17 April 2008

New Brunswick Museum Displays Artifacts Belonging to Saint John's First Mayor


A special display of artifacts belonging to the first mayor of Saint John, Gabriel George Ludlow, will be available for viewing from 7 April to 4 May at the New Brunswick Museum. This display is in conjunction with the recent renaming of the Red Room at City Hall to The Ludlow Room.

On Sunday, 13 April, the Mayor of Saint John, Norm McFarlane, renamed the Red Room in City Hall to The Ludlow Room, in honour of the first mayor of Saint John, Gabriel George Ludlow, mayor from 1785 to 1795.

The New Brunswick Museum is pleased to present this opportunity to view several artifacts and archival documents owned by Ludlow and trace their history throughout the years to the Museum collections today. Some of the pieces on display include: a portrait of Ludlow; a braced, bow-back Windsor side chair, 1785-1800; a sloped-front desk on cabinet, c. 1785; a mourning ring, c. 1755; and The New Spelling Dictionary (Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, 1777).

The pieces on display will also be part of the exhibition, Prized Possessions: The Arrival of the Loyalists in New Brunswick, being held at the New Brunswick Museum beginning May 11.

Gabriel George Ludlow was born on 16 April 1736 in Queens County, New York, the son of a wealthy family. He entered the world of business and by the 1770s he owned a large estate near Hempstead, Long Island, New York. He and members of his family were staunch supporters of George III and he spent the years of American Revolution serving in the militia as a commander and eventually colonel of the 3rd Battalion, De Lancey's Brigade. By 1779 his property was confiscated.

Ludlow spent 1783 and 1784 in England seeking compensation and lobbying for the creation of the colony of New Brunswick. In September 1784 he embarked for New Brunswick and was soon joined by his wife, Ann Ver Planck, who had remained in the United States. Their start was not an easy one for they lost practically everything with the wreck of the vessel on which she traveled. In 1785, Ludlow was appointed mayor of the City of Saint John and they built Ludlow House in Carleton, the western portion of the new city. Ludlow conscientiously fulfilled his duties as mayor for the decade he held office though his last year was marred by conflict with the Common Clerk, Elias Hardy. Ludlow was also a member of the provincial council, a position he retained until his death on 12 February 1808.

The Gabriel George Ludlow display continues at the New Brunswick Museum until 4 May 2008. For more information: (506) 643-2300 or 1-888-268-9595.

For further information:

Jane Fullerton

(506) 643-2346