Charlotte Taylor     Her Life and Times

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Charlotte Sutherland

From An Outline of the History of Bathurst Compiled by Gail MacMillan
Researched by Shirley Burns

Excerpt from Pages 31 to 33

"… About 1786, James Sutherland, an Englishman of Scotch descent, married a beautiful young woman from a respectable family and together they sailed for America to build a life in the new land … Determined to succeed in his home, James Sutherland undertook to ship timber to England.  In 1790, the year after his arrival at Nepisiguit (Bathurst), he built and equipped a vessel for this purpose.  In that same year he loaded her with timber and crossed to England in 16 days - a record not equaled by sailing vessels then or later.  Time passed.  Other white people came and settled around the Sutherlands.  Among newcomers were a Captain Allen and another man classified as a British Empire Loyalist named Hugh Munroe.  Hugh Munroe soon proved to be a ruthless man.  After settling near Sutherlands, Munroe turned his eyes on his neighbour Captain Allen's property which contained many acres of rich marshland.  Shortly he managed to have the Allen grant invalidated by declaring that Allen had not cleared the stipulated acreage.

The feat accomplished, Munroe looked next at the prospering Sutherland estate.  It also contained valuable marshlands and its cleared acreage fell below the government requirements, Munroe, now a magistrate, had considerable influence with the government.  In mid winter 1818 the Sutherlands received the news Munroe was in Fredericton readying a case that would have their entire holdings confiscated by the crown … James and his wife must have passed their tenacious adventuresome spirit on to their children for one of their daughters, Charlotte, a girl of 20, quickly volunteered to snowshoe to Fredericton in an attempt to foil Munroe's plot. Her family could not change her mind.  Taking her 16 year old brother Frederick as sole companion she set out on foot for Fredericton.  From the Sutherland homestead to Newcastle there was only an Indian trail largely obliterated with snow, and not a single house.  Between Newcastle and Fredericton they were fortunate.  There were occasional farmhouses and taverns where they were welcomed, housed and fed.  During the course of the journey however they spent one night under an upturned canoe which they found by a stream and another under a shelter which they built of spruce and hemlock boughs.  After an eight day journey they arrived safely in Fredericton.

Once in Fredericton Charlotte went immediately to Governor General Stacey Smyth.  She argued convincingly on her parents behalf by telling the Governor General of their early hardships in settling their land.  No one could help but be impressed by this young woman who had made the dangerous and arduous journey from St. Peter's to Fredericton in winter and then argued as brilliantly as an attorney on her parent's behalf.  Governor Smyth decided in her favour.  Her home would not be forfeited by Hugh Munroe's schemes."

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Last Revised: October 09, 2000