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Campobello An Historical Sketch   By:

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For those who are desirous of exact knowledge concerning the "Story of the Boundary Line," and the political history of Eastport and its vicinity, there is no more comprehensive work than that by William Henry Kilby, Esq., entitled, "Eastport and Passamaquoddy." To him, and also to two friends who kindly gave me the names of a few of the Island flowers, do I express my gratitude.


THE mysterious charms of ancestry and yellow parchment, of petitions to the admiralty and royal grants of land, of wild scenery and feudal loyalty, of rough living and knightly etiquette, have long clustered round a little island off the coast of Maine, called on the charts Passamaquoddy Outer Island, but better known under the more pleasing name of Campobello.

=Its Discovery.= It belongs to the region first discovered by the French, who, under Sieur De Monts, in the spring of 1604, sailed along the shores of Nova Scotia, and gave the name of Isle of Margos (magpies) to the four perilous islands now called The Wolves; beheld Manthane (now Grand Manan); sailed up the St. Croix; and established themselves on one of its islands, which they called the Isle of St. Croix. The severity of the winter drove them in the following summer to Annapolis, and for more than a hundred and fifty years little was known of this part of the country, though the River St. Croix first formed the boundary between Acadia and New England, and later the boundary between the Provinces of Nova Scotia and Massachusetts Bay.

Campobello itself could scarcely be said to have a history till towards the end of the eighteenth century. Moose roamed over the swamps and looked down from the bold headlands; Indians crossed from the mainland and shot them; straggling Frenchmen, dressing in skins, built huts along the northern and southern shores, till civilization dawned through the squatter sovereignty of two men, Hunt and Flagg. They planted the apple trees whose gnarled branches still remain to tell of the winter storms that howled across the plains, and converted the moose yards into a field of oats, for the wary, frightened animals vacated their hereditary land in favor of these usurpers. Their mercantile skill taught them how to use, for purposes of trade rather than for private consumption, the shoals of fish which it was firmly believed Providence sent into the bay.

=Post Office.= There were not enough inhabitants to justify the maintenance of a post office till 1795; then the mails came once in two weeks. Lewis Frederic Delesdernier was the resonant, high sounding name of the first postmaster who lived at Flagg's Point (the Narrows). But when a post office was opened in Eastport, in 1805, this little Island one was abandoned, or rather it dwindled out of existence before the larger one established by Admiral Owen at Welsh Pool.

=Welsh Pool.= The Narrows, because of its close proximity to the mainland, was a favorite place of abode in those early days. Yet Friar's Bay, two miles to the north, was a safe place for boats in easterly storms; and thus, before the advent of the Owens, a hamlet had clustered around what is now called Welsh Pool. A Mr. Curry was the pioneer. The house opposite the upper entrance to the Owen domain was called Curry House until it became "the parsonage," a name abandoned when the present rectory was built. Curry traded with the West Indies, and owned, it is said, two brigs and a bark.

People also gathered at the upper end of the Island, Wilson's Beach, and on the road between Sarawac and Conroy's Bridge, where there were several log houses.

=Garrison's Grandparents.= That some kind of a magistrate or minister even then was on the Island is attested by the fact that William Lloyd Garrison's grandparents, Andrew Lloyd and Mary Lawless, chanced to come to Nova Scotia on the same ship from Ireland, and were married to each other "the day after they had landed at Campobello, March 30, 1771... Continue reading book >>

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