disaster and con- 
fusion among the Tories. Rallying his own men and such others 
as would follow him, he cut loose from the blundering McDougall, 
outflanked the Whigs, and, taking them in the rear, wrought 
such havoc that, as a Whig narrator naively puts it, " General 
Butler ordered a retreat and commenced it himself." The loss 
on both sides was heavy. The Tories got off to Wilmington with 
their Hillsborough prisoners, Governor and all. The captured 
cannon were sunk in a mill-pond before the engagement. Not 
long afterwards, a Tory soldier composed a inarching song of 
doggerel rhymes commemorative of the Hillsborough and Cane 
Creek successes, — from which effusion the following lines are 
culled : 

"... We took all their cannon and colors in town, 
And formed our brave boys and marched out of town 
But the rebels waylaid us and gave us a broadside, 
That caused our brave colonel to lie dead on his side; 
The flower of our company was wounded full sore, 
'Twas Captain McNeill and two or three more." 

The Colonel here referred to is old Colonel Hector, and the 
Captain is Daniel McNeill's brother Neill. The song-writer 
seems to have been a member of Neill's company. 

In the original edition of Fanning's narrative, the American 
editor has a note on Colonel Hector which indicates his reputation 
among his rebel neighbors for military experience and capacity, 
at the outbreak of hostilities. This editor says : " In the first 
military elections after the Royal Government was at an end, he 
received a commission from the Whigs. But in 1776 he appeared 
in arms against them, and was taken prisoner and confined in jail. 
Subsequently he held the rank of colonel on the side of the 

60 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

Crown He is represented to have been a 

man of good moral character, and as brave as a lion. He fell at 
the head of his command a day or two after the capture of Hills- 
borough, at the battle of Cane Creek, pierced by five or six balls." 
The elections here referred to were held subsequent to July 4th> 
1776. The commission was tendered but refused. Hence the 
illegal imprisonment, of which I find no other account. An earlier 
Whig writer, in describing his death, terms him " the veteran 
soldier and brave officer Col. Hector McNeill." 

Leaving this most conspicuous military member of the family 
in his soldier's grave beneath the towering pines which fringe 
Cane Creek, his nephew, the successor in the command of his 
regiment, next claims attention. 

The clansmen had had enough of Colonel McDougall at Cane 
Creek, and they would not tolerate him as leader any longer. 
Before resuming their march to Wilmington, the army (as it was 
called) chose Hector McNeill, a brother of Captain Neill McNeill, 
and of Captain Daniel McNeill, to succeed to the command of the 
whole force for the remainder of the campaign. No doubt the 
name " Hector " had a sentimental influence upon this choice. 
His uncle's regiment at the same time elected him to fill the 
vacant colonelcy. He had been a captain in this expedition, but 
whether in old Hector's regiment or another, does not appear 
by any record. Though lacking the experience of his veteran 
uncle, for whom he was named, he made a good officer and a 
fearless leader. 

The younger Hector, according to the Scottish methods of 
nomenclature, was distinguished from all others of the name as 
" One-eyed Hector." After delivering his important prisoners 
to Major Craig, commanding at Wilmington, who shipped them off 
to Charleston, South Carolina, the young colonel operated chiefly 
in the region between the Cape Fear and Pedee Rivers; and 
when too hard pressed by superior numbers, as he often was, found 
refuge in the Raft Swamp, and occasionally by passing into South 
Carolina. In these enforced evasive movements and in appearing 
unexpectedly at the right time and at well chosen places to 
deliver swift and effective blows to the enemy, he displayed quali- 
ties of generalship of no mean order. 

There is no historical record to show that the regiment and 
the larger forces in which the two Hectors and Neill McNeill 
served co-operated directly with the regular troops of Lord Corn- 
wallis in the North Carolina campaigns which he conducted 
between the 12th of May, 1780, and the month of April, 1781, in 
which month Cornwallis set out from Wilmington upon his march 
to Virginia, where his career terminated in the surrender at 

the McNeill family 6i 

Yorktown on the 19th of October following. These local forces 
seem to have been occupied during these campaigns, as before 
and afterwards, with their own Whig and Tory warfare, of which 
the incidents already related are typical. But there is a strong 
probability that they were among the numerous Loyalist auxiliaries 
who did unite with the British troops in important engagements, 
at Bamsour's Mills, Camden, King's Mountain, Cowpens and 
Guildford Court House. 

It is not difficult to account for the lamentable lack of any 
information, save tradition, as to this. Well nigh all who have 
written upon the revolutionary events in North Carolina have 
merely served up for the " patriotic " palate of their fellows 
certain " fearfully and wonderfully " constructed glorifications of 
the Whig " patriots," biographical-apocryphal sketches, in that 
familiar style so dear to the United States reader in the earlier 
years of the republic. Others, though more sane in their method 
of writing, had not enough of the historical sense to preserve for 
future historical material anything more than the most meagre 
statement concerning the achievements on the Loyalist side; and 
these accounts are spoiled by such silly, childish bias, and such 
palpable distortion of facts, as not only to discount their value, 
but to be ludicrous to any intelligent reader, however anti-British 
in sentiment he might be. The true history of the civil war of 
this period, in the two Carolinas and Georgia, would make a 
volume of thrilling interest. But the Loyalists of these Provinces, 
proscribed, plundered, and banished when the cause was lost, 
have had no historian, and, in the nature of things, they cannot 
find one now. The material for such a work was effaced with 
themselves by unforgiving neighbors and former familiars, who 
hated as never man hated. There was to be no more resting 
place on the face of the earth for historical truth than there was 
to be for " a Tory's foot." Justice and Truth alike were abolished, 
on the principle of the rebel doctrinal dictum of Colonel Balfour. 
But before returning from this digression to One-eyed Hector's 
brief story, it is but fair to say that the Scottish folk of the 
Cape Fear to-day are very proud of their Tory forbears, and cling 
fondly to all the traditional accounts of these patriots of " the 
other side." 

After Lord Cornwallis had set out for Virginia, and when 
there were no British regular troops left in North Carolina except 
four or five hundred in garrison at Wilmington, the Whig local 
forces, aided by several regiments of continentals, were attaining 
the ascendancy. Cornwallis had, at least, been fought to a stand- 
still, and large numbers of Loyalists, already able to foresee the 
end, began to come to terms with their Whig neighbors in order 
to save their lives and their property. Many of the Scottish 

62 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

Tories were getting " skeery " about the consequences of being 
found in arms against the rapidly growing majority now confident 
of success and loud in declaring, through their State government, 
the policy of trials for high treason and confiscations of property, 
which was afterwards carried out. A story is told which will 
illustrate the difficulty which Colonel Hector McNeill had in hold- 
ing his men together at this juncture. He had paraded a body 
of men, one day in October, 1781, in a clearing on the edge of a 
swamp, and was drilling them. Just then his brother Neill, 
commanding a company under him, rode in and told him that 
the Whigs had received intelligence of the surrender of Lord 
Cornwallis on the 19th, " and," said Neill, " it's all over now." 
This message was overheard in the ranks. Hector rode off a short 
distance with Neill to discuss the eventful news. When he 
turned to ride back and resume drill, his squads had vanished, 
taken to the swamps, and he was alone with his brother. Tableau ! 
Hector was a profane man under quite ordinary circumstances, 
but his comments on his situation are left to the imagination. 
However, with the greater part of his force, he continued a 
guerilla warfare for some time afterwards, with varying success. 
Such men as he could not believe that the British would give 
up the struggle with the surrender of the army of Cornwallis. 
" One-eyed " Hector was noted for his herculean frame and 
strength. He had a widespread reputation as a champion wrestler 
and fighter in his earlier years, and he fought many a hard battle 
in what would now be called the amateur ring, to maintain his 
supremacy over men from many counties, who would travel far 
to meet him in attempts to strip him of his laurels. This sort 
of thing had won for him, when he was a young man, the dis- 
tinctive designation of " Hector Bully," by which he was always 
known until, in consequence of losing an eye in one of these 
encounters, Scottish custom dropped the more invidious suffix to 
his name and established him as the Polyphemus of the Cape Fear. 
Of course, once a descriptive suffix to his given name came into 
usage, the surname of McNeill was never used. He lost his eye 
by foul play at the hands of a gigantic, half savage mountaineer 
from the Western borders of the Province, who had challenged 
him to one of the " rough and tumble " contests usual in those 
rough times in such localities, when athletic sport gave no law, 
and the code of the Marquis of Queensberry, like himself, was as 
yet unborn. His powerful opponent had thrown him, and kneeling 
on his chest, cried : " Yield, McNeill, or I'll gouge you ! " 
" Gouge and be damned ! " shouted Hector, " I'm Hector Bully ! " 
His agony under the operation of " gouging " lent him a quick 
accession of strength to throw off the mountaineer and reverse the 
situation. This brutal combat was about to end in the death of 


Hector's antagonist when the spectators intervened and saved his 
life. Disreputable as this incident may be, it is given here to 
illustrate the men, and something of the spirit of a fighting 
McNeill, in the revolutionary times. Autres temps, autres moeurs. 

The following incident, too, is characteristic of this rough 
period. A neighbor and close friend of Hector, Duncan Murchison, 
grandfather of Colonel Kenneth Murchison, who long afterwards 
married one of Hector's granddaughters, became a pronounced 
" Patriot," and he could not be won over to the Loyalists by any 
force of argument. As the head of a large and influential family 
connexion, it was most desirable to have him. After having dealt 
long and faithfully with his erring neighbor to the limit of his 
argumentative and persuasive powers, Hector, one evening, in 
a state of exasperation with Murchison's stubborn adherence 
to Whiggery, closed a heated discussion by seizing him, binding 
him hand and foot to a stout pole and throwing him into his own 
calf-pen. There he lay all night, and was found in a soiled and 
sorry plight by his wife next morning. Murchison joined the 
rebels; but he attempted no reprisal for the indignity. 

It seems apposite here to make a parting reference to Fanning. 
In 1823, Duncan Murchison visited St. John, New Brunswick, 
and, incidentally, ran down the unsavory record of this man from 
the time of his settlement in that Province after the war until 
his removal to Digby, where he died in 1825. It is to be regretted 
that Judge Savary, of Annapolis, should have undertaken the 
unenviable task of trying to rehabilitate such a character as 
Fanning, in the Canadian Magazine, and in the annotated edition 
of the ridiculous and lying " Narrative," to which it has been 
necessary to refer before in these pages. It would almost appear 
that merely to have been a Loyalist, and to have lived and died 
in Digby, entitled the unspeakable Fanning to the mantle of 
charity which the Judge has sought to throw about him, — a sort 
of cloak which is said to cover a multitude of sins. But charity 
" rejoices in the truth." However prejudiced against Fanning 
North Carolina historians may be with reference to his savage 
barbarities during the war, and his immoral, or rather unmoral, 
career in general, enough is admitted in the " Narrative " by 
Fanning himself to sustain their indictment on the first count, 
while as to the latter, the truth remains of record that in a New 
Brunswick Court of Justice he was sentenced to death for a crime 
which cannot here be named, and escaped from the gallows to 
Digby, only through the machinations of freemasonry in high 
quarters, which resulted in a pardon. The published researches 
on this matter of a man with the reputation of Duncan Murchison 
in North Carolina, cannot be called in question. 

Colonel Hector, he of the one eye, died in a ripe old age, at his 

64 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

plantation on the northern side of the Cape Fear River, a mile or 
more on the road from McNeill's Ferry. The house, a large 
square brick structure, stands yet on the place next to Dr. William 
M. McNeill's plantation. The doctor's father-in-law, Dr. Henry 
M. Turner, attended the old man in his last illness and used to 
relate how, having put up medicine for the Colonel in the copious 
quantities of that day, with directions for a dose three times daily, 
the irascible and impatient patient, when the hour for the first 
dose arrived, fiercely seized the pint bottle and drained it at a 
draught. " Let the damned stuff work all thegither," said Hector, 
" I'll nae be disturbed by wee bit fule drinks o' doctor stuff every 
twa, tree 'oors." Whether the Colonel's death was hastened by 
this remains an open question with Dr. McNeill, who, when the 
writer enjoyed a sojourn at his house, formerly the home of 
Dr. Turner, told this story, with some witty and instructive com- 
ments on the practice of medicine in North Carolina during the 
early decades of the nineteenth century. 

Dr. Turner married Caroline, daughter of Capt. Neill McNeill, 
and Dr. William M. McNeill married their daughter, Julia 

Dr. McNeill's father was Daniel McNeill (born December 
27th, 1788; died January 17th, 1835) son of One-eyed Hector, 
and who was named for my father's grandfather, Hector's brother. 
The doctor's father and my father's mother were first cousins. 
I can never forget the welcome I received, when dismounting at 
his door ' in the dusk of an April evening, a stranger with no 
credentials but my own word, he admitted me himself and on my 
self-introduction threw his arms about me, exclaiming : " What, 
sir ! You a great-grandson of Nova Scotia Dan'l ! Come in, 
come in." When I had recovered my breath, and, hesitating 
about the disposal of my horse, enquired for a lodging-place, 
he seized my valise and said indignantly : " There are no hotels 
in this country, sir, for Nova Scotia Dan'l's kin ! " The good 
doctor was a distinguished-looking, tall, heavily-built old gentle- 
man, full bearded, with a slight resemblance to General Robert 
E. Lee. He had served as surgeon and corps commander, together, 
in a cavalry regiment during the civil war. He proved to be one 
of the most interesting men I have met. 

My father's granduncle, John McNeill, though a mere boy, 
served as ensign in Hamilton's Royal North Carolina Regiment, 
in which his brother Daniel was a captain. Toward the close of 
the war these two brothers were at home on leave while their 
regiment lay inactive for a time at Charleston, South Carolina. 
During this visit they bore a hand in an exploit which is typical 
of the kind of guerilla fighting then being carried on by the men 
of Little River and its vicinity, including some of their brothers. 


In the accounts of local historians John figures prominently in 
the story of the night surprise at the Piney Bottom, in the region 
of Little River, the exploit just referred to. 

The Whig Colonel Wade, whom old Colonel Hector McNeill 
had defeated at McFall's Mills, had been out on a successful 
foray north of the Cape Fear River, in the course of which he 
had damaged the Tory cause and had accumulated a baggage 
train heavy with the spoils of devastated Tory homes. On their 
homeward march, Wade's party " crossed the Cape Fear, at Sproal's, 
now McNeill's ferry, in the afternoon, and after going a few miles, 

took up camp for the night In the course of 

that night, John McNeill, son of Archd, and Jannet (Bahn) 
McNeill, then living on Anderson's Creek, having learned where 
this company of Whigs were, started out his runners to collect the 
Tories, many of whom were lying out in the swamps and other 
places, with directions for them to rendezvous, the next night, at 
Long Street, and pursue Wade. Next morning John McNeill 
went over to Colonel Folsome's (Whig) and remained until sun- 
down. He then mounted a very fleet horse, joined the Tories 
at or a little beyond Long Street, and about an hour before day, 
came up with Wade and company encamped on Piney Bottom, 
a branch of the Rockfish, and apparently all asleep except the 
sentinel. They consulted and made their arrangements, got into 
order and marched up. The sentinel hailed them, but received 
no answer. He hailed them again, but received no answer. 
Duncan McCallum cocked his gun, and determined to shoot at the 
flash of the sentinel's gun. The sentinel fired, and McCallum 
shot at the flash. One of Wade's men had his arm broken by a 
ball, and Duncan McCallum claimed the honor of breaking it. 
Then they rushed upon the sleeping company just as they were 
roused by the fire of the sentinel's gun, and shot down five or 
six of them, but the rest escaped, leaving everything behind them. 

There were two or three hundred Tories. 

All the McNeills (Bahns) were there except Malcolm." All Wade's 
plunder was recaptured and his own baggage and camping equip- 
ment became the spoils of war. The Tories did not pursue, being 
doubtful of his strength. 

In a few days the Whigs returned, in force, and exacted 
" a capable and full revenge," in their customary manner of 
burning isolated houses in the outlying districts, slaughtering 
their Loyalist occupants and looting their household goods. The 
particulars, which luminously indicate the vindictive spirit and 
the deeds of reckless cruelty which were then common all over 
the country among the Whigs, — triumphant now and gathering 
the strength of numbers as the ultimate success of the rebellion 
was attaining certainty — are better left to the imagination than 



During the reprisals for the affair at Piney Bottom, the 
McNeill homestead was visited by a party of revengeful Whigs 
in search of the " boys." The only members of the family then 
at home were the parents, their daughter Margaret and their son 
Daniel. The other sons were away, either in a war party or 
hiding out. in the woods. Situated in the heart of the Scottish 
Tory territory, this McNeill home had hitherto enjoyed immunity 
from hostile visitation. But the neighoring rebels were now grown 
stronger and bolder in their prosecution of the civil war. As the 
unwonted intruders appeared in the distance, the keen eye of the 
watchful Jenny Bahn caught the glint of sunlight upon steel in 
an opening of the pine woods on a hill side, far away. Divining 
the errand of an armed force in that direction, she warned Daniel, 
who was on the roof of the house assisting his father in making 
some repairs. Daniel slipped over the ridge of the roof and 
dropped to the ground in rear of the house. Hastily seizing his 
arms and enough food for a few days' rations, he lost no time 
in betaking himself to the swamps along the Little River. 
The wily Jennet cordially received the unwelcome soldiery. The 
boys were all away — she didn't know where. Some of them were 
Tories, she supposed, and some of them were Whigs. How could 
a woman, in such a time as this, know anything about politics 
and a pack of crazy men-folks ? Archie " Scrubblin " discreetly 
kept out of sight. The most minute search of the premises dis- 
covered no male McNeills. Jennet then set before her deluded 
visitors such ample store of tempting meat and drink that the 
party, wearied, hungry and thirsty, could not resist the tempta- 
tion to lose an hour in the enjoyment of this unwonted hospitality 
in a Tory home; and tradition says that their enjoyment of a 
certain Scottish fluid form of refreshment, most liberally provided, 
neither quickened the wits nor the movements of the soldiers when 
they took up the trail for the next Tory house. The wary and 
cool conduct of the mother probably saved Daniel's life that day. 
Soon after, he and John set out for the South to rejoin their 

The father, Archibald, took no part in the war. So highly 
respected were the old couple, and so affectionately regarded by 
the partisans of the other side, that they, at least, were never 
disturbed on account of their Toryism ; nor were the offenses of 
the sons against militant Whiggery ever visited upon the parents 
and their property, as often was the case amid the punitive 
excesses at the ending of the war. On one occasion, however, 
it was thought advisable to hastily bury the family valuables in 
a swamp; and there they remained, packed in chests and casks, 
for a considerable time. The writer has a saucer which was 


among the household stuff so hidden, and which was brought out 
by Jennet Bahn from Scotland, in the emigration. 

One son, Malcolm, served for a brief period in a North 
Carolina regiment of continentals, which was employed chiefly 
in the North. Whether he did so on account of his political 
opinions, or by reason of the astute diplomacy of the family chief- 
tain, Jennet Bahn, is hardly doubtful. Family tradition gives the 
latter explanation; and certain conveyances of land which were 
made to Malcolm lend color to this view. Should the rebellion 
be justified by success, Tory land would be forfeited to the State, 
as was well understood. So Malcolm and the outwardly neutral 
father, in the language of modern high finance, became a sort of 
" holding company " for the family's property. Malcolm was 
sheriff of Cumberland County when the war began ; and he found 
in this office a valid excuse for avoiding service in the field, as 
well as useful opportunities for protecting his family and Tory 
friends, to whom he was of greater assistance in his nominal hostile 
office than if he had renounced it to become a combatant in the 
Tory ranks. My father's letter of April 10th, 1861, at a later 
page, touches upon Malcolm's adroit conduct in this critical period 
of the family fortunes. 

One characteristic Sabbath day's work affords an illustration 
of the ferocity of revenge with which the rebels retaliated for the 
Piney Bottom affair, and shows what might have happened, under 
different circumstances, to the McNeill home and its womenfolk. 
The sufferers were neighbors of the McNeills, but their visiting 
avengers were not the same company that Jennet Bahn had to 
deal with. 

On a Sunday morning, when David Buchan was not at home, 
Captain Culp, who was Colonel Wade's second in command at 
Piney Bottom, burned Buchan's house over the heads of his 
defenceless family, and then came to " old Kenneth Black's." 
He and his sons were " hiding out." Both doors of the house 
being open, Culp's men " rode into the house until it was full 
of horses, and the family were crowded up into the chimney. On 
going upstairs they found and broke open two large chests belong- 
ing to the families of Captains Verdy, Nicholson and McRae, 
who were in the British army, and who had left their families 
under the care of Mr. Black, as their houses were not far apart. 
One chest was filled with chinaware, which they broke; and the 
other was full of books, which they strewed over the floor, having 
first cut open their backs, and rendered them useless." The house 
was then sacked and fired, and the several families of women 
and children, after being robbed even of their clothing and bedding, 
were driven into the woods and subjected to various forms of 
outrage. Immediately after this, Alexander Black's property 


was similarly disposed of, and he was shot, while unarmed, in 
his house. In the course of the day old Kenneth Black and one 
son were discovered in their hiding-place. " They tortured the 
old man Black, very much, by beating him or slapping him with 
their swords, and screwing his thumb in a gun-lock until the 
blood gushed out on each side, for the purpose of making him 
tell where his other sons were, but they could get nothing out of 
him," ("but blood," it might be added). The reverend author 
of this quotation has forgotten to say whether this old man was 
carried off to be murdered with some other Tories who were 
bagged that Sunday. 

" At this time the far-famed Flora McDonald lived four miles 
north of the scene which we have been describing, upon a planta- 
tion belonging to Mr. Black, on Little River. Mr. Black's 
family having had the smallpox, two daughters of Flora came 
over to see their friends and his family ; but to their utter surprise, 
they found the Whigs there, who took the gold rings from their 
fingers and the silk handkerchiefs from their necks; then putting 
their swords into their bosoms, split down their silk dresses and, 
taking them out into the yard, stripped them of all their outer 

The foregoing account of a rebel Sabbath day's exercises is 
condensed from the pages of that savage old Presbyterian Whig 
divine, Dr. Caruthers. He terms the common episode of war, 
at Piney Bottom, " massacre," and " robbery," while, with hypo- 
critical and even blasphemous rhetoric of the early American 
" patriotic " order which is truly comic, he writes approvingly of 
such enormities as have just been related, and even of atrocious 
murders. The Tory partisan, Fanning, was bad. He was an 
exceptional case on that side; but almost every Whig leader was 
a Fanning in barbarity. Strange it is to find, seventy years after 
this unnatural and hideous warfare in North Carolina, a professed 
minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, after devoting one hun- 
dred and fifty pages to the denunciation of Fanning' s evil deeds, 
possessed with the very spirit of Fanning himself. Throughout 
the book of this dotard parson there is always traceable a certain 
fanatical religiosity of spirit which applies to the Whig and Tory 
civil war in " the old North State," the parallel of the children 
of Israel and the Canaanites. C'est pour rire; but this disposal 
of Caruthers cannot be dispensed with. 

One reads in Caruthers, not without some sense of satisfaction, 
that Captain Culp, the leader of the Sabbath day's work above 
related, was shot and killed at his house, and his house was 
burned, in a summary application of the lex talionis, by some free 
mulattoes named Turner, " who were Tories and very wicked," 
as our clerical authority quaintly puts it. 


This fratricidal strife, which in the last stages of a desultory 
guerilla war, had raged about the home of the McNeills, endured 
long after any effectual warfare on the British side had ceased, 
and, it is said, even after the Treaty of Paris, September 3rd, 
1783 ; for those Scottish folks clung stubbornly, in their isolation, 
to the fixed faith that Britain would yet redeem the national 
disgrace of Yorktown with fresh armies from across the sea. 

The diplomacy of Jennet Bahn, and the high regard in which 
the parents stood with the Whig leaders of the Cape Fear country, 
saved the family property from the confiscation laws passed by 
the State, and the sons, Hector, Neill and Lauchlin, were enabled 
to make their peace with the new government under the terms of 
the Act of Oblivion. 

With Daniel and John the case was different. The " Act 
of Pardon and Oblivion " passed by the Legislature of North 
Carolina in 1783, contained this provision, which excepted them 
from its operation : " Provided always that this Act or anything 
therein contained shall not extend to pardon or discharge, or give 
any benefit whatsoever to persons who have taken commissions or 
have been denominated officers, and acted as such, to the King of 
Great Britain." 

Daniel had held three such commissions, and John, one. 
To be outside the benefit of this Statute meant death, for " treason." 
The other brothers, save Malcolm, had served in the " Tory army " 
and in the guerilla forces, without having commissions from the 
Crown. Though some officers in these auxiliary forces had held 
commissions. Hector, Neill and Lauchlin (who seems to have 
served as a subaltern) were elected, Hector by his regiment, in 
succession to his uncle of the same name, the others by their 

Though it was conceded by the family that Daniel would have 
to leave the country to save his life, they were encouraged by 
Whig friends to believe that John, a boy of about sixteen years, 
might safely return home from Charleston, where his regiment 
was when news of the peace came. 

But the thirst of Colonel Wade for vengeance had not yet 
been slaked by the blood of Tory men and the tears of their 
widows and orphaned children. He had become a " General " 
in these days of peace, a very considerable person indeed. He was 
a doctrinaire of the Balfour school. There must be " no resting 
place for a Tory's foot on the earth." Moreover, the youngster 
John McNeill was the instigator of the night attack at Piney 
Bottom which had disgraced the " General." Accordingly, we 
read in the author last quoted : " After the close of the war, 
General Wade had John McNeill tried for his life on account 
of the robbery and murders committed at the Piney Bottom ; but 

70 DANIEL McNEILL parkek, m.d. 

he was acquitted, principally by the oath of Colonel Folsome, who 
testified that John McNeill was at his house at or about sundown, 
the evening before the massacre. This made the impression on the 
minds of the jury that, considering the distance, it was not probable 
he could have been there by the time the attack was made." 

The reader will, no doubt, appreciate the unconscious humor 
in the use of the words " robbery," " murder," and " massacre " 
in this passage. John's visit to the Whig Colonel Folsome on 
the eve of the attack has been before referred to. It is believed 
in North Carolina that this visit was designed with a view to 
the possible need of an alibi at the close of the war. Colonel 
Folsome, though a Whig, was an intimate family friend and 
could be relied on to help a Bahn McNeill in case of need. 

At Piney Bottom John had found among Wade's plunder 
stolen from a nearby Tory home, a peculiar piece of coarse cloth 
which had belonged to a domestic servant of the family, named 
Marren McDaniel. 

" On his way home from the scene of his nocturnal slaughter 
and depredation, John McNeill called on his friend and neighbor, 
John McDaniel, and told him what an exploit they had per- 
formed, how much plunder, money and other things, they found, 
and showed him a large piece of new cloth which he had got, 
and which he seemed to regard as a valuable prize. Poor Marren 
McDaniel, being present, seized the cloth and claimed it as hers. 
She said she could prove it by the weaver and by old Daniel 
Munroe, who had paid the weaver for her. So the poor girl had her 
plundered web of cloth most unexpectedly returned to her." This 
recapture and restoration to the Tory servant-maid of property 
of which she was robbed by Wade's party, constituted the evidence 
in support of the count for " robbery " in John McNeill's indict- 

" But neither old Daniel Munroe, nor Marren McDaniel, 
nor the weaver were called into court, either because they could 
not be found, or because it was not known that they were 
acquainted with any facts involved in the case." (How this latter 
supposition could exist, the shade of Caruthers alone can tell us.) 
" They could have testified that John McNeill had shown them 
tne cloth next day, and told them that he got it at the Piney 
Bottom, where they had killed so many of Colonel Wade's com- 
pany the night before; and by their testimony he must have been 
condemned. Perhaps he had bribed them, and kept them con- 
cealed in some place where they could not be found, until the trial 
would be decided; but, however this may have been, from all 
these circumstances John McNeill was ever after known by the 
name of 'Cunning John.' " 

Cunning John, at a somewhat mature age, appears to have 

the McNeill family ti 

abandoned the life of a planter and to have sought some higher 
education, as is shown by a letter written by him to his brother 
Daniel which is quoted in the monograph on Daniel McNeill and 
his descendants. 

Beyond a long catalogue of their descendants, nothing more 
of the lives of Daniel's brothers subsequent to the revolutionary 
war requires special mention. Like their father, they were well- 
to-do in plantations and in slaves to work them; and their sub- 
sequent lives were blessed in being uneventful. 

We come now to the grandfather of my father, the last of 
these sons of Archibald and Jennet (Balm) to be mentioned. 

Investigation of historical sources of information, not required 
for the preparation of the earlier monograph on Daniel McNeill 
and his descendants, and a review of family traditions variously 
received, have disclosed material sufficient to outline his career 
during the revolutionary war; though no particulars of his per- 
sonal conduct or achievements can now be discovered, because 
he was outside the province of those contributors to North Carolina 
history who have preserved some account of leaders, Whig and 
Tory, in the civil strife which has been briefly pictured in these 

Born in 1752, at the old homestead on Anderson's Creek, 
Lower Little River, in the County of Cumberland, he was twenty- 
four years of age in 1776. Possessed of a soldierly instinct, and 
seeking a military career to the best advantage, he was not con- 
tent to remain in the " Tory Army " which organized at Cross 
Creek (Fayetteville) in the early months of 1776, and which was 
to be confined in its operations to the civil war in the two Carolinas. 
So, after it was known that the armament of Sir Henry Clinton, 
Commander-in-Chief of the British army, and Admiral Sir Peter 
Parker, commanding the fleet, would be in the Cape Fear at 
Wilmington in June, on its way from New York for the purpose 
of reducing Charleston, as the key to South Carolina, Daniel 
went to Wilmington, and much to the surprise of his family and 
friends, succeeded in obtaining from Clinton a lieutenant's com- 
mission in the 7 1st regiment, Highland Light Infantry, to fill a 
chance vacancy. It seems that only a detachment of the regiment 
accompanied this expedition. The written commission is not 
extant, but that he obtained it and served in this regiment aa 
hereafter related was vouched for by the late James Walton 
Nutting, his brother-in-law and his closest friend in after years, 
who received from Daniel some account of his career, and com- 
municated the story to my father and others. 

The 7 1st was the celebrated regiment known as Fraser's 
Highlanders, which had earned a distinguished reputation in the 
Seven Years' War, had covered itself with glory at Louisburg in 

72 DANIEL McNEILL pakker, m.d. 

1758, before Quebec in the army of Wolfe in 1759, and in the 
subsequent stages of the war which added Canada to the Empire. 
As an American writer on the revolutionary war expresses it, 
the regiment " was noted for its firmness and efficiency in battle." 
It became a sort of proverbial eulogy, among the rebels, to say 
of the continental troops in the South, when they displayed 
unusual steadiness and valor in action : '" they fought like the 71st." 

At Charleston, Sir Peter Parker's little fleet of two fifty-gun 
ships and four frigates, with a gun-boat or two, was badly 
crippled in an ill-advised attack on Fort Moultrie, situated on 
an island in the harbor. When the intrepid Clinton, on foot, led 
the troops in a gallant but costly attempt to storm the fort by 
marching, shoulder deep, along the bar at low water, the men 
of the 7 1st were close at his heels. Exposed to a terrific fire of 
grape and musketry in their slow, wading advance, the troops 
did not fall back until many had been drowned by the rising tide 
and those in the front of the attack were obliged to save them- 
selves by swimming. 

Upon the failure of this expedition, Fraser's Highlanders 
returned with it to New York. The regiment was subsequently 
engaged in the operations and battles on Long Island, at White 
Plains, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the army having 
its headquarters at New York and afterwards at Philadelphia. 
In November, 1778, the 71st (two battalions) was detached by 
Clinton to form part of the force commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Campbell (of Maclean's regiment) which was sent to 
Georgia to assist General Provost in the reduction of Savannah 
and the surrounding country. In this work and in the defence 
of Savannah against the French forces in 1779 the 71st bore a 
conspicuous part and shared in much hard fighting. Savannah 
surrendered to Prevost in December, 1778, after which Georgia 
was held by the British against a strong force of French as well 
as Americans. Loyal sentiment in that Province was strong. 
In April, 1779, the regiment participated in Prevost's invasion 
of South Carolina which, though severely punishing the Ameri- 
cans, failed in its objective — the capture of Charleston. 

The second and much stronger expedition of Sir Henry 
Clinton for the reduction of Charleston brought the 7 1st regiment 
once more into the Carolinas, in the spring of the year 1780. The 
armament of Clinton from New York assembled at Savannah, 
the base of operations. There Prevost and Campbell joined him, 
and Fraser's Highlanders served in the operations against Charles- 
ton, and throughout the campaigns which followed in the two 
Carolinas. Clinton was now equipped for a siege, and invested 
Charleston on April 2nd. On May 12th the city surrendered. 

Shortly afterwards, Sir Henry Clinton, leaving 4,000 men 

the McNeill family 73 

for the Southern service, under Lord Cornwallis, returned to 
New York. Fraser's Highlanders remajned with this Southern 
force, which was augmented by several North and South Carolina 
and Georgia regiments of volunteers. Daniel McNeill continued 
a subaltern in Fraser's until June 24th, 1780, when he exchanged 
for a captaincy in one of these regiments of North Carolina 

These volunteer regiments were raised by gentlemen Loyalists 
of the South, assisted by British officers and by British service 
funds. Prior to this period of the war they had already seen 
much service, and in point of efficiency and in valor they were not 
inferior to the British regiments of the line with which they were 
brigaded. They were Royal Provincial Fencibles, as distinguished 
from the loyal militia organization of the Provinces, which was 
largely broken up by disaffection when the war began. They were 
also quite distinct from such auxiliary or irregular corps as the 
Scottish " Tory Army " of North Carolina. The men were 
enlisted upon the same footing as regular troops. The officers 
were commissioned by the Commander-in-chief of the British army 
in America, or by one of his Lieutenant-Generals when he was not 
accessible and the case was urgent. Thus the first of Daniel 
McNeill's commissions in the Fencibles was signed by Lord Corn- 
wallis, and the second by Sir Henry Clinton, as appears on page 
1 of my earlier paper. Militia officers in North Carolina, after 
the war began, were given commissions by Major Craig, the Com- 
mandant at Wilmington, and often by regimental commanders in 
the militia ; while among the irregulars the officers were usually 
elected by the regiment or company. 

The terms of enlistment in the Provincial regulars, or Fenci- 
bles, are illustrated by the following form of advertisement used 
in 1781: 


" Any of His Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects, able and 
" willing to serve in the Royal Nr rth Carolina Regiment com- 
" manded by Col. Hamilton, are hereby requested to repair to 
" his encampment. The bounty allowed for each man is three 
" Guineas ; and the terms of the engagement are that he shall 
" serve during the rebellion and within the Provinces of North 
"and South Carolina and Virginia only; that during his service 
" he shall be entitled to clothing, pay, provisions, and all the 
" advantages of His Majesty's Regular and Provincial Troops. 
" and at the end of the rebellion, when he becomes discharged, 
" of course, he is to receive as a reward for his services during 
" the war a free grant of land agreeable to His Majesty's 
" proclamation." 

Regiments of Provincials, or Fencibles, were not numbered, 
but were distinguished by the names of their commanders, as was 
the case with some of the Highland regiments in the British army 


for some time after their formation, — Fraser's, for example. The 
distinguishing name of the regiment in which Daniel McNeill 
commanded a company during the campaigns of Lord Cornwallis in 
North and South Carolina is not now known. He lost the original 
commission, which would have disclosed his colonel's name; and 
the only evidence of its contents is the bare certificate of its grant 
which he subsequently obtained to assist him in obtaining his 
half-pay of a Captain in the British army and his share of a grant 
of land in Nova Scotia. This certificate appears on the first page 
of my earlier paper. 

The two campaigns of Cornwallis in the Carolinas were char- 
acterized by rapid movements, hard-fought battles and minor 
engagements following fast upon each other, all stubbornly con- 
tested on either side, and with much in-fighting, or hand-to-hand 
work, — and all with varying fortune. They ended in the retire- 
ment of Lord Cornwallis northward, upon what proved to be his 
last march, with the American general, Greene, left in undisputed 
possession of North Carolina. 

The battles of these campaigns in which Daniel McNeill par- 
ticipated were the first battle of Camden, one at Charlotte (the 
"Hornets' Nest," as Cornwallis called it), Cowpens and Guild- 
ford Court House. The skirmishes, pursuits, retreats and hand- 
to-hand struggles between small parties were incessant, and too 
numerous for these pages to detail. Family tradition says that 
Daniel received one of his wounds in the British disaster at King's 
Mountain, North Carolina, at this period ; but the writer is satis- 
fied that the only British troops detached for service at that point 
were 150 men of a line regiment, who went to the assistance of a 
raw embodiment of local Loyalists or Tory irregulars threatened 
by a superior force of disciplined continentals. 

When, in April, 1781, Lord Cornwallis marched into Virginia, 
Daniel McNeill's regiment remained with the army of occupation 
in the South, under Lord Rawdon and Colonel Stewart. Passing 
into South Carolina, this force fought several engagements with 
the army of General Greene which followed it, much superior in 
numbers to the retreating British. On the 25th of April occurred 
the second battle of Camden, which was won by Lord Rawdon's 
little army, but with such severe loss that he was obliged to retire 
to " Ninety-Six," an entrenched camp, about fifty miles north-west 
from Charleston, and which had long been a British post, or base 
of operations. General Greene rallied his beaten troops and 
invested this post, intending a siege. Short, as he was, in artil- 
lery and supplies, Rawdon felt compelled to evacuate " Ninety- 
Six," and cutting his way through the besiegers in June, he 
marched to Eutaw Springs, nearer to Charleston, and encamped 
there to refresh his exhausted troops and to care for his wounded. 

the McNeill family 75 

He had some hope of reinforcement from Georgia, but it did not 

On August 20th, 1781 (the date of his third commission), or 
about that time, Daniel McNeill exchanged into Hamilton's regi- 
ment of the Royal North Carolinas, Fencibles, which was part of 
Rawdon's force. His young brother John was an ensign in Ham- 
ilton's but the reason for the exchange is not known. This was a 
regiment which had won distinction in various Southern cam- 
paigns. One incident in its career is mentioned by Moore. When, 
on December 29th, 1778, the American army of General Robert 
Howe was driven from Savannah, Georgia, by General Prevost, 
Hamilton's regiment, composed of North Carolina men, was con- 
fronted by the Second Regiment of North Carolina Continentals. 
A bloody and heroic duel of regiments, at close quarters, ensued, 
embittered by the circumstance that it was a struggle between 
neighbors and former friends. 

On the 8th of September, Greene came up, with overwhelming 
strength, and the battle of Eutaw Springs was fought. The 
British lost about 1,100 men in killed, wounded and prisoners. 
The Americans confessed to a loss as great. It was a drawn 
battle, both sides retaining their ground as at its commencement, 
and neither general desirous to resume the debate. But Lord 
Rawdon's little force was now so greatly reduced, and so burdened 
with its wounded, that there was nothing for it but to retreat to 
Charleston. Greene did not attempt to follow, and the Southern 
campaign of 1781 was closed. 

Next month the news of Lord Cornwallis' surrender in Vir- 
ginia came to Charleston, substantially closing the war. 

Greene's army, which had been reinforced by General Anthony 
Wayne's Rangers, sat down before Charleston, but at a respectful 
distance. The armies kept close watch upon each other; sorties 
and minor skirmishes were frequent, but no siege was undertaken 
by the Americans. Both sides were awaiting the outcome of the 
British fatality at Yorktown, the reduced army of Rawdon too 
weak to take the field, and Greene content to await orders from 
headquarters. Thus passed for Daniel McNeill the closing 
months of 1781 and the year 1782, until December; but it was 
towards the close of this period of comparative inactivity that, as 
has been related, he and his brother John visited the old home at 
Lower Little River. Daniel then saw his parents for the last time, 
and his stay had to be brief. 

In December, 1782, orders came from Sir Guy Carleton, who 
had superseded Sir Henry Clinton as Commander-in-chief, to 
evacuate Charleston and proceed to St. Augustine, in East Florida, 
in shipping sent from New York, and to remove with the troops 
such Loyalists as might wish to leave the country. Large numbers 


of non-combatants, North and South Carolinians and Georgians, 
accompanied the army, and from Florida departed to make for 
themselves new homes in Great Britain, the West India Islands 
and the British Provinces of North America. 

From December, 1782, to September, 1783, Captain McNeill 
remained at St. Augustine with his regiment. Commissioners 
from England came to St. Augustine to determine the thousands 
of claims for compensation made by the Southern Loyalists gath- 
ered there, and to distribute accordingly the Southern allotment 
of the sum of money, very inadequate, which was voted by Parlia- 
ment, " in support of the American sufferers who have relinquished 
their properties or professions from motives of loyalty to me and 
attachment to the mother country," as the King's speech expressed 
it, on the opening of Parliament in 1782. 

Captain McNeill was recommended to the government by the 
commissioners for the half-pay of a captain in the British army 
during the remainder of his life, which he afterwards obtained, 
and, with four or five hundred officers and men from his own 
regiment, the Royal South Carolina Regiment, and the King's 
Carolina Rangers, he agreed to accept a share in a grant of land 
in Nova Scotia, offered by the commissioners, all the grantees to 
receive full pay until their settlement in that Province, with 
transportation thither at the expense of government, should be 

Colonel John Hamilton, commanding Daniel's regiment, 
retired to England, accompanied by Lieut.-Colonel Archibald 
McKay, a Cape Fear Scotsman who commanded another regiment 
of Royal North Carolina Provincials. From the fact that Captain 
McNeill, in 1785, was corresponding on intimate terms with Col- 
onel McKay, then in London, it may be conjectured that McKay's 
Royal North Carolina Regiment was the corps from which the 
Captain exchanged into Hamilton's. I have learned of only two 
regiments of this class raised in North Carolina. 

As Daniel's name is found signed to a certificate ,of service, 
dated at St. Augustine, September 20th, 1783, given by Colonel 
Hamilton and four captains of his regiment to assist a Loyalist in 
his claims for compensation, it must have been soon after that 
date that McNeill and his brother officer, Captain John Leggatt, 
came to Nova Scotia to attend to the business of locating and 
obtaining the land grant above mentioned. That he was in 
Halifax in November- is attested by the following receipt for a 
slave whom he left there, probably when he and Captain Leggatt 
were travelling about the Province examining " the promised 
land," and sailed down the eastern coast to look over the site which 
Governor Parr and his Council proposed to grant, in fulfilment 
of the award made by the " Commissioners of American Claims." 

the McNeill family 77 

The receipt which fixes this date reads : 

"Halifax, 29 November, 1783. 
" These are to certify that a Black Boy, by the name of Bill, or Wil- 
liam, The Property of Captain Daniel McNeale, late of the Royal North 
Carolina Regiment Leaves with me, in trust, for six months from the 
date hereof, the said Black Boy — on consideration of Feeding and Cloth- 
ing the said boy. Witness, Phi. Newton." 

By Daniel McNeill's endorsement on this receipt, it appears 
that Philip Newton was a captain in the British army. The 
receipt was written by him; hence the improper spelling of 
McNeill's name. 

In the following spring the exiled officers and soldiers arrived. 
Before their arrival Captains McNeill and Leggatt had much 
arduous duty of detail to perform in the preliminary work of pre- 
paring for the temporary shelter and victualling of such a large 
number of settlers at Country Harbor, many of whom were bring- 
ing with them wives and families. To appreciate this, one must 
remember that at this time there was no settlement whatever in 
the whole of what is now Guysborough County, and supplies of all 
necessaries had to be taken by water from Halifax. 

From this point, let the reader turn to the narrative on Daniel 
McNeill and his descendants, to learn more of what is known of 
his life in Nova Scotia. What follows here will supplement that. 

In that narrative a visit to North Carolina in the year 1811 
is mentioned. The recent discovery of a letter from him to James 
Walton Nutting, when the latter was a student at King's College, 
Windsor, discloses that the Captain made an earlier visit to his 
old home, near the close of the year 1806, upon the same 
mission. This letter is dated at Halifax the 29th of Novem- 
ber, 1806, and begins: "I am still here day after day 
expecting the ship to sail. I am much perplexed in mind, 
dare not go home, fearing I should miss my passage. . . ." 
It is of too personal a nature to present in full. The 
writer commits his business affairs at home to the care of 
young Nutting, his brother-in-law, in whose capacity and judg- 
ment he seems to have reposed great confidence. Referring to 
his daughters, he writes : " Dear James, should anything happen 
to me before my return, I have a heart-felt satisfaction that you 
are so far advanced that you will be able to take care of that Dear 
Female family who have no male of any great ideas to serve them. 
Make the best of your time where you are at present. If God 
spares your mother and myself, I have no doubt but we shall be 
able to complete your education as you have wished. You have 
good ideas, and I hope you will take care of yourself. Keep clear 
of Bad Company. Shake off your acquaintance with Mrs. 
A. . . ." Here follows salutary advice, expressed in Ian- 

78 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

guage pointed and direct, from a man who knew the world to a 
young college student, exposed to the temptations of the social 
life of the Windsor of that day. Of the moral aspects of that life 
the Captain evidently held strong opinions, but not complimentary. 
The letter concludes : "I hope and trust God that my daugh- 
ters will never 4hink so little of themselves as (to) mix with such, 
even should I never return. But I hope in God that I shall be 
spared to return and arrange my business myself. Be prudent 
and make the best of your time there. You'll make my best 
respects to Campbell and Family, and believe me to be, 
" Your very affectionate brother, 

" D. McNeill." 

The few letters extant, written by him, indicate that Cap- 
tain McNeill was a man of action, quick to think, prompt in 
decision, ready in resource; upright in character, and one who 
feared God, though not conspicuous in what usually passes for 
piety. They indicate a habit of mind contemptuous of the shams 
and humbugs of conventional " Society." He was evidently a 
typical blunt soldier of the period, with little education beyond 
that acquired in early life from his parents at his frontier planta- 
tion home, and, later, what military training sufficed for his duty 
in camp and field. We find in his letters an intense devotion to 
his wife and daughters, with an overwhelming solicitude for the 
future of his children when they had become bereft of a mother's 
care in tender years. That he himself, in exile, was affectionately 
held in mind by his immediate family in North Carolina, and that 
the memory of " Nova Scotia Dan'l," as he is called to this day 
in the Cape Fear country, was cherished for long years among his 
later kith and kin, is witnessed by the scores of McNeills and 
members of allied families, from generation to generation, who 
have borne the name of Daniel in his honor. 

No portrait of him exists, but he is said to have been of more 
than medium stature, ruddy of countenance and smooth-shaven, 
slight in youth, but with a figure in later life which we designate 
as burly. A scarlet tunic belonging to one of his uniforms was 
treasured as a relic by Colonel Archibald McNeill (Neill's son) 
when he entertained my father at McNeill's Ferry in 1861. My 
father tried it on and it fitted his figure fairly well, though rather 
scantily. Nothing would induce this nephew of Captain Daniel 
to relinquish the " Tory coat " in favor of a grandson. It was 
consumed when Colonel Archibald's house was burned in 1870. 

The object of the Captain's two visits to North Carolina, in 
1806 and 1811, was to recover his share in his father's estate. At 
the risk of being thought tedious, I embody in this narrative a 
copy of the will upon which his prolonged litigation with the 


executors arose. The Supreme Court of North Carolina appears 
to have decided that devises and bequests to a Loyalist outside the 
protection of the Act of Pardon and Oblivion were void. Which 
of his brothers, if any, raised this question, or whether his brother 
Neill and the other executor felt it to be their duty, in their fidu- 
ciary capacity, to raise it, does not appear. There seems to have 
been a partial compromise in the end. 

" In the name of God," Amen. 

I, Archibald MacNeill, of Cumberland County and State of North 
Carolina, now considering myself frail in body, tho of perfect mind and 
memory, and well knowing that it i? appointed for all men once to die, 
do make this my last will and testament. 

I assign my soul to its Creator in all humble hope of its future 
happiness as in the disposall of a being infinitely good. As to my body, 
my will is that it be buried decently beside my spouse in our old bury- 
ing place. 

I make and appoint my son-in-law John MacNeill and my son Neill 
MacNeill or whichever of the cne survivor of the other, sole executors 
of this my last will and testament. 

As to my worldlye estate I dispose thereof as follows: 

I give and bequeath to my son John and his wife during their life- 
time, the plantation now occupied by them, and after their decease, if 
no lawful heir of John's own body survive him or his wife, I order said 
plantation to be the property of my son Daniel and his heirs. 

I also bequeath to said John and his wife during their lifetime two 
negro wenches, named Tillie and Nell, and after their death if said 
negroes survive them, I order and desire said negroes, with their issue, 
to be given up to my daughter Margaret McNeill and her heirs. 

Item: I give and devise to my son Daniel three hundred and twenty- 
three acres of land, more or less, lying in Chatham County, near the 
mouth of New Hope, also a tract or parcel of land lying on McKay's 
Creek in this county, and in case my son Daniel, nor any of his heirs in 
Nova Scotia, should never come to claim the said plantations, I order the 
said plantations to be equally divided betwixt my son Hector's son 
Daniel and my grandson John McNeill's son, also named Daniel. 

Item: I give and bequeath to my son Hector one hundred acres join- 
ing his land on Trantom's Creek, and one hundred and fifty acres on said 
creek known by the name of the Black Smith's old field. I also bequeath 
to him two negro fellows, Will and Bacchus, junior. 

Item: I give and devise to my daughter, Margaret McNeill, a negro 
wench, named Teaner, together with her children, and another negro 
wench named Beth, and also two negro fellows, named Virgil and Angus. 
I likewise give and devise to her, during her lifetime, two hundred acres 
of land on the North East side of Cape Fear river below the ferry, com- 
monly known by the name of Sproall's ferry, and after her decease I 
order said two hundred acres of land to be the property of my son Neill 
and his lawful heirs. 

Item: I -?ive and bequeath and devise to her son Daniel the planta- 
tation on Jones' Creek, and the lands adjoining it now my property. 

Item: I bequeath to her son Archibald a iplantation in Moore County, 
known by the name of Hurd's old field, and in Cumberland County, one 
hundred acres, Survey known by the name of Loften's island, also a 
parcell of land in the fork of Anderson's creek, known by the name of 
Hodge's Survey. 

Item: I give and devise to my son Neill the ferry lands containing 
four hundred and forty acres, the lands bought from James Patterson, 

so DxVxiel McNeill parker, m.d. 

and all the lands belonging to me in the waters of Lower Little River, 
also two negro fellows named Charles and Cupid, and the four negro 
wenches named Judith, Nan, Fanny and Flora. 

Item: I give and bequeath to his daughter Janet the little negro 
wench named Abitha. 

Item: I give and devise to my granddaughter Janet Shaw the negro 
girl named Judith, and after said Janet's death, I order the negro girl 
Judith and her issue to be equally divided among the lawful heirs of 
said Janet's own body. 

Item: I give and bequeath to my grandson John McNeill, John 
Scrubblin's son, one hundred acres of land, more or less, lying on the 
bear branch, commonly known by the name of Peggy Black old field, and 
likewise another_piece of land close to it, known by the name of King's 

Item: I give and devise to my two grandchildren, Daniel Hector's 
son and Lauchlin Neill's son, to be equally divided betwixt them, a lot in 
the town of Fayetteville. 

Item: I give and bequeath to my son Hector two hundred and fifty 
acres on the flat land from the meadow to the old place. Also two hun- 
dred and fifty acres joining the old survey, that was the property of 
Roger MacNeill. Also one hundred and fifty acres on the Blue branch 
and Trantom's Creek, likewise fifty acres lying between the old lands of 
McKay and McNair. 

Item: I give and devise to my grandson Coll MacNeill two hundred 
acres on Stewart's creek. 

Item: I give and devise to my son John two hundred acres on 
Anderson's Creek joining the old place. Fifty acres on the ford, 
Carver's Creek, I bequeath to my son John. 

Item: I give and devise to my son Neill the plantation I bought 
from Rob't McKay and the lands adjoining it. 

Item: I give and devise to my granddaughters, Malcolm's children, 
Janet, Flora and Isabel, five shillings sterling each. 

Item: I bequeath to my son Daniel twenty milch cows out of my 
stock, to be sold and the money put to interest for the benefit of Daniel 
and his heirs. 

Item: I bequeath to my son Neill's daughter Janet my flock of sheep. 

Item: I give and devise to my son Neill the remainder of my stock 
of cattle and wild horses on condition he will not interfere with my son 
Hector's stock, also my stock of hogs. Also a still to be equally divided 
between Neill and my grandson Archibald John Scrubblin's son. 

The rest of my household furniture and worldly property I give and 
devise to my son Neill in hopes he will make good use of it. 

If my daughter Margaret should in a short time after this be taken 
away by death, I order that her children while they keep together be 
allowed by my son Neill to live at Sproall's Cowpen on Thornton Creek. 
I also order that she during her lifetime remain on the place where she 
and her family now live. 

This my last Will and testament written this 17th of April, A.D. 
1801, and signed in presence Revd. Angus McDairmid and Hector 
McNeill, both living on Little River. 

(Sgd.) Archibald MacNeill. 

(Sgd.) Angus MacDaxrmid Witnesses . 
Hector MacNeill. 

From the omission of Malcolm's name in the will it may be 
inferred either that he died before his father, or that, out of the 
land " deals " in war time, to which reference has been made, he 
had received his share of the paternal estates. Coll, named in the 
will, was one of his four sons. The others are not named, and 
his three daughters were " cut off " with five shillings apiece. 

the McNeill family si 

Malcolm was the Whig or rebel son of this Tory family. There 
is, in these circumstances, some indication of a " family jar." 

The son-in-law John McNeill, named an executor, had married 
Margaret, commonly called Peggy, the testator's daughter. He 
bore the suffix "Scorblin" or " Scrubblin " (no good). The 
date of Archibald's death was June 26th, 1801. Examination of 
his will shows that he specifically devised more than four square 
miles of land, the acreage of which is expressed, besides five or six 
other plantations, the extent of which is not defined, and several 
detached parcels or lots of land as well, while the residuary devise 
to his son Neill may have included more land. Sixteen domestic 
slaves are given by the will, but there were doubtless many planta- 
tion hands to go with the residuary estate to Neill. In 1861 
Neill's son, Colonel Archibald, a first cousin of my father's 
mother, had seventy slaves on the Ferry plantation alone, and he 
owned two otheri plantations, from which, with his timber gangs, 
he could muster three hundred and fifty slaves for getting in his 
cotton crops. 

There were thirty-two first cousins of my father's mother, 
exclusive of a number who died young and whose names are not 

The genealogical chart of the Balm McNeills, referred to in 
the Introduction to these Memoirs, is too voluminous for inser- 
tion here. The manuscript may be copied by any descendant of 
my father having sufficient interest and patience. 

In concluding this account of the family, it will not be amiss 
to refer to a suggestion made to me by Judge Savary, that the 
McNeills of Digby County, a numerous progeny, derive descent 
from a branch of the North Carolina family collateral to that of 
Archibald and Jennet Bahn. If this be so, there would be a 
common origin either in Archibald's father, Lauchlin, or in the 
father of Lauchlin, Black Neill. Judge Savary, who is learned 
in the history of the Loyalists and has written much on the sub- 
ject, thinks that the progenitors of the Digby family were North 
Carolinians. Sabine leaves this in doubt. The ancestors, un- 
doubtedly, were Loyalists who arrived at the close of the Revolu- 
tion. The similarity of their names to those of the early Bahn 
McNeills is striking. Neill McNeill was a Loyalist captain. He 
settled first at Wilmot, Annapolis County, and some of his 
descendants are there to this day. He afterwards removed to 
Digby town, and was buried in the Trinity Church cemetery there. 
He had a son, Archibald; and an Archibald, either Neill's son or 
his brother, who, according to Sabine, was a captain in the Royal 
Artillery, settled on the St. John River in New Brunswick. This 
Archibald married a member of the Sears family, which was 
among the families who first settled St. John, or Parr Town, as it 



was originally called, and had the distinction of registering the 
first birth in that town. 

I may here remark that no connection can be traced between 
the North Carolina McNeills and those of the name settled in 
eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. 

Of the family life at " Cambridge " and Windsor no materials 
now remain for any attempt at description. The plantation was 
not a success, in a financial sense. Captain and Mrs. McNeill 
appear to have had a standing arrangement to spend the winters 
in Windsor, and there, chiefly, the daughters were educated. Par- 
ticulars relating to the Crown grant of " Cambridge " are given in 
connection with the foregoing account of the Parker grants at 
Walton. To complete the story of Daniel McNeill's career, a 
copy of his will, probated at Windsor, is presented here. Some- 
thing of mind and character usually is revealed by such an instru- 
ment. Further, it is of interest to his descendants to know the 
extent to which fortune and endeavor had finally endowed with 
worldly possessions this plain soldier, in exile for the lost cause 
of a political ideal. In his case, at least, the rewards of faith and 
loyalty are found not to be material. 

In describing himself as of Newport, the testator refers to the 
township of that name. 

In the name of God, Amen. 

I, Daniel McNeill of Newport, in the County of Hants and Province 
of Nova Scotia, Esquire, late captain in His Majesty's Royal North 
Carolina Regiment, DO make, publish and declare this my last Will and 
Testament in manner and form following, that is to say: 

I give, devise and bequeath unto my eldest daughter Mary Jenette 
McNeill, her heirs, executors and assigns all my lands tenements and 
hereditaments situate, lying and being in the County of Sydney* and 
Province aforesaid, viz., town lots numbers 42, 44, 45, 47, 156, 209, 210, 
211, 212, in the township of Stormont, and two other lots numbers 
unknown, one drawn by me and the other purchased from Captain John 
Matrie, and ten acres of cleared land back of the town plot, beginning 
at the lower corner of Broad Street. Also farm lots numbers 61 and 67, 
containing five hundred acres each, situate in Country Harbour, pur- 
chased by me from the said John Matrie. Also farm lot, number 33, 
containing five hundred acres, partly drawn, and partly purchased by me 
from Thomas Bates and Roger Boyd. Also farm lot number 4 in Country 
Harbour aforesaid, containing five hundred acres, partly drawn by me 
and partly purchased from Samuel Dier. Also two other farm lots, thus 
situate, one on Country Harbour Lake, and the other on the west side of 
Country Harbour marked on the plan. Also all the lands purchased by 
me from Major Daniel Manson, from Thomas Manson and Roderick 
McLeod, and a lot of land granted me at Fisherman's Harbour, and also 
all my other lands, tenements or hereditaments situate in said County 
of Sydney. And I also give, devise and bequeath to my said daughter, 
Mary Jennette, all that farm messuage and premises with the appur- 

•Now Guysborough. 


tenances, known by the name of Spring Hill Farm, containing one thou- 
sand five hundred acres, more or less, situate on the Basin of Minas 
next lands owned by James Walton Nutting. Also all that lot of land 
situate on the south side of the Petite River, purchased by me from 
Leslie, containing five hundred acres, more or less. Also all the marsh 
land whatsoever, adjoining said last mentioned tract, and also all the 
marsh adjoining the lower half of the tract of one thousand acres on the 
south side of said river granted me by Government, except as hereinafter 
excepted. Also ten acres of marsh land on the north side of said Petite 
River, purchased by me from William Parker, junior. Also all that tract 
of land situate on the Cock Magun River, together with a right throughout 
the township of Newport, purchased by me from John Jones, and all my 
other lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever, in said County of 
Hants, except as hereinafter excepted. 

I also give, devise and bequeath to my said daughter, Mary J. McNeill, 
all that farm lot of land and premises in Moore County, State of North 
Carolina in the United States of America, known by the name of Piedd 
Farm on Deep RiveT, containing three hundred acres, more or less. 
Also all that farm in said North Carolina in the county aforesaid, known 
by the name of Cane Brake, containing one hundred acres, more or less. 
Also all that farm situate on Cape Fear River in Cumberland County in 
the State last aforesaid, and all my other lands and tenements in said 
County. Also all the share, title, right and interest which I have or 
possess in a ferry on Cape Fear River called Sproule's Ferry. And also 
my other lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever, in the said 
State of North Carolina or elsewhere. I also give and bequeath to my 
said daughter Mary J. McNeill, all and singular my personal estate, 
goods, monies, effects' or credits which I may die possessed of in the 
said Province of Nova Scotia, in the said State of North Carolina, or else- 
where whatsoever. To have and to hold all and singular the aforementioned 
and described lands, messuages, tenements, hereditaments and appurten- 
ances and premises, unto my said daughter, Mary Jennette McNeill, her 
heirs and assigns, to and for her, and their only proper use, benefit and 
behoof forever. 

And I give, devise and bequeath to my youngest daughter, Sophia 
Margaret Terhune, the lower half of a tract of land of one thousand 
acres, granted by Government, situate on the south side of Petite River 
aforesaid, said half containing five hundred acres, more or less, with the 
piece of marsh adjoining the same where the Sled road now is, 
being the piece opposite the mouth of Mill Creek, all the other 
marsh adjoining said land, being hereinbefore devised to my 
eldest daughter. To have and to hold the said half tract of land and 
premises to the said Sophia Margaret Terhune, for her use for and dur- 
ing her natural life, and after her decease I give, devise and bequeath 
the same to the heirs of her body lawfully issuing, equally share and 
share alike, to have and to hold to them and their heirs forever, but not 
to be divided until the youngest shall be of age. And in case my said 
daughter should die without heirs, I give, devise and bequeath the same 
to my said eldest daughter, Mary J. McNeill, to have and to hold to her 
heirs and assigns forever. And I do hereby make, constitute and 
appoint James Walton Nutting to be the sole executor of this my last will 
and testament. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 
eighth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 
dred and fourteen. 

Attestation clause. (Sgd.) Danl. McNeill (L.S.) 

Witnesses : 

(Sgd.) Jabeo Ingersoll Chlpman, 


W. Hill. 


daniel McNeill parker, m.d. 


" I, Daniel McNeill, the testator named in the foregoing will, do 
hereby make, publish and declare the following as a Codicil to my said 
Will and in revocation of such part thereof as is hereinafter mentioned, 
that is to say, I hereby revoke, set aside and make void the clause in 
my said will whereby I have devised to my youngest daughter, Sophia 
Margaret Terhune, and her heirs, the tract of land and premises therein 
mentioned, being the lower half part of a tract of land of one thousand 
acres granted me by Government, I having by deed made over to my said 
daughter and her heirs a certain other tract of land containing five hun- 
dred acres more or less purchased by me from — 'Leslie, situate on the 
south side of said Petite River, in said deed mentioned and described, 
and under certain conditions and restrictions in said deed mentioned. 

" (Sgd.) Danl. McNeill (L.S.)' 

Attestation clause. 

" (Sgd.) John Wallace, 
" J. W. Nutting." 

The date of Daniel McNeill's death was May 5th, 1818. 

The unequal division of his estate by the foregoing testa- 
mentary disposition is due to the fact that the Captain highly 
disapproved of the marriage which his younger daughter, Sophia, 
had made with Daniel Terhune about five years before her father's 
will was made, when she was only sixteen. Her father thought 
she had married beneath her station in life, and too young. The 
elder daughter married about two years after her father's death. 

Though the will devises some nine square miles (in the aggre- 
gate) of land in Nova Scotia, beside eleven Stormont or Country 
Harbor Townsite lots, its maker in reality was " land-poor " ; for 
much of this property was of little if any value then, 
or for many years afterwards, and he had paid much 
too dearly for that part of it which he had purchased. He 
had inherited the Cape Fear Scot's proclivity for multiplying 
his landed possessions, with the notion that mere acreage would 
be wealth. Hisj executor and his son-in-law, Francis Parker, did 
what they could to realize on the Country Harbor properties, but 
there was no sale for them, and gradually they passed into the pos- 
session of land-grabbing settlers. To eject the squatters would 
have cost more than the land was worth, and nothing was ever 
derived from these properties after the Captain's death. The 
grant of 1784 was finally escheated to the Crown about the year 
1888, in order to make title to part of the land for gold-mining 

The original name of "Cambridge" given to Captain McNeill's 
homestead property became attached to the community about it; 
so we find the homestead, in the will, called by its later name, 
" Spring Hill Farm." 

There is pathos in the unavailing devise of the lost plantations 


in North Carolina to the daughter Mary Janet. These comprised 
about five hundred acres. At no time could the proscribed Loy- 
alist reasonably hope that his children would be forgiven for the 
father's loyalty to the British Crown. Yet, to the last, the old 
soldier clung to the idea that somehow, sometime, his daughter 
might succeed, where he had failed, in obtaining natural justice, 
albeit nothing but legislation by the State of North Carolina could 
have redressed the father's and the daughter's wrongs. To think 
of regaining these properties in 1814, or afterwards, was a futility, 
but surrender claim and hope the Captain would not. A will 
speaks from the testator's deathbed. The transmission of his 
righteous claim was but a dying father's cry for justice to his 
helpless child from a relentlessly vindictive government which 
visited upon the children the so-called sin of their fathers: the 
loyal patriotism of gallant men converted into political sin by suc- 
cessful rebellion. 


" Faber quisque fortunae suae." 

— Sallust. 

By way of preface to this account of my father's life, I shall 
quote from a tribute to the memory of his father, written at the 
time of the latter's death, for The Christian Messenger, by Rev. 
Jeremiah Bancroft, the Baptist pastor at Walton for many years. 
The extracts here given will justly fill out the portrait of my grand- 
father briefly sketched in my earlier paper, while throwing some 
light upon the early home life and influences which .contributed 
to the moulding of my father's character in the plastic time of 
youth. Mr. Bancroft wrote: 

" Francis Parker, son of the late John and Sarah Parker, was 
born at Walton, February, 1797. When about sixteen years of 
age he went as clerk to the late Benjamin DeWolf, of Windsor. 
In consequence of his faithfulness in that department he was some 
years after taken into the firm. After some time he moved to 
Cambridge, and finally to Walton. He received a Magistrate's 
Commission at an early day. He here engaged in extensive busi- 
ness and did much toward the improvement of the place, and the 
encouragement of industry in agriculture, plaster and shipbuild- 
ing. Naturally generous and obliging, he sometimes divided his 
last barrel of flour with those who were destitute, and the last loaf 
of bread has been by him divided while supplies were being 
expected. In times of prosperity, although not a professor of 
religion, he erected a house for worship. After finishing the 
outside so far as to make it comfortable for service, the Episco- 
palians aided him in finishing the building, which he donated to 
them, with land adjoining for a burying-ground. Possessing a 
benevolent disposition, his house was a home for all Protestant 
ministers visiting Walton. The writer first visited the place in 
December, 1848, under the direction of the Baptist Missionary 
Board, and was invited to make Mr. Parker's house his home when 
there. This continued till June, 1850. The Episcopal clergy- 
man, the Wesleyan and the Baptist were each in turn made wel- 
come every four weeks. Other ministers visiting the place partook 
of his hospitality and found not only a resting-place, but a home. 
This continued while he kept house. In the summer of 1860, the 



Rev. Mr. Scott visited Walton as a missionary, through whose 
efforts (encouraged by Mr. Parker) a Baptist meeting-house was 
undertaken and finished the winter following, the late J. W. 
Nutting, Esq., of Halifax, giving the ground. When the house 
was completed (after Mr. Parker paying all his subscription) 
there was due him on the building eighty pounds, which was never 
called for. When enquired of by the writer, after the house was 
dedicated, as to how this sum was to be raised, he said, ' I have 
concluded to let it stand.' This act of generosity was most advan- 
tageous to the Baptist interest here. During the winter, while 
the house was being finished, young men from Acadia College 
and others visiting the place, preached and held protracted meet- 
ings. As a result a number were baptized by Rev. D. G. Shaw, 
who, with the late Rev. George Dimock, had attended for that 
purpose, among whom were F. Parker, Esq., and his amiable wife, 
a truly pious woman who was an ornament to society and to the 
Church as well. In March following the house was dedicated, and 
in April, four weeks from the dedication, a church was organized, 
consisting of fourteen members. Brother Parker was ordained to 
the office of Deacon, which he creditably filled till called home. 
Brother Parker was also requested to act as church clerk, which he 
did till 1880, when he tendered his resignation . . . The 
consistent faithfulness of our departed brother in church matters 
was most satisfactory, and on trying occasions convinced those 
present of the reality of his profession. He was gentle and un- 
assuming, yet faithful under trials ; he also possessed decision and 
perseverance in carrying out what he thought was right. . 
His was a peaceful, happy end; .the state of his mind may be 
understood by his requesting others to meet him in Heaven, and 
suggesting the reading of the twenty-third Psalm, when prayer 
at his request was about being offered. His mind was clear and 
his faith strong; thus the righteous hath hope in his death. He 
died on the evening of the twenty-fourth of August, in his eighty- 
sixth year. . . . Mr. Parker's first wife was removed by 
death, June 14th, 1866. She was faithful through life and peace- 
ful in death. In June, 1868, he was again united in marriage 
with Anna, widow of the late Dr. Boyington, of Portland, Maine. 
She also departed this life, November, 1876, at Halifax, N. S., on 
her return from Portland, Maine." 

I am unable to fix the time when Francis Parker removed from 
Windsor to Cambridge, where he resided for a time at Spring Hill 
Farm, at the commencement of his business operations in Walton ; 
but my father was then very young, probably three years old. His 
earliest recollection gathered about a serious accident which befel 
him at Cambridge, when he was in his fifth year. Straying into 
the pasture where his father's favorite old mare, " Maggie," was 


at large, he approached from behind to drive her by the tail, when 
the animal flung out her heels and the front of one shoe caught the 
child on the forehead, hurling him many feet away. An Irish 
farm hand who was near by picked him up for dead, and holding 
him by the ankles, to protect his own clothing from the streaming 
blood, carried the little inanimate form to the house, where he 
deposited his burden on the kitchen floor before the mother, 
exclaiming, " He's kilt, marm, he's kilt entirely !" There was 
no doctor nearer than Windsor; but the mother's resourcefulness 
was equal to the emergency, and " Maggie," with the father 
behind her, atoned for her offence that day by fetching the far- 
away doctor at a speed which established a record for the distance. 
The terrific blow indented the boy's skull. Had the frontal bone 
been hardened by a few more years' growth, it would have been 
fractured. All who knew him will recall the imprint of that 
mare's shoe over my father's right eye, for he carried this mark 
to the grave. 

At a tender age he had a second narrow escape from death, 
when he fell out of a boat into the Petite Eiver. Two of his 
brothers were with him, and one seized him by the feet as he was 
disappearing, head downwards, beneath the surface. Then keep- 
ing his head under water by holding fast, each to a foot, both 
brothers screamed lustily for help, finding that they were not 
strong enough to pull him back into the boat. Their father 
chanced to be near by, and, plunging into the river, he brought the 
drowning child's head to the surface and forcibly released the 
frantic grip of the others upon the feet. It was done barely in 
time, for there was much ado to resuscitate the victim of this novel 
method of his little brothers, who were drowning him in their 
endeavor to save him. 

Daniel was still a small boy when his father built the well- 
remembered house overlooking the river in the central part of 
Walton village, set into the slope of the hill with its access from 
the rear above, and its large general country store and counting- 
house beneath forming the first floor on a level with the main 
street. This became at once the homestead and the centre of 
Walton's business activity when it was the thriving community 
which Francis Parker made it. 

The intensity of my father's love for this old home of his 
boyhood and of his filial affections can be attested by his children, 
who from time to time accompanied him on his visits to Walton ; 
while in his last years his conversation with them showed that his 
mind was continually reverting tenderly to this scene and the 
times of his earliest recollection, in which his father and his 
mother were the central figures about whom his thoughts revolved. 

His first school-teacher was Michael Cody, a Eoman Catholic 


Irish immigrant who had settled at Walton and established a 
boarding and day school for boys. He was an intelligent man, 
of fairly good education, and a successful teacher. His daughter, 
Margaret, widow of Henry Conlon, now eighty-two years of age, 
still resides in Walton, and has a clear recollection of " Doctor 
Dan " as a little schoolboy. She recalls also that she was present 
in his home in 1845 when his mother read from The Nova Scotian 
a paragraph announcing that he had won a gold medal at Edin- 
burgh. He was about six years old when he entered this Walton 
school, and he attended it for about six years. The school dic- 
tionary, a tattered volume, well thumbed by the boys and doubtless 
handled often by my father, is now a relic in our family. 

Francis Parker was a believer in " the gospel of work." The 
country schoolboys of those days, who innocently knew not foot- 
ball, baseball, hockey, or any other " sports " as the all-absorbing 
occupation of youth, though their games held due place in the 
economy of their lives, took their natural part in the work of the 
home and of their fathers' occupations. Accordingly, the boy 
Daniel, with his brothers, when at home throughout his schoolboy 
career, shared the labor of the lumber woods, the quarry and the 
shipyard to the best of a schoolboy's time and strength. 

In the year 1834, when he was twelve years of age, the boy 
was sent to the Collegiate School in connection with King's 
College at Windsor; but his stay there was brief, in consequence 
of his revolt against the system by which the College students 
fagged the Academy boys. He was appropriated as a fag by 
a collegian, a man nearly thirty years old and of low character. 
For refusing to black this fellow's boots the little fag was soundly 
beaten by him and then thrust headlong into a large wood-stove 
in one of the class-rooms, with the stove door fastened behind him. 
It was late on a winter's afternoon, and the embers of the day's 
lire still glowed among a mass of stifling ashes. He contrived 
to kick the door out of the stove and to escape to his room, after 
the bully had left him to shift for himself. A few minutes 
sufficed to pack up his wardrobe and books. With these in a 
bundle on his back, the enraged, high-spirited child set out in the 
dusk of evening to walk the twenty-five miles to his home. But 
as he passed through the college gate he was confronted by 
Dr. Porter, the College President, riding in, and who, divining 
his intention to run away, asked him where he was going. 
Reluctantly he was obliged to tell his story. " Come back with 
me," said the angry doctor, and he rode up to the front of the 
College, followed by the runaway. Just then, unluckily issued 
from a door the object of the President's wrath, the perpetrator 
of the. outrage. Leaping, in a passion, from his horse, the doctor, 
a large, powerful man, charged him with what he had done, and 

90 DANIEL McNEILL pakkek, m.d. 

hardly waiting for an answer, administered to the bully, in full 
view of College and Academy, a tremendous thrashing with a 
heavy dog-whip which he used when riding. The innocent cause 
of this disturbance of the scholastic calm of King's was ordered 
to return to his studies, but it is easy to understand how by 
petty persecution, secretly conducted, this disgrace of a public 
flogging endured by a grown man, and for such a reason, was 
avenged upon the unwilling cause of it, and why, at the end of the 
school year, the youngster who had the spirit to challenge the 
fagging system and to persist undaunted in his defiance of it 
while he remained at Windsor, was removed from that school 
by his father. The late Alfred Haliburton, Sergeant-a't-Arms 
of the House of Assembly, a schoolmate, backed my father in this 
campaign for liberty, and being a redoubtable pugilist for his age, 
more than once thrashed a collegian at Windsor on his behalf. 

While there, Daniel used to be a visitor at " Clifton," the 
home of Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton, who was then 
publishing in the Nova Scotian his famous " Sam Slick " 
papers. Francis Parker was an intimate friend of this founder 
of the school of American humor. I have a book on " Parish 
Law " (published in 1743) which the judge sent by our young 
schoolboy as a present to his father in 1835. The book had 
belonged to Judge Isaac Deschamps, noted in Provincial history 
for the charges of maladministration of law preferred against 
him in the year 1778 ; and it had been purchased from him by 
W. H. 0. Haliburton, " Sam Slick's " father, who was a judge 
of the Court of Common Pleas. The title page bears the auto- 
graph of both these former owners. 

During his school days at Windsor my father made occasional 
visits home, when he would usually walk the whole way, taking 
short cuts through the Newport woods. On one of these walks he 
encountered a wildcat which disputed his passage; but after 
a brief encounter he succeeded in driving off the beast with a 
cudgel and came out unhurt. To point a moral, he was wont 
to tell how, driving home from Windsor for a vacation with an 
Irish servant of his father, he made his first, and last, attempt 
at smoking. The Irishman treated him to a cigar which made 
him in a few minutes so horribly ill that, as he lay groaning 
in the bushes by the road side, expiating the offence against 
his stomach, he resolved never to try smoking again; and he 
never did. 

In the autumn of 1835, or early winter, he went to Horton 
Academy, at Wolfville, where he was a student until November, 

The Rev. John Pryor was Principal of the school. In a 
letter to one of the Presidents of Acadia College, written in 1899, 


referring to the old Academy, my father says : " Isaac Chipman, 
whose life was so sadly ended in the Basin of Minas, was one 
of the Assistants. I became much attached to him, and he was 
a valued friend during my sojourn at the Academy, and was one 
of my Nova Scotia correspondents at a later period while I 
was pursuing my professional studies at the University of Edin- 
burgh. He was a quiet, unassuming Christian man, of marked 
ability, and a born naturalist." 

Among his school-fellows there were, James Forman, who 
became a distinguished engineer; P. C. Hill, for some years 
Provincial Secretary and leader of the government; his brother, 
George Hill, long rector of St. Paul's, Halifax; John P. Mott 
and William J. Stairs, who both attained distinction and wealth 
among the merchants of Halifax; Alexander James, who became 
Judge-in-Equity of Nova Scotia; and Charles Tupper, distin- 
guished in the foremost rank of Canadian statesmen. 

We recall the close, affectionate and life-long friendship 
between these men and my father, founded upon the strong bond 
of school associations and schoolboy experiences. He retained 
many other such school-bred friendships with men in humbler 
walks of life, and not different in kind or strength. 

William B. C. A. Parker, of Crimean fame, whose memory, 
conjointly with that of Welsford, is conserved by the monument 
in St. Paul's Cemetery at Halifax, was another fellow-student 
at Horton Academy. 

While at Horton he bore an active part in planting those 
now venerable ornamental trees which have since adorned the 
grounds of Acadia College. The boys of the Academy (the 
College was not yet founded) brought the trees in a scow or 
flatboat down the Cornwallis River from points near Kentville. 
Some of the fruits of these labors perished in the fire which 
destroyed the old College building in 1877, many have been 
cut down since in the process of what is thought to be " improve- 
ment," but a few yet remain as monuments to the memory of 
those Academy boys of William the Fourth's reign. The College 
fire consumed the old Academy building, which formed the 
central section of the College structure, and the old Academy 
boarding-house, in which my father lodged, went down in a later 
fire. Both were very familiar to the writer. 

Though always of studious habits, my father, while at Horton, 
indulged much in his favorite pastimes, shooting and fishing. 
Game was then abundant in the vicinity. The late Judge James 
and he were usually companions of the order of the gun, and 
they kept the Academy larder stocked with the various victims 
of their prowess. 

The course at Horton closed his academic education, so far 

92 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

as schools were concerned, and there he completed the subjects 
necessary for matriculation at the University of Edinburgh. 
There was no graduation ceremony or granting of degrees in 
those days at this school. The testamur closing his studies was 
merely this certificate: 

" This may certify that the bearer, Daniel Parker, has been 
for some length of time a pupil in the Horton Academy. And, 
being now about to leave, I have much pleasure in testifying 
to the good advancement he has made in his studies, as well as 
to his uniformly attentive, obedient, and studious habits and his 
correct moral deportment, while under my care. 

" Sgd. John Peyok, A.M., 

" Principal Horton Academy. 
" November, 1837." 

The reader familiar with the history of the old Granville 
Street Baptist Church, Halifax, and Daniel Parker's share 
in it, may find something pathetic in this certificate. 

The choice of medicine as a profession seems to have been 
made during the course of study at Horton, — at an early age, 
for he was but fifteen when he left school. That he was more 
than ordinarily mature for his years seems probable. But youth 
seems to have ripened, as a general thing, more rapidly then 
than now, when the distractions surrounding and worked into our 
schools of learning too easily tempt the student and retard his 
progress toward knowledge and manhood ; when play, degenerated 
into " sport," appears too often to usurp the place of first import- 
ance and threatens the reversal of the old adage into the form: 
" All play and no work makes Jack a dull boy." 

Two months or more were now spent at home, after which, 
early in the year 1838, medical studies were begun in Halifax with 
Dr. William Bruce Almon, a man distinguished in the profession. 
Pharmacy occupied much of the junior student's time in those 
days, and it was acquired practically in the drug store; for 
every physician was then his own apothecary. Dr. Almon's shop, 
with his offices attached, was located about midway in that block 
on the north side of Duke Street which extends from Water 
Street to Hollis Street, — a little east of the present Acadia Sugar 
Refinery office. The articles by which my father was bound or 
apprenticed to Dr. Almon are here given. The document will 
not be without interest to anyone for whom the Provincial his- 
tory of medical education, with its changed customs, has attrac- 
tions ; and certainly the quaint and now obsolete terms of his 
apprenticeship must interest the descendants of the boy of fifteen 
who by this instrument became wedded, as it were, to the pro- 
fession of his choice. 


" Indenture of Apprenticeship. 

" This indenture made the ninth day of February, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, between 
Daniel McNeill Parker, the son of Francis Parker, of Walton, 
in the County of Hants, and Province of Nova Scotia, Esquire, 
which said Daniel McNeill Parker is an infant of the age of 
fifteen years of the first part, William Bruce Almon, of Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, Doctor of Medicine, of the second part, and the 
said Francis Parker, of the third part, witnesseth that the said 
Daniel McNeill Parker at the desire and with the consent and 
approbation of the said Francis Parker hath and by these presents 
doth put himself apprentice to the said William Bruce Almon, 
to learn the science profession and practice of a physician, and 
the art and mystery of a surgeon, and the trade and business 
of an apothecary and druggist, and with him after the manner 
of such an apprentice to remain, continue and serve, from the 
day of the date of these presents for, and until the full end and 
term of four years thence ensuing and fully to be complete and 

" And the said Daniel McNeill Parker on his behalf, and 
the said Francis Parker in consideration of the promises herein 
contained, for himself his executors and administrators, do 
severally covenant and promise to and with the said William 
Bruce Almon, his executors and administrators, that during all the 
term aforesaid the said Daniel McNeill Parker his said master 
faithfully shall serve after the manner of such an apprentice, 
his secrets conceal, his lawful and reasonable commands, every- 
where, readily perform and obey, that? his said master's goods or 
estate of any kind he shall not waste, embezzle, purloin or lend 
unto others and will not suffer to be wasted, embezzled, pur- 
loined or lent unto others without giving notice thereof to his 
said master. That he shall not frequent taverns or ale-houses 
or play at any unlawful games or contract matrimony with any 
person during the said term, whereby or by means of any of the 
said matters his said master shall or may sustain any damage, 
loss or injury, that he shall not at any time by day or night 
absent himself or depart from his said master's service without 
his leave, but in all things as a good and faithful apprentice 
shall and will behave and demean himself to his said master 
during all the said term. And the said Francis Parker for him- 
self doth further covenant and promise that during the whole 
of the said term he will find and provide for the said Daniel 
McNeill Parker suitabfe board, lodging and apparel, will pay 
all rates, taxes and assessments made upon him, and will well 
and truly pay or cause to be paid to the said William Bruce 
Almon the full and just sum of one hundred pounds as an 


apprentice fee for the instruction which is hereinafter covenanted 
and agreed to be given to the said Daniel McNeill Parker. And 
the said William Bruce Almon for himself, his heirs, executors 
and administrators does covenant, promise and agree to and with 
the said Daniel McNeill Parker separately and also with the said 
Erancis Parker, his executors and administrators, that he, the 
said William Bruce Almon, shall and will during the said term, 
to the best of his power and ability, teach and instruct or 
cause to be taught or instructed the said Daniel McNeill Parker in 
the science profession and practice of a physician, and the art 
and mystery of a surgeon, and the trade and business of an 
apothecary and druggist within the Township of Halifax, accord- 
ing to the manner in which he, the said William Bruce Almon, 
now or hereafter during the said term does or shall practice, use r 
or carry on the said science, art and business aforesaid, and as 
fully and effectually as the said term of four years and the means 
afforded or to be obtained within the said Township will permit 
or allow the said Daniel McNeill Parker to be instructed in the 
science, art and business aforesaid. 

" In witness whereof the parties to these presents have here- 
unto their hands and seals subscribed and set on the day and 
year first above written. 

" Signed,, Sealed and Delivered 

" in the presence of 

" (Sgd.) J. W. Nutting. 

" Sgd. Daniel McNeill Parker (L.S.). 

" " Francis Parker (L.S.). 

" " William Bruce Almon, M.D. (L.S.). 

" It is understood and agreed that the said Daniel McNeill 
Parker shall at the end of three years with his father's consent 
have the option of ending his apprenticeship in order to complete 
his professional education. 

" Sgd. William Bruce Almon, M.D." 

In Halifax the young apprentice, for the most part, made his 
home with his great-uncle, James W. Nutting, who lived at 

95 Hollis Street, where the Nova Scotia Building Society is 
now located, and for a time he boarded in the old house on Bedford 
Row since occupied for offices by the law firms in which Chief 
Justice McDonald, Judges Rigby, Meagher and Drysdale, and 
their successors, were members. It came about that I began 
the study of my profession in the latter building, and for a time 
I occupied as an office the room in which my father slept at 
95 Hollis Street when a boy. This room, strangely enough, 


became his private office in 1882, while I was studying in what 
had been the other bedroom of his boyhood, on Bedford Row. 

The personal charm and character of Mr. Nutting, his fatherly 
solicitude and his instructive powers of conversation, taken 
together with the influences of the Nutting home, were forces 
which contributed to mould the character and form the mind of 
my father. They left indelible impressions for good upon him. 
He loved and revered this scholarly, polished, old school gentle- 
man and devout, God-fearing man as a second father. In public 
addresses, as in private discourse, I have known him many times 
to quote the sayings of Mr. Nutting and to impress upon his 
hearers some truth or lesson drawn from the life of his great- 
uncle, who indeed was a remarkable man. 

When Captain Marryat, the novelist par excellence of the 
navy and the sea, was much in Halifax as midshipman and 
junior officer, he and Mr. Nutting, then a student-at-law, were 
on terms of intimacy, and Marryat, when on shore leave, shared 
the other's lodgings. From Mr. Nutting my father received 
many amusing stories of Marryat's youthful days, which tales, 
together with incidents of Mr. Nutting's association with the 
author, kindled an interest in the Captain's writings which was 
never extinguished. When he was nearing his eightieth year I 
found him one day deeply engrossed in " Newton Forster," though 
little given to reading fiction since the times when Dickens and 
Thackeray, and even Scott, were new and read by everybody. 

Dr. Almon seems to have had only the one apprentice at the 
period now under review, but associated with him in the Duke 
Street apothecary shop were the late William A. Hendry, who 
became well known as a Crown Land Surveyor in after life, 
and a little negro boy, singularly named Dan Parker, who 
carried out the medicines and performed the menial offices of the 
establishment. This ebony namesake will appear again in the 

From the reminiscences of those first years of medical study 
I select one, illustrative of examinations for admission to practice 
seventy years ago in Nova Scotia. The first Medical Act in the 
history of the Province, that of 1828, entitled " An Act to exclude 
ignorant and unskilful persons from the practice of Physic and 
Surgery," was then in force, under which a Licensing Board, 
appointed by the Governor in Council, conducted these examina- 
tions. This was the system until 1856. The last members of 
this old-time Board were Drs. Edward Jennings, William J. 
Almon, and my father. Dr. W. B. Almon with two or three other 
senior medical men now conducted the examinations, in his office. 
They were altogether oral, and my father sometimes was 
privileged to listen to them, for his instruction. There were 


empirics, young and old, among the candidates; for the efficient 
Statutes of the Province regulating matters relating to the pro- 
fession were of later date and registration was as yet unknown. 

One evening there presented himself for examination a middle- 
aged Irishman, not long off " the sod," who had been professing 
to act as a doctor in one of the central counties, and had been 
summoned to Halifax to show his qualifications. His answers 
to elementary questions showed that he knew nothing of any 
medical or surgical subject, but his quick wit and powers of 
repartee repaid the amused and quizzical doctors for spending the 
evening in a; species of professional farce. They drew from the 
candidate many novelties in the practice of physic, and some 
discoveries in anatomy that would astound even a twentieth 
century surgeon. But his piece de resistance was that he, of all 
mankind, possessed the knowledge of a certain hair on the human 
head which, if pulled, would lift the palate; and he claimed that 
this discovery of his was so important to the profession and to 
suffering humanity at large as to entitle him to a license, by way 
of reward. He had a great shock of hair himself, brilliantly red, 
and one examiner gravely requested that he select from his own 
abundance the hair required and demonstrate the discovery for 
which medical science had long been waiting. " Ah, gintlemen," 
said he, " that wud be tellin ! " This saying of the Irishman 
was often used by my father to illustrate that species of quackery 
which professes the discovery of medical remedies, but declines 
to divulge the formulas, or ingredients, to the profession and 
the public. 

Beside being health officer of the port, Dr. Almon was the 
medical and surgical officer of the poor-house and gaol, and 
his apprentice would attend on him at these institutions for 
clinics.* There was no other hospital. Beginning with dentistry 
(tooth-pulling) and the letting of blood — the old school panacea — 
he soon began to try his 'prentice hand generally, in physic and 
simple surgery, by way of practice on the paupers and the gaol 
population, who were thought fair game for students. In his 
second year of study he was practically in charge there, as 
medical attendant. He too briefly refers to his experiences 
there in his reply to the address presented by the profession on 
his retirement in 1895. 

When leaving the poor-house one day with his master, an 
attempt was made on the latter's life by a demented man who 
cherished a grudge against Dr. Almon for some fancied injury. 

* The poor house was on the north side of Spring Garden Road, a 
little to the eastward of the site of the present Baptist church. The 
gaol, or bridewell, as it was called, stood about where the Baptist vestry 
now is and opposite the old theatre. 


The would-be assassin fired a pistol at the doctor, but another 
person at that instant, while coming out of the door, roughly jostled 
the doctor and stepped in front of him, just in time to receive 
the bullet. This individual paid for his incivility by being badly 
wounded ; but he recovered. 

The term of apprenticeship to Dr. Almon was prematurely 
ended by his death after two years' and four months' service 
had been performed. By this time the apprentice had become 
so necessary to the business of the drug store that the doctor's 
widow and family pressed him to remain and carry it on for a 
year or so, until the son William J. Almon (afterwards Dr. 
Almon, the Senator), who was then completing his medical 
studies at Edinburgh, should return to take up his father's practice. 
To this earnest request he yielded, and beside successfully con- 
tinuing the business (receiving one-fourth of the profits) he 
proved his capacity further by adjusting the books and realizing 
the credits of his late master's estate for the family. While con- 
ducting the drug store on his own responsibility he lodged around 
the corner on Water Street, in an attic room overlooking Black's 
wharf. This lodging-house, save for the present grog shop below, 
remains as it then was. 

In the summer of 1841, upon the return of Dr. William J. 
Almon, who had then obtained his degree, he severed relations 
with the Almons and returned home to study, chiefly by way of 
review for his matriculation at the University of Edinburgh. 
But he had worked so assiduously at Halifax that his health had 
become affected, and he was threatened by a weakness of the 
chest; so, under medical advice, most of the winter of 1841-2 was 
spent in the West Indies. He sailed from Halifax in a brigantine 
for Bermuda, after Christmas. 

An incident of the /voyage was the capture of a large man- 
eating shark, which he hooked, unintentionally, while amusing 
himself fishing for a porpoise during a tedious calm. A quick 
hitch of the line on a belaying pin, and the boy fisherman's 
presence of mind barely saved him from going overboard. Then 
followed a fight between all hands and the shark. After a long 
struggle, the line which held the monster was passed through a 
block aloft, a noose on another was slipped over the thrashing 
tail, this line also rove aloft, and with all the crew on the falls 
of both tackle, the shark was laboriously hoisted on board between 
the masts and lowered to the deck, where he was despatched with 
firearms and axes; but not without difficulty, for he was of 
immense bulk and his convulsive struggles about the deck made 
close approach dangerous. The student passenger now performed 
his first post mortem, and in the course of his examination he 
took from the stomach of his subject several knives, forks, spoons, 


98 DANIEL McNEILL pakkek, m.d. 

a tin plate or two and some smaller miscellany, swallowed, no 
doubt, among refuse food thrown from vessels which this scavenger 
of the sea had followed in the course of his business. 

In trying to make the harbor of Hamilton, Bermuda, the 
brigantine went ashore on a reef. The weather was calm, and, 
as the tide was low, the captain anticipated no difficulty in 
getting off at high water. But soon several boats, swarming with 
negroes, appeared. The captain, familiar with the island, recog- 
nized these visitors as belonging to a dangerous class of wreckers 
or land-pirates, formerly slaves, who, freed by British law a 
few years before, had become a menace to shipping and to the 
lives of seamen becalmed near the coast or becoming wrecked 
upon it. The blacks offered, politely enough, to come aboard and 
render assistance. But, forewarned by the experience of ship- 
masters who had suffered by this little by-product of the " Eman- 
cipation Act," the Nova Scotia master was fore-armed, and 
literally. When the leading boat had ranged alongside and the 
negroes made a show of coming aboard, willy-nilly, a dozen 
muskets suddenly rose over the bulwarks and looked the scoundrels 
in the eyes, and the captain threatened to fire if they touched the 
vessel's side. It was enough. The boats were scurrying to a 
more respectful distance when the captain recognized an elderly 
negro whom he had known to act as a pilot, and he ordered him 
to come on board, or he would fire on his boat. The order was 
obeyed, but the boat was kept covered by the muskets until it 
drew off again. The captain then very seriously and emphatic- 
ally gave this old rascal to understand that he was to pilot the 
vessel in at high water and that if she touched ground on the 
way he would be shot. They got off the reef, without damage, 
in the afternoon. With a fair wind, the terrified ex-pilot took 
them safely into harbor, having his memory and other faculties 
mildly stimulated by an occasional application of the captain's 
pistol in the region of the short ribs, and by exhortations in the 
language pertaining to the sea, with which the passenger did 
not charge his memory^ 

After a short stay in Bermuda the young voyager sailed to 
Jamaica, where most of the winter was spent. Obtaining a 
chance passage thither in a British transport carrying troops, 
he spent part of his time in the island of Nevis. There he lodged 
in the house in which Nelson was married thirty-four years before, 
Prince William Henry, afterwards William the Fourth, giving 
away the bride. My father was wont to indulge a little in hero- 
worship, in Carlyle's sense of the term. Who that is a man does 
not ? This house in Nevis, because it had been much fre- 
quented by Nelson, seemed to him, even in later years, a minor 
shrine to the memory of one of his few heroes, and the quarter- 


deck, great cabin and the cock-pit of the '"Victory" major ones, 
after he had visited that historic ship at a later period. Such was 
his pride in the achievements of Nelson and his emotion of 
reverence for Nelson's memory that I have known his voice to 
tremble and his eyes to fill with tears when, recounting the death 
scene at Trafalgar, he would come to the dying hero's request: 
" Kiss me, Hardy." 

While in the West Indies much of his time was given to 
study, and he accomplished much general reading. The residence 
there and the sea voyages had removed all apprehensions as to 
his health when he returned in the spring of 1842. 

He had previously made voyages, during school holidays, to 
Portland, Boston and other points on the United States coast. 
He was now to cross the Atlantic. Midsummer found him in 
Halifax making his preparations for Edinburgh. His father's 
capital being tied up in the Walton enterprises, it became neces- 
sary to borrow five hundred pounds, sterling, for the completion 
of his education. It speaks something for the friendships and 
the reputation he had made in Halifax that on applying to Mr. 
William C, a young man of independent fortune, to whom he 
was well known, the loan was obtained, and a greater amount 
pressed upon him, without even the security of a promissory 
note which was proffered, satisfactorily endorsed. The security 
was laughingly rejected by his friend, who remarked : " Pay me 
when you have earned the money, and say nothing more about it." 
Nor would he hear anything more about it. In the sequel, the 
loan was repaid within two years from the commencement; of 
the borrower's practice, with interest; and such was the lender's 
esteem for him that upon Mr. C.'s death, some years later, he 
appointed his young family physician the guardian of his infant 
children, a trust which continued for many years and to the 
burden of which was added tragedy, when one of the wards was 
murdered by Indians in Colorado. 

A Halifax firm of merchants had a ship at Pictou loading 
lumber for Glasgow, and a passage was procured. No floating 
hotels in the shape of steamships had then reduced the Atlantic 
voyage to a trifle for trippers. It is true the Cunard line had 
now for two years been running their four pioneer paddle-wheel 
steamers, known as " mail packets," on the round route from Liver- 
pool to Halifax, thence to Boston and back to Liverpool, but this 
novelty was a luxury for the rich. The voyages, too, could not be 
termed speedy. No railway existed in Nova Scotia. Pictou was 
two- days distant from Halifax, by coach. The medical students 
who crossed to the Old Country for their education remained there 
three years, the time required for their degree. Vacations were 
shorter than now, and if they had been longer, this particular 

100 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

student could have afforded neither the time nor the means for 
enjoying them at home. So, coaching it to Pictou, he embarked 
upon his three years' exile. 

The ship sailed late in July. There was only one other 
passenger. The voyage was very stormy, with head winds, 
and the heavily-laden ship made bad weather of it and slow time. 
Off the west coast of Ireland a gale was encountered. The vessel 
lost several spars and sails, her upper works were badly damaged, 
and the rudder was carried away. With much difficulty she was 
brought, leaking, into an Irish bay, where temporary repairs 
had to be made. The long voyage and this mishap delayed the 
student so that he did not reach Edinburgh until about the end 
of October. 

The matriculation examinations were passed successfully, 
and the hard grind of three years at the University and the 
Royal College of Surgeons was begun. In the following letter to 
Charles Martyr Nutting, written from his first lodging-place in 
Edinburgh, the student speaks for himself of his new work and 
manner of life as well as of his first impressions in that city which 
afterwards he came to love. This is the earliest of his letters 
which can be found, written when he was twenty years of age. 
One detects in its style a rather unusual maturity of mind for 
that age. The warm interest in the things of home, and in old 
friends, is characteristic of all periods of his life. 

f " Wilson's Lodgings,, 19 Salisbuey Street, 

"Edinburgh, January 2nd, 1843. 
" My dear Martyr : 

" Many thanks for the short epistle, and newspapers received by 
the two last Packets. I had been nearly two months in Scotland 
without receiving a single line from home, and was quite rejoiced 
at the sight of your letter and those that accompanied it. Your 
handwriting is so much improved that I did not know it and could 
hardly believe my eyes when I saw the signature. 

" The war between the Christian Messenger and the Honorable 
Joseph has been raging, I perceive, to a very great extent. I have 
seen the whole correspondence, as Tupper takes the Messenger. 
It will have the effect of opening the eyes of the Baptists of Nova 
Scotia as, to the real character of the worthy exciseman. It must 
be very annoying to your father as one of the editors of the paper 
to have his name brought before the public in such a manner. 

" I was rather surprised to hear of Miss Almon's marriage. 
Of course I expected that it was to take place, but did not think 
it would be so soon. The letter you spoke of was from the bride 
herself. It was a very kind one, giving me a short account of the 
wedding, etc. 


" I am extremely sorry to hear that Miss Ella has been obliged 
to leave the Province, and hope shortly to hear more favourable 
accounts of her health. The news contained in my father's letter 
was very satisfactory. He had just gained a lawsuit for rather a 
large amount, of which he felt somewhat doubtful when I was 
with them in Walton. On Friday, the 30th, his second came 
to hand. They were all well, at its date, the weather was cold 
and they had more than two feet of snow on the ground. How 
very different from this climate. Here we have had no ice as yet, 
the fields are quite green, and since my arrival there has not been 
one day cold enough to make an overcoat necessary. 

" I am glad to hear that Annand is doing well in my old place 
of business; did not know before that he was a married man. 
D. Parker Junr was discharged before I left the Province. 

" I am now very comfortably situated, and have commenced 

my studies in good earnest. It will have to be all hard work and 

no play with me while the Session lasts. I have a neat little 

parlour and small bedroom with very good furniture, one piece 

of which is a piano. Not being at all musical, as you are aware, 

it has been converted into a sideboard. Living entirely by myself 

was so very different from what I have been accustomed to, that I 

was very lonesome at the change until a Portuguese friend from 

Madeira called Da Costa proposed that I should live with him. 

He has been here more than a year, but in order to get a better 

knowledge of the language, lived for the first twelve months in 

a gentleman's family (a son-in-law of Mr. Innes, the Baptist 

minister to whom your father introduced me) after which he 

went to lodgings, and like myself was not at all pleased with the 

change. He was very desirous that I should go with him, but as 

he was paying nearly a pound per week for his room, I told him 

that I could not afford it. He then said that as money was 

not so much an object to him he would be very glad if I would 

go, and pay only a proportion of the living. Not wishing to place 

myself under an obligation to a person that I had only known for a 

few days, I refused, but told him, if he felt inclined, he could 

join me in my lodgings. He at first said they were entirely 

too small and, as I thought, had given up all idea of coming, 

but after some time told me that he could not live alone any 

longer, so we are now together. He is a very good fellow, well 

informed and musical. He plays the guitar, flute and piano, 

all remarkably well. If I had time to spare he would teach me 

the French language. Before he came I was paying 6s.. 6d. st'g. 

for my rooms. Now my proportion is but 4s. 6d. I am living 

very economically. How long Da Costa will continue to like it 

I cannot tell. The difference in his lodging bill alone will be over 

£30 st'g. per annum. We breakfast at nine o'clock and dine 


at four, the intermediate time being occupied in attending classes 
and dissecting. On the 24th our Christmas recess commenced, 
which ends on the 3rd January, to-morrow. Last year I spent 
a much happier Christmas than this has been, although my 
friends are very attentive and kind. Still, I am not in Nova 
Scotia. It is not observed at all in Edinburgh. Had it not been 
on Sunday, the business of the city would have gone on as usual. 
I dined on that day with Mr. Hunter Peters, the son of the 
Attorney-General of New Brunswick, who will pass and go to 
America in August next. A few evenings since I had a small 
party of six Nova Scotia students at tea. One was Dr. Gordon, 
of Pictou, who is married and in practice here. Another was 
James Forman, our old schoolfellow, who is learning to be a civil 
engineer in Glasgow, and came over to spend a few days with his 
countrymen. The remainder were medical students. The enter- 
tainment was, of course, a primitive one. I meet a large dinner 
party at an English student's rooms this evening, which, as the 
classes commence to-morrow, will wind up my gaiety until the 
end of the Session, for I find that parties and studies cannot, 
with me, walk hand in hand. 

" I am much pleased with Edinburgh, both as a medical school 
and a place of residence, but have seen very little of it as yet. 
Knowing that I have three years to remain I am taking it easy 
and intend seeing it by degrees. 

" There are yet seven months to come before the end of the ses- 
sion, at which time I intend visiting the Highlands, having received 
a very kind invitation from Dr. Gray, formerly of Fredericton, 
N.B., now of Inverness, to whom I had a letter of introduction 
from Mrs. Almon. Mr. Johnston gave me a letter to Dr. Duncan, 
of Dumfries, who invited me to spend the Christmas recess with 
him, but as it would have interfered with my studies and dis- 
secting I did not go. Will you ask your father to remember 
me to Mr. J. and thank him in my name for that, as well as the 
other letters he was kind enough to give me. 

" I perceive by the papers that the Gas Works are progressing. 
Should I arrive in Halifax at night three years hence I'm afraid 
it will trouble me to recognize it. I burn gas in my room, and 
am so much pleased with it, that I would rather pay double than 
be without it. 

" Remember me to Monk and give him my address, tell him 
to write. I would commence the correspondence but have to pay 
my debts by this Packet, which will take all my spare time. Will 
you tell . Dr. Almon that I have entirely forgotten the name of 
the paper he wished me to send him, but if he tells you, please 
mention it in your next. Tell him I am much obliged for the 
Times papers received by the two last steamers. In future he can 


direct them to 19 Salisbury Street. You can also mention when 
you see him that Bothwick and Cutler and Kemp the Chemist are 
dead, and that Hilliard is now the best surgical instrument maker 
in Edinburgh. 

" Shortly after my arrival I breakfasted with Mr. Innes. 
I attend his church in the morning and an Episcopal one in the 

" When you write, which must be soon, do not be afraid of 
making the letter too long. Many things that you perhaps may 
think too trifling to mention will, no doubt, interest me very 
much. If you cannot fill a sheet of paper make that lazy fellow 
Ned add something 

" Please remember me to the Almons, Twinings, Fergusons, 
Binneys, Lawsons, (do not forget Mary) Miss Hutchinson, Mrs. 
John Johnston, etc., etc. Those persons that you are not likely 
to see, tell Mary Ann that I will thank her to act for you in 
remembering me to them. 

" I enclose this in my father's letter as the paper is so thin that 
the two weigh less than !/2 oz -> consequently the postage will be 
the same for hpth as one. 

" When mentioning the Honorable Joseph in the first of this 
letter I forgot to state that my opinion of him exactly coincides 
with your own. Please direct to me in future as at the head 
of the letter. 

" I hope your grandmother enjoys good health this winter. 
Give my love to her, your father and all the family, also to Sophia 
and Letty. 

" Excuse haste, my dear Martyr, 

" And believe me to be, 
" Your affectionate cousin, 

" (Sgd.) D. McN. Pakkee," 

A word of explanation as to some persons named in this letter 
will assist some readers to a better understanding of it. 

" The Honorable Joseph " is Joe Howe, the Nova Scotia 
Tribune of the Plebs. " Tupper " is Charles Tupper, Howe's 
redoubtable antagonist in Nova Scotia politics, in days to come. 
He had preceded my father by a year, at Edinburgh. " Miss 
Almon " is a daughter of Dr. William Bruce Almon. " Annand " 
is a medical student. " D. Parker, Jun'r " is the negro boy 
who has been before mentioned. " James Forman " (junior) 
became chief engineer of the first public railroad built in Nova 
Scotia, and afterwards a consulting engineer in Glasgow. 
" Monk " is a brilliant young Halifax lawyer, who did not live 
to fulfil the promise of his youth. He was a son of Judge Monk, 


of the Supreme Court. " Mr. Johnston " is James W. Johnston, 
the future statesman and distinguished Judge-in-Equity. " Ned " 
is Martyr's brother. " Mary Ann," " Sophia " and " Letty " are 
three daughters of my father's favorite " Aunt Grant," a sister of 
James W. Nutting and wife of Michael Bergen Grant, who was 
the son of Captain Robert Grant, of Loyal Hill. These three 
girls and the children of Mr. Nutting were second cousins of my 

Martyr's " grandmother " is Mrs. Maclean, his mother's 
mother, a lady of about eighty at that time. The mention of the 
well-known Halifax families to whom the writer desires to be 
remembered indicates some of his early friendships and the homes 
which he used to frequent during his term of study in that city. 

When he penned the casual reference to the introduction of 
gas at Halifax the young letter-writer little dreamed that for many 
years in the dim future he would be a valued director of that 

What was the youthful Tory's opinion of Howe, hinted at in 
this letter, requires no speculation. 

There is a story of Da Costa, who is described in this letter, 
which, with a slightly different ending, might have affected the 
political history of Nova Scotia and of Canada by causing it to 
be written without the name and achievements of him who is now 
The Right Honorable Sir Charles Tupper, Baronet. Some time 
after the date of this letter he joined the student lodgers at 19 
Salisbury Street. Da Costa spoke English very imperfectly and 
was exceedingly sensitive about his mistakes. He was, moreover, 
of a fiery, passionate temperament, native to his blood, and of a 
jealous, revengeful disposition. He resented the intimacy between 
Tupper and my father, but more the ridicule which the former 
habitually cast upon his ludicrous blunders in English by repeating 
them in his presence for the benefit of the other students, and with 
no small powers of mimicry. 

One evening my father was at work in the study which he and 
the Portuguese occupied in common, when Da Costa rushed in, 
boiling with passion, and tore open a bureau drawer in which, as 
my father knew, he always kept a loaded pistol, after his kind. He 
had complained bitterly to his room-mate that day of the indig- 
nities put upon him by Tupper, and had been by turns moody and 
excited ; therefore when Da Costa, livid with rage, and muttering 
Portuguese imprecations, rushed from the room, pistol in hand, 
my father sprang to the door after him and was at his heels when 
he entered the room where Tupper was seated at a table with his 
books. The pistol was levelled at Tupper's head when my father 
sprang over the assassin's shoulders and seized the weapon by the 
barrel. Almost at the same instant Tupper, roused by a warning 


call, cleared the table at a bound and grappled with the man. The 
three went down together in a fierce struggle. My father wrested 
the pistol from Da Costa's grip, while Tupper choked him into sub- 
mission. The latter made the amende honorable for his conduct 
which, unwittingly, had brought about this scene ; the Portuguese, 
now thoroughly ashamed, was satisfied, and my father locked up 
the pistol in his trunk. Next day, domestic relations with Da 
Costa were severed, and he quit the lodgings. But his strong 
affection for my father, which had led him to share the humble 
quarters on Salisbury Street in preference to living in the style 
to which he was accustomed, remained unaffected, and the friend- 
ship between them lasted as long as they were fellow-students. 

A picture at ' " Beechwood " is connected with an incident 
which occurred at these lodgings. I refer to an oil painting, the 
central feature of which is an ancient mill on a Highland stream. 

Upon the floor above the student quarters there resided a young 
artist and his wife. He was the son of another Scottish artist, 
who had attained celebrity throughout Britain, and he himself 
was winning some distinction ; but he was now falling into dissi- 
pated habits, and intemperance was threatening the ruin of his 
career. One day my father heard* an unusual uproar overhead 
and the violent screaming of a woman. He rushed upstairs and 
found the young artist, crazed with drink, cruelly beating his wife. 
Under the impulse of the moment the medical student saw no other 
remedy for the situation but a punitive one, for he was himself 
savagely attacked for his interference ; so he administered to the 
husband a sound thrashing. This so far restored him to his 
senses as to make him conscious of what he had been doing. He 
was a gentleman, and the sudden knowledge that he had struck a 
woman, and that woman his wife, of whom he was very fond, 
while it further sobered the man, filled him instantly with deep 
shame and contrition. The medical student used the opportunity 
to follow the physical remedy with wholesome, kindly counsel and 
the offer of his friendship, both of which were well received by 
the other, who gave a remorseful promise of amendment then and 
there. They had never met before, but from that day became 
fast friends. The promise was kept, the artist's work prospered, 
and the young couple of the upper floor entered upon a new and 
uninterrupted happiness. Grateful appreciation on the part of 
husband and wife ripened, upon further acquaintance, into a warm 
admiration for the student and a devotion to his welfare and com- 
fort. Ere the latter left Edinburgh the artist took him into his 
studio, hung with many specimens of his art, and begged that his 
friend, to whom he confessed that he owed both happiness and 
prosperity, would select what pictures he might fancy and accept 
them in token of gratitude and affection. As might be expected, 

106 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

despite the protests of the painter and much urging on his part, 
the student selected only one — the smallest of the collection. 

When he lay in the " Beechwood " parlor, forever silent, and 
ready for the tomb, some sixty-three years afterwards, this little 
painting looked down upon its owner in silent testimony to a 
service and an influence by which, when but a boy, he had been 
the instrument of saving two young lives from degradation and 
sorrow to prosperity and joy. 

Later in his course my father lodged on Rankeillor Street ; 
but there were too many medicals there whose nocturnal habits 
and boisterous conduct were incompatible with serious study by 
their neighbors. This street was pre-eminently a medical student 
quarter. The gentry of that ilk dominated its life and contested 
with the police the title to its proprietorship. They regulated its 
customs and fashions, even in such minute details as permitting 
no Rankeillor Street cat to wear more than one inch of tail. The 
ambitious Nova Scotian, who was there to work to the best of his 
time and ability, burdened, too, with the extra duty of clinical 
clerkships to Sir Robert Christison and Sir James Y. Simpson 
in the Royal Infirmary, thought it advisable now to abandon the 
customary student quarter altogether, and as his health was feeling 
the effect of too close application, he removed out of town to the 
little hamlet of Duddingstone, by the loch of that name. The 
daily walk by way of the Queen's Park afforded fresh air and 
exercise, of which he had been depriving himself too long, and the 
change proved beneficial for work and for health alike. 

In 1871 he showed to his children the rooms which he had 
occupied in these various lodging-places, and I well remember 
his pleasure in revisiting them. 

The friendship with Charles Tupper which had been con- 
tracted at Horton Academy was further cemented by the two years 
which they passed together in Edinburgh. His friend graduated 
in 1844. Their Sunday excursions into the delightful surround- 
ings of the city, teeming with historical associations, were often 
recalled by my father with delight. That such rambles were not 
in accord with the Scottish Sabbatarianism of the period he used 
to illustrate by telling how, when swinging down the High Street 
one fine Sunday afternoon, whistling as they went, they were 
rebuked by a small boy who, gazing at them open-mouthed, 
exclaimed, "What! whustlin' on the Sawbuth!" 

His own career there was not marked by striking incident for 
story-telling, for he adhered most strictly to the routine of work, 
and in after days could never say with Justice Shallow, anciently 
of Clement's-Inn : " O, the mad days that I have spent !" But 
he had a fund of anecdote concerning his contemporaries who 
walked less rigidly in the narrow way of serious study. How 


some of them set Edinburgh in an uproar by robbing churchyards 
for dissecting purposes when the supply of material from legiti- 
mate sources fell short ; how others desecrated a royal tomb, which 
he once pointed out to me in Holyrood Abbey, to procure some 
specimens for osteological uses, but could get only one whicH a rat 
had carried out from the depositary too strong for them, — and 
other stories both gruesome and amusing, — it would be going 
beyond the record to set out in these pages. 

Some of his vacation or recess time was occupied with the 
special work in the Royal Infirmary, already alluded to. One 
summer recess was spent in recuperation at Rothesay, on the Isle 
of Bute, in delightful travel among the western isles, the original 
homes of his McNeill ancestors, and in the Highlands. This was 
done under medical advice, because of overwork. But he read 
much while he rested or supposed himself to be resting. Appli- 
cation to professional study had become a passion with him. That 
it was so always, and how hard a thing it was for him to rest and 
do nothing, even in periods supposed to be devoted by him to 
recreation, we of his family can bear testimony. The dolce far 
niente was an art he could never acquire. 

Through the quality of his work at Edinburgh he attracted 
the personal attention of Professors Simpson, Christison, Miller, 
and others of his teachers. Sir James Y. Simpson was particu- 
larly kind to him in a social way, and he was a frequent visitor 
at the home of this great man and greatly beloved physician. 
The friendship with the father descended, as it were, to the 
nephew, who likewise became a celebrated professor of the Uni- 
versity. Entertaining at breakfasts was then a feature of Edin- 
burgh social life, and my father was wont to meet at breakfast in 
the Simpson home, and other like homes, with many celebrated 
men. It was through the introduction of Sir James that he made 
the acquaintance of the venerable Dr. Thomas Chalmers and 
became a guest at his house, where on one or more occasions he 
met at breakfast distinguished Scottish divines and other celebri- 
ties of the day. It was his rare privilege to witness the culmin- 
ating scene of the Disruption in the Established Church of Scot- 
land, in ^November, 1843, when the kingly Chalmers led out the 
solemn, heart-stirring procession of seceding clergy. For Dr. 
Chalmers, as the outcome of personal intercourse with him, he 
cherished the strongest reverence and veneration, as for a prophet. 

At Edinburgh, as before at Halifax, this medical student, at 
the irnlpressionable period of his life, was fortunate in the social 
circles where he moved. His natural endowments of personal 
grace and charm of manner were no doubt cultivated and enhanced 
by early and close association with that culture and refinement 
which pertained to the friends of those early years and to the 

108 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

homes amid which his lot in society had been cast. Doubtless, 
likewise, such youthful association with men of large calibre and 
elevated types of character, while stimulating his native ambition, 
contributed to form his mind, to enlarge his conceptions and to 
mould his character. 

An illustration of the progress of surgery since the early 
forties, and another of examination methods in the University 
at that period (happily of an exceptional character), and we must 
pass with him from the years of preparation to those of his pro- 
fessional career. 

Discussing the vermiform appendix and the clangers incident 
to its situation, a very learned and distinguished surgeon on the 
staff of the Royal College, in a lecture to my father's class, raised 
the question of abdominal surgery, a thing that had not been 
attempted, and he said with much emphasis : " Gentlemen, any 
surgeon who would attempt to open the abdomen should be indicted 
for manslaughter." The attempt, it was then taught, could result 
only in death. The appendix itself was jocularly disposed of by 
the lecturer as an inexplicable anatomical curiosity, with a possible 
Malthusian function for maintaining the death rate, with the 
natural assistance of cherry-pips and the like. Long before the 
fashionable operation for " appendicitis " had become a newspaper 
joke my father used to quote the dictum of his professor with 

The Professor of Botany at the University was a quaint and 
elderly savant of the species that would now be classed by the 
always irreverent student as " cranks." His hobby was to conduct 
his classes on botanizing tramps through the country on Saturdays 
— when there were no lectures — for what he was pleased to call 
practical work ; and any student who cut these expeditions incurred 
his sore displeasure. My father was one of the offenders against 
the hobby, and habitually so, for the benefit of what he deemed 
more serious work. When he presented himself in July, 1845, for 
his degree examination in Botany, an altogether oral test, and was 
called in his turn to the examination chamber, he saw the old pro- 
fessor consult two lists of names, and he surmised that he was 
marked for severe treatment. But he was not prepared for what 
followed : " Well, Mr. Parker, what flora do you find in the glen 

on the farther side of Loch , on the Fenlenick road ?" " I 

cannot say, sir; I was never there," was the hopeless answer. 
" That will do, Mr. Parker," and the student left the room know- 
ing he was plucked. But the same spirit that was in the school- 
boy who resisted the fagging system at Windsor was roused in the 
man of twenty-three by this absurdity of injustice, and he prepared 
to fight. He waited until the pass-lists were posted. He stood 
well up on all save in Botany, and there his name was absent. 


Then he called on various members of the Medical Faculty, by 
all of whom he was esteemed as a student of unusual parts and 
industry, and to them he stated his case. They took the matter up 
and it was put before the Senate. Summoned to appear before a 
committee of that august body, he was asked to relate his examina- 
tion experience in Botany, and to explain why he had cut out the 
Saturday excursions, which, it must be stated, were not obligatory 
upon students. The committee had his record and the testimony 
of his other professors before them. The idiosyncrasy of the 
examiner was well known, so much so that it was not thought 
necessary to consult him; but he had not hitherto carried it to 
this serious • and vindictive extremity. The plucked student was 
then asked : " Have you done the practical work in the Botanical 
Gardens required ?" " I have," he answered, " and I am prepared 
to be examined on that and the lectures, at a moment's notice." 
" Well, sir, you are passed," said the chairman, after consulting 
his colleagues. The committee was so seized by the humorous 
aspect of the case that they concluded it with a joke on the Pro- 
fessor of Botany himself. His pass-list was sent for, and then and 
there the name of " Daniel McNeill Parker " was added to it, by 
a sort of pious fraud; after which it was re-posted. It does not 
appear whether the old botanical gentleman ever heard of this 
summary procedure to right the wrong he had worked; but the 
incident had some bearing upon his retirement from the Faculty 
not long afterwards. Though the rejected student of Botany 
could join in the humor of his judges when they disposed of his 
case, it had been no fun for him previously ; for, had he not 
obtained this redress he would have lost his degree and been obliged 
to go up for another degree examination a full year later. 

He received in July the diploma of L.R.C.S.E. from the Royal 
College of Surgeons, and on the first day of August (1845) the 
degree of M.D. from the University. 







A printed copy of the M.D. pass-list for 1845 with this son- 
orous caption lies before me. Seventy-nine names appear upon 
it, arranged in alphabetic order, with the title of each graduate 
doctor's thesis set opposite his name and country. England, 
Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isles of Man and Anglesey, Nova 
Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Bermuda, Barbadoes, India, Prussia and 


Russia are represented here. " Parker, , Daniel McNeill, Nova 
Scotia, On the Mechanism and Management of Parturition," form 
two lines in this catalogue of youth's achievement, hope and prom- 
ise. There was one other Nova Scotian, James Allen. One reads 
it as a casualty list in life's battle now. " Nomina eorum !" Few 
of them there are, in this tenth year of another century, that could 
not be found graven upon some monument more enduring, at 
least, than this souvenir of my father's graduation, which I dis- 
covered among his papers after his spirit had passed on with the 
majority of his classmates. 

Among these men, some of whom established great professional 
reputations, there was no more interesting personality than Wil- 
liam Judson Van Someren, who, after many years in the military 
medical service, spent principally in India, whence he had come 
as a medical student, became the chief of the service in the British 
army. He was of the Havelock and Hedley Vicars soldier type, 
a spiritually-minded man whose deep-seated religious convictions 
and devout life answered to my father's in after years, when the 
two veterans, having retired from professional activity, resumed 
their correspondence of an earlier time in a series of letters which, 
I regret, are not available for production here. 

Within a few days after being " capped " Doctor in public 
convocation, my father made his first visit to London, where he 
completed his supply of books and surgical instruments and also 
purchased his stock-in-trade for the opening of an apothecary's 
shop in Halifax. Proceeding then to Liverpool, his eager voyage 
home was made in a packet of the Cunard Line — his first expe- 
rience of steamship travel. Arrived in Halifax, the return to the 
Walton home and " Doctor Dan's " reception there, with the plea- 
sures of a holiday for much-needed rest, must be left to the 

Soon there appeared in The Acadian Recorder and The Chris- 
tian Messenger the following notification to the public : 

" CARD. 

" Dr. Parker, graduate of the University, and Licentiate of the 
Royal College of Surgeons, of Edinburgh, intends practising Medi- 
cine in its various branches, in the city of Halifax, and may be 
consulted at his residence, No. 8 Hare's Buildings, near the Pro- 
vince Building. 

" Drugs and Medicines. 

" Dr. P., having procured from London a supply of Drugs, &c, 
has opened an establishment at his residence above named, where 
he will keep constantly on hand a large assortment of Medicines, 
as well as all other articles usually sold at Drug Stores." 


18J>5 to 1861. 
" In devotion to duty you have the great secret of life." — Gladstone. 

We are not without assistance in attempting to picture, with 
its surroundings, the first place of business and residence of the 
young doctor of twenty-three, now upon the threshold of life's task 
— to " earn his bread and butter " (to borrow a phrase of his) and 
to do what good he could in the world while passing through. His 
old and valued friend, Dr. T. B. Akins, in his " History of Halifax 
City," writing of the year 1821, says: " The old wooden range 
known as Cochran's building, which occupied the site of the present 
Dominion building, had been only lately vacated by the Legislative 
Assemblies and the Courts of Law, and was now being fitted up for 
shops. Among those who first occupied shops in this building 
were Winkworth Allen, who afterwards went to England, Mr. 
David Hare, who afterwards became the purchaser of the property ; 
W. A. Mackinlay, on the north side, and Clement H. Belcher, at 
the north-west corner, both well-known stationers and booksellers, 
occupied their respective shops a long time, the latter for more 
than twenty years. At the opposite corner, to the south, on Hollis 
Street, stood a large three-story building erected .by the late James 
Hamilton, who carried on an extensive dry-goods business. It was 
afterwards sold to Burns & Murray, who erected the present hand- 
some freestone edifice on the corner. Mr. William A. Black kept 
his watchmaker's establishment at the corner below, now occupied 
by the P. Walsh Hardware Co." On the corner of Hollis and 
George Streets, where the Royal Bank building now is, we learn 
from the same authority, stood in 1845 "the handsome freestone 
building erected by the late Martin Gay Black. . . . Opposite, 
near the Province Building rail, was the old town pump, known 
as Black's pump, remarkable for its good water, where dozens of 
boys and girls might be seen towards evening getting water for 
tea. . . . Mr. Benjamin Etter had his watchmaker's shop at 
the corner of George and Barrington Streets, now known as Cross- 
kill's corner, in the same old wooden building, which has since 
undergone extensive alterations." 

In 1845 the site of William A. Black's watchmaker's establish- 
ment had become the place of business of the firm of W. A. & S. 
Black, founded by him. The other conditions of the locality, as 


112 DANIEL McNEILL parkek, m.d. 

above described, remained substantially unchanged at this date. 
1 have noted here what is said of the Blacks and Mr. Etter because 
they enter into our family history. 

" The Dominion building," occupying the site of Cochran's, 
afterwards Hare's, buildings, will be better recognized by younger 
readers as the Post Office. 

Number 8 Hare's buildings, the " establishment " and " resi- 
dence " designated in the advertisement I have quoted, was situated 
on the Cheapside front, and, as located for me by my father, stood 
where the main southern entrance to the Post Office now stands. 
It consisted of a quaint little shop, lighted by one small-paned 
window ; a consulting-room or office in the rear, looking into a tiny 
space by courtesy termed a courtyard ; a front room upstairs which 
served as living-room and bedroom; a combined dining-room and 
kitchen off this, in the rear ; and a sort of closet attached to that, 
large enough to hold a truckle bed for that same " Dan Parker, 
junior," who had served in Dr. Almon's drug store under the other 
Dan, and had now enlisted in his service. This " junior partner," 
as the young physician's familiars facetiously called him, combined 
in himself the functions of " chief cook and bottle washer," shop 
attendant, wielder of the pestle, errand boy and general domestic 
servant. Furnish the shop, as full as its meagre dimensions per- 
mit, with the diverse and many-odored stock-in-trade of an old-time 
'pothecary; the office with all the books and surgical equipment 
it can contain, compatible with the existence of a writing-desk and 
a few chairs ; the upper rooms with the bare necessities for living, 
throwing in two or three extra plates and accompanying utensils of 
the table for an occasional guest, — and you have an interior view 
of the material res angusta domi during the earliest years of 

Of his competitors in the field of practice at that time, and the 
conditions attending the work of the profession in the city and 
beyond, he has himself spoken in the address of 1895, which will 
be found at a later page. 

In the very nature of things it is not to be expected that this 
narrative should attempt anything like a record of his work as 
physician and surgeon, or an estimate of his professional ability 
and worth. Though occasional instances from the former may 
appear, yet, in the main, both must be illustrated, but in the most 
general manner, by the testimony of others and by the professional 
reputation which he established and which will long adhere to his 
honored name in Nova Scotia and beyond. 

Medical practice came to him at the outset and increased in 
volume with unusual, even marvellous rapidity. There was no 
anxious, discouraging period of waiting, usually so oppressive to 
the beginner. On the contrary, patients awaited him. He was 

1845 TO 1861 113 

well known in Halifax already, and had many influential and 
solicitous friends. Mature in appearance beyond his years, with 
a self-reliance that was begotten by knowledge of himself, he 
inspired confidence in others, even in practitioners of long standing, 
so that his services as a surgeon were called in requisition earlier 
in his career than is usually the case with juniors in the profession. 

Then, and for some time afterwards, he knew well what prob- 
ably no living surgeon now knows — the horrors of surgery when 
anaesthetics were unknown; nor can even surgeons of the present 
day imagine the " nerve " and the will-power required in the per- 
formance of operations of any duration in the forties, — the ex- 
haustive drain upon an extremely sensitive nervous system and a 
tender, sympathetic spirit like my father's. I cannot attempt to 
portray surgical operations at that period which he has described 
to me, but the instance given in his address of 1895 may be sup- 
plemented in a few lines. The subject was a large, unusually 
powerful man. The operation was the removal of half the lower 
jaw, which had to be sawn through at the chin and dislocated at the 
socket. As usual, all the brandy that the patient could swallow 
was administered. At a critical moment his struggles broke the 
straps which bound him to the heavy deal operating table. He 
leaped to the floor, and half naked, his body crimsoned with blood, 
fought his way to the door, to escape into the street. The medical 
students in attendance fainted and fell about the room. Special 
attendants, engaged for such an emergency, overpowered the 
wretched man upon the floor, where they lay upon his arms and 
legs, while, seated across his body, the surgeon completed the 
ghastly work, the patient shrieking " Murder !" and frightful im- 
precations, so that the hideous clamor brought an excited crowd 
and the town constabulary to the door. 

That he came at once into public notice and showed, from the 
beginning, public spirit and deep interest in what pertained to the 
moral and intellectual uplift of his fellow-citizens, — a disposition 
which was characteristic, — is evinced in his connecting himself 
with the work of the Halifax Mechanics' Institute within a few 
months of his settlement there, and becoming one of its managers. 
This was a new movement then, an English institution which 
spread through many of the colonies and had a considerable edu- 
cational value. Its lecture courses were popular in Halifax and 
were open to the general public, by whom they were largely 
attended. He delivered, in these courses, the following lectures : 
" Respiration," in the session of 1845-6 ; " Vitality," in the session 
of 1846-7; "Instinct and Mind," in the session of 1847-8; and 
two lectures on " The Circulation " (of the blood), in the session 
of 1848-9. The manuscripts of these lectures have been found, 
but on account of their volume it has been thought inadvisable to 


114 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

include more than two of them in these pages. These will be found 
in the Appendix " B." They are all alike scholarly in matter and 
style, while the mode of presentation is admirably adapted to the 
instruction of a general audience. When he delivered the first of 
these lectures he was but twenty-three years of age. 

Endowed with social gifts of a rare order, a vivacious and 
attractive conversationalist, interested in every subject which 
affected his fellow-men, delighting to enlarge in a discriminating 
manner the circle of his friendships while he drew to himself the 
comradeship of many through his admirable qualities of mind and 
heart, he soon came to fill a conspicuous place in Halifax society. 
He formed many friendships in the garrison and the navy, and was 
a frequent guest at mess dinners, and aboard ship, in gun-room and 
cabin. Strangely as it may read to those who knew him in later 
life, he was not unknown as a participator in those social functions 
called balls, and has been heard to own his attendance at a mas- 
querade ball in the cotton-duck and palmetto costume of a West 
India planter. The early association with young army and navy 
officers thus formed led to many friendships with men who returned 
to the Halifax station in after years distinguished by high rank 
and by achievement in their professions. 

But keen as was his enjoyment in the social life of the garrison 
town and naval station, he found that the profession to which he 
was wedded was a jealous mistress, and that with him, as he used 
to say in referring to this period of his life, " it must be one thing 
or the other." What he had said in an Edinburgh letter, quoted at 
a previous page, still held good : " I find that parties and studies 
cannot, with me, walk hand in hand." So gradually he weaned 
himself from the allurements of social pleasures that he might 
respond with unstinted loyalty to the increasing and imperative 
demands which his growing reputation in the profession was 
making upon his talents and his time. Not that he would, or could, 
totally suppress his social instincts, but subordinate their grati- 
fication to duty — an attitude of mind and a practice which through- 
out life he always maintained. 

During the first twenty years of his career, or thereabouts, 
he was a contributor to the Edinburgh Medical Journal, one of the 
first-rank periodicals in the medical world, writing chiefly upon 
cases, both medical and surgical, occurring in his own practice. 
His first article for the Journal, an account of an unusual surgical 
operation he had performed, was sent to Dr. James Miller, one of 
his professors in Surgery at the University, during the second year 
after graduation. The Professor's letter, acknowledging receipt 
of the article says, after discussing the subject-matter : u The case 
does you infinite credit and will appear in the next number of the 
Journal." The writer then proceeds to warn the young surgeon 

1845 TO 1861 115 

against repeating the operation, and states facts as to unsuccessful 
attempts to perform it at Edinburgh, showing that at that time it 
was rarely successful and was considered daring. Yet this particu- 
lar operation succeeded, and the operation, in general, has become 
common. Another instance of surgical progress since the forties. 
This letter concludes by expressing the satisfaction with which its 
writer and his colleagues of the Faculty had heard of their late 
pupil's health. " We were somewhat afraid of your chest when 
you left us," adds the Professor. 

Later in life, when the accumulated burden of practice was 
taxing his time and strength to the utmost and he was more and 
more engaging in philanthropic and business directorships, he 
wrote less, though occasionally he furnished contributions to med- 
ical magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. In January, 1870, 
he became a corresponding editor of The Canada Medical Journal, 
in conjunction with Dr. Canniff, of Toronto, and Dr. William 
Bayard, of St. John, and continued on this editorial staff for some 
years. For obvious reasons no particular account of his work for 
the literature of his profession can be presented here. There was 
much of it, yet his time was so absorbed by other labors that he 
found less opportunity for this congenial task than most prac- 
titioners capable of undertaking it. 

He had so prospered in less than eighteen months of practice 
that the diminutive quarters in Hare's Buildings were outgrown. 
Sometime before his marriage, which occurred on June 10th, 1847, 
he had rented and furnished a three-storied wooden house on the 
east side of Granville Street, located upon or adjoining the site 
now occupied by A. & W. MacKinlay's shop. The house was of 
moderate size and there was accommodation for the drug business 
on the first floor. It was one of a row of residences, some of 
which had shop fronts, for, as yet, merchants and professional men 
deigned to live over their places of business. The imposing row 
of lofty buildings on the opposite side of the street had not then 
appeared. The southern end of that block of Granville Street was 
known as Romans' corner and was the home of the Romans family. 
From there, northward, there were dwelling-houses and small 
shops, intermingled, as far as Ordnance Square. To this Gran- 
ville Street home my father brought his bride, and there he resided 
for about three years. 

His next home was the brick house on the east side of Hollis 
Street which became afterwards the residence of the Le ISToir 
family. With several others, it was built by Judge William Hill 
and his brother after the " Haliburton fire " of 1816 had swept 
away the original wooden buildings of that block and the western 
side of Bedford Row in the rear. In my school days this house 
remained as it was when rented and occupied by my father. 
The ground floor has since become converted into a shop. 


The drug store business was now abandoned, and the apothecary 
work, confined to the preparation of his own medicines, was 
carried on in a dispensing room. Dr. Alexander F. Sawers, who 
died in June, 1853, lived next door. Across the way, at the 
corner now occupied by J. C. Mackintosh & Co.'s building, stood 
old St. Matthew's Church, which was burned in the great fire of 
New Year's Day, 1859. 

Here, in the month of August, 1852, he endured a very seri- 
ous illness, of typhoid fever, and his life was despaired of. While 
he lay unconscious, grappling with death, his wife gave birth to 
her only child, and within a few days afterwards passed away. 
It was several days after her burial ere the stricken husband 
regained consciousness and passed the crisis of his disease, and 
many more elapsed before he knew that while conscious existence 
was blotted out for him, his wife had entered through the portal 
where he lay but whence he had returned, — returned to find her 
gone, but leaving him love's legacy of a son. An old patient of 
my father has told me how the whole town seemed moved by a wave 
of suffering concern while this domestic tragedy was enacting; 
how, at a word from an attending physician, men heaped the 
roadway high with straw to still the noise of traffic, rough carters 
would not pass that way, and the people, suppressing conversation, 
tip-toed by the house. 

It was in May of this year that he had become a member of 
the Granville Street Baptist Church, where he was baptized by 
the Reverend Edmund A. Crawley, D.D., then in his second 
pastorate there. 

My father appears to have habitually attended that church 
from the time of his first residence in Halifax. His early associa- 
tion with the Nuttings, Fergusons, Johnstons and other families 
of the seceders from St. Paul's who had attached themselves to the 
Reverend J. T. Twining, curate and garrison chaplain, when he 
was dismissed by the Rector, would naturally be the preponderat- 
ing influence upon my father in his selection of a place of worship 
in Halifax. His parents, at home, in 1852, and for some time 
after, remained adherents of the Church of England, in connec- 
tion with which he had received his early religious nurture. 
He was thirty years of age when he assumed the obligations of 
membership in a church, and had been married about five years. 
That he deferred this step so long, living, as he did, so closely 
connected with leading men and families of the Baptist denomina- 
tion, is an indication of that lofty conception of church obligations 
and of the serious responsibilities attaching to a public profession 
of religious faith and practice which was characteristic of him. 
He could not lightly take this step. His cast of mind and morals 
emphasized the ethical basis and import of religion. Profoundly 

1845 TO 1861 117 

thoughtful from boyhood in regard to the soul life, and reverential 
in spirit and conduct towards the things of religion, it may be said 
that what is called, in the spiritual sense, a Christian, he always 
was. But to avow himself such in the sense of uniting publicly 
with any body of Christians meant for him much thoughtful 
deliberation and a careful investigation of the Scriptures. His 
becoming a Baptist by profession was not marked by any such 
sudden emotional experience as is often expressed in the word 
" conversion." It was a process in the development of his spiritual 
life which arrived with the conviction that by taking this public 
stand and enlisting for service with an organized force in the 
Kingdom of God he was doing his duty toward God, that he could 
accomplish more for his own inner life and for the righteousness 
which would exalt others. No influence beyond his own conclusion 
from prolonged study of the New Testament affected his choice of 
a church. 

Touching his attitude and sentiment regarding religion, — 
after his death I found in a note-book which he used when in 
Virginia in the year 1883, the following extract from the corres- 
pondence of a great lawyer prominent in the history of that State, 
William Wirt. I give it here, because it reflects something of his 
own religious opinions. If it had not, he would not have trans- 
cribed the quotation among other matter, from various sources of 
his reading, which I recognize as harmonizing with his own senti- 
ments. " I do not think that enthusiasm constitutes religion, or 
that Heaven is pleased with the smoke of the passions any more 
than with the smoke of rams or bulls. There is a calm, steady, 
enlightened religion of the rational soul, as firm as it is temperate, 
which I believe is the religion of Heaven. Its raptures are those 
of the mind, not of the passions ; its ecstasies are akin to fhose of 

That his assumption of church membership was early followed 
by that active discharge of the more public religious duties in the 
community which marked his later years, is illustrated by the 
circumstance that, on the 10th of December, 1853, he was one 
of fourteen citizens of Halifax who met and organized the Halifax 
Young Men's Christian Association, modelled on the London plan 
which was originated in 1844. 

It was in this period of his life that eager, as always, to pro- 
mote the public interests of Halifax and of the Province, he con- 
nected himself with the work of the Halifax Horticultural Society 
and of Industrial Exhibitions. As a member of that Society he 
gave of his means and time to the work of reclaiming the waste 
portion of the Halifax Common, now transformed into the beauti- 
ful Public Gardens for which Halifax is famed. It had been a 
mere bog in which the water was oozing up in every direction. 

118 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

Froiiu this feature of its natural condition, and in imitation of 
the famous London pleasure resort of that name, it was called 
" Spring Gardens." The project of the Society, or Company, 
was to make a pleasant place of resort, with the hope at the 
same time that by its horticultural products and through musical 
and other entertainments the property would be self-sustaining 
and perhaps yield a small profit for further improvement. The 
boggy land was drained, and to a large extent filled in with 
new soil, fruit and ornamental trees and shrubbery were planted, 
and under the care of James Hutton and another experienced 
gardener named Irons, who preceded him, much was done to 
beautify the place. Croquet lawns and an archery ground were 
laid out, military bands played once or twice a week, and other 
efforts were made to attract the public. In this the Society 
succeeded; but as an investment the project could not pay its 
way. Early in the seventies the public-spirited proprietors sur- 
rendered their lease of the land and freely gave up their improve- 
ments, with their shares in the Company, to the city. Thus 
they laid the foundation for the Halifax Public Gardens. 

When the first of the world's great Industrial Exhibitions 
was promoted at London, under the presidency and active guidance 
of Prince Albert, my father was associated with his old friend, 
the Reverend Alexander Forrester, D.D., of educational fame, 
as a commissioner of that undertaking, for this Province. In 1850 
and 1851, he worked with great energy and considerable expendi- 
ture of time in arranging for, assembling and transporting the 
exhibit made by Nova Scotia. In testimony of these services he 
received the Prince Albert Medal, with a certificate of the award 
signed by the Prince Consort. 

The medal bears, in low relief, the bust of the Prince, 
with the superscription : " H.R.H. Prince Albert, President of 
the Royal Commission." On the reverse is inscribed : " For 
services, Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, 
1851." The certificate reads: 

" Prince Albert Medal. 

" Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, 1851. 

" I hereby certify that Her Majesty's Commissioners have 
awarded a Medal to D. Parker, for the services he rendered to 
the Exhibition. 

" Sgd. Albert, 
" President of the Royal Commission. 

"Exhibition, Hyde Park, London, 15th October, 1851." 

1845 TO 1861 119 

When, in 1852, in consequence of a lecture delivered by 
Dr. Forrester before the Halifax Mechanics' Institute, it was 
first proposed that an Industrial Exhibition for Nova Scotia 
should be held at Halifax, it was natural that its promoters should 
seek the services of those who had been commissioners of the 
London Exhibition. Accordingly, Dr. Forrester became the 
chairman of the Executive Committee of Commissioners, and 
my father the vice-chairman. 

The official report of this Executive Committee of the first 
Provincial Exhibition, which was formally opened by the Lieuten- 
ant-Governor, Sir Gaspard Le Marchant, on October 4th, 1854, 
and continued the nine following days, in the Province Building 
and the squares at either end, is of much interest. 

" The Executive Committee directed their first attention 
to the enlightenment of the public mind relative to the advantages 
likely to accrue to the Province at large from such an under- 
taking." In the course of this preliminary work, in January, 
1852, there appeared in The Provincial magazine (volume 1, 
number 1) conducted by his friends, the Misses Katzman and 
Mr. and Mrs. George E. Morton, an article by the Vice-Chairman, 
entitled, " Industrial Exhibitions Necessary as a Progressive Ele- 
ment for the Advancement of Nova Scotia." This article is pre- 
sented in full, a little further on, as an example of the writer's 
literary style and of his force in advocating a cause to which his 
energies were devoted. A second article from his pen, to the same 
purpose, entitled, " A Few Words about our Exhibition," is found 
in the February number of The Provincial for 1853. 

Says the report, in speaking of the opening day : " The morn- 
ing was ushered in by the bells of the various churches in the city 
ringing ' a loud and merry peal,' and a salute of twenty-one 
guns fired on the Grand Parade by the Volunteer Artillery, under 
command of Major James Cogswell." At noon, an immense 
procession formed on the Parade, marched through the principal 
streets, and proceeding to Government House to receive the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, conducted him to the Exhibition, where he was 
received by a military Guard of Honor. It is a little difficult to 
picture my father parading the streets of Halifax with the Com- 
missioners, preceded by the Axe Fire Company and followed 
by the band of the 76th Regiment. Among the Societies in this 
procession we find the African Abolition Society and the African 
Friendly Society, composed of gentlemen of color. The whole 
was led by the band of the 72nd Highland Regiment, whose pipers, 
and another band, were also in the line. 

The total number of exhibitors was 1,260, and the total number 
of articles received for exhibition was 3,010. Two immense 
exhibition tents which covered the ground at either end of the 


Province Building cost £460. The funds were raised by popular 
subscription, supplemented by a Legislative grant. Among the 
prize winners the following names are of interest to our family. 
Samuel G. Black (5 prizes for sheep, 1 for woolen fleeces, and 
another for mangolds) ; Charles H. M. Black (1 for honey in the 
comb, another for a bee-hive) ; Mrs. W. L. Black (1 for best wax 
flowers) ; and James McKay, " gardener to Hon. W. A. Black " 
(a number of prizes for various vegetables). Francis R. Parker, 
of Shubenacadie, who has figured in this narrative, appears as 
a judge of sheep. 

It is to be feared that, as compared with the evening enter- 
tainment features now presented at our Provincial Exhibitions, 
those provided and appreciated by our fathers would be deemed 
queer, and quite inexplicable, by most moderns. They belong to 
the days of Mechanics' Institutes, and a popular taste for intel- 
lectual culture. Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in Mis. 
Note a contrast here, and choose between the old and the new. 

" With a view to rendering the exhibition still more attractive 
and instructive," says the report, " provision was made by the 
committee for the intellectual entertainment of visitors. Several 
evenings were appropriated for this object." There were lectures 
and addresses on the following subjects: " The religious prin- 
ciple viewed as an element of National prosperity," by the Rev. 
James Robertson, A.M., Rector of Wilmot, " a subject well adapted 
to impart a healthful vigor to the whole course," the report 
comments. " The Benefits of Industrial Exhibitions," by Dr. 
Cramp, of Acadia College. " The Minerals of Nova Scotia," by 
J. W. Dawson, Esq., of Pictou (afterwards Sir William Dawson, 
Principal of McGill University). " The Horticultural and Agri- 
cultural Capabilities of Nova Scotia," by the Hon. Provincial Sec- 
retary, and the Hon. H. Bell. " Application of Science to Agricul- 
ture," by Rev. Mr. Robertson. " Rural Economy," by Hon. 
Joseph Howe, who also at a " Festival " or banquet, on another 
evening, read a poem entitled " Our Fathers," prepared by him 
for the occasion. " The Coal Fields of Nova Scotia," by J. W. 
Dawson, Esq. " Chemical Affinity " (" accompanied by a series of 
successful and beautiful experiments"), by James D. B. Fraser, 
Esq., of Pictou. One evening was given up to a public discussion, 
free to all, of the following subjects: 1. "Should orchards be 
encouraged in Nova Scotia, and what is necessary to be done 
with a view to their improvement ? " 2. " Should the growth 
of the turnip be extended, and what is the best mode of treat- 
ment ? " 3. " What is necessary to be done in order to lessen 
the amount of manual labor in the Province ? " 

Yet, with all this serious order of things, lighter forms of 

1845 TO 1861 121 

entertainment were not unprovided for, as we learn from the 
report : 

" Besides the opportunities afforded for literary improvement 
already noticed, the committee took every available means of 
securing innocent amusement and recreation for persons visiting 
the exhibition. Among these may be enumerated a handsome dis- 
play of fireworks, which came off under the direction of T. A. 
Parsons, of Boston, Massachusetts, at the Governor's Field 

" "A regatta, conducted with much spirit, 

took place on the same day, under the patronage of their Excel- 
lencies the Lieutenant-Governor, the Naval Commander-in-Chief, 
and the General Commanding." 

My father's enthusiastic interest in this exhibition, the ser- 
vices he rendered in its behalf, and the historical interest attach- 
ing to first things, will be thought sufficient reasons, I hope, for the 
extended notice given the event in these pages. 

The first article in The Provincial, promised at a previous 
page, here follows : 


Necessary as a Progressive Element, for the Advancement 

of Nova Scotia. 

The Great Industrial Exhibition of all Nations has closed its 
doors. The Crystal Palace has emptied itself of the thousands 
of human beings who for months took shelter within its trans- 
parent walls. The wealth of the sunny South, of the frozen 
North, of ancient Europe, and young America, so long warehoused 
in glass, has been transferred to more substantial tenements of 
wood and masonry. The " Mountain of Light " no longer there 
collects, and again reflects, with dazzling brilliancy the rays which 
emanate from that great source of light and life, the mightiest 
diamond of the firmament above us — no longer enchained, does 
it play with the sun by day, and the stars by night. In its 
adventurous career, yet another change has taken place. Now, as 
" the brightest gem in England's Crown," it adorns the brow of 
England's much loved Queen. 

The Commissioners have all but terminated their Herculean 
labors ; nought now remains but dome and walls, where but a few 
short months before all within was beauty, life, enchantment, a 
scene of fairyland — variety has been supplanted, sameness reigns ! 
Yet these bare walls stand forth a monument of England's 
greatness, an index of her vast resources. An English mind 
originated, English minds and capital as if by magic erected her 


Crystal Palace, a structure as vast in its proportions as was the 
object which gave it birth. Well may England be proud of her 
Paxtons and Hendersons, her engineers, her architects, and con- 
tractors, for they constitute much of her present glory, power and 

The exhibition is past and gone! Not so its memory and 
effects. When the sun in its diurnal course shall cease to illumine 
the home of the Anglo-Saxon, then and then only, will this great 
triumph of peace, science and skill of the 19th century, be blotted 
from the world's history. Its results have been, and will be, too 
grand and momentous not to be handed down to posterity. When 
the names and sanguinary victories of men like Wellington and 
Nelson shall have faded from the memory of man, or be only dimly 
impressed there, the World's Fair of 1851, and its effects, will 
still be vivid and indelibly engraven on the tablets of his mind. 
Centuries hence it will be discussed as the greatest fact of the 
present age. 

The events so recently enacted in connexion with this great 
display, might well be designated a " Congress of Peace," for in 
England's Capital working on the same platform, side by side, 
stood men opposed to and hating each other (in their own domains) 
with a bitter hatred. The Russian and the Turk and Austrian 
and Hungarian, with other most discordant material, on British 
ground laid aside the gall and wormwood of his nature. The past 
was forgotten in the present — evil passions and influences were 
a hsorbed by, and sunk deep in, the vortex of a virtuous Maelstrom. 
The watchwords of Republicans, " Unite, Egalite, Fraternite," 
seemed for a time to have an actual yet bloodless existence in 
monarchical England. The plague, invasion by foreign Socialists, 
and all the prophesied evils of the timid, that were to be the con- 
comitants of this great event, vanished into empty air. All went 
smoothly, successfully on, because, a kindly Providence seeing that 
the work was for good and not for evil, smiled on it, and in wisdom 
directed that it should be thus. 

On this great and unique occasion, the land we live in, Nova 
Scotia, was an interested party. Let us briefly glance at her con- 
tribution, and at the position she there assumed, and from it learn 
wisdom, and how to act, should we ever again be called on to take 
part in a similar display. 

Scarce a twelvemonth has elapsed, since crowds of people, old 
and young, rich and poor in a steady stream, for three consecutive 
days took their course across the Parade to gain admission to 
the Museum of the Halifax Mechanics' Institute, for the purpose 
of viewing the contribution in question. Some were satisfied, 
more apparently delighted, while others again spoke of the meagre 
appearance of the show, and with dissatisfaction in their looks 

1845 TO 1861 123 

shrugged their idle shoulders at the thought of the contrast so 
shortly to be made between Nova Scotia and the world at large. 
The exhibition, although perhaps creditable to the Province as 
a first effort, fell far short of what it should have been, or what 
it would have been, had the sympathies of the people been enlisted 
in the undertaking ; or had they been aroused to exertion and com- 
bined action, by a proper conception of the advantages that a 
vigorous and noble effort on their part would have effected for their 
native or their adopted land. Like the foolish virgins of Scripture, 
the people of Nova Scotia slumbered, while the inhabitants of other 
countries, with their lamps trimmed, labored and put forth their 
best efforts to excel, and to render services the most valuable to the 
land that claimed them. Science and the arts have thanked them, 
the enlightened men of the present age do homage to the people 
who by mental toil and manual labor have thus added to the general 
store of human knowledge. 

The entire contribution was gratuitously transmitted to Eng- 
land, by a whole-hearted and generous son of Nova Scotia,* and 
although arranged to the best advantage, was insignificant when 
contrasted with other departments. Comparatively few, of the 
many thousands who entered that great emporium of the wealth, 
industry, and science of civilized nations, stood to examine and 
admire our country's productions. Why was this ? We reply : 
because, Nova Scotians were not awake to their own interests. 
Here was a glorious opportunity proffered them, for informing the 
world that their country was civilized ; that she had a climate other 
than Siberian; that her natural resources were abundant, were 
endless ; that within her territories and her waters were contained 
those great and essential elements, which being properly developed 
and directed, must lead to wealth and greatness ; that she lacked 
only in three things, science, capital and labor! We again ask, 
why was advantage not taken of this almost golden opportunity? 
The response is — Bluenose wrapt his robe (the manufacture of 
another country) around him, and said " It will require an effort. 
If the world wants to know what Nova Scotia is made of, let the 
world come and find out !" 

How fallacious the doctrine; what folly is embraced in this 
brief reply! Yet as to character, how much truth. 'Tis this 
lack of energy, this want of mental and physical exertion, that 
retards our progress, that keeps Nova Scotia becalmed and 
anchored while other countries and other people are being wafted 
onwards, with all sail set, o'er the sea of prosperity. We observe 

* The Hon. Samuel Cunard, who forwarded the articles per steamer, 
freight free, thereby saving what would have been a Provincial charge 
Of £150. 


them " hull down " in advance of us — but to follow, " to raise the 
wind " and weigh anchor, would require — an effort ! — 'tis easier 
to remain " in statu quo."* 

These remarks explain the cause of our Provincial deficiency 
on the occasion to which we have reference : 

Out of the 250 or 300,000 inhabitants said to be contained 
in Nova Scotia, not more than ten or twelve individuals beyond 
the limits of the city came to the assistance of the Committee 
appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor. Without this aid, small 
though it was, the efforts of the Halifax Board would have been 
abortive, and our Province would have been entirely unrepresented 
at the "World's Fair." 

It may be said that Nova Scotia did well, when contrasted 
with New Brunswick, from whence nothing was forwarded. The 
fact of New Brunswick having been asleep when it should have 
been at work, cannot be pleaded as an excuse for our lethargy. 
The example of a man who does no good in life, cannot consistently 
be followed by his neighbor. Instead of restricting his efforts 
(as it but too frequently does) it should, on the contrary, prompt 
him to increased exertion. In the case in point, New Brunswick 
speedily discovered her error, and forthwith neutralized it, by 
applying a proper and most efficient remedy, the same that we 
shall presently prescribe for Nova Scotia. 

Pass the borders of New Brunswick and enter Canada, — see 
what her population effected. 

The Canadians viewed the thing in its proper light, saw its 
importance, made an effort and succeeded, beyond the expectations 
of the most sanguine. They opened their purses, contributed their 
money. The masses moved; the man of science, the merchant, 
and the artisan went to work. There was energetic and combined 
action, resulting in the best and greatest display of her industrial 
resources that Canada ever witnessed. These crossed the Atlantic 
under the charge of a special agent, who tastefully fitted up his 
department, and displayed to the utmost advantage the wares 
of this country. Canada absorbed, almost undivided, the interest 
of the thousands who were anxiously examining the productions of 
the North American Colonies. 

The Canadian as he viewed the daily crowd of men from almost 
every nation of the earth, scanning and admiring the contribu- 
tion of his country, inwardly ejaculated, " Canada, I'm proud 
of you ! " While doubtless hundreds of intending emigrants, who 

* The above strictures are only applicable to Nova Scotians taken 
collectively. Individually, more especially when removed from the con- 
tagious region and home influence, he is another person — a man, in every 
sensB of the word, and one, too, perfectly capable of competing with his 
fellow man in any country, sphere, or business. 

1845 TO 1861 125 

visited the exhibition, and were undecided as to the course they 
should pursue, finally concluded, after scrutinizing her products, 
her science and her skill, and contrasting these with those of other 
Colonies, that thither they would embark their capital and them- 
selves — that Canada should be their future home. 

Would that Nova Scotia had by a similar effort attracted the 
attention of the world. She had the materials, human, natural 
and artificial. To demonstrate this fact, would have cost her an 
effort, — she dozed while the opportunity passed. 

'Tis said, that an opportunity lost cannot be regained. The 
saying is here verified, but while mourning over the deficiencies, 
the losses of the past, hope points with a cheerful countenance to 
the future. 

Every disease has its remedy. Nova Scotia, although partially 
paralyzed, may yet be made to move with activity. All that she 
wants is strong stimulus, which will act on her population, moving 
her mental, and through it, her physical material: not in the 
accustomed " jog trot " fashion of old, but with rapid strides, 
quick jumps, — a stimulus that shall cause energy to supplant 
lethargy; motion, paralysis. 

It is not to be expected that any one agent in itself should 
prove a perfect Panacea, and remove a disease so formidable and 
of such long duration as that to which allusion is here made; but 
we would suggest, as a partial remedy, a stimulus that will pervade 
the whole Provincial organism, and cannot fail in the end to 
prove largely beneficial to all her varied interests. 

We have reference to Periodical Industrial Exhibitions, com- 
mencing in the Capital, and moving in regular order through 
every county in the Province. Not on a paltry, diminutive scale, 
but comprehensive, the result of thought, labor, and much pre- 
paration embracing and representing every interest, every pro- 
duction, whether natural or artificial, which the Province and its 
human talent can be made to yield. 

We fancy we hear some of our countrymen say " It's all very 
well to talk, but the thing cannot be done, it would require much 
effort, we are too young and altogether unprepared for such a 
work." Our answer to such a man, would be, if you will not aid 
in the attempt, don't thwart, but move aside and give place to 
those who have the energy and disposition to advance the general 
welfare and interests of the land. 

Can the thing he accomplished ? We say yea ! Do you, 
reader, say the same ? We know you do ! Let the rich man and 
the poor, the professional man and the mechanic, in town and 
country, in village and hamlet, cry in earnest, and in unison — it 
can be done, and it shall be done, — and the thing is accomplished. 

The first attempt will be good, and the second better, the 


third and subsequent ones, aided by the experience of the past, 
will be a credit to the Province ; and when again Great Britain or 
any other country extends to us a similar invitation to that of 
1850, Nova Scotia will stand forth, fill her department, and assume 
that position which Nature, when endowing her, intended that she 
should occupy. Nova Scotians will then have performed their 
duty, and given to their country a world-wide and an enviable 

What good will accrue to us. as a people, by a series of these 
Exhibitions ? Innumerable and incalculable advantages will 
result, as must be apparent to every thinking mind, from such 
undertakings. To a few of these let us briefly turn our attention : 
1st. They will be a direct means of demonstrating to ourselves 
the real intrinsic value of our Province. We daily hear its 
resources spoken of in glowing language : " The Resources of Nova 
Scotia," is a familiar phrase in every man's mouth. Yet how few 
there are, who have a just conception of their nature, extent or 
worth. Vague and indefinite ideas, founded on no practical know- 
ledge, have possession of men's minds in relation to this matter. 
Let us then demonstrate, first, to the people, the masses of Nova 
Scotia, and afterwards, when an opportunity offers, to the world 
at large, what our Province is actually made of, what its real 
resources are. Do this effectually, and ere long emigration from 
our shores will be heard of only as a past event. The ebb will 
have ceased, the flood tide will have commenced. Then, the stream 
will be turned once more into its proper channel, the interior of 
the country will be settled, the back woods will ring to the stroke 
of the emigrant's axe, while all, both within and without, will be 
vigour — life — advancement. 

2nd. What a stimulus it will be to the producing and mechani- 
cal portion of our community. The plough, the anvil, and the 
loom, will all be worked by hands, and directed by minds anxious 
to excel. There will be a generous competition, that great incen- 
tive to human action. Nova Scotians will first compete in this 
race with each other, then with their neighboring Colonists ; and 
in the end, they will be schooled and prepared to enter the lists 
with the " wide world." 

Already have our iron, steel, and fur, in the first grand contest 
of nations carried off the highest prize.* 

* Extract from a letter addressed to the writer by a gentleman in 
London: "They have awarded Mr. Archibald two prizes of the first 
class, which speaks volumes for the excellence of your products. Indeed, 
it may be taken as a fact beyond dispute, that the iron and steel of Nova 
Scotia .is second to none that the world can produce. These samples are 
the very first of your manufacture, and yet they stand successful with 
the like productions from countries boasting a reputation of centuries. 
The only country that can pretend to compete with Nova Scotia for steel 

1845 TO 1861 127 

Let this fact nerve our minds and arms for future action, 
let us move onward, in the right direction, and when another such 
opportunity is offered us, our " first class " prizes will not be 
doled out by twos and threes, but be scattered wide, by the dozen, 
through different sections of the land. 

3rd. Being made familiar with the actual natural wealth of 
our country, and having new life and vigor infused into our 
palsied system, men's minds will be directed to the development 
of these resources; to rendering them practically available, for 
the advancement of their own pecuniary interests. These exhibi- 
tions will thus tend to produce manufactories, a lamentable 
deficiency in our land. Those now in existence will be improved 
and extended, while others, not yet born, will annually spring 
up and flourish, not " like the flowers of the field," but perman- 
ently, exerting an influence widespread and expansive, and not 
to be appreciated by us in our present depressed and infantile 
state. Another result, as certain to follow the contemplated 
movement, may be briefly alluded to. 

It will open up new markets for our productions, from 
unexpected quarters. A practical example or two will best 
illustrate this position. A naturalist of Nova Scotia* put up 
three small cases of insects, with his accustomed taste and skill , 
which were forwarded to the London Exhibition. These, as well 
as several cases of stuffed birds, sent by the same gentleman, at 
once attracted the attention of parties interested in the study of 
Natural History. The insects were purchased from the agent at 
a large advance over the Nova Scotia price. Since then, orders 
have been received from England for a number of cases at the 
same highly remunerative prices. At the recent New Brunswick 
Exhibition, many articles were disposed of at the manufacturers' 
charges, previous to their removal from the building, and doubt- 
less new and extensive orders originated from the display in 

The great seedsmen of Edinburghf fitted up a large case con- 
taining all the seeds, roots, etc., indigenous to Great Britain, 

and iron is Sweden andi there fuel has become so scarce that the quantity is 
yearly diminishing. There is abundance of every element in your 
province to supply the world, and when properly developed, to make 
your little country one of the most prosperous under the sun. There is 
a medal awarded to the Nova Scotia committee for a choice collection of 
skins. Mr. Robinson, I believe, was the contributor. While the quality 
of your iron cannot be surpassed by any yet discovered, it is said that 
the same remark applies to your fur and skins. Mr. Robinson's collection 
in London was superior to that of the Hudson's Bay Company, Russia, or 
any there exhibited." 

* Mr. A. Downs, Junior. 
fMessrs. Lawson & Sons. 


valued at £150 stg. and sent it to " the World's Show." It had 
not been long there before the firm received orders for similar 
cases from the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, and 
other crowned heads of Europe. No doubt, that single package, 
there exposed to the gaze of the world, will be the means of putting 
thousands of pounds into the pockets of these enterprising men. 
Hundreds of parallel instances might be quoted in connexion 
with the history of the World's Pair for 1851. 

To treat this subject here, in all its beneficial relations, would 
be impossible. We will only further refer the reader to the effects 
of such exhibitions as illustrated in the experience of the United 
States, where -nearly every city, town and village of importance, 
has its " annual show," as it is there called. Ask the American 
citizen his opinion of such displays, and he will tell you that they 
have exerted, and still continue to exert, a wonderful influence 
for good — that they infuse vigor, a spirit of enterprise and 
emulation into the minds of all classes — that they act as powerful 
levers to elevate morally, socially and intellectually, the people of 
the Union. How could it be otherwise ? What these exhibitions 
have done for the United States, they will do for Nova Scotia, if 
her sons and daughters will it. 

Were the pros and cons equal, which is most assuredly not 
the case, the mere additional circulation of money should be an 
inducement, and turn the scale in favor of such exhibitions, in 
these times of depression and langour. In England, immense 
sums were expended by travellers alone, who were drawn thither 
by the great sight of the age — the departed exhibition. Every 
class benefited by it; even the remote corners of the empire felt 
in this, if in no other way, its beneficial effects. The same 
remarks are applicable in a minor degree, to New Brunswick 
and her recent show. The late Railway Jubilee was, it is esti- 
mated, a clear gain to the city of Boston of $100,000, that 
amount, over and above the expenditure, having been left behind 
by travellers and guests. 

how are these exhibitions to be originated, and what 
Body will Constitute the Moving Power? 

In St. John, N.B., the Mechanics' Institute took the initiative. 
The same thing has been recommended here* ; and as there is 

* The Rev. Alex. Forrester in a most patriotic and powerful address 
recently delivered before the Halifax Mechanics' Institute, took this 
ground but at the same time recommended that large additions should 
be made from without the Institute, and that every interest in the pro- 
vince should be represented in this central board or moving power. Mr. 
Forrester has been the first person in Nova Scotia to propound publicly 
the necessity of these institutions. May his call be responded to. 

1845 TO 1861 129 

much to be said in favor of the suggestion, we trust it will be 
adopted. Let then, a board of commissioners be organized, con- 
sisting of some of the leading men of the Mechanics' Institute, 
one or two members of Government, members of the Legislature, 
and of the Agricultural Society. These, with representatives 
from the various professions and trades in the Province, might 
constitute " a Central Board." They should be men of influence 
who have the best interests and welfare of the Province at heart, 
and who would not hesitate to labor in a cause of such importance. 
Under their directions in each county, local boards could be 
organized consisting of the most intelligent, scientific and practical 
men of the different districts. With the addition of one or two 
travelling agents, who by their acquirements and knowledge would 
be capable of delivering lectures, and exciting an interest among 
the people, the above would constitute the working machinery, the 
lever that would raise the mass. 

Where are the Funds to Come From ? 

The money requisite to efficiently carry on the work, would be 
considerable, but it would not all be required at the offset. There 
are three sources from whence it could be derived: 1st, from 
private contributions. A love of country, or patriotism, would, 
we trust, induce the more wealthy to give their pounds, the 
middling classes their shillings, and the poor man his pence. 
2nd, from the Provincial chest. The principle has been con- 
ceded here, as in the other colonies, that for great and important 
works, calculated to benefit the whole people, the government 
or legislature may make liberal advances from the public treasury. 
And what object more important, I would ask, than the one 
under consideration ? It is difficult to name it ! For such con- 
tributions or advances, both the private individual and the Pro- 
vince would receive in return more than compound interest — 
if not directly, certainly indirectly. Sooner or later, they would 
be the recipients of a ten-fold reward. Lastly, the fees for admis- 
sion would probably be large. The money thus obtained on the 
first two days, at the recent show in New Brunswick, more than 
paid for every expenditure, the erection of a Miniature Crystal 
Palace 60 feet by 120, included. While, to ascend from small 
things to great, the London Exhibition at its close left in the 
hands of its executive a surplus fund of some £200,000 or 
£300,000, stg. 

With facts like these before us, on the score of money we should 
not hesitate; the pecuniary difficulty will have no existence. 


From Whence will Come the People to View our 

Productions, and to Furnish this Revenue, Assuming 

that the thing is successfully completed ? 

From every section of the Province. If we enlist the sym- 
pathies of the masses, obtain their assistance, and the results of 
their labor, will they be content to hear of the exhibition only 
through the press ? Certainly not. They will by hundreds come 
to the Capital, or elsewhere, to view the work of their own hands. 
Again, if these industrial displays are established on an extensive 
scale, strangers will come from afar. The other Colonies, and 
doubtless the United States, will furnish large parties, if proper 
arrangements for conveying them hither be made. Cheap pleasure 
excursions originating in St. John, induced hundreds to visit 
the late show there, from Nova Scotia, Canada, Boston, Portland 
and other parts of the United States. This ingress of strangers, 
while it will extend to other countries a knowledge of our resources 
and capabilities, will act as a stimulus to those more immediately 
interested. We will be aware that the eyes of North America 
are fixed on us, which fact will prompt us to increased exertion. 

Nova Scotians ! shall these exhibitions be attempted ? Argu- 
ment, example, everything speaks loudly in their favor; let us 
cast aside our lethargy, make but an effort, a vigorous effort, 
and a Provincial Industrial Exhibition for 1852 will be attempted 
and concluded with honor to ourselves and our country. Let the 
Government and its head, the Bench and the Bar, and all these 
occupying high places in the land, step forward and say " We 
will aid in the undertaking, not with a feeble voice, but with all 
our strength, with our influence, our interest, and if required, 
with our money." Then will be seen the farmer and the naturalist, 
the carpenter and the smith, in short, representatives from every 
trade and profession in the Province, joining in the chorus of " a 
long pull and a strong pull, and a pull all together." Periodical 
Industrial Exhibitions will not be viewed through the mists of the 
dim future, their present advantages will be felt, they will be fixed 
and established facts in our Colonial History. These, with other 
elements of progress, which are attainable and within our mieans, 
being once adopted and developed, adversity will retreat, pros- 
perity will be the victor. The happiness induced by success, will 
displace those feelings of envy, discord and disappointment which 
are engendered by a want of it. Nova Scotia will be progressively 
elevated — and " Bhienose " her son, while contemplating the 
change effected in his condition, will once more fold his robe, 
now of home manufacture, around him, survey the work of his 
hand, and express his grateful acknowledgments to that all-wise 
Providence, which prompted him in the hour of necessity to make 
an effort to redeem his country from obscurity and depression. 

1845 TO 1861 131 

To return to domestic affairs. It was in the spring or summer 
of 1853 that the purchase of the Dartmouth cottage property was 
made and the cottage built. This was designed to be a summer resi- 
dence for the child, Johnston, with his nurse, and a place of retreat 
for himself, when work would permit. The Misses Katzman, to 
whom reference has been made, occupied the cottage, in its early 
history, for the greater part of the year. James W. Johnston, 
junior, was then living on the place adjoining, afterwards pur- 
chased by F. M. Passow, when " Sunnyside," bounding the cottage 
lot on the south, became the home of Mr. Johnston. James W. 
Johnston, senior, then lived at " Mount Amelia," on the hill above. 
The cottage property comprised that part of the " Beechwood " 
homestead which lies between the Eastern Passage road and the 
Old Ferry road. The cottage itself formed that part of the present 
house (except the attic story) between the northern wall and the 
southern line of the lower main hall, and consisted of two stories, 
and a basement for the kitchen department. It had entrances east 
and west, with a verandah on the west side reached by two opposing 
flights of stairs meeting on a platform in advance, and of the same 
height as the present verandah. The front drawing-room in the 
present house was the drawing-room of the cottage, the rear one was 
its dining-room, from the east window of which steps led to a lawn. 
The present sitting-room was the main bedroom of the cottage, 
with a bay window, breast high, overlooking the harbor. The 
north-east bedroom in its rear was the nursery. A stable, after- 
wards removed to its present position and enlarged by the addi- 
tion of a coachman's house, stood at right angles to the cottage, 
extending from about the position of the extreme south-west corner 
of the new house, westerly. Among the trees on the bank behind, 
then more numerous, was a large play-house for children, covered 
on roof and sides with spruce tree trunks, in the style of a log 
cabin. Beyond this, where now are the upper sidewalk and retain- 
ing wall, the ground, thickly wooded, sloped naturally to the line 
of the property from the street, which was then lower, and there 
was a board fence in the hollow, following the course of the present 
retaining wall as its base runs. 

On August 26th, 1854, the marriage of my father and mother 
was celebrated, at " Belle-Vue." A family party was then made 
up for a tour in Canada and the United States. Beside the bride 
and groom it consisted of the bride's sister Elizabeth and her 
husband, L. A. Wilmot (afterwards Judge of the Supreme Court 
of New Brunswick, and Lieutenant-Governor of that Province), 
the bride's sister Emma, then unmarried, her sister Celia, her 
brother Martin, and her niece Jane, afterwards the wife of Captain 
Samuel Adams, of the 60th Rifles. The route and places visited 
were as follows : By the Cunard ship " Europa," with 200 English 


passengers aboard, to Boston; thence to Albany, N.Y. ; thence to 
Niagara Falls ; thence across the lake to Toronto ; thence by boat 
to Kingston, Ont ; thence by boat for Montreal, but, finding them- 
selves on a steamer overcrowded with troops among whom cholera 
broke out on board, the party disembarked at Prescott and crossed 
over to Ogdensburg in the State of New York; thence, next day 
to Montreal ; thence by rail, and by boat down Lake Champlain, 
to New York; thence to Philadelphia, back to Boston, by rail, 
and home again by a Cunard steamer, in time for the detail pre- 
paratory work of the Provincial Exhibition, with which the bride- 
groom was connected, as we have seen, and which was an event 
not to be missed. 

At my mother's marriage her father's wedding gift was the 
stone house at the south-west corner of Argyle and Prince Streets, 
overlooking St. Paul's Church Square, with the land appurtenant. 
The property extended on Argyle Street southerly to the Bur- 
meister house, a granite building, and had a stable at the south- 
eastern corner. Thence it extended through to Grafton Street, 
where there was a rear entrance into a large lot on which stood a 
second stable and a detached house for a coachman. South of the 
residence was the garden. The wooden annex in the rear of the 
house, fronting on Prince Street, was afterwards built by my 
father for offices and a medical dispensary. A transverse lobby, 
with doors on either side containing glass panels, separated this 
building from the house. I well remember that this lobby formed 
an amphitheatre in which the trusty Charles, butler and indis- 
pensable doer of many things, was wont to match his black-and-tan, 
Jessie, against as many sewer rats as could be provided at a time 
by a band of lively but not over-industrious medical students, who 
would indulge my infant taste by holding me up to witness these 
combats through those glass doors. The original office and con- 
sulting-room was at the north-east corner of the house, on the first 
floor. This house was built by Dr. William J. Almon, the father 
of my father's old preceptor and grandfather of the Senator of 
the same name. This first of the Doctors Almon, the progenitor 
of five generations of Halifax doctors bearing the name, came to 
Halifax with the British forces on the evacuation of Boston, in 
1776, and died in England in 1817. The house was built soon 
after the close of the Revolutionary War. It was afterwards the 
residence of the builder's son, Hon. Mather Byles Almon, from 
whom it was purchased in 1854. The house and its location, now 
so altered in their use and character, were then considered most 
desirable for residence, and that part of Argyle Street was almost 
wholly occupied for residential property. Opposite this new home, 
to which my parents returned after their tour in Canada and the 
United States, was the historical Bulkeley House, then the home 

1845 TO 1861 133 

of the Cogswell family. Hon. Hezekiah H. Cogswell died there in 
1854. Dr. Charles Tupper, my father's lifelong friend, resided 
a few doors south of that. The neighbors immediately south, on 
the other side, were the Burmeisters; and beyond them, at the 
southern corner of the block, was the handsome residence of the 
Uniackes, a large wooden building, originally of three stories, with 
a parapet all around the roof, ornamented with large urns. It was 
built by Hon. Richard John Uniacke, for many years Attorney- 
General, whose son Richard John, junior, fought the last duel in 
Halifax, in 1819, when he killed Mr. Bowie, of the firm of Bowie 
& De Blois. Another son, Andrew, was the occupant at the time 
now referred to, and as late as 1872. Doctors Garvie and Hattie 
were near neighbors on the block of Argyle Street opposite St. 
Paul's Church. On the next block northward stood the old home 
of the Blacks, my mother's grandfather and father. She was born 
there, and there she spent her first twelve years, until her father, 
in April, 1846, purchased " Belle- Vue " from the estate of Ben- 
jamin Etter, who was my mother's maternal grandfather. The 
southern extension of the Moir bakery now covers the site of the 
old home. 

The summer months were spent by the family at the Dart- 
mouth cottage. There my father spent such hours as he could 
snatch from his time-devouring labors. Worn out by work, at 
times he would seek this haven for a night of unbroken sleep, an 
experience which had become too unfamiliar. The ferry ceased 
to run at eleven, and the telephone was far in the future yet. But 
a night off duty was rare, only permissible when it was taken to 
avoid night calls to new cases, and when there was no expectation 
of nocturnal visits in those that were pending. 

The years of unremitting toil as a general practitioner in both 
branches of his profession were broken now and then by what 
might be called flying visits to New York, Boston or elsewhere, 
where rest was found in brief change of scene and the changed work 
of investigating some discovery in medicine or some advance in 
surgery, news of which had reached him ; and he never returned 
without acquiring fresh knowledge by which his patients might 
benefit. He was progressive, always enquiring, ever learning, an 
insatiable student and investigator. He believed that, in his pro- 
fession, not to advance was to go back. With a large library, 
which he always supplemented by taking in many current medical 
magazines, he was not satisfied with reading only. He must see 
things for himself in surgery ; and any new operation, once seen, 
he could come home and perform. In this manner he kept con- 
tinuously abreast of the advances being made in his always pro- 
gressive vocation. By this method, too, he formed friendships, 
valuable and sympathetic, with eminent men in the United States 


and Canada, called together by common interest to witness or dis- 
cuss the newest things in surgery and medical discovery. Such 
men became his correspondents and would keep him informed so 
that he might make timely visits to American cities. Agnew, 
Sands, Draper and Delafield, of New York, and many older men 
of professional eminence there and in other American cities, such 
as Professor Willard Parker and Dr. Buck, of New York, but 
whose names cannot all be recalled, appreciated his worth and 
were among his admirers, and some of them sought his aid in con- 
sultation when opportunity offered during his visits. I was once 
with him in New York when the most distinguished surgeon of 
that time in the city drove him over to Brooklyn to assist in an 
operation. " What do you get for that, Sands ?" asked my father, 
on their way back. " A thousand dollars," was the answer. " I 
do that for fifty," said the Nova Scotia surgeon. "Come on; 
move to New York," was the laconic reply of the more fortunate 
New Yorker. Some of these professional brethren of the Republic 
were accustomed to visit him at his home. In the same spirit, 
and for the same purpose, he would cross the Atlantic, but more 
rarely ; and he never failed, by personal correspondence with men 
of the highest standing in Edinburgh and London, to keep himself 
" up-to-date " and well informed as to all advances being made in 
the old country as well as in the new. As evidencing the reputa- 
tion he established abroad, both before and after the transition in 
practice of 1873, and the esteem in which he was held by the front 
rank men of the profession with world-wide reputations, many of 
these in Great Britain and in the United States, and, it may be 
added, all the eminent men of Canada, were accustomed to send 
him copies of their medical and surgical pamphlets, reports of 
cases, and periodical writings, — very often accompanied by expres- 
sions of affectionate regard. Of these, many volumes might now 
be made, for he was accustomed to preserve them for reference. 

Such was his practice at Argyle Street, until he relinquished 
general practice in 1871, that it was not uncommon for him to 
have a day's visiting list of from forty to fifty names, and his 
rounds began often at six or seven o'clock in the morning. It was 
his habit to " get a bite," as he would say, where he happened to 
call about the hours for meals, and many days he never tasted food 
at home. If he chanced to be where the " bite " was not to be had, 
he went hungry. He belonged distinctively to that old school of 
family physician — " a guide, philosopher and friend " as well as 
medical man — and was so generally beloved that no more welcome 
guest, though uninvited, was ever greeted in the homes of his 
patients, from, the stateliest mansion of authority or wealth to the 
cottage of the lowliest poor. And they were all alike to him. 
After a day's work upon such a round of visits as would keep 

1845 TO 1861 135 

him out frequently until nearly bed-time, and would include per- 
haps several surgical operations, there would come the dreaded 
summons of the night-bell beside his bed, perhaps several of these 
in succession. Conscientious in the highest degree, and cherishing 
the ethics of the profession in this as in all other aspects, he would 
never refuse these calls save when his own real illness barred the 
door. But sometimes when, sunk deep in the slumber of utter 
physical and mental exhaustion at the close of a long day's weary 
round, even the close-clattering bell could not avail to break the 
seal of nature on his senses, his watchful wife, refusing to arouse 
him, made bold to deny nocturnal importunity, upon what she 
thought sufficient ground, and to send away the caller to some 
neighboring physician. My mother's relation of her husband's 
labors in those years of general practice make one marvel that his 
life was not cut short by a quarter of a century. Indomitable 
power of the will, and the ability to catch a few moments of dozing 
sleep here and there throughout the day, may, in part, explain 
why it was not so, for his physical constitution in youth, as we have 
seen, was not considered robust. 

A number of medical students read in the Prince Street offices, 
received instruction and witnessed operations. But the old-time 
custom of paying £100 to the preceptor had then become more 
honored ( ?) in the breach than in the observance. A pharmacist, 
who also acted as book-keeper, was employed, and all medicines 
were compounded on the premises. I recall that the late Dr. 
Venables and Mr. Charles H. Hepworth both occupied this 

In the forties and fifties my father rode on horseback a great 
deal in making his professional rounds, and he was an excellent 
horseman. At Argyle Street he kept three horses, using them for 
a day each in turn. Reference to his earlier modes of travel is 
made in his Address of 1895, before alluded to. An illustrative 
incident or two may not be amiss here. 

Arrived home one evening about eight o'clock, fatigued by a 
hard day's work, he found an urgent message from a doctor in 
Windsor, asking him to operate there next day. There was then 
no railway, and the coach leaving the following morning could not 
get him there before evening. There was nothing for it but to start 
at once, for he knew that to be effective the operation must be per- 
formed in the morning, and as early as possible. A hasty meal, 
and he was again in the saddle. It was winter, and a heavy, 
driving snow-storm came on when he had ridden about half-way. 
Fortunately his well-proved horse was familiar with the Windsor 
road, and to him the rider, when in doubt, would commit the reins ; 
yet the snow-drifts grew so deep that where there were no fences 
for guidance the road could not be kept, was lost and found again 


many times. At a point where the road passed through a thick 
wood, in a darkness which shut out even sight of his horse's head, 
the struggle against nature's demand could no longer be maintained, 
and the rider fell asleep. The knowing, trusty horse knew it, and 
evidently reasoned that it would be safer for his master, swaying 
in the saddle, and very much more comfortable for himself, if he 
should " turn in " too, for what remained of such a night. At 
daybreak the rider awoke with a start to find himself lying forward 
on the drooped neck of the horse, supported by his saddle-bags, and 
the animal, apparently asleep, standing in the wood under the 
sheltering branches of a spruce tree. It was still snowing heavily. 
The horse had turned into a wood-road, and had shown sagacity 
and great care in approaching, as well as selecting sleeping quar- 
ters. Had he taken to cover over rough ground, which lay all about, 
or not proceeded very cautiously, his sleeping master must inevit- 
ably have been thrown, and perhaps injured, where he might have 
lain long before being discovered. Many long and lonely rides by 
day and night had established a perfect understanding of each 
other, and a mutual affection. That favorite horse was one of the 
truest friends his proud owner ever had. With much difficulty, 
because of the now badly blocked road, and by taking short 
cuts through wood and field, my father reached his destina- 
tion in the forenoon of that day. The operation was done at 
once, and it was marked by an incident which he used to say 
was unique in his experience. The patient, an old man and 
wealthy, was instantly relieved from great pain by the opera- 
tion and was thoroughly appreciative. " What's your fee, 
doctor?" said he, as the surgeon was packing his instruments. 
" Fifty dollars, Mr. S." Turning to his son and pointing to a 
drawer in his desk, the old man said : " Give him a hundred !" 
And the surgeon thought the travel, if not the operation, was 
worth it. The closing hour of that night saw him back in Halifax, 
on the same horse. Rides of that distance, through any weather, 
were not unusual for him. 

On another occasion, going to Pictou or its vicinity, to operate, 
he took, as he often did, his own light carriage, doing the first stage 
or two with one of his own horses and trusting for changes to the 
stables at the post houses on the coach route. There was need for 
the utmost haste, for a human life was in the balance. At one 
road house there was no horse to be had but a heavy, vicious and 
dangerous stallion which had recently attacked and injured a man. 
The innkeeper refused at first to hire him on this account, but 
yielded to the imperious demand of the doctor, who " must " have 
him. On a lonely piece of road the horse became refractory, back- 
ing and rearing in an ugly manner, which threatened to upset the 

1845 TO 1861 137 

carriage. His driver leaped out and was about to take him by the 
head, when the brute reared and struck at him with his forefeet. 
The impatient horseman's fighting blood was roused. Evading 
several blows, he ran in and gripped the reins with both hands, 
close to the curb bit. But he did not reckon on the consequence. 
The furious horse reared on his hind feet to his full height again 
and again, now swinging his clinging enemy in the air while he 
tried to beat him down with his fore-hoofs; now plunging to the 
earth in attempts to trample him underfoot, and all the while try- 
ing for a hold with his teeth upon the arms which held him. But 
the determined adversary held grimly on. There was nothing else 
for him to do. To release that grip meant probable death. For 
many minutes, that seemed like hours to the clinging man, this 
awful struggle went on. Bruised and battered by the animal's 
forelegs, dizzy with the shock and nervous tension of the unequal 
combat, his strength was failing, when a wagon containing three 
or four men appeared on the scene, and by them the horse was suf- 
ficiently subdued to effect my father's release from his perilous 
situation. But his own native resolution was not subdued ; for 
when his timely rescuers had righted his carriage and helped him 
repair damages to the harness, he set out to conquer that stallion, — 
and conquer him he did, running him at his utmost speed to the 
next post, keeping him at it with a heavy whip playing like a flail, 
and there delivering him for return to his owner, — a trembling, 
dripping and thoroughly cowed horse. 

It appears by the first annual report of the Halifax Visiting 
Dispensary Society, which was instituted in 1855, that Dr. Wil- 
liam J. Almon and my father were the consulting surgeons for that 

The Medical Society of Halifax, formed in 1844, was the 
pioneer organization of its kind in the Province. Previous to 
1854 it had been agitating the matter of improved medical legis- 
lation to repress the increasing number of persons coming into the 
Province, " thoroughly versed in all the vile arts of the quack ;" 
but repeated attempts to obtain such legislation had failed. " In 
1854, a committee of this Society, appointed for the purpose, 
reported as follows : ' With regard to the improper treatment of 
bills presented of late years to the Legislature, your committee are 
of opinion that the only alternative now left by which an effectual 
resistance may be offered to the unjust procedure of the com- 
mittees of Assembly appointed to investigate the petitions of 
medical men is a union of the profession throughout the Province. 
To effect such union your committee suggest that the Medical 
Society of Halifax should become a Provincial association and its 
title altered accordingly; and, further, that the practitioners 
throughout the Province be invited by a circular to become mem- 
bers of the association.' 


" On motion of Dr. Parker, it was resolved, ' That it is expe- 
dient for the members of the profession in this Province to organize 
themselves forthwith into an association for scientific and pro- 
fessional purposes for their mutual protection, and that every 
regularly qualified practitioner in Nova Scotia be invited to join 
the association.' In 1854 the association was organized and the 
Hon. W. Gregor elected President, the country members having 
heartily endorsed the scheme. A memorial was drawn up for 
presentation to the legislature, and the Act of 1856 was introduced 
by the late Dr. Webster, of Kentville." 

The foregoing quotation is from a Presidential address on 
Nova Scotia medical legislation, delivered before the Nova Scotia 
Medical Society by Dr. D. A. Campbell in 1889. 

This second step in medical legislation, from the imperfect 
Act of 1828, established a Registration system, and was a distinct 
advance, in other respects, for the protection of the public and 
the profession. 

To the exigencies of the contest by which this Act of 1856 was 
wrung from a reluctant Legislature, the Nova Scotia Medical 
Society, originated on the motion of my father, owed its birth. 

In 1857 he was elected President of the Society. 

When the Provincial Hospital for the Insane, at Mount Hope, 
was organized by the Government in 1858, he was appointed by 
the Governor-in-Council to the original Commission of nine which 
managed it, and was elected its first chairman. This office he 
filled for some years. 

Most of the public positions he filled in charitable, educational, 
business and other organizations during his career are noted in 
the paper on Daniel McNeill and his descendants. There were 
others, but it seems unnecessary to particularize further as 
to any of them here'. The services which he rendered in some of 
them will be testified to by the encomiums of colleagues and others 
recorded in the following pages; and where there is no such 
record we may safely say, Ex uno disce omnes. 

The year 1857 was marked by his first visit to Great Britain 
since he had left the Old Country as a new-fledged doctor. He 
was called there by the serious illness of his brother Fred at an 
English port where he had arrived from Leghorn in the barque 
" Walton," which he commanded. My father went by the Cunard 
Line from Halifax direct to Liverpool about the first of August, 
and returned by the same route in October. Mr. J. W. Johnston, 
then Attorney-General, and Mr. A. G. Archibald were at this time 
in England on their mission to effect that arrangement with the 
British Government, the creditors of the Duke of York, and the 
General Mining Association in regard to the ungranted mines and 
minerals of Nova Scotia by which these were restored to the Gov- 

1845 TO 1861 139 

ernment of the Province after having been long alienated by virtue 
of the lease to the Duke by his brother, George IV., and having 
fallen ultimately into the hands of the General Mining Association, 
subject to rights which the Duke of York had reserved to himself. 
Mr. Johnston had gone over in June, taking two of his daughters 
with him. My father met them in Edinburgh, after establishing 
his brother, comfortably convalescent, in Liverpool. Thence he 
returned to Liverpool to see Fred off for Halifax, and accompanied 
the Misses Johnston to London, where their father had preceded 
them. There he met Mr. Johnston, Mr. Archibald (afterwards 
Sir Adams), and Sir Samuel Cunard, the founder of the steamship 
line, who was rendering valuable assistance to the two Commis- 
sioners in their business of the mines ; and he himself took some 
part, informally, in their deliberations. Thence he returned with 
the Misses Johnston to Scotland to show them a little more of the 
country, and to renew for a few days more the delightful and 
profitable intercourse with his old friend and preceptor, Professor 
Simpson, of which the following letter speaks. He has been here- 
tofore referred to as Sir James Y. Simpson, but he did not receive 
his baronetcy until 1866. 

My father, writing from 113 Duke Street, Liverpool, Septem- 
ber 25th, 1857, to my mother, says: 

" It is now 11 o'clock at night, and I have just made up my 
mind to remain for the next steamer. Dr. Davies arrived from 
Birmingham this evening, and as Fred is so much better he will be 
able to go out by himself, or rather the Johnstons and Davies will 
take every care of him, probably quite as good care as I would do 
were I with him. Now that I have actually concluded to remain, 
I feel quite dejected at being separated from you for a fortnight 
more, but I may never be here again, and as I have been so much 
tied by my desire not to be long away from Fred I have hardly 
been able to accomplish anything beyond getting him here and 
spending a few days, most profitably in a professional point of 
view, with Professor Simpson, who has been kind to me to an 
extreme degree, more like a brother than anything else. He 
invited me to take my traps to his house and make it my home 
while in Edinburgh. He drove me round to see his patients, 
great and small, and introduced me as ' Dr. Parker from America,' 
and in such a way as to make them fancy I was a somebody, instead 
of an unknown provincial practitioner. He so arranged it that I 
should see several important cases, operations, etc., and took me 
with him to the Bridge of Allan and other places where he was 
visiting patients. He asked me to accompany him to Torquay, 
to-day, in Devonshire, to which place he was asked to go by tele- 
graph, but thinking then (yesterday morning) that I should be at 
sea to-morrow, I reluctantly declined. He made me promise to 


go back and stay with him if anything turned up to prevent me 
from leaving. To be thus singled out for such marked attentions 
when he was daily surrounded by dozens of medical men from all 
parts of the world, is indeed an honor. He wishes to propose my 
name as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, which would 
be a high honorary distinction, but as the initiatory fee is £50 stg. I 
do not feel able just now, at the rate the money goes, to spare it. 
So I thanked him most kindly and said I would communicate with 
him about it. He arranged a delightful morning for me, when, 
accompanied by Mrs. Simpson, we went to see and hear Dr. Liv- 
ingstone, the African traveller, at a public breakfast given him in 
Edinburgh. Mrs. M., he thinks, will get well, or very nearly so. 
Poor Mrs. B., he thinks, will never be able to rejoin her husband." 
(These were Halifax ladies.) "When I go back to Edinburgh 
with the girls I will find her out, if possible. I cannot tell you 
how delighted I was with your letter, my own dear wife. I 
received it in Edinburgh last Monday when I joined Mr. Johnston 
and Agnes there. To hear that you and your dear infant were 
well made me feel grateful to God for His many blessings and mer- 
cies to us both since we parted. May He spare us to meet once 
more in our dear and happy home, for the comforts of which I 
long. Tell my dear boy that Papa was equally pleased with his 
little and short letter. Indeed, both yours and his have been per- 
used over and over again. . . . P.S. — Poor E. T. has left 
this world at last. Well, he, I believe, was well prepared to meet 
his God in judgment. What a trying occasion for his poor 
bereaved wife — a husband dead, an infant born, events occurring 
within a few hours of each other. I wish my poor friend A., now 
in Eternity, had thought as long and as deeply on the subject of 
his soul's salvation as T., but God is a gracious and a merciful 
God, and we will hope that he was pardoned and forgiven. Ask 
Dr. Tupper to look after Fred. I would write him, but have not 
time. I only made up my mind to stay, to-night. It is now two 
o'clock on Saturday morning, and since writing you, my own dear 
wife, I have written Dr. Almon and Lady Le Marchant, and as I 
was travelling by railroad until one o'clock last night I feel rather 
used up and must go to bed. 

" Saturday morning. 
" The girls leave with me for London at quarter-past four 
o'clock to-day. I think we will proceed almost immediately to 
Scotland, as there is much there for them to see, and I flatter my- 
self I am a good guide for that part of the world. . . . We 
are just off for the steamer. Send the accompanying letters also; 
a parcel for Gossip in the instrument box. In great haste, my 
dear, dear wife, your affectionate husband, D.P." 

1845 TO 1861 141 

Letters, in part or in full, find place in this narrative not only 
for the information concerning their writer's life which they afford, 
but because he always put a great deal of himself into his corre- 
spondence. To understand any man whose life is worth a record, 
to know his mind, his habits of thought, and try to form an esti- 
mate of his character, there can be nothing more helpful than his 
unstudied correspondence with those to whom his heart was open. 
" For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." 

I have therefore devoted much space to specimens of my 
father's spontaneous correspondence with those nearest and dearest 
to him ; for the most part, letters hastily thrown off in the scant 
leisure of travel. " Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh." Happy is it that though death could lay its hand 
upon the mouth that was wont to speak such things as these letters 
tell — the reminiscences and incidents of travel, thoughts arising 
out of what he saw abroad, and fond expressions of domestic love, 
yet these written words of his are preserved to us. In their 
perusal, with their many habitual forms of expression, the well- 
remembered mannerisms, or way of putting things, we may almost 
hear " the sound of a voice that is still." 

As an example of this revelation of character by casual letters, 
the seemingly unimportant references to two deceased friends, T. 
and A., in the preceding letter, reveal the spiritually-minded man 
my father had become at the age of thirty-five; thus even these 
hastily penned " post-script " remarks become valuable to an under- 
standing of what manner of man he was then. In all his corre- 
spondence one detects the note of that spiritual undertone which 
formed the basis for the harmony of a beautiful life. 

To understand the pleasurable privileges extended in 1857 at 
52 Queen Street, Edinburgh (a house monumental and even sacred 
in the traditions of the profession), to the Nova Scotia doctor who, 
as the great Simpson's clinical clerk and favored friend, in the 
decade previous, had exalted and revered him for a model and the 
Hero-Doctor, a glance at what Simpson now was, and what went 
his former pupil out for to see will be worth our while. To under- 
stand my father's personal and professional ideals and the work- 
ing out of them in his life it is really necessary to read the 
biography of Simpson. In reading it I have been led to under- 
stand how great was the influence of Simpson's life, his work 
and character, upon my father's ; how, unconsciously, no doubt, 
the reverent pupil formed himself upon his model, and seemingly 
absorbed much of the very spirit of his master. 

About this time a medical officer of the Indian Army wrote 
thus to the Bombay Telegraph and Courier: — 

" Decidedly the most wonderful man of his age — I mean of the age 
in which he lives — is Simpson of Edinburgh. In him are realized John 
Bell's four ideals of the perfect Esculapius — the brain of an Apollo, the 


eye of an eagle, the heart of a lion, and the hand of a lady. Nothing 
baffles his intellect ,~ nothing escapes his penetrating glance; he sticks at 
nothing, and he bungles nothing. If his practice be worth a rupee per 
annum, it is worth £10,000 — twice as much as Dr Hamilton ever realized, 
and nearly twice the amount of the late Abercrombie's practice. From 
all parts, not of Britain only, but of Europe, do ladiea rush to see, con- 
sult, and fee the man., He has spread joy through many a rich man's 
house by enabling his wife to present him with a living child, a feat 
which none but Simpson ever dared to enable her to do. To watch of a 
morning with Ms poor patients (them only of course was I permitted to 
see) is a treat. In comes a woman with a fibrous tumour, which fifty 
other practitioners have called by fifty other names. One minute suffices 
for his diagnosis; another sees her in a state of insensibility, and in less 
than a third, two long needles are thrust inches deep into the tumour, 
and a galvanic battery is at work, discussing it. ' Leave her alone 
quietly,' says Simpson, 'she'll take care of herself — no fear.' One up, 
another down, is the order of the day. What other men would speculate 
as to the propriety of for hours, Simpson does in a minute or two. He 
is bold, but not reckless; ever ready, but never harsh. He is prepared 
for every contingency, and meets it on the instant. Everything seems to 
prosper in his hands. As to ether and chloroform, they seem like invis- 
ible intelligences, doomed to obey his bidding — familiars who do his work 
because they must never venture to produce effects one iota greater or 
less than he desires. While other men measure out the liquids, fumble 
about and make a fuss, Simpson in what an Irishman would call the 
most promiscuous manner possible, does the job in a minute or two. He 
is, indeed, a wonderful man." 

When the Queen, whose physician for Scotland he had been 
for some time, conferred the Baronetcy, the London Lancet said: 
" The conferring of this distinction must give, we think, universal 
satisfaction. Sir James Y. Simpson is distinguished as an 
obstetric practitioner, as a physiologist, as an operator, and as a 
pathologist of great research and originality. His reputation 
is European, and the honor is fully deserved. Sir James has 
long been foremost in his department of practice, and his name 
is associated with the discovery of that invaluable boon to suffer- 
ing humanity — chloroform. This alone would entitle him to the 
honor he has received." 

The special department of practice here referred to was 
gynecology and obstetrics — the subjects which he taught in the 

A biographer of this grand old man relates that a few days 
before his death, in 1870, he said to some visiting friends: 
" I have not lived so near to Christ as I desired to do. I have 
had a busy life, but have not given so much time to eternal 
things as I should have sought. Yet I know it is not my merit 
I am to trust to for eternal life. Christ is all." Then he added, 
with a sigh, " I have not got far on in the divine life." A friend 
said, " We are complete in Him." " Yes, that's it," he replied 
with a smile. "The hymn expresses my thoughts: 
' Just as I am, without one plea, 
But that Thy blood was shed for me.' 

I so like that hymn." 

1845 TO 1861 143 

Does not this sound exceedingly like the religious conversation 
and correspondence of another grand old man, who became the 
Nestor of Nova Scotia Medicine! 

An episode, notable and pathetic, in the history of Nova 
Scotia missionary enterprise is connected with this period of 
my father's life. I refer to the sending forth by the Presbyterian 
Church of the Lower Provinces, as missionaries to the South 
Seas, of the heroic brothers, George Nicol Gordon and his 
brother James, and their tragic deaths, by which these men became 
immortalized among the world's missionary heroes as two of 
" the Martyrs of Eromanga." In 1852, and for a few years 
afterwards, George was a Halifax city missionary and a student 
of Theology in the Free Church College on Gerrish Street. 
Campbell, who gives the story of the Gordons in his History 
of Nova Scotia, says: "In 1853, Mr. Gordon, whose system 
had been predisposed to disease from hard study and the tainted 
atmosphere which he breathed in his labors among the poor, was 
attacked with typhoid fever. He remained long in a critical 
condition, but had the good fortune to be attended by the Honor- 
able Dr. Parker, under whose care he recovered. He was con- 
fined to his bed for seven weeks, expecting a formidable account 
for professional services, but upon application for the account, 
received it receipted. The medical faculty require to be well 
paid by those who can afford it, for as a body they devote more 
time, which is money, to charitable purposes than almost any 
other professional class." 

As part of his preparation for his foreign missionary work, 
George Gordon entered my father's office as a student and 
received from him such special medical and surgical instruction 
as would be adapted to the needs of a medical missionary, though 
rudimentary. From this association of teacher and pupil there 
sprang up a deep attachment between tbem. George sailed 
for Eromanga in 1856. In May 1861, he and his wife were 
murdered by the savages among whom they labored. John 
Williams, an English missionary whose work they went to take 
up, had been likewise murdered. The brother, James D. Gordon, 
when the news of George's death reached home, was studying for 
the ministry in the Free Church College under Doctors King, 
Smith and McKnight, with the purpose of joining his brother, 
and, like him, was doing special work, under my father's tuition, 
in elementary Medicine and Surgery. Undaunted by the painful 
tidings of his brother's fate, he did not swerve from his de- 
termination, but sailed for Eromanga in 1863. There, in 1872, 
he likewise perished at the hands of the savage islanders. This 
devoted young man, like his brother, was much beloved by him 
who, for their work's sake, had freely given of his knowledge 


and his time and strength toward their preparation for service. 

The pathos in the story of the Gordons is enhanced by the 
circumstances that James, on the eve of his departure from 
Halifax, published the fascinating Memoir of his brother and 
his brother's wife, entitled " The Last Martyrs of Eromanga." 
In the end, he himself suffered as the last martyr. In his book 
he thus refers to George's illness and my father's services upon 
the occasion to which the historian Campbell alludes, in the 
quotation given above. 

" At one stage of the disease life was for a time trembling 
in the balance. But through the skill of Dr. Parker, whose 
assiduous attentions he received during six or seven weeks, he 
was restored to wonted health. He arose from his bed a healthy, 
strong, in short, a new man. Becoming convalescent, he returned 
home, and afterwards requested his physician's bill, which he 
supposed could not be less than £10. It was sent, but receipted. 
The only eulogium we pass upon this disinterested act of gener- 
osity — which is but one out of many — is merely to mention the 
fact. Where known, the mention of Dr. Parker's name is his 

To " The Last Martyrs of Eromanga " my father contributed 
this letter, which I incorporate here as an example of his more 
serious style of writing: 

" Halifax, April 6th, 1863. 
" My Deae Sik, — 

" In accordance with your request I have much pleasure in 
communicating to you some facts and reminiscences relative to 
your deceased brother, my friend and former student, the Rev. 
G. N. Gordon. 

" My acquaintance with him commenced in the Spring of 
1853, when I was called upon to attend him professionally through 
a very serious and protracted illness. His health had been 
impaired by close mental application, and a daily attendance on 
several classes at College throughout the session. Besides which, 
I have reason to believe that much of the time usually taken by 
students for exercise and recreation, was spent in visiting the 
spiritually destitute of our city and its environs. From these 
combined causes his system was depressed, and fitted for the 
reception of disease, which attacked him in the form of typhoid 
fever. So tenacious was its grasp of his weakened frame, that he 
was confined to his bed and the house for seven weeks; and for 
many days his life was in imminent danger. But, finally, it 
pleased the Great Physician gradually to restore him to health and 

" God's dealings with those who love and serve Him are fre- 

1845 TO 1861 145 

quently, to the finite mind, most marvellous. Here was one of His 
faithful followers laid low, and placed on the verge of the grave; 
yet raised up again by His strong arm to labor for a brief period 
in His Vineyard, and then to die a martyr's death far from the 
home of his childhood, and youth, and relatives, and friends to 
whom he was endeared. 

" He lived to originate the Halifax City Mission, and to labor, 
I am aware from personal knowledge, as few men know how to 
labor, among the poor, the distressed, and the profligate, as its 
first missionary. He has passed away, but this child of his affec- 
tion and prayers still lives, and is fostered and cared for by Him 
who has called the laborer home. 

" My next meeting with Mr. Gordon after we had parted as 
physician and patient — if my memory serves me — was in his closet. 
Having had occasion to visit the house in which he lodged, and 
not being aware that he resided there, I was, by mistake, shown 
into the room which he occupied. He was on his knees, at mid- 
day, absorbed in prayer, no doubt carrying to a throne of grace 
the subject of missions, and especially that one for which he was 
then, or very shortly afterward, earnestly and successfully laboring. 
" Having subsequently offered himself to the Presbyterian 
Church of this Province, as a Foreign Missionary, and being 
accepted, he desired to acquire some knowledge of medicine before 
leaving a Christian for a heathen land, and consequently sought 
admission to my office as a student. He was thus occupied, when 
not absent from the city — if I mistake not — from the closing 
months of 1853, until the period of his departure from Nova 
Scotia. Being well aware of the advantages likely to accrue to 
the mission by being skilled in the healing art, he assiduously 
devoted his spare hours to professional study. It was evident, 
however, from the beginning to the end of his attendance that the 
salvation of the souls of men, was the primary object and moving 
principle of his life. No opportunity was lost of preaching Christ, 
or of giving a word of admonition to those with whom he came in 
contact. Being ' instant in season and out of season,' he thus, 
indirectly, by his continued faithfulness, admonished me of my 
own shortcomings in these important particulars. The title — 
The Earnest Man — given to the Burman missionary, Judson, 
might appropriately be repeated and applied to Gordon of 
Eromanga. No one could have known my deceased friend with- 
out esteeming him for his many estimable qualities. 

" His memory still lives fresh in the hearts of those who were 
familiar with his character and life, as also with many of those 
who profited by his spiritual advice and scriptural teachings. 
1 He being dead yet speaketh.' 

" Ever yours truly, 
10 "D. McN. Parker/' 



" Qui mores hominum multorum vidit." 

— Horace, " Ars Poetica." 

In the first months of 1861 nature was threatening to exact 
some penalty for the disregard of natural laws in a mode of life 
which crowded two or three normal days' labor into one, ignored 
anything like regularity in hours for taking nourishment and 
sleep, and over-crowded an always active mind with more of 
effort and anxious responsibilities than ought to be borne by any 
one man. He began to suffer from a tendency to vertigo, derange- 
ment of digestion, a nervous exhaustion and an inability to sleep. 
In a word, he was upon the brink of physical collapse. Such a 
catastrophe was avoided and healthful vigor restored to body and 
mind by a brief southern tour, taken at that season of the year 
when most people hardly feel like resenting Tom Moore's lines 
about " chill Nova Scotia's unpromising strand." 

My father had long cherished the hope that some day he might 
visit the home land of his grandfather McNeill, find out some 
of his mother's cousins there, and make her and himself known 
to them. An old friend of his boyhood who has been named at 
an early page of this story, Mr. William J. Stairs, agreed to 
accompany him, on a similar quest for recreation and for kinsmen 
too, — for he had relatives in Georgia. Both were keenly interested 
in the extraordinary state of public affairs then prevalent in the 
United States, and anxious to study for themselves something of 
that tense strain of the political situation which, as it turned out, 
they were to see snap the bond of the country's constitution, and 
blaze into civil war before their very eyes. Mr. Stairs took with 
him his son, the late John F. Stairs, then a lad of about fourteen 
years. They sailed from Halifax to Boston on March 23rd, in 
the Cunard steamer " Canada," arrived from England, and 
returned in the month of May. 

The story of this tour, or rather my father's part in it, is 
related in the following series of letters, which are presented as 
fully as possible. They are good examples of his qualities as a 
letter writer. When abroad, it was his habit to inform himself 
well concerning what he saw, and of all matters of human interest, 
political, industrial, social and religious, in the communities which 



he visited. He had the enquiring mind, eager to enlarge his 
knowledge of men and things. What he learned, it seemed to be 
a labor of love to impart in his home correspondence for the 
benefit of his wife, children and others. To this end he took 
infinite pains. More directly, too, do his letters disclose that deep, 
tender affection for those at home, and home itself, which was so 
characteristic of him. 

Revere House, Boston, 
11 p.m., Monday, March 25th, 1861. 
My Dearest Wife: 

I arrived here on Sunday night about midnight, but did not 
land until 8 a.m. this morning. ... I took some dinner 
near Sambro, but before the lighthouse was fairly past I was in 
my cabin on the broad of my back. I could not pay Miss Archi- 
bald any attention on the passage. Indeed, I left the ship without 
saying good-bye to her, but to-night received a note from her 
asking me to take charge of her to New York, which I shall do 
with much pleasure, especially as we have determined to go on 
by the early train to-morrow, the one by which she wishes to go. 
. Thank God for bringing me thus safely on. I am better 
in health, partook of a hearty dinner, and have just topped off 
with an oyster supper preparatory to going to bed. To-day we 
visited Ben Gray, some of Stairs' mercantile friends, Mrs. King, 
a sister of old Mr. Stairs at Roxbury, the Pryors at Cambridge, 
Mrs. Charles Boggs and husband, the latter a son of Sam Boggs, 
who married, as you are aware, Mary Keiffe, an old servant of 
Mrs. Stairs, and when at their boarding-house saw also William 
Fairbanks' son, who was in partnership with a young Greenwood, 
in Charman's Buildings. . . . The greatest sight seen here 
was Rarey's horse-taming. We went by Mr. Laurie's advice to 
hear and see, and were delighted and much instructed. It was 
one of the greatest treats I ever had. I would not have missed it 
for anything. Thousands were present, and he most thoroughly 
tamed two or three wild and vicious animals, making them like 
fed lambs. He had on the stage, following him about like a dog, 
the celebrated horse " Cruiser," from England, as tame as any 
lady's lap-dog. I have telegraphed to Frank to meet us to-morrow 
afternoon at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York. We will only 
spend a day or two there before pushing on south. I sincerely 
trust our dear children are well. I miss their prattle and the 
pleasant smile and cooing of the dear babe. I shall expect to hear 
all about them from you in a day or two. I am in hopes the dear 
little fellow will escape whooping-cough. Tell Johnston and Mary 
Ann that Papa does not forget to pray for them that they may be 
good, obedient children. I hope all at Belle Vue, the Mount, the 


Binneys, at the cottages in Dartmouth, the Tuppers, the Nuttings, 
etc., are well. Love to all. Stairs and his boy Johnnie are 
delightful travelling companions. God bless and preserve you, 
my dear wife. 

Ever your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Paekee. 

5th Avenue Hotel, New York, 

March 27th, 1861. 
My Dear Wife: 

Although the mail does not close for a week by the steamer, I 
will drop you a few lines from the great city, and finish the letter 
in Philadelphia. I wrote you from Boston by Mr. Seeton, who 
leaves to-morrow and will, I hope, be in Halifax Saturday night. 
I hurriedly narrated passing events up to Monday night, and now 
resume the subject. We left Boston by the 8.30 a.m. train and 
with Miss Archibald, and Mr. Samuel Story, formerly of Halifax, 
journeyed on over a rough, undulating and apparently barren 
country until 5 p.m., when New York was reached. Archibald 
met his daughter at the depot, and relieved us of our charge, whom 
we have not seen since, but hope to have that pleasure to-morrow. 
Mr. A. has been very kind indeed, has given us all the protective 
documents necessary to carry us safely through the South, with 
the Consular Seal attached, so we hope to return uncropped, 
uncottoned and untarred. He has besides given me a letter of 
introduction to his friend Mr. Bunck, the British Consul at 
Charleston, S.C., the gentleman who a few years since was on a 
visit to Sir George Seymour at Admiralty House, and the same 
person who was so highly complimented by Lord John Russell in 
Parliament the other day for his firm and judicious conduct 
during the recent Southern difficulties. 

On our way down from Boston I had a long talk with Story, 
relative to many Halifax people who have gone to the bad. He 
knows them all, and being in good circumstances, with a salary of 
£1,000 per annum, has (as I am aware from other sources) been 
kind to many of them in distress. . . . How true is the say- 
ing, my dearest wife, that one half the world does not know how 
the other half live, or what that unfortunate half has to endure, 
and how grateful we should be to God that He has so bountifully 
provided for the temporal wants of ourselves and of our dear 
friends. Truly " the lines have fallen to us in pleasant places." 
I telegraphed from Boston to Frank to meet us at our 
hotel, and found him on hand looking fat as a seal and in good 
spirits. He dined with us and then walked down to our old and 
familiar residence, the " St. Nicholas," into which we walked, 


looked round and rested, for the sake of Auld Lang Syne. Then 
we took Stairs into Taylor's to show him the grandeur of the 
place. You will recollect the saloon well. We all took dinner 
there when passing on to Boston from Philadelphia. 

The Fifth Avenue Hotel is immense, gorgeous and comfortable. 
It is a marble structure, far surpassing any hotel in the world for 
size, comfort and luxury. There are now only 600 guests, times 
being dreadfully dull in consequence of the Southern difficulties. 
Its capacity is 1,000. The apartments occupied by the Prince of 
Wales are finely situated and very elegant. Fortunately, Stairs 
and myself have apartments without going up even a single pair 
of stairs. Had we been unfortunate enough to have rooms allotted 
to us high up, we would have been carried up and let down by a 
vertical railway, and thus the fatigue that you and I had to 
undergo at the St. Nicholas would have been avoided. It is one 
of the oddest things in the world to see the old women in hoops 
stowed away in the carriage and hoisted up and down like so many 
packages of goods, or baggage. 

I have been to-day engaged in looking round as much as the 
incessant rain will allow, and transacting what business I had on 
hand. To-morrow I must call and see Mrs. and Miss Archibald, 
and return the visits of the Medical fraternity, who have kindly 
called on me. Several of the great guns, and among them Pro- 
fessor Parker, the great surgeon of the city, left their cards to-day 
in my absence. 

The dull day, and not feeling quite so brisk as I could wish, 
make me long for the home circle and the prattling of the dear 
bairns, with the cooing of the " Wee 'un." When at home, and 
at work morning, noon and night, I was too busy to think very 
much of them, but now that I have leisure I miss them dreadfully. 
Mr. Le Meissurier, of the Commissariat, who came on 
from Halifax with us, has just called up from the St. Nicholas, 
where he stays, to tell us that an English gentleman who came out 
in the " Canada," called Dacres, had died a few minutes before 
at that hotel, most suddenly, from apoplexy. He was alone in 
a strange land. I recollect hearing him say, just as we were pass- 
ing Boston Light, that he would give a hundred guineas if instead 
of going into Boston, we were entering Southampton harbor. 
Poor fellow, his case illustrates the truth, " in the midst of life we 
are in death." He was a fine, strong, handsome man, about 
forty-five years of age. 

Staying at the Fifth Avenue Hotel just now are Sir Dominick 
Daly, and his son who married Kenny's daughter. . . . Sir 
Dominick is here on business, and his son will probably go down 
to Halifax by the steamer which takes this letter. 

150 DANIEL McNEILL paeker, m.d. 

Philadelphia, Saturday. — Before leaving New York I called 
to see Mrs. and the Misses Archibald, having on Thursday received 
an invitation to spend the evening there. We did not accept it 
because we wanted to be free and both of us were fatigued. Mrs. 
Archibald and the daughter who came on in the " Canada " with 
us were out. We, however, saw the other two girls and Mr. A., 
and when we return we have promised to call again and see my 
old patient, who is now enjoying excellent health, I mean Mrs. A., 
who when in Halifax was constantly in the doctor's hands. I 
was to have left for this city yesterday at 10 a.m., but the Medical 
men and Surgeons of the hospitals sent me word that there was to 
be a great operation at the New York Hospital at half-past one 
o'clock by Dr. Buck, and I was prevailed upon to remain until 
3 p.m., and saw the operation, which was hurried so as to let 
me catch the train. It was on a boy of twelve years of age, and 
if he lived two hours after I left I should be surprised. Dr. Buck 
did not finish the operation for fear he should die on the table. 
Such, dear wife, is life among the Surgeons now, in great cities — 
death at almost every step they take in these great hospitals. 
We reached here at 8 p.m., and are staying at the Continental 
Hotel, built and occupied for the first time last year. The 
Prince of Wales had apartments in it. It is owned by Paran 
Stevens of the Revere House, also the proprietor of the Fifth 
Avenue Hotel of New York. I am now going to Gerard College, 
Claremont Waterworks and other places visited by us some six 
years ago, and shall call and see your cousin James and the 
Rev. Mr. Smith, the Baptist minister who remained a night with 
us on his way to the Holy Land three years ago. 

Saturday Evening — We, this morning, called on Mr. John 
Stairs, who is here in partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. 
Kennedy, in the fish business. He is doing well. He is a son 
of Captain Stairs, long since dead. After this we went over 
the same ground as you and I with the Wilmots and the girls, 
visited in 1854, with the exception of the Laurel Hill cemetery 

up the Schuylkill River After dinner I had a 

long search for your cousin James, but could not find him. He 
has recently failed, and only yesterday moved out of the house to 
which Charles' letter was addressed. A neighbor living next door 
and keeping a small shop, appeared to take an interest in him 
and volunteered to hunt him up, and send him to the Continental ; 
and he kept his promise, for James has just left me. After I 
came up to my room to retire for the night, his name was 
announced, and he walked in. Poor fellow, he looks careworn 
and thin, and if one is to judge from appearances and apparel, 
his finances must be low. He says his partner has deceived and 
cheated him, and he fears that the money his mother put into 


the business will go Altogether, his business 

matters are in a sad condition Mrs. Darst, his 

sister, is keeping a better class boarding-house. I have promised 
to call and see her. James is staying at present with his mother, 
while his wife is at her father's in this city, and his children 
are scattered about. In passing Chestnut Street to-day, whom 
should I pounce upon but your cousin Fanny Matthewson and her 
husband. They have been South for his health, which is much 
impaired, and in about three weeks they will return to Montreal. 
She tells me that he fears he will not be able to continue to live 

in Canada After my fruitless search for James 

Black, I went and hunted up the residence of Rev. James Hyatt 
Smith, who appears to be a well known man of mark here. 
He was out, but I saw his wife. We go to hear him preach in 
the morning, and have made up our minds to attend " Quaker's 
Meeting " in the afternoon, as we are in a land and city of 

In Boston we left nearly a foot of snow on the ground, and 
brought it on with us nearly to New York, where we said good-bye 
to it gladly. The weather is now delightful in Philadelphia. 

What a change from Nova Scotia ! It really 

appears selfish that I should be so situated while my better half 
is freezing in cold and inhospitable Nova Scotia. 

Monday Mokning, 7 a.m. I went to Mr. J. Hyatt Smith's 
meeting-house yesterday morning, visited the Sunday-school, and 
just before the service commenced the pastor came forward from 
the midst of the children and asked if I was the person who left 
the card for him the night previous. I said I was. " Well," says 
he, " My wife was so confused when you spoke to her about meet- 
ing me abroad, as she was engaged packing up for moving into 
another house, that she forgot to tell you I had never been abroad." 
He added, " The Mr. Smith you are in search of is a Smith of 
another loaf, and his name is J. Wheaton Smith." You can imag- 
ine how annoyed I was at being led into such a wild-goose chase. 
I apologized for leaving, and told him I was most anxious to see 
the Wheaton loaf, and, unless I took that opportunity, would miss 
him altogether. So I got into a cab with Stairs and Johnnie, 
and reached the other house, two miles distant, in time to examine 
the basement arrangements for Sabbath-school and prayer-meet- 
ing, before the service commenced. The church is large, 450 
members, and the congregation rich. Mr. Smith was in the 
pulpit for the first time for four weeks, having been laid up at 
home with a mild attack of smallpox. The arrangements of the 
interior correspond with the exterior appearance of the building. 
It is beautifully neat, and a large church. Pulpit arrangements 
just like ours at Granville Street, and a magnificent organ and 


splendid singing. The pastor looked pale, but he preached, 
although weak in body, a beautiful sermon from the text, " What 
shall I do to obtain everlasting life," etc. It went to my heart, 
was powerful, touching, and eloquent. Some beautiful, practical 
sentiments pervaded the discourse, and I felt several times that 
it was hard work to keep from weeping. He wields a power that 
goes home to the emotional part of man. At its close I stepped 
up to him. He knew my face but not my name. When I told 
him who I was he was delighted to see me, wanted to take me to 
his house, where he said he had three or four spare rooms and a 
horse and carriage at my disposal; and he added in his quiet 
Yankee style, " I will put you through Philadelphia thoroughly 
and in good shape." I declined his offer, however, telling him 
that Stairs and I were going South this morning. Dined at two 
p.m., then went to Mrs. Darst's, saw her, her mother, little boy, 
and James with one of his little children. Spent an hour there. 
They appear comfortable. . . . Mrs. D. looks as she did when 
in Halifax. The old lady I never saw before. . . . Mrs. 
Taylor looks old, but not so much so as I expected to see her. 
Foster married her niece, as you are aware. 

There being no service in the afternoon, in the principal 
places of worship, I remained at home until 7 p.m, and then went 
to Quaker's meeting. It was indeed a Quaker's meeting. No 
prayer, no praise, no Christ, — except a few observations from a 
person belonging to another sect. This large building was one 
of the Hickite sect, very large here. The orthodox Quaker 
believes in Christ's divinity. The Hickites do not, and look upon 
Him only as being a good man. Hence no allusion to Him 
by the only Quaker who spoke. It took the Spirit an im- 
mense time to move him, and when he rose he sang his words to 
a kind of tune familiar to all their speakers. They all sing 
rather than speak. It was dead — the dry bones of the valley 
remained dry. It was an hour lost to me and all present. I felt 
inclined often to rise and speak or pray with them, and, as I after- 
wards learned, might have spoken. Prayer in public is not known 
to them. It was really laughable to hear the old, tall, dried-up 
Quaker singing out an exhortation : " Be livelier, friends, be 
stirred up," etc. They were pretty much the same as you are 
when I try to wake you up in the mornings. It would take an 
earthquake to stir them up and make them " lively." One Quaker 
in Philadelphia has been known to run " lively," and that was 
when the spirit stirred up a fire in his neighborhood, but he 
stopped before he got half a block on his way. Yet I am a 
descendant of these same people. I fear that they would look 
upon me as a fast descendant. 

Matthewson and his wife are going fifty or sixty miles south 


with us this morning. Mr. M. has asked the Rev. Dr. Jenkins, 
Mary Lawson's old friend, of Montreal, now resident here, to take 
us through the United States Mint this morning, after which we 
are away. . . . My health is now very good, except an occa- 
sional fullness of the head. I am able to eat, drink, and sleep, 
the latter not so well as I could wish. On the whole, I am thank- 
ful to add I am much better than I was when I left, and can now 
undergo a good deal of physical exertion without feeling it, or 
having my breathing affected. I want to get South and remain 
a while in one locality. Relaxation is everything. I must try 
and work less if it pleases God to return me to my own dear 
home again. I miss you all very much — how much I cannot tell 
you. I am most anxious for letters, but as yet cannot get them. 
Frank will send them on to our hotel in Savannah as soon as they 
reach him, and we will not hear from you before Saturday, per- 
haps not then. The change in hotel life since you and I were 
here together is somewhat marked in one particular. You will 
recollect how much wine was drunk at dinner in those days. 
Now it is the exception rather than the rule. Very few take it. 
Cold water is the rage. I would like to drink bitter ale, but it 
is so awfully expensive I cannot indulge. Just fancy ale 4s. a 
bottle, and it is the cheapest drink one can get. Chewing tobacco 
is not so fashionable either as it was in our day, although every 
provision is made for it, and right under my nose in my room 
where I now write is a large spittoon inviting me. 

The political question of the day is not much talked of by 
strangers — everything is in doubt. What the future is to reveal 
is no more known by the residents than ourselves. If you ask a 
man about it, if he is a Democrat he will at once say that the 
question is settled and the Secession is past and gone, never to 
be redeemed, or at all events it will be years before the seceding 
States return. While a Republican would tell you that the South 
must be whipped into obedience and brought back with a chain 
around its neck. Of course these are the extreme views, and we 
have no opportunity of learning much that is accurate, from speak- 
ing to a few persons in the hotels. My own impression, however, 
is that the South is irretrievably gone, and that they are at 
this moment, and will be forever, two distinct nations, and it is 
much better for all that it should be so. When in the South, or 
Slave States, as I shall be in a few hours, I shall be able to look 
at the question from another point of view, and study the " divine 
institution," as the clergymen there call it, practically. 

I must now close this long epistle, my dear wife. Tell the 
dear children that Papa constantly prays to God that they may 
be good and obedient and preserved in life until we are permitted 
to meet again. I hope Johnston is a good boy. Give them all 

154 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

kisses from Papa. I long to hear the babe. I only wish I could 
have the little fellow in my solitary bed for an hour every morn- 
ing. God bless and preserve you, my dear wife. 

Ever your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Pakker. 

Washington, Apr. 3, 1861. 
My Dear Wife : 

By the steamer which leaves Boston to-day you will get a long 
epistle, giving you a hurried outline of our movements up to the 
morning of the 1st inst. After breakfast Mr. Matthewson, with 
his friend, Rev. Dr. Jenkins, formerly a Methodist minister in 
Montreal, but now a Presbyterian, accompanied us to the TJ. S. 
Mint, which we saw in all its departments and arrangements. 
Copper, silver and gold were being manufactured into coin from 
the raw material by thousands of dollars, by machinery the most 
beautiful and perfect that I have ever seen in operation. The 
mechanical part in its highest and most important departments 
is conducted by men, while the less skilled and easier performed 
part of the work is accomplished by a whole herd of women and 
girls, all receiving at least a dollar a day. I wish that you and 
your sisters had been taken through it when we were all here 
together. . . . We then visited Dr. Jenkins' church, where 
we saw the most complete arrangement for lectures, prayer-meet- 
ing, Sabbath-school and Bible-class that one could well con- 
ceive. . . 

We, in company with Matthewson and his wife, left for the 
South in a mid-day train. They accompanied us only as far as 
New Ash, in the State of Delaware, where Mr. M. has a cousin 
married to a wealthy man, and they were going down to pay them 
a hurried visit. Shortly after they left us, we crossed the border 
of Maryland, and entered the first slave State. At 4 p.m. we 
reached Baltimore and dined, after which necessary operation 
we took a walk, although it was dull and rainy. Baltimore is a 
city of two hundred or two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, 
and is well arranged, has fine, substantial public and private 
buildings ; but what is to be its most attractive feature shortly is a 
most magnificent park situated about two miles from the centre of 
the city. This, ever since the country has been settled, belonged, 
until quite recently, to a family called Rogers, and by them was 
sold to the city. The trees are almost as old as the hills, and some 
of them immense. Stairs and I tried to surround one in a tender 
embrace, both of us encircling its delicate waist with our arms 
together, but we failed by a long distance to make our hands meet, 
and this was a common size. This park is about five hundred 
acres in extent, and the roads for carriages that are now being 


made will be, I daresay, twenty miles in extent. ... It will 
be one of the finest and most interesting places in all America. 
We walked in it for a couple of hours, and then returned to the 
city by a horse railway (with which Baltimore, Philadelphia, New 
York and Boston are now completely intersected) and then 
mounted to the top of a beautiful monument erected to Washington 
by the State of Maryland. It is of white marble, one hundred 
and eighty feet in height, which we gained with lamps in our 
hands, after mounting a spiral stone stairway by a dark passage 
containing between two hundred and three hundred steps. It 
made my breath short and my head dizzy before I reached the 
summit. The view was beautiful, commanding, as it did, the 
whole city and country for miles around, and far out into the 
Delaware Bay. 

The Peabody Institute, a white marble building, to cost when 
completed one million dollars, was the last object of interest seen 
in Baltimore. It is intended for a Public Library and Lecture- 
room, a kind of scientific institution for the benefit of the people of 
Baltimore. Peabody is a Liverpool, England, merchant, but has 
large business relations with the place of his early days, Baltimore, 
and has from his immense fortune set aside this sum for this 
benevolent and judicious object. It will take some time to com- 
plete the structure, but the work is going rapidly on. The public 
buildings of all the States we have passed through are fine, even 
magnificent, built of freestone, granite and marble, but they 
all pale and sink into insignificance when contrasted with 
those of Washington, which we have yet to see in their 
interior. We walked around and about them yesterday after- 
noon and evening, and view them internally in detail to-day. 
What strikes a stranger in this country, especially one who 
has travelled in England, is the ease with which all kinds and 
descriptions of persons can obtain access to all the public buildings 
and departments of the country. They belong to " the sovereign 
people," and certainly the people take advantage of their oppor- 
tunities in this respect. Just fancy for a moment all the grounds 
in and around Buckingham Palace, or to descend from great 
things to small, around the Government House in Halifax, being 
open at all hours to the men, women and children, and the whole 
Union, as well as to strangers. Stairs and I walked round the 
White House yesterday. Our national unobtrusiveness kept us 
from entering the grounds, yet there were men, women and chil- 
dren on the walks, romping over the grass and even taking liberties 
with the trees, a thing I would not permit even on my estate of 
" Beechwood," rough and uncultivated though it is. Such, how- 
ever, is the genius of the people, and the freedom and openness of 
their institutions. 


The hotels, as we go south, gradually fade and become less 
elegant, the class of loungers at the doors and offices becomes more 
rough and ungentlemanly in appearance, and there is just now a 
look of suspicion, and a desire expressed in their looks to know all 
about you, who you are and what your business is, that you do 
not observe in the Northern States. The hotels are immense in 
size, and the same system is adopted as in the North, in reference 
to general management. We generally get rooms adjoining, and 
for the most part sit and read and write in our bedrooms, as the 
noise and apparent inquisitiveness in the gentlemen's sitting- 
rooms are far from agreeable to quiet old fogies like your husband 
and his travelling companion. Besides, were we to write down- 
stairs in their midst, the probability is that we should have a dark, 
long-bearded Southerner looking over our shoulders to see whether 
or not we were correspondents of Northern newspapers. Last 
night, to avoid the noise and society of the gents below, we ven- 
tured into the ladies' drawing-room and, it being a free country, 
made ourselves at home; when who should walk in but my old 
friend Kellogg, the temperance lecturer, who in days gone by so 
often visited Halifax with good results to many poor unfortunate 
drunkards. . . . He did not know me, but I knew him, and 
walked up to the man and said : " How do you do, Mr. Kellogg ?" 
" How do you do, sir," he replied, " I cannot call you by name." 
I then told him who I was, and you never saw a man more pleased. 
Nothing would do but we must start off at once for a mile's walk, 
although it was bed-time, to see his wife and have a chat about 
Halifax and Halifax people. . . . Kellogg has turned his 
temperance to political effect. About seven years ago he moved 
out west to Michigan, and they have now sent him for two terms 
from that State to Congress as their representative. Congress is 
not now in session. I am sorry for it, as we should have heard 
their great guns fire in these days of excitement and warring 
words. They closed their sitting two weeks ago. Kellogg is only 
remaining here, as he says, turning out the Democrats and putting 
in their Eepublican successors for his State. 

It is almost impossible for us to glean anything definite as to 
the future of this portion of the continent, politically speaking. 
In fact, we find it judicious to say little ourselves, and when we do 
converse with men of both sides, we arrive at the conclusion that 
we know as much about their difficulties and their future as they 
do themselves. Every man speaks as he feels, and his conclusions 
are based on his political feelings. With their press it is the same. 
The Government, as far as I can learn, is undecided and wavering 
in its policy. The two Confederacies, as they now stand, remind 
me of two schoolboys who are urged on to fight by their com- 
panions. " One's afraid and t'other daresn't " ; or like two dogs 


in the street, pretty well matched as to size, they growl, show their 
teeth, and in this hostile attitude, each eyeing the other, they back 
away to a respectful distance, and then, with their tails between 
their legs, give each other leg-bail — both delighted to get out of the 
scrape without fighting. Well, I think that is pretty much the 
state of things here. It is pretty certain that the old Union cannot 
continue, and that the seceding States will not return. 

You cannot tell how thankful I am that I belong to a mon- 
archical government, and can call the free institutions of old 
England mine. Here there is no freedom. Rome, in its worst 
days, never coerced freedom of thought and expression as does that 
part of creation in which we now travel. But I must stop politics 
for the present and go sight-seeing, as Stairs is waiting for me. 
I only hope when I get your letters at Savannah, that they and the 
accompanying newspapers will bring me cheering news of home 
politics and of a dissolution. 

4 o'clock p.m. — Well, my dear Fanny, " we've gone and went 
and done it " — that is, the sights. Our legs are weary and our 
brains muddled with the mixture of everything that is grand, 
massive, and elegant in the structures we have this day seen. 
While their political institutions are shaking and crumbling, the 
marble, the granite and freestone structures that they have reared 
are of a character to stand hundreds of years. They have been 
erected and internally constructed, not for the United States as 
they now are, but for the United States centuries hence. The 
progressive growth of a mighty nation was considered as the 
architect planned them. But alas for the plans of man and of 
nations ! He and they may propose, but God disposes ; and it in 
not unlikely that the United States of America ere long may have 
to move their seat of government further north, while those great 
and magnificent structures may fall into the possession of a 
Southern people unworthy of them. To give you even the faintest 
idea of these public buildings, either in the general or in detail, 
would require a volume. They remind one of the palmy days of 
Greece and Rome, both as regards their extent, appearance and 
style of architecture. The Capitol alone covers with its massive 
masonry between five and six acres of ground. . . . Nothing 
in the world can compare with this building of white marble, at 
least nothing in England, or anything I have seen or read of; 
and all foreigners go away with this same impression. The White 
House is large, and also of white marble. We only saw three or 
four rooms in it. As the President was engaged and could not 
spare the time to-day to come out and shake hands with the sov- 
ereign people, we missed seeing him. However, he is not much to 
look at, if one may judge from his portraits, and I daresay his 
present feelings will make his physiognomy look still less attractive 

158 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

than when in the first days of his presidential glories his phiz was 
taken by the thousands. 

The Treasury, the Patent Office, and the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution have all been viewed and examined, very briefly, of course, 
as also the magnificent Post Office. It would take a week to 
examine the Patent Office alone — I might almost add a month, if 
I were of a mechanical turn ; but I think I could do it up, as the 
Yankees say, satisfactorily in one week. I have yet to visit the 
Washington Asylum for the Insane, which is the model, archi- 
tecturally, not medically, of our own at Dartmouth. I expect to 
meet Miss Dix there. It is three miles out of the city, and after 
dinner I shall drive there. To-morrow we start for Richmond, 
Virginia, sailing down the Potomac River thirty miles or more in a 
steamer, taking in our route Mount Vernon and the tomb of Wash- 
ington. We shall only be able to get a passing view of the Mount, 
his place of residence and death, as we must hurry on to the South 
and get out of it again before the weather gets too warm. To-day 
the sun has been warm and the air delicious. Here the grass is 
all green, the foliage coming out, and many trees and plants are 
in blossom. What a change from our cold, damp spring in Nova 
Scotia! Would that you and the dear children were all here to 
enjoy it with me! It would add a thousand-fold to the pleasure 
of my journey and sight-seeing. After passing through Richmond 
and spending a day there, we go on to Wilmington, North Carolina, 
from thence to Charleston, S.C., and finally bring up at Savannah, 
Ga., about the first of the week, from which place you will, God 
willing, hear from me again. . . . My health, thank God, is 
as well as usual. I suffer but little with my head, and sleep well, 
although the frequent changes in my sleeping apartments do not 
tend to aid me in this particular. ... I hope Tupper and 
Charles may drop me a line. 

Ever, my dearest wife, your affectionate husband, 

D. McN. Parkee. 

Spotswood Hotel, Richmond, Va., 
April 5th, 1861. 
My Dearest Wife : 

Here I am in " old Virginny," very comfortably situated at a 
very comfortable hotel, with the weather comparatively mild and 
pleasant, the foliage, and vegetation generally, developing itself 
more and more each day. The peach and cherry trees are all in 
blossom, and this adds to the natural beauty of the country as we 
pass along, at the rate of twenty-five miles per hour, getting a 
passing but pleasing view and idea of the physical geography of 
the country. Before going further I must tell you what I neg- 


lected to state in my last letter relative to Washington, geographi- 
cally and politically considered. Virginia and Maryland, but 
mainly the latter, in order to get the seat of the general government 
located pretty well south in a slave district, set apart ten square 
miles and presented this block of land to the United States for 
general States purposes. Subsequently, Virginia, in consequence 
of excessive taxation, and no direct advantages accruing to that 
State, petitioned Congress to give her back her contribution, south 
of the Potomac River, which request was acceded to. So that the 
District of Columbia, as this block of land is called, is now situated 
in the very heart of the slave State, Maryland. Here all the public 
buildings belonging to the United States government are situated, 
and when an American speaks of Washington he embraces under 
the word the District of Columbia. . . . The inhabitants of 
this District have no votes, and no voice in the general affairs of 
their nation. The only votes they give are for the municipal 
offices, such as our mayor and aldermen, and they are only taxed 
for municipal or city purposes. The nation, out of the general 
revenues of the country, has built all these magnificent structures 
referred to in my last letter. The people of Washington have not 
paid a penny towards them, while as an offset for their disfranch- 
isement they have received all the benefits that such an immense 
expenditure of millions of dollars in their midst would necessarily 
bring. Each State in the Union has laws of its own, harmonizing, 
of course, except at the present juncture, and on the slave question, 
with the general laws of the Union. This District of Columbia, 
then, is governed by the laws of the State of Maryland, with which 
the laws of the municipal corporation or city must harmonize. 
Now, Maryland being a slave State, slavery can exist in Washing- 
ton or the District of Columbia, and does to a large extent, although 
Maryland, as a whole, does not contain, I believe, more than 84,000 
slaves, in fact has the smallest amount of human property of any of 
the slave States. The geographical position of Washington, in the 
very heart of one slave State, and bounded on the south by another, 
Virginia, is likely to be, under the existing state of political affairs, 
a very grave question. The people of Maryland and Virginia, I 
think, have pretty well concluded to join the Southern Confederacy, 
and as a gentleman of this city, highly educated and influential, 
told me yesterday, the South must and will have Washington as 
their seat of government. At the same time, he stated that they 
wanted it only after paying their fair proportion of the expendi- 
ture and the money the structures now used by the general govern- 
ment cost. This is one of the gravest and most knotty points they 
have to settle ; and to use the words of my friend, it is not improb- 
able that this one question may involve the country in war and 
bloodshed. The North, of course, will not care to yield up the 

160 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

millions upon millions that they have expended from that section 
of the Union for these great public works, without a struggle, — 
works that they have always looked upon as the pride of their 
country and as indicative of their country's greatness and power, 
leaving out of the question their magnificence and grandeur as 
works of art. 

Before passing to my journey from Washington to this place 
I will just inform you that in this capital (Richmond) at present 
the Legislature is in session, and there is also in session what is 
termed a State Convention, composed of men from all sections of 
the State. They are now debating the momentous question of the 
day. The general feeling of the State, from all I can learn, is 
in favor of secession, still being, for the most part, conservative in 
their views. They do not wish to act hastily or to give other 
sections of the country the idea that they are acting without due 
deliberation. A few weeks ago the city was entirely for Union, 
but a very significant fact occurred the day before yesterday which 
conveys an idea of the change that is taking place throughout the 
State. A Secession and a Union man ran for the office of Mayor 
of the city. The former beat his opponent by over 1,200 majority. 
This revulsion of feeling has taken place within a few weeks. The 
United States Government were prevented from removing guns 
that they had contracted for with an iron foundry company in 
Richmond, and the Legislature purchased them from the con- 
tractors for State purposes. Besides, Virginia is now refitting at 
its own expense military positions formerly occupied by United 
States troops ; and within a gunshot from where I am writing they 
are fitting up an armory and a large foundry for the manufacture 
of cannon and small arms, — which localities are garrisoned by 
Virginia militia. The State is evidently preparing for war, and 
unless President Lincoln disavows the Republican principles on 
which he was elected, and the laws on the statute book of many of 
his Northern States are modified, Virginia will be out of the 
Union. This he cannot do, and the North will not permit it, if 
Lincoln was so disposed. So I take it for granted from the signs 
of the times that "old Virginny" will secede, not in a hurry, but in 
the end with certainty, and, she being the keystone of the arch, as 
she moves, so will Maryland, Kentucky, and Tennessee and North 
Carolina. These being added to those States now composing the 
Southern Confederacy, will make such a powerful nation that the 
North will be helpless to regain them by conquest. I find a large 
number of the Democratic party of the Northern States entirely 
sympathize with the South. Their business was largely with 
Southern men, their pockets have been touched, and they feel, and 
express themselves in the strongest terms, in favor of the Southern 
movement and in hostility to Lincoln. The very general Demo- 


cratic feeling in the North renders Lincoln's administration power- 
less to reconquer by arms the seceding States. My impression is, 
it will be better for both parties, the country, other countries, and 
for humanity that a peaceful resignation of the Southern States 
should be made by the North, and I only hope and pray that this 
may be the finale of the matter. 

You must excuse me, my dear wife, for writing and boring 
you so much at length about United States politics, but I know 
your father and others will like to hear from the seat of war what 
is going on in these troublous and eventful times. 

Stairs, Johnnie and I started from Washington yesterday, 
April 4, at 6 a.m., embarked on board a large steamer, and sailed 
down the Potomac River 50 miles to Aquia Creek, where we took 
the train for Richmond. The Potomac is a beautiful, broad river, 
with fine bold scenery on both its shores. . . . We saw, as 
we passed along, Washington's house and tomb at Mount Vernon. 
It would have been pleasant could we have landed for half an hour 
or more. Our journey terminated for the day at this place 
between 2 and 3 o'clock. When paying my fare on board the 
steamer I heard one of the passengers say he was from North 
Carolina. I asked him if he knew anything of Fayetteville (where 
my grandfather McNeill came from). He said he did not, but 
that there was a gentleman on board from the very place, and he 
introduced me to him. I find that the McNeills at Fayetteville 
and in its neighborhood are as thick as blueberries, and, as he 
expressed it, " they are all fine, responsible people." I learned 
from him how I was to reach the place, and to-morrow morning 
we start for Raleigh, the capital of the State, and then travel 60 
miles through the country by stage coach to Fayetteville, from 
which place we take steamer down a river to Wilmington, and 
thence go south to Charleston and Savannah. This will, of course, 
delay our progress to the most southern part of our journey, but we 
are pretty certain to reach Savannah during next week, when we 
hope to receive the much-thought-of and longed-for letters from 

Immediately after dining we sauntered out yesterday to look 
at the place and the lions. The Capitol, or place where the Legis- 
lature meets, is old and unworthy of remark. One of the senators, 
or Lords, who had bolted his dinner and returned to the Senate 
room before his colleagues, was stretched out on a sofa asleep, with 
his boots off, his heels in the air, his head shaggy and uncombed, — 
altogether the most perfect parody on " otium cum dignitate," as 
the Latin has it, that I have ever witnessed. Just fancy the old 
gentleman, the Hon. W. A. Black, M.L.C., stretched off in that 
style ! 

The centre of attraction for both ladies and gentlemen appeared 


162 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

to be the Mechanics' Institute, where the State Convention already- 
referred to was in session. Thither we bent our steps and heard 
a few short, spicy speeches from some very old and some very 
young men. The Lincoln government appeared to be the target 
and the Union got heavy blows. One old grey-headed man, appar- 
ently a Union man, went into it strong. I lost the sense, owing to 
the noise, but could hear such expressions as " the gates of hell " 
and " the husband of the devil " coming from the old fellow's lips. 
I came away impressed with the belief that they wanted leading 
minds to direct them, and dignity of demeanor and language, to 
carry weight and influence with their deliberations. Our Legis- 
lature, bad as it is (don't wound the feelings of Mr. Johnston and 
Tupper by repeating in their presence the foregoing words), would 
impress a stranger, especially an Englishman, most favorably, when 
contrasted with the deliberative body under consideration. 

In front of the Capitol is a beautiful monument erected to 
Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other great men who 
took part in the eventful struggle of 1776, men of this State. You 
will recollect reading in the Christian Messenger, a few weeks 
since, the soul-stirring defence of three Baptist ministers who were 
on trial here years ago, made by this same Patrick Henry. They 
were imprisoned and tried " for preaching the gospel of Jesus 
Christ." Henry's statue is indicative of just such a man, and his 
broad, high forehead and striking features would at once point him 
out as a man, not massive in body alone, but in mind — a man with 
a great and good soul. 

Richmond is beautifully situated on hill and dale, with streams 
of water running through it, and is largely engaged in manufac- 
turing flour, tobacco, iron, cloth, etc., etc. We went through a 
flour mill which manufactures about 1,400 barrels of flour a day; 
that is, takes in the wheat, grinds it, barrels it and has it all ready 
before night to ship ; and there are many such mills, all driven by 
water power from the James River. An immense quantity of 
tobacco is grown and manufactured in this State. In one of the 
London docks there are warehouses covering thirteen acres used for 
tobacco alone, and the greater part of this is derived from the ports 
of this State and other United States ports which ship the weed 
of Virginia. Iron and coal exist in inexhaustible quantity in the 
mountain districts, and altogether it is one of the richest States in 
the Union, both in what we would term natural resources and in 
human beings held as property. The slaves of Virginia amount 
to about 500,000. 

Raleigh, "N.C., April 6th, '61. — We have advanced thus far, 
having left Richmond at 3 p.m. yesterday and remained all night 
at a station in the pine forest in this State, near the Roanoke River, 
called Weldon. We reached Weldon about nine o'clock, and after 


dark were constantly reminded of a picture in the London Illus- 
trated News — of a black boy with a pine torch stopping the train. 
You will see it in that paper of some date about February. I was 
very much amused at one little fellow stopping the train with this 
bright, glaring flame, the torch being as large as himself, and no 
place visible. All he wanted to send south was two bags of small 
live pigs, tied up, kicking and squealing as they joined us. When- 
ever these torches appear on the line the train must stop, for they 
frequently appear to warn of danger. We wandered about Wel- 
don, the banks of the Roanoke, and under the tall pine trees, talk- 
ing to " niggers," as they are here designated, about rattlesnakes, 
fishing, planting, etc., and in this way passed two or three hours 
pleasantly until the arrival of the Northern train, which we 
joined, and left again at this place. Raleigh is a small place, the 
capital of North Carolina. It has a fine Capitol, or building cor- 
responding to our Province Building, an asylum for the insane, 
and an institution for the deaf, dumb, and blind, combined under 
one roof. As we walked through the latter this afternoon I unex- 
pectedly pitched upon a document containing my name, viz., the 
report of the Deaf and Dumb Institution at Halifax. Mr. Hutton 
had forwarded it to Mr. Palmer, the principal of this Institution. 
This, of course, was a kind of bond of friendship, and we became 
communicative. He is a Baptist, and nothing would do but we 
must go and examine a beautiful church structure erected here 
by our denomination, and only recently opened. We were 
much pleased with its internal beauty and arrangement. 
. The basement of this chapel is not only for Sunday- 
school teaching, but in the afternoon it is used as a place 
of worship for the black Baptists. The everlasting Divine 
Institution extends even into the house of God. There, as 
in the outer world, the white man is separated from his 
darker brother. In Heaven, however, the skin will not by its 
color draw a line of demarkation between brethren in Christ. All 
denominations err alike in this particular. I find this tender 
ground to touch on, even with my brethren in the Church, with 
whom I am in the habit of speaking pretty plainly on all subjects. 
But here it is well to be guarded. So I merely glean facts, for 
information's sake, draw my own conclusions, keep up an ever- 
lasting thinking and say but little. I find here, as in Virginia, the 
popular voice is for secession. Nearly every man we meet 
broaches the subject to us, as Englishmen, and talks freely. 
Within the last two days we have conversed with many men, on 
railways, by the wayside, and at hotels, and not one declared him- 
self for " The Black Republic." Even as I write, one of the 
natives is haranguing Stairs on the advantages of secession and 
the duty of North Carolina in the present crisis. A few days 


since some young men here hoisted the Secession Flag, and, being 
armed with revolvers, surrounded the staff on which it proudly 
floated, to defend it if it should be attacked. None dare come 
boldly up from the front, but from a hidden spot a rifle was fired 
at the flag. The Union man was hunted out from his hiding- 
place and ran for his life, escaping a dozen shots which were fired 
at him as he bolted. The crowd saved him. The men who in the 
capital of North Carolina thus hoisted the rebellious flag were 
gentlemen, as our informant stated. They kept it flying for an 
hour and a half after sunset, and then in force walked down to the 
" Palace " at the foot of the street, where the Governor of the 
State resides, and with the flag in their hands gave three hearty 
cheers for his Excellency. 

It is strange how one pitches upon friend's friends when far 
away from home. Just as I had written our names in the hotel 
book, a gentleman who was examining the book asked if we were 
from Halifax. We replied in the affirmative, when he asked if 
we knew Mr. Mulholland and Dr. Donald. I told him I knew 
them both, and the latter intimately. We were at once on friendly 
terms, and our new acquaintance, Mr. Agnew, from Belfast, Ire- 
land, many years since, but now a resident of this State and an 
out-and-out believer in the Divine Institution and Secession, haa 
been most kind and attentive. 

Sunday Afternoon. — Early this morning we went to the Bap- 
tist Sabbath-school, expecting to see a large collection of children, 
but the day being a little wet only a few boys came out. The 
pastor was absent and there was no service. We attended service 
in the Presbyterian church, but there was only a handful of people 
out. I thought we of Granville St. church were afraid of storms 
unnecessarily, but the church-going people of Kaleigh are still 
more " fair-weather Christians " than those of Halifax. It was 
only a Scotch mist, yet they called it a rain-storm and the parson 
prayed for those that had been detained at home by the " inclement 
weather." I wish they could see and feel a snow or rain storm in 
Nova Scotia in March ! It has been altogether a dull day for me. 
At the Southern hotels there are no rooms for gentlemen who leave 
their wives at home, and one is compelled to sit in the common 
sitting-room, where are collected all kinds of men from the city, 
as well as the guests of the house, and they are talking of nothing 
but politics and " niggers." To get rid of this, Stairs and I took 
our umbrellas after a one-o'clock dinner and walked out into the 
country; and had it not been raining we would have had a 
pleasant afternoon of it. We struck the pine forest, and taking 
a path which was before us, followed it for some distance. We did 
not meet with any snakes except a dead one, which some son of 
Eve had killed a short time before. 


A traveller who loves his home and his own fireside misses 
those dear to him more on the Sabbath than on any other day; 
at least, it is so with me, and I would give much just to pop in on 
you in your quiet, cozy little room upstairs, and take my usual 
lounge on the sofa, chatting with you and the older bairns, and 
bearding the poor dear baby. With God's blessing I will in three 
weeks or a little more be able thus to amuse myself in my very 
happy home. 

Stairs is an exceedingly well-informed man, well read in his- 
tory and on general topics, and altogether a most agreeable com- 
panion. His son is a very nice and, at times, a very amusing boy. 
It is very evident he has been well brought up. I do not know 
how I would have got on without them. It would have been ter- 
ribly dull work to travel all this distance without a companion. 
I feel now as well as usual, can take exercise freely without fatigue, 
and my head gives me but little trouble. How grateful to God I 
should be for His goodness to me, dear wife. I very well know that 
had I remained at work in Nova Scotia at this trying and inclem- 
ent season, I should have completely broken down in health. 
God's goodness to me in furnishing me with the means to seek 
health abroad should always be remembered with thankfulness. 
How many professional men are there whose health breaks down 
under their incessant labors, and who die for want of such relaxa- 
tion, not being able to afford the expense of going abroad ! 

In our walk we passed the house of the Baptist minister, Rev. 
Mr. Skinner, and there saw verbenas growing in the open air. 
This gentleman is, in a pecuniary point of view, a lucky Baptist 
parson, for he is worth £25,000, has a large and elegant establish- 
ment, and his " nigger fixin's " are the neatest and most comfort- 
able I have seen as yet — that is, the houses for his niggers. All 
proprietors of slaves have the residences of the latter near them, 
generally in small houses in the rear and on one or both sides of 
their own residences. 

There is a Judge Alden, of Vermont, staying here for the 
health of his daughter. He is an abolitionist and Unionist. 
While chatting before the fire last night, he said he had come to 
the same conclusion on the secession question that I have, viz., 
that ere very long Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland and Kentucky 
would join the South. Personal observation, in mingling with 
the crowd as we are doing, has fixed this belief unwillingly upon 
him. He further added that he, for one, would like the Northern 
States and his own Vermont to go back to England and her free 
constitution and government. This gentleman is at present a 
judge of the Supreme Court, and when a man in his position 
speaks out in this style, you may depend there are many others 


who think as he does on this matter. The judge is a friend of 
Carteret Hill's, having frequently met him in Boston. 

Monday morning, April 8. — You will recollect a Mr. Green- 
wood's panorama of Bunyan's " Pilgrim's Progress " which was 
exhibited in Halifax a year or two ago. He, his wife and son 
are staying here just now, and last night, learning that we were 
from Halifax, he came and introduced himself to us. I recollect 
his face very well. . . . He asked me if I knew Judge 
Wilmot, of Fredericton. I told him he was my brother-in-law, 
and he then stated that he had been trying to immortalize the 
judge and his gardens, having just delivered a lecture to the Fay- 
etteville people in the Baptist church there, which lecture was 
largely taken up with Wilmot, his gardens and Chinese lamps, 
and the two happy occasions when he was permitted there to take 
part in fetes given to the Sabbath-school children of Fredericton. 
He wished to be remembered to the judge and also wanted Allan 
to know that he was making him known to the Southerners — so 
that should he come South at any time he will not be likely to be 
tarred and feathered. ... I am going with Mr. Palmer to 
the Asylum for the Insane, having had a most interesting morning 
with the blind and the deaf and dumb. I leave at 5 o'clock p.m. 
for Fayetteville. 

Ever, dearest wife, with love and kisses to the children, Yours, 

D. P. 

Fayetteville, IST.C, 
Wednesday, April 10th, 1861. 
My Dear Wife : 

I left Raleigh shortly after mailing my letter there for you, in 
the mail coach for this place, in a rain-storm. Stairs and Johnnie 
remained there until yesterday, and then took a train for Wil- 
mington. Of all the roads I ever travelled, that between Raleigh 
and this place is the worst. Several times we got our wheels into 
a deep rut, and the other three inside passengers and a 
" nigger " on the box, with your husband, would all have 
to huddle together on the opposite side, and hold on, to keep 
the coach from toppling over. A lady passenger with us 
was terribly frightened, as the same driver upset the coach with 
her in it, in the night, when, a short time before, she was going 
up to Raleigh. But the last fifteen miles were terrible. In this 
State some years ago a number of speculators built a plank road 
on this as on many of the roads, which was a kind of toll road. It 
proved bad stock, and when the first planks were out or got dis- 
placed, for want of dividends they were not renewed, and you 
can readily imagine the jumping and pitching there would be 
under such circumstances. A young lady sat opposite me. Some- 


times our heads went upward to the roof, sometimes fore and aft, 
as sailors say, and we found ourselves almost butting, like sheep 
and goats. For a youngster it would have been grand sport, but 
for a staid old fellow like myself, half asleep, it was rather 
unpleasant. So I just pulled my fur cap well down over my eyes, 
to protect my forehead from the concussion, should it come, and 
in this way, with feet braced, stood prepared for the repeated 
shocks. At length daylight came, and with it Fayetteville in the 
distance, and the long pine forest was left behind. At half-past 
six a.m. I was deposited at my hotel — rather sore, sleepy and tired. 
As soon as breakfast was over I commenced an attack on the clan 
McNeill, but met with nothing but disappointment until about 
11 o'clock. Every person I went to turned out to be the wrong 
man, and many from whom I might have obtained information 
relative to Captain McNeill's relations were absent on a railway- 
extension excursion (the opening ceremonies of a new railway). 
Parson McNeill, Sheriff McNeill, and the President of one of the 
banks, from whom I expected much, were thus engaged and could 
not be reached. At length the old inhabitants were thought of. 
Col. McRae being one of them, I went to him, and he referred me 
to one David Torrance, an old Scotchman who lived about a mile 
out of town, who was born some time after the flood and has a 
reputation of remembering everything that had occurred since 
that unhappy occasion. I found the old gentleman at home 
and broached the subject by saying that I was in search of the 
descendants of a Loyalist officer called McNeill who was a native 
of North Carolina, but who had settled in Nova Scotia at the 
close of the war. He looked at me for a moment and promptly 
replied: "You are a descendant, then, of Dan'l McNeill who 
came on here on a visit from Nova Scotia in 1809." He then 
commenced like a 40-horsepower steam engine, beginning with 
Archie Ban and Janet Ban (Ban meaning, in Scotch, fair or light- 
complexioned), by which soubriquet Capt. McNeill's parents were 
known — and he ran on (there was no such thing as stopping him) 
and gave me the names and the descendants of all my great-uncles, 
brought them down to the small fry, and I did not know but that 
he was going into the future, to name generations yet to be born — 
and there being a partially colored lady present, his daughter, I 
flushed, and boldly came to the charge by saying, with my note- 
book in hand : " Now sir, to become practical and get at the pith 
of this matter, give me the names of Daniel McNeill's nearest 
living relations." He looked posed when he viewed the pencil and 
book, but at length gave me the names of three or four of my grand- 
father's nephews and nieces, and informed me that they all lived at 
McNeill's Ferry, twenty-five miles from this place. Ascertaining 
that I had been in Edinburgh and knew something of Scotland, 

168 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

he was about to take up the history of that country from the time 
the dove of the Ark lighted on Ben Lomond or Ben Nevis, as these 
intensely Scottish men will almost affirm, when I took up my hat, 
and with hurried and heartfelt thanks to the old man for the 
information, soon gave him a parting look at my coat-tails round 
the corner. In an hour more I was behind a splendid two-horse 
team, with a nigger driver, on my way to Col. McNeill's, as he 
is called in these parts. On the road, when about fourteen miles 
from here, I saw a very old white lady standing at her door, so I 
pulled up to ask her the nearest way to a plantation owned by the 
widow of a first cousin of my mother. She told me, and I was about 
to drive on, when the old lady, guessing I was a stranger, from my 
appearance and speech, asked me several questions and gleaned 
from me that I was a descendant of Captain McNeill's. " Oh 
dear, oh dear — Dan'l McNeill, Dan'l McNeill!" I feared she 
would go off — or would take on — after the style of my friend Davy 
Torrance, so I gave the word to go on. The old lady stopped me, 
and what question do you suppose she asked me? She only 
wanted to know if I was married ! I told her I was, and that I 
was the happy father of an increasing family, when she said : " I 
didn't know but what you were going a-courting, for there are some 
fine gals down there, mighty rich, and Miss McKay is a great 
belle. They are all very clever people, and though I'm now poor 
and they are mighty rich, they treat me very sociable like." In 
this style she was going on when I left her abruptly, feeling rather 
flattered that a man of thirty-nine should be taken for a boy going 
a-courting. I afterwards learned that in my grandfather's day 
she had been in good circumstances and he knew her very well as a 
neighbor. About the spot where I sat talking to the old woman, 
sixty years ago resided my grandfather's brother John — " Cunning 
John," as he was always called, and although long since dead he is 
still remembered and spoken of by this soubriquet, in consequence 
of the active part he played in these parts during the Revolutionary 
War. He was a leading Loyalist and effectually carried the war 
into the enemy's camp, and could never be conquered or taken. 
The enemy named him Cunning John, and old Davy Torrance, 
when he began to name over my great-grandfather's children, 
headed the list by saying: " There was Cunning John, he," etc., 

I pulled up at the Colonel's, Archibald S. McNeill, son of 
Neill McNeill, my grandfather's brother, and ascertained that our 
cousin Archie was attending a funeral at some neighboring plan- 
tation. I then asked if there were any young ladies in the house, 
or if there was a Mrs. McNeill to be found. The dark portress 
replied : " Young Missus away. Missus is to home." " Tell her 
I want to see her," said I. So in a few minutes a young-looking 


lady of thirty-four or thirty-five walked in. I introduced myself 
as a relative from Nova Scotia by the name of Parker. She said 
she knew the Colonel had relatives " out there/' but neither he nor 
she knew their names before. She was very cordial, sent half a 
dozen niggers after half a dozen more to go for the foreman to see 
that my horses and servant were attended to, told me her history 
and everything she knew of the McNeills, which was not much 
beyond those who were settled near their own estate. She said she 
was the Colonel's second wife. Her first husband, a lawyer, died 
and left her with two children. The Colonel, she said, fell in love 
with the children and married the mother. Her son and daughter, 
with a daughter of McNeill's, were away in a distant part of the 
State at school. We chatted away for an hour, when I walked out 
to find the foreman and get all the information I could relative 
to their mode of managing a large plantation in North Carolina. 
As I walked past the small houses of the slaves, any quantity of 
small niggers came out and followed me like so many little dogs, 
and piloted me to where the foreman was engaged with a working 
gang. I heard the people calling him Mr. Parker, so I introduced 
myself to him as his brother by Adam, our common father, and 
we soon fraternized, but not before I told him I was a relative of 
the Colonel's. I daresay he took me for one of those " tarnal 
'bolishionists " and nigger stealers, a conductor of the underground 
railroad, or something of the sort. So much for having a Blue- 
nose countenance. The ice soon melted when he found out where 
I was located and that his little niggers were safe. I then put 
him through a pretty strict examination on agriculture as practised 
down here. At length I came to the item of stock, when I was 
informed that they had seventy head of niggers, over one hun- 
dred head of pigs, more than one hundred head of cattle, eight 
or ten mules and about as many " hosses." It is a common thing 
here to speak of negroes in this way, especially among the blacks 
themselves. The " free nigger " that drove me, when I asked 
how many slaves the Colonel had, told me he guessed " between 
sixty and eighty head." I also learned that our friend McNeill 
had three plantations, on one of which he, the overseer, had 
already planted this year three hundred acres in Indian corn, 
besides other things. The field hands were then engaged in 
preparing' ground for cotton. Eight or ten ploughs were running 
in close pursuit of each other through the sandy soil of one large 
field. The soil being light and sandy, one mule or one horse could 
almost run away with the little bits of ploughs they used for 
cotton culture. On this gentleman's plantation, besides corn and 
cotton, they grow largely wheat, oats, sweet and common potatoes, 
rice and all kinds of fruit such as we meet with in northern 
latitudes. You see large apple orchards. Pears, plums, and 


peach groves are abundant. In short, there is nothing that I know 
of that will not grow in North Carolina. After pumping my 
namesake almost dry and finding out that he knew a thing or two 
about managing a plantation, and especially niggers, I returned 
to the house and waited for McNeill to come home. At length 
he came in, and I commenced the attack as agreed on by his better 
half and myself. " Well, Colonel, who am I ?" " Don't know." 
" My name is Parker." " Never had the pleasure of seeing you 
before." " I am your cousin." " Indeed !" His open counten- 
ance became more open; he smiled and said he was puzzled. 
Then I told him all about our relationship. He recollected my 
grandfather very well, although he was very young when my 
grandfather finally left North Carolina, and says that the impres- 
sion left on his mind by the appearance of the man has never been 
removed. His recollections of him are, that he was slight, rather 
tall, with great energy and fluency of speech — a man for action 
and much beloved. In proof of his being a favorite I find that the 
name of Daniel McNeill is borne by any number of his relatives 
and friends; and one of his grand-nephews, a son of the late Dr. 
McKay, to whom I was introduced, is called Daniel McNeill 
McKay. He, Colonel McNeill, was delighted to see me, hoped 
that I had come to spend a long time with them, and with true 
Southern hospitality made me welcome. I at once felt as if I had 
known the man all my life. He is a well-educated and most intelli- 
gent man of about fifty-five years of age, well known throughout 
this part of North Carolina. When I told the proprietor of the Fay- 
etteville hotel where I put up that I had got hold of the right 
McNeill at last, he said : " Wal, sir, the Colonel is a mighty fine 
man, a fust-rate man. I've only one fault to find with him — he 
is a Tory." The name Tory still sticks to the old Loyalists and 
their descendants, especially to the descendants of those who bore 
arms against the Americans in the Revolutionary struggle. Of 
the sons of my great-grandfather all took a most active part on 
behalf of the king and mother country but one, who was at the 
time sheriff of the county and did not live near enough to his 
father to be much under his influence, else, as the Colonel observed, 
he too would have been a Tory. As it was he remained neutral, 
and became the receptacle of all the valuable documents, deeds, 
mortgages, etc., of this part of the country, for both sides; and 
when peace was declared he was mainly instrumental in saving 
the property of his loyal relatives and friends from confiscation. 
The intermarriage of the McNeills with families who took the 
opposite side of the question also materially aided in bringing 
about this satisfactory result. To show you how attached the 
relatives of my grandfather were to him, and how they respect 
his memory — the Colonel has now in his possession a military 


coat, or rather jacket, which the old gentleman wore during the 
struggle and in which he was probably twice wounded. It waa 
handed down to the Colonel, I presume, by his father. Nothing 
would do but that I must try it on. I found it tight in the arms 
and too narrow across the chest, so that I presume he must have 
been in early life rather slight. Nothing would induce the Colonel 
to give it up. They are all fond of military relics, and my grand- 
father appears to have been greatly beloved. His brother Hector, 
also in the king's service, a major, I think, a very brave, dar- 
ing man and a great thorn in the sides of his rebel country- 
men, does not appear to have been so great a favorite. The Colonel 
mentioned to me one scene especially where this Hector, then a 
junior officer, after his seniors had been slain, led his men on to 
victory in such a way that all the old people here talk of him and 
his conduct yet, and I have several times been asked if I was 
Hector's grandson or descendant. His children and descendants 
were out of my track and I did not see them. One of them, 
Dr. Wm. M. McNeill, lives on a plantation only a few miles from 
the Colonel's. 

I arrived at McNeill's Ferry Tuesday afternoon, and after 
an early breakfast next morning the Colonel took me in his 
carriage across Cape Fear River to see his only sister, Mrs. Dr. 
Turner. The crossing was rather exciting as the river was much 
swollen by the recent rain, but the colored ferrymen, who are his 
slaves, managed the broad barge admirably, and we at length 
landed safely on the other side. The horses stood as quietly in the 
barge as if they had been in their stables, while the men labored 
against the rapid current, making as much noise as they possibly 
could. In fact it is the hardest thing in the world for them to 
do any kind of work in silence. They talk about the mercurial 
Irishman. I'll pit a Southern nigger against the son of the sod 
any day, for mercurialism. We found Dr. Turner, his wife, 
daughter, daughter-in-law and son-in-law (Mr. and Mrs. Spears) 
awaiting our arrival, as a messenger had been dispatched to tell 
them to be on hand to receive their Nova Scotia cousin. They 
also were pleased to see me and wanted me to remain and go over 
the country with them to see the rest of the clan. The next 
plantation belongs to the estate of the late Dr. McKay, or rather 
to his son Daniel McNeill McKay, and the " mightly rich belle," 
who live here with their stepmother, Cousin Bell, as the Colonel 
calls her. Dr. McKay's first wife was Mary McNeill, my mother's 
cousin, and his second wife, " Cousin Bell," was her sister. The 
Doctor married her not long before his death — the second sister. 
She is now eighty-six years of age, and she and her nephew and 
niece, or, I may also add, step-children, live here together happily. 
Cousin Bell, or Mrs. McKay, and her sister Mary, the first 


Mrs. McKay, were the children of my grandfather's only sister 

We returned to dinner at the Colonel's, and after inviting them 
all to visit us in Nova Scotia, I harnessed up and drove back to 
Fayetteville. The Colonel says we must not be surprised if 
unexpectedly some fine morning Halifax is startled by the sight 
of a regiment of McNeills marching up its streets to our house, 
and when the startled citizens ask what is the matter, they will 
be told it is only the clan McNeill of North Carolina down on a 
visit to their Nova Scotia cousins. I have told him we will hire 
the officers' barracks to accommodate the regiment when it arrives. 

The drive to McNeill's Ferry is through a pine forest of 
great beauty and value. It is the species of pine which yields all 
the turpentine or resin for which this State is famous, and I 
made myself familiar with the whole process of obtaining and 
manufacturing these articles of commerce, from tapping the tree 
until the product is landed in Wilmington for exportation. On 
McNeill's property the timber alone is worth a number of fortunes. 
Magnificent pines, oak, ash and all kinds of trees used here are 
there in abundance, and on that part of his plantation where his 
cornmill is situated, he has a fine sawmill in active operation, 
preparing timber for the Wilmington market. This he sends 
down the Cape Fear Eiver in immense rafts, with a party of slaves 
who have been long engaged in the business and are thorough 
raftsmen. The distance to Wilmington is about 150 miles. 
It is an interesting sight to see these long rafts floating rapidly 
down stream with a cheerful fire of pine knots placed on a little 
heap of earth in the centre. The men with their tents, and cheer- 
ful, happy faces, are singing as they pass along, making one almost 
envious of their happy vocation. 

On board steamer North Carolina on the Cape Fear Eiver, 
Thursday, April 11th, 1861. — I found Fayetteville rather hot 
and excited last night in consequence of warlike reports from 
Charleston. North Carolina is gradually progressing towards 
secession. It is openly avowed, and public secession meetings 
are now being held by its leaders in various parts of the State. 
Secession flags are flying from private houses, and the young men 
are openly walking the streets with Secession ribbons flying from 
the sides of their hats, and rosettes attached thereto as badges, 
indicating in the most open way their opinions. My relatives, 
the McNeills, etc., as well as a very large proportion of the men 
of property in this part of the State are conservative in their views, 
and wish to hang on to the old flag, but the Colonel says if the 
North fires a single gun, or attempts to coerce the South in any 
way, although elected as a Union man to represent his country 
at a contemplated convention of the State, he and every man 


holding his views will at once coalesce with the opposite party, 
and join the State to the Southern Confederacy. And such a 
course as would produce this result as regards Xorth Carolina 
will have the same result on the other border States, Virginia, 
Maryland, Kentucky, and Tennessee. At Fayetteville there is 
the largest arsenal in the Southern States. The United States 
have there now more than 100,000 stand of fire-arms (rifles, etc.), 
besides heavy artillery, gunpowder, shot and shell in great abund- 
ance. Xorth Carolina says to the President and his Govern- 
ment : " You shall not take a single gun from this arsenal. 
It belongs to our State, and we intend to keep these arms and 
munitions of war to meet any emergency that may arrive." And 
the Xorthern government is so weak that it cannot take a bold, 
aggressive position. The United States government paid millions 
of money for this arsenal and what it contains, and now one of 
the weakest States in the Union sets that government at defiance 
and tells it " We intend to keep what you have paid for and placed 
in that arsenal." Verily the glory hath departed from the Stars 
and Stripes. A few months ago they were strong to all appearance, 
and perhaps as regards foreign nations, were a year since practi- 
cally so. But to quell internal commotion and rebellion the 
United States government is as helpless as a child, and the 
veriest brat she has and calls a State doubles up its fist and 
hits its mother in the face, tumbles the old lady helplessly over, 
and there she lies, weak and enfeebled, knowing not which way to 
turn or what to do to ward off similar blows from other quarters. 
A large standing army and an efficient navy, if the officers had 
been true to their flag, would have crushed out the rebellion and 
secession in the beginning. But not having such elements at her 
command (as dear old England has) she is weakened and under- 
mined in her own estimation and in the eyes of the universal 
world. Her prestige is gone, perhaps forever, and with it the 
glory of the Republican form of government. 

I am now gliding down the river at the rate of eight miles 
an hour. The water is shallow and muddy and the breadth of the 
stream is not greater than from our corner to Uniacke's corner. 
The foliage of the sycamore, elm, oak, cedar, etc., is just being 
well developed. The day is delightful and warm, there is a nice 
breeze blowing up the river. The turns in the stream are sharp 
and at no part can we see further ahead than a quarter of a mile. 
There are no snags as in the Mississippi, and the only things to 
be avoided are the dead logs which float lazily down the stream. 
Altogether, the scene, the day, and all nature are delightful, and 
I only wish you were my companion — and it would be enjoyed ten- 
fold. But, dear Fanny, now that I have discovered the clan 
McXeill and know their stamp, their hospitality, and have received 


invitations to return with my Northern wife as early as possible 
and pay them a longer visit, it is not improbable, if God spares 
our lives a little longer, that you shall enjoy the same scenes. 
We shall enjoy it together. Should all go well, I have figured out 
a delightful excursion for some future day, that is, after visiting 
the clan McNeill, to go south to Memphis, Tennessee, sail up 
the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the Cumberland River also, 
visit the vast cave of Kentucky, Cincinnati and other western 
cities, and return home by the way of Quebec, the River St. 
Lawrence and Pictou. I look forward to this excursion, which 
will take six weeks, with great pleasure, but " the best-laid 
plans o' mice and men gang aft aglee." And as we do not 
know what God has in store for us in the future, it will not do to 
think too much of it, but if God wills we shall accomplish it. 

The steamer in which I am now sailing and writing draws 
but little water, has her paddle-wheel in the stern, her furnace 
on the very bow. This latter arrangement is for the purpose of 
lighting up the track in dark nights, as they then open up the 
door of the furnace and the turpentine pine-wood, with which they 
feed the fire, makes a tremendous blaze. The river far ahead 
and on both sides is made as light as day. We embarked at 6 
o'clock a.m. and have a load of turpentine, resin, and cotton for 
Wilmington, which place we hope to reach at 9 o'clock to-night. 
I took a good breakfast on board. Everything is neat and clean, 
and as we shall arrive too late for the Southern train, I purpose 
to sleep on board instead of going to a hotel, and then take the 
early train for Charleston. Whenever we want more wood we 
just stop at one of the many piles on the bank of the river, take 
on board as much as we need, and there being no person on hand 
to receive the money, the captain hangs a ticket on the pile, signed 
by himself, stating how much he has walked off with, and then in 
a few minutes we are away again. This ticket is sent to the agent's 
office either in Fayetteville or Wilmington, and the owner of the 
wood is paid — not a bad system, but the men on shore must have 
great confidence in the honesty of the captain. As a general 
thing, I think the men of the South are an honorable, honest 
people ; but the hot weather, especially in these times, makes their 
blood hot, and they become excitable and hot-headed. 

Since I entered Southern ground I have felt perfectly safe, 
have been treated with respect and attention, and altogether feel 
more confortable than I did when further North, as regards safety. 
Altogether, I have enjoyed my visit thus far; and having now a 
fair share of health and strength, am able to rough it, should this 
become necessary. I think that from our appearance we are 
generally taken for Englishmen, and as citizens of that country 
and her dependencies we may expect more kindly treatment and 
consideration than if we were from the North. I have written you 


very long letters, and always so hurriedly that I fear you will 
hardly be able to make them out. I am generally obliged to 
write in the common sitting-room of the hotels, not having any 
fires in the various bedrooms I have occupied, and amidst the noise 
of politics and general conversation. Consequently I cannot think 
as I would like, as I drive over the ground headlong, so that the 
talking of my neighbors may not distract my attention. In this 
way, I daresay, I often forget incidents that would amUse and 
interest you. I wish you would keep all my letters, as I have not 
made memoranda of many things I may subsequently wish to 
refer to as refreshers to my memory, and I may, at some future 
time, wish to make such reference. Much that I have written 
about the MeXeills will not be of interest to you, but my mother 
will take in every word of it, and I know it will afford her the 
utmost pleasure thus to learn something of her far-off relatives. 
I will, therefore, thank you, dear Fanny, to copy, that part of 
the letter referring to the clan McNeill and send it to her as 
early as convenient. 

You must not think that, from the shaky and irregular appear- 
ance of the writing in this letter, I have been drinking. The fact 
is, the vibration of the boat is so great at times that I cannot, 
without great difficulty, keep the pen at work without making 
scrawls, like a man of ninety years of age. I rather think the 
loungers at the hotels, as well as the passengers of this boat, 
seeing my pen going so rapidly and so often, have come to the con- 
clusion that " that there fellow " is the special correspondent 
of some English newspaper, and that I am travelling about like 
one of those gentlemen, prying into everything and picking up 
everything at this exciting time in connection with the present 
difficulties, that will tickle the palates and inform the readers 
of the paper which patronizes me, all about the peculiar institu- 
tion, Uncle Sam and his country. One gentleman rather signifi- 
cantly observed to me since I came on board here, that the English 
seldom wrote fairly about America, and especially about the 
South. Dickens I think he would hang and quarter for his 
caricatures of their national peculiarities. He acknowledged 
that there was one man, a barrister of Edinburgh named McKay, 
who had done his subjects, the country and its people, justice, 
and only one. I fear if my " jottings by the way " were to meet 
his eye he would have a little tar and cotton ready for me on my 
return to North Carolina. Although I think I have used them 
fairly and from proper points of observation, my risible faculties 
are not unfrequently excited by their peculiarities, and as I am 
only outlining my journey, I will have much left to tell you on my 
return. My only fear, however, is that I shall never get the time 
to tell you all I have not put on paper, or if time is obtained, 
that my memory will fail before the leisure comes. 


Charleston, S. C, Friday Morning, April 12. 
I little expected to reach this place until late to-night, but 
our Cape Fear River captain, being urged on by myself and others, 
packed the furnaces well with turpentine pine, and we landed 
at Wilmington, 1ST. C, about a quarter to eight last night. I at 
once crossed the river to its southern side in a boat, and was in 
time to get on the Charleston train, and consequently saved 
myself a night among the Wilmington bugs. Wilmington is a 
dirty place and abounds in these animals. You can get plenty to 
eat, but a clean bed is out of the question. Stairs wanted to remain 
there a second night but was afraid of the consequences, so he 
and his son spent Wednesday night on the Southern train. I could 
not get a bed, but the car in which I travelled half the night had a 
rest for the head like those you see attached to the shaving chairs 
in a barber shop. On this I slept a good deal. When we arrived 
at Florence on the borders of South Carolina we met a custom 
house officer of the new Confederacy, who examined the luggage. 
He saw " Nova Scotia " on mine, and I presume thought I did 
not look like a Yankee abolitionist, so he let me pass without 
opening up my trunk and chattels. 

Friday night. As we neared the city about half past seven 
o'clock, we heard the booming of heavy artillery, and in a few 
minutes the wind brought the smell of gunpowder down upon us. 
We, of course, knew that the reports we had heard for a week before 
about an attack on Major Anderson and Fort Sumter were 
being verified. The train brought to the city volunteers of all 
kinds who chatted pleasantly over the future as it had reference 
to themselves, and spoke lightly of death. I hope, poor fellows, 
they may not unexpectedly have to meet the King of Terrors. 
We, that is Stairs, Johnnie and myself, met, as previously 
arranged, at the Mills House, and we found also Mr. Duncan 
of Savannah, a cousin of Mr. Stairs, here. He came up last 
night to see the ball open. The firing has been heavy and con- 
tinuous all day, shaking our hotel, and we have been on board 
a government steamer a large part of the time, from which we 
could better witness the shot and shell practice. The greatest 
excitement prevails. Nearly everyone in the city has father, 
son, or brother engaged on some of the island forts, and, of course, 
all seem affected and anxious. But all, even ladies, are anxious 
that the existing state of things should be terminated, even at 
the sacrifice of human blood. Ten thousand troops are in and 
about the city — rather raw material as yet, but I daresay eventu- 
ally they will make good practice with light and heavy guns. 
Indeed, some first rate practice in shelling Sumter was made from 
one of the batteries. Major Anderson's force is weak — under one 
hundred men, but there are three men-of-war in sight of the town, 


trying to reinforce and provision the fort. I think they will 
hardly succeed, unless the darkness of night favors them. We 
cannot tell what effect the day's work has had on Fort Sumter, 
as it is a mile away from the nearest opposing fort, and, of course, 
there has been no communication with it. Many shells exploded 
in it, and it is not improbable that Anderson's numbers to-night 
are less than in the morning. All the shops are closed, and the 
whole city was out, men, women, children and niggers, to see 
the game of ball, as they call it here. 

This work of to-day, I think, will settle the question as to 
the border slave States. They will now doubtless fall in with 
the Southern Confederacy. Indeed, Virginia and North Carolina 
have sent their volunteers to this place in large numbers already. 
To-day, the mail and railway communication from this city 
were stopped by order of the government, and we found ourselves 
prisoners, not of war, exactly, but almost as bad. Knowing 
that you would naturally feel anxious about us as soon as you 
heard war was declared and going on in this locality, I telegraphed 
to Frank to write you and say how we were situated. The wording 
of the telegram had to be inspected and modified, as the govern- 
ment would not allow a word to be sent over the wires relating 
to the passing events. To-night I learned that the mail com- 
munication north is re-opened, so I shall close my letter and trust 
it to the Post Office authorities, hoping that it may reach you in 
safety, although I fear it is too late to go by the Boston steamer 
next Wednesday. We are off at eight o'clock in the morning for 
Savannah. Since eight o'clock this evening there has been no 
firing. It will commence again at daylight I suppose. I have 
missed seeing Mr. Brunck, the Consul. When I called he was out, 
and when he returned I was viewing the fight. Love and 
kisses to the children, and remember me most kindly to all the 
rest. God bless you, dear wife. 

Ever your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 

Mills House, Charleston, S. C, 

April 15, 1861,- Monday, 7 a.m. 
Dearest Fanny: 

Here I am still — at the present moment I am in my bed- 
room four or five stories up, having just finished packing pre- 
paratory to leaving for Savannah, Ga., by the 8.30 train, where 
I hope to meet the long-hoped-for letters from home. I wrote 
you a lengthy letter, the last part of it from this place, and 
despatched it on Saturday morning. Whether you will receive 
it or not I cannot say, as everything connected with the post office 



and railway communications has been disarranged in consequence 
of the declaration and commencement of war between the Southern 
and Northern Confederacies. Now we are informed at the office 
of this hotel that matters are being straightened up, and that both 
letters and persons can leave without difficulty for the North and 
South. I closed my letter to you just before going to bed last 
Friday night, and stated that the cannonading of Fort Sumter 
had ceased. I was mistaken, for just as I had blown out the 
candle, the heavy booming sound of artillery was distinctly heard, 
and it continued all night. The reason we could not hear it, as 
in the early part of the evening, was in consequence of the wind 
shifting. It now blew directly off the land. At early day all the 
city was in great excitement, the bustle, noise and confusion 
were very great. The Stars and Stripes were still floating proudly 
over Sumter, and Anderson was still blazing away at all the land 
forts. The excitement continued until about eleven o'clock, when 
it became more intense in consequence of the vast columns of 
smoke arising from Fort Sumter. Of course all was surmise 
as to its origin. Some said they were heating up their furnaces 
preparatory to firing hot shot; others, that Anderson had fired 
the casemates, wooden buildings, and gun carriages so as to 
destroy all he could before giving up the Fort. It was soon 
very evident to me that a large surface within the ramparts was 
being destroyed by fire, and the volume of flame began to rise 
over the high stone walls, making it appear to all that the defend- 
ing force must soon be burned and smoked out. Their fire slack- 
ened and soon ceased, that is, from the guns within the fort, but 
no white flag appearing, the batteries on Fort Moultrie continued 
with others to play away on the burning fort. At this time a 
shot or shell from Moultrie struck the flagstaff, a very high one, 
in the centre of Sumter, and carried away the Stars and Stripes. 
A smaller one was raised in its stead, which could only be 
occasionally seen through the clouds ol smoke. A small boat, at 
this juncture, put off from Fort Morris with one of General 
Beauregard's aides-de-camp on board, who hoisted a white flag, 
made from his shirt sleeve, on the point of his sword. When he 
reached the fort no person could see him for the smoke, and he 
crawled up through one of the embrasures, and at length, after 
many difficulties, came in contact with the commander, to whom 
he suggested the propriety of running up a white flag. This 
Anderson at first declined to do, but seeing his case hopeless, 
up went, I daresay a shirt tail — at least something white, and 
this, as soon as discovered, caused the forts to cease firing. You 
cannot imiagine the excitement when it was discovered that the 
white flag was on the ramparts. Old men, women and children 
all felt and looked as if the Northern Yankee was for ever used 


up and done for. Such shaking of hands and congratulations 
" as I never did see." Every person at once began to discuss 
the propriety of hanging Major Anderson — a la Lynch — for tiring 
the fort, and for holding it when he knew there was no earthly 
chance of success. Some of the older men shook their heads, but 
the young soldiers (volunteers) vowed death was his due and he 
must go up, on the suspension principle. I could not say a word 
in the poor fellow's behalf for having only done his duty. One 
or two suggestions of this kind coming from me made these hot- 
headed boys look at me very comically — so I shut up. 

At length the report reached the city that the fort had been 
fired by hot shot and shell from the mainland, and this appeared 
to throw oil on the troubled waters. But still they wanted to see a 
Captain Doubleday — a rank Republican officer of Sumter's 
garrison — despatched summarily. This poor fellow's name was 
in everybody's mouth, and if he had landed I don't know what 
would have become of him. The final surrender of the fort did 
not take place until yesterday, Sunday, when all the arrange- 
ments being made, in the afternoon Anderson was allowed to 
embark his men and accoutrements, with their baggage, on board 
a small steamer. The men went on board the American fleet 
in the offing, as I understand, while Anderson was permitted to 
take the steamer to New York. He declined embarking himself 
on board any of the frigates, being excessively annoyed that 
their officers did not attempt boldly to run in and reinforce him 
with men, arms and provisions. They had on board 1,500 to 
2,000 soldiers and artillerymen, and they were six ships in all, 
plainly visible from where I viewed the bombardment. Yet there 
they remained during all the engagement, without attempting 
to run the gauntlet either by day or by night. It is true they 
might have been sunk, but under the circumstances, I feel certain 
that British officers would have made the attempt. Old Lord 
Dundonald would have gone in with a fishing smack if he could 
have got nothing better. I was very kindly treated by the Surgeon- 
General of the Southern army, who kept me booked up on all that 
was going on. When he went off to the fort with the General 
to take possession, one of the United States soldiers told him 
that if Major Anderson would have allowed them the Sumter 
artillerymen would gladly have turned their guns on the ships 
of war. " The cowardly scoundrels " — as he designated them. 
He was an Irishman. What is very surprising, connected with 
the bombardment, is the fact that not a single man was killed 
on either side. The guns were playing continuously for v thirty- 
six hours, and there were many narrow escapes, yet a horse was 
the only thing killed. General Beauregard, until recently, has 
been serving as a captain under Major Anderson, and having 


a great respect for him, as a soldier and man of honor, he gave 
the Major leave to salute the United States flag ere he left the 
fort. This request had been made, I believe, by Anderson. In the 
afternoon of Sunday this ceremony took place, and in firing the 
salute, some cartridges were ignited, killing, accidentally, one man 
on the spot, and wounding five more, two of whom have since 
died. The Southern men looked upon the bloodless engagement at 
Fort Sumter and its successful issue, as a mark of direct inter- 
ference on their behalf by Providence. As I walked into a 
Baptist church yesterday afternoon, I was informed of the acci- 
dent above referred to, by a good brother Baptist, who looked 
upon it as a mark of Divine anger upon the " Black Republican 
Government " of the North, as Lincoln's government is here 
designated. All classes and denominations, ministers as well as 
lay members of churches, are unanimous for war. I went with 
Mr. Mure, a Scotch merchant of this place, and the agent of the 
Roseneath and other ships of Kidston's of Glasgow, a friend of 
Stairs, to a Presbyterian church, and there heard an old man 
on the verge of the grave, the Rev. Dr. Forrest, preach a thanks- 
giving sermon for the victory and its bloodless results. He spoke 
of the cause as a just and righteous one, and feelingly alluded 
to the many mothers and fathers, whose sons had taken their 
lives in their hands to defend their country's rights and honor. 
He, the reverend Doctor, had a son engaged in one of the forts. 

The possession of this fort is a great matter. It is placed in 
the very centre of the entrance to the harbor of Charleston, just as 
George's Island is situated in reference to the harbor of Halifax. 
It cost millions of money and years of labor to complete it, as 
the foundation had to be made with stone thrown into deep water. 
Yon can imagine the expense of the undertaking when I tell 
you that within the walls of Sumter there is a surface of over 
three acres of ground. The Yankees looked upon it as their 
Gibraltar — but they do not know what a Gibraltar is. One of the 
forts opposed to it they called Moultrie, and on its site the first 
successful blow against the British, in the South, was struck in 
the War of Independence of 1776 — rather a singular coincidence — 
and this fort was the most formidable opponent of Sumter on 
this occasion. 

The streets of Charleston present a most singular appearance 
just now — full of troops, armed horsemen, and almost every 
man with a revolver or two hung by his side. The unanimity 
of feeling pervading all classes is a singular feature of this 
struggle. All the States now out of the Union are firmly united. 
One thing strikes even a common observer. All the soldiers are 
men having a stake in the country, most of them men of property, 
owning both real estate and slaves. Gentlemen of wealth are 


in the ranks, doing common soldiers' duty. In some instances 
they have their slaves with them to perform the more menial 
duties, but these they generally do themselves. No slaves are 
allowed to carry arms, although I am informed that they occasion- 
ally ask to be allowed to enter the ranks as soldiers. 

The North is impressed with the belief that the slaves will 
rise and aid them, while they will in this way intimidate the 
South and to some extent cripple them. In this impression I 
think they are decidedly wrong. All the men of the South to 
whom I speak place the utmost reliance on the fidelity of the 
blacks and dread no evil from this source. McNeill told me that 
he would not hesitate to arm his slaves and those in his neighbor- 
hood and oppose them to the Northern men, while he felt the 
utmost confidence in leaving them as he expected to do, in case 
war began. In fact every Southerner looks upon the slave 
as a means of strength, inasmuch as the masters and men of 
property can fight and act as soldiers while the agricultural 
interests of the country are being attended to, and their families 
protected, by the very slaves from whom the North expect 
material strength. Even should the slaves have the disposition 
to rise, it would not, I think, result in anything very serious, as 
they are timid, entirely unaccustomed to the use of firearms, 
and it would take an immense time to organize them, situated 
as they now are, scattered over such an extent of country. The 
want of education and mental training would unfit them for the 
higher branches of the art of war. Altogether, from personal 
observation, I think that in the war just initiated, the old United 
States will have to trust entirely to Northern men and that the 
slave element will not strengthen them, but their opponents. 

Yesterday afternoon we heard an address to the Sabbath school 
children of the First Baptist Church of Charleston. This old 
church is situated in the midst of a burying ground, and the 
graves are surrounded by roses in bloom, and all kinds of beauti- 
ful shrubbery. Stairs, Johnnie and I spent an hour most pleas- 
antly in the place, listening to the children singing before the 
service commenced. The old black people love to congregate 
about these gravestones and talk over by-gone days. One old 
woman was weeping over the graves of her mistress, master and 
their children, to whom she must have been tenderly attached. 
The graves contained the remains of the former pastor of the 
church, his wife and sons, and this poor old woman had been 
their property. It was a touching incident, and demonstrated 
the fact that some at least of the slave proprietors had hearts 
and feelings. The sermon having commenced, or rather the pre- 
liminary service, we were disturbed by the roar of artillery 
which announced the final evacuation of Fort Sumter and the 


permanent raising of the flag of the new confederacy. But few of 
any sex or age were present at church. All Charleston appeared 
to be sailing on the harbor, viewing the scene of the late conflict, 
or looking at it from almost every point of view afforded by the 
city. Sunday appeared like one great gala day. All was rejoicing 
and mirth, without drunkenness or disorderly conduct. Indeed, 
the most perfect order was preserved, notwithstanding the 

Savannah, Ga., Wednesday morning, April 17. — We started 
from Charleston with a heavy human freight, the train being 
filled to overflowing with Georgians who had been up to look 
at the fight or view the conquered fort. Many of them were carry- 
ing home, to hand down to their descendants, cannon balls, pieces 
of broken and exploded shells, in short anything and everything 
that would serve as a memento of " the great and glorious com- 
mencement of a glorious war." As we passed along, every tree 
appeared to have a horse or horse and carriage beneath its shade 
held by a black man or boy, while its owner rushed frantically 
to the stopping-places to hear the news, get a newspaper, or some 
small piece of shot or shell to carry through the woods to his 
home, to exhibit to his excited family and neighbors. Women, 
too, were in the throng, as anxious as the men, perhaps more so, 
as very likely many mothers came to hear what had befallen their 
sons in " the great battle." For the sound of the artillery and 
mortars reached even as far as forty miles from the scene of con- 
flict, and all supposed much human blood had been shed. You 
can judge of their surprise when they were told that no person 
was hurt in the fight, and only a horse killed. 

The country between Charleston and Savannah for a hun- 
dred miles, is low, wet and unhealthy. From the appearance of 
the dismal swamp, the moss-clad trees and the rank, deep vege- 
tation of this section of country, I can easily imagine that even 
snakes and wild animals would gladly give it a wide berth. 
Every man and boy in the country being seized with a military 
and fire-eating spirit, and all being armed with revolvers and 
bowie knives, we had to submit to a constant din and noise of 
their small arms. The poor helpless trees and telegraph posts 
had their feelings hurt, " considerable I guess," as they were 
penetrated by the bullets from revolvers discharged at them from 
the windows of our passing train. I rather think these youngsters 
will be cooled down ere long if the sad realities of war are 
brought practically to their attention. The unoffending trees 
and posts will then be apt to escape. The heat in travelling 
through the low, swampy region had been extreme, and not being 
very well when I left, I became seasick — as violently so as if I had 
been on the Atlantic; so that on my arrival at the Pulaski Hotel 


I had to go to bed for some hours. The next morning, however, 
I was as well as usual. When in North Carolina it was rather 
cool. Indeed, before reaching Charleston, we had only one warm 
day, and that was at Philadelphia. The thermometer ranged 
from 45 to 55. After leaving Fayetteville, it grew warmer, and 
the climate here at present, especially since a violent rainstorm 
on Monday night, has been delightful. We found our letters at 
the hotel, and as you can readily conceive, were delighted to get 
them and hear from our dear ones at home. I only received 
one from you, sent by packet, dated March 2.9th. Stairs, however, 
had one from his wife of April 2nd, saying she had seen you the 
day before, and that you were all well. I presume the early 
arrival of the English boat took you all by surprise, and you were 
not prepared to mail a second letter. Frank will have a large 
pile on hand when we reach New York, as I hope to do in 
about ten days. We have read with much interest the six news- 
papers forwarded through Frank, and would be glad of more of 
the same sort. Poor Charlie Campbell, as I expected, is gone 
back to his mountain home to fight another Gaelic warfare with 
his late Christian friends and ministers of Victoria. I wish him 
well through his difficulty, and back again in the House. I wish 
Charles or Tupper had written; however, I hope to get letters 
from them on my arrival at New York. 

Stairs having relations and commercial correspondents in 
this city, we have been most kindly received and have had much 
attention paid us. We dine out to-day. I took tea with a 
Mr. Johnston, a grandson of Andrew Johnston, last night, and 
to-morrow expect to dine with one of the leading merchants of 
the South and the president of the great bank of the place. 

As soon as I recovered from my temporary illness I set about 
looking up the Clan Johnston, and had no difficulty in finding 
them and their connections. Stair's cousin, Mr. Duncan, has 
two sons and one daughter. This daughter is married to a Mr. 
Johnston, a relative of our Mr. Johnston. He is the son of 
James, who was the grandson of Andrew Johnston, who was born 
in 1735 and died sixty-six years after, in 1801, leaving a large 
number of children. It is his descendants that I have been 
brought in contact with. The story is too long to commence with. 
I have given the matter two or three hard hours' writing. I got 
hold of an old Bible of the date of 1757, and another of more 
recent date, and have got the family tree in my pocket, com- 
mencing with the birth of one James Johnston, born in 1686 — 
the father of Lewis Johnston, the ancestor of the No^a Scotia 
Johnstons. Mr. Molyneux, the British Consul here, is married 
to George Houston Johnston's sister (the gentleman at whose 
house I was last night). He has a son in England in the 7th 


Dragoon Guards. This Mr. Molyneux has a brother married to a 
Miss Mitchell, formerly of Halifax, daughter of Admiral Mitchell, 
who married a Uniacke. George Houston Johnston's grand- 
father was Sir George Houston, Bart., the son of Sir Patrick 
Houston, Bart., President of the Council of Georgia when it was 
a British colony. His successor in office was Lewis Johnston, 
the great-grandfather, or grandfather (I cannot now look and see) 
of our Mr. Johnston. I learned that many of the old documents, 
deeds, etc., have the name spelt with an e, but all the family here 
for fifty years past have dropped the e, and spell it as Mr. J. does. 
The family connection have two or three places called Annandale, 
after their ancient Scottish home. I do not know that I shall be 
able to visit the island of Shiddenay. It is about nine or ten miles 
away from this place, has several plantations on it, only one of 
which belongs to the family. Tell Mr. Johnston that I fear the 
chances of his becoming a cotton planter on Shiddenay are but 

Savannah is a very large place commercially, although it has 
but 30,000 inhabitants. It exports immense quantities of cotton, 
island cotton, rice, corn, pitch-pine, timber, etc. We strolled along 
its wharves yesterday and boarded a Yarmouth vessel belonging to 
Moses & Co. of that place. There are several New Brunswick 
vessels in port, loading with pine timber, and the lumber used in 
shipbuilding at St. John. The public squares are small and 
numerous, the streets broad and lined with evergreen trees, prin- 
cipally water-oak. It has a fine park. A large parade is spread 
over a considerable surface of black, sandy land. The city has two 
principal monuments, one a very fine work of art erected after the 
visit of Lafayette in 1821, to Pulaski, the Pole, who fell at the 
siege of Savannah in July, 1779 — also another to General Greene, 
the general who defeated Lord Cornwallis and other British gen- 
erals in the Southern struggles of the Revolutionary War. George 
Houston Johnston married a Miss Turner, General Greene's grand- 
daughter. Altogether, at this season of the year, with the foliage 
fully out, the roses and other flowers in bloom, Savannah is a most 
delightful place to sojourn in for a few days. 

The war spirit is as firm and as general as it is in South Caro- 
lina. Old men and young are deeply bitten by it. Old Mr. 
Duncan has two sons (one a surgeon) in the army of Georgia, his 
son-in-law, Mr. Johnston, is in a dragoon regiment, while the old 
gentleman himself is a member of the crack artillery corps of 
Savannah. Young Mr. Johnston took me to the Planters' Bank, 
where his uncle George was to be found as one of its officers. On 
the president's table (Mr. Roberts is his name) was placed a May- 
nard's rifle with which he had been practising at a target, the 
better to fit him for the work of bringing down the " Black Repub- 


lican Yankees," and I put in my pocket the piece of card at which 
he had been firing, to show your father, Mr. Binney, and other bank 
men how presidents of banks down here amuse themselves, and 
what crack shots they are. Mr. Duncan exhibited to me with 
great delight his Minie rifle, which cost him $270 — a splendid 
instrument of destruction. This state of things — what we see and 
what we hear — gives us a pretty correct estimate of the kind of 
men and mettle the Northern Yankee will have to meet on his 
journey down South. 

I hear that Virginia and North Carolina are on the eve of 
coming out and joining the South, with which they warmly sym- 
pathize. A few days will determine the point with them, and this 
junction will necessarily involve the further secession of four 
more border slave States, which, with the seven now united in the 
Southern Confederacy, will present such a formidable array as 
will, I have no doubt, cause Lincoln and his government to pause 
and consider well what they have to meet, and eventually to 
acknowledge the new nation as among the things accomplished 
and in existence. Then, an amicable arrangement may be made 
as to the property taken possession of by the Southern States, as a 
matter of business, bloodshed may be prevented, and the world will 
be saved the pain of witnessing a long and bloody war of brethren 
of the Anglo-Saxon race. They will never again coalesce as one 
nation. They are now and forever two distinct peoples, distinct 
in feeling, interests, education, and everything that essentially 
binds nations and people together. The South to-day is and will 
be for very many years to come, more friendly and more disposed 
to co-operate commercially, and in every other way, with her old 
enemy England, notwithstanding the strong anti-slavery feeling 
and tendencies of the latter country, than with the Northern States 
of the late Union. 

I remarked in a former letter how often one tumbles on the 
friends of friends. I have had another interesting illustration of 
the fact. Just as I was on the eve of leaving the Mills House to 
join the Southern train at Charleston, a casual acquaintance came 
up to me and told me that a Dr. Curtis wanted to see me. I was 
introduced to him by my new friend. He, Curtis, told me that 
he had noticed my name on the hotel book as from Halifax, and 
having been there years ago he wished to know something about 
some friends there and in the adjoining country. I asked him who 
were known to him there. He replied, the Crawleys of Cape 
Breton. I told him I knew them well, and expected to visit 
Dr. Crawley at Spartanburgh, S.C., in a few days. He said he 
had left him only two or three days before, and that the Crawleys 
were living in his house. I then found out that he was Dr. Curtis 
(D.C.L.), a co-principal with Crawley in a large female Institu- 


tion at Limestone Springs, a place owned by him. The history of 
this man is singular. He, with his father, Dr. Curtis (D.D.), of 
London, on their way to Canada were wrecked on the coast of New- 
foundland, and found their way to Sydney, C.B. Captain Crawley 
took them in and kept them all winter. They afterwards came to 
Charleston, S.C. Dr. Curtis, Sr., became pastor of a Baptist 
church in that city. Afterwards, father and son bought this large 
property of Limestone Springs, a watering-place, and commenced 
a ladies' seminary, which has at present about one hundred and 
eighty Southern young ladies being educated within its walls. 
His father was burned to death on board a steamer going north 
from Norfolk to Baltimore two years since, and it became neces- 
sary for the young man to supply his place. He at once thought 
of his old friend Dr. Edmund Crawley as just the man for 
the position, and offered him the situation ; and he adds that 
Crawley is now happily and comfortably situated at Limestone 
Springs. Dr. Curtis told me that his deceased father was at 
one time the editor of the Metropolitan Encyclopedia, in con- 
junction with the celebrated Coleridge, and while occupying 
that position gave the present Archbishop of Canterbury, while 
a young man and poor, the first guinea he ever earned — for 
some article he undertook for their Encyclopedia. Dr. Curtis 
was going South to look after an estate in Georgia. I believe 
he is rich, is very well known here by every person, and at 
present, although a Baptist minister, is a member of a Convention 
of South Carolina, to which office he was elected at the beginning 
of the present troubles. I hope to see the Crawleys the last of 
this week. I cannot accept Mr. Greene's invitation to dine with 
him to-morrow, as I leave, if God wills, about 2 p.m. of that day 
for Crawley's residence, far back in South Carolina — two hun- 
dred or two hundred and fifty miles from Charleston. In the 
meantime Stairs and Johnnie go to see one of their relatives, and 
we meet again on Monday at Charleston, S.C, and then commence 
our homeward journey. 

You perhaps may hear from me once more before we leave. 
Say to my mother that I had overcome all the difficulties which 
surrounded the Clan McNeill, before getting her letter. Give my 
best love and regards to all in Halifax and Dartmouth. May God 
bless you, my own dear wife, and our dear ones, and permit us 
again to meet on earth — is the prayer of 

Your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 


Limestone Springs, 

Spartanburgh District, S.C. 
April 20th, 1861. 
My dearest Fanny : 

I wrote you from Savannah on Wednesday last, the 17th inst., 
and mailed my letter just as I was on my way to dine with our 
friend Mr. Duncan. We had a very pleasant and a very good 
dinner. The party consisted of his two sons, now engaged in the 
Southern army, his son-in-law, Mr. Johnston, who, with his wife 
and two children, live with the old gentleman, — and our own Nova 
Scotia party of three. Mrs. Johnston, Mr. Duncan's daughter, is 
the housekeeper, her mother having been many years dead. She 
has two dear children, a boy and an infant of the age of our dear 
little fellow. She and her elder brother were brought in as dessert, 
and made me think more of my own little ones than, under such 
circumstances, I would otherwise have done. I nursed the little 
girl for some time, and she was as good as our dear little babe. 
The boy, although only three years of age, was being drilled as a 
soldier by all hands, and really marched, halted and went through 
the various evolutions and gun exercises with wonderful accuracy 
for a mere child. Thus early do they commence down South " to 
teach the young idea to shoot." We had for dinner salad, green 
peas, strawberries and other delicacies, the very rudiments of 
which are frozen up as yet in cold Nova Scotia. Tell the old 
gentleman not to let his mouth water at the thoughts of such early 
luxuries. After dinner Stairs said he was sorry we had refused 
to dine with our friend the bank president the next day — to havo 
some more of them. But we had refused his invitation and it 
was then too late. We met him, however, at the station just as 
we were leaving, and told him that we half regretted having 
refused him, when the old gentleman almost coerced us back to 
pot-luck, peas and strawberries. 

We all left Savannah Thursday at half-past two p.m., and 
Stairs accompanied me to Beaufort, fifty miles on the Charleston 
road, where he and his son remained to visit Mrs. Smith, formerly 
a Mass Duncan, married to a rich planter. She is the niece of 
Mr. Duncan of Savannah, the daughter of a Kirk clergyman, 
recently deceased in Scotland, who was a cousin of Stairs' mother, 
and a brother of Mr. Duncan of Savannah. Our arrangement is 
to be in Charleston on Monday night next, the 22nd inst., and to 
start the next morning for the North. 

I arrived in Charleston just in time to take the night train for 
Columbia, the capital of this State, which place we reached about 
5 a.m. yesterday morning. I was too much hurried to take tea in 
Charleston, and when I found at this early hour a breakfast spread 
under the station-house roof — without ends or sides — although it 


was " like all outdoors," I took coffee and a light meal, which had 
to suffice me until I reached here at nine o'clock last night. The 
station is a mile from Columbia City, and I preferred remaining 
by the train for the two hours rather than go to a city hotel only 
to leave it in haste again. It would have amused you to see me 
under this railway roof engaged in my ablutions and toilet. I saw 
some soldiers washing their hands and faces, and water being good 
and refreshing in any form, after such a journey, I stripped off 
my coat, rolled up my sleeves, and went at it just as if I had been 
in my dressing-room. A nigger man poured the water in my 
hands, and a colored lady stood by with a quantity of towels " to 
dry Mar'sr with." The people stared and doubtless thought I 
was some eccentric Englishman. However, I enjoyed the wash, 
and then unlocked my carpet bag and with comb and brush in 
hand improved my personal appearance not a little. Then, Brit- 
isher-like, I was soon deep in the pages of a Columbian morning 

At Jonesville, twenty miles or thereabouts from Spartanburgh, 
I left the train and hired a wagon to drive through to this place. 
We left about 5 o'clock, but not until I had tried hard to get some- 
thing to eat, without effect. The innkeeper had gone off to the 
war, the hotel was shut up, and his wife was sick. So I had to eat 
and digest my thoughts, over one of the roughest and most hilly 
roads in creation. The post-boy, whose horse I drove, had gone 
to Jonesville on a saddle. The man who kept horses for hire at 
this place, like everybody else, had joined the army and was away, 
suffering and bleeding, patriot-like, for his country and his niggers. 
So I had either to mount up behind the post-boy and lash my 
luggage to my back, or hire a buggy. After great exertions we 
found a man who owned a vehicle and who was not " away at the 
war," and he, for a consideration, let the boy have it. The wagon 
was old, dirty and shaky, the harness ditto, the horse ditto. The 
boy and I got him harnessed (the 'oss), then we set ourselves to 
work to grease the wheels. After a time we got the luggage 
lashed on, some behind, some before. In this way an hour or more 
went quickly by, and we were late in starting. Everything about 
the concern looked ancient. The wagon, 'oss and harness looked 
as if they had seen service in the first war, the Revolution of 1776. 
The post-boy looked like an old boy. In short, the only thing 
young about the whole concern was your husband. The driver 
was a shoemaker, who guessed it would take about six hours to 
land me at Limestone. I guessed I would try it on a little harder. 
The evening was cold, and the old boy had left his coat and gloves 
at Limestone, and he beginning to feel chilly, as a medical man I 
began to advise him how dangerous colds were, and strongly urged 
him to keep his hands warm in his pockets, or rolled up in my 


railway wrapper. He guessed the latter was best. I got the reins 
into my hands by this suggestion, cut a stick by the wayside, and, 
you may depend, worked my passage — hard — to this place. The 
shoemaker's faculties appeared benumbed, his eyes closed, and you 
can imagine his surprise when he found himself landed in Lime- 
stone two hours earlier than he had " callated on." He guessed he 
would, after this, drive a buggy instead of going on horseback, as 
the old horse appeared to like it, and somehow to get over the 
road " kinder quicker." When I asked him how much was to 
pay, he said the charge was three dollars, but he guessed he'd take 
fifty cents off, because I had driven him instead of his driving me. 

All the active, young men and middle-aged, are away playing 
the soldier. The old men, in many instances those of three-score 
years and ten, are doing the same. The niggers, all along the 
country, are working the plantations, while the women, children 
and useless " critters " of whites only are left behind. In every 
district the old men are enrolled as volunteers — in the " silver- 
gray companies," not so much for purposes of war, but to have an 
organized body of men with arms, in case difficulties from without 
or within should arise — that is, should stray abolitionists come 
along, after the manner of John Brown of Harper's Ferry notor- 
iety, instigating the slaves to rise and throw off their allegiance. 

After I had washed the dust off and taken a hearty dinner, 
tea and supper all in one, I left the Curtis Hotel, where I put up, 
and about ten o'clock walked over to Dr. Crawley's. They were 
just going to bed when I knocked. The Doctor was called to speak 
to me at the door, did not know me or my voice, asked me in the 
dark to walk into his study, where a light was struck. " Take a 
chair, sir," he said. I could hardly keep my countenance. He 
began to look me over, scrutinizing my features closely, and at 
last said, " Is it — yes, it is — is it possible that I see before me 
Dr. Parker ?" I told him I was the man. He went to call his 
wife, but did not tell her what he wanted. She came in, and quick 
as thought said, " It is Dr. Parker," and gave me such a greeting, 
and with it a good Nova Scotia kiss. Don't be jealous, old woman ! 
It is the first I have had since we parted, and is likely to be the 
last until we meet again. Well, we sat down and chatted away 
for an hour, when I left and came back to my hotel. I have had 
a good night's sleep, a good breakfast, and presently shall step 
over to spend the day with the Crawleys in their immense estab- 
lishment. It looks like a great barracks for soldiers, from where 
I write, and is full of young ladies — about a hundred and fifty in 

Saturday Evening. — I have visited the institution, and find it 
very extensive. All the higher branches are taught in it, includ- 
ing Latin and Greek. In all there are about fourteen teachers, 


exclusive of housekeeper and others not specially engaged in the 
educational department. All the teachers dine with the pupils. 
Dr. and Mrs. Crawley, their family and myself sat at the head of 
one table, Dr. Curtis's family at the head of another, and the male 
and female teachers occupied their various positions among the 
regiment of girls. It was a very interesting sight. Everything 
was quiet and orderly, where, so many female tongues being 
present, one would naturally expect the contrary. In the evening 
at eight o'clock the prayer bell rang and we all joined the school. 
Dr. Crawley gave out a hymn. The two head teachers of music 
(men) set the tune, one at a piano, and the other led the one 
hundred and fifty voices. It was a delightful sight. Then Dr. 
Crawley read, with his deep, full voice, so familiar to my ears, a 
chapter in the New Testament, and prayed. Then, in the regular 
order of their seats, the girls all passed before the Doctor and, 
shaking hands with him, said good-night. 

After this we went to Dr. Crawley's house, where we found the 
mail waiting, and the girls most anxious for their letters and 
papers. All of them are deeply interested in the struggle now 
going on. They have fathers and brothers away from home bear- 
ing arms, ready for the strife whenever it may occur. Dr. Craw- 
ley says, when the news of the bombardment of Sumter reached 
them, and it was not known what the result would be — the sup- 
position being that very many lives would be lost — it was a most 
painful and distressing sight to see the whole school, or nearly so, 
in tears and distress. This, however, soon changed to joy and 
laughter, when they learned that the South had been successful 
and no lives had been sacrificed. 

The main building of the school is two hundred and seventy 
feet long, four stories high and has every convenience. It was 
built, years ago, for a hotel, and Dr. Curtis purchased it for 
this school. I am taking home an engraving of the building 
and grounds for Mrs. Dr. Johnston, when you and the friends 
will be able to see it. Drs. Curtis and Crawley have two neat, 
large houses detached from the great building, facing each othe**, 
and in the square are other small houses for male teachers and 
their families, as also for servants. In short, the large square 
occupied by these school buildings is quite a little village in 
itself. This school possesses one great advantage — it is away 
from railroads, cities and such nuisances to schools. Parents, 
relatives and young men about town cannot be calling upon 
the girls and interfering with their studies. Without even 
teachers, the scholars can walk along the roads, through the paths 
in the woods, in short, anywhere, without the slightest fear of 
being molested. Their world is the school, and to those engaged 
in it, during the regular term there is no outer world. It 


is just as if such a school village had been planted twenty miles 
back in the woods in the rear of Sam's farm at Windsor. Their 
mail and commissariat arrangements are most complete, and, 
although out of the world and difficult of access, every day brings 
them, through the post, letters and newspapers. Dr. Crawley 
gave me a very pleasant drive a few miles out of the village, and 
we ascended a small mountain from which a fine, commanding 
view can be obtained. On the top of this mount, as everywhere 
else, a high liberty pole was erected, and a torn palmetto flag waved 
in the breeze. . . . One of the male teachers acts as tutor to 
Curtis's and Crawley's boys, in addition to performing some 
special duty in the school. This tutor, being a member of a volun- 
teer company at Charleston which has been lately drafted into the 
regular Southern army, is ordered away, and the Crawleys are 
consequently in distress, fearing that they shall have great diffi- 
culty, under existing circumstances, in supplying his place. 

The news of a bloody combat at Baltimore has just reached us. 
I fear there is trouble of no light kind ahead of these two con- 
tending sections of the old United States. 

Charleston, S.C., April 23rd, 1861. — I have to resume the 
thread of my discourse, and take up and finish Limestone Springs. 
On Sunday morning I attended meeting in the chapel of the insti- 
tution. Dr. Crawley preached ably, touchingly, and, while strik- 
ing high at the understanding, reached the emotional part of our 
natures. Old associations were revived. Granville Street and 
days and years gone by were before me. Would that some of his 
old hearers could have listened to his lofty thought and been mel- 
lowed by the softer touches interspersed throughout his discourse. 
They may never hear him more. I may never again have that 
pleasure. Very likely we have said the last farewell on earth, and 
God grant that in Heaven we may be reunited, in a closer and 
higher brotherhood with Christ as our Elder Brother and great 
High Priest. The singing, as you may imagine, was splendid. 
Altogether the occasion was one long to be remembered, and its 
like is not, in all probability, to be witnessed by me again. 

I was obliged to take the train from Spartanburgh at six o'clock 
a.m. the following morning, and to effect this had to say good-bye 
to the Crawleys at two o'clock on Sunday afternoon, and perform 
my first Sunday journey since leaving Boston. I drove over this 
distance, twenty miles, in time to get my tea and attend Methodist 
meeting at seven o'clock. The preacher had selected, I daresay, 
an appropriate subject for the locality, and he handled it with a 
good deal of ability, but I had rather he had chosen another, as far 
as I was concerned. His sermon was on the sin and impropriety 
of cheating in business, making great bargains, selling short 
measure and weight, taking advantage of the necessities of the 


poor in purchasing real estate, cotton, corn, etc. The fellow spoke 
out right home, charged his hearers with these offences, and then 
walked them right up to the Judgment Seat on the last day, and 
pictured there these stock-jobbing, cotton-purchasing tricks, — 
which must have rather startled the guilty. How long he would 
have gone on in this strain I know not, but the first curfew bell 
rang, calling the niggers in, and their tramp on the stairs brought 
forth his " Lastly." . . . 

When driving across the country on Sunday afternoon I heard 
some marvellous stories, from blacks and whites, about a balloon 
that had landed on Saturday between Spartanburgh and Lime- 
stone. The whole neighborhood was excited, thinking that Abe 
Lincoln had adopted this mode of spying out the nakedness of the 
land and sending abolitionists to originate an insurrection among 
the niggers. At Spartanburgh it was all the talk, and in the morn- 
ing there was nothing else mentioned on the train. But before I 
go any further I must say that this same Spartanburgh, a town of 
about 2,000 inhabitants, is one of the prettiest spots in the world. 
It has a brand-new, band-box appearance, and as you pass through 
its streets you see large, fine houses placed well back in the midst 
of the original forest trees. It is spread over a broad surface of 
gently undulating ground and has a most unique and pleasing 
appearance. Its inhabitants were away at the war, and one of my 
brethren, a Baptist minister whom I had hoped to hear, had fol- 
lowed suit. He is the chaplain of the Spartanburgh regiment, and 
had marched with it to preach, pray, and fight the Yankees. 

Now for the balloon. I started for Charleston at six a.m., and 
when at Union, a few miles away from Spartanburgh, fell in with 
the aerial machine and its proprietor. At the station he was sur- 
rounded by a crowd, all gleaning what they could from the heights 
above. It turned out that I was in luck, and that the gentleman 
who had come down from the heavens was the celebrated Professor 
Lowe, of aeronautic notoriety, who has been preparing for the last 
two years for his transatlantic voyage. I took my seat by his 
side and had one of the most pleasant and instructive chats that I 
have ever had in my life. He started from Cincinnati at four 
o'clock a.m., intending to go to Washington, but when crossing 
the Alleghany and Blue Mountains — covered with snow — the cold 
region altered the current of air to a southerly course, and he had 
to come to earth near Limestone Springs. When seen, the balloon 
caused a perfect panic, both among whites and blacks. The 
darkies cleared like mad, and the whites armed themselves for a 
combat, with the devil or Lincoln, they did not know which. At 
one o'clock p.m. he had travelled 1,200 miles at a speed of 125 
miles an hour, the greatest distance ever accomplished in that 
space of time. He came to earth then, but was obliged to rise 


again, as the people all fled or showed hostile intentions, and he 
descended two hours later near the railway track in the Union 
district. Here the men failed him, but a woman came forward 
and seized the rope he had thrown out — fancying, I imagine, that 
she had his Satanic majesty fairly by the tail. When he got out 
of his basket he was arrested. One old woman shook her fist at 
him and said, " Xow do we know that you are old Abe Lincoln's 
son!" He assured them that his intentions were purely scientific 
and pacific, but they had him carried to Union village to imprison 
him, when, being a Freemason, and meeting among the crowd with 
some of the officers of that fraternity, he very fortunately escaped 
being lynched. He gave me a Cincinnati newspaper of Saturday 
morning, the 20th inst., which I shall always keep as a memento 
of my interview with him, and also to remind me of the fact that 
this was the first newspaper that had ever travelled 125 miles an 
hour or had come to earth from a height of over four miles. This 
was the elevation he had reached when crossing the mountain 
ridges. He gave me an accurate description and showed me dia- 
grams of the balloon he intends crossing the Atlantic with in Ma) 
or June next. It is so large that he can only fill it with gas at 
one place on this continent — Philadelphia. Its capacity is 750,000 
cubic feet, its depth 135 feet, diameter 100 feet, and it will carry 
23 tons weight. Beside the place in which he and his companions 
will live for the thirty to thirty-six hours' ride to Europe, it will 
have connected with it a metallic lifeboat. This boat is of suffi- 
cient capacity to carry twenty-three men and provisions, but he 
will have with him only six men. The capacity of the balloon 
which he carried on his basket-car was 40,000 cubic feet. While 
on this, his forty-seventh voyage, the thermometer was at and below 
zero for some time, and his supply of water was soon converted 
into ice, which melted again under the heat of South Carolina 
when he reached the earth. I told him I hoped to have the 
pleasure of seeing him descend at Halifax some time soon. He 
took my address, and will probably come down some fine afternoon 
in our children's playground. Should he arrive there before my 
return, do not let the natives fire at him while in the air, as they 
did in Carolina, and entertain him hospitably. This adventurous 
man is only twenty-nine years of age, with pleasing features and 
gentlemanly address, tall and fine-looking. Poor fellow, he came 
to earth at a bad time and in a dangerous neighborhood. It is very 
lucky he did not swing on a tree as a spy. I am writing on board 
a steamer, and must give it up. 

Smyrxa, Delaware State, Tuesday, April 25, 1861. — I com- 
menced writing on board a Chesapeake Bay steamer this morning, 
but the vibration was so great that I was obliged to give it up. 
Before retiring for the night I will add a few lines. After parting 


194 DANIEL McNEILL pakkee, m.d. 

from my friend Mr. Lowe, from the cloudy region above, I kept 
on my journey and reached Charleston at 10.30 p.m., where I 
found Stairs awaiting my arrival. The hotel people advised us 
to follow in the footsteps of a number of Northern travellers and 
return by the way of the Mississippi and Cincinnati, to avoid diffi- 
culties in Virginia and Maryland, where the seat of war is likely 
to be located. Indeed, it was assumed in Charleston that the two 
armies would come in contact yesterday or to-day in the neighbor- 
hood of Washington, and that it would be dangerous, if not impos- 
sible, to pass, as the railway bridges had all been destroyed in that 
neighborhood and the connecting steamers as well. We thought it 
best to consult the British Consul, and he also advised the same 
course. But as that would have kept us at least two or three weeks 
longer away from home in weather too hot to be comfortable, we 
concluded we would run the gauntlet and try our luck. We knew 
very well that, although disposed to act as savages towards each 
other, both North and South would act as Christians towards 
foreigners. I am delighted that we came on this way, as we have 
now passed through all the difficulties and are in a fair way of 
being with you again in a few days. The trains have all been 
loaded with Southern soldiers for the last three weeks, and now 
that we are near Northern territory I learned that those coming 
South are filled with the opposing forces — both sides converging 
upon Washington. 

We left Charleston at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, and travelled con- 
stantly with the Southern troops until 6 p.m. yesterday, when we 
reached Norfolk, Virginia, and there were fortunate enough to 
catch a steamer bound for Baltimore. We saw the wreck and 
ruins of the celebrated navy yard at Norfolk, as we steamed down 
the bay, also the frigate " United States " anchored near this yard, 
this being the only vessel that the Virginians got possession of. 
Nine other ships of war were burned a few nights ago — or rather, 
six were sunk and three burned — by the United States troops and 
sailors ere they retired from the navy yard. One more frigate 
was burned on the stocks, and they succeeded in carrying out the 
frigate " Cumberland," after throwing over some of her guns, and 
we passed her at Fort Monroe, Old Point Comfort, four or five 
miles lower down the bay. The Virginians had rendered this step 
necessary by sinking ships across the navigable passage of the 
river, and they hoped to gain possession of the whole fleet. They 
would have done so in a day or two but for this procedure on the 
part of Commodore McCauley. The United States Government 
in this way has lost two of the finest ships of its navy, and eight 
others that could have been rendered available for active warfare. 
The steamer in which we sailed was brought to at Fort Monroe to 
be searched by United States officers, but we had no difficulty, and 


after a substantial tea I retired to rest and had a most delightful 
sleep of six hours, awaking about sunrise to view the beauties of 
Chesapeake Bay. About seven o'clock we passed Fort McHenry 
and reached Baltimore. The difficulty now was how to go further. 
Fortunately a small steamer had a permit from the commanding 
officer at the United States fort — McHenry — to pass down stream 
for that day. We jumped on board her and ran along the coast 
and Chester River for sixty miles to Chester, in Maryland. There 
we disembarked and hired a wagon for ourselves and an express 
wagon for our luggage. We reached this place about half-past 
seven p.m. this evening, after a drive of nearly thirty miles through 
a pleasant agricultural part of Maryland. Here we are safe from 
strife and difficulty. The railroads have not been torn up nor the 
bridges destroyed beyond this, so we hope, God willing, to leave 
by the seven a.m. train to-morrow for Philadelphia. 

Maryland will secede in a few days. Delaware, the small 
State in which we now are, is troubled and knows not what to do. 
She, too, when all the border slave States have retired, will, I dare- 
say, cut herself adrift and join the new Confederacy. Matters 
are in an awful state in this country. Nothing but the interference 
of God's strong but peaceful arm can stay this bloodshed and ruin. 
We have been living for the last three or four weeks in the midst 
of all the emblems of war. Excitement such as you cannot con- 
ceive of has surrounded us. Soldiers of all classes, with their 
muskets, revolvers and bowie-knives, have been our companions, at 
the hotels, in the street and on the railways, and you cannot tell 
how pleasant it is to be located, if only for a single night, in a 
country village, away from such signs of war and where men are 
dressed in ordinary garb. 

New York, Saturday night, April 27. — After starting from 
Smyrna with a trainload of Southern fugitives, we reached Phila- 
delphia about eleven a.m.. There we saw Northern excitement, 
bayonets bristling, raw and ragged recruits drilling, and all the 
paraphernalia of war. But the city being larger than those in the 
South, this warlike sight was diluted by a larger amount of civilian 
life. " Death and destruction to the Southerner !" is the watchword 
here, and Brother Jonathan has got his Northern blood up like 
the men of the South. But, unlike the men of the South, the 
blood they have provided for spilling is mostly Irish and German. 
It is true there is a larger sprinkling of the Yankee blood in the 
volunteers than has been seen in any of their conflicts since the 
Revolutionary War of 1776, but the blood that will principally 
flow on this occasion, unless I am vastly mistaken, will be hired, 
and of European origin. There are Irish, German and French 
regiments, and I deeply regret to say that the English of New 
York are forming a company to oppose the South. The Southern 


army is composed of real Southerners, men having a stake in the 
country. In one regiment of volunteers there are two privates 
who are worth together three millions of dollars. The North are 
laboring under the impression that they will speedily overrun the 
South and conquer them ; but I tell them they will never be able 
to accomplish it if they live to be as old as Methusaleh. 

In Philadelphia, opposite the Continental, is the Gerard House, 
unoccupied as a hotel. There are employed there now 300 cutters 
and an immense number of women with sewing-machines, making 
up military clothing and necessaries. The women here, as in the 
South, are similarly employed. In fact, men, women and children 
are all either on one side or the other, and all employed. The 
women as usual are working their tongues in unison. While 
Stairs was attending to some business in Philadelphia, Johnnie 
and I went out to Laurel Hill cemetery by train and returned by 
steamer down the Schuylkill River — the same route that we all 
took in 1854. It is not seen now to so great advantage as then, 
as the foliage is not fully out, but it is extended more — by the hand 
of death. 

We left by the 6.30 p.m. train and arrived here at 11 p.m., being 
anxious to hear from home. We telegraphed from Philadelphia 
to Frank to have our letters at the Fifth Avenue Hotel awaiting us, 
and as soon as the office was reached they were in our hands and 
opened. I was delighted, dearest wife, to hear from you, and am 
very grateful to God to learn that you and our dear ones are well, 
or comparatively so. . Death has been in your midst, dear 

Fanny. Many changes have taken place since I left you. We 
should be grateful to God that we are as well as we are and that 
we have not to mourn the loss of those near and dear to us. 
Give Mary Ann and Mr. Binney my love, and say to her that her 
" Pest " has been long enough away to permit her to get quite well. 
I generally find my patients improve rapidly after I leave home, 
and find them well on my return. I was surprised to meet Martyr 
Nutting here to-day. I went in to Tom Whitman's office and 
found him sitting there quite at home. . . . He goes to 
Halifax by this steamer. I am sorry our dear little boy is troubled 
with his teeth. I trust God will spare him to us. He is very 
dear to me, and I would not like to part with him, although I 
know if God took him it would be for his good. You do not men- 
tion whether or not Johnston has been a good and obedient boy 
during my absence. I sincerely trust to hear that he has. Tell 
him with Papa's kindest love that I often think of and pray for 
him, that he may be kept in the right way. Dear little Mary Ann 
must be kissed for Papa ; and tell them all I hope to be able to do 
it soon myself. Joseph Northup is here with his wife and sister 
at this hotel. He tells me you were all anxious about us when you 


learned that we were at the seat of war. Stairs telegraphed yes- 
terday and told them to let you know that I was safe and well in 
Philadelphia. Mr. Archibald was glad to see us back in New 
York. He felt uneasy about us, knowing our locality and the 
difficulty that there would be in getting North. He says he tele- 
graphed to Kinnear four days ago that we were safe at Charleston, 
Mr. Brunck, the Consul, having told him of our whereabouts and 
welfare. He felt the more anxious because he has been cut off 
from all communications with Lord Lyons at Washington for ten 
days, and only yesterday could get a messenger through. Two of 
Lord Lyons' special messengers were turned back by the United 
States authorities, and his Lordship has been cut off from all com- 
munication with the British government for that period. Archi- 
bald detained the " Persia " twenty-four hours at New York, and 
then had to let her go without his despatches. We were very for- 
tunate to get off so cheaply. Many of the Northern fugitives had 
to pay as high as eighty or one hundred dollars to be conveyed only 
twenty or thirty miles. One man told Archibald that it cost him 
one hundred dollars for that distance alone. He reached here 
yesterday, and had a hurried, dangerous and expensive journey. 
Thank God it is now all over and we are out of the way of actual 

I observe from your letter that you had received only mine of 
the 8th inst., dated at Raleigh, N.C. I have written two or three 
since that date, from Charleston and Savannah, which I hope have 
not gone astray, as they contain a kind of journal of my move- 
ments, sayings and doings. ... I shall stay a day or two 
each in Boston, Portland and St. John, after leaving here. I am 
now very well, having got a good night's sleep, and being rested 
after so much hurried and night travel. We thought it best, as 
the weather is cold in Nova Scotia, not to return by the steamer, 
but to go via Portland and St. John. This will detain us a week 
or ten days later. I am very much obliged for the newspapers, 
but as yet I have only had time to glance at them. I learn enough 
to make me feel anxious about the political doings of the next 
month. I am strongly in hope that we shall carry King's and 
Victoria. ... I am much obliged to Tupper for his two 
letters and shall write him on Monday morning. . . . Ask 
Charles or Dr. Tupper to attend to my resignation as chairman 
of the Executive Committee of the Club, if they have not already 
done it. I have made up my mind that it will be necessary for me 
to work less than ever I have done ; and what work I do will have 
to be professional. I have suffered long with my head, and, 
worked as I am, to continue slaving myself will be more than 
injudicious. . . . Frank is recovering from a slight attack of 
rheumatism. He is at his office again after an absence of three or 

198 DANIEL McNEILL pakkek, m.d. 

four days. I may perhaps be able to write you a few lines from 

Monday, April 29. — I shall not leave here, dear Fanny, until 
to-morrow night. I have written T upper, and by getting his 
letter you will be able to learn what a queer Sunday I spent, and 
how unprofitably the evening service fell upon our ears. Little 
Jack said, when we came out, " Well ! I don't think that sermon 
of Mr. Beecher's will convert anyone." If I were Henry Ward 
Beecher I would not like to be shaved by a Southern barber. . . . 

I feel pretty well. Say to the dear children that Papa hopes 
soon to be able to kiss them all. I have not time to write to 
Johnston, as Stairs is waiting for me to go out with him. Love 
to all. God bless you, dearest wife. 

Ever your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 

Notes on the Letters of 1861. 

In the Boston letter, Mr. Laurie is probably a brother of 
General Laurie. " Tupper " is the doctor (Sir Charles). 
Ben Gray is the Halifax lawyer, B. G. Gray. " The Pryors " 
are Dr. John Pryor and family. He was Principal of Horton 
Academy, in my father's time, was now pastor of the old Cam- 
bridge Baptist Church, and shortly afterwards became pastor of 
the Granville Street Church, Halifax. Fairbanks and Greenwood 
were scions of well known Halifax families. 

Mr. Archibald of the New York letters was then, and for many 
years afterwards, British Consul at New York. For his services 
there he was afterwards knighted. He was a member of the 
family of Nova Scotia Archibalds. Samuel Story was a Halifax 
man who had removed to New York, and was apparently much 
given to relieving the necessities of Haligonians stranded or gone 
to the bad in that city. It is too early in the history of some 
Halifax families to reveal what he told on the journey from Boston 
to New York, and a portion of the letter in which he figures is 
therefore omitted. My uncle, Francis G. Parker, was then in 
business in New York, and will be recognized as the " Frank " 
of these letters. Sir Dominick Daly was the father of Sir Malachi 
Daly, and the son referred to in the first New York letter is 
doubtless the latter. 

My mother's cousin " James," of Philadelphia, was James 
Black, son of Samuel, who was the youngest son of Reverend 
William Black. Samuel's widow married a Methodist minister 
named Taylor who died about 1860. She died in Philadelphia 
in 1873. Mrs. Darst was Rebecca Black, her only daughter, and 


a widow, who removed to Philadelphia with her mother and died 
there in 1867. 

Miss Dix, mentioned in the Washington letter, was the cele- 
brated Dorothea Dix whose efforts on behalf of the insane revolu- 
tionized the system of their treatment and stimulated public senti- 
ment, everywhere, for the amelioration of their lot. My father 
had met her before. She was one of America's greatest women, 
and her biography should be read by everyone. 

In regard to the Charleston letter of April 15th, it is worthy 
of remark that Daniel McNeill's grandson, bearing his name, 
should witness Fort Moultrie in action for the first time since the 
Revolutionary War, when he himself, on the first occasion when 
hostile shot were ever fired from that fort, took part in the assault 
upon it. 

With further reference to this Charleston letter, my father has 
told me that when Major Anderson came ashore from Fort 
Sumter as a prisoner of war, he was conducted along the side- 
walk past the Mills house, from the steps of which he (my father) 
obtained a close inspection of this man who has since figured 
among the military heroes of the United States as a history maker* 

" The Clan Johnston," at Savannah, is a playful designation 
of the family of J. W. Johnson, Sr., whose descent is noted in 
the paper on Daniel McNeill and his descendants. 

Dr. Crawley, visited at Limestone Springs, South Carolina, 
was Dr. Edmund A. Crawley, formerly pastor of the Granville 
Street Church, afterwards President of Acadia College, and 
who returned to that College as professor in 1866. 

" Tom Whitman," found in New York on the return trip, was 
one of the Annapolis Whitmans. 

The " unprofitable evening service " on Sunday, April 28th 
(which, by the way, was my father's thirty-ninth birthday), men- 
tioned in the last of these letters, was at the Tabernacle in Brook- 
lyn, where the mountebank preacher and savage abolitionist Henry 
Ward Beecher conducted his performances, and was one of " the 
lions " of the day to be seen and heard by travellers. That even- 
ing he preached a farewell sermon (?) to a New York regiment 
which was going to the front. The " sermon " was a brutal, 
blood-thirsty, blasphemous tirade against the Confederacy, in which 
the spirit of the evil one himself would appear to have usurped 
the pulpit. At its close, when the orator, by playing upon every 
string of the worst human passions, had worked the thousands of 
his audience into a sufficient degree of frenzy, he dramatically 
announced that a collection would be taken up, to the glory of God, 
for the purchase of army revolvers to add to the equipment of 
the troops about to go forth, in the strength of the Lord, upon 
His service. My father had stood the sermon pretty well, taking 


it as a curious exhibition of the spirit of the times in the North; 
" but," said he in relating the incident, " this was too much for 
Stairs and me. We buttoned up our pockets and marched out." 
Certain pockets had buttons in those days. It is safe to assert 
that this was the only church collection he ever evaded. 

When travelling, he was accustomed to jot down on paper 
facts, statistics and other notes of anything which impressed him 
as noteworthy, for future reference, and also brief memoranda 
of observations or comment. He was never without a pocket note- 
book, at home or abroad. It was part of his dress, almost, like 
the pocket stethoscope and instrument case. For the most part, 
it had a professional use, but from the hundreds of these little 
books which he left might be gathered extracts from his reading, 
thoughts, facts, figures, heads of his own public addresses, secular 
and religious, and notes of travel, — all strikingly reflective of 
himself. Unfortunately, however, his style of note-making was 
so terse and elliptical that any attempt to edit them would not be 
judicious. No mind but his own could fill out the structure from 
the outlined sketches, as he left them. Yet, as an illustration of 
his method, and because of the unusual subject-matter, I venture 
to reproduce some notes and observations touching upon one or 
more aspects of slavery as he saw it in his Southern tour of 1861. 

" Sabbath School instruction in Northern and Southern States. 
The Nursery of the Church. Arrangements in basements of all 
the churches for this object — For Bible Classes and Infant schools 
— maps, figures, stories in prints, illustrated. 

" Airy rooms — divisions — used for negro service in the after- 
noon. Hours early — 9 a.m System of instruc- 
tion — both North and South the same as ours 

Legal enactments against educating the blacks. To my mind 
one of the worst features of slavery and in direct opposition to 
Christ's command — go preach, etc., etc. Search the Scriptures, etc. 

" The missionary may be sent abroad — he cannot teach the 
colored child or man (unless he breaks the law of some of the 
States) to read God's precious Word at home — for obvious reasons 
— they are orally instructed — and religious men (I use the 
term advisedly) on the Sabbath, on their estates where there is 
no church near, collect their slaves and families together and read 
and expound God's word to them — as in Mr. Smith's case at 
Beaufort. As a people the blacks are not anxious for education — 
at least if they yearned for it as a people they could in secret obtain 
it, but not publicly. Some of them are very apt to learn. 
Mr. Smith's lad instructed in three days by another — lying down 
on the grass — observed by his master with a spy glass, and when 


they noticed that they were objects of attention, moved their posi- 
tion — but in three days when the stranger left, the slave could 

" No Sabbath school instruction for them as a class. At Raleigh 
my Baptist friend told me that the different denominations united 
for this purpose and had a union school — but a significant fact 
is to be observed — it fell through. Religious men touch this 
matter of direct Scriptural teaching, to this class, tenderly. 
I occasionally broached the subject in delicate and suggestive 
language — but found always that the ground was boggy. We gen- 
erally, I may say invariably got stuck fast, could not advance, but 
retreated and branched off by some other track — Dr. Curtis' son 
teaching a class on Sunday. Blacks, mostly Baptists and Metho- 

" Their privileges. Cannot give testimony in courts of justice 
against white men. To strike a white man would be almost 
death. ' Can a nigger swear agin a white man in your country?' 
— said by a freeman (to me). 

Curfew Bell in Charleston — Savannah — and Spartanburg — 
In latter place left the church, Methodist, at first curfew. 

" Police force always large. In Savannah 100 men — of whom 
twenty are horsemen. Slaves cannot carry firearms and know not 
how to use them. 

" This system dwarfs their intellect and unfits them for intel- 
lectual or physical organization. Hence not so dangerous or 
dreaded by their masters as if they were educated. 

" Are not allowed to drink. Heavy fines imposed on those who 
sell liquor — consequently are a temperate class — good, and almost 
the only good about the system, except that they are well fed. 

" Their diet — Hours of work small — Make money and often 
purchase themselves, and I presume being considered thus as 
property and talked of as such — a man may be said correctly 
to own himself. 

" MeXeills — Timber gang leave work on Wednesday. Their 
tasks — not heavy. 350 hands cotton picking the average. 

" Their privileges — Cow, pis;, hens, rice, potatoes, doctors. 

" Happy in the evening with their music and their games. 

" Imitative qualities — Their wood cries, like a railroad whistle 
— on rafts between Cape Fear and Fayetteville. 

" Like children — lose their clothes. 

" Respectful and quiet and orderly. 

" Affectionate, as in the First Baptist chapel, at the tombstone 
in Charleston — touching scene. 

" Their freedom is not to be brought about suddenly, but by 
gradual legislation. Education an essential element, and of this 
a large part should be religious instruction to fit them morally and 


intellectually for their change of position and status. Northern 
men who know the South and have studied the question concur in 
this opinion. Violent abolitionists, who only think and speak of 
freedom and the chains, would have them suddenly uplifted. 
It would be ruinous to them, morally and spiritually. 

" The free negro — who evidently wished them free as air — 
said (to me) ' Lord, Mar'sr, they all starve.' 

" If conquered and brought back into the Union they will still 
retain slavery within its present bounds and limits, doubtless 
looking eventually to future relief and final but gradual emancipa- 
tion from the present thraldom." 

My impression is that these notes were designed as the outline 
for some public address to be given after his return home. 


1861 to 1871. 

" The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man. 
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame.'" 

— James Russell Lowell. 

In the closing letter of the series in the chapter just concluded, 
the writer said : " I have made up my mind that it will be neces- 
sary for me to work less than ever I have done, and what work I 
do will have to be professional. I have suffered long with my head, 
and, worked as I am, to continue slaving myself will be more 
than injudicious." 

Though he did not adhere to this self-imposed prescription for 
his case, he did follow a resolution he made to break away more 
frequently for recreation, and from this time his " runs," as he 
called his brief trips in the various Provinces and the Eastern 
States, became more frequent. One favorite and healthful diver- 
sion was a drive of a week or two with my mother through some 
favorable section of Nova Scotia, using his own horse and carriage. 
A place frequently resorted to in New Brunswick was Fredericton, 
to visit the Wilmots and enjoy the delights of the St. John river 
and " Evelyn Grove." He took more time, too, for combining 
recreation with professional profit in attending meetings of various 
medical societies, both in the upper and lower provinces. 

His outing for 1862 was in company with an old friend and 
patient, Mr. Robert Morrow, of Halifax, who was travelling for 
health's sake. They sailed from Halifax on September 10th, in 
a Greek steamship bound up the St. Lawrence. The letters which 
follow will tell of this tour, and other things. 

River St. Lawrence, 

Near the Island of Bic, 
September 13th, 1862. 

Saturday, 6 p.m. 
My Dearest Fanny, — 

We have arrived thus far on our voyage with nothing to alloy 
its pleasure. After parting from you and waving adieus to the 
children at the cottage I took a cup of coffee at breakfast by way 
of an introduction to the table. The passage to the Gut of Canso 
was delightful. We entered its narrow part at 8.30 o'clock on 



Thursday morning and had a delightful sail through its beauti- 
ful and varied scenery (which Capt. Ewing says closely resembles 
the Bosphorus) ; passed outside of Prince Edward Island, not far 
from the shore, near to but not in sight of the Magdalen Islands, 
and then shaped our course for Gaspe, the nearest Canadian land. 
Since making this point we have passed the dreaded island of 
Anticosti — but not to see it — and have had the Labrador coast on 
our starboard side nearly all day while running within four miles 
of the Canadian land, examining as we pass them, with our 
glasses, the numerous villages, churches and fishermen's houses 
which skirt the shore, while rising, amphitheatre-like, in the rear 
is a range of mountains very elevated, so much so at one point as 
to measure 3,973 feet above the level of the water it overlooks. 
Altogether the scenery is bold and picturesque, made up as it is 
of so many elements of interest. Until last night the sea and 
gulf have been as placid as the first lake at Dartmouth on a fine 
day. We had then heavy squalls with thunder and lightning for 
an hour, after which it settled down and became calm or com- 
paratively so, but I was disturbed in the stomach while dressing, 
and could not appear at breakfast, but made up for the omission at 
12 and 3 when the luncheon and dinner bells rang. Yesterday 
the wind came from the Canadian land hot and almost oppressive. 
In the evening it was like a West Indian night and we paced the 
deck until 11 o'clock — thinly clad — viewing the sheet lightning 
far away on the Labrador coast. To-day the wind comes over 
the high lands of Labrador from the icy regions beyond, so cold 
and chilly that we have all taken to our greatcoats, and I am 
writing by a cosy bright fire which burns, home-like, in a large 
and familiar-looking grate, making us all look and feel happy and 
comfortable. Our captain, Ewing by name, is a very gentlemanly 
man, and a good and watchful sailor, always at his post. His 
first officer is also a fine sailor-like man, well educated, who has 
been for years with this captain in the Australian and Mediter- 
ranean trade. He knew the Coxworthys out in Australia and was 
asking after them. The second officer is a Mr. Parrot, a nephew of 
Mr. Bourinot, of Sydney. He knows the Marshalls well. These 
two officers, with the chief engineer, dine in the cabin with us. 
The only cabin passengers besides Morrow and myself are Mr. 
Mellidew, an Edinburgh medical student, and his young brother, 
a lad about thirteen years of age, — the sons of the charterer of 
the ship, who are taking advantage of this good opportunity to 
see something of America. Their father is a London merchant, 
and one of his clerks, a Mr. Jacobson — a Dane — is on board also 
as supercargo. You have now a list and some idea of our com- 
panions of the past four days. The ship is a splendid vessel of 
nearly 1,000 tons and about 400 horse-power. She is owned by a 

1861 TO 1871 205 

Greek merchant in London, and is named the " Mavroeordatos " 
after a friend of the owner, who delights in this lengthy handle — 
and who, until recently, was minister of finance to King Otho, 
of Greece. This, then, is the explanation of the mystery that hung 
round the unusual name of the ship in which you saw your hus- 
band embark. We have amused ourselves principally with eating 
and drinking, any amount of deck exercise, quoits — using Indian 
rubber quoits instead of iron, watching the ship's company at 
their work — occasionally splitting our sides with laughter when 
Jack is in chase of the pigs — five of which are on board, of small 
size and with short bristles and most of them without tails. Every 
now and then they are turned out from their coops for air and 
exercise and then the whole ship's company set to work to catch 
them when their health has been thus improved. Such a row and 
such fun! We big children enjoy it almost as much as Johnston 
and Mary Ann or Willie would. Besides this the crew and a fore 
passenger give us nightly concerts with the flute and other instru- 
ments. Then I have always my books to fall back upon, or if not 
my own, those of somebody else. I have read Wilkie Collins' 
" Dead Secret," Longfellow's " Evangeline " and am now at 
" Hiawatha." These latter bear reading over and over again. 
" British India " I shall be next at. Tell Mary Ann and dear 
little Willie that we have brought any quantity of little birds 
from Xova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. They came on 
board exhausted and became so tame that they ran all about our 
feet as unconcerned as if they had been reared in a house. One 
or two came into the cabin while we were at meals. Young Ross 
Mellidew, urged on by Morrow and myself, put some salt on the 
tail of one and then seized the bird amid shouts of laughter. This 
is the first prize of the kind that I have ever seen taken in this 
way. I can well recollect when I was not so successful as I chased 
the sparrows and robins from field to field wasting salt to no 
purpose. We are just off Father Point, the first station for 
pilots, and the mate is carrying up powder to fire a cannon to 
bring one on board. I hope he will bring us some late American 
news — as we are languishing for it, not having seen a telegram or 
paper now for three days or more. If we learn that " Washing- 
ton is safe " — in the hands of the Southerners, and Baltimore 
also, none on board will weep for the calamity that has befallen 
" the greatest nation and the best government on the face of the 
earth." George Francis Train, of English Tram railway notoriety, 
and the great stump orator for the Union in England, came out 
to Halifax in this ship and left her for the United States as soon 
as she reached port. I should think they had pretty high times 
on board during his stay, from what I can learn. He is an ultra 
and a most violent Yankee, and all on board beside were John 


Bulls and a trifle " secesh " in their opinions. Long after mid- 
night the arguments and noise went on — but now the sound of such 
oral warfare is hushed — we are " all one brother " and cannot so 
much as get up an argument. Morrow has improved greatly. 
He eats all the time, walks the deck from morning till night, and 
sleeps like a top. Tell his wife that he is as jolly as a lord — 
indeed I think I may say the same of both of us. As regards sleep 
I am making up for lost time and now make a business of it — 
there is no retail about it as there was in Halifax. I do the thing 
wholesale. Our guns and rockets were answered by rockets and 
three lights from the lighthouse at Father Point, but all the pilots 
are away. This is the terminal point of the telegraph line on the 
St. Lawrence, and Mr. Jacobson has telegraphed to his agents in 
Montreal to announce our approach. The telegraph operator inter- 
cepts ships and steamers here by a boat and announces their arrival 
promptly so that parties in England interested in the shipping of 
this great river may get the earliest intelligence of the arrivals 

Quebec, Monday, September 15th. After leaving Father 
Point I turned in, and on going on deck at 8 o'clock on Sunday 
morning found our gallant ship in charge of a French pilot, who 
had been brought on board by our guns and rockets when off the 
Island of Bic, 150 miles below Quebec. Our sail up the St. 
Lawrence was delightful. All yesterday was fine, and as far 
as the eye could reach, both up and down the river — especially 
on the south side — there was to be seen one continuous line of 
beautifully white villages and towns, with churches of immense 
size studding the whole coast every here and there. The stream 
of houses occupies the low lands near the margins of the river, 
while stretching far back up the sides of the hills and mountains 
are the cultivated farms all regularly laid out and divided into 
narrow strips as the manner of the French is — while far away 
in the distance are the mountainous scenery and woodland, adding 
additional beauty by giving a bold and picturesque background. 
I had not the most remote idea that the population of the St. 
Lawrence was anything like as great as it is. I should think 
that from Bic to Quebec (inclusive) it must amount to nearly 
our whole population. We passed by and between numerous 
islands. Gros Island, thirty miles below Quebec, on which the 
quarantine establishment of the St. Lawrence is located, arid 
Orleans Island, thirty miles in length and densely populated, 
stretch along the river and are beautiful objects. At 9 o'clock 
last evening we cast anchor below the port, remained on board all 
night and disembarked at 6 o'clock this morning, the " Mavro- 
cordatos " proceeding onwards to Montreal. We have taken up 
our quarters at Russel's hotel where we are very comfortable. 

1861 TO 1871 207 

After breakfast I went to the post office for letters — found none — 
but hope that one may arrive by to-night's mail from you — and 
also some Halifax papers, which, if not already sent, ask Mr. 
Venables to mail for me as I shall presently direct. I then went 
to the military hospital to see Dr. Crerar of the GOth Rifles, who 
was greatly surprised and very glad to see me. He showed me 
all around the Citadel, from which there is a magnificent view of 
the river, the city and the surrounding country, as also of the 
Plains of Abraham, where Wolfe and Montcalm met and fell in 
battle just as victory crowned the English arms. Monuments 
to both have been erected and are objects of great interest to all 
visitors. I called at the Governor-General's and saw Lord and 
Lady Mulgrave, Lady Laura and Katey. They were all pleased 
to see me, and roared when I told them of the coachman and the 
'osses. Lord Mulgrave said they wished to telegraph to me to join 
them at Shediac and come on with them in the Canadian yacht — 
" but they diddle." Of course I took the measure of the com- 
pliment. They all leave here this afternoon for Montreal and 
Niagara. The delegates have all sloped for Montreal, Niagara 
and Boston. The newspapers will give you the result of their 
deliberations. I imagine they have spent some money and accom- 
plished nothing. Would that it were otherwise for the good of the 
country. I hope your father is better. Tell him to take care of 
his feet and his stomach and caution Emma to keep the goodies 
in the background. Give them all my love. Tell M. A. Binny 
to be cautious until my return, and then if she wishes to have a 
blow out I will be on hand to correct the after-consequences. 
Remember me most kindly to Mrs. Katzman and Anna and all 
the neighbors. I hope Johnston is a good and obedient boy, 
learning his lessons thoroughly and keeping himself neat and 
tidy. Give him a great deal of love from his papa and say all 
kinds of loving things to Mary Ann and Willie. Poor little 
" Small Potatoes " is yet too young and innocent to appreciate affec- 
tionate messages. I shall leave here for Montreal, Kingston and 
Niagara in two or three days and you may look for us in the 
next Boston steamer unless we should change our minds, of which 
you will be duly apprised. Ever, dearest Fanny, 
Your affectionate husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 

P.S. — The steamer has ceased to run on the pleasure trips to 
the river Saguenay so I shall miss seeing its beautiful scenery. 
It would have taken us three days to accomplish the thing. So this 
will be something in store for you, my dear wife, at some future 
day — when we will visit it together. I very much wish you were 
my travelling companion now. I often think of you and our dear 

208 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

ones and pray that God will spare our lives to meet again, and 
that we may, by His grace, be enabled to bring up those entrusted 
to our care for a time in the fear and love of Him who died for 
them and for us. Say to Mr. Johnston that I shall see Minnie. 
I very much regret not having seen him before leaving. I did 
not know that he had returned until the afternoon preceding my 
departure. I wish you would open all letters — and tell Venables 
to reply in accordance with circumstances to those that he can 
attend to. We have no news from the contending armies that 
can be relied on. The general impression here is that the 
Northern army is disorganized and demoralized by repeated 
defeats and bad handling, and that they (the soldiers and officers) 
are growing restive and hard to manage and keep in check. I hope 
your letter will bring me cheering news from Foster. Write to 
him, dear Fanny, and call his attention to the one thing needful, 
the salvation of his soul. A word in season now while God is 
afflicting his body may prove of incalculable benefit to his never 
dying spirit. I long to hear all about your movements — what 
you are doing, how the children are getting on, — in short, all 
that a loving wife can write and tell a loving husband. What of 
Dr. Pryor's sermon on Sunday, and the attendance ? Who has 
charge of my Bible class ? Please call and see Mr. Selden relative 
to it. I came away in such a hurry that I could not make pro- 
vision for it. I hope he has done so. It should be looked after by 
some competent person every Lord's day, so that the scholars may 
not stray away and become careless. The " Arabia " leaves 
Boston, Wednesday, October 1st, and we will, God willing, be 
with you on her. As soon as this reaches you write to me immedi- 
ately at the " Clifton House, Niagara, Canada." Tell Johnston to 
enclose me a letter and tell me all about his success in reference 
to the half dollar prize — as also how he is getting on with his 
fun and frolics. The dinner bell has just rimg. So farewell, 
dearest wife. 

D. P. 

Call and see Mrs. Morrow as soon as you can and tell her all 
about our run, as Morrow's head will not stand writing very well 
as yet, and she will wish to hear all about him. 

Quebec, Wednesday, September 17th, 1862. 
My Dear Wife, — 

Ere taking our departure from this city, which we do to-day at 
4 o'clock p.m., by steamer "Columbia" for Montreal, I will 
occupy a few minutes by giving you a few of my jottings by 
the way. Yesterday we unexpectedly found Tremain Twining's 
name on the hotel books and soon announced ourselves to him. 

1861 TO 1871 209 

Morrow has a friend here, J. J. W., formerly a merchant of Hali- 
fax, but now in business here. He has been very kind in show- 
ing us the lions, and in tit is tray has discharged a bill which he 
left on my books when taking his departure from Xova Scotia. 
I have also met Dr. Miles of the Artillery, and yesterday paid a 
very pleasant visit to my old patients the Peters', who were in 
Halifax living in Brunswick Street during the construction of 
the new barracks. They came near eating me up, and the old 
mother, a French-Canadian woman, almost embraced me. They 
have a very lively recollection of the kindness of the Halifax 
people, and take every opportuity of reciprocating. You will 
remember Mrs. Simon Peters, who was a passenger with us when 
we came on to Canada after our marriage. After closing my 
last letter, under W.'s guidance we embarked in a carriage to 
inspect more closely the Plains of Abraham and the heights up 
which Wolfe carried his army ere engaging Montcalm. The in- 
scription on his small and unimposing monument briefly but elo- 
quently tells the result as far as that brave man is concerned. 
It reads : " Here fell Wolfe, September 13th, 1759." They might 
have added the word " victorious " — but soldiers generally like 
brevity, unless they belong to the neighboring Union, and this 
monument having been erected by soldiers to his memory on the 
very spot where he fell, tells the tale of a nation's loss in as few 
words as possible. From this we drove to Spencer's Wood, the 
beautiful seat of the former Governors of Lower Canada. The 
residence was destroyed some years since by fire and a large and 
commodious building is only now being placed on the site of the 
old one. It is a brick structure and the Peters' have the contract. 
The drives through the grounds are extensive and English park- 
like. We next visited the cemetery, which has natural beauties, 
and these are aided by art, but it cannot be named in comparison 
with those of Boston, Xew York, and Philadelphia, all of which 
you have seen. On our way there we came across quite a large 
encampment of gypsies. We got out of the carriage and went to 
inspect their cold and dreary-looking houses or camps, and to 
converse with them. As much as I have travelled through Eng- 
land and Scotland I never before fell in with any of the tribe- 
Their tents are merely bent sticks covered with blankets and 
closely resemble the covering of our ice carts. They are about 
six or eight feet long by six in width, closed at one end and open 
at the other, not nearly so warm or comfortable either for summer 
or winter as our Indian camps. Their fires are all outside their 
camps, on stones. They had any quantity of children, some of 
them perhaps stolen from more comfortable English homes. This 
encampment has but recently arrived here from Devonshire, Eng- 
land. They say they live by trading in horses, but I presume the 



hen-roosts, gardens and potato fields suffer — as they are looked 
upon on the other side of the Atlantic as notorious thieves, and 
it is not probable that this propensity has been left behind in the 
Old Country. I noticed by the morning paper I brought away with 
me from Halifax that an encampment of five or six had reached 
Halifax. Look out for dear little Willie that he is not stolen! 
Our drive back was along the beautiful valley of the St. Charles 
River, on which not many years ago the vessel that Jacques 
Cartier arrived at Quebec in was discovered, so report says, buried 
fifteen feet below the surface by alluvial deposit. She has pro- 
bably remained there at rest since 1535. Quebec more closely 
resembles Edinburgh than any other place I have seen, and, were 
it not for the near proximity of the river, the bold and high rock 
on which the castle and fortifications stand might readily be taken 
for that of Edina the fair. It is a walled town entered by numer- 
ous gates, at each of which a military guard is stationed. The 
suburbs are extensive, but on the whole, the city has a dilapidated 
appearance, and, architecturally speaking, is not to be compared 
with Halifax. One is struck by the vast size of the churches 
(Roman Catholic). These are not only large, but numerous to 
an extent that one could hardly anticipate, having a knowledge 
of the population. On Tuesday afternoon we visited the Lunatic 
Asylum, an extensive structure, not modern in its appearance 
or appliances, but sufficiently large to hold between 400 and 500 
patients. We were kindly received, and shown through all the 
building. We then visited the celebrated fall of Montmorency, — 
small in breadth when compared to Niagara, but 100 feet greater 
in height. The scenery there is majestic and the fall would be a 
perfect wonder to one who had not already visited the leviathan 
Niagara. Its waters are made use of to drive the machinery of 
saw mills and manufactories. Close to the fall is the residence of 
the late Duke of Kent, a beautiful building owned by a Mr. Hall, 
who also possesses the Falls and much land on either side of the 
river up as far as what is termed the " Natural Steps," a most 
romantic spot and a perfect curiosity in its way. The Prince of 
Wales was most interested in this spot, the more so, as it once was 
the abode of his grandfather. Over these Falls, right on their brink, 
was erected a few years ago a suspension bridge, which one morning 
fell with two or three people and a horse and wagon on it. 
Of course eternity was speedily present to the unhappy victims, 
and nothing was ever heard of them after. A remarkable story 
is told of the escape of a gentleman and his horse and wagon, 
through the instinct of the animal. Nothing on earth could force 
the animal over, although accustomed to the crossing. The man 
had his feet on the bridge, and was tugging and thrashing the 
poor horse, when in an instant the anchors of the opposite side 

1861 TO 1871 211 

gave way and he was miraculously saved by the backing of his 
horse. The race to the mills and a minor fall are also objects 
of interest, and have connected with them some harrowing tales 
of death to the venturesome. The drive out and back to Quebec 
was about seven or eight miles in length each way (1G in all) 
and it was through one continuous village of " habitants " or 
French settlers. Every here and there could be seen one of the 
immense chapels, just referred to, while small roadside chapels 
and crosses more conveniently placed for the passers-by and market 
people, who are devotionally inclined, attract the sight. Here in 
early morn and late at night these simple farmers bend the knee to 
crosses and saints — and call it worshipping God, while their beads 
are counted and their patron saint invoked, rather than the one 
true God. 

This morning (Wednesday) we sallied forth to visit the large 
Marine Hospital, and were much gratified by the visit and the 
attention shown us. The visit was profitable in a professional 
point of view. 

Montreal, Thursday, September 18th. 

We sailed in the " Columbia " at 4 p.m., and had a delightful 
sail through magnificent and varied scenery for eighty miles, 
when I retired for the night, and awoke to find myself here. 
I slept soundly and well. The boat was full of passengers, and 
among the deck people, we discovered a number of gypsies bound 
higher up the St. Lawrence. We are at the St. Lawrence Hall. 
Here we found Edmund Twining, and Tremain Twining follows 
us up by to-night's boat. We were disappointed at not receiving 
letters before leaving Quebec, but I forgot to tell you to direct 
them by " Express mail via St. John and Portland." Had they 
been thus addressed we would have received them before leaving. 

After breakfast we sallied forth and the first 

person we tumbled over was Mr. Ferrier, who very kindly offered 
us every attention and has been acting as our guide to the 
Exchange, the Victoria bridge and the water works — all objects 
of interest and profitable to an observer in many ways. You 
will recollect the Bridge. When last here with you, Wilmot and 
the gentlemen of our party were all down in the bottom of the 
St. Lawrence in the coffer-dams, seeing the foundation laid. JSTow, 
as a special favor granted to Mr. Ferrier, we have been shown 
the minutiae of the superstructure. It is a magnificent work — 
the masterpiece of scientific engineering. I bought at the bridge 
a lithograph of the structure as it appears, both in winter and 
summer, so that we may be reminded in after years, if we are 
spared to grow old and gray, that I was at the bottom of the great 
and rapid St. Lawrence — even below its natural bed, and after- 


wards walked over its surface, suspended on iron. We shall 
leave here in two or three days for Ottawa city, viewing, as we 
ascend the river of that name, the fine scenery of its bank ; thence 
we will go by boat and train to Kingston to see Minnie, and from 
there to Niagara — after which we will go to Boston direct, and 
take the next boat, two weeks from yesterday — at least these are our 
present plans, and .unless they are providentially interrupted, will 
be carried out. As we shall be moving about so constantly I would 
like you to address all letters and papers to me at the Eevere 
House, Boston, and I trust I shall have a feast on my arrival in 
that city. I need tell you nothing of this city. It has not altered 
materially in appearance since you were here — but has in extent. 
About 500 stone or brick buildings have been erected annually 
ever since the date of our visit, and this year its population is 
101,000 (one hundred and one thousand) an increase of over 
20,000 since 1854. This afternoon I go with Mr. Muir, a son- 
in-law of Dr. Cramp, to visit a new and elegant Baptist chapel 
that is to be opened here in two weeks from this time, also 
the vast and beautiful English Cathedral, which I am told is the 
finest building of the kind on this continent. I have not seen 
any newspapers (of Halifax) since leaving, and this afternoon 
must go to the Exchange and have a read of the latest dates there. 
I am rather down, because Lee and Jackson are not inside instead 
of outside Washington and Baltimore. I fear my Confederate 
friends have got rather the worst of it, notwithstanding their 
success at Harper's Ferry. Better luck the next time, I hope. 
Would that the war would come to an end and peace once more 
reign throughout our continent. What evils, privations, horrors 
and everything that one's mind can conjure up attend the battle- 
field and the country through which contending armies pass and 
meet in strife. God grant that our happy little Province may 
always be exempt from such direful evils and distress. 

I long to learn something of you and the dear children. I was 
dreaming of you all last night, and often do so. May God grant 
that we may all meet again at home in health and strength. . . 

I hope your father is himself again and that he will avoid 
all the exciting causes of such attacks ; but whether careful or 
careless, I daresay he will occasionally have slight " twinges " of 
the enemy in his understanding. Morrow still suffers a little with 
his head, but is much improved since leaving — in strength, appetite 
and obtaining rest at night. Poor fellow, I trust that he will be 
eventually quite restored to fill the useful position in our Province 
which he must occupy from his talents and tastes if life and 
strength are continued to him. What of poor Foster? I long to 
hear from him or of him. When you write, please give my love 
to him and all at Walton. Col. Ben i-j to be stationed at Quebec 

1861 TO 1871 213 

I hear. Mr. Duncan is on the small island opposite Montreal 
and in the centre of the river. It must be a delightful spot to 
reside on in summer. 

And now, my dearest wife, farewell. You will probably hear 
from me again ere my return — probably from Niagara or Kings- 
ton. With kindest regards to all at the cottage, Kate's, the Mount, 
Belle Vue, the Binneys, etc., etc. Ever your affectionate husband. 

D. McN. Parker. 

P.S. — Address " Dr. Parker, to arrive at The Revere House, 
Boston." Tell Tupper if you see him to write me. I have seen 
the names of the Hamiltons on the Quebec hotel book, but 
have not met them. The L.'s . . . are apparently travelling 
with them. Tell little Willie papa will soon be at home again. 
Say to Johnston that I should enjoy a nice little note from him 
very much. Kiss dear Mary Ann arid Laura McNeill for Papa. 
May God preserve and protect you, dear wife. I must hasten 
to mail this hurriedly written scrawl. 

Recollect: — "By Express mail via St. John & Portland." 
Put this on the top of the envelope and pay the postage, which will 
be something extra. D. P. 

Kingston, C. W., 

September 23rd, 1862, 

Tuesday, 2 P.M. 
My Dearest Wife, — 

You will remember our stopping at the wharf of this city 
just ere we commenced running through the Thousand Islands, 
one morning at break of day, when from our little stateroom 
window we got a peep at the nearest building and I stepped out 
on the pier merely that I might say I had been in Kingston. 
Well, at that time I hardly ever expeetcd to see it again, but after 
an interval of eight years I find myself addressing a letter to my 
dear companion of that voyage, from the interior of the same city. 
I forgot to mention in my last that I had met James Mitchell, 
who kindly invited me to accept the hospitalities of his house, 
which I was unable to do, Robt. Willis, Duncan McDonald (form- 
erly railway contractor in Nova Scotia, whose family I attended 
in Halifax at John Butler's, Bedford), and strange to say, Francis 
R. Parker and daughter, of Shubenacadie, who are staying out of 
Montreal with Judge Monk. How he came to know the Judge 
I cannot imagine, and did not ask. On the day we were out at 
the Hostermans', at the wedding, you will recollect that we went 
through the Iron Rolling Works — but did not see the metal pass- 
ing through all its varied changes until it comes out in sheets. 


Well, in Montreal, I have seen the operation on a grand and exten- 
sive scale. Ferrier took us to a work of this kind in which he 
had been interested, where we saw nails of all kinds, from a 
carpet tack to a railroad spike, being turned out by the ton, 
while the great sheets were rolled off by the quantity, large enough 
to satisfy the most needy and ambitious hardware man. These 
operations were being performed by men " stripped to the buff " 
with only their trousers on, while streams of water ran off them 
in perspiration. 

I called upon my old friend, the Principal of McGill Univer- 
sity, Dr. Dawson, who was pleased to see me and pressed me to 
stay with him all the day and evening in order that we might 
discuss subjects in Natural Science in which we both take an inter- 
est. The library and museum of the College were inspected, and 
both are very valuable, well arranged and costly. I was specially 
interested in a large collection of Indian relics which he has 
recently discovered at the site of the Indian village of Hochelaga, 
where Jacques Cartier, in 1535, first met the Indians of this 
neighborhood. The history of that remarkable man and his times 
tells us much of this celebrated spot, but for a century or more 
its exact position has been unknown to man. Dr. Dawson was 
the first to point out (last year) the spot so long searched for 
and longed after by North American antiquarians. The city in 
extending its streets and laying water pipes had occasion to dig 
down to a depth of fifteen feet, when the laborers were surprised to 
find a quantity of bones of animals. Dr. Dawson at once visited 
the place, commenced explorations, and found a vast quantity of 
the remains of a large village, such as the bones of all the animals 
of the country used as food, pipes, pottery, the places where their 
cooking had been done, Indian corn prepared for cooking, etc., etc. 
The site of this ancient and extinct village or Indian town is 
just under half a mile or more below the spot where we sat when 
we ascended the summit of the mountain — about two-thirds down 
the slope and near to the upper residences. Dawson also kindly 
gave me a note of introduction to Sir Wm. E. Logan, the great 
Provincial geologist of Canada, and we had an interesting inspec- 
tion of the best geological museum in the world. The museum 
of the Natural History Society, of Canada, was also thrown open 
to us, through the same influence, so that altogether I may say 
that we had a feast of science on the last day of our stay in Mon- 
treal, — which we wound up in the evening by asking Capt. 
Ewing, Mr. Jacobson and the first officer of the " Mavrocordatos " 
to dine with us at our hotel, the St. Lawrence Hall. Tremain 
and Edmund Twining who were staying at the hotel joined our 
table at dessert, so altogether we had a pleasant little party, which 

1861 TO 1871 215 

broke up early, at 8V2 P- m - I drank cold water, which did not 
agree with the tobacco smoke of my six smoking friends, as all 
the next day it made me feel sickish. On Saturday morning 
at 6I/2 o'clock, we left for Lachine, a village just above 
the rapids of that name on the other side of the Island of 
Montreal, when we embarked on a steamer for Ottawa. To avoid 
the rapids on a portion of the river we had to leave the boat and 
cross by railroad over a distance of 12 miles to Grenville where 
another steamer was waiting for us. We reached the capital of 
Canada (that is to be) about 7 o'clock in the evening. The river 
scenery is beautiful in many places. Every here and there the 
river expands into small lakes, as at the Lake of the Two Moun- 
tains, which gives expanse and variety to the scene as we rapidly 
glide up stream against the current at a rate of fifteen miles an 
hour. At the first village we crossed the old boundary between 
Upper and Lower Canada, and at Ottawa City, formerly called 
Bytown, the river formed the boundary. We passed immense 
rafts on the way, under tow of steam tugs, some of which had 
several small houses on them and were manned by between 30 
and 50 lumbermen. All these rafts had run the rapids of the 
river by what are called the timber slides. The Ottawa river 
furnishes now by far the greater part of the timber shipped from 
Canada at Montreal and Quebec. As we neared the city the 
scenery became altered from low to elevated and deeply indented 
river banks, most beautiful and picturesque at the place where 
the Capital stands. These high and very steep banks are wooded 
from summit to base by dense groves of beautiful cedar. The 
first part of our trip we had Robert Duport as a fellow-passenger, 
and at one of the lumbering villages on the way, were joined 
by Mr. Menzies of the Bank of B. N". America. He is the young 
man who is to marry one of the Miss Cochrans. He was 
particular in his enquiries after Mr. and Mrs. Binney and your 
father. On the following day we walked out to see the two 
celebrated falls and rapids, which indeed could be observed 
from my bedroom windows, but as they were near we inspected 
them more closely. Both are grand and well worth a visit. They 
are called the Rideau and Chaudiere falls and rapids, and here it 
was that the Prince of Wales ran the rapids on a timber 
slide, which we could not do, the day being the Sabbath. 
Along the banks and far back from the Ottawa on tributary 
streams are the finest and largest sawmills of Canada, driven 
of course by water-power. In the lower Provinces we have no 
idea of the magnitude of the lumber business of this great 
country — and the deals and lumber that we have seen piled up 
awaiting sale would astonish you. Just opposite our hotel was 

216 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

the great Parliamentary Square on which the most extensive 
and magnificent buildings for this purpose that I have ever seen 
out of Washington and London are in course of construction. 
Their extent you may conceive of when I tell you that by a cal- 
culation made in one of the local newspapers by its editor, the 
three steam engines required to heat the buildings by steam 
will consume annually seventeen thousand cords of wood. The 
City of Ottawa is just like a large village spreading itself over 
a large extent of country; its population is only sixteen thousand. 
Morrow and I went to a small Baptist church (just being erected) 
in the morning. The Sunday School was going on in the vestry 
when we entered, and the sermon was preached by a clever young 
man, in the same place. I went to the same place in the even- 
ing and heard the same man. The Hamiltons and L's. 
were before us here also. Morrow and I occupied the same apart- 
ments as Mary Ann and Mrs. John used when there. I notice 
that William is rather proud of the Black blood that runs in 
his veins — as everywhere I meet with his name on the hotel 
books, it is " W. Black Hamilton," the William being sunk in 
the more distingue name of Black. It was great fun for Morrow 
and me to listen to the hotel-keeper's account of the affection that 
exists between Mr. and Mrs. L. He said he never saw a couple 
more affectionate, although they were far from being coupled as to 
age, — and the word was perpetually " Geordie dear " ; " Yes, 
Freddie dear !" The hotel man was Yorkshire all over, and the 
best part of the joke was to hear it from his Yorkshire lips with 
all the brogue. On Monday morning we took the train and 
arrived at Prescott, where our party left the cholera steamer and 
crossed over to Ogdensburg in 1854. Here we had to remain 
from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. before the arrival of the Grand Trunk 
train for this place, which was reached at 4 o'clock in the after- 
noon. The drive was through a sandy and consequently dusty 
soil, the country thinly inhabited. After dining I drove over to 
Col. Ingall's to make enquiries relative to Minnie's abode. They 
were very glad to see me and pressed me to dine with them a 
second time. Ingall sent his servant out to ascertain whether 
Agnes was at the Revd. Mr. Rodgers' or at Waterloo, a country 
village four miles out of Kingston close to the cemetery, where 
Minnie has lately taken lodgings. The reply was, that she was at 
Mrs. Greenwood's, where they formerly lodged. On driving there 
I found her with the Rynds, who have temporarily gone into 
these lodgings. Agnes, having heard from her father that I was 
on my way, fully expected me. We then went on to their lodgings 
out of town. ... It was quite dark when I reached her 
lodgings, and Agnes not finding her (Minnie) in the house, well 

1861 TO 1871 217 

knew where she was to be found. So she went to the cemetery 
to bring her home and to announce my arrival. After breakfast 
I visited the military hospital, by the request of Dr. Alden, who 
was stationed some time in Halifax, and there met Ewing. At 
10 o'clock I drove out to Waterloo again and found Minnie more 
composed and inclined to talk about her health and future pros- 
pects. I think she has pretty well made up her mind to leave this 
in two or three weeks, first for Newport, Rhode Island, and then 
later in the season for Prince Edward Island. . . . Col. 
and Mrs. Ingall have done everything they could for her and are 
never tired of extending to her acts of sympathy and friendship. 
I called on Dr. Yates, the civil practitioner who was called to see 
Wilkieson in his last hours, but he was absent and I failed to see 
him. His family live in summer about four miles out of Kingston, 
and he had probably gone there. I went to the cemetery to see 
the spot where Wilkieson's remains are placed. It is a beautiful 
spot and the headstone is in the form of a cross of white marble, 
with appropriate inscription and surrounded by an iron railing. 

I leave by the Ontario boat for Toronto at six this evening to 
visit the great Industrial Exhibition of Canada being held there 
just now. On Thursday, if God wills, we shall go to Niagara 
either by boat or train, according as the lake is tranquil or the 
contrary. I have a very vivid recollection of our last crossing 
Ontario from Niagara and the sail down to this place — formerly 
the Capital of Upper Canada. The day is beautiful and the lake 
calm, and we hope to have as pleasant a run up to Toronto as you 
and I had from thence in 1854. ... I long to hear from you 
and all at Halifax. We were obliged to leave Montreal before 
your letters had arrived, a great disappointment, but on reaching 
Niagara I hope to get them, as Tremain Twining said he would 
forward them there from the St. Lawrence Hall whence they 
would arrive from Quebec. I long again to hear the prattle of 
the children and to be at home in the enjoyment of all those bless- 
ings which God has so abundantly given me and which constitute 
what one may truthfully say in my case, a happy home. I'm 
homesick and would be off to-morrow if I could reach Halifax any 
earlier for the early departure. Morrow's health still improves. 
He has just written to his wife. Kind love to all at Belle Vue, 
the Cottage, Mount, Kate's, the Binneys, Nuttings, &c, &c. And 
now, dearest wife, with much love for yourself and kisses to John- 
ston (if he will accept them now that he has got into jacket and 
trousers), Mary Ann, Willie and Laura, 

I remain ever your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 


Notes on the Letters of 1862. 

First letter: Mr. Venables (afterwards the doctor) was then 
bookkeeper and dispensing clerk at the office. 

The story of " the coachman and the 'osses " concerns one of 
the nouveaux riches then climbing in Halifax society. 

The peculiar word used by the Earl of Mulgrave illustrates a 
difficulty in pronouncing his " n's " which his Lordship had. He 
had just preceded my father from Halifax, on a visit to Viscount 
Monck, who was then Governor-General of Canada. Lord Mul- 
grave succeeded Sir Gaspard LeMarchant as Lieutenant-Governor 
of Nova Scotia in 1858. 

" The delegates " were the representatives of the Provinces 
who were discussing Union at Quebec and who in the next month 
evolved the Quebec Scheme of Confederation. 

Second letter: Edmund and Tremaine Twining were well 
known Halifax business men. 

Mr. Ferrier was a resident of Montreal. 

" Minnie " was Mr. J. W. Johnston's daughter, the widow 
of Major Wilkieson (I think of the 16th Regiment) who had 
recently died at Kingston, which was then a garrison town. 
She and her sister Agnes are referred to in the next letter. 

Dr. Cramp was the President of Acadia College. 

" The Hamiltons " were cousins of my mother. 

Third letter: Francis R. Parker appears in the Parker 
genealogy at an early page of this narrative. 

Dr. Dawson became afterwards Sir William Dawson, the well 
known author in the field of science, more particularly in geology. 

Late in the summer of 1863, there was an excursion in Prince 
Edward Island and New Brunswick, with visits by the way at 
Amherst and Moncton, where he was called in consultation. 
Letters from Moncton are chiefly of a domestic character. At 
Charlottetown he visited William A. Johnston, son of the Attorney- 
General of Nova Scotia, who was then practising law there. In a 
letter to my mother, written there, August 27th, 1863, occurs this 
domestic item, which will, no doubt, interest certain of the 
grandchildren. " Tell Willie, dear boy, that Papa is very sorry 
Mama had to spank him for running into the hall, but that Papa 
is very glad Mama had the firmness to do it. Spare the rod and 
spoil the child." This incident has faded from the memory of 
the party most interested, who was then in his third year. The 
writer adds: "Tell dear Johnston to let me hear from him." 
In the same letter there occurs this characteristic touch, in 
referring to the case of a former patient whose case had now 
become desperate. " Poor S ! It would be better for him to be 

1861 TO 1871 219 

consulting ' the Great Physician ' than ' the Pathy.' When God 
calls may he be ready to go. Medicine for the soul is what is 
often wanted to produce mental and physical comfort." 

The concluding letter of the series written on this tour is 
as follows : 

" 9.30 P.M., Woodstock, KB., 

" Wednesday night, 

" September 3rd, 1863. 

" Here I am once more in a place where I can get a room to 
write in, being comfortably stowed away for the night at the 
Blanchard House. After closing my letter at Fredericton on 
Monday morning I took the box seat outside the Woodstock 
coach and after a lovely drive through beautiful scenery (river 
and highland) reached this place at 6.30 p.m. I enjoyed the 
drive more than I would have done the sail by steamer up the 
river, as by the latter mode of conveyance one could get very 
little idea of the country beyond the banks of the stream, whereas 
from the coach road one sees all the river scenery as well as that 
for miles beyond. It is a beautiful country, not merely to look 
upon, but in an agricultural sense, and is becoming thickly 
populated. When I left Fredericton I had not concluded as to 
where my steps would next be directed. I wanted to see the 
Grand Falls, and at the same time I wanted to cross the Bay of 
Fundy on Thursday (to-morrow) to Digby, as I was feeling- 
homesick and desirous once more of seeing all the inmates of the 
little cottage by the Dartmouth Cove. However, as I was within 
seventy-five miles of the Falls and might never have the oppor- 
tunity of visiting them again, I concluded at last to go on. There 
being no day coach I was obliged to travel all Monday night. 
We started at 8 p.m. from Blanchard's hotel. I was the only 
passenger for forty miles. The road was good but very hilly 
and extremely narrow, with numerous bridges, the approaches to 
which were generally at the bottom of very steep hills. I had 
not been long in the wagon (an open one) before I made the 
discovery that the coachman was unfit for the post, as he could 
not keep awake five minutes at a time, so I had to spend the live 
long night (and a cold one it was for the season) watching him 
and arousing him in time to apply the brakes to avoid being 
tossed over the bridges. I wanted him to let me drive, but he 
would not. Fortunately the horses were very steady, although 
in high condition and very fast. Indeed the horses here on all 
the coach lines are far superior in flesh, condition and speed to 
any on the coach lines of ISTova Scotia. I was very thankful 
when at 6 o'clock a.m. we arrived at Newcom's Inn (kept by a 


Cornwallis man), Tobique. I got myself well warmed by a 
comfortable barroom fire and took my breakfast with a wild, 
rough party of lumbermen. There was one very tall, gentle- 
manly, well-dressed person of the party whose features looked 
familiar, but for the life of me I could not recollect where I had 
met him. He looked at me as if he had some knowledge of me. 
As he sat next me at the table I got into conversation with 
him and a reference to Nova Scotia caused him to state that he 
was a native of that Province. I then asked his name and he 
told me that it was Alexander Eaton and that Cornwallis was 
his former home. " What !" said I, " Is it Sandy Eaton ?" " Yes." 
"Well I'm Dan Parker." Such a shaking of hands then took 
place " as you never did see." He was a favorite school companion 
of mine at Horton, and although I have often enquired about him 
I had never been able to hear anything of his whereabouts since 
we parted in 1837. Many's the lark we have had together. He 
kindly jumped into the coach and drove over to the Grand Falls 
with me. We "fought our battles o'er again." He showed me 
all the lions of the Falls — introduced me to Sheriff Beckwith — a 
cousin of Mayhew Beckwith's, of Cornwallis, who married a 
Greenwood, a relation of the Stayners and Greenwoods of Halifax. 
This made my visit to the great waterfall of New Brunswick 
doubly pleasant. After spending seven or eight hours together 
we parted — very likely never to meet again. I was amply paid 
for the trouble and fatigue of getting to the Falls by the grand, bold 
scenery around this district. The fall itself is broad, the water 
descending now seventy feet. When the river is full the vertical 
measure is decreased while its breadth is largely increased, and, 
of course, the quantity of water thus escaping is much greater. 
Just below the Falls I witnessed a great timber jam and a large 
number of men engaged in the very dangerous work of starting it. 
Not long ago a man thus engaged there was killed and others 
narrowly escaped. " The jam " was so great that the logs were 
forced down in the water by the superincumbent pressure to the 
distance of forty or fifty feet. The men had been working at it 
two weeks and it will be two weeks more before they get it all 
released. Just below the falls there is a long and very hand- 
some suspension bridge. About six years ago it fell, killing some 
persons that were on it. The new structure is more secure. 
Leaving this locality I crossed the country close to the American 
boundary, passing over the Aroostook River and district, about 
which there was nearly a war between England and the United 
States some years since. The question was long called " the 
disputed boundary " and was settled by Lord Ashburton, Eng- 
land's Commissioner, giving up England's or rather New Bruns- 
wick's rights to the Yankees, and with the settlement a large 

1861 TO 1871 221 

number of New Brunswickers, much to their annoyance and 
chagrin, by a stroke of Ashburton's pen were converted in a 
moment into citizens of the United States. They thus left New 
Brunswick and entered the State of Maine. At the mouth of 
the Tobique River I stopped at a large Indian village, and after 
viewing their chapel, farms, burial grounds, and visiting the 
interior of some of their houses, I engaged one to take me up 
the Tobique River for a few miles to see the bold, magnificent, 
scenery of that noted river. The stream and rapids were diffi- 
cult to ascend for two miles, but the practised eye and strong 
arm of my Indian worked our frail bark canoe through the diffi- 
culties by the aid of paddle and pole. I returned at dark and 
engaged another Indian to carry me to the inn, and to be there 
at six o'clock to carry me in his canoe to Woodstock, a distance 
of over fifty miles. These Indians are all of the Melicite tribe 
and speak a different language from our Micmacs. They are for 
the most part temperate and make good livings by farming, 
fishing and hunting. Many of them have horses, oxen and cows 
and live most comfortably. Punctual to the appointed hour my 
new Indian came. We breakfasted early and got enough bread 
and meat for dinner by the way and then started down stream. 
Had the wind not been ahead and strong, the voyage would have 
been made in five hours. At is was we were eleven hours in 
accomplishing it. It was a delightful day. The rapid stream, 
the beautiful and at times solitary and magnificent scenery, 
coupled with the, to me, novel mode of conveyance, a frail bark 
ship that one could not stand up in on such a river, and my 
aboriginal " captain and all hands " — made the journey of fifty 
miles one of the most pleasant that I have ever taken. It was 
easy work for me but hard for the skipper, as he had at times 
great difficulty in keeping the ship's head to the wind. In cross- 
ing one of the rapids we shipped a small sea which wet me some 
and I had to strip off my coat and dry my shirt in the sun and 
wind. This was soon accomplished and nothing else occurred to 
render the voyage unpleasant. About noon we stopped by a 
rapid stream, hauled up our canoe, and dined, washing down the 
dry bread and meat with delicious water — both drinking out of 
the same tin pint — " all one brother." I was able to read a 
good deal in the canoe, stretch myself out in my railway wrapper 
at the bottom of the frail bark, and I slept some time. This 
change of position from semi-erect to the horizontal is a great 
relief and makes this mode of travelling much more pleasant 
than coaching. At the hotel I met Mr. Troop and his sister 
from Bridgetown. We took tea and had a walk together, and 
thus another pleasant hour has been spent by meeting Nova 
Scotians abroad. They came up from St. Andrew's by the rail- 


road. A 7 o'clock in the morning I start in a coach for the same 
railroad, and will be in St. Andrew's or St. Stephen's to-morrow 
night. I shall either catch the steamer at Eastport, bound from 
Boston to St. John, or else reach the latter city by coach on 
Saturday, and if I can get a boat or schooner going over to 
Weymouth or Digby on Saturday I shall not wait for the steamer 
to cross to Digby on Monday morning. After visiting Mr. Payson 
I shall, I hope, reach home towards the end of next week. I fear 
I shall hardly hear from you again, but although I may not have 
any letters to answer, it is a great pleasure for me to sit down 
and talk to my dearest wife on paper about what I have seen and 
done, in a way that I can seldom get time to do when at home. 
My dear children I long to see as much as my wife. May God 
protect and care for you all during my absence. Kiss them all 
for papa. Tell Johnston and Mary Ann that I shall expect to 
hear they have been good children during my absence. 

" Good night, dearest Fanny, and farewell until we meet again, 
as it is not likely that I shall be able to write again so that a 
letter would reach you much before I return to my own dear 
home. Love to all. 

" Yours ever, 

" D. McK Parker." 

In this letter, writing of his return, he says : " If I can get 
a boat or schooner going over to Weymouth or Digby on Saturday 
I shall not wait for the steamer to cross to Digby on Monday 
morning." I remember his telling me that on one occasion, " to 
economize time" (a frequent expression of his), he crossed the 
Bay of Fundy from New Brunswick in a little schooner which 
he chanced on, and that, in a fog, she went ashore some distance 
from the entrance to Digby Gut; but all hands got to land with 
nothing worse than a wetting and he made his way as best he 
could to Digby. I cannot connect this experience with the excur- 
sion of 1863, and it may have occurred at an earlier time. 

Mr. Payson, of Weymouth, mentioned in this letter, was the 
husband of my father's half-aunt, Augusta Parker. 

His attendance upon the gatherings of the Medical Society 
of Nova Scotia was assiduous, and his contributions to its dis- 
cussions were frequent, though in the busy life he led he found 
little time for the preparation of many formal papers or essays. 

We shall see, hereafter, how concerned he was for the main- 
tenance of Vital Statistics. He first moved in this matter at a 
meeting of this Society held on February 2nd, 1864, when an 
essay was read showing the necessity for a proper registration 
of births, deaths and marriages. The record of the meeting 
states : " Some remarks were made upon the importance of 

1861 TO 1871 223 

registration, when Dr. Parker moved that a committee be 
appointed to take what steps they might deem necessary to bring 
the subject under the notice of the Legislature and to further 
the object in view. Seconded by Dr. Black, and passed." 

The speech at the opening of the Legislature in that year, by 
Sir Hastings Doyle, announced a Bill on the subject which passed 
in due course, Dr. Charles Tupper being then Provincial Secretary. 

At Confederation (July 1st, 1867), the Dominion Govern- 
ment took over the management of the Nova Scotia Statistical 
Office, so established ; but, owing to conflicting opinions of a 
constitutional nature, ceased to provide for its maintenance in 
1877, and it was then abolished. 

In the Legislative Council my father agitated for the re- 
establishment of a Provincial Bureau, time and time again, 
but the Government was hostile to its restoration, and it was 
not until after his death that this Province again received the 
benefit of such an institution. 

Amid all his varied activities, we find that he did not exclude 
the service of his country, in a military sense. At what time he 
joined the Provincial Militia, I do not know, but for some years he 
was surgeon in a regiment — probably the 2nd Halifax, of which 
regiment my mother's father had been Colonel in his earlier 
years. The buttons of the scarlet tunic and the shako which he 
wore bear simply the words : " Nova Scotia Militia." In the 
sixties I have seen him ride to muster or parade on the big horse 
" Tom," and right soldierly he looked. From the fact that he 
was mounted it may be inferred that he was staff surgeon to a 
brigade at that time. When " the Fenian scare " occurred in 
1866, and I watched a long train of carts, laden with powder, 
shot and shell for the forts and batteries, pass from the citadel 
round the corner of the old Argyle Street house, I saw my father, 
in uniform, mount and ride away to duty with the militia who 
garrisoned the city while the regulars took post along the shore. 
For that militia duty, I believe, many have clamorously obtained 
medals of some sort in after years, at the taxpayer's cost. But it 
was all in " the day's work " with this surgeon, and I do not 
think he ever heard of the medals. 

On the first day of April, 1866, a partnership with Dr. Andrew 
J. Cowie was formed, under the firm name of " Parker and 
Cowie," the business being conducted at the Prince Street offices. 
The reason of this, so far as the senior partner was concerned, 
is recited in the articles of partnership to be that he was " feeling 
the need of relaxation, and desirous, in consequence of impaired 
health and other circumstances, of decreasing his professional 
labor." In accordance with this there was a stipulation: "Dr. 
Parker will give as much of his time and attention to the busi- 


ness as is consistent with the circumstances above stated — this 
matter, however, being left to his own discretion, but it is under- 
stood and hereby agreed that he shall be relieved of midwifery 
and night practice except in such cases as he may select and 
choose to attend." The following clause of the articles is indicative 
of the extent of practice which my father then had, and which 
came to the firm afterwards. " A competent person to fill the 
position of bookkeeper, cashier and dispenser, shall always be 
employed by the firm, to take charge of the books, cash, accounts, 
dispensing, and collecting monies, whose salary shall be paid 
by the business." As already stated, my father had previously 
employed such an assistant, after his removal to Argyle Street. 

The custom of taking into the offices and instructing students 
still continued. That the partnership was harmonious and lucra- 
tive is attested by its continuance until my father relinquished 
general practice. 

This business arrangement made possible a plan of removing 
altogether to Dartmouth to reside and converting the summer 
cottage there into a permanent home. In 1867 the building 
of the present house was begun, using the cottage as a nucleus; 
the stable was removed to its present site and enlarged, the field 
below the house was cleared, the grounds laid off as they now 
appear, and the property with the frontage on the shore was 
acquired. In the spring of 1868 the new house was occupied, 
and it became my father's home for the nearly forty years of 
life that he was yet to enjoy. The principal features of the 
house are its spacious, high and airy apartments, designed by 
himself for health's sake. Often did he attribute the prolongation 
of his life to that home amid the sheltering beeches, beside the 
waters of the Cove, and congratulate himself for his good fortune 
in being able to live out of town, in finding a situation so health- 
ful for his young family, and where he could practise for him- 
self the principles of his gospel of fresh air, sunshine, and a life 
that was closer to nature. 

Soon after the removal to Dartmouth, Dr* Cowie occupied 
the Argyle Street house. 

It may be said here, in passing, that the subject of this 
Memoir was not of the stamp of practitioner to seek membership in 
foreign societies and thereby attach more of the alphabet to his 
name than the symbols of his Edinburgh degree and license. 
But I am reminded, at this stage, that the attention of the 
Gynecological Society of Boston, Mass., of which Dr. Horatio R. 
Storer and Dr. Winslow Lewis were leading members, having 
been attracted by something written by my father in the depart- 
ment to which the Society was devoted, he was elected an honor- 
ary member of that body in October, 1870. In this branch of 

1861 TO 1871 225 

his profession he was specially proficient, owing, possibly, in 
some degree to the training and influence under which he came 
as a clinical clerk to Sir James Y. Simpson who specialized 
in gynecology. 

Dr. John Stewart kindly furnishes the following notes from 
the minutes of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia for the years 
1869, 1870 and 1871. 

" 1869, July 20. Meeting in Windsor. Dr. Parker was 
appointed on the Committee of Arrangements with Dr. W. J. 
Almon and Dr. E. Jennings. One of the principal subjects dis- 
cussed was the newly founded medical school in Halifax. 

" 1870. Meeting in Halifax. Dr. Parker was present and 
took an active part in this meeting. 

" 1871. A special meeting was called in August, 1871, and 
among other things, the Society expunged from its roll of mem- 
bers the name of Dr. D y who had not only refused to 

return to Dr. Parker certain money lent to him when studying 
medicine, but had published in the Halifax papers offensive 
remarks about Dr. Parker. Also, next day, August 30th, it was 
resolved to present an address to Dr. Parker at a medical supper, 
he being about to leave the city for Edinburgh, for two years." 

The year 1871 brought the resolve to abandon general prac- 
tice, to pursue further study at Edinburgh, and upon his return, 
to practice only as a consultant. Johnston, who had been pre- 
paring for his medical course at Edinburgh with work in chemis- 
try and botany at Dalhousie College and reading in the office, 
was now ready, and it was planned that the entire family should 
go over for two years. The Argyle Street property, with the good 
will of the practice, was now sold to Dr. Cowie, and after twenty- 
six years of successful labor, my father found himself cut adrift 
from his profession, that he might be free to commence the study 
of it afresh and get more thoroughly to the front of the advance 
which medicine and surgery had accomplished by this time. 

The family crossed from Halifax to Liverpool in August, 
and remained in Birkenhead, in lodgings near my uncle John 
A. Black's home, until my father could follow. He was that 
year President of the Canadian Medical Association, and had 
to preside at its annual meeting, held at Quebec in the Laval 
University on September 13th and 14th. He was the second 
president in the history of that Society. Dr. Charles Tupper 
was the first. 

On September 4th, shortly before his departure for Quebec, 

his professional confreres (pursuant to the resolution of the 

Medical Society of Nova Scotia above noted) testified their 

esteem by entertaining him at a supper and presenting an address. 

The following account of this testimonial was furnished the 

city press by Dr. Gordon: 


Dr. Parker. 

On Monday evening the medical men of the city entertained 
the Hon. Dr. Parker at the Waverley Hotel. Thirty-two mem- 
bers sat down to an excellent supper at 9.30. Dr. Black occupied 
the Chair, and Dr. Almon the Vice-Chair. After the royal toast, 
' the Queen,' was responded to, the Chairman introduced the 
toast of the evening ' Our Guest.' He said that he had been 
associated with Dr. Parker for many years, and their intercourse 
had always been pleasant. Dr. Parker had identified himself 
with the Charitable Institutions of this city, and in the earlier 
days, when the poor were not provided for so well as now, he was 
ready to attend to them as freely as to the rich, irrespective of 
fee or reward. For over twenty-five years he had been in the 
habit, in dangerous cases, of consulting Dr. Parker, and he had 
always found him actuated by a nice sense of etiquette and willing 
to lend himself to carry the case to a successful termination. 

He saw that the Dominion Medical Association had chosen 
him for President, and he had no doubt that Dr. Parker would 
make for himself a European reputation. 

After the toast was heartily responded to, the Chairman called 
upon the Secretary to read the following address: 

To the Hon. Daniel McNeill Parker, M.D., 
Member of Legislative Council, 
Province of Nova Scotia. 
Dear Sir: — 

We, the members of the Medical Profession of Halifax and 
of the Province of Nova Scotia, aware that you are about to 
leave our city and Province for Edinburgh, cannot allow you to 
go from our midst without unitedly expressing the feelings of 
regard which, as a body, and as members of the same profession, 
we entertain towards you. 

An earnest and diligent student at college, for the twenty- 
six years you have resided amongst us, you have not failed to 
keep pace with the medical literature of the time, nor deservedly 
to secure and enjoy a large share of public confidence and esteem. 

In our professional intercourse your conduct has been marked 
with a spirit of courtesy and fairness, whilst your extended 
culture, matured experience, and sound judgment, have always 
entitled your opinions to weight and respect. 

For many years an active member in the Provincial and 
County Medical Societies, you have spared neither time nor 
expense in furthering the public interests of the profession in 
this Province. 

We feel that the Dominion Medical Association of Canada, 
in unanimously electing you as their President, chose a worthy 

1861 TO 1871 227 

representative, and not only paid a well-merited tribute to an 
upright man, but also through you conferred an honor upon 
the Medical Society of Nova Scotia. 

In leaving Halifax your absence will be deeply felt by a 
large number of our citizens, and you carry with you the warm- 
est interest of many personal friends. 

Trusting you may join your estimable lady and family in 
safety, after a speedy and prosperous voyage, and that you may 
derive all the pleasure and profit you anticipate from your visit 
to the modern Athens ; looking forward with pleasure to your 

We subscribe ourselves, 

Yours faithfully, 

Sgd. R. S. Campbell,, M.D. William J. Almon. 

W. B. Slayter, M.D. James R. DeWolf. 

W. 1ST. Wickwire. Chas. J. Gossip, M.D. 

J. Somers. Aethue Moren, M.D. 

A. H. Woodill. A. Hattie. 

Edwin Clay. A. P. Held. 

W. J. Lewis. Chas. D. Rigby. 

Edwd. Farbell. Rort. W. McKeagney. 

Robert McFatridge. J. F. Black. 

Stephen Dodge. Jas. Pitts, M.B. 

Thomas Walsh. James Venables. 

Val. M. McMaster. D. A. Fraser. 

(78th Highlanders). Andrew J. Cowie. 

Dr. Burgess. E. D. Roach. 

R. S. Black. 

H. A. Gordon. 
Halifax, 4th Sept., 1871. Secretary. 

" Dr. Parker said : 
" ' I can only reply in feeble language to the address presented 
to me. For the past few days there has been thrust upon me the 
additional duty of executor to a departed friend. What shall I 
say to my friends who have sprung a mine upon me ? The address 
calls forth feelings I cannot express ; many friends have signed it 
who have exhibited their kindly feelings on my behalf. The 
address has been written with too flattering a pen. Even my 
vanity will hardly permit me to think I am entitled to it. 

" ' I go from Halifax to seek relaxation and to seek improve- 
ment in my Alma Mater of former days, and hope when I return 
I may be of more use to my professional brethren and my patients, 
should I have any. 

" ' My emotions to-night are like those of a parent who receives 


his first-born. This address is my first-born. I never received one 

" ' In parting from you, gentlemen, I will remember with 
gratitude this evening. I could not on paper express my feelings. 
I can only say I feel grateful in my heart for the kindness you 
have exhibited. ' 

" ' The Army and Navy ' was given by Dr. Almon and replied 
to by Drs. McMaster and Lewis. 

" Dr. Clay gave ' Our Guests.' Replied to by Dr. Roach and 
Dr. McMaster. 

" Dr. Parker, after giving ' The Officers of 1ST. S. Medical 
Society,' with the name of Dr. Black as President, said : ' Under 
Dr. Black, the past meeting was the most profitable I remember. 
I enjoyed the papers then read, and hope that at the next meeting 
they may be still more profitable. In the Halifax County Society, 
I would advise the younger members to go on with the meetings 
and reading of papers, for by so doing you will improve yourselves 
and do good to the public. I fell into a grave error in the early 
part of my life, led into it by a large practice. It is a misfortune 
for a young man to have a large practice at first, for it prevents 
the scientific pursuit of our profession. As an M.L.C. I may say, 
had I my life to live over I would never take such an active 
part in politics as I have done. I believe it is the duty of every 
professional man to take part in the public matters of the day; 
but there is great danger of being too much engrossed by them.' 

" He then concluded by proposing the health of Drs. Black and 

" Several other toasts were proposed and responded to, amongst 
which was one to Dr. Gossip, as the only survivor of those who 
rendered their aid to the cholera patients of the ' England.' 

" Dr. DeWolf spoke feelingly of Rev. Dr. Mclsaac, who won 
the esteem of the whole community at that time, and concluded his 
remarks by requesting the company to drink in silence ' Absent 
Friends, and the Memory of Departed Professional Brethren.' 

" After drinking a bumper to the Committee and singing ' God 
Save the Queen,' the company broke up shortly before twelve 
o'clock, having enjoyed a very pleasant evening. 

" H. A. Goedon, 

" Secretary." 

Of the thirty doctors who gathered at the board that evening 
in the old " Waverley," now part of the Halifax Infirmary, there 
are, I think, but six survivors. 

I am indebted to Dr. Charles Elliott, of Toronto, the General 
Secretary of the Canadian Medical Association (one of my father's 
old students), for the following notes from the minutes of the 

1861 TO 1871 229 

Association showing my father's participation in its work up to 
the time when he became its President, and also for a copy of his 
presidential address delivered at Quebec on September 13th, 1871, 
upon the occasion of the fourth annual meeting. Dr. Elliott says : 
" Dr. Parker was present at the organization meeting in Quebec 
City, the 9th of October, 1867; was appointed on the Registration 
and Credential Committee of that meeting, the first Committee 
appointed; also on the 10th of October appointed a member on 
Special Committee on Preliminary Education; elected to Com- 
mittee on General Education, which was also to look into the sys- 
tem of granting licenses (the first movement towards Dominion 
Registration). The first annual meeting of the Canadian Medical 
Association was held at Montreal on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of Sep- 
tember, 1868. Dr. Parker does not appear to have been present 
at that meeting, but was elected Vice-president for Nova Scotia. 
The second annual meeting was held in Toronto, on the 8th and 
9th of September, 1869. He was present at that meeting and was 
appointed a member of the Nominating Committee, and again 
appointed on the Registration Committee. The third annual 
meeting was held in Ottawa on September 14th and 15th, 1870. 
Dr. Parker was present at that meeting, was a member of the 
Nominating Committee, and was also appointed a member of the 
Committee on Ethics, of jvhich he was chairman. He was elected 
to the Presidency at the Ottawa meeting, and served for 1870-1 
in that capacity." 


Messes. Vice-Presidents, and Gentlemen: 

You did me the honor at the close of our last session at Ottawa 
to elect me to fill, for the ensuing year, the high position of Presi- 
dent of the Canadian Medical Association. My present desire is, 
not to remind you of the reasons I then used why a different course 
should have been adopted and a different selection made; but 
finding myself the occupant of the situation, to discharge, to the 
best of my humble ability, the responsible duties connected there- 

For three consecutive years our friend Doctor Tupper most 
ably and satisfactorily filled " the Chair," and, calling to his aid 
the experience of a long Parliamentary training, by firmness and 
impartiality has well conducted our Association through all the 
dangers and difficulties of early existence. 

With the knowledge and promptness of a skilful pilot he has 
guided us safely through, and beyond, the reefs and breakers 
which here and there met us on the way, and to-day we find our- 


selves anchored, I hope, in smooth water and in good holding 
ground. Unaided, this progress could not have been made; but 
thanks to the spirit which has pervaded our annual gatherings — 
a spirit of courtesy and kindness, blended with an independence 
of speech and action, and the fixed determination on the part of 
those who constitute the Association to heartily co-operate with 
their President in overcoming all obstacles — this infant, born in 
the fair city of Quebec in 1867, has returned to it, well developed, 
and likely soon to reach the full stature of manhood; eventually, 
I trust, to accomplish, in no limited degree, one of the principal 
objects for which man should live on earth — good to his fellow- 

I shall endeavor not to occupy too much of your time with 
my address, for we have important work to do, and but a very 
limited time to overtake it in. A brief reference to the past and 
a few thoughts and suggestions as to our future must suffice ; and 
these latter will be, strictly speaking, less of a professional than 
of a general character, such as would seem naturally to suggest 
themselves at this stage of our development. 

To the invitation of the Quebec Medical Society, in 1867, to 
come hither and organize a Medical Association, a prompt and 
very general response was given by all the Provinces of the then 
new-born Dominion ; and, whatever good has resulted, or may in 
the future follow our labors, we must ever remember that the 
medical men of Quebec were foremost, and took the initiative in 
this matter, which was intended to give, and has given, organized 
life and an enlarged sphere of action to the profession in British 
North America. 

The names of the Colonial statesmen who have labored, and 
successfully labored, to unite the different British Provinces in 
America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, will be recorded in 
the language of commendation by the future historian of our 
country, and, when, in years to come, the medical history of our 
land is written, when the places that now know us shall know 
us no more, the names of several prominent professional men of 
this hospitable, fine old city will be handed down to posterity 
as the originators of an organization which will ere then, I trust, 
have become a great and vigorous Medical Confederation and have 
accomplished important results for our profession and the public 
of our country. 

We have lived three years as an Association, and have now 
entered upon our fourth ; and the question very naturally suggests 
itself, What have we accomplished in the course of those years ? 
I reply that our past, if not noted for any striking or remarkable 
events, has not been devoid of effort, of labor and results. It has 
been a past largely occupied in preparation for future usefulness. 

1861 TO 1871 231 

The too brief time allotted for our annual conventions was, in 
1867 and 1868, almost entirely consumed in the preliminary 
arrangements connected with organization, framing and adopting 
a constitution. 

During the two succeeding sessions, Medical Ethics, Prelim- 
inary and Professional Education, and the consideration of a com- 
1 rehensive Medical Act for the whole Dominion of Canada, which 
will be submitted to you again to-day, for final action, have largely 
occupied our attention and time. 

The scientific department of the Association has not been neg- 
lected. In addition to the more general matters, above referred 
to, we have been gratified, and instructed, by listening to several 
very valuable papers on medical and surgical subjects, and I sin- 
cerely hope that this, one of the most important objects of our 
organization, will be a prominent feature of the work of this 
present and succeeding sessions. Last year, at Ottawa, various 
Committees were appointed, and some of these had entrusted to 
their charge important professional and scientific subjects, on 
which I trust they will be prepared to report at the proper time. 

The experience of the past has taught us the lesson, that it 
requires time and patient effort even to properly organize such an 
institution as this. We have also learned that to mature such a 
measure as the Medical Bill which was before us last year 
requires not only time and careful thought, but, having the 
general interests of our organization in view, also the occa- 
sional yielding of individual opinion, when that opinion is opposed 
to the views of a majority of the members of the Association. 
When we remember, then, that the time actually occupied in per- 
forming all the work above referred to has been only eight days, 
that is to say, two days for each annual session, the wonder is that 
so much has been accomplished. So much for the past. 

The important work of our immediate future is the discussion 
of the Act first referred to. which was submitted to us at Ottawa 
by Dr. Howard, chairman of the Committee to whom was referred 
the responsible and arduous duty of framing the measure. 

Those of you who were then present will recollect that a pro- 
longed discussion of its main features took place, and that certain 
of its clauses were modified by amendments, which the Association 
directed a new committee, under the same chairman, to embody in 
the Act, prior to its general distribution among the members of the 
profession. This duty has been performed ; and the Secretary has 
scattered broadcast over the land the Bill of 1870, with these 
Ottawa amendments appended, and to-day, I take it for granted, 
every member of the profession in the United Provinces, as well 
the absent as the present, is familiar with its principles and details. 
I look upon this measure in the main as well adapted to the 


condition and circumstances of the country, valuable alike to the 
profession and the public, and immediately desirable. 

It is not to be expected that, in dealing with a matter of such 
moment, perfect unanimity will prevail. Men's minds are differ- 
ently constituted, and in the discussion of a measure of magnitude 
and importance like this all cannot see eye to eye. Indeed, such 
a condition of things here would, to my mind, be undesirable, as 
it would suggest the probability of but little attention or matured 
thought having been given to the subjects embraced within the 
provisions of the bill. By free discussion, and a public statement 
of our individual views, truth and sound principles will be evolved, 
and both the professional and the public interests will thereby be 

I trust, gentlemen, that in finally dealing with this bill, during 
the present session, sectional and personal interests will here find 
no resting-place, and that, whatever may be our differences of 
opinion in relation to some of the clauses, we will all be actuated 
by an ardent desire to obtain for British America an advanced and 
comprehensive measure adapted to the present and future wants 
of the country — a measure that we, and those who are to follow us, 
in after years can look upon and speak of with pride and satis- 

The time cannot be afforded, and if it could it would be out 
of place, for me to discuss at length, from the Chair, the various 
subjects embraced in the contemplated Act, but I trust you will 
bear with me while I briefly refer to a few of its leading features. 
And first let me say, not for the information of members of the 
Association, for you are already familiar with the fact, but, for 
the benefit of those who are beyond and without our circle, if any 
such are present, that we are taking the initiative and striving 
to obtain this, our " Reform Bill," not from selfish motives — not 
with the idea of advancing our own personal and pecuniary inter- 
ests, but from an ardent desire to elevate the profession and to 
expand its sphere of usefulness — to better qualify and education- 
ally equip its members for dealing with human health and human 

In this connection, I may add, as a noteworthy fact, that all 
medical reforms, properly so called, have emanted from the pro- 
fession, and have not been forced upon us from without. In this 
particular we are always in advance of public sentiment. 

Considering the motives and reasons which have prompted us 
to take action in the matter now under discussion, we can go to 
the different Legislatures of our country, not as humble suppliants, 
asking for that which is to be of advantage only to ourselves, but 
we can approach them from higher ground and demand this 

1861 TO 1871 233 

measure of reform, — and I might also acid, of necessity, — as a 
right, in the interests of the public and of humanity. 

The bill we are about to seek from our Legislatures will, if it 
becomes operative, not only give to the country a more highly 
qualified Profession, but, by referring to its forty-seventh clause, 
you will perceive that it will furnish the Governments — and that 
without cost to their revenues — with a responsible body of advisers, 
in short, with an advisory council, to whom, with confidence, they 
can appeal for guidance on sanitary subjects, and " all matters 
pertaining to the public health," and thus provide, at the expense 
of the medical profession, a substitute for a Bureau of Public 
Health. While the Central Council will occupy this position in 
relation to the General Government, it would seem desirable that 
Branch Councils — or, if the Association should see fit to call them 
by another name, and designate them Executive Committees — 
should perform the same responsible functions in the several Pro- 
vinces of the Dominion. 

It strikes me that the retention of this feature of the Bill, as 
a part of its working machinery, will tend to popularize the 
measure, and facilitate its passage through the several Local Legis- 

On all matters connected with quarantine, public hygiene, the 
construction of general and special hospitals, and subjects of a 
cognate character, these advisory bodies would be of essential ser- 
vice to the Local as well as to the General Governments. 

Always readily accessible, and surrounded, as they would be, 
by official responsibility, their public utterances would be well 
matured and authoritative. 

In finally dealing with this measure, and fitting it for legis- 
lative criticism and action, I trust the principles embodied therein, 
as regards the composition of the Council and the examining body, 
will be adhered to. It is a wise provision to entrust the respon- 
sibility of working this Act in equitable proportions to men from 
the schools, who are already charged with the important duty of 
moulding into shape and giving educational form to those who, in 
after years, shall fill our places, — a duty which with propriety and 
justice I can say they faithfully and ably perform, — and, to mem- 
bers of the general profession, who will bring to the work before 
them practical knowledge, energy and business capacity. 

Referring to the clause which defines the composition of the 
Board of Examiners, I may say that we have given a proportion 
to the educational institutions none too large. 

Selecting two-thirds from the schools and one-third from the 
outside profession, we will be able without difficulty to obtain a 
Board, composed of men " of approved skill in the several subjects 
on which they are to examine." Give us a uniform standard of 


preliminary and medical education, registration, a sound licensing 
system, a General Council such as our bill provides, and an 
Examining Board, selected as above indicated, and the corner 
stones and main pillars of a great work will have been securely 
laid, on which a superstructure may be built, adapted to the present 
as well as to the future necessities of a rapidly growing country 
and an ever-increasing medical profession. 

Provision — and, under all the circumstances, a wise provi- 
sion — has been made in our Act for the registration of every 
member of the medical profession — without reference to doctrine 
or modes of practice — who, at the time of its becoming law, may 
be possessed of a license to practise in any of the Provinces 
of the Dominion. I say it is a wise provision, for, whatever our 
individual feelings and opinions may be, it is expedient, looking 
to the passing of the measure by the General Parliament, and its 
subsequent adoption by the Legislatures of the several Provinces, 
that this feature should not be modified. 

I speak with confidence when I say that any attempt at retros- 
pective legislation in this matter would do more than jeopardize 
our Bill, — it would destroy it. 

It is to be borne in mind that very many of those whom we 
are wont to designate irregular practitioners are to-day qualified 
by law to practice medicine ; but their legal recognition does not 
by any means involve the idea of professional recognition, in the 
ordinary acceptation of the term. 

This subject was discussed at some length at our last meet- 
ing, and the question was then settled. I refer to it to-day 
because there are here present a large number of members who 
were not at Ottawa, and it is, of course, competent for any of these 
gentlemen to again open up the subject ; but, having it thus placed 
before them, I should hope that they, considering the very import- 
ant interests involved in the passage of the Act through the several 
Legislatures of the Dominion, would, at the close of such discus- 
sion, leave it " in statu quo." 

New Schools. 

There is a growing tendency in almost all young countries to 
multiply medical schools — often to the serious prejudice of the 
educational and general status of the profession — and I regret 
to say that British America is not an exception to this rule. 

I am fully convinced that this is an evil, and that, instead 
of diffusing our strength by unduly increasing their number, it 
would be in the interests of the profession and the public rather 
to concentrate our forces, and to enlarge and expand those now 
in active and healthy operation, and thus make them still more 

1861 TO 1871 235 

The twenty-ninth clause of our Bill, and the proposed amend- 
ments thereto, are both in accord with the opinion to which I 
have just given utterance, as indeed was the general sentiment 
of the Association, as expressed at its last meeting at Ottawa. 

I will not touch upon the more minute details of the contem- 
plated Act, but having thus briefly referred to a few of its funda- 
mental principles, and assuming its adoption here during this ses- 
sion, I will, before leaving the subject, just say, that it behooves 
every member of this Association to exert all his Parliamentary 
influence, so that a successful issue may be there obtained. It will 
be necessary for us to watch the measure with jealous care, as it is 
being dealt with by the several Legislatures of the country, lest 
it should be so marred as to render it inoperative. 

Time, thought, co-operative effort, and money have all been 
expended in maturing and advancing it thus far, and it would 
be a great misfortune to the profession, and the country, if it 
should miscarry in the Houses of those who should be its friends. 

Let us assume that the Bill has become the law of the land, 
then the question arises, will the profession be prepared to give 
the necessary time, and to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure 
its success? It is well that at this early period we should 
think of this matter. Obtaining the Act in the desired shape, or 
as it shall pass from our hands, will accomplish but little, either 
for the profession or the people, unless the members of this 
Association, having put their hand to the plough, determine not 
to look back, but, on the contrary, by continued and persevering 
effort, to conquer success. It is possible that ere we meet again 
the Act may have passed the General and some of the Local Legis- 
latures, hence the necessity of being early prepared to efficiently 
work the entire machinery of the law. I believe its future 
success will altogether depend on the men who shall be selected 
for the first and few succeeding years of its existence, to organize 
the institution, and conduct its business. 

Medical men as a body are self-sacrificing — to an extent that 
the general public little know and little appreciate. The object 
in question will call forth,, and draw largely upon, this character- 
istic element of our professional nature ; for men the most experi- 
enced, the most successful, the most largely and lucratively engaged 
in professional practice, will be those who should put their 
shoulders to the wheel, and force the machine successfully ahead. 
Sacrifice of time, comfort and money will have to be made in 
the interests of the profession we love, and for the public good. 

In making the early selections (especially) to fill the offices 
contemplated by this Act, our motto should be, " the right men in 
the right place." Sectional and personal desires, feelings, and 
friendships should all be held in abeyance, and the success of our 


undertaking should be the prominent idea in every man's mind. 
Matured men of sound judgment must be at the helm, and com- 
pose the Executive ; otherwise, " The College of Physicians and 
Surgeons of the Dominion of Canada," from which much will 
be expected, will fail to perform its mission; will lamentably 
disappoint its friends, and, while bringing discredit on us as a 
body, will give " aid and comfort " to our enemies. Patriotism, 
applicable alike to the profession and to the country of our choice 
and our affections, plainly indicates the course we should pursue 
in relation to this important matter. 

An additional incentive to harmonious and energetic .action 
in order to obtain, and successfully work, an advanced educational 
and general measure such as that now under consideration, exists 
in the knowledge of the fact that at this moment the eyes of the 
profession of Great Britain and the United States are directed 
towards Canada, watching with anxiety and interest our every 

In the mother country they have already dealt with the subject, 
and, in reference to time, are in advance of us; but in the adjoin- 
ing republic they are only now taking the preliminary steps to 
accomplish the object. 

At the meeting of the American Medical Association, held in 
1870, a motion was introduced providing for " a uniform stand- 
ard of the medical education throughout the union." Unanimity 
was not obtained. The more advanced East, if I am correctly 
informed, favored the measure — the more recent Western country 
adopting it unwillingly. Earl Grey's political utterance, given 
many years since to our Provincial public, that " a young country 
must be content to have its work cheaply and somewhat roughly 
done," exhibited sectional hostility to the progressive resolution 
in question. However, it cannot, in the nature of things, be very 
long ere the strong and vigorous common sense of the Great 
Republic will display itself by successfully grappling with this 
important professional and public question, and, unless I am 
greatly mistaken, the action about to be taken by this Association, 
if successful, will largely influence our neighbors in the matter. 
Success in Canada is to me very suggestive of early success in 
the United States. 

Future Work and Future Duty of the Canadian Medical 


Without wishing in any way to dictate what should or what 
should not constitute our future duties, I trust you will permit 
me to offer a few thoughts on this subject. 

The routine work of the Association is already defined by our 
Constitution and By-laws, provision has also been made for a 

1861 TO 1871 237 

large amount of practical and scientific work connected with 
professional subjects. 

To Standing and other Committees we have entrusted all 
matters pertaining to medical education, medical literature, 
climatology, epidemic diseases, and Canadian medical necrology; 
but, if this Association confines its labors and its efforts to the 
subjects already indicated, it will fall for short of accomplishing 
all that should and will be expected of it. There are matters of 
general or national, as well as professional, importance in which 
it should be deeply interested, and among these I would name 
that of Vital Statistics, intimately connected as this subject is 
with the Science of Medicine. Its relations to the State are equally 
important ; and, to a young country anxious for and seeking after 
population from abroad, its bearing upon the national question 
of emigration can readily be appreciated by an audience such 
as I have to-day the honor of addressing. We may talk and write 
from day to day and year to year about the vast extent of our 
Dominion ; we may tell the densely populated countries of Europe 
of our fertile soil; that we possess millions of acres which "only 
require to be tickled with the plough and the harrow to make 
them laugh for thirty or forty consecutive years in harvests " the 
most abundant; we may talk and write of our vast natural 
resources, of our forests, our fisheries, our coal fields, our gold, 
iron, copper and other mineral resources, until our tongue grow 
weary, and our pens fail us, but it will do but little in accom- 
plishing the desired end, unless we can at the same time prove, 
by well digested and reliable statistics, that our country is healthy, 
that epidemic diseases but seldom prevail to any extent, and 
that our climate is favorable to longevity. When we can, with 
facts and figures under our hand, say to the inhabitant of the 
British Isles, the Frenchman, the German and the Swede, that 
his chances of living in health and comfort for three score years 
and ten, or even a century, are as great, or greater, in the 
Dominion of Canada than in other competing lands, we will have 
touched a chord that will vibrate and produce the desired results. 
Such information will influence all classes, but especially the 
better class of agriculturists, mechanics and laborers ; in short, the 
very people we desire to draw to our country, whose pockets, 
on landing, are not found empty. 

It is in the power of the Medical Profession of Canada, both 
in their associated capacity and as individuals, to assist the Gov- 
ernment in perfecting a system of returns relating to the vital 
statistics of the Dominion, which if coupled with satisfactory 
reports on its climatology and diseases, and widely disseminated by 
active and efficient agents among the nations of Europe, whose sur- 
plus populations are seeking homes in other and newer countries, 


must have an important bearing on the matter of emigration ; and 
in this way we will be performing a valuable work, both for our- 
selves and our country. 

Inebriate Institutions. 

I have already suggested that " hospitalism," or, in other 
words, the construction, arrangements, and management of general 
and special hospitals — erected at the public expense — would very 
properly be a matter on which the Executive of this Association 
could give advice, as occasion might arise, to the several Govern- 
ments of the country. 

I will now, in a few words, call your attention to a subject 
of great and increasing importance, somewhat allied to this, in 
the hope that you will all become interested in it, and not only 
give it your sympathy but your active support. 

I refer to the provision of inebriate institutions for the treat- 
ment and reformation of habitual drunkards. You need not be 
uneasy, gentlemen; I am not going to take advantage of my 
position here to-day to inflict on you a temperance lecture, but 
I feel it incumbent on me to avail myself of the occasion to direct 
your attention to this want, so generally felt throughout the land. 

Quebec is the only city of the Dominion in which such an 
institution exists. It is, I believe, a recent and private institu- 
tion, and I have no doubt has already accomplished much good. 

The Province of Quebec — and to her honor be it spoken — is the 
only portion of Canada that has legislated on the subject under 
consideration. In 1870 its Legislature passed a measure entitled, 
" An Act to provide for the interdiction and cure of habitual 
drunkards," which, to my mind, almost perfectly meets the varied 
circumstances and necessities of the case, providing, as it does, 
for the necessary coercive restraint and curative treatment of the 
inebriate, and at the same time, relief alike to society and to the 
friends who are afflicted with their presence. The Act in question 
embodies, in the main, the views I have long entertained on this 
subject, and which twenty years ago were given to the public 
of Nova Scotia. 

In the Central Parliament of our common country, the bishops 
of several dioceses have, within the past two or three years, 
petitioned and earnestly urged that prompt legislative action 
should be taken on the subject. In Nova Scotia, nearly all the 
denominations have, in like manner, approached the local Legis- 
lature, with the same object in view. 

Heretofore, the medical profession as a body have not given 
this matter the attention it deserves, and, except in a few isolated 
cases, there has been no co-operation, on our part, with those who 

1861 TO 1871 239 

fill the ministerial office, who, to their credit be it said, have 
striven, almost single-handed, to obtain from our Governments 
the legislation and pecuniary aid necessary to accomplish the 

Shall we, in the future, let our hands hang listlessly by our 
sides, while others are striving to accomplish that which will save 
from utter ruin and misery vast numbers of our fellow-men? 
I shall hope not ! 

Ample State provision has been made throughout our country 
for the restraint and treatment of those who are mentally diseased. 
Hospitals for the insane, vast institutions, almost perfect in their 
arrangements and systems of management, are to be found in all 
the principal provinces of British America. These have proved 
blessings to our land, and have opened wide their doors for the 
reception of all who have been thus afflicted by Providence. The 
public revenues of the country erect the structures, and bountifully 
support them. But when Governments and politicians are 
appealed to, and urged to take action in the matter of providing 
for the restraint of those who are suffering from this State disease 
(habitual drunkenness), they not infrequently shirk responsibility, 
and quiet their consciences by suggesting to the applicants that it 
is not a work for Governments, but one that should be dealt with 
by philanthropists and moral reformers. 

To this false position I take entire exception, and to-day would 
say to those who sit in high places in our Legislatures and Gov- 
ernments, who control and disburse the revenues derived from 
that which creates this disease (amounting in the Dominion of 
Canada to about four millions of dollars annually), you should 
no longer neglect or trifle with issues so important. 

If the traffic in alcohol is legalized, as we know it to be, and 
millions of revenue flow year by year into our treasury there- 
from, surely the public sentiment of the country will sustain 
its parliamentary representatives in making the necessary, and 
even the most advanced, provision for the curative treatment 
of the unhappy victims of the traffic in question. 

The safety of society, the comfort and happiness of innumer- 
able families, the prevention of disease — a matter specially per- 
taining to our profession ; the relief of our overburdened hospi- 
tals, poor-houses, and insane asylums, all call loudly for speedy 
and effective effort to be put forth, in order that this heretofore 
neglected question shall be neglected no longer. Gentlemen, the 
medical profession is familiar with this social evil as no other 
class of men can possibly be. We meet it every hour, in every 
city, town, and village of our country. We daily see its effects 
on the individual ; we know its baneful and deteriorating results 
on their posterity. To us the people look in matters of this kind 


for information and guidance, so that they may be stimulated into 
properly directed action. Hence, I feel that it is incumbent on 
us, as individuals, and as a Medical Association, to aid those who 
are already at work; to bring all the pressure in our power to 
bear on our several Governments and Legislatures, in order 
that they may take early and decided action in the matter. 

Ere passing from this subject, I may add that no legislation 
will adequately meet the difficulties of the case, which fails to 
make provision for the compulsory restraint and treatment of 
the habitual drunkard, in these institutions; which fails to pro- 
vide a competent tribunal to decide who are and who are not fit 
subjects for admission thereto, and also, to take charge of their 
remaining and unsquandered property. 

Gentlemen, we have a duty to perform in this matter. Shall 
we, bearing in mind the responsibilities which attach to us, as 
medical men and citizens, give it a helping hand ? 

If such is your mind, let me say, the passing hour is the one 
in which action should be taken. 

The Sects and the Sexes. 

On these subjects it may be expected that I should say a few 
words. When I first attended the meetings of this Association 
I learned that here, in old Canada, the term " Sects " was applied 
to irregular practitioners, who hold and practise exclusive doc- 
trines. Dr. Storer, the talented delegate from the American 
Medical Association — whose able and eloquent address before 
this Association last year will be fresh in the memories of those 
present who had the pleasure of hearing it — designated these 
men " guerillas," from the fact, I suppose, that he considered 
them unreliable and dangerous members of society. Well, gentle- 
men, I don't fancy guerillas, and shall in the future, as in the 
past, keep them at a respectable distance — leave them alone. Our 
Bill deals with them in this spirit. Their legal rights are 
not infringed. Those of them who are now recognized by law 
as medical practitioners will continue to enjoy their privileges 
as heretofore, but, in the future — should our contemplated Act 
become law — the public will, to some extent, be protected, inas- 
much as these irregular practitioners must, ere they can practise 
medicine under any form, be educated men — " guerillas," if you 

Now, leaving the " Sects," let me for a moment refer to " the 
Sexes," or more properly, the female sex, in their new relations to 
the profession of Medicine. 

In days gone by, a disciple of Lindley Murray, if called upon 
to give the gender of a Doctor of Medicine, would very properly 

1861 TO 1871 241 

have replied — masculine ; but, in modern times — in this pro- 
gressive and fast age — he would have either to coin a term, or 
reply, like the Irishman, " it depends on whether it is a he or a 
she," but one thing he might with great propriety add, " the 
occupation is certainly masculine." 

In France, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, the neighboring 
Union, and even in conservative Scotland, the Medical Schools 
have opened their doors to the female sex, and, in some instances, 
they, in competitive examinations, have proved themselves to be 
strong-minded women. 

The subject is not yet practically before us, but come I pre- 
sume it will, and that at no distant day; and, gentlemen, when the 
appeal is made to you, to the Medical Profession of Canada, to 
receive within your fold the enterprising pioneers, from those 
whom we have been wont to term the weaker sex, will your 
response be yea or nay? 

I cannot say that I admire the taste which would prompt 
young females to take the scalpel in hand in the anatomical depart- 
ment, and there, as in the lecture room, to work side by side 
with medical students of the sterner sex, scrutinizing subjects to 
them heretofore hidden, and hearing discussed matters the most 
delicate, that in all social intercourse between the sexes would, 
in days gone by, have been sacredly avoided and forbidden. But, 
gentlemen, belonging as I do to the Old School, my views in 
relation to such things may, in these progressive days, be con- 
sidered erroneous, antiquated, or fossiiiferous. 

This is " a future-looking age," and that which some of us 
may look upon as an undesirable innovation, may possibly be a 
step in the right direction, — tending, eventually, to draw man 
back to the primitive conditions of Eden, when perfect innocence 
prevailed ; but, accustomed as we are to the condition of things 
subsequent to the Fall, I am constrained to say that the habili- 
ments of that fall — the fig-leaf and the fur — still have their 
charms for me. But, gentlemen, notwithstanding the natural 
feelings which are suggested by these modern innovations on the 
usage of centuries, I can hardly advise opposition to the move- 
ment, when the occasion for discussing it arises. 

These future Doctresses, unlike the Sects — with whom I 
have grouped them — will seek admission to our fold by the regular 
door, and through legitimate channels; hence the propriety of 
courteously entertaining and calmly viewing the position when 
their proposals are submitted. 

I may not be here to take part in the discussion when this 
subject is before the Association, but my views may be given, in 
advance, in the words of one of Dickens' celebrated characters, 
who was wont to express himself affirmatively on important 


occasions by saying, " Barkis is willin'." My counsel to you then, 
gentlemen, when this question demands your attention, ^ when 
this matrimonial alliance is actually sought, is to say, in the 
language of Barkis, "We are willin'," and to surrender at 

Professional Politicians. 

There is another matter intimately connected with the inter- 
ests of our profession, to which, in as few words as possible, I 
should like to call your attention. I refer to the growing ten- 
dency among medical men of this young country, who are already 
general practitioners, that is to say, physicians, surgeons, and 
accoucheurs, to become also practitioners in politics. I am the 
more inclined to refer to this subject in consequence of an observa- 
tion made last year, in discussion, by a member of this Associa- 
tion, to the effect that, in one of the Provinces of the Dominion, 
one-third of its Parliamentary representatives were members of 
the medical profession ; and, he added, if in view of the interests 
of our craft it were necessary, that number could readily be 
increased to one-half. I am one of those who believe that every 
citizen, especially educated and thinking men, should never fail 
to exercise the full rights of citizenship ; that they should not hold 
themselves aloof and stand idly by while great and important 
political events are transpiring — and, in our day, these come thick 
and fast upon us; on the contrary, I think it is the duty of the 
profession calmly and firmly to assist in moulding and elevating 
public opinion, and in rightly directing it on all the greater 
questions of the day, relating to our country's advancement. 
I believe that the medical man who, for personal and pecuniary 
reasons, fails to independently exercise his franchise, is neglecting 
an important duty as a citizen, and doing an injustice to his man- 
hood and his profession; and this remark is the more applicable 
in the case of a young country, where in the nature of things, tone 
and direction to public sentiment must be largely given by mem- 
bers of the learned professions. But, on the other hand, I feel 
that a widespread desire — especially among our younger men 
who are not yet in a position of pecuniary independence — to 
seek constituencies, and parliamentary places, will, in general, 
prove personally injurious, and at the same time, militate against 
the interests of the profession. Although I have never represented 
a constituency, yet I have had some practical knowledge of political 
life, and from one of its public positions have viewed the whole 
arena, and on this subject feel that I can speak with some degree 
of authority; and the conclusion at which I have arrived is that 
we cannot at the same time efficiently serve two masters — the 
Medical Profession and Politics. To be faithful to both, of neees- 

1861 TO 1871 243 

sity involves such a tax on time, and such a wear and tear of 
mental energies, that few men can satisfactorily fill the two posi- 
tions, without suffering " in mind, body, and estate." 

Do not misunderstand me, gentlemen ; I do not for a moment 
entertain the idea that medical men should not be legislators, or 
that they are not sometimes well qualified for the position, — the 
teachings of experience, and of colonial history, would oppose such 
a view. There are important public questions coining constantly 
before legislative bodies, on which, from their training and prac- 
tical knowledge, medical men are better qualified to express 
opinions than the majority of those who usually compose these 
deliberative assemblies. But this I do say, that to flood our 
legislative halls with plrysicians and surgeons, and to make their 
complexion and atmosphere largely medical, would be doing no 
good to the country, while it would be inflicting a grievous injury 
on a scientific profession. 

Perhaps I will be excused for adding that this growing ten- 
dency towards public or political life has as yet resulted in making 
but very few medical statesmen, while I feel assured it has spoiled 
a good many doctors. 

Speaking from experience, I can say that it is an easy matter 
to enter and become entagled in the political net, but it is much 
more difficult to withdraw therefrom, and to extricate yourself 
from the position, however desirous you may be to do so. 

Gentlemen, I trust I may be excused for referring to this 
subject, but, having been elected to fill the important post of 
father to the Association for the present year, I have exercised a 
parent's privilege, by giving you the result of personal observa- 
tion, and the advice suggested thereby, on a matter very intim- 
ately connected, I think, with the interests of the medical profes- 
sion of the Dominion of Canada. 

Compulsory Vaccination. 

The subject of compulsory vaccination should early occupy 
the attention of this Association. It is unnecessary, even had 
I the time, addressing, as I am, a professional audience, that I 
should dwell at length on this matter, and support the suggestion 
by argument, by facts, and by figures, which are already familiar 
to you, but more especially to those of your number who have 
studied the vital statistics of Great Britain and other European 
countries. When I say that this subject should early occupy 
the attention of the Association, I mean that it should be our 
duty, without unnecessary delay, to urge it on the Government 
and Legislature of the country as a matter of national moment, 
and one that should be promptly dealt with; more especially as, 


in these days, the importation of smallpox to this continent by 
steamships engaged in transporting emigrants from the larger 
cities of Europe is a thing of weekly occurrence. 

Leaving politico-medical, or medico-political subjects, let me 
for a brief moment refer to one or two matters more purely 
medical, intimately connected with the growth and interests of 
this Association. 

Medical Societies. 

It should be the duty of this institution to recommend and 
urge upon its members the desirableness of forming Medical 
Societies whenever and wherever the material can be found to 
effect this object. We cannot over-estimate their value to the pro- 
fession and to the communities. They are, when organized on 
correct principles, and properly conducted, educational institutions 
of great practical value. 

They stimulate men to work, to observe, and think, and to 
impart to the common storehouse of knowledge important facts, 
that would otherwise be lost to the profession, or would be long 
delayed in reaching that storehouse. They are capital schools 
for eliciting practical knowledge, developing latent talent, and 
bringing to the front men of ability, who, without such aids, would 
often remain in obscurity, unknown and unhonored. 

In sparsely populated districts, where medical men but seldom 
congregate in numbers, and the advantages of social and profes- 
sional intercourse cannot be had, as in cities, they will supply a 
want not otherwise to be obtained. To this institution they will 
be valuable co-workers, and the delegates who shall here represent 
them will, in general, both in speaking and voting, be giving 
expression to the views not of the individual only, but of the 
organization whence they come. 

As an Association, we can only deal with this matter in a 
recommendatory spirit. It is a subject for sectional and indi- 
vidual effort, but I trust its importance will not be lost sight of, 
and that, ere we meet again, the medical societies, which are now 
comparatively few in number, may be increased in the Dominion 
of Canada ten-fold ; and, through our increasingly valuable medical 
periodicals, be giving, systematically, to the whole profession, the 
result of their labors. 

Finance and Publication of Professional and Scientific 


I wish to call attention to the report of the Publishing Com- 
mittee, presented to the Association last year, on the subject of 
our finances. The Chairman of the Committee, Dr. F. W. 
Campbell, informed us that the valuable papers prepared with 

1861 TO 1871 245 

much thought, and at no small expenditure of time, which had 
been read on previous sessions before the Association, remained 
unpublished for want of funds. Let me say, gentlemen, that I 
believe the usefulness, and the continued life, of our organization, 
is largely dependent on the cultivation of this its scientific and 
professional feature; and we cannot expect members to give their 
time and labor to this department if their papers, after being 
read, are to be thrown into waste paper baskets, or fyled away 
in the Secretary's office, unpublished. Dr. Campbell's suggestion 
in this connection was that membership should be looked upon 
as permanent, and that, whether present at our annual meetings 
or absent, the dues or subscriptions should be collected from all. 

Dr. CannifFs notice of motion to alter the By-laws in relation 
to this matter, in accordance with this suggestion, comes regularly 
before us now. and will, I trust, be promptly passed, so that the 
financial difficulty to which I refer may no longer impede our 
scientific progress. I should have liked, had time permitted, to 
refer to the desirableness of sending some of our representative 
men, as delegates, to foreign Associations; and especially to that 
of the neighboring Union, which, on more than one occasion, has 
paid us the compliment of sending to our annual gatherings some 
of its ablest members. 

We should reciprocate, and be well represented at their next 
meeting. I should also have liked to dwell for a few moments 
on the propriety of the whole profession of British America pat- 
riotically supporting, by their subscriptions and literary contri- 
butions, the medical press of the country, but time fails me. 

Heretofore, our sessions have continued only two days. The 
time is altogether too limited to satisfactorily overtake the busi- 
ness, and I trust that on this occasion, and in the future, three 
entire days, at least, may be appropriated for the work of each 

In closing these already too lengthy observations, I feel it my 
duty to say to the Association, and more especially to its Nominat- 
ing Committee, who will to-morrow probably submit for approval 
the names of our officers for the ensuing year, that I believe it 
to be for the true interests of the institution, that the President 
and Vice-President should in the future not be re-appointed, 
but changed annually, and I would now advise the Association 
to seek new men from the leading minds in the profession, from 
those who occupy prominent positions as practitioners or teachers, 
who, in consequence of what they have achieved by their talents 
and energy in the Science of Medicine, are by the common con- 
sent of the profession, and the public, acknowledged as men worthy 
to fill the highest professional offices in the gift of the profession 
itself or of the public. 


While other collateral subjects come legitimately within our 
sphere of action, and should have, as I have already stated, our 
earnest attention, let me say, gentlemen, that our primary object 
should be to make this structure, from top to bottom, from centre 
to circumference, in all its parts, a professional institution; and 
with this end in view, and ever in our minds, we should bend 
ourselves manfully to the work, striving with unity of purpose 
and a fixed determination to make the Medical Association of 
the Dominion of Canada one of the prominent and most useful 
institutions of the land; and, in accomplishing this, we will be 
largely assisted by annually placing at the head of the Associa- 
tion our ablest men, who are not engaged in other pursuits than 
medicine. In this connection, too, I would say to the junior men 
who have but for a brief period been engaged in the struggle, 
and are conquering success, and to those who are just commenc- 
ing their professional career, on you will largely rest the labor 
and the responsibility of guiding its affairs, and making it in 
the future, I trust, a blessing to our profession and our country. 
We, who for long years have been upon the stage, and have taken 
an active part in organizing and bringing it thus far on its journey, 
must, in the nature of things, soon step aside, and give place, we 
earnestly hope, to abler and better men. We say to you to-day, 
young men, equip and prepare yourselves for these future responsi- 
bilities so that in after years the historian of your profession and 
our country may truthfully say of you, " They well performed 
their work." 

Before he left Halifax for Quebec, my father had yielded 
to the solicitations of his old friend Mr. Stephen Selden, editor 
and proprietor of The Christian Messenger, to furnish that 
paper with some correspondence from Edinburgh. The journey 
to Quebec (as it was usually done before the Intercolonial Rail- 
way was built), the Atlantic voyage, and some account of things 
seen in Liverpool, are related in the first of a series of seven 
letters published in the Messenger, as follows. The letter omits 
mention of four of his fellow-passengers on the " Moravian," — 
Taylor, Bagnall, Sadler and Winship, composing the Tyne, or 
Taylor-Winship crew, who were returning home after a series 
of victories in America. Sadler was the champion single-sculler 
of that day, who defeated Nova Scotia's greatest oarsman, George 
Brown, at Halifax. Being physically " used up," they consulted 
my father on the voyage, when he found them in much the same 
condition from overwork as was poor Renforth, the English oars- 
man, when he attempted his last race, on the Kennebacasis near 
St. John, and fell dead in his boat. Advised by my father, the 
crew cancelled pending English races and went out of commission 
for a time. 

1861 TO 1871 247 

13 Salisbury Place, Xewington, 

Edinburgh, October 24th, 1871. 
Dear Editor. — 

In compliance with your request I propose to inflict on you 
and your readers some " jottings by the way," which, if not 
interesting, will at all events demonstrate to you the fact that 
although now surrounded in this old world by much that is attrac- 
tive and absorbing, both to the eye and the mind, I have neither 
forgotten my promise nor those I have left behind me at home. 

St. John to Portland — More Boats Required. 

As you are aware, I came to Britain by rather a circuitous 
route. My journey from Halifax to Quebec by a way very 
familiar to the travelling public of Xova Scotia need not be dwelt 
on at any length, as nothing of any moment occurred to dis- 
tinguish it from oft-repeated excursions made in former years 
over the same ground. On board the International steamer which 
thrice a week bridges the intervening space between St. John 
and Portland there was a heterogeneous crowd of some four or 
five hundred travellers, not knowing what to do with themselves 
by day, and a large number of them finding it very difficult to 
know where to stow their bodies at night — the sleeping accommoda- 
tion being insufficient for the number on board. In this connection 
let me advise those of your citizens who may be travelling between 
St. John and Portland, by these International steamers, during 
the crowded season, to procure a stateroom ticket from the Hali- 
fax agent, ere they leave, else a plank, with or without a pillow, 
will very likely be their lot during the night they are compelled 
to be at sea. Having taken this precaution, I was enabled to accom- 
modate two unberthed gentlemen, in the upper story of my state- 
room, and as I looked out upon the motley mass of recumbent 
figures, stowed away on the saloon floors for the night — almost as 
compactly as spoons in a sideboard — I could not but feel, that for 
that night, at all events, " the lines had fallen unto us in pleasant 

Xot unfrequently, by day, as I elbowed my way through the 
over-crowded saloons, and more frequently by night, the thought, 
would suggest itself, " What would become of the hundreds of 
passengers on board should fire, collision, or other disaster befall 
the ship in which we were journeying, rendering it imperative on 
all hastily to desert her ? " 

To those who have thought of this matter, and examined the 
very inadequate means of transport — in the shape of boats — with 
which these vessels are provided, to meet a sudden emergency 
of the kind referred to, a feeling of gratitude to God is at once 
suggested, that these, otherwise well equipped and admirably 


managed steamships, have, year after year, been preserved by 
Him, and that the thousands upon thousands of men, women 
and children who have taken passage by them have been safely 
landed at their places of destination. 

With all the care and all the skill that human ingenuity and 
thought can devise, accidents of the most fearful nature are con- 
stantly occurring on the sea, and along our coasts, and thousands 
of men now actively engaged in the pursuits of life have been 
indebted for preservation, to the adequate and well ordered boat 
arrangements of the ships, which, in conveying them from port 
to port, were wrecked or lost at sea. I had thought that no passenger 
ship was permitted to leave a British port without sufficient boat 
accommodation being provided for every seaman and passenger 
on board — in case of accident — but I have been in error. At all 
events, the rule, as I understand it, of the English Board of Trade, 
does not appear to be applicable to the British North American 
Provinces — but I hope the day is not far distant when such a 
regulation will be there made imperative, and applicable alike 
to ships sailing under foreign and British flags. 

The Nova Scotia Lion. 

It may not be amiss to mention that if the list of voyagers on 
this occasion contained no names known to fame, there was, at 
all events, one distinguished saloon passenger on board, and he 
a Nova Scotian — although not a member of the human family. 
I refer to a young lion, born a few days or weeks before in Halifax 
— the whelp of a circus lioness. He was cared for and nursed in the 
lap of a circus lady, and appeared comfortable and " happy under 
the circumstances." 

I neither saw nor heard anything of the natural mother, and 
came to the conclusion that this good lady was either returning 
the compliment for Romulus and Remus of old, or, that adopting 
the suggestion of Dickens in " Dombey and Son," she was " doing 
something temporary with a teapot." 

The railway, after some unavoidable delay, deposited us at 
Point Levis early on Sunday morning, and as we steamed across 
the St. Lawrence to 


a familiar object from the harbor of Halifax, the " Royal Alfred " 
bearing the flag of Admiral Fanshaw, met our view. 

Accompanied by a fellow traveller, the Rev. D. O. Parker, of 
Liverpool, N.S., the only Baptist Chapel in Quebec was sought 
and found, and we spent a pleasant, and I trust a profitable day 
with the little band who worship there. In the evening Mr. 
Parker occupied the pulpit. 

1861 TO 1871 249 

Quebec was crowded to excess, and every available bed occupied 
by visitors. The hotel accommodation at best is but limited, 
but on this occasion, in addition to a large number of tourists, 
the great Provincial Exhibition and Medical Association were 
being held in the city, and attracted strangers from a distance, 
who found no difficulty in obtaining food in abundance, but 
where to get comfortable bed-rooms was another matter. Close 
stowage, with some discomfort, had to be endured for a time by 
many who were unaccustomed to it. 

Across the Atlantic. 

At 9.30 o'clock on the morning of the 16th September the 
passengers for England by the screw steamship " Moravian," of 
whom I was one, were ferried by a steam tug alongside, and with 
their trunks and bandboxes were hustled on board. At 10 o'clock 
the gun fired and we were off, with our prow directed seaward. 
The scenery for a long distance below Quebec, on both sides of 
the St. Lawrence, is beautiful. Cultivated and picturesque islands 
are numerous, and add variety to it. For very many miles below 
the city the shores of the river are thickly populated. The 
churches are large, and have their roofs and steeples covered with 
tin, which reflecting on a fine day the sun's rays gives them a 
most brilliant appearance. In Halifax, as indeed in all places 
situated in close proximity to the sea, tin is speedily acted upon 
chemically; and consequently cannot be used for roofing pur- 
poses, as on the Upper St. Lawrence and throughout Canada ; 
where there is an immense consumption of the English manu- 
factured article, which takes the place of slate and shingles. 
Far down the St. Lawrence lies the " Island of Bic," where 
pilots congregate in summer. Here they leave outward bound 
ships, and take charge of those on their way to Quebec and 
Montreal, amid fog and rain. At midnight we reached it and 
discharged our pilot and the quarantine medical officer, who 
took on shore our telegrams and letters, and mailed them at the 
island post office. The official just named awaits the arrival 
of the next inward bound Allan mail steamship, and accompanies 
her up the river for the purpose of carefully inspecting the 
immigrants and other passengers. If contagious disease is among 
them, he detains the vessel and all on board her at the large and 
well equipped Quarantine Island, thirty miles below Quebec. 
Such is the provision made by the Dominion Government for the 
protection of the inhabitants of the old Canadian Provinces against 
the importation of contagious diseases from other countries by 
way of the sea ; and, before my return, I hope to learn that a 
well ordered and sufficiently capacious Quarantine establishment 


has been completed on Lawlor's Island, in your harbor, and that 
the Health Officer of the port will be sustained when the necessity 
for it arises in making the quarantine of the port thoroughly 

The mail steamers from Quebec take the northern route — 
passing through the somewhat narrow Strait of Belle Isle, which 
divides the eastern coast of Labrador from the northwestern 
part of Newfoundland, making the voyage to Liverpool only 
about 180 miles longer than that from Halifax. 

In and beyond this Strait almost throughout the year ice is 
met, and the temperature of the water being below that of the 
atmosphere, a kind of fog or mist often hangs about the locality, 
sometimes so dense as to obscure all objects, and making the 
navigation dangerous — especially during the darkness of night. 
We saw several icebergs in this neighborhood, grand and beauti 
ful objects when observed from a distance, with the sun's rays 
playing upon their irregular crystalline surfaces, but greatly to be 
dreaded in a position like that of Belle Isle. Our courteous, 
experienced and ever-vigilant captain (Graham) was hardly off 
" the bridge " from the time we left Quebec until we were beyond 
the iceberg region. 

If we (the passengers) went on deck at any hour of the night 
he could be seen in the path of duty — here a very narrow one, 
and only the breadth of the ship — pacing the familiar planks 
of the bridge, looking out for the floe-ice and icebergs — almost 
the only enemy to be here encountered, if the correct course can 
be kept; as other ships than those conveying the Canadian mails, 
are seldom met with on this part of the northern route — hence 
one of the dangers of the more frequented southern track — collision 
with other ships — is avoided. 

Through a dense fog we were pursuing our course on the 
Tuesday night after our departure from Quebec at a greatly 
reduced speed, probably not more than four knots an hour, when 
suddenly the ship stopped. Some of the anxious passengers who 
were spending a sleepless night were speedily on deck, and there 
saw a huge iceberg not more than forty feet from the port side of 
the ship, while on the opposite bow was another large mass of ice. 
Under God, the great care and persevering vigilance of our captain, 
officers and outlook men saved us from a terrible calamity. " What 
a lucky escape!" was the general expression as the matter was 
discussed among the passengers; but there were some on board 
who could, with thankful hearts, say there was no luck in the 
matter, but that a kind and overruling Providence warded off the 
blow which would have speedily sent a magnificent ship to the 
bottom, and probably many lives into an unexpected eternity. 

18G1 TO 1871 251 

About the same locality, a very few years since, a fine steam- 
ship, the " Canadian," owned by the same company, and com- 
manded by our captain, in just such a fog as then surrounded the 
" Moravian," about the dawn of day struck a mass of floating ice, 
and in twenty minutes was away at the bottom of the sea, while 
all of her three hundred passengers, save thirty, several of whom 
never reached the deck but were drowned below ere the ship went 
down, were saved in the boats by the admirable discipline and 
coolness of the officers and ship's company. A practical illustra- 
tion of the benefits arising from having all sea-going passenger 
ships provided with the necessary boat accommodation to take off 
every human being on board, in case of a serious accident. Out 
of the ice region, with the open and broad Atlantic before us, and 
with comparatively little danger from other ships too closely 
crossing our path, our captain was to be found daily occupying 
his seat at table and adding by his cheery, gentlemanly manner to 
the pleasure and interest of the voyage. 

With the exception of an adverse wind, which continued during 
the entire passage, and some rather troublesome cases of the disease 
which Mark Twain facetiously describes by placing the hand on 
the stomach and saying " Oh, my ! " all went well both with 
ship and passengers until the night of Friday, the 2 2nd Sep- 
tember, when I met for the first time in my life with death upon 
the ocean. 

The case was peculiar and distressing. A young Scotchman, 
thirty-two years of age, engaged in mercantile pursuits in the city 
of Montreal, genial and intelligent, strong, active, and the very 
picture of robust health, left my side at the tea table about eight 
o'clock to accompany one of the lady passengers on deck. For a 
time they watched the phosphorescent appearance of the disturbed 
waters in the wake of the ship, and sang together some familiar 
songs, when suddenly he faltered in speech, and sank powerless 
to the deck. He was at once carried to his stateroom, and I was 
summoned by the surgeon of the ship to see him. Apoplexy 
had attacked him, and the hand of death was upon him. For 
a few minutes consciousness continued, and he made most painful 
efforts to say something to us — probably to send some parting 
message to those who were dear to him, but it was useless. Soon 
deep stupor supervened, and at five o'clock next morning, having 
been most faithfully watched and cared for by Dr. Wolff, the kind- 
hearted surgeon of the ship, and two or three Scotch and Canadian 
friends through the weary hours of the night, his spirit fled. 
Strange to say, at the very time he was seized, a large number of the 
passengers assembled in the smoking and card-room on deck were 
engaged in discussing this question — " Who is the finest-looking 


man on board the ship ?" and just as I opened the door to ask one of 
his intimate friends, who was ignorant of what had occurred, some- 
thing concerning his former health and history, the unanimous 
decision of the party had been given in favor of Mr. Wilson, the 
man whose countenance was now distorted and tongue speechless, 
and whose admirably developed frame was paralyzed and helpless, 
and even then grappling with death. The shock produced by 
such an event on land would have been marked and distressing, 
but here, out upon the ocean, it can be more easily imagined than 
described. The effect was electrical and depressed every member 
and all classes of our little community. The card-table was at 
once deserted, and seriousness was upon every man's brow, and 
when the cabin passengers assembled the next morning at the 
breakfast table, and the seat of one of the most intelligent and 
cheerful men on board the ship was vacant, tears were seen cours- 
ing down the cheeks of some of the ladies, as they thought of what 
was in store for the bereaved mother and the betrothed of the 
deceased. And there was moisture in the eye of more than one 
strong man as they thus practically realized the truth of the senti- 
ment, " In the midst of life we are in death," and that, " In an 
hour when ye think not the Son of man cometh." 

Sailors have almost invariably a disinclination to be shut up 
in a ship with the dead, and their desire is to commit as soon after 
death as possible the remains to the deep, but in this instance the 
body was retained, for interment in the village near Glasgow where 
his parents and more intimate friends dwelt. 

A rough coffin was prepared, and in the presence of the officers, 
many of the passengers and crew, all of whom were deeply im- 
pressed with the scene, the poor fellow's remains were laid in one 
of the covered lifeboats, suspended from the davits on the ship's 
quarter, and there kept until the Irish coast was reached, when 
they were landed at Moville for transportation to Glasgow from 

The Episcopal clergyman who conducted the service and 
preached, the first Sunday morning after our departure from 
Quebec, was not able, in consequence of sea-sickness, to do so on 
the following Sunday morning, consequently the captain read the 
Church of England service — and performed the duty very well. 
In the evening, the sea being somewhat quieted, the church bell 
sounded fore and aft the ship for ten or fifteen minutes, reminding 
us of the Sabbath on land and our own homes, and the clergyman 
took his place and preached a sermon appropriate to the occasion, in 
which feeling allusion was made to the sad event which occupied 
all our minds, the death of our deceased travelling companion. 

1861 TO 1871 253 

Ireland in Sight. 

On Tuesday morning, the 26th ult., quite early, Tory Island 
light, on the north-eastern coast of Ireland, was sighted, and run- 
ning close in shore along the coast and highlands of Donegal we 
reached Moville, on Lough Foyle, at midday, transferred a portion 
of our mails and several passengers to a steam tug, which conveyed 
them twelve or fifteen miles up the Lough to Londonderry — and 
then headed our ship for the Irish Channel. 

Before leaving this beautiful bay several telegrams were 
despatched, announcing to our families and others interested in 
the ship our safe arrival in British waters. One was forwarded 
to the friends of the deceased passenger, telling them that he was 
no more, and that they must be prepared to inter his remains, 
unseen, on their arrival in Glasgow, the following morning. Once 
before, in 1857, I passed the Giant's Causeway in a Cunard ship, 
but at too great a distance to satisfactorily observe it. On this 
occasion, the day being fine and clear, we " hugged the shore," 
as sailors express it, and could with great distinctness recognize 
the columnar appearance of this peculiar geological formation. 
The entrance to its dark caves was apparent, with the boats of 
excursionists passing in and out of some of them, while, seated in 
calm majesty upon his throne of basaltic rock, the natural figure of 
the great Giant — the centre of attraction to all who visit this 
locality — was plainly visible. At night we met in the Channel, 
" right in our teeth," that which during the whole voyage we had 
been dreading, the equinoctial gale; but with a well-lighted coast, 
and a staunch and powerful steamer beneath our feet, the Mersey 
was reached without difficulty or danger at 9.30 o'clock, and on the 
landing-stage, as we were warped towards it, I recognized two 
members of my family, who announced to me the gratifying intel- 
ligence that all was well with them. Not being a smoker, and 
having neither cigars nor tobacco stowed away, my luggage was 
speedily passed by the customs officials, a hurried farewell was 
said to my agreeable fellow-voyagers and the officers of one of the 
finest and best equipped ships (in every particular) which crosses 
the ocean, and I found myself, after an absence of fourteen years, 
on British soil again, in the great commercial city of 


Amid noise, bustle and apparent confusion, along streets 
densely populated with a moving, hurrying mass of human beings, 
I wended my way to the other side of the Mersey, to my temporary 
home in Birkenhead. The growth of Liverpool and Birkenhead 
during these fourteen years has been amazing, not only in the 
extent of surface covered by manufactories, houses, warehouses, 


public and humane institutions, but in the extension of their 
massive and magnificent docks and floating landing-stages for the 
accommodation of their ever-increasing commerce. A rise and 
fall of tide in the Mersey of twenty feetj or more, enables the 
Dock Commissioners of these two great cities — under whose special 
charge these great institutions are constructed and worked — to 
utilize its margin and shores in the building of these vast wet, dry 
and graving docks, into which quiet and deep basins surrounded 
by vast walls of masonry all the ships of these ports go to discharge 
and take in cargo, as also for repairs and graving purposes. At 
and near high water the broad, strong gates (some worked by 
hydraulic power, others by complicated machinery so perfect that 
a single man can with the strength of his two arms swing them to 
and fro at pleasure, or as occasion may demand) open for the 
reception of fresh arrivals and to give exit to those whose capa- 
cious holds have been filled with freight from the more capacious 
warehouses which on all sides surround these docks. 

Some hundreds of acres along the shores of the river have 
been thus converted into receptacles for ships of every size, from 
the leviathan steamer to the trim and beautifully modelled pilot 
boat, the appearance of which on the distant waters so delights 
the inward bound seaman and ocean traveller. The great number 
of these still-watered basins, large and small, the perfect systems 
of management, the beehive-like activity and order which pervade 
them, have all been to me a wonder and a study. The tide rises, 
the huge gateways of what is termed a dry or graving dock are 
opened ; a ship enters ; the tide recedes ; the gates are again opened, 
and the water flows out from the basin, leaving the vessel, high 
and dry, resting on an even keel. The gates are a second time 
closed, so firmly and accurately that the pressure of water, even of 
the highest tide, does not affect them, and the work of repair or 
of graving goes on as if the ship were on the stocks or the dry 

When all is completed, the waters of this great river, being- 
made thus subservient to science and the will of man, are per- 
mitted again to enter and float the ship away from this workshop 
— the dry dock — to the wet dock, from whence she is speedily sent, 
laden with Britain's productions to other scenes and other lands. 

The distance between the landing-stages of Liverpool and 
Birkenhead is about three-quarters of a mile. The ferry accom- 
modation consists of three steamboats, each measuring something 
less than one hundred tons. One of the more recently constructed 
is steered by hydraulic power. Their engines are powerful, neces- 
sarily so, as the current in the river runs at the rate of four to six 
miles an hour. From each landing-stage one of these boats leaves 
every ten minutes. No horses or carriages are carried, but as a 

1861 TO 1871 255 

general thing they are literally crowded with passengers, all pay- 
ing one penny a trip who are not the possessors of commutation 
tickets. The captain of one of these boats informed me that it was 
no uncommon thing for the three to convey from fifty to seventy-five 
thousand passengers on a single day, while the number annually 
ferried across the Mersey by this single route amounts to several 
millions. Thus you will see that on these crowded or gala days 
more than double the population of Halifax and Dartmouth com- 
bined is conveyed from shore to shore by these three small steamers 
in the short space of twenty-four hours — for they run all night, 
charging, however, sixpence sterling for each passenger after 
twelve o'clock. I state these facts, on the above authority, for the 
purpose of conveying to you some idea of the growth and import- 
ance of Birkenhead and the small towns and villages in its imme- 
diate neighborhood, where a very large number of the commercial 
men of Liverpool reside. In short, these are to Liverpool what 
Brooklyn is to New York. 

The ferry boats in question are not expensively fitted up. Two 
of them have ladies' cabins in which the seats are cushioned, but 
the third is so arranged that ladies and laborers have to occupy 
the same apartment, downstairs below the water line, as in the 
Dartmouth boats in days of yore. In everything but speed the 
ancient " Micmac," which has so long and so safely ferried us 
across Halifax harbor, will favorably compare with her, and I 
may add that her accommodation, although not quite so extensive, 
is more than equal, as regards comfort, to that furnished by the 
antiquated piece of naval architecture to which I refer. The 
captains, engineers and deck hands perform their work exposed 
to the weather, with nothing to protect them from rain, snow and 
heat ; hence I concluded that whatever other sins the managers of 
the Dartmouth steamboat company may have to answer for, as 
humanitarians they are in advance of the Corporation of Birken- 
head, who own and work the ferry in question. 

In Halifax and Dartmouth a demand has been made and often 
repeated for larger boats and more elegant accommodation on the 
ferry which connects these two towns. This demand will doubt- 
less ere long be responded to, but, looking at the matter in its rela- 
tion to the population and the traffic to be accommodated, and 
from a Birkenhead and Liverpool standpoint, urgent as I have 
been on the matter for public as well as from personal reasons, I 
feel that I can hardly urge my fellow-proprietors to construct a 
floating palace for the work in question, before that " Longwharf " 
— which is to connect and make Halifax and Liverpool almost one 
city — is built, or to furnish palatial accommodation for one or 
two hundred thousand people before they are born and can enjoy it. 

Since my last visit to the Old World the new Exchange of 


Liverpool has been built, great both as regards its capacity and its 
architectural beauty. Here from eleven to twelve o'clock every 
day the mercantile community congregates, and here take place 
those great commercial and trade transactions between the busi- 
ness men of the city, amounting daily to hundreds of thousands of 
pounds (speaking within bounds) and often to millions. Here 
you see the cotton men — for this is the great cotton mart of the 
world, importing annually to its warehouses between two and 
three millions of bales — moving earnestly and quickly about, eyes 
and tongue alike talking cotton — with samples of the raw material 
in their hands and adhering to their coats, so that there is no mis- 
taking them. Wholesale business, in all its departments, is here 
transacted, not for Liverpool alone, but for a large portion of 

Just opposite is the Stockbrokers' Exchange, a fine building 
externally, and splendidly fitted up and arranged, so I am 
informed. It is always closed to the uninitiated, and none but 
members have the entree. 

The civic and public buildings and offices of every description 
are constructed on a grand scale, externally and internally, 
Nothing, however, gratified me more than my visit to Brown's 
Library and Museum. 

In years gone by, a Liverpool merchant bearing that name 
bequeathed a large sum of money to erect and furnish a public 
library, free to all classes. The building is very large, and as an 
architectural structure is attractive, but to me its chief interest 
centres in that which was the donor's intention, viz., furnishing 
good healthy mental food to those who were without it and could 
not afford to obtain it — the masses. There during my visit I saw 
mingled with those who were very well dressed, very poor men, 
the laborer, men out at the elbows, some with " shocking bad hats," 
others with worn-out coats and shoes, quietly seated in a large and 
comfortable reading-room, intently engaged in perusing books and 
periodicals and evidently enjoying the occupation and the place. 
Hither the clerk and the skilled artizan, who have but an hour to 
reach their lodgings and partake of their midday meal, hasten, to 
select some work in which they are interested — out of the 52,000 
volumes which are there collected and properly arranged — and 
spend a few minutes in devouring its contents. And when their 
time is up the book is handed back to the boy librarian at the 
counter, as they hie away to their stores or their workshops. 

The library is well selected; the scholar, the man of literary 
tastes, the naturalist, the artist and the artizan can all here drink 
— in accordance with their varied tastes — at the fountain of 
knowledge, and that, too, without cost. 

1861 TO 1871 257 

While I was there observing and watching the practical work- 
ings of the Institution, I suppose there were not less than 200 or 
250 men and lads occupied in the large reading-room and in the 
smaller apartments where were stored the works in the higher 
departments of learning. Here, some were studying, while others 
were engaged in drawing and painting from works taken from the 
shelves of this great and liberal institution, works that they could 
not otherwise have obtained. In another portion of this same 
building is a large and well-filled museum, containing specimens 
and articles of the greatest interest, from all parts of the world, 
illustrating mechanical and natural science. The fine arts and 
antiquarian science are also well represented. In short, it is a 
museum such as I long to see in the capital of my native Province. 
I was asked to step into the Aquarium that I might be intro- 
duced to a countryman — the friend who gave me the information 
being reticent as to the name of the party to whom he wished to 
introduce me. Suddenly I came in front of a large glass case 
containing a huge bull-frog, which was thus labeled, " Bull-Frogs 
from Xova Scotia — presented by Andrew Downs." I presume the 
plural number was applicable when the presentation was made, 
but the singular should now be used, as but one remains. This 
leviathan did not apparently recognize me as a ISTova Scotian, for 
he remained motionless as a statue during the interview, did not 
even croak, and as I intently watched him for some minutes he 
only winked once as if to let me know I was under observation. 
I was proud of my countryman, for he was the finest specimen of 
his species I had ever seen and was a centre of attraction to all 
who visited his department of the museum. 

I was desirous of hearing the Rev. Stowel Brown preach again 
— having heard him once in 1857 — but was disappointed, in con- 
sequence of his absence from Liverpool on the only Sunday I was 
there. So I very contentedly and profitably listened to a less 
distinguished Baptist minister in Birkenhead. 

On the same day I attended a very interesting service at the 
Blue Coat School in Liverpool, an Episcopal institution, endowed 
only to a very limited extent, and maintained mainly by the dona- 
tions and annual contributions of the charitable and the wealthy. 
Here are collected, fed, clothed and educated from 200 to 250 
boys and 100 girls from five to fourteen years of age, all either 
orphans or fatherless, neatly dressed in blue clothes, and, I may 
add, looking, with their robust forms and rosy cheeks, both healthy 
and happy. When they have fully reached the period of fourteen 
years they leave the school, the boys being placed at trades and in 
stores, and the girls at service. Several prominently wealthy and 
distinguished men were here cared for and partially educated in 
early life. And I am glad to be able to add that in after life they 


did not forget the fact, as the annals of the institution and their 
generous contributions amply testify. The hoys of the Blue Coat 
School in London are never permitted to wear a hat or cap, and 
meet them where you will, while they are inmates of that institu- 
tion, in hot, cold or wet weather, their heads are bare — because the 
founder of the school so willed it. Eels, they say, get used to 
skinning, and so I presume these boys get used to the barbarous 
regulation which compels them to run through the streets of 
London, in foul weather and fair, under " bare polls." Thi3 
generous old monomaniac with the " bee in his bonnet," who had 
a whim to gratify, might have been hydropathically relieved of his 
mental disease or eccentricity if he had only been subjected for a 
brief period to this bonnetless practice. Cured by his own medi- 
cine! Happily no such regulation exists in connection with the 
Blue Coat School of Liverpool. 

On the Sunday in question the doors of the institution were 
opened at a quarter to four o'clock p.m., and the crowd of visitors 
was first shown through the antiquated building, in the centre of 
the city, where these children dwelt. Everything was in admirable 
order, and the servant who accompanied myself and family stated 
as we passed through the kitchen, that here the general order of 
things is somewhat reversed, for the boys do the cooking, while the 
girls attend to other domestic matters about the establishment. 

The object the managers have in view, in exhibiting the build- 
ing on Sundays to visitors, is to interest them in this work of 
charity and love, so that they may contribute to its funds. An 
opportunity is given to each visitor to do so as they enter the door 
of the chapel, where several gentlemen stand with plates in their 
hands to gather in the silver and pence. The small chapel was 
uncomfortably packed with men, women and children. When all 
were provided with sitting or standing room the organist played 
a solemn march, and presently we heard a sound as of a regiment 
of soldiers advancing with slow and measured step, and then they 
came, two and two into the chapel and through the aisle, and with 
military precision filed into their respective places, their feet 
keeping time to the music, until all were in position, the boys in 
advance, the girls bringing up the rear of the procession. 

The singing of these children was magnificent, but the unique 
part of the proceedings, and that which struck me most was that, 
instead of a clergyman, as I had fully expected, taking the service, 
a little boy of twelve or fourteen years stood up in the reading desk, 
gave out the hymn9 and anthems, read the collect, the chapters 
from the Old and New Testament for the day, and the few very 
appropriate prayers of this special service, with as much solemnity 
and effect as if he had been an octogenarian. A part of the service 
consisted of about thirty of the children stepping to the front with 

1861 TO 1871 259 

the same military precision, and very distinctly replying without 
an error of a word to all the questions of the Church of England 
Catechism. After this, a concluding anthem was sung and the 
little chaplain of the day (the elder boys take the service, I believe, 
in turn) pronounced the benediction, and then, to an appropriate 
march from the organ, in the same military order they entered 
the chapel, they left it and took their places at the supper table, 
where the large congregation, as they passed through the room, 
saw them enjoying their bread, cheese and milk. 

A more impressive service I never witnessed, and at its close 
I could not but feel thankful that in Christian England institu- 
tions of this character are many and not " far between." 

England Still Youthful and Vigokous. 

In republican America (and, I regret to say, in British 
America occasionally, too, — from the lips and pens of a few who 
really know better) the idea is promulgated in private and through 
the press, by seme wilfully and in enmity, and by others, I dare- 
say, ignorantly, that old England is becoming exhausted, an effete 
country, and rapidly declining in the scale of nations. To the 
men who, being misinformed, really entertain such opinions, I 
would say, cross the Atlantic and personally see the British Isles. 
Visit the great metropolis of England with its more than three 
millions of inhabitants; see for yourselves the manufacturing 
and commercial centres ; look at its agricultural and mineral 
wealth, its fisheries, its maritime strength and power, its ever- 
expanding railway, postal and telegraphic communications, its 
educational institutions (becoming annually more open and free), 
the constitutional and religious liberty and freedom of her people, 
and. having done this, I ask you to spend one short week in Liver- 
pool, with your eyes wide open and your locomotive apparatus in 
active operation, that you may form correct impressions of this 
single seaport of the old Fatherland, and after having mentally 
measured her commerce and her commercial relations, and seen her 
manufactories, her steamships, her wooden and her iron walls, her 
railways and railway communications, her public and private 
buildings, and last, but not least, her noble charities, if you do 
not return to your homes convinced that you have been fostering 
error, your moral natures must be obtuse indeed, and your natural 
prejudice so great that even the strongest and most positive testi- 
mony, on England's side, can find no resting-place in minds so 

In discussing the subject of England's true position among the 
nations, one should not and cannot keep in the background the 
great fact that above and beyond what she is per se — that is to 

260 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

say, within the circumscribed limits of her own shores — far over 
the ocean, in all climes, great possessions are hers, and many of 
them populated largely by her own offspring whose commercial 
relations with the parent country are intimate, extensive and 
annually increasing, but the tie that binds them more firmly 
together than all others is that of affection, giving to this mother 
of many nations not only a material, but a moral strength, that 
no words can measure or convey. Again, an element of strength, 
of real strength, is possessed by Britain, which is not often placed 
in the balance when this subject is being considered, especially in 
its natural relations. With much that is wrong, and much that 
is sinful, clinging to her, she is still among the nations eminently 
a Christian nation desiring to be at peace with the world, from the 
best and highest of all motives. If this desire, practically carried 
out, has occasionally placed her in the eyes of others in an anom- 
alous and apparently in a false position, and is by them viewed as 
an indication of impaired power, we may rest assured that the 
great Source of all strength and all power does not so look upon 
the matter — and in Him is her strength ! 

A rapid run by train of eight or nine hours, through and past 
many manufacturing towns and villages that have grown up 
within the past few years, through a country with varied scenery, 
at first level, cultivated and beautiful, then, as we advance north 
towards the borders of Scotland, still beautiful, but more rugged 
and mountainous, landed us three weeks ago in the capital of 
Scotland — my temporary home of former years, probably the most 
beautiful city in the world, and one that has great attractions for 
me. Here I am at school again. 

With kind remembrances to those of your readers to whom I 
may be known, 

I am, dear Editor, 

Yours very truly, 

D. McN. Paekek. 


EDINBURGH, 1871-3. 

" Every day that we spend without learning something is a day lost." 

— Beethoven. 

Within a few days after arrival, a house, 13 Salisbury Place, 
at the corner of Minto Street, was rented and domestic arrange- 
ments were completed. The children were placed at schools, 
Johnston matriculated in Medicine at the University, and my 
father plunged at once, with the enthusiastic ardor of the true 
student and investigator, into the current of his work. He 
attended special lectures at the University and the Royal College 
of Surgeons, clinics at the Royal Infirmary and the hospitals, and 
investigated, practically, all that was new in surgery. He was 
known to many of the men of mark in Edinburgh, both of the 
Faculties and of those engaged only in private practice, and he 
was soon in touch with any others of his profession whom he 
wished to know. Old friendships with Professor A. R. Simpson 
(a nephew of Sir James), Professor Syme, Sir Robert Christison, 
Bart., Dr. Balfour, and others, were renewed. New ones with 
Dr. Thomas Grainger Stewart, Professor of Pathology, afterwards 
the Queen's Physician for Scotland and knighted, Professor Lay- 
cock, Dr. Gordon, and other front-rank men were formed. They 
afforded him every facility, took him about to see their most inter- 
esting or unusual cases, and the courtesy and consideration which 
had been extended to him by Sir James Y. Simpson in 1857 were 
multiplied by such of the medical and surgical fraternity 
as could in any way serve his purposes. He was asked by Dr. 
Stewart (who was not a surgeon) to operate once or twice on his 
patients, and did so — but would accept no fees. In vacation time 
the Professor of Pathology even loaned him the original manu- 
script of his University lectures, that he might get Pathology anew, 
up to date. A two-volume copy of these lectures, made by my 
mother, remains in the library. He seemed at once to win the 
esteem and even the love of these men. Dr. Thomas Keith, the 
famous operator of the day, was quick to appreciate his worth as 
surgeon and sought his assistance, while he informed him in the 
latest things in surgery, at his operating table. Dr. Keith was 
then distinguishing himself in the surgical world by performing 



a new, daring and difficult operation in gynecology. My father 
was present at several of these. In an article on his various opera- 
tions of this class, which was published by Dr. Keith in the Edin- 
burgh Medical Journal for February, 1875, I find two references 
to my father, one of which I quote: " On the 15th December, 
1872, I saw a young Canadian lady, in her twentieth year, with 
an ovarian tumor of rapid growth. She was sent by Dr. Camp- 
bell and Dr. Drake, of Montreal. . . . The fatigues of the 
voyage and the journey to town were well borne, but the drive 
from the railway to her lodgings brought on severe pain. Being 
then from home, I did not see her for a fortnight. During all 
this time the pain continued, and she was confined to bed. Dr. 
Parker, of Halifax, an old friend of the family, was fortunately 
in town. He took charge of her till my return, and continued to 
give me his kind assistance and counsel in the after management 
of an unusually anxious case." I omit other details. This and 
the other operations were highly successful, and saved lives which 
a few years before must have been lost. Dr. Keith's absence from 
home was due to a journey to Italy to operate, for which, as he 
told my father, he received a thousand guineas. 

This operation, a great advance in surgery, was then acquired 
by my father, who subsequently performed it himself, and it is 
typical of his professional acquisitions during this period of 
research, when, as he used to say, he had come to Edinburgh to 
learn his profession over again. It is typical of his professional 
attitude and spirit, too, that when he came to relinquish work 
entirely, in 1895, he said that if he were to pursue it longer (grant- 
ing that the span of life were long enough) he must needs learn 
his profession over again a third time, and take a very much 
longer period for it, so vast had become the acquirements of 
medicine and surgical science during the closing twenty years of 
his practice. 

One of the subjects investigated in this period of special 
research was the new method of antiseptic surgery. Lister (after- 
wards Lord Lister) for several years had been carrying on experi- 
ments in this method, first at Glasgow and afterwards at Edin- 
burgh, and the Listerian system, in its earlier developments, had 
come into full practice at Edinburgh in 1870. This new learning 
my father acquired at first hand, and introduced in his practice 
when he returned. He knew Lord Lister, and met him later 
several times in London when he was at the height of his fame. 

The happy life in Edinburgh, for all, was clouded by the 
sudden illness which befell Johnston in December, 1871. The 
blow fell with stunning force upon the father, for he recognized 
that the malady could not but be fatal, sooner or later, and, more- 
over, it dashed his hope of having a son enter the profession while 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 263 

he himself was yet in practice and who should become his suc- 

It had been arranged that my mother's brother and sister, 
Martin and Celia, with their neice Mary A. Black, should come 
over in January for a short European tour, on which my father 
and mother were to join them. When they arrived, Johnston 
had rallied and was much improved, so that my father felt able 
to leave him in the care of Drs. Stewart and Gordon and go to 
Europe, more particularly as he would have opportunity to select 
some southerly place to which he could afterwards take Johnston, 
when his condition and the season would permit. My mother 
was to join the party, with Johnston, later, for this purpose, if 
he should be well enough to travel. 

I find my father's passport, from the Lord Provost of Edin- 
burgh, dated the 20th of January 1872, and vised by the Vice- 
Consul of France at Leith the same day. The party set out 
about the first of February, and after visiting Torquay and 
Dartmouth, in the south of England, with a view to Johnston's 
future location, crossed to Calais. In the event, the tour was 
shortened in consequence of unfavorable news of Johnston, 
who did not improve sufficiently to undergo travel, even to 
Torquay or Dartmouth. They returned about the middle of 
March. The itinerary was: Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Cannes, 
ISTice, Genoa, Pisa, Civita Vechia, Xaples, Pompeii, Herculaneum 
and Mount Vesuvius, Borne, Poligno, Florence, Bolonga, Venice, 
Verona, Milan, Turin, Macon on the Rhone, Dijon, Paris, 
Boulogne, — and thence across Channel to Dover. From Turin 
they crossed the Alps by the Mont Cenis Tunnel which had been 
opened for travel only on the 17th of September, 1871, and was 
then considered one of the engineering wonders of the world. 

Voluminous and painstaking notes of travel were taken by my 
father on this occasion. The things to see in Europe have been 
so long the same and have now become so familiar to us, that 
little account of this tour, from his note-book, will be attempted. 
Let it suffice to say that what he wrote is marked by a thoroughness 
of observation, a keen, appreciative and discriminating insight, 
and by a thoughtful, philosophical treatment in his comments 
upon his investigations. Yet, embarrassed and oppressed, as he 
was, by anxious solicitude for Johnston, as the letters to him 
disclose, this tour could not afford anything like the usual 
enjoyment which he was wont to find in this mode of recreation. 

The unusual matters of interest in European travel at that time 
were the desolated condition of Paris, through the work of the 
Commune following the Franco-German war, the re-construction 
of the French nation under Thiers, and the new birth of the 
Italian people, nationally, together with the beginning of evangeli- 


cal work in Rome, which followed upon the overthrow of the Papal 
States in September, 1870, and .the entrance of King Victor 
Emmanuel II., the first king of United Italy, into Rome, in 1871. 

Paris had surrendered to the Germans less than a year before 
my father visited it. The bloody civil war of the Commune which 
ensued in Paris had ceased only in the summer of 1871. The 
Empire had been washed out in blood. During the civil war it 
was impracticable for the Legislative Assembly, whose authority 
legally ceased with the ratification of the peace with Germany, to 
dissolve and appeal to the confused voice of the country. The 
pressing need was to restore tranquility by suppressing the 
Commune; and the Assembly, transcending its powers, by neces- 
sity, elected Thiers, a former minister of Louis Phillipe, the 
first President of a new Republic. His administration suppressed 
the Commune with much difficulty, and the Assembly (Corps 
Legislatif) at the time of my father's visit was engaged in secret 
deliberations looking to the payment of the German war indemnity 
of a thousand million dollars, and thus freeing French soil from 
the invaders, who were still occupying it to enforce payment. 

At Paris the prostrate Vendome Column, the sacked public 
buildings, the bullet-marked wall before which the Archbishop of 
Paris and other noted men had been placed for execution by 
volleys of musketry, and all such other customary destructive 
work of Parisians in revolution were seen, together with ruined 
fortifications and many others of the scars upon the city, left 
by the ravages of war. From notes made at Paris and on the home- 
ward way I extract the following passages, because they touch upon 
things outside the category of what visitors to Paris at ordinary 
times may see and tell; and further, because they reflect this 
especial visitor's personality in their comment upon things, and 
in the attention devoted to the " Culte Evangelique " there, as had 
been the case at Rome. It goes without saying that in these notes, 
just as at other places visited, all the great sights of Paris and 
its environs, and many other minor ones, are enumerated and 
described, even to details of the treasures of Art. But it is my 
aim to extract rather my father himself from these notes than any 
account of places of usual resort in Paris, or elsewhere. 

" Pakis, Tuesday, March 5, 1872. 
• . Walked out in the morning to view the ruins 
of the Hotel de Ville, the Palais Royal, the Palace of Justice 
and other places. Magnificent structures all of them. The 
Tuileries was also destroyed. . . . The statuary at the 
entrance of the Tuileries gardens was injured by shot and shell. 
One winged horse had his stone tail shot off, and he was ( winged ' 
— lost one of his wings — while the column on which he stood 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 265 

was also struck and broken. All these were magnificent ruins. 
The Tuileries is being repaired, the Palace of Justice also, and 
La Gloire, on the site of the old Bastile, a small but high statue, 
gilt, — a man with one foot on a gilded ball on the summit, 
wings on his back, one foot drawn up and the hands extended as 
if in the attitude of running (Mercury?) The mane of the lion 
at the base had been pentrated by a ball, and there were many 
bullet marks on the lower part of the statue. Everywhere we 
noticed the signs of destruction — new and fine structures being 
raised and built where others had been destroyed by the Commune. 
Many localities are as they were left by the Commune. 

"Notre Dame. . . . Treasures shewn us. The apparel 
of state worn by the Emperor Xapoleon I when he was crowned 
in 180-1 by the Pope — also all the paraphernalia worn by the 
Pope himself on that occasion, — gold, gold, gold; velvet, velvet, 
etc., etc., " Magnifique. Grand.' A part of the habiliments of 
office of the three archbishops who have been murdered during 
insurrections — all dust and blood-covered and perforated by 
bullets. We saw also the two vertebrae of the archbishop who 
was shot on the barricades in June, 1848, with an arrow marking 
the track of the bullet, and the bullet, on its end, which killed 
him ; a piece of the ' true cross ' — and a number of other relics 
too numerous to mention . 

" Thursday, March 7, 1872. Louvre. . . . Room of 
Charles Lebrun, greatly injured by shells, the frescoed roof 
very much injured. Two of the paintings pierced by balls or 
pieces of shells. 

" Invalides. Tomb of Napoleon. . . . Jerome Bona- 
parte window here broken and the letter X. with a crown on it 
was shot through. . 

" Saw the site and the base of the magnificent triumphant 
Column Vendome, torn down by the Commune, in Place Yen- 
dome. Bronze basrelief on the base still observed. Drove to the 
Bourse, — heard the noise of the babel before entering it, a long 
way off. Steps and porch crowded with excited people. Went 
upstairs and looked down. The crowd was immense and the 
sight beyond description. Umbrellas and walking sticks had 
to be left outside, lest in their fury they should attack each 
other. . . . When I see now in the papers ' the Bourse 
excited,' I will be able to picture the scene — when ' flat,' I will 
know the row is only a moderate one. The Bank of France was 
next visited. . . . saw apartment after apartment filled with 
officers and clerks. Soldiers everywhere about it. It was being 
repaired after the attack of the Commune, and looked, outside, 
in a most dilapidated condition. 

" The New Church of the Madeleine. . . . Outside 


its main door the everlasting l Egalite, Fraternite, Unite ' painted 
or carved into the stone. Churches, national buildings of every 
kind, the prisons, and even the ' Pere la Chaise ' have these con- 
tinually recurring words at the entrance gates. The cemetery, 
however, is the only place where they in reality convey the truth, 
and that will require a word of modification, or explanation; 
because the wicked will be punished, not alike — some will be 
beaten with many stripes, and some will not. While the saints 
will be all the children of God, and if children then heirs and 
joint heirs with Christ; yet some will be in Abraham's bosom, 
and some will be told to go up higher. No, even in Pere la 
Chaise, to the outward eye, the words egalite, fraternite are not 
applicable, for the outward display in the work on the tombs of 
the rich and great is in sad contrast with that in the case of 
the poor and the narrow tombs merely marked by dark painted 
wood — often without a name. . . . The very men who write 
these words and parade them abroad, have sometimes not the 
fraternal feelings of humanity — as for instance those who took 
Archbishop Darboy out and shot him like a dog, as they had 
done before (with a previous archbishop) on the 24th June, 1848, 
and even once before that. As I viewed the blood-stained gar- 
ments, the vertebrae and the bullet, I felt that if the Arch- 
bishopric of this Diocese were offered me, I should gracefully 
decline it, as I have no desire either to be shot or to be canonized. 
At the church door these words are a lie, for even there egalite, 
fraternite, unite, have no existence — as for instance in the 
Ecumenical Council, on the infallibility question, there was not 
unity, but division, which has resulted in the secession of Dollinger 
and others, and has also led to the discussion at Rome relative 
to Peter's never having been in that city, in which the ex-priests 
of the R. C. faith opposed three still existing priests. Equality 
certainly does not exist in the church, as the Pope lives in the 
Vatican with its 11,000 rooms and the Cardinals and Bishops 
live in palaces, while the Capuchins go begging from door to 
door daily, almost bare-footed, and one we saw living in a dark 
hermit's cell in the tunnel between Naples and Puzzioli ; and 
these men go on their knees to the Pope and kiss his foot. 
And as regards fraternity, I fear there are as many divisions 
in the R. C. church as there are among other denominations. 

" Versailles. . . . became the headquarters of the King 
of Prussia, 5th February, 1871, who was here proclaimed German 
Emperor, 18th February, 1871. National Assembly and the 
President, Thiers, sit and live here. Commenced their sessions 
there during the reign of the Commune at Paris in 1871. . . . 

" Friday, March 8, 1872. By train for Versailles. Went on 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 267 

to Vincennes. . . . Came back as far as Bel Air Central. 
. . . Arriving at Versailles 2.30 — the train being an omnibus 
instead of an express. . . . The drive around the suburbs 
of Paris, however, quite repaid us and we saw the earthworks 
thrown up during the war and passed the scene of many a hard 
fought contest between the French and Germans, and after- 
wards the Commune. . . . Nothing but soldiers, where the 
Corps Legislatif is in session. Wooden huts were built on the 
broad streets near the Palace to accommodate the soldiers. We 
visited the magnificent church connected with the Palace now 
used as the chapel for the Corps Legislatif. We were not per- 
mitted to see the apartment in which the Assembly was con- 
vened, or to hear their discussions. . . . However, we saw 
President Thiers and had a good look at him on two or three 
occasions as we passed and re-passed him. He is an old, little 
man ; in size and walk, as in general appearance, very like the 
late M. B. Almon. . . . 

" Saturday, March 9th, 1872. Bois du Boulogne. . . . 
In coming and going we passed the magnificent Arch of 
Triumph of Napoleon, with its basreliefs and carvings of vic- 
tories — some of them broken and destroyed by the recent 
war. . . . It is a place of great resort. Mary Ann and Judge 
Wilmot met the Emperor here on horse-back when they were 
in Paris in 1867, at the Exhibition. As we neared the Tuileries 
we saw very many places where balls and shells had struck the 
stonework and done great damage. It was gutted and destroyed 
by the great fire that raged within — set by the Commune. 

" Strange to say one sees everywhere on the old property 
of the State — that which belonged to France ere Napoleon was 
crowned Emperor — ' Propriete Republique Francaise ' and 
' Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite,' and on that which was added after 
the second Empire ' Propriete Nationale.' It is strange that 
Napoleon III had not the courage to rub the paint brush over 
the former words. He left them as prophetic words to tell a sub- 
sequent historic tale, a ' Republique ' under Thiers, — ' Liberte, 
Eglite, Fraternite, under the Commune. 

" " Sunday, March 10th, 1872. Went at 11 a.m. to 19 
Rue des bons Enfants — near Palais Royal, and then under the 
sign of Hotel de la Chancellerie D'Orleans I saw the words ' Culte 
Evangelique.' An old lady from a little shop, when I asked her 
for the ' Chapelle Baptiste,' led me up two pairs of stairs and 
introduced me to some women who led me through their dining 
or living, room, and then through two bedrooms where young 
men were dressing, and from thence into the chapel, which is 
larger than most of the Protestant chapels or rooms I saw in Italy. 
The service was to be in French, and a young man informed 


me that the Sabbath School would be in session at 2 o'clock in the 
afternoon; so I concluded to go in search of a place of worship 
where I could understand the service — and brought up at the 
Independent Church in 23 Rue Roy ale. I had some difficulty in 
finding it, but at length succeeded. It was on the ground floor. 
I noticed a sign over the next door, ( Bierres Anglaises. Vins 
Spiritueux,' and, putting the two words, ' Anglaises ' and ' Spirit- 
ueux ' together, it looked like the place — but I soon found my 

"... The chapel was just in the midst of the district 
ruined by shot, shell and fire of the Germans, or Commune, or 
both, and close to the Place Vendome and the stump of the 
Column. The carpenters' hammers, saws and planes were going 
all around us, and in addition, the ' vins' of the sign next door 
appeared to have produced their results on some of the neighbors, 
for there was much hallooing, quarreling, etc., etc., and one 
virago ! Whether she was old or young I could not tell, but 
her tongue ran at a terrible rate, interfering with and drowning 
in part the voice of the minister. Very likely she was one of the 
ladies of the Commune who ran about, during their Parisian reign, 
with bottles of petroleum, camphene, etc., to fire the city. 
I went to visit the Sunday School at 19 Rue des bons Enfants, 
but a mistake had been made by my informant and I got there 
too late. The regular afternoon service had commenced, in French, 
and I remained to listen, but not to understand. . . . 
Two of the tunes sung were familiar old Granville Street tunes, 
so that I could join in and sing the air with the congregation. 
. . I told Mr. Lepoids (the pastor) who I was, and he 
warmly welcomed me. . . They had a conference meeting 
of the church immediately after the congregation had dispersed, 
and he then introduced me to them, and sent, through me, the 
Christian salutation and blessing of the church to the Granville 
Street Baptist Church in Halifax, having first taken the vote and 
the unanimous consent of his church on the matter. All voted 
holding up the right hand and standing, and all looked right 
glad to see a Canadian, as I called myself. They wondered that 
I, a Canadian, could not speak French. It was a pleasant meet- 
ing for me and I rejoiced that I had found and been present at 
two ' Temples of Jesus Christ ' on this, the Lord's day, in Paris, 
where ' belief in God ' and His precious Word is faithfully pro- 
claimed, notwithstanding the statement made by M. Brunet in 
the paragraph which I now quote from the London Standard of 
March 9th, 1872. It is a telegram dated: Versailles, March 8th, 
Evening. ' The Assembly rejected a proposal of M. Brunet for 
the erection of a Temple to Jesus Christ on the Trocadero, as an 
expression of belief in God, which M. Brunet declared to be neces- 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 269 

sary for national regeneration. M. Brunet made a long speech 
on the necessity of religious belief, and was warmly applauded 
by the Right/ I was in Versailles on that day trying to get 
into the Chamber, and, if I had been successful, would probably 
have heard this remarkable and wonderfully suggestive speech. 
There are thousands upon thousands of Temples in France 
dedicated nominally to Christ, but actually to saints or to the 
Virgin, to fallible men or to Mary the mother of Jesus : Notre 
Dame, costing its millions of dollars and having its millions of 
treasures; the Holy Chapel almost covered, within and without, 
with gold fairly dazzling the eyes of beholders; the great Mag- 
dalene, and hundreds of other chapels and churches. Yet M. 
Brunet says there is necessity in Roman Catholic France, here- 
tofore the strong right arm of the Pope, a country full of priests 
and Jesuits, to have a temple raised to Jesus Christ, as an expres- 
sion of belief in God. It reminds one of Paul at Athens. ' His 
spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly given to 
idolatry.' Apparently M. Brunet's spirit was stirred within him. 
M. Brunet evidently thinks of the French, as Paul thought of the 
Athenians, that they are ' too superstitious,' and he is desirous that 
they should erect a temple ' to the Unknown God,' that the nation 
might acknowledge and worship Him instead of saints, virgins and 
idols. What a commentary upon the religious condition of France, 
full of churches, every village being supplied with one, and the 
priests being so thick that you can hardly put your foot upon any 
part of French soil without stumbling over half a dozen of 
them. . . . But what I have seen as the work of the 
Commune makes me readily believe that God is scarcely wor- 
shipped throughout this vast city by the masses of its popula- 
tion. It needs more than gilded, magnificent works of stone, 
marble and bronze — it needs more than a temple ' to Jesus Christ ' 
to regenerate this people. It needs the Gavassis, the Hyacinths 
and the Dollingers, and it needs even these men, these large- 
brained reformers to have greater light than they even now 
possess ; it needs their hearts, as well as their understandings, 
to be consecrated and given to God. The temples that God 
requires here are the softened, subdued, Christ-like hearts. These 
should be, and, I trust, will be, in France as well as elsewhere 
the temples of the living God. Silver and gold, bronze and the 
painter's brush are powerless, but God's Holy Spirit can accom- 
plish great things for France. He can renew and regenerate 
the nation and make it, as a whole, a temple indeed of the Living, 
the, at present, Unknown God. ... I copied the inscrip- 
tion from the bronzed base of the Column Vendome. . . . 
Only a circular piece of stone of the depth of 2 or 2 1 /2 feet 
is left standing on the square pediment. The four eagles at 

270 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

each corner of the pediment were untouched, and still remain. 
. . . The column was vast and high, decorated with emblems 
and scenes of war from top to bottom. The Communists with 
ropes and various appliances turned it over, and it was suddenly 
converted into a broken column. . . . The button-hole 
decorations are numerous everywhere. I would like to under- 
stand what they mean. . . . Monday, March 11th, St. Cloud: 
As we passed along, a couple of miles of the earth and 
stonework defences thrown up by the Imperial Government to 
defend the city against the German met us on all sides. Great 
destruction of property, public and private, was noticed. Shells 
passed through the walls of stone houses, leaving their marks in 
the walls, and then bursting inside, scattered destruction on all 
sides. Hundreds of houses were thus knocked to pieces. Iron 
railings cut, broken and scattered as if they had been glass rods. 
A barracks for soldiers was left, riddled by shell. Bomb-proofs 
were every here and there passed. . . . Chateau Royal. 
This beautiful old building, so celebrated in the history of 
France, was made a ruin by the German artillery on the sur- 
rounding hills, which destroyed not only the Chateau and the 
barracks, but all the central part of the town (St. Cloud). . . . 
" In 'the evening at 8 o'clock I started to find my Baptist 
brother M. Lepoids, the pasteur of the church I attended on 
Sunday. I drove two or three miles in a cab and then found 
him, in reality, in an upper chamber, with a prayer meeting and 
Bible-class going on. Several of those present, he informed me, 
were Roman Catholics seeking after the truth as it is in Christ. 
I could not understand what was said, but I felt wonderfully 
at home with my brethren in the Lord. When he told me he was 
sorry that I could not understand, I told him that I never more 
regretted in my life the undertaking of the erection of the Tower 
of Babel, because if it had not been for that I could have under- 
stood the whole service; but I told them I hoped to meet them 
all in Heaven, where there would be only one language — one 
tongue and one Nation. They appeared to be amused about the 
Tower of Babel, and when we parted we shook hands as old 
friends bound Heavenward. . . . " " His members, he told 
me were about 100, and he is getting along well with God's work. 
His wife is a teacher in the public schools and has charge of 
ninety-one scholars. Her voice is giving away with much speak- 
ing. Finding that I was a doctor, they asked me to prescribe, 
and I did. This sister was my only patient in France. I had 
one in Rome (Rev. Mr. Smith) and I hope that God will bless 
the means. I have been rather struck with the idea of the Baptists 
in France and Italy always meeting in upper chambers. The 
Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Independents all were on the 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 271 

ground floor, and preaching, not to the natives and poor, but to 
the English and Americans, while the Baptists are, in these 
upper chambers, preaching to and teaching the poor. Inter alia, 
this rather leads to the conclusion that, both in Italy and in France, 
we, the Baptists, are the successors of the Apostles. We parted at 
11 o'clock, or thereabouts, and if we never meet again on earth, 
I hope to meet the Lepoids in Heaven." 

In the letters to Johnston which follow, the beginnings of 
the Protestant revival in Rome are touched upon in an interesting 
way. In these letters, the last ever addressed by father to son, are 
some things too sacred to be reproduced here. As in the case 
of matters purely domestic, or of a private nature, occurring in 
previous letters, these things are omitted. But the spiritual 
counsel found in the letter of February 25th, 1872, is such a 
typical illustration of the writer's religious faith, of the vital 
reality which his religion was to him, and of the earnest force 
with which he was accustomed to proclaim the Gospel, in its 
simplicity, to others in conversation, and in public discourse, as 
well as in his correspondence, that I feel under a sense of com- 
pulsion to give this particular letter in full. 

" The evil that men do lives after them ; the good is oft 
interred with their bones." In such a communication as this, 
may it not be that " he being dead yet speaketh " to those thus 
privileged to hear the voice ? Who can tell but this simple, fervid 
message of salvation sent by the heartsore father from old Rome 
to his boy under the shadow of approaching death in another 
old-world city famed in religious history, coming again to others 
of that father's descendants, but now as a voice from " that bourne 
whence no traveller returns," may fall once more as seed upon 
receptive soil. 

The Last Lettees to Johnston. 

Hotel de Nice, Nice, 

Sunday, February 11th, 1872. 
My Dear Son : 

We arrived here from Marseilles last evening after a very 
pleasant railway journey through an Alpine country, the valleys 
of which were cultivated, and the side hills also wherever earth 
could be found. No cattle, sheep or horses, except those of the 
latter in use. All the land was cultivated for the vine, the olive 
and the orange, as well as other fruits, vegetables and cereals. 
During much of the distance we ran close along the shore of the 
Mediterranean Sea, which was placid and beautiful. The two 
most important places we called at were Toulon, the southern 
Brest, a great naval arsenal of France fortified in front and on 


its heights very strongly, and Cannes, a most picturesque and 
beautiful place where wealthy people reside in winter. The late 
Lord Brougham lived there for years and owned a chateau, and 
Lord John Russell is now a resident of the place. We are very 
comfortably situated at the Hotel de Nice, as we have been 
indeed in all the hotels. . . . We arrived just in time for 
dinner, having been delayed, a few miles this side of Cannes, 
by the late terrible accident at Pont de Brague, where a large 
bridge had been washed away in consequence of the floods pro- 
duced by the melting snow on the branches of the Maritime Alps 
which everywhere run along the coast. We drove about two 
miles in omnibuses and had our luggage trucked round to the 
next station in advance of this point. ... I had a very 
good night's sleep, and went to hear the Rev. Burn Murdoch, the 
Free Church minister here, who gave us a very good, practical 
sermon, without any display of oratory, from 2nd Corinthians, 
6 : 14-18, and the first verse of the seventh chapter. The subject of 
the immoral theatrical exhibitions, the horse races and the gambling 
houses of Nice, all of which have been lately in full blast, occupied 
a good deal of his time, and I only hope good results will follow 
the faithful word of admonition addressed to his audience. 

I assumed from not getting a telegram from mama at Mar- 
seilles, or thus far, that you must be improving, and with much 
anxiety to learn your real condition, I have, I trust, been thank- 
ful to God for His mercy to you. Of course, had you been worse 
mama would have telegraphed and I should have returned at 
once. It seems dreadfully long, my dear boy, to be without any 
intelligence from you, but I hope to have several letters on my 
arrival at Rome. One written immediately on the receipt of 
this will be sure to meet me there, at the " Hotel d'Allemagne," 
as before mentioned in my letter from Paris. I only wish now 
that I had asked your mama to write me here. We hope to be 
at Rome about next Saturday night. Before going to Rome, 
however, we will be at Pisa, say on Thursday next, and my 
address there will be " Hotel de Londres," where a telegram could 
reach me after the receipt of this letter, should there be any 
occasion for it. Our next stage is to Mentone, to-morrow even- 
ing. Erom thence there is a break in the railway communication 
until we arrive at Savona, a town some distance this side of 
Genoa. The intervening distance has to be performed by diligence, 
or coach, but we shall be repaid, we are told, for the fatigue by 
the great beauty of the scenery. It is here described as being 
the finest in Europe. Nice is beautiful for situation, but there 
is no regard paid to the Sabbath day. This is the Carnival season 
at Rome, and they are keeping it up here as well. All through 
the city, men, women and boys are rushing, on foot, on horse- 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 273 

back or in carriages, disguised with every description of mask 
and dress, dancing and making all kinds of noises as they pass 
along the streets. The hurdy-gurdys are playing, monkeys are 
going through their performances on dogs' backs, etc. A small 
steam engine connected with a panorama is driving musical 
instruments. Carriages by hundreds are out with the inhabitants. 
In short. Sunday here, my first in France, is more gay than any 
other day in the week. How different from a Sabbath in Xova 
Scotia and in Edinburgh. . . . 

10 o'clock p.m. We have just learned that the diligence has 
ceased to run from Mentone to Savona. We have consequently 
changed our minds, on the spur of the moment, and have con- 
cluded to take the steamer from this port to Genoa to-morrow 
morning at 9 o'clock, and, if all goes well, we shall be there in 
nine hours. This will put us into Rome one or two days earlier 
than we anticipated, but a letter will still reach us if mailed at 
once on the receipt of this. We cannot as yet say what day we 
shall be in Paris on our return, but shall write from Rome and 
tell mama, so that she may make her arrangements with Agnes 
Shuttleworth to meet us there at the Grand Hotel du Louvre; 
that is to say if you are well enough to be left at Torquay for a 
few days, or rather, at first, at Dartmouth. 

I have been in communication with a gentleman here, a 
resident, clergyman of the Independent body, who having broken 
down in health in London, is taking pupils and boarders. If it 
is desirable, he may be able by and by to accommodate you in 
his house. I have made all the necessary preliminary arrange- 
ments, and we will act in the matter as God may seem to direct us. 
Tell dear mama that I shall write her in a day or two from 
Genoa or Pisa. In the meantime, if the doctors think you are 
able to leave, and advise your removal in the course of a week 
or two. she had better make her arrangements accordingly. I am 
very anxious for her to see London and Paris before she goes out, 
and if all things seem to be so ordered, the opportunity will be a 
good one. 

Aunt Celia, Cousin M. A. and Uncle Martin send their love to 
you all. And now, my dear boy, farewell for a time. With 
a great deal of love to mama, yourself, Mary Ann, Willie, Laura 
and little Fanny, and kind remembrances to the doctors, Sarah 
and Charles, 

I remain, my dear son, 

Your affectionate father. 

D. McK Parker. 
Mr. J. Johnston Parker, 

13 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh. 



Rome, February 18th, 1872. 

Sunday, Hotel d'Allemagne. 

My Dear Son: 

I wrote to mama last night, and having just returned from 
church will avail myself of a quiet few minutes to drop you a 
line while Uncle Martin, Aunt C. and M. A. are up on one of 
the seven hills of Rome taking a look down upon the great city 
of the Csesars and the Popes, of ancient statuary and monu- 
ments. I was desirous of seeing Mr. Wall, the Baptist mission- 
ary, and attending service in his upper chamber this morning, 
but could not possibly hear a word of him. At the hotel they 
knew nothing of anything in the shape of a Baptist, unless it was 
the chapel or church of St. Jean de Baptista. I looked over 
all the cards with notices of Protestant places of worship, hang- 
ing up in the hotel, but found not a line concerning the immersers. 
So remembering that the way to find a thief was to set a thief 
after him, I carried the principle into effect in church hunting, 
and went to the place where those most closely allied in doctrine 
to the Baptists — the Free Church of Scotland — were to be found, 
and sure enough I hit the nail on the head; for one of the 
elders of the church, an Edinburgh Doctor of Medicine, Dr. 
Phillips, gave me the address, and volunteered the statement 
that Mr. Wall was doing a great deal of good in Rome. I intend 
going to hear 'him preach this evening. The four Protestant 
English and American Episcopal churches, Kirk of Scotland 
and Free Church are just without one of the great and ancient 
gates of Rome. The Popes of the past and present would not 
allow them to come within its holy walls with their heresies. 
But now, Mr. Wall has his upper chamber and preaching station, 
not only within the walls, but almost upon the Vatican itself. 
The sermon was an excellent one, from the clergyman of Cumray 
on the Clyde, who is filling the pulpit of the Rev. Dr. Lewis 
(just dead from diphtheria). It was on Heb. 12: 2 — "Looking 
unto Jesus." It would have profited you, my dear son, to have 
heard the Word so simply and so ably put to this small congre- 
gation of 100 to 150 people. It was in beautiful contrast with 
what we saw yesterday as we visited St. Peter's, and were pre- 
sent at 4 o'clock vespers, at which service there were twenty-two 
priests engaged in singing Latin to one old Italian woman, I 
think a beggar. Gazing in through the bronzed gate or open 
door there was a handful of English and American people stand- 
ing. We could not understand a word they said, or sang, but 
there were two beautiful voices, out of the twenty-two. We had 
previously seen in the Church of Santa Maria, supra moenem, 
over the site of the ancient Temple of Minerva, high mass per- 
formed, in which, amid much of form, of genuflexions, of march- 

EDINBUKGH, 1871-3 275 

ing to and fro around the church in procession (a large proces- 
sion it was, of Dominican monks carrying candles) the Eucharist, 
the sacred wafer, the real body of Christ as they say, was being 
marched around the church held up on a silk curtain by six or 
eight priests — all the priests singing and some of the kneeling 
audience. All bowed before the Eucharist except English and 
Americans, who stood and looked on at the ceremony as a piece 
of idol worship. We chanced to look in at the chapel by accident 
at the time, having been taken there by our guide to see the 
paintings, statuary, etc. I have a vast deal to see and to record, 
and but little time to do it in. I am anxious to push on as fast 
as possible, so as to be back to join you, and see exactly how 
you are doing. You cannot tell, my dear boy, how thankful I 
was to our good God to learn such good accounts of you from 
mama's letter. I have heretofore been travelling with a heavy 
heart, but shall go on my way now, more cheerful and contented. 
While I am anxious for you to leave for the South as soon as 
possible, I do not wish the slightest risk to be run, for I would 
rather mama would leave you in Edinburgh for a fortnight longer, 
if it can be done in safety, and join us in Paris, than to expose 
you to cold or injury. If she cannot possibly come now, I will 
take her in the summer by the Khine to Paris, and to London. 
But I leave it all to the doctors and your mama to decide. God 
will direct and guide in the matter. I can get you in the house 
of a very nice man in Nice, who would look after your comfort, 
but I fear the discomforts of their houses and the excessive, 
debilitating heat of summer. Altogether, I think our first plan, 
that of Torquay, will be the best adapted for your restoration, 
and that must be the primary, the all-important consideration. 
You can talk the matter over with Drs. Stewart and Gordon. 
In three weeks, or four at most, I expect to see you, God willing. 
Tell mama I am very sorry to tax her with letter-writing for 
me, but the fact is, if I commence, I must write to a dozen, and 
at the close of each day I really feel exhausted by the exertion 
of walking and standing, and cannot spare a moment from my 
work. I want to learn all I can while absent. In fact I shall 
be obliged to do six months' work in one. . . . Give my love 
to mama, Mary Ann, Willie, Laura and dear little Fanny, and 
remember me to Charles and Sarah; and with much love to 

I remain, dear boy, 

Your affect, father, 

D. McN. Parker. 
Mr. J. Johnston Parker, 

13 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh. 1 


Rome,, Italy, Sunday night, 

February 25th, 1872. 
My Dear Son: 

I was much pleased to see your handwriting under date 
February 14th, and I perused your letter with interest, and 
gratitude to God for His goodness in restoring you thus far toward 
health. I pray to Him daily that the improvement may continue 
progressively until you are restored to your former state physi- 
cally; and spiritually, to the joys of His great salvation. 

Instead of thinking your statements in relation to your spirit- 
ual state " unsatisfactory," I look upon them as just the opposite. 
I thank God that He has put it into your heart to pray to Him 
for a renewed heart, and this, I feel assured, you are doing sin- 
cerely. And you may rest in faith upon Him who said of Paul : 
" behold he prayeth," and then received him as His adopted child 
and never after let go the hold He had of him, but through good 
report and evil report, through trials and persecutions — some of 
them quite near the spot where I am writing this — through temp- 
tations and hardships, preserved him as His faithful, loving 
follower to the end of life, and then took him to glory. Now, as 
regards " feeling," that is a matter you cannot control. It is God 
who gives us emotional feeling, or withholds it. He does not 
tell us to weep and cry and mourn continually over our sins. 
All He says is : " Believe on Me and ye shall be saved," and the 
real test of our belief, in His eyes, is the ceasing to do evil and 
learning to do well. If a man had jumped into the sea and saved 
your life, I have no doubt you would be grateful, but that grati- 
tude, in a person of your temperament, would not be likely to take 
the demonstrative form. At the same time, if this individual 
asked you to do anything for him, in reason, I have no doubt you 
would gladly and promptly accede to his request. Now, Christ 
has done more than hazard His life to save yours. He has sacri- 
ficed that life for you, and all He asks in return is, that you 
should believe He has done it ; that you should confess with your 
mouth that He is the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, and believe in 
your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, and you shall 
be saved. He does not say: weep, mourn, be of a sorrowful heart, 
and go in sackcloth and ashes for your past sins and neglect 
of Him — but rather, believe and rejoice. Man never has and 
never can feel that contrition of soul for his sins that he should. 
But that is a matter for Christ to consider, and if He is con- 
tented to take and receive you just as you are, just take Him at 
His word and say: " I go, Lord, here I am just as I am; accept 
and receive me," and the Father will receive and pardon you, 
and make you a son, and, if a son, an heir of God and a joint- 
heir with Christ. 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 277 

But this is to be remembered, that having determined to 
accept the great salvation on the simple and easy terms offered 
in the Gospel, the old man must be put off and the new man must 
be put on; that is to say: wherein you have wittingly disobeyed 
and sinned against God in the past, you must sin no more, but 
must determine to relinquish those occupations, pleasures, com- 
panions and sins of every description which have heretofore led 
you astray and away from Him. It will be no acceptance of Him 
and His terms, if the sinner says, ' I will believe in the Lord 
Jesus that I may be saved," and the next moment, in direct opposi- 
tion to His Father's commandments, openly and wittingly breaks 
those commandments. After having determined to serve the Lord, 
the determination must be carried out, every hour, with watch- 
fulness and care, trusting in the Lord for strength to resist 
temptation and trials; and He will most assuredly give you the 
strength to resist, and to continue to serve Him. And, this very 
obedience and trustfulness and prayerfulness having enabled you 
to conquer your trials and temptations, will beget, to a greater 
or less extent, the comfort, happiness, or even the joy, which in 
the beginning, even before you have made the consecration of 
yourself to Him and His cause, you are looking for. The deter- 
mination and the consecration must first be made, in faith, and 
leave all the rest to God. All other things will be added, and 
your soul will be saved. It is useless to say " I would like to be 
a Christian," without resolving and acting. In every act of life 
that is attended with success, effort is demanded, and without effort 
put forth and sustained, men never succeed in anything. Just 
so is it in the business of the soul's salvation. Resolve ! Act ! 
and prayerfully commit the rest to Him who has made the 
promise that your soul, under such circumstances, shall be saved. 
" Now is the accepted time. This is the day of salvation." 

I glean from your mother's letter that I am likely to find 
you in Edinburgh on my return. If you had the strength to 
move, and she would accompany you, there would be no necessity 
for this; but I shall learn in Paris whether I am to see you at 
Dartmouth or Torquay, or Edinburgh. I do not wish you to 
work at French or anything else just now. Recreation may be 
taken in this way, but nothing more. 

Last Sunday evening I found out Mr. Wall's missionary meet- 
ing in Rome, and found the place of worship was like that of 
St. Paul in the long years that are past — " in his own hired 
house." It was crammed to overflowing by anxious listeners and 
Bible students, who a few months before were Romanists. I met 
there a minister and his three deacons from Bristol, England, 
who were taking the same tour we have been doing. Almost 


the first question one of them asked me was : "Do you know 
Mrs. Joplin in Halifax ?" I replied " Yes ; and intimately," and 
then found out that they were friends of hers. Strange that 
I should have met them almost under the Vatican, where twelve 
months since the whole of us would have been arrested by Papal 
soldiers for taking part in a heretical meeting. But things are 
changed here now. On the 9th of this month a discussion took 
place between three Jesuit priests and three missionaries, in the 
Academy of the Tiber here, on the subject of the presence of 
Peter in Rome ; the Protestants asserting that he never had been 
in the city at all ; the priests saying he was here for a number of 
years and was crucified, head down, on the exact site of the 
great Cathedral which bears his name. The contest has excited 
great attention. The priests got terribly handled and worsted 
in the argument, especially by Gavatzi. All the Protestants had 
been priests in former years. Our guide through Rome Was 
full of it, and although nominally a Catholic, rejoiced at the 
defeat the Papal three had received. He would often repeat to 
me the words, " The Evangelists won it," as if the six had been 
contending in the old Roman races as athletes. To-day I went 
to Mr. Wall's service again, and, as on Sunday evening last, the 
service was in Italian, and, of course, could not be understood 
by me. But I enjoyed it exceedingly from the fact that I could 
plainly see the poor people who were present were drinking it 
all in as new and unheard-of truths. In Mr. Wall's rooms it 
was that Mr. Spurgeon preached, a couple of months since, 
and was interrupted by a Jesuit priest who went in with the 
crowd to hear him. I partook of the communion with the little 
band of baptized believers, and altogether had a pleasant morning. 
Present at it was the representative of the American Baptist 
Missionary Society. Rev. Mr. Cote, an Edinburgh surgeon's 
son, had been preaching here since November last. As soon 
as he knew I was from Nova Scotia he asked me if I knew 
Dr. Cramp, and when I told him I did, he said : " I have his 
Baptist History in my library." His father was a missionary 
at the Grand Ligne station, near Montreal, and has preached for 
us at Granville Street. He has just completed for the Baptist 
Missionary Society of the United States a complete history of 
all the baptisteries in Italy connected with the old Roman 
Catholic church, which will prove beyond dispute that they, as 
well as those in the Catacombs, were used for immersing the 
candidates. I spent three hours with him to-day, and a most 
interesting time we had. ... He tells me that not long since 
he baptized forty on the Adriatic side of this Italian peninsula, 
at a town called Bari, and he has soon to go there again for the 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 279 

same purpose. Mr. Wall has a Bible class of sixty men and women 
of all ages, once or twice a week, at his house, and I was present 
at his Sunday school this morning, also at a meeting of members 
after the Communion, to discuss doctrinal points, so that they may 
be armed for the contest with the enemy. Mr. Wall told me that 
there are one hundred names on his list of applicants for member- 
ship, but he has to be very careful as to whom he admits. Some 
think they should be baptized before they are taught the nature 
of the ordinance. One attempted to stab him the other night 
because he was dismissed for drunkenness ; and Mr. Cote says 
he has- been convoyed by soldiers to and from his preaching 
stations, to save him from the assassins' knives. But the result 
of the recent great victory in the St. Peter discussion has acted 
as a quietus to the Jesuits, and they are not so openly hostile 
now as they were a few weeks since. 

Take care of yourself, and may God bless you, my dear boy. 
Ever your afft. father, 


In the spring of 1872 the house on Salisbury Place was 
exchanged for !No. 20 Mayfield Terrace, Newington, as more 
preferable for Johnston, the situation being open and airy, 
with the Queen's Park on one side and an unobstructed view 
of the Braid Hills at the rear ; and a spacious garden was attached 
to the property. This was the home of the family for the 
remainder of the sojourn in Edinburgh. 

But. nothing availed to stay the rapid progress of Johnston's 
fatal malady, and he passed away on the first of July. His 
remains lie in the family burial lot of the late Sir Grainger 
Stewart at the beautiful Dean Cemetery. Upon his monument 
his father inscribed the words : " Shall not the Judge of all 
the earth do right ? " — words which commemorate the faith of 
him concerning whom the Scriptures say he " believed God, and 
it was counted unto him for righteousness," wo*rds truly expres- 
sive of my father's child-like faith and his meek spirit of loyal, 
trustful surrender to the will of his Father in Heaven. He could 
not then understand, and like any mortal, had to grope his way in 
the darkness for a time, but he could cling and trust while seeing 
" as through a glass darkly." Now he knows and understands. 

The remainder of that trying summer was spent in seclusion 
on the Clyde, at Dunoon, with occasional excursions among the 
Western Isles and Lochs, in the course of which liis student 
quarters on the Isle of Bute were revisited, a call on old Halifax 
friends at Helensborough was made, and there was a trip through 


the Trossachs which included Stirling and the sail down Lochs 
Katrine and Lomond. The diverting influences of the seven or 
eight weeks so spent were very beneficial to my father's harassed 
spirit, and he seemed to find further solace in his studies, too, 
which were not discontinued. Recreation without his books would 
soon grow wearisome. He returned to take up the burden of 
duty at Edinburgh refreshed in mind and body. 

As an illustration of his activity of mind at this period (when 
he was engrossed in professional study) as well as of his public- 
spirited interest in the affairs of his country and his strength in 
political controversy with the pen, the following example will 
serve : 

The London Daily News of September 21st, 1872, contained 
this editorial, which he answered in its columns with the letter 
that follows: 

" The Canadian elections have resulted in a series of ministerial 
defeats so numerous and signal that nothing but a highly excited state 
of the public mind against the most eminent persons in the Colony can 
account for them. 

" Sir John A. Macdonald, the Premier; Sir Francis Hincks, the 
Finance Minister; Mr. McDougall, the Minister of Public Works, and 
Sir George B. Cartier have been not only rejected, but rejected with 
ignominy, most of them by constituencies which they have represented 
for many years. 

" In his letter which we printed yesterday, our correspondent at 
Toronto explains with great lucidity the reasons of the great change 
which has taken place in Colonial sentiment. 

" The ministers have been presuming too much on their popularity, 
and taking too much upon them by encroaching on the rights of the 
people. The consolidation of the various provinces into one great 
Dominion has made the old leaders of Upper and Lower Canada greater 
men than they were before, and they have been too conscious of the 
change. They persuaded the last Parliament to authorize them to raise 
great loans and to leave the expenditure of the money to their uncon- 
trolled judgment; and they decided upon the route of the Intercolonial 
Railway — which is to cost £4,000,000 sterling — without asking the 
sanction of Parliament. It was, however, their high-handed way of 
dealing with the project of the Canadian Pacific Railway which did them 
most harm at the poll. This great scheme, as passed by the last Parlia- 
ment, included a Government subsidy of thirty million dollars in 
money, and fifty million acres of land, besides the holding of as many 
more acres by the Government as a reserve. The Government further 
obtained power to make a contract" for the construction of the road, and 
charter a company to make it. 

" This was going very far indeed, and we need not wonder that the 
Canadians saw danger in the extent to which their public men were 
mixed up so largely with gigantic financial and speculative undertakings. 
Our co-respondent says that in the Parliament of 200 members, 25 were 
directly interested in the companies competing for the contract. 

" The danger is one that besets all governments in undeveloped and 
progressive countries. It will be interesting to see what the new Par- 
liament will do, and very interesting indeed if it should put a limit to 
these commitments of the taxpayers to great public works, of which the 
cost and the utility are alike immeasurable." 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 281 

20 Mayfield Terrace, Edinburgh, 

September 28th, 1872. 
To the Editor of the Daily News: 

Sir, — My attention has just been called to your editorial 
of the 21st inst. on the recent Canadian elections, and as it 
contains several statements which are at variance with facts, 
and as a whole is calculated to mislead, may I beg you to insert 
this communication in your next issue, in order that the mis- 
takes, into which your Toronto correspondent has led you, 
may be corrected, and those of your readers who take an interest 
in the political and financial business of the Dominion may not 
continue to entertain erroneous impressions concerning the present 
position of several leading Canadian statesmen, as well as in 
relation to important public works, in which the British people 
have a deep and a very direct interest. The article in the Daily 
News, to which I refer, commences by stating that " the Cana- 
dian elections have resulted in a series of ministerial defeats, 
so numerous and signal that nothing but a highly excited state 
of the public mind against the most eminent persons in the 
Colony can account for them. Sir John A. Macdonald, the 
Premier, Sir Francis Hincks, the Finance Minister, Mr. Mc- 
Dougall, the Minister of Public Works, and Sir George E. 
Cartier, have been not only rejected but rejected with ignominy, 
most of them by constituencies which they have represented for 
many years." 

Doubtless you will be surprised to learn that Sir John A. 
Macdonald, the Premier, was not recently, and never has been 
rejected by the constituency of Kingston which he has repre- 
sented, if I mistake not, ever since he has been in public life — 
now more than twenty years. He is to-day the representative 
in Parliament of Kingston, and the leader of the Government. 
Sir Francis Hincks, Finance Minister, it is true, lost his seat 
for the constituency he represented in the last house, but like a 
number of the leading statesmen of Great Britain, in modern 
times, whose temporary misfortune will be within your recollec- 
tion — if rejected by one constituency, he was returned by another, 
and is to-day a member of Parliament and the Finance Minister 
of Canada. Sir Francis Hincks only sat in the last House for a 
part of its term, having been returned to Parliament to succeed 
Sir John Rose as Finance Minister when that gentleman retired 
from public life. For many years previously he (Sir Francis) 
had been absent from British America, employed by the British 
Government as Her Majesty's representative in several of hex 
Colonial possessions. 

Mr. McDougall, whom you designate " the Minister of Public 


Works," once occupied that position, but for the past three or 
four years has not been a member of Government, and conse- 
quently could not during that time be " Minister of Public 
Works." He lost his seat, as did Sir George E. Cartier, and I 
feel assured you will find I am right when I state that Sir 
George, the Minister of Militia, is the only member of the Privy 
Council who has not been returned to Parliament, and should 
his health (which for some weeks past has been very seriously 
impaired) be equal to it, he will obtain a seat the moment he 
desires it. In passing, let me add that many of his ministerial 
colleagues were returned either by acclamation or by overwhelm- 
ing majorities. While both in Ontario and Quebec the Govern- 
ment have lost several supporters, they have gained other seats 
from their opponents, but as far as these two Provinces are 
concerned their losses will not be compensated for by their gains. 
However, the great changes that have taken place in the Mari- 
time Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in favor 
of the present Ministry, and of Union, will quite compensate for 
the losses they have sustained in the two Western Provinces, 
and will enable them to meet Parliament with a good working 
majority. In short, the position of Sir John A. Macdonald's 
Government would be analogous to that of Mr. Gladstone, should 
a dissolution of Parliament take place in this country and its 
ministry should find that they had sustained losses in England 
which were compensated for by gains in Scotland and Ireland. 
England is not the whole of Great Britain, neither is Ontario 
the whole of the Dominion of Canada. 

Without saying so in direct terms, your editorial would lead 
your readers to conclude that Sir John A Macdonald's Govern- 
ment had been defeated at the recent general election, and specific 
reasons are given for such defeat. Thus, you state : " Our cor- 
respondent at Toronto explains with great lucidity the reasons of 
the great change which has taken place in Colonial sentiment. 
The ministers have been presuming too much on their popularity 
and taking too much upon them by encroaching on the rights 
of the people," etc., etc. This, taken in connexion with the 
extract first quoted, does more than suggest losses and ministerial 
rejections " with ignominy " — it must lead the general public 
to the conclusion that the Government has fallen. My reply 
to this has been given already, in the statement above made, 
that the ministry in appealing to the people have been sustained, 
a majority of the constituencies, in all the provinces but one, 
having in this practical way expressed their satisfaction with 
their past acts, and their confidence in them for the future. 

One of the specific charges brought against the Dominion 
Government is contained in the following sentence : " They per- 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 283 

suaded the last Parliament to authorize them to raise great 
loans, and to leave the expenditure of the money to their uncon- 
trolled judgment; and they decided upon the route of the Inter- 
colonial Railway — which is to cost £4,000,000 sterling — without 
asking the sanction of Parliament." This is a matter in which 
the British public have a very direct interest, inasmuch as the 
larger portion of the above amount has been, or will be, obtained 
on the guarantee of the Imperial Government, and any derelic- 
tion of duty or misappropriation of funds, thus obtained, would 
very naturally tend to impair British confidence in the Admin- 
istration, Parliament, and country — hence it calls for a few words 
of explanation. 

It is true that the last Parliament did authorize the Executive 
Government to raise a large loan for an important public work — 
the Intercolonial Railway — to enable Western Canada to reach, 
through British territory, the British seaboard, in the Mari- 
time Provinces, at all seasons of the year. Hitherto the external 
commerce of Ontario and Quebec in winter has necessarily had 
to pass through a foreign country; and communication with 
the sister Provinces on the seaboard and with the Mother Country 
has been almost altogether through the United States. As soon 
as the Provinces were confederated, this difficulty was met. 
The Government was authorized to contract a loan, and having 
the confidence of the country, was permitted to disburse the 
money without first submitting detailed estimates for this special 
service to Parliament. Just as the British Government is per- 
mitted through its Admiralty Department to appropriate very 
large amounts in the construction of ships of war, or through 
the War Department to expend equally large sums in erecting 
fortifications and defensive works, a gross amount is asked for, 
and the details of expenditure are scrutinized, and discussed subse- 
quently, or when the documents connected therewith are pre- 
sented to Parliament, when, if misappropriations have been made 
the Government will be held accountable. 

Xow as regards the question of the route selected for this 
railroad, permit me to state that as far back as thirteen or four- 
teen years ago, a delegation from Canada, Nova Scotia and ~New 
Brunswick came to this country for the purpose of obtaining from 
the British Government a guarantee for the money required to 
construct this Intercolonial road. The then basis of arrangement 
between the different Provinces was, that a northern route should 
be accepted, for Imperial as well as other reasons, which I need 
not now discuss, further than to state that the British Government 
has never at any time entertained the question of any other than 
a northern route, which could be made available for military 
purposes. To have constructed a road running throughout the 


greater part of its course in close proximity with the American 
frontier, would have been opposed to national interests, and in 
case of war with the United States it would have been entirely 
useless. My native Province — -Nova Scotia — entered the Union, 
and I have no doubt that New Brunswick, through which country 
a very large portion of the line runs, did so too, with the under- 
standing that the arrangement of 1858 should be adhered to and 
that the northern location should be adopted. Hence you will 
perceive that when the responsibility (constitutionally and pro- 
perly pertaining to the Government) of deciding the question, 
devolved on them, they were nationally and morally bound to 
adhere to the original agreement. And I may add, that Mr. 
Mackenzie, the leader of the. Opposition, concurred as to the 
desirability of finally selecting the North Shore line, and I 
believe quite a numher of representatives who usually co-operated 
with him entertained at the time similar views. 

You characterize the action taken by the Government in 
connexion with the Canadian Pacific Railway as " high handed," 
and assume that they were injured thereby at the poll. In 
legislation, as you are aware, it is very hard to please everybody, 
but in this immensely important matter, the Government appear 
to have pleased a very large proportion of the people's represen- 
tatives in the last House, and a majority of the constituencies 
in that which will be convened in the early part of next year. 
That this work, which is to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, 
Nova Scotia with British Columbia, and is destined to bring Eng- 
land more readily and quickly into communication with China, 
Japan, and other far-off lands, which in the future are to be large 
markets for her manufactured productions, should be constructed 
with the least possible delay, is a political necessity. Without it, 
British Columbia and Manitoba, abounding in mineral and agri- 
cultural wealth, would be useless members of our Canadian Con- 
federation, and ere very long the more distant Province (placed 
as it is between California and Alaska, two portions of United 
States territory) and perhaps Manitoba, too, would drop into the 
ever-ready lap of our great neighbor. 

To construct this great continental highway, without render- 
ing available, for that purpose, the land through which it is to 
pass, is an undertaking far beyond the resources of the new-born 
Dominion, so, following the example of the United States, in 
which one Pacific road has been in operation for a few years, 
and another is now in course of construction, the Parliament of 
Canada concluded to subsidize a responsible joint stock company 
to the extent, if necessary, of thirty millions of dollars and fifty 
millions of acres of land, who would undertake to complete, equip 
and work the road. Thirty millions of dollars is a small sum of 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 285 

money when contrasted with the value of the work it is to aid in 
completing, and it is an amount quite within the resources of the 
vigorous and financially healthy Dominion. Fifty millions of 
acres of land is an enormous quantity, even for an inhabitant of 
a vast continent like America to think of and talk about; but 
what is its value without means of access to it? — simply nil. 
Let, however, a company thus subsidized open up the country 
by a railroad, and carry thither emigrants from the densely 
populated countries of Europe, for their own pecuniary advan- 
tage, and they will enhance, an hundredfold, the value of the 
millions upon millions of acres remaining to the Dominion. 

Referring to your remark in connection with land reserved by 
Government, along the line of the Pacific road — in alternate blocks 
— which is not to be sold under a rate to be agreed upon with the 
Company, permit me to suggest that this subsidy in land would be 
of no value to the Company as a means of realizing money for the 
completion of the road if it were not for such an arrangement; 
for who would pay two, three or four shillings an acre for the 
Company's land when they could procure it of the same quality 
in the very next block for nothing ? 

As regards your correspondent's remark, " That in the Parlia- 
ment of two hundred members, twenty-five were directly interested 
in the companies competing for the contract," I am not in a posi- 
tion to dispute the statement, but let me ask what is there to object 
to should such be in reality the case? Are there not joint stock 
companies in Great Britain to-day, having business transactions 
with the British Government, in which members of Parliament 
are shareholders ? I think a little enquiry in the proper quarters 
will elicit an affirmative reply to the question. And if such is the 
case, may I not further ask if either these members of Parlia- 
ment, or the Government, would be compromised before the House 
of Commons, the Lords, or the country by such indirect business 
transactions. It is stated in the paragraph last quoted that there 
are companies (it is in the plural) competing for the contract to 
construct this railroad. If such is the case, and I believe it to 
be true, may we not hope that this competition will effect a saving 
to the Dominion, and that some considerable portion of the thirty 
millions of dollars, and fifty millions of acres of land — one or both 
— may by this means revert to the country ? And if there should 
be members of Parliament in each of the competing organizations, 
should we not look upon it rather as a fortunate circumstance, as 
those in the one company will be jealously watching the proceed- 
ings of the others, while all will be narrowly scrutinizing the acts 
of the Government in connection with this vast undertaking. You 
are not to infer from what I have stated that Mr. Mackenzie, the 
able leader of the Opposition in the last House, was hostile to a 


Canadian Pacific railroad. On the contrary, he and a large 
number of his influential and intelligent followers were in favor 
of it, but they differed from the majority on several of the prom- 
inent features of the Government bill. 

In conclusion let me say that I have not seen your Toronto 
correspondent's letter, but I fear he has received his information 
on Canadian political topics from ill-informed or very prejudiced 

Apologizing for the length of this communication, 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

D. McN. Parkek. 

The Christmas recess of two weeks (1872-3) was passed by 
my father and family in London, where he was an excellent and 
entertaining guide, as he had proved himself in Scotland during 
various short excursions to places such as Stirling and the field 
of Bannockburn, Glasgow, Abbotsford; Dryburgh, Melrose and 
other abbeys, Hawthornden, various points on the east coast, and 
elsewhere in the interior. From the reminiscences of that London 
visit I recall his great pleasure in meeting and hearing Spurgeon 
and Dr. Landells, then the foremost representatives of his religious 
denomination in Britain. 

He had hoped to obtain leave of absence from his legislative 
duties for a second session, that he might prolong his residence in 
Edinburgh until the ensuing summer or autumn, and find time to 
visit some of the English hospitals; but in this he was disap- 
pointed, his plans for more extended study abroad being defeated 
by political exigencies. He gladly would have forfeited his seat 
in the Legislative Council by remaining, or have resigned it ; but he 
yielded to the clamor of political party associates, and in February, 
1873, sailed from Liverpool for Halifax to take his seat, leaving 
the family to follow when the schools closed in the summer. 

The letters written at Edinburgh for the Christian Messenger 
have already been referred to, and the first of them has been given 
place in the order of time. The remaining six now follow. They 
indicate his habits of thought, his thoroughness as an observer of 
men and things, his careful study of conditions, institutions and 
public questions as he met them when abroad, and they are exam- 
ples of his style and method as a writer. Upon their own 
merits, and because of their informing character, it fairly may be 
claimed that these letters possess a general interest. At least for 
anyone who would learn what manner of man the writer was, their 
prolixity will hardly detract from their value. 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 287 

For the Christian Messenger. 

13 Salisbury Place, Newington, Edinburgh. 
January 16th, 1872. 
My Dear Editor, — 

I was not a little shocked to see so large a portion of the Chris- 
tian Messenger of November 16th occupied with my " Jottings by 
the Way," which I supposed would have been subdivided into 
parts and been given to your readers in two or three issues of your 
paper. Men of my profession have been charged before to-day, 
and I fear correctly, with overdosing their patients, and I must, in 
this instance, plead guilty to having fallen into a similar error, 
with this difference, however — the patients were yours, not mine, 
which adds to the gravity of the offence. In again addressing you 
I give you full liberty to break this present communication into as 
many parts as may suit your editorial convenience, for, like the 
last, I fear before I have done with the subject, which is to be 
Edinburgh, that it will have overgrown the somewhat circum- 
scribed limits which in commencing I have prescribed for myself. 


The subject is vast, and I hardly know where to begin. Indeed, 
I feel very like the schoolboy who, when urged by anxious and 
waiting companions to practically exhibit to them how to make 
segments of a circle, by subdividing the maternal cake which lay, 
deeply frosted, before them, replied that he did not know where to 
commence, and if he were to follow the advice of his very disin- 
terested and waiting friends he feared he might mar its beauty 
and entirely spoil the circle. 

Well, I feel very much as if I should " spoil the circle " were 
I to attempt anything like a detailed description of Scotland's 
great capital. Indeed, I believe I might as well attempt to 
" square the circle " as to convey to your readers, in words, any 
just conception of its appearance — of its natural or artificial 
beauty; consequently I shall, with as much brevity as possible, 
refer only to one or two features in this connection, and then pass 
on to the consideration of some few of its many institutions. 


To deal with the subject in the natural order of things, and in 
accordance with prescribed principles, it would be necessary, first, 
to recall the days when a few rude straw-thatched cottages (inhab- 
ited by a hardy, uncultivated race of people) occupied the ridge or 
rocky eminence between the Cowgate and Princes Street Garden, 
in immediate proximity to the Castle Pock ; and from this primi- 


tive beginning, much more than a thousand years ago, to trace its 
progress through the centuries, until " the Modern Athens " of 
our own day and generation is brought into view; but this is not 
required, from the fact that the children of these happy days get 
all these facts more correctly and graphically portrayed in the 
popular and standard histories of their free schools and home 
libraries than I could possibly give them in the columns of the 

But the geological and the true antiquarian Scot would not be 
satisfied with this as a starting-point ; and with pride of heart and 
of nationality would direct attention to the fact that the Great 
Architect of the Universe specially laid the foundations of Edin- 
burgh, and in such a way that not even the simplest son of Adam 
could have passed it by without recognizing the fact that the 
locality was born to be the site of a great city, when from deeply 
beneath the surface of the earth He elevated by volcanic action 
the massive rocks and some of the undulating hills on and around 
which most of it is built, leaving beautiful valleys just in those 
positions where they would most gratify the eyes of those who first 
beheld them, and eventually serve to add charming variety to the 
scene when hill and dale alike should be covered by the dwelling- 
places of their successors in subsequent ages. This beautifully 
irregular foundation, besides having its great central and defensive 
elevations, was, by the same creative power which called into 
existence " the site," surrounded on all sides with natural barriers 
and fortifications, as if to protect it from the assaults of enemies 
beyond and without — and I may add every hill and every valley 
for miles around has its traditional or written history of war and 
romance, of victory and defeat, all interwoven with the nation's 
history. On the north is the beautiful and broad Firth of Forth, 
with here and there an island rising out of its generally placid 
but sometimes terribly disturbed waters, which separates Edin- 
burgh and Leith from the Fifeshire country. 

On the east we have Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat, the 
latter rising, lion-like, 822 feet above the sea's level, a beautiful 
and bold object on which the eye may continually rest without 
growing weary, a perfect Gibraltar, which if fortified would com- 
mand all the eastern and south-eastern approaches to the city. On 
the south and west the Blackford, the Braid and the Pentland Hills 
rise up as elevated and protective walls, undulating and pictur- 
esque to the eye, their natural beauty being enhanced by the rich 
cultivation of their northern and eastern slopes, on which herds 
and flocks quietly graze, giving additional variety to the scene. 

On the western extremity of the elevated ridge (to which refer- 
ence has already been made) commencing at Holyrood Palace and 
Abbey, and gradually ascending, stands famed Edinburgh Castle, 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 289 

a bold, irregular, craggy rock, having an elevation above the level 
of the sea of some 440 or 450 feet. On three sides, north, west 
and south, it rises from the valley beneath almost perpendicularly, 
while it is easy of access from the east, by way of the High Street. 
Of itself, this stronghold of the centuries past has a history full 
of stirring, romantic interest, and the true Scot, as he looks with 
pride upon the magnificent mass of dark rock before him, has his 
heart moved and his blood warmed at the mere thought of the 
deeds of daring which have taken place within and around this, 
one of the great natural citadels of his country. 


So great has been the growth of the city in recent times to the 
south and west that the Castle now forms a magnificent central 
spot from which to view it as a whole. From its ramparts the 
eye rests upon symmetrical and beautiful structures of freestone, 
in the form of fine broad streets, crescents, squares, public build- 
ings, charitable institutions, monuments and church structures — 
with numerous intervening and large gardens, where twenty-five 
years ago the plow and the harrow turned over the rich soil, that 
these broad acres, now thus beautified by the architect's skill, might 
bring forth their abundant harvests for the supply of the markets 
of Edinburgh. 

Another stronghold in the central part of the city, at the 
eastern end of Princes Street (the great thoroughfare or " Broad- 
way " of the new town) is Calton Hill, another vast rock, the 
elevation of which is only about 100 feet less than the Castle. 
Instead, however, of bristling cannon its summit is covered with 
monuments of men of national and worldwide reputation in war 
and letters, whose deeds of arms and brain, in the years that are 
past, are thus brought vividly before both natives and strangers as 
they wend their way along the beautiful walks which in recent 
times have been constructed on and around this lovely historic hill. 

I have dwelt on these strong and natural points of defence 
which on all sides surround Edinburgh, not because I possess 
either military knowledge or tastes (although I have the honor 
of being a disbanded militia surgeon), but to direct your attention 
to a feature in connection with the capital which is not often 
referred to by newspaper correspondents, but which must be 
abundantly evident to all who visit the locality. 

To the practical soldier these military points would be among 
the first things to suggest themselves. Paris, with such natural 
surroundings, and with a Firth of Forth to have given her access 
to the sea, would in all probability have kept Von Moltke and 
Bismarck outside her walls, and by means of such a continuation 


of fortified heights would have saved France the national and 
military degradation to which that country has so recently had to 

The absence of such bold and elevated surroundings from 
London and the great commercial marts of England gives Edin- 
burgh an advantage over these cities, both as regards the pic- 
turesque and in relation to the question of defence, which all the 
appliances that money and science can devise cannot compensate 
for ; and inasmuch as the natural fortifications to which I am 
calling attention are to a great extent, like Gibraltar, of solid rock, 
the mining engineer of an enemy would be thereby foiled in his 
efforts to approach and undermine these natural citadels. The 
walk down the High Street and Canongate from the Castle to 
Holyrood Palace and Abbey brings before you the Edinburgh of 
centuries past, with her narrow streets, her narrower wynds and 
closes, her great, towering, dark and worn stone buildings, then 
the homes of Scotland's noblest and greatest families, but now the 
dwellings of the poorest of the poor. The hands of the Goths and 
Vandals of these progressive times are busy, razing these anti- 
quarian structures to the ground, widening the streets, closes and 
wynds, and erecting modern buildings for the purposes of trade. 

In this way have many historic buildings disappeared, even to 
their foundation stones, and in their place have risen food, raiment 
and whiskey shops, as well as more modern dwellings. 


As I have walked over these localities and viewed again the 
places and scenes familiar to me in the days of my student career, 
even though my antiquarian spirit is feeble, it has been aroused 
at the desecration I have witnessed. 

The high and ancient houses of the past have largely disap- 
peared, and I cannot now get nearer the clouds than ten stories, 
and even this elevation can only occasionally be attained, in con- 
sequence of the levelling process now so familiar to the eye. At 
one thing I am rejoiced, and that is, that while the hands of man 
may destroy the works of man, the enduring hills and rocks in and 
around Edinburgh, to which I have called your attention, are not 
likely ever to be disturbed, except by the same Power that called 
them into existence and gave them their great and picturesque 
elevation above the earth's surface. 

I look in vain for some of the houses in which, far up between 
the street and the clouds, I practically commenced my profession, 
when for long hours of the night I have on more than one occasion 
remained in rooms entirely destitute of bed, bedding or chairs, 
with " a farthing dip " stuck to the mantelpiece or the floor, my 
easy-chair a candle-box, or something like it, and on one occasion 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 291 

a stone from the chimney, the more luxurious seat first mentioned 
being furnished by some of the more affluent neighbors, who, if not 
possessed of much of this world's goods, had kind hearts and looked 
well after the comforts of " the doctor." A little loose straw in 
the corner answered the purpose of a bed for my patients. Even 
here, had I desired it, I could have obtained, I have no doubt, 
from a broken bottle or broken cup, " a drop of whiskey to keep 
me warm," or, had I been a smoker, a whiff of tobacco to comfort 
me : hence the straw, the candle-box and the stone. Yet in these 
very rooms, centuries before, great men had lived in luxury, and 
notable men had probably first seen the light of day. But I am 
digressing — or, like the old soldier, fighting my battles over again. 

To return to my subject, we have in and about Edinburgh a 
most picturesque blending of bold and elevated (almost mountain- 
ous) scenery with that which is quiet, cultivated and beautiful, 
producing an effect which I think can hardly be surpassed the 
world over. While this remark is applicable to its physical 
geography, we have in the varied structures which constitute the 
city — its houses, public buildings, church edifices, numerous monu- 
ments, broad and narrow streets and wynds — a contrast scarcely 
less striking, suggesting at the same moment memories of the long 
past, and everything that is progressive and beautiful connected 
with refinement, art and education of the present. 

Built as the city is on the hills above and in the valleys beneath, 
this contrast between the architectural past and present is the more 
striking and is a feature of which the eye never wearies. No 
stranger should ever visit Edinburgh without viewing it at night, 
as a whole, from some of its commanding heights such as the 
Castle, Calton Hill, or, if the breath be good and the muscles 
strong, from Arthur's Seat, from whence he will obtain a bird's- 
eye view of Leith (which is now continuous with Edinburgh), the 
old and the new city, from centre to circumference, here elevated, 
there depressed; in one locality displaying, between two straight 
lines of light, long and broad streets, in another the crescentic 
arrangements of the residences of the wealthy, while in a third the 
narrow outlines of the wynds and closes may be occasionally recog- 
nized by their very darkness. I can scarcely imagine anything 
more beautiful than Edinburgh by gas-light, seen as I have not 
unfrequently beheld it from one or two of these great central out- 

It would take a volume to describe this capital architecturally, 
a city (Leith included) of only 250,000 inhabitants, and as I have 
neither the time nor the practical knowledge to enable me to deal 
with this matter, I shall pass on to the consideration of some other 
subjects in which I presume your readers will be equally, if not 
more, interested. 

{To he continued.) 


For the Christian Messenger. 

13 Salisbury Place, Newington, Edinburgh, 

January 16th, 1872. 
My Dear Editor, — 


Edinburgh partakes only to a limited extent of the advantages 
to be derived from the general educational, or parish, system of 
the country, which may be described in few words. 

It is sustained by the " Heritors," or landed proprietors, and 
by small fees, and the schools connected with the system never 
refuse admission to the children of the poor who are unable to pay 
the usual small annual charge. 

These schools are controlled and managed by the Heritors and 
Kirk Sessions — that is to say, by the landed proprietors, and the 
ministers and elders of the established Church of Scotland in every 

The instruction imparted is a good plain English education, 
but the more advanced boys, if they desire it, receive a rudimentary 
knowledge of Mathematics and Latin. 

The Bible and the Shorter Catechism are used in all these 

The word " hospital " in this city and throughout Scotland is 
used in a different sense from the more common and generally 
received definition of the word in America. When it is met with 
here, and I am glad to say it is a word in very common use, it 
very generally designates an endowed institution for educational 
and charitable purposes. 

Thus Heriot's, Gillespie's, George Watson's, John Watson's, 
The Trades Maidens', Stewart's, The Merchant Maidens', Fettes's, 
Donaldson's and other hospitals were founded and generouslv 
endowed by wealthv, large-hearted Scotchmen for the reception and 
education of boys and girls, under varied regulations, but prin- 
cipally for those in indigent circumstances, and the children of 
parents who have fallen into adversity through innocent causes. 

Thousands upon thousands of children have in this way been 
provided — for a period of six or seven years — with comfortable, 
healthy and happy homes, educated and sent forth upon the world 
under the supervision of those who, as the trustees of the bequests, 
provide them on leaving the institution with clothing, books, and 
in very many instances with money to the extent of from £20 to 
£50 sterling to assist them during their minority or apprentice- 
ship; while the more talented and successful pupils are enabled, 
by means of hospital-scholarships and bursaries, to obtain a univer- 
sity course and a profession. 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 205 

Heriot's Hospital, founded in the earlier part of the seven- 
teenth century by George Heriot, a jeweller, for " the maintenance, 
reliefe, bringing up and education of poore fatherlesse boyes, free- 
men's sonnes of the towne of Edinburgh," had on the day I visited 
it 126 resident pupils, and forty-six day scholars who were clothed 
and fed by the Hospital, but who remained at night with their 
parents or friends. They enter from seven to nine years of age, 
and are instructed by ten different masters in all the important 
branches of a sound English and mathematical education, as well 
as in Latin, Greek, French, drawing, music — vocal and instru- 
mental — gymnastics and military drill, ere they are sent forth from 
its walls to fight the battle of life. This single institution, in 
consequence of the judicious management of its funds by com- 
petent business men, has now an annual income of about £23,000 
stg., which not only maintains the hospital proper, but after more 
than a dozen large school buildings have been erected from the 
capital, in various parts of the city, is to-day imparting a generous 
and a free education to 3,400 poor children of both sexes. 

Donaldson's Hospital, one of the most magnificent educational 
structures in the country, erected at a cost of £100,000 stg., was 
opened twenty or twenty-five years ago for the maintenance and 
education of poor boys and girls. I was informed by the servant 
who conducted me through the building that there were at that 
time receiving instruction in the institution 356 pupils, eighty-six 
of whom were deaf and dumb. 

The chapel is very large and perhaps the finest I have seen in 
any of the public institutions of the country. 

The building is beautifully situated, and from the windows in 
the rear, close at hand, three other large institutions, similar in 
character, are observed. The grounds are extensive, admirably 
kept, and the shrubbery beautiful. 

The original bequest was £210,000 stg. This Mr. Donaldson 
was an Edinburgh printer, and I think I may with propriety add 
that he was, among printers, a vara avis — a well-paid printer, 
whose subscribers, if he published a newspaper, were honest and 

Sir William Fette's Hospital, erected at a cost of £150,000 stg., 
" for the education and maintenance of young persons whose 
parents have fallen into adversity through innocent causes," is the 
only other separate institution of this description that I shall refer 
to. Within its walls the same noble work is going on, and pretty 
much after the same system, as that described in connection with 
the Heriot Hospital, with the exception of the outside Free schools, 
which are not supplied either by the Trustees of this or of Donald- 
son's institution. 


The Merchants' Company of Edinburgh, a large and wealthy- 
corporation, have been engaged for many years past in this same 
description of educational work, and the " Merchant Maiden's 
Hospital," maintained and managed by them, has provided an 
educational home for a large number of girls. But being pos- 
sessed with the idea that these institutions, both male and female, 
could be turned to better advantage and with their vast endow- 
ments confer a much larger amount of good on the children of the 
middle and poorer classes if the hospital or monastic system were 
abolished, the funds of all, or many, were combined and appro- 
priated purely for educational purposes — or, in other words, 
applied to sustain a large number of day-schools under first-class 
teachers, in which schools a most liberal education would be 
imparted at a comparatively cheap rate. With great tact and 
business capacity the Merchants' Company worked up this idea, 
which soon became popular, the more so from the fact that the 
private schools were becoming so expensive that men of moderate 
means found it a terrible pecuniary burden to give their children 
anything like a superior education. 

The governing bodies of several of these hospitals co-operated 
with the Merchants' Company, and an arrangement was entered 
into by which those children " Foundationers," as they are here 
called, having a claim on these institutions for maintenance should 
now, and in the future, be provided for in the homes of relatives and 
friends, where practicable, or under the roofs of respectable fam- 
ilies who would treat them as their own children. The basis of 
agreement between the company in question and the hospital 
trustees having been arranged, an Act of Parliament was sought 
and obtained, and the schools under the new arrangement went 
into operation some eighteen months since, and thus far have quite 
realized the anticipations of their friends and, as far as I can 
ascertain, are meeting with the approval of the inhabitants of the 
city and surrounding country generally. 

The somewhat formidable opposition of the teaching profession 
has been materially neutralized by drafting into the new schools 
many of its ablest members who were formerly interested in private 

The Act of Parliament to which I have referred does not con- 
fine the trust and management of these schools to those who for- 
merly, held control, but the new Board is drawn from the Mer- 
chants' Company, the Town Council and the learned professions. 
A more competent and better qualified commission could hardly 
have been arranged, combining, as it does, thorough business 
capacity with high educational attainments. 

The benefits arising from these new educational establishments 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 295 

are not confined by any means to the citizens of Edinburgh, for 
there is hardly a town in Scotland not now represented in them, 
and I may add that England also has numbers of young people 
receiving instruction in these schools. In visiting one of them a 
few days since, the head master informed me that the institution 
under his charge had pupils from the districts as far north as the 
Shetland Islands, and, in an opposite direction, as far south as the 
Channel Islands. Indeed, very many families have moved into 
Edinburgh from a distance purposely to take advantage of the 
schools in question. The highest charge for the more advanced 
classes is ten pounds sterling per annum, and for the junior classes 
two pounds ten shillings — and the parents rejoice in the fact that 
these amounts cover everything — there are no extras. In all these 
schools a very thorough English and mathematical education is 
imparted. Natural philosophy, geology and other branches of 
natural science, Latin, Greek, French, German, music (both vocal 
and instrumental), dancing, and in the female schools sewing, are 
taught by the most accomplished masters and teachers. At twelve 
years or age. or thereabouts, the boys or their parents generally 
intimate the branches to which they desire special attention to be 
given, and if they are intended for mercantile life they generally 
devote more time to the modern than the dead languages, and pur- 
sue that course of study better qualified to fit them for commercial 
pursuits ; while those who are intending to adopt professions give 
their attention to the classics and such other branches as they shall 
be called upon to pass an examination in ere they commence the 
special work of the professions they have chosen. 

In all these endowed schools, as well the Merchants' as those 
hospitals which are not yet in any way connected with them, 
physical training is not neglected. Brain and muscle alike receive 
their due amount of attention and education. Both sexes are 
regularly drilled, while the elder boys are taught fencing and gym- 

The number of schools connected with the Merchants' system 
scattered over the city I am not on the moment prepared to state, 
but there are to-day receiving instruction within their walls no less 
than 4,500 pupils, and I must add that the poor are not excluded, 
for in those connected with Gillespie's foundation the fees are 
merely nominal, and the children here, as in the out-door schools of 
Heriot's Hospital, receive instruction in the ordinary branches of 
an English education, with the addition of drill, vocal music and 
drawing; while all can compete for money prizes and for admis- 
sion free of charge to the higher schools of the company, and the 
few who are at the top of the list may secure further pecuniary 
advantages in the form of scholarships or bursaries amounting in 
all to £400 stg. 


Thus you see the son of the very poor man may, if he has the 
brain and the industry, compete in these Merchants' schools (as 
he may indeed in most of the separate hospital schools) with the 
sons of the better-off citizens for prizes worth contending for, 
which, if obtained, are sure to place the possessor in an admirable 
position for future success in whatever department of life he may 
be subsequently found. 

Through the kindness of Mr. Knox, " the master " or president 
of the Merchants' Company, I was permitted to thoroughly inspect 
all or as many of these schools as I felt disposed, and to convey to 
your readers some idea of their extent, and the manner in which 
they are worked, I will, in as few words as possible, describe my 
visit to the female school which was organized in the Hopetown 
Rooms, Queen Street, in 1870. 

On entering the building I was received by a servant in livery, 
but could not advance for some minutes, as the three staircases and 
the halls were fully occupied by the young ladies, who, to martial 
music — heard all over the house — in companies of forty, each 
headed by a governess, were marching two and two in all direc- 
tions, vacating one set of classrooms and entering others. 

This grand parade being over for an hour, the head master's 
office was reached, and that gentleman most kindly kept me con- 
tinuously occupied for an hour and a half, during which I had a 
second time to be very closely inspected myself by this marching 
regiment of 1,250 or 1,260 Scotch and English lassies as they 
again changed their classrooms. I learned that the whole school 
was educationally classified, and that no class contained more 
than forty pupils, all in very nearly the same state of advancement. 

Each company had its governess whose duty it was to scru- 
tinize the deportment and to keep a general supervision over those 
under her charge, which charge commenced as soon as the pupils 
entered the house in the morning and terminated only when they 
left it in the afternoon. Except to very junior classes all the 
instruction is imparted by masters. 

The musical arrangements are novel. The whole department 
contains forty-five pianos, and in all the classrooms, for this 
description of work, save one, there are eight instruments, and 
eight young ladies are instructed at one time, and play together 
in each room. 

I visited two of these rooms, and in both, two of the eight 
pianos were silent, in consequence of the absence of pupils ; but 
the six who were present, played with the utmost harmony, and 
as far as my uneducated ear could detect, there was not an error 
of a single note during the time occupied by these two classes 
in playing two long and difficult pieces of music. Of course this 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 297 

result could not be attained without a very thorough classifica- 
tion of pupils, and not without much practice at home — a very 
few mistakes will send a young lady from a higher to a lower 
class — hence, great efforts are made to retain their positions. 

Equal harmony was observable in the department of vocal 
music, where I heard the senior class of about sixty young ladies 
(from fourteen to twenty years of age) sing together most 

The drawing and writing classes were at work in large rooms 
at the top of the building, in which two or more classes were 
being instructed at the same time. 

The drill, play, dancing and sewing rooms on the first floor 
are large and high, and connected by folding doors, so that they 
can readily be converted into one room, as is the case once a 
week when Mr. Pryde, the principal, delivers a lecture to six 
hundred of the more advanced pupils on some subject connected 
with English Literature. In the basement is a large luncheon 
hall, where for a penny the pupils can purchase a bun and a 
cup of milk or coffee. Here also are the cloak and bonnet rooms — 
one for each class of forty pupils — in which each young lady 
has her own hook and box, numbered, where bonnets, cloaks and 
boots are carefully placed in the morning, as they enter, and 
taken again in the afternoon, as they leave the building. Com- 
fortable slippers take the place of walking boots, which change 
assists in effecting three important results, cleanliness, quietness 
and the health of the scholars. These toilet arrangements take 
place under the supervision of the class governesses — with the 
same order which pervades the whole institution. The numbers 
are so large that in almost all the departments there are several 
teachers, who are well paid. The lowest salary paid to any of 
the masters is £210 stg. The principal, I was informed, is in 
the receipt of £600 stg. per annum. His duties are purely execu- 
tive, and all the teaching he performs is the weekly lecture above 
mentioned. The governesses receive from £25 to £90 stg. The 
number of teachers and governesses combined amounts to ninety. 

It is unnecessary that I should take you through the Merchant 
Company's male schools, which are conducted on the same general 
principles, with the adoption of such modifications as circum- 
stances, sex, and future occupation will naturally suggest to 
your readers. One of the most important, is now accomplishing 
its work in the old Merchant Maidens' Institution, where from 
1,000 to 1,100 boys are receiving a very thorough education. 

(To he continued.) 


For the Christian Messenger. 

13 Salisbury Place, ISTewington, 

Edinburgh, January 16th, 1872. 
My Dear Editor: 

The University of Edinburgh. 

This fine old school, founded in 1582, is still pursuing its 
course; extending its bounds; and more than retaining its former 
position as the headquarters or centre for the higher education 
in Scotland. 

This year, under thirty-six Professors, between 1,700 and 
1,800 matriculated students are receiving instruction in the depart- 
ments of Literature and Philosophy, Theology, Law and Medicine 
— and I am informed by the officials in the Secretary's office, 
that when the matriculation for the summer session is closed, 
this year's roll will probably reach 1,850. 

The number of medical students is larger than for many years 
past — over 700 — a very large majority of these young men belong 
to the British Isles, but all quarters of the globe are well repre- 
sented. Under the first division (Literature and Philosophy) there 
are fourteen Professors teaching the following subjects : — I. Latin. 
II. Greek. III. Mathematics. IV. Logic and Metaphysics. 
V. Moral Philosophy. VI. Natural Philosophy. VII. Rhetoric 
and English Literature. VIII. Practical Astromony. IX. Agri- 
culture. X. Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. XL Theory 
of Music. XII. Engineering and Mechanical Drawing. 
XIII. Geology and Mineralogy. XIV. Commercial and Political 
Economy and Mercantile Law. 

I have enumerated the subjects in this division, some of which 
would hardly be recognized elsewhere as belonging either to 
Literature or Philosophy, to give you an idea of the ground 
covered by it. Theology has its four Professors ; Law six, includ- 
ing the Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, who is also a teacher 
in the medical department — and Medicine twelve (exclusive of 
the chair of Medical Jurisprudence). Two of these thirty-six 
Chairs have been quite recently founded and liberally endowed : 
that of Geology and Mineralogy by the late Sir Roderick 
Murchison, and the Chair of Commercial and Political Economy 
and Mercantile Law, by the Merchants' Company of Edinburgh, 
who, as you will have learned from an, earlier part of this letter, 
are by their liberality, and the great interest they are taking in 
the subject of education, setting a bright and admirable example to 
the mercantile profession of the world. 

In the medical department but one of the Professors still 
fills a chair in the University who occupied that position 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 299 

when I graduated in 1845, and he, Sir Kobert Christison, Bart, 
is about to be entertained at a great banquet to be given by the 
profession of Edinburgh, and the whole country, on the occasion of 
the fiftieth anniversary of his appointment to the position. New 
men sit in the places of the great and honored dead, but they 
are laborers admirably equipped for the work; and certainly 
the thoroughness of the course of instruction imparted, and the 
facilities afforded for acquiring both a practical and theoretical 
knowledge of the profession can hardly, I think, be surpassed. 
The largest Infirmary contains between six and seven hundred 
beds, divided into surgical and medical departments in which are 
wards set apart for the treatment of special diseases, as of the 
eye, etc., etc. Connected with this Infirmary and under the 
same management is a large Convalescent Hospital, built and to 
some extent endowed by the bequest of a single individual, situated 
three miles from the city in a beautiful and healthy locality, 
to which patients are sent when it is found they require change 
of air and scene to finally restore them to health. 

The Infirmary for sick children is very pleasantly situated 
and well managed, and receives to its wards a class of poor 
children who could not be treated successfully at their own homes ; 
but here obtain the same professional care, generous diet, kind 
attention and nursing that they would receive were they the off- 
spring of wealthy parents dwelling in luxurious homes. 

This institution affords an admirable opportunity for students 
to practically study the diseases of children. One of the neatest 
and best constructed Infirmaries I have seen, is called after its 
founder, Chalmers, a plumber, who died some years since leaving 
a sum of money to erect and endow a small hospital for the treat- 
ment, I believe, of the more respectable poor. I mention it, as 
rather an unusual circumstance attracted my attention when I 
visited it. The physician who accompanied me to the building, 
one of the staff, treated, I observed, one of the nurses as if she 
were socially his equal. I was struck with her appearance and 
address, and shortly after learned from my friend that she was 
the daughter of a lord, who had left all the comforts of a rich 
and elegant home to take a nurse's position in a male ward of 
this institution — a very unusual thing in this country, but I have 
seen wealthy and accomplished ladies connected with a kind of 
Protestant Episcopal sisterhood, performing the same duty in 
St. Luke's Hospital, New York. 

The managers of the present Royal Infirmary have purchased 
a large piece of ground in a very eligible locality, and are 
about to commence at once the construction of one of the finest 
hospitals in Great Britain or any other country. The architect's 
plans have been long under consideration, and are now completed, 


but so extensive is the work that it will take five years to finish 
and equip it for the reception of patients. 

With a national spirit and from the best of motives, these 
gentlemen have determined that the new Edinburgh Infirmary 
shall contain everything that the most advanced physicians, sur- 
geons and specialists can desire. To those who in future years 
shall obtain their medical education here, as to the sick who shall 
be treated therein, this institution will be a great boon, and will 
aid in giving still further importance to the Edinburgh Medical 
School, and in swelling its already plethoric classes. 

Large as is the old Quadrangular University (its two sides 
measuring each 360 feet and its ends 255 feet; one of its rooms, 
the principal library, being 200 feet long by 50 broad), immedi- 
ately in its rear, and connected with it by an arched, glass-covered 
corridor — crossing West College Street — is a still larger structure, 
the great Museum of Natural History, Science and Art. This 
building, now nearly finished, will have the greatest capacity 
of any public building in Scotland, its height being ninety feet, 
its length 400 feet, and its breadth 200 feet. I cannot commence 
to describe it architecturally, or to give you a detailed account 
of its objects. Suffice it to say that in addition to the instruction, 
it, like other Museums, imparts on the varied subjects connected 
with Natural History, this institution is intended to illustrate 
Mechanical and Chemical Science, and the industrial arts, as 
applicable to the principal manufactures of the country; and 
when practicable to exhibit the machinery and appliances used 
in the production of these manufactures. Thus, as an example 
from among the metals, a piece of crude iron ore is placed before 
you, as it is taken from the bowels of the earth, and you are shown 
the varied changes it undergoes until, as steel, it is converted 
into the polished needle, the finest cutlery or the most approved 
and deadly firearms used in modern warfare. So in the manu- 
facture of glass — you first see the sand and other raw material, 
and follow these through their varied changes until the most per- 
fect bottle and the finest glass ornaments are brought under 
supervision. In the manufacture of silk, cotton, linen and wool, 
you first see the changes in animal life which precede the coming 
of the silkworm. Then you have exhibited casts of the internal 
economy of this animal, with the glands which secrete or form 
the raw material. You have the cotton seed and plant, the hemp 
seed and plant in various stages of development, and every variety 
of wool ; then follow in regular order the many changes which 
occur until at length the many beautiful and useful fabrics of 
commerce are evolved. 

You can then witness the changes effected by chemical agency, 
on all descriptions of animal and vegetable food, from the raw 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 301 

state until you observe it in that condition in which it is found 
best adapted for conversion into healthy blood. If you wish to 
study the mode by which the engineer constructs vast bridges 
of stone or iron, the whole process is before you ; or, if you desire 
to know how and by what mechanical and engineering appli- 
ances he rears far away from the shore on some partially sea- 
covered rock, a great stone lighthouse that will resist effectually 
the force of wind and sea, and serve in the future as a beacon to 
warn the mariner of his proximity to danger, you can here study 
the whole process from the laying of the foundation layer of 
stones in prepared beds of cement until the strong and graceful 
structure is at length fitted for the reception of its lamps and 
the human beings who are to inhabit it. From the few descriptive 
words here written your readers will perhaps be able to form 
some idea of the nature and objects of this great educational 
institution, the Museum of Science and Art. As an adjunct 
to the teaching of several of the chairs in the University, and 
as a means of imparting practical knowledge to the students 
in attendance thereon, its value cannot be given in words or figures. 
A historic interest will always attach to this great structure from 
the fact that laying its corner stone, in October, 1861, was the 
last public act of Prince Albert, the lamented husband of our 

It would occupy too much time and space to enlarge on other 
educational institutions. The justly celebrated High School of 
Edinburgh, which has given to Scotland and Great Britain 
many men celebrated in literature, the learned professions, in 
the Senate and by deeds of arms, has a history, and is doing a 
present work, guided by an able head, keeping abreast of the 
times, and of schools of a like character; and well merits a pro- 
longed notice, but all I can do is to name it as one of the institu- 
tions of the city. 

The denominational schools of the United Presbyterians and 
of the Free Church of Scotland have here in Edinburgh, as 
throughout the country, done a great work, not for these churches 
only, but for the people of the land. 

The private institution for the care and education of imbecile 
children under the charge of my friend Dr. Brodie, situated in 
the beautiful old village of Tileston, a mile or two south of where 
I am writing, is well worthy the attention of all who take an 
interest in this department of labor. 

The institutions for the education and training for future use- 
fulness of the blind, have long been doing a noble work in 

I have visited with great interest the Institution for the Deaf 
and Dumb in this city. The inspection and the comparison made 

302 DANIEL McNEILL paekek, m.d. 

between the Edinburgh building and that in which so much 
valuable work has been done in Halifax by Mr. Hutton, under 
disadvantageous circumstances, makes me more desirous than ever 
of seeing a suitable building erected specially for this object in 
our own capital. 

The last wing of the Insane Asylum at Dartmouth, I am 
pleased to hear, is to be commenced forthwith. When that is com- 
pleted, the finances of the country being now quite equal to this 
small undertaking, I hope soon to see a Provincial Deaf and 
Dumb Institution, taking the place of that which in Gottingen 
Street, although small and inconvenient, has proved a blessing, 
not only to Nova Scotia, but to all the Maritime Provinces. 

I had almost forgotten a very important class of educational 
institutions — not confined to Edinburgh, but now found pretty 
generally scattered over the country. I refer to ragged schools. 
Those first commenced in the city by Dr. Guthrie are desig- 
nated " the Original Ragged Schools," in contradistinction to others 
more recently organized. The Marquis of Lome presided at 
the last annual meeting of Guthrie's division of these schools, 
in connection with which a few words may interest your readers. 

The meeting took place in December in the great music hall in 
George Street, and although my family were at the place nearly an 
hour before its commencement we had difficulty in getting seats. 
The building was densely packed. Some capital music, vocal and 
instrumental, was given the audience by some hundreds of little 
arabs, and by the band of the Guthrie brigade, and when the time 
for the commencement of business had arrived, the latter reminded 
the noble chairman that his presence was required by striking up 
" The Campbells are coming." 

The Marquis is a mere lad in appearance. He has a good 
head and a pleasant countenance, and will eventually, I dare say, 
make a good public speaker, but as yet he wants confidence and 

Dr. Guthrie's speech was characteristic and amusing. He said 
he had promised the Marquis " a bumper house " and the promise 
had been fulfilled. In inviting him to take the chair, he, the 
Doctor, stated in his letter, that if Her Royal Highness the Princess 
would accompany him, it would not only be "a bumper," but that 
the house would overflow, even until it reached " the other side 
of Jordan." The point of the joke I did not understand until I 
was subsequently visiting the Royal Insane Asylum at Morning- 
side, when the site of Dr. Guthrie's Jordan was pointed out to me 
running close to its southern wall, a " burn " or brook so small 
that a foot rule would span it, and two or three inches would 
sound its depth. A capital Psedobaptist Jordan! but happily 
for our side of the question, there's another somewhere else 
broader and deeper. Among the speakers were eminent divines, 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 303 

a law lord, a soldier, and others, but this noble old veteran, 
wherever he goes, although in feeble health still draws the multi- 
tude, and by his eloquence and original Scotch humor carries 
along with him, and " brings down the house," as but few living 
men can do. 

There are several Ragged Schools in the country where the 
children are only cared for educationally. In these, Dr. G. 
informed us the attendance was most irregular, and the results 
unsatisfactory. His mode is to get at their heads and their 
hearts through their stomachs, by providing outside scholars, 
those who cannot be taken into the reformatories, with warmth, 
good porridge and broth, which these poor children cannot get 
at their own miserable homes. 

He told us of a Ragged School in London which he had recently 
visited, in which the children are fed as well as educated, and 
I presume, housed and clothed — where 1,200 are now being cared 
for by the benevolent contributions of the wealthy who are inter- 
ested in this very numerous class of residents of the great capital 
of England. This institution has an annual income of £20,000. 
stg., and sustains a training ship in the Thames to fit its boys 
for seafaring life. 

Dr. Guthrie said when he inspected this institution, of which 
he had often heard before, he was constrained to address the 
managers in the language of the Queen of Sheba on the occasion 
of her visit to the court of Solomon, " It was a true report I 
heard in mine own land of thy acts and thy wisdom. Howbeit, I 
believed not the words until I came, and mine eyes had seen it, 
and behold, the half was not told me." 

In closing these very general remarks on the educational 
institutions of Edinburgh, allow me to say that you are not for a 
moment to suppose that an abounding and a continuous liberality 
in relation to these objects has been confined to the capital, or 
even to the great centres of population and commerce; on the 
contrary it has extended itself widely in all directions, and has 
produced its results on the character of the whole people. 

The population of Scotland to-day is small when compared 
with that of the whole country, but small though it is, I am fully 
convinced that it is a great element of strength — a strong right 
arm to the nation, a liberal conservative element, that in these days 
of national restlessness and threatened upheavals of the social and 
political structure will be in the future, as now, the firm, fast 
friend of order, and of monarchial institutions. And this constitu- 
tional and national stability is to be largely attributed to the pulpit 
teachings of a doctrinally stable and educated ministry, and to the 
general diffusion of a wholesome education among the people of all 
classes. It would have done you good to have seen the loyal univer- 
sal sympathy exhibited by the whole people of this city, for the 


Queen and Royal family during the recent dangerous illness 
of the Prince of Wales. There was no cold formality connected 
with it. No surface show, but simply the " welling up " from 
;he hearts of all classes of the deep feelings called forth by the 
trying family and national occasion. 

You may perhaps think that because I am half a Scotchman, and 
have a " Mac " in my name, I am prejudiced in favor of the land 
and its people, but although there is a large admixture of Scotch 
blood in my veins, for which I am rather thankful than otherwise, 
I still hope I am not so prejudiced but that I can look upon things 
as they are and draw fair conclusions. I am not one of those 
who think that everything of value in the heavens above and in 
the earth beneath is of Scotch origin, as some of the sons of the 
heather are apt to conclude. An illustrative case in point comes 
to my memory. 

Many years ago as I was viewing Rosslyn Chapel — a fine old 
Gothic ruin of the fifteenth century, some seven or eight miles from 
Edinburgh — my attention was called by the worthy old Scot who 
was earning his shilling by detailing its history and describing 
its architectural beauties, to certain carved figures on the upper 
part of the ruin, which with distended cheeks were engaged in 
blowing or playing on some kind of wind instruments. With 
great gravity pointing to these objects, he observed: "Yon are 
the angels playing on the bagpipes." This was the first intima- 
tion I had had that the national musical instrument of Scotland 
was of heavenly origin. Personally I rather like the music, but 
if such were the fact, I fear there are some even of Scotland's 
own children who would almost prefer remaining outside, to 
enjoying that sound throughout a future existence. 

Correspondents sometimes have a way of concluding their 
letters by saying " excuse brevity as the mail is just off." I have 
to beg to be excused for want of brevity, but for the abrupt- 
ness of my manner of closing must plead that the mail for Halifax 
via Queenstown is about being closed in reality. 
Ever sincerely yours, 

D. McN. Parker. 

For the Christian Messenger. 

13 Salisbury Place, Newington, 

Edinburgh, January 30th, 1872. 
My Dear Editor: 

Whiskey and its Doings. 

Whatever may be said of the bagpipes, there is another 
institution of the country which most assuredly is not of 
such exalted origin as that claimed by my Rosslyn guide for 
this musical instrument; and that institution is whiskev. The 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 305 

whole land I fear requires a great reformation as regards the 
traffic in this terrible scourge of its people — an evil not by any 
means confined to men, but widely disseminated among the poor 
women, and even the children of the wynds and closes, and 
often, I fear, extending its devastating influence in this fair city 
to higher and more fashionable localities than these. 

The records of the Infirmaries here exhibit a dark and oft 
repeated spot in relation to the habits of many of those who 
enter them, seeking relief from organic diseases which have 
resulted from long-continued alcoholic stimulation. Shortly after 
my arrival, as I accompanied one of my medical friends around 
his wards in the Royal Infirmary, I listened to the report of 
one of his clerks, which detailed the past history of a diminutive, 
unhealthy-looking boy of fourteen years of age, who had been 
admitted for the treatment of an incurable disease caused by 
the habit of whiskey drinking. The recorded history of the case 
stated the fact, that as an infant, his mother had been in the 
habit of administering gin or whiskey to quiet him and to pro- 
duce sleep. When a little older, and able to speak, he would cry 
for, and demand it, and for the past few years, have whiskey he 
would, by fair means or foul. I watched the poor little fellow's 
case with a good deal of interest until a day or two before Christ- 
mas, when on entering the ward I found him dying, and learned 
that he had but a few minutes previously received a very gentle 
push from the hand of another little patient in an adjoining bed, 
and so changed had some of the internal organs become in con- 
sequence of his habits, that one of them had been ruptured or 
torn by the very slight pressure of his companion's hand. This 
case pointedly illustrates the danger of parents administering 
stimulants to infants when the necessity for it does not exist, 
and without medical advice. It is also very suggestive of the 
duty of mothers in relation to their offspring, for as we all know, 
there are more ways of administering alcohol to infants than by 
means of a bottle or a spoon. On New Year's Day, the scenes of 
open drunkenness and dissipation, principally on the High Street 
and Canongate, and between the bridges — among men, women 
and boys — was a sad, a debasing blot upon the social history of 
this beautiful capital of a great country. In the days of classic 
history, Greece had its " Athenian State poison," with which the 
lives of offenders against the State were destroyed. To the hem- 
lock Socrates yielded up his life. The heathen governments of 
Greece, however, derived no revenue from its sale, they did not 
countenance its use, except for the object just specified; but the 
governments of Christian countries, like Great Britain, British 
America and the United States, invitingly place their " State 
poison " — alcohol — within the reach of every subject, raise 



annually vast revenues — millions upon millions of pounds — from 
the traffic in it, in fact largely live by it, and thus indirectly 
encourage men to indulge in its use ; and when under its influence^, 
offences against the criminal laws of the land are committed, 
these governments inform their unhappy victims that they must 
either die or be immured, perhaps for life ; and if the former shall 
be their lot, they strangle them with a hempen cord. Bad enough 
it is, for governments and legislatures to thus give the counten- 
ance of the State to that which like a pestilence " wasteth at 
noonday," and is so utterly destructive of the spiritual, moral and 
physical condition of those entrusted to their supervision and care ; 
but the iniquity of the thing is intensified, when one thinks and 
knows that these responsible public bodies stand idly by and see this 
State disease — habitual drunkenness — destroying its vast armies 
of men, women and children annually, without putting forth the 
slightest effort to reclaim or cure, by the aid of Inebriate Institu- 
tions, or other appropriate means, those whom they have been 
largely instrumental in placing in this pitiable condition. They 
(the governments and legislatures) will punish, but they leave 
to private philanthrophy, and individual effort, the herculean 
work of reclaiming and curing. 

Governments, it should be remembered, are composed of indi- 
viduals, and there will be an individual account to be rendered 
by and by, for the terrible sins of omission and of commission 
in reference to this important matter, and that too, before a 
higher tribunal than " the bar of public opinion." 

The Free Chukch. 

In 1843 I witnessed the disruption of the Church of Scotland, 
and saw a majority of the 474 seceding ministers walk in proces- 
sion, headed by Doctors Chalmers and Welch, from St. Andrews 
Church on their way to the Canon mills to organize the Free 
Church of Scotland. It was a day of terrible excitement, not 
unlike that of which I was also an observer in the city of Charles- 
ton, when, in April 1861 the Southern States of America con- 
summated their act of Secession, by bombarding Fort Sumter. 
Both events were pregnant with great national results; both 
stirred to their lowest depths the emotional nature of the millions 
who were immediately and practically interested in these two 
great upheavals, or Secessions, both were momentous days, never 
to be forgotten, even by comparatively disinterested observers. 

Well, this heavy brigade of Scotland's Church Artillery 
went out that day leaving their all — pecuniarily speaking — behind 
them. They had not a church structure in which they could 
legally place their feet, and not a manse left into which they could 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 307 

enter to obtain rest. But what do we see to-day ? In Edinburgh 
alone — exclusive of Leith, Tileston, Corstorphine, and other 
towns and villages, so close to the city, and so continuously con- 
nected with it as almost to form a part of it, there are thirty- 
six to thirty-eight Free Churches, or, approximately, one for 
every 5,000 of its inhabitants — erected at an enormous outlay, 
and many of them large and elegant buildings. The Barclay 
Church, costing £10,000 stg., was erected by money left for that 
purpose by a lady bearing that name. The ground alone on which 
Free St. George's stands, cost, I am informed, £10,000 stg. 

This is Dr. Candlish's Church, and to give you an idea of 
how its congregation pours its gold, for denominational and con- 
gregational purposes, I may state that its contributions are 
annually over £8,000 stg. By referring to a document before 
me (the 28th Report of the Public Accounts of the Free Church 
of Scotland), I find that last year (1871) the amount was 
£8.736. 3s. 5d. stg. Her ministers are now comfortably housed, 
in manses or their equivalent; and the most of them are in the 
receipt of £150 stg., per annum, from the general Sustentation 
Fund of the denomination (a part of the great financial scheme 
organized by Dr. Chalmers and others, at the birth of the Free 
Church in 1813). The number of clergymen in the receipt of 
this equal dividend, of £150, at the present moment, I am unpre- 
pared to give you, but by making reference to a paper, read 
before the Statistical Society of London, by Dr. Buchannan of 
Glasgow, in March, 1870, I find that at the time of meeting of 
the General Assembly in 1869, it was 710. During that year, 
however, there were other two hundred and two (202) in the 
receipt of a smaller amount ; making in all 912 ministers who 
were then placed on the fund in question. Of course you will 
understand that these " Sustentation Dividends " are separate, 
and distinct from the amount raised by each congregation for 
the maintenance of its minister. 

Without such a fund to fall back on, the poorer congregations 
in many country districts of Scotland could not sustain a stated 
ministry. Stimulated by the exigencies of the hour the adherents 
of the Free Church at its very birth began to pour out their 
paper and their gold into the general treasury, as water is poured 
from vessel to vessel. To illustrate how deep was the feeling, and 
how generously men contributed of their abundance in those 
days, I will state a fact which was told me at the time — at the 
breakfast table of Dr. Chalmers by a member of his family. 
A Divinity Hall or Theological Institution was required to carry 
on the work of this new church, and the Rev. Dr. Welch in one 
day (if my memory is not at fault) addressed twenty letters 
to twenty wealthy individuals who were in sympathy with the 

308 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

disruption movement, asking them to contribute £1,000 stg. each 
for this object. Promptly nineteen replied in the affirmative, 
and the twentieth, if I mistake not, did not refuse, but com- 
promised the matter, by reducing his contribution. 

From this beginning, three large and fine Theological Colleges 
have arisen. The buildings have cost £55,000 stg., one in Edin- 
burgh, another in Glasgow, and a third in Aberdeen. And they 
are endowed to the extent of over £70,000 stg., over and above 
the interest accruing from this endowment, and about £1,000 stg. 
received from students' fees. Three thousand pounds are annually 
required to efficiently maintain the three institutions, and this 
balance is fully and cheerfully supplied by systematic collections 
taken up in all the churches of the body throughout the land. 
In these three Colleges there are thirteen Professors, and 
the number of Theological students in attendance in 1869 was 
241. A large Assembly Hall for the meeting of the General 
Assembly has been erected in Edinburgh by private contributions. 
From the date of the disruption in 1843 to 1869, this new 
denomination had built 920 churches, and laid out for this pur- 
pose £1,015,375 ; 719 manses, expending therefor £467,350 ; 
elementary schools, 597, at an outlay of £185,000. Besides these 
elementary school buildings, and the education which has been 
carried on in them at an enormous local and general expenditure^ 
the church has also erected and maintains two large and flourishing 
Normal Schools, for the training of teachers — at which in 1869, 
there were in attendance 1,645 scholars and 252 students. 

One of my medical friends here informed me a short time 
since, that in the early days of the Free Church, his father went 
out to collect money with which they might organize an elementary 
school system, and did not stay his hand until he had collected 
£60,000 stg. They struck while the iron was hot. 

From Dr. Buchannan's general abstract showing the aggregate 
amount of funds raised for all purposes during the twenty-six 
years from the Disruption to 1868-'69 inclusive, I give you the 
following figures : 

Building funds (General) £355,452 

Building funds (Total) 1,312,272 

Sustentation supplementary for aged and infirm ministers 2,792,587 

Congregational 2,376,095 

Education 367,946 

Colleges 211,888 

Missions, including Lowland and Highland, Colonial, European, 

Foreign and Jews 982,935 

General trustees and miscellaneous 88,595 

Total ( Sterling) £8,487,774 

I have already shown you how Scotchmen have been educated 
in the common acceptation of that word. From these financial 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 309 

statements (drawn from the able and exhaustive statistical paper 
already referred to) you will glean — notwithstanding a general 
impression to the contrary — that they have also been specially 
educated to give to objects worthy of their benevolence. 

I have dwelt on this matter of the commencement and growth 
of the Free Church of Scotland, in a comparatively poor and not 
densely populated country, for the benefit of the Baptists of the 
Maritime Provinces, who have churches and parsonages to build, 
ministers to educate and support, a College and educational 
institutions to sustain and endow, to show them what a well 
organized system faithfully and conscientiously carried out can 
accomplish, and in the hope that this Scottish epidemic — for it is 
general, and not confined to one denomination — may spread, and 
attack our churches ; that, with such facts and figures as these, 
and with the history of the commencement and growth of the 
United Presbyterian body in Scotland, and the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church in England before them, the Political Disruptionists in the 
Lords and Commons have an argument both potent and practical, 
in addition to those which have so long been wielded by Non- 
conformists in the discussion of the subject of Church and State. 

Union of Churches. 

The hostile feeling of the days of my former sojourn in 
Edinburgh, between the Establishment and the Free Church — 
and a very bitter feeling it was, in those days — is now no more; 
and I may say that I have not, since my return to Scotland, 
heard an uncharitable expression fall from the lips of either party. 
I have heard these old church militants fight their battles over 
again, but in a far different spirit from that which characterized 
the days that are gone. 

The contemplated union between the United Presbyterian 
and the Free Churches of Scotland, which has already been con- 
summated in our Provinces, is a matter of certainty here in a 
not far distant future. A few old and strong men, iniluentially, 
stand in the way, but the feeling in favor of Confederation is 
growing. As an outsider, I can see nothing to keep them apart, 
and I dare say the day is not very far distant when these two 
bodies will again gravitate to and coalesce with the old establish- 
ment, when establishments in this country shall be a thing of 
the past ; and the political prophets are not few who fix upon no 
lengthened period for the termination of the work, which, having 
commenced in Ireland they say will ere long place all denomina- 
tions in England and Scotland on an equal footing in their rela- 
tions to the State. On this question, Nonconformists in Great 
Britain are speaking in general terms, as a unit, and there are 

310 DANIEL McNEILL pakkee, m.d. 

not a few adherents of both establishments who are in sympathy 
with them. If, however, I can read the signs of the times from 
this Scottish centre of public opinion, the battle will be a hard- 
fought, and not by any means a short one, but considering the 
age in which we live, and the principles at stake, the views pre- 
vailing over the entire country of North America, on State religion, 
must eventually be the dominating views of the British Isles. 

The Baptist denomination in Scotland is comparatively speak- 
ing a very small body, but small though it is, it has increased 
slowly and surely since I was last a resident of the country, and 
that increase is not numerical alone, but one of influence and 
wealth as well. Contrasted, however, with the great Presbyterian 
bodies they are but " as a drop in the bucket." The churches 
number from eighty to ninety, several of which are known as 
" Scotch Baptists," who have no stated ministry, but believe in 
the " Lay Element " doing both lay and ministerial work, but 
in other respects in practice and doctrine are the same as the 
great body of Baptists in America. 

In Edinburgh (including Leith, where there is one) there 
are five churches. One of these supports two pastors, and raises 
annually over £1,500 stg. for congregational and denominational 
objects. In Glasgow there are four. The remainder are scattered 
singly over the country, principally in the north. Contrary to 
my expectation, I find that nearly all practice close communion. 
Nine or ten of the pastors are young men, equipped for the work 
at the College in connection with Mr. Spurgeon's Tabernacle 
Church in London. A majority of these churches, fifty-four in 
all, have been recently organized into what is called the " Baptist 
Union for Scotland," the constitution of which is not unlike that 
of our Convention, but its objects are different. This Union deals 
with the subjects of Home Missions in Scotland ; it aids weak 
churches in maintaining the ordinances of the gospel; it assists 
in originating new churches in the larger towns ; it does the work 
of a Ministerial Education Society by assisting young men of 
" assured piety and talent in preparing for the Christian min- 
istry," and by, supporting a Tutor (the Rev. Dr. Patterson) who 
in winter assists these young men in their Arts Course at the 
University of Edinburgh, and in summer gives them Theological 
instruction ; it annually gathers the statistics of the denomina- 
tion in Scotland, and finally it is intended to cultivate the brotherly 
and social element among the different churches which have not 
hitherto been associated. This is a brief synopsis of its objects. 
The Union supported in 1871 eighteen missionaries, who labored 
principally in the Highlands and on the isles of the north coast 
of Scotland, but in this work it is materially assisted by English 

(To be continued.) 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 311 

For the Christian Messenger. 

13 Salisbury Place, Newington, 

Edinburgh, January 30th, 1872. 
My Dear Editor: 

The Baptist Union for Scotland. 

In November last, the third Annual Meeting of this Associa- 
tion was held in Glasgow, and as I was desirous of seeing and 
hearing the representative men of the churches, and of learning 
something of their denominational operations, I spent a day and 
a half with them — an unknown observer of their proceedings — 
and must say, that I was highly gratified with the Christian spirit, 
the business capacity and the speaking talent of the brethren 
(clerical and lay) who took part in the proceedings. The 
Association was presided over by Mr. Bowser — a Glasgow mer- 
chant — who opened the meeting with an admirable address. The 
attendance at all the business and social meetings was large. While 
for the most part the same rules govern the Union that prevail 
at our Conventions, their system is more thorough, and although 
the meeting is open, and all delegates have full liberty to give 
expression to their views on every subject, but few men speak — 
generally only the movers and seconders of resolutions — but they 
come prepared, and their addresses are able and exhaustive. The 
real work of the Union is performed by large and influential 
committees, previous to the opening of the session, who submit 
the result of their deliberations in well-matured resolutions, and 
select the men who are to speak to them, giving them time to 
prepare for the occasion. Financial subjects were for the most 
part dealt with by mercantile and legal men, who, in this country, 
throw themselves into denominational work with their whole 
hearts. I only wish a similar activity and spirit could be infused 
into the business men of the denomination in the Maritime 

Mr. Newman, the assistant minister of the Dublin Street 
Church of this city, in speaking to the resolution relating to 
Home Missions, delivered an admirable address in which he 
dealt largely with the past history of this missionary organization. 
He said : " In perusing the records I find (and I have not been 
particular in the selection) that there are five of our missionaries 
whose combined ages amount to 420 years, and whose united 
labors in connection with the society would spread over a period 
of 227 years; giving to each one an average of forty-five years of 
real missionary work. Of one it is reported that he traversed the 
marshy moors of Lewis with his shoes and stockings tied to his 
back or slung on his umbrella ; of another, that after walking 
across hills and moors forty miles, and preaching twice, he lay 


down at night upon some straw in the corner of the room after 
having partaken of some potatoes and salt." These interesting 
old records state the fact that these simple-hearted, earnest men 
" lived on bread and tea, sometimes a little butter to it, for break- 
fast; potatoes, and occasionally some fish for dinner; as for 
butcher's meat, it was a luxury they could not afford, and they 
scarcely saw it. One had a parish sixty miles long and forty miles 
broad. Much of their missionary work was performed on the 
islands of the far north, where they had to face the dangers 
of the sea at all seasons in open boats." 

As this speech was delivered, and the extracts from the records 
detailed, I could not but compare the character and labors of 
these servants of God with those of the Baptist pioneers in 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — the Mannings ; the Hardings ; 
the Dimocks and others. Missionary longevity has been and still 
is a remarkable feature of this field of labor. It is not, we are 
told, an uncommon thing to find men of more than eighty years 
— and occasionally ninety — still vigorous and hard at work. This 
speaks volumes for the bracing air of the Highlands, and the sea 
breezes of the islands in the far north, as also for abundance of 
exercise, simple habits and diet. Mr. Newman is an Englishman, 
hence his neglect of porridge and brose, which do not appear in his 
missionary diet list — but potatoes and salt, with an occasional 
herring, and bread and tea, have certainly risen in my estimation 
since my visit to Glasgow, and doubtless men of my profession 
would have less to do if others than missionaries were to " go, and 
do likewise." As at our Conventions and Associations, provision 
is made to entertain ministers and delegates at the residences of 
members of the churches and congregations. A capital dinner 
was partaken of by a large number of the members of the Union 
in a very commodious vestry in the rear of the church in which 
the session was being held — having connected with it a kitchen, 
cooking apparatus, and all the necessary appliances for such an 
occasion. This social entertainment was provided at the expense 
of all the Glasgow churches. Speeches were made, and good ones 
too — under the stimulating influence of coffee — but they were 
nearly all of a business nature. In short, this dinner was in 
reality an adjourned meeting of the Union. I have found out 
since my arrival here that Scotch business men — as well as our 
American neighbors — thoroughly understand, both in theory and 
practice, the meaning of the saying " time is money." 

I returned from this meeting by an express night train — a 
distance of forty miles, without a stoppage, in an hour and a 
quarter, greatly gratified, and amply repaid for having relin- 
quished the lecture room and the hospital wards for a couple of 
days on a denominational excursion. I have already intimated 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 313 

that Baptist sentiments do not grow with rapidity in Presby- 
terian Scotland, but, as with us in Nova Scotia, when the dividing 
questions — of much or little water; the subjects to whom it is to 
be applied ; and the difference in church government — are re- 
moved, they find that Scotch men and women make most stable and 
hard-working Baptists. The foundation is generally well laid in 
pulpit and home teaching, assisted doubtless to some extent by the 
course pursued in the Public and Private Schools, in which, 
for the most part, the Bible is read, and the Shorter Catechism 
committed to memory and explained. In the Private Schools 
to which my children go this Catechism is learned by all the pupils 
whose parents do not object to it, and inasmuch as, when dealing 
with the subject of Baptism, there are quoted in full the following 
passages of Scripture, Matt. 28: 19; Acts 2: 38 and 41: Rom. 
6: 3, 4; Gen. 17: 7 and 10, I imagine Baptist parents very rarely 
take exception to it. Referring to the quotation from Genesis 
above mentioned, I am reminded of a very professional answer — 
rather too Jenner-ic, however, for the occasion — which was given 
a few days since by an advanced young lady in reply to the follow- 
ing question, " What ordinance has taken the place of the covenant 
of circumcision?" " Vaccination!" was the prompt reply. It is 
hardly necessary to add that mistress and school were alike con- 
vulsed, and that exception was taken to this doctrinal teaching, and 
when an hour or two afterwards my children related the circum- 
stance. I fear my risible faculties were also overcome. 

A few such replies as this would help to influence " the find- 
ing " of the Royal Commission which recently investigated the 
results of the religious training in the public schools of Scotland 
and reported against it as most unsatisfactory. In this connection, 
from the speech of Mr. Fordyce, M.P., recently made in Aberdeen- 
shire, at a social Free Church meeting, I quote the following para- 
graphs : 

" The Commissioners who examined into the state of Scotch 
education found conclusively that it fails to communicate dog- 
matic or doctrinal instruction or the facts of the Bible in such a 
way as to be worth the name of a religious system." And again, 
" The Royal Commissioners, in the late Scotch enquiry, expressed 
themselves as filled with amazement at the state of Biblical ignor- 
ance in which they found the children at school." 

I must say the very strong language contained in the above 
sentences surprised me, but if this was a thorough investigation — 
as I presume, from the importance of the subject, it must have 
been — it only tends to confirm my preconceived opinions as to- 
the necessity of making home. Sabbath-school and pulpit instruc- 
tion the main agencies for grounding children in Biblical knowl- 
edge. In America it is very generally believed that the intelligent 


knowledge of the Bible and the general state of morality existing 
among the Scotch people — especially in the country districts — has 
its origin in the parish school system. The report of this Royal 
Commission will do more than throw doubt upon this opinion, and 
will tend materially to strengthen the views, so strongly expressed 
by Hugh Miller (than whom no man was better able to speak with 
authority), who, in adopting the ideas of practical and competent 
observers before his day, said, in effect, that the moral sentiment 
and thoughtful tone of the people resulted from the teaching of the 
national pulpits — not from the schools. In former years Sabbath- 
schools were not resorted to in this city or country by the children 
of the higher and middle classes, but, I am glad to say, there is a 
change taking place, and all classes are waking up to the import- 
ance of this institution. The poor wandering Arabs of the streets 
and lanes have long been looked after, and in this way have had 
the gospel preached unto them, but the result of my enquiries has 
led me to the conclusion that, both in the United States and the 
Dominion, Sunday-schools exert a more widespread influence than 
they do in Scotland. 

The Royal Institution for the exhibition of paintings and the 
Antiquarian Museum, closely approximated as regards locality, 
are extensive and costly Grecian structures, subserving the pur- 
poses indicated by their names — the cultivation of a taste for the 
fine arts and antiquarian science. 

Many of the paintings in the former are of great and increasing 
value. A single fact stated in my hearing in his speech at the 
annual dinner of the Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians 
quite recently by Sir George Harvey, the President of the Royal 
Scottish Academy, will give you an idea of the native talent of 
some Scotch artists and the price their works command. The 
Association in quite recent times bought an oil painting from one 
of the members of the Royal Academy for exhibition in their insti- 
tution, paying less than £1,000 for it.» A short time since an 
English dealer offered them £2,500 stg. for the picture, and the 
offer was declined. Should it rise in value in the future as it has 
done in the past, a century hence it will take a long purse to remove 
it from the walls of the Royal Institution. More valuable in the 
eyes of many is the great collection in the Antiquarian Museum. 
Both, in their own way, are doing an educational work for Scot- 

The Botanical Gardens, to which, during the summer of 1843, 
I was obliged to hasten a distance of nearly three miles from my 
lodging in the mornings before breakfast, to attend the course of 
lectures there delivered to medical and other students, have been 
extended and vastly improved since the days of my student life. 
The various descriptions of plants are arranged in their proper 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 315 

order, so that the student finds all the species of each genus taste- 
fully grouped together. The garden is not very large, being less 
than thirty acres, but one can hardly conceive it possible to have 
such an institution more perfectly arranged and ornamented. Its 
palm house, one of the largest and finest in Great Britain, is 
seventy feet high, and is literally filled to the glass roof with these 
immense plants and their magnificent foliage, so that as we walked 
along the narrow pathway, or cast-iron gallery, which at the 
point of junction of the stone and iron body with the glass roof 
encircles the largest building, and looked down upon the scene 
beneath, it was beautiful, and carried one in thought to the jungles 
of far-off India and to the banks of the Amazon. All that it 
wanted to complete and make perfect the tropical scene was the 
gay plumage of its birds, with here and there a specimen of its 
larger and more formidable animal life. 

I have visited the Royal Asylum for the Insane at Morning- 
side, with great satisfaction. It is large, and with recent additions 
accommodates comfortably seven or eight hundred patients from 
the different ranks of society. 

Many having superior accommodation pay from £200 to 
£300 stg. annually. 

It is pleasantly situated, with the Blackford, Braid and Pent- 
land Hills in its immediate neighborhood, but it wants what it 
can never have, water scenery to perfect the view. So rapidly is 
Edinburgh spreading itself out that the city is close upon it and 
will soon completely surround its grounds, making a change of 
locality desirable, if not essential. 

It is one of the oldest institutions in the country, and as regards 
the site, plan of the buildings, and some of its internal arrange- 
ments is inferior to* the Mount Hope institution at Dartmouth, the 
front view from which would of itself, if it could be imported here, 
add, I feel assured, to its percentage of cures. 

Pianos abounded. In one of the large female wards I notice! 
three large first-class instruments. It had a fine, large billiard- 
room, thoroughly lighted, warmed and ventilated, croquet and 
bowling greens, with several high stone-walled exercising grounds, 
which, in reference both to the health and safety of the patients, 
should, in all such institutions, be considered a sine qua non. 
Without these safeguards escapes must be constantly occurring, 
and the anxieties and cares of the medical and other officers — 
always sufficiently large without this unnecessary addition — must 
be greatly enhanced. 

This has heretofore been an out-door want of our Dartmouth 
Hospital, and while I am greatly gratified to learn that the govern- 
ment is in a position to complete its last wing during the present 


year, I hope, should I be spared to return, to see two such stone- 
walled exercising grounds as those I am now remarking upon. 

The gentleman, a member of the board of management, who 
accompanied me on my visit, showed me the things without as 
well as those within. On the farm connected with the Asylum is a 
large piggery, containing something like one hundred of the finest 
animals I have seen. A sale of a number of these pigs had just 
been concluded at an average price of £10 stg. each. 

(To he continued.) 

For the Christian Messenger. 

13 Salisbury Place, Newington, Edinburgh, 
January 30th, 1872. 
My Dear Editor: 

The charitable institutions which I have not yet found time tc 
visit are many, and among them is the very large and beautifully 
situated Poor House for the City of Edinburgh, on the eastern 
slope of the Pentlands, about a mile beyond the Royal Asylum. 
I hope shortly to see something more than its handsome exterior, 
to get an insight into its management, that I may be enabled to 
compare it with our own in Halifax and those I have elsewhere 

As I returned to the city my friend pointed out a Scottish relic 
of bygone days, the " Bore Stone," in which James IV. planted his 
standard in 1513, and in the neighborhood of which he marshalled 
his forces before setting out for the fatal field of Flodden. This 
large piece of red sandstone, with its standard hole, still deeply 
marked, is embedded in the wall of the street, close by the Parish 
Church, as is also the iron plate beneath it Which records its history. 

I have mentioned this " Bore Stone " with some degree of hesi- 
tation, fearing lest it may perchance meet the eye of that enter- 
prising class of practical geologists from the neighboring Union 
(so graphically described by Mark Twain) who, as travellers, go 
about the world with geological hammers in their pockets, collecting 
specimens for their private museums from every stone or statue 
that by the generality of man is looked upon as historic and sacred. 
However, should such a breach of antiquarian law and Scottish 
usage ever occur in connection with this exposed and unprotected 
stone, one thing I may say, the Lord Provost's hammer would 
with almost unerring certainty fall, and that heavily, on the head 
of the offenders, for in Scotland, in reference to national relics, 
and all historic material, every Scotchman is both a detective 
and a policeman. 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 317 


In this part of Edinburgh, Momingside, is an object of more 
recent date, but no doubt of far more interest to the people of 
Scotland than that to which I have just called attention: the 
house in which were spent the last years of one of " Nature's 
noblemen," a man born to reign over, and sway by a superior and 
highly cultivated intellect, the minds, not of the masses only — in 
the ordinary acceptation of that term — but the intellectual masses 
as well, throughout the entire land. I refer to Dr. Chalmers, the 
simple-hearted Christian, and in his day the greatest of Scottish 
preachers — an orator born. 

I never saw him but on two occasions, both in this house, for 
at that time (1844) he had in consequence of impaired health 
retired from the active duties of the ministry and was engaged 
in perfecting the financial and other vast schemes connected with 
the Free Church of Scotland, of which he was the moving, organ- 
izing spirit, the great human head. 

His mental endowments, as well as his Christian and general 
character, have long been familiar to your readers as to the whole 
Christian world. It would therefore be more than superfluous 
for me to occupy your space in giving a boy's impressions of the 
man; but this I may perhaps be permitted to say, that nothing 
in or about him struck me more than the simple, warm-hearted, 
genial nature of the man, and the great readiness with which the 
Leviathan could unbend himself to gather from one so young some 
crumbs of knowledge connected with certain natural phenomena 
existing in Xova Scotia. When speaking of the tidal flow of the 
Bay of Fundy, his whole countenance depicted the interest he 
took in the subject, and demonstrated the fact that one of his 
ruling passions — a love for nature and the sciences connected 
therewith — was strong, if not in death, certainly in advanced old 
age. _ 

This house in which he lived and died will, I hope, in the 
long years to ccme be carefully preserved as an object of national 

There is another house, however, and more lowly, by which I 
have stood with even greater interest, that which now contains all 
that is mortal of Thomas Chalmers, and, as if to convey to those 
who " view the ground " the character of the man and the sim- 
plicity of his nature, the massive, but very plain, piece of sand- 
stone which marks the spot has simply engraved upon its sombre 
face the two words " Thomas Chalmers." 

Immediately adjoining are the graves of three men well known 
to science and the Christian public of this country : Hugh Miller, 
the geologist ; James Miller, the Professor of Surgery in the Edin- 


burgh University — my teacher and friend of former years — and 
Sir Andrew Agnew. The graves of men truly great have always 
been objects of interest to living, thinking men, recalling as they 
do the history or memories of the past, and often suggesting hopes 
for the future. And I imagine this last earthly house of Thomas 
Chalmers will be in the far-off years, as it is now, a historic spot, 
to be visited by all who are familiar with the land, its history and 
its Church. 

In this connection the cemeteries of the city, ancient and 
modern would seem to demand a word or two. They are numerous, 
but small, and that to which reference has already been made, 
" The Grange," as indeed are all the others of recent date, is 
ornamented with trees and shrubbery and beautifully laid out and 

These contain the remains of many notable men of modern 
times. Professor Simpson, the man who for a number of years 
filled one of the most important medical chairs in the University, 
and who was made a baronet in consequence of his professional 
attainments, but perhaps more particularly because of his appli- 
cation of chloroform to obstetric and surgical practice, is buried in 
the beautiful spot known as Warriston Cemetery. The great dead 
of Edinburgh, and of Scotland, in the long past, were interred in 
the ancient cemeteries of Grey Friars, St. Cuthbert's, the Canon- 
gate, Roselrig, etc. These latter are the oft-frequented haunts of 
antiquarian visitors. 

So near here are many of these cities of the dead to the busy, 
bustling scenes of life and business, that it is an easy transition 
to step from the former to the latter (as we know it to be, every- 
where, to pass from the latter to the former — from active life and 
health to the grave), so perhaps I may be forgiven for abruptly 
passing from cemeteries to banks. 

The banking institutions of Edinburgh are numerous, the 
buildings in general very large, the architectural appearance of 
many of them imposing and chaste, their internal arrangement 
and fittings magnificent, and last, but not least, their dividends 
such as would be likely to make the shareholders of Nova Scotia 
banks envious. Thus, the National Bank of Scotland quite 
recently declared a dividend of thirteen per cent, and three per 
cent, bonus, in all sixteen per cent., while others followed closely 
in its wake. A capital investment for original shareholders ! 
But even these dividends have been largely surpassed by several 
London and English banks, which have yielded to their proprietors 
as much as twenty and twenty-five per cent, on their paid-up 
capital. Edinburgh is neither a commercial nor a manufacturing 
city, and at first sight it seems difficult to understand how it sus- 
tains so many extensive banking institutions, but it is to be remem- 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 319 

bered that Leith, the third, and Granton, the fourth, seaports of 
Scotland (in reference to the amount of revenue collected), are 
" part and parcel " of the capital, the banks of which, or their 
branches, to a great extent do the business of these two seaports. 
For its population, it has an enormous retail business, which is 
materially increased in consequence of the city being generally 
full of visitors ; and so this department of trade, its university 
and schools, furnish largely buyers and consumers. Then much 
of the banking business of Scotland is centred here. The wealth of 
the city is very great, and increasing from without every year, in 
consequence of men who have made their fortunes in India, Aus- 
tralia, North and South America, and elsewhere, returning in 
large numbers to spend their last days in the capital of their 
country, where a cultivated society and educational facilities for 
their families can be enjoyed to an extent hardly to be equalled, 
and certainly not to be surpassed, elsewhere. Literary men, and 
those who have retired from the public service of India, the army 
and navy, flock hither; and from these varied sources the banks 
have their vaults well filled, making the supply almost always 
greater than the demand. 

My opportunities of seeing the banking institutions of England 
have been but limited, but those that I have visited — with the 
exception of the Bank of England — are eclipsed, architecturally 
speaking, by those of Edinburgh. 

Indeed, so critical has the general architectural taste of this 
city become that no public body, or private individual, would 
think of erecting in any central locality a building for banking, 
commercial, religious or benevolent objects, of small size, of defec- 
tive proportions, or deficient in architectural beauty, for fear of 
doing violence to this long cultivated taste of its inhabitants and 
of detracting from the tout ensemble of the modern Athens — hence 
we may, with very considerable certainty, conclude that as years 
roll on, Auld Reekie in this as in other respects will not decrease 
but increase. Bowing to public sentiment in this particular, the 
British Government, when, in 1861, it undertook to erect a new 
General Post Office, expended on a building for this service alone 
£120,000 stg. 

Edinburgh has several great publishing and printing firms, 
which are scattering over the English-speaking world educational 
material and healthy, substantial literature, in happy contrast to 
the light and demoralizing trash which in annually increasing 
quantity is spreading itself over our continent. On this matter 
I may say that there is here a public sentiment which would 
speedily crush out or render bankrupt any publishing house that 
would engage in a business tending to impair and lower the moral 
tone of the community. 


I have carefully inspected the great establishment of Thos. 
Nelson & Sons, one of the largest houses of the kind in the world, 
having a branch of its business in London and an agency in New 
York — an institution worthy of the country. Including engravers 
on steel and wood, the stereotype gang, the bookbinders, and other 
classes of special laborers, there are employed in the Edinburgh 
establishment alone nearly six hundred persons, of both sexes. 
The most perfect labor-saving machines to be procured are in use, 
and the whole system and management of this vast literary barrack 
appear to be thorough and complete. With the exception of the 
paper, everything concerned in the manufacture of a book is pro- 
duced within their own walls. A detailed description of the place 
and the work it is doing would demand a lengthy notice, which I 
cannot give you, and if I could I fear the minutiae would interest 
only a limited number of your readers, so I will rest contented 
with thus briefly alluding to it. 

And now, Mr. Editor, in order that your readers who have 
confined their perambulations to the New World, and those younger 
members of the families in which the Messenger is a household 
institution, who have not as yet wandered beyond their own Pro- 
vince, may yet have some idea — although a very imperfect one — 
of what constitutes a leading and notable city in the Old World, I 
have dwelt much more at length on my subject — Edinburgh — than 
I intended when I commenced. But although I have written 
much — wandering occasionally, I fear, too, from my text — I have 
left much unsaid, and I feel assured that when any of those who 
may take the trouble to peruse these " Jottings " shall visit this 
locality and take the time to see and inquire into all that is 
interesting and instructive connected with the Edinburgh of the 
past and of the present, they will be inclined to say with the Queen 
of Sheba when addressing Solomon, and Dr. Guthrie at the London 
Ragged School : " Behold, the half was not told me." 

I am afraid if I were to dwell on the meteorology and climate 
of Edinburgh at this season I should have to state some unpalatable 
truths connected with its moisture and the changes of weather 
which are constantly occurring. As is usual, during the past six 
weeks the cheeks of its inhabitants have been fanned by high winds 
and oft-recurring gales, but there has been no frost of any moment, 
and any ice that may have formed has not exceeded an inch, or at 
most an inch and a half, and has continued only for a day or two. 
The last day I walked into the country the plows were actively at 
work turning over the soil, and there has been no frost to prevent 
them since. In closing, permit me to say a word or two in relation 
to a matter in which we, as well as every inhabitant of Halifax, 
should be deeply interested. I have recently read with much satis- 
faction the resolution moved by Alderman Wylde in the City 

EDINBURGH, 1871-3 321 

Council, to borrow money to enable the civic authorities to under- 
take a thorough and modern system of sewerage for the city. The 
work will of course be expensive, but nevertheless it should be done. 
And every citizen who has the true interests of the community at 
heart should sustain those who are moving in the matter. 

For want of such a system in Halifax very many lives are 
annually sacrificed by typhoid fever and other preventable diseases 
• — diseases which by a judicious expenditure of money could with 
moral certainty be warded off, to a great extent. 

The civic government, led on by Mr. Wylde, are only doing that 
for which the citizens of Halifax should hold up both hands, and, 
if opposition should arise, I trust the press of the city will be at 
their backs and aid them in bringing the matter to a successful 

In this country the sewerage question is, at present, attracting 
great attention, and the recent illness of the Prince of Wales has 
given it additional importance. In Edinburgh the professional 
societies are freely discussing the subject. 

The errors and defects of present systems are being canvassed, 
and as was practically illustrated the other night at the Medico- 
chirurgical Society by Dr. Balfour, the neglect of architects, 
builders and plumbers, in the performance of their duties, has 
caused death to enter the dwellings of families residing here in 
fashionable localities, where the drainage was supposed to be 

In this connection I may say that I have read with great pleas- 
ure., in the Dalhousie College Gazette, the address of Dr. Farrell 
on State Medicine and Public Hygiene, delivered at the opening 
of the present session of that college. Dealing, as it does, with 
important principles connected with human health and the public 
interests, it should have had a wider curculation than it has 
obtained. These principles for which the Doctor contends must 
eventually come to the surface and be adopted, in the main, by the 
governments and the public of all civilized and advanced countries. 

With best wishes for your continued welfare, 

I am, dear sir, 

Very truly yours, 

D. M.6N. Paeker. 




" Life is — to wake, not sleep, 
Rise, and not rest." 

— Browning. 

"Beechwood" had been leased for two years, in 1871, and 
upon his return my father resided with his brother Frank at 96 
Morris Street until he could resume possession of the Dartmouth 
home in August, 1873. The family returned from Scotland in 
June. He purchased, for office purposes, in the spring of 1873, 
the two-and-a-half story house, number 70 Granville Street, the 
old home of the Primrose family, which adjoined on the south 
the site of the Young Men's Christian Association building erected 
afterwards at the corner of Granville and Prince Streets. The 
first floor contained his offices, the second was occupied by the late 
Dr. W. C. Delaney, dentist, and a housekeeper lived in the attic 
story. Here my father commenced practice as a consulting phy- 
sician and surgeon, and remained until the spring of 1882, when 
he sold the property to the brothers Mahon, who removed the 
house and extended their business premises, which now cover its 

It is, perhaps, unnecessary to say that his prestige in the pro- 
fession did not suffer through his absence abroad, and that he 
found ready to his hand, upon his return, a large consulting prac- 
tice. The only difficulty he encountered — and he had to contend 
with it for some time — was in resisting the importunities of former 
patients and many close friends to take their cases in the old way. 
He had been pre-eminently an old-school family physician. As 
such he had acquired in the years of general practice a thorough 
understanding of family history, in the medical sense, and of the 
history of cases chronic and otherwise, which seemed to these old 
patients to make his services of more value to them and to their 
children than the services of other physicians. And then, as 
family physician, he had become the repository of many confi- 
dences, semi-professional and otherwise, which, unwillingly enough 
on his part, had been invited by his capacity for wise counsel and 
his sympathetic spiritual qualities, and, so to speak, thrust upon 
him in the course of medical ministration in the homes of patients. 
This delicate relation of father-confessor and custodian of family 



skeleton-closets would fain have been continued by some whose 
homes he would now no more enter in the old way. It was difficult 
to make such old friends and patients understand that his retire- 
ment from general practice and assuming the work of a consultant 
only, forbade fhat he should visit them professionally save when 
called in consultation with another practitioner. There had not 
been hitherto in Halifax or in the Province any member of his 
profession who confined himself to consulting practice, and the 
self-imposed limitation, with the professional ethics of the situa- 
tion, were slowly understood. It was hard in some cases, too, for 
him to have to sunder close and long-standing ties of this 

The dynasty of the " specialists " had not then extended its 
sway to this Province. If he could have been said to " specialize " 
as a consultant, it was in surgical cases. No important operation 
at the hospitals, or elsewhere, was attempted without him, and he 
performed, I believe, operations which had not been attempted 
previously in Halifax. As a surgeon, particularly, his services 
became now more generally in request throughout the Province, 
where he was frequently called to operate, or to advise upon opera- 
tions. His flights through the country upon such service were 
frequent and rapid. When he would appear in a community, 
summoned by one physician, others would avail themselves of the 
opportunity to consult him, and he rarely made casual non-pro- 
fessional visits in any part of the country without being discovered 
and carried off for consultations. I recollect once, when at college, 
hearing the Sabbath calm of Wolfville disturbed by a shrieking 
locomotive, with a single car attached, dashing through at a most 
unusual and what was thought to be a reckless rate of speed. It 
was my father going " special " to Yarmouth, on a Sunday visit 
in an urgent " case of necessity or mercy." 

His office consultations fully occupied all the hours set apart 
for them. The waiting-room seemed always occupied, and very 
often filled, by patients awaiting their turn to be called within. I 
have rarely known a moment of his office hours to be unemployed 
at 70 Granville Street, or at his subsequent and last location, on 
Hollis Street. 

He had always been an authority upon professional ethics, in 
which his standards were high and unimpeachable. In this depart- 
ment his judgment was not infrequently invoked by practitioners, 
more usually out of town, for the adjustment of their differences; 
and his opinion in such cases was accepted as final and binding. 
In his customary methodical manner he would preserve the written 
records of such cases. His opinion was frequently taken by rail- 
way authorities and accepted by the claimants in cases of adjusting 
claims arising out of injuries to persons in accidents, where it was 


desired to keep the question out of courts. In numerous instances 
of both these classes of questions, and in many, widely varying in 
their nature, m the spheres of business, ethics and religion, was 
he blessed as a peacemaker among men. 

It was wonderful to see how widely he was known, and as 
widely honored, throughout Nova Scotia in particular, but also 
far beyond its borders. It may be questioned whether any man in 
the Province, at this period, had more friends and acquaintances 
than had he. With his family it was proverbial that he knew 
" everybody," go where he would ; and, in travelling with him, so 
invariable was his answer to the question who this person or that 
might be who engaged him in conversation, that one would suppose 
" the world and his mother " had been " old patients of mine." 

He could now live a life that was more regular in its habits 
and less strenuous in its activities, though it must be said that the 
usual work of a day was still more than a day's work. He was 
sure of more of the home life which he loved, and of which through 
so many years he had been deprived. As he said, he could now 
get to know his children and have some time for their society. At 
least they would not have gone to bed ere he returned at night and 
be still asleep when he set out from home next morning. 

A fondness for all children was one of his traits. He loved to 
have them about him, and even the noise of their games and play 
about the house seemed agreeable to him. When, in the seventies, 
he would return home about five o'clock in the afternoon of a 
stormy day which kept young folk indoors, and would find the 
house in possession of the neighborhood's children, gathered with 
his own for romping games, he would take his accustomed after- 
noon " nap " in the sitting-room upstairs, undisturbed by the rush 
of " hide-and-seek " throughout the house, the clamor of the fiercest 
Indian warfare in the attic, or the shock of naval battles fonght 
in the long play-room overhead, where toy guns popped, steel 
clashed on steel, and fire-crackers resounded from the wooden 
cannon of the men-of-war constructed there. He said it helped him 
sleep, and he rebuked suggestions for peace. In the same spirit 
of fond toleration, at a later time, would he work over his cases 
and his other business in the evening to an accompaniment of dis- 
cordant practice by a small orchestra across the hall preparing for 
some meeting of the Dartmouth " Euterpean Society." 

As has been intimated at an earlier page, it is beyond the scope 
of this undertaking to enter with any degree of particularity the 
field of my father's professional work ; nor would this be possible, 
save for some professional contemporary who had been closely 
associated with him through many years — and of such none now 
remain. Moreover, to his family he was habitually and impene- 
trably secretive in all matters of a professional character. This 


was part of the ethics of his calling. As indicative, however, of 
his general standing in the profession at this period, as estimated 
by one of his junior brethren who was the author of an obituary 
tribute published in the Maritime Medical News for November, 
1907, which voiced the consensus of professional opinion then, a 
quotation from that article may speak: 

"At this time (1871) he stood in the very front rank of his 
profession, was engaged in most of the more serious cases, was 
held in high esteem by his professional brethren, and was regarded 
with unbounded confidence by the public. Indeed, so great was 
Dr. Parker's professional success during the first twenty-five years 
of his practice that the second quarter-century's practice can hardly 
be said to have added much or anything to it, though it continued 
and confirmed it, and rounded out a half-century of practice in a 
manner that has been very rarely equalled." Referring to the 
period of study and investigation from 1871 to 1873, the author 
says : " Such a proceeding on Dr. Parker's part was eminently 
characteristic. He never suffered himself to fall behind the rest 
of the world in the knowledge of his profession. He was ever 
determined to keep up-to-date, and he did so. Notwithstanding 
his fifty years of practice, he was fully possessed, to the last, of 
the latest advances in medical and surgical science. Upon his 
return to Halifax in 1873, he did not again enter into general 
practice, but limited his practice to that of a consultant in medicine 
and surgery. In this he was highly successful. He enjoyed the 
esteem and confidence of his professional brethren as well as of 
the public, and his fine professional judgment, great knowledge 
and ripe experience found a wide field of public usefulness." 

On August 4th, 1875, the Canadian Medical Association met 
in Halifax. The minutes disclose that he took an active part in 
the discussions ; among others, those on " Surgical Cleanliness," 
and cases of typhoid fever resulting from defective house drainage. 
He also moved a resolution for a committee to take up with the 
Dominion Government the whole matter of Vital Statistics. He 
was a member of the Nominating Committee for this session. 
Subsequent to the period covered by Dr. Charles Elliott's notes in 
the sixth chapter he attended various meetings of this Association, 
and his interest in it by no means flagged after the earlier years 
of its history to which Dr. Elliott more particularly refers. To 
follow his attendance upon the meetings of the various professional 
societies to which he belonged, and to trace his contributions to 
their work at this date, can only be very imperfectly done, for 
want of access to records, and in some cases owing to the lack of any 
records of transactions. 

We have seen, by the address of 1871 to the Canadian Medical 
Association, that the subject of the care and reformation of inebri- 


ates was then upon his mind. The policy which he then advocated 
upon the platform was not lost sight of by him, and having enlisted 
the sympathy and financial support of a number of his fellow 
citizens, he attempted to carry it out in Nova Scotia. In May, 
1875, the " Act to Provide for the Guardianship and Cure of 
Drunkards," which he introduced in the Legislature and carried 
through, was passed; and its essential provisions yet remain to 
his credit on the statute book of the country. Though the clauses 
touching the legal procedure for the interdiction of drunkards and 
the appointment of guardians were doubtless drafted with legal 
assistance, I detect my father's hand in certain portions of the Act 
— in the preamble, for instance, which explains its purpose thus: 
" Whereas, the drunkenness of the heads of certain families and 
other persons in this Province has heretofore, on many occasions, 
been the cause of ruin to their families, and of grievous injury as 
well to their relatives as to their creditors ; 

" And whereas, in the interests of society it is necessary for 
the future to remedy such evils ; 

" And whereas, experience has shewn that drunkards who 
appear most incurable may often be reclaimed by a reasonable and 
regular course of treatment, and that such course of treatment can 
be efficaciously pursued only in institutions organized for the 

This Act provided that the Government might grant a license 
to keep an asylum for the use of drunkards to any persons who 
might appear deserving of it. 

In furtherance of his object he next applied himself to the 
establishment of such an asylum, on a philanthropic basis. In 
1876 he introduced in the Legislature a bill to incorporate " The 
]STova Scotia Inebriate Home," which passed in April, in which 
he is named as one of the corporators, and which secured to his 
corporation a government license. The Sinclair property, known 
as " The Grove," near the first lake in Dartmouth, had been 
previously leased, and the Home was formally opened by the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor on August 2nd, 1876. My father was its only 
President, and contributed of his means and his labors to its main- 
tenance. But the idea was in advance of public sentiment ; and 
the institution, wholly dependent as it was upon public charity 
for support, languished for want of funds. It was closed May 1st, 
1880; but during its brief career 297 patients had been admitted 
and treated. 

This, I think, was the only charitable institution with which 
he connected himself that did not succeed. Largely through his 
influence the idea was revived in 1891, when the Legislature passed 
another Act, which he supervised in its progress, for the establish- 
ment of an Inebriate Home by the city of Halifax; but, owing to 


lack of public interest, this second venture into the same field of 
philanthropy fell short of the measure of success achieved by my 
father under the legislation of fifteen years before. 

Just now, in 1909, the State of New York is putting into 
practice the principle of my father's legislation and efforts of 1875 
and 1876, and the " Certified Inebriety Reformatories " of Eng- 
land, established in 1898, are meeting with success. The far- 
seeing Nova Scotia pioneer in this department of sociology was 
simply in advance of his time, as might be said of him in some 
other respects. 

One would suppose that the charitable and educational insti- 
tutions with which he was already busily associated at that period 
were enough for his strength and available time. Some enumera- 
tion of them appears in my monograph on " Daniel McNeill and 
His Descendants." But, " in labors more abundant," no enter- 
prise to uplift and help his fellow-man failed to enlist his sym- 
pathetic service if he thought that by taking hold he could do aught 
in the uplift to mitigate the sum of human misery. 

The writer in the Maritime Medical News, who has already 
been quoted, said of him : " Indeed, it would not be easy to mention 
any philanthropic institution in this city or vicinity with which 
this man of overflowing sympathy and good-will and of many 
activities was not connected as a willing helper and conscientious 
worker." And this was true. It would be superfluous to enter 
here upon an account of his public services of this character. 
References to these appear elsewhere, and shed sufficient light 
upon them. The account of his pioneer work on behalf of the 
inebriate is furnished as illustrative and typical. 

Reference has already been made to the estimation in which 
my father was held by men of high standing in his profession 
abroad. At Edinburgh, in the early seventies, he impressed many 
of his brethren by his qualifications and personal attractiveness ; 
so much so that he received, but declined to consider, certain over- 
tures looking to his establishment there. Among these men was 
the late Sir Grainger Stewart, then lecturing in pathology at the 
University. In 1876 Professor Laycoek, who had occupied the 
chair of the Practice of Physic, died, and Sir Grainger was one 
of the applicants for this professorship. In support of his applica- 
tion he sought, by the following letter, a testimonial from my 
father. That which follows is found, among others furnished by 
such men as Sir Andrew Clark, Sir William Jenner, Professor 
Andrew Halliday Douglas, and others equally distinguished in 
the medical world, included in a pamphlet addressed to " The 
Right Honorable and the Honorable the Curators of the University 
of Edinburgh." This testimonial is given place here, not only to 
attest my father's standing in his profession, but as throwing more 


light on the period of his research work of a few years before. 
It may be added that this testimonial is not the only instance of 
the kind connected with professorships in the University of Edin- 

" 19 Charlotte Square, 

" Edinburgh, 

"Sept. 22nd, 1876. 
" My Dear Dr. Parker. 

" Poor Laycock died yesterday, and I intend to become a candidate 
for the vacant chair. 

" May I ask you to send me at your earliest convenience a certificate, 
as vigorous as you can conscientiously make it. I intend only to send in 
a very few testimonials, and therefore shall be glad if you will speak as 
to the character and success of my clinical teaching and general medical 

" Excuse great haste, and accept our united kind regards. 
" I remain, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

" T. Grainger Stewart. 
" May I ask you to send me your titles on a separate slip." 


"From the Hon. Daniel McNeill Parker, M.D., Edin. (1845); Member of 
the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia; Consulting Physician to the 
Provincial and City Hospital of Halifax; Honorary and Correspond- 
ing Member of various* Learned Societies in Europe and America; 
formerly President of the Dominion of Canada Medical Association, 

" Halifax, Nova Scotia, 

"October 13, 1876. 
" Through the medium of medical periodicals, and his work on 
'Bright's Diseases of the Kidneys,' I have been familiar with the name 
of Dr. T. Grainger Stewart, and considered him an advanced and able 
Pathologist, and a Medical Practitioner of high scientific attainments. 
But he was personally unknown to me until the year 1871, when I visited 
Edinburgh, and there remained for sixteen months. During this period 
I had ample opportunity of observing his diagnostic powers, and of esti- 
mating his practical knowledge of disease, and its treatment. 

" For the greater part of the Winter Session of 1871-72, and of the 
Summer Session of the latter year, as also during three months of the 
Winter Session of 1872-73, I almost daily accompanied him in his visits 
to his wards in the Royal Infirmary, and was a very regular attendant 
at his bedside teachings, where he always had a large following of 
advanced and intelligent students, to whom he imparted, concisely and 
ably, all that was important connected with the Literature, diagnosis, and 
treatment of the large number of interesting and important cases which 
were constantly collected in his wards — many of them having been sent 
to him by medical men from a distance. 

" From this teaching in the wards and from his more carefully pre- 
pared and exhaustive lectures in the clinical class-room, at which, for the 
time already specified, I was a very constant attendant, I derived much 
important information that has since been of essential service to me in 
the practice of my profession. 

" In brief, I may state that, as a Clinical Teacher, I have not listened 
to his superior, and I have no doubt but that as a Lecturer on Sys"- 
tematic Medicine he will exhibit equal ability. 

" From what I have stated above it will be observed that I have had 
exceptional opportunities of measuring Dr. Stewart's qualifications and 


capacity, and am thus enabled to speak with confidence as to his fitness 
to fill the position he now seeks — that of Professor of Practice of Physic 
in the University of Edinburgh — and in strongly recommending him for 
this post of honour and importance in my ' Alma Mater,' 'I feel assured 
that should he be the successful candidate, the interests of the school 
will be advanced, and the Science of Medicine will lose nothing by his 
appointment to the vacant chair. 

" (Sgd.) D. McN. Pakker." 

In 1876 his summer vacation was spent, with my mother, at 
the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, the first of the great 
American " World's Fairs." It seems characteristic of him, as 
his life is reviewed, that he was attracted always by first, or new, 
things, and paiticipated in, or saw, or investigated them, in many 
spheres of human interest. The fund of information which he 
brought away from the " Centennial," in his notes of observation 
and in his remarkably retentive memory, was wonderful to me, 
more especially after I had " taken in " the bewilderments of a 
subsequent World's Fair at Chicago. 

In 1878 I was with him on an outing through Prince Edward 
Island and New Brunswick. An incident occurred on the Island 
which amused him not a little. It was the year of the general 
election which resulted in the return of Sir John A. Macdonald 
to power, upon the National Policy. Hon. Edward Blake, Hon. 
Richard J. Cartwright and Mr. Wilfrid Laurier were stumping 
the Island for the Mackenzie Government, and we heard them 
speak at Charlottetown. Mr. C. J. Brydges, the General Super- 
intendent of Government Railways, who knew my father, was in 
charge of their travelling arrangements, and, having provided a 
special train to take the politicians to Georgetown, he invited my 
father to join the party. We went accordingly, " to economize 
time," as my father would have said, for we were through with 
Charlottetown and were awaiting the regular train of the follow- 
ing morning to go to the eastern part of the Province. All went 
well until next morning, when at the breakfast table of the hotel 
in Georgetown, conversation turned to some question of party 
politics, and one of the political trio asked my father for an expres- 
sion of opinion. " You must excuse me from Council," said he, 
laughingly, " for I am a supporter of Sir John Macdonald !" The 
politicians looked dour, straightway emulated the proverbial oyster 
— who knows when to shut up — and Mr. Brydges looked sheepish, 
discovering that he had made a faux pas in wasting courtesy upon 
a fellow-traveller who was now beyond the pale of recognition by 
the triumvirate. We were struck off the " patronage list," and we 
pursued the next stage of the journey painfully following in their 
wake on a freight train, which habitually baulked at every one of 
those double curves for which the Island railway was then famed, 
and gave every opportunity to its human freight to " let patience 


have her perfect work." It was small wonder that our neighbors 
in the car failed to understand my father's occasional bursts of 
hilarity, and seemed to resent them, for the journey on that freight 
(" accommodation " they called it) possessed no element of humor 
for a passenger who wanted to get anywhere. The circumstances 
of this sort of travel might well evoke the Tapleyan spirit. My 
father had some of that; but it was the recollections of the two 
preceding days which caused the merriment. 

In October, 1879, there was a holiday tour, with my mother, 
on the St. Lawrence and up the beautiful Saguenay River, with a 
visit to Ottawa. 

In the summer of 1880 the Canadian Medical Association 
met again in Halifax, when my father made the address of wel- 
come to the delegates. It was, in part; as follows : 

" The Canadian Medical Association has done ISTova Scotia, 
and especially the city of Halifax, the honor of holding its annual 
session here, down by the sea ; and representing, as I do to-day, 
the profession of both Province and city, permit me, on their 
behalf as well as my own, to cordially welcome the Association to 
our Provincial capital and to the cool and genial atmosphere of an 
Atlantic city. We are greatly gratified that so many men of high 
professional and social position have favored us with their pres- 
ence; that Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick have so many 
able representatives in attendance; that so much substantial and 
profitable work has already been done, and that more of a truly 
scientific and educational character remains to be submitted to 
the common brotherhood of our widespread organization. 

" I am pleased to know that even those who have left our 
shores, some of the ablest men in our profession in the Dominion, 
our workers in the past, who are now in the Fatherland that they 
may there attend a similar professional Association, if absent in 
the body are with us in heart and in spirit; for they have left 
with us valuable papers on important subjects to be read before 
this Association and have thus contributed to the interest of the 
meeting and the advancement of the cause we all have at heart. 
Brouse, Almon, Putnam, McDonald, Howard, Grant, Osier and 
others will well and ably represent our body at the meeting of the 
British Medical Association, and thus create a deeper interest in 
the Canadian profession in the minds of our brethren of the 
British Isles. 

" The work already performed during this session has been 
eminently practical and profitable, whether it has had relation 
to surgery, medicine or the public health; and let me say, in 
reference to this last-named subject, that it is matter for congratu- 
lation that hygiene has taken in recent times such a hold on the 
professional mind. Would that our efforts, disinterested and 


magnanimous as they are, could have a like effect on, and stimulate 
to activity and aggressiveness, the different Legislatures of our 
common country, and those for whose interests they are supposed 
to exist and to labor — the outside public, the entire population of 
our land, who, while we labor and warn, sit idly by as if they had 
no interest in the matter. And this they do while thousands are 
annually falling, like leaves in autumn, and returning again to 
dust from whence they came, by the inroads of zymotic diseases — 
by preventable diseases, diseases that could be kept at bay if the 
Legislatures and the people of our country would but lend an 
attentive ear to the oft-repeated warnings, proclaimed aloud and 
from the very housetops by a generous and philanthropic pro- 
fession, who live and labor not only to cure, but to stay and prevent 
disease and the causes of disease. 

" It is often assumed that medical men, in coming together as 
we are doing now to discuss medical, surgical and sanitary sub- 
jects, are acting solely in their own interests and in the interest 
of science. Let me here disabuse the minds of any present who 
may entertain this idea, by stating that it is first the public inter- 
est, secondly the advancement of medical science, and lastly our 
own interests; and that this all means: how best to elevate and 
render more useful to our common humanity the profession to 
which we belong, how best to alleviate suffering and save the lives 
of those who are made in God's own image — our fellow-men. The 
subject of dollars and cents, of fees, of how to increase our pro- 
fessional emoluments, of 'how best to bleed the sick and the afflicted, 
has never once come up for consideration in this Association since 
its birth in the fair old city of Quebec in the year 1867. 

" I congratulate the Association on being so ably represented 
in the presidential chair by my friend Dr. Canniff, the Professor 
of Surgery in the Toronto School of Medicine. We are glad to 
have a gentleman distinguished in the West both as an author and 
a practical surgeon, in our midst guiding our professional ship 
in its journey and skilfully piloting it onward to a sure and safe 
scientific harbor and anchorage. 

" We miss our worthy, able and laborious Secretary, Dr. 
David, who, since the inception of the Association, has been its 
' Atlas,' bearing its weight and its official responsibilities on his 
shoulders, until, through difficulties seen and unseen, he has 
materially assisted in making the Canadian Medical Association 
an honored institution which is accomplishing much for the eleva- 
tion and for the scientific progress of our profession. Dr.' David 
tarries behind to regain physical health and strength ere he again 
resumes his duties, and Dr. Wright, in the meantime, ably takes 
his place. We congratulate him on his success in the performance 
of the arduous preparatory work, and that which attends his ses- 
sional duties. 


" We have again to welcome our friend the Treasurer, 
Dr. Tuedell, who never fails to establish himself in the pockets 
and purses of the members. We welcome him gladly as an 
able, true and high-minded representative of our French-Cana- 
dian brethren; and when he returns to his home in Quebec I 
would like him to say to his confreres that the Nova Scotians 
regret that they have not had the pleasure of a larger representa- 
tion of our old and new friends from that Province on this 

" But, gentlemen, I must close, by saying to one and all of 
those who come to us from outside our Provincial lines, our friends 
from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island included, we 
extend to you a hearty welcome, and trust that the day may not 
be far distant when we shall have the pleasure of seeing you with 
us again on a similar mission." 

The following information is extracted from the Society's 
Minute Book, touching my father's connection with the work of 
the Medical Society of Nova Scotia during the years covered by 
this chapter. 

" 1873, June 18. — Meeting in Kentville. Dr. Parker was 
present and spoke on the use of the galvanic cautery and the treat- 
ment of aneurism by electrolysis, and explained and illustrated 
Lister's antiseptic method, and showed several new instruments 
brought from Edinburgh. 

" 1874. — Meeting at Amherst. Dr. Parker reported for the 
Committee on Ethics, recommending the adoption of the Code of 
the Medical Association of Canada. 

" 1875. — Meeting at Halifax. It was proposed to form a 
Maritime Medical Association. Dr. Parker was appointed a 
member of the committee on that subject; he was also nominated 
for the Medical Board, or Council, and was elected chairman of 
the Committee on Surgery for next year. 

" 1877, June 20. — Meeting at Truro. Hon. Dr. Parker was 
elected President for next year. 

" 1878.— Meeting at Halifax, in Y.M.C.A. Hall. President, 
Hon. Dr. Parker, who delivered his address at 3.30 p.m., June 
19th. This address was ' highly interesting and instructive, being 
illustrative of the practice of medicine and surgery in this Pro- 
vince thirty years ago as compared with the same of to-day, 
the relation of the profession to the public and of its 
legal status in the community, and concluded by offering very 
important and seasonable advice to the junior members of the 
profession.' Dr. Parker was appointed on a committee to convey 
to the public the expression of the Society's opinion that diphtheria 
is a contagious disease. He was also nominated on the Committee 
on Medicine. 


" 1879, June 18. — Meeting at Halifax. Dr. Parker read a 
paper on the Progress of Medicine, prepared by Dr. Fraser, of 
New Glasgow, who was unable to be present. He participated in 
the discussion of various papers, and gave an account of a case 
of ' housemaid's knee ' occurring recently in his practice. He was 
elected to represent the Society on the Provincial Medical Board, 
and on several committees. 

" 1880, June 16. — Meeting in Halifax. Dr. Parker took an 
active part in the sessions. He moved the vote of thanks to the 
retiring President, Dr. D. H. Muir, and in his speech spoke on 
the Medical Act and its enforcement in the suppression of 
quackery. Later he moved for and obtained a committee on the 
subject of ' Medical Laws of the Province and Physicians' Cer- 
tificates,' of which committee he was made chairman. He ' pre- 
sented an interesting case of morphia poisoning, due to hypo- 
dermic injection of 1-3 gr. of morphia, which was successfully 
antidoted by the injection of ammonia liq.' 

" 1881, June 15. — Meeting held at Antigonish. Dr. Parker 
was equally active at these sessions. In his speech on moving 
the vote of thanks to the retiring President, the late Dr. Edward 
Farrell, he expressed the opinion ' that the Dominion Government 
should take steps toward establishing a Bureau of State Medicine,' 
spoke strongly upon the question of improved measures of sani- 
tation for the promotion of the public health, and contended that 
the Society should ' take steps to throw the onus of so many deaths 
from infectious diseases upon the Provincial Government.' He 
was appointed on a committee to labor with this government to 
obtain improved legislation for the prevention of zymotic and con- 
tagious diseases and in behalf of sanitation generally." (It may be 
added here that improvements in the Public Health Act followed.) 
" He reported for the Committee on Certificates of Lunacy 
certain amendments of the Lunacy law embodying changes in the 
form of certificates now in use. As usual, he was appointed to 
one or more standing committees." 

These notes and extracts will serve to illustrate his customary 
activity in the work of medical societies. 

The period which the present chapter comprises was marked 
by little of incident to record. It was occupied by the routine 
work of consulting practice and surgical operations; and, as 
freedom from the incessant demands of a general practice now 
permitted it, more work on directorates of business and charitable 
enterprises was taken on. The day's work was more regular than 
of old, but strenuous in its very regularity and in the variety and 
multiplicity of duties. He had no capacity, seemingly, for idle- 
ness, or what most men term resting, at least when at home; and 
a full time-table was a real enjoyment to his ever active mind. 


Rest and recuperation had to be enforced by the periodical absences 
from the scene of labor; but when away from home for this object 
his absences were usually abbreviated by an almost feverish anxiety 
to get back to work and a complete programme for the day. Apart 
from continual activity, he rarely seemed happy for more than 
a short time. 

Closing this chapter now, we take up in the next some account 
of his farthest tour, on vacation, the recollections of which never 
ceased to be as much a source of enjoyment to him as were the 
experiences of the travel themselves. 



"Travel, In the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a 
part of experience." 

— Francis Bacon. 

In the summer of 1881 my father joined a party, consisting 
of Sir Charles and Lady Tupper, Mr. Andrew Robertson of Mont- 
real, Collingwood Schreiber, Chief Engineer of Government Works 
for Canada, Mr. Jones, his private secretary, and Colonel and 
Mrs. Clarke of Halifax, upon a tour which had British Columbia 
as its objective point. Sir Charles Tupper, then Minister of 
Railways, and Mr. Schreiber, went to inspect the western section 
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which was then in an early stage 
of construction, and upon business connected with the location of 
its Pacific terminus, also to inspect portions of the road building 
in Manitoba. 

The story of my father's participation in these travels is told 
in selections from his letters home. Some of the series, however, 
are missing. 

The Canadian Pacific Railway, which was completed five years 
after this tour, has made travel to the Pacific Province an easy 
and commonplace thing, and we are all familiar enough with the 
new British Columbia, while Manitoba has become quite central 
in the Canada of to-day. But in 1881, to visit the Coast and to 
see something of interior British Columbia under the old order 
were very different ; and this tour, as I think some of the follow- 
ing letters will show, has some features of unusual, and even his- 
torical interest, when viewed from a standpoint of nearly thirty 
years after the event — years of phenomenal progress and of change 
in all the conditions of Western Canada. 

The first letter, dated August 5th, is from Ottawa, where he 
had undertaken a mission to the Government for Professor Law- 
son, of Halifax, in connection with the Dominion Exhibition, about 
to be held in Halifax. Thence he went by way of Prescott and 
Toronto to Samia, where he visited his old friend, Colonel Vidal, 
then a member of the Senate, and joined the party for the west- 
ward journey. 



The second letter following will serve to illustrate his style of 
correspondence with his children. The other letters follow without 

Alexander Hotel, Sarnia, Ontario, 

August 8th, 1881. 
My Dear Wife : 

After despatching my letter to you from Ottawa, on Friday 
night, I embarked on the train in a through Pullman for Toronto, 
was shunted about a good deal at Presoott Junction, but on the 
whole slept well. In the morning, at Oshawa, we picked up 
Senator Gibbs and son (the latter was once my patient in Halifax). 
This was a pleasant change. Gibbs said he was just conning over 
in his mind how to get at me, so as to ask me to spend a day or 
so with them en route for British Columbia, when I turned up, 
in accordance with the old saying, " Think of," etc. He said if 
Mrs. Gibbs had known that I was on the train she would have gone 
to the station to see me. Having made up my mind, however, to 
keep on to Sarnia, I could not go back to Oshawa, as it is, as you 
know, against my principles to change my plans unless something 
of moment should render it imperative. 

At Brampton, where we arrived at two o'clock, or thereabouts, 
our train was delayed by an accident which befell the Eastern 
train. A switch had been left open, and the engine and some of 
the first cars got off the track, tearing up the rails and sleepers 
for some distance and precipitating the engine down a steep 
embankment thirty feet — smashing it all to pieces and nearly 
killing the engineer. This occurred at six o'clock a.m., and it 
was 3 p.m. before the debris was removed and the road bed in 
a condition to permit our train to pass along. It was consequently 
after nine o'clock before I reached my hotel, the Alexander House, 
where I am very comfortable. Had we been on time, I should 
have gone to Vidal's that evening. The next day being Sunday, 
and knowing that he and his wife are always occupied with 
Sunday school work, I did not call until this morning. He was 
very glad to see me. A telegram from Halifax about Exhibition 
matters was awaiting me at his house — sent to his care — else I 
should have taken them entirely by surprise. 

You will remember that on one occasion when I was attending 
a Medical Association meeting at Toronto, many years ago, the 
Hon. Malcolm Cameron was very attentive to me, and although I 
was driven to death with work I had to go and partake of his hos- 
pitality. He died four or five years since, and I met his daughter 
this morning at Vidal's. I had forgotten all about her, but she 
had not forgotten me. She has the reputation of being a very 
clever woman, and her father was at one time one of the leading 


minds in Ontario. In front of my bedroom window is the beauti- 
ful St. Clair River, connecting Lakes Huron and Erie. It is 
about three-fourths of a mile in breadth and runs at the rate of 
six miles an hour, its entire length being about one hundred miles. 
Instead of dining at Vidal's, as he wanted me to do, I crossed the 
ferry and spent the day looking at the sights of the long town 
called Port Huron, which stretches itself along the banks of the 
river on the American side, and, having dined at my hotel, am 
now writing you a few lines before I take a nap, after which I 
shall walk up to Vidal's and he will take me out in his carriage 
to Lake Huron, a very pleasant drive, he says, and in the evening 
I am to join a party of friends at his house, asked to meet me. 
His minister (Presbyterian) married Alex. Mackenzie's daughter, 
so I shall have the opportunity of seeing her to-night. Mackenzie, 
Vidal tells me, is better. He has not yet returned from England. 

I attended at the service of Rev. Mr. Johnston (Baptist, of 
course) morning and evening, and went to his Bible class in the 
afternoon. The day was pleasantly and profitably spent. Mr. 
Johnston preached two good sermons, and led his Bible class with 
much ability. There were about thirty present, intelligent young 
women for the most part. I walked home with Mr. and Mrs. J. 
in the evening, and had half an hour's very pleasant conversation. 
He has been here six years and is doing well. At present they 
are building a new church and are temporarily worshipping in 
the Y.M.C. Association Hall. He would just be the man for us, 
I think, but he is like Nehemiah, engaged in a great work and 
cannot go down and leave it. In my efforts to put on a clean 
shirt yesterday I tore off a button, and the chambermaid has just 
been sewing it on again. This is the only accident I have met 
with, save the destruction of the outer apparatus on the lock of 
the large trunk. It is a wonder they had not broken and torn 
the whole framework away, so violently do they toss the luggage 
about. I have had the greatest comfort in the Pullman at night 
by keeping the foot window open after your mode of procedure. 
While others have been melting I have been cool and comfortable. 
In the morning, however, the porter looks amazed to see my head 
where my feet ought to be. To keep the sparks and ashes out of 
my face and eyes I turn my head towards the engine. There is 
only one risk about it, and that is that a spark may light on the 
sheet and ignite it and cremate me, and possibly others, but as 
the trains are enormously long, and my Pullman thus far being 
in the rear, the sparks lose their igniting power ere they get to the 
crack in my window. 

I am very sorry now that I did not ask you to write to me here 
by Friday night's mail. As it is, I shall not be able to hear from 
you until I reach San Francisco post office. I will probably drop 



you a line from Salt Lake — unless I should chance to be sealed 
there. By the way, where is the photograph of Brigham Young 
and his many bed-fellows ? I had hoped to have had it with me, 
to enliven the journey a little, but thus far I have not come in 
contact with it. 

I go out to Point Edward to-morrow morning to meet the train 
with Tupper and Company at six o'clock. A street car leaves the 
hotel at 5.40 a.m. The Grand Trunk station is two miles from the 
centre of Sarnia. Yesterday and to-day have been delightfully 
cool here, but they have had it frightfully hot, up among the 90's, 
as Vidal expresses it. 

Ever your affectionate husband, 

D. Mc¥. Parker. 

Grand Pacific Hotel, Chicago, 

August 10th, 1881. 
My Darling Little Fanny: 

I wrote from Sarnia, just as I was leaving for this city, to 
dear mamma — the oldest member of the family. I will now take 
the opposite extreme, and select the youngest member as my 
correspondent on this occasion. . . . We crossed the St. Clair 
River on a large steamboat. The whole train was carried over 
at once, as the deck of the boat had three lines of rails on it. The 
sleepers did not know that they were being ferried over the St. 
Clair. Sir Charles had a Directors' car with sleeping accommo- 
dation only for three persons, but we can all sit during the day 
in the parlor, and at night Col. Clarke, Mr. Robertson and myself 
can be accommodated on a Pullman car, while I can dress in Sir 
Charles' room in the morning. Mr. Robertson joined us here 
to-day, and goes on to British Columbia with us. We arrived at 
Chicago at eight o'clock last night and put up at this magnificent 
hotel (the Grand Pacific), where I have a large and airy bedroom, 
which Sir Charles and Mr. Schreiber have been using to-day to 
transact business in. After tea Sir C. and Lady T. and I walked 
about the streets for an hour and more, and we have just come in 
now from a similar excursion. Before coming up to my room I 
took a look at the moon through a large telescope and saw her 
mountains and extinct volcanoes, or the craters, as they are sup- 
posed to be. Willie must explain all this to you and teach you a 
little lunar astronomy. . . . Chicago is an immense city of 
more than half a million of inhabitants, with beautiful buildings, 
wide streets and a vast number of railroads centreing in it and 
running to all parts of North America. It is the great pork and 
cattle mart of the United States, and the stockyards are really 
vast in extent. Thousands upon thousands of cattle and pigs were 


in the pens and yards to-day when Col. Clarke and I went out to 
visit the place — six miles away from our hotel and yet in the city. 
There is not a hill in the city, as far as the eye can reach — the 
country is as level as a bowling green. If you Avill look at your 
map you will find that it is situated on the southern extremity of 
Lake Michigan, and that it is in the State of Illinois. Mr. Jones 
(Mr. Sehreiber's secretary) has been buying all kinds of food for 
our journey across the plains and Rocky Mountains. We start 
to-morrow at 12.30 for San Francisco, and will have five or six 
nights yet on our train ere we reach that city. The weather has 
been intensely hot, and I have felt the heat and the dust very 
much, but not so much as I did when mamma and I went up to 
Ottawa. We hope it will rain in a day or two, and the tempera- 
ture and dust will then be lowered and laid. It would have been 
a fatiguing journey for mamma, but I do wish she had come with 
us. I think she would have enjoyed it, and Lady Tupper would 
have been delighted with the arrangement. Our party will be 
pretty large and a very pleasant one, but mamma's presence would 
have increased the pleasure of the trip immensely. Sir Alexander 
Gait and his nephew, as secretary, came with us to Chicago on 
their way to Manitoba. The nephew is the brother of Ada Tupper. 
They left to-night for their destination. The Pacific Railway 
Syndicate (Messrs. Stephens, Angus and Mclntyre) are here to 
meet Sir Charles on business. 

And now, my precious child, I have given you a summary of 
my wanderings since my last letter to dear mamma, knowing as 
I do that you will be interested in your dear old dad's movements. 
I am so sorry that I did not ask mamma to write me here. It 
will be a long way off and a long time before I hear from home. 
I trust God will keep and preserve you all until I return, if I 
am spared to do this. With a great deal of love to dear mamma, 
Mary, Laura, Willie, all at Uncle Frank's, Bellevue, and Aunt 
Emma, and with very much to your dear little self, 
I remain, my dear child, 

Your afft. father, 

D. McN. Parker. 

P.S. — On the receipt of this tell mamma I want her and you 
all to write me at once to the care of Honble. Joseph Trutch, 
Victoria, British Columbia. This letter will reach me there by 
the steamer which leaves San Francisco on the 30th August. Mail 
another letter for me to the same address on the 26th of August. 
Then another letter or two at short intervals — at Palace Hotel, 
San Francisco, Cal. I will write again from San Francisco 
immediately on my arrival. I hope all things are moving along 
satisfactorily at Dartmouth and in Halifax. 

D. McN. P. 


By the by, I forgot to mention that our stay in British Colum- 
bia is to be somewhat shortened, as we visit Manitoba and the 
Western Territory ere we return. We will strike off at Omaha 
and reach that country by the way of St. Paul. 

Thursday morning. A fair night's sleep, a good breakfast, 
everybody jolly, and just off for the land of the Mormon. Good- 
bye, and God bless you all. 

D. P. 

Omaha, Nebraska, 

August 12th, 1881. 
My Dear Wife : 

We crossed the Mississippi last evening at eight o'clock and the 
Missouri River this morning at 9.30, and are resting here on 
its banks for two hours ere we take the train for Ogden and Salt 
Lake City, more than one thousand miles further west. We have 
passed through the great " Hog and Corn Country," rolling prairie 
land and waving corn lands, rich and beautiful to the agricul- 
turist's eye, but monotonous and lacking variety to me. It is 
an immensely rich country and the land is practically inexhaus- 
tible as regards its corn producing power, but it is not a wheat 
producing district. Trains are rushing north, east, west and south, 
and the whole land appears to be alive with travellers, and with 
the brute creation being wafted east to fill the hungry stomachs 
of the northern and eastern population of this vast republic. 
. . . Dinner is waiting at the hotel and we start just as soon 
as it is over, so I must stop. I slept well last night considering 
the temperature. Just fancy, the temperature of our car for ten 
hours or thereabouts was over 100 degrees, and for several hours 
it kept at 105 degrees. I felt nearly used up and exhausted, and 
Lady Tupper looked as if she must succumb to it. The heat was 
more intense than for a long time past. Much love to all. 
Ever dearest wife, 

Your afft. husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 

San Francisco, 
Thursday, August 18th, 1881. 
My Dear Wife : 

We arrived here yesterday at 2.30 p.m., having been delayed 
nearly four hours to repair damage done by a mountain stream 
which was increased in volume by a thunder shower, producing 
what is called a "wash-out," or destruction of the bed of the 
railroad. These wash-outs are exceedingly common, more espe- 
cially on the Southern Pacific, where quite recently the mail train 


was delayed three or four days from this cause while the road was 
being repaired. However, on the Central Pacific, which brought 
us to San Francisco, they are infrequent, as rain at this season 
is rare. On the Pacific slope and in this region they have had 
no rain since April last. Their wet season is from October or 
November to February or March. We left Salt Lake City on 
Monday afternoon at 3 p.m., and connected at 5 p.m. with 
the Central Pacific at Ogden. The drive for the next one thousand 
miles beggars description for dust, heat and discomfort. The 
country (or mountains) through which we passed was barren to 
an extent that one could hardly imagine. Here and there along 
the banks of the rivers there was grass and a variety of vegetation, 
but sage grass, which grows and flourishes on sand and rocky 
ground, was the prevailing description of vegetable life. Notwith- 
standing the barrenness of the land, great droves of cattle were 
constantly seen, and occasionally ranches of large size by the 
streams. The cattle were passing continually from one locality 
to another seeking food. Water is obtained to supply the railway 
villages and posts by wells, and the pumps to draw it are driven 
by windmills. In fact, every isolated house, not near a stream, 
and every ranch thus situated has its deep well or wells and wind- 
mill. Mountain streams are often utilized for purposes of irriga- 
tion and the water is carried long distances by small canals and 
occasionally by iron or wooden pipes. We all stood the journey 
pretty well. As we were ascending the Sierra Nevada Mountains 
and winding our way along the most circuitous road, with the 
sharpest curves I ever travelled on, through Tuesday night 
and Wednesday morning we found extra clothing a desidera- 
tum, but there was only one thick blanket to my Pullman 
berth, so I had to get up and put on my day clothing, and in this 
way made myself comfortable. When daylight appeared I found 
our train dashing along through a pine district, and by eight 
o'clock we had reached a fine agricultural portion of the State of 
California. Continuing our journey with rapidity, as the con- 
ductor wanted to make up as much lost time as possible, lost in 
consequence of the delay caused by the " wash-out."' we reached 
Sacramento after breakfast. This is a city of 25,000 inhabitants 
and the capital of the State. Here a deputation of Nova Scotians 
waited on us. ... At Benicia we crossed the Strait in an 
immense ferry boat, which took our whole train and the engines 
on board, and could have taken many more. It accommodates 
twenty-six or twenty-eight passenger cars and two engines. The 
boat is over 400 feet long and 125 feet in breadth, with an 
immensely powerful engine. She was designed after the pattern or 
model of our Dartmouth "Mic-Mae," but the railroad authorities 
have always, very unfairly, I think, declined to make public recog- 


nition of the fact. She is steered from both ends and runs into just 
such docks as we have for our great line on Halifax harbor. At 
last we were at the Oakland ferry opposite San Francisco, where 
we left the railroad and embarked on another leviathan boat 
(also planned after our models) and in twenty minutes were in 
far-famed San Francisco. Having left our car, and Douglas, our 
faithful colored porter, at Oakland, to await our return from 
British Columbia, we drove to this hotel (the Palace) into 
a large quadrangle, covered with glass, alighted from our 
carriages on to marble floors, were carried to our rooms by a 
lift and then took headers into our several baths. . . . Before 
I did anything, immediately after my arrival and luncheon, I 
walked over to the post office, a distance of half a mile, for letters 
from home, but after a search had to come away disappointed, and 
it was really a great disappointment. ... I shall go over 
again after the arrival of the Eastern mail to-day, and trust I 
shall be more successful. Failing to-day, I shall probably not hear 
from you for a long time, as we start to-morrow at 10 a.m. for 
British Columbia via boat to Portland and then by rail and 
boat through Oregon Territory and across the San Juan Channel 
to Vancouver Island, to bring up for a day or two at the city of 
Victoria before going up the Fraser River to Yale and Kamloops 
from Westminster at its mouth. ]STo sooner had we arrived than 
the best photographer in San Francisco wrote a note to Sir Charles 
asking to allow him to have the honor of taking a photograph of 
the party; so it is arranged that we shall all go to his (Tabor's) 
chambers " to be took." I think it was suggested by myself that 
we should have the porter, Douglas, included in the group, so he 
is to accompany us, and the photo will include the entire party — 
the darkey, the most important personage of all during our transit 
across the great, howling wilderness, will fill up the background. 
. . . Mr. Schreiber has been exceedingly attentive and kind 
to me. In fact, the whole comfort of our journey has hinged on 
him. He is in reality in command, having before visited British 
Columbia via San Francisco. He makes all our plans and guides 
the ship, while his secretary, Mr. Jones, carries out the details — 
pays our bills, supplies the car with provender, and looks gener- 
ally after our wants. We have a settlement to make before we 
leave here. Until we square up our accounts I cannot tell how 
much money I have expended. ... I should be very grateful 
(and I am) to God for all His goodness and mercy in bringing 
us thus far on our journey without any accident or occurrence of 
any kind to mar the pleasure and enjoyment of the trip, and my 
prayer to Him is daily that He will keep and preserve you and 
our dear children in life and in health, and that we may all meet 
once more on earth in our own quiet and dear old home, and that 


I may find all those we love, outside of our own immediate family 
circle, as we left them, and poor Mary Allison greatly improved 
and well. I long to hear how the poor child is, and this makes 
me additionally anxious to get your letter. Ere this reaches you 
Willie will be in Yarmouth and will, I trust, enjoy his trip. I 
will write to him from British Columbia. He should be working 
up all his subjects, so that he will pass a First Class examination, 
which will give him some advantages. I presume he has seen 
Charlie Tupper relative to going into his office. Willie Tupper 
enters Rigby & Tupper's office as a student at once, I believe, that 
is, unless he goes first to Harvard law school. 

1 p.m. — We have just returned from Tabor's photographer's 
establishment. The negative looks well and will, I think, give a 
good group. I called on Dr. McNutt, formerly of Truro, who has 
a large practice here. He is absent from the city, but I will see 
him on my return. . . . We propose seeing the Chinese 
quarters to-day. There are twenty or thirty thousand of them 
in the city. In this hotel there are a large number of young 
Chinese men of good families, who have been receiving an educa- 
tion at some of the United States colleges, but who are now ordered 
home in consequence of a change in the Chinese government. It 
is said that the first minister of the Celestial Empire is impressed 
with the belief that these youngsters are learning too much and 
are becoming enamored with the habits and customs of the Ameri- 
cans and relinquishing the traditions, modes of life and other 
things in which they have been trained in their earlier life ; hence 
the summons home. You find the Chinaman everywhere on the 
Pacific Road, and doing everything. We fell in with large num- 
bers of Indians, principally of the " Snake " tribe, all along the 
line. The men were clean, well dressed and good looking Indians, 
but the squaws were just hideous. If my squaw was as ugly and 
ferocious looking as these women are I most assuredly would go 
in for a divorce. All through the back parts of this country, and 
along the line, but off the track, the Indians are constantly killing 
the cattle-men and miners. At one of the stations I met a man 
on the platform, and while we were talking elicited the fact that 
he was one of three partners in the cattle business in the back 
prairie lands, and was also engaged with them in prospecting for 
minerals. He told me that he had lost one of his " pardners " 
recently, the " Injuns " having killed him, and to-day's papers give 
accounts of several such murders. It will take the U.S. Govern- 
ment a long time to change the nature of these red men of the 
forest, whose lands and homes they are so freely taking possession 
of. Dishonesty and bad government, breaches of faith, etc., on 
the part of subordinates of the Government are keeping up this 
" bad blood " between the American whites and the Indians, while 


the opposite course on the part of the Canadian Government enables 
the latter to get along amicably with the Indians of our territories. 
Thursday evening, Aug. 18. — I have just received, my darling 
wife, your nice long and interesting letter with its enclosures, and 
I cannot tell you how glad I am to learn of your welfare and to 
get the many items of home news that you have given me. I should 
have gone away to British Columbia quite depressed if I had not 
received it. ... I cannot help, my dear wife, writing you 
long letters. It is the greatest happiness I have when away from 
you and the dear children to be talking to you on paper. 
May God ever be with you all. Remember me with much love to 
Letty, Frank and M. A., and all Granville Street. Also to Annie 
and Jane, and tell Wambolt that I was asking about him. 
Ever your loving husband, 

D. ~M.cN. Parker. 

New Westminster, 

August 28th, 1881. 
My Dearest Wife : 

• I closed my letter to Willie on Thursday last just as our party 
were about to drive out to Esquimalt, the real harbor of Victoria, 
and three miles from that city. Mr. Dunsmuir, of the Wellington 
Coal Mine (Nanaimo), took charge of me. The drive was beau- 
tiful and the day pleasant. We found the harbor small but good 
and well land-locked. In it were two English men-of-war, and a 
large Russian man-of-war arrived later in the day to coal. We 
inspected all the points of importance connected with the harbor, 
critically examined the dry dock, now in course of construction, 
finding no little fault with the local Legislature in consequence of 
an Act passed by them excluding Chinese labor from the work, 
and as a consequence they cannot now get white labor, and the 
work is dragging itself very slowly along, and will in all proba- 
bility take years to complete, unless this Act is repealed. The 
graving dock is to be 450 feet in length, 90 feet broad and 24 feet 
deep. The coffer dam is a splendid work of art, and entirely 
precludes the entrance of water — very unlike the one constructed 
by H. G. Hill at the Ordnance, which Benjamin, Martin and 
William had to pay dearly for. No better city for a graving dock 
could be found. The rise of tide there is about nine or ten feet. 
Mr. Innes, naval store-keeper of the Esquimalt dockyard, showed 
us all through this establishment. He has about £100,000 stg. 
worth of stores under his charge, and every store-house was found 
beautifully neat, as much so as our Annie's kitchen. Altogether 
it was like visiting an extensive museum. I drove back to town 
with Mrs. Trntch by the "Gorge Road." The Trutches and 


Senator McDonald both asked ine to dine with them in the even- 
ing. The latter was giving a state dinner to dignitaries, but 
Schreiber and I engaged ourselves — each to the other — to dine 
at our hotel, the " Driard," and to look up. Mrs. Jones and Mrs. 
Wallace in the evening. This programme was carried out, and we 
found my old patients delighted to see us. . . . The next 
morning (Friday) we embarked on board the Dominion steamer 
" Sir James Douglas " for Xanaimo — having, in addition to our 
original party, Mr. Trutch and his secretary (Mr. Bovill), Mr. 
Walkem, the leader of the Government of British Columbia 
(Attorney-General), and Mr. Dunsmuir (before mentioned), the 
proprietor of the Xanaimo coal mine, for which he has refused 
$1,000,000 ; and quite recently he has paid each of his partners, 
Admiral Farquhar and Capt. Egerton, R.X., £30,000 stg. for 
their shares, for which they paid him originally only about £2,000 
stg. Coal stock is evidently a better investment here than at 
Victoria mine, Cape Breton. Trutch represents the Dominion 
Government here. . . . He was originally an engineer, from 
England. He held an appointment under the Crown, when British 
Columbia was a Crown Colony, and when it became a Province 
he received a pension. . . . He was the first Governor after 
British Columbia came into the Union. Both he and his wife 
are pleasant people, and his sister, Mrs. O'Riley, wife of the 
Indian Commissioner here, is equally agreeable. Their residences 
at Victoria are beautiful, especially O'Riley's cottage and grounds. 
At six o'clock p.m., Friday, we entered Xanaimo harbor and the 
first thing we saw on landing was the old Hudson's Bay block- 
house, erected on a little hill by the edge of the water to protect 
the officers and men from Indian attacks in the days gone by. It 
must have an interesting history — doubtless a bloody one. Sir 
Charles had an address presented to him by the Mayor and Cor- 
poration, and he had rather a fiery speech after it from Mr. 
Bunster, the member for this county, who pitched into the Gov- 
ernment for doing so little for the Province, and especially for 
not having carried out Mackenzie's promise to construct a rail- 
road from Xanaimo to Esquimalt (on Vancouver Island). . . . 
Tupper in reply polished him off splendidly — evidently to the 
satisfaction of the Mayor and Corporation and others present. 
After a good night's sleep, Tupper, Robertson and myself break- 
fasted with Mr. Dunsmuir at his residence at 6.45 a.m., and then 
drove seven miles to his mines over a good road. Saw his three 
shafts. Went down one some distance (walking), inspected the 
nine feet seam — not far from horizontal — the dip being one foot 
to seven, and got all the information we could before embarking 
on Dunsmuir's narrow gauge railroad for Departure Bay, his 
shipping port (three miles from the mines), where Vancouver the 


explorer wintered, and there we met the " Douglas," which had 
steamed inside the island from Nanaimo. The boat was sent 
ashore, and at 9.30 a.m. Saturday we were on board pointing our 
prow towards Burrard Inlet, the selected site of the terminus of 
the great Canadian Pacific. Our sail the day before was inside 
the island, and it was like inland lake navigation, and it appeared 
all the time as if we were running for the rocks and likely to 
ground our ship, when of a sudden there would appear a little 
opening, narrow, deep and often with abrupt and vertical banks, 
hundreds of feet high. Along these grand and picturesque channels 
we would run for a short time and then emerge suddenly into 
open water again, looking like a cut de sac, to find at the other 
end a similar outlet. In these passages and around the most of 
these lake-like inlets of the Bay of Georgia there is no anchorage, 
so deep is the water, and had we wished it the captain could have 
placed his steamer so close to the rocks that we could have stepped 
ashore without even an intervening plank to bridge the distance. 
At twelve o'clock we entered English Harbor, crossed it and, 
passing through a channel nine hundred feet wide, ran into 
Burrard Inlet, and to Capt. Raymuir's mills, where we landed to 
see the works and partake of his hospitality at luncheon. The 
immense timber in his mill surprised us. " Douglas Pine " sticks 
were there measuring from 80 to 100 or 120 feet. At the butt 
end one must have been about eight feet in diameter. While we 
were engaged in inspecting these works and the machine shop, 
suddenly, in a moment, we had to rush from the place to join our 
ship, as the rain was pelting down by the bucketful and we were 
without wraps and could not hold on. Tupper, Schreiber and 
Marcus Smith, the engineer in charge of the survey at the Inlet, 
had to go up to the top of it — ten miles — on the steamer to inspect 
the different localities suggested for the terminal works of the 
railroad, and we had not a moment to spare, even to inspect 
Raymuir's large trees, a minute's walk from the house where we 
lunched, one of which has a diameter of twelve feet and a cir- 
cumference of thirty-six feet. At Port Moody we blew our 
whistle, and a tall man came out of the woods, and by his boat 
boarded us. He turned out to be a Mr. McLeod, of Amherst, who 
is engaged on this end of the survey taking soundings and boring 
on shore for a rocky foundation to hold the superstructure. He 
looked like a drowned rat as he emerged from the forest in 
response to our call, which reverberated among the hills and moun- 
tains, and startled the Chinese cooks and laborers who were in 
camp. This spot was the very picture of solitude and grandeur. 
Having got all the information required from McLeod, we passed 
down the inlet again to a small hamlet called Hastings, not even 
taking the time to call upon Senator Nelson, who has a large 


mill on Burrard Inlet, nearly opposite Raymuir's, and who had 
asked us all to lunch with him there ; but Raymuir's invitation 
had been given and accepted before his reached Tupper. After 
anchoring our ship and ordering her back to Victoria, we all 
landed, and almost at the water's edge were met by three covered 
coaches, which carried us quickly over a " corduroy " road of nine 
miles to this town, New Westminster, which we reached at 7.25 
p.m., instead of five o'clock, the hour Tupper had arranged by 
telegram to be there to meet a deputation of the citizens and 
receive and reply to an address from the Mayor and Corporation. 
We dined at once and the address was presented immediately after 
dinner. This was followed by a torchlight procession and a 
band of music, which paraded up and down before the hotel for 
some time, then halted, forming a semicircle, and gave three 
cheers for Tupper, who replied in a short speech from the balcony 
for himself and subsequently for Sir John A. Macdonald, who was 
returned for the Victoria district here when rejected by Kingston, 
his old constituency. Walkem, Attorney-General of British Col- 
umbia, was then called to the front by three cheers and made a 
very good speech. Among the City Councillors was a terribly 
ugly man, who came up to me and said, " How do you do, Dr. 
Parker ?" He turned out to be a Mr. H., of Barrington, who many 
years ago was a patient of mine. Then young Rand called, and 
also a former student of Dalhousie, who is now principal of 
the Westminster High School. This morning I went to the 
Episcopal church with the Tuppers and heard a capital sermon 
— the truth in its simplicity — and earnestly put, and to-night I 
propose accompanying Rand to a Presbyterian church where he 
attends, there being no Baptist church in the town. To-night at 
ten o'clock we go on board the up-river steamer and start for Yale, 
120 miles, at four o'clock in the morning. . . . Tupper never 
was better, so he says. He eats, drinks and sleeps well and is 
enjoying the journey immensely. Of course he is king out here. 
The people think they owe their Canadian Pacific Railway to him, 
and this has given him a strong hold on the popular voice, as 
also among the better classes. . . . Robertson is as jolly as 
ever, and just as full of his fun and nonsense. He was great on 
Mormonism and the Salt Lake City institutions when we were 
there, but we did not allow him to be sealed or to bring away 
any new wives, confining him to the good one he has got. When 
at sea he and I occupy the same staterooms, and on land the same 
sections of a Pullman, or rather the opposite berths, I having 
Schreiber above me, and he Jones. The ladies to-morrow night go 
into quarters at Yale, at Mr. Onderdonk's, an American gentle- 
man, who has the contract to build that portion of the railway 
extending east from Yale to Kamloops — an $8,000,000 contract. 


As the most of Yale is burnt down, the rest of us will probably 
have to go into camps there, and at our other stopping-places 
further east. From Yale we travel in wagons over the celebrated 
" Cariboo " road, with the dashing, daring coachman so often 
referred to in the press, the fellow who can put the wheels of his 
coach within a hairbreadth of the extreme margin of a precipice, 
and yet carry his passengers safely to their respective destinations. 
The ladies remain at Yale under the special care of Col. Clarke, 
who will miss the fine scenery and wild life of the extreme eastern 
portion of our journey. We will be back in Victoria next week, 
will spend a few days there quietly, and then embark on board 
the fine steamer " Dakota " direct for San Francisco, by which 
boat our passages are already secured. After a delay of three or 
four days at San Francisco, we will take up our car and Douglas, 
the porter, and will then depart for Omaha, St. Paul and Winni- 
peg — if God permits it — and we shall all be well and able for 
the journey. I am keeping very well, get a fair amount of sleep, 
and eat with a relish. There is no fatigue or anxiety or care of 
any kind to me in thus travelling. Schreiber and his secretary, 
Jones, do all the work, attend to the most minute details, pay 
bills, etc., keeping an account with each of us. I squared up the 
day I arrived at Victoria. . . . We all miss you. Lady 
Tupper often says, " Oh ! I do wish Mrs. Parker had come," and 
no person wishes it so much, my dear wife, as the man who is 
now addressing you. But it is now too late to mend the matter. 
We left behind us all the things we could spare at Victoria, so 
as to make our up-country luggage as light as possible. 
We had fires in this hotel last night, and after our drive enjoyed 
them very much. We have walked through an Indian village near 
one of the great salmon canneries by New Westminster, where we 
saw the native men, women and children in their normal condi- 
tion, with dogs, cats, hens and geese gathered around and in the 
camps. They are away from their lodges, or winter homes, engaged 
in canning and catching salmon, and their residences are of the 
most temporary character and sadly lack cleanliness and sanitary 
regulations. This cannery employs, I think, over one hundred 
Indian men and three hundred Chinese. The latter are all stowed 
away like spoons in a drawer, and the three hundred live in a 
house not larger than our coach house and Wambolt's dwelling. 
They like it, and are allowed to act in the matter as they please, 
but why they are not cut down by fevers and diphtheria I cannot 
tell. The universal Chinese are found in thousands in British 
Columbia engaged in all kinds of work. I cannot fix upon the 
date of our return from Winnipeg, but it will, I think, be the 
middle of October before I shall be with you in Dartmouth. I 
wrote you from Chicago how and where to address me, and am 


looking forward with great pleasure to getting letters on my arrival 
at Victoria next week. I think we are sure to leave for San 
Francisco a fortnight from yesterday, before which time I hope 
to receive several sets of letters from you and our dear children. 
On the receipt of this you may the same day write to me at Winni- 
peg, Manitoba, care of James Dickie, Esqr., Canadian Pacific Rail- 
way, and I will get it before leaving that province for the East, 
after which you need not write. . . . To-day I had a visit 
from a Mrs. Baker at my hotel. . . . She is a Baptist, and 
wishes me to collect $2,000 to pay off the debt on a Baptist church 
in Victoria, and then to send them a clever and popular preacher 
— a revivalist that will wake up the whole Pacific slope and over- 
come the spiritual lethargy and declension of the people here. 
Please see that the money is collected and the man ready for 
transmission by the time I get home, so as to save me the trouble. 
I have also had a visit from a Mr. Archibald, of Truro, connected 
with the government telegraph office, and have just seen a Mr. 
Chisholm, from Antigonish. Could I ascend to the moon, or 
succeed in reaching the North Pole, I would certainly meet in 
both places Nova Scotians — friends and patients. I have been 
thinking of you all very much to-day, and trust that you and the 
children have had a happy and profitable day. May God bless 
and preserve you and them from every evil and enable us to meet 
again on earth, is the prayer of your ever affectionate husband, 

D. McN. Parker. 

Chase's Bridge, or Cook's Perry, 
Thompson River, 

September 1st, 1881. 
My Dearest Wife : 

After writing you on Sunday last I went in the evening to 
the Presbyterian church with Mr. Rand. It was the dinner hour 
at the hotel, and I could not even get my good Presbyterian friend, 
Mr. Robertson, to accompany me. We had a good sermon, and 
it was pleasant to meet with God's people, although they were 
strangers to me. . . . After service we embarked on board 
the Yale steamer, all having comfortable cabins to ourselves. I 
slept well, but was occasionally disturbed by noises overhead. At 
two o'clock a.m. steam was got up and they ran about ten miles, 
when the fog or river mist prevented them from seeing the channel. 
So the captain " tied up " until daylight, that is, ran his ship close 
into the bank of the river and fastened a hawser to a tree and 
let her tail down stream with the current, which runs from six 
to eight miles an hour. We had a capital breakfast, a large and 


well furnished cabin each for gentlemen and ladies, a smoking- 
room and every hotel comfort, only the powerful engine, in acting 
on the rapidly revolving stern wheel, shook the entire ship and 
caused a vibrating, shaking motion which you will see well illus- 
trated if you will look at the letter I wrote you on a steamer simi- 
larly constructed which was conveying me in 1861 down the Cape 
Fear River from Fayetteville to Wilmington. Our crew, except 
the officers, were Indians, and good, intelligent workers. They 
piled in the pine wood, which we occasionally stopped on the river 
to obtain, in a way to open our eyes as to their strength and 
activity. The sail up stream was delightful ; the mountain scenery 
was grand, beyond description. The view was constantly chang- 
ing, in consequence of the serpentine course of the Fraser, and 
this gave great variety to the scene. Our progress was but slow 
in consequence of the rapidity of the current, the whirlpools and 
other difficulties we had to contend with. Indian villages were 
passed in numbers. Many of them were temporary structures, 
made of pine boughs, canvas or matting, to be used only during 
the fishing season, after which they go back to their respective 
rivers from which they take their name. Thus many are called 
Thompson River, Buonaparte River or Dead Man's River Indians 
— from the locality where they more permanently dwell. They 
are in the main small men and women, and for the most part live 
on fish, which are caught (especially salmon) by the million. 
They split them and dry them in the open and dry air of this 
region without any salt or smoking processes. They store them 
for winter use in " caches," or large boxes, placed from thirty to 
fifty feet up on the strong branches of the pine tree to keep the 
bears and other animals from reaching them, and, the better to 
protect them, these trees have a circle — about twelve inches in 
breadth — of tin plate nailed to them, so that the claws of the 
animals are prevented from aiding them in their ascent to the 
odorous and much-coveted fish suspended above their heads. The 
Indian horses are small, and they use a modified Mexican saddle. 
Both men and women use this saddle, and the latter sit on it, as 
do the men, with their legs across the animal. They are engaged 
as " packers," that is to say, thousands of them live by carrying 
freight to the miners and ranch men living far back in the moun- 
tains, the packs being fastened on the backs of their horses and 
mules. We often met long trains of these mules on the Cariboo 
road, and saw them descending by the narrow and high mountain 
trails, carefully picking their way along lest they should be pre- 
cipitated hundreds of feet into the rivers below. One Indian rides 
ahead with a cow-bell on his horse's neck and, in large or long 
trains, another follows mounted. With unerring certainty the 
pack horses or mules follow the bell mule and but very seldom lag 


behind, and then only for a minute to taste a sweet morsel of 
the coveted grass which perchance may be seen beside the trail. 
When they stop at night beside a stream of water, the packs are 
removed and placed in a semi-circle. When the animals are ready 
in the morning for their burdens, each mule marches up to his 
own pack-saddle with unerring certainty, and there they stand, 
like a regiment of soldiers on parade, with their noses close to their 
own packs, and never move until all have the order given them 
to fall in and march behind the bell mule. In driving along we 
constantly meet the Indian burial-places, the dead having a roof 
over their graves to protect them from the storms. Flags are flying 
from flag-poles, and large dolls are frequently placed in front of 
these roofs, sitting like children on the ground ; and white and 
colored pieces of cloth are used to ornament these graveyards. 
Often the Indians' winter abode is a beehive-like structure made 
by making a framework of wood, filling in the interspaces with 
small limbs and brush, and covering the whole structure with 
earth. It looks like a great charcoal pit. All parts of it are closed 
except a circular hole at the very top, which serves as a place of 
entrance for the family and exit for the smoke, giving them at 
the same time all the light they can get. A straight notched stick 
is fixed in the ground at the bottom of the pit, which projects 
through the hole in the roof and answers as a ladder for the family 
to get in and out of this singular abode. In British Columbia 
there are probably from thirty to fifty thousand Indians of various 
tribes and names — some living almost altogether on fish, others 
on animal food. The latter, I am told, are by far the most intelli- 
gent and active, and being brave and warlike men, the fish-eaters 
dread them, as they cannot cope with them in war. Here the 
Indians but seldom molest the whites, while they perform much 
of their agricultural and other work, and on the whole do it 
satisfactorily. They, however, do not care to work for any length 
of time among white people, preferring rather to spend their 
money in their own way and about their own homes. The women 
are degraded, immoral, and are made to bear the burdens of life 
and act as pack mules, when marching without mules or horses. 
We meet them by hundreds at every turn; but few of them speak 
English, consequently I cannot converse with them. 

The fishing on the Fraser and Thompson Rivers has interested 
us very much. The Indians use hand nets and fairly scoop the 
salmon out of the rivers. The " run of fish " was over before we 
struck the fishing districts, so we did not see the salmon ascending 
in vast numbers, millions together, but I stood by a party of fisher- 
men near Yale and saw them scooping them out of the river by 
twos and threes continuously. The men, boys and women have a 
stage made overhanging the little whirlpools and rapid currents, 


and on these frail structures they sit with their feet dangling 
above the stream, and work by the hour, returning to the water 
the smaller fish and killing the larger ones by a blow on the 
head ere they throw them on the rocks surrounding the fishing 
points. Eighty thousand were brought to the Yale canneries in 
one day last week by the fishing Indians and white men. As we 
got nearer Yale our progress was retarded by the rapid current ; 
the river grew more narrow and deeper (from 150 to 200 feet), 
but at last we reached Emery bar, one of the many " placers " 
or gold washing sand bars between New Westminster and Yale, 
and there we met the Canadian Pacific Railway. Mr. Onderdonk 
and the principal citizens of the place (Yale) came down with an 
engine and flat-car fitted up with seats cushioned and covered over 
with red cloth, and we were then driven through Yale, a distance 
of eight miles, passing into and out of three tunnels, one six 
hundred feet in length. The inevitable address was presented to 
Tupper, and amid much cheering we left the centre of the town 
and were landed at Mr. Onderdonk's door from our car. Here 
four rooms were provided for Tupper, the Clarkes, Robertson, and 
myself. Everything was on a grand scale for the locality, or 
rather, I should say a most comfortable scale. We lived as if we 
were in New York. Mrs. Onderdonk is a nice, unaffected Ameri- 
can lady, with a family of four children, and he is quite a young, 
good-looking man, gentlemanly and well informed. At half past 
one o'clock, luncheon being over, the famous Dufferin coach was 
•at the door, built after the fashion of the old English mail coach, 
with a top that could be opened or closed at will. Robertson and 
Jones remained behind, to follow us the next morning by an express. 
Mr. Onderdonk started with Tupper in his double-seated buck- 
board waggon and two horses. I took the box seat with Steve 
Lingley, the celebrated driver over the four hundred miles of 
mountain road from Yale to Cariboo. The ladies, Schreiber, 
Marcus Smith and Clarkes were inside. This coach was commodious 
and very easy and was built specially to take Lord and Lady 
Dufferin to Kamloops over this, the most dangerous road in the 
world. A splendid team of four horses carried us along at a rattling 
pace, over heights that would have made your blood curdle. Some- 
times we were one thousand feet above the river on a road barely 
wide enough to carry our carriage, and I trembled lest the horses 
should shy or a bullock team should meet us. A string of pack mules 
could be readily passed if we saw them in time to choose our 
stopping-place, but a bullock team is more formidable, as the brutes 
will crowd and push one another just at the moment of passing 
our horses and carriage. Those difficulties were, however, over- 
come. At the suspension bridge over the Fraser I got in with 
Onderdonk, and Tupper entered the carriage. I found the buck- 


board easy and comfortable. On arriving at " Hell's Gate," the 
narrowest part of the river, we saw marked on the bank or moun- 
tain side of the road, in red paint, the height reached by the water 
in 1876. The river rose 140 feet and covered portions of the 
road at least ten feet, stopping all travel and rendering it neces- 
sary for the mails and passengers to take the high trail above the 
road on mules' backs. Of course these terrible rises in the water 
destroy much of the road, and even long after they subside the 
road is impassable. On the opposite side of the river we could 
see the line of railway progressing, tunnels being driven by com- 
pressed air along the mountain heights where it would seem impos- 
sible to make a road. Men were at work making a track above 
the river at dizzy and perpendicular heights. They were let down 
from the mountain tops on ladders with ropes attached above to 
trees, and every shot that was fired in blasting rendered it neces- 
sary that the men should get out of the way by running up these 
ladders. Engineers made their measurements and took their cross- 
sections, being let down in many places by ropes from above, and 
there they would perform their work suspended, like Mahomet's 
coffin, between heaven and earth, for hours and days — a break or 
a slip of the rope and eternity was before them. One poor fellow, 
an engineer, while at work thus, fell down the precipice and was 
dashed to pieces. For many miles the line is a terrible under- 
taking, but it is progressing rapidly, and there are ninety miles 
now in course of construction and three thousand laborers at work. 
Mr. Onderdonk's contract costs the Government $8,000,000. He 
tells me that he has now in plant, houses for men, shops, stores, 
horses, mules, oxen, acid manufactories, and gunpowder and 
dynamite factories, $1,000,000 — all necessary to carry on the 
work. . . . The Cariboo Road, along which I was driven, is 
four hundred miles long and cost $1,500,000. Very many miles 
of it were built at a cost of $15,000 per mile. At length we 
reached " Boston Bar " — one of the celebrated gold-bearing sand 
bars on the Fraser. Here a good dinner awaited us and we 
remained all night, starting the next morning (Wednesday) after 
breakfast. This day's experience was like the last as far as wild 
and grand scenery was concerned and this terrible road. We 
called at Mr. Keefer's camps, one of the Canadian Pacific engin- 
eers. The camps were beautifully neat and very comfortable, and 
were situated just at the spot where the railroad will cross from 
the left bank of the river to the right. We dined at the village 
of Lytton, at the point where the Thompson River forms a junc- 
tion with the Fraser. With fresh horses we took the bank of the 
former and passed away from the Fraser River, driving along 
through magnificent river and mountain scenery. The Fraser was 
muddy and yellow but the Thompson was green and its rapidly 



running current beautiful to look at. On this road we fell in 
with Mr. Onderdonk's teams in large numbers, some of them with 
twelve mules, others with sixteen oxen and six spare ones follow- 
ing, in case those under the yoke should get sore-footed or leg- 
weary ; some carrying, in great high prairie waggons, flour, others 
rice for the Chinamen; another team drawing a portable sawmill 
to cut firewood for the different boarding houses, the road being 
like a beehive. In one spot or portion of the road that a rifle shot 
would very well cover, there were one thousand Chinamen work- 
ing, massed together. Every white man as we passed him touched 
his hat to Onderdonk, but John Chinaman and the Chinooks 
(Indians) took no more notice of him than if he had been a 
horse. In this neighborhood we saw landslides in abundance, 
one of which not long since was so large and descended from such 
a height as to carry a part of an oat field and an Indian burying- 
ground clean across this broad river, and there left the oats to 
grow and the dead men's bones to rest without being in the least 
disturbed — fences, roofs, images and all. The river's bed was 
changed for a time, but the fast flowing current eventually brought 
it back, so that it now runs not far from its former site. 

At 7.30 o'clock we reached this place (Chase's Bridge). Onder- 
donk and I slept at one of his houses near the bridge, where I had 
a splendid bed, with a rifle just over my head ready for action if 
an enemy had broken in upon me. Lady Tupper and Mrs. Clarke, 
with their husbands, spent the night at Mr. McLeod's house — one 
of the engineers. Mrs. McLeod had written them to do so, and 
this morning they have not accompanied Tupper and Clarke, who 
have driven in (to join us here) the six miles from McLeod's. 
They have determined to remain there and rest while we proceed 
on to Kamloops. Our party is to be diminished by the return of 
Schreiber, Marcus Smith and Boville (Trutch's secretary). The 
single big coach will carry us all, and Mr. Onderdonk will remain 
here for to-day and go back to Yale by coach, leaving his buck- 
board and horses for us in making our return journey. 

Savona's Ferry, at the junction of the Thompson River with 
Kamloops Lake, Friday night, September 2nd. — We had a very 
pleasant drive over a rolling prairie, getting along rapidly, as the 
horses are in capital condition and very fast, and we change them 
often. As we were driving past Governor Cornwall's ranch, his 
brother Henry met us on horseback and asked us to drive up to 
the house to lunch. He, the Governor, lives at Victoria, the seat 
of government of British Columbia, and, only being recently 
appointed, his wife and family have not yet moved down to Gov- 
ernment House. They have a beautiful ranch. Henry is married, 
and they live with two families of children in the one house. They 
are English gentlemen, graduates of Cambridge — keep a pack of 


fox hounds and hunt the fox of this country as they do in England. 
We lunch with them again to-morrow. They have no neighbors 
for many miles — no church — but live with a colony of Indians 
around them who do their farm work. Occasionally a clergyman 
in passing gives them a sermon in their parlor. If they wish to 
visit a neighbor, the ladies mount their horses and ride thirty 
miles to find one — that is, one with whom they can associate. Their 
ranch is beautifully irrigated by means of a lake, which is fed by 
a mountain stream. Without such irrigation here the soil will 
not produce cereals, hay or green crop. Our four-in-hand stood 
at the door awaiting the termination of the luncheon, and as soon 
as the inner man was satisfied we were all aboard again. While 
changing horses, six miles from Cornwall's, another address was 
presented to Tupper and appropriately replied to. At 7.30 we 
reached our present resting-place, Wren's inn, at the foot of the 
Kamloops Lake, where a first-class dinner and good beds awaited 
us. Here Tupper telegraphed to Charlie, who either personally 
or through the Herald, will inform you that we are well, and state 
that we were then near our journey's end as far as British Colum- 
bia was concerned, and would at once commence our homeward 
steps. In the evening Wren's three daughters and wife sang for 
us, exceedingly well, and one of the young ladies played the violin 
— an instrument made by her father — and did it very well. . . . 
The proprietors of the lake and river steamboats had a very com- 
fortable boat awaiting our arrival at Savona's Eerry to take us up 
the lake and the upper branches of the Thompson River. This 
place is called Savona's Ferry in consequence of a celebrated Cor- 
sican brigand named Savona having left his country for his coun- 
try's good and settled on this ranch. Mr. Bernard, M.P. for 
Victoria, one of the proprietors of the " Peerless " (our stern- 
wheeled steamer), was on board, with two of the local members, 
and at 9.30 a.m. to-day we started for Kamloops town, which we 
reach at 11.30 or 12 a.m. The boat steams seventeen miles an 
hour, draws only eighteen inches of water when light, as she is 
to-day, and three feet when loaded. The address was delivered 
in the court house — introductions given to all Kamloops — a grain 
mill and saw mill visited, a good lunch disposed of, and at 2 p.m. 
we crossed the river to the Indian reservation and visited the 
tribe resident there, about 500 souls. The chief was absent on a 
trading trip to the " Crees " on the east side of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, exchanging his horses for furs, and will not be back again 
for some months — if at all, as the tribe to which he has gone 
will only want a very small amount of provocation to scalp him. 
We steamed up the south branch of the Thompson some miles, 
returned again to the town and took on board all Kamloops — 
ladies and gentlemen, who in honor of the event were bound to 


see the last of us at the foot of this beautiful body of water. I 
enjoyed the sail and the splendid scenery of this district exceed- 
ingly. Our dinner was awaiting us, and our long table was filled 
to overflowing by the Kamloops contingent. A ball was extempor- 
ized, a fiddler obtained, and they danced all night till five 
o'clock a.m., whites and half-breeds, with an assembly of Indians 
and a few Chinamen as onlookers, to add variety to the scene. 
This hotel has a large ballroom attached to it — unhappily very 
near my bedroom. Extemporized beds for the Kamloops ladies 
occupied one end of it. There were five or six I think, and the 
rest was occupied by the dancers. A ball, out here means busi- 
ness. The last one held at this hotel commenced at 12 o'clock 
on Monday morning and lasted continuously day and night until 
12 o'clock the next Saturday. McLean, the fiddler, was the only 
person present in whom I felt any interest. He is a villainous- 
looking half-breed, whose father was killed not long ago by the 
Indians, and a few months since he had three brothers hung for 
a most diabolical murder in this neighborhood. Another young 
man was hanged with them, named Hare. His step-mother, a 
young and interesting looking half-breed, a widow, was one of 
the Kamloops contingent at the ball. Her husband died in 
France recently, having served two years in the Provincial Peni- 
tentiary for stoning and doing his best to kill a man. I was asked 
to the ball, but politely declined, so I cannot give you the details, 
but one incident, worthy of note, was a pretty half-breed lady, 
with well developed breasts, nursing her equally well developed 
baby, in the presence of all the guests and the dancers. This) 
was one of the little incidents mentioned to me this Saturday 
(Sept. 3rd) morning by Mr. Jones. I went to bed, but sleep was 
out of the question, as the music of the " fiddle " and the feet 
was too much for my over-sensitive brain. One of the young 
ladies of the hotel, Miss Jannie Wren, is known all over the 
country, and is quite a character — well educated, ladylike and 
amiable. She, although only twenty years old, is able to handle 
a rifle, land a salmon or the immense trout of Kamloops, being 
an expert fisherwoman, and is a most fearless rider and canoe- 
woman. When men fear to cross the river, she will spring into 
her canoe and paddle it across the stream, which runs at the 
rate of six or eight miles an hour. Only a short time ago, in a 
gale of wind, her father and other persons were crossing the 
river on the ferry-boat, with a number of mules, when the fixed 
wire rope broke. Some of the mules and men were drowned, and 
her father was all but gone and was carried away down the 
stream when she, paddle in hand, sprang into her canoe and 
gave chase, overtook him before he sank and safely landed him 
away down stream. All this was done when men were unequal 


to the emergency. On another occasion, when a buggy and pair 
of horses had left the hotel and gone for some time over the 
road that we travelled, and Governor Trutch was in great need 
of them, to carry him to Cache Creek, she ran without prepara- 
tion, bridled her horse, leaped on his back without a saddle, and, 
like the Indian women of whom I have spoken, started like the 
wind, and, after a chase of miles, brought the carriage back for 
the governor. Life on the frontier develops character and makes 
the women bold and brave. Yet with all this, you would take 
her for a refined and educated lady, who had seen much society 
and mingled with the world, — simple and gentle and retiring in 
manner. By the by, I should have said that there were two 
ladies at the ball who did not require to " do something tem- 
porary with a teapot " before the dancers. Jones tells me that, 
having nursed their babes to sleep, they placed them in one of 
the beds in the room, and then went to work in the dance. 

You will be surprised to hear that both Tupper and myself 
have gained nine pounds in weight since we left San Francisco. 
The beef and mutton here are superior to anything I have eaten 
elsewhere — in consequence of the peculiar feed of the country, 
wormwood, sage-grass and bunch-grass. All our party are well. 

Saturday Night, Sept 3rd. — Here I am again at Chase's 
Bridge. Tupper has joined his wife at McLeod's, as has Clarke; 
the rest of us are at the hotel here, where we have just dined, 
and I am dropping you a line before getting to bed — finishing 
up my journal. I know you Avill scold me for writing at such 
length, but it requires no mental effort, and really gives me 
enjoyment to be thus conversing with those I love so dearly. It 
is just one month this evening since we parted, and during that 
time I have travelled from 5,300 to 5,500 miles away from you, 
but am again slowly nearing my dear old home. The " Douglas " 
has been ordered to meet us at New Westminster on Wednesday 
next, to convey us to Victoria, from which place we will sail for 
San Francisco this day week. We all would have liked to remain 
one week more in the Kamloops district, inspecting the rivers 
and lakes of that district, which would have caused us to travel 
in the " Peerless " about 500 miles further, but our Winnipeg 
and Manitoba engagements will preclude that. I am longing for 
letters from you and the dear children, and the captain of the 
" Douglas " has been ordered to bring them over from Mr. Trutch's 
office in Victoria, so they will meet me in New Westminster on 
Wednesday. I am invited to dine with the Board of Trade on 
Thursday next. We will be too late for the Mayor's dinner on 
Wednesday, unless we should have a very rapid run, with a 
strong, fair wind on that day in crossing the channel. We had a 
very pleasant time at Governor Cornwall's ranch to-day, a splen- 


did luncheon and most agreeable society. I enjoyed both very 
much. A grandson of the late Hon. John Creighton, of Lunen- 
burg, called Heckman, has just called on me. He is here on the 
engineering staff of the railroad. We have not seen any rattle- 
snakes, although they exist in large numbers all through this part 
of British Columbia. Two were killed in Mr. McLeod's garden 
and two more just outside his house this summer, and one was 
killed at Cornwall's a short time since. The pig is the great 
destroyer of the rattlesnake, and will hunt, kill and eat them. 
Wherever the pig abounds these snakes become scarce. Hence 
pork is at a premium and pigs plentiful, the more so because it 
is the only kind of meat that the Chinamen will buy and eat. 
There is a Mr. Tuck staying at this hotel, an engineer from St. 
John, brother of Harry Tuck. . . As I shall be going 

over the same ground traversed by me before, and referred to in 
former letters, this will be my last long letter. You will hear 
from me again at San Francisco. As Lady Tupper is not with 
us, I cannot send her love. She was longing for you the day 
we parted. And now, dearest Fanny, farewell. May God bless 
you and ours and all we love, to whom convey very much love. 
Friends mentioned before, please remember me to again, when 
you see them. 

Ever your loving husband, 

D. McN. Paekek. 

The Deiaed Hotel, 
Victoria, B.C., Sept. 9th. 

Felday Night. — We journeyed on to Onderdonk's at Yale, 
where we were again lodged and looked after most hospitably. 
Ran down stream to New Westminster, arriving there at 8 p.m., 
spent an hour or more with Mr. Rand at Homer's store, slept 
on board the steamer, and reached Victoria and this hotel at 
4 p.m. Wednesday, in time for the Mayor's dinner. Last night 
we dined with about fifty persons, members of the Board of 
Trade, and did not get home until one o'clock this morning — 
a splendid dinner and any amount of speeches. The night previ- 
ous I dined at Trutch's, where the Tuppers and Clarkes are 
staying, and was asked to do so to-night, but declined. Senator 
McDonald came to the wharf and asked me to stay with them, 
but I did not care to be separated from our friends, and declined. 
They live some distance from the city, and it would have been 
troublesome to have been tied down to certain hours for luncheon, 
dinner, etc. Tupper has received five addresses to-day and yes- 
terday, and is being surfeited with them. The Nova Scotians 
in this part of British Columbia, numbering 114 I believe, were 


among the number, headed by Laurie and Rarnur. There was 
no mail coming here and going East earlier than ourselves, so 
instead of mailing this " up country " I brought it with me, and 
to-morrow we will take in the " Dakota " the first mail for three or 
four days past, and it will carry this letter; so on its receipt 
you will be assured that we reached San Francisco safely. We 
remain there, D.Y., two days, and then go to Omaha and St. 
Paul on our way to Winnipeg, where we will probably be in 
about a week from Friday next. I have had a large number of 
callers, and have been busy in returning their visits, all to-day. 
I will mail this to-night, so that it will reach you a day earlier 
than if I carried it on to San Francisco. God bless you all. 
Good night. 

Your own husband, 

D. MoB". P. 

P.S. — In my haste I forgot to mention the delightful letters 
received from you and the children — mentioning Frank, Mary 
Allison, Mrs. Fane, Jessie Passow, Moren, Gibson, Lady Hoyle, 
the Browns, the unanimous call to Mr. McArthur — the hay and 
Mr. Mott's very generous attention (for which tender him my 
special thanks), Wambolt and his father — the coal and Capt. 
Trott and the " Minia," and the family of the Trotts, the Barkers, 
the fire at Allen's tannery, Willie's visit to Wolfville, Hattie 
Allison and her visit to Dartmouth, the Barker children, Mr. 
Vermylee and party and his yacht "Atalanta," the Lewis's at Parrs- 
boro, Mr. Saunders at dinner on Sunday, the raspberries in our 
garden and poor Laura's rent and bleeding hands and arms, 
Wilkin's death, John's departure for Baltimore. . . . Col. 
Reid's appointment, Aunt Elizabeth's gout, Grant's bill for hay, 
Rev. Mr. Lockhart — Libby Black's marriage, the weather and 

fog of Halifax, the cotton factory. Mrs. and her present, 

who to my mind is very thankful for small favors, Georgie Grant 
and her intended visit, Gill Troop and the " Minia " (Willie had a 
narrow escape from seasickness, fog and discomfort), George 
Troop and Texas. Poor boy, I am sorry he is going so far from 
a mother's love and care, but God can care for him. It may all 
be right, and I hope it is. I liked the poor boy and shall miss 
him. The 26th of August, will never be forgotten by me, my 
dearest wife. 

I have just enumerated the news and statements of your last 
three letters, which, with two from Mr. Saunders and two Christian 
Messengers from Mr. Selden, all reached me at Onderdonk's in 
Yale, having been ordered up by telegraph. You may depend 
on it I was glad to have such a budget, and retired to a little 
mountain stream close to the house, where, on a comfortable seat 

360 DANIEL McNEILL parker, m.d. 

and under the foliage of a large tree, I devoured the contents, 
and was thankful to God for His goodness in preserving your 
lives and health. Remember me most kindly to the Passows, and 
congratulate Jessie for me on the improvement in her health. 
Tell them that I was at Lieut. Baker's to-day, returning his 
visit, and saw Mrs. B. and her infant. . . . Mrs. Baker 
is a daughter of Mrs. Jones and a niece of Ramur's. I saw 
Mrs. Ramur yesterday at her beautiful cottage on the waters of 
the harbor. She was a daughter of G. P. Lawson's. I trust 
Moren, Lady Hoyle and Gibson are all doing well. Cambie, the 
engineer residing at Yale, married Gibson's grand-niece. She 
was a daughter of John B. Fay, and when residing in Wolfville 
was a friend of dear Johnston's. . . . Lady Tupper is well 
and has stood the journey well. We meet to-morrow on board 
the " Dakota," and will all be together again until Winnipeg is 
reached. Tupper never was better in his life. Again farewell. 

Yours ever, 

D. McN. Parker. 

S.S. " Dakota," Pacific Ocean, 
September 11th, 1881. 
September 12th, 1881. 
San Francisco, 

September 13th, 1881. 
My Dear Children: 

I am in receipt of a letter from each of you. That from 
Willie, as also Mary's, reached me yesterday, just as I was start- 
ing from the Driard Hotel. In fact, the gentleman who was 
driving me to Esquimalt to join our ship had whip and reins 
in hand, and in a second more I would have left without them, 
when a clerk from the Dominion office rushed up and delighted 
my heart by handing them to me. The mail was not sorted, and 
I was obliged to leave without getting the Christian Messenger 
and Visitors which Willie forwarded to me, but I presume Mr. 
Trutch will forward them to me at Winnipeg. We sailed at 
3 p.m. from Esquimalt, the harbor of Victoria not being large 
enough to accommodate a ship of the size of the " Dakota," and 
thus far we have had a very pleasant passage, the sea being 
smooth, but through the night the captain was obliged to run at 
half speed in consequence of the fog in the Sound. To-day the 
weather is fine and the temperature mild, and as we have no 
minister on board, it is hard to kill the time without any Sunday 
service or appropriate literature. The Sabbath is not weil 


observed on the slopes of the Pacific, and in the interior of 
British Columbia in many of the villages there are no places of 
worship, and where there are preaching stations, generally speak- 
ing, they are episcopal houses, and the clergyman's visits are 
few and far between. In all British Columbia there is but one 
Baptist meeting house, and that without a stationary minister. 
It is in Victoria, and is the one referred to in a former letter 
as being in debt, which debt Mother is expected to pay off by 
her own subscription, aided by sums obtained from other sources. 
The only passenger on board our ship known to me is a daughter 
of the late Sir James Douglas, a former governor of British 
Columbia. She is a widow, and full of fun. Her mother was a 
half-breed. Col. Laurie was. I think, sorry to part with us. I 
saw a great deal of him at my hotel, and have a letter for his 
wife, who is to be at Chicago, bound for British Columbia on 
the 1.9th inst. I hope to meet her on the train for a few 
moments. The Colonel finds it very dull at Victoria, and will 
be very glad to have her with him. All Victoria drove down 
to Esquimalt to see us off. Lady Tupper's stateroom was flooded 
with bouquets, and ours (Mr. Robertson's and mine) has a 
delicious odor of roses, from a very large and beautiful bouquet 
which adorns it — one of Lady Tupper's. Altogether, our visit to 
British Columbia has been exceedingly enjoyable, and as far as 
Sir Charles Tupper is concerned has been a continuous ovation. 
Addresses and speeches are now ended until we reach "Winnipeg, 
where I presume they will be repeated to a limited extent. How- 
ever, as Sir Charles has been there before, I presume he will 
not be beset with them, and possibly, as he ran the gauntlet only 
last year, he and we may escape the infliction. I was very much 
interested in Willie's most satisfactory statement of the doings 
at the Convention. Altogether, the result of the meeting was 
satisfactory. . . . Did he subscribe $100 for me towards 
paying off the Home Mission debt ? I am very glad you have 
seen and shown some attention to the ladies from the American 
yacht, and that Georgie Grant has been over. Tell clear old 
mother that I was struck with a remark in her letter in refer- 
ence to " Amelia," of Salt Lake City. She expresses regret that 
she should have married so soon after her husband's death, from 
which I assume mother does not object to " widders " marrying 
again, if they will only hold on for a little longer than six 
months. It is very suggestive of a stepfather for you, as she 
does not appear to take exception to the principle. 

After reading Mary's letter, in which reference is made to 
the cows, I was very much exercised in a dream about these 
animals of ours. Thev were lost and I was hunting for them 


for hours on horseback, hut without success, while the family at 
home were suffering for milk. It was a great relief to me to 
find that it was but a dream. . . . Mary says you have 
had but twelve really fine days since May 1st. How different 
it has been with us. Every day has been fine, and while the 
days have been a little warm for a few hours, the nights have 
been deliciously cool. 

San Francisco,, Palace Hotel, 
September 13th. 

At 7.30 p.m. we reached our hotel, and we are all congre- 
gated together here on the same floor, in the same luxurious 
apartments as we had before. Not the same rooms, but a story 
lower, on the first floor. Our voyage was delightful. Every day 
was pleasant, and on the whole I stood it well. The ship was 
large and full of passengers, and among them we found a good 
proportion of Ontario people. My services were called into requi- 
sition, as a child on board was attacked with illness — probably 
scarlet fever — and I was asked to prescribe for her. Col. Clarke 
and I have been out taking a walk through the streets, and I have 
•come in with a bag of grapes, three pounds for twenty-five cents, 
and am having a feast. The California fruit is very abundant 
and fine. The best pears in the world are grown here, and grapes 
are sold for a mere song. I wish you were all in my room, and 
we would have a bushel basket full, and have a feast and a sur- 
feit. Figs, apricots, apples and plums are grown in vast quan- 
tities, and are exceedingly cheap. A deputation of the Cana- 
dians here has just called on Sir Charles, asking him to meet 
them to-morrow night at the rooms of the Canadian Society, that 
they may have the opportunity of hearing an address from him. 
He has accepted their invitation, and no doubt will give them 
a stirring speech. I did not find a letter or letters from home 
on my arrival here, but hope to hear from you to-morrow. I 
wrote to Mr. Saunders, on the " Dakota," in answer to two letters 
from him, received at Yale. And now, my dearest children, I 
must say good-night and good-bye for the present. My next letter 
will probably be from Winnipeg, for which place we will leave 
San Francisco on Friday next, the 16th inst., at 3 p.m. May 
God bless and preserve you all in health and strength of body 
and soul alike is the earnest prayer of your loving father. With 
much love to darling mother and you all. 

Ever yours affectionately, 

D. McK P. 


Car " Kewaydin," near Omaha, Nebraska, 
September 20th, 1881. 

Tuesday, p.m. 
My Dearest Wife : 

I write under difficulties, as you will perceive from the char- 
acter of this scrawl, for even the Union Pacific does not run suffi- 
ciently smoothly to enable a man to pen a letter so that it may be 
readily deciphered. My object is merely to let you know that we 
are thus far on our journey to Manitoba, and, thank God, I and 
all my travelling companions are well — exceedingly well. Tupper 
and I increased thirteen pounds each from the day we left San 
Francisco for British Columbia until our return to the Palace 
Hotel on the 13th inst. Schreiber and all have increased in flesh, 
but the ladies will not go on the scales, dreading the result. The 
fact is, the magnificent climate, the beef, mutton and fruit of 
British Columbia, with absence from mental work, have done the 
work of putting the flesh on one's bones in a way that Nova Scotia 
could not have done. N.B. — Prepare to emigrate. On our 
arrival at San Francisco every courtesy was extended. One gen- 
tleman drove the party out to the Park and to the Cliff House to 
see the hundreds of sea-lions that bask on the rocks by the cliffs 
and roar like great bulls of Bashan. Some of them were very large, 
weighing between two and three tons, and "Ben Butler" even 
more than this. They are not allowed to be shot and are conse- 
quently quite tame, and thus visitors become familiar with indi- 
viduals and give them names. This drive altogether was about 
sixteen miles, and we took it in a four-in-hand drag, the pace being 
never less than ten miles, and the team was composed of magnifi- 
cent horses. The next morning Dr. McNutt called and drove me 
with a first-rate pair of horses many miles around the outskirts of 
the city, and afterwards introduced me to his wife, the daughter 
of a former mayor of San Francisco, a Dr. Kughn. I called and 
saw the Davies again, and found them well. We had a letter 
from " Lee Chuck," whom we met in Brtish Columbia, to his part- 
ners in business in San Francisco. They treated us with the 
greatest kindness and attention, and showed us all over " China- 
town," introducing us to the principal institutions and features of 
life among this peculiar and interesting people. We saw their 
" joss house," or place of worship, their theatre, and lunched with 
them, partaking of their usual food and drinking their tea, as 
made by themselves, each cup being a teapot, or answering the 
purpose of our teapots. On leaving them we were all presented 
with some articles of Chinese manufacture, but of these and the 
details of our visit to the Chinese in San Francisco I will speak 
when we meet again — if God in His goodness should permit me 
to return again to my home. We drove on Thursday to the village 


of Berkely, beyond Oaklands, to visit the University of California, 
with Mr. Ward, manager of D. 0. Mills' bank (Mr. Mills himself 
being ill), lunched with him at his Oaklands residence and took 
the steam ferry again at five o'clock for San Francisco. On 
Friday at 3 p.m. we again crossed to Oaklands and re-em- 
barked on board of our good car the " Kewaydin " for the run 
east, and thus far have got along pleasantly and in safety, without 
rain (indeed, we have had no rain since we left Canada) and with 
a pleasant temperature, requiring two blankets at night. At mid- 
day it is warm, but not oppressive, and there is always a pleasant 
breeze. To-day the flags at the military and railway stations are 
all at " half mast." The President