Coffin Journal

Journals of George W. Coffin

Land Office records: Journals of George W. Coffin 1825-1845  Located A21R20: 4-9 Box #1



25 Sep Sunday 


Had an interview with Saml Cook Esq regarding lumbering at Aroostook & Madawaska

(NOTE: I've only recorded the settlers on the Aroostook, there were many others.)


Wilmot & Peters, Merchants of Fredericton & Wm Pyle a settler on the Aroostook, have got under a Beaver Brook 1700 tons and 700 tons a little below the Presque Isle Stream.


Wm  Black of Saint Johns City, Merchant, and a man by the name of Hickey have got under a permit at Beaver Brook 800 tons of timber and 1000 logs.


Wilmot & Peters & Lewis Johnson a settler on the Aroostook have got under a permit a little below Salmon Brook. 1000 tons.


John & Walter Beedle Caribou Stream 500 tons and 2000 tons up the Madawaska.


William Hallet of Tobique Settlement & George Fields a settler on the Aroostook have got under a permit 500 tons near the mouth of the Madawaska Stream.


Wilmot & Peters & Smart an American who now resides NB have got 1000 tons on Madawaska Stream and 400 tons a little below the Aroostook.


30 Sept Friday Reached the Aroostook River


3 Oct Monday 

Went from Grand Falls to mouth of Madawaska River. On return from trying to get some pork, found Mr. John Baker (who we passed yesterday in a boat going down to Fredericton) he by some means got information of the object of our journey, had returned, in the hope of obtaining from us a permit to cut timber, for the supply of his Mills at Maryumticook Stream (about 14 miles above Madawaska River). He told them "the inhabitants of Madawaska generally are very desirous of uniting their destiny with the States".  (They went with Mr. Baker to his house at the mouth of Maryumticook and) conveyed 100 of acres of land to him to include his improvements.


4 Oct Tuesday

Surveyed and conveyed to Mr. James Bacon Lot N2 100 acres

(They went with Mr. Baker to Fredericton) "We thought best when we were coming up river, not to make much enquiry, or have any conversation with the settlers until our return but to proceed up to the upper settlements as fast as we could. We now commenced taking an account of the number of houses, names of the occupants as we passed them, making ? domicileing visits to many of the settlers, with whom we conversed, and explained the object of our visit. They all expressed great satisfaction and delight at the prospect of being received into the family in Maine and were ready to take deeds of their lots, but to have surveyed all their lots, and made conveyances, would have employed our time until the middle of the winter, and as most of the settlers have more land in their possession, than we were authorized to convey, for which they were ready to pay a reasonable price, and have made applications to be submitted to the Legislature for that purpose, we concluded it would be best to send up a surveyor in the Spring , and make one job of it........................."


(no date) ............. We kept on down river and arrived at the Barracks at the Grand Falls.......and (housed?) here all night. This day and yesterday the weather continued to be very pleasant and full summer heat. 


6 Oct Thursday

We left the Grand Falls at 6 o'clock AM and got down to Whiteheads which is ....... Salmon River to Breakfast at ... o'clock. Left Whiteheads and got down to the mouth of the Aroostook river about 4 oclock PM, wnet up the Aroostook a short distance, and found the river so low it was impossible to get up river with our Batteau and having to convenience to go up by land we were under the necessity of giving up a visit to the Aroostook settlers, and as our powers up the river related only to selling timber, which could be as well or better executed with the lumber merchants below.


From one of the settlers on the Aroostook river, we ascertained the following facts, viz, that there are upwards of twenty families settled up this river on the banks thereof that they are all somewhat engaged in agriculture but most of them employ their time principally in lumbering. They are very anxious to be (?quitted?) in their possessions but we had no authority relative to this. The soil on the Aroostook river is of an excellent quality for cultivating. We had no personal view of the landon this river only at considerable distance.


The following are the names of the Settlers on the Aroostook viz.

*1 above the Falls Andrew McCreagh Irish
*2 do John Dorsey do
*3 do William Elliot English
*4 do Ferdinand Armstrong Blue Nose
*5 do George Fields do
6 do Joseph Arnold do
7 do Charles Johnson do
8 do William McCreagh Irish
9 above the Falls Lewis Johnson Blue Nose
10 do William Pyles American
11 do Daniel Hickey Irish
12 do Oliver Bradley Blue Nose
13 do Henry Bradley do
14 do Oliver Bradley Jr do
15 do Thomas Becket do
16 do Peter Bull do
17 do William Dalton American
18 do Nath Churchill Blue Nose


Those marked thus * are supposed to be upon the Plymouth or Eatons Grants.Considerable timber has been cut up this river at various times.


(From here he continued on down river to Kent County, NB and spent the night before traveling to Fredericton, NB. ) When we were at Saint Johns & Fredericton, we were informed that the government of N. Brunswick had received instructions from home, not to grant any more permits to cut timber upon the Aroostook or Madawaska rivers until the line was permanently established and defined.


This information was confirmed to us by the lumbermen themselves with the addition that permits given for the approaching winter, have been recalled, which has disappointed a great many who had previously got their supplies up the river.


Copyright 2002 Linda L. Allen

All Rights Reserved


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