Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The James Peters Tombstone is a brown durable sandstone obelisk located about twenty-five feet in a south-southwest direction from the door of St. John’s Anglican Church in Gagetown.
The James Peters Tombstone is designated a Local Historic Place for commemorating the final resting place of James Peters, one of the most influential founders of the Village of Gagetown. The village did exist in a rudimentary form before the arrival of the Loyalists, but when Peters and his associates arrived here by 1784, Gagetown really became a village.
Peters, born in 1746 in Long Island, was an ardent Loyalist. In New York at the end of the Revolution, Peters became one of the agents for settling Loyalists on the Saint John River. As a leader of the Spring Fleet he had particular responsibility for the 154 passengers on the ship Sovereign. In Gagetown he received large land grants and, believing Gagetown was ideally suited to be the capital of the new province of New Brunswick, he laid it out as a grid of streets and roads going back from the river.
By 1792 he had built the residence known as ‘Glenora’, another Local Historic Place in Gagetown, where he lived with his wife and family. Eight of their twelve children lived to adulthood, and his sons, grandsons and great grandsons made important contributions to the political, legal, administrative and commercial life of this and other provinces.
During his residence in Gagetown Peters himself served as Justice of the Peace, and Justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for Queens County. From 1792 to 1815, he represented the county in the House of Assembly. In March of 1815 he was appointed Registrar of Deeds and Wills. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the County Militia and a vestryman in the Anglican Church. He died in 1820 in his 75th year, and his stone does justice to him as a man of influence in the community.
Source: Queens County Heritage Archives – Gagetown Historic Places files
The character-defining elements of the James Peters Tombstone include:
- decorative durable sandstone-like rock obelisk on a gray sandstone foundation;
- height about 4.9 metres – one of few tall stones in old part of cemetery, dominating the smaller stones around it;
- lengthy inscription:
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF JAMES PETERS ESQUIRE WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 16TH DAY OF JANUARY AD 1820 AGED 73 YEARS ALSO MARGARET HIS WIFE WHO DIED THE 24TH, MAY AD 1824 AGED 74 BORN BOTH AT HAMPSTEAD ON LONG ISLAND IN THE PROVINCE OF NEW YORK, AND CAME TO THIS PROVINCE AT ITS FIRST ESTABLISHMENT. EXEMPLARY FOR THEIR PIETY, AND USEFULNESS IN SOCIETY, THEY LIVED UNIVERSALLY RESPECTED BY ALL WHO KNEW THEM, AND DIED REGRETTED, LEAVING A LARGE FAMILY OF DESCENDENTS. THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED, BY THEIR CHILDREN, A TRIBUTE OF DUTIFUL RESPECT AND GRATITUDE TO THE MEMORY OF THEIR INDULGENT AND AFFECTIONATE PARENTS
Local Governments (NB)
Heritage Conservation Act
Local Historic Place (municipal)
1820/01/01 to 1820/01/01
1784/01/01 to 1784/01/01
1792/01/01 to 1792/01/01
1792/01/01 to 1815/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Politics and Political Processes
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
- Commemorative Monument
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Queens County Heritage Archives, 69 Front Street, Gagetown, NB
Cross-Reference to Collection