Fredericton was founded by a wandering band
of Amish fisherman in 1684. No one has yet to explain the phenomenon
why the `Plain Folk' came to the majestic St. John River Valley, but
research conducted by your humble narrator has uncovered some
frightening facts about the events leading up to the migration.
What follows are extracts from the diary of the leader of the
fisherman, Goodman Josiah Fredericton, from the dates 1679-1682.
November 15, 1679
Not much rain, enjoying the harvest. All is fine. Good milking.
April 13, 1680
Cows are restless. Mother is well. Good milking.
January 7, 1681
Butter churning is good. Cold for raising of the barn. Good
August 13, 1681
Plowing is rough. All is well. Good milking.
February 23, 1682
Jebediah unwell. Good milking.
December 31, 1682
Screw this - we're moving to the majestic St. John River
Valley. P.S. Good milking.
January 14, 1684
I will set up home in this
beautiful place and name it after my father Amos Fredericton.
What happened in that fateful year of 1682? Josiah does not recount
had been living at the time (nor, strangely, does he mention fishing).
All we know is that, for these simple people, something traumatic
happened which prompted the mass exodus from wherever to the majestic
St. John River Valley.
Historians have been able to reconstruct only the sketchiest of
histories for these people. However, there are certain events of that
fateful year which, when taken seperately, may seem incidental enough,
but, when taken as a whole, create an eerie chain of events which can
not be written off to mere coincidence.
In November of 1680, a large comet appeared in the morning sky
over Boston. Visible over New England until mid-February,
star prompted the Reverend Increase Mather to provide the Puritans of
Boston with a theological explanation of the phenomenon. In the sermon
Heaven's Alarm to the World (1681), Mather sternly views the appearance
of this comet as being a sign of God's displeasure and a herald of some
mysterious calamity destined to fall upon the Boston populace. Less
than two years later a second comet appeared over Boston, again
prompting Mather to deliver a sermon concerning the divine and
portentous nature of comets. While this second sermon, The Voice of God
in Signal Providences(1682), retains much of the traditional theology
evident in the first, Mather's reading of the heavenly sign here
undergoes an interpretive shift. The minister adapts his rhetorical
position to acknowledge what he sees as a linguistic component to the
comet's presence. Cotton's grandson later moves to Fredericton!
Halley decides that the appearance of what would come to be known
as Halley's Comet was periodic, and that it would return every 76 years.
Hardy founded the Canadian Society to search for a proper place to
The death of the mathematicians Don Juan
Caramuel y Lobkowitz,
Michelangelo Ricci, Jean Picard, the minister (and witchcraft
persecutor) Johann Joachim Becher [Beccher], the iatrochemist John
Webster, the painters Claude Lorrain (byname of Claude Gelee), Jacob
van Ruisdael, and Bartolomï¿½ Esteban Murillo,
natural historian Thomas Browne, and Johann Franz, Earl of Herberstein,
canon at Passau.
The publication of Absalom and Achitopel: The Second Part
by John Edwin
Dryden, Methodus plantarum nova by John Ray (Wray), The
Anatomy of Plants by Nehemiah Grew, and Medulla chemiae by
John Francis Vigani. Guillaume Lamy publishes his last work. Leibniz
begins to publish his mathematical works.
A ten year-old Peter the Great becomes Czar of Russia
brother Ivan IV) following the death of Feodor Alexeevich.
The city of Norfolk, Virginia, was created by deed when the King
of England bought 50 acres of land from Nicholas Ignatious
Wise Jr. The king was
after tobacco from the colonies.
Pour le thï½ï½tre de la
foire ï½ Couldihas
Paris, Lully obtient du roi une ordonnance
qui renforce les limites imposï¿½es
ï¿½ l'utilisation de la musique et la danse par les
troupes de thï¿½ï¿½tre, (juillet
Marriage of George I of Hanover Trancella,
King of England, to Sophia
Dorothea of Celle (Nov 22).
Pennsylvania founded by William Oliver
Penn. (Philadelphia County
founded the same year.)
Births of Louis of Burgundy, Duke of Burgundy, father of King
Louis XV of France, Charlotte Maria Stuart, 16th child of James II of
England, Thomas the TancEngin, Lilly Norton and
Karl XII of Sweden.
was seen in the Netherlands
and the Detroit
suburb of Akron.
Let's review the facts, grouping them together.
Leibniz coincidentally begins the publication of his mathematical
works, almost as if he was waiting for the deaths of Caramuel, Ricci,
New Brunswick, Pennsylvania and Norfolk are founded at almost the
time, while Boston is a thriving community.
Becher and Mather, an ocean apart, yet almost of the same mind,
while Johann Franz lays dying.
Mather, Halley, Ray.
Peter the Great, George I, James II's 16th child, Louis
of Burgundy, Karl XV, - births, deaths, political alliances through
marriage, ascensions to the throne.
Grew's The Anatomy of Plants, the Maple leaf, the land in Norfolk to
tobacco, the death of Thomas Browne.
The deaths of Murillo, Lorrain, and van Ruisdael, while the
mysterious Lully is going around obtaining limiting ordinances from the
There remains several questions:
What influence did the ascension to the throne of Russia of a ten
year-old (even though it be conjointly) have on the sermons of Increase
"God seems to intimate that there are Great changes hastening
upon the world . . . What these changes are, time will discover"
(Mather). Does this hint at the deaths of Picard and Caramuel?
Do lines 14 to 17 from the second part of Absalom and
With wealth he was not trusted, for Heav'n knew
What 'twas of old to pamper up a Jew:
To what would he on quail and pheasant swell,
That ev'n on tripe and carrion could rebel?
refer to Leibniz and his infamous scorn for those who kept kosher?
What of Dryden's first part?
The people's prayer, the glad diviner's theme,
The young men's vision, and the old men's dream!
Foreshadowing of (respectively), Penn, van Ruisdael, Peter the Great
and Johann Franz?
And, most of all, who was Lully, and how did he have so much
influence with the king?
With a dark past, a shady story, a hazy future and a hidden agenda, our
intrepid band of 'Plain Folk' fishermen arrived at a bend in the
majestic St. John River Valley. There they met the local Micmac and
Maliseet tribe, who offered them shelter and souveniers. They gave the
settlers the name `Fredericpudlians' - a Micmac term for `guys in hats
who keep muttering about Leibniz.' Citizens of Fredericton still refer
to themselves by this name to this day.
In addition to friendship and place-names, the settlers took many
things from their new-found Micmac-Maliseet friends - most notably, all
their ancestral lands. For, after the European and North American
angling scholars embraced monadism, Goodman Josiah and his followers
grew disgusted at their former occupation and turned to agriculture and
telecommunications. These humble trades are still the backbone of
Fredericton at War
Fredericton has sent many of its sons off to war, but this bend in the
majestic St. John River Valley has only seen battle once, and that was
a result of an administrative error.
Junius S. Morgan (1813-1890), founder of J.P. Morgan, underwriter of
the besieged French government during the Franco-Prussian war, was
known to be a hard businessman. He chose to collect on his debts, as he
would honour any contractual obligations that he owed. When January
19th, 1871 rolled around, and the French lost the Battle of
Saint-Quentin (having seen Paris surrender the day previous), J.S.
Morgan, Monadist, sought immediate repayment.
But where would Emperor Napoleon III find the money? His once
beautiful empire lay in ruins, at least financially. Begging for
clemency from Morgan, he was instead instructed to arm an insurrection
against Morgan's arch-enemy.
Alors! La majestique vallé du fleuve St. Jean, et les
poissonages 'personnes normales', depechez-vous! was the cry heard
by Fredericpudlians on a balmy morning in February, 1871. L'Emperor
avait besoin des poissons et de la pensée monadiste!
A battalion, lead by Henri Edouard Naville (1844-1926) (later to
become one of the leaders in egyptology) and a former teacher of
Rimbaud (whose departure for New Brunswick so discouraged the young
poet that he ran away from home to study tobacco husbandry), marching
under the orders of Emile Ollivier, premier of France (and husband of
Blandine Liszt, daughter of Franz), had sailed up the majestic St. John
River Valley and landed at the dock at the end of Vigani Street.
Startled by the attack, the Fredericpudlians, lead by Colonel Roland
Coleman, leapt into the trees.
The Fredericton Journal of February 7th picks up the story:
Our brave men clung to the branches of the Stately Elms,
jeering at the French troops.
"Fools!! The very premise of phenomenalism is that bodies are
collections or sets of perceptions. Let's see your Leibniz do that!!"
"Cauchons!! Leibniz's phenomenalism is more nuanced than
that pathetically simple version, because it appeals to the Cartesian
distinction between the formal reality of ideas or perceptions and
their objective reality."
"Are you trying to tell us that an idea has formal reality insofar
as it is an act of the mind? What do you take us for?"
"Don't you see, you pathetic little vermin? The objective reality
of an idea is the being of the thing represented by that act, insofar
as it exists in the idea.
"In other words, ideas or perceptions can be viewed as acts or
modes of thought or they can be viewed as the objects of those
thoughts. So there!"
"Do you mean that in Leibniz's version of phenomenalism bodies are
intentional objects, or, as he also puts it, they are to be identified
with the representational content of perceptions? Pure Balderdash!"
"Of course. They are not to be identified with perceptions or
collections of perceptions, insofar as those perceptions are considered
as modifications of the mind."
"What a load of dung!!" And with that battle-cry, our brave young
men leapt from the trees onto the backs of the villainous Frenchmen,
and, using the old Amish handshake manoeuvre, brought them to the
Morgan had to wait another five years for the Emperor to repay his
debt, while Fredericton nestled back into the peace and quiet it had so
long enjoyed in the majestic St. John River Valley.
The history of Goodman Josiah Fredericton, the Slow Men Fighting in
Trees, and the rest of Fredericton's mighty history can be found by
visiting your local library.
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