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Gideon White Family Papers

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1829  6 Nov  Antigonish  

1227. Thos. Howland White to his sister [-in-law] Agnes, especially relating to the Albion coal mines and the village of Antigonish. ''In my last letter I gave a rough outline of my journey from Halifax thro Pictou; when at Pictou I visited the Albion Coal mines, & a most astonishing undertaking it is... This was the first time I had ever seen a Steam Engine in operation. I really cannot tell you my feelings. I was astonished & delighted & could scarcely believe it possible, that the ingenuity of man could invent such a wonderfull machine, to describe it is utterly out of the question...The depth of the coal pits (of which there are three) is about 100 feet each, the shaft is about 10 feet in diameter & bricked from the bottom to top like a well. The Engine raises two tons of coal up these shafts or funnels every 5 min...There is also a foundary for the casting of iron, the work men were employed at the time, the most beautiful grate I ever saw was made at this place. I must...say something about my Parish it is certainly a very pretty place, most beautiful farms, & some very excellent families, who appear delighted & thankful at having a cleryman of the Church among them. The church is very small but pretty building, it will contain about 100 persons, but the inside is exactly like a Methodist meeting house the pulpit &c. placed inside of the altar next the wall, Immediately on seeing it I exclaimed, that it was made by a methodist & they said it was. The parishoners have sent for a stove & the ladies have been employed these last days in making surplus (sic)...A Mr. Ogden cousin of the Ogden who lived at Shelburne very kindly offered to a accommodate me with lodgins I very gladly accepted his kind offer. He is a find old gentleman, of the old school, a half pay officer, he served in Charlestown S.C. when my father was there.'' Description of situation of house. ''Will you ask Papa if he remembers a non commissioned offider in his regiment, or his company by the name of Pushee, he is living in this place & he says he was recruited out of the Prison at Charlestown...'' Holograph.

White Family Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 Vol. 954 No. 1227


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