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Retrieval Number: 7001/123
Memorial of Tolar Thompson to the Honorable Martin Hunter Esquire, President of His Majesty’s Council and Commander in Chief in and over His Majesty’s province of New Brunswick, June 28, 1808.
Mount Allison University Archives, Parks Canada Webster Manuscript Collection.
May be reproduced only with permission of Parks Canada through the Mount Allison University Archives.

receipt to William Trueman for a grant of Tantramar marshland.

At the time of writing this petition, Tolar Thompson was a relative newcomer to New Brunswick, having emigrated from Ireland where he had worked on a large and progressive farm estate. In this document he describes himself and his family as a “young settler...with a wife and three small children, and has been at considerable expense in the purchase and improvement of lands within the said Parish [of Sackville].” He goes on to request a grant of land being some 180 acres in Division C where he hopes to build a grist and saw mill. Believing this lot to be “vacant and unoccupied, the same having been formerly in the first settlement of the said Township drawn by one Latimore, who left the Province about thirty-five years ago, and was soon after lost at Sea...,” he requests that he also be permitted to acquire another marsh property situated on the Cole’s Island marsh. The outcome of Thompson’s petition is not clear although a notation appended to it presumably by an official, G. Sproule, indicates that the lot was indeed vacant but that the second lot requested was already allotted to James Easterbrooks.

Thompson would emerge as a powerful figure in the effort to extend the scale and scope of marsh farming. Using drainage and land improvement techniques developed on the great agricultural estates of Great Britain, where new developments in engineering, the application of technology and the use scientific approaches to plant and animal breeding were all beginning to be employed by the wealthy landlords, Thompson helped the farmers of Tantramar to initiate what some scholars have called the “second agricultural revolution.”

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