Abraham Gesner
1797 - 1864


Abraham Gesner became Indian Commisioner after Joseph Howe. Although, like Howe, a believer in the supremacy of European based civilization values he was, also like him, compassionate. His reports were just as condemning of English neglect. In fact he also predicted, without generous assistance forthcoming from the government, that the end of the Mi’kmaq was probable. He made the following comments in 1847:

"Unless the progress of their annihilation is soon arrested, the time is close at hand,
when ... the last of their race, to use their own idea, "will sleep with the bones of
their fathers." Unless the vices and diseases of civilization are speedily arrested, the
Indians ... will soon be as the Red Men of Newfoundland, or other Tribes of the West,
whose existence is forever blotted out from the face of the Earth."

"“Diminuation of numbers and the final extinction of a
savage race, yielding their territory up to civilized occupants, is a feature not
peculiar to America. It might be supposed that after their wars... and encounters with
the whites had terminated, the Aborigines would multiply, yet experience has proved
exactly the reverse. Among the most prominent causes of the decrease of the natives
has been the introduction of European diseases. Exposed to the inclemency of the
weather, and destitute of the proper diet and treatment required for contagious
diseases, numbers are swept off annually by complaint unknown to them in their

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