Canada travel guide




St John s Travel Guide

St John's History

Nearly thirty years later, Charles de LaTour, self-appointed Governor of Acadia, settled at the mouth of the St. John River.

Charles LaTour's wife Madame Francoise Marie LaTour is regarded as Acadia's first heroine. She bravely defended the Fort from an attack in 1645 by Charnisay for four days while LaTour was away in Boston. The fort was captured on the fifth day (Easter Sunday) while the men were at prayers. Charnisay detected the exhaustion of LaTour's supplies and bribed the sentry to let him in. Madam LaTour surrendered on the condition that the lives of the men would be spared. Charnisay promptly broke his word and hanged them all except the sentry while he forced Madame La Tour to watch with a rope around her neck. Madam LaTour died within three weeks - some believe of a broken heart, others say that she was poisoned by Charnisay. Remains of a long-haired woman were unearthed at the site during excavations several years ago. Some believe it is Madam LaTour, this, however, is unlikely. In 1996 further excavations were undertaken at the site and the location was rededicated as a National Historic Site. Plans of further excavation are ongoing.

As Canada's oldest incorporated city, Saint John has been welcoming people from eastern Europe, England, and Ireland for centuries. Each group of immigrants has left their indelible imprint on Saint John culture, architecture, and language.

After the American revolution, in 1783, approximately 14,000 American supporters of the British arrived in Saint John. Some of these "Loyalists" established two settlements on either side of the Saint John river, "Parrtown" on the east side and "Carleton" on the west. In 1785, the two settlements were incorporated by Royal Charter into the City of Saint John - Canada's first city.

Their fortitude and determination to build a city, despite tremendous difficulties is acknowledged every July as Saint John hosts a week-long celebration called the Loyalist Heritage Festival.

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