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NOTE: This page has been adapted for the Website from Donald Coburn’s My Line. Use of the first person is in relation to Donald and not the webmaster/author of the site. Subscript index numbers (ex. Moses4) refer to generations after the family’s arrival in North America. Edward Colborne being generation 1.


BENJAMIN7 COBURN (David6; David5, Moses4, Moses3, Joseph2, Edward1) b. 24 Oct. 1838 d. 22 Sept. 1900 son of David6 and Sarah (Sloot) Coburn m. 23 Dec. 1868 Euphemia Agnes King b. Springfield, Kings Co., N.B. 8 Aug. 1849 d. 16 June 1935 dau. of Malcolm King and Elizabeth Hickson of Emery, Ireland.

Benjamin was twelve when his parents died. He must have been at Lake George during the 1851 census but later went to Fredericton to live with relatives. He was educated in the Baptist Seminary (the old York Street School building) in Fredericton as well as at Harvard and Vermont College.

Benjamin had inherited by deed, along with his three brothers, his quarter of the lands occupied by his father David. His portion was lot #3 where my house now sits. On 2 Oct. 1863, brothers William and Tyler bought Benjaminís lot for £90. Apparently this sale helped finance his medical education. His first medical practice was as a surgeon in the Northern Army in the American Civil War. Benjamin then returned to New Brunswick and practised first in Chipman, Queens County, where he married Effie King. After eight years in Chipman and because of ill health, this Coburn family moved to Florida for a year where he doctored indigent freed slaves. Benjamin next returned to New Brunswick to practise at Keswick Ridge. It has been said that when he was waiting on birthing mothers, he would sew pieces for patchwork quilts.

The NewBrunswick Archives has a file on Dr. Benjamin Coburn. Included in it are: a letter to home at Keswick Ridge, his medical commission from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a receipt from Dr. Hiram Dow of Fredericton, his own letter describing his involvement in the American Civil War, his diaries and accounts and his obituary.

First, his letter to his brother Tyler, my grandfather, who at that time was living in the old home with brother Williamís family:

Boston, Mass.
March 5, 1863
Dear Brother Tyler,

I have looked in vain for a letter from you. I hope you are having a good time this winter, how does the quadrille class prosper. I expect you are having a good time after the girls, how does Charley make out dancing? So poor John Hews could not stand the pressure about that scrape. I think he was very foolish for leaving. I hope you did not have any trouble to raise the money for me. I began to think it had got mislayed for I received Willís letter four days after it was written but did not get the gold until the day before I wrote back. Reason why was because it did not start from St. Johns until the tenth. Well Tyler my good times in Boston are nearly over. Our happy little party will soon be broken up. A. Atherton and E. Yerxa start for home tomorrow. I send this letter by them via Rob. Hagerman and I start for Burlington Vt. next Friday morning there to put in four months of hard study, after which we expect to have leisure to enjoy ourselves as we please. Out of our present class of stud. there are about fi fty of them coming up for the degree of M.D. I have just fi nished dissecting two or three days ago. I would like to have brought my bones home with me but could not so I gave them away for the full particulars of our sight seeing our pleasures and trials here, I will refer you to Elijah Yerxa. I have visited Brokline, South Boston, Chelsea, East Cambridge, Cambridge proper & Charleston all you might say parts of Boston being town connected by bridges with each other. I visited Bunkerís Hill and saw the royal monument which you have heard so much of I also visited Boston Museum but have not seen Barnum yet. Remember me to all the enquiring friends, give my love to all the girls, tell Emeline I hope the boys up the road donít bother her as much as they did last fall. Give my best respects to she and Martha and all the rest around the corner. I wish you would write often. Tell some of the rest of the folks I would like to hear from them. I hit it first rate coming here this winter. I would not had near enough money only the premium on gold is so high. Know I have plenty to last until July. I think nothing more.

Your Brother Benn

P.S. I saw a pig last week weighing 1330 lbs. alive 1180 when killed and dressed aged 2 yrs. & 11 months.

To A.T. Coburn Douglas York Co.

This receipt is especially interesting:

Fredericton 12th May 1865 Received from Fr. Benj. Coburn the sum of Forty Dollars on account of Tuition thus leaving a ballance due me of one hundred and twenty dollars for which ballance I truly promise to take a three years colt from his Brothers William and Tyler Coburn said colt being amount in full for all accounts up to this date. Hiram Dow M.D.

The following letter of Jan. 18, 1900 was sent to the American Veterans Office in Washington, in support of a petition for a pension. Dr. Coburn suffered poor health as aresult of his military service. No pension was granted. They claimed to have no record ofhis service. The letter is inserted here to show the start of his medical career.

Jan. 18th 1900
Dear Sirs:

As soon as I received my commission I got a pass to join my regiment then on duty in front of Vicksburgh. I do not know just what day our transport arrived. I was at the surrender of Vicksburgh saw the Rebels march in and stack their arms. Deliver up their swords, etc. Went on that same day to Camp Milldale on the Yazor River found my redjament on the march reported myself to Colonel Carooth of South Boston who was in command & Dr. Snow our surgeon. I was immediately ordered to fall in. We marched to big Black River where I was ordered to go to the rear and act as examining physician of the numerous sick and lazey men we found laying along this road many of whorne were only tired and shaming sick those were ordered on by the rear gard. I was kept at this till we overtook General Johnstone forces near Jackson, Miss. after several days fighting around Jackson I was ordered back about three miles to take charge of a house and form a Hospital for the sick of our division. I found the House occupied by an old man and woman with seven or eight children who said he was old Tom Gorden of Mississippi. I had full controle of that Hospital. I had the full brigade band for nurses & waiters on the sick also had a full guard for protection. My charge consisted of the sick of the 9th army Corps being 9 regiments of General Burnsideís division lent to General Grant to help take Vicksburg. 1863. Shortly after the surrender of Jackson: I canít remember dates & our nine regiments were ordered back to join Burnsideís Army again but about that time I took down sick with Typhoid or as they called it Mississippi fever after which I do not remember much about what happened. Still I remember finding myself in Memphis Tennessee without money. I was lucky enough to meet an old friend Dr. Sterling who was surgeon in a U.S.A. Hospital to whom I sold my regimental dress suit and thus got money enough to pay my way back to Boston. Here I had to rest a few weeks as I did not get well. I applied for money as I had not received my pay. I got $63.00 just what it cost me to come from the south to Boston: I got it through Surg. General Dale of the army medical Branch. There was another young Doctor went to the same regiment with me. I left him there Dr. Roach.

David10 Coburn has in his possession part of Dr. Benís military uniform.

This excerpt from Dr. Benjamin Coburnís Diary of 1864 tells of a visit to Keswick Ridge after one yearís practice in Chipman.

Nov. 3 - I started for Fredericton took dinner at Richard Yeomans got to Nashwaaksis at dusk got tea then went to Craigs to a pairing party got home at 12 P.M.

Nov. 4 - Went to town on wagon with A. Thompson. Went to John Pickardís to Dinner. Called on McKeen & on E. Vanwart. Stopped at Alex until 4 P.M. then went up home in a rain storm.

Nov. 5 - Wet day, stayed at my brothers all day.

Nov. 6 - Clear & very cold went out to Uncle Freds to dinner. Back home at night.

Nov. 7 - Still cold I drove Emeline out to Scotch Settlement got dinner at Uncle Davidís came home to tea; thawing some tonight.

Nov. 8 - Warm & very foggy. I drove sister out to tinkle Bens got dinner Then went to Freds to Tea. Saw Sarah J. Curry.

Nov. 9 - Went to town took my sister with me got her photographs taken very foggy & damp got dinner at John Haynes got home at 6 P.M. a very rainy night

Nov. 10 - Still wet. Went to Ezekiel Jewetts to dinner. To F. Longs to Tea got some alcohol from Dr. Brown got home at 8 1/2 p.m.

Nov. 11 - Clear & warm went to Unkle Robs to Din & supper. J. Pickard spent evening here

Nov. 12 - Fine & warm Called on J. Pickard plenty company here today went to Dr. Browns spend evening stayed all night at Freds.

I am adding some notes on these diary entries. Here is my interpretation:

Nov. 3 -
pairing party I believe is a mis-spelling. I think it should read paring party. It was the right time of year for peeling, coring, slicing and stringing apples for drying. Then again, maybe, it was an appropriate spelling if the party was more social than domestic.
Nov. 4 -
The John Pickard in Fredericton, mentioned, was probably the M.P. son of f Humphrey Pickard Jr.
Nov. 5 -
Brother William had the old home and was married to Emeline Haines.
Nov. 6 -
Uncle Fred Longís wife was Charlotte Sloot, sister to Benís mother. They lived where David Duplessis now resides.
Nov. 7 -
Emeline was a member of the large George Haines family of Scotch Settlement. Uncle David Pickardís family were first cousins, also living in Scotch Settlement. Davidís wife, Benís Aunt Phoebe, had died in 1856.
Nov. 8 -
Sister Hetty Caroline was 16. Uncle Ben Sloot was a brother to Dr. Benjaminís mother Sarah.
Nov. 10 -
Ezekiel Jewett lived next up the road where Gerald and Shirley (Hallett) Reed now reside.
Nov. 11 -
Uncle Robert Sloot also a brother of his mother lived where grandson Robert and Emmy (Paterson) Sloat now have their home. John Pickard, grandfather of Eugene Pickard, lived where Ken and Sheila Moore now reside.

Dr. Benjamin Coburn Family c1887
Dr. Benjamin Coburn Family c1887
Between Benjamin7 and Effie (King) Coburn are
Mabel8, Dow8, George8

Dr. Benjamin Coburn succeeded to the practice of Dr. Brown, who lived on the road now called Mactaquac Heights near where Frederick and Helen (Kingston) Steadman reside. Dr. & Mrs. Coburn first lived on the same road near route 105 in the home of brother Charles Coburn 1871. Before 1878 they had a new home with out buildings at McKeenís corner were their family was born and raised. Afterward Dr. Beverly Robertson lived there during his entire long medical practice.

Under a September dateline of 1900, the following obituary appeared:

Dr. Benjamin Coburn Dr. Benjamin Coburn, a well known and highly esteemed physician and citizen, passed away at midnight on Saturday after an illness extending over some time, he having been confined to his home for several weeks, cardiac dropsy being the cause of death. The late Dr. Coburn, who was sixty three years of age, was a native of Keswick Ridge and he resided there and enjoyed a large and lucrative practice until about one year ago when he sold his place and practice and removed to the city, purchasing the double house at the corner of Northumberland and Charlotte streets. Upon the death of Dr. Coulthard in March last, Dr. Coburn was appointed Secretary of the Provincial Board of ...