SIMONDS, CHARLES, businessman, politician, office holder, and justice of the peace; b. 22 Aug. 1783 in Portland Point (Saint John, N.B.), son of James Simonds* and Hannah Peabody; m. first 27 May 1817 Catharine Mary Longmuir (d. 2 March 1820); m. secondly 31 July 1824 Lucy Anne Clopper, sister of Henry George Clopper*, and they had three sons and one daughter; d. 12 April 1859 in Saint John.
Charles Simonds was born into one of the most successful families in what was to become New Brunswick. His father, a modest trader from Haverhill, Mass., had responded to the invitation issued to the people of the Thirteen Colonies by Charles Lawrence*, governor of Nova Scotia, and by 1762 he had settled in the Saint John River valley. He formed a trading company with his cousin William Hazen* and several other Massachusetts merchants. The firm, later known as Simonds, Hazen, and White, acquired title to several large tracts of land, and was to direct the commercial growth of the valley for several decades. During the American revolution the partners maintained unwavering support for the royal cause, and from 1781 became the principal beneficiaries of the British war effort in Nova Scotia, supplying masts for the fleet and provisions for loyalist refugees. As they owned most of the land north and east of Portland (Saint John), they also profited in a number of ways from the large influx of loyalist settlers. Within a single generation the Simonds, Hazen, and White families had become landed gentry.
After attending the parish school in Portland and receiving instruction from a private tutor, Charles Simonds entered his father’s business while still a teenager. The partnership of Simonds, Hazen, and White was dissolved around the turn of the century (the final outstanding legal matter was resolved in 1810), and Simonds Sr concentrated on his interests in real estate transactions, the timber trade, milling, and the importation and wholesale merchandising of consumer goods from Britain. Charles eventually assumed his father’s place in directing the family’s business affairs at the Portland base; his younger brother Richard* would set up a branch establishment on the Miramichi River. For several years prior to 1820 Charles was also involved in a firm of auction and commission merchants with a brother-in-law, Henry Gilbert.
As a representative of one of Saint John’s premier commercial enterprises, Simonds came to play a leading role in the business community; he was a promoter and one of the first directors of the Bank of New Brunswick, incorporated in 1820, and became its president in 1824. He also actively participated in the Saint John Chamber of Commerce. Following the death of his first wife in 1820, Simonds gradually abandoned direct involvement in all of his businesses except the timber trade and those centred on the bank. Later on he was to become associated with the Commercial Bank of New Brunswick as well as the Saint John Fire Insurance Company, established in 1834 and 1854 respectively. By the early 1830s he was independently wealthy. Apart from his own resources, after his father’s death in February 1831 he and his brother Richard had become the principal beneficiaries of the estate, estimated to be worth more than one million dollars. Their inheritance was primarily several thousand acres of real estate comprising much of the parish and later the town of Portland. Around this time Charles decided to devote his energies to public service.
A formative force on young Simonds’s development had been his father’s ideology. Elected to the House of Assembly for Saint John in 1795, James Simonds had supported the popular opposition to Lieutenant Governor Thomas Carleton* and the Council and had participated in the movement to secure control of appropriations for the house. He remained in opposition throughout his political career. Another important element in the make-up of young Charles was his family’s religious tradition. Although they accepted conformity, their Anglicanism was of the colonial American variety – low, independent in polity, and streaked with the influence of George Whitefield and New England revivalism. Simonds was an active member and officer of such non-sectarian evangelical associations as the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Portland Temperance Society, and the Religious Tract Society. Like most low churchmen in Saint John, he probably also attended services at the Methodist chapel on Sunday afternoons and in his middle age he even held office in some of their organizations although he remained an Anglican. Certainly he was to cultivate these ties after his entry into politics. And certainly his church background coloured Charles’s responses to the great religious issues of the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s.
Having neither the need for revenue from public service (and indeed some contempt for those who did) nor the personal influence to command the great offices, Simonds chose to begin his public career in the House of Assembly. In 1822 he successfully ran as one of the four representatives for the County and City of Saint John, joining in the assembly his brother Richard, a member for Northumberland County since 1816, and his brother-in-law Thomas Millidge*, who also sat for Saint John. His first few years were undistinguished. During the “succession crisis” occasioned by the death of Lieutenant Governor George Stracey Smyth* in 1823, he doubtless sympathized with Christopher Billopp, who represented the merchant community, in his conflict with the dominant official clique led by Ward Chipman* Sr. Simonds none the less maintained a low profile. He used his early years for building alliances: already the most prominent representative for Saint John, Simonds needed to forge relationships with the political élites from the other major communities in the province. It was no easy political task because the electorate in the interior viewed the Saint John commercial interests with considerable suspicion. Bills and causes could sometimes be lost simply because of their introduction by “city” members. The lead in political matters was generally taken by his younger, but more experienced, brother Richard who also had the advantage of representing the north shore. Like his brother, Charles began to acquire influence, chairing several important committees in the middle and late 1820s. When in 1828 Richard, who had been elected speaker the year before, resigned from the assembly to join the Council, Charles was unanimously elected to succeed him. By that date he and Edward Barron Chandler* of Westmorland County were clearly the two men who could control the house.
No government could hope to achieve its legislative objectives without the cooperation of the speaker. Antagonism between the assemblymen and the office holders who comprised the Council frequently ran so high that effective control of the government rested in the hands of the lieutenant governor, who personally negotiated the legislative program with the leading assemblymen. The most successful of these colonial administrators were Sir Howard Douglas* and Sir John Harvey, both of whom assiduously cultivated friendships with Simonds. The importance of these relationships is perhaps best illustrated by the issue of a provincial college. An inveterate proponent of development, Douglas was the principal promoter of a New Brunswick university. Realizing the difficulties inherent in creating an institution resting solely on the support of the provincial legislature, on 15 Dec. 1828 Douglas procured a royal charter for King’s College (University of New Brunswick) whereby roughly one-half the capital as well as all of the annual operating costs of the school would come from New Brunswick’s casual revenues. He was successful in large part because he had been able to win Simonds’s support for the undertaking. Bills to provide the requisite financing were forthcoming from the assembly although by 1829 payment on the overrun cost of the building (started in 1825) was made only when Simonds, as speaker, cast the deciding vote. Simonds became a member of the first college council.
Unfortunately for the infant institution, Douglas returned home in 1829 and the high churchmen who dominated the college council neglected to invite Simonds to attend their meetings. Moreover, the council’s reluctance to submit its budgets for assembly approval and its failure to admit dissenters to its membership (an amendment made to the royal charter in England meant the council could not legally appoint non-churchmen) or to the faculty, quickly turned Simonds into the institution’s most vehement critic. On one point Simonds had always been adamant: there must be no denominational restrictions at King’s College. A consistent supporter of religious equality, as early as 1821 he had voted with the majority of the house in support of a bill to permit the clergy of dissenting traditions to perform marriage ceremonies, and in 1831 he would argue for equality in the distribution of public funds to all religious denominations for building purposes. Both of these measures, passed in the assembly, were effectively destroyed in the Council. By 1831 he was leading a substantial coalition of dissenters and of like-minded Anglicans in the assembly in an effort to reduce the college’s annual grant from £1,100 to £600. He objected to both the sectarian bias of the school and the salaries paid to its faculty and officers. Fortunately for the future of the college, Simonds was unable to muster a majority in the assembly, but the constant attacks on the institution brought its very survival into doubt in the early 1830s.
Simonds’s principal rival in the house was Chandler, who by 1830 spoke for the coastal communities of New Brunswick just as Simonds spoke for the Saint John River valley. At the opening of the session in 1831, Simonds and Chandler were both nominated as speaker. The assembly divided evenly and a speaker was found only when both men withdrew: William Crane was elected by a majority of one. Simonds and Chandler remained powerful rivals in all the assemblies until 1836, and it was only on those infrequent occasions when they were in agreement that the house took a clear position on important questions.
Of all the issues which troubled Simonds in the first decade of his public life, he considered none as important as that of the salaries and fees received by public officials. He was opposed in principle to the payment of public monies to officials who could not be held accountable to the property-owners and taxpayers, and his opposition towards British-born office holders was exacerbated by xenophobia, an envy of those considered to be his social superiors, and a contempt for lawyers and others who lived off the body politic. In January 1829 he was almost successful in stopping the payment of fees to the solicitor general, and they were approved only after Douglas promised to investigate charges made against that official. Simonds’s opposition to King’s College had a good deal to do with the size of the salaries granted to the crown appointees such as the registrar, George Frederick Street. His particular bêtes noires were imperial officials such as Henry Wright, the collector of customs at Saint John, who in a good year received in excess of £3,000 for a relatively simple and part-time function. Simonds would often draw comparisons between that office and the post of provincial treasurer, held by his brother Richard, which paid only £500 for a much more demanding job.
As the provincial tariff system was broadened in the early 19th century, the proportion of provincial revenues controlled by the assembly rose, and in 1825 the house obtained control of the net revenues raised from imperial duties collected in New Brunswick. Given the assembly’s tradition of voting sums for specific purposes, the Council rapidly found itself a government in exile; decisions concerning appropriations rested in the hands of the powerful house committee on supply, which consisted of a representative from each of the province’s constituencies. Thus the Council sought its financial salvation in the casual revenues remaining to the royal prerogative. These revenues, centred on the lands of the province, could be raised either through the imposition of an annual quitrent on freeholders or through the rental and disposal of the crown’s timber lands which comprised approximately three-quarters of the province. The royal agent for these lands was the ambitious, arrogant, and well-connected young English-born Thomas Baillie*, whom the Colonial Office had appointed in 1824 over a native New Brunswicker. As commissioner of crown lands, he became a target of public anger not only because of his efforts to increase the revenue-producing capacities of the land and his rigorous enforcement of the land regulations, but also for his luxurious style of living and his arbitrary use of power against which there was no judicial appeal. Lieutenant Governor Douglas had kept the political situation stable but, with a constitutional crisis between the assembly and the Council looming, the new lieutenant governor, Sir Archibald Campbell*, came to depend more and more heavily on the controversial Baillie.
Simonds feared that Baillie would be able to secure the financial independence of the Council by milking the crown lands to produce a capital sum of sufficient size that the interest on it would support the executive body in perpetuity. These fears seemed realized in 1833 when the Council was divided into legislative and executive branches. Not only did Campbell name Baillie as one of the five members of the new Executive Council, but he gave him precedence, making him the second most powerful man in the colony after himself and bypassing several senior native New Brunswick politicians such as Street.
As an alien who had received his office through personal influence, who retained it in his own rather than the public interest, and who obtained from it one of the most substantial incomes in the province, Baillie offended a whole range of Simonds’s prejudices. The acrimony was probably enhanced when Baillie prosecuted Simonds for trespass in Saint John in 1827. However, the reason for Simonds’s leadership in the movement to oust Baillie went beyond personal biases. While Chandler and others deplored Baillie’s attempts to maximize the revenues from the crown lands, at no point did they challenge his legal right as a servant of the crown to withhold from the house an accounting of the king’s casual revenues. Simonds’s unorthodox constitutional position was genuinely radical. He argued that the crown and its representatives did not have privileged rights, that they were dependent on the House of Assembly, and that the central issue was the question of arbitrary taxation without the consent of the governed. No lawyer, Simonds rejected with disdain the objections to his theories raised by Chandler, Crane, and William Boyd Kinnear*. Regardless of the constitutional correctness of his rhetoric, Simonds’s stance became immensely popular as the crisis developed in 1833 and 1834.
During the 1833 session Simonds was chiefly responsible for the creation of a select committee on grievances. Chaired by him, the committee was given authority to investigate current grievances; it could call witnesses, compel testimony, and force submission of required documentation. After three weeks, Simonds presented its report from which the house prepared eight resolutions. Four of these condemned Baillie’s activities and policies, another deplored the imposition of quitrents, and the last one proposed to send a two-man delegation to present the resolutions to the colonial secretary, Lord Stanley. Simonds and Chandler, the chosen representatives, left in May 1833, probably with high hopes of success. Simonds had recently won two rounds in his encounters with the local political establishment. In 1831 the assembly had protested to the Treasury the size of salaries paid to the customs officers and suggested large reductions. In February 1832 it had received word that its proposal had been accepted. Later that year the house had also rejected a bill permitting the enforcement of quitrents.
In England, Simonds and Chandler had considerable success with Stanley. He was prepared to suspend collection of quitrents and surrender control of the crown lands to the legislature under three conditions: a permanent annual civil list of £14,000 would be provided by the house, Baillie would be retained as commissioner, and the £70,000 from the proposed sale to the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Land Company of the Stanley Tract in York County would be kept by the crown. These recommendations were debated during the 1834 session. Chandler and Simonds were bitterly divided, Chandler advocating their acceptance and Simonds arguing that they did not go nearly far enough. Simonds finally carried the day and the proposals were defeated largely because the assembly did not want to surrender the funds that would come from the sale of the Stanley Tract.
The next two years were a period of vicious sniping as relations between the assembly and the lieutenant governor collapsed completely. For the first time in the province’s history the assembly’s animosity was directed not only against the lieutenant governor’s advisers, but against the lieutenant governor himself. Simonds led the attack: the annual training period of the militia, one of the lieutenant governor’s priorities, was cut from three days to one. Campbell replied by dissolving the house on 22 March 1834, but in the election held later that year Simonds and his partisans were returned in undiminished strength. When Campbell attempted to collect the quitrents in 1835 the assembly refused to compromise, rejecting the Colonial Office’s suggestion that the quitrents be commuted for a fixed sum. Furthermore, the assembly so reduced the militia funds that the inspector general had to be dismissed, and it declined to vote monies for the expenses of the legislative councillors. The latter replied in kind, whereupon the assemblymen attached their own expenses to a general appropriations bill. When the council turned it down, the legislature was prorogued without approving a supply bill.
The strategy of financial deadlock came from Simonds. Reiterating his theory that the assembly possessed the sole right to dispose of public monies, he once again, after quarrelling with the more moderate Chandler, carried the house. However, the victory was short-lived. The annual expenditures for public works had become so critical to the economic well-being of most New Brunswick communities that the legislature was recalled three months later, the supply bill passed, and the quitrents commuted for an annual payment of £1,000 to the casual revenues. During the 1836 session Simonds recommended that the assembly again send a delegation to the colonial secretary, the procedure they had employed in 1833. In the bitter debate which ensued, his proposals were sustained by a 20 to 9 majority over the combined opposition of Chandler and William End*. A second assembly delegation, of Lemuel Allan Wilmot* and William Crane, met with the new colonial secretary, Lord Glenelg, that summer. Faced with a steadily worsening situation in the Canadas, Glenelg readily acceded to the demands of the assembly. The crown lands and the revenues from the Stanley Tract were to be surrendered in return for an annual civil list of £14,000, the salaries of certain British appointees were to be gradually reduced, and the Executive Council was to be enlarged to reflect more clearly the popular will. Campbell resisted the changes and finally resigned.
His replacement, Sir John Harvey, sought out Simonds on his arrival in May 1837 and established a friendship that was to last throughout his administration. In compliance with his instructions, Harvey attempted to create an executive council which had the support of the assembly. Baillie and Street were removed and Simonds and his nephew Hugh Johnston* became the first assemblymen ever to sit on the council. During the next session of the house Simonds again was elected speaker, an office he was to hold for the next four years.
The years 1837 to 1841 were the zenith of Simonds’s political influence. This period, which historian William Stewart MacNutt* has dubbed the “Age of Harmony,” was the time when the New Brunswick system of assembly democracy came of age. In control of appropriations and every source of provincial revenue, and heir to the £70,000 that Baillie had built up from the casual revenues, the assemblymen embarked on a substantial program of public works. As principal councillor to the lieutenant governor and as speaker and government leader in the house, Simonds was the cornerstone on which the new order was built.
Harmony, however, was purchased at a considerable price. Although the Executive Council now contained two influential representatives from the assembly and no longer openly challenged the house on any important issue, the majority of its members were still appointed officials and it was still answerable to the lieutenant governor. The House of Assembly now controlled the revenues, but in Simonds’s eyes it proved itself financially irresponsible. Individual members seemed to him to be more concerned with the interests of their friends and constituencies than with those of the province as a whole. In the period 1837–42 the legislature received revenues of £467,000 and disbursed more than £600,000. Arguing that the financial crisis enveloping the province was the fault of the “abominable system,” in early 1842 Simonds supported a resolution in the house that no appropriation would thenceforth be made unless the Executive Council provided full budgets outlining the year’s income and expenditures. The alternative, he felt, would be direct taxation. Despite his best efforts, the traditional mode of appropriation was upheld by a vote of 18 to 12.
Having failed in his first effort to secure fiscal responsibility, later in 1842 Simonds embraced the proposals of the new lieutenant governor, Sir William MacBean George Colebrooke*, to create municipal corporations that would relieve the legislature of a substantial part of the financial burdens of the province. Simonds successfully carried the bill through the assembly by virtue of his tie-breaking vote. Appropriately, the battle for the municipalities was lost in the Legislative Council [see Ward Chipman]. In the face of this defeat, the lieutenant governor dissolved the house. During the ensuing election of 1842–43, Colebrooke was opposed by virtually every leading assemblyman except Simonds. Although Simonds was returned for Saint John, throughout the province the ranks of the traditionalists were strengthened.
Simonds’s influence in the legislature was severely reduced in the days immediately following the election. In 1842 he had been charged with rape and common assault on his married housekeeper, Ellen Seely. Moses Henry Perley*, the commissioner of Indian Affairs, commented on the affair in a letter to his mother: “This matter of Simonds is a very awkward business to make the best of it. There seems to be no doubt that he has been following up the woman for no good purpose, and whether he used force or not, has proved himself an old goat. It seems he has pawed the woman three or four different times, and went on, till she would stand it no longer.” On 13 Jan. 1843 the 59-year-old widower was found guilty by a nisi prius jury of five counts of rape and one of common assault. Later, in the Supreme Court, three of the original counts of rape were expunged, and he was finally convicted of two counts of assault with carnal intent and one of common assault. Even though the affair was apparently not taken up by the press, his conviction, and the repudiation of the lieutenant governor’s program by the electorate, probably persuaded Simonds not to seek the speaker’s chair again. The decline of his influence in the assembly after 1843 is perhaps best illustrated by the fate of a resolution to limit the grant of supply in any session to the estimated revenues of the period. Simonds was able to secure only seven votes in its favour including those of Wilmot and Charles Fisher*, the more progressive liberals of the house.
In an effort to secure the support of the assembly, Colebrooke reorganized his Executive Council early in 1843 to encompass all talents and political views. Of the five assemblymen appointed, Johnston, Chandler, Wilmot, Simonds, and Robert Leonard Hazen*, only Simonds remained from the earlier administration. The new government functioned without serious incident until the death of the provincial secretary, William Franklin Odell*, on Christmas Day 1844. Colebrooke, without consultation, appointed his son-in-law Alfred Reade to the office. When the Executive Council divided equally on the issue, Wilmot resigned on the principle that the great offices must be given to the members of the legislature on the advice of the Executive Council, and Hazen, Johnston, and Chandler left because they felt the appointment should have been given to a New Brunswicker. Of the four councillors who supported Colebrooke – Joseph Cunard*, John Simcoe Saunders*, John Montgomery*, and Simonds – only Simonds could pretend to possess any kind of popular support.
In his defence of the lieutenant governor during the assembly debates, Simonds enunciated his concept of the possibilities and limitations of responsible government within a colonial setting. It was impossible, he argued, to demand a government identical to that of the United Kingdom because New Brunswick was not a sovereign state. To make the Executive Council a creature of the assembly would both destroy the authority of the royal prerogative, as exercised through the lieutenant governor, and turn the entire administration of the province into a battleground of partisan politics such as existed in Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada. He believed the assembly had gained in 1836 all of the authority it needed; the Executive Council should be left as the point where popular and imperial interests met and melded, and the administration of the province should be kept beyond the partisan interests of the house. For these reasons he rejected the claim that the provincial secretaryship should be a political appointment. Although he would have preferred that the office go to a New Brunswicker, he accepted and supported the lieutenant governor’s judgement in the matter.
Simonds’s spirited defence did not deter the assembly, by a vote of 19 to 13, from deploring the lieutenant governor’s action in appointing Reade, or at the same time passing, by 23 to 10, a resolution of non-confidence in the Executive Council. The rump government continued to function for the remainder of the year but – despite approaches from the lieutenant governor – Chandler, Johnston, and Hazen refused to rejoin the council. Finally, just prior to the opening of the 1846 session, the remaining councillors submitted their resignations. At the same time, Simonds also resigned from the assembly. On 1 Feb. 1846 he was appointed to the Legislative Council.
In the late 1840s Simonds came to devote more and more of his time to local matters and his business concerns. He served as police commissioner in Portland, played an important role in the creation of a permanent police force for that town, and was involved in maintaining the peace between the two resident Irish factions.
On 28 June 1849, following the abrogation by the British parliament of the navigation acts, Simonds chaired a public meeting of the merchants and citizens of Saint John who were concerned about the future of the province. Out of this meeting came the New Brunswick Colonial Association; its purpose was “to devise a scheme for the general relief of British North America to be submitted to Her Majesty’s Government.” Throughout the summer of 1849 the views of the association rapidly moved towards the possibilities of a union of British North America, which its members saw as a federal union allowing considerable powers of local self-government and assuring the Maritime colonies of equal influence with the Province of Canada in a united legislature. In November, Simonds and John Robertson* met in Montreal with members of the British American League [see George Moffatt*] to discuss the issue, but nothing came of the meeting.
The association prepared a platform which became the basis of the reform group in Saint John. During the provincial election of 1850 the reformers entered a strong slate of candidates from the city – Simonds, Samuel Leonard Tilley*, William Hayden Needham*, William Johnstone Ritchie*, John Hamilton Gray*, and Robert Duncan Wilmot* – who succeeded in defeating all of the government’s candidates. At the opening of the 1851 session, Simonds was elected once again as speaker. The honour was short-lived. That August, in an effort to strengthen his failing Executive Council, Sir Edmund Walker Head* persuaded two of the Saint John members, Gray and Wilmot, to abandon their commitments and join the council. Because Wilmot also accepted the office of surveyor general, he was forced to resign his assembly seat and seek a new mandate. Outraged by this betrayal, Simonds, Tilley, and Ritchie publicly condemned Gray and Wilmot and, when the latter won re-election, resigned from the house.
Most commentators of the period expressed their admiration for the political character demonstrated by the three Saint John reformers. Tilley and Ritchie created from it a myth of integrity that was to mark their whole careers. At 68, Simonds seemingly had deliberately chosen this path of glory as a means to a second retirement. It was no surprise that he did not contest the provincial election of 1854. In May 1856 John Henry Thomas Manners-Sutton*, who was now the lieutenant governor, dissolved the house and forced the dismissal of his reform government, led by Charles Fisher, over the issue of the Prohibition Act of 1855. In the general election which followed, Simonds offered himself once again to the electors of Saint John and was returned to the assembly for an eighth time. In July the aged veteran was elected speaker of the house and presided over the repeal of the controversial law.
The liquor issue had divided many of the quasi-party loyalties that had developed during the early 1850s. Although most reformers were sympathetic to the temperance movement, many had supported the law’s repeal. They believed that the new government could not last a week once the issue had been removed from the political arena. Eager to test this hypothesis, Fisher introduced a motion of non-confidence after the opening of the 1857 session. Following a long debate, the house divided 20 to 20. From the chair, Simonds berated both parties for their lack of patriotism and their concern with the spoils of government. He ended by casting his vote in support of the government. The “speaker’s government” lasted just five weeks before the defection of one of its supporters persuaded the Executive Council to ask for dissolution. Simonds returned to Saint John where he played no further part in the public life of the province. He died less than two years later.
Charles Simonds was probably the most important New Brunswick political figure in the first half of the 19th century. For 28 years he sat as a member of the House of Assembly for the County and City of Saint John. He held the critical office of speaker for 11 years and was a member of the Executive Council for 9. The first assemblyman to hold the latter office, he also sat briefly on the Legislative Council. But Simonds’s importance goes beyond the offices he held. The decisions taken on most significant public issues between 1828 and 1843 conformed more closely to his views than to those of any other public figure in the province. The debate over the extent to which he formed public opinion or simply reflected the views of certain interests is of the essence of history. There can be no question that he was instrumental in ensuring that there be an orderly resolution of the principal public issues in New Brunswick during the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s.
[There are numerous references to Charles Simonds and his activities in most of the standard political histories of colonial New Brunswick including MacNutt, New Brunswick; James Hannay, History of New Brunswick (2v., Saint John, N.B., 1909); G. E. Fenety, Political notes and observations: or, a glance at the leading measures that have been introduced and discussed in the House of Assembly of New Brunswick . . . (Fredericton, 1867); and Lawrence, Judges of N.B. (Stockton and Raymond). The best source for the detail of Simonds’s political views and activities are the summaries of the Legislative Assembly debates and proceedings which were published in the New-Brunswick Courier. Further information can be found in N.B., House of Assembly, Journal, for 1820–57, and Legislative Council, Journal, for 1846–50; in N.B. Museum, M. H. Perley, letters, 1813–54, Perley to [Mary Merritt Perley], 29 Oct. 1842 (transcripts); in PANB, RG 2, RS6, A, and RG 4, RS24; and in PRO, CO 188. Unfortunately there is no collection of private papers. The best study of the origins of the Simonds family in New Brunswick is R. C. Campbell, “Simonds, Hazen and White: a study of a New Brunswick firm in the commercial world of the eighteenth century” (ma thesis, Univ. of N.B., Saint John, 1970). t.w.a.]