Fonds MC411 - Robert Reid letter

Title proper

Robert Reid letter

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the authorship of the letter.

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  • Photocopied 1981 (Creation)
    Reid, Robert

Physical description

4 pp. of textual records

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Name of creator

(ca. 1732-1828)

Biographical history

Robert Reid (ca. 1732-1828) was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. Reid was employed as an assistant and clerk to Adam Smith while he was writing "The Wealth of Nations". The two were friends, and kept in touch for some time. Robert Reid married Helen Geddes (1745-1810), and they had 6 children in Kirkcaldy, Scotland between 1766 and 1778.

In the summer of 1784, at the end of the American Revolutionary War, Robert Reid moved his family from Scotland to Newcastle, Northumberland County, New Brunswick and became a partner in a fishing venture with several other Miramichi residents. In the fall of that year their schooner was forced to overwinter in the Baie des Chaleur. The long journey overland from the Baie des Chaleur to Halifax, in the company of some aboriginals, became the focus of his letter to Adam Smith.

The following year Reid was appointed county coroner for Northumberland County. In 1795 he was made the high sheriff of the county, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1813. He was also the first county treasurer, the registrar of deeds, and one of the first port wardens. In 1810 Reid's first wife, Helen, died; in 1819, he married Nancy Dunn. Robert Reid died on 5 April 1828.

Custodial history

Information about the custody of this record prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

The letter from Robert Reid to Adam Smith is a record of Robert Reid's experiences and recollections as he travelled overland from Baie des Chaleur to Halifax, Nova Scotia in mid-winter in the company of some aboriginal people.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick in April 1981 by Dr. George MacBeath, of Historical Resources Administration of New Brunswick.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

The original letter is held at the Glasgow University Library.

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No restrictions

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