Queen's Quarterly, of Kingston is still doing good service in publishing well edited reports of the earliest court records of this section of the province. To Prof. Adam Shortt much credit is due for the careful manner in which these original reports are being edited. The current number of the Quarterly contains the reports for 1801, and the two following years. At that time, as has already been stated in these columns, the Sessions were for the entire Midland District, the territory from Gananoque to the Trent rivers, - and the Sessions were held alternately at Kingston and Adolphustown.

   We are mostly interested in the affairs of this county, and will, therefore, make most special mention of the Adolphustown sessions. The first report given in this Quarterly was of the Sessions held in Adolphustown Court House on the 14th of July 1801 - just ninety-nine years ago. The magistrates then present, who presided, were Alexander Fisher, Esq., who cited as foreman; Thomas Dorland, also of Adolphustown; J. Miller and M. Pruyn, of Fredericksburgh; N. Lazier, of Sixth Town, Prince Edward; J. W. Meyers, of Thurlow, Hastings and J. Embury, of Fredericksburgh, we believe. This if we remember, was the first time that the name of Alexander Fisher appeared as the presiding magistrate. From that time on for years he appears to have presided at Adolphustown, and Richard Cartwright at the Kingston sessions; Mr. Fisher's name, however, generally appeared among the magistrates at the Kingston sessions. Just when he was appointed the judge of this county we do not know, but it seems always understood that he was the first judge of this county. He appears to have held that position for a good many years, as men yet living can well remember when he still presided. As we have before stated, he lived and died in the third concession of Adolphustown, on the south shore of Hay Bay, and about a mile east of the first Methodist church. There the family vault still stands, and is in a good state of preservation.



   At this time it was the perogative of the Quarter Sessions to receive applications for liquor licenses, and to grant or reject them. At that Sessions the following applications were duly received and granted: - Jas. Garrett, Isaac Huff, James Simpson and James Walker. We do not know where they resided. Isaac Simpson probably resided at "Meyers Creek" now the city of Belleville. It has been frequently stated that his was the first licensed public house in that place. It was continued by his widow for many years after his death. At the next sessions, held in Kingston the following October, licenses were granted to Phineas Bean, of Kingston township, and Joseph Huffman, of Ernestown.

   Again at the Kingston Sessions, held in April, 1802, licenses were granted to Joseph Kemp, Henry Betslay, Samuel Hitchcock, and Stephen Fairfield. Mr. Fairfield's house was located between Mill Haven and Collins' Bay, on the shores of Bay Quinte, and was, probably, at that time the finest house in the county. The house still stands, and is occupied by descendants of the family. It is still a very commodious and comfortable dwelling house. At the next Sessions in Adolphustown, in July, 1802, a license was granted to Caleb Benedict, of Thurlow township.

   The first licenses of all of which record was then given were to John Kemp and Garrett D. Clute, of the Township of Fredericksburgh. These were granted at the Kingston Sessions, held on the 30th April, 1801.

   On the 27th of April, 1802, at Kingston, it was ordered that the Clerk of the Peace should give the necessary documents for obtaining licenses to all who held them the last year except Wm. Brody, who, it was stated, "has removed into a house where it is evident no proper accommodations can be had." An early resident, long since gone, once informed the writer that the early taverns did not require much sleeping accommodations. A man would be first "filled up" with the rum of that day, and then "bed and board' were easily combined. Mr. McDonnell of Kingston, was then first granted a license. These were evidently the beginnings of the liquor license system in these counties.



   We have also here a record of the earliest ferry licenses in the district, which were also then granted by the Quarter Sessions. The first of these was granted to Samuel Hitchcock for a ferry from his house "on the Grand Island opposite Kingston." That is now probably Wolfe Island. That was at the January sessions of 1802. The rates of each ferry were also fixed at the same time, and they appear to have been very liberal at that time. For a single person, 5 shillings; man and horse, $1.50; horse, ox or cow, $1; for every 112 pounds weight of luggage, ferried along with a person, $1.20. Now the steamboat ferry on the same line does not pretend to charge more than a "quarter" for either man or beast. At the March Sessions license was also granted to Samuel Corn for a ferry from the south side of Wolfe Island to the American shore, and the rates were about the same.

   At the same time a license was granted for a ferry "from the Fourth Township to Vanalstine's Mills." For years and years until quite recently, that ferry from what is now Young's Point, Adolphustown to Glenora, was kept up, and it was one of the most important on the entire bay. The need of one there is very much felt now. At the same time a ferry license was also granted to John Vanalstine, but just where is not stated.

   At the Adolphustown Sessions in July, 1802, a ferry license was granted to Edward Barker from his point in Adolphustown to the opposite house in Sixth Town. That was from what is now Mallory's Point to the High Shore, in Sophiasburgh. Mr. Barker lived there for years, and it was known as Barker's Point, then as Thompson's Point, and now Mallory's Point. A ferry was kept there for many years, and is still much needed. Nicholas Wessels (written Kessels in the report) was also given a license from his place on the Prince Edward side, just opposite, to Adolphustown, at Barker's Point.

   At the Adolphustown sessions held in January, 1803, a license was granted to Cyrenus Parks to the opposite shore of Hay Bay in South Fredericksburgh. Cyrenus Parks then lived where his grandson, A. C. Parks, now resides. The rates then were 10 cents for a single man; man and horse 20 cents; cows and oxen, 10 cents each. A good ferry is still maintained by Mr. N. Woodcock, a mile or two west of that. A license was also granted to Benjamin Garrow, of Ameliasburgh. It was probably from Prince Edward to Hastings counties, somewhere near the splendid Bay of Quinte steel bridge, near Belleville, is now located.


   At that time, and for years after the sessional salaries of the representatives in the Provincial parliament were provided for by the sessions and a tax was levied on each county for that purpose. Here are the yearly rates so levied during the years undermentioned:

"Timothy Thompson, member of the Counties of Addington and Lennox, $106.

Ebenezer Washburn, for the county Prince Edward, $106.

John Ferguson, for the County of Frontenac, $106.

   Timothy Thompson was, we believe, then, or later on, a resident of Kingston, where he published a paper. He married a daughter of William Ruttan of Adolphustown, and later on moved to Toronto.

   Ebenezer Washburn was a native of Fredericksburgh, but moved to Hallowell afterwards the town of Picton, where he became quite an extensive and wealthy merchant and a large land and property owner. He married a Miss Trumpour, of Adolphustown.

   John Ferguson was a resident of Kingston, and was at one time in trade in Thurlow, near Belleville, where probably, the first store in Hastings County was established.



   At that time no minister had a legal right to perform a marriage ceremony but those of the Church of England, unless a special license was first granted by the Sessions. And these licenses could only be granted to Lutheran's, Baptists, or Presbyterians. The records show that a couple of such licenses were granted during these years. At the Sessions held in Adolphustown in January 1802, there was made the following record:
"Public notice was given in Court that Asa Turner applies for a certificate as a Calvenist Minister at the next quarter Sessions of the Peace for the Midland District, for the Townships of Sydney, Thurlow, Ameliasburgh and Rawden."

   Then in the records of the January Sessions at Adolphustown of 1803, this appears: "Asa Turner applied for a License as an Anabaptist Calvinist, and having made due proof to the Magistrates in Sessions of his Ordination, it was allowed him." We have not seen anything else of the history of Mr. Turner, but he was probably the first Baptist minister in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.


   The record of the accounts passed and ordered to be paid gives clear indication of the changes there have been in the duties and prerogatives of the Court of Quarter Sessions since this century was young. It must be remembered at that time there were no municipal councils and no other representative tax-levying bodies except the Provincial Legislature. Here are some of the financial records.

   At the Sessions held in Kingston, 27 of April, 1802, it was recorded that, the following sums of money were allowed by the Magistrates in sessions to be paid by the Treasurer.

   To pay what is due to Adolphustown Court House, £5.

   That was, no doubt, for the use and maintenance of the building. It appears by the Adolphustown town meeting records that it was first built in 1796 or thereabouts and that to provide for the expense of the erection there were subscriptions made in the township. Here is an extract from the Adolphustown town meeting record of March 7 1796.

   "Thomas Dorland, William More and Michael Slote, by vote of the whole township, are appointed to be a committee to conduct, regulate and oversee the businesses of erecting a Court House in this town according to the subscription made for that purpose."

   At the same Sessions, the following sums were ordered to be paid to the Town Wardens; Marysburgh, Ernestown, Kingston, £13.10 each; Sophiasburgh, £5.10; Sydney, £14. The Town Wardens at that time were the legal Trustees of a municipality and thru them legal business must be done. They were elected at the annual town meeting. These sums were, no doubt, levied in taxes by the Sessions and paid over to the Wardens for local improvements. At the April Sessions in 1803, there is also a long list given of accounts passed and ordered to be paid. Among them was quite a large sum (£41, 12, 8 1-4) for the Court House. The name is not given, but it was probably the Kingston Court House. At the same time £6 was granted to Thos. Dorland for "making Shutters and Stocks for the Court House at Adolphustown." The "stocks" were then used as a place of punishment. A grant of £4.6.6 was made for "Mr. Markland's account for School House in Kingston." That is the first school house grant we remember to have noticed in these records. Then come in grants for Officials, which probably represents the salaries they then received:

Clerk of the Peace.....£15

High Constables............2

  The Town Clerks, elected at the township annual meetings, also appear to have had their salaries then granted at the Sessions. Here are the items passed at that time (April 27 1802);

   Town Clerk, Adolphustown, 10 shillings; Kingston 15; ditto, County of Addington, 15; Sophiasburgh, 10." The Town Warden of Ernesttown was granted £13. Mr. Hereford, Town Clerk of Richmond, was granted 10 shillings. Richmond now begins to appear in among the municipalities. Can any readers of The Beaver inform us who Mr. Hereford was and where he resided?

   William Robbins was town clerk of Adolphustown that year. We are informed that he was a school teacher and that he kept the first store in the township. He was a beautiful writer, as the old minutes of that time still bear witness.

   The other officers for that township elected that year were; "Coonroad VanDuzen, Peter Rattan, sr., Assessors, William Rattan, Collector; Willet Casey, Rueben Bedell, Town Wardens; Peter Swade, James Canniff, William Griffis, John Huyck, Poundkeepers; P. Dorland, Joel Haight, William More, Abraham Bogert, Overseers of Highways; William Rattan, John Roblin, Constables." We have here followed the spelling of the names as given in the original minutes of that time. It will be seen that a number of the same family names are spelled differently now. Nearly all these original settlers have now descendants either in that township or in this county.