Robert Slowman, plasterer


Our Mother, Harriet Slowman

Thou art gone to thy rest Mother / We will not weep for thee / For thou are gone where oft on earth / Thy spirit longed to be. / Thou art gone to thy rest Mother / Thy toil and cares art o’er / And sorrow, pains and sufferings / Shall n’er distress thee more. /Thou art gone to thy rest Mother / Thy sins are all forgiven / And saints in light have welcomed thee / To share the joys of heaven. / Thou art gone to thy rest Mother / Death has no sting for thee / Thy dear Redeemer’s power hath gained thee / For thee the victory.

Harriet was the wife of Robert Slowman, plasterer, from England. Their son Robert married in 1849.

Morning News, Saint John, NB, 23 July 1849:

Married at St. Paul’s Church, Fredericton, on the 16th inst., by the Rev. John M. Brooke, Robert Slowman, to Miss Mary Ann Johnston both of that city.

Two years later, the 1851 census lists Robert Slowman, aged 21, as a prisoner of Charles Brannen, Deputy Sheriff of York County. In the household of Robert Slowman, 57, and Harriet, 48, were two children: Charles Johnston Slowman, aged one year, and Mary, aged 12.

The census of 1861 shows Robert and Harriet Slowman living with two daughters, Sarah I. Cass, aged 29, and Mary Cushman, 23, as well as an 8-year-old granddaughter, Harriet Cass. The family lived on George Street between Smythe and Northumberland Streets, but returned to the United States after Harriet’s death.

Many Fredericton houses today bear silent witness to the craft of Victorian-era plasterers such as Robert Slowman, the ceilings decorated with cornices and medallions that could not easily be replaced.

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