Research Notes/Notes de Recherche

The Recipes of Jonathan Odell and 18th-Century Settler Colonialism in the Maritimes

Edith Snook
University of New Brunswick
Edith Snook est professeure d’anglais à l’Université du Nouveau-Brunswick (Fredericton). Elle a récemment dirigé la publication de A Cultural History of Hair in the Renaissance (Londres, Bloomsbury, 2019), et ses projets de recherche se concentrent présentement sur des recettes datant d’avant 1800 et issues de la région actuelle des provinces maritimes du Canada (, et sur les écrits médicaux de femmes dans l’Angleterre du début de l’ère moderne.
Edith Snook is a professor of English at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton). Most recently the editor of A Cultural History of Hair in the Renaissance (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), her current research projects focus on pre-1800 recipes in what are currently the Maritime provinces of Canada ( and on women’s medical writing in early modern England.

1 Recipes provide one lens through which to examine the history of settler colonialism. In the 18th-century Maritimes, for example, settlers wrote, collected, and circulated instructions for making medicines, food and drink, and agricultural and household products (such as fertilizers, cleaners, and paints).1 From print and manuscript sources, largely in English with a few in Latin, German, and French, the 18th-century settler recipes that survive in archives in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia are mostly the work of Loyalist men writing in the later decades of the century. This research note will focus on the recipes of Jonathan Odell, whose papers contain several recipes in his hand – specifically six recipes recorded in an 18thcentury commonplace book where five medical recipes and one for ink have been copied alongside verse fragments, epigrams, and poems and a recipe for “Indian Chocolate” Odell sent by letter in 1816 to Ward Chipman, the solicitor general of New Brunswick.2 While scholars have written about Jonathan Odell’s Loyalist poetry – work that situates his verse within the context of the American Revolution – looking at his recipes requires the framing of his writing not only by political debates among White men but also by the deeply political relationships in an 18th-century colonial context between settlers and Indigenous peoples in what we now call eastern North America.3 Recipe scholarship has illustrated the importance of networks of knowledge exchange to recipe culture, including colonial ones.4

2 Jonathan Odell was born in in 1737 in New Jersey and graduated in 1754 from the College of New Jersey, an institution that would later be renamed Princeton but had been founded by his maternal grandfather just a few years before he attended.5 He completed a master’s degree in 1757 and then joined the British military.6 After serving for six years, he sought a license from the Bishop of London to be an Anglican missionary in New Jersey. Odell was also interested in science and in 1768 was elected to the American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin (whose son had supported Odell’s ministry in Burlington). In 1774 he became a member of the newly formed New Jersey Medical Society. From the 1760s onward, Odell was also writing and publishing poetry – work that would establish him as an antagonist to the American Revolution. He moved to New Brunswick in 1784, where he would become provincial secretary, a major landowner, and an original member of the board of trustees of the College of New Brunswick (later the University of New Brunswick).7 He died in 1818 in Fredericton.

3 Odell’s recipes can be used to draw attention to the settler colonial context he inhabited. Early modern recipes were used across a range of social contexts, from courts to scientific and medical societies to households, and their rhetorical practices, which often include notes on origins, generally highlight how writing and knowledge creation exist within relationships. Elaine Leong, for example, in Recipes and Everyday Knowledge, explores how early modern recipe books were not only collections of household knowledge but “maps of a family’s social network,” as geographic and kinship proximity framed their collecting practices; at the same time, though, recipe collectors could also venture outside of their networks to seek the opinions of experts.8 The knowledge networks visible in Maritime recipes generally are cosmopolitan, extending mostly to the south and to the east. Recipes appearing in Maritime print publications are commonly reprinted from American newspapers, with sources that stretch down the Atlantic seaboard from New England to Virginia and South Carolina. Other sources come from further south in the Caribbean as well as from the east: not only England, Scotland, and Ireland but also other European countries such as France, Sweden, and Italy and even further east to Turkey and India. One of the most distant sources appears in the papers of Dr. William James Almon: a report from a Mr. Fahrig from the Academy of Petersburg who traveled among the “Mogul” [Mongolian] tribes by Lake Baikal (in Siberia) where he learned about how they freeze milk to preserve it all winter while also consuming the powder that forms on the outside of the blocks in a drink.9 Eighteenth-century recipes record knowledge-making practices that are deeply informed by colonialism. They reflect this context, as in recipes coming from England and other areas of British colonial interest (such as India), and in the Maritimes they also help to construct the intellectual structures of settler colonialism. Recipes define what counts as knowledge, what can be deemed a legitimate process for knowledge creation, and the sources of intellectual authority, such as educational status, profession, and class.

4 Even more, the knowledge conveyed in settler recipes circulating in the Maritimes was meant to enable settler survival in the region as recipes explain how to build comfortable houses, grow crops and raise animals for food, and care for the body’s health. “A Useful Hint” on roofing, for example, was printed in the Nova Scotia Calendar in 1799 and purports to be a communication from the Royal Society of Sweden to the Royal Society in London; having been printed in multiple American newspapers from Charleston, South Carolina, to Portland, Maine, between 2 November 1796 and 21 June 1797, the instructions detail how to trowel onto a wood roof a mixture of tar and charcoal to a thickness of about a ¼ of an inch.10 “Roofs thus covered,” the recipe says, “have stood in Sweden above a century, and still want no repair.”11 The sharing of practical knowledge aligns precisely in this case with the goals of settler colonialism. Maile Arvin, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill succinctly define settler colonialism as a “persistent social and political formation in which newcomers/colonizers/settlers come to a place, claim it as their own, and do whatever it takes to disappear the Indigenous peoples that are there.”12 With settler colonialism, as Patrick Wolfe says, “invasion is a structure not an event.”13 It is, as another group of scholars puts it, “the social, political, and economic structures” that the settlers bring and which endure; settlers come to stay and claim sovereignty, while whitewashing the origins of that power (based as it is in theft, violence, and subjugation).14 A recipe for a construction material may seem innocent, but its writer, despite not being overtly engaged in political polemic, was claiming authority from European royal societies while houses built for a hundred years were structures for claiming sovereignty and for coming to stay. Settlers were building their houses on Indigenous lands, dispossessing Mi’gmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and Passamaquoddy peoples from their territories, and writing over Indigenous structures of knowing that came from that land.

5 Jonathan Odell’s recipes provide a more extended case study in the way that the recipes of 18th-century settlers engaged with settler colonialism. The recipes in his commonplace book come from both England and the Americas and testify to Odell’s sense of legitimate knowledge practices. Odell’s ink recipe requires the maker to add to six quarts of rain water or river water to a “pound & a half of fresh blue galls of Aleppo,” eight ounces of green copperas (protosulphate of iron), the same of gum arabic (a resin), and two ounces of rock alum (a mineral).15 It is a slightly abridged version of a recipe that appears in George Fisher’s The Instructor: or, Young Man’s Best Companion: Containing, Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick in an easier Way than any yet published; and how to qualify any Person for Business, without the Help of a Master, printed in London in 1735 and multiple times thereafter through the 18th century. “Good ink,” Fisher says, “is necessary to good Writing” – a perspective that emphasizes the importance of written culture.16 And writing is indeed important to all of Odell’s endeavours as a politician, poet, thinker, provincial secretary, and father and husband who wrote poems for his wife and educated his children.

6 Two medical recipes in his commonplace book – “Turlington’s Balsam” and “Tincture for a confirmed Jaundice, with obstructed Liver” – are in Latin, the language of European learning.17 Turlington’s Balsam was a patent medicine first mentioned in print in 1744 in England, when a small book provided 42 pages of testimony regarding its efficacy. Although this pamphlet did not include the recipe, people still attempted to copy recipes for Turlington’s Balsam and printed the ingredients elsewhere although none of these are the same as Odell’s Latin version.18 The tincture, like the balsam recipe, employs abbreviations for the ingredients and deploys pharmaceutical symbols for measurements in addition to the Latin – a way of writing that is virtually incomprehensible to the uninitiated. Both recipes establish Odell’s formal knowledge of European medical learning.

7 “Lord Noell’s Leaden Plaster” points to another element of Odell’s application of European medical knowledge: the use of class as another mode of constituting intellectual authority.19 The recipe boils a pound each of red and white lead, salad oil, mastic (a resin), and 12 ounces of Venice Soap (a fine soap with medicinal properties when taken internally).20 I have not been able to determine who Lord Noell is – there are too many possibilities – but the plaster is referenced in 1847 in New England Popular Medicine, which recommends “the lead plaster known by the name of Lord Noel’s leaden plaster, it having once cured that nobleman of a cancerous tumour.”21 As many early modern recipes did, this recipe employs class in its documentation of its authority as a legitimate cure: that it once cured a nobleman matters.

8 The recipe “For a Canker” and the account of a cure of one Jonathan Walker, also in the commonplace book, testify to the importance of experiment and experience in European recipe culture.22 While similar to the notation of the efficacy of the cure of Lord Noel, these instructions, however, place the origins of that experience in the Americas and with Odell himself. The heading on the canker recipe says it was “purchased of its Discoverer in Charlestown, South Carolina, by the Provincial Legislature,” a heading which emphasizes the recipe’s grounding in experiment. The text recommends putting in the sore alum mixed with the ashes of holly leaves, although Odell concludes with a negative appraisal: “Remark – an oddly worded and no very scientific Prescription.” Even this rejection, however, is a testament to Odell’s own authority as a practitioner, which is more important in his assessment than that of the unnamed discoverer. He also articulates his attachment to the “scientific.” The story of the cure of one Jonathan Walker, a soldier in Mobile (then Louisiana) in the 22nd Regiment also relies on Odell’s military experience.23 The narrative explains that Walker had developed a swollen face and parotid gland, a fever, and difficulty breathing, which were cured by bleeding, a gentle purge, and the application of a poultice and a blister. Although this text is a narrative, it nevertheless, like a recipe, describes a reproducible process; the story establishes a technique undertaken successfully in the Americas, again relying for its authority on experience.

9 These recipes have ingredients with diverse geographic origins. The blue galls of Aleppo, the Venice soap, the mastic (obtained from a tree in the Mediterranean), and tolu (a balsam from South America) all come from distant locales.24 Many of these recipes rely on specialized pharmaceutical and chemical ingredients, such as green copperas and alum (both traditionally acquired from English apothecaries). The knowledge of what to do with the ingredients comes from professional and military sources in England and the American states. In these ways, the recipes position Odell as a man of the Atlantic world, a man who might acquire things and knowledge from the Mediterranean, Louisiana, South Carolina, and London. Like his European contemporaries, his recipes constitute intellectual authority through education, class, and experience (including professional experience). They probably date to his years in New Jersey, but it is hard to determine this from recipe sources because they are always looking elsewhere. Situated in a commonplace book, the recipes are surrounded by 17th- and 18th- century French, Spanish, and English literature as well as passages in Greek and Latin. Collected alongside literary commonplaces, recipes become a contiguous form of culture and a part of the knowledge landscape of an educated English gentleman. The practice of collecting commonplaces was fundamental to a humanist education; commonplacing – gathering fragments and organizing them – as Mary Thomas Crane explains, “provided an influential model for authorial practice and for authoritative self-fashioning.”25 These recipes represent Odell as an authoritative reader who gathers recipes for medical treatments as he also collects passages from Virgil and Homer. Like many recipe collectors, he also appears as an experienced medical practitioner who evaluates the cures he has gathered. Noting the importance of learning to Odell’s thought, Gwen Davies has argued that he and other Loyalist writers established “literary standards and cultural structures on which successive generations could build.”26 But this is not without its problems. Rachel Bryant argues that it is necessary to consider “specific presumptions of knowledge, origin, and belonging that Settler Canadians have used to suppress or displace Indigenous peoples and structures of meaning through the Atlantic region and beyond.”27 Like more literary texts, recipes are invested in cultural structures. Through the recipe form, settlers are able to bring European knowledge traditions and ways of knowing to the western side of the Atlantic and to avoid the engagement and learning from Indigenous peoples that had been so necessary to their survival when they first arrived.28 The recipes considered here can be seen as components of powerful cultural structures defining medical knowledge of the body, human relations to the natural world, and the proper ways of knowing. In a settler colonial society, these structures are deeply political. As Lorenzo Veracini puts it, “Settlers do not discover: they carry their sovereignty and lifestyles with them. At times, they even relocate with their neighbours. As they move towards what amounts to a representation of their world, as they transform the land into their image, they settle another place without really moving.”29

10 In Odell’s loose papers is another recipe, this one from 1816, that conveys another aspect of settler colonial displacement of Indigenous knowledge – one, however, that does engage with local, Indigenous knowledge. This recipe appears in a letter to Ward Chipman under the heading “Indian Chocolate.” Odell recommends boiling the roots of the plant (“Indian Chocolate”) with water, “from a quart of water to a pint.” The infusion should then be sweetened with sugar, and, if desired to make it more palatable, a little milk. The dose is the size of a moderate tea cup and should be administered every two hours. He adds his endorsement: “With resolute perseverance it will, I am persuaded, do more than any thing I am acquainted with, and more safely, in such an attack as the present.”30 Although Odell does not identify Chipman’s malady, the plant was used to treat stomach ailments. “Indian Chocolate,” also then called “chocolate root,” and now called “purple avens” or “water avens,” or geum rivale, is a native plant in the Maritimes.31 J. McGregor’s Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the Maritime Colonies in British North America, from 1828, confirms that 19th-century settlers believed its medicinal use to be useful, Indigenous knowledge; McGregor reports in his study of Prince Edward Island that “a decoction [a kind of infusion] of the root, called “chocolate root,” is used by the Indians as a certain remedy for the severest attack of cholic.”32 Odell adapts this knowledge of the root’s use to English measurements – a tea cup, a quart, and a pint – and uses it as a gesture of friendship with Chipman: “I most ardently pray that, if not by this, at least by some means health may be restored to my Friend, the object of our present anxiety.”33

11 Odell’s approach to Indigenous knowledge is characteristic of settler colonialism. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson observes of the settler appropriation and reproduction of Indigenous knowledge of maple syrup within a capitalist context that “they completely miss the wisdom that underlies the entire process because they deterritorialize the mechanics of maple syrup production from Nishnaabeg intelligence.”34 Odell’s letter is not marketing chocolate root, although other settlers did. An advertisement that appeared multiple times in the Commercial Advertiser and the Columbian in New York in 1818 and early 1819 announces “Just received from the back country, a few pounds of the INDIAN CHOCOLATE ROOT, recommended to all weakly persons, inclining to consumption, to be drunk every morning and evening, as other chocolate; a great restorative and strengthener of the stomach. Enquire at the Botanical Warehouse.”35 Rather than position the cure as a commercial product, Odell offers knowledge of a medicinal root more as a gesture of friendship. Yet if his recipe is part of a network of relationships, those connections are overtly with other settlers – especially with Chipman. The naming of “Indian chocolate” deterritorializes the plant in shifting its place from a particular First Nation, such as the Mi’kmaq, to “Indian,” and disregards the possibility of cultural and political differences among First Nations in different territories. Neither is there the equivalent of Lord Noel or Turlington here. While the name “Indian chocolate” conveys Indigenous origins, it does not convey intellectual ownership in the way that Turlington’s Balsam does, with its possessive apostrophe. Indianness seems to be a quality of the root, and Odell’s text presents both root and knowledge about its use as entirely available for settler use. He makes the medicine a part of Loyalist medicine and his friendship with Chipman and does not present it as part of a relationship with any Indigenous people.

12 The attitude hinted at in recipes is part of a broader pattern of settler colonial relations in New Brunswick. In both New Jersey and New Brunswick, Odell was involved in establishing powerful settler institutions on the land: universities, which were engaged with European scientific and literary learning, as well as the church, colonial government, and the law – he participated in creating them all. He was granted land in New Brunswick and, as a slave owner, he worked within the New Brunswick government to make it difficult for Black Loyalists to emigrate with Thomas Peters to Sierra Leone in 1790.36 Odell’s name as provincial secretary appears repeatedly in licenses of occupation along the Miramichi, Richibucto, and Buctouche rivers. These documents, which assume settler legal rights, allowed the Mi’gmaq to occupy land without giving them ability to dispose of it or protect it from further encroachment.37 He had definite opinions about these transactions, writing in 1789, for instance, to an agent in Chebuctouche: “If they (the Sachems of Chebuctouche) are willing to learn, we are ready to teach them the arts of making and fishing with netts and all the methods of agriculture by which an unfailing subsistence is secured to all civilized and industrious Planters. But if they continue to insist on having a large tract of Country left unsettled and uncultivated, their request cannot be complied with.”38 In 1814, he gave a speech to the provincial assembly arguing against its decision to grant the Wolastoqiyik (whom he calls Maliseet) at “Aakpak” [Ekwpahak] money for the purpose of acquiring land.39 His argument demonstrates both some knowledge of culture and an unwillingness to act in accordance with it as the speech observes that the Wolastoqiyik claim the lands of their ancestors and are now “poor Petitioners . . . reduced to the necessity of accepting as a Gift such portions [as] those more powerful occupants may be pleased to allot for their uses.” He also observes that they are “governed by hereditary rights which are recognized in their own traditions,” and they therefore would not take land grants that other branches claim as their own. He concludes not that the government should therefore ensure that they have land they do find acceptable according to hereditary rights, but that the community at Ekwpahak should have no assistance. In his own telling, the Loyalists are “strangers” in the land, but they are also “powerful.” He assumes not only his own people’s superiority in fishing and agriculture, but also the legitimacy of his way of occupying land; the Wolastoqiyik must not live in the land as they had done, but “settle” and “cultivate” in a way that he recognizes as legitimate. They must not attach themselves to the land of their ancestors but must treat land as a commodity that can be bought, or they will have nothing. This is typical of settler colonialism. As Arvin, Tuck, and Morrill also state: “It is exploitation of land that yields supreme value. In order for settlers to usurp the land and extract its value, Indigenous peoples must be destroyed, removed, and made into ghosts.”40 And indeed that is what Odell’s logic requires, for there is no space in which the Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqiyik can inhabit the land according to their own terms.

13 Andrea Bear Nicholas describes the devastating impact of settler land claims in this period. After the 1760s, English cartographers, acting according to the imperial ideology of terra nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery, changed First Nations place names and surveyed and partitioned land – even though the Treaty of 1760 had not surrendered it. During the 1780s, Loyalists physically displaced the Wolastoqiyik (she uses the name Maliseet) from their land along the Wolastoq [by then named by settlers the St. John River] and claimed resources, such as trees and animals, as exclusively settler property while also presuming they could educate the Wolastoqiyik in settler ways. For Bear Nicholas, “gentlemanly elites” had a special role to play in that they acted as if they accepted the terms of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which did not cede territory, but also did not see it as applying to themselves – an assessment born out in Odell’s work as well.41 Although Micah Pawley has highlighted how “Maliseet experiences extended beyond the grasp of colonialism,” and that they did remain in their homeland, continuing their seasonal mobility through the river valley and fishing, this was not without extreme hardships, such as illness, hunger, poverty, and a loss of culture and basic ability to survive.42 In Odell’s recipe, seeing “Indian Chocolate” as a useful cure, which implicitly recognized the value of Indigenous medical knowledge, did not extend to according Indigenous inhabitants of the Maritimes any recognition that they had a culture and way of life that merited respect and preservation.

14 Jonathan Odell’s recipes – and his are not alone in this – thus function in at least two ways inside a settler colonial logic. As Patrick Wolfe explains: “On the one hand, settler society required the practical elimination of the natives in order to establish itself on their territory. On the symbolic level, however, settler society subsequently sought to recuperate indigeneity in order to express its difference – and, accordingly, its independence – from the mother country.”43 His example of the latter is land naming practices in Australia, where Indigenous names were retained, when Aboriginal claims to the land were not; in New Brunswick we have, for instance; Eqpahak Island, Miramichi, and Shemogue.44 Similarly, in settler recipes, it is possible to see how settler society was establishing itself on the territory – claiming land, building houses, and trying to understand how to stay and how to procure the food, medicine, and other materials of life that would permit survival. Odell’s medical recipes indicate the means by which many settlers were bringing European knowledge practices to this side of the Atlantic, trying to ensure that Loyalists could stay. At the same time, a recipe like that for “Indian Chocolate” shows that settlers are trying to establish themselves on Indigenous territories where people have their own medical practices and knowledge. Yet the recipe, and the knowledge exchange beneath it, does not reflect respect or relation with the knowledge makers; rather, the recipe claims Indigenous knowledge for use by settlers. It also helps Odell distinguish himself, at least to a degree, from English practitioners – he is “acquainted with” a “safe” remedy not found in European medical texts – and he uses the knowledge to advance a good relationship with his Loyalist friend, Ward Chipman, and not with Indigenous peoples. Recipes, with their attention to intellectual structures of authority in knowledge making, in their sociability as they are exchanged among friends and across oceans, and in their use of materials – both local and global – can be an illuminating historical source in documenting and making visible the structures of power and exposing ways in which Indigenous knowledge was part of settler culture.

1 Recipes from before 1800 have been collected in Lyn Bennett and Edith Snook, Early Modern Maritimes Recipes,
2 The recipe for “Black Ink” and the medical recipes – “Cure for a Swelling,” “For a Canker,” “Lord Noell’s Leaden Plaster,” “Tincture for a Confirmed Jaundice,” and “Turlington’s Balsam” – are part of the Early Modern Maritime Recipes database – – and will be cited in this research note from that source. The original source for these recipes is Jonathan Odell, Notebook containing poems by other writers, various recipes, and remedies, S29-F28 (1), Odell Family Collection, New Brunswick Museum Archives and Research Library (NBMARL), Saint John. The original source of the final recipe is “Remedy, Indian Chocolate,” Jonathan Odell to Ward Chipman, 29 January 1816, S29B-F28 (2), Odell Family Collection, NBMARL.
3 On Odell’s verse, see Cynthia Dubin Edelberg, “Jonathan Odell and Philip Freneau: Poetry and Politics in the Garrison Town of New York City,” in Loyalists and Community in North America, ed. Robert M. Calhoon, Timothy M. Barnes, George A. Rawlyk (Westport, CA: Fernwood, 1994), 105-19 and Gwendolyn Davies, Studies in Maritime Literary History (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1991).
4 For an introduction to recipe scholarship, especially medical recipes, see Elaine Leong, Recipes and Everyday Life: Medicine, Science, and the Household in Early Modern England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018); Michelle DiMeo and Sara Pennell, eds., Reading and Writing Recipe Books, 1550-1800 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013); and Elaine Leong and Alisha Michelle Rankin, Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500-1800 (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2011).
5 Unless otherwise noted, all biographical details are from Cynthia Dubin Edelberg, Jonathan Odell: Loyalist Poet of the American Revolution (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987). Edelberg indicates that Odell studied medicine at Princeton (p. 2). However, he received an MA degree, not an MD, and Princeton has never had a medical school; his medical study seems to be part of a broader education program; see Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Princeton 1746-1896 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1946), 3-47, 229.
6 Although Edelberg, in Jonathan Odell (p. 2), says that Odell served in the military as a surgeon, a letter indicates that he was in Pensacola with the 22nd Regiment as a chaplain; see Reverend Jonathan Odell to Carleton, 15 August 1783, Public Records Office (PRO) 30/55/78/8, The National Archives (TNA), Kew, UK.
7 Edelberg, in Jonathan Odell (p. 2), says he had 642 acres of land. The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick’s “Index to New Brunswick Land Grants, 1784-1997“ (RS 686) indicates that Odell received 326 acres in Prince William, York County, and 400 acres in Hampton, Kings County. He is also listed as receiving a grant in Fredericton Parish. See
8 Leong, Recipes and Everyday Life , 19-45.
9 Dr. William James Almon, “On the Sugar of Milk,” Early Modern Maritime Recipe,
10 These instructions were also printed in the Federal Gazette and Baltimore Daily Advertiser (2 November 1796), Philadelphia Gazette & Universal Daily Advertiser (10 November 1796), New-Jersey Journal (Elizabethtown, 16 November 1796), Polar Star and Boston Daily Advertiser (16 November 1796), Herald; A Gazette for the Country (New York, 16 November 1796), Rutland Herald (Rutland, VT, 28 November 1796), City Gazette and Daily Advertiser (Charleston, SC, 29 November 1796), Otsego Herald; or, Western Advertiser (Cooperstown, NY, 8 December 1796), Eastern Herald and Gazette of Maine (Portland, ME, 12 December 1796), Republican Gazetteer (Concord, NH, 3 January 1797), and The Diary or Loudon’s Register (New York, 21 June 1797).
11 “Useful Hint for Roofing,” Early Modern Maritime Recipes, I have not been able to find a published report by the British Royal Society with this information, but during this time period tar production, from trees, was the third largest Swedish industry and valued especially in the shipbuilding industry; England was, during the 18th century, attempting to source its tar from its North American colonies, which also had abundant forests; see Eli F. Heckscher, An Economic History of Sweden , tran. Goran Ohlin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1954), 100-1.
12 Maile Arvin, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill, “Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy,” Feminist Formations 25, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 12.
13 Patrick Wolfe, Settler Colonialism (London: Continuum, 1999), 1-2.
14 Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada (Halifax: Fernwood, 2015), 25-6.
15 “Black Ink,” Early Modern Maritime Recipes,
16 George Fisher, The Instructor: or, Young Man’s Best Companion: Containing, Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick in an easier Way than any yet published; and how to qualify any Person for Business, without the Help of a Master (London, [1735?]), 57.
17 “Tincture for a Confirmed Jaundice with Obstructed Liver” and “Turlington’s Balsam,” Early Modern Maritime Recipes, and
18 A recipe for “the Elixir of life,” claiming to be the recipe for Fryar’s Balsam or Turlington’s Balsam was printed in London in The British Jewel, or Complete Housewife’s Best Companion in 1769 and in Stephen Freeman’s The Ladies Friend; or, Complete Physical Library in 1785. In 1824, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy published a pamphlet that explained how to make eight patent medicines, including Turlington’s Balsam. See Formulae for the Preparation of Eight Patent Medicines, Adopted by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (Philadelphia, 1824), quoted in James Harvey Young, The Toadstool Millionaires: A Social History of Patent Medicines in America Before Federal Regulations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), 67.
19 “Lord Noell’s Leaden Plaster,” Early Modern Maritime Recipes,
20 Pierre Pomet, A Complete History of Drugs, 4th ed. (London, 1748), 157, indicates that four kinds of soap are used in England: common soap; black soap; castile soap; and Venice soap, which is “white, something softer than the Castile soap, and made of the best oil of any of the four. All of them are Diureticks and Deobstruents; the properest for internal Use are the Venice and Castile.”
21 George Capron and David Slack, New England Popular Medicine (Boston, 1847), 107.
22 “”Cure for a Swelling” and “For a Canker,” Early Modern Maritime Recipes, and On the importance of experience, see, for example, Elizabeth Spiller, “Introduction,” in Seventeenth-Century English Recipe Books: Cooking, Physic, and Chirurgery in the Works of Elizabeth Talbot Grey and Aletheia Talbot Howard (Abingdon, UK: Ashgate, 2008), ix-x.
23 In 1762 the regiment was fighting in the Caribbean and after 1763 was transferred to West Florida, perhaps the reason for its sojourn through Mobile; see Richard Cannon, Historical Records of the Twenty Second, or the Cheshire Regiment of Foot (London, 1849), 10-11.
24 “mastic, n. (and adj.)” and “tolu, n.,” Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Online,
25 Mary Thomas Crane, Framing Authority: Sayings, Self, and Society in Sixteenth-Century England (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014), 3. Lucia Dacome calls 18thcentury commonplacing a “tool” that “lay at the intersection between practices of collecting, reading, classifying, learning, and the arts of rhetoric”; see Dacome, “Noting the Mind: Commonplace Books and the Pursuit of the Self in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” Journal of the History of Ideas 65, no. 4 (October 2004): 604.
26 Davies, Studies in Maritime Literary History, 47.
27 Rachel Bryant, The Homing Place: Indigenous and Settler Literary Legacies of the Atlantic (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2017), 6.
28 This education is also visible in the remarkable collection of books from the Odell family that survives in the New Brunswick Museum Archives and Research Library. Among the books published before Odell’s death that could have been his – and books with his signature – are conduct books, religious texts (Bibles, theological writings, and sermons), grammars (for learning Latin, Hebrew, Italian, and French), and books on philosophy (including natural philosophy), mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, history, harmonics, travel, farriery, and literature. The literature includes Ovid, Virgil, Homer, and Cicero, the complete works of Shakespeare, printed poetic miscellanies, and volumes by 18th-century poets such as Allan Ramsay, Thomas Gray, John Cunningham, William Mason, Mathew Prior, Richard Glover, James Thomson, and John Whaley. The books are in English, Latin, Greek, and French, and are printed in England, Scotland, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Paris. Just one book was printed in the Americas before 1818, a treatise on old age by Cicero. Thank you to the staff of the New Brunswick Museum for creating and providing access to a list of Odell’s books in their collection.
29 Lorenzo Veracini, Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 98.
30 “Remedy, Indian Chocolate,” Jonathan Odell to Ward Chipman, 29 January 1816, S29B-F28 (2), Odell Family Collection, NBMARL.
31 On settler reports of Mi’kmaq use of geum rivale, see Frank G. Speck, Medicine Practices of the North-eastern Algonquins (Washington, DC: International Congress of Americanists, 1917), 316, and R. Frank Chandler, Lois Freeman, and Shirley N. Hooper, “Herbal Remedies of the Maritime Indians,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1 (January 1979): 57. Chandler, Freeman, and Hooper maintain that geum rivale, called “chocolate root,” “purple avena,” and “wild chocolate,” was used by the Mi’kmaq to treat diarrhea. S.T. Rand’s A Dictionary of the Micmac Language (Charlottetown: Patriot Publishing, 1902) indicates that egwitcawa is the Mi’kmaq word for chocolate root. Charlotte Erichsen-Brown, in Medicinal and Other Uses of North American Plants (New York: Dover, 1979), 282, cites J. McGregor, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the Maritime Colonies in British North America (London, 1828). Chocolate root may not be part of contemporary Mi’kmaw medicine. A work based largely in oral history, Laurie Lacey, Mi’kmaq Medicines: Remedies and Recollections , 2nd ed. (Halifax: Nimbus, 2012) does not include this plant. A more recent Mi’kmaw dictionary based on the language of contemporary speakers, Mi’gmaq-Mi’kmaq Online at, does not include the word. However, a report submitted to the Nova Scotia government, AMEC Environment and Infrastructure, “A Mi’kmaq Historical and Ecological Knowledge Review of the Gaetz Brook Property,” March 2013, p. 26,, includes geum rivale among the interests of Mi’kmaq in the land and resources near the Gaetz Brook Wind Farm.
32 J. McGregor, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of the Maritime Colonies in British North America, 28.
33 “Remedy, Indian Chocolate,” Jonathan Odell to Ward Chipman, 29 January 1816, S29B-F28 (2), Odell Family Collection, NBMARL (emphasis in original).
34 Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Transcendence (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017), 154.
35 Advertisement, Commercial Advertiser (8 July 1818), 2.
36 Edelberg, Jonathan Odell, 157.
37 Jennifer Ward, Licences of Occupation in New Brunswick: Historical Report (Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1999),, pp. 8-9, 18-20, 24-25. John G. Reid, in “Empire, the Maritime Colonies, and the Supplanting of Mi’kma’ki/Wulstukwik, 1780-1820,” Acadiensis 38, no. 2 (Summer/Autumn 2009): 87-8, discusses how neither the Mi’kmaq nor the Wulstukwiuk formally ceded territory, but also how licenses of occupation narrowed their access to land and provided no protection from further British encroachment.
38 Odell, quoted in Ward, “Licences of Occupation,” 29.
39 Jonathan Odell, Reflections, Occasioned by House of Assembly allegations of misappropriation of funds granted to president for assistance of Malecites, 1814, Odell Family Collection, S29B-F26 (15), NBMARL.
40 Arvin, Tuck, and Morrill, “Decolonizing Feminism,” 12.
41 Andrea Bear Nicholas, “Settler Imperialism and the Dispossession of the Maliseet, 1758-1765,” in Shaping an Agenda for Atlantic Canada, ed. John G. Reid and Donald J. Savoie (Blackpoint, NS: Fernwood, 2011), 21-57.
42 Micah A. Pawling, “Wəlastəkwey (Maliseet) Homeland: Waterscapes and Continuity within the Lower St. John River Valley, 1784-1900,” Acadiensis 46, no. 2 (Summer/Autumn 2017): 6.
43 Patrick Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research 8, no. 4 (December 2006): 389.
44 See Lauren Beck, “Early-Modern European and Indigenous Linguistic Influences on New Brunswick Place Names,” Journal of New Brunswick Studies 7, no. 1 (October 2016): 15-36, which considers the history of the naming of Miramichi, Musquash, and Shemogue.