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Perkins Diary

Simeon Perkins Portrait
Simeon Perkins Portrait

Simeon Perkins – Diarist, Merchant and Politician

Simeon Perkins was born in Norwich, Connecticut on 24 February, 1735.  He was one of sixteen children born to Jacob Perkins and Jemima Leonard. Simeon journeyed to Liverpool, Nova Scotia in May of 1762 as part of the New England Planter migration to Nova Scotia.  As a new Proprietor of the Township of Liverpool, he set out to begin business in the fish and lumber industry, became a General Merchant and created sound partnerships in trading with New England and the West Indies.

Simeon began to record a journal  in 1766 and continued to document the life of a small colonial town for the next 40 years until his passing on May 9, 1812.  It remains today a Canadian document of national historical significance and recognition.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Perkins had great investments in Privateering.  He has good business partners and was involved with such vessels as the ships ‘Charles Mary Wentworth’, and the brig ‘Rover’.

Simeon held many positions in the Township of Liverpool including Colonel of the Militia, Justice of the Peace and Magistrate.  He represented Queens County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1765 to 1768 and from 1770 to 1799.

Simeon first married Abigail Backus in Norwich Connecticut in 1760.  That same year she died several weeks after giving birth to their only child, a son Roger. After settling in Liverpool, he married a second wife in 1775, widow Mrs. Elizabeth Headly (Young).  She brought her daughter Ruth into the marriage.  Eight more children were born to Simeon and Elizabeth.

Several years after Simeon’s passing, Elizabeth sold the house to Capt. Caleb Seely and moved to New York with her two daughters.

Carving of Simeon Perkins and his Diary
Carving of Simeon Perkins and his Diary

The Perkins Diary

When Elizabeth Perkins moved to New York in 1822, she took her husband’s diaries with her.

In 1900, her great grandson Joshua Newton returned the 27 manuscripts to Liverpool where they were kept in the bank vault for many years.  Upon the building of the Queens County Museum in 1980, they were given to the Queens County Historical Society to be put on permanent display in the Museum.

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