Old St. Andrews



James Rait, Merchant



James Rait, Merchant and Importer


NB Standard and St. Andrews Commercial Advertiser
Sept 10/1833
The New Brunswick Standard is published every Tuesday by George N. Smith
Terms: 15s a year, half in advance, exclusive of postage
Price of advertisements
First insertion of 16 lines and under 3x
Each repetition of Do 1s
First insertion of 17 lins and over, per line
Each repetition of Do do
Printing in general done on liberal terms at the Office, Rait’s  wharf, Saint Andrews


Sept 21, 1833
Port of St. Andrews
Vessels arrived and Cleared
Sept 9
Schooner Lively, Kennedy, Eastport, Allanshaw and Co., general cargo
Sept 10
Sloop Reform, Smith, Eastport, Curry, general cargo
Sept 11
Brig Lubec, Means, Eastport, Allenshaw and Co., staves etc.
Schooner Wm. Henry, Katch, Eastport, Wilson, staves,
Schooner Betsey, Peters, Eastport, Marter, general cargo
Brig Nelson, Tilley, Eastport, Wilson, general cargo
Sept 12
Schooner Thomas, Dennis, Yarmouth, Master, ballast
Schooner Shepherd, Baker, Bridgeport, C. B. coals
Sept 13
Schooner Lively, Kennedy, Eastport, Allanshaw and Co., general cargo
Sept 14
Schooner St. Croix, Blaney, Eastport, Simes, general cargo
Sloop Reform, Smith, Eastport, master, general cargo
Ship Isabelle, Tait, Boston, Allanshaw and Co., assorted cargo
Sept 16
Brig Nelson Village, Kenu, Liverpool vias Eastport, Rait, bread
Schooner Emily, Paul, Boston; Master, flour, meal, bread, etc.
Sept 17
Schooner Lively, Kennedy, Eastport, Parkinson, flour, meal and bread
Sept 18
Ship admiral Moorsom, Moorsom, New York; Wilson, assorted cargo
Schooner Rosalie, Crosby, Yarmouth; master, assorted cargo
Schooner Chance, Ryarson, Digby, master, staves, cordwood and eggs
Ship Christlana, Wilkie,  Boston,; Allanshaw and Co., ballast
Sept 20
Schooner, Gilbert, Hopkirk, Yarmouth; master, furniture


Entered for Loading
Sept 9
Brigantine Walker, Arnold, Newfld.
Sept 14
Brig W. Fourth, Vogler, Belfast
Brig Morning Star, Revend, Belfast
Sept 16 Brig Nelso Village, Renn, Kingston, Jam.
Sept 20
Brig Nelson, Tilley Eastport
Ship Isabella, Tait, Emerara
Ship Admiral Moorsom, Demerara


Sept 9
Schooner, Catherine, Trefry, Eastport; master
Sept 10
Schooner, British Tar, Smith, New York; P. Smith
Sept 13
Brig Friendship. J. Vogler, Demerara; Jas. Rait
Schooner Thomas Dennis, Windsor; master
Sept 14
Brig Baothers, Whitney, Torquay; Douglas
Brig Liori, Fletcher, Kingston, Jam. Wilson
Brig Erin, Thorn, Honduras; Allanshaw
Brig Wm. Nery, Hatch, Eastport; J. Wilson
Ship Sir Edward Hamilton, Lundy, Bridlington; Douglas
Sept 16
Brig Stamfordham; Ayer, Droheda; J. A. and Co.
Brig Morgian a, Hethington, Belfast; J. Douglas
Brig Lubec, means, Eastport, master.


April 17, 1834
Those indebted to the estate of  William Ker late of St. Andrews, Commission Merchant are hereby notified that Mr. J. H. Whitlock’s appointed to collect and discharge all debts due to said estate, and further that all arrears will be put in suit if not paid prior to 1st May.
James Rait
Trustee of Said Estate


Undated but probably end of 1834
County of Charlotte in Account with D. W. Jack Treasurer
Thomas Quain for blacksmith work 8.19.9
Thomas Sime for articles for criminals 5.15.10
John Aymar for ditto for Gaol 7.15.9
M. Vernon for services as a Justice 4.1.0
W. Ker ditto 8.11.7
Jas. Rait for articles for criminals 16.10.5


May 13, 1835
Supplies of Lumber
The prospects of obtaining the entire proceeds of the forst this season are most cheering; the late rains have enabled the River Driver to get almost every stick out of the smaller streams, and in the course of a short time when the Lakes break up, the great drives will be brought down to the booms. At Magadavic it is expected that in the course of six weeks the will have pieces at the mills. And At Scoudic one mill owner informed us that his concern will have material to keep them going upwards of two years. There are no great Lakes on the Digdeguash but it is expected that the upper branches will be driven and the supply completed. (in the news lately the duty on flour which is being protested by James Rait and in the Legislature by Col. Wyer; also the timber duties—prices per acre for cutting on Crown Land.)


May 28, 1835
Dear Sir,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 23d inst, enclosing the resolutions of a meeting convened at Brennan’s Hotel, relative to my resignation, as a director of the Charlotte County Bank. Whilst I value most highly the very flattering testimony that the meting has been pleased to express of my conduct during that time I held a seat at the Board, I cannot refrain from assuring you, how much I regret my services as a director having been so undeserving the compliments so very handsomely paid me. That I retire from office accompanied with the friendly feelings of so respectable a portion of this community, is mot gratifying to me; and I beg of you to convey to them my warmest acknowledgments of this public mark of their approbation.
I am dear Sir faithfully your, James Rait,


oct 1, 1835
The weather for some time past had been uncommonly fine and Saturday last shone auspiciously for an excursion. On that day a select party proceeded in the Steamer Woodstock from hence to Rigby’s Point on the St. Croix, and witnessed an interesting spectacle in the launch of the Erato, a very fine schooner of about 100 tons built for James Rait, Esquire, of this place. the Erato was launched with her masts standing, and made a most beautiful appearance as she entered the Harbour in tow of the Woodstock: the sky, the water, the scenery—all conspiring to render the sight imposing and fine.


October 9, 1835
The St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad bill referred to in our last, having been inclosed by Mr. Rait to the members of Council and Assembly for this County, together with a letter embracing in general terms the leading objects of the Bill, these gentelemen intimated their intention of laying the same before the Public, in sonsequence of which a large and respectable meeting of the Merchants and other Inhabitants of St. Andrews and the neighouring parishes was held at Smith’s News Room on the 5th inst. To take into consideration the formation of a Company, having for its object the hightly important and gigantic project of constructing a Railroad from the Port of St. Andrews to communicate with the City fo Quebec.


Dec 3, 1835
We are much gratified to have it in our power to announce to the public that the deputation of the St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad Association started  yesterday morning for Canada. It consists of Harris Hatch, John Wilson, James Rait, and John McMaster, who intend as we understand to pass through the State of Maine by way of the Kennebec Road to Quebec, where they will most probably meet the exploring party, ascertain from them the general tenor of the r final repot, and communicate the same to the Governor General, and public of Canada; who we feel every confidence will cordially approve the views of the association here, and cooperate with effort in the proposed magnificent undertaking.


Dec 3, 1835
St. Andrews Day in  St. Andrews
A large paty of Scotsmen jointed by a number of the Sons of St. George and St. Patrick dined together on Monday the 3rd inst. At mr Brennan’s Hotel in celebration fo the anniversary of the Patron Saint of Scotland. Colin Campbell, High Sheriff, in the Chair, Thomas Wyer, Croupier.
             We noticed amongst the company many of the “old familiar faces” who by their hilarity and good humour “were wont to set the table in a roar,” but some which we missed, and sorry we are on their account, as they lost he chance of what was pronouncded one of the best dinners ever prepared on an occasion of the kind in thei country.
            On the removal of the Cloth the Chairman gave:
            The Day and all who honor it with 3 times 3
            The King, do
            The Land o Cakes, do
            Lord Gosford Governor General of British North America, with 3 times 3
            Lieut. General Sir Colin Campbell Governor of Nova Scotia, with 3 times 3
            Major General Sir Archibald Campbell Governor of New Brunswick with 3 times 3
            Navy and Army of Great Britain, 3 times 3
            Lady Campbell and the fair of New Brunswick with 3 times 3
            Honest men and Bonny Lasses, 3 times 3
            Our brethren the Sons of St. George, St. Patrick and St. David 3 times 3
            The land that give us milk and the land that gives us bread, 3 times 3
            A number of most appropriate and happy volunteer toast followed


The Chairman stated that since sitting down he had received a note from mr. Rait, stating how much he regretted his  inability to join the company on the occasion, and requesting as a particular favor, that they drink to the “memory of the late John Campbell, which was accordingly given from the Chair and drank in a solemn silence.
            James Brown, esq. of St. David’s was requested by the Chair to favor the company with his spirited but pathetic song, commemorative of the local “worthies of the older times,” which he executed in his usual happy style. This song has become quite a “standing dish” (regular as the Haggis) at our St. Andrews feast, and was most heartily cheered.
            The health of the Stewards was given by Col. Wyer for the sumptuous and elegant manner in which they had provided on the occasion. Mr. Jack on behalf of the Stewards returned thanks for the compliment, and assured the company that the office of steward had been quite a sinecure on this occasion, all the credit for the styel and plenitude of the feat being due to Mr. Brennan and his Chef Sorley.
            Several excellent songs from Messrs. Harley, Boyd, Sime, Brown and others enlived the Company, and kept them together until the “wee short hours ayout the twal” warned them home, when all departed in the most perfect good humour, singing in full chorus “When shall we three meet again.”


Dec 31, 1835
We are happy to announce the return of a part of the railroad deputation to Canada. Harris Hatch and Jno. McMaster Esquires, arrived here early on Thursday morning last from Quebec, where they parted company with Juo. Wilson and Jas. Rait, the other part of it, who proceed to Montreal in furtherance of the object of their mission.


Schooner Edward and Mary, Crosby, of an for this port from St. Andrews, with a cargo of dry goods, run ashore on one of the Turket Islands, during the snow storm of Tuesday night, the 15th inst. The crew and passengers (the latter being Capt. Baker and Crew so Brig John McCullum of this port, now frozen in at St. Andrews) landed on the Island, where they built a fire. The weather was so intensely cold, and nearly all of them had their hands and feet frozen. On Friday Captains Crosby and Baker, and three of the crew succeeded in reaching Chabogue Point, in the boat, and on making known the circumstances, a small vessel (furnished with blankets, medicines, etc.) was immediately dispatched in aid of the sufferers remaining on the Island. We understand they are now all nearly recovered. One bale of good only has yet been saved from the wreck, which was held at session of Wednesday—Yarmouth Herald


January 1, 1838
Vessels Names           Tons                Owners
Schooner Fair Play      17        Oliver Wooster
Schooner Industry      13        P. Thomson
Schooner Ely               14        J. Good
Schooner Eliza Ann    14        J. Flagg


Schooner Return         19        W. Bourke
Schooner Waterloo     22        A. Campbell
Schooner Perseverance         46        J. Pendleton
Schooner Annie          53        Joel Ingersoll


Schooner Martin          30        J. Drake
Schooner Dolphin        15        J. Richardson
Schooner Royal George         19        J. Patch
Schooner Minerva       31        W. Fisher
Schooner Shark          17        R. Boyd
Schooner Eliza 12       Jas. Drake
Schooner Sir Howard Douglas           27        Taylor and others


Schooner Fly               16        J. and F. Burio
Schooner Lark                        23        ditto


Schooner Fiddle          26        J. C. and A. Adams
Schooner John            13        John Carr
Schooner Drake          14        James Rait
Schooner Junon          57        John Wilson


Schooner Friends       13        W. Mclellan
Schooner Post Bay     58        A. Haney
Schooner Mary Ann    45        J. Good


Brig. Mary J. Wemy     147      J. Murray
Schooner William Henry          33        Wilcock and Bard
Schooner Sarah Ann              61        W. Fisher
Schooner Sarah                      38        J. White
Schooner Henry                      30        D. Hoyt


Brig Frederick              216      McLachlan
Brig Queen of the Isles                       133      J. and J. Chaffey
Brig Sarah Henrietta    255      N. Marks
Schooner Atalanta      10        C. Curry
Schooner Susan         16        E. Griffin
Schooner Enterprise 31          R. Yates
Schooner mary Eliza   19        W. Matthews


Ship Princess Victoria             561      John Wilson
Brig Cavalier Jouett                 191      J. and J. Chaffey
Brig Eliza Ann              191      R. and N. Lindsay
Schooner Perseverance         46        J. Appleby
Schooner Nancy         11        J. Cunningham
Schooner mariner       72        C. and H. Benson
Schooner Jennet Grant           96        A. Grant


Brig Susan      174      N. Marks
Brig St. George           240      D. Millikin
Schooner Elizabeth     40        R. Caleff
Schooner Flying Fish  13        P. Newton
Schooner Trial             40        J. Chaffey
Schooner Allice           11        E. Ross Frankland
Schooner True Briton  12        J. Spinney
Schooner Douglas Clarke       31        T. Armstrong
Schooner Drudge        55        J. Allanshaw and Co
Schooner Metilda        23        J. Flagg
Schooner Dash           93        John Wilson


Brig Nehemiah 275      N. Marks
Brig Julia                      154      W. Curry
Schooner Milo             39        J. Cunningham
Schooner Sarah Jane 75        A. Haney
Schooner Phoebe       26        newton and kent
Schooner Victory        13        W. Babcock
Schooner Mary jane    30        D. Gatcomb
Schooner Only Daughter        36        W. and H. Flagg
Schooner Betsy          47        H. Helm
Schooner Wellington   42        J. Martin
Schooner Alexander Edmund             20        William Cline
Schooner Lively          24        E. Gatcomb
Schooner Catherine    12        J. Healley
Schooner Leader        24        W. Fisher
Schooner Margaret     24        J. Bullerwell
Schooner Wiliam Walker         68        P. Smith
Schooner Tusket         39        E. and E.  Spinney
Schooner John            52        N. Degget


Barque Robert Watt    491      James Rait
Brig Thistle      266      George Mckenzie
Brig Cadwallader        156      John marks
Brig Robert      188      J. McBean
Brig hester      232      nehemiah marks
Brigantine Maria          119      C and H. Benson
Schooner Mary Jane   74        J. Eldridge
Schooner Emily           60        Parkinson and Roberts
Schooner Midge          89        J. Allanshaw and Co.
Schooner Thomas Parker       98        C. Valper and others
Schooner Diana          44        E. R. Frankland
Schooner Hope           13        J. McLachlan
Schooner Fleta            21        John Aymar
Schooner Trial             40        J. Stinson
Schooner William         94        J. Eldridge


Ship Ava         461      James Douglas
Ship Joseph Porter      482      William Porter
Barque Colonist           300      J. Allanshaw and co.
Barque Mary   339      James Rait
Brig Ann          110      James Rait
Brig Unity 127              W. and I. Andrews
Brig Sarah Lovett        145      J. N. todd
Brig Lord of the Isles   211      J. McKenny
Schooner William and Edward            27        Wilson and Ludlow


May 30/1878
Jottings on the Street. No.1
Standing at the upper end of the town, and just where Harriet Street coyly touches Water Street, we look away down Water Street, taking into view as best we can its length and its breadth. One mile long it is said to be, by actual measurement. The statement is accepted.
            Here, at our starting point, a look in the opposite direction sees a dilapidated building—grim and war-like-looking, even in its antiquity. It bears the name of “Block House.” “It cants its head towards”—well, the East. Whatever service it may have rendered in the past—it promises none in the present or the future. Now, on each side of the Street, here at the Harriet Junction, are private residences. Those on the water side at not so cozy-looking as their opposites—neither have they fine garden plots as have the others. A few rods bring us to a vacant water lot—and here, some 40 years ago, James Rait, Esq., carried on a great trade as Merchant and Shipbuilder. The buildings were capacious, and in keeping with his very extensive business. Those were the times when grumbling over “hard times” were at a discount. The wail of “no work” was drowned by the busy hum of business on the shore, and the cheery “yo-heave-ho,” of the gallant tars in the harbor. Farmers, too, rattling along the streets with the rural products, found ready prices.
            The wharves presented a lively scene, and prosperity smiled upon St. Andrews.
            A sigh of regret escaped many a lip when the active business man, James Rait, left St. Andrews for Jamaica. His enterprise was not confined to the town of SA, only; it was felt in the Parish of Pennfield; and “Rait’s Mills” at Beaver Harbor will always be a household word. Nor there alone—out in the Bay on Grand Manan, his enterprise extended itself, as did also that of John Wilson, Esq., of Chamcook; (of whom we will have something to say hereafter) and many an old “saw long” can yet be seen imbedded in the island soil, that escaped the teeth of the . . . ill saw. Those whose memories can carry them back 40 years or more, may remember Mr. Rait as being in personal appearance of splendid physique—tall and portly—pleasing expression of features, and engaging in his manners, the true type of a gentleman-merchant; he was calculated to win esteem, and he did. He died on the island of Jamaica in the year 1842, where his remains are interred.
            One can hardly pass along from this vacant lot, the former site of “Rait’s Store,” without a brief delay, as the feeling spontaneously wells up to moralise on the brevity of life—its shifting scenes—its vicissitudes—its joys, its sorrows, it entrees and its exits!


July 18, 1878
Jottings on the Street. No. 6
The Post Office now comes under review. The large dwelling house, located at the north-west corner of King and Water Streets, and fronting on Water Street, is the residence of Postmaster Campbell.
            The building was erected in the year 1803, by H. B. Brown, the first Clerk of the Peace for the County of Charlotte. He was jocularly termed “Hurly Burly Brown.”
            The adjoining building, called the Post Office, was erected in the year 1836 by James Rait, Esq., the gentleman of whom we have already written, and whose remains have commingled with the dust of Jamaica.


Feb. 4/1892
The Old Town Bell
Its Companion, the Clock, has Long Since Ceased from its Labours
The Beacon and one of “the oldest inhabitants” were chatting over the recent change in the own bell ringer.
“It is a good many years,” quoth the latter, “since I first heard the tuneful notes of the town bell of Saint Andrews. It did not stand where it now is, for in those days the Episcopal bell sounded the hours. The hours were different, too. In summer, the first tinkle of the bell was heard at 8 o’clock in the morning. Everybody who had work to do was at it long before this. At that time there was no ten-hour or any other system, except to go to work at daylight and knock off when it was dark. Yes! and there was work to do in those days, for when the bell rung at 1 o’clock for dinner, it was no uncommon sight to see one hundred men coming up from Rait’s wharf and scores from the other wharves. After the bell had sounded for dinner, it did not give tongue again until 9 o’clock in the evening. In winter, the bell rang at 8 o’clock, instead of 9.


The Oldest Physician
Dr. S. T. Gove of SA, talks with the Beacon
Dr. Samuel Gove, of SA, is without doubt the oldest practicing physician in NB
            On Friday last the Beacon surprised Dr. Gove in his study and drew from him a few facts relative to his life history.
            Dr. Gove is a native of Gagetown, Queen’s Co., having seen the light of day there in 1813. His father came to this Province from New Hampshire after the Revolution and settled at Gagetown, where he married a daughter of Samuel Tilley, who took an active part in the American Revolution as a royalist. He landed at Saint John in 1783, and served on the first petit jury ever established in the province, under the grandfather of Sir John Allen.
            One of Dr. Gove’s ancestors on his father’s side was in the pioneer force attached to the 8000 troops that were ordered to be levied in Massachusetts for the siege of Louisburg in 1748. He assisted in the building of a road across this morass on which to haul the heavy siege guns and when the British fleet broke the chain across the harbor and captured the town, the contingent from Portsmouth, N. H. of which he was a member, dismounted the silver bell of the cathedral, and it was taken t Portsmouth, where it is now hanging in the belfry of St. John’s Episcopal church. This bell had been blessed by the Archbishop of Paris.
            The subject of this sketch removed with his family to Saint John when three or four years old, and took up his residence in the suburbs, which is now almost in the heart of the city. He has a vivid recollection of many events in the history of Saint John. He can remember visiting the smouldering remains of the military barracks on Fort Howe, and can clearly recollect hearing the 9 o’clock gun being fired from the fort while lying in his bed. After the fire, the military were quartered in the “Red Store” at Rankine’s wharf, remaining there until the Lower cove barracks were built for their reception. The doctor remembers the two last gentlemen in Saint John who wore Hessian boots, with tassels on them. These were a man named Bonsall, and the father of Mr. Beverley Robinson, a tall, stately gentleman.
            Dr. Gove was one of the first pupils of the Madras School, which was then situated on King Square. Among his early schoolfellows he distinctly remembers Mr. Thomas E. Millidge, Mr. John R. Marshall, ex-chief of police, and the late Canon Scovil. General Smythe, who had been aide-de-camp to Wellington at the battle of Waterloo frequently, opened the school. He would ride up on horseback, and leaving his horse in charge of an orderly, would enter the room. He would seat himself at the organ, and after playing and singing “Old Hundred,” would open the school. The General, by the way, was regarded as one of the best musicians in the army. Brunswick Smythe, his son, was also the doctor, thinks, a pupil of this school. He remembers having seen one or two persons in the pillory on King Square, and has also witnessed the whipping of criminals on the Square. The whipping post was on the corner of the square, about opposite the present site of the Dufferin hotel. He has seen the school boys turn sick on witnessing one of these public whippings.
            The first Sunday school that he attended was in Trinity church, of which, he thinks Mr. Byles was then rector. Two of the lots of land on which Trinity church now stands were given for that purpose by the grandfather of Mr. William Whitlock, of St. Andrews. Dr. Gove’s grandfather owned two lots on the corner of King St., which were sold for a hogshead of rum. In those days such a sale excited no comment, as money was scarce, and it was quite common to barter in that way.
            Dr. Gove began his medical studies with the late Dr. Cooke. He then attended Guy’s hospital, London, Sir Astley Cooper being at that time consulting surgeon. In 1833 he graduated at the Royal College of Surgeons.
            On returning to NB he settled for a short time at Sussex, where he took unto himself a life partner, who is now living, though in poor health. From Sussex he removed to Gagetown, and while there saw the troops go through on sleds to Canada to quell the Papineau rebellion. In 1939 he came to St. Andrews.
            Asked in what state he found Saint Andrews when he first came here, he said that he found a population of 3000 in the town proper, several square rigged loading in the harbour, and several new ships on the stocks. The principal merchants were Jas. Rait, Allanshaw and McMaster, and the Wilsons. The West India trade of the pot, owing to the English government having thrown open West India ports to the United States, had even then begun to decline.


Dec 19/1895
A little bit of history
Mr. George a. Boardman remembers when he first used to visit it sixty years back. (1836)
Then there were no steamboats on the river and I used to go by way of Robbinston, and cross the ferry by Joe’s Point. A tall man they used to call Long John was ferryman. He was afterwards drowned in crossing. My employer sold lumber to the merchants of Sa, and I used to go down and sell an collect about every month in the busy season and can say that those old merchants of that day very a very superior set of men, such as the McMaster’s, Pagans, Raits, Stranges, Scott, Dunns, Wilsons, Hatch, Allenshaws, Campbells, Jacks, Streets, Whitlock, and others. the most of my business was with James Raite, and I used to think him an ideal merchant. He was an Englishman but came from Jamaica. His wife was a Miss Watt and her brother took a farm near the present Watt Junction, it being named after him. Mr. Raite took a hand in the wild speculations of 1836. He bought a large field in Calais on the road to Milltown, paid down a part of the high price and it was abandoned and sold for taxes. I know you cannot spare me space to go into a biographical history of those men as I should like, but I must say a few words of John Wilson, who was a very energetic and enterprising merchant. It was through his perseverance and push that the railroad from St. Andrews to Woodstock was built, about he earliest road in the province. St. Andrews at that time was a busy, thriving, driving, town. the stores and warehouses were large and well filled, there were nice wharves along the shore, and the harbor was full of large vessels loading for foreign ports.


Sept 26/1912
Reminiscences of Old St. Andrews
(Written by the late R. Melville Jack and Read Before the Canadian Literature Club, St. Andrews)
These sketches I will have to give you just as scattered reminiscences and you can classify them as you see fit.
            One of my first memories is my father telling me that he had seen a hundred vessels loading pine timber here at one time. That was before the duty was taken off the Baltic lumber in England. [1820] My father came from the West Indies, where he had been manager on a plantation and had the management of the slaves. When he landed in St. Andrews, he had only a half dollar (a silver dollar cut in halves). Mr. Rait was then the principal merchant there, and as his office was at the head of the wharf, he carried his trunk there and asked Mr. Rait if he could heave it until he found a job. The answer was that he could, and an officer of the lowest clerkship which was accepted at once was made him. The result was that eventually he became one of the partners in the business.