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A Journey After My Own Heart

The Shubenacadie River bisects Nova Scotia, linking the Atlantic to the Bay of Fundy. Traveling north from there, the Chiganois and French Rivers make connection with Northumberland Strait, a route well known from early times. Soldier Fitzgerald traveled the Shubenacadie in 1788 when he wrote this letter home

Halifax, June 24th 1788

Dearest, Dearest Mother,

I got here three days ago, after a passage of twenty-eight days, one of the quickest almost ever known. We had a fair wind every hour of the way. Depend on it, dearest mother, I will not miss an opportunity of writing you. . .

I can give you no account of the country yet, or the people. By what I hear, they are all Irish, at least in this town: the brogue is not in higher perfection in Kilkenny. I think I hear and see Thamis every corner of the street. I am lodged at a Mr. Cornelius O’Brien’s, who claims relationship—and I accept the relationship—and his horse, for thirty miles up the country. I set out to-day. My regiment is at St. John’s, in New Brunswick: the distance is a hundred and twenty miles from here to Annapolis, and at Annapolis you embark across the Bay of Fundy to St. John’s which is opposite, at the mouth of the river of the same name. This is the common route; but, to avoid the Bay of Fundy (which is a very disagreeable navigation, and where one sometimes happens to be a fortnight out), I go another road, which takes me round the bay. It is longer, and very bad but by all accounts very wild and beautiful. I shall cross rivers and lakes, of which one has no idea in England. I go down one river called Shubennacadee for thirty miles, which they tell me is so full of fish, that you kill them with sticks. They say the banks of it are beautiful—all the finest wood and pasture, but quite in the state of nature. By all I hear, this will be a journey after my own heart. I long to hear from you. I love G** more than ever. I hope my journey will do me good: one thing I am glad to find is, that I am likely to have a separate command, which will give me a good deal to do. Good bye again. God bless you a thousand times.

A Journey After My Own Heart

The Fundy tidal bore rushes into the Shubenacadie River as it has for centuries.
©Lawrence R. Nicoll, used by permission. www.LRNphotographic.ca