1955.15.5 | Celtic Cross, Partridge Island, Saint John, New Brunswick

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Celtic Cross, Partridge Island, Saint John, New Brunswick
Isaac Erb & Son (1897-1938)
After 1927, 20th century
20.4 x 15.4 cm
Gift of Dr. Clarence McN. Steeves, 1955
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Dr. James Patrick Collins was born in Ireland about 1824 and brought to New Brunswick by his parents, Patrick and Isabella (Hughes) Collins, in 1837. Apprenticed to Dr. George R. Peters, a prominent Saint John physician, Collins later pursued studies in medicine in Paris and London. Following his return to Saint John in 1846, he set up practice in his family's home at York Point. At the height of the typhus epidemic in June of 1847, despite the protests of his wife who was expecting their first child, Collins went to Partridge Island to assist health officer Dr. George J. Harding. Collins played an important role in preventing the spread of the disease but within a month he fell victim to it himself. James Patrick Collins died on Partridge Island on July 2, 1847. The Saint John Common Council granted special permission for his body to be brought from the island to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery at Indiantown.

Source : Out of Ireland [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    Typhus, a highly contagious disease caused by a virus transmitted by body lice, is characterized by chills, fever, dark red spots on the skin and extreme weakness.

  • Where

    Those who died on Partridge Island during its long history as a quarantine station are buried in one of six graveyards on the island.

  • When

    In 1927, a Celtic cross was built in memory of the Irish immigrants of 1847.

  • Who

    It is estimated that as many as 3 000 000 immigrants and mariners were processed through Partridge Island before the station's closing in 1941.