SKETCHES OF PROFESSIONAL MEN AND
WOMEN OF PICTOU COUNTY - ITS
HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS
Rev. J. P. MacPhie, M. A.
"The Homeland of the Bible"
Copyright 1914, by J. P. MacPhie
*Chignecto Project Electronic Edition, April, 1999.*
[Notes from the Editors: As page numbers in electronic editions do not
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any Tables of Contents or Illustration Lists in works that we transcribe.
Spellings are left as they were in the original work. Sentence & punctuation
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Claire Smith, Richard MacNeil]
The preparation of this book has been a labor of love. Although
has been called to spend most of his life in other and distant fields, he has
never wavered in his devotion to the place of his birth and the friends of his
youth. It has at times been his dearest hope to repay in some measure, by
some serviceable deed, the debt of gratitude which he owes to his native land.
Hence the undertaking of this book, the aim of which is to rescue from
oblivion the names, the deeds, the heroism of the pioneers of Pictou, and to
show how notable a contribution, in men and women, the county has made to the
intellectual life and growth of the country.
No fairer scenes than Pictou County presents can be found in the land.
as a piece of Mother Earth it is deserving of the most enthusiastic admiration
and ardent attachment. Its beautiful elm-studded valleys, its clear, winding
streams, its sunlit hills with their fertile fields gently sloping toward the
sea, its bonnie, happy homes, its thriving towns, its peaceful villages, its
infinitely varied forests and even its rugged glens present charms which never
But the county's moral claim for its people's love and loyalty is stronger
than the physical. No spot in our wide Dominion, of equal size and
population, has contributed so much to all that is best in our national life.
Nowhere else have religion and education so effectually joined hands for the
uplift of the people and the promotion of good.
Nowhere have righteousness and truth been more genuinely wedded, or
In support of these statements the evidence in this book is confidently
submitted. The gathering of the evidence has been a difficult task. It is
not claimed that it is either exhaustive or absolutely accurate, but the
author has done his best, and he has had the hearty cooperation of many to
whom he is sincerely grateful.
It has been said that Pictou is noted for coal and clergymen. Great
as is the
yield of coal, yet that which is Pictou's proudest product is her men and
women. In less than a hundred years she has given to the church nearly three
hundred clergymen. She has sent forth one hundred and ninety physicians,
sixty-three lawyers, forty professors, fifteen men and eleven women
missionaries, eight college presidents, four judges, two governors, two
premiers and a chief justice for the Province, besides a host of journalists,
politicians and business men of note and name.
There is inspiration in studying the lives of men and women. It
us a deepening desire to imitate and achieve all that was best in their lives.
If this book will help the youth of the land to do this, it will have
accomplished the main purpose of the writer.
Our fathers have left us a precious heritage and a rare record. We owe
the debt of a grateful remembrance. "Happy are the people," says John Fiske,
"that can look back upon the work of their fathers and in their heart of
hearts pronounce it good."
June 1, 1914 J. P. MacPhie
Titles of Chapters
I. THE PIONEERS OF PICTOU
II. THE RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF THE COUNTY
III. PICTONIANS IN THE PULPIT
IV. PICTONIANS IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION
V. THE BENCH AND THE BAR
VI. THE STORY OF PICTOU ACADEMY
VII. PICTOU EDUCATIONISTS
VIII. PICTONIANS IN FOREIGN FIELDS
IX. THE PRESS AND PRINTERS OF PICTOU
X. PICTOU IN POLITICS
XI. PICTOU IN THE BUSINESS WORLD
"A wise nation preserves its records, decorates the graves of its illustrious
dead, repairs the great public structures, and fosters national pride and love
of country by perpetual references to the sacrifices and glories of the past."
THE PIONEERS OF PICTOU
Our sires--brave hearts that crossed estranging seas,
And broke the hush of the primeval wood,
Who lit their candles in the solitude,
And met the saffron morn upon their knees--
What though their homes were void of luxuries,
Learning ne'er begged, nor altars smokeless stood,
Nor Cheer nor Friendship lacked the joys their rude,
Kind, log-heaped hearths could give, --
It is to these I bare my head! They wrought without the aid
Invention brings, ere smoke of Industry
Hung o'er these hills and vales; with care they made
This place a garden of the mind; and we,
Cradled in comfort, now bid memory hold
The fragrance of their lives in jars of gold.
Alexander L. Fraser.
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