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GALLOP, WILLIAM, merchant and office holder; date and place of birth unknown; d. unmarried 1804 in St Andrews, N.B.

Little is known of William Gallop’s activities before his arrival in 1780 at Fort George (Castine, Maine) on the Penobscot River. He was one of many loyalist refugees who descended on the region following the establishment of a British military post under Brigadier-General Francis McLean* in 1779. Excited by the proposed creation between the Penobscot and St Croix rivers of a loyalist haven to be known as New Ireland, a project in which Dr John Caleff particularly interested himself, Gallop acquired two lots of land at Penobscot and constructed a house there.

Previously, Gallop had served for six months as a pilot on hms Greyhound and he had periodically turned privateer in the British interest. His experience as a mariner and his joint ownership of certain vessels operating out of Boston, Mass., during the revolutionary years may have been deciding factors in his selecting the Penobscot River as his future home. Other commercially oriented businessmen such as Robert Pagan* and Thomas Wyer* were already established there, and they had likely conducted business transactions with Gallop at one time or another.

When news arrived in 1783 that the St Croix and not the Penobscot would be the northern boundary of the American colonies, Gallop’s experience as a pilot undoubtedly influenced his being chosen one of the agents to represent the Penobscot Associated Loyalists. Along with his fellow agents, Pagan, Wyer, William Pagan, Colin Campbell, and Jeremiah Pote, he coordinated and executed the evacuation of Penobscot and selected Passamaquoddy Bay (N.B.) for the loyalists’ new home. The very fact that Gallop did not receive a town lot in the new community of St Andrews during the initial draw for lands points to his activity as a principal figure in evacuating the nearly 500 residents who left Penobscot over a four-month period. Not until April 1784 did he settle in the town. The respect he had earned among the settlers and their agents is reflected in the extensive litigation that followed to secure for him a suitable town lot and water frontage, the latter a necessity for his livelihood.

As an original promoter of the St Andrews settlement, Gallop was appointed in 1784 one of the first magistrates for the township, a position he held for the next 20 years. On 28 March 1786, two years after the establishment of New Brunswick as a separate province, he was made registrar of deeds, conveyances, and wills for Charlotte County, continuing in that capacity until 1789. During the initial months of settlement Gallop shared in the exercise of a mill privilege at Oak Point Bay (Oak Bay), near St Andrews. As vendue master, in 1785 he gained the exclusive right to sell lucrative water lots in the town. His participation in various land dealings and commercial exploits with other leading members of the community contributed in no small way to the rapid rise of St Andrews as an entrepôt. Despite its early promise, however, the St Andrews economy faltered as a result of internal and uncontrollable external factors during the first two decades of settlement. As for Gallop, his involvement in county and provincial affairs did not extend beyond the positions he received in the 1780s. Limited opportunities and encumbering mortgages had placed him in an insolvent state by the time of his death in 1804.

Roger Nason

PANB, RG 2, RS7, 22: 2646; RG 7, RS63, 1805, William Gallop; RG 10, RS108, petition of William Swain, 1784; petitions of William Gallop, 1785; petitions of Nathanial Palmer, 1785. N.B., Dept. of Natural Resources, Lands Branch (Fredericton), land grants, book A: 165–75. Joseph Williamson, “The proposed province of New Ireland,” Maine Hist. Soc., Coll. (Portland), 3rd ser., 1 (1904): 147–57. Winslow papers (Raymond). Jones, Loyalists of Mass. H. A. Davis, An international community on the StCroix, 1604–1930 (Orono, Maine, 1950). MacNutt, New Brunswick. R. W. Sloan, “New Ireland: loyalists in eastern Maine during the American revolution” ({{phd }}thesis, Mich. State Univ., East Lansing, 1971). W. H. Siebert, “The exodus of the loyalists from Penobscot and the loyalist settlements at Passamaquoddy,” N.B. Hist. Soc., Coll., 3 (1907–14), no.9: 485–529. Joseph Williamson, “The British occupation of Penobscot during the revolution” and “The proposed province of New Ireland” in Maine Hist. Soc., Coll., 2nd ser., 1 (1890): 389–400, and 7 (1876): 199–206 respectively.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Roger Nason, “GALLOP, WILLIAM,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed December 18, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gallop_william_5E.html.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gallop_william_5E.html
Author of Article: Roger Nason
Title of Article: GALLOP, WILLIAM
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1983
Year of revision: 1983
Access Date: December 18, 2014