This workshop considers new digital humanities (DH), quantitative research, and other approaches to documents such as rural diaries and life writing that in the past have largely received a qualitative focus.
We hope that this small focused workshop at the Atlantic Canada Studies Conference will bring together scholars to learn about these emerging DH methods and to build capacity for new rural, agricultural, and environmental history based on digital collections in the Atlantic region.
The Joseph Robinson Jr. and Benjamin Robinson farms of Augustine Cove, Prince Edward Island, are an example of a Multi-family Mixed Farm in the Advanced Pioneer Stage. Born in Charlottetown, PE, Joseph Jr. (b. 1786/ d. 1874) was 75 years old in 1861, and he was the head of the Robinson “home farm,” the first of the two farms we are looking at for this Farm Energy Profile. Joseph Jr.’s third eldest son Benjamin (b. 1816/d. 1881) was head of the second, less developed farm, which was located less than 2 kilometers to the north. Benjamin was 45 years old in 1861. We suggest that the two farms which had a combined land base of 98 acres or 39.5 hectares were worked together as one agroecosystem.
The Robinson family arrived on Prince Edward Island in 1778 as British Empire Loyalists. Joseph Jr.’s father Joseph Robinson Sr. had settled in New York in 1762 or 1763 after three years at sea with the Royal Navy. He married Mary Smith of New York. Loyal to Britain, the couple lost their land during the American War of Independence (1775-1783), and they sailed for Shelbourne, Nova Scotia, in 1777. Finding Shelbourne unsatisfactory, probably due to its rocky outcroppings and poor agricultural land, they sailed, with 25 other Loyalists, for Prince Edward Island the following year. Joseph Jr. married Phoebe Foy of Tryon, Prince Edward Island, in 1810. Phoebe’s parents John Foy and Mary Warren had also settled on Prince Edward Island as British Empire Loyalists.
Joseph Jr. and his wife Phoebe had a large family of nine, six boys and three girls. His eldest son John had a farm in Lot 28 that appears on the 1863 “Lake Map,” and again on the 1880 “Meacham Atlas” map, as do both Joseph Jr.’s and Benjamin’s farms. John’s farm was 49 acres (20 ha), and although they likely shared resources we suggest it was too far (8 Km) from Joseph Jr.’s and Benjamin’s farms to be considered part of the same agroecosystem. The 1880 Meacham Map also informs us that Joseph Jr.’s farm was 62 acres (25 ha) and that his fifth son Thomas was head of this farm by 1880. The Meacham Map also shows us that by 1880 Joseph Jr.’s youngest son James had acquired a 50 acre (20 ha) parcel adjacent to Benjamin’s 36 acres (14.5 ha) as well as a 25 acre (10 ha) parcel on Traverse Road to the east, but still close by. Thus, by 1880, the agroecosytem had increased to 173 acres (70 ha) and supported three families. However, for the purpose of this farm energy profile, we are looking at the agroecosystem as it was in 1861.
In the 1861 Census of Canada, Joseph Robinson Jr. reported owning 60 acres (24 hectares) of arable (or improved) land, which the enumerator listed as “first quality.” Benjamin reported 10 acres (four hectares) of arable land, which was also “first quality.” In regard to Joseph Jr.’s farm, the two acre difference between the 60 acres reported on the 1861 census and the 62 acres reported on the Meacham Map is most likely the small woodlot along the northern edge of his parcel (see Figure 1b).
By examining the location and the combined land uses of the Robinson parcels in 1861, we see a deliberate site selection strategy. The brook that emptied into Cumberland Cove ran through Joseph Jr.’s land and extended up south facing sloped land to Benjamin’s 14.5 ha that was near the height of land between Richard Point and the upper Augustine River. Benjamin would have been able to survey the land below his 14.5 ha to his father’s house, and we suggest that this was where their livestock was wood pastured on what was for all intents and purposes common land. This meant that the Robinsons’ livestock ranged between the two parcels of Robinson land in the same watershed that centered on the Cumberland Cove brook. Wood pasturing was common practice across PEI in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the Richard Point watershed contained a variety of rich resources and shelter for livestock. From marshland grass in Cumberland Cove to the brooks and forests in the upland commons, the ruminant-intensive Robinson farms used the natural resources of the Richard Point watershed to supplement their cultivated fodder and grain feeds.
The Robinsons benefited from marshland hay in the Cumberland Cove tidal estuary. Joseph Jr’s 25 ha parcel had about five acres (2 ha) of land surrounding the mouth of the Cumberland Cove brook that likely produced marshland hay. Known locally as broadleaf hay, Spartina pectiñata is a rich naturally occurring resource that farmers used for fodder. In Atlantic Canada Acadians and later settlers cultivated and expanded marshland hay production by constructing dikes and aboiteaux, although there is no evidence that any existed on Joseph Robinson’s farm. Although the 1861 Census of Canada did not collect data on marshes or broadleaf hay, we know that Island farmers made good use of it, getting approximately 2.5 tons of broadleaf hay per acre of marshland. Therefore, the Robinsons had about 12.5 tons of broadleaf hay in addition to the upland hay (or English hay) that they reported in the census and that we calculated in the farm energy flows, below.
We also suggest that the Robinsons made good use of mussel mud, a highly calcareous soil treatment that farmers dug from the ancient deposits of large oyster beds in the estuaries and bays of Prince Edward Island. In winter, when the estuary ice was thick enough to bear the weight of horses, carts, and mussel mud equipment, farmers installed a mussel mud digger and began to haul the mud they excavated to their fields where they spread it. Farmers also stored the mud above the high tide mark, moving it to their farms in late summer before harvest and in winter by sleigh.
Including themselves, Joseph Jr.’s family had eight members, and Benjamin’s had five. There was ample adult labour to manage and work the two farms’ combined 98 acres (39.5 ha). Moreover, Benjamin’s woodland would supply not only his own, but also his father Joseph Jr.’s firewood demands, as well as other necessary forest products such as poles for fencing.
Figure 1f. Google Map.
Farm Energy Funds
Farm energy funds are components of the agroecosystem that persist over time, such as livestock herds, buildings, and farmland (including cropland, pasture, woodland and salt marshes). The farm energy profiles visualize the land funds in a nested-tree chart that is divided into three main columns. The first column is crops, the second column is fodder and pasture, and the third column is wildland—the woodland and salt marshland.
Joseph Robinson Jr.’s home farm (the 25 ha parcel) was approximately 97 percent cleared in 1861, and it was intensively farmed. It was smaller than the average farm in the Lot 28 CSD which was 39.5 ha. Benjamin’s less developed land was 27 percent improved, with the remaining 73 percent in woodland which included a very small portion in buildings and lanes. However, when Joseph Jr.’s land was combined with Benjamin’s 14.5 ha, the land base was exactly that of the average farm in the CSD, 39.5 ha. Of course, the Robinsons’ combined 39.5 ha supported two families comprising 13 individuals ranging from children to elderly individuals including Joseph Jr. and Phoebe. Probably, the Robinson family’s 39.5 ha was supporting more individuals than was the average farm in the CSD.
The Robinsons’ combined 39.5 ha was more developed than the average farm in the Lot 28 CSD. The Robinsons’ land was 70 percent improved, 29 percent in woodland, and one percent in buildings and lanes. Of the improved land, 18.4 ha was in cropland (including 2.2 ha in potatoes), and 9.5 ha was in fodder (2.7 ha in hay and 6.8 ha in pasture). The Robinson farm’s woodland was 11 ha. In contrast, the average farm in the CSD, although the same size as the Robinsons’ farm, was only 50 percent improved, with 49 percent in woodland, and one percent in buildings and lanes. Of the improved land, 12.9 ha was in crops (including .7 ha in potatoes), and 6.9 ha was in fodder (2.1 ha in hay and 4.8 ha in pasture). The average farm’s woodland was 19.6 ha. The average farm in the CSD had less crop land, less fodder land, but more woodland and other wildland than did the Robinsons’ farm.
The Robinsons kept horses, dairy cows, other horned cattle, sheep, and swine, which are the same livestock types reported for the Lot 28 CSD. However, the Robinson family had more of all types of livestock than did the average farm, and they had a noticeably greater emphasis on cattle, both milk cows and other horned cattle, than did the average farm. The Robinsons’ livestock intensity was 37.3 LU/kms and their grazing intensity was 1.67 ruminants per ha. For the Lot 28 CSD it was lower at 22.6 LU/km2 and 1.38 ruminants per ha. These livestock and grazing intensities for the Robinson farm are among the highest we have seen.
Farm Energy Flows
Farm energy flows are components of the acroecosystem that are produced and consumed annually, such as crops and crop residues, grazed biomass, and livestock products. The farm energy profiles show this in three pie charts, Principal Grain Crops and Minor Crops, Fodder Crops and Pasture, and Livestock and Barnyard Produce.
The Robinson farm produced 66 bushels (bu) wheat, 30 bu barley, 512 bu oats, 80 bu buckwheat, and 900 bu potatoes, in 1861. The Lot 28 CSD reported the same crops, plus turnips and clover seed. Despite its large herds and relatively high grazing intensity, the farm had relatively small energy deficits. This demonstrates that the farm was a mostly self-sufficient producer of the energy required for its livestock and for its crop inputs. The combined agroecosystem maintained a feed deficit of 653,137 MJ and no litter deficits across the two farms. For the Lot 28 CSD, the feed deficit was 85,170,361 MJ (417,502 MJ for the average farm), and 5,269,467 MJ (25,831 MJ for the average farm). The large amount of oats grown not only on the Robinson farm, but in the greater Lot 28 CSD, as well, accounted for the relatively low litter deficits we see here. Straw, which is a by-product of cereals, was never counted by census officials but as the main source of litter it was essential to animal-husbandry and urban livestock, too. Oats was also a cash crop that met the demand of urban horses, and we assume that the farm found strong markets for all of its surplus grains. These cereals were shipped from the region to the Atlantic market, including cities such as Montreal and Boston, but also Newfoundland, Bermuda, and colonies in the West Indies. In 1861, the Robinson farm had 36 cords of firewood on hand.
The Robinson farm produced eight tons of upland (or English) hay, slightly more than the average farm in Lot 28 CSD which produced 6.2 tons. The CSD produced 1,269 tons of hay, overall. The Robinson farm’s hay energy was less than its pasture energy, which was the same for the Lot 28 CSD. The Robinson farm’s hay energy was 130,635 MJ, and its pasture energy was 661,213 MJ. The CSD’s hay energy was 20,721,914 MJ (101,578 MJ for the average farm), and its pasture energy was 86,855,566 MJ (425,763 MJ for the average farm). Despite being the same size as the average farm (39.5 ha), the Robinson farm derived more energy from hay and pasture than did the average farm.
In 1861, the Robinson farm had more livestock in all categories than did the average farm in the Lot 28 CSD. They had two horses over the age of three, one colt or filly, seven milk cows, eight other horned cattle, 20 sheep, and four swine. The average farmer in the CSD had two horses over the age of three, .7 colts or fillies, 3.7 milk cows, 4.5 other horned cattle, 16 sheep, and 2.7 swine. The Robinson farm slaughtered five cattle, 8 sheep, and 3 swine, whereas the average farmer in Lot 28 slaughtered 2.8 cattle, 6.4 sheep, and 2.4 swine.
The Robinson farm had 176 pounds of butter, no cheese, and 16 yards of homemade cloth, in 1861. In contrast, the average farmer in the CSD had 146 pounds of butter, 3.9 pounds of cheese, and 22.6 yards of homemade cloth. However, the farmers also had cloth on hand that was not manufactured at home. The Robinsons had 98 yards of cloth that had been manufactured off the farm, and the average farm in the CSD had 42.7 yards of this same material. Lot 28 boasted at least one carding mill and a fulling mill which supported a wool industry in the community. According to the 1863 “Lake Map,” this mill was likely James B. Leard’s property, located just east of the Robinson homestead on the Cape Traverse Rd on a small mill pond that drained into the Tryon River. Undoubtedly, this is partly why the Robinsons had 20 sheep and the average farmer in Lot 28 had 16. We suggest that the relatively large sheep herd was primarily for the wool, a valuable commodity, and secondarily for meat products.
Joseph Robinson Jr. and his wife Phoebe were the first generation of their families to be born on Prince Edward Island, their parents being British Empire Loyalists who had lost their lands and fled New York in 1777 as an outcome of the American War of Independence. With nine children, it may have been difficult for them to not only provide for all, but to also establish their six sons in farming or other ventures and to see their daughters set with good futures, as well. Our small study found that of their six sons, four were established as farmers in Lot 28 either before Joseph Jr.’s death or soon after.
Our study focused on Joseph Jr. and his third son Benjamin’s farms that together totaled 39.5 ha. Joseph Jr’s 25 ha, obviously a more established farm, was approximately 97 percent improved. His son Benjamin’s 14.5 ha, however, was in an early stage of development, with only 27 percent improved and the rest in woodland. However, the woodland must have been a much-needed boon to the two families, providing firewood as well as other forest products. As well, the Robinsons’ land included marshland from where they accessed broadleaf hay. The Robinsons also made good use of mussel mud. Perhaps uniquely, their energy profile shows the importance of selecting sites with access to wood pasture such as the forests along the Cumberland Cove brook in the Richard Point watershed. Benjamin, situated at the height of land above the brook, would have been able to watch his livestock and survey the land below to his father’s farm and the Cove.
The Robinson farm had more of everything on their 39.5 ha than did the average farm in Lot 28. They had more hay land, more pasture land, more crop land, more livestock, and more of all the farm products that came from their land and animals–hay, grains, roots, meat, butter, and wool. The exception was home manufactured products such as cheese, of which they reported none, and cloth, which they produced in relatively small amounts. Possibly, with 13 family members, it was more important to churn butter for the table than to make cheese. When it came to textiles, it seems that their surpluses in other products allowed them to enjoy the services of local millers such as the carding and fulling mills that produced cloth from the Robinsons’ large sheep herd. The Robinsons undoubtedly sold some of their farm products to put cash in their pockets, possibly transporting them by ship off the Island to the greater Atlantic market. Their oats and straw, for example, would have been in demand for urban horses.
Over a century and a half later, Joseph Robinson Jr.’s family has become well-established in Prince Edward Island’s larger farming community. Descended from Joseph Jr.’s youngest son James W., Lori Robinson, in 2022, is the farm manager of Eric C. Robinson Inc. located in Albany, PEI, on the border of Lots 27 and 28. Eric was her grandfather who incorporated the farm in 1962. A 2,500 acre (1,012 ha) farm comprising several blocks of land, there is still a large amount of woodland, now set aside for conservation purposes.
 Miriam Robinson family trees and branches, Ancestry.ca, https://www.ancestry.ca/family-tree/person/tree/159879626/person/422088799777/facts Their sons were John (b. 1814/d. 1864); Joseph (b. 1814/d. 1866); Benjamin (b. 1816/d. 1881); Charles (b. 1819/d. 1896); Thomas (b. 1821/d. 1903); and James (b. 1833/ d. 1898). Their daughters were Clementina (b. 1811/d. 1892), Maria (b. 1823/d. 1940), and Jane (b. 1826/d. 1863). Maria never married, and Charles moved to Shediac, New Brunswick. The remaining seven married men and women of the Augustine Cove community with surnames such as Howatt, Gamble, Lord, Campbell, Malone, and Callbeck.
 Joshua D. MacFadyen, “Drawing Lines in the Ice: Regulating Mussel Mud Digging in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence,” in Claire Campbell and Robert Summerby-Murray, eds, Land and Sea (Fredericton, NB: Acadiensis Press, 2013), and Joshua MacFadyen, “The Fertile Crescent: Agricultural Land Use on Prince Edward Island, 1861–1971,” in Edward MacDonald, Joshua MacFadyen, and Irene Novaczek, eds., Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, PE: Island Studies Press, 2016).
 Joseph Jr. and his wife Phoebe lived with a younger couple, probably their son Thomas and his wife Martha (nee Lord), two children, a girl and a boy, probably the children of Thomas and his Martha, plus two other single people, both aged 21 to 45. We suggest these two single people were Maria and James, two of Joseph Jr.’s and Phoebe’s adult children still living on the home farm. Maria never married, and James W. was the youngest of their nine children. Benjamin and Martha lived with two children, a girl and a boy, and an older woman, who was probably a relative. See 1861 Census of Canada for Joseph Robinson and Benjamin Robinson.
 MacFadyen, “The Fertile Crescent: Agricultural Land Use on Prince Edward Island, 1861–1971,” pp. 167-168.
 The 1861 Census of Canada did not collect data on forest products. However, based on the 1871 Census of Canada, we assume that each household had 18 cords of firewood on hand. The Robinson farm would have needed twice this because there were two households.
The Shadd farm in Ontario’s Raleigh CSD is an example of a Farm with Established Land Funds, High Non-Dairy Livestock Funds/Flows, and Specialized Animal Products (wool and honey). Abraham Shadd (b. 1801/d. 1882), an affluent free Black man and an abolitionist, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but also lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania, before moving his family to the Elgin Settlement located in Raleigh Township, in 1852.The Elgin Settlement, also called the Buxton Mission, was a Black settlement that was designed primarily by Reverend William King, a white abolitionist from the United States who had also moved north to colonial Canada. In both Delaware and Pennsylvania, Shadd had participated in the Underground Railroad, assisting Black refugees heading north to freedom. The Fugitive Slave Act passed by the United States Congress in 1850 was behind Shadd’s decision to bring his family further north into Canada West, later called Ontario. The 1850 Act meant that if fugitives were caught, they had to be returned to the slave-owner who claimed them as property and that officials and citizens of the Northern Free States were bound by law to cooperate–although, of course, many did not. Slave chasers were out in force, and the destination for refugees shifted further north across the border. Abraham Shadd had 14 children, several of whom became well known for their own achievements. Shadd himself was the first Black man to be elected to public office in Canada West. Although some earlier references give the date 1859, Carolyn Smardz Frost gives 1862 as the date he was elected alderman for Kent County. In addition to appearing on a commemorative stamp, Shadd was added to the Kent Agricultural Hall of Fame, and Centre Road, which ran through Buxton in 1881 was renamed A. D. Shadd Road in 1994 in his family’s honour.
In 1871, Shadd was 70 years old and head of a 103 acre (41.7 ha) farm in Raleigh’s enumeration Division 3. He was listed as a Quaker (“Friends”) and a farmer, and his origin was put down as African. In 1871, the total population of Raleigh CSD’s four divisions was 4,081 with 1,192 (29 percent) listed as African. In schedule 3 of the census, Shadd listed owning 479 acres (193.9 ha) total land in the Dominion of Canada, meaning that 376 acres (152.2 ha) were outside of Division 3. He also listed one town lot. Shadd was also the 1871 Census of Canada enumerator for Division 3. His wife Harriet was 65, and an older woman, Mary, aged 89, lived with them, along with six-year-old Mary A., 14-year-old Andrew, and 23-year-old Eunice. A son, Garrison, who was 32 years old, owned 50 acres (20.2 ha) and a separate house and out-buildings in Division 3. Garrison lived with his wife Harriet, aged 30, and five children, the youngest six months old and the eldest seven. Garrison was listed as a Universalist and a farmer. Garrison worked the land with his father Abraham, so for this energy profile we have combined the land of father and son with the understanding that the farm supported both families. The Buxton National Historic Site & Museum is a treasure trove of historic material about Shadd and his family, and we encourage our readers to investigate their website. One online exhibit (an interactive site) that is particularly exciting to our energy profile is The Shadd Barn, where Abraham Shadd’s original barn, built in 1853, plus his tools may be viewed.
– Figure 1c. Images of the Abraham Shadd barn and homestead. Left: photo of the restored barn at the Buxton Museum. Top right: a virtual exhibit of the Shadd barn, Buxton Museum. Bottom right: an undated watercolour of the Shadd homestead. All photos used with permission of the Buxton Museum.
Figure 1e. Google Map of Raleigh, Kent, Ontario.
Farm Energy Funds
Abraham Shadd’s home farm (the 41.7 ha parcel) was one hundred percent improved, was intensively farmed, and probably supported two families. The first household was Abraham and Harriet and their four dependents, and the second was Abraham’s son Garrison, a farmer who had his own house and 20.2 ha elsewhere in Raleigh’s Division 3. Shadd’s home farm was larger than the average farm in the CSD which was 31.4 ha. Moreover, since the home farm was entirely cleared and the average farm in Raleigh was only 55 percent cleared, Shadd’s potential crop and fodder energy funds (41.7 ha) were much larger than average farm’s (17.2 ha). His hay land, pasture, gardens and orchards were roughly one-third of his land, with the remaining two-thirds in crops. However, his home farm was only about 21 percent of his total land, with most of his land being outside of Division 3. When Garrison’s 20.2 ha is added to Abraham’s total land, then the home farm is about 19.5 percent of their total land combined.
We assume that Abraham and Garrison made good use of their other land by way of sourcing wood and hay and possibly pasturing animals. Although Abraham’s and Garrison’s farms were located in Division 3, their other land was probably located throughout Raleigh’s three other divisions, and Shadd may have bought at least some of it from other settlers who put their land up for sale. In contrast, the Raleigh Census Subdivision (comprising four enumeration divisions) was in a much earlier stage of development than Abraham’s home farm. Just under half of farmland was still in forest, and the remainder was evenly divided between cropland on the one hand, and marshland, pasture, hay land, gardens, and orchards on the other. Abraham kept horses, colts or fillies, milk cows, other horned cattle, sheep, and swine. The Raleigh subdivision (CSD) reported the same livestock types, but Shadd had a greater emphasis on cattle than did the CSD. The livestock intensity of Shadd’s farm was 8.4 livestock units (LU/km2) and the grazing intensity was 1.65 ruminant livestock units per hectare of pasture on the home farm. For the Raleigh CSD, the livestock intensity was higher at 17.0 LU/km2, but the grazing intensity was lower at .82.
Farm Energy Flows
In 1871, the Shadd farm had 25 cords of firewood on hand which may have come from the 152.2 ha of other land that was separate from the home farm. The farm produced 117 bu of fall wheat, 150 bu barley, 17 bu oats, 30 bu peas, one bu beans, 100 bu corn, 20 bu potatoes, 3 bu turnips, 5 bu mangels and other beets, 3 bu carrots, one bu clover seed, 100 pounds grapes, 120 bu apples, and 5 bu of pears and/or plums. The Raleigh CSD reported the same crops as Shadd, plus spring wheat, buckwheat, rye, flax seed, hops, tobacco, and maple sugar. The Shadd farm had a feed deficit of 485,812 MJ and a litter deficit of 270,198 MJ. For the Raleigh CSD, the feed deficit and litter deficit were 236,780 MJ and 70,216 MJ per farm, respectively. Shadd’s feed and litter deficits were over three times greater than the average farm in the CSD.
The Shadd farm’s hay energy was less than its pasture energy, which was the same for the Raleigh CSD.The Shadd farm’s hay energy was 489,880 MJ and its pasture energy was 707,887 MJ. The CSD’s hay energy was 88,537,602 MJ and its pasture energy was 186, 768,382 MJ, which was 286,456 MJ (hay energy) and 135,794 MJ (pasture energy) per farm. The Shadd farm had more energy from hay and pasture than did the average from in the CSD.
In 1871, the Shadd farm had more livestock in all categories than did the average farm in the Raleigh CSD. Abraham and Garrison had two horses over the age of three, four colts or fillies, three milk cows, nine other horned cattle, 27 sheep, and 17 swine. They also had 14 beehives, the largest number of hives on a single farm that we have seen. They slaughtered ten horned cattle, three sheep, and 12 swine. The average farm in the Raleigh CSD had 1.8 horses over the age of three, .8 colts or fillies, 2.4 milk cows, 3.3 other horned cattle, 5.7 sheep, 6.3 swine, and .5 of a beehive. The average farm slaughtered one horned cattle, 4.3 sheep, and five swine. The CSD also had 34 oxen. Abraham and Garrison’s large number of beehives, plus their 100 pounds of reported honey, indicate that they were exploring these animals and their product, honey, for farm income, but probably also for pollination of their crops that required pollination by insects–their peas, apples, grapes, pears and/or plums. Jennifer Bonnell notes that the buffering effect of Great Lake water temperature on surrounding air masses, especially Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, “extended the growing season and supported the development of specialized ‘fruit belts’ that in turn provided excellent sources of pollen and nectar for bees.” Abraham and Garrison Shadd may have been early apiarists benefitting from the unique microclimate created by Lake Erie’s water temperature on the air masses surrounding their farm. Abraham’s grandson William (Garrison’s son, see Figure 1g) “hived a swarm of bees,” 29 June 1884, showing that the apiary carried on after Abraham’s death (see Figure 6b). The Shadd farm had 100 pounds of butter, five pounds of cheese, 110 pounds of wool, but no flannel cloth or linen. The average farm in the CSD, however, had 174 pounds of butter, 2.6 pounds of cheese, 3.4 pounds of honey, 25.7 pound of wool, but 7.3 yards of flannel cloth, and, as for Abraham and Garrison Shadd, no linen.
In 1871, Abraham and Garrison Shadd’s farm was prosperous and compares in land use to other farms we have portrayed in our Farm Energy Profiles series, such as Messier and Houle whose Quebec farms were of the same approximate size and were also 100 percent improved. What differs, however, is the very large amount of other land (152.2 ha) that was situated outside Raleigh’s Division 3. Abraham and Garrison Shadd and the Raleigh CSD produced the largest amounts of corn grain that we have seen so far. Most other parts of Ontario did not reach those levels until the twentieth century. Moreover, Shadd’s farm is the first we have seen with more energy from beef than from milk, and it is also the first we have seen with such a large number of beehives. Innovative apiarists, perhaps Abraham and Garrison Shadd were experimenting with their energy funds and flows to find a new approach that would make the best use of their land and the Elgin settlement’s warm microclimate. Certainly, their large number of beehives suggest that they were boosting pollination for their peas, apples, grapes, pears and/or plums. When Abraham Shadd made the decision to move his family north to the Elgin Settlement in 1852, he relocated to what was perhaps the final destination for many Black refugees fleeing the slavocracy of the United States. At Elgin, Abraham Shadd’s ingenuity flourished in a new locality, and he made his mark not only as the first Black man to be elected to public office in Canada West, but also by his success as a farmer and an apiarist.
 Fergus M. Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (New York, NY: Amistad, 2005), 389-394. Born in Ireland, King immigrated with his family to Ohio, where their farm became a station on the Underground Railroad. Later, he married the daughter of a wealthy slave-owning family based in Louisianna. When his wife died, he found himself her heir and the owner of 14 enslaved people whom he wanted to manumit. He travelled to Toronto where he gained the aid of the Presbyterian Synod, recruited 24 businessmen to oversee finances, and acquired an 18-square-mile (4,662 ha) tract of land near Chatham, Ontario, for a Black settlement. In honour of Lord Elgin, Canada’s Governor General at the time, the group of abolitionists was called the Elgin Association. The standard allotment was a 50-acre parcel. These were sold to Black settlers for $2.50 an acre, either by a lump sum payment or over time. King brought the 14 enslaved people he had inherited from his wife to the Elgin Settlement, and he gave them manumission papers when they crossed the border into Canada West. To learn more about the Underground Railroad in this area see: Chatham-Kent, “Chatham-Kent Underground Railroad,” (n.d) Accessed 23 Febuary, 2022), https://www.chatham-kent.ca/visitck/doandsee/heritage/undergroundrailroad/Pages/default.aspx
 Karolyn Smardz Frost, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad (Toronto, ON: Thomas Allen Publishers, 2007), 328. Mary Ann Shadd (Cary), Emaline Shadd, Issac Shadd, and Abraham Shadd were four of Abraham’s children who had many wonderful achievements, including the following: Mary Ann studied law at Howard University and later taught school in Washington, D.C.; Emaline became one of the first female professors at Howard University; Isaac, who had moved back to the Deep South, was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives; and Abraham became a judge in Arkansas.
 Shadd may have purchased land from other settlers when they put their land up for sale. A rule of the settlement was that for the first ten years of ownership, should a person decide to sell, he or she could only sell to another Black person. Eventually, white people moved into the area. The settlement school was free to attend, excellent, not segregated, and focussed on academics, including Latin and Greek. It attracted white students, including adults, who took seats in class alongside their Black neighbours. Bordewich, Bound for Canaan, 390, 392; Joyce Shadd Middleton recorded that Shadd owned land in Tilbury East and at least one town lot in Chatham, Ontario. Joyce Shadd Middleton, Bryan Prince, and Karen Evelyn, Something To Hope For. The Story Of The Fugitve Slave Settlement Buxton, Canada West (Buxton: Buxton National Historic Site and Museum, 1999).
 “Garrison Shadd,” 1871 Census of Canada, C-9891, LAC. Although Garrison had 50 acres, he did not list any crops, livestock, or wood products in the 1871 census’s schedule 4.
 The Buxton National Historic Site & Museum website includes lovely and informative interactive sites, such as The Shadd Barn and the Buxton Schoolhouse. See, (accessed 24 February 2022), http://www.buxtonmuseum.com/
The Messier farm in Quebec’s St. Hyacinthe CSD is an example of a Farm with Average Land Funds (land and pasture), Low Livestock Funds/Flows, and Specialized Cash Crops (tobacco) and Animal Products (wool and honey). In terms of its land size and crop energy flows, the Messier farm was almost the perfectly average farm in the CSD. It is in many ways a typical operation for this region. It stands out in one important respect, however, because it was owned by a woman. In 1871, 59-year-old Marguerite Mefsier (Messier), a widow, was head of the 36.4 hectare (ha) farm. Marguerite’s husband Michel died in 1865 at 58 years of age. She continued to farm the completely cleared parcel, and like many farms in the region she produced cash crops such as tobacco and surplus cereals. In other ways, the Messier farm was smaller than average, such as its lower number of livestock and the flows they generated.
Her two sons Améde and Antoine, ages 23 and 19, were farmers who must have done much of the farm work. A second family of the same surname, Messier, lived with them in the same house. This was 38-year-old Michel, who was a commis (or clerk), his wife Marie who was 35, and their five children, Joseph, Albina, Georges, Jean, and Ema, ages 13, 11, eight, four, and two. In the 1871 Census of Canada Michel did not report any land, livestock, crops, or products. Although we do not know the exact relationship between Marguerite’s immediate family and Michel and his family, they were probably relatives–possibly her eldest son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren–who lived at the farm as family members or as boarders and who pitched in to get work on the farm done. The farm was successful because of Marguerite’s good fortune to have extensive pastures and other cleared land as well as family labour to work it. Her two adult sons, plus Michel, Marie, and probably Ema, their eldest child, all could have contributed labour. This was not the case for all women, of course. Another widow whose farm we examined in St. Hyacinthe, Esther Beauregard, was not nearly as well supported as was Marguerite. Esther, who had three young children, the eldest deaf, lost her farm and ended up in Hotel Dieu of St. Hyacinthe where nuns cared for the poor. Esther died impoverished at 60 years of age.
Marguerite had an additional 12 ha in the Dominion of Canada that was outside the census subdivision in which she lived. This additional 12 ha was likely close by to her 36.4 ha and used as a woodlot or, if it was improved, she may have had more pastureland, hay land, and cropland available than reported in Schedule 1 of the 1871 Census of Canada. When combined, Marguerite’s two parcels of land totaled 48.4 ha.
Figure 1c. Google Map of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec.
Farm Energy Funds
Marguerite Messier’s 36.4 ha was one hundred percent improved, was intensively cropped, and supported either one large family or two smaller families. Marguerite divided this parcel’s improved land roughly by thirds: 12.1 ha was in pastureland, 12.1 ha was in hay land, 9.8 ha was in cropland, and the remaining land was in gardens, orchards, buildings, and lanes. In contrast, the St. Hyacinthe CSD’s 9,747 ha was not completely improved, but had 1,363 ha in woodland with the remaining 8,381 ha improved. The CSD’s improved land was not evenly divided by thirds, as was the Messier farm. Instead, the hay land was proportionately smaller and the cropland larger so that the profile of the St. Hyacinthe CSD was 2,750 ha (32 percent) pastureland, 1,187 ha (14 percent) hay land, and 4,353 ha (53 percent) cropland, with the remaining 93 ha (one percent) dyked marshland, gardens, orchards, buildings, and lanes. The Messier farm was slightly larger than the average farm in St. Hyacinthe (34.4 ha); but, with the 12 ha that lay outside her CSD Marguerite had access to a bit more land than the average farmer in St. Hyacinthe. Marguerite kept horses, milk cows, and sheep, but she also had one other horned bovine and one pig. The greater region of the St. Hyacinthe CSD reported the same livestock types as the Messier farm with a similar emphasis on milk cows and sheep over other horned cattle and swine. The livestock intensity of the Messier farm was 17 LU/km2 and the grazing intensity was .35. In contrast, the St. Hyacinthe CSD was higher at 23.9 LU/km2 and .59 respectively. The Messier farm had a lower grazing intensity because proportionally it provided more pasture for its animals to graze upon and, as discussed in the next section, the farm had less livestock than the average farm in St. Hyacinthe.
Farm Energy Flows
In 1871, the Messier farm had 60 census standard red pine logs on hand, as well as 19 cords of wood. Likely these forest products came from the 12 ha that was outside the census subdivision in which Messier lived. The farm produced 70 bushels (bu) oats, 122 bu potatoes, 65 bu barley, 14 bu wheat, five bu peas, seven bu buckwheat, 30 bu corn, and ten pounds of tobacco. The St. Hyacinthe CSD reports the same crops as Marguerite Messier, plus beans, turnips, beets, carrots, grapes, apples, pears and/or plums, and maple sugar. The Messier farm had a feed deficit of 279,555 MJ, and a litter deficit of 83,841 MJ. For the St.Hyacinthe CSD, the feed deficit was 392,523 MJ per farm, and the litter deficit was 93,011 MJ per farm. Marguerite’s feed demand was 95 percent fodder, and with a very small hay crop in 1870, we see that even the residues from her grain crops failed to make up the feed deficit. It may be that Messier met her feed and litter requirements that year by feeding her surplus grains to the animals, or, more likely, by selling or trading them with neighbours who had feed and litter to spare. Certainly, her ten pounds of tobacco, a lucrative cash crop, would have put money into her hands.
The Messier farm’s hay energy was less than half of its pasture energy which were 130,635 MJ and 293,349 MJ respectively. There were 224,360 MJ of residues, and the farm reused all of its fodder. For the St. Hyacinthe CSD, the hay energy (32,838,273 MJ) was about one-third of its pasture energy (110,650,816 MJ). There were 81,506,961 MJ of residues and the CSD reused all its fodder.
In 1871, the average farm in the St. Hyacinthe CSD had more livestock than did the Messier farm. Marguerite Messier had two horses over the age of three, two colts or fillies, three milk cows, one other horned bovine, eight sheep, and one swine. The farm either butchered or exported the one horned bovine, four sheep, and three swine. These low, and apparently declining numbers combined with the low grazing density on her extensive pastures suggest that Marguerite was reducing the size of her herds. For comparison, and based on St. Hyacinthe’s 283 farms, the average farm in St. Hyacinthe had 2.5 horses over the age of three, .8 colts or fillies, 3.7 milk cows, 13.3 sheep, and 3.4 swine, and butchered or exported 1.6 horned cattle, 6.1 sheep, and 2.9 swine.
Marguerite may have been reducing her dairy produce and specializing in other animal products, such as those from bees and sheep. This is reflected in the yields she reported for her butter, honey, and wool, and her lack of cheese. The average farm in the CSD had slightly more than twice as much butter than did the Messier farm. Marguerite reported 50 pounds of butter, but the average farm in the CSD had 104.The tables were turned, however, when it came to honey and firewood. The Messier farm had one beehive, 40 pounds of honey, and 19 cords of firewood, but the average farm in the CSD had .8 beehives, 7.6 pounds of honey, and 7 cords of wood. Where the Messier farm and the CSD are more or less on equal footing is wool. Whereas the Messier farm had 30 pounds of wool, the average farm in the CSD had 28.9. Marguerite processed some cloth from the wool, although she likely sold much of the wool to others. The average farm in the CSD had 33.3 yards of homemade cloth, whereas the Messier farm had 25. One product that the Messier farm lacked completely was homemade linen. The CSD reported 3,543 yards of homemade linen, or 12.5 yards per average farm, but the Messier farm reported none.
Figures 5a and 5b. Livestock and Barnyard Produce for the Messier farm and the St. Hyacinthe CSD. The Messier farm and the St. Hyacinthe CSD have very similar patterns in regard to livestock and products from livestock.
Marguerite Messier’s 48.4 ha farm was larger than the average farm in the St. Hyacinthe CSD, yet her crop and animal energy flows were smaller. Her evenly divided pastureland, hay land, and cropland suggest a rotation of crops, possibly on a plan similar to that of the Maltais brothers whose farm we previously highlighted in this series of farm profiles. In year one the Maltais brothers’ fields were sown with cereals, in years two and three those same fields were used for hay, and in years four and five they were used for pasture. The Messier farm’s three milk cows produced enough milk and butter for the people living on the farm, and the slaughtered animals would have been meat for the table. Beyond providing sustenance to those living on the farm, Marguerite’s focus was wool and tobacco. All in all, Marguerite’s approach to operating her farm was balanced, as can be seen with her diverse crop types, probable crop rotation, and her reduced livestock density. Her farm was also multi-generational, and with a single woman as the matriarch it is perhaps not surprising that she appears to have been focusing her energy strategy on wool and tobacco, and perhaps even honey. With Michel working off the farm as a commis, or clerk, the frame for the farm becomes pluri-occupational as his wage would contribute to the farm’s economy. Ultimately, the Messier farm was successful because Marguerite, her sons Améde and Antione, plus Michel, Marie, and their eldest child Ema, provided needed labour. The photo of Simone Durant holding cured tobacco might have been taken 78 years later, but in some ways we see a little of Margeurite in her portrait.
 Previously, we have written about farms that were exceptional. For example, we have written about farms that eventually won gold in Québec’s Concours Provincial de Mérite Agricole (Agricultural Merit Contest) of the early twentieth century. The Thomas Maltais farm of Jonquiere, Quebec, and the Edouard and Edmund Houle farm of Nicolet, Quebec, both won gold, for example. We have also written about farms that were exceptionally large, such as the Christian B. and Joseph Snyder farm of North Waterloo, Ontario. A third category we have written about is farms with exceptional products, such as the Philip Maher farm in Windsor, Richmond,Quebec, whose farm was actually a timber extraction enterprise. Finally, we have profiled farms whose owners were listed in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, such as the diminutive-in-size (5.3 ha) Andrew Hay Johnson farm of Falmouth, Nova Scotia.
 “Marguerite Mefsier,” 1871 Census of Canda, RG31, C-10065, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Ottawa.
 “Michel Messier,” Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968, Ancestry.ca. Marguerite’s husband Michel died at age 58 and was buried on 18 November 1865.
 “Esther Beauregard,” 1871 Census of Canada, RG31, C-1005, LAC. See also Esther’s death certificate: “Esther Beauregard,” Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968, Ancestry.ca. Esther died 7 February 1887. Esther’s husband Irénéé Beauregard appears in the 1861 Census of Canada, but does not appear ten years later when the 1871 Census of Canada was taken. Therefore, he died after 1861 but before 1871. Esther and her children are listed in the 1881 Census of Canada. They are living (along with dozens of others) in a religious poor house, probably the Hotel Dieu of St. Hyacinthe.
 “Marguerite Mefsier,” Schedule 3, 1871 Census of Canada.
 For the 1871 Canada Census, slaughtered or exported animals were counted over and above the head count for the animals on a farm. For example, Messier’s one swine plus three slaughtered or exported swine meant the swine herd had been four animals in 1871 and that 75 percent of the herd had been slaughtered or exported. The one animal that was not slaughtered or exported was probably a sow.
The Houle farm in Quebec’s Nicolet region is an example of a small but Emerging Dairy Farm with Intensive Cash Crops (tobacco and wheat). Like many farms in this series, Ferm Houle was a multi-generational operation. In 1871, Edmund Houle (b. 1847/ d. 1931) was head of the farm. The 23-year-old was married to Marie (neé Roy), one year his senior, and the recently married couple had no children. Edmund’s father Edouard (b. 1813/ d. 1878), a widower, lived next door with his 21-year-old daughter Luce. Both Edmund and his father Edouard were listed as cultivators when the 1871 Census of Canada was taken, but, whereas Edmund reported having 50.6 hectares (ha) of land, plus livestock, crops, and firewood, Edmund’s father reported no lands or produce. It must be that Edouard and Luce benefitted from the family farm’s productions of which Edmund had recently become head. We assume that Edouard was actively farming the 50.6 hectare parcel alongside Edmund and that both Marie and Luce worked on the farm, as well. For the purpose of this energy profile, we have combined the two households. This means the size of the farm, livestock, crops, and firewood on hand does not change but that the labour supply doubles and the energy outputs would have been shared between two households.
Edmund was at least the third generation of the Houle family to farm this parcel of land in the Grand-Saint-Esprit part of the Nicolet seigneury. His grandfather Gabriel Houle had farmed 27.5 ha in the 1830s. By 1871, the farm had grown to 50.6 ha. Edmund continued to develop the farm so that by 1900 there were approximately 65 ha, and new agricultural buildings were in place, including a two-story barn and stable. The Houle farm impressed the judges of Québec’s 1907 Concours Provincial de Mérite Agricole (Agricultural Merit Contest), earning Edmund and Marie’s son Georges-Edouard (b. 1886/ d. 1937) a bronze medal and recognition for his farm.
Five years later, in 1912, Georges-Edouard Houle won silver in the same competition. In 1927, he won gold, and his farm’s size had increased to 85.5 ha. He won gold again in 1932.
Figure 1d. Google Map of Nicolet. This is the Grand-Saint-Esprit part of the Nicolet seigneury. The exact location of Edmund and Edouard’s farm is unknown. The enumerator noted that the Houles and their neighbours lived in “Le Sud Ouest.” The 1844 Perkins map of the seigneury shows several Houles living in that part of the CSD. See John Perkins. Plan de la seigneurie de Nicolet d’après les travaux des arpenteurs Legendre 1832 et 1844 et John Perkins 1844. Bibliothèque de Archives nationales du Quebec, 1844, https://numerique.banq.qc.ca/patrimoine/details/52327/3143192.
Farm Energy Funds
Edmund and Edouard’s 50.6 ha farm was small but intensively farmed in 1871. It had high concentrations of livestock, and it was 100 percent improved (or “under cultivation”). This should mean that the Houles did not report having any woodland, however, they did report several forest products. It’s possible that they had a small woodlot but they considered it “improved,” perhaps because they fenced and pastured it or perhaps they maintained a wood coppice. However, even if they misunderstood the enumerator’s instructions, the Houle parcel was farmed much more intensively than most others in the seigneury. The holdings in the CSD of Nicolet were 80.6 percent improved, with the remaining 19.4 percent in wood and wildland.
Three large properties were owned by individuals in Nicolet who were involved in forestry, Antoine Mayrand and two brothers, Charles and Francis McCaffrey. The properties were most likely comprised of large forest parcels and Nicolet’s famous coastal wetlands, not farm woodlots. In previous decades the large woodlands were not enumerated, and we see that Nicolet’s farm holdings had higher proportions cleared (57 percent in 1851, and 62 percent in 1861). By excluding the Mayrand and McCaffrey wildlands from the farmland in this profile, the remaining farmers in Nicolet cleared 80.6 percent of their holdings.
The Houle farm was 7.7 ha larger than the average farm in Nicolet (42.9 ha), and it was more intensively farmed. If we consider that the farm supported two households, the size per household (25.3 ha) was just over half of the average farm. Houle placed more emphasis on hayland and less on pastureland and cropland than did the Nicolet CSD. His farm was sectioned into 27 percent hayland, 20.9 percent pastureland, and 51.9 percent cropland, with the remaining land in buildings and lanes. He did not report any garden or orchard. The profile of the improved land in the Nicolet CSD was 13.7 percent hayland, 27 percent pastureland, and 58.3 percent cropland, with the remaining in buildings, lanes, and orchards or gardens. Houle kept horses, oxen, milk cows, other horned cattle, sheep and swine, the same livestock kept by other farmers in Nicolet CSD. However, compared to the average farm in Nicolet, Houle had more of these livestock animals, especially horned cattle and sheep. The livestock intensity of Houle’s farm was very high, at 38.6 LU/km2, and his grazing intensity was 1.55 ruminants per ha of pasture. For the Nicolet CSD it was 19.1 LU/kms and .98 respectively which was significantly less than Houle’s numbers and much closer to national norms.
Houle reported 30 cords of firewood, which when converted to the English cord of 128 cubic feet was only 11.3 cords per household. This was only a quarter of the amount harvested by the average farm in Nicolet (44 cords), but still significant considering that he considered his entire property “improved.” As we previously argued, Houle might have maintained a coppice, and mid-twentieth century photos of the farm (Figure 1a) certainly suggest there were woodlots nearby, possibly reverting from abandoned wetlands or coppices. However, the Grand-Saint-Esprit was a heavily cleared part of the seigneury, and it is likely that Houle also harvested some of his firewood from unreported land that he rented from neighbours. Moreover, the large production of firewood on other farms in the CSD suggests that there was an active trade in the commodity between farms that owned woodlots.
Farm Energy Flows
In 1871, the Houle farm produced one bushel (bu) of corn, 8 bu of rye, 65 bu buckwheat, 76 bu wheat, 108 bu peas, 108 bu potatoes, and 216 bu oats. Despite having no garden or orchard land, Houle had 11 bu of apples. He also had 100 lbs of maple syrup, despite having no woodland. It may be that Houle rented a parcel of land that provided him with apples, maple sugar, and firewood. However, if he did, the land is not recorded in any of the schedules of the 1871 Census. Finally, Houle had 30 lbs of tobacco. The Nicolet CSD reported the same crops as Houle, plus barley, beans, turnips, mangrel wurtzel, carrots, grass or clover seed, flax seed, hops, grapes, and apples. Houle’s feed deficit was 230,130 MJ and his litter deficit was 175,979 MJ. For the average farm in Nicolet, it was 407,739 MJ and 102,911 MJ respectively. This means that there were required imports of feed and litter to meet the shortfall on both the Houle farm and on other farms in Nicolet. Possibly tobacco, a cash crop, was economically lucrative enough to pay for the required feed and litter that must have been brought in to satisfy livestock needs.
Energetically, the Houle farm’s fodder crops and pasture were evenly distributed between hay (783,808 MJ) and pasture (787,970 MJ). The Nicolet CSD, on the other hand, was not so evenly distributed energetically with pasture (106,618,749 MJ) being about 50 percent, hay (52,008,901 MJ) about 25 percent, and residues (53,426,730 MJ) about 25 percent. The Houle farm and Nicolet reused all their fodder.
In 1871, the Houle farm reported three horses over the age of three, two working oxen, six milk cows, 12 other horned cattle, 26 sheep, and five swine. For comparison, and based on Nicolet’s 210 farms, the average farm in Nicolet had 2.3 horses over the age of three, one working oxen, 4.8 milk cows, 5.5 other horned cattle, 13.3 sheep, and 4.2 swine. Houle reported slaughtering or exporting one cow, 12 sheep, and two swine. For the average farm in Nicolet it was 2.2, 6.4, and 3.6 respectively. Whereas Houle reported 300 pounds of butter, the average farmer reported 244. Oddly, neither Houle nor the Nicolet CSD reported cheese, despite reporting milk cows and butter. Houle reported 30 pounds of wool and 40 yards of homemade flannel, but for the average farm in Nicolet, it was 34.5 pounds and 35.8 yards for these two products. Houle did not report bee hives, honey, colts or fillies, nor homemade linen, all products that appeared elsewhere in the CSD. The Houle farm produced more livestock and barnyard produce than did the average farm in Nicolet, but for most of these products the differences were unremarkable. Two major exceptions were other horned cattle and sheep. The Houles reported twice as many of these livestock as did the average farm in the Nicolet CSD. With so many ruminants grazing their relatively small pastures, the Houle farm’s grazing intensity was much higher than most.
At 50.6 ha the Houle farm was 7.7 ha larger than average farm in the Nicolet CSD. As well, the Houle farm had more farm products than the average farm in Nicolet because it was 100 percent improved, or cleared, whereas the average farm was 80.6 percent cleared. Houle and other farmers in the Nicolet CSD favoured tobacco as a cash crop. In 1932, Edmund Houle’s son Georges-Edouard Houle won gold in Québec’s Concours Provincial de Mérite Agricole, and a great deal of the excitement was about his Holstein herd. His two-year-old milcher “Lusette” that produced 12,161 pounds of milk and 615 pounds of fat in ten months was highlighted, for example, as was a Holstein bull (see Figures 6a and 6b). Sixty-one years earlier, in 1871, when 23-year-old Edmund Houle was head of the farm, there were six milchers, and milk and butter production did not stand out as a special feature of the farm. The potential of the farm was inherent in the land and its funds, and although the Houle family’s focus on dairy was developing, it had yet to fully appear.
 “Edmund Houle,” 1871 Census of Canada, RG31, C-10082, LAC.
 The enumerators of the 1871 Census of Canada for Quebec recorded arpents, rather than acres, and minots, rather than bushels. We have converted the arpents and minots to hectares and bushels for the purpose of our work.
 Jocelyn Morneau, “Moderniser l’agriculture, réinventer la vie rurale,” in Histoire du Centre-du-Québec, in Claude Bellavance, Jean Roy, and Yvan Rousseau, eds. (Quebec City: Presses de l’Université Laval), Chapter 13.
Rapport du Concours de Merite Agricole pour l’annee 1907, 225-230. George-Edouard Houle took the third place bronze medal out of 17 bronze medalists. A diagram of his barn is included in this report.
Rapport des Juges du Concours de Mérite Agricole pour l’année 1912, 294-295; La Fête du Mérite Agricole de 1927, 18-22; and Concours de Mérite Agricole 1932, 12-15.
 For example, Antoine Mayrand, who was listed as Commercant in the 1871 Census had 10,408 arpents, and the two McCaffrey brothers, Charles and Frances had 7,208 arpents between them. Charles was listed as Bourgeois and Francis as Marchand in the 1871 Census. Joseph Duval, who was listed as Captaine de Steamboat in the same census had 441 arpents. Whereas Mayrand and the McCaffreys listed timber, Duval listed firewood. See Nicolet CSD, District no. 135, Subdistrict Nicolet, no. A, 1871 Census of Canada, RG31, C-10082, LAC. It may be that these large parcels had, at one time, been part of Seigneur Kenelm Conor Chandler’s seigneury, which he purchased in 1821 but which would have been dispersed after the seigneurial system was officially abolished in 1854. See Richard Chabot, “CHANDLER, KENELM CONOR,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed January 17, 2022, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/chandler_kenelm_conor_7E.html.
 In 1851, the CSD was known as Ste Jean Baptiste. Its farmers occupied 26,585 acres, of which 57 percent was “Under Cultivation,” and the rest (43 percent) was in “Wood and Wild Land.” In 1861 the 222 farmers of the CSD (now called Nicolet) occupied 27,167 acres with 16,835 acres (62 percent) under cultivation and the rest (38 percent) in “Wood and Wild Lands.” By 1871, the region’s land use was similar, with 212 farmers cultivating 18,237 acres. However, the occupied area was now much larger (36,920 acres or 14,941 ha). Census of Canada, 1851, Lower Canada, Vol II, (Quebec : Lovell and Lamoureux, 1855), Table VI, pp 112-113; Census of Canada, 1861, Lower Canada, Vol II, (Quebec : S.B. Foote, 1864), Table 12, pp 166-167.
 See Conrad Turcot, Culture et préparation du tabac. Bulletin No. 122 (Québec: Ministère de l’agriculture,1933) https://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/2988922 and Gouvernement du Québec, La culture et la mise en marché du tabac au Québec: Rapport de la commission royale d’enquête sur l’agriculture au Québec (Québec: Gouvernement du Québec, 1967).
 Farmers in the Nicolet CSD reported 96 bee hives, 2364 pounds of honey, 172 colts or fillies, and 2455 yards of homemade linen, which translates to .5 bee hives, 11.2 pounds of honey, .8 colts or fillies, and 11.6 yards of homemade linen per average farm in the CSD.