For six years, Thomas struggled to farm the new property, but it was “a poor piny lot.” Neighbours swore that it couldn’t be cultivated. “No person can get a living out of it,” they testified, “…it is rocky and swampy.”
He tried to exchange the lot, but his petition was denied. A sarcastic note came back from the surveyor-general, saying that since Thomas had bought the property from Lieutenant Christopher Bell, he would have to prove that he hadn’t spent the past six years “divesting the land he now seeks to relinquish, of whatever valuable timber may have grown thereon.”
But things weren’t so cut-and-dried. Another government official noted that Thomas and several others had been told to pay Lt. Bell for their land “at the rate of 5p Currency per Acre in accordance with some order to that effect.” Nobody seemed to know what this order was, or what had happened to the paperwork after Lt. Bell’s death, and Thomas was stuck with the pine-covered, rocky, swampy land.
But he and his sons also managed to buy some other lots. His eldest son, Thomas, farmed a new property that became known as Whitehall. Descendants of the Knight family lived there until 2013.
Next: The Old Soldier Dies