Among his own letters is preserved the printed invitation to his funeral:
Quebec, Wednesday, 14th July, 1802.
The favour of your company is requested to attend the Funeral of the late Colonel Nairne, from No. 1 Grison Street, on Cape Diamond, to the place of interment, on Friday next at one o’clock in the afternoon.
All that was most worthy in Quebec attended to do honour to his memory. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery; long after his body was removed to Mount Hermon Cemetery, to lie beside his son and grandson—the last of his race.
Nairne played his part with high purpose and integrity. Among his papers at Murray Bay is a prayer, intended apparently for daily use, in which he asks that he may be vigilant in conduct and immovable in all good purposes; that he may show courage in danger, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity. He asks, too, to be made sensible “how little is this world, how great [are] thy Heavens, and how long will be thy blessed eternity.” It is the prayer of a strong soul facing humbly and reverently the tasks of life. He would have wished to found a community English speaking and Protestant. But the forces of nature were against him. The few English speaking people who came in (and they were but a few scattered individuals) for the most part married French wives. The children held the faith and spoke the tongue which they learned at their mothers’ knees. It was the course of nature, and always we are foolish to quarrel with nature. A granite monument marks the resting place where the good old man sleeps in the cemetery at Quebec, but some memorial might well stand at Murray Bay, that those who look out upon the majestic river, the blue mountains, the smiling valley should have before them a reminder of the “friendly, honest man” who, a century and a half ago, began to win their heritage from the wilderness.
[Footnote 13: It may be convenient to state at once the dates of the births and deaths of each of these children:
Magdalen (Madie) (Mrs. McNicol) born 1767 died 1839.
Christine Nairne " 1774 " 1817.
John Nairne " 1777 " 1799.
Mary (Polly) Nairne " 1782 " 1821.
Thomas Nairne " 1787 " 1813.
[Footnote 14: See Appendix D., p. 277., for a formal memorandum drawn up by Nairne for his son’s guidance.]
[Footnote 15: See Appendix E., p. 279. “The ‘Porpoise’ (Beluga or White Whale) Fishery on the St. Lawrence.”]
[Footnote 16: “Les Anciens Canadiens,” Chapter IV.]
[Footnote 17: Sir Alexander Mackenzie who accomplished in 1793 what was then the astonishing feat of crossing the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and whose book, “Voyages from Montreal on the River St. Lawrence, through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans,” first published in 1801, attracted general attention, including even that of Napoleon Bonaparte.]