THE LAST DUEL

 

One last Maritime story. As we drove past the village of New Maryland (Named by a settler from Maryland) I noticed a sign declaring it the home of the last fatal duel in New Brunswick. Of course I had to open up a browser and start reading the village’s history:

The village was named by a Mr. Arnold, a settler from Maryland, USA circa 1817. The area was first called Maryland, and Maryland Hill, but as early as 1825 it began to be referred to as New Maryland.

Among the historical anecdotes relating to New Maryland’s history, one particular event stands out: New Maryland was the venue for the last fatal duel in the Province. The famous Street-Wetmore duel, in which George Ludlow Wetmore was killed, took place on the Segee farm on October 2, 1821.

Take a moment to read about the duel. It was a rather unfathomable event, especially considering that this was the frontier and the men involved were leaving behind their families to fend by themselves if killed (as one was). The duel took place under the guise of “honour”, but the reality is that this was a selfish act fuelled by ego:

As he sat before his hearth that evening, the young lawyer’s anger blazed as brightly as the fire in front of him. He was oblivious to the sounds of his wife, pregnant with her fourth child, setting the children for the night. Street’s insults and the raised hand consumed him, until his thoughts took a dangerous turn.

Ego is a dangerous thing ….

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