Historical Atlas of the Maritime Provinces, 1878


72 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 1-55109-534-3
DDC 911'.715





Reviewed by Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur is the author of The Rise of French New Brunswick and
H.H. Stevens, 1878–1973 and co-author of Silver Harvest. His latest
book is Horse-Drawn Carriages and Sleighs: Elegant Vehicles from New
England and New Brunswick.


Joan Dawson wrote the introduction and insert captions of this reprint;
the original authors, as she explains, were two brothers, A.D. and W.B.
Roe of Saint John, who were “members of a family with a special
interest in map publishing.” Noting the preponderance of maps and
information on New Brunswick and the fact that in the accompanying
directory no names appeared for Saint John, she conjectures that this
first edition was rushed through as soon as the publishers “had
achieved a minimum number of subscriptions needed to finance it.” The
second, more complete edition appeared in 1879, which left this reviewer
wondering why Nimbus Publishing did not reproduce it instead.

Although Dawson suggests in her introduction that “[t]his collection
of maps will be of interest to anyone who has a favourite corner of the
Maritimes,” the book really applies to New Brunswick. Halifax merits a
detailed map but no entries in the business directory, which ventures
out of New Brunswick only to include a list for Amherst, Nova Scotia. On
the other hand, all the counties of the three provinces got detailed
full-page maps, each to a scale of seven miles to the inch (large enough
to include every landmark and community). In her map inserts, Dawson
notes that the railways were “not as advanced in construction as this
map might suggest.” She also refers to two lengthy essays—one on a
history of the three Maritime provinces by a well-known author of the
day, Duncan Campbell, and another on their geology by James Fowler, who
went on to teach botany at Queen’s University.

Copies of this 2005 reprint should be placed in all New Brunswick
schools. If Nimbus decides to reprint the 1879 version, it will no doubt
be welcomed by history teachers in all three Maritime provinces.


Introduced by Joan Dawson., “Historical Atlas of the Maritime Provinces, 1878,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14408.