Report of the Superintendant of Census Returns, Charlottetown, August 23, 1871

Recommend Me! Suggest This Page To A Friend!

Transcribed by Dave Hunter - [email protected]

The 1871 Census is a very interesting Census in that all but certain entries for Lot 34 and 36 have been lost, but the census summary has survived, providing a very interesting look at the state of the Island and its economy between the 1861 and 1881 censuses. The following summary and report, made by John McNeill, the Superintendant of Census Returns for 1871 to the Clerk of the Executive Council will serve as not only interesting reading, but provide some considerable insight into Island life during the period surrounding 1871.

I would like to specially thank Christina Klarenbeek, [email protected] for providing me with copies of this overview so that I could transcribe it and share it with you.


CHARLOTTETOWN, August 23, 1871

To the Clerk of the Executive Council;

SIR, � The results of the Census of Prince Edward Island, taken in the month of April of the present year, are now, after a careful compilation and final revision of all the statistical returns, respectfully submitted for the information of Her Majesty�s Government.

The series of prepared tables herewith transmitted, contain an abstract and classification of the details to be found in the accompanying 241 books, as filled in and returned by the 69 enumerators employed in that service.

On: the 18th of May last, I had the honor of addressing to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a brief preliminary report, or rough grand total of the population and of the religious denominations, as these appeared on the face of the returns, and before the figures were finally checked and tested�which total approximated very closely to that now exhibited.

The defective state of several of the returns necessitated a longer delay than I had anticipated in the completion of this task; and although not able to adopt the novel expedient of the Registrar General of Victoria, Australia, who, desirous of making the recent taking of the census of that great Province a thorough success, offered a reward of a half sovereign to every householder who could shew that his household had been overlooked by the enumerator; nor yet favored, like the same high official in London, with confidential returns in sealed envelopes, of the ages of ladies whom no persuasion nor threats could induce to disclose their years to the enumerator, because of their personal acquaintance with the latter functionary; although possessing - I repeat - none of these advantages, still I believe that several important omissions have been supplied, and corrections made, as the result of the newspaper advertisements and circular letters to which I had recourse, in order to attain the desired accuracy and completness of these returns. The last of these circulars to which I expect a response, having been answered yesterday, I have now, with the efficient aid of my temporary assistant, brought this duty to a close, although in its progress I have been obliged to remove my books, papers and materials, at least three different times, as one apartment after another was required, in succession, for the accommodation of some other branch of the public service, while my last retreat in this Colonial Building is with out the least privacy or seclusion, open to all-corners, and especially so to enterprizing "interviewers" of the press - the whole affording an example of "the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties exceedingly discouraging, and seldom experienced, it is to be hoped, in similar situations.

The value and importance of a correct and reliable census cannot be over estimated, when it is considered that the intention is to ascertain the increase which has taken place in the wealth and resources of the Colony, In its trade and manufactures, and in the productions, especially of its agriculture and fisheries. The undertaking being of the highest importance to the country, and of great interest to each inhabitant, it should have been carefully and accurately performed and every facility and assistance given to the enumerators in their interesting work; yet it is certain that in some instances the necessary information was withheld, or only partially supplied. The taking of the Census is a process for the success of which it is necessary to obtain the general and cordial cooperation of the people. A penalty may nominally be threatened, but practically, it is never enforced. To give a few instances; in the returns from one township the remark was made: "Several on this road appeared unwilling to give a full return of statistics, owing to an erroneous impression that the end in view was to impose a tax to meet the expenditure of the railroad." In another Township a householder is represented as "a very great miser, very unwilling to give statistics. I verily believe he had over 600 bushels of oats; he, however, gave in but three hundred bushels." In other cases in the same district, the quantity of butter produced is not returned, with the remark, "cannot tell how much - they ate it all." In another instance the proprietor of well known cloth mills is represented as refusing to give any information whatever, relative to his factory or its products, but instead hurled anathemas at the head of the enumerator and his employers. Whether this person has been brought to a better frame of mind by a prosecutor at the instance of the proper officer, does not appear.

On a comparative view of the present and the last census, discrepancies appear in connection with our fisheries. "Boats owned for fishing purposes" were set down at 1183, while the number to man them is but 1646; and in four different districts the boats exceed the men in number. Again, the "fishing establishments" have doubled in ten years, while the number of men employed is 672 fewer. This may be in part explained by giving all the boats owned by all the individuals combining the occupations of farmers and fishermen, but enumerating in most cases the "men" engaged in fishing, under the category of farmers alone, except of course in the regular fishing establishments. * So, also, in minor details of the population, as well as in some important farming productions, a decrease is shown where a considerable increase should have appeared. The tabular statements will show these more succinctly.

* While going through the press, additional information has been received, marked APPENDIX, explaining that farmers owning boats have not been put down as "men engaged in fishing" hence the disparity between "men" and boats referred to above.


The "General Remarks" appended are given, for the most part, in the words of the returns or slightly abridged to prevent iteration; an exception occurs in one of the Townships where the officer employed intersperses amid his descriptions of the state of the roads, &c., some lively biographical sketches of certain of the inhabitants of his District, which, although probably possessing some interest to some future chronicler of "Hardscrabble" and regions adjoining, can have no appreciable value as elements in our public records or Colonial statistics. On this head, a few illustrations may suffice as "curiosities of the Census:"

One settler is described as "a very slack fellow; works at Brickmaking in Summer." A second as "a very poor man - too many small children, including twins." Another, again, "a very greedy man, in rather poor circumstances, raised a large useless family." Also, "two old maids, very nervous about taxation, very well to do." Another, a mechanic of a very indifferent kind, came here thirty years ago, a mere pauper, but who is now immensely rich. His daughters dress in nothing less than black silk at the present time." And lastly, another is described as "a man who is death on railroads and railway men."

Of these extracts, it may be observed, that it has always been conceded that a large family brought up to habits of industry is the poor man's best fortune in the woods of America, as well as the most valuable acquisition to the State. The instance of the "indifferent" mechanic proves the value of this country as a home for the poorest immigrant - both skilled and unskilled labour being sure of meeting with ample encouragement and reward; while in the case of the hostile anti-railroad man, it need only be said that should he not happily be diverted from his destructive purposes, then he who first gave due warning of danger cannot be held answerable for the possible consequences.

In summarizing the contents of these tables, the primary fact to be noticed is the increase of the population since the last numbering in 1861, when it stood at 80,857. The total population of Prince Edward Island in April, 1871, is 94,021, including 323 Micmac Indians, decennial increase, 13,164 or 16.28 percent. Total number of males, 47,121; total females, 46,900; excess of males, 221; number of families, 14,841; average number to each family, 6.34.

Religious denominations, viz:- Church of England, 7,220; Presbyterian Church of Lower Provinces, 18,603; Church of Scotland, 10,976; total Presbyterians, 29,579; Roman Catholics, 40,765; Methodists, 8,361; Baptists, 4,371; Bible Christians, 2,709; Quakers, 8; Universalists, 77; other denominations, 931.

Total number of males between the ages of 5 and 16, 25,952; males from 21 to 45, 12,790; males from 21 to 60, 17,558; births in the past year, 2,344; deaths, 941; natives of the Island, 80,271; natives of other countries, 13,750; deaf and dumb, 70; insane, 188.

Principal productions of the soil raised last year:-

Bushels, Wheat


(1447 bus. Being winter wheat)


Bushels Barley


Bushels Oats


Bushels Potatoes


Bushels Turnips


Tons of Hay


Pounds of Flax


Mowing Machines


Stumping Machines


Haymaking Machines


Hay Elevators


Mud Diggers


Threshing Machines


Number of yards of fulled cloth manufactured last year


Ditto, not fulled


Number of horses


Neat Cattle






Brewing and Distilling Establishments




Grist Mills


Carding Mills


Saw Mills


Fulling and Dressing Mills


Cloth Factories






Number of Fishing Establishments


Barrels of Mackerel cured last year


Ditto Herring or Alewives


Quintals of Codfish or Hake


Pounds of Hake Sounds cured last year


Gallons of Fish Oil made last year


Quantity of preserved shell and other fish prepared last year (lbs)


Salmon taken last year, (value)

�368 19s, 0d.

Number of Fish Barrels manufactured last year


Number of Coopers shops


Number of Boats owned for fishing purposes


Number of men engaged in fishing


Land and Produce, Viz:

Numbers of acres held in fee simple


Increase since 1861


Number of acres held by lease or agreement for lease




Number of acres held be verbal agreement




No. of acres held by occupants being neither freeholders or leaseholders




Number of acres of arable land held by all families




Wheat raised, decrease in bushels since 1861


Barley, d.o.


Oats, increase, d.o.


* Potatoes, increase, d.o.


Turnips, increase, d.o.


Buckwheat raised last year, bush.


D.o., increase, d.o.


Clover seed, bush


Timothy seed, d.o.


Hay, increase in tons


Lime Kilns, increase


Brick kilns, increase


Mackerel, barrels of, increase


Herring and Alewives, decrease


Codfish, quintals, decrease


Fish Oil, decrease in gallons


Cheese, increase on lbs.


Butter, d.o.


Fulled Cloth, increase in yards


Not Fulled, d.o.


Horses, increase


Neat Cattle, d.o.


Sheep, d.o.


Hogs, d.o.


Churches, increase


Schoolhouses, d.o.


Threshing Machines, d.o.


* A typographical error in some uncorrected copies of the last census, of 400,000 bushels in excess, leaves the true increase this year at 803,391 bushels. In the number of hogs in the same census, a like error occurs - the real total then being 38,553, giving an increase, as above, of 13,961.

Products and articles not enumerated in the Census of 1861, viz:-

Bushels Beans raised last year


Bushels Peas, d.o.


Bushels Vetches, d.o.


Pounds Flax, d.o.


Sewing Machines


Pianos, Melodeons, and Organs


From the foregoing summary it will be seen that Agriculture is the largest interest of the Colony, involving more than any other branch of industry, the labour, the wealth, and the welfare of the people; and the facts furnished each decade by the Census, concern alike producers and consumers, mechanics, and all engaged in commerce. This is the great material interest of the country by which all others thrive, and which has the right to demand the constant and chief regard of the Legislature.

The schedules of the next census - the enumerators being first most carefully selected - should embrace with entire accuracy all the conditions, proceeds and results of the industry of the country at large. The materials gathered in this numbering, despite the imperfections pointed out, afford a good basis for future comparison. And, it the future of Prince Edward Island, in the view of the intelligence and energy of her farmers, her public free schools, her agricultural associations, her free press, and the expanding and humanizing influences of her institutions, shall continue to exhibit the same steady progress which we find in the past, then the results of each succeeding census, dry and uninteresting as they may seem to those who see them but mere columns of figures, may teach lessons not simply of political economy, but of daily duty, and the benefits of which shall be reaped alike by the present and future generations. And, encouraged by the fact that inventive genius and mechanical skill are rapidly introducing improved machinery, overcoming the chief difficulty of the farmer in the high price and scarcity of labour, there are those now living who may witness the productions of our soil trebled and quadrupled, affording abundant wholesome food and healthy employment to teeming thousands in this Garden of the Gulf, which has been given to man to dress and keep it.


Supt. Of Census Returns.

Editor's Note: Following this page of the Census overview, are a number of tables giving figures by electoral district:

Abstract of the Returns of the Population of P. E. Island, 1871 - 2 Pages
To view click on link - to return use Back Button on Browser

[ Page 1 ] | [ Page 2 ]

Abstract of the Statistical Returns of P. E. Island, 1871 - 4 pages.

[ Page 3 ] | [ Page 4 ] | [ Page 5 ] | [ Page 6 ]

Following this are pages entitled "Abstract of General Remarks expended by the enumerators to the foregoing returns." These pages provide descriptions of the districts in the words of the enumerators, providing in some cases, very interesting information, not only about the enumerator, but about certain residents of the district, as well as physical descriptions of the districts.


Appended by the Enumerators to the Foregoing Returns.

Lot or Township No. 1 - Hon. Stanislaus F. Perry, Enumerator

The roads in Lot 1 were in bad state at the time the Census was taken, owing a good deal to the season of the year, but, with the exception of the Palmer and Horse Head Roads, travelling is good in Summer. The bridges are without exception bad, especially the bridge over Big Tignish Pond. The market places in Lot 1 are at Hall's & Co., Tignish, and at the Hon. G. W. Howlan's, Tignish Run; but the most part of the produce of this Lot is taken to Cascumpec, a distance of fifteen miles, and some sections are twenty miles from that place. The catch of fish last year was only half of the quantity caught the year before. There are, in this Township, 1 Grammar School, 7 Schoolhouses, 1 Convent School, 1 Roman Catholic Chapel, and 1 Episcopalian Church.

Lot or Township 2 - Chas. McCarthy

The land on Lot 2 is of second quality, and the people are generally poor, caused chiefly by their great attention to fishing, and their neglect of their farms. The principal markets are Tignish and Alberton, distant by two to fifteen miles. The roads throughout the Lot are very bad, and the building of the proposed Railroad to Tignish must benefit the inhabitants exceedingly.

Lot or Township No. 3 - Henry Gordon

The land in Montrose is the only land of first quality in this Township. On the Tignish and Western Roads, and in Kildare and Mimnegash the land is of second quality, and on the Mimnegash Road, it is of third quality. Shell manufacture, in great abundance, can be obtained near Montrose. The markets resorted to are Alberton and Campbellton, distant from four to eight miles.

Lot 4 - Patrick Connick

The land in and around Alberton is of a very poor quality. The roads are good, and the inhabitants are near to one of the very best shipping places in the County. The surplus produce of the north end is generally shipped from Alberton, at any season, with safety. Kildare River, (West) is within two and a half miles of Alberton. The inhabitants are well to do farmers, with good farms, with near to inexhaustible beds of musselmud, raising large crops of grain and potatoes. They ship their surplus produce to Alberton, and deal principally with Messrs. Reid Bros. and the Hon. G. W. Howlan. The people of Alberton vicinity deal generally at Alberton, and dispose of their surplus produce in that place. The people of the Dock Settlement are well to do farmers. They manure their land with shell manure, which is abundantly supplied in the beds of the rivers in the vicinity of the Dock River. They deal generally at Alberton, with the Hon. G. W. Howlan and Reid Bros. The land around Alberton is of a light nature. The farmers have laboured hard in manuring it, and now they have first class farms. The farmers of the Western Road (East) have a great deal more to contend with than their more fortunate neighbours of the Dock Settlement. They had and have to apply the axe to the stout beech, to clear a place for their dwellings. The land is of medium quality. The inhabitants, who are generally poor, dispose of their surplus produce at Alberton. The farmers of the Western Road have a great deal to contend with in clearing the forest. They came here from Canada. They have pretty large clearances for the time they have been settled here. They deal principally at Alberton. The settlers of the Clark Road are principally French Canadians, who settled here on the Government Purchase. The land is very good. They are making large clearances and putting up very nice buildings. It will be one of the nicest settlements on the Township in a few years. Hills River, which is about two miles from the Clark Road, is a pretty old Settlement. Most of the farmers are in good circumstances, and near to inexhaustible beds of musselmud. They deal principally with merchants at Alberton, in surplus produce, &c. The farmers at Kildare River (East Side) are not as well to do as those on the West Side. The land which is very light is to a great extend covered by dwarf black spruce, and although musselmud can be obtained near to them, they do not raise enough produce for home consumption. The Kildare Irish are in pretty good circumstances. They raise more than is consumed at home, and sell on an average about fourty pounds worth of produce annually, which they dispose of at Alberton. Campbellton, Lot 4, is a small village with two merchants doing a good fishing and retail business. It is situated in a flourishing settlement, fronting on the Straights of Northumberland. There are first class farms all around Campbellton, The farmers raise a large quantity of surplus produce, potatoes, oats, pork, beef, &c. Campbellton, or Sturgeon's Shore, Lot 4, is first class land. The farmer's are well to do and raise a large quantity of surplus produce. They dispose of large quantities at Campbellton and Alberton. They deal principally at Alberton. The New Dock Road is a new Settlement recently opened out from the Dock to Campbellton, Lot 4. It is principally settled with new farmers, who are cutting down the forest and making new homes. The land is not of the best quality, but when opened up properly and stumped will be a fine, level settlement.

Lot 5 - No Comments

Lot 6 - John Clark

Cascumpec, which is situated in this Township, is a thriving village not far from shipping, and convenient for fishing.

Lot 7 - Donald C. Ramsay

The land of this Township is of good quality in general. The roads and bridges are in poor condition. The market most resorted to by the inhabitants and merchants is New Brunswick. West Point is distant from Shediac about 25 miles, and from Richibuctou about 16 miles. A wharf is much needed at West Point, to enable farmers and traders to ship produce to market. This being the only place suitable for a wharf, and being so near Shediac or Point du Chene it would be a great accommodation if completed. A lighthouse is also needed greatly there, as great numbers of vessels run for shelter to it, and there is now way of guidance, it is difficult for a stranger to make it in safety in thick weather.

Lot 8 - John Currie

The quality of land in this Township is generally good, and well suited for most all kinds of farming. Some of the soil is wet, but yields. The disadvantages of this Township with regard to road and water communication are very great. There is no proper place of shipping within the Township, and the nearest market, by road, is Alberton, which is distant about 25 miles from most of the inhabitants. The market most resorted to is Summerside, on account of the difference in the prices. When West Point Wharf is completed, there will be a place of shipping convenient to all within the Lot. Messrs. A. & A. Ramsay turned out about �1000 worth of lumber from their mills last year.

Lot 9 - John A. McDonald (Captain)

About one half of the land on this Township is good, and the remaining half is poor. The roads are average. Water communication is poor. The markets - Alberton, Port Hill, and Summerside, are distant respectively fifteen, twenty-two and thirty-five miles. The latter is most resorted to. Agriculture, the general occupation of the inhabitants, is in a backward condition. Several are engaged in spring herring fishing, and very few in mackerel and cod fishing. The land in this Township is all rented, except the Glebe Lot, and is owned by Miss Sullvan. The leases are for nine hundred and ninety nine years to full rent, commencing the third year at three pence per acre. There are only one Schoolhouse and one Chapel on Lot Nine.

Lot 10 - No Remarks

Lot 11 - No Remarks

Lot 12 - Albert Williams

The land on this Township is in general good, except barrens and swamps, which extend over one fourth of it. On the North Side the land is settled, and water communication is good, but the roads and wharf accommodation are bad. On the South Side the land is much more swampy, and not so much settled as the north side. Water communication and roads on this side are bad. The markets resorted to by this Township are Bideford, Port Hill, and Summerside.

Lot 13, (including Lennox Island) - W. R. Ellis

This Township, like most of the country, is level, in some parts a little rough and hilly. The land on the whole is fertile. Some of the best farms are to be found in the vicinity of Port Hill. These farms are pretty, occupying , as many of them do, a beautiful site on Richmond Bay. Port Hill is noted for its activity in the shipbuilding business. Roads are tolerably good, and are being improved. This should be the route for the mails to Tignish. The farmers here find a ready and convenient market for their surplus produce at the establishment of the Hon. John Yeo, who exports largely to the home market. Places of shipping are few - there is only one wharf (Mr. Yeo's) where you can conveniently ship. The public wharf (Cooper's) is in dilapidated condition, and not at all safe for a place of shipping. The rivers and streams, which are many, are famous for the abundance and excellence of their fish, and many of them still afford excellent sport in this direction. The principal species of fish in these waters are salmon, trout, herring and mackerel. There is a large business done in the oyster trade. The oyster here is proverbial for its excellence. Lot 13 has one Episcopalian Church, and one Presbyterian Church in the course of erection, and one Bible Christian Church. Has four Schools, daily average of scholars, over 30. Has, also, a Free Mason's Lodge.

Lennox Island is of sufficient beauty to attract the attention of a tourist. There is much alluvial flat along the margin of the Island. The land is very good, and produces excellent wheat, as well as barley, oats, and potatoes. Lately, the inhabitants of the Island have turned their attention more to farming and stock raising than to hunting - their former occupation. Several nice houses now occupy the places where once the temporary wigwams stood. Has one Chapel (Roman Catholic), and one School, daily average of scholars, 23. This Island was lately purchased by the Aboriginal Society of London, for the especial benefit of the Indians.

Lot 14, Neil McKinnon

The inhabitants of the Ferry School District labour under considerable disadvantage which might be removed by closing the road now leading from the Ferry towards Port Hill, and opening the same from the cross roads in a direct line to somewhere about James L. Gillis'. The road communication is about the same as in other Townships, and appears to me to be satisfactory. The people of Lot 14, together with no small portion of the neighbouring Townships, labour under serious inconvenience and loss of time for want of a wharf, especially at shipping time, when boats have to be employed for shipping produce on board of vessels. The markets most resorted to by the inhabitants are Summerside and Port Hill, the former being the principal one. A few vessels in shipping time come up Grand River to load with oats. They can easily be supplied by the farmers of the Eastern end of the Township. About two thirds of the produce raised in this Lot is hauled to Summerside, which is distant about 14 miles. The quality of the land is generally good. Although many farmers classed their land , yet there are few of them in my opinion that are not first class farms. The new road lately opened from McIsaac's to Lot 15 (which might be called the Aldous Road) should be made passable for carriages as soon as possible, as there are about ten or twelve families lately settled there who have no carriage road in summer.

Lot 15 - Joseph N. Gallant

The land on this Township can be classed second quality, but the vacant land and a good part of what is taken, is not fit for cultivation, being either low and swampy or barren. That which is fit for cultivation is well adapted for hay and oats. The nearest and almost only market is Summerside - being an average distance of about fifteen miles. The roads are almost impassable during the spring and autumn, which makes it very difficult for farmers to take their produce to market. There is a harbour with sufficient depth of water to admit loaded vessels of from thirty to forty tons. A wharf is in construction, and when finished, will greatly facilitate the transportation of produce, and add materially to the trade of this place. There is a new vessel suitable for the harbour, and some large boats owned there. The herring fishing is generally good in the spring, but as a fishing place of mackerel, it is only second rate.

Lot 16 - No remarks

Lot 17 - Enumerator's Name not given

The land in general on this Township is of good quality. It is well supplied with roads, which are kept in very poor repair. There are eight vessels building at Summerside. There are three schoolhouses, viz: two district schools and one grammar school in Summerside.

Lot 18, and Princetown and Royalty - Archibald McGougan

A part of the land in this Lot is in very good condition and well cultivated, but a portion of it - the Misses Stewart's estate - is very poor, being far from shell manure, and most of the farmers on it have small farms of about 50 acres. The principal market is Summerside, but a large quantity if oats is sold in Malpeque. The roads are very bad.

Princetown and Royalty - The principal market for Oats, is England. Barley and Pork are disposed of daily in Summerside. Potatoes and Turnips - I may say, none are shipped. Wharf accommodation is poor; vessels drawing nine feet of water, cannot finish loading along side. The land, in general, is pretty good; farmers have raised good crops hay since they commenced using mud. Roads very bad.

Lot 19 - David Walker

The quality of Land on this Township is good, and that portion therof not held in fee simple, is nearly all taken up and held under lease for 999 years. The public roads are tolerably good during the summer season, but very bad in the spring and the fall of each year. Summerside affords a good and convenient market for all the surplus productions of this Township, and is distant from the nearest point, two miles, and from the farthest point, twelve miles.

Lot 20 - Richard Ready

The soil on this Lot is of a dry and sandy nature, and requires considerable manuring to make it yield heavy crops. The land in general may be classed as second quality, but some of it is poor and rocky, on the south side of the South west River. Several of the farms in the centre contain a great quantity of red sandstone, which renders them unfit for cultivation. On Graham's Road, a considerable quantity of sandstone is also found, and in a less extent in Long River. This Lot is intersected by the South - west River, which has become a source of wealth to many farmers, on account of the large quantities of shell manure taken from it these last few years. No toil or expense has been spared by the farmers in trying to improve their farms. In the settlement of Irishtown, vast quantities of limestone of an excellent quantity exist. Two kilns are in the course of construction and they will be in production in the spring. An experienced farmer, Mr. Geo. Mallet informed me that he has used the lime made from imported stone, and found that the latter was equally as good as the former. The surplus produce is shipped at Summerside, distant from 14 to 18 miles; Malpeque, distant from 4 to 8 miles; Long River wharf, distant from 1 to 4 miles; and Clifton, distant from 1 to 4 miles. The principal part is shipped at Summerside, because the prices are higher there, and because large vessels cannot go out of New London harbour. This Township is, I consider, pretty well supplied with roads; but one is yet required from the New London road to the river on the north side, some place between James E. Warren's and William Painter's, as there is no way of people getting to the river to haul mussel mud, except through private property. Most of the farmers on the Lot are comfortably situated, the result of much toil, perseverance, and industry.

Lot 21 - George McKay

Clifton is under great disadvantages for want of a mail connect to Summerside. Under present arrangements the Mails from Summerside are carried round by Charlottetown and Rustico. If a sum sufficient to carry the Summerside and Charlottetown mails to Campbellton Office, a distance of seven miles, could be obtained, it would be a great benefit tot he settlement in general, and businessmen in particular.

Trout River Settlement is under great disadvantage for want of a road to Mill Vale Mills, as they have none except for a track through the hills, which cannot be made passable. But if the Government would purchase a right of way of road for 25 chains they are willing to make the road at their own expense. High tides in Autumn destroy the Causeway across the marsh, near Stanley Bridge.

Lot 22 - Edmund Crabbe

The land in general on this Township is of second quality. The principal markets are Charlottetown and Stanley Bridge, distant from 2 to 18 miles.

Lot 23 - John McDonald

New Glasgow is a good farming settlement, and the people are in comfortable circumstances. Most of the people on the Glasgow Road are French and very poor. Cavendish is one of the best farming settlements on the Island, and the people are very comfortable. This Township is almost altogether fit for cultivation. The minority on it are comfortable: the majority are more than comfortable. Upon the whole, there is a decided improvement made in every respect on this Township, since the census was last taken.

Lot 24 - No Remarks

Lot 25 - No Remarks

Lot 26 - No Remarks

Lot 27 - No Remarks

Lot 28 - No Remarks

Lot 29 - Neil McKinnon

DeSable - The land is very hilly. A large quantity of sea weed comes in on the shore, but as there is no public road leading to the shore, some of the farmers are unable to get any of it. Mussel mud distant about five miles.

Melville Road - The land is very hilly. People very industrious. They have made quite a progress in buildings, &c. They cannot raise much hay, not having commenced to use lime for their lands.

Crapaud - Plenty of seaweed and mussel mud close at hand. The land in general is in a good state of cultivation, and the soil is good.

Victoria is a small village on the northern side of Crapaud Harbour, where considerable traffic has been carried on during the past few years. It contains about 130 inhabitants, and is the shipping place for Tryon (South), part of Lot 67 and Lot 30.

The Old Tryon Road is very hilly. Many farms along it are nearly exhausted for want of manures, and the soil in places is light and stony.

Lot 30 - Arch'd C. McNeill

The Appin Road is in bad state, being full of high hills, &c., and the people are far from market. A road in the New Back Settlement is very much required. The inhabitants cannot get to market or any other place without going through their neighbour's farms. They have about two miles to go before they can get to the public road, and are about five miles from the nearest market.

Lot 31 - Aubrey Fowle

The land is good. The distance from Charlottetown is from nine to twelve miles.

Lot 32 - Charles Hooper

The soil is of a medium quality; nevertheless it is well adapted for agricultural pursuits. Fronting on the West River, and having the North River running through the center of the Township, there is a considerable quantity of sea manure and shell mud within the reach of most inhabitants, which they and those of the adjoining Township have, for the last five years, taken advantage of. Wheat is not much cultivated in the Northern portion of the Township. Potatoes, Barley, Oats, Turnips, and Hay, grown well, and will compete with almost any other Township on the Island. A large quantity of produce is shipped at Poplar Island Bridge; average distance from the Southern and Western sections of the Township about 2 1/2 miles. Charlottetown is the principal market for the Northern section of the Township; average distance about 6 miles.

Lot 33 - No Remarks

Lot 34 - No Remarks

Lot 35 - John A. McDonald

Hickey's Wharf is the market place on the south side of the Hillsborough River. There is a wharf on the west side of Johnston's River, at a place called Callaghan's Point, which requires to be extended two blocks to afford a convenient place for shipping. On the north side of Hillsborough River, Apple-tree Wharf is the shipping place. The roads leading to and from these wharves, are in a very bad state, and cause much trouble and hardship to the inhabitants.

Lot 36 - James E. Kelly

Commencing on the extreme south of Lot 36, on Monaghan Road, and coming north until Fort Augustus is met * * * *.

The people in this part hold their farms on lease, at about �4 8s 10d per 100 acres, in consequence of the land being considered of an indifferent quality; yet, taking all things into consideration, they have, in general, made more progress in life than those of their neighbours who had more promising farms. In the column marked "number of years of term of lease expired," I have thought it useless to notice such, as 999 years means forever, to all intents and purposes; therefore, to notice the like would be mere absurdity. Some land is swampy, but good for pasture. Here is a man who made out a respectable living for himself and family on fifty acres. Here resides a very great miser - very unwilling to give statistics. I verily believe he had over 6(0)0 bushels of Oats; he, however, gave in but 300 bushels. * * * *

There are others located in the central part of the Monaghan Settlement, within about two and a half or three miles of the best shipping wharves on the Island, viz: Hickey's and Cranberry, and about sixteen miles from Charlottetown by road or river. The people of this settlement were about the first to give an example to the Island as to what could be accomplished by industry and perseverance. The Fort Augustus farms are first class land, posessed of rare advantages, being contiguous to carding, saw, and grist mills, and about a mile and a quarter from Cranberry Wharf. Lying towards the southwestern part of Lot 36, is a very poor settlement - the land is very light and sandy. It has been called a "Scrabble," some twenty years ago - a name indicating hard times.

Sandhill Road, East of Tracadie Bay - You can have no conception of the misery of the place, unless you were an eye witness. They are all the unfortunate victims of Landlordism in its worst forms. Old men have been born here, and have seen their great grandchildren, and yet, instead of a comfortable home to keep out the rain and sleet, nothing is seen but miserable hovels. In this vicinity, the people having bad land, never made up their minds to go into farming, as a matter of industry; a great deal of precious time has been spent in fishing, by these parties, to the great injury of their farms and their own interest. Sea manure of all kinds can be procured here in abundance, and yet the people are comparatively destitute, as compared to other inhabitants of the Island elsewhere.

Lot 37 - John A. McDonald, Jr.

In Pointe De Roche, farming is very much neglected, and although the inhabitants are bordering on the sea shore , they do not prosecute the fisheries to any great extent. The land is of an inferior quality. The market most resorted to is Mount Stewart Bridge. Pisquid New Bridge would be a very convenient shipping place for the majority on this Township, if a small sum of money was expended in dredging the river.

Lot 38 - No Comments

Lot 39 - No Comments

Lot 40 - Joseph McVarish

The land in this Township is in general of good quality. The disadvantages of shipping in the fall and spring are great, in consequence of the reluctance of vessel owners to come into St. Peter's Bay, owing to the bleak stormy weather of Autumn, and to the shallowness of the water on St. Peter's Harbour Bar. The great majority of the inhabitants are therefore compelled to haul their surplus produce to Mount Stewart Bridge, Cardigan Bridge, and Grand River, a distance of about thirteen miles, through roads which are, late in autumn, almost impassable. The back roads leading from the Main Post Road are very much cut up, which renders heavy hauling very difficult. If St. Peter's Harbour Breakwater was completed, I believe the inhabitants of this Township would not have more than four and a half miles to haul their surplus produce.

Lot 41 - Martin McInnis

The land on this Township is of second and third quality, of a sandy nature and easily cultivated, and, with the exception of about one twentieth part, answers well for the growth of grain and root crops. The Township has every advantage as regards roads, and although St. Peter's Bay extends through the center, water communication is poor, owing to its being situated on the North side, and to the shallowness of the water on the bar. About one half of the surplus oats is shipped at Cardigan Bridge and Georgetown, and the remainder, with surplus potatoes, &c., is shipped at the Head of St. Peter's Bay. Cardigan Bridge is distant about twelve miles, and Georgetown, about twenty miles, from the center of the Township.

Lot 42 - No Remarks

Lot 43 - Richard Keefe

Nearest shipping place - Rollo Bay. Nearest market - Souris.

Lot 44 - Malcolm Leslie

The soil of the Southern part of the Township is generally heavy. That part of the Township known as the Head of Souris is hilly, and presents a diversified appearance. The soil of the North end of the Lot is light. This Township extends across the Island. It is divided from Lot 43 by a road called the Bear River Line Road, which is used in the fall transporting the surplus produce from the North side of the Township to Souris Harbour. A new road, called the New Zealand Road, is partly opened from the North side to the Head of Souris; the line of it is nearly level, and if made fit for traffic, it would be advantageous, not only to the people of this Township, but also to the inhabitants of part of Lot 45. The Main Post Road across the South side of the Township, from Rollo Bay to Souris, is deeply rutted in the fall. The principal part of the produce is shipped at Souris Harbour. That harbour has been much improved by the breakwater built at the East side of the channel.

Lot 45 - No Comments

Lot 46 - No Comments

Lot 47 - John Beaton

The inhabitants on the South side of East Point to the Western part of the Lot, have a poor chance of getting to the seashore for manure, or to ship their produce, on account of the South Lake. A considerable quantity of the land on the South side of East Point is swampy, &c. Mud is of little use as manure on this Township. Perhaps it is not properly used. Those who have tried it have given up, having found that it injured their land. The land along the North side is principally of the first quality, but the difficulty of shipping produce is great, on account of bad, hilly roads on the front, and South Lake. The land about the West River is generally of the first quality. The inhabitants of the Township are of the opinion that if a breakwater was built in Campbell's Cove they would have greatly benefitted thereby. Souris is the principal market resorted to. The inhabitants of the North side of the North Lake have bad roads, and difficulty getting to market. The land in general is swampy, and covered with soft wood. The most of the inhabitants on the South side of the North Lake are badly off for a good road to the shore, for procuring kelp and shipping their surplus produce. They have a kind of bridge across the outlet of the Lake, but it is generally broken, the people, for want of means, not being able to keep it in such repair as would make it resist the storms and floods. East Lake is about fifteen miles from Souris, wither most of the people resort to dispose of their surplus produce. &c., although the road is very hilly, besides being very bad in the spring and autumn. A great part of the land from Black Point to East Point is very swampy, and of third quality.

Lot 48 - No Remarks

Lot 49 - Thos. W. Beers

About one third of the land is of second and third quality; the remainder of first quality. Pownal Bay Wharf and Squaw Bay Wharf are the Shipping places for the Western end of the Township, and Vernon River Bridge for the Eastern end. The inhabitants of the East end have a long distance to haul their produce to market, compared to those in the West end.

Lot 50 - No Comments

Lot 51 - James McDonald

Two thirds of the land is first quality, the remainder of second and third quality. There is no shipping place in the Township. Most of the surplus produce is shipped to Cardigan and Montague Bridges, and some to Mount Stewart and Brudenell. The North part of the Lot is distant from eight to ten miles from the nearest of the above named shipping places. The middle and Southern portion is from two to four miles from Montague Bridge and Brudenell. This Township seems to be well provided with roads, it being crossed by six, including the Main Post Road, between Charlottetown and Georgetown, It is divided lengthways through the center by Baldwin's Road, running north, and Union Road, south, from the Post Road.

Lot 52 - William Alley

The land is generally of second quality. The roads in the Northern part of the Township are anything but good. In the Morell and Peake's Road Settlements they are very bad. A bridge on the South branch of the Morell River is much required, and would be a great advantage to both settlements - the distance between them being only fifty five chains, and that by the public road is only five miles. The nearest markets, and those most resorted to, are Cardigan Bridge and Georgetown, the former being seven miles, and the latter twelve. The other Settlements are well situated as to roads and shipping places.

Lot 53 - No Remarks

Lot 54 - Hugh A. McPhee

Part of the land is dry and very fertile., and parts are swampy and unfit for cultivation. The inhabitants of the southern end of the Township, viz., Cardigan and De Gros Marsh, ship their produce at Cardigan Wharf, and buy their goods chiefly in Georgetown. Those of Grand River, which is in the middle of the Township, ship their produce at Chaple Wharf and Cardigan Wharf, and those of Dundas and vicinity, ship theirs at Bridgetown, Dundas.

Lot 55 and Boughton Island - Ronald McCormack

South side De Gros Marsh - Good land in this part of Lot 55. Shipping place, Launching Wharf and Cardigan Wharf, distant about two miles. Bridgetown, a thriving place has a wharf called Clay's Wharf. It, however, is not sufficient to accommodate the number of vessels that arrive in the fall for produce. The quality of land in the Township is in general about second quality.

Lot 56 - Allan McDonald

Is bounded on the west by Lot 55, on the north by Lot 42, on the east by Lot 43, and on the southern part by the seashore, which renders it very pleasant and salubrious. The only shipping place of any importance is Annandale. It is the market most resorted to by the inhabitants of this and the adjacent Townships.

Lot 57 - James Nicholson

Shipping place, Montague Bridge

Lot 58 - Donald R. McDonald

The land in general is dry and flinty. Shipping places, Pinette and Montague Bridges.

Lot 59 - Alex. McLeod

The land is dry and sandy. The lot lies along the Montague River. The west end of it is six miles from Montague Bridge, the nearest shipping place. Aitken's Wharf is the shipping place of the east end, distant about three miles.

Lot 60 - Rodk. K. McKenzie

Melville - Shipping place, East Pinette Bridge, distant 3 miles. Land - poor, sandy soil.

Culloden - The land is rather better than that of Melville.

Murray Harbour Road - Light soil and rather sandy.

Caledonia - Very sandy soil and poor in general.

Shipping place, Montague Bridge.

Lot 61 and Panmure Island - George Hicken

The western portion of this Township is of a light, sandy nature. The soil in many parts is composed of pebbly flint stones. A great many of the inhabitants on this lot are squatters who are very poor. Their houses are bad, and although they have schoolhouses, their education is very deficient. They are distant from Montague Bridge from 5 to 7 miles, the nearest shipping place. The east end has only one small wharf, at St. Mary's Bay, which is too small to accommodate that part of the country.

Lot 62 - Dougald McDonald

The land in general is of a light and sandy nature, which is easily exhausted, especially the northern part of the Township. The markets most resorted to are Pinette and Murray Harbour, distant about twelve miles.

Lot 63 - Andrew Millar

The land, like that of Lot 62, is of a light sandy nature. This Township is well provided with roads and market places. Markets mostly resorted to are North Wharf, Murray Harbour, and Burnt Point Wharf. These two shipping places are on the lot.

Lot 64 - Henry Brehaut

Quality of land, medium.

Lot 65 and St. Peter's Island - Ewen McMillan

The land is in general of first quality. The water communication is excellent, but the regular boat plying between Rocky Point and Charlottetown is deemed insufficient to meet the growing needs of the inhabitants. The prevailing cry is, "Regular Steam Navigation on the Elliot or West River, between Charlottetown and Rocky Point, calling in at intermediate wharfs." Produce disposed of at Charlottetown and at the different wharves along the river. Owing to the isolated position of a portion of the Township, and the want of adequate communication by water, the distance to market is considerable.

Lot 66 - James J. O'Reilly

Head of Montague is the name of a settlement on the South side of the Montague River. The farms run nearly 1 1/2 mile from the base line of the Lot, and the houses are built within a range from 20 to 25 chains of the stream which bounds the farms on the North side. A road runs parallel with the stream East and West across the Lot, and between the houses and the stream. The land is apparently of a superior quality. There is probably less than one third of the whole block cleared, the remainder towards Douse's Road, on the South, is covered by a good growth of hardwood. I was informed that some good ship timber could be procured. The land does not appear to be carefully tilled, and the outhouses, &c., with a few exceptions, have an untidy appearance. The stream alluded to affords very fine water power for mills.

Head of Montague (North side) - There is remarkable difference between the quality of the land on this side and that of the South side. There is only one comfortable farmer on this side (Donald Gillis). The moiety towards the river is hilly, stoney and otherwise very inferior. The settlers say they cannot raise wheat on it, and the hay crop is surprisingly small. Another road runs parallel with the stream through this section. The schoolhouse is fairly located; it is near the mill, almost between the Eastern extremities of the two roads referred to, on the line of Lots 66 and 51.

The farms on Sparrow's Road Settlement are nearly all cleared of every kind of timber, but the settlers are not thriving - only a few comfortable families in this section. Tillage system very inferior, and manure making, if possible, worse. Every facility is afforded for making composts, from the quantity of fine mud accessible. Houses very comfortless, and yet some of the land is superior in quality. The road through the Settlement has lately been straightened in part, but is in a miserable condition.

Summerville, on the Georgetown Road, is a flourishing Settlement. The people are mostly comfortable and very industrious, to my knowledge, but I have my doubts as tot he successful application of their labour. Not one of them owns, or seems to know how to make a compost heap, although the materials are at hand on almost every farm. The repeated failure of their turnip crop argues strongly at this point.

At the distance of 1 1/2 mile from Summerville, the Settlement of Elliot Vale commences. The road runs through the farms. They are about a mile long each: that is the width of the Lot. Most of the land is inferior. Only a few of the farmers in this section are comfortable; their system is very bad. Markets resorted to are Mt. Stewart, Montague, Cardigan, and Georgetown.

Lot 67- John McLeod

This Lot is wholly inland, and contains no land incapable of the highest cultivation. The soil is naturally productive, yielding all kinds of agricultural produce. Strathalbyn, in the center of the Island, is the largest and most populous Settlement, and comprises the southern part of the Township. It is situated half way between Charlottetown and Summerside, which are its best markets. The surplus produce raised here is considerable, and lumber of a most excellent quality abounds. The greatest obstacles in the way of improvement arise from its distance from shipping places, and the want of access to lime and shell manure. The facilities anticipated from a railroad are largely in demand here, and in no part is the question more favourably entertained by the people than in Strathalbyn.

Malpeque Road comprises the northern part of the Lot, and is more accessible to the facilities above referred to, as may be seen by referring to the annexed columns, being within a short distance of New London and Mill River. Several on this road appeared unwilling to give a full return of the statistics, owing to an erroneous impression that the end in view was to impose a tax to met the expenditure of the railroad; and many were alarmed that the line would cross their lands, which they regarded as a nuisance, rather than an accommodation.

Braidalbane (sic) and Junction Roads, chiefly in the center of the Lot, are, to some extent, recently settled. The people - many of whom are late immigrants from Scotland - are characterized by sobriety, perseverance, and industry. The Township abounds with springs, and is generally well watered.

Georgetown and Royalty - Neil Matheson

The harbour of Georgetown is pronounced, by competent judges, to be the best on the Island, and capable of receiving the largest vessels afloat, and is open for navigation the greater part of the year. Principal business is in ship building and the export of country produce. It has also an extensive and growing trade with American fishermen, and if it only had the water accommodations to which its natural advantages entitle it, it would not only give an impetus to the trade of the Town, but benefit the Eastern part of the Island in general. It wants proper steam communication to the United States, to warrant parties in building establishments for inspecting, packing, and re-shipping fish, to accommodate American fishermen properly. Also, bi-weekly or tri-weekly steam communication with the neighbouring Dominion, to enable its merchants to compete with other parts of the Island.

Charlottetown and Royalty - No Comments


Arlington, Lot 14, Nov. 23, 1871

Sir; - I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your's of the 22d. In reply, I beg to inform you that the number of persons whose chief occupation is fishing is three. These three were absent at the time of taking the Census, hence the omission. The eight boats, with one exception, are owned by farmers, for fishing purposes, but for their own use only, - only occasionally used, and when used they are manned only by farmers, who, I do not think, should be put in the "Fishermen" column.

I remain, &c.,

Neil McKinnon

Ashfield, Lot 16, Nov. 29, 1871.

Sir; - In the census returns of Lot 16, you say there are "four boats owned for fishing purposes," while the number of men is not noted in the Census book.

The reason is, the boats were owned by farmers, and they wished to have their names entered as such; and as they were not fishermen, in the true sense of the word, I did not enter them in the Census book as fishermen, but as it is necessary, you may say: two men to each boat, - eight in all.

I am, &c.,

John McKinnon

Brae, Lot 9, Dec. 1st, 1871

Sir; - Yours of the 22nd ultimo has been received. In reply - as to the number of men engaged in fishing, in this District - I take pleasure in informing you that it is two men each to each of the thirteen boats engaged, amounting to twenty-six men; that is the minimum, as no boat would be manned with fewer than two men. Possibly a few boats took in a third partner, but I cannot, at present, ascertain what number, if any, has done so.

Your's, &c.,

John McDonald

To John McNeill, &c., &c.

Dave Hunter and The Island Register: HTML and Graphics© 2000

Last Updated: 11/29/2000 9:33:41 AM
Return to Top!
[ Return to Census Index! ] | [ Return to What's New Page! ]
Return to Main Page!