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Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB
January 18, 1894

GLIMPSES OF THE PAST

Contributions to the History of Charlotte County and the Border Towns.

C – THE SEVENTY-FOURTH ASSOCIATION.

‘The precise day on which Castine was abandoned may never be ascertained,’ says the historian from whose writings the last two articles were taken.1  The London Chronicle of May 8, 1784, contains an abstract of a letter dated at Penobscot, Jan. 1, 1784, from which he quotes as follows:-

I wrote you in my last I had built me a house here, and I expect in four or five days to leave it for some of the Rebels to take possession of, as this place will be evacuated in the course of a fortnight.  I shall move to a place called St. Andrews, Passamaquoddy, in Nova Scotia, on the western side of the bay of Fundy, on the mouth of the Schoodick River, which river we expect will be the boundary line between the American States and the Province of Nova Scotia.  The inhabitants of this place all intend settling there, many having been there three months and have got houses erected to the number of sixty or seventy….. Capt. Pete, Mr. Robert Fagan and myself are agents for all the people who intend settling there.

‘Pete’ and ‘Fagan’ are evidently misprints for Pote and Pagan.  The name of the writer is not given, but the records at Halifax would probably show the names of the three agents.

Another account quoted by the same writer, from Ballard’s ‘Historical Sketch of Castine,’ written in 1815, says:-

On evacuating this fort in January, 1784, the commanding officer of the British Garrison waited several days for ‘the arrival of the American force to take possession of the same; this not arriving, he suffered the privates on his embarking, to set fire to the barracks and destroy everything within their power.’

The main body of the 74th, or Argyle Highlanders, would seem to have sailed for England in November, or early in December, for they were at Spithead on the 6th of January, 1784.

Part of the detachment of this regiment in garrison at Fort George was disbanded December 24, 1783.2  It seems probable that the most of the troops left for Halifax at this time, a small detachment only remaining to protect property until the formal transfer.  The disbanded soldiers may have remained at Castine for some time with the civilians, as above stated, and then accompanied the remaining troops and stores to Halifax; from which place, tradition says, they came to Passamaquoddy in March, 1784.  They waited in the towns of St. George and St. Andrews for their lands to be surveyed.

The number of the soldiers of the 74th who became permanent settlers, in proportion to those who at first received allotments of land, was apparently greater than in the case of the Fencibles on the Magaguadavic; yet many sold out as soon as possible, and either left the district or settled in the towns.


1Joseph Williamson, in proceedings of the Maine Historical Society.

2This was the date of Dugald Clark’s discharge (see Article lxxxi); and the records at St. Andrews show that the half pay of one of the retired officers, Lieut. Donald McLean, began at the same date.


CORRECTIONS.

Article lxxxi.-Erase the statement that in the list of officers of the 74th at Fort George in 1780 every one was named Campbell.  The following is a copy of the list which is pasted in the old parole book of the garrison, now in possession of Mr. C. E. O. Hatheway, St. Andrews:-

Lieutenant Colonel John Campbell.
Major John Campbell.
Captain Archibald Campbell.
Captain Archibald Campbell, Jr.
Captain John Campbell.
Lieutenant Archibald Campbell.
Lieutenant Colin Campbell, Sr.
Lieutenant Colin Campbell. (2)
Lieutenant Colin Campbell. (3)
Lieutenant Colin Campbell. (4)
Lieutenant Kenneth Campbell.
Ensign Archibald Campbell.
Ensign Donald Campbell.
Ensign John Campbell, Jr.

(The names of the three younger Lieuts. Colin Campbell are followed by certain distinguishing names which it is not easy to decipher.)

Mr. Hatheway writes, ‘I see in glancing over the orders a number of Stewarts, McLeans, Camerons and Walkers.  I presume that the above names have been put there only to show the number of Campbells in the regiment.'

Mr. Hatheway is willing to part with the book; and it should find a place in the library of some historical society.