Cunard, Joseph

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CUNARD, JOSEPH, timber merchant, shipbuilder, and politician; b. 1799 at Halifax, N.S., son of Abraham Cunard, merchant, and Margaret Murphy; m. 12 April 1833 Mary Peters of Bushville, N.B., and they had four sons and one daughter; d. 16 Jan. 1865 at Liverpool, England.

After attending the Halifax Grammar School Joseph Cunard entered his father’s firm in that town. About 1820 Joseph and his brother Henry went to Chatham, N.B., on the Miramichi River where they opened a branch of the family company, known as Joseph Cunard and Company; their older brother Samuel was also a partner in the branch. They immediately purchased a wharf and a store and were soon involved in lumbering, milling, and shipping on the south side of the river.

In 1832 Joseph Cunard was described as one of the wealthiest and most influential merchants in the province. At Chatham his firm owned several mills, including a large steam mill which began operations in 1836 and sawed 40,000 feet of lumber a day. In the same town the firm also had a brickworks, several stores, a counting house employing 30 people, and at least two shipyards. Mills were constructed farther down river and a store was opened in Shippegan. In 1830 stores were opened at Kouchibouguac and Richibucto in Kent County, and in 1841 William Raymond could report that Cunard had done £100,000 of business with him in Kouchibouguac and that he had paid approximately one third of this sum in ships. Cunard’s operations in Kent County made Richibucto for a short time the third largest shipping port in New Brunswick. In 1831 the company purchased stores, houses, and other buildings at Bathurst and the next year began shipping timber. Exports of lumber from Bathurst rose from 1,300 tons in 1829 to 26,500 tons in 1833.

In 1833 Joseph Cunard married Mary Peters, the daughter of Judge Thomas Peters of Bushville. He purchased the large piece of land between Water and Duke Streets from Patrick Henderson for their residence. There was already a house on the property which Cunard remodelled and enlarged. The finished house was a show place with a ballroom on the second floor, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and outside there was a circular driveway with porter lodges on each side and beautiful gardens with peacocks strutting around the grounds.

Cunard’s shipbuilding activities were extensive. A number of vessels were built for him in the years 1827–38, but by 1839 he had two shipyards of his own in Chatham. There he had at least 43 vessels built, including the Velocity, the first steamboat constructed on the Miramichi, which was launched in 1846. Cunard began building ships at Bathurst in 1839 and from 1841 to 1847 was the only shipbuilder in the area. Between 1839 and 1847 he built at least 24 vessels at Bathurst. At his shipyards at Richibucto and Kouchibouguac, which began operations around 1840, he had at least nine vessels constructed in the years 1840–47.

A massive man standing over six feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds, Cunard loved galloping through Chatham from his mills to his store or home and was often seen shouting orders to his men as he supervised their work on horseback. He drove to church in a coach with footmen in livery. His magnificent home was lavishly furnished, and peacocks wandered through its grounds. For the opening of his steam mill in 1836 some 300 people were invited to a large banquet. Often on his return from trips to England, he was greeted in Chatham by salutes of cannon and ringing of church bells. Occasionally he sent word from Richibucto that he was on his way home so that the people of Chatham would have time to organize a suitable welcome. “He was loved and hated, admired and feared, brusque, good-hearted when he wanted to be, grasping, domineering – all the contradictory qualities that made up that hard, crude, lavish Miramichi life of a century ago.”

Cunard had many enemies as well as admirers. Upon his first arrival in Chatham, he had entered into bitter rivalry with the firm of Gilmour, Rankin, and Company, which was already firmly established in the Miramichi area. One of the earliest disputes between the two firms was over large timber reserves on the northwest Miramichi and the Nepisiguit rivers. As part of Thomas Baillie’s plans for development of the timber industry, Cunard had been granted over 500 square miles of these excellent reserves in 1830–32 on condition that he improve the streams by erecting sluices and clearing obstacles. No other firm was interested in this area until Cunard proved that operations there could be profitable. When Cunard failed to carry out the promised improvements, Alexander Rankin led an attack on his privileges. In 1833, on instructions from the Colonial Office, Cunard was forced to relinquish the reserves. This was the first battle he lost to the Rankin firm.

The quarrels continued over ownership of timber, trespass on mill reserves, and the election of candidates to the assembly. The rivalry was particularly bitter in the “fighting elections” of 1842–43 in Northumberland County, when Cunard supported John Thomas Williston and Rankin backed John Ambrose Street. Crowds of 500–1,000 men fought during these election campaigns and troops were eventually sent to restore order. Street’s election was another defeat for Cunard.

Cunard’s recklessness and his overextension of his resources caused him continual trouble. In 1842 the Cunards faced bankruptcy. At the same time, the provincial government took action against Joseph Cunard to force him to settle his accounts with the government. The Executive Council appointed a committee to investigate his debts; it recommended that Cunard post bonds of £3,000 and that his timber, which had been seized earlier, be released. It also recommended an investigation into the conduct of the deputy surveyor in the area, Michael Carruthers, some of whose actions seemed designed to damage Cunard’s business to the advantage of Gilmour, Rankin, and Company. Carruthers was later transferred out of the county. Cunard managed to survive the difficulties but by 1847 was unable to meet his obligations. Depressed economic conditions, strong competition from Gilmour, Rankin, and Company, and reckless expansion of his enterprises all played a part in his downfall. In November 1847 he declared bankruptcy. A panic ensued in Chatham where hundreds of men depended on him for work. An angry crowd confronted him in the streets with cries of“Shoot Cunard,” but with two pistols in his boots Cunard stood his ground and is supposed to have demanded, “Now show me the man who will shoot Cunard.” The crowd then dispersed. According to the newspapers, between 500 and 1,000 people were out of work as a result of Cunard’s failure and many left the area in search of employment elsewhere. A number of small firms in the area also went bankrupt. The timber trade of the Miramichi area was depressed for many years partly as a result of Cunard’s failure, but shipbuilding revived and boomed in the 1850s.

In 1849 Cunard left New Brunswick but returned shortly in an unsuccessful attempt to settle his affairs. His debts were not finally cleared up until 1871 and Samuel Cunard apparently assumed most of the burden of his brother’s failure. Joseph finally left Chatham in 1850 and moved to Liverpool, England, where he entered the ship commission business as a partner in the firm of Cunard, Munn, and Company. In 1855 he formed a new company, Cunard, Brett, and Austin, which became Cunard, Wilson, and Company in 1857. These firms, working on a commission basis for colonial merchants and lumbermen, sold ships and lumber and purchased goods. The latter firm was still in operation at the time of Joseph’s death in 1865. He was survived by his wife and two sons, Edward and J. P. Cunard. Cunard was a colourful individual who played a major role in the commercial activities of Northumberland, Restigouche, Kent, and Gloucester counties. His failure in the late 1840s was to affect the economy of the area seriously for many years.

SOURCE Gleaner (Chatham, N.B.), 13 Aug. 1833; 8 Dec. 1835; 16 Feb., 12 July, 4 Oct. 1836; 30 April, 7 May 1839; 6 June 1846; 15 Feb. 1848; 29 June 1850; 27 Jan. 1851; 17 Nov. 1855; 21 Jan., 4, 11 Feb. 1865. Miramichi Advance (Chatham, N.B.), 10 June 1880. Esther Clark Wright, The Miramichi: a studyof the New Brunswick river and of the people who settled along it (Sackville, N.B., 1944), 44–51. Hannay, History of N.B., II, 19. MacNutt, New Brunswick, 216, 230, 240, 275–76, 288, 321. Louise Manny, Shipbuilding in Bathurst(Fredericton, 1965), 3–7; Ships of Miramichi:a history of shipbuilding on the MiramichiRiver, New Brunswick, Canada, 1773–1919 (Saint John, N.B., 1961), 24–33; “Colossus of Miramichi,” AtlanticAdvocate (Fredericton), 55 (1964–65), no.3, 37–41. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online


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PART II

                                        JOSEPH CUNARD
                                 Shipbuilding Merchant Family
                                      By Peter Chabursky


Along with Mr. Francis Peabody, as our great respected founder of the town of Chatham, another great name that equates Miramichi is the Hon. Mr. Joseph Cunard.

Joseph Cunard was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1799. His father Abraham and his brother Samuel operated a successful timber and trading firm there, that had been established c1812. This firm would eventually evolve into the famed S. Cunard and Company.

Samuel, with his keen sense of business, foresaw the potential growth for a branch of his firm to open up on the Miramichi. He sent Joseph and his brother Henry to Chatham, and with his financial backing, the brothers formed the Joseph Cunard & Co. c1823. Thus began Joseph Cunard’s colorful, historical and powerful reign in the Miramichi timber, merchandising and shipbuilding industry.

Joseph bought a parcel of land from Patrick Henderson and commenced the operation of the company’s first store on this lot. The freestone store was built on the site of Chatham’s old post office on Water Street. The property also housed Cunard offices, warehouses and wharves. Henry Cunard built his home directly across the street from the store.

Joseph Cunard was driven by his ambition to succeed. His company soon included mill establishments, stores, brickworks, lumber and fish markets, and later a prosperous shipyard.

He gained access to thousands of acres of timberland and lumbering, merchandising and shipbuilding became his most notable enterprises. He was one of the major employers in the area and his company can be credited to sustaining the livelihood of many of our early settlers. The Miramichi region grew and prospered under his power and he would soon open operations in Richibucto, Bathurst and Kouchibouquac.

His main competitor in the area was the Gilmour, Rankin and Co. on the north side of the river and he always tried to stay one step ahead of their dealings.

In 1839, Joseph Cunard now owned the shipyard in England’s Hollow on Lower Water Street. By 1848, a total of eighty-three vessels and one steam boat were launched from the Cunard shipyards. Thirty-eight of these were launched from the Chatham yard.

After the great Miramichi Fire of 1825, he was instrumental in raising funds for the homeless and destitute victims.

During the Irish famine years, Joseph rallied to collect funds for the destitute population. In 1847 he was instrumental in arranging relief for destitute passengers suffering with ship fever aboard the famine ship Looshtauk, which was moored off Middle Island for five days.

Joseph had early signs that his company was in trouble but he continued to forge ahead and continue operations in hopes of being able to keep his business running successfully. It is said he didn’t listen to the wise advice of his brother Samuel, who by now was now known world-wide for the success of the Cunard Lines. By 1847, Joseph was unable to meet the demands of his creditors and declared bankruptcy. His loss had a disastrous effect on the local economy, and many families were forced to leave the area in search of employment.

Joseph and his family moved to Liverpool, England where he worked in the ship brokerage business. He died from heart disease in 1865 at the age of 66 years.

To many of our forefathers, Joseph Cunard was the heartbeat of the Miramichi. His reign here lasted for twenty plus years and his memoirs have been penned and noted in the history books. To the honour of the Cunard name, Joseph Cunard’s debts to his creditors were paid off by 1871.

To this day his name remains legendary for the contribution he made to the growth of the Miramichi and the fame he gained for it.


Source: Miramichi Leader – May 2, 2007

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PART III

                      JOSEPH CUNARD DESCRIBED AS COLOURFUL AND SPECTACULAR 

Joseph Cunard was an entirely different type of man from Alexander Rankin. Spectacular and colourful, pushing and domineering, where Rankin was steady and determined. Cunard, like Rankin, was a power in the early life of Miramichi. In 1820, Samuel Cunard, the founder of the famous Cunard Line, sent his two brothers Joseph and Henry from Halifax to Miramichi to establish a branch of the Cunard firm here. Joseph was then in his early twenties. They settled in Chatham where Joseph lived in the house afterwards known as the Bowser House, and Henry at Woodburn Farm. The Joseph Cunard house still stands in sturdy grandeur, its lovely doorway weatherworn, and some of its interior woodwork still intact, through it was sunk to the estate of a warehouse. Woodburn is still, as it was a hundred years ago, one of the show places of the river. The aged William Wyse, who had seen everything happen on the river, from the building of the Peabody mansion in 1838 to the appearance of the first automobile on the streets of Chatham, described Joseph Cunard for the Miramichi Historical Society Bulletin. He was, said Wyse, a man of striking appearance, six feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds, a magnificent figure as he galloped point to point on his enormous horse, superintending the gangs of men, horses and oxen, who towed up the great timber rafts from Bay du Vin. He was loved and hated, admired and feared, brusque, good hearted, grasping, a man of strong and vivid personality, with all the contradictory qualities that made up that hard , crude and lavish Miramichi life of a hundred years ago. The Cunards, like the Gilmour Rankin Co., had the financial backing of a strong firm behind them, and the speed with which they evolved a prosperous mercantile settlement out of the town which Peabody founded, seems nothing short of miraculous Mills, Brickworks, a counting-house with 30 clerks, stores, shipyards in Chatham, Richibucto, Kouchibouguac, and later in Bathurst, where some of the largest square-rigged ships build in the Province were launched. For a time Joseph Cunard outshone his hated rivals, the Gilmour Rankin Co. The Gilmour Rankin’s steady methods in the end outlast Cunard’s spectacular career, but until Joseph Cunard failed in 1848, with a crash that nearly wrecked S. Cunard & Co., people felt that Cunard owned the citizens of Chatham, body and soul. Henry Cunard, though he acted as Joseph’s agent, lived the quiet life of an English country gentleman at Woodburn, and died there in 1890’s, universally respected. But Joseph in a grandeur that had never been seen on the Miramichi drove in his coach to St. Paul’s Church, with his coachman and footmen in livery. He had his garden, which comprised the whole block in which the Bowser House now stands, beautifully laid out, with ornamental trees and peacocks walking about the paths. His house was furnished in great elegance, and his library was the marvel of that rural community. In 1829, Joseph Cunard was elected to represent Northumberland in the Provincial Legislature and about 1841 was made a member of the Legislative Council. Business took him often to the Old Country, and on his return he would be greeted by the town-folk with salutes of cannon, bonfires, ringing of church bells and the cheers of the populace. In fact, I think that more than once, Joseph took care to send word ahead that he was coming by road from Richibucto, so that the people would have time to organize a really creditable outburst of feeling for his triumphal return. In 1839, Samuel Cunard accomplished a successful piece of business which at that time made a great a sensation as the air place crossing of the Atlantic 90 years later. He obtained a contract from the British Government for carrying the mails by steam and had two steamers built for this purpose. There had been few Atlantic crossings by steam up to that time, and it was not considered possible that a regular steam service could be maintained. Joseph Cunard was with his brother Samuel in England when the Mail Contract was awarded, and he returned to the Miramichi in May, tactfully staying the night in Richibucto and sending a courier ahead to announce his return. On his arrival next day in Chatham, he was greeted by a demonstration which has probably not often been surpassed in Miramichi. Signal fires announced his approach. There were salutes of cannon, and escort of friends on horseback, and on the following day an enormous procession of mechanics, shipwrights, hammer-men, caulkers, blacksmiths, joiners, riggers, sawyers, engineers, Carpenters and builders, carrying banners, emblems, ship models, axes, adzes and the implements of the trade, served as an escort to a deputation of nine, who presented Joseph Cunard with an address, praising his enterprise and the great things he had done for the Miramichi, and the wonderful results that were to follow the general use of steam power. (It is a piece of irony to think that these people were all celebrating their own ruin, though they didn’t know it! For steam meant the use of iron vessels, and iron vessels meant that the demand for the wooden ships which had made Miramichi famous would cease in another generation). Joseph Cunard, like Peabody and Rankin before him, encouraged local business, domestic manufactures, and agriculture. He was a man of varied interests, and this perhaps led to his downfall. He loved embarking on new enterprises, but he had no talent for careful management and close supervision. The business, it is said, was so loosely run that a man could come in from Napan with lamb for the store, and get paid 11 times over by going from clerk to clerk with his account. Rumours must have been current about Cunard’s solvency for he had been borrowing for years from the local Jewish firm of Samuel, and many others, and he was extravagant and careless, but it was a tremendous shock to the people of Chatham to whom he had seemed like a god, when the day arrived in 1848 that Joseph Cunard could not meet his obligations. William Wyse has described that day for us, how the mob roared about the streets of Chatham, shouting “kill the villain”, and how Joseph faced them all, standing on the steps of his office, with a pair of pistols he had secured by the merest chance thrust into the legs of his high-topped boots, defying a mob of thousands, with “How show me the man who will shoot Cunard!” He was a strong man in prosperity and a stronger in defeat. But he was ruthless in business, forced his will on the people, and controlled elections by a sort of mob rule-in which, perhaps, he only followed the ethics of his times. The Cunards finally paid every penny that was owing though it took them until 1871. Joseph went into the commission business in Liverpool, and died there in the early 1860’s.

Source: North Shore Leader - May 19, 1939

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PART IV

                                      PEOPLE FROM THE PAST
                                Joseph Cunard: A Miramichi Giant 

Joseph Cunard left the Miramichi area in 1850, never to return. He had resided here for a little more than 25 years, yet he created such an impact on the economy of that period that his name is bandied about even today. The name “Joe Cunard” was always in the news. Even in 1983 we read that the site of his mansion (which burned in 1957) will be the location of the federal government’s Directorate of Pay Services building. The remaining gatehouse, which in later years housed a barber shop, will be relocated to the W. S. Loggie Cultural Centre where it will join the small Cunard summer house, moved there by W. S. Loggie many years ago. Joseph Cunard and his brother Henry came to the Miramichi in the early 1820’s. Their brother Samuel of Cunard Steamship fame was a financial wizard and although he remained in Halifax, he backed the Miramichi Cunards in their enterprises. Joseph Cunard was a great entrepreneur. He ruled an empire of ships, lumber and fish. His only competitors were Gilmore, Rankin & Co. of Douglastown; many of Cunards business ventures were undertaken for the sake of getting ahead of Alexander Rankin, whose steady methods in the end outlasted Cunard’s spectacular achievements. Henry Cunard was a lesser partner in the business and operated a store and mill at Morrison Cove. After 1838 he became a “gentleman farmer”, living the gracious life at Woodburn Farm, which still stands. Joseph Cunard was dynamic, he was a great showman and his mills and shipbuilding yards provided work for up to 150 men who felt very much in his dept. Indeed, it was sometimes suggested that he “owned” the people and there is no doubt that they placed him on a pedestal. When he returned from a business trip, he was often greeted with a thirteen gun salute; parades and dinners were held in his honour. And he loved it all. It is said that he was always careful to send word of his impending homecoming in order to give “his people” the opportunity to roll out the red carpet. A Youthful “Colossus” It is difficult to believe that Joe Cunard was only in his mid twenties when he took the Miramichi by storm. He immediately became involved in the business and political life of the Miramichi, purchasing a piece of land on Water Street from Patrick Henderson in order to build a store (where the old 1896 post office now stands). Later he built a store in Newcastle with branches in Bathurst, Kouchibouguac, Richibucto and Shippegan. In 1835 Joseph Cunard built a steam sawmill which grew into a large operation. In 1839 he purchased Joseph Russell’s shipyard at England’s Hollow where he built over forty vessels. He also built ships at his yards in Bathurst and Kouchibouguac. Most of these vessels were sold in Great Britain and many of them carried lumber across the Atlantic. At the same time as he was rising in the business world, Cunard was becoming involved in community affairs and it seems as though he was active on every public-spirited committee. For example, he was a member of the relief committee established after the Miramichi Fire in 1825. He was elected to the House of Assembly in 1828, re-elected in 1830 and took a seat on the Executive Council in 1838. In 1833 Joseph Cunard married Mary Peters, the daughter of Judge Thomas Peters of Bushville. He purchased the large piece of land between Water and Duke Streets from Patrick Henderson for their residence. It appears there was already a house on the property which Cunard remodelled and enlarged. The end result was a show place with a ballroom on the second floor, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and outside there was a circular driveway with porter lodges on each side and beautiful gardens with peacocks strutting around the grounds. However, all was not peaches and cream for Joseph Cunard. An economic depression in 1842 caused him to come very near to failure. The handwriting was on the wall. In November 1847 his many faceted business failed. His property was so extensive that it was not until February 1850 that the business was wound up. He and his family had become established in Liverpool, England where in 1849 he sent a letter resigning his position in the Legislative Council. In 1850 he made his last trip to the Miramichi. Fifteen years later Joseph Cunard died in Liverpool where he was a partner in a firm of Commission Merchants. He was survived by his wife and two sons, Edward and J.P. Cunard James Fraser in his book “By Favourable Winds” quotes “On the Liverpool Exchange he was a general favourite, for he was a kind-hearted and genial gentleman, full of anecdote and ever ready to let others have the result of his great experiences and profound judgement.” Hero or Rascal? The late Dr. Louise Manny, in an article “Colossus of the Miramichi”, wrote “Cunard had many admires but he had many enemies too. He crushed his opponents whenever he could. When he got a chance he did the Shirreffs out of Middle Island and he had many another hard bargain to his credit – or discredit.” The story is told of how A.D. Shirreff on his deathbed was holding two pistols and declaring “They’re for Cunard, I’ll him yet!” A friend, Henry Wyse, got the pistols from his grasp and took them home. When the Cunard business finally went under, the people of Chatham discovered their idol had feet of clay. He had brought them in a few short years to a degree of prosperity beyond belief. How could they accept the fact he had failed? They couldn’t. They were angered, outraged and completely disillusioned. The angry mob, when they heard the news, gathered and accosted Cunard, threatening to shoot him. Seeing a young boy, William Wyse in the crowd, Cunard sent him running home for his father’s pistols. (As a humorous sidelight, Louise Manny wrote “William Wyse never missed anything during his 80 year-long life”). With a pistol stuck in each boot, Joseph Cunard swaggered and declared, “Now let’s see the man who will shoot Cunard!” The mob dispersed but the anger remained. Even today there are those who protest any recognition of Cunard’s contribution. “What of the workers who suffered as a result of Cunard’s greed and ambition?” they ask. “Their hostility was certainly justified.” This may be so. Yet Joseph Cunard was one of the most impressive and colourful characters in the annals of local history. And in favour one must consider that, although it took more than twenty years, all his debts were paid off and the Cunard estate was cleared. Joe Cunard was one of a kind. by Lois Martin Source: Northumberland News – November 09, 1983

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PART V

           JOSEPH CUNARD Streets in Miramichi & Bathurst named for the honourable Joseph Cunard 
                                         By Harold W. J. Adams

Anyone visiting the City of Bathurst or the City of Miramichi will eventually come across streets in both cities with the name Cunard. Both were named for the Honourable Joseph Cunard (1799-1865), brother of Samuel Cunard of Cunard Steamship Line fame. Although he was a resident of Chatham (Miramichi), Joseph Cunard held vast business holdings in both Bathurst and Miramichi. Some 160 years ago, on May 20, 1845, Joseph Cunard made one of his many visits to Bathurst, but this time he was greeted by a representative continguent of the Town of Bathurst including Joseph Read, Esquire, the Rev. A. Barron, R. Carman, Esquire, B. Dawson, Esq., S. Bishop, Esquire and Mr. M. O’Brien. “To the Honorable Joseph Cunard, Sir, we, the undersigned in habitants of the Town of Bathurst, desire to offer you our unfeigned respect and esteem, and a cheerful and hearty welcome on your arrival among us. Placed as you are in a high and conspicuous station in Her Majesty’s Councils in this province, your conduct has ever been characterized by consistency, moderation, and manliness, an earnest desire to promote the public good, and to advance the best interests of the country; by your advice you have aided and by your influence you have aided, and your influence you have always constitutionally supported the Royal Prerogative.” “We acknowledge the many and deep obligations under which we be from your liberality, activity and mercantile enterprise, displayed in particular in this portion of the province; and a debt of gratitude as justly due to you wherever your exertions have reached and been felt. “Endowed with talents of superior order, and inferior to none in political knowledge and influence, which have been alike extended whenever called into action, without respect of persons and creed, and we fervently hope that a long life of happiness and prosperity is yet before you and that nothing may occur to weaken your influence or impair your usefulness,” Having listened to the remarks, Joseph Cunard replied, “Gentlemen: the unexpected and cordial welcome you have this day given to me and the address you have just presented on behalf of the inhabitants of the Town of Bathurst, are, I assure you, highly flattering to my feelings, and for which I beg you to accept my sincere thanks. The terms in which my public conduct are spoken of in the address, cannot be otherwise then gratifying to me. You do me but justice when you say that I have always constitutionally supported the Royal prerogative; such has always been my desire, and while I have firmly upheld the just rights of the Crown, I have always endeavoured to protect and maintain the rights and privileges of the people. “I am deeply interested in the welfare and prosperity of the Town of Bathurst; I am so identified with its rise and progress, that it must be my interest, as it will be my earnest desire to see its inhabitants prosper, and no exertions on my part will be wanting to promote that object. In all the acts of my political course, I have endeavoured to do justice to all classes, without distinction of persons of creed; and I am happy to find that my efforts in this respect, are approved of by the inhabitants of this town. I beg you will return my best thanks to the inhabitants of Bathurst for this testimony of their esteem, and for the desires they so warmly express for my future welfare and prosperity and which I beg you also, gentlemen individually to accept.” One of the number of business ventures operated by Joseph Cunard in the Bathurst and Chaleur area was the building of wooden ships. Barque Hydapsis Cunard built the Barque Hydapsis in Bathurst. “On Saturday last, (Saturday, August 8, 1846) from Mr. Cunard’s yard at Bathurst, the barque Hydapsis, 450 tons.” Brig Trio – Bark Henry The Brig Trio and the Bark Henry were also built in Bathurst. “Launched: at the building yard of Messrs.Cunards, at Bathurst, on the morning of Saturday last (Saturday, May 30, 1840), a fine brig named the Trio, of the burthen of 200 tons, old measurement. Yesterday morning (Monday, June 1, 1840, a very superior bark, of the Burthen of 400 tons, old measurement, was also launched from the same yard. She is called the Henry and when launched was fully rigged. Barques June, Caroline, and Susan Cunard also built in the Bathurst area three barques, the June, the Caroline and the Susan. “Three barques have been launched from the shipyard of Messrs. Joseph Cunard & Co. at this place, within the last fortnight. The ‘June’ of upwards of 300 tons burthen, on the 5th instant. The ‘Susan’ of the same size, on the 9th and on this day, the eighteenth, another of upwards of 400 tons, called the ‘Caroline’. The vessels are built principally of Hecmatack or juniper…the Messrs. Cunards have had some hundred workmen employed during the autumn about their yard. Three vessels they have just launched and the two remain on the stocks to be launched in the spring. “Their model is an unexceptionable, fully sustaining the well-earned credit of Mr. Rainnie, the tasteful and skilful artist who superintends the drafting and moulding department.” The next time you are walking with a friend on either Cunard Street in Bathurst or Miramichi, share with them this brief history of nomenclature. Source: Miramichi Leader – May 2005

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