NameDavid Mowat Captain , 2650
Birth Dateabt 1748
Birth PlaceScotland
Death DateSep 1810 Age: 62
Death PlaceAt Sea
FatherMowat , 2703
MotherUnknown , 2704
Birth Date13 Sep 1768
Death Date25 Dec 1860 Age: 92
Death PlaceSt John, New Brunswick, Canada
Burial PlaceSt John, New Brunswick, Canada
FatherJohn Caleff Doctor , 1485 (1726-1812)
MotherDorothy , 2660
Family ID817
Marr Date14 Nov 1786
Marr PlaceSt John, New Brunswick, Canada
ChildrenJohn Spence , 2662 (1787-1792)
 George Ryder , 2663 (1789-)
 Ann Sarah , 2706 (1791-)
 William Henry , 1515 (1793->1871)
 David John , 1487 (1795-1887)
 Robert Samuel , 2707 (1797-)
 Horatio Nelson , 2661 (1798-)
 John Calef , 2708 (1800-)
 George , 2709 (1803-)
 Peter , 2710 (1805-)
 Dorothy , 2664 (1807-1842)
 Susanna Elizabeth , 2711 (1810-)
Notes for David Mowat Captain
Captain in the merchant service. Cousin of Captain Henry Mowat RN 1498. Died and buried at sea.
Taken from "Loyalists to Canada"- Resident of Falmouth and became a grantee at St. Andrews with the Penobscot Association. David Mowatt's name is recorded in a 1788 account book of the Joseph Porter store at Ferry Point now Calais, Maine. He was a shipmaster for the Pagan brothers, and was lost at sea in 1810.
NB Probate records. David Mowat, Parish of St Andrews, Charlotte Co. Intestate. Administration granted 25 Sept 1810 to widow Mehetabel Mowat.

194At his death in 1810 David Mowat's property on Water Street in St. Andrews was appraised at eight hundred pounds. Part of that value was in the barn located at the rear of the house. It survived well into the twentieth century and it played an important role in daily life for nearly all of those one hundred and sixty years.
 The Bell family purchased the Windsor House property in 1949, and the Bell children who grew up there remember the old barn very well. Although no records have yet been found to give the dimensions of the barn, it must have been very large indeed. Barbara Bell Johnston remembers her grandfather stabling his horses there when she was a child. In addition to a team of horses, his wagon and his truck, the barn provided shelter for a cow and calves, a flock of chickens and several pigs. The barn was a 2-story structure with an enormous hayloft on the second floor providing ample storage for fodder (and a popular playground for children).
 By the 1960's keeping livestock within town limits was the exception rather than the rule and spending money on maintenance for a useless building made no sense. In addition to the usual safety hazards an aging building created, the barn behind Windsor House was providing a refuge for some local characters who liked to hide out there when they wanted a quiet place to have a drink! That was one of the reasons the Bell family decided to tear it down.
 In the hundred years prior to the Bell family owning the property, Windsor House was operated as an hotel, a boarding house and as a stage coach stop. The barn would have been important to all those operations. Horses were the primary mode of transportation until early in the 20th century and stabling facilities for the horses of guests was a necessity.
 For David and Mehetible Mowat the barn was essential not only to the smooth running of their household but also to their financial well-being. St. Andrews was a young town with a small population and few amenities. Most of the goods which were available for purchase would have been imported and thus expensive. (For example, in 1810 one pound of tea cost 10 shillings or about $2.00. A workman would have had to labour for 2 days to earn the money for a single pound of tea. Butter, produced locally, was much more reasonably priced at about $0.20 per pound.) It was necessary for Loyalist families to be as independent as possible, and that meant raising livestock for food and keeping horses for transportation and heavy field work. A barn was almost as important as a house.
 Because Captain Mowat was away at sea a good deal, the job of caring for the children and all the many daily functions of the household would have fallen to Mehetible. She would have had servants to help her with both inside and outside work, but occasionally she still had to hire some extra help. From the written accounts which have survived it is possible to put together a fairly comprehensive picture of daily life in and around Windsor House.
 Feeding eight fireplaces and the baking oven required a great deal of wood. Mehetible kept one gentlemen with the unlikely name of Eliphalet Bohea very busy moving wood. In March of 1808, Eliphalet delivered eight cords of wood to the Mowats. Another 23 1/2 cords were delivered in December of that year, and an additional 12 cords were delivered the following April. Eliphalet received the equivalent of about $1.50 per cord for his labours.
 Mehetible also required some assistance with the livestock housed in her barn, and Mr. Bohea was pleased to oblige. He was available to butcher a steer for $1.00 or a calf for about $0.25. Carting in 2 loads of hay to feed the survivors netted him about $1.00 while carting a single load of dung away from the barn (obviously a much less appealing job) earned him double that amount. This enterprising gentleman had other handy skills as well. Mehetible found him useful for building and repairing log fences, ploughing fields and planting trees. In addition, Eliphalet must have found time to raise his own dairy herd because he supplied Mehetible with 37 pounds of butter in 1809.
 Other surviving accounts give insight into the complicated financial dealings of Mehetible and her husband. Since Mehetible was often without the benefit of advice and protection from her husband, her father, Dr. John Caleff was available to help her, especially with money matters. Dr. Caleff's account ledger shows that he frequently lent money to his favourite daughter as well as to her sons, her husband and her husband's brothers. He honoured drafts issued by his son-in-law, regularly paid bills on the Mowat's behalf, and he purchased numerous items for their household. He was probably involved in Captain Mowat's business as well, because supplies like salt pork, salt beef and barrels of flour which Dr. Caleff purchased seem more likely to be provisions destined for Captain Mowat's ship than for his household. Some intriguing purchases made by Dr. Caleff and charged to the Mowat account were religious books and pictures, an axe, a scythe, a large roasting pig, an old bracelet Captain Mowat sold in Boston, and a ton of English hay.
 Dr. Caleff's accounts afford a tantalizing peek into medical costs and practices of the day as well. For all general family medicine related to the inhabitants of Windsor House, Dr. Caleff charged his son-in-law a flat fee equivalent to $14.00 per year, but four visits to Mehetible were obviously special because they were billed separately at about $4.75 per visit. The visits were itemized as related to George, Peter, Dolley (Dorothy) and baby (Susan Elizabeth), which would indicate that he attended her during or immediately after their births.
 A more vivid and much darker glimpse into the hardships associated with the seafaring lives of Captain Mowat's men is offered by one item in Dr. Caleff's account:
 "To mediciny, amputations, dressings and attendance on four of your men belonging to your ship Altalantic from January 1803 to April 1810....."
 Those amputations must have been very difficult medical procedures requiring all of Dr. Caleff's skills because the charge of approximately $165.00 was by far the largest amount Dr. Caleff billed for services rendered.
Notes for Mahatable (Spouse 1)
Age 18 at marriage. Had 10 children. Died age 93. Buried at King Street burial ground, St John. Youngest child died age 9 by a falling tree.
1851 Census, St Andrews, New Brunswick: Henry Frye, batchelor, age 33, born NB, Merchant. Mary Frye, sister, age 30. Louisa Frye, age 28 Eliza Frye, age 26. Mahatable Mowatt, age 80, Grandmother, Loyalist, came to Canada in 1793.

Taken from "Pioneer Profiles of New Brunswick Settlers", by Charlotte G. Robinson.

Mehetible Caleff
The door closed quietly. With her mother's final warning ringing in her ears Mehetible Caleff, bonnet strings tied firmly under her chin, shoulder cape buttoned neatly, wide skirts flaring down to small slippers, paused for a moment at the broad white steps; then she went down the walk without looking back.
Along the streets of Ipswich, Mehetible scuffled through bright dry leaves that crackled and swished at every step. Demurely she walked past the gossips gathered at the street corners.
It was the year 1780. Even the Revolution with its noisy street mobs couldn't change the weather; and Mehetible rather enjoyed these frequent walks through the neat little town of white houses. Now and then she shifted the basket from one arm to the other. It was heavy; far too heavy for a little twelve-year-old, but Mehetible was going on an errand. And such an errand! She felt gay and excited and she had an answer ready for any inquisitive grown-up. Grown-ups might be stopped and questioned; they might even be pelted with stones. But nobody bothered a little girl carrying a basket; it was too common a sight on Ipswich streets, even in those hectic days. Her mother had been sure of that, or she wouldn't have trusted Mehetible on so dangerous an errand.
Along the streets and over the bridge, down beyond the last white house straggling at the edge of the town, she went, past the woods in their bright autumn colours. At a spot on the broad road she paused and waited. From the woods came a familiar whistle; suddenly the bushes on the roadside parted and Mehetible looked up at the smiling bronzed face of Captain David Mowat, Loyalist. Without a word he reached for the basket. Mehetible followed him through the woods until they came to the big tree, where they slid under the wide branches and sat down.
Then Captain David Mowat lifted the cover of the basket, took out half a chicken and ate ravenously. Two days in the woods without food was enough to give anyone an appetite and Captain David was healthy and young; and handsome, so Mehetible thought. She waited for him to finish his meal and make a parcel of the remaining food. In a few days he would have to hide in the barn again. Soldiers were searching the woods he told her, and Mrs. Caleff must leave the doors unlocked. Mehetible promised to tell her Mother. Then Captain David settled down to tell stories of the wild Orkney Islands where Spaniards from the Armada had been wrecked on the rocky coasts. Mehetible was fascinated and all the way back home she thought of those wrecked sailors hiding in the caves and the cliffs with the wild winds howling above the noise of the sea.
It had been a disturbing day for Mrs. Caleff and Mehetible's message increased her fears; for she well knew that nothing would please the Revolutionists more than to capture Captain David and lodge him in one of their filthy jails. And her own family wouldn't be safe if the Captain was traced to their home.
Mrs. Caleff was alone in Ipswich with her children. Her husband, Dr. John Caleff, had left for England, sent as a representative of the Penobscot Loyalist Association to help settle the matter of the boundary line between the British and American territory. Before sailing for England, Dr. Caleff had undergone all sorts of indignities at the hands of the Revolutionists; for the Caleff family had always been staunchly British. The Doctor's grandfather, Robert Caleff, had enjoyed the doubtful distinction of having one of his books, "More Wonders of the Invisible World", burned on Harvard Campus in 1692. Dr. Caleff had been Ship's Surgeon on the Albany, which took part in the siege of Louisburg. And he was present at the siege of Penobscot, afterwards writing the only published account of that action .Tthe book may now be found in Harvard University Library.
And Dr. John Caleff was one of the famous "Seventeen Rescinders" who figured prominently in newspaper reports and cartoons One such cartoon printed in 1768, captioned "A Warm Place Hell" depicts a group of Tories huddled on the flaming brink, while Satan with a pitchfork urges them forward saying, "Now I've got you, a fine haul, By Jove!" Dr. Caleff is portrayed with a calf's head, as his name was then pronounced "Calf". And the verse below began:
Oh brave rescinder! To yon yawning cell,
Seventeen such Miscreants sure will startle Hell!
So, Dr. John Caleff, being proclaimed a traitor and with a price on his head, sorrowfully departed for England. But before leaving he asked his life-long friend, Captain Henry Mowat, to keep an eye on his family. But, because Captain Henry had his hands full in those trying times, with sailors refusing to man his vessels and mobs storming the docks, he passed on the duty of "keeping an eye on the Caleffs" to his young cousin, Captain David Mowat.

When Captain David arrived in Ipswich he learned that some enthusiastic rebels were on the lookout for him too, so he had to keep under cover. He dodged around from the Caleff cellar to the attic and barns; then he'd skip out to the woods where the Caleffs supplied him with food.
Dorothy Caleff felt anything but safe. Neighbours' homes were going up in flames; Loyalists were being dragged off to prison on any pretext. She was ever anxious for Captain David. Finally she could stand it no longer, so she hired a vessel, and secretly night after night stowed the family belongings on board. Grandmother Dummer's armchair and massive mahogany chests of drawers were trundled aboard; and along with them went the memories of the days spent in the big mansion in Rowley that Grandfather Dummer built in 1716.
Happy and carefree were the days of the Colonial era, when William Dummer, Governor of Massachusetts, entertained notables from home and abroad. The valuable silver tankard that had graced Grandfather's massive sideboard, silver candlesticks and platters with the Dummer coat of arms, Dorothy Caleff carefully wrapped in patchwork quilts and handwoven blankets. As she stowed away the cargo, Dorothy Caleff could see again every nook and corner of the old mansion. Its broad mahogany stairway, where William Dummer rode his horse upstairs to the second floor the night he brought Katherine Dudley home as his bride. All the treasures brought from the old home were stowed aboard -- all except the portrait of Katherine, the Governor's lady, painted by a celebrated artist, which still hangs over the fireplace in the panelled drawing-room of the old mansion, now "Dummer Academy", founded by William Dummer and still in use today as a centre of learning.
With her children, Dorothy Caleff sailed off for Nova Scotia. She was sick and tired of the 'boundary question' too; but Captain David Mowat must wait in Ipswich to meet Dr. Caleff on his return and tell him of their new hardships and help him reach their new home.
Everything went well until Mrs. Caleff's vessel reached the Bay of Fundy, when a heavy storm blew up. The small craft was lost in the blinding snow and blown away out of its course. Then suddenly through the swirling eddies of snow they saw huge breakers alongside and the vessel pitched forward with a sickening shatter as it stranded on the shore.
Somehow Mrs. Caleff managed to bundle the children up in warm clothing. Somehow they managed to get ashore, and all through that cold winter day Dorothy Caleff and her children stumbled along twelve icy miles to the shelter of Parr Town, where kind friends gave food and warmth. But fortunately the vessel did not break up, and shortly afterwards Dorothy Caleff salvaged the precious cargo.
Meanwhile Dr. Caleff had been in England for two years. He did not know of the hardships his family had undergone; letters were few and far between and his wife did not want to worry him. He had enough troubles of his own. He wasn't successful in his errand, although he had been hopeful at first, the boundary question was still unsettled.
One morning on entering the office of Lord North, the Premier of Great Britain who had done his utmost to support the Penobscot claims, Dr. Caleff was greeted by the Premier exclaiming, "Doctor, Doctor, we cannot secure the Boundary, the pressure is too strong." For the Americans had used all the influence at their disposal and overruled the Penobscot Society's claims.
But it was not until 1842 that the question was finally decided for the King of the Netherlands, invited to settle the dispute, conceded the American claim, and the Saint Croix River was decided as the Boundary, giving the Americans several thousand additional miles of territory.
Heartbroken and discouraged, the good Doctor sailed for Ipswich not realizing conditions there had grown from bad to worse. But young Captain David was on the look-out for him. He chartered a ship, cruised around the coast, intercepted the vessel with Dr. Caleff on board, took him off and landed in a secluded spot on the coast of Maine.
Here they disguised themselves as Indians and began the long journey to the Saint John River. Living on fish and squirrels, through woods they trudged, circling away from the settlements. They swam rivers and endured unthinkable hardships. Then finally the two 'Indians' stumbled into Parr Town, more dead than alive, and found their way to Mrs. Caleff's door.
If Mehetible found the bronzed adventurer's tales more interesting than before, Captain David knew that this charming Loyalist maid "sealed his fate"; so, in 1786 Mehetible Caleff became the bride of David Mowat. She was just eighteen and he twenty years older.

Anne Hecht, Mehetible's best friend was the bridesmaid. And Anne, who was poetically inclined, composed a lengthy poem to her friend. In fine script on silky birch bark (later to be copied on parchment) Anne gives her friend excellent advice

"Dear Heyy," it begins,
Small is the province of a wife
And narrow is her sphere of life.
The bride was expected to,
Grace the home with prudent care
and properly to spend and spare.
Anne concluded with a warning,
Abroad for happiness ne'er roam
True happiness begins at home.

For several years the Caleffs lived in Saint John, where Dr. Caleff was attached to the Fort Howe Garrison as surgeon with the troops. In spite of his long absence from practice, he was quite prepared for his duties. For his wife had salvaged his medicine cabinet, surgical instruments and books, as well as the big mortar and pestle for preparing medicines. Even today that same mortar and pestle is used in the Mowat household, not for medicinal purposes, but for grinding breadcrumbs.
The Caleff house was at the lower end of Saint John and no roads had been built, but the valiant old Doctor (he was 62 years old then) never missed a day attending his patients at the Fort. Sometimes he would hire a row boat to take him up the Harbour. Often in winter he waded through snowdrifts to his armpits, but more frequently the Doctor in his blue military coat, with huge brass buttons marked with the initials G.H., could be seen clambering along the rocky shore, or striding along streets in the newly cleared sections of the city. And Mehetible, her seafaring husband away so frequently on long journeys, made her home with her parents.
When Dr. Caleff retired from military duties he moved to Saint Andrews, built a house and planted a row of fine elm trees that stood until recently, when they were cut down to make room for modern sidewalks.
Even with her four children, Mehetible found it lonely in Saint John, so she moved to Saint Andrews. Then Captain David sailed his vessels to the little wharf there, where the only harbour light was a candle in a small lantern hung on a post at the end of the wharf. And always there was a warm welcome for the handsome Captain, who brought gifts from faraway places. The beautifully lacquered snuffbox, embossed with the head of a King; an inlaid walnut writing desk; an Apostle pitcher, made long before Wedgwood was popular; and dozens of other souvenirs from abroad.
Kindly, neighbourly folk were the people of Saint Andrews; they still are. And next door to the Caleff house stood the big brick residence of Colonel Christopher Hatch. The Colonel had an old coloured slave, Violet, a wonderful cook, who served the most sumptuous dinners for her Master's guests. Violet was so old she had forgotten her age, but she had a keen memory for stories of pre Revolutionary days. Youngsters from all over the town came to sit on Christopher Hatch's doorstep and nibble Violet's crisp molasses cookies, while Violet told them hair-raising stories of plantation days, and frequently added a few ideas of her own about runaway slaves.
Gala gatherings provided entertainment for those Saint Andrews pioneers. Always on the fourth of June they celebrated with a grand ball in honour of George the Third's birthday.
Ladies in their short-waisted dresses and flowing skirts, their hair piled high and fastened with jewelled tortoise shell combs, gathered for the event. From Deer Island they came, those belles of years ago, to flirt and dance the Lancers and Polkas and Mazurkas with the velvet-coated beaux and officers of the garrison so resplendent in gold-braided scarlet uniforms. Early garden flowers graced the banquet tables; and to prevent the lilacs from blooming too soon for the great event they tied paper bags on the white scented clusters.
In winter there were sleighing parties and dances with country fiddlers' music keeping the young folk out till the 'wee sma' hours. Even in those days young folks' frivolity was lamented; for an old letter predicts, "when good roads are built all the young people would want to drive in wheeled vehicles and forget the use of their legs."
Dr. Caleff's old friend, Captain Farrell, from Deer Island would come to Saint Andrews. These two old gentlemen were the last to wear three-cornered hats. Time and again when they met on the street they removed their hats, made a profound bow and one would say, "Be covered, Sir", while the other protested gallantly, "Not before you, Sir". And while this went on these two old gallants would bow themselves half way up Front Street.
The first "Quizz programme" originated in Saint Andrews; for every Saturday night the gentlemen of the town met and discussed topics of the day. The old minute book discloses that "spirits and water shall be the only form of refreshment allowed in time of meeting." Debates covered a variety of subjects including "In what manner female education may be made to contribute to rendering them [the ladies] better. Is knowledge of dead languages absolutely necessary in what are called the learned professions?" "How could Sampson catch three hundred foxes so soon when he sent them with firebrands to burn the corn of the Philistines?" and "Whether it is better to prune fruit trees in the Autumn or the Spring?" All these questions were debated and answered by these gentlemen.
But for Mehetible sad news had come; for Captain David Mowat died and was buried at sea. Sad too, the day when solemn seamen trundled their Captain's belongings to the big house; his trunks and books and the desk he had on the ship.
For a long time Mehetible sat with folded hands before the little desk with its fluted columns. Then gently she moved one of the columns and the secret drawers swung out--her letters; a lock of bright hair carefully wrapped in yellowed paper; other treasures. . . The room was too quiet in the chill November dusk and the loneliness in her heart was almost more than she could bear. Then slowly Mehetible put the secret drawers back again, fitted the fluted column in place and locked the desk. All this was over; now there were other things to be done.
All summer long Indians roamed the streets of Saint Andrews bringing their baskets and bead-trimmed moccasins for sale. Tagging along behind them, like the tail of a kite, came their solemn-faced, nearly naked children.
Long into the late frosty Autumn they called at the big white house at the head of the town. So it was no surprise to Mehetible when one cold evening she was summoned to the kitchen where an Indian waited to speak to "the lady". Motionless he squatted on the floor, huddled in his blanket. Knowing there was always a prelude of food to any transaction with the Indians, Mehetible put tea and biscuits on the table. Not a word was said until the last crumb had vanished--then he spoke: "White lady in woods near stream far down shore", he told Mehetible. "Many children, pick berries, get clams all summer. Now no berries, shore all ice, no eat. You ketchum lady before snow."
Questioning him, Mehetible pieced the story together and discovered where the "white lady's" shack stood. Early next morning Mehetible packed a hamper of food and saddled her horse. With the hamper strapped behind, off she road miles across the sands when the tide was low, to discover the Goldsmith family all huddled together in the shack trying to keep themselves warm.
As Mehetible unpacked the hamper those ravenous children almost gobbled the food; they hadn't tasted bread and butter, nor milk and eggs for months. Then she learned the story of how Mrs. Goldsmith and her family had managed to live all summer while her husband was away in England.
Henry Goldsmith was a nephew of the celebrated Oliver. Henry had inherited his uncle's talent in a small way, but as a businessman left much to be desired. He had big ideas of developing a lumber business and had gone off to England to organize a company to develop his dream. He had left his wife and six children in this shack in these desolate woods, and to make matters worse, there was no road. Only a few Indians ever passed by the place. Henry had left them some money, but it was useless under these conditions.
Thanks to clams and berries they had managed to exist; but with winter coming on, the children always hungry and cold, and no word from her husband, poor Mrs. Goldsmith was frantic. Mehetible promised to help and the next day sent men in a boat bringing the unfortunate family to share her home for the winter, or until Henry returned.
Six children, added to Mehetible's seven, fairly made the old house bulge. And even when Mehetible was an old, old lady, her memories were strewn with those crowded days. Children scrambling noisily over the place all day, and the long quiet winter nights when all were in bed and no sound, except the flames hissing in the fireplace and the frost cracking sharply cold outside.

In October 1812 Dr. John Caleff died, leaving his possessions to "that mirror of love and patience, my daughter Mehetible". Sadly they laid him beside his beloved Dorothy. And the elm trees planted in her memory now reach high their branches over the moss grown stones in the old King Street Burial Ground.
When the War of 1812 was in full swing, Mehetible's grown-up sons decided that Saint Andrews, with its good Harbour, was far too vulnerable a spot; so they built a house farther out in the country on some land their father had owned. There Mehetible went to live with her eldest son, as the rest of the family were now married and in homes of their own.
One night when her son was in town on business suddenly there came a knocking at the door. Thinking it was some neighbour in trouble, Mehetible hurried to open the door. A bright shaft of light streamed wide into the dark, and there on the steps loomed five towering figures--American soldiers, armed to the teeth! Before she could speak, rough voices were demanding food and shelter. For a moment Mehetible stood blocking the doorway. Then sharply she ordered them to the kitchen as she backed inside and bolted the door. Terrified she hurried to the kitchen and began preparing a meal, while all the time she could hear them tramping about in the yard.
Mehetible heaped their plates and while they ate she slipped upstairs and returned with an armful of blankets. "You may sleep in the barn tonight", she said sharply, "but be gone early in the morning". They argued between themselves for a while, then picked up the blankets and went out.
Hurriedly she cleared the table, it would never do for her son to know she had fed the soldiers, nor find them for that matter; for she knew how hot-headed he was, and the Americans were well-armed. She could still hear their voices, but they quieted down before her son returned. It was several days before the blankets were found and Mehetible's secret was out. "Never again", thundered her son, warning her against such dangers. "Promise!" and promise Mehetible did, but with inward reservations.

Seed time and harvests came and passed. Wide acres grew from the wilderness under her son's sturdy plow. Mehetible busied herself spinning, weaving and knitting, and the years sped on etching fine lines of strength and patience and kindliness in her fine old face.
Then one winter day word came to Mehetible that her daughter was ill in Saint John. Nothing would do but she must go and care for the family. Reluctantly her son brought out the sleigh. It was too long a journey for an old lady; but he put hot bricks in the straw at her feet and covered her well with a buffalo robe, and with a grandson to drive for her, off they started.
The short winter afternoon faded, darkness came on and with night came the wolves. Mehetible could hear their cries as they raced along; but, her grandson, a husky lad of sixteen, stood up in the sleigh and whipped the old farm horse along at breakneck speed.
With woods on either side of the narrow road escape seemed impossible. One swerve of the sleigh and they would be out on the road at the mercy of the beasts. Mehetible prayed as she never prayed before. Then suddenly they saw lights flickering in the windows ahead of them. Lepreau! With a last frantic effort the old horse galloped into the village and the wolves, howling, disappeared into the forest.
That was Mehetible's last adventure. Home again, Mehetible would sit snugly by the fireside in Grandfather Dummer's armchair. The chair that had survived Revolution and shipwreck. She had the chair legs shortened so her feet could rest on a stool, for she was such a tiny little old lady, and she did love to be comfortable.
Across the hearth her son would sit mending harness, or oiling his guns on winter evenings, while the young folk sprawled on the floor reading by the firelight, all comfortable and sheltered. Mehetible's nimble fingers flew as knitting needles clicked and soon a sock would dangle from the busy needles. Faded old letters tell, "Grandma is starting the fall knitting." "Grandma has a troublesome cough, but does not complain." "Grandma is dozing by the fire."
But Grandma was not dozing--she was just remembering. Long, long thoughts of the streets of Ipswich and a small girl scuffling through the leaves underfoot. "Tory! Tory!" The sound of windows crashing rang in her ears. The Autumn woods--a handsome young Captain and his wonderful stories. Night in the Bay of Fundy--the wind and the cold. Run! Run! Fall and scramble up again--over rocks --through bushes. Stamp your feet, swing your arms to keep warm! All those twelve long miles to Parr Town.
Satin and flowers. Captain David standing beside her. Anne Hecht's poem, "Never roam . . . Happiness begins at home." Mehetible's head would nod, yes, yes. They thought she slept in the old armchair beside the fire; but no, she was off to the Goldsmiths, urging her horse across the red sands. A log would fall in the fireplace--was that a knock at the door? Quick, open it! Soldiers; noisy, threatening! How sharp her voice had been! And she was afraid--so very much afraid. Mehetible sat bolt upright in the old chair and peered across the room to the hallway. No, no soldiers at the door. Just this cosy room with the family gathered around.

Then one day Mehetible sat no more in Grandfather Dummer's armchair and the knitting needles were quiet. From "Beech Hill" they carried away the courageous little form on the last journey. Another stone was placed beside those of her parents inscribed, "In memory of Mehetible, Relict of David Mowat. Died December 1860 In the 93rd year of her age. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
Just off the main highway near Saint Andrews is a quiet lane, where a stone wall, grey with moss and age is sheltered by tall fir trees. At the end of the lane stands lovely old-fashioned "Beech Hill".
In the drawing room Mehetible's armchair still stands by the fireplace and nearby is the little pedestal table she loved so well. There is the massive mahogany highboy, beautiful in proportion and workmanship with its carved brass fittings, gleaming bright. The inlaid desk, where Mehetible wrote her letters, looks as if she had just laid down her pen. Captain David's desk is there too, and the darkness of a secret drawer still shelters a lock of bright hair wrapped in yellowed paper. Near the fireplace hang coloured engravings and a miniature of Captain David Mowat in his blue uniform, with bright buttons of the Merchant Service; and silhouettes of Mehetible and her children. There is a the huge Family Bible brought from Ipswich with the names of generations inscribed on its pages. Legacies all, to Mehetible's descendants--those robust seafaring men, who brought their ships to safe anchorage--those tillers of the soil, whose strong hands guided the plow, and those kindly, courageous and thrifty women, who have carried on this goodly Canadian heritage.
From letters, documents and diaries; courtesy Miss Grace Helen Mowat, Beech Hill, St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
Last Modified 15 Jan 2012Created 17 Nov 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh