Thousands gather in Charlottetown for Caledonian Club event

Jim Hornby
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The Protestant, Aug. 20

CALEDONIAN CLUB GATHERING. This affair, for sometime past announced in the public prints, came off on Government House grounds, on Wednesday last. Well might [John] LePage, the Island Bard, in a piece on the “gathering,” say—

“E’en in Prince Edward’s distant hame,

 Her sons remember whence they came,

 And zealous of their Mither’s fame

 Frae year to year,

 Kindle the Caledonian flame,

 Wi’ muckle cheer.


Taught by their sires, the children know

 The Scottish games ‘O lang ago’;

 Cabers and stones and hammers throw

 About the plains,

 While lustily her Pipers blow

 Their martial strains.”

The lovers of the wild stirring strains of the bagpipes, of the race, the leap, and the throw, no doubt were highly delighted with the proceedings; and all of the three or four thousand spectators, who so orderly and attentively viewed the games, appeared to enjoy the sports of the day. Never have we seen so large an assemblage in the open field where there was more quiet, order, and decorum. We did not observe an intoxicated person on the grounds.

But commendable as all this is, we would like to see the Caledonian Club aim higher than mere games; we trust they will make it one of their objects to assist destitute Scotchmen, and aid those of Caledonia’s gifted sons amongst us, who may be unable to procure for themselves a liberal education. Scotland’s renown does not owe its origin to her ancient games, however famous they may be, but to the bravery, talent, learning, honesty and piety of her children.

The proceedings of the day commenced about 11 o’clock, and were kept up with spirit till about 6 p.m. When all the exercises were over, His Excellency the Lieut. Governor and Mrs. Dundas, with the Hon Col. Gray and Mrs. Gray, and Lieut. Col. John Longworth and Major R.R. Hodgson, His Excellency’s Aides-de-Camp, advanced and took their stand on the platform in the centre of the ring, where Mr. and Mrs. Dundas, the Chief and Chieftainess of the Club, presented the successful competitors with their prizes. Hon. Col. Gray, the President, then stepped forward and returned thanks, on behalf of the Committee and himself, to the thousands around him, for their countenance and orderly behaviour, on this the first gathering of the Club. After the usual cheering at the close of such occasions, the company dispersed.


The Examiner, Aug. 22

LOST! On Thursday Afternoon last, between Southport and Tea Hill, a BONNET BASKET, containing a Black Silk Dress, trimmed with Crape, a French Merino Circular Cape, and several small parcels. A reward will be given to the finder in leaving it at Matthew Murphy’s or Mr. Mutch’s at S’port. (Aug 20.)


The Examiner, Aug. 22

THE UNION QUESTION. In what way shall they unite? That is the great question now; but we are afraid it is a question that will not be settled in our lifetime, unless some great unforeseen political convulsion should arise to snap the ties which bind us to the Parent State.

Men in office will not be inclined to sacrifice their local status by voting for the abolition of their local legislature—men out of office will not be disposed to do so either, because they hope to be one day in. But the great people abroad everywhere, whose souls are untainted by the lust of petty power, are still more strongly opposed than the petty politicians to the abrogation of our local Legislature.

Jim Hornby: Tragically, editor Edward Whelan did not see Prince Edward Island within Confederation in his “lifetime” — but not for the reason that he anticipates: Whelan died on Dec. 10, 1867, at age 43.


The Vindicator, Aug. 24

SLAYMAKER & NICHOLS’ GREAT CIRCUS [N.Y. Herald]. This establishment comes to us endowed with the encomiums of the press all over the country, and its performances are described as being of a first class character in every respect. The company is composed of the very best artists, including Messrs. William Nichols, Mr. George Derius, the wonderful Snow Brothers, whose acrobatic performances are the theme of universal admiration, and whose great Troupe of Acting Dogs and Monkeys is pronounced the best and most amusing corps in America. None should fail to see this great show.


The Monitor, Aug. 25


 PARTIES desirous of seeing the Circus during its stay in Charlottetown, on Tuesday the 30th, Wednesday the 31st of August, Thursday the 1st, and Friday the 2nd of September, are informed that EXCURSION TRIPS from Shediac, Summerside, Brule, and Pictou will be run during the above days.—FARE—Going and returning, for one Gentleman, 5s.; Lady and Gent, 10s.; Three of one family, 12 s.; Children half price.


The Monitor, Aug. 25

POLICE COURT. William Murphy, Inspector and Weigher of Flour, vrs. Joel LeDuc, master of schooner Pacific, Quebec, for having sold thirty-three barrels of flour without the same having been first inspected, weighed and marked pursuant to the By-law in such case made and provided. Convicted, and fined one penny on each barrel so sold.


The Monitor, Aug. 25

COLLISION. A collision took place on Monday night, off Point Prim, between the steamer Commerce, which left this port at six o’clock in the evening for Halifax and Boston, and the mail steamer Heather Bell, bound for this port from Pictou. The latter steamer sustained considerable damage from the collision, but fortunately nothing serious occurred, although, as might naturally be suspected, considerable excitement prevailed on board at the time of the accident. There is, we believe, some doubt as to where the blame should rest in this matter.


Jim Hornby’s column, 1864: The Way We Were: gleanings from Charlottetown’s newspapers, will be presented in The Guardian every Monday throughout 2014 (on holiday Mondays when there is no paper, it will appear on Tuesdays). It contains excerpts from various newspapers of that era, as well as Hornby’s comments on what he has found. To give feedback on this feature, which is presented in celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Charlottetown Conference, contact the author at

Organizations: Caledonian Club, Government House

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Scotland, Southport Prince Edward Island America Shediac Pacific Quebec Halifax Boston

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