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.

John Blair, carpenter


In Memory of John Blair, died May 8th, 1891, aged 73 years.

“Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep / From which none ever wake to weep” / Erected by his loving wife… C. Blair

This lot, #158, described in 1886 as being up against the George Street fence, is nine feet square, bounded on the east by the Johnston-Hogg lots and on the west by Estey.

John Blair, buried here, was the second son of John Wesley Blair and his first wife, Frances Sarah, daughter of the Honourable John Murray Bliss, who died when John was 14 years old. The children of this marriage were John, Sophia, Murray, Andrew, and George. The eldest child, William Palmer, born 1815, apparently had died.

John Wesley Blair had been a widower for four years when he married, secondly, Margaret Johnston. The children of this marriage were Mary, Duncan, Thomas, and Alexander Henry. Both wives were “of good family.”

John Blair was a carpenter, as were his father and grandfather. His widow Catherine McLaughlin lies buried beside him. She and her sister Martha were both teaching in 1858.

From the Old Burying Ground records, City of Fredericton:

John Blair claims on behalf of himself, his brothers George and Andrew and his sister Sophia Schleyer, children of the late John Blair, a lot in burial ground, size about 8 by 30 et Situate in the old part, not enclosed, but marked by a monument to the late John Blair and wife. Claimed by possession of over 50 years.