There is evidence that a Scottish Society existed on the Miramichi as early as 1827. This was the forerunner to
the Miramichi Highland Society and was organized in Newcastle.
There being many societies and clubs in which Douglastown residents played an important role, it was a matter of having
the meetings or headquarters of the society in the larger centers of Chatham or Newcastle which centered it apart from
At the time of the founding of the Highland Society, it was its principal
objective to relieve the distress of Scotsmen and their descendants in the Miramichi Community. However, like so many
other organizations, by 1830 the Society had become defunct.
This situation was turned around when, on November
30,1838, about 30 Scotsmen with William Simpson as chairman. met at Wyse’s Hotel. Their purpose was to form a
North British Society. Their efforts bore fruit when, on November 19, 1840, with people in attendance from Tabusintac,
Napan, Black River, and Bay du Vin, as well as from the immediate area, it was unanimously agreed to start a Highland Society
of New Brunswick.
Later, at a January 13th, 1841 meeting, it was decided that an annual
meeting would be held alternately at Chatham and Newcastle. Application was made to become a branch of the Highland
Society of London. The first executive consisted of: James Gilmore, president: Alexander Fraser Jr., Dr Alexander
Key and R.C. McDonald as vice-presidents; Robert Cassels, treasurer; James Caie and Neil McLean as secretaries.
it was that on June 13, 1842, the parent Society, the Highland Society of London, granted a commission to the Miramichi Society
which would be known as the "Highland Society of New Brunswick at Miramichi". It was incorporated on April
11, 1846. Following the presidency of James Gilmore, Dr. Alexander Key assumed that position from 1843 until his death
in 1851. Next in line was Alexander Rankin in 1852 followed by Richard Hutchison who held office until his death in
1891. The Society continues today and is a truly Canadian organization clinging to a proud Scottish heritage.
The constitution of the Highland Society of New Brunswick at Miramichi states that "All persons eligible for membership
in the society shall be of Scottish desend. "