Memories of Long Ago, by Benjamin Bremner - Page 4
The Russian War
During the years 1854-6 the whole civilized world was profoundly stirred
over the news of the War in the Crimea. News from Europe to America came
through to us very slowly, as there was no Atlantic Cable at that time. But
when word of the fall of Sebastopol on 8th Sept 1855 arrived here, it caused
a great outburst of joy among all loyal Britons. Charlottetown news papers
heralded the event as "Glorious News", and the city was en jeie for a day or
two with bands playing and bonfires burning. It was not until 1856 that
Russia acknowledged defeat and the Treaty of Peace was signed.
Before the "Glorious News" was received, a committee of prominent citizens
here had established a Patriotic Fund in aid of sufferers by the war. I was
too young at the time to know much about the circumstances, but on scanning
old files of papers I came across the following advertisements which
appeared to me would be appropriately placed after my writeup of
"Dramatics", The following was dated April 6, 1855: -
"A Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music for the above object, will take
place at the Temperance Hall on the evening of Thursday, the 3rd of May next.
"The entertainment will consist of a variety of new, popular and
appropriate airs, the greater part of which have been imported for the
occasion. The Vocalists will be assisted by an Organ, at present in course
of erection by Mr. Watson Duchemin. The Instrumental part of the
performance will present increased interest from the addition of Stringed
Instruments, through the kindness of gentlemen who have volunteered to assist."
"Cards of Admission - Reserved Seats 3s. , Rear Seats, 2s. - 3d. to be obtained at
the Book Store of Haszard & Owen and Watson's Drug Store, where a plan of
the Hall may be seen, for the purpose of selecting and securing seats which,
to prevent confusion are numbered. Management committee - Hon'bles F.
Longworth, Col. Swabey, James Warburton, Edward Whelan, T. H. Haviland, D. G.
Daly, M. B. Daly, chairs - Palmer, E. L. Lyiard, and Wm. Douse, Esq'rs., Mr. W.
Duchemin, Mr. G. P. Tanton. - The two latter, Music Leaders. April 6th 1855"
Millner's Grand Dioramic Panorama of the Russian War
Has just arrived in this city from a tour of the Provinces and will be
exhibited here for the second time on;
Monday and Tuesday Evenings next, the 28th and 29th, instant.
This admirable and ingenious work of art - the production of natives and
citizens of Charlottetown - has been hailed with unbounded applause and
attracted crowded houses in the neigboring Provinces and the proprietors
have the fullest confidences that their fellow citizens here will appreciate
their efforts to make the present exhibition eminently worthy of their
countenance and support. - July 24, 1856.
When very young I was delighted to witness the unrolling of this panorama
in 1859, which I then thought was wonderful.
The late Mr. Geo. W. Millner, referred to before in these sketches was the artist.
On the 31st of January 1871, appeared a small sized sheet in newspaper form, entitled:
The Broad - Axe
In profession it was Independent and consisted mainly of editorials and
contributions devoted to the criticism of public men, societies, public
entertainment's, the conduct of public institutions, and politicians
generally. The sponsors of the paper were sub rosa, but were popularly
supposed to be - L.H. D. and R.S. there were probably others concerned. The
tone of the editorials was principally in a sarcastic vein and dealt
especially with matters political, hard knocks being directed towards the
promoters of the Bill for the proposed construction of the Prince Edward
Island railway. It bore on its front page the slogan: - "Hew to the line,
let the chips fall where they may". The leading article of the first number
of the paper contained the following:
"Today we issue the first number of the Broad - Axe...
Externally it is an unpretending little sheet. It is intended to
be outspoken and independent on every question. It will not be
subservient to sect or party. It's conductors have no selfish interests to
advance, and there's being already a keen - edged weapon, we need hardly say
they have "no axe to grind!" they start the Broad - Axe for amusement; they
will contribute to its pages as a pastime, and during the dull evenings of
long winter they mean to make its strokes tell upon the vices and follies of
the time. Having no prejudices to overcome, and no party ends to serve, it
will always be the exponent of independent thought. Correspondence to be
admitted into its pages must, above all things, possess merit. The author's
name will not be required. Jobs, monopolies and compacts will be dealt with
more fearlessly than they have ever hither to been dealt with on this Island.
Under one or another of these heads will come the corporation, the Post
Office, the Mail Service, the Hillsborough Ferry, the Grand Jury and
political family compacts generally. The relations between the Bench and
the Bar will form a suitable text for a few scathing articles for Lectures
and Theatrical Performances, the stereotyped form of eulogy now in vogue,
must be exchanged for a severe and more truthful style of criticism. This
evil has grown to such an extent that it has become a nuisance. It lowers
the standard of literary merit and vitiates the public taste and leaves
the people to feed on husks. In the meantime we do not wish any person to
believe that our journal will be the pink of perfection. It will have its
faults, doubtless, but our aim shall be to make it truthful and honest, as
well as a terror to political evil doers". Quite an ambitious programme.
But it is not my purpose to challenge any of the opinions or criticisms
contained in its pages, but merely to quote passages here and there that
might prove interesting to my readers, concerning the opinions of some who
were clever anonymous writers in that interesting period when the Railway
Bill was passed, and which later led to the entry of this island into the
The Broad - Axe was published fortnightly and loved
for four months, or from 31st January until 30th May, 1871 when the
following valedictory appeared: "Today we discontinue the publication of
the Broad - Axe for the summer months, unless some special emergency requiring
its services should appear. When it re - appears, the first number will
contain a sketch of the 'honorable gentlemen' of the legislative
council". I do not think it ever "re - appeared" but it was much talked of
for quite a long time after its disappearance. I reproduce here a few
extracts from the Broad - Axe taken from different dates of its publication,
and considerably curtailed, as space forbids full quotations.
A contributor (Q.C.) thus speaks of the "relations" between the "Bench and Bar": -
Ever since I came to P.E. Island, I have made it a point to attend public
dinners that I might hear the speeches of our public men. I have
invariably found "The Bench and Bar", one of the standing toasts of the
evening on these occasions, and have always listened with interest to the
responses. They have all had a singular sameness - the Judges are lauded for
their courtesy and ability and the lawyers for their independence and honor
During the last sitting of the Supreme Court in Charlottetown, I was the
witness to certain 'scenes' which effectually disposed of my preconceived
ideas of the courtesy of one at least of our Judges, as well as the
independence of some at least of our Bar. An insurance case was being tried
before Judge ____ .
I was interested in the law of the case and watched it
throughout. I wish merely to state that so far as my observation went, the
relations between the 'Bench and Bar' were not such as either could
congratulate themselves upon. The Judge was snappish and overbearing, and,
in more than one instance, insultingly rude, the counsel appeared thoroughly
cowed and received the harsh reproofs of the Judge with meek humility.
Where, I asked myself is the much vaunted independence of these men? During
the progress of the trial, one of the juniors took exception to the
admission of some evidence. The Judge listened quietly to his arguments,
which lasted only a few moments, and then addressing him with about the same
respect that is generally paid by an ill-natured man to his dog, ordered him
to sit down". I have no wish to discuss this matter further. I have
learned all and more than I wanted to know, and am convinced that the talk
generally indulged in, over dinner table, of the independence of the Bar, is
mere claptrap. (Q.C.)
"The office seekers, who fawn upon the Premier and his political associates,
are opposed to our outspoken utterances upon public men and measures ...The
electors of this colony never intended that the present coalition should
rule them.. Already the people of this colony have had a trial of the .....'s
as rulers, and the result of their sway was such that it was not inaptly
termed 'the reign of terror.' Honest men despise political tricksters who,
when previously in power, were continually getting up delegations to send
themselves around the world to 'chase butterflies' ... at the people's
expense, and who squandered the public money on troops, constables, whiskey
One would be of the opinion that in view of all we read in the
Broad - Axe against the doings of certain politicians that the writers of
these criticisms would, on attaining power, excerise a different attitude
towards such actions they so piously denounced, but, alas! for the frailty
of human nature, such lofty sentiments in speech (in the opinion of many
today) did not materialize in action, either here or at Ottawa,
notwithstanding the opportunities offered.
"On Dit. That the Government purposes supplying the officials in
the Registry Office with meerschaum pipes and good tobacco. The old clays
and niggerheads are, consequently, offered for sale". -- Broad Axe.
"On Dit. That next summer, pasture on the public squares will be
free to friends of the corporation". -- Broad Axe
(on the opposite page is a pen and ink of Charlottetown Waterfront - Pownal
Wharf - West-1849)
Parties wishing to kick up a row on the streets will be good enough
to select a place at a proper distance from the Post Office, so as not to
disturb the slumbers of the policemen at the station". -- Broad Axe.
"I think it improves a comic paper to have a joke in it once in
while". -- Artemas Ward
"Personalities. Some of our local papers, for want, we suppose, of
something better to do, are busily engaged in discussing each other's
merits, or rather, demerits. One editor's garments are criticised with the
skill and ability of a connoisseur clothier; another man's business
transactions are made the text for an abusive paragraph or two; and a third
is told that some of his relations are no better than they ought to be. Of
what possible interest can this be to the general reader? The public acts
of public men are public property, and they afford ample scope for
legitimate criticism, but when personalities of the lowest kind come to be
the pastime of editors, the press loses influence and ceases to be true to
its high mission. Whether a man is six feet high or only four feet six;
whether his beard is red or black; whether he rises late or
early; ... all these things are of no public utility, and never
discussed except by lovers of gossip and retailers of scandal. These things
have no bearing upon the Land Question, the Railway or Confederation...
"They are beneath the dignity of journalism and should be avoided".
-- Broad - Axe, May 13, 1871.
The foregoing extract reminds me of one of Artemas Ward's pen
portraits of a journalist in his home town who was inclined towards
personalities when writing about his rival journalist across the street, in
which the controversy was about a plank road: "The road may be, as our
contemporary says, 'a hummbug but our aunt isn't bald - headed and we haven't
got a one - eyed sister Sal". -- A. Ward
The following from the Broad-Axe, is an abridged critique on a
Literary and Musical entertainment, given on behalf of a charitable object
in March 1871:
"Mr. C. R.'s recitation from the 'Lays of the Scottish Cavalier was
good, but would have been more effective had he contented himself with less
action. In this respect his recitations are always overdone, and the fault
is the more to be regretted, since his delivery and enunciation are
excellent. We would advise him to be in future more sparing of frantic
rushes across the stage and wild swaying of his arms. Mr. P. S. M.'s reading
from A. Ward.....afforded a pleasing variety to the entertainment, since it
was really comic throughout, and was evidently appreciated by the
audience ..... a little more animation would improve his readings, Mr. D.F.
who was the next performer, attempted to recite Poe's Raven.' We use the
word' attempted' advisedly, for though we are ready to acknowledge that Mr.
F. possesses talent of a high order, we are sure that the audience who
listened to him on Tuesday last will agree with us when we say that his
genius does not lie in recitation. We wish we could compliment Mr. MacD.
upon his manner of reading, but regard for truth prevents our doing so. He
lacks force, vivacity and clear enunciation. Mr. W. D. H. who next made his
bow on the stage, lacks all the qualities required to make a good reader,
unless to be such it is simply necessary to pronounce words one after
another as they appear in a book, somewhat as school - boys recite
'Hohenlinden" ... we cannot wonder at the unmistakable sign of impatience
shown by his hearers, while he was grinding out his 'pieces.' Mr. W. W. S.
closed the literary part of the entertainment ... by an Irish story,
which, if read quietly at home would produce many a laugh, but Mr. S's
hearers on Tuesday evening remained solemn and sad..
"We have, in this notice, spoken only of the literary part of the
entertainment. Of the musical part we are not so well able to judge, but so
far as our opinion goes, we pronounce in its favor. We must confess
however, that, in our ignorance, we had always supposed, that to be a tenor
singer, something more was necessary than to stand upon a stage with a sheet
of music held in the hand, and to utter sounds inaudible beyond the front
row of seats. We tender our thanks to Mr. D.F. for having undeceived us".
"The same paper , in its write up of a later entertainment given on
the 24th of May, thus unburdens itself:".
"There was any amount of amusement provided (by the audience) but
the entertainment would have been a failure, were it not for Messrs. P. S. M.,
C, N, and R. N. The music was good. We sometimes complain of the impudence
of the street ragamuffin, but he is modest and retiring compared to the
empty headed buffoons who, unable to read, speak or write, impudently thrust
themselves forward to take part in literary entertainments".
Political Parsons. "It is a historical fact that religious wars have
been the most bitter of all wars, and when clergymen interfere in party
politics, it only adds fuel to the strife, and ends in corrupting one set of
politicians, embittering another, and weakening the influence for good of
the spiritual guide. It is equally notorious that those who happen to have
the 'shepherd' on their side care very little for the opinions and wishes
of the 'flock.' It was so here some years since and it is so at this
moment ... At the Summerside meeting, did we not see three or four preachers
of the gospel on the platform? and one of them, though only a few weeks on
the island, and knowing neither its wants nor resources, had the good taste
to take part in the discussion. The political clergyman is a pest to society".
"On Dit that on Friday night week some desperadoes, after carrying
away the steps from the Police Station, whisked stealthily in and removed the
guard bed and stove from the premises. The precautions taken by them to
accomplish this object, without arousing the occupants were this time
successful, but care should be taken that we shall not hear of a repetition
of this disgraceful affair. No blame can, we think, attach to the officials
who were on duty at the time. A subscription list has been started to
replace the missing articles, the loss of which is seriously felt by the
members of our police Force and their friends. We need not remind our
citizens that in giving liberally to this cause they will conduce to the
comfort of those who guard us and our property whilst we sleep the long dark
Speaking of the Opposition in the Legislature in 1871, the Broad-Axe thus talks:
"Every calamity is attributed to the dishonesty or incompetency of
the Government. A tidal wave, a dangerous crack in the Hillsborough ice, a
fall in the price of oats, a rise in the premiums of insurance - all are sins
for which, it (the Government ) alone is responsible".
"Answer to Correspondent. Poetry is evidently not your forte. Your
friendly intentions we appreciate, but publication of your Ode to Winter,
would offend the literary taste of our readers".
"Quiz: Your contribution is too dull for the Broad-Axe. Try the
A few sample "Ads" that appeared the Broad-Axe in various issues, in 1871.
"Burke, Gillian & Co., Queen Street
Wholesale and retail dealers in chimney Tops, Screw Nails, Powder and fish
"C. C. Carlton, Souris
Keeps constantly on hand, for sale, wholesale or retail, Yankee Notions,
Pork and Bean and Condition Powders".
"Ronald McLeod, Upper Great George Street,
Shoemaker and Farrier
N.B. Mowing Machines made to order, Gridirons repaired at shortest notice
and Topsies and Wheelbarrows mounted with neatness and despatch".
"Heartz & Sons
Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Notes of Hand, Dry Goods and Leather".
Deputy Sheriff and Horse Jockey".
Commission Merchant and Auctioneer, Trinty Corner, Georgetown. Deputy
Prothonotary, Justice of the Peace and Comissioner of Small Debts. Pine
Boards, Hair Oil and Blacksmith's Tools always on hand".
Hotel Keeper, dealer in "Wittles, Wine and Winegar", Commercial Hotel,
Just received 10,000 gents Paper collars, at Robert Young's Hoop Skirts and
Water falls in variety".
"Cheap fancy goods and Ironmongery at Samuel Nelson's N.B. Ladies Bonnets
A choice assortment of Hake constantly on hand. Gents' gloves Liquors, ect.,
"Hardware at Baldwin & co's. Queen St. Sapolio, gimlets and crosscut Saws,
The following is a genuine Advertisement appearing in the Islander newspaper
of Sept 28, 1855, and is worth of the Broad-Axe:-
"Apples and Sofas
A lot of the above just arrived per 'Isabella", from Boston, and for
sale by Christopher Smith, North side Queen Square".
A specimen answer to a correspondent in the Examiner of 1856 edited
by Hon. Edward Whelan, that savors almost of the Broad-Axe:-
"However much we may admire the sound liberal spirit which prompted
"O. C. D". to sing the praises of the late government ... we advise him to
betake himself for the future to plain prose, for he is evidently not
destined to shine as a poet, and we fear the publication of his verses would
not advance the cause of liberalism".
The two principal newspapers in 1855 and 1856 were the Islander the
Examiner. As samples of the style of "brotherly love" editorial matter that
passes between these two papers the following are submitted. I think readers
will admit the tone of journalism has greatly improved in the last
"A.M. is a tolerably good illustration of what sort of characters go
to compose our officials and administrations....Should any of our readers
suppose that our sketch of this man is a caricature of the officials,
including the executive Councillors, they will make a very great mistake.
they are, perhaps, all as dishonorable, if not more so, than he is, and we
believe he is the only one amongst them who can do his duty....if he would".
A (part) reply to a brother editor (1855):
"As to inventing or publishing calumnies about you, your character
has been too long black enough in the public estimation to require any aid
from my pen. You have distanced all competitors in that respect. For four
years at least, you have labored with untiring zeal to convince the little
world of P.E. Island how much you covet the reputation of an unmitigated
ruffian in preference to that of an honest man. In the language of your
country's poet, you have:
"D-----d yourself to save the Lord the trouble".
Also, another choice specimen: "No one can expect anything but lying
and foulness from a dirty, contemptible and insignificant sheet like the ___ !"
In an article in the P.E. Island Magazine, volume IV by the late
J. H. Fletcher, wherein he asks, whether the tone of the press is better
today than it was fifty years ago, he affirms that it is, and compares the
editorials of the Charlottetown papers of that time with the present, as
examples, and further states:
"It is not generally known that Milton, the great author of
'Paradise Lost', was one of the most perfect masters of Billingsgate that
ever lived ... Milton's manner was simply ferocious at times. He thus flays
an opponent scribe by reminding him that he is a knave, a pragmatical
cox-comb, a bribed beggar, a whipped dog, ... an ass, a vain and impudent
slave, a renegade, a sacrilegious wretch, a mongrel cur, a whining
hypocrite, an obscene scoundrel, a liar, and a mass of corruption.'" Quite
Some Local Institutions
(Civic and Otherwise)
The first brass band I remember to have seen and heard, was
The Temperance Band
Which was organized by the Sons of Temperance Order, sometime in the late
fifties. When a youngster of seven or eight years, I followed, together
with a crowd of boys, a parade of the above order, on their way to the old
Kensington pasture (now the Exhibition grounds) headed by their band to
hold a Tea or Picnic. The members of the order were decorated with their
bright regalia, and produced quite a sensation among us juvenile spectators.
Among the bandsmen were the following: John P. Tanton, William Hoar, Robert
Galbraith and W.F. Morris.
Lobban's Band (referred to in my first sketch of the series) existed about
the same time. On the death of Mr. Lobban, there were two offshoots from
this band, viz: Dougan's and Galbraith's Bands. The former continued for
some time, and among its members were: Leader, Thomas Dougan, James Long,
Thomas Long, John Hoar, James McQuaid, John Williams, and not forgetting
the noted Kettle Drummer, Jack McIntyre.
Galbraith's Band was the outstanding organization of them all, and was in
evidence in nearly all the military parades from about 1860 and until the
retirement of Mr. Robert Galbraith in 1904. Mr. Galbraith was the veteran
leader for a great many years, and besides being a fine musician and a great
cornet player, was adjudged to be at the time of his retirement, the oldest
Bandmaster in Canada, if not in America. Associated with him were David
Bentley (Uncle of the Messrs. Bentley now living in Charlottetown), N.P.
Stromberg, an eminent arranger of Band and Orchestral Music, and whose son,
John Stromberg was a leading composer and bandmaster in Boston, Mass.,
Charles Hughes, Jas. Slate, John Boyd, Samuel Matthews, Joseph Stentiford,
*John Williams, Lemuel and Frederick Worth, (the latter three, together with
major Galbraith who joined several years later, are yet living,) John and
Henry Worth, C. Pope Fletcher, William Worth and Eli Galbraith. Quite a
formidable list. Galbraith's Band was continued for some years after the
veteran leader's retirement, under the leadership of his son, Major Galbraith.
Galbraith's Band had, in its early days, a room over the old Police
Station, in which to practice.
An offshoot from this celebrated band was known by the name of Worth's
Band. It performed good and efficient work under the Worth Brothers, viz:
John, Lemuel, Frederick and Henry. Mr. John Worth was its Leader.
Mr. Williams above referred to is still hale and hearty and carries on his
business of Florist on Upper Prince Street.
The Police Force
From about 1856 to 1860, if it could be marshalled today for the inspection
of the public, would undoubtedly cause the present generation to smile. It
might remind one, probably, of a scene from some comic opera, not because of
inefficiency, but owing to its peculiarity in dress. My recollection of the
Police of that time brings to my mind the long frock coats, and the high
hats, of the antique style of silk or "beavers", seen occasionally yet, in
some street processions. The hat band, instead of being of silk ribbon was
of black patent leather, and if I mistake not, had a leather strap reaching
to or below the chin. The policeman of that day carried his club (or
"Billie") fully exposed, and did not hesitate to use it, if necessary (and
sometimes when not necessary) on a recalcitrant offender. This club was
painted red and had a strap on the handle to hang from the wrist.
The first City Marshal in 1855-56 was Michael O'Hara, of whom I have no
recollection, but I can remember distinctly his successor, about 1858 to the
early sixties. His name was James Evans, and the members of those under
him, comprising the force in 1859 were: Angus McLeod (who later on became
Marshal,) Francis McCabe, Thomas Brennan (Father of the late Capt. Brennan
of Souris), James Hegg, Thomas White and H.H. Pollard. This was long before
the appointment of Sergt. Thomas Flynn as Chief of Police, who held the
office for many years.
City Marshal Evans had quite a personality. He had a rather prepossessing
appearance, was somewhat portly and carried himself with a degree of dignity
and importance which, no doubt, he considered was required in his position
and he did not hesitate to exercise his authority in a manner that was
sometimes resented by those with whom he came in contact. He was especially
busy at fires, ordering the spectators about in quite an autocratic way.
During a parade he would sometimes go ahead of the Band, as though he were
the great Mogul, swinging his cane, and carrying himself in a most courtly
and patronizing style. Mr. Evans, though, was certainly an efficient chief
of Police and is also referred to later on, in the write-up of the visit of
A story, going the rounds in my youthful days, the accuracy of which I
cannot vouch for, shows the artfulness and guile of one of our old Irish
policemen in his successful effort to arrest a slippery offender: The
officer a fore said, having doffed his uniform, came to the culprit in the
guise of a decrepit old man, and begged him thus:"Will ye please, sir,
direct a poor man to where jail is?" The former, nothing suspecting, kindly
accompanied the old man to the inside of gate of "Harvey's Brig", and was
about to leave, when he was suddenly confronted by the "ancient" who,
displaying his badge of authority, ordered his prey to remain, when the
latter was forthwith incarcerated. A good story, and probably true.
From old records I find that the first City Council after incorporation in
1855, consisted of: Robert Hutchinson, Mayor. (Just below this is the seal
of the City of Charlottetown).
Ward I: Robert Longworth and Benjamin Davies
Ward II: John C. McDonald and Donald McIssac
Ward III: Artemas G. Sims and Silas Barnard
Ward IV: Thos. W. Dodd and David Stewart
Ward V: Thomas Pethick and Richard Heartz.
The Fire Engineers
Or as they were generally called - the "Fire Wardens" were a board of
citizens appointed by the City Council and somewhat of a composite body,
functioning in part as the Fire Committee of the Council, as well as having
some sort of control over the movements of spectators at fires. They had
the authority to order citizens who were not members of the fire Brigade to
form in line and pass water buckets from the Pump to the Engines. There
were no electric, or even steam engines, in the fifties and the engines had to
be pumped by hand by a crew of firemen.
The Board of Fire Engineers in 1855 was appointed from the different Wards
of the city, and the first Board consisted the following men, prominent in
the history of the Island: George Coles, chief, A.H. Yates, Charles Welsh,
W.B. Dawson, Hon. Edward Whelan, William McGill, Frederick Nelson, Daniel
Davies, Richard Wright, Thomas Green, John Binns, James Watts, George Beer,
William Pethick, T.B. Tremaine and Thomas Heath Haviland, Sr. (I have given
then names as they appear in the civic records).
Each Warden (or Engineer) carried a red staff about five feet long,
surmounted by a gilt ball. This staff was their emblem of authority. The
Chief's emblem was a baton of a different colour, resembling that carried by
a Marshal at a parade.
There were three Fire Engine Companies, No.1 was captained by James Watts,
No.2 by Thos. W. Dodd, and No.3 by Silas Barnard.
The chiefs of the Fire Brigade of a much later date were the only ones I
remember. They were, I think, in the order named, Donald McKinnon, John
Pickard and Newton Large. The last-named held the office for many years,
and was one of the most popular and efficient Chiefs of the past. He was
the father of the Messrs. Large Bros. of this City.
A large new Fire Bell was installed during the McKinnon regime and was
named "Big Donald". This bell came to grief a few years after, and had to
be replaced by another when Mr. Pickard was Chief. The latter bell was, I
think, named "Little John".
Mr. W.B. Wellner was city clerk in 1856-57. He was grandfather of Mr.
Lloyd Wellner of this City.
Mr. John Lawson, Q.C., was appointed City Recorder in 1856 and held that
office for many years. An oil portrait of the old gentleman is to be seen
on the wall of the council Chamber. He was the father of Mr. Henry Lawson,
one-time editor of the "Patriot" and grandfather of Mrs. Henry Smith of this
The Central Academy, as I remember it, had, as it's Headmaster, Mr. John
Kenny, a brother, I believe, or near relative, of Sir Edward Kenny of
Halifax, N.S. Others who taught there at various times were E. R. Humphreys,
William Cundall, John Lepage (the poet) and John Arbuckle, Sr.
When the Academy became in 1861, the "Prince of Wales College", it had, as
principal, Dr. Inglis, from Scotland. His assistant was Mr. William Monk.
On the retirement of the latter, Professor (later Dr.) Alexander Anderson
became assistant. Dr. Anderson held the position for very many years, after
which he was appointed chief superintendent of education for the Province.
Owing to advanced age, in a few years he retired from educational work and
took up his residence with his daughter, Mrs. Kingdon, in Halifax, until his
death. On Dr. Anderson's retirement as Principal of the college, Dr.
S.N. Robertson became principal and holds that position up to the present time.
Charlottetown Young Men's Christian Association
A short time ago I attended the 74th annual meeting of the above
institution held in the Association Hall. Those who were present, and many
others, as well, will be interested in reading the following announcement
copied from an old paper in 1856, of the first meeting of the time-honored
Y.M.C.A. held here:--
"At a meeting of the members of the above Institution, held in the
Infant School Room on Monday evening the 14th ult., the following gentlemen
were elected to office:--
"President-Captain Orlebar, R.N.
Vice Presidents - Lieut. Hancock, R.N., Messrs. H. D. Morpeth,
Wm. Heard, James Desbrisay.
Secretary - Mr. Robert A. Strong
Treasuer - Mr. George Beer
Librarian - Mr. Samuel Westacot".
"Managing Committee-Revs. - Messrs. Fitzgerald, Snodgrass, Burnett,
MacMurray, and Brewster, Messrs. C. Palmer, Thos. Desbrisay, Jun.
J.W.Morrison, John McNeill, George Davies, C.F. Harris, Wm. Dawson, Wm.
Brown, and also the office bearers of the association".
"The first public meeting of the association will be held, D.V., on
Wednesday evening next, in the Temperance Hall, when the Inaugural Address
will be delivered by the Rev. Wm. Snodgrass, and the nature and design of
the Institution be more fully explained. Chair to be taken at 8 o'clock.
The public are respectfully invited to attend".
"A collection will be taken at the close of each lecture.
Robert A. Strong, Secretary".
Where the Capitol Theatre now stands was Smardon's corner where Mr.
M. W. Smardon carried on a Saddlery business, but in the sixties or seventies
disposed of the property to Mr. James Beals. Since then it has become the
property of the owner of the "Capitol".
In the third story of the tenement adjoining and facing Great George
St., the lady referred to below conducted a Dancing Academy from the fifties
and down to the seventies and perhaps later.
In the Examiner of July 1859, appeared the following announcement:-
"Mrs. Contello Burris returns her thanks to the ladies of
Charlottetown and vicinity for the encouragement she has received in
reference to her Juvenile Dancing classes, and begs to inform them she will
comply with their request, and postpone the opening of her classes until the
extreme heat of the season".
Mrs. Burris conducted about the only Dancing School in the city
sixty years ago. The dances were not One-step, Two step, Tango or Turkey
trot, but Slow Waltz, Fast Waltz, Polka, Mazzourka, Galop, Highland Polka,
Plain Quadrille, Lancers, etc., These latter were danced gracefully to
proper music, and not so called "Jazz" or as I have heard it called,