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Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB
November 9, 1893

GLIMPSES OF THE PAST

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

XC – THE PORT MATOON ASSOCIATION-Continued.

Samuel Osborne was doubtless Capt. Osborne, of the Ariadne; and it is not probable that he ever saw his land in Morristown.

William Murchie came from Paisley, Scotland, with his three sons, about 1773; and was residing in New York city at the outbreak of the war.  He came to Port Matoon and thence to Schoodic with the other Loyalists, leaving his eldest son in New York, but bringing with him the two younger, John and Andrew.1  The latter, though a very frail lad of fifteen years, lived to be a rugged man, and became the ancestor of most of the lusty race that bear the name in this part of the world to-day.  He was a total abstainer from intoxicating liquor for many years before his death, in a day when total abstainers were few.  The summons came to him when he was alone-they found him dead in his chair one evening, with an open bible before him.  William Murchie’s wife was a Miss Simpson, of Paisley.  Andrew married a daughter of Colin Campbell, an officer of the 74th Highland regiment.

Thomas Grimmer, (not Gromer, though his name is so spelled in the grant,) belonged to one of the corps disbanded in New York at the time of the evacuation.  He was of Irish parentage, and probably was born in Ireland; though the family name is said to be of Dutch or German origin.  He resided in Philadelphia before the Revolution.  At the close of the war he married Lydia Way, of Brooklyn, L. I.; who was of Dutch descent, and who, like many of the Dutch folk of Long Island, had sought protection within the British lines.  Their eldest son, Thomas, was born in Port Matoon; and there were ten children and forty-four grandchildren before there was a death in the family.  Thomas Grimmer died in 1828, at the age of 69; and his wife at the same age in 1834.  Their graves are side by side in the old churchyard where so many of the founders of St. Stephen are buried.  Mr. Jesse Grimmer,2 of the Old Ridge, is their youngest son.

Benj. Burgess, known as Captain Burgess, was unable to stand the hardships of pioneer life, and went to live with relatives in Maine, where he died in 1805.

The John Frazer who came from Inverness about 1804, bringing his family with him, and who has many descendants living in this county, could not have been the John Fraser of the original grants, unless he went home to Scotland soon after the grants were issued, and came back twenty years later.  Possibly the John Frazer of the grants was the head of the firm of John Frazer & Co., doing business at Campobello, and therefore a non-resident.

Thomas Wilson was commander of the transport Neptune.  He remained in the government service, and sent from England to his wife and Capt. Marks power of attorney to take possession of the lands allotted to him.3

James Wall, mariner, one of Capt. Marks’s company in the corps of Armed Boatmen, and a member of the crew of his dispatch boat, the Miranda, also gave Capt. Marks authority to claim his lands.

Others of the Miranda’s crew who came here, so far as their names can be recalled at present, were John Wall, Josiah Fowler, James Farren,4 Joseph Betson, James Wallar, Chas. Darby, John Corvan, Peter Eldred, John Barber, and James Lawrie.


1These facts are obtained from his grandson, the head of the well known firm of James Murchie & Sons.  Knowlton’s Annals is astray in the genealogy of the Murchie family.

2We are indebted to Mr. Grimmer for many recollections of the early settlers.  Acknowledgements should have been made last week to Geo. M. Porter, Esq., and to Mr. Robt. Christie.

3Preserved among many other interesting documents in possession of Mr. Marks, one of which is a deed of certain lands purchased by Captain Marks in Derby, Conn., in 1774.

4James Farren sold his lot to Captain Marks, and received the money, intending to execute the deed when they met in St. Andrews later.  In the meantime Captain Marks died; and when Farren heard of it he walked up from St. Andrews through the woods to get instructions, and completed the transfer of the property to Mrs. Marks.


Correction: Article XCI contains the following correction to this one: "Erase the first paragraph, relating to Capt. Osborne.  In a list of names of the Port Matoon Association in the crown land office occurs the name of ‘Sergt. Samuel Osburne,’ who, therefore, could not have been the same as Capt. Osborne of the Ariadne.  The other military titles in this list are Capt. N. Marks, Lieut. Wm. Grant, Lieut. Richard Brady, Sergt. James Farren, Sergt. Wm. Rose, Sergt. Evan McPherson, Sergt. Thos. Mitchell and Sergt. Alex. Dobbins."