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The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 9

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larger_way.dropping.jpg1849…There are rumblings of discontent in Stanstead County. Its citizens are unhappy with a stagnating economy and the seeming reluctance of Canada’s colonial government to effect the changes that will encourage growth. South of the border, life seems much more prosperous, so much so that peaceful annexation to the United States is envisaged by many residents of the Township and the idea is ferociously and openly debated in the papers. The Stanstead Journal publishes in its issue of December 27 a citizens petition addressed to their Member of Parliament stating that «…a peaceful separation of this Colony from Great Britain, and a union with the United States, are the only means of relieving Canada from its present state of depression …» !!!

The name of Daniel Way is not found among the 1413 signatories of the petition listed in three separate issues of The Stanstead Journal. This is surprising because many of Daniel’s friends and neighbours have signed : Joseph, Jacob and Francis Clifford ; Simeon Clark, Elias Bellows, William Dresser, George Truell, Squire Howe, Ira King, Josiah Kilburn, Asaph Converse, Robert Standish, the Buckland and Bachelder men, and others. It appears totally unlikely that American-born Daniel would refuse to sign the petition. So why is his name not listed in the Journal?

A possible answer to this question is that Annexation fever dies down before all the names come out. The additional list of signatories promised in the Jan. 24, 1850 issue of the Journal is never to be published. Who knows, Daniel Way’s name may be on that list…

larger_way.erecting.dam_.jpgThe other possibility is that Daniel is just too busy to bother with politics and petitions ! He is working hard at developping his clothing and carding business on land he bought in October along the Niger River, adjacent to the 50 acres he owns since 1845. It is on October 20th 1849 that Ebenezer Sage Southmayd sells to Daniel part of the South East quarter of Lot number 4 in the 4rth Range, containing about one and a half acre of land situated on either side of the road south of the bridge (as you enter today’s village). There is a dwelling house, a barn and other buildings. More importantly, ownership comes with the privilege of erecting a dam to the west bank of the River at any place south of the bridge ; and the privilege of «flowing» (flooding) part of the land lying south-west of the dam, provided the dam is not raised so as to damage the land lying north. Mr Southmayd reserves to himself «the right and privilege of taking water from the said dam or pond whenever not needed by [Daniel Way] for the manufactory of cloth, cloth dressing and carding». This is where Way’s Woolen Mills will soon prosper.

Daniel pays 500 pounds for one and a half acre, a mighty sum in comparison to the 15 pounds he paid in 1845 for the adjacent fifty acres, to the 12 pounds he paid in 1843 for a small parcel adjoining Harry Hollister’s land, and to the 90 pounds paid by his son Asa in May 1849 for one hundred acres on the South half of Lot 3 in Range 4. Water privileges are worth a lot of money...

Daniel’s land investments along the Niger are growing, and so is his family. Son Wells and daughter Hannah are still unmarried but daughter Delia has tied the knot with Francis Clifford on December 12, 1848. Son Lorenzo and wife Julia Ann have two daughters : Amy Adelia, (b. 1840) and Alice (b.1846). Son Asa and wife Melissa Clement’s first child, Amelia, sadly dies when still a baby in February 1845. But soon they have two more children : Laura, (b. 1845), and Daniel (b. 1848). And other Way children are yet to come.

To be continued...