Indian Dance at Government House, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Painting of Indian Dance at Government House in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Indian Dance at Government House, Fredericton, New Brunswick
(watercolor on paper)
Captain John Campbell
1 January 1835
© York Sunbury Museum, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Sir John Campbell, son of New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor, Sir Archibald Campbell, served as an aide-de-camp in Fredericton during his father’s tenure from 1831-1837. An amateur artist, Campbell recorded the annual gathering of the Maliseet at Government House in this watercolor. This tradition of inviting local Natives to government house began when Sir Howard Douglas served as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor from 1823-1831. During these gala events, the Maliseet wore ceremonial clothing and performed traditional dances. Government officials often offered to the Maliseet presents, such as guns, food, and metalwork to signify their wish for peaceful relations in the year to come.