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Full text of "An account of Prince Edward Island in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, North America [microform] : containing its geography, a description of its different divisions, soil, climate, seasons, natural productions, cultivation, discovery, conquest, progress and present state of the settlement, government, constitution, laws and religion"

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\Dirva P* 

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aUlPII of St. lajvrence, 



III Geograpli), a description of its different Diviiions, Soil, Ctiniate. Srav)!)*, 
Natural Picduiiiona, Culiivation, Discurerjr, Conquest, Pro^rcsa aud 
preteiit State of the Settlement, (juTernnieut, Coiutitutiou, Lawf, 
aiid Jlelij^igu. 






1« ^uOiUam prodire lenui >i nan duhtr vttra. 





Printed hy W. Winchester and So>-, Sinai. 









HAVING resided many years in Prince Edward 
Island, and being much interested in its prosperity, 
I have ventured (though conscious of my want of 
abilities to do justice to the subject) to print the fol- 
lowing account of that Island, which I trust will be 
found just and correct as far as it goes : the object is 
to make the Colony better known among those who are 
interested in its prosperity, or on whose judgment 
and determinations its future orospetts depend, and I 
flatter myself, that the acuj^nt which I hare given 
of the progress and state of the settlement, will shew 
that any disappointment which has been experienced 
in regard to its colonization and settlement, is fairly to 
be charged to the neglect of many of those into 
whose hands, the property of the lands unfortunately 
fell, and not to any defect in the climate or soil. 
The accounts of the Island which were published soou 


P . ih« ,ho„ !„,. g^,„ „,. 

•okeconveru-d i„.o val„al,l,. .„..„, . ., , "'" 
and PY^rtU r «^si»ues, by the labour 

ex.rl.on. of people, who thry exn.^.tcd « I. . 
fp'opted to retnrf * ^ ^^P'-ctcfl would be 

P w w retort to, and settle in the Island i • 

^•^--nts, ».a„out any .v.^ncn "' '"' 

p«rt. ^ ^ '" '"' *""«'^« o« their 



»CTllurcr« an<l .1.., " "' "'- 

««« , ' '"^ """"■■'-'"iSraeins „, „,ei, „„„ ^^ . 

"ca, Konid Mtarally ,o«,„ ,„ . ''"■'- 

* " ** ""' '» <"«»"■ land, fr„™ Gov<.,„n,e„, i„ 
l«T«'"i(y, rather .han ,„ . , '"""•»^«<^ "> 

' '^^' and .„ „hieh ^ 

P«.pl. ,rho rlttm«lv„ were .«aH„j „», 


Ii in TcghTd 
lie coiuitry* 
never snw 
't wns to 
T'lcnco «f 
» on their 
uids were 
lie labour 
Would be 
» as their 
on their 

f' vvhic'i. 
of arl- 
wn ex-* 
n Amc- 
h thej 
ent in 
•e the 
tie ag 

S n», 





exertions for the benefit of the co«ntry» or coorri- 
butiiw; in any respect to alleviate the dithcaltie* iitci* 
dent to itD sttiMftion imd uireunMt«nce». 

To this unfortunate inistuke in the conduct of the 
proprietors, in to be attributed the slow progress tiie 
colony made for many years ; but tlie priucipal diffi* 
cultics of a new settlement being now surmounted., 
better prospects seem to open upo0 its future pro- 
gress, mony of those, by \vhone eonnectiun with tiM 
colony its settlement was so long iin[»ede<l, have re* 
tired, and have been succeeded by others who have 
more activity, and jiister views of their own interest^ 
and the value of the country j and should the mea- 
sures which have been in contemplation for the be- 
nefit of the colony, be carried into effect, there can 
be no doubt but its future progress to coujplete cul- 
tivation and settlement will be as rapid, as it hoti 
hitherto been remarkably slow. 

Since the following pages were written, I have seen 
two recent publications, one entitled " Strictures and 
" Remarks on the Earl of Selkirk's Observations, ^c 
" by Robert Broun, Esq," the other, « Remarks on 
" the Earl of Selkirk's Observatiom, Sfc. (anonymous/' 



1 am no " trader in emigration" but in justice to my 
feHow subjects in the British Colonies. I cannot avoid 
taking notice of some things contained in these 

If the state of the Highlands, and the prospects of 
improvement under the judicious system of management 
notr s<4d to be pursuing for that purpose, is such as these 
writers represent it to be, I cannot conceive any 
necessity for that vein of misrepresentation, tliat 
runs through these books as to the state of the cor 
lonies, and the prospects to be expected from settling 
in them ; hey have their difficulties, that is certain, 
and any man that emigrates, under an idea that he 
is going to a country where he is to live without 
labour is most grossly deceived : on the contrary 
every man who expects to thrive in a new country 
must work and be industrious, they are not calculated 
for indolent dissipated people, such will find it) old coun- 
triesmany substitutes of which they w ill here be entirely 
destitute, and we think it sufficient to say, that the 
natural and moral state of things in the colonies is 
such, as promiscs'to every industrious man an ample 
reward for his labour, with a certainty of leaving his 
femily if not wealthy, still with such prospects as will 




istice to my 
Einnot avoid 
:d in these 

jrospects of 
uch as these 
iceive any 
:ation, that 
of the cor 
om settling 
t is certain, 
idea that he 
ive without 
e contrary 
lew country 
t calculated 
ii) old coun- 
i be entirely 
y, that the 
colonies is 
I an ampje 
leaving his 
lects as will 

divest his mind of all anxiety on their account : I 
do not mean to make any comparisons ; I am no way 
desirous of holding out incentives to Highland emi- 
gration, and I could appeal to very distinguished 
Members of the Highland Society on that subject ; 
but as a colonist I cannot help saying, that these gen- 
tlemen have taken most unwarra-*9ble liberties with 
their fellow subjects in asserting, chat, a system of 
espionage is established in the colonies, to prevent 
letters giving an unfavourable account of their affairs 
from reaching this country ; and that letters purport- 
ing to be written by emigrants to their friends in Scot- 
land, giving a flattering account of the country, are 
manufactured there, and transmitted for the purpose 
of deceiving others : these are heavy charges, and 
should not have been hazarded lightly ; I have been 
five and thirty years acquainted with the colonies, 
and will venture to assert, that no evidence to justify 
such an infamous charge can be produced : any per- 
son acquainted with the state of these countries 
^ be satisfied that the first part of the charge 
must be unfounded, as the greatest part of the letter, 
.ent from thence to this country are by private hands, 
and merchant ships, that load in the different ports • 
thee cannot be all « traders in emigration;' or in-' 



ttr«l«d m deluding Adr fellow ^Uec . a 
Po«"m.i« of Ai. kind o«„r J, "'' '"^ 

ftom „cl. . vriet, of ri '^°™*'' *»* 

POT p.„ple ,1, e.„„„, „.! "'"" "' 

«".-.>-««„ed..„,.,..„„^j7 ;-'- 

IWrpOM whew better «,.,„ ■ '^-Porary 

■«' "*=«<«>uni which these nnhii .• 
*^ »-^?e„t «^e of th. H 1 . " "'" °' 


ttec^ssarv • th^ . ' ^"' become 

. '^ • ^'^^ account which f hav.^ N 

^uuct ot the proprietors of FV;., i^^ 
^J-ncl, «5iIJ shew how lil f T • ' ^^"^'^^ 

^- -pp.«i„, ,,^. ,;j"^^ '^""'^-- ^^^ere can be 
« ^uy or them connected with o., u 

<-sf«,„,„s„„,,, J; ch>>-- 

concerned i„ oarrvin. « .i„„, "■*■" "«» 

'-"d. and with res;ec;,„ , * '""'^™"' '■™"' ^^"'- 
respec* to tl»e coaimoii «^tf] 

•»a'>y of .be;a are s„ f„ ft„„ ? ■"""' " ?«-« 


ect», and tp^ 
equentljr, and' 
^ make such 
criminal trick 
the name of 
themselves, 1 
« is possible 
»nd therefore 
* temporary 
hand, but 1 
ispired tvitk 
econd sight," 
"s give of 
"ot better 
- cobnists, 
rJ verydif- 
^'I become 
^ given of 
e £dward 
-re can be 
^ch prac- 
hem was 
om Scot- 
' a great 



etHilgr.aion to the Island, thiit they do every fhmg la 
thuBtr poner to prevent it: every man that cornea to tfe« 
colony is looked upon by fnany of the old settlers as a 
roisf'urtune to liiem, as it lessens the chance of getting 
the lands escheated for non-performance of the terms of 
settltinent ; an object which they have long considered 
as much more interesting to them than any benefit to 
be expected by encouraging their ffieods in Scotland 
to become their neighbours. I have more than once, 
witnessed great chagrin and .disappointment among 
them on any accession of inhabitants, particularly 
among the Highlaaders, who being more addicted to 
raising cattle than agriculture, require, according to 
the custom of their country, large bounds; which 
makes them often think thatatownihip is Utile enough 
for thejn when it does not contain, perhaps, twenty 
fomilies : these are facts well known jn the island, and 
^ill account naturally enough for the dismal letter* 
"which Mr. Brown states to have been received from 
that country. 

Charges of a criminal aiv^isgraceful nature against 
a distant community of our fellow subjects, who are so 
situated as to have no means of guarding against or re- 
pelling such attacks, till after they have, probably, had 
the full effect intended by tiieir accuiers, does not 


tended. ' "' ""« Publiclioiw i„. 

^ "'«»"« more authentic evident ,. 
P«l>Iisb to .he world, that „. "' ""'° ""* "o 

•""---".r,, dirlTed'"'"^ "'"«•- "•— 

•'■opurions are held ou, ,o oar,! 7' ""' "'""^ 

•ccounl, of the ,.a,e „f ,,., , ' '"'' '» «''» »»ch 

f'-e,„igra.i„„. S«ha„r "'""""^"^'"o*- 
'"gge„e«, offence Id „ " ""'" ■"" «"' «-- 

«1"am.,d With the „,„«," '2"'""' '*™'' •""• » 

-•• " ••.,„« i3 talke, of a„on. t "^' *" 

"»' «.ch .„d such " w,„ ° '"»'"•<«*«, or 


-" au,h„ri.^. do t,^ ^„,, « ' «»« ^", ju,. on 

'-"""C to in,p„,e eouallv „ . P^'fo^ance. 

"^ to a discus- 
9ects the veiy 
Wications in- 

h«n can be 
"Dan were to 
%ed in the 
' that come 
•ich may he 
very strong 
■ who have 
give such 
eter others 
t fail giv- 

>n who is 

' say, that 
rders, or 

bad as- 

jnst on 

to their 



^ great noise has been made about Highland emi- 
gration, and the public mind has been agitatec^ on the 
subject by various publicatiops, calculated to alarm the 
nation as if there was an absolute danger of that dis- 
trict of the kingdom being depopulated ; and under 
the impression of this alarm. Parliament was induced 
to pass an act, which under the appearance of pre- 
venting emigrants going to America, from suffering 
any hardship or inconvenience on the passage to that 
country, enforces a number of regulations to be ob- 
served on board ships carrying emigrants; which on 
the whole, rather more than doubles the real expence 
of a passage across the Atlantic ; this mode of making 
emigration so expensive, that it must be out of the power 
pf the very poorer class ; 1 take it for granted was 
adopted in compliment to the constitution, by which 
the power of going to, or settling in any country not in 
an actual state of hostilities with our sovereign, has al- 
ways been acknowledged ; but I very much doubt whe- 
ther in ten years it will be found to have diminished 
emigration, It will certainly have a considerable effect 
towards preventing people going off in the way that 
would be most comfortable to tJiem ; men, women and 
children together, two or three hundred in a ship at a 
moderate expence, that would leave them something 
>yherewith to make a comfortable beginning; in their 

*> our own col„„i„ ^J ' ""' ""^ »' g-"ff 

'^-"4 will „ "' i""""' "" *"■' " "«' ".^ .oo„ 

•«■• ■»<• .l.e ™„,be, „f .hi 7""''°"' "'"" '"" 

fi"!- of Cfyde, and .h« . "" '^"' '" "* 

^ ' and the north ©f Irolan/l « n •. . 
P"fe«., e,„., .„ ,„^ ^„ ^__, ;'»-•"■« be f„„„d 

«o»fide„.i„vi,uo„„.pp,., A ; r'"^'" '»"•'- 

"" '0 .be ^„eric,„ S,„,e.. ,„. , "u """■ 


Po-er and r«omce, of o-rh """'^ ""' 

''-'■•«• I.iso.,r •"' ""' '»°« i»votera,e 

-''eob„„u::'"''°'.'™'''''""- ''■'•''>». bee. 
'"""""'«"'-'■ f"'»»ot™o pa., a. 



ntitge o/« jfce 
"* ^ compeljf d 
'stt'ad of goinj 
'f* to be their 

which alone 

1 the great in- 
he wesf coast 
' 'v^iJl be soon 
-an be done 
' of the late 
POft* \n th* 
f»n be found 
as much so 

J and, J am 
'ate act has 
► our colo- 

on for the 
'2'WnA of 
'6 United 
J^ease the 
las been 
pasf, at 


ftie same time that nota wordissaitlof theernigratiou 
from this end of the island, which is of so much more 
real consequence. Yet upon enquiry I am confident it 
will be fourd, that fuil as manj people, and at least,one 
hundred times as much property, has been carried to the 
United States by emigrants from the ports of London, 
Bristol, and Liverpool, within the last ten years as from 
all the kingdom of Scotland in double that time. As « 
coj nist I may be permitted to say, without offence to my 
countrymen in the north, that we would have willingly 
parted with our share of highland emigration, for a 
\fity small proportion of the English capital and in- 
dustry that has been carried to the United States in thU 







Situation and Divisions j 

Bays, Harbours, Rivers, Headlands or Capes 4 

Charlotte Town, George Town, Prince Town 9 

Face of the Country f gj 

Soil and natural Productions 37 

Forrest Trees and other Vegetable Productions 36 

Native Animals, Birds, Fishes, Reptiles and Insects. . 59 

Climate and Seasons 03 

Cultivation and Rural Affairs jgj 

Discovery and Settlement 147 

Administration of Lieutenant-Governor Fanning. . . .233 

Constitution, Laws, and Religion 266 

Fisheries g^^ 

I^age 9, Line 20, for d.fu^ road aghti,-fo„r 
^^ge 12, Line 15. for/>v.zi«. read 

^age 22, Line 15, for i;«.A read Z>«.yl- " 
i^age 25, Line 7, for /.a^5 road keep 


Page 71, Line 10, for «.^./,« read ;,^c/,« ' 
Page 103, Line 14, for ^chen roud uhere 

Page 187, Line 2, fo,/i.W,-,y read //,W%. 







J- RINCE Edward Island i, situated in the 
Gulph of St. Lawrence, North America: Char- 
lotte Town, the capital of the Island, is in lati- 
tude 46- 12 north, and longitude 63 decree, 
west of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich 
AH the south side of the Island is in sight of 
the Continent ; the distance between Cape 
Traverse on the Island, and Cape Tourmentin 
m New Brunswick, is only ten miles, and 
between Carribou Point in Nova Scotia and 

theoppositepartofthelsland, about twelve 
•m es. From the east point, a very consider- 

able part of the west coast of Cape Breton is 
»een at from ten to twelve leagues distance. 

f' i 

Tlie Noi til Cape of the Island, is one hun- 
died miles due south of Cape Rosier, at the en- 
trance of the river St. Lawrence. The sea 
between the Continent and the Island, is known 
by the name of Northumberland Straits ; the 
length of the Island, measured along shore from 
the east point to the North Cape, is about one 
hundred and forty miles ; the greatest breadth 
being the division line between King's and 
Queen's Counties, is little more than thirty-six 
miles ; towards both extremities the Island de- 
creases much in its breadth. 

Prince Edward Island is divided into three 
counties, and sub-divided into parishes and 
townships, which last are distinguished by 
their numbers. The divisions st*:. ! , . Hlows ; 

King's County has St. George's, St. An- 
drew's, St. Patrick's, and East parishes, sub-divid- 
cd into twenty one townships, besides the pro- 
^ ;ed town and Royalty of George Town and 
several Liands. 


Queeifs County is divided into five parishes 
named Cluiilotte, Grenville, Hillsburgli, St. 
John's, and Bedford parislies, sub-divided into 
twenty-three townships, and the town and 
Royalty of Charlotte Town, uhich'is the capi- 
tal of the Island, and three Islands, two in 
Hillsburgh Bay, and one between Harris and 
Harrington Bays. 

P/ince Coupty is divided into North, Eg- 
niont, Richmond, Halifax, and St. David\ 
parishes, and sub-divided into twenty-three 
townships, and the proposed town and Royalty 
of Prince Town, this county has also several 
islands in its bays. The townships, of which 
there are sixty-seven in all, generally contain 
twenty thousand acres each, some contain one 
or two thousand acres more, and lot 66 con- 
tains only ten thousand acres ; the total con- 
tents of the Island stand as follows ; 

King's County 4, igooo acres 

Queen's County 4,94000 

Prince County 4,71000 

Total.... 1,381000 

Besides the Islands scattered in the dif. 
ferent Bays, which probably contain about ten 
tliousand acres among them. 

Says, Harhoun, Rhers. Headland,, or Capes. 
This Island is much intersected by water as 
may be seen by loolcing at the map, the prin- 
cipal bays on tiie south side are Egmont 
Halifax, Hillsburgh and Cardigan Bays, all of 

great extent; on the same side we have also 
H.Ilsburgh, York, Elliot, Cardigan, Montague, 
and Brudnel rivers, all of which will admit of the line, where they will be completely 
land-locked and sheltered from all winds • 
Dnnk, Vernon, and Murray rivers also on the 
south side, will accommodate vessels of three 
hundred tons with safe and convenient har- 
bours ; beside which the whole extent of the 
coast from West Cape to the East Point, pre- 
sent, a succession of smaller bays, coves and 
creeks, many of them forming s.fe and conve- 
nient harbours for trading vessels. On the 
north side of the Island we have Holland. 


Richmond, Grenville, Harris, Bedford, and St. 
Peter's bays, all barred harbours, and not fit for 
large vessels, except the first, which is safe and 
convenient, its bar being much protected by 
the land stretching to the northward towards 
Cape Kildare, and having a sufficient depth of 
water for ships of five hundred tons burthen 
on its bar : Richmond, Harris and Grenville 
Bays have occasionally been frequented by Ships 
of from two to three hundred tons, and in a 
Country where good Harbours were not so 
common, would certainly not be thought bad 
ones ; many Harbours in Europe, the receptacles 
of an extensive commerce, are much inferior in 
every respect. 

These Harbours areseperated from the Gulph 
by high sand Hills, narrow cuts through which 
form the entrances into them ; they have all 
much the same appearance, and resemble greatly 
the entrance of Shields or Newcastle River in 
the North of England, they are all of them ex- 

tensive- branrliinf* rtMf I«4-^ i: • i 

.TV, j„^ „„^ ..^^Q nucuiaisana creeks, 


with from two to five fathom, water, ,„d aft„ 
carry,„g that depth for a considerable way, 
-me of them approach so near the heads of 
"vers and harbours on the south side of the 
Island, that it is believed there is not a point 

on the Island which is not within eight mi^ of 
navgable water. Harrington Bay and S,vage 
Harbour on the north side also, though bad h^- 

bou., are extensive sheets of water, and admit 
small schooners and shallops ; they afford many 
fine situations round them, and enable the peo- 

pesettledon their banks to enjoy the benefit 
of fishing .„ the gulph. Bedford and St. Peter's 
Bays will admit vessels of an hundred tons, but 

he channel of the latter has been subject to al- 
teration for some years past, and it is said not to 
have so much water on its bar as formerly. 

The principal Capes and Head-lands, on the 
north side are North Cape, Cape Kilda,^. Cape 
Alesbury, CapeTryon, CapeTurner, Shipwreck 
Pomt. and East Point; on the south side are 
^y^t Cape, Cape Egmont, Cape Traverse. 

, and after 
able way, 
heads of 
ide of the 
t a point 
t miles of 
id Savage 
I bad har- 
nd admit 
'rd many 
the peo- 
e benefit 
. Peter's 
ons, but 
:t to al- 
I not to 

on the 
. Cape 
) wreck 
de are 

Point Prim, the Wood Islands, Bear Cape and 
Boughton Island; the navigation roun<j the 
Island is in general very safe ; vessels in Nor- 
thumberland Straits should keep a good look- 
out for the Indian Rocks, which lay about three 
miles south west from the Wood Islands on the 
Coast of Township N". 62, they are of consi- 
derable extent and dry at low water: Vessels 
drawing above nine feet of water should not 
approach the coast between the Wood Islands 
and Point Prim nearer than a mile and a half. 
From Cape Traverse to St. Peter's Island there 
is a shoal which is not accurately laid down in 
any chart yet published ; large vessels should 
not approach that part of the coast nearer than 
two miles. 

The North Coast of the Island forms a deep 
bay, in which it is dangerous to be caught 
near the the center of the coast, with a north 
east wind ; if it blows hard, vessels will not be 
able to clear the land either way, and if the 
gale continue must be driven on shore; ships 

in this situation. whe» they fi„d they cannot 
clear the land nor Iceen nff ,1. .. 

tempt one of the large barred harbours tho. ,. 
the sea breaks on H.„ i. ' "Sh 

probablv Tt ' "■"' '^'y """W ™ost 

'w2e, IT ;^ -:• "- .% .m 

. ateiy be in smooth water in whicl, th. 

The nnf^r.1 • -^ "^'^ anchors. 

casioned, rises the water so n, i 

«f 1 ®° ^"ch on this narf 

of the coast, that vessels will i • ^ 


-hver,htt,ensk;h;LT r^'"^ 
the coasf ; . ^''■^^^^'' P^^t of 

coast .. a sandy beach and where the coast 
rises into cliffs there is hnf . 

"^ -an extent, T^^ "^ ^^ '''° "'"" 

-ydifiieuItyinJtinVo /"'"'"• 
o„, I. , i " ^ °" ''""•« ■■ vessels of 


charlotte Town, George Town and Prince Town, 

Of the three towns which have been named, 
Charlotte To- ;n only has yet assumed the ap- 
pearance of a town, it is regularly laid out on 
the banks of the Hillsburgh River ; by looking 
at the map it will be seen that the situation is 
both centrical and convenient, having a safe 
internal water communication with a very con- 
siderable part of the Island, by means of the 
Hillsburgh, York, and Elliot Rivers, which 
meet in its harbour. The ground is well 
adapted for the scite of a town, rising gradually 
to a moderate height above the water, and is 
generally sound dry land, the ascent from the 
river is very easy, the streets are laid out at 
right angles, those running from the river are 
one hundred feet in breadth, the cross streets 
were originally laid out at eighty feet, but 
have since been reduced to forty feet in 
breadth. The building lots are eighty feet in 
front, by one hundred and sixty in depth, and 
many of the inhabitants having several con- 
tiguous lots, are thereby enabled to have larg« 
gardens, by which means the place already 



•ecupfe, a co„siderab,e surface, though it Joe, 
"ot contain more than seventv hn 

though many of them 1 "' ""'' 

vet th^ ,„ • ^"y '"different, 

yet the town vie>red from the harbour or the 

opposue shores has a very pleasing, ppej;;;; 
THe only puMic yet erected T la 

aer::-,."'""'''^— o^o-ehunL 

^^^r^::z.t '-''' "^ ''''' -^- 

'7 ' , *" *' '*°^^"^' " ''-' of seven 
thousand acres so callp,i ,. i,- ^ 

townandcommotAal ""''""'' ^'^ 

both on Hil, K I '" *"'""''*'« fro-t 

"th on Hillsourgh and Yorlc Ri.ers. Many 

of these pasture Int^ i., i ^ 

pastuie lots have been purchased from 

the Grantees „y a fe. individuals on specu 
lat...n, and some progress has been made" 

:::n:rr —-'-.there b::^^.: 

ve small farms within the Royalty The 


---essthana^uarteror: Xr^ 


Vessels of two hundred tons go up the Hills- 
burgh River fourteen miles above tlie town, 
which itself is three miles from the harbour's 
mouth ; the entrance is narrow and is suscep- 
tible of being strongly fortified : after passing 
the narrows the harbour opens into an exten- 
sive bason, which receives the Elliot, York, 
and Hillsburgh Rivers, each of which have a 
sufficient depth of water for the largest ships 
for several miles, where they will be completely 
sheltered from all winds. The tides are so 
strong as to enable ships to work out and in 
against a contrary wind : at full and change 
they rise about nine feet, neap tides rise be- 
tween four and five feet, the bottom is either 
soft mud or strong clay. The greatest in- 
convenience of the harbour is, that, the flata 
run ^ut a considerable distance from the 
shore. Wharfs to receive ships where they 
would always lay afloat must be run out to 
the channel, which is near six hundred feet 
opposite to the town ; there is no danger 
however in allowing ships to ground upon 


the flat, as they are all deep mud, and ti.e 
.hores n..e either sand or soft flat stone, on 

-h.chhght vessels or small craft can be laid perfect safety. The town is protected 

« at the west end of the town is mounted 
"' "'™" ''^'"'y g"ns, so disposed a, to 

command everypartof.he harbour, the other 
"paced on the bank of the river i„ front 
of the town and mounts four guns. „hi,h,,,„ 
pomt to the harbour and the opposite side of 

the nve., the entrance of the harbour is de. 
ftmled by a block-house mounting four guns, 
.nfrontofwhich is a stone battery mounting 

fiveguns with a ditch and freezing, the whol! 
well stockaded, where these works stand the 
Narrows are scarcely half a musket shot across • 
here ,s also a battery on the eastern side of 
hena, "ot at present in repair : from 

he block-house all vessels approaching the 
harbour are seen at three leagues distance, 

« crcumstance of much consequence to the 
«^fety of the place which has immediate no- 


^f and the 
stones on 

■an be laid 

sed as to 

the other 
in front 

hich also 

B side of 

ur is de- 

►ur guns, 


le whole 

and the 

across ; 

side of 
•• from 

"g the 


to the 

e no- 

tice by signal from the block-house of every 
vessel that appears either by day or night. 
The whole of the works in their present state 
are intended against shipping; should it 
ever be adviseable to fortify the place the 
situation is such as to admit of its being 
done very effectually. The barracks are situ^ 
ated at the west end of the town, and con - 
sist of two separate ranges of buildings, each 
260 feet in length, which front- each other, 
being divided by a spacious parade ; they are 
calculated to accommodate upwards of three 
hundred men with their officers, a handsome 
colonade runs along the front of each range, 
the whole are painted white, and though flat 
roofed have a respectable appearance, and in 
point of accommodation are not surpassed by 
any barracks in North America; within the 
same inclosure are an Hospital, a store for 
provisions, and another for the ordnance, and 
a wharf in front of the town 248 feet in length 
is also a military erection. There is a reser- 
vation of a trdct of land called the Fort Lot 

on th. t ,,, „, ^^ ,^^^^^^^^ 

from the e..t,a„ce of the Narrow, ataost tl 
the mouth of E,h„t Ri,er, on .hi. tract Fort 
Amherst for.eri, stood o„ an elevated spo 

three hundred yards fm™ fi. 

yiTaa trom the water, it was 

"ected immediately after .h» 

Island conquest of th? 

, "f' ""» '^ '^'S" ^q'-are redoubt with a 
cannon, and contained handsome barracks- 

by the Rench and their Indian .Mies, but 
they faded rn both attempts. The sit ation 
s commanded b, higher ground at a sma, 
'"7; °: ""' — t the Fort was dis- 
untied and destroyed by Governor Patterson 

soon after his appointment to the govern::: 
an here being near three hundred acres of 
fertd clear land within the reservation, «- 
tremely beautiful in point of situation, th; Go- 
vernor was temptol to make a grant, of the 

01 Kent then commanding Hit 


almost to 
tract Fort 
vated spot 
5»*, it was 
est of th? 
►t with a 
pieces of 
fies, but 
a small 
*vas dis- 

sres of 
•n, ex- 
he Go» 
of the 

ling Hi* 

whole to a person who re-conveyed it to himself, 
and on this place he built a handsome fann-house 
and extensive oHices, and laid out large sums in its 

The amusements which Charlotte Town can 
yet afford are only such as may be expected 
in a young country thinly inhabited : in Spring, 
Summer, and Autumn, shooting, fishing, riding, 
and sailing; water parties are frequently made, 
when each family taking their dish en pic wic force, in the Nova Scoti. district, «d the same w« «,. 
aft« vacated, and the place was for wme time considered a. a^ll^j 
ground, but iniaoOHia Grace the Duke of Portland, then Secretary 
of State for the Coionie,. wa. pleased to direct Lieutenant-Gonem, 
Fanning, Lieutenant-Governor of the Island to grant a lease thereof t« 
the late Monsieur Calonne the French Minister. «ho the.» proposed to settle 
on the Island with a number of French Royalists, reserving to the Crowu 
.uch a rent as the Governor might think rea«,nable, which was fixed 
•t «51. per annum. The building, «.d improvement, m«le bj 
Governor Patterson had previously been suffered to go into dec.,, 
having fallen into the hands of soma of his cred.tors. who not being 
^guine a. to the solidity of their title did not think fit to be at any 
expence about them. It i, a fine tract of land and the situation «,d 
Mpect extremely pleasing. 


. ".arquee i, pi.che.I at ,„.... of tl.e many 
charn,.„g ,pot, „„ the bank, of the adjoini„! 
"ver,, and many happy ,,ou„ ,re thul 
peasantly .pent. X„ .;„.„ .„„^ ., J 

.hoot-ng but it is often atte„.,e., With nTe 
f-gu. than most people would think 
'vorth, a, it i, generally „ecessarv to 

~oe, whenever we go Off the UT 
«'e forest. Driving carioles is a ft,„„i,, 

.musement.t this season, they go with grea 
P.<i.ty when the roads are well beaten:^: 

he r.vers,„ fine weather when the snow is not 

tl>. d.vers.on. There is an assembly once a 
fortnight in winter »i„„i, 
.h- r^ . "^ ^"""ences with 

the Queen-s birth day, and the party i. 

.h atncals were attempted for two winters, 

but some of the party being only tempo,,,; 

"' ents, that amusement has been given up 

for the present. ^ 


George Town, situated in King's County on 
a Peninsula between two navigable rivers or 
arms of the sea, is yet as a Town but in embrio, 
there being but a f^w lots granted, and only 
three or four built upon; the situation is very 
fine, and the Ilaibour one of the best in North 
America ; like the Harbour of Charlotte Town 
it has three large branches, v/ith depth of water 
for the largest ships, besides two fine basons 
completely land-locked ; in front of the whole 
there is a capacious roadsted open only to the 
south east, a wind which seldom blows hard on 
this coast : An island on each side of the bay 
makes it very remarkable, and the access is 
perfectly safe, being quite free from rocks or 
shoals ; in many parts of the harbour the water 
is deep close to the land, there are several situ- 
ations in the different branches where large 
ships can lay within their own length of 
high water mark, on the south west front of 
the town in particular, large ships may lay close 
to the shore perfectly protected from wind and 
sea, and the situation large enough to acconx- 

s . , 


modate an extensive commerce. It is generally 
believed in the island that if the capital luid 
been fixed licre, it would have been before this 
tmie a large town, as the situation possesses 
many advantages over Charlotte Town, it being 
much nearer the ocean and of much easier access! 
as any wind that will bring ships through 
the Gut of Canso, will carry them into this 
harbour with ease, whereas the westerly winds 
which prevail so much on this coast, render 
their getting to Charlotte Town more tedious, 
particularly in the Autunm : its lying very 
little out of the tract from Canada to Nova 
Scotia and the United States, and its contiguity 
to the fishing grounds would probably have 
made it much frequented by shipping, if it 
had been settled, and could afford them such 
necessary assistance as ships usually want 
coming from sea, as matters ^re, they will 
find fresh provisions, vegetables, wood, and 
water, with a safe harbour, that is of such 
easy access, that they may enter it by their 
^barts, without the aid of a pilot. 


The lands round all the branches of this 
extensive harbour are remarkably well tim- 
bered, and as yet in a great degree untouched, 
which with its other advantages, render it a most 
eligible situation for ship building and the timber 
trade. Building lots in George Town contain 
about half an acre each, with which is granted 
a pasture lot of ten acres in the Royalty an- 
nexed to the town, and any person proposing 
to settle there, on application to the Governor 
in Council, will readily obtain a grant of a 
town and pasture lot, the fees on which will 
amount to about forty shillings. Besides the 
Town and Royalty of George Town, seven 
toM-nships of twenty thousand acres each, 
abutt upon the waters of this harbour ; the 
-oldest and most forward settlement, is situated 
.on Township, No. 59, two-thirds of which 
is the property of Sir James Montgomery, 
His Majesty's Lord Advocate for Scotland, 
whose father, the late venerable Lord Chief 
Baron of Scotland, was one of the few pro- 
prietors to whose exertions at the beginning of 

B 2 

■the settlement tbe colony is „„der any „Wi^,ab.e „..„ber of people on To J 1 

No. 53, one third of .,iel, is hb ,„Xt 
property, and settlements are „„* Ju ^" 

Earl of Westmoreland, and thr H 

°'- ^'*' ^^' "•«' 61, those on the twn i ! 
mentioned, a-e settled without .. ''* 

ofth^;r, . """" "'e-nten-ention 

of he,r,espect,ve proprietor, by „h„„.^ 

- t '™ '""'^'^ "^^'^«ed hitherto • Towl 

: r. T- " ^^ ^^' -« -"^ -r 

«mall, „, comparison of the extent of 

'.arbour, the vacant front on which woufd 

oommo<,,e five hundred families mo..::! 
of-h-eh would bound on navigable-watr 

any obK- 
: settled a 
aking ou 
». by the 
ese por- 
wo last 
•m they 
;nt of 
5f the 

■ PjihccTown, situated on the north side of 
the Island on a branch of Richmond Bay, is 
yet like George Town little more than a name, 
though there are perhaps as many people within 
the Town and Royalty as at Charlotte T^wni 
but thinking that agriculture should precede 
town building, they have neglected the town 
lots, and by accumulating a number of conti. 
guous pasture lots each, have formed a number 
of small farms, which are in a considerably for- 
ward state of improvement. 

Richmond Bay, though a barred harbour, is 
the largest on the north side of the Island, and 
has from twelve to fourteen feet water on its 
bar: It has two principal entrances Jbesides 
smaller ones ; it is very extensive and some 
parts of it are much exposed in bad weather; 
there are however several arms of it that are 
well sheltered and perfectly secure in all weather' 
that on which Prince Town is situated is a safi 
harbour for trading vessels. Before the Ameri- 
can War, Richmond Bay was the principal 

Station used by the NnvEnglandpeopIe, for 
carry,„g „„ the cod fishery in the Gulph of 

St Wence, it contains six islands, three 
of wh,ch, have above five hundred acre, 

llere are seven townships, containins 
among them one hundred and forty thousand 
acres, abutting upo Richmond Bay, it has 
=^30 a .afe inland water communication with 
Holland Bay, by Cavendish Channel, affording 

great convenience in the transport of produce 
from one harbour to the other; two roads, 

neither of them much above two miles i„ 
fcngtb, connect it with the lands lying oa 
Halifax Bay and D„rk River, situated on the 
south aide of the Island. There are very co„- 

».derable settlements on Richmond Bay, which 
aremcreasmg ve,y fast in population, the land 

bemgan general very good, and abounding 
With fine timoer, ^ * 


This Island is in general level, having but 
few hills, and none of them very high or 
^teep, probably the highest spot on the Island 
does not rise above five hundred feet above 
the level of the sea, and the soil on the hills 
is in general the best on the Island, being 
moister, and less apt to be sandy than the 
low grounds, the timber on them is in general 
hard wood, and the tr^es are larger, and stand 
at a greater distance, than on the low grounds, 
a sure indication of their superior soil : the 
highest land on the Island is on the road 
between Charlotte Town and Prince Town, 
stretching from the head of Harris Bay to 
the head ^)f Grenville Bay, and is intersected 
by several streams which run into these bays : 
There is also a considerable hill towards th« 

»-« of Em„.t Eiver, on the road f™„, 
Cha io«e To.„ eo T.,o„ Settlement an^ 

abontirr?'"''^""-"-^'- ground 
about the head of Hillsb„rgh Eiver, particu- 

their h • , "P"' ^ "> P^"«t 

he.r being cultivated with ease. Though 

departs of the coast have alow flat look 
the greatest part of the face of the countr; 

" "-•" -aived and often rises into beautiful 
-«s, and being .uch intersected ,^th a™, 

of the sea. creeks, and rivulets, present, eve,y 
''here . vast variety of fine situations for 
•'"' and improvements. The heads of the 

"vers and the creeks, are all more or less bor- 
^jed by «,t mashes, producing annually 

-ge crops of strong nutritive grass. wi,ho„^ 
trouble or cultivation, which makes excellent 

%. on which the greater part of the cattL 

the.e n^arshe, when dyked i„ f„m the sal 


tjrater, make the most valuable laniis on tht 
Island, this however is a work in which no 
great progress has yet been made. Springs of 
the clearest and purest water, abound all 
over the Island, and which not only do not 
freeze in the winter, but the runs from them into 
the sea, keeps i channel open, though the ice on 
both sides thereof will be a foot thick or more 
on the salt-water. Fine water is also obtained 
by digging wells at a moderate depth, it being 
rarely necessary to exceed twenty-five feet, and 
there is very seldom an instance of being dis- 
appointed in getting water. There are not 
many swamps of any extent in the Island, and 
still fewer lakes or ponds of fresh water in com- 
parison to the extent of the country. Travel* 
Jing is not difficult through the woods, even 
where there a'-e no roads, there being Very 
little underwood to what is generally found 
in most other countries covered with forest, 
nor is it in the least incumbered with rocks, 
like the neighbouring country of Nova Scotia. 
The want ©f stone is perhaos the ereaiesA 


ofa ,0ft sandy nature, and i„ ,„„,e p,,,„ 

'^'^"'IX ''"""'""'''""■ ^-^"^ 

has yet been discovered in the Island, though 
there are strong indications of iron in n,afy 

P'aces. I« looking at the face of the country 
every pe.on wiU he a. once struck with t,^ 
great difference in appearance between it and 
the neighbouring continent, it having every 
where „,uch the sa.e appearance, without 
a y .mpednnent to tl,e cultivation of the 
w ole, no rocks, no impenetrable swamps, no 
extensive pi„e barrens to separate the settle- 

-nessh,, there need not be a waste acre 

n he I. land, a very uncommon circumstance, 

-d which must finally enable it to maintain a 
■""ch greater population than most other 

countries of ,be same extent. Koad, are very 
easily made, from the nature of the soil a„.I 
chmate, and very considerable progress has 
been already made in that respect, considering 

the great extent of the Island, and the smaU 
number of inhabitants, there being tolerable 

roads between the capital and all the principal 
settlements, wliich have been chiefly made by 
the statute labour, all males from 16 to 60 
years of age, according to their different cir- 
cumstanced, being obliged to perform from 
four to six days labour on the high roads 
annually. The facility with which roads 
can be made, is a circumstance of the most 
interesting nature, and when viewed in connec- 
tion with our many navigable rivers and creeks, 
affording a safe water communication to a 
great part of the Island, cannot fail to be 
highly advantageous in every stage of our 
progress and settlement. The laying out of 
high roads, erecting of bridges, and appoint- 
ing and regulating ferries is vested in the 
Governor or Lieutenant-Governor for the time 
being, and His Majesty's Council, and a re- 
servation is made in the grant of every 
township, of such parts thereof, as may 
be wanted for high roads, so that there 
can be no part of the Island in which 
a just and reasonable claim to a road can be 


refund. Tl,e Governor and Council are how- 
ever reatricted from pul,i„g down house,, or 
destroying orchards, gardens, n,i||,, or mill 
da™,, ,n laying out road,, and doubtless it 
mil also become just and necessary in the pro. 
gres, of the settlement a, road, multiply, to 
grant a reasonable compensation to the pro. 
Pnetor, and occupier, of all inclosed and 
culfvated land,, though which it may be 
found nece,sary to lay out ne,. road, for the 
PubLc accommodation, which compensation it 
W.II frequently be proper to levy on the dis- 
trict for tlie benefit of which the road i. 
claimed, i„ order to prevent the wanton abuse 
too common in new countries on the subject 




The soil is in general alight red loam, in some 
places approaching to a tolerable strong clay, 
but in most districts more or less sandy; but 
even where the soil may be called sandy, if it 
incline to a dark color it is very fruitful, and 
with tolerable cultivation yields good crops : 
where white sand predominates the land is poor, 
and wants frequent manuring. The quality 
of the soil in its natural state, may always be 
known by the kind of timber it produces ; 
the best land growing together, large maple, 
beech, black and yellow birch, mixed 
with the different kinds of pine and fir, the 
trees will stand at a distance, and the roots 
do not appear to run along the surface, which 
ill general will be found covered with the 
dwarf yeiv, or as it is commonly called giound 



spruce, ,vl„c), is always an i.ulicatiun of .ooj 
1"<I. Tl.e next best kind i, .|,,t «,,,i^.,, 
d»c« large l,a„l w„„d of the kind, above 
™ent,„„ed, nnnnxed ,ri„. an, evergreens or 

softwood, if .,,e,,,es stand at a g,.eatdis. 
tance, and push their roots ,vcll „„t of si»hr 

and the surface is covered with the d.^ar; 
yfw, tins land is very li„|e inferior to the fir,t 
mentioned ,ind. The next indication is, .hen 
the land eovered with hard wood, and 
the roots run much along the surface, and that 


.nconrparison to the others, the upper stratum 
of the sod wiU be found thin, and the sub- 
«o.I cold and hard. The vvorst land i„ i,, 
^atural state, is that which produces nothin. 
but spruce, .„all white birch, and scrubb^ 
pmes, this land is generally very hght and 
•^■iy, and requires too much manure, ,o be 
profitably cultivated in the present state of the 

Tbc lvalue of the swamps or low 

wet grounil 

31 . 

is not yet nnich known by experience, few at- 
tempts having yet been made to reclaim any 
but such as by producing in their natural state 
abundance of grass, promised an immediate pro- 
fit with very little expence; the management of 
these has been merely to drain them a little 
where that was required, and to cut away the 
trees and bushes with which they are more or 
less encumbered, and then to throw some timo- 
thy grass seed on the surface-; in this way 
Avithout further cultivation large crops of that 
grass have been obtaincu. Tiie low grounds 
which produce strons; aliier bushes, large annual 
weeds, particularly nettles, are also fine lands, 
and will produce large crops of the same grass 
without any other cultivation than grubbinj. 
up the bushes, burning the surface, and then 
bush harrowing the seed upon it. 

. Of the swamps which produce nothing but 
small black spruce trees, or those which having 
ityv or no trees of any kind, are covered with a 
80ft fog or moss, .in which a man wi^ink to 



his knccsj nothihg is known of their value, nd 
attempts having yet been made to improve 
them ; under some of the swamps beds of strong 
white clay have been discovered, the same ar- 
ticle is also seen in some districts in walking 
•long shore between high and low water mark, 
it is said to be very fine, and is preferred at 
Halifax, by the regiments in garrison, for 
cleaning their accoutrements to wliat is 
imported from England, which is the only use 
it has ever yet been put ta 

In some districts large tracts of the forest 
were destroyed by fire near a century back, 
the soil of these tracts is not esteemed so 
valuable as that whereon the original gw>wth 
of timber is still standing, many parts of them 
are without useful timber of any kind, and a 
great deal is overrun with strong ferns, dwarf, 
laurel, and other shrubs ; the ferns are diffi- 
cult to be got the better of, they grow in 
some^es six and seven feet high, and push 
thetr flps very deep into the earth. The burnt 


e same ar-^ 

lands, as tlicse tracts are called, were long 
thought of little or no value, from an idea 
that the fire had in a great measure destroyed 
their fertility. It is prohable, that in general 
they never were so good as the other parts of 
the Island, the very circumstance of their 
original growth of timber having been destroyed 
by fire, shews that the predominant species 
upon them was such as indicates an inferiority 
of soil, as we now know by many years ex- 
perience, that though the fire will sometimes 
in very dry years, in the months of May and 
June, kill and partially burn the timber on 
our best lands, it never acts so severely on 
them as to injure their fertility, on the con- 
trary, the finest crops are procured ly burning 
all the timber upon them. From the appear- 
ance of the burnt districts, and the number of 
old pine trees and stumps still remaining upon 
them, it is evident that these lands were covered 
chiefly with pine and other resinous woods, 
and therefore, the soil in its original stat^' 
could not have been of the best. There is 

^ BOW, 



now, however, good reason to believe from a 
variety of trials, that the greater part of the 
burnt lands will pay very well for their culti- 
vation; I have lately been surprised to see 
parts of them which had been long considered 
of little or no value, brought into culti- 
vation at a much smaller expence certainly, 
than it is possible to cultivate the forest lands 
for : still it must; be confessed, that in general, 
the lands on which the original gvowth of 
timber remains, and is such as has been 
noticed, as indicating the best soil, are much 
more to be relied upon, though the process of 
bringing them into cultivation is more expen- 
sive, and the necessary time greater, than is re- 
quired for the burnt lands. A settler in indigent 
circumstances, who relies from the beginning for 
the means of subsistence on the produce of his 
labour, must not at first meddle with the 
burnt lands, he should cut down and clear away 
the forest, which will never disappoint him. 
Let him but get rid of the timber, and scorch 
the surface with fire, whatever seed he com- 


tnits to the earth, will produce him a good 
crop, though the stumps of the trees still 
remain. A settler who is farther advanced, 
has a stock of cattle, and a capital to com- 
mand labour, may find it profitable to cultivate 
the burnt lands, large tracts of which he will 
be .ble to render tolerably productive, in much 
less time > an is required to get rid of the 
stumps oi iiie trees, in the lands which he clears 
from the forests, a circumstance which forms 
no trifling temptation to their cultivation ; at 
the same time it is universally allowed, that 
our forest lands are much easier cultivated, than 
the forest lands on any part of the neighbouring 
Continent, the surface being much easier k- 
veiled, and almost totally unincumbered with 
rocks and stones, so that when the stumps of 
the trees are got the better of, all the diffi- 
culties to complete cultivation are overcome. 

c 2 




It >'i 

I regret much, that my knowledge of this 
part of my subject, does not enable me fo 
treat it scientifically, but feeling, that in a 
description of the Island, at least an attempt 
to bring its natural productions into notice will 
be expected, I must enter on it, though with 
•diffidence, Sensible that my knowledge thereof 
is very imperfect. 

Beech (Fagus Sylmticd.) This tree grows 
in great abundance, probably better than 
one-half of the Island is covered with it, in 
some districts it forms nine-tenths of the 
forest, in others, it is more mixed with other 
trees, its mast is produced in vast quantities 
in some seasons, the cifects of which shall be 


mentioned hereafter, it is a^ large handsome 
forest tree, the timber is sometimes exported, 
but the chief value of it at present, is for fire 
wood, for which, no other wood exceeds it. 

. 1 1' 

Birch, of this we have four species, 1st.. 
(betula alba), of this, there are two varieties,, 
one is the tree common in parks in Eng- 
land, and in the Island is called grey birch,, 
the other is a much handsomer tree, and of 
quicker growth, has a glossy smooth white 
bark, which divides into lamina as thin 
as cambric paper, and answers well to 
write on : in ihe forest this tree grows to a 
large size, the Indians forming canoes of the 
bark of a single tree, which will carry five, or 
six people, the bark is also used for making, 
various useful articles, such as buckets, bov/ls,. 
and baskets, they are chiefly made by the 
Indians, and are sewed when cut to the shape 
intended, with small slips of the roots of 
black spruce trees, they are made to hold water, 
are light, and will last a long time : it is per- 

haps the only bark which is less liable to decay 
tilMi the ,.ood which it incloses, when the 
trees fall ir. the woods, the bark will remaio 
entire many years after the tree is completely 
Totten ; it is very inflammable, emitting a strong 
vmd iiame, and a very thick black smoke, 
which might be easily condensed and collected 
« the form of oil. Many fine white birch 
trees grow in the old P,e„ch cleared lands 
.n snch situations, it is often a very ornamental 
tree, growing to a considerable size, and havin.. 
=« large spreading top with bright green leaves." 

2d. Black Birch (heiula nigra.) This is the 
largest of our deciduous trees, it is common 
all over the Island, where the original growth 
of t,mber has not been destroyed by fire; it is 
much used in all the northern countries i„ 
America for ship building, it is nearly of the 

colour of lightmahogany, and takes as good 
''Pohsh: it makes handsome bedsteads and 
Chairs, but does not answer so well for tables 

being apt to cast in that article. Theexporta^ 


tion of this timber, has long been common 
from all the neighbouring countries, and a few 
cargoes have recently been exported from this 
Island, it is chiefly sent to Liverpool, and 
other ports in the north of England, and 
also to Scotland and Ireland, where it is much 
approved of, several attempts have lately been 
made to introduce if into the London market, 
but the timber merchants appear to be against 
it, and they Ivive too much the command of 
the trade, to render it practicable to introduce 
a new article without their concurrence.* 

• A gentleman who Jately imported a cargo of timber from tlie 
Island, consisting chiefly of this article, being informed that it was very 
lit for stocking fire arms, had a few musicts and fowling pieces stocked 
with it, by an eminent tradesman in that line in the City, who making a 
fhvourable report of the timber, it was offered to Government, and these 
articles weie sent to the Horse Guards, for the inspection of His 
Royal Highness the Duke of York, who was pleased to refer the matter 
to the Board of Ordnance, who sent tliera to the Tower; here the 
butmess turned out vecy different from what was expected, none 
of the customary means to secure a favourable reception had been 
resorted to, and a report was made against the justice of which, 
thousands can bear testimony, the timber being represented as inferior to 
common beech, and too soft to hold the sgrcwR 5 at this time walnuf 


ii-w,^)t>> ^ T'Hfflw^.sapT^- 


3d. YelW Birch rAe/«& fe«„.; t1„.^ ^^,^^ 
grows to a large tree, and i, also used in ship 
b" It i, strong and elastic, which .a J 
"much -ed for n,any domestic articles; 
lands on wh,ch the original timber has been 
destroyed by fire, frequently g.ow up with 

ye. ow|,irch, these tracts afford a, rea'td:;; 

of th,st™ber, of a si« fit for making hoops, 
for wh,ch it is very proper, .berever it grows 

m th.s manner, it indicates a better soil than 
when the young growth consists of white birch • 
yellow birch trees, growing single on old 
Cleared lands are frequently very fine orna. 
mental timber. 

4th. Alder Cietula alnus.) This seldom 
grows into a tree of any value : Us bark 

»-e wood. .,,ch i3 co™„,o„]y „.ed fo. th« purpose, was not to h, . . 

^ nearly equal thereto codd have been sun!,'. 

the Horse Gnard.. regained there thev ^"-^'"S P"- sent to 

officer,. a„, ,,e stock, Je . "'"^ "" "''""*' "^"*^-<^ 

Winced. .h,the Jl .^""'"^^'"'^ ''" ^"''-^ ^ - -, 
he bcgon hi, apphcation at the wrong end. 

his often 
in ship 
h makes 
irticles ; 
as been 
ip with 
at deal 
il than 
birch ; 
I old 

bad at 
(J the 
ent to 



<lyes a good dark brown, it grows in low 
rich lands, and along the sides of creeks and 

Of the Maple we have three species, 1st. 
The White Maple (acer negundo) it is firm 
and smooth, and takes a fine polish, and is 
fit for many common purposes, it also affords 
sap for making sugar, but not so rich in quality 
as the rock or curled maple. 

2d. The Red Maple (acer rubrum.) Tliis 
tree is small and of no value, and is generally 
found growing in swamps. 

3d, The rock or curled Maple (acer sacchari- 
num.) This is frequently a large tree: the 
butts of many of them for six or eight feet from 
the ground, being finely curled, renders this 
timber extremely beautiful in cabinet, work, 
as it is very close grained, and susceptible of 
a high polish: what is called the bird's eye 
maple is a variety of this tree. The chief value 


ofthe maple at present, arise, from the qua„, 
trty ot sugar annually manufactured of if sap 
the making of which generally commences 
aboutthesith of March, and continues through 

thefirstten day, i„ April; .he quantity made 
vanes much in different years, and depends 
greatly on the weather at this period : the more 
«now there is on the ground, the trees run the 
greater quantity of „p, dark or rainy weather 
.s unfavourable; the sap i, produced in the 
greatest quantities in bright sun shiny davs 
after a frosty night: To procure the sap a gap 
>s cut in the tree with a common feUing axe 
th,s is from an inch and an half to three inched 
deep, and from six to eight inches long, slantin.. 
>n the form of the letter V, and should face 
the south west; the sap will run freely from 
this gap, from the lower end of which it 
» guided into a trough placed belovv, by a 
chip driven into a slight cut just under the 
gap; a full grown tree will sometimes run up- 
ward, of two gallons a day; the person, em- 
ployed m the bu,ines, visit the trees frequently 



to see that the sap runs fairly into the troughs^ 
and to collect it into barrels, which arc placed 
conveniently for that purpose, in them it is 
drawn on hand sledges to the boiling place, or 
as it is called the sugar camp: the apparatus 
for boiling generally consists of three kettles, 
the largest double the size of the second, and 
that rather more than in the same proportion 
to the third, these are suspended over a large 
fire made in a temporary hut in the forest; the 
sap is first boiled in the large kettle, and re- 
moved into the others in succession, as it is 
reduced by boiling to the quantity each can 
contain ; when removed into the second kettle 
the first is again filled with fresh sap, and 
boiling is continued in all the kettles which 
are filled up from each other; the liquor requires 
to be frequently skimmed ; to prevent its 
rising suddenly over the kettle, a small bit of 
tallow or butter is occasionally thrown in: 
when the syrup in the smaller kettle appears of a 
proper consistency, it is poured into wooden 
moulds, the kettle is again filled up from the 


second, vhich is replenished from the larger, 
, and that is filial witJi fresh sap; a small quan- 
tity of lime water is sometimes put into the 
smaller kettle to promote its granulation. In 
every stage of the work much attention is re- 
quired to make good sugar : before the 
sap should be strained to clear it of chips and 
other adventitious substances. The sugar thus 
produced is by some rendered as white as the 
finest Muscovado sugar, but that is by no 
means generally the case, much of it being made 
in a very slovenly manner, is very dark co- 
loured, extremely hard from too much boilin«r 
difficult to break, and takes a Jong time to dis- 
solve the manufacture upon the whole is in a 
very imperfect state in this Island, though it is 
certainly improving. When well made this 
sugar is an agreeable sweet, and answers all 
the purposes of common sugar; very good 
vinegar is also made by boiling three gallons 
of sap into one, and then fermenting it with 


The sugar thus obtained from the maple is 
all clear gain, being made at a time when very 
little other out of door work can be performed. 
Three smart lads working tc^^cih^r, will often 
make one hundred weight -ach in i;»e course of 
a fortnight, and sometimes :u ;i fa- )rable year 
more. The trees are found m more or less 
plenty all over the Island, where the original 
growth of forest remains ; the greatest part 
of the inhabitants supply themselves with all 
the sugar they consume in this manner, and 
many have a good deal to dispose of. 

The maple tree adds much to the beauty of 
our forest scenery in the Autumn, as the leaves 
of a tingle tree will assume every tint from 
green to rich crimson and bright scarlet colour. 

Elm (ulnus americana) of this tree, I think 
Ave have only one species, and that not very 
common, nor in great plenty, in any part of 
the Island. 


orB^nl""' ''''"' "^'y' (l«'rcu, rubra) 

ce. on the neighbouring Continent, I L 

Pect fro. the difeent appearance of it : 

omedutnctsfron, other, that .e have .ore 
than o„e variety of this specie,, the value of 

Poplar or Aspen (poputu, trmula.) Uis 

t-e.s,„ some districts of the Island i„g„at 
P-y, it is not an indication of good's^ 
the wood when green, is soft and white, it is 

»uch used for fencing, for .hieh, when spii 

"to -is, u is .ore valuable than any otL 
wood produced i„ t,, ,,,„,, ^^^^^ 

and hght, ,.d is very fit for so„,e kinds of 
turner's work. 

Swamf Willow (sali..) This is a ve.y use. 

* rubra) 
le Island, 
J is said 
ame spe- 
» I sus- 
of it in 
ve more 
^alue of 
lite oak 

1 great 
cl soil, 
£} it is 
1 split 


is of 



less tree, never grows to any size, nor are its 
twigs of any value, being very brittle, it is 
the first tree that blossoms in the spring, and 
its white flowers are to be seen, when all the 
other trees retain their winter appearance. 

Ash of two species. 1st. White Ash, or 
(fraxinus excelsior.) This is a valuable tree, 
but in no great quantity on the Island, it grows 
only in good land, is strait and tall, and 
sometimes found of a large diameter. 

2d. Black Ash, or (fraxinus Americana.) 
Tills is a wood of very little value, the cL>ief 
use to which it is put at present, is the makiwg 
of baskets and brooms. 

Pine, of this we have several species. 1st. 
The White Pine (pinus strobus) which in 
point of size, greatly exceeds all the other 
productions of the forest, being fouad three, 
four, and five feet diameter, and of a 
great height, I have seen one made into ft 


mi„ma.t for a 64 gun ship, without any ad- 
ditions; but the number of large sticks fit for 
the navy, i„ any one district, is not so great 
«» to make them an object worth the attention 
of government: the quantity of pi„e up„„ 
the Island is not abundant, it is no where to be 
found in large groves unmixed »-ith other trees 
as IS frequently ihe case on the Continent. ' 

2d. Yellow Pine 0>/»« ;»«.«; i, harder and 
heavier than the white pine, but never grows 
to the same size: the quantity of this wood 
on the Island is not great, and is chieflv 
confined to two or three districts of smaU 

Sd. Pitch Pine (pinus tmda.) Of this we 
have very httle. and of very inferior value, no 
attempts to extract tar from it have ever been 
made, that I am acquainted with, its knots 
and roots being full of terebinthin oil, afford 
a fine light when burning, and are sometimes 
used instead of candles. 


4th. Larch Cpinm larix.) This is the only 
tree of the terebinthine kind which sheds its 
leaves in autumn, its turpentine is said to have 
powerful medicinal qualities: I have seen it 
have very good effects in colds arid coughs. 
The timber is valuable on account of its dura- 
bility, making the best knees for ship buildfog, 
and the best trunnels of any wood which grows 
in this climate. 

5th. Fir (pinus baisamia.) This tree yields 
a fine balsam, contained in small blisters ttn 
the outside of the bark, (commonly ktloWn 
by the name of Canada balsam) it is uM both 
internally ^nd externally. The timber of this 
tree is coarse and brittle, and is seldom used 
whete pine cah' be obtained, ^hcre* the 
grain of a fir tree does not twist- ^o much as 
to prevent its being split, it mak^s good rails 
for fencing, for which it is much used, and 
also for lath wood. 

Sth. Spruce (pinus canadcmis.) Of this we 



have three varieties, 1st. the black spruce, 
which often grows into a large tree, fit for 
masts and spars : of the tops of this tree, the 
spruce beer, now so well known in England, is 
made. 2d. White Spruce, this is a wood of very 
little value, but being light, is sometimes used 
for spars and rafters, where that quality re- 
commends it. 3d. Red Spruce, this wood is 
not oo valuable as black spruce, but much 
superior to white spruce, it sometimes grows 
on old cleared lands which have been long out 
of cultivation, in which situation, it forms 
very ornamental groves, its figure being regu- 
larly conical, and feathered to the ground. 

7th, Hemlock (pinus abiesj. This tree in 
size is next to the white pine, to which, how- 
ever, it is much inferior ; its chief value is for 
making wharfs or buildings in the water, w 
which situation it is more durable than "ny other 
timber of this climate; the bark is excel- 
„ lent for tanning leather, and the tops yield a 
medicine, which has been found very powerful 


in scorhutic complaints ; some make a decoction 

of them, boiling them in the same wanner as 

the tops of the black spruce, for making spruce 

beer, others bruise them and pour cold spring 

water upon them, which is allowed to stand 

twelve hours, and then poured off, when it will 

be found thick and ropy : I have seen this 

taken thres times a day with great effect ; a 

jill before breakfast, the same quantity an hour 

before dinner, and the like going to bed ; it 

agrees well with the stomach and gives a power* 

ful appetite. 

Wild Cherry (prunus virginiana,) Of this 
we have several varieties, which have not 
yet been properly distinguished, but none of 
them are of any value, the only use ever 
made of them is to put them to spirits, for 
which they are said to answer as well as the 
best cherries, making good cherry rum and 
cherry brandy, the trees grow in great num- 
bers in land newly cleared, unless kept down 
by its being cultivated, and are particularly 

£ 2 


fond of situations where the original timber 
has been destroyed by fire, they are of very 
<juick growth, but never grow to a size to 

' ' ' i [ ^ ■ ■' ! ■'•!**■ , '. , . . , 

make tljejr timber of aty vaiue^ and do i.ot 
J live oboye fifteen or twenty^ears, *^^^ ' 

}Vhu Cm-dr (ihuja pccidentalis.) Tliis ?ree 
is common only in the north west corner of 
the Island, where it occupies a coirslderabie 
district,, it is a very different tree from the red 
cedar of more southern climates. 


.,.f, Having gone through the catalogue of forest 
trees, I think it proper to obset ve, that the 

_ .timber of the Island, is allowed to be much 
better than the like species on the neighbour- 
ing parts of the Continent, being of a finer, 
and closer grain and texture, not so subject 
to shakes and defects, the pines, black birch, 
beech, and maple, are also larger th ,r. they 
are generally found on the adjacent ^iu-s df 
the ContJ ci.'t. 


It is not in my poww to describe with 
scientific accuracy, the indigenous shrubs and 
vegetables of the Island ; many of them are 
only known to me by trifling names which 
can convey no information, I shall there- 
fore only briefly take notice of the mOst com- 
mon. . w ; 

.> » 1* J ; t . * 

The Black Curtant (riies nigtuih) is very 
common in low rich moist land, and in its 
native state, is very harsh and ' disagreeable; 
whether it is susceptible of improvemeiit by 
cultivation, I am not informed, no trials that 
I am acquainted' with, havitig ever been made 
to cultivate them. ' 


Wild Goos'el)en*y (ribes grossularia) is klsO 
very common 'in the borders of the forest, and 
is often found in the old French cleared lands, 
they improve very much by cultivation, 
though they are far from disagreikbleih ttwr 
liative state, and cbmin'g i^arly, we have thein 

' " ■' ' ' ^ tUtH 'iUi r- ii'V 


for baking, for which they are very good, 
before any other fruit. 

The Whortle Berry, or Blue Berry ('vac- 
cinium eorymbosum) grows in great abundance 
in many districts, and is very good, a gallon 
of spirits resembling gin in flavour, has been 
distilled from a bushel of them, in some dis- 
tricts they are in such plenty, as to furnish 
the swine with their chief food for several 

The Cranberry (mccinium qjn^coccos) grows 
on a small low creeping vine close to the ground, 
in the edge of marshes adjoining 'the upland, 
and in low, wet, poor, sandy land ; the berries 
hang on very slender stalks, at first they arc 
white but turn red as they ripen, and when full 
grown, are nearly the size of a common cherry, 
they remain without injury on the vines a|l 
winter, though they lose somewhat of their acid ; 
They are much sought for cxportaUon, as they 


keep a long time ; as a sauce for the table they 
are generally preferred to any other acid fruit. 
There is another species of cranberry not so 
large, nor so pleasant a fruit, but growing in 
clusters on a very pretty looking shrub, it is 
very ornamental, the fruit remaining on long 
after the leaves are fallen, in large bunches of 
a bright scarlet colour. 

The Raspberry (rubut idaus) is found in tlicf 
greatest plenty, M^herever the forest is destroyed 
by fire, or the timber cut down, and the land 
left uncultivated, the first thing it produces 
is the raspberry, which soon covers the whole 
surface of such places, the fruit is equal to 
any I ever saw in England, though growino- 
wild, I never saw the white species produced 
but in one spot of small extent, at first I was 
inclined to think they had been imported, but 
upon enquiry, I was convinced they were like 
the red, the indigenous production of the soil, 
though they ai.^reired to be as fine flavoured, 
and large as any I ever saw. 


The running Brambleberry (rubus moluc- 
emus) are sometimes fn,ir ' ' cold moist' 
sftnations, but are not very common, nor 
any where in great plenty. 

The Strawberry (fragana vtica) is very 
common in lands that have been long cleared, 
without being cultivated, and are also found 
in open spots in the fore' t, they are all of 
the scarlet kind, and though small, are well 
flavoured, and in some situations, grow large 
and in great plenty ; it has been remarked,^ 
that wherever the strawberry grows before the 
soil is cultivated, it after vards throws up 
white clover gre.;. abunc.ance. 

ThcHaJeNuc {cort/lus a. cflana.) is com. 
mon in many parts of the Island 

The Baybeiry (mj/rica er a) is a small 
shrub, seldom lising above two feet and a haT, 
it yields a strong aromatic perfume, and froni 
the fruit which clings together in little green 


clusters, a fine green wax is extracted by boil' 
ing which makes excellent candles. 

The Ginseng (panax trifolinum) is found in 
great plenty in the forest, wh^'re the timber 
IS large, and the soil good, no attempt that 
I know of, has ever been made to ascerlaia 
its value. 

D -arf Flder ( 
mon in nch deep soil. 

) is very com- 

The Maic Hair (adianthus pedatuus) is 
very common m the woods among evergreens. 

The Sarsaparilla (af-alia) is found in great 
abundance, and from the warm nature of the 
soil is said to be much better than any to be 
found on the Continent, within five degrees 
of the same latitude. 

Pigeon Berries ( ) grow 

in ttle clusters on a sn.all plant, are of a 



bright «carl t. and in some districts are in 
great plenty, they have a mawkish sweet taste, 
and fatten common fowls very fast. 

The Night Shade (s^lanum nigrum) is much 
too common, and has the same poisonous ef- 
fccts here as in England. 

Besides tliese, there are several kinds of 
wild fruit. n,any slirubs, and a variety of 
plants that are not distinguished by any but 
trifling names, some of which, arc mucli better 
known to the Indians, who frequently cure their 
disorders by means of herbs, without the 
assistance of any medical person. 



WE have no animals on this Island but what 
are met with on the neighbouring continent, 
and never having been accurately examined or 
properly classed, neither a perfect catalogue nor 
a complete description of such as we are enabled 
to notice can be given ; some of the names, I 
imagine, are adopted from the resemblance of 
the animal to those of a different climate, and 
are sometimes so erroneously applied, that it is 
to be apprehended they may often mislead. 

The following catalogue, arranged in the 
order of Linnaeus, is intended to give an idea 
of this branch of our natural history. 

Seal (phoca vitulina). This animal .s very 


common, and is to be seen in all our rivers and 
harbours; it is hardly possible to cross either 
without seeing them ; upon the setting in of the 
winter, when by the general freezing of the 
creeks and rivers, tliey are obliged to quit 
them, they assemble in great numbers on par- 
ticular parts of the coast, where they know by 
experience that the surface will continue long 
open; they often quit the water at this period, 
and lay in great nunibers carelessly sleeping on 
the ice : from this habit a curious circumstance 
happened a few years ago : on the setting in of 
the winter 1797, a great number of seals had 
assembled in a part of Hiilsburgh Bay, where 
the strength and rapidity of the tide had pre- 
vented the surface from freezing, though all the 
rest of the bay, the harbours and creeks which 
run into it were completely frozen, and as 
«^ial great number of them were laying on the 
^ce, wlxen the severity of the frost increased so 
rapidly, that the whole of this opening, on 
which they depended for a communication with 
tir -ea. was frozen up so strongly in a few hours^ 


tliatwhen they observed their situation they could 
not penetrate the ice, and as there was no open 
water in sight of them, instead of going seawawl 
on the ice, they took to the land, and attempted 
to cross the Island to get into the gulph at the 
north side thereof, but this was an exertion 
for Avhicli tliey were totally unquahfied, and 
few of them got above two miles into the woods 
before they were completely exhausted, in this 
state they were discovered by some of the 
neighbouring settlers, and several hundred of 
them killed, proving a valuable booty, as many 
of them were vfry large. 

■ .-v. . 

Besides the seals v/hich constantly frequent 
the waters of the Island, there is a larger kind 
brought on the coast annually in the month of 
April by the floating ice from the northward, 
which are often in great numbers, and the 
taking them is constantly attended to, and is 
frequently very productive to those who follow 
the business, the oil is generally carried to Halifax 
or Quebec, where it sells from twenty-five to 


thirty-twa pounds per ton ; the method of 
taking the seals is by following the ice with 
schooners, tlie success depends on the quantity 
of northern ice that may be brought by the 
wind on the coast; sometimes vast quantities 
come, other years Uttle or none, wlien the 
fishermen meet with the ice they either fasten 
their vessels to it, or if from appearance they 
judge that to be unsafe, leaving part of their 
crew on board to manage the vessel, the rest 
go upon the ice, where they find the seals 
asleep, frequently many hundreds together, 
and being an unwieldy heavy animal, which 
can only move very slowly out of the water, 
they are easily killed, a great many are shot, 
some are speared, others are killed by the stroke 
of a heavy stick on their ijoses, in these ways 
they frequently in two or three days get as many 
seals as their vessels will carry ; sometimes the 
number taken is very trifling, either from there 
being little ice on the coast, or the weather 
being so bad as not to permit the vessels going 
among the ice ; it is a precarious business, and 


attended with a considetable risk of the livei 
employed in it. 

Red Fox (cams dlopex). We have also the 
grey and the black fox ; the numbpr of foxes 
taken on the Island is very considerable ; some 
years ago before bear skins were so much used 
in England they bore a much higher price, and 
were more in demand than at present ; foxes do 
no farther injury than killing a few fowls, 
they never attack sheep ; they are commonly 
taken in steel traps, sometimes they are in- 
veigled to a particular spot in the night by a 
bait placed for them, here a person is con- 
cealed with a gun, at such a distance as to 
make sure of them ; in this way five or six 
have been killed by one person in the course of 
a few hours. 

Wild Cat (feliv lynx) called by the French 
Loup Cerrier, this is a large animal standing 
about two feet and a half higii, the head and 
body of a full grown one, will be about three 



w . ^ \ 
I '*(I "I 

■j" ' t I 




feet in length, the head is the only part of it 
that resembles a cat, the tail is only about an 
inch and a half in length; the colour a light 
grey, the feet are very large, spreading much 
to enable it to run on the snow, it is armed 
with strong claws and looks more formidable 
than it really is; it lives upon hares and par- 
tridges which it takes by surprize; they are some- 
times seen crossing the rivers on the ice in 
winter ; when punned in that situation by 
dogs it sits down quietly, until the dogs 
come up, when it seejns much surprised at their 
hostility, and in return generally knocks the 
first dog down with a stroke of its fore paw 
and then runs off, if it has above half a mile to 
run before it reaches the woods, the dogs will ge- 
nerally come up with it, when it is easily 
Jellied even by a single dog, if it escapes the 
dogs until it gets into the woods, it immediately 
runs up a tree, when it is a certain mark with a 
gun, very few of them have been known to 
attack sheep or Iambs ; they are chiefly caught 
m the winter in snares and steel traps ; tlie 

skin is sold at from ten to fifteen shillings ; the 
flesh is as white as veal, and has been frequently 
eaten by epicures and much relished. 

Otter Cmustek h'Jra.) These have been 
very plenty in the Island, and are still caught 
in considerable numbers, some of the skins sell 
as high 35 six dollars. 

Martin (mustela.) This is a very shy little 
animal and is seldom seen in the woods, though 
some years in great abundance, it is taken In 
the winter by means of a small log-trap baited ; 
its fur has been out of fashion for mutfs and 
. tippets for some years, which has rendered k" 
less valuable than formerly. 

"^^^^tl (mustela martes.) This little animal 
is common, and often destructive among 

Ermine (mustela ermhue.) This beautiful 
iittle animal is red like a fox in summer and 



'■ •'} i 


white in winter; it is distinguished fom^the 
common weasel by the tip of its tail which is 
always black ; it is not common but is some- 
times seen in making roads, when it is necessary 
to cut and remove many fallen trees, in the bodies 
of which it makes its nest. 

Bear (ursus arctos.) The Bear known here 
is the black species, though they arc distin- 
guished by their muzzles, some having them 
red, others white, the latter are said not to 
do any mischief, living upon berries, ants, 
small fish which they catch in the creeks, and a 
large insect, which they obtain by tearing the 
old wind-fallen trees to pieces ; the former are 
sometimes very destructive among the cattle, 
and will attack the largest ox or cow : the 
quantity of black cattle, sheep, and hogs, 
destroyed by them annually on the Island is 
very considerable, but like other evils which 
settlements in new countries ^'•c subject to, it 
will lessen rapidly, and in less than half a 
century, I have no doubt but the bears will be 


entirely extirpated. When we coinpare the 
fiiischief done by them, to the ravages of the 
^volf, in the new settlements on the Conti- 
nent, it is trifling indeed. The bear, unless 
surprised and closely attacked, almost always 
runs away from a man, and except it be the 
she bear with her young cubs, is very seldom 
dangerous; in upwards of twenty years re- 
sidence on the Island, I do not know a single 
instance of any persons losing their lives by a 

Ground Mouse (sore^v murinus.) This is the 
lUtle animal whose ravages have been so much 
spoken of and exaggerated to almost every 
person who has ever heard any thing of the 
Island, being often represented by those ^hb 
are disposed from interest or otherwise, to de- 
preciate the value of it, as attacking us pe- 
riodically; and destroying every kind of ve- 
getable production, than which nothing can 
be more groundless, or unfounded. In thirty 
years I have been acquainted with the Island 

F 12 



'"■ ».l 


and upwards of twenty years actual residence 
there, I have never known mice do any injury 
to the crops, two or three years only excepted 
and then partially, and by no means general 
through the Island. Yet I am sensible it is 
often mentioned in Nova Scotia, as what 
frequently happens, although it might be ex» 
pected, that the quantity of grain which we 
send them annually, ought long ago to have 
induced them to desist from a representation, 
so palpably erroneous and unjust. 

The same species of mice are frequently 
to be met with on the adjacent parts of the 
Continent, where they occasionally do con- 
siderable mischief, in those particular districts 
which happen to be in the neighbourhood of 
tracts of beech-wood forest. Though the mice 
may sometimes partially injure the crops, yet 
there are many years successively in which 
none are to be seen on the Island, and no 
person who is well acquainted with it, is under 
any serious apprehension of injury from them 


and as the beach-wood forests are dimi- 
nished, so will the number of the mice de* 
crease. It being well kno^n their increase is 
owing to the great crops of beech mast, pro- 
duced occasionally in certain districts, as a 
proofof which it is observable, that in those 
parts that are remote from any quantity of that 
wood, no injury to the crops has ever been 
known to happen. 

Hare (lepus timidus.) Hares are in great 
plenty all over the Island, they are chiefly 
taken in winter, by means of long fences or 
hedges made of brush wood, cut down and 
piled so closely, that they cannot easily get 
through, and in every fifteen or twenty yards 
of this fence a small opening is left, in which 
» snare is placed. 

The Musquash (castor zibethkus) Guilds a 
cabin of mud and sticks in fresh water ponds' 
he is not very shy, being frequently seen 
swimming about the ponds. 




The Mink ( j is an amphiboq* 

animal, and burrows in the earth by the side 
pf rivers. Its fuf is more valuable than the 
musquash, it is a mischievous little animal, 
making its way into out-houses, and destroying 
poultry and cggf. 

Of squirrels, we have three species. The 
red squirrels (sciuru% Jlavus.) The striped 
squirrel (sciurus strUtus.) Theilying squirrel 
(sciurui 'loir^m) this is a beautiful lively little 
animal, it:, fur is extremely delicate and fine, 
but it is nt . jo common as the two first species, 
squirrels increase vastly in number like the 
mice, after an abundant crop of beech mast, 
particularly the striped squirrel. 

The only mamillary biped which we have is 
the Bat (vespertillie murims) they are to be 
seen in great plenty on summer evenings in 
the neighbourhood of houses and at the edge 
of the woods. 


*rhe following catalogue of birds, though 
tiot complete, is the fullest I believe that has 
yet been collected, 


Bald Eagle 
Brown Eagle 

Large brown Hawk 

Hen Hawk 

Pigeon Hawk 

White Owl 

Speckled Owl 

Barn Owl 

Bird Hawk 


Blue Jay 

Crow Black Bird 

Falco kucocephalus. 

Falco fulvus, not often 

Falco hudsonius, 

Falco sparverius. 

Falco columbarius. 

Strix myctea^ 

Strix aluco. 

Strix pasaerina. 

Lanius canadensis* 

Corvus corax 

Cforvus cristatus. 

Gracula quiscula. 

Great red crested Wood 

Picus piUatus 

Picut erythrocephalus 


Red-headed Wood 

White-back Wood 
Pecker Pkus auratus 

Speckled Wood Pecker Pirns macutosus 

King's Fisher Alcedo altyon. 


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Humming Bird 
White-head Coot 
Black Durk 
Brant Goose 
Wild or Black Goose 


Trochilus lolubrls. 
ylms spectabili3 
Anas nigra 
yluas bernicla. 
Anas canadensis. 

The last is the largest bird of the goose kind, 
it is a bird of passage, and gregarious by the 
mixture of this with the common goose a mon- 
grel is produced, which is a much finer bird on 
the table than either of the parents, but will not 
breed again. Vast flocks of geese arrive from 
the southward towards the end of March and be- 
ginning of April, they stay but a few weeks, 
passing on to the northward as the season ad- 
vances ; a few of them, however, breed in un- 
frequented places on the Island, and are some- 
times caught, both old and young, in the month 
ofJuly, when neither can fly, they sometimes 
chuse to lay their eggs in the old deserted nest 
of the bald eagle, on the top of a dead Pine tree, 
eighty or ninety feet from the ground, to which 
they bring their young when hatched ; when 


they build on the ground, if they find their nest 
has been discovered and their eggs handled, 
they will immediately remove them one by one, 
flying, with the egg grasped between their bill 
and neck. 

The geese begin to return from the northward 
about the 1st of September. In October and 
November they are in great numbers in all 
the harbours, creeks and rivers on the Island ; 
when they return they are at first very poor, 
but in a few weeks become very fat and fine by 
feeding on the roots of the salt grass, which 
every where grows along the shores, and which 
they dig up out of the sand and mud ; they are 
never strong nor fishy like the European Wild 
Goose. The Brant is a still finer bird, and are 
also in great numbers, they do not leave us so 
soon in the beginning of the Summer as the 
geese, staying generally till about the tenth 
of June, when they collect in prodigious large 
flocks, and go all away in two days, the noise 
they make for some days before they go off, 


when the flocks are collecting, may be heard 
for many miles; they return about the same 
lime the geese do, and stay till about the end 
of November, when they go off to the south- 
ward, but not with the formality they observe 
in their migration northward, they never breed 
on the Island, nor any where round thcGulph, 
but are known to breed in great numbers on the 
lakes on the Coast of Labradore, and on Sagany 
River, which runsjnto the River St. Laurence. 

Sea Duck 



Sea Pigeon 

Blue-winged Teal 

Grey Duck 

Red-bellied Sheldrake 

Pyed Sheldrake 




Anas moUisiima^ 
Anas albeola 
Anas penelope. 
Anas histriomca» 
Anas discort. 
Anas sponsa, 
Mergus serrator* 
Mergus castor. 
Alea impennis. 
FeUcanus graculus. 
Pelecanus eassanus. 
Colymhus immer. 


White Gull Larus canuL 

Grey Gull Laritsfu^cut. 

Mackerel GuH Larus ridibundus. 

Tee- Ait, or fishing Gull Sierna minuta. 
Crane Ardea canadensis. 

Wood Snipe Scolopax ftdoa, 

Grty Curlew Scolopa:» tetanus. 

Luge-speckled Cu'lew Scolopax lapponica. 

Beach Bird 

Black-bre£L3ted Plover 

Pyed Plover 

Tringa arenaria. 
Charadrius hiatkula* 
Charadrius ^ocifcrus. 
Charadrius apricarius, 
Tetrao marilandicus. 

The partridge is very common in our woods, 
and like the mice and squirrels, become very 
plentiful, the year after a great crop of beech 
mast; they are considerably larger than the 
English partridge; the flesh la as white as 
that of a pheasant, which it resembles more on 
the table than a partridge, when disturbed the 
whole covey fly upon the nearest tree, where 
they often sit quietly till they are all successively 



ihot ; in the months of April and May th6y 
are easily found in the woods, from the mult 
bird making a loud noise, by beatinjg with his 
wings on an old log, which is heard at a great 
distance. It has been found necessary to pro* 
hibit the kiUing of partridges between the first 
ofApril and the first of September, by an act 
of the legislature; any person convicted before 
a magistrate of trespassing against this law, 
forfeits the sum of ten shillings for every par^' 
tridge so killed, one half to the informer or 
prosecutor, the other half to the treasury of 
the Island: with this exception, every person 
IS allowed to shoot when and where they please, 
which with the liberty claimed of fishing in 
ponds and rivers, measured into the different 
townships, and for which the proprietors pay 
quit renr to the crown, is complained of as a 
hardship: restraining people in both cases to 
lands owned and occupied by themsehes, or 
to those totally unsettled and neglected would 
certainly be more equitable. 


Wild Pigeon {columbn migratoria.) Wild 
Pigeons come in the spring from the southward 
in great plenty, and breed in the woods during 
the summer months : some years they are in 
much greater number than others, when the 
com is cut and in shocks, they come out of the 
woods in greater numbers than could be wished, 
and are particularly troublesome in fields near 
the wi'ods. 




Robin {turdus migratorius). This bird cornea 
from the southward in April, they are in great 
numbers, and are about the 8i2e of an English 
black -bird ; they stay till November. 

Snow Bird (jsmheriza hyemalis). The snow 
bird is about the size of a sparrow, .has a beau- 
tifully variegated plumage; they are to be seen 
about the houses aod barn yards in winter, ia 
small flocks; they are very delicate, and said 
to be equal in flavour to the European ortalon. 

Yellow Bird 
Winter Sparrow 
Spring Bird 
Cat Bird 
Yellow Crown 
Blue Bird 
Common Wren 
Blue Titmouse 
Bank Swallow 
Whip Poor Will 
Night Hawk 


Emberiza oryzivors. 

Fringilla tristU. 
Fringilla gris€a 


Muscicapa carolinenm. 
Motacilla sialis. 
Motacilla Irochillus, 
Parus americanus. 
Parus virginianus. 
Hirundo riparia. 
Caprimulgus europans. 
Caprimulgus amerieanui 

There are many other birds whose name. I 
am not sufficiently acquainted with to enable 
me to include them in this catalogue. 


Pond Froff 
Green Frog 
Bull Froff 
Crown Lizard 


Rana hufo, 
Rana occellata. 
Rana arboria. 
Rana Boons. 
Lacirta punctata. 


Brown Snake 
Green Snake 
Striped Snake 


Coluber sipedon^ 
Coluber saurita, 
Anguis eryx. 

None of these Snakes are dangerous, or their 
bite in the least poisonous. That there is no 
dangerous reptile in the Island, must be con- 
sidered as a very pleasant circumstance, as 
people can traverse the forest every where, and 
sleep there without being under any apprehen-. 
sion of injury, 

Dog Fish Squalus catulus. 

Shark Squalus carefuirius. 

Sturgeon Acipenser sturio. 

Sharks are not often seen, however, they 
are to be met with on the Coast of the Island, 
but have veiy seldom been known to come 
into the harbours. Sturgeons axe very com- 

V ' 



nion in the summer montlis in all the harbours, 
the Indians are the only people who catch 
them, some of them are six and seven feet in 


Eel (murana anguilla). Eels are in great 
plenty here, and in no other country finer, 
they go into the mud in the winter, many feet 
under the surface ; they are found in greatest 
plenty in the harbours on the north side of the 
Island, where they bed in the muddy flats, 
they are also knoWn to get under the salt 
marshes in some places, and are particularly 
fond of situations where there are springs of 
fresh water issuing out of the earth, they are 
taken in vinter by cutting holes in the ice, 
and driving a spear into tht mud, these spears 
have five prongs, the extremities of which are 
all turned up inwards, ending in a sharp point, 
when they happen to strike an eel in the mud, it 
is held between the prongs which being elastic, 
open by the pressure, and when pulled up, the 
sharp turned-up prongs prevent the eels escaping 


till they are shook off the spear upon the ice, 
it is very laborious work taking them, but 
they are well worth the trouble, being ex- 
tremely rich and fine, a barrel of eels is 
reckoned of as much value to a labouring 
family as one of salted meat, they are also 
taken on the flats in summer nights by torch 
light; the calm nights which so frequently 
happen in the months of June and July afford 
many opportunities for this kind of fishing, 
which is not an unpleasant amusement, various 
other fish such as skate, flounders, trout, tom- . 
cod, bass, and plenty of lobsters are taken at 
tlie same time, the whole is done by spearing, 
except the lobsters, which are taken by put- 
ting a cleft pole over their backs, and pressing 
it down, until it takes sufficient hold of them, 
when they are lifted into the boat, by this 
means the shell is not in the least injured. 
The fish seem infatuated by the light, and^keep 
swimming round the boat ; the torches used, 
are made of the white birch bark tycd up in 
a small bundle, this easily takes fire, burns 



with great brilliancy, and lasts a considerable 
time, the only apparatus is a cleft 9tick of 
seven or eight feet in length, which is stuck 
up in the bow of the boat or canoe, in the 
top or cleft the torches are stuck, and when 
nearly burned out, are replaced by a fresh 
one. The Indians are the most expert hands 
at this fishery, and their light bark canoes, 
which they manage with wonderful dexterity, 
give them a great , advantage over a person in 
a common canoe or skiff. 


Gadus ccglesinus. 
Gadus morhua. 

Cod are perhaps no where m greater plenty 
than on the coast of the Island, all the principal 
fishing ground in the Gulph of St. Laurence, is 
in sight of our shores, the Afnericans at present, 
reap the greatest advantage of the cod fishery 

Tom- Cod or Frost Fish (Gadus luscus.) 



This fish is in great abundance in all our 
harbours, in flavour it much resembles the 
whiting of the British seas, they come into 
the creelcs and rivulets to spawn in vast num- 
bers in the month of December, wlien they 
are easily taken. 


Gadus molva 
Coitus quadricornis. 
Pleuronectes Hippoglossm, 

This is a very large fish, and though often 
eat is very coarse, the fins only are very 
palatable, they are sometimes got of 300lb. 

White Perch Perca lucioperca. 

Sea Perch Perca undulata, 

^^^8 Perca ocelata. 

Perch are very fine here, and are found ia 
all our rivers and ponds that have a com- 
munication with the sea. Bass are in great 
numbers in all our harbours, they are frequently 

o 2 


got at the narrow entrance of the north -side 
harbours on moon-light nights, with a liook 
and line ; the line and hook baited with the 
tail of a lobster is coiled up and thrown 
into deep water, and drawn on shore quickly, 
in this way many arc taken, they are also 
speared on the fiats in the bays and harbours of 
the south side, where they are in great plenty. 

Chub H Perca philadelphka. 

Bream Perca chrysoptera 

Mackerel Scomber scomber. 

Mackerel are in great plenty on this coast, and 
come into all our harbours, in which they are 
caught from July to November. 

Salmon (salmo salar.) Though salmon are 
found in ail our rivers, they are not in such 
abundance, as in the great fresh-water rivers 
in our neighbourhood on the Continent, in 
some of which, are perhaps the greatest sal- 
mon fisheries in the world, on the north side 
«f the Island, in all the harbours they may be 


seen leaping out of the water frequently in 
the months of June and July, particularly at 
St. Peter's Bay, where, aud in the Rive*" 
Morell, which runs into it a great many arc 
taken : they do not come into the Hills- 
burgh River, and the other rivers on the 
south side of the Island, until the latter end 
of September, and the beginning of October, 
when they are on the point of spawning, and 
are not good. The old French people on the 
Island say, that salmon were formerly in much 
greater plenty than they have been for many 
years past, as a proof of which, they relate that 
two brigs of considerable burthen, used to 
load annually with salmon, caught in the 
harbour of St. Peters, for Rochelle in France. 

Trout (salmo fario) are found in all our 
rivers, harbours, and ponds, and having access 
to the sea, are extremely fine, and often very 
large. Trout fishing in the bays on the north 
side in the latter end of May and beginning of 
June, affordr fine amusement to such as are 


fond of it, the method is to anchor a boat near 
the edge of the channel, where there is a con- 
siderable ripple occasioned by the tide, here an 
angler is not incommoded with any thing, and 
he has room to display his skill to the utmost, 
and is sure of abundant sport. In July the 
trout go into the fresh water, and in some 
places are taken in great numbers. 

Smelt (salmo epcrianus.) Smelts are in great 
abundance, they are finest in winter, and 
are easily taken by cutting a hole in the ice, 
on the salt water close to the shore, where the 
water is not more than eighteen inches deep, 
they bite readily at a little bit of white meat. 
In April they go into the fresh- water brooks 
and springs, in such numbers that they may 
be taken up by a scoop nett in bushels, they 
are much larger, and finer flavoured than any 
I ever saw in Engiand* 

Herring (clupea harengus.) This fish fre- 
quents the coasts, bays, and harbours of this 


Island, in immense shoals ; in the latter end 
of April and beginning of May, they may 
literally be said to fill them, particularly the 
north-side harbours, and the harbour of 
George Town ; there is no difficulty in taking 
them in any quantity in which they can pos- 
sibly be wanted. 

Alewife or Gasperaux (clupea serrata,) 
This species, though not so plentiful as the 
common herring, are found in great numbers 
in many parts of the Island, they go into the 
fresh water to spawn. In the beginning of 
June, great shoals of them go up the Hills - 
burgh River, towards the head of which a good 
many are taken annually. • 


Raid hatis. 
Rata ciavata. 

There are many other fishes not known to 
me by such names, as will enable me to arrange 



Crabs, Lobsters, and Shrimps.- (Cancer), 
Lobsters are in the greatest plenty in all our 
harbours and on the coast, they are seldom 
sold for more than sixpence a dozen, and are 
often very ne. The crabs are of no value. 
Shrimps are found on all the flats in our har- 
bours in summer and are large and fine. 


Sea Clam 
Hog Clam 
Razor Shell Fish 
Long Shell Clam 

Sepia media. 

My a arenaria, 
Solen etisis, 
Soliti radiatit. 

Oyster (ostrea). Oysters are in great plenty 
in all the^ harbours on the Island, in some 
places beds of them of several acres extent 
may be found, most of the lime hitherto used 
in the Island has been burnt from their shells, 
and it is commonly the practice to burn the 
live oysters for that purpose, putting many 
hundred barrels of them in a kiln toffecner. 

- o 


They are preferred to any other American 
oysters by all Europeans who have eaten thein. 

Muscle (mytilits edulis). Large beds of 
muscles are found in most of our harbours, 
which are never used for any other purpose thaa 
making lime of their shells. 

Horned Beetle 
Lady Fly 

Fire Fly 


Scarabcsus simson 
Coccinella^ several spe* 

Lampyris lucida. 

Grasshopper (grillus). Several species which 
are often injurious to our grass lands and pas- 
tures in dry summers. 


Butter Fly 
Dragon Fly 
Adder Fir 

Cinex. several species. 
Papilio numerous species 

^Lihellulaf several species 


VespOf several species. 


Bumble Bee 
Wild Bee 

Black Fly 
Brown Fly 
Horse Fly 


(Apis) several species 
(Formica) many species 
> Numerous 


(Tabanusj6e\txBX species 
(^ulex Pipiens) 

Mosquitos and the small black or Sand 
Fly are very troublesome in summer, but 
they decrease much as the country is cleared ; 
they are worst in the neighbourhood of salt 
marshes or wet ground ; in open clear lands 
that face the south west they are not much 
felt, except in calm moist weather. 

Upon looking over this account of our na- 
tive animals, I found that the sea-cow, formerly 
so plenty, had escaped my attention, as many 
people think they will again become so, and as 
tliey still exist, though greatly reduced in num- 
ber, it is hoped the following short account of 
them may be satisfactory. 

Sea-cow {trichccus viatuitiw). This large am- 
phibious animal was found in great numbers on 
the north coast of this Island thirty years ago, 
but they have now become very scarce, and are 
seldom seen on shore. From I770 to 1775, 
they were annually caught in considerable num- 
bers near the north point of the Island, at that 
time Governor Patterson assumed the right of 
granting the sea-cow fishery as it was called, 
(though the whole business was carried on on 
dry land^ by an annual licence, upon which a 
considerable fee was paid, and sometimes it was 
very profitable, as great numbers were then 

These animals were accustomed to resort to 
one or two particular spots near the north cape, 
and several hundreds would sometimes go on 
shore at once ; they were left undisturbed un- 
til the wind blew oif the land, when the people 
got between them and the sea, and probed 
those that were next to them with sticks, whose 
points were brought nearly to the same degree 


b \ 




of sharpness as the large tusks of these animals, 
this set them in motion towards the woods, and 
they probed on those that were beibrc them, 
and the whole flock, said sometimes to exceed 
three hundred, were soon in motion and pro- 
ceeded into the woods, where they were easily 
killed with long spears. It sometimes happened 
that without any apparent reason they would 
turn back towards the sea, before they had 
got so far from it as to render the attempt to 
begin the slaughter safe, and if still in sight of 
the sea, on their return they kept in a body to 
which nothing could be opposed with any 
effect; but when gota considerable way into the 
woods they appeared to loose their sagacity, and 
scattered in different directions, seeming at the 
same time insensible of danger, though the 
slaughter of their fellows was going on close to 
them. I have been informed that some of them 
would weigh four thousand pounds ; their oil 
is said to be the purest of all animal oil, and the 
French inhabitants of the island eat it very 
readily ; some parts of the skins are an inch aid 


a half in thickness, and prodigiously strong and 
valuable for making many useful articles, which, 
if kept dry, are very durable, even without tan- 
ning or dressing of any kind : the large tusks 
fyroduce a species of Ivory closer grained than the 
common Ivory. These teeth are evidently given 
them by nature to enable them to dig the shell fish 
out of the bottom of the sea, on which they appear 
to live, no other substance being ever found in 
their stomachs. They are not found on any other 
part of the eastern coast of America, to the 
southward of Hudson's Bay, than in the Gulph 
of St. Laurence, all the southern part of which, 
is of a moderate depth of v/ater, seldom exceed- 
ing 2i fathoms, and the bottom generally san- 
dy, and producing vast quantities of shell fish. 






The coast both to the northward and south* 
ward of the gulph, for a great distance is every 
where rocky ground with deep water, which is 
supposed to be the reason that these animals, 
who require only a moderate depth of water, 
and a sandy bottom for producing shell fish, 


are not found on this coast, but in the gulph ; 
beside* what were taken annually on this 
Island in the manner above mentioned, great 
numbers were taken on and about the Mag- 
dalen Islands in the summer months, where 
they resorted much at that season of the year 
with their young, of which they are so fond, 
that they will run any risk for their preservation ; 
and though they were supposed to have de- 
creased much, they were still found in con- 
siderable numbers, till after the American war, 
when 80 many New England fishermen poured 
into the gulph, and attacked them about the 
Magdalen Islands in summer, that in two or 
three years the species were nearly destroyed, 
few having been seen for several years after, 
however the breed still exists, and they are 
now known to be increasing fast, and if the 
killing them was but under proper regulations, 
they might again become so numerous as to 
be an object of great consequence, but this 
never can be the case while the New England 
fiishermen are allowed to come into the gulph 
and destroy thcrn. 



5> ' .' 

The climate of this Island partakes in an 

eminent degree of the well-known healthful- 
ness of the neighbouring countries of Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada, to all of 
which it is in some respects superior, being 
in ti rely free froni the fogs by which the two 
first are so much infested, and unincumbered 
with lakes of fresh water which so often gene- 
rate sickly seasons in the latter, producing in- 
termittent and other fevers, happily unknown 
here, to which we may add that the cold is not 
by many degrees so great in winter ; for which 
our insular situation, and distance from any 
high land will naturally account ; it is a common 
expression with Canadians who occasionally 
visit the Island, when they see the houses of our 


new settlers, " Jf we were not to use other pre- 
caution* against the winter, we should be all 
frozen in our beds :" Canadian houses must be 
all warmed by stoves, here stoves are by no 
means common, houses tolerably finished are as 
completely warmed by a common fire-place as 
in England, not that we can compare the tem- 
perature of the two climates as by any means 
Mmilar, but our fires have only a dry elastic 
cold to get the better of. English cold is a 
raw damp obstinate intruder. In Cuuada the 
severity of the winter otherwise healthyj often 
produces the pleuresy, which frequently carries 
off the young and healthy, here the complaint 
id almost unknown. 

The seasons here have been variously de- 
gcribed, often as has suited the humour or views 
of the relator, and accordingly falsehood has not 
been spared either in exaggeration or deprecia- 
tion : if we ]ia had sanguine individuals, who 
overlooking th^;- f ».t>va;..ages of a winter, of 


above four months continuance, and all the 
dilficuitics incident to a new country in such a 
climate, have injuied themselves and deceived 
others, the Island has equally suffered from 
disappointed unprincipled adventurers, some 
of them speculators in land, others on the pub- 
lic offices of the colony, the one wild and 
eytravagant in their expectations, the others 
turbulent and flagitious in their schemes. The 
former disappointed bj their own folly, the 
latter by the good sense and spirit of the 
colony, have in revenge equally contributed, 
and often united their utmost endeavours to 
misrepresent and depreciate the Island, bcch in 
respect to its natural qualities, and the admini- 
stration of its public affairs: hence the various 
r'coirnts in circulation of the climate, soil, 
<• '• circumstances of the country, than 
M'hich, nothing can be more contradic- 

The winter of this climate, is the season 
which has created the the greatest controversy 



among those who pretend to describe it, I shalt 
therefore begin with that season, and as 
far as my experience will enable me, en- 
deavour to give my readers a clear idea of 
its nature and duration. In the first place, 
I must state, that the changes of temperature 
in our winters, are much greater, and more 
rapid, than any thing of the kind ever ex- 
perienced in Great Britain, without however 
producing any ill effects, that I have ever ob- 
served, on the general health of the inhabitants. 

The commencement and duration of the 
winter varies much in one year from another, 
the Hillsburgh river opposite Charlotte Town, 
has been crossed on the ice, as early as the 
first week in December, and on other years has 
been open as late as the 20th of January, and 
on several years successively, as late as the 8th 
or 10th of that month, and in tlie spring w& 
have the same harbour, sometimes not clear of 
ice before the 20th of April, and on other years, 
open at the same time in March ; these are 


varieties of such an extent as to furnish the 
means of deception either way, to those who 
are not very scrupulous, and accordingly 
accounts are to be met with, which state 
our winters to be of six months continu- 
ance, whfle others will allow us to have 
little more than three ; but, it is to be ob- 
served, that with respect to the temperature 
and character of this season, nothing can be 
concluded from the circumstance of its com^ 
mencing early, as experience teaches us, that a 
winter which is early in its commencement, is 
often mild throughout, and on the other hand, 
winters late of setting in, are commonly severe 
in proportion ; our hardest winters however, 
have a great deal of mild weather, even during 
that part of the season, when the most severe 
cold might be looked for. The following cir- 
cumstances, I think will be readily admitted 
by all who know the country, as pretty ac- 
curately describing our winter. The last half 
of November and the first half of December, 
— Q-jsii wiUvti wCaincj, someiiuics raming 

H 2 


sometimes freezing, sometimes snowing with 
gales of wind, not often however so hard as is 
common in Europe at this season, but this 
period like the whole of our winters, varies 
much in one year from another ; sometimes a 
great part of it is real winter weather,, in other 
years, the whole is quite mild, the ther- 
mometer often rising higher than it ever does 
in England at this season, sometimes the first 
part of this period is a little winter, and the 
last mild autumnal weather; on other years, 
the weather continues uninterruptedly mild, 
till the middle of December, and then the 
winter sets in steadily at once ; from the mid- 
dle to the latter end of this month, we gene- 
rally have the winter set in in earnest, but 
in other years it is quite mild, till after tlic 
commencement of the new year ; for two 
years successively I have ploughed all the 
last week of December ; this, however, is the 
natural time to look for our winter, and in 
which it will be both beneficial and agree- 
able, , there cannot be a pleasanter contrast 


in regard to winter weather, than between ou^ 
dry clear bracing cold, and the raw moist un- 
steady v/eather which sometimes precedes it, 
and which is so common for a great part o# 
the winter in many countries. I may here 
observe th^t from our latitude, we of course 
have the sun considerably longer above the 
horizon than inEngland at this season, which 
added to the general clear state of our at- 
mosphere gives us at least two hours more 
day light than in any part of Great Britain at 
this period of the year. 

^ In January and February we look for a great 
deal of steady cold weather, yet it often hap- 
pens, that after fifteen or twenty days severe 
frost, the weather changes, and it becomes 
mild for as long a time, the mercury falling 
only a few degrees below the freezing point, 
and sometimes by the winds coming to the 
S. W. for several days together, the weather 
becomes so wai-m as to form a very extra- 
ordinary contrast to the surface of the earth 











and the vaters all covered with ice ; and 
though we generally have the deepest snows in 
these months, yet in some years we have much 
bare ground at this time, which is by no 
means desirable, as it interferes with our win- 
ter employments, by preventing the use of 
sledges on the roads from the want of snow 
for them to run on, whereby the getting of 
timber and fire wood out of the wpods, and 
hay from the marshes is much impeded ; the 
want of snow at this period is also injurious 
to our grass lands, by exposing them too much 
to the severity of the frost when it happens 
that after a thaw or a tract of mild weather 
the cold again becomes severe before any snow 
falls to cover and protect the surface. 

Though the weather is never so severe in 
March as frequently happens in the two pre- 
ceding months, a great part of it is some- 
times boisterous and cold, and that most fre- 
quently happens when the preceding part of 
the winter has been rem.arkably mild, but in 

what is called a natural winter this month> 
produces very pleasant weather, the days are 
now long, the sky in general very clear, and 
in the middle of the day the heat of the sun 
very considerable, dissolving the snow and ice 
rapidly ; it is generally in this month that 
most of our timber is brought out of the 
forest, and also a stock of fire wood laid 
in for the remainder of the year. About 
the middle of the month the sap begins 
to rise in the trees, and towards the latter end 
of it the business of making maple sugar com- 
mences. The mouths of the harbour's, channels 
when the tides are rapid, the heads of the 
livers and creeks which have been frozen 
during the preceding months now open ; and 
aquatic birds begin to return from the south- 

In this and the two preceding months, a 
freezing rain, or as it is commonly called, a 
silver thaw, sometimes happens on these oc- 
casions, the trees are frequently so incrusted 


with ice, tliat many of tlie smaller branches 
break with its weight, as the smallest twig 
will retimes have an inch of ice round it, 
this state of the weather generally takes 
place in the night, and continues but a few 
hours. If the sun happens to shine while the 
trees are in this state, nothing can exceed 
the splendor of the forest, every branch seems 
enclosed in diamonds, and reflects the rays 
of the sun with the utmost brilliancy ; it is 
impossible to describe the effects of the scene 
that this state of tiie weather occasionally 

The month ofAprilis often more varip.ble 
and unsteady than its predecessors, frequently 
exhibiting summer and winter alternately in 
the course of a week ; when the wind is to the 
soutliward or S. W. we have always genuine 
mild spring, sometimes indeed very warm for 
many days together, exhibiting a most tanta- 
lizing contrast to the surrounding objects, and 
when lye are expecting that a few days iijofe 


will secure us against the return of winter, 
perhaps the wind suddenly chops round to the 
northward, and it becomes as unnaturally 
cold, with considerable falls of snow, but 
which seldom lays on the ground above a day 
or two ; sometimes there is much easterly wind 
in this month, which on this coast is always 
damp and disagreeable, and often attended 
with rain : in other years, the first part of the 
month will be cold, aiid all the rest fine steady 
spring weather, the snow disappearing rapidly, 
and the ground getting dry very soon, plough- 
ing often commences about the middle of the 
month, and in warm sheltered situations, 
there is a considerable degree of vegetation 
towards the latter part of it. In some years 
the spring is so forward as to enable the far- 
mers to commit a good deal of seed to the 
ground before the end of the month. 

The month of May is subject to easterly 
winds, which are always damp,* chilly, 
and disagreeable, and we have still occasion- 




ally Might f.osts after a N. W. wind, but 
Mhen the wind is to the S. W. the weatlier is 
very fine, and vegetation advances rapidly; 
hy the 20th the fields will generally be green, 
and towards the latter end of the month 
the trees commonly get into leaf : from the 
middle of the month, the weather sets in 
dry, little rain falling from this time, till 
towards the end of July : rains, with a wind 
from the eastward in this month, are cold and 
injurious to vegetation; when they happen 
with the wind from the westward, they are 
highly beneficial. 

In June the face of the country, assumes 
ihe most vivid appearance, and the air is 
Jijost delightfully perfumed by the blossoms of 
the trees, and the flowers of various aromatic 
.^lirubs and herbs, the atmosphere is so loaded 
with the farina of the trees, that great quan- 
tities of it which fall on the water is driven 
asliore by the winds, and collects at high 
•-'U-.i nuiK, In liie rorm or a Deautitul yellow 


powder : from tlie middle of the month, the 
S. W. wind sets in steadily, and the weather 
then becomes nearly as warm as in the two 
succeeding months : it generally blows a fresh 
breeze during the day, but at sun-set the 
wind dyes away, and the nights continue calm. 
In a forward season, a few of our wild 
strawberries will be found ripe on a southern 
aspect about the end of the month ; and I 
have more than once seen gieej;i pease at the 
same time. 

In July the weather is very fine and steadily 
warm, the thermometer standing generally be- 
tween seventy and eighty, sometimes it rises as 
high as eighty-six, the wind blows almost con- 
stantly at south-west a fresh breeze, and coming 
immediately off -the water serves to temper the 
heat ; when the wind fails in the evening and 
the night continues calm, the heat is at this 
time more disagreeable during the night than 
in the day, the weather often continues dry 
tiiFougb the greater part of the month, but we 


are generally relieved from any drought by 
heavy showers, though of very short duration, 
which accompany thunderstorms ; these storms 
very seldom do any mischief, they are always 
over in two or three hours, and the weather 
immediately becomes clear and steady. From 
the middle of this month most of the vegetables 
common in England at this season will be 
found in great abundance in our gardens. 
About the 20th hay-harvest generally com- 
mences, and by the end of the month early 
3own barleys will often be fit to cut. 

In August the heat generally continues the 
same as last month, but commonly more rain 
falls; heavy dews are frequent when the 
weather is dry, which are very beneficial ; by 
the middle of the month the harvest is pretty 
general over the Island, 

The first part of the month of September the 
weather in general is nearly as warm as in 
August, but about the equinox the winds be^ 


come more variable, being sometimes to the 
northward of weat, which soon cools the air 
and also veering to the eastward with rain, high 
winds are common for some days after the 
eqi/mox, and after the middle of the month 
frosts are frequent about the heads of creeki^ 
rivulets, and low springy lands: upon the 
whole the weather is now more like the weather 
in England at the same season than any other 
part of the year. 

October though sometimes wet is often the 
pleasantest month in the year ; the heats are 
gone and the weather generally fine ; the gales 
of wind which happen about the equinox, and 
the frosty evenings and mornings which arc 
common, seem to purify the atmosphei^ and 
the air is remarkably pure, elastic, and exhi- 
larating. The same kind of weather often con- 
tinues through the first fortnight of November; 
sometimes it is so mild that the native straw- 
berries come into blossom on southern aspects, 
as Uixuriantly as in the month of Mav: on 






i-lr ' 


other years it is wet and variable, witli frost 
and showers of snow, but which does not yet 
lie on the ground more than a few hours. The 
leaves fall off the trees during the last part of 
October and the beginning of November. 

I have aheady observed that we are in a great 
degree free of fogs, which will appear the more 
surprising as we are in the vicinity of countries 
known to be extremely subject to them, so 
near indeed, that many people may be inclined 
to doubt the possibility of our being so per- 
fectly free from them as I have asserted, to 
such I can with great truth aver that I have seen 
two years successively pass without producing 
one foggy hour, and I am confident I have seen 
more fog in one month of November in London, 
than I witnessed in all the time I have passed 
in this Island ; I have heard many attempts to 
account for an exemption so singular, but none 
of them perfectly satisfactory. Some account 
for it from the high land of the Island of Cape 
Breton lying between us and the Banks of 


Newfoundland and tliose on the eastern coast 
of Nova Scotia, which are tlie great scene* of 
fog, and from which it spreads over all the sea 
coast of that country, New Brunswick an(J 
the coast of New England, particularly the 
first, where it prevails much in all the summer 
months; if the intervention of the Island of 
Cape Breton between us and the Banks is the 
only reason of our enjoying a clear sky and 
dry armosphere while the contrary prevails so 
near, it seems difficult to account for a circum- 
stance that is constantly observed. By looking 
at the cliart of this coast it will be observed 
that the Gut of Canso divides the Island of 
Cape Breton from the peninsula of Nova Scotia, 
the eastern end of this strait terminates in 
Chedabuctou Bay on the coast of Nova Scotia, 
it is often observed in the montlis of June and 
July that this Bay and all the land around it is 
frequently enveloped in fog for eight and ten 
days together, and that the fog seldom comes 
entirely through the Gut, which is only twenty 
one miles in length, for several days together 

'1 'f 


it will not come above two or three miles into 
it, and sometimes not at all, when it does 
come through the Gut it seldom lasts above 
a few hours. It is also observed that the mouth 
of the River St. Laurence, and the coast from 
Cape Rosier to the Bay of Chaleur, though 
not so much subject to fogs as the coast of 
Nova Scotia, has a good deal of foggy weather 
in the spring and the first part of the summer, 
yet the wind blowing directly from thence 
over the Gulph, does not bring the fog to this 
Island. It has been often said that we are to 
attribute our freedom from fogs to the nature 
of our soil, which is warm and dry. and also 
to the small depth of water in all the southern 
part of the Gulph, which seldom exceeds 
twenty five fathoms. It is probable that an 
attentive consideration an4 comparison of the 
circumstances by which we are favoured with 
so fortunate an exemption may hereafter enable 
Naturalists to account in a more satisfactoiy 
manner than has yet been done, for tiicse fogs 
which are so injurious to some of the neigh- 


boudng countries : intailing on them ttie utt 
pleasant prospect of continuing for ever, sub- 
ject to the necessity of relying on the im- 
portation of bread-corn for their daily con- 

The north east winds are always attended 
with rain from May till the middle of No- 
vember, after that they generally bring snow, 
all our heaviest falls of snow come with them. 
After a fall of snow if it comes to blow fresh 
before the surface hardens, the snow drifts 
much on the cleared lands, and on the ice, 
which makes travelling difficult till the wind 
subsides, it also fills up the roads, which must 
be beat again ; in a populous neighbourhood 
that is soon accomplished, by every person 
turning out with their sleighs and teams for 
that purpose. In the forest the snow never 
drifts, which makes travelling thete more com- 
fortable at this season. 

the light frosts which have been mentioned 




commence after the micUlIe of September, do, 
not affect the high open lands for many weeks, 
after that period, being chiefly confined to the 
heads of creek^, the neighbourhood of springs, 
and low wet land« :. near the sak water in. 
places open to the W. and S. W. it will often be 
the latter cad of October before the potatoe 
tops are affected by it. It is not till after 
the middle of September, that afire, evening 
and morning, becomes a desfrable companion, 
atid it does not come into constant use till 
November. In April it is not steadily attended 
to, in May it is often allowed to go. out, and 
early in June is generally given up, excepfe 
during a north-east wind. Cattle are seldom 
regularly housed till the beginning of Deiem^her, 
and hy many not till the latter end of that 
month, and some remain out in the forest a 
great part of the winter, which season they 
frequently survive when strayed, living lik« 
deer by brouzing upon the young wood. 

In the summer a white mist rises in the 


night, upon the creeks and runs of fresh water, 
which is always an indication of fine weather 
for the ensuing day ; when these mists do not 
rise on the creeks at this season, rain may be 
expected in the course of the ensuing day : 
they do not spread above a few yards be- 
yond the water from which they originate, 
and are always dissipated before the sun is half 
an hour above the horizon. 

The Aurora Borealis is observed at all sea- 
sons of the year, and is commonly the fore- 
runner of a southerly wind and rain : this lumi- 
nous appearance is sometimes extremely beau- 
tiful, and in our pure atmosphere is seen to 
great advantage, it generally begins in the 
north, runs up to the Zenith, and sometimes 
overspreads the whole concave with streams 
of light, variegated with blue, red, and yellow 
of various tints; in a calm night, the sound 
caused by its flashings, may often be distinctly 


I 3 



Many people will be apt to conclude that 
the great and rapid changes to which our 
climate is subject, must have a bad effect on 
the health of mankind, yet I think I may 
venture to assert that it will be very difficult 
to mention another spot on the face of the 
earth, where the inhabitants enjoy more un- 
intevrupted health. The fevers and other 
diseases of the United States are entirely un- 
known here, no person ever saw an intermit- 
tent fevT produced on the Island, nor will that 
complaint when brought here, everstandabovea 
few days against the influence of the climate 
I have seen thirty Hessian soldiers who brought 
this complaint from the southward, and who 
were so much reduced thereby, as to be carried 
mi shore in blankels, all recover in a very short 
time ; few of them had any return or fit of the 
complaint, after the first forty-eight hours 
from their landing on thclsland. Pulmonary 
consumptions which are so common, and so 
very destructive, in the northern and cen- 
tral States of America, are not often met 


with here ; probably ten cases of this com- 
plaint have not occurred since the commence- 
ment of the settlement. Colds and rheu- 
matisms are the most common complaints, 
the first generally affects the head more than 
the breast, and the last seldom proves mortal. 
A very large proportion of people live to old 
age, and then die of no acute disease, but by 
the gradual decay of nature. Deaths between 
twenty and fifty years of age, are few, when 
compared with most other countiies ; and I 
trust I do not exaggerate the fact, when I 
state, that not one person in an hundred (all 
accidents included ) dies in a year. 

It follows from what has been said, that 
mankind must increase very fast in such a 
climate, accordingly, large families arc almost 
universal, six or seven children in as many 
years, seems to be the common rule, and few 
leave off without doubling that number. We sel- 
dom find a pair without a family where they have 
come together under such circumstances as to 


give them a reasonable ground of hope on that 
subject, and instances have sometimes occur- 
red when •'^ople who had given up every idea 
of the kind, by removing to this Island 
have had large families. Many people here 
grow to a large size, perhaps in no other 
country will the proportion of men of six 
feet high be found greater j the countenances 
as well as stature of the young people, whose 
families came from the highlands of Scotland, 
often exhibit a remarkable contrast to the 
hard features, and low stature of their parents ; 
plenty of wholesome food, as well as salubrity of 
air, no doubt contributes to this difference. 
Industry will alM'ays secure a comfortable 
existence, which encourages early marriages, 
the women are grandmothers at forty, and the 
mother and daughter may frequently be seen 
with each a child at the breast at the same 

. People determined upon going to America, 
^yili do well to compare this, wilh the lepre- 




^ntation given by that celebrated writer and 
traveller, Volney: Speaking of the climate 
t)f the United States, under his third general 
head, he says : " Autumnal intermittent fe- 
" rers, or qaotidian agues, tertian, quartan, 
" &c, constitute another class of diseases, 
that prevail in the United States to a de- 
gree, of which no idea could be conceived, 
^* They are particularly endemic in places re- 
** cently cleared, in valleys on the border of 
^' waters, either running or stagnant, near 
*' ponds, lakes, mill dams, marshes, &c. In 
** the autumn of 17^, in a journey of more 
" than seven hundred miles, I will venture to 
" say, I <lid not find twenty houses perfectly 
*' free from them : the whole course of the 
** Ohio, a great part of Kentucky, all the 
^' environs of Lake Erie, and particularly the 
" Genesee and its five or six lakes, the course 
** of the Mohawk, &c. are annually visited 
by them. Setting off from Fort Cincinnati 
on the 8th of September, with the coiivoy 




*' Hi the Pay-nuisicr ucndcii or inc Army, 








Major Swan, to go to Fort Detroit, about 
two hundred and fifty miles distant, we 
did not encamp a single night without at 
least, one of the twenty-five of us in com- 
pany, being seized with an intenijttent 
fever. At Grenville, the magazine and 
head quarters of the army that had 
just conquered the country, of three hun- 
dred and seventy, persons, or thereabout, 
three hundred had the fever; when we 
arrived at Detroit, there were but three of 
our company in health, and the day follow- 
ing, both Major Swan and I were taken 
dangerously ill with a malignant fever. The 
malignantfevcr annually visits the garrison of 
Fort Miami, where it has already more than 
once assumed the character of the yellow 
fever. These autumnal fevers are not directly 
fatal, but they gradually undermine the 
constitution, and very sensibly shorten life. 
Other travellers have observed before me, 
that in South Carolina for instance, a per- 
son is as old ^t fifty, ^s in Europe at sijj;ty. 







five or seventy ; and 1 have heard all the 
Englislnnen with whom I was acquainted 
in the United States, say, that their friends 
who had been settled a few years in the 
southern or central States, appeared to them 
to have grown as old again as they would 
have done in England or Scotland. If these 
fevers once fix on a person at the end of 
October, they will not quit him the whole 
winter, but reduce him to a state of de- 
plorable weakness and langour." Lower 
Canada and the cold countries adjacent, 
are scarcely af- all subject to them. They 
are common in the temperate and flat coun- 
tries ; and particularly on the sea shores 
more than oh the mountains, if 




J View of the climate and soU of the United State* of America, tran- 
slated from the French pf C. F. .Vohey. London, priiited for J. Johnson, 
9U P{kul'« Chofch Yard, 1804. Page S85. 



Agiicultare and raising cattle, are the ge- 
neral pursuits of the inhabitants of this 
Island, before the commencement of the 
last war a few were engaged in the fishery ; 
at the first settlement of the colony, therl 
was unfortunately too great a propensity to 
engage in the cod fishery, to the neglect 
pf cultivation and improvements. At that 
time all the necessaries of life consumed by 
those engaged in the fishery, [were necessarily 
imported from other countries, at an ex- 
pence the profits could not bear, and ac- 
cordingly most of the adventurers in that 
line failed. In the first seven years after 
the commencement of the settlement, ten 
times as much money was thrown away on 
fishing projects, as was expended on the cul- 


tivation and i nprovcment of the lands ; the 
American war during its continuance, com- 
pletely stopped these schemes, and so far at 
least was of some benefit to the Island, as 
after the people were accustomed to agricul> 
turc, few of them had any desire to abandon 
it for the fishery : before any country can 
supply itself with the necessaries of life, to hold 
out incentives to its inhabitants, that must 
in their nature operate against, the cultivation 
and improTcment of the country, must surely 
be the highest folly. 

Wheat, barley, oats, rye, and pease, are cul- 
tivated, and produce good crops, the wheat 
is however mostly summer wheat, but winter 
grain is also raised, and by many preferred to 
the summer wheat, and will probably become 
more general : both kinds are heavy, weigh- 
ing from sixty to sixty-four pounds per bushel ; 
the produce is various, depending much on 
the industry, skill, and management of the 
farmer, I will not say, that we get as many 

: ;^» 






; Uiilffi 


i lll^^li 

1 ijniMfjHii 







buabel, per acre as i„ E.g^nd, b„t j fi,„,, 
Mirve, ,l,at «-ere tl.c cultivation equal th, 
average pro.luce per acre, mouI.I „„t fall much 
short of that. .Barley and oat, both yield 
fine crop,,, and are readily bought up on the 
Continent, at from sixpence to . »hillin? 
per bushel more than their own produce, I 
will venture to assert, that no person ac 
quainted with this Island will contra.lict me 
wh.n I say, that it i, the first country i„ 
North America for both : I have seen the best 
oats sent from Mark Lane for seed, compared 
with the produce of what had been sown two 
years on the Island, which upon being weighed 
turned out to be full a, heavy as the English 
oats : people who have seen American oats 
upon the Continent, can say how contemptible 
in comparison to this they are generally met 
With, nor do I think either barlev or oat, 
under proper care and management liable to 
depreciate by time, though no doubt here, a« 
every where el.e, a judicious change of seed 
will be found beneBcial. 


Kye produces good crops, and is a very 
weighty grain, particularly the winter rye ; it 
is a very sure crop, and l,ardly ever suhject 
to any accident. 

Pease tl.rive very welF though they are not 
so much cultivated as might l,e expected • 
beans, except the kinds for the tabic, are not 
cultivated, though it is knou-n they do very 


Hops grow remarkably well, and as f.u 
I can judge, do not seem liable to fail so fre- 
quently as in England, though as vet they 
are only cultivated by a few who a.'e beginl 
ning to brew malt liquor for domestic use. 

Potatoes are raised in great abundance, and 
>n no other country better. I have had, three 
Imndred bushels an acre with cultivation, very 
short of what is generally given them in 
England, they grow very well in the forests 
lands, when first cleared, and though not so 










m^ ^^1 







large a crop, they are in such situations, more 
delicate, and much £ner flavoured than any 
I ever saw elsewhere. Land that has been 
manured for a crop of potatoes, is next year 
sown with spring wheat, sometimes red clover 
is sown with the wheat, which will keep the 
ground two or three years ; though no grass 
seed is sown, if any thing like common jus- 
tice has been done to the land, it will throw 
up an abundant crop of natural white clover 
of itself the year after the wheat, an advan- 
tage that makes people less solicitous about 
red clover, which, though more productive, 
is not so much esteemed for hay. 

Turnips are universally raised as winter food 
for cattle and sheep, though not to such an 
extent as might be expected ; the seed is sown 
from the twentieth of July to the tenth of 
August, and by the latter end of Octobei, 
they are a fine crop though never hoed ; this 
circumstance alone will shew how little the 
agriculture of the Island is calculated to do 


jnstice to the soil : as the manure made in the 
winter (un^er our present defective system of 
management) is expended in the spring, the prac- 
tice is to cow-pen and fold sheep upon the laad* 
intended for turnips ; the effects of even a slight 
dressing of this kind are very great, tolerably 
done it communicates a fertility, that is very 
evident for several years, under what in Eng- 
land would justly be thought the most abomi- 
nable management, as three crops of grain, 
each with a single ploughing, are often takca 
without rest. The turnips are taken up m 
November, and are housed or laid in heap* 
in the fields, and covered over with such a 
quantity of earth, as to exclude the frost* 
of winter, and afterwards removed into the 
house as they are wanted, taking a mild day 
for that purpose. The Swedish turnips are 
found to answer very well, even when sowed 
as late as the common turnip, and in situa- 
tions where they are. covered all winter with , 
snow, stand out that season with very little 
loss, and, under a^more perfect system of 






management, I have no doubt will be found 
to afford a most valuable supjify of food for 
sheep in the spring, when it is of most con- 
sequence. ' ' 

Many people yaise some Indian com or 
maize, which generally grows very well ; it 
is of the short or Canadian kind, and though 
not so productlv.e perhaps as in the United 
States, it is of a much richer nature than tlic 
southern corn, which is .flinty and harsh in 
comparison ; it is certainly a valuable grain, 
and the cultivation of it for domestic use, 
may be very proper, but it can never come 
into competition with wheat, for which the 
climate and soil of the Island are much better 
suited in every respect. 

' All kinds of garden vegetables that are com- 
mon in England, grow here with very slight 
cultivation, but from the length of the winter, 
are of course later in their season : asparagus 
from the middle of May to the middle of 


June according to the age of the beds, green 
pease are not in plenty until the middle of July, 
cabbages and savoys about the middle of 
August, and new potatoes about the same 

English gooseberries, blacV. red, and white 
currants, grow remarkabh veil, are large and 
well flavoured, and the bushes produce in 
greater abundance than I ever saw any whert 



Apples, cherries, and plumbs also grow weU, 
it is probable that the winter i, too severe for 
the finer kinds of stone fruit, but as yet no 
trials have been made, on which a judgment 
can be formed, A great many old apple trees 
left by the French, are still alive and bearing 
and though it might be seen by them, whal 
the chmate was capable of producing, it was 
long after the commencement of the settle- 
ment, before any attention was paid to this 
branch of husbandry : it i, chiefly to our late 


worthy Lieutenant-Governor General Fanning, 
that wc are indebted for spreading, by his 
example, a taste for fruit trees, which, though 
not so general as could be wished, is increasing, 
and enough has been done to thew, that per- 
fect reliance can be placed upon our climate, 
for producing abundance of valuable fruit, 
when I state that some of our fruit, the natural 
produce of ungrafted trees is superior to the 
produce of any trees we have yet imported j 
fruit gardners will be able to judge what may 
be expected from our climate, under a wdl' 
directed system of management. J 

Horses, black cattle, sheep, and swine, are 
in great abundance considering our long win-^ 
ters, which render the procuring so much dry 
food necessary : the horses, are in general 
small, but strong, active, and hardy, and 
being seldom subject to any complaints, live 
to a great age ; it is a common thing to take 
them off the grass, and ride them thirty or 

t Mr. Beers of Cherry Vallty, is said to have alrcadj five huudred 
)b«aring trees, 


forty miles, dming v I.ich they have to swim 
three or four times perhaps, across broad 
creeks or arms of the sea, and after perform- 
ing such a journey with great spirit without 
being once fed on the way they are turned out 
to grass at the end of it, and probably per- 
form such another journey the next day equally 
well, and without appearing to be hurt by 
such hard usage : before the commencement of 
the late war, they were commonly sold for 
eight and ten guineas a head, but during His 
Royal Highness the Duke of Kent's residence 
at Halifax in Nova Scotia, he purchased se- 
veral of them, and was pleased to approve so 
much of them, that they are now in request in 
that country, which has raised the price of 
them to twelve and sixteen guineas : but un. 
less some other market is found out, they must 
soon fall again as the increase is much greater 
than the demand for them. In some parts of 
the island they are allowed to run out all win- 
ter, when they are not used, and maintain 
themselves by scraping away the snow with 
their hoofs till they come to the grass, on 


which they live, and keep in tolerable order 
till spring. 

Many of the farmers have large stocks of 
rattle, and, indeed, it is too common to see 
them keeping more than they can winter well, 
it must be acknowledged, however, that the 
want of an adequate market is often the oc- 
casion of this apparent bad ^lanagemcnt ; 
oxen are used in agriculture and for drawing 
timber out of the woods more than horses, 
and when the mode of working them in har- 
ness is introduced, they will be found still 
more beneficial ; though the cattle are in ge- 
neral small in comparison with English cattle ; 
oxen have been known to rise to one thousand 
weight, seven and eight hundred weight, in- 
dependent of the hide and tallow is common 
enough. Our cattle will no doubt improve in 
size, when the farmers are more generally 
enabled to keep their stock in proper inclo- 
sures as owing to the necessity they are now 
under of letting them run at large, the heifers 


commonly produce calves at two years old, 
a circumstance which must evidently hurt the 
size of the cattle. The quantity of butter 
and cheese made in the Island bears but a 
small proportion to the number of cattle, from 
this practice of permitting them to run in the 
woods, by which means, it often happens 
that a great part of the milk is lost, as they 
cannot always be found to be regularly milked, 
this is an evil which time will gradually over- 
come, hy enabling the settlers lo get enough 
of cleared lands within their fences, to main- 
tain their cattle, without being under the ne- 
cessity of allowing them to roam at large, as 
is too much the case at present. 7he but- 
ter is in general very good, but there is very 
little good cheese made in the Island, not from 
any natural defect in the climate or soil, but 
truly because there are very few in the Island, 
that know how to make a cheese properly, the 
greatest part of the inhabitants having ori- 
ginally come from countries where the art of 
making cheese is not understood. 



■^ffiflF Ij 





' The mutton and lamb are allowed to be very 
well flavoured, the sheep very commonly pro- 
duce two lambs and are never subject to the 
rot nor to any other disorder; they are in gene- 
ral small seldom rising above sixteen pounds a 
quarter, yet there are people who by care and a 
superior mode of management raise them to a 
much larger size. I have seen the four quarters 
and kidney fat of a weather not quite two years 
old, weigh one hundred and seventeen pounds, and 
the four quarters and tallow of a lamb six months 
old weigh sixty-seven pounds, and these were 
the common breed of the Island : that so many 
of them are small will not surprise any body 
when it is known that the ewe lambs are al- 
lowed to run with the flock, and that they 
generally become mothers by the time they 
are a year old : The n-ool is soft and fine but 
short, the fleeces weigh from three to six 
pounds ; stockings made of our native wool are 
universally preferred to any imported, and the 
coarse cloths the produce of our domestic ma- 
nufacture in point of warmth and durability, 


ekceed any thing of the same appearance I 
ever saw, though they are not properly dressed 
or even dyed of a good colour. The proper 
management of sheep has hitherto been little 
understood, the general practice has been to 
house them in the winter which not only hurts 
the quality of the wool, but renders the animal 
delicate and less healthy: feeding them in 
sheltered places out of doors has been lately in- 
troduced and is found to answer much better : 
Though nothing like the large flocks of sheep 
kept ill England will be found here, the num- 
ber of sheep on the Island is very considerable, 
I believe greater in proportion than will be 
found in any other part of America, many 
farmers have ten times the number that Mr. 
Parkinson states General Washington's flock 
at, upon his celebrated farm at Mount Vernon. 

Swine are in great plenty on the Island and 
thrive well, particularly the Chinese .breed 
which has been lately introduced j they run at 


I. L 


large in summer feeding on grass and fern roots, 
in the autumn they go into tlie woods where 
they feed on the beech mast, which in some 
years is so plentiful as to make them completely 
fat without any other aid, but pork thus fed 
is not reckoned good, being soft and oily; the 
beech mait is however of great use in bringing 
forward the store pigs that are to be kept over 
the winter, as it makes them grow very fast 
and they are easily wintered after a good run 
in the woods. Pigs are seldom kept more than 
two winters and many kill them at a year and 
a half old, and where the winters are so long, 
it is perhaps the most profitable practice : when 
put up to fatten they are first fed with boiled 
potatoes and finished with broken barley, oats, 
and pease : for many years past pork has been 
sold at, from three-pence to four-pence per 
lb. being about the general price of beef and 

Domestic Poultry of all kinds is raised in 
great plenty and perfection, and sold at a rca, 
sonable rate. 


Cutting down the woods and putting the 
land into cultivation is differently performed, 
some cut down all the wood, pile and burn it, 
others prefer grubbing up the smaller trees and 
bushes, and kill all the large trees by girdling 
them in the beginning of the summer, which 
prevents their vegetating the following year, 
this last is the easiest method but as far as my 
experience goes I prefer the first, as the labour 
of removing the branches and trunks of the 
dead trees as they fall is more tedious and ex- 
pensive in the end than getting rid of all the 
timber at once. A good axe man will cut 
down an acre in eight days, pile all the brush, 
and cut the trunks into ten feet lengths : these 
must afterwards be rolled together and such of 
them as are not taken away for other purposes 
burnt; when the timber is heavy this part of 
the business will be but glowly performed by 
one man alone. The months of June and July 
is the best time for clearing land in this way as 
the leaves are full grown and the stumps of 
trees cut at this season decay soon and are not 


1 f'm 



so apt to throw out suckers as those cut at 
other peuods : tlie leaves will not drop from the 
timber cut down now hut remain on all wiii- 
terj and greatly assist in burning the timber 
the following year, which is generally done in 
May : if there has been a considerable propor- 
tion of evergreens mixed with the other timber 
their tops and branches will now be in such a 
state as to insure the burning of the whole, the 
larger the piles the better chance there is for 
getting what is called a good burn ; where there 
has been few or no evergreens mixed with the 
timber about to be burned, greater attention 
will be required in heaping the piles of brush 
close and rolling the logs together. If the wea- 
ther has been dry for some time before this ope- 
ration, care must be taken to prevent the fires 
running into the forest among the crowino- 
wood which it will often do at this time of 
year, and kill the timber for many miles ; many 
people will be apt to suppose that this may be 
an advantage and aid in clearing the country, 
but that is by no means the case, as in general 


it only scorches the trees or burns tliem s6 
little that by far the greatest part of them is 
left standing, and become so hard as to make it 
more difficult and laborious to cut them down 
than if they M'ere still growing ; and if the h\id 
is good and not brought into cultivation j, jon, 
a growth of young timber will spring up u: a 
few years among the dead trees that will soou 
render such land more difficult to clear, than that 
whereon the original growth is still intire : the 
first year after fire has run over a piece of 
land and killed the timber, if it is not cultivated, 
a very large annual weed called fire weed, 
springs up spontaneously; this plant has a 
large succulent stalk, and long jagged leaves, 
it grows the height of four, five, and six feet 
according to the strength of the soil, it bears 
a white stinking flower and disappears after the 
second year which is very lucky,, as it is a 
great exhauster and injures land much. Besides 
increasing the difficulties of clearing and bring- 
ing the land into cultivation, these fires often 
destroy a great deal of valuable timber which, 









if left growing would soon come into demand 
for exportation, and the want of which even 
for domestic purposes may become a serious 
loss, for though the trees will stand many years 
aft«r they are killed, all except the pines soon 
become unfit for use, upon the whole I am per- 
suadcd that no man who understands the pro- 
per management of wood lands will ever wish 
to see the timber on them killed by fire until he 
has a prospect, of being able to bring them 
into cultivation. 

Aftir the operation of burning a piece of new 
land is completed, expert cultivators manage 
to plough among the stumps, this is done with 
a short one-handled plough, with the share and 
coulter strongly locked together, and drawn by 
a pair of stout oxen ; they dont pretend to make 
a straight furrow, the object is to stir as much 
of the surface as possible, they are often stop, 
pcd by the roots, some of which the plough 
will break, others they are obliged to cut 
with an axe, which mu.f always be at hand on 
these occasions ; an expert workman will cdn^ 


trive, in this way, to turn up more ground 
than could be believed by tlitse unacquainted 
with the business ; in some lands this method 
of ploughing at first is impracticable, from the 
roots of the trees running so much along *he 
surface : such land must be stirred with hoes, 
first sowing the seed on the burnt sur- 
face; in other places after what is called a 
good burn, the surface will sometimes be- 
come so soft and mellow, that the seed may 
be covered by means of triangular harrows 
with wooden tines, taking care to stir such places 
as the harrow does not touch with hand rakes. 
If potatoes are to be planted in new land, round 
holes are made in the surface ten or twelve 
inches in diameter, and t^ree inches deep, the 
holes should be two feet apart, three or four 
sets are planted in each hole, and the 
surface mould returned upon them, they re^ 
quire being twice well hoed in the course of 
the season, and will produce a fine crop, and 
leave the land in good order for a crop of 
wheat the ensuing year. 

klit " 


It ' 






People unacqu^n ted with clearing woodlands, 
are apt to be frightened with the apparent 
difficulty, and an idea has been propagatecf, 
that Europeans who are mostly unused to the 
axe in their native country, seldom make good 
axe-men, and no doubt but some continue 
long aukward, and so they would at any other 
employment to which they were not early ac- 
customed ; but so far from that being gene- 
rally the case, that I have seen many young 
men from Scotland on this Island, who would 
lay wagers before the end of the first winter 
with the most expert axe-men in their neigh- 
bourhood, and before they were two years 
on the Island, would earn as much money 
at clearing woodland, as any American in 
the country. It is this terror of encounter- 
ing with the supposed difficulties of clear- 
ing woodland that induces so many people 
from Great Britain and Ireland, to prefer the 
American States to our own colonies in Ame- 
rica, expecting from the more advanced state 
of improvement and settlement in the former 
that they will be able to get into lands already 


cleared and cultivated : but for such lands they 
will pay very high, and will often find them 
worn out, and not worth the occupying; so 
perfectly is this understood among them, that 
it is generally accounted more profitable for a 
young farmer settling in life to go upon new, 
than to remain upon old cultivated lands, and 
this change they are frequently enabled to 
make to great advantage, by the avidity of 
Europeans for old cultivated in preference to 
forest lands ; Volney in his view of the states 
which has been already quoted, puts this traf. 
fie in a very clear light. 

Very little use is made of any manure except 
stable and cow dung, penning cattle and folding 
sheep : on the north side of the Island most of 
the inhabitants are so situated as to have a 
great abundance of sea ware in their power, 
which is driven ashore in great bodies all along 
the coast in the autumn, and considerable use 
is made of it with great advantage; but not a 
20lh part of what comes on shore is ever used, 
indeed the settlements along the coast are too far 
apart for that. Dung is seldom juffcred to re- 

''I m 






tnain in a heap over the summer to ferment and 
destroy the seeds of weeds, but is taken every 
spring from the cow-liouses and stables, and 
either spread on the ground and ploughed in, 
or put into the drills for potatoes, the conse- 
quence of such v/retched management is an 
abundance of couch grass in a few years, 
Avhich few have the resolution to attempt 
getting rid of in any other way than letting 
the land out to pa:sture, which in five or 
six years will destroy this powerful obstacle 
to cultivation. Compost heaps are seldom 
formed, though many districts abound in valu- 
able materials for that purpose. Besides the im- 
mence beds of shell fish that many of our bar- 
Lours contain presenting a most valuable manure 
lo the adjoining lands, the flats in all our rivers 
are composed of a deep black stinking mud, 
consisting of decayed animal and vegetable 
substances, which have been accumulating for 
ages, the quantity of it is inexhaustible and 
easily obtained, and though very little use 
has yet been made of it, enough is known 
to ascertain that it makes a valuable manure. 

l; ' f 


Flax and hemp, particularly the former 
thrive well, and every farmer raises a patch 
of it yearly, which is manufactured into lineu 
for domestic use ; hemp is also raised in small 
quantities, tlie inhabitants in general cloath 
themselves in their ord inary and working cloaths, 
most families »naking between woollen and liue^ 
from two to three hundred yards of cloth a year. 

It is much to be regretted, that so few of the 
inhabitants came from countries wh^r^ agri- 
culture is understood, an intelligent cultivator 
will at every step have occasion tp remark how 
much more might have been done by the 
same number of people had they been ac 
quainted with husbandry 39 it is practiced m 
England ; when I state that not one farmer in 
twenty, ev^r thinks of cither raising or pur. 
chasing grass seed of any kind, my readern 
wiU be able to conceive, bow little our soil if 
indebted to our system of management ; at 
present I firmly believe that the simple alter*, 
tion of every farmer in the Island seeding 



properly such land as he lets out for grass, 
would have the effect in a very few years of 
doubling the quantity of agricultural produce of 
every kind. Indeed the conduct of our rural affaini 
inmost respects is ex j-remely defective, there are 
few cultivators an :»xig is who theorize, and 
still fewer who read ; ver agriculture is, and 
must long continue to It the chief pursuit of 
the inhabitants of this Island, if they attend 
to their true interest : every tree which is cut 
down in the forest opens to the sun a new spot 
of earth, which, with cultivation, will pro- 
duce food for man and beast : as the country 
becomes more and more clear, pasture for cat- 
tle will increase, and the manure of our stocks 
will enable us to enrich our lands, and extend 
our cultivation. It is impossible to conceive 
what quantities may be produced of beef, pork, 
mutton, butter, poultry, wheat, barley, oats, 
and pease, articles which, from our maritime 
situation and the wants of our neighbours, will 
always find a ready and p'-o^table market, 






the absi 

Naval C 

first Ian 

land, ii 


have sec 

cape of 

leagues ( 

land. I 

of the di 

the Eng 

the esta 





This Island was first discovered by the English 
Navigator, Cabot, in 1497, June 24, from which 
circumstance it took the name of St. John; from 
the abstract of his voyage published in Lediard's 
Naval Chronicle, it appears to have been the 
first land he met with after leaving Newfound- 
land, it was probably foggy weather when he 
entered the Gulphof St. Lawrence, or he must 
have seen the Island of Cape Breton, the north 
cape of which is high land, and only eighteen 
leagues distant from Cape Ray in Newfound- 
land. No claim to the Island in consequence 
of the discovery seems to have been made by 
.he Enghsh Government of that day ; upon 
the establishment of the French in Canada, 

i ' ' 

,ir " 

' , 1"! 

r. ik'i 


I I 


it was claimed by them as within the hmits of 
New France. In 1663 it appears to have been 
granted in fee by the Company of New France, 
together with the Magdalen, Bird, and Brion 
Islands to the Sieur Doublet, a captain in the 
French Navy, to be held in vassalage of the 
Company of Miscou. The Sicur's associates 
were two companies of fishing adventurers from 
the towns of Granville and St. Maloes, and 
nevermadeany permanent settlement on tha 
Island, or any improvements beyond the ne- 
cessary establishments for their fishing posts, 
which were very trifling, and confined to two 
or three harbours. From the best infor- 
mation it does not appear that any settlements 
with a viet«r to cultivation, were made by tht 
French on the Island, till after the peace of 
Utrecht ; and it is said their government never 
encouraged the settlement, and refused after 
the Sicur Doublet's patent was vacated, to 
give grants in perpetuity, to the people who 
had settled upon the Island, with a view to 
force the settlement of Cape Breton, and ta 

the dif 
Con tin 

It is 


from tl; 


could h 

of them 

tinent o 

in Novi 

to the I 

fiiey CO! 



part of 

besides a 

the Fren 

for colle( 


liver «t ^ 

pleased t 


draw as many people as they could round the 
the diflFerent fortified posts they held on the 

It is said that there were near ten thousand 
people on the Island in 1758, but it is evident 
from the appearance of the remains of their 
improvements, that the greater part of them 
could have been but a few years settled, many 
of them were probably driven from the Con- 
tinent on the loss of the French fortified post! 
in Nova Scotia in 1755, and 1756, and retired 
to the Island as a place of security, from which 
?^iey could fit out privateers to cruize upon the 
English commerce. At this time it appears 
Ihat the gairison of Louisbourgh drew a great 
part of their subsistence from this Island, 
besides an officer who was called the Governor, 
the French had two commissaries on the Island 
for collecting cattle and vegetables for LouU- 
bourgh, which the people were obliged tode- 
liver at whatever price tliese g?- ticmen were 
pleased to fix, eight and ten dollars was the 



value generally allowcti for a fat ox. The 
French had never erected any fortifications on 
the Island, and had only a few guns ;uounted 
in an open battery at the mouth of the harbour 
of Charlotte Ic^rn, which by them was called 
Port le Jflie, i'wm its safety and beautiful ap-* 
pearance ; thty had also a trifling breast-work 
on the north side of the Hill&burgh River, nine 
miles above Charlotte Town, where the cinnnel 
of the river is much contracted by an Island ; 
this situation commanded the access by water to 
iheir principal settlements, which lay round the 
head of this river ; and at St. Peter's eight 
miles distant on the north side of the Island ; 
there being at that time ^^o road from the 
harbow better than an Indian path, which led 
along the south side of the Hi^^s' urgh thro- gh 
the forest. The French seulements round 
Hillsb*rgh Bay on what now forms the town- 
ships, N". 45, 50, 57, and 58, were a,, > .«r^ 
8idera,ble and exte ded from the mouth of lue 
harbour Point Prim, both sides of which 
being a very fine piece of land, and also part 

r ■< 



of lot 60 appear to have been occupied ; th« 
quantity of cleared land in this district was very 
considerable, though a great part of it is now 
again grown up '.vith wood ; from the remains 
of their improvements it must have been a 
beautiful settlement, and the people are s^id 
to have been in good circumstances, and had a 
great many vessels ; from the number of 
creeks and small harbours in the district, al- 
most every settler would be enabled to have 
one at his own u ir. The other principal 
settlements were in ' district which now 
comprehends Towl hips * », 26, 17, and 
28, between the two fti^t h>s the fine 
harbour of Bedeque or Dunk River, on the 
two last tiierc are considerabe tracts of marsh 
land along several beautiful creeks that run into 
Iheir fronts ; the lands in all theseTownships ace 
remarkably good and well timbered. Townships 
13 and 14 had also on their fronts a large tract 
of cleared and cultivated land, which was the 
only considerable settlement to the westward of 
Richmond Bay. 1 e north fronts of Towi ships 
34 and 35 seem to have been well settled, par- 

• * 

'a V ' ' 

r ^ I 









ticuUrly near the entrance of Bedford Bay, 
where there was a handsome aettlemcnt, the 
•oil and situation being both very good. In 
general the oktas. and most considerable of 
the French settlements nrlM be found in the 
neighbourhood of extensive tracts of marsh 
grounds, where they could easily procure 
food for their cattle; the fine harbour of George 
Town, seems to have been overlooked by them 
from the circumstance of there being very little 
marsh ground in its vicinity : their only settle- 
went on it was on the point between Brudnell 
and Montague Rivers, which is said to have 
been made at the expence of their government, 
upon some scheme which was afterwards aban- 
doned, the situation a fine peninsula of sound 
land lying between two navigable rivers, with 
deep water in both, and the ground very com- 
manding, on this there seems to have been 
about 200 acres of cleared fend. 

In 1758 tlie Island was surrendered to Great 
Britain by the capitulation of Lwiisbourgh, and 


a detachment under the command of Lieute- 
nant-Colonel Lord Rollo, wai sent by General 
Amherst to take possewion thereof, on which 
occasion, it is said, that a considerable number 
ofEngUsh scalps were found hung up in the 
French Governor's house; the Island having 
been for two preceding years, the head-quar- 
ters of the Meekmak Indians, and it is not 
denied by the old Accadian French stili re- 
sident on the Island, that they were very par- 
tial to this savage practice of their Indian 
neighbours, with whom indeed they were very 
much assimilated in manners and customs. 
It having been found after fifty years expe- 
rience, that no dependance could be placed in 
the Accadians ever becoming good subjects 
to Great-Britain; they were by order of Go- 
vernment, removed from this Island, and also 
from Nova Scotia; some were permitted to go 
to Canada, part were sent to the southern Co- 
lonies, and a good many were sent to France^ 
where they were very ill received, and much 
blamed for their obstinate hostility to theBritish 


J' ■ ', 



Government This measure was not executed 
so strictly as was intended, and a good many 
families by concealing themselves in the 
forest escaped this transportation, and were 
afterwards allowed to remain undisturbed in 
the Country, in confidence that their di- 
rainished numbers would oblige them to desist 
from all future hostility, and the conquest of 
Canada soon after removed all apprehension on 
the subject. ' 

At the conclusion of the Peace in 1763, upon 
the arrangement of the conquests made ftom 
France, this Island and Cape Breton were an* 
nexed to the Government of Nova Scotia, but 
no plan for the settlement of either was im- 
mediately adopted ; In I764 a general survey 
of the British Empire in North America was 
begun by order of Government, and an annual 
estimate to defray the expence thereof was 
granted by Parliament, which was continued 
until the commencement of the American War 
•topped the further progress thereof. The 


vey was 

sary to 


Cape Bn 

gland, P 


the Surv< 


Summer c 

tions by ( 

of this Isl 

In the me 

for the cu 

among o 

first Lord 

it on a 


divided in 

held of hi] 

or Castle, 

and with 

and servii 


immense extent of Country, which this sur- 
vey was intended to embrace, made it neces- 
sary to divide it into two districts, the 
Northern including Canada, Nova Scotia, 
Cape Breton, Island, St. John, the New En- 
gland, Provinces, New York, the Jerseys, and 
Pcnsylvania, were allotted to Captain Holland, 
the Surveyor General of Canada, and his As- 
sistants, who arriving in America early in the 
Summer of this Year, commenced their opera- 
tions by order of Government, with the survey 
of this Island, which w^as compleated in 1766. 
In the mean time various schemes were proposed 
for the cultivation and settlement of the Island, 
among others the late Earl of Egmont, then 
first Lord of the Admiralty, proposed settling 
it on a feudal plan, his Lordship to be Lord 
Paramount of the Island, which was to be 
divided into a certain number of Baronies to be 
held of him, every Baron to erect a strong Hold 
or Castle, to maintain so many Men in arms, 
and with their under-tenants to perform suit 
and servictt, according to the custom of the 


ancient feudal tenants in Europe ; it seems 
hardly necessary to say that his Lordship»s plan 
could not have answered his expectations ; the 
time for reviving feudal estabUshments was'even 
then gone by, and whoever will advert to the 
state of the neighbouring continent at the time, 
will ftnd in it circumstances that must have 
rendered success in such a plan almost impos- 
sible; and it appears to me a very fortunate 
thing for his Lordship's family, that he did 
not obtain a grant to have enabled him to try 
the experiment, which could not fail being 
attended with an enormous expence, unless his 
Lordship should, like the greater part of 
those to whom it was finally granted, forget 
after he got his patent, that it was necessary 
to perform the terms and conditions on which 
it was to be held. 

Upon the rejection of Lord Egmont^s scheme, 
it was determined to grant the Island to indi- 
viduals upon a plan recommended by the 
Board of Trade and Plantations, and there 


being a great many appHeations, it wag thought, 
proper that the different Townships should be 
dmwn for by vr»y of Lottery, which took 
place before that Board; some obtained a whole 
township, to others half a township was given, 
and in some instances a Township was alloted 
among three, but the whole, with two excep- 
tions, were drawn for by way of lattery ; f 
many of the grantees were officers of the 
army and navy who had served in the pre- 
ceding war. 

Tli€ terms and conditions of settlement 
under which the lands were to be held, are 
expressed ia the following resolutions of the 
Board of Trade and Plantations, which have 
been introduced into the respective patents by 
which the different Townships were granted. 
" Resolyed, that a quit-rent of six shillings 

t The two Townships not drawn for. were 40 and 69. wUich were 
then partly occpied bj a «l,hi„g company, who had sat down «p«n 
»I«!»*> with the consent of Gorewnieflt. 

i'l I'M 




*' per hundred acres be reserved to His Majesty 
" his Heirs and Successors, on townships 
" Nos. 5, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 
*' 26, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 39, 40, 54, 55, 56, 
'* 57,58, 59, 63, and 64. 

" That a quit-rent of four shillings per hun- 
" dred acres be reserved on townships 6, 8, 
" 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 31, 
*' 36, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 
'■' 49, 50, 53, 61, 62, and 65. 

" That a quit-rent of two shillings per 
*' hundred acres be reserved on townships 
*• Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7. 30, 30, 51, 52, 60, 
" and 67. , 

*' That the several foregoing quit rents be 
•* payable on the feast of St. Michael or within 
" fifteen days after in every year, to commence 
" and become payable upon one half the lands 
" on the said feast of St. Michael, which shall 
*' first happen after the expiration of five years 

*' from 
*' able ( 
" or wit 
** quant 
" hke qi 

" Tha 
" his He 
" each t 
** been si 
** necessj 
" tificati( 
" yards, 
** venien< 
*' of the ] 

'' That 
'' part of 
** for the 
" a Minis 
" for a scl 

'' That ; 


« from the date of the grant, and to be pay- 
" able on every ensuing feast of St. Michael, 
" or within fourteen days after, and the whole 
*' quantity to be subject in liko manner to tlie 
« like quit-rent at the expiration of ten years. 

" That there be a reservation to His Majesty 
" his Heirs, and Successors, of all such parts of 
" each township respectively as have already 
" been set apart, or shall hereaftsr be thought 
" necessary to be set apart, for erecting for- 
" tifications, building wharfs, inclosing naval 
*' yards, or laying out highways for the con- 
*' venience of communication from one part 
** of the Island to another. 


'* That there be also a reservation in a proper 
*^ part of each township of one hundred acres 
*' for the scite of a church, and as a glebe for 
" a Minister of the Gospel; and thiviy a. res 
" for a school-master. 

** That in order to promote and encourasre 







the Fishery for which many parts are con- 
veniently situated there be a clause in the 
grant of each township that abuts upon 
the sea-shoifc, containing a reservation of 
liberty to all His Majesty's subjects in genera! 
of carrying on a free Fishery on the coasts 
Ihe said township, and of erecting stages and 
othcf necessary buildings for the said fishery 
within the distance of SOO feet from high- 
water mark. » 

♦* That there be a reservation to **is Ma- 
"jesty, His Heirs, and Successors, of all 
♦* mines of gold, silver, and coals. 

" That the Grantees of each Township do 
" settle the same within ten years fron> the 
" date of the Grant, in the proportion of one 
" person for every two hundred acres. 

"That if one-third of the land Is not set- 
" tied in the above-mentioned proportion, 
* within four years from the date of the grant. 

*' the 
" His 

" be I 
" as ar 
" or SI 



The . 

the Proi 

each tov 

signet w 

the same 

to the gc 

ing him 

ships to 1 

above- re( 


Thus M 
small resei 



the whole to be forfeited to His Majesty, 
His Heirs, .ind Successors, 

" Tiiat the settlers so to be introduced, 
" be Protestants from such parts of Europe 
" as are not within His Majesty's dominions, 
" or such persons as have resided in His 
" Majesty's dominions in America for two 
" years antecedent to the date of the Grant." 

The Island being at this time annexed to 
the Province of Nova Scotia, a mandamus for 
each township under His Majesty's manual and 
signet was issued to the individuals by whom 
the same had been drawn, which were directed 
to the governor of that province, command- 
ing him to pass grants of the respective town- 
ships to them, their heirs, and assigns, on the 
above-recited terms and conditions. These 
niandamus's generally bear date August ]767. 

Thus was the whole Island, excepting the 
small reservations for the three intended county 



towns given away in one day, and great ex- 
pectations were formed of the effect of this 
plan for its settlement, the reports of the 
Surveyor General, Captain Holland, concurring 
with all the previous information given by the 
Military and Naval Officers who had been on 
service there, respecting its natural advan- 
tages, little less than the immediate and com- 
plete settlement of the Island to the great 
benefit ot the adventurers was looked for. It 
soon appeared however, that nothing was 
farther from the intention of many of those 
from whom the necessary exertions for that 
purpose were expected, than to venture either 
thi^ir time or their money on the subject, 
some had not the means, and very few of 
them any inclination to embark in such an 
undertaking, they had made use of their in- 
terest to obtain what was expected to be a 
saleable commodity, and accordingly we find, 
that in a very short time many of the man- 
damus's were sold, without even taking out the 
grants which were necessary to secure a com- 
pleat title to the property, which was the »ub- 

ject o: 


but so 

they s( 

the gr« 


have pi 


of settle 

to the 

on that 

very rig 



ing thai 



of the ^ 


rent from 

terms of 

payable c 

from the ( 


ject of the transaction ; at first some of the 
townships sold fur a thousand pounds a piece, 
but so many of them came into the market that 
they soon fell to less than half that amount, 
the greatest number of those that were sold, fell 
into the hands of a few individuals who appear to 
have purchased them on speculation, without any 
intention of fulfilling the terms and conditions 
of settlement on which they were held, trusting 
to the general forbearance of government 
on that subject, there being no instance of any 
very rigid enforcement of such in any of the 
colonies. In 1 768 a great majority of the Pro- 
prietors presented a Petition to the King, pray- 
ing that the Island might be erected into a 
separate Government from Nova Scotia, and 
proposing that in order to defray the expence 
of the establishment they were desirous to 
commence paying the one-half of their quit 
rent from the 1st of May 1769, wliich by the 
terms of settlement, were only to hecome 
payable on Michaelmas next, after five years 
from the date of their respective Grants, and as 

M 2 



to the other half it was proposed to postpone 
the payment thereof for twenty years. 

This proposal of the proprietors appearing 
to Government to be weil calculated to ac- 
celerate the settltment of tlic Island, was ac- 
cepted, and tlie prayer of their petition in 
every respect complied with ; the oiVices on 
the new establishment were soon after filled 
up. and accepted on t'^e faith of having their 
salaries regularly pasfi out of the quit rents, 
according to the propcs-ai and undertaking of 
the proprietors, at whose instance the estab- 
lishment had been created. In 1770 the go- 
yernor and the other officers arrived on the 

Island, at which time there were not above 
150 families thereon, and only five pro-^ 
prietors, and it soon appeared, that having 
succeeded in procuring the establishment of 
the separate government many of the pro- 
prietors relied on the operation of that mea- 
sure for the settlement of the colony, as few 
of them made any attempt to comply with the 

lield ; 
as htti 
of the 
more t 
the es 
tress a 
*;he set 


of the 


were th 

favour < 

sell ther 

usual in 

to the 

hold tl 


in the I 

more va] 


teiuis of settlement on which tlieir lands were 
held; and the payment of the quit rents was 
as little thouglit of, for in five years after the 
arrival of the otTKcers on the Island, the receipts 
of the Receiver General amounted to little 
more than would discharge two years salary to 
the estabUshnient, which as may be easily 
conceived brought the officers into great dis- 
tress and materially retarded the progress of 
*:he settlt incnt. 

What were the reasons that induced so many 
of the proprietors to abandon their engage- 
ments it is not easy to determine, unless it 
were that having received their lands from the 
favour of the Crown, their plan was either to 
sell them as soon as possible, or relying on the 
usual indulgence of Government with respect 
to the terms of settlement they expected to 
hold them tintil the exertions of the few 
proprietors and others who had or might settle 
in the Island, should render the country of 
more value of which they would benefit with- 



^Y.^ %^ 










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out expence, risk, or exertion ; be this as it 
may, it is certain that a great majority of 
them have never made any attempt to com- 
ply with tlie terms of settlement, in the mean 
time many of the townships in a totally un- 
settled state have been repeatedly sold, and have 
passed through various hands, most of whom 
have equally neglected the terms on which 
they are held, and the same system of specu- 
lating on the exertions, and future prospects 
of the colony has been too generally continued. 
By looking back at the terms of settlement it 
will be seen that the lands were to be settled 
in the proportion of one person to two hun- 
dred acres within ten years from the <late of 
the Grant, and that if one-third of them v/as 
not settled in that proportion within four years 
from the date of the Grant, the whole was to 
become forfeited to His Majesty, His Heirs, 
and Successors. The following statement will 
shew what was done by the proprietors from 
1769 to 1779 in compliance with the terms of 
settlement : I take the townships numerica ly. 


Lot 1 Nothing 

2 ditto 

3 ditto 

4 ditto 

5 ditto 

6 ditto 

7 ditto 

8 ditto 

9 ditto 

10 ditto 

11 ditto 

la ditto 

13 ditto 

14 ditto 

15... ditto 

16 ditto 

On No. 17, Governor Patterson as agent for 
the proprietors, settled a number of Accadian 
French who were before living on an adjoining 
township, and were part of the inhabitants 
who were on the Island at the conquest ; how 
far this was complying with the terms of set- 
tlement, I shall not pretend t9 say. 



> I. . .i i 

T;| " 



No. 18, twoof tlie proprietors of this town- 
ship came t ) the hhnu\ in 1770, and another in 
that and the fb!lo\\ing- year sent near three 
hundred people from Scotland to the Island. 

Lot 19, on this township the proprietor set- 
tled a number of French Accadian Families in 
^773, Avho had before been settled on a dif- 
ferent part of the Island. 

Lot 20, nothing done. 

Lot CI, on this township a handsome settle- 
ment was begun in 1773, and carried on for 
several years at a considerable expence. 

Lot 22, nothing done. 

Lot 23, the settlement of this township was 
begun in 177.*J. 

Lots 24, 25, 2(), and 27, nothing done. 

ment v 

Lots ; 

Lot ; 

Lots ; 

Lot 3( 
ment wa 
number ( 

Lot 3^ 

Lot 36 
1772, ah 
by the p 

Lot 37, 
this iot, J 


Lot 28, on this township a handsome settle- 
ment was begun by the proprietor, iinmei 
<liatcly after the same was granted. 

Lots 29 and 30, nothing done. 

Lot 31, on this township eight or ten 
families were settled by the proprietor ia 1773. 

Lots 32 and 33, nothing done. 

•^. . ^^l<J 

Lot 34, on this township a handsome settle- 
ment was begun in 1/70, and a considerable 
number of people sent out from Scotland by the 

Lot 35, on this township nothing done. 

Lot 36, on this township between I770 and 
1772, about three hundred people were settled 
by the proprietor. 

Lot 37, two families only were settled on 
tins iot, by the proprietor in this period 



Lots 38 and 39, these townships belonged 
to the same person at this period, they were 
both considerably improved by the French, 
tud at the first settlement of the island, offered 
several advantages over most others, the pro- 
prietor early settled on the last, and acquired 
a number of settlers from other parts of the 
Island, particularly from among those brought 
to the Island by the proprietors of Townships 
Nos. 18 and 36. 

lot 40, this township like the two pre- 
ceding, having been much improved by the 
French, the settlement of it was early begun 
but very few people was ever brought to the 
Island by its proprietors. 

Lots 41 and 42, nothing done. 

Lot 43, on this township a number of Ac- 
cadian French were settled before the date of 
the Grant, and were permicted by the pro- 
prietor to remain, but nothing else towards 
its settkujent was done during this period. 


Lot 6 
sent out 
s'-ttlers i 
nately cc 
to a perse 
or so I 
broke up 
the color 

Lots 5: 

Lots 6 
in I775y 
to the t 
such an i 
obliged t< 


Lots 44, 45, 4,6, 47, 48, 49, SO, and 51, 

nothing done. 

Lot 52, the proprietors of this townsliip 
sent out a considerable number of valuable 
settlers from Scotland in 1775, but unfortu- 
nately confided the management of their affairs 
to a person by whom they were either neglected, 
or so badly managed, that the settlement 
broke up in a year, and most of the people left 
the colony. 

f: :■ ' 

Lots 53, 54, 55, and 56, nothing done. 

Lots 57 and 58, the proprietors of these 
townships sent nearly as many people to them 
in 1775, as would have settled them according 
to the terms of settlement, but like the 
proprietors of Lot 52, they confided the ma- 
nagement to a person totally unqualified for 
such an undertaking, and the people were 
obliged to abandon the settlement ; part of 


■,;f' ! '*» J -If ; 


them left tlic Islunrl. and the rest settled on 
other lauds. 

lot 59, two-thirds of this townsliip, tlie 
property of the late Sir James Montgomery, 
Lord Chief Baron of tlie Court of Exchequer 
in Scotland, was early settled, ami large sum* 
of money advanced for that purj)ose. 

Lots 60, 61, 62, 63, 6i, 65, 66, and 67, 
nothing done. 

Thus it appears that in the first ten years after 
the commencement of the settlement only 
nineteen of the 67 Townships were attempted 
to be settled, and of these only the proprietors 
of lots 18, 21, 28, 31, 34, 36, 52, 67, 5S, and, 
59, ever brought any considerable number of 
people to the Island. 

' The people settled on Townships No. 17, 19, 
24, and 43, were French Accadians previously 
on the Island. 

The 1 


Oiic o; 
did any 
icilicd t 
Island b 

by the p 

It ni?)^ 
the prop 
just prof 
fact, th 
fercrs, t 


The propri.K.u u 23, 38, 30, and 40, 
bioaoiit biiL very fewneople to tlie Island. 

Cue of the pioprictos of lot 37 brought two 
tiiun! cs Mom New Knthmd, tlie other never 
dj.: any ihinjr; the ^reatu part of the people 
5.( Uicd on tins townsltip vere broight to the 
Uland by the: proprietor orro\vii>.hip No. 36. 

Ct" the 48 townships whi-h were neglected 
duri;ig th.s j)eriod by thtr respective pro- 
priei; rs, the Lots 13, 14, an' 35, were partly 
oc-cuj>it^d by the people broijhi to the Island 
by the propiietors of Lots 18 ud 36. 

'i' 4 

1 1 

It may easily be conceived, iiat so many of 
the proptitrtors neglecting their mds was very 
injurious to the Island, and extremely dis- 
couraging to the few who had conmenced the 
settlement on the laith of the wholttaking their 
just proportion of the burthen therof, and, in 
fact, the active proprietors were al great suf- 
ferers, though at this day, I belief; there is 


't- Sla 

(»!Hf :J : 


no person acquainted wtli the Island, but 
what will readily admit, that if the whole of 
the proprietors had beei equally active, all 
must have been great gainers by the colony, 
which by this time would have been a 
populous, well-settle* country : it has been 
alledged in excuse for this general failure on 
the part of the prc()rietors in performing their 
terms of settlement that they were prevented 
by the American var, from engaging in the 
settlement of th' Island ; on which I have 
to observe, thatby these terms one-third of 
of the requiredpopulation wasto be settled 
in five years froi the date of the Grants, the 
mandamus for which, were issued in 1767 
and all the Crants were or might have been 
taken out irthat and the following year, it 
will not thei be unreasonable to say, that ac- 
tive exertJns might have been expected 
from all tfc proprietors immediately after they 
had procued the Island to be erected into a 
separate ^vemment, at all events the Ameri- 
can war did not commence till April 1775, 



and it surely was not more difficult for the 
whole to make a beginninij before that period, 
than for the few who actually commenced the 
settleuient, and who were by no means, with 
one or two exceptions, of tiie wealthiest class 
of the proprietors, at tlie same time a great 
majority of those who failed in peiforming 
their terms of settlctneut, were people cf large 
fortune who were well able, had they bfen in- 
clined to disburse the necessaiy sums reiuired 
for that purpose. 

This very extensive defalcation on the 
part of so many of the proprietors in )er. 
forming tlie terms of settlement, was vry 
distressing and severely felt by nw.L of 
those who had engaged therein, they hadto 
begin mostly on new lands, and to impor a 
great part of their daily subsistence fom 
other countries, they were scattered in srall 
iettlements at a great distance from ech 
other, in a country totaUy without roads, nd 


f ''i\, 

t ' 


many of the first settlers cither from their own 
ignorance, or that ot' those hy wliom tliey 
were sent to the Island, were lautled without 
provisions or any means of supporf, and umiy 
on that account were obh'ged to ab^ndoji ihc 
settlenieit, which hrouglit much unjust ocUum 
on the colony, for as too often happens, men 
were viUing to attribute their failure to any 
tiling hut their own misconduct or imprudence. 
Thou;h a good many people were thus lost to 
the Hand, industry and perseverance enabled 
thos; who remained gradually to surmount 
ther difficulties, and as they acquired expe- 
rieice of the climate and soil, they becam# 
nwre firmly attached to the country. 

iis Majesty having been graciously pleased 
b> His Royal Commission to the Governor, 
iiiier the Great Seal of Great- Britain, to grant 
a omplete Constitution to the Colony, and 
th« Royal Inptructions having directed the 
Gi'crnor to put the same in operation, by 
caang a General Assembly as soon as he should 


judge llie Island to be in such a state of set- 
tlement as to admit thereof; His Majesty's 
gracious intentions were caniel into effect in 
1773, by the met ting of the first legislature 
of the Island, since uliicii it lias met re«ni- 
larly as in tiie olhcr colonies. Various laws 
suited to the situation and circumstances of the 
colony have been passed, and a foundation laid 
for raising a permanent revenue for the support 
of Government. One of the iirst objects wliicli 
engaged tlie attenti<m of tiie legislature was 
the failure of the proprietors in paying their 
quit rents for the support of the officers on the 
civil establisliment, to remedy which, an act 
was passed to regulate and enforce the future 
payment of the quit rents, which soon after 
received His Majesty's Royal Assent: but 
the Governor unwilling at that time to 
disoblige tlie proprietors, many of whom were 
people of high rank and consequence, did 
not venture for some time to execute this law; 
and soon after returning to England himself, 
meetings of the proprietors were held in Lon- 


t it 


don, at which it was determined to apjJy to 
Government to place the civil establishment 
of the Island on the same footing as the other 
new colonies. Accordingly in 1 776, at a time 
v'hen moat of them had failed in paying their 
quit rents, and the officers were suffering much 
for want of their salaries, the proprietors pre- 
sented a memorial to Lord George Germain, 
then Secretary of State for the Colonies, sta- 
ting therein, that they had paid their quit 
rents, but that some of the proprietors had 
failed in such payment, whereby the distress 
of the officers had happened, and proposing 
that in future the civil establishment of the 
Island should be put on the same footing as 
the other colonies, and provided for by an 
annual grant of parliament, and what seems 
very extraordinary, the said memorial teas 
signed itidiscriminateli/^ as well by those who 
had not, as those who had paid their quit 
rents. It having become evident^ that the 
establishment could not be supported on so 
precarious ? fund as that arising from the quit 


rents, Government was pleased to approve of 
this proposal, and the establishment of the 
Island has ever since been provided for by 
parliament upon an annual estimate. At tliis 
time, however, large arrears of salary were 
due to the officers on the establishment who 
had been reduced to such distress, that f' 
Governor was obliged to make use of the 
sum of three thousand pounds granted by 
Parliament in 1772 for the erection of public 
buildings in the Colony, for the support of him- 
self, and the other officers : that this sum might 
be replaced, and applied to the purposes for 
which it was granted, and provision made for 
paying off the arrears due to the officers on the 
civil establishment. The Lords Commissioners 
of His Majesty's Treasury were pleased to 
direct by a minute dated August 7th, 177^, 
" That the arrears of the quit rent now due, 
•* and the growing quit rents until the first 
" of May 1779, to which term His Majesty has 
*' relinquished the same for the benefit of the 
'' Island, should be applied in the first place, 

N 3 

■(',:■ ^ 

.Va! ■■*.-'■ 


",/o the payment of the Officers of the Civil 
" Establishment of the Island up to the first of 
" January «rr/,J and if after discharging the 
" same, there shall be any surplus, their Lord- 
*' ships »rder the same to be applied to the 
" making of roads, and other public works 
" within the Island, aiid My Lords direct the 
" former, as well as the present Receiver- 
" General of the Island, to apply all such 
" sums of money as shall he in their hands to 
'• the above purposes, and to take all proper 
" means to enforce the payment of themTcars, and 
" the accruing quit rents, and recover the same. 
" And My Lords direct, that stick of the Civil 
" OJieers as shall have received any money out 
" of the sum of three thousand pounds, granted 
" by Parliament for the benefit of the Island, 
^' after receipt of their arrears do refund the 
" same, in >>rder that the whole of that money 
" may be applied to the purposes for which the 
'* same was granted - A copy of this minute 

t Qv wbich day the estimate voted fcy Parliament sommfiie^d. 


was delivered to the Governor for his infor- 
mation and guidance, but iiaving so recently 
succeeded in getting the establishment pro- 
vided for in the manner mentioned, chiefly 
througji the interest of some of the proprie- 
tors, he did not think proper immediately to 
enforce the measures directed by this minute, 
nor was there any receiver of the quit rents 
then on the Island to carry the directions 
thereof into effect, so that nothing was at- 
tempted to be dbne under the authority of this 
minute till four years afterwards; of the 
transactions which then took place, an ac- 
count shall be given in its proper place. 

Upon Governor Patterson's return to En- 
gland in 1775, the government of the Island 
devolved upon the late Mr. Attorney General 
Callbeck as Senior Member of His Majesty's 
Council, the Lieutenant-Governor being aisc, 
absent. Towards the close of the year^ two 
occurrences happened, which were at the 
time very distressing to individuals, and ir.. 

:»" '^ 



jurious to the progress of the settlement. In 
the beginning of November a ship valuably 
loaded from London, with a number of settlers 
on board, suffered shipwreck on the north side 
of the loland ; the people were saved, but their 
effects and the cargo were almost totally lost ; 
the small part that was recovered, having 
been long under water, turned out of very 
little value, the effects of this disaster were for 
a long time severely felt. Soon after two Ameri- 
can armed vessels which had been sent by Con- 
gress to cruize in the Gulph of St. Lawrence 
for the purpose of intercepting some ordnance 
store ships then supposed to be on their 
voyage for Quebec, having failed in that ob- 
ject, thought fit to visit Charlotte Town the 
Capital of the Island, which was at this time 
totally unprotected; they landed before the 
hostile nature of th^ir visit was known or even 
suspected, and immediately made prisoners of 
Mr. Callbeck, the President, and the other 
officers of Government, and proceeded to 
plunder the place, taking every linng that was 

;■ . M 


of any value, they also carried off Mr. Call- 
beck and Mr. Wright a Member of the Coun- 
cil, and Surveyor-General of the Island : upon 
the arrival of these gentlemen at the head- 
quarters of the American army then at Cam- 
bridge in New England, it appeared that the 
rebel officers had acted in this manner totally 
without any orders from their superiors ; they 
were immediately dismissed from their com- 
mands, and told by General Washington, in 
their own style, " That they had done those 
" things which they ought not to have done, 
" and left undone those things which it was 
" their duty to have done;" their prisoners 
were immediately discharged with many 
polite expressions of regret for their suffer- 
ings, and the plundered property was all 
honourably restored. 

'^ir- f: i 

From this descent, and our lying so near 
the tract to Quebec, it became evident, that 
without protection, the colony would become 
liable to many such visits, to guard U9 against 


•vvliich tlie [uln)iral comnianding in America wa» 
directed by government early in the cnsuino- 
year, to station an armed vessel at Charlotte 
Town, for the protection of the Island, and in 
jMay the Diligent armed ' -'";, commanded by 
Lieutenant, now Athuirul Duud, arrived for that 
purpose. In the month of November Mr. Dodd 
was relieved by the Hunter sloop of war, Cap- 
tain Boyle, who wintered with us, and re- 
mained on tlie station till November I777. 
This ship arrived at a very critical period for 
our protection, as our neighbours in the county 
of Cumberland in Nova Scotia, encouraged by 
the arrival among them of about thirty rebels 
in two whale boats, from Machaias in Massa- 
chussets, broke out into open rebellion and laid 
siege to Fort Cumberland, then garrisoned by a 
newly-raised provincial corps under the com- 
mand of Colonel, afterwards Major-General 
Goreham, at that time in a very incomplete 
state. By these rascals a second plundering 
expedition to Charlotte Town was intended, 
but having no craft to carry off a number of 


of Fort 

jects, t 


the inh; 

sion of 



Island 1 

of Verti 



tills per; 

to Char] 

bad bee 

was imr 

and senl 



Verte, f( 

the rebe 


up to th 


dismounted cannon then lying about the ruins 
of Fort Amherst, wliich was one of tlieir ob- ' 
jects, they first paid a visit to tlie Harbour of 
Pictou in our neigh bourliood, where several of 
the inhabitants joining them they got posses- 
sion of a valuable armed merchant ship, then' ' 
loading at that port for Scotland, but not 
knowing exactly in what state of defence the 
Island might be in, they stood up into the Bay 
ofVerte, in order to receive from their asso- 
ciates, then engaged in the siege of Fort 
Cumberland, a reinforcement of men ; just at 
tliis period the Hunter arrived, and in her way 
to Charlotte Town having retaken a sloop wliich 
had become one of their prizes at Pictou, she 
was immediately fitted out by Captain Boyle, 
and sent after the ship under the command of 
Lieutenant, now Admiral George Keppel, who 
coming up with the ship next day in the Bay of 
Verte, found that in consequence of the defeat of 
the rebels at Fort Cumberland by the arrival of 
reinforcements from Halifax, she had been given 
up to the Male ; the rebels making their escape 


'Mm t 

• u . ' 


■ .il 


on shore. She was then brought into Char- 
lotte Town by Mr. Keppel, and given up to her 
commander, who not thinking it safe in the 
then state of that part of Nova Scotia to return 
to Pictou, she remained the winter with us. 

In 1777 besides the protection afforded us 
by the Hunter sloop of war, Mr. Callbeck, the 
president, was directed by Lord George Ger- 
niaine, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
to raise an independant company for the defence 
of the Island, but most of those who were 
inclined to become soldiers, had previously, 
enlisted with different recruiting officers who 
Jiad come to the Island to raise men for the 
two new regiments commanded by Colonels 
Maclean and Goreham, from which circum- 
stance and the small number of people then in 
the colony, this company, which was always 
weak never was compleated : this deficiency was, 
however, amply made up to the Island in the en- 
suing year by the care and attention of govern- 
ment; four |;rovincial companies being sent 


from New York under the command of Major 
HieiHky, an old officer; and at the same time 
the commanding engineer in Nova Scotia was 
directed to erect barracks for their accommo- 
dation, and also such necessary works of de- 
fence as were suitable to the situation and cir- 
cumstances of the Island. From this period, 
excepting now and then a few sheep taken at 
distant parts of the Island, by the enemy's 
privateers men, and the robbery of some 
valuable property from the Harbour of George 
Town, the Island remained perfectly undis- 
turbed during the remainder of the war; the 
frigates which annually brought out the Quebec 
convoys, generally spent part of the summer 
with us, by them and other cruizing ships 
which were occasionally sent into the Gulph, 
several of the enemy's armed ships captured in 
our neighbourhood were brought into Char- 
lotte Town and their crews landed, and after- 
wards sent over to Nova Scotia, and marched 
through the woods to Halifax, under the 
escort of detachments from our small garrison. 



L" » 






III the latter end of October 1 779, part of the 
Hessian regiment of Knyphausen, on their way 
from New York to Quebec under convoy of 
the Camilla twenty gun ship, commanded by 
Captain, afterwards Sir John Collins, meeting 
with very hard gales of wind, in the River St. 
Laurence, were obliged to give up the attempt 
to get to Quebec, and came into the harbour 
of Charlotte Town, where the troops were 
landed, as being the nearest spot to their place 
of destination in which they could be accom- 
modated ; there was no barracks for them, but 
being a veteran corps, commanded by Colonel 
De Borck, an experienced officer, they soon 
hutted themselves in a most comfortable man- 
ner, many of them when landed were ill with 
intermittent fevers, and I have already had 
occasion to notice the rapid effect our climate 
had in restoring them to health. 

So great an accession to our numbers not 
having been foreseen at head-quarters, our 
commissaries' stores were of course not pro- 


Tided for tliem, but the deficiency was 
amply made up from the produce of 
the Island, whici) was purcliased by Govern- 
ment for tlieir supply, a circumstance which 
considering the infant state of the colony, 
and our small numbers may be mentioned to the 
credit of our agriculture in that early period of 
the settlement. The Hessians staid with us till 
the month of June following : both officers and 
men were mucli pleased with the Island, and 
some of the latter found their way back to it 
many years afterwards, from the heart of 

In 1780 Governor Patterson returned to the 
Island fromEngland ; and there being no receiver 
of the quit rents on the Island, he appointed Mr. 
Nisbet, his brother-in-law, then Clerk of the 
Council, to the office of Receiver of the 
Quit Rents, and under colour of the Trea- 
sury Minute, dated the 7th of August, 1776, 
which has been already given, he directed 
him early in 1781, to commence proceedings 


iH' [ 


ill the Stpreme Court of the Island, a«rainst all 
the townships enumerated in the act of 1773, 
which were tiien in arrcar of qait rents, and 
in Novemher following brought nine whole, and 
five half townships to the hammer ; these sales 
were soon after complained of to governmenf. 
and upon some enquiry into the transaction a bill 
for regulating the future proceedings in the re- 
covery of the quit rents was prepared in 1783, 
and sent to the Island, and the Governor was 
directed to lay the same before the legislature 
to be enacted into a colonial law; in this bill 
a clause was inserted, making the sales of 178I 
voidable, and allowing the original proprietors to 
re-enter into possession of the lands then sold 
under the Qult-Rent Act of 1773, upon the 
repayment of the purchase money, interest, 
and charges incurred by the purchasers and a 
fair allowance for such improvements as might 
have been made on the lands since the sale 
thereof : the purchasers on their parts ac- :•«: the original proprietors for the 
receipts, .s,..^s, ^nd promts. In the recital 


which which led to this enacting clause, tU 
circumstances attending the sales in 1781 
were stated diflereuLly from what really took 
place. Taking advantage of this mistatc* 
mcnt, ihc Governor instead of obeying tha 
order, and laying the bill before the Assembly, 
submitted the business to the consideration of 
the Council, who were equally implicated with 
himself by this recital, and it ^ras finally re- 
solved to transmit to the Secretary of State, 
a representation of all the circumstances at' 
tending the sales in 1781, and to rely on that 
representation as a justification for not obey- 
ing the order to lay the bill before the 

This representation wlicn taken into consi- 
deratio' hv the Committee of the Privy Coun- 
cil for Trade and Foreign Plantations, did not 
appear to justify in the opinion of the Board, 
the conduct of the Governor in aith-holding 
the bill from the Assembly, but no order was 
for some time niade therion. 

,n ••• 



•*In the mean time the Governor who was 
resolved to make every exertion to retain the 
lands, determined to be provided with an 
House of Representatives if possible, such as 
he. could rely upon for supporting his views, 
in case he should be again ordered to propose 
to the Legislature an act for making the sales 
voidable; accordingly early in 1784 he dissolved 
the Assembly by proclamation, and in March 
following a general election took place, and 
the Legislature soon after met, when it soon 
appeared, that the Governor had not succeeded 
in his object, for the House of Representatives 
entered into enquiries respecting different acts of 
his administration, and seemed particularly dis^ 
posed to condemn the management at the sale 
of the lands sold in 1781, although neither 
they, nor any other perion in the Island, were 
then acquainted with the proceedings that had 
taken place in England on the subject, which 
had only been communicated by the Governor 
to the Council under their oath of secrecy ; 
after various sharp messages and replies be* 

a conq: 
in prep 
by Pro 

in takii 
at the 
more fa 
the obj( 
he had 
ing bin 
for mak 
now to 
which t 
last Hoi 
office in 
would h 
site light 
and a 


tween the House of Representatives, and the 
Governor, that body resolved upon presenting 
a complaint to the King, and were employed 
m preparing the same when they were dissolved 
by Proclamation. 

The Governor spent the remainder of 1784, 
in taking more effectual measures for securing 
at the next general election the return of a 
House of Representatives which should be 
more favourable to him than the last, besides 
the object of being prepared for an order which 
he had reason to expect from England direct- 
ing him to lay before the Assembly the bill 
for making the sales of 1781 voidable ; he had 
now to provide for taking off any impression 
which the charges made against him by the 
last House of Representatives, might make at 
office in this country ; this he naturally thought 
would be most effectually done by their suc- 
cessors putting his conduct in an oppo- 
site light in their addresses and proceedings, 
and a variety of circumstances concurred 

i-^ii * 



wliioh -were favourabJe 'to his Tiews -and in- 
terest : in consequence of the evacuation of 
Ne.w York the preceding autumn a number 
of the loyalists .and disbanded troops came to 
seek a settlement on the Island, who were 
chiefly dependent on him in respect to the 
di«iribution of the donations allowed by the 
l?ounty of Government to enable them to com- 
mence their new settlements with advantage, 
he had also the direction of locating them on 
the lands on which they were to be placed, no 
inconsiderable part of which, consisted of the 
lands sold in 1781. From these circumstances, 
hy far the greatest part of these new settlers be- 
came interested in his support, he also found 
means to divide his opponents, and to buy some 
of them off, and in March 1785, be again ven- 
tured to try the success of a general election, 
on wiiich occasion he succeeded in securin'>- 
the return of a House of Representatives 
which was perfectly to his mind, and ready 
to support all his measures, this was not ac- 
complished however without a severe struggle, 


Tnuch illegal conduct, and an enormous ex- 
pence, considering our small numbers and the 
infant state of the colony f. 

s • ■ • 

The Legislature met in a few days after the 
election, but no farther directions respecting 
the lanv'. sold in 1781 having been yet re! 
ceived from England, the subject was not 
mentioned during the session, which was 
chiefly spent in adopting such measures as 
were deemed necessary to do away any im- 
pression the proceedings of the last Housp of 
Representatives might make against the Go- 
vernor, who was represented in their addresses, 
and proceedings as the best of men, while all 
that opposed him M-ere stigmatized as factious 
and unj)rincipled. At the next session which 
commenced in March 1786, the Governor being 
still without any orders from England relative 
to the sales of 1781, and being now secure of 

t It wUl no doubt lurprise mj English reat^ento be teW thtt this 
ejection cost the GoTernor and bi> frieuds near t«o tl,oui 



I' ' 

I'll !'*■' « (J 




■ If' 


I : 


the unaiiimous support of the Legislature, 
determined on a measure which he expected 
Would secure against all future attempts, the 
purchasers at these sales ; for this purpose a 
1?ill was brought into the Lower House and 
soon after passed into a law, entitled, ** An 
" Act to render good and valid in law, 'all and 
V everif of the Proceedings in the years one 
** thousand seven hundred and eighty, and one 
" thousand seven hundred and eighty -one, 
** which in any respect related to, or concerned 
" the suing, seizing, condemning, or selling of 
" the Lots or Tozvnships herein-after mentioned, 
" or any part thereof." This audacious at- 
tempt immediately decided Government with 
respect to Mr. Patterson, who was soon after 
superceded ; His Majesty's disallowance of 
the act being at the same time signified, and the 
bill for making the sales voidable also returned, 
with directions to lay it before the Assembly. 
Before the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor Fan- 
ning, who was appointed to succeed Mr. 
Patterson, the latter met the Assembly, and 


laid the bill before them which they- imme-- 
tliately rejected ; it was not indeed to be 
expected, that the ^aine men who had only 
six mouths before pared an act tp confirm 
these sales should .so soon adopt a directly 
contrary measure which would have deprived 
them of all pretence to propriety or con- 
sistency of conduct. It appears however, that 
Mr. Patterson was at Jast seriously alarmed, 
and determined to make an effort to satisfy 
the proprietors of the sold lands, and if 
possible to conciliate government, for wliich 
purpose a private bill was brought forward, stated 
to be at the request of the purchasers in 178I, 
and passed into a law for restoring the lands 
then sold, to their original proprietors : but 
this mode of proceeding was entirely dis- 
approved of, and the act disallowed ; besides 
the objections to the manner in which the 
measure was brought forward, the provisions 
of this act left it much in the power of the 
purchasers at the sales in 1 781, to load the 
property to be restored with such an accu- 

' I I i.' i 

;;tii . : 

ii',: c" 



mulation of expence as might perhaps equal 
its full value : and it also confirmed all aliena- 
tions of any parts of the lands while in the 
hnuds o^ the purchasers, whether the same had 
.icen made for a valuable consideration or 


Thus disappointed the proprietors preferred 
a criminating complaint to His Majesty against 
Lieutenant Governor Patterson and others 
therein named, being members of His Majesty's 
council ill the Island, in respect to their con- 
duct with' regard to these sales and their re- 
sistance to the measures directed by Govern, 
mfent for the relief^'of tlie complainants, and in 
1:^89 an investigation of the said complaint took 
place before the Right Hon. Committee of the 
Pfivy Council fo/ trade, plantations, "when it 
wis determined ty the committee,' that the 
reasons'ariedged in behalf of the respondents, 
dill not justify their conduct in the transactions 
complained of : in consequence of this decision 
the members of the Colonial Council implicated ' 



in the complaiiit were dismissed from their- 
seats at that hoard, and the Attorney General 
of the Island from his office ; Mr. Patterson 
having been previously dismissed, and the ob- 
ject Of the coniplaint 'in regard to him ob- 
tained, no farther notice was tai«en of his con- 
duct. It was' expected that this proceeding 
would have been followed by a final determina- 
tion respecting the fate of the lands which wdre • 
the object of so much controversy, yet neither 
on this occasion nor at any time since, has any > 
directions been given by Government on the • 
subject, and the proprietors on thfeir parts ^ 
have been equally silent thereon.-. 

Butin 1792, when tlieCommitteeof the Privy r 
Council for Trade and Plantations, were en- 
gaged in investigating certain other complaints ' 
from the Island which I shall have occasion to 
notice hereafter, an attempt was made to charge 
the then Colonial Government, with beino* 
confederated ^vith their predecessors in opt 
position to the restoration of the lands sold 













ih 1791, and it required some exertion to 
repel the charge, though the same was per- 
fectly groundless. It appearing on this oc- 
casion to be still the opinion of that fioard, 
that these lands should be restored to the 
original proprietors or their representatives : at 
the next meeting of the Colonial Legislature, 
an act was passed for rescinding, annulling, and 
making void the sales in 1781, and permitting the 
original proprietors or their representatives to re- 
enter into possession ; but as this measure was 
adopted without any directions from office on 
the subject, merely in consequence of what pas- 
sed on the above occasion, it was thought 
necessary to annex to the act a clause sus- 
pending its operation in every respect, until 
His Majesty's Royal Assent thereto should be 
signified, in the usual form. 

When this proceeding was known in this coun- 
try, a petition was presented on the part of sonns 
of the purchasers under the sales in 1781, praying 
to be heard by their counsel against the pas- 

8mg of 
tions, . 
under 1 
to be It 
from wj 
has beer 
the Isia 
royal as 
nor has 
the subj 
or the o 
which ^ 
ever sin< 
1781 ; £ 
rious hai 
ber of 

■I t 


smgof this 'law, which petition with the act 
being refenad to the consideration of the 
Committee of Mis Majesty's most honorable 
Privy Council for trade and foreign planta- 
tions, Doctor Laxorcnce was heard before the 
Committee on behalf of the late Mr. Richard 
Burke, junior, who had become a purchaser 
under the sales in 1781, on this occasion the 
opinion of the Right Hon. Committee seemed 
to be much changed with respect to these sales 
from what it had formerly been, and the>result 
has been that the act passed by the legislature of 
the Island in 1792 never received His Majesty's 
royal assent, and has been entirely laid aside ; 
nor has any other proceedings been adopted on 
the subject either on the part of Government 
or the original proprietors, of course the lands 
which were the object of this measure have 
ever since remained in the quiet and peaceable 
possession of those claiming under the sales iu 
17s I ; some of them have passed through va- 
rious hands and are parcelled out amonff a num- 
ber of purchasers, and they have in some 






instances become securities for ilebts, and in 
outers the objects of testamentary and family 
settlements, in perfect confidence that the. 
claims of the original proprietors, whatever may 
l)e their grounds, cannot now after the lapse of 
so. many years, be again brought forward >vith 
any effect |. 

t It ippcars by the different proceediugi before the Privy CouncUte 
have been olways the iotention of Government, that in the event of these 
lands being re.tored to the original proprietors by any legislative pro- 
ceedingiiftbel»land. that they or their represenUtivei should on g,uh 
mtorati(jn pay to tho purchasers under the eales in 1781, the amount for 
which these lauds were (hen sold, anieaiure which qecessarily grew out of 
the ciicumitance of their havingbeeB sold for the arrears of quit then due 
on them. This many of the original proprietors or those acting for them, do 
»iot s«f ra at any time w^iijing to have conjplied jvith, and it would appear that 
since the rejection pf the act passed in 179$ for their rehef, they have, 
given up all ideas of any farther proceedings on the subject, not thinking 
the property worth their acceptanc. on the proposed terras. Of the lands 
sold in 1781. the half Tow.ship. ^o. 18. was confirnwd to U.e purchaser 
»t these sales for a valuable consideration. The half Township, 
No. 26. has been restored to the representative of the original proprietor 
on the terras of the bill sent out in 1783, for malting the i.les voidable. 
'1 he Tpwnship, No. 3a has been restored to the representative of the ori, - 
jjinal grantee, by a compromise with the person into whose hands it fell 
since the sale of 1781. The Township, No. 35, has also bean restored to 
»i.e orfginal proprietor by a private agreement. The half Township, No. 48. 


As these sales, with the different proceedings 
to which they have given rise agitated tho^ 
colony for some years, and were much talked 
of in this country among those connected with, 
the Island, and having also hecome an object, 
of inquiry before the Privy Council, I thought 
that this account of the proceedings to wliich 
they have given rise, would be acceptable to 
people interested in the colony. 

Having already stated what was done to; 
wards complying with .the terms of settlement 
from the commencement thereof, until 1779 
inclusive, I shall now proceed to state what 
attempts were made durin^r the next twenty 
years, for complying with these terms as th^ 

not having been improved by the purcha«r, the orfgina! proprietor finding 
.10 perwn in possewion re-entered without oppowtion. The Tomwh'ip, 
No. 49 was recovered by tie original proprietor by a suit at law. Tha 
half Township, Ko. 65. has been coutirmed to the possesior under th« 
sale in 1781 by a private agreement with the representative of the original 
grantee. And the half Townships. Nos. 17 and 25. and the Townships 
^^o. 24, 31, 33, 57, and No. 67 remain in the baad* of propriatoM 
*!riving tlieir rities ^ii^cr the sales of t?a*, 

* i ii 




•urcst criterion on which a judomcnt can be 
formed how far the progress of the settlement 
has answered the exertions that have been 
lAade ; Cfiis seems to me the more neccssiry, as 
oh one hand the proprietor* are said to have 
done nothing towards settling the colony, 
and on the other some of them have claimed 
much credit for expenditure and exertions, 
of which nothing has ever been known in 
the Island, but which have been clamorously 
stated to Government as a ground of farther 
indulgence with respect to the payment of 
their quit rents. 

It has been already shewn, that of the sixiy^ 
seven Townships into which the Island is di- 
vided, th^jt on ten only, were the terms of set- 
tlement in respect to population complied with 
in the first ten years from the commencement 
of the settlement, and that forty-eight Town- 
ships were totally neglected during this period 
by their respective proprietors. During the 
period now under consideration, I may be per- 


mitted to say without offence, tliat the excrtiorii 
of the proprietors were feeble in proportion to 
their obhgationj, and the length of time the 
period embraces, and the opportunities it af. 
forded as tl^p following summary will shew. 

Townships Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, nothing done. . 


Township No. 5. The proprietor of thi»- 
township, in 1783, resigned one fourth thereof 
for the accommodation of such American loy- 
alists and disbanded troops as might claim the 
same; in consequence of which a few people 
under that description, had lands laid out to 
them thereon, but it being at that time at a 
great distance from any inhabitants they never 
settled upon them. In 1 78(5 a fishery was esta- 
blishcd on this Township, and in the course 
of a few years several vessels were built, a saw- 
mill was erected and a considerable quantity of 
timber exported, but little or nothing was done 
towards peopling or cultivating the soil, whicli 
should certainly have had precedence of every 



other consideration if compliance with the 
terms oq, which it is granted was intended. 

Township No. 6. This township has been 
claimed by the same proprietor as the pre- 
ceding for many years past, but only three 
families were settled on it during this period. 

No9. 7, 8, o, 10, 11, and 12, nothin 

No. 13, On this lot it has beeii already ob- 
served that a few people brought to the Island 
by other proprietors settled early, but nothing 
was done during this period by the proprie- 
tor^ in compliance with the terms of set- 

No. 14, On this lot like the preceding 
nothing was done by the proprietor during 
this period, but some people settled on it of 
their own accord. 







took u| 

and the 

parts of 

prietor ( 

No. ] 
French j 
on it hsLi 
of popul 

Lot 1 
having ei 
dred pec 
dual advj 


No. is, Nothing done. 

No. 15, The proprietor of this township fa 
1783, resigned one fourth part thereof for the 
accommodation of such American loyaHsts and 
disbanded troops as might chuse to settle 
thereon, and some people of that description 
took up part of these resigned lands, but that 
and the acquisition of a few settlers from other 
parts of the Island, has been all that the pro- 
prietor ever did for its cultivation. • 

No. 17, Some loyalists were settled on this 
township in 1785, which, together with the 
French people we before-mentioned as settled 
on it has fully compleated the required amount 
of population. 

Lot IS, The proprietors of this township 
having early in the settlement sent three hun- 
dred people to the Island, its cultivation and 
improvement has ever since been making gra- 
dual advances, in which respect however it'has ' 

i 1 ih' 

,} t« 


"teen much injured by the temptation which 
the neglected state of the neighbouring town- 
ships have offered to its settlers, many of whom 
have removed and settled on such lands, with 
the hope of acquiring a right to their pos- 
sessions "by time, or the default of thp pro- 
•pri^tors in performing their terms of settlement. 

Lot 19, In 1783 one- fourth of this town- 
ship was resigned for the benefit of the loyalists 
and disbanded troops, several of whom took up 
grants thereon. 

. Lot 20, On this township a considerable 
number of people were settled during this pe- 
riod, but they were such as came to the colony 
of themselves without any encouragement from, 
or connection with, the proprietors. 

Lot 21, The settlement of this township was 
commenced early in our first period as we 
have already seen, and though from a con- 
currence of unfortunate circumstances it has 


not advanced in proportion latterly, it is gtiK 
going on. 

Lot 22, Nothing done. 

Lot 23, Though the settlement of this 
township began early it has yet made no great 
progress in comparison with many others. 


Lot 2^4, This township is one of those which 
were sold for non-payment of quit-rents itt 
1 7S 1 . and though the uncertainty with respect to 
the ultimate fate of these sales, for some time 
operated as a discouragement to those into 
whose hands it fell ; considerable exertions 
have been made for its settlement and it is 
now one of the most populous on the Island. 

Lot 25, The settlement of this township 
wa^ begun in 1785, and it has since been 
making gradual advances. Its improvement 
has been much retarded by a dispute relative to 



the .property of one half of the township which 
is not yet settled. 

Lot 26, On this township a settlement was 
begun in 1785, and one of the proprietors || has 
advanced large sums tbr its improvement, the 
settlers on it have rendered themselves conspicu- 
ous by raising more wheat in proportion to their 
nimibers than any other people on the Island. 
They are chiefly composed of American loyalists 
and their success proves, what might have been 
expected from that description of people, had 
any considerable numbers of them been brought 
to the Island, instead of being encouraged, and 
in some measure compelled, by the over- 
bearing influence of a few individuals, to settle 
themselves on the barren foggy shores of the 
southern coast of Nova Scotia. 

Lot 27, This township was long neglected 
by its proprietors ; but in 1790 a settlement on 
one half of it was begun, and it has now pro- 

H Robtrt Gordon, Eiq. of th« LIsnd of St. Viaceit. 


bably the required amount of population on it • 
the otlier moiety has been entirely neglected, 

Lot as. The settlement of this township early* 
begun as has already been mentioned, has been 
making a steady progress in improvement and 

Lot 99, On this township nothing dom 
during this period. 

Lot 30, On this township a settlement wa^ 
begun in 1785. but has made very hltle pro- 
gress, a circumstance chiefly to be attributed td 
its local situation, and the neglected state of 
the adjoining townships; its proprietor thtf 
late Lord Chief Baron of Scotland, having 
made great cflbrts for the settlement of his pro- 
perty in the Island, and advanced his money 
liberally for that purpose. 

Lots 31 and 32,^ On the first of theis (owijr 




ships, it has been seen that a settlement was 
early commenced, and it soon after spread to 
the other, but as they were both included in 
the -rles of 1781, the uncertainty in which the 
property stood pending the proceedings con- 
sequent to that transaction, the improvement of 
them during this period was much retarded. 

Lot 33, On this township nothing was done 
during this period more than permitting some 
families from the adjoining township. No. 34, 
to settle thereon. 

Lot 34, The settlement of this township 
early begun at a considerable expence, has been 
steadily advancing ever since. 

Lots 35 and ^6, The first of these townships 
was one of those sold in 17«1, and in 179-1 
restored to its original proprietor in consequence 
of a private agreement between the parties, it was 
early occupied as has been already mentioned 
by people brought to the Island by the pro- 


prietor of Lot 36, whose property it now is, 
both townships are considerably improved. 

Lot 37, This township has been many years 
in an advancing state of improvement, though 
neitlier of its original proprietors ever con- 
tributed any thing irther to its population 
than the two families which one of them 
brought to the Island in an early stage of the 
settlement as I have already noticed. 

Lots 38 and 39, These townships with one 
third of the adjacent Lot, No. 40, were at the 
commencement of the settlement the property 
of the same person (the late Captain George 
Burns) the most fortunate adventurer that has 
hitherto speculated m lands on tlie Island, for 
owing to the circumstance of a great part of 
the front of these townships having been clear- 
ed by the French previous to the conquest of 
the Island, they soon became in request, and 
for many years have been gradually selling off 


in small tracts for which large prices hav6 
|)een given. 

lot 40, This like the two preceding having 
fceea early settled, has been gradually ad- 
vancing in improvement. 

lots 41 and 43, The settlement of these 
townships did not commence till 1/93. butthev 
Jiave since been advancing rapidly in popula- 

Lot 43, This Township as has been men- 
tioned in the summary of the first ten years 
having been occupied early by the original 
French inhabitants, is now in a considerably 
advanced state of improvement and papulation. 

Jot 44, The settlement of this Township 
onty c<?mmenced in I797. 

t6t, 45 and 45, Nothing done on these 
townships during this period. 


Lot 47, The settlement of this town^liip 
"was begun in 1784, and for many years it made 
little progress, but has since advanced rapidly. 

Lot 43, The settlement of this township 
commenced in 1784 and has been gradually 


Lot 49, The settlement of this Township com- 
menced only in 1792, but having been sold off 
in small lots, it has made a very rapid progress. 

Lot 50, The settlement of this township com- 
menced in 1784, and is now in a very forward 

Lot 51, On this township nothing done. . 

Lot 52, Since the ill-managed attempt that 
has been already noticed to settle this town- 
ship, nothing has been done. ' 


Lot 53, Nothing done on this township 
during this period. 

J 16 

Lot 54, The settlement of this township 
oemmenced in 1788. 

Lot 55, Nothing U'as ever done by the pro- 
JiHetor toward the settlement of this township ; 
but in 1793, a considerable number of people 
sat down on it of their own accord without any 
agreement with the proprieior. 

l6t 56, The settlement of this township 
commenced in 1784 by the proprietor giving 
up a fourth thereof to the American Loyalists 
tod disbanded troops, some of whom obtained 
lands thisreon. 

Lot 57 and 58, The unsuccessful attempt to 
3ettl^ these townships in our first period has 
been already noticed, during thi^ period they 
i^mailifed entirely unoccupied. 

)-ot 59, The early settlement of this town- 
ship and the exertions made were noticed in our 
ftrstpi?riodj in ITMvery considerable farther 


iiiclvanc?s were made by the proprietor for t!iat 

Lot 60, Nothing done. 

Lot 6l, On this Township a few families were 
«ettled during this period, but these were peo- 
pie previously on the Island, and cost the pro- 
prietor nothing. 

Lot 6ii, Nothing done. 

Lot 63 and 64, The settlement of these 
townships commenced in 1788, since which 
very considerable sums have been laid out in 
their improvement. 


Lot 65, The settlement of this township 
commtnced in 1784. 

Lot 66, Nothing done. 

Lot 67* Nothing done. 



Such was tlip state of the diAerent town- 
*hips into wliich the Island is divided in rc^ 
{»ard to population at tlie end of the year ]7<)() 
thirty years after the commencement of the 
settlement, and when I add that by far the 
greater part of those who settled in the last 
twenty years, came to the Island without any 
Cxpence or exertion on the part of the pro- 
prietors, some judgment may be formed of 
what might have been done in the improve- 
ment and cultivation of the country, had they 
been generally disposed to make any thing like 
reasonable ejcertions for that purpose ; that their 
failure in this respect was generally and severely 
felt by every intelligent man in the colony may 
easily be conceived, they had seen in this 
period, thousands of their fellow-subjects from 
Great Britain and Ireland emigrate to the 
United States of Ameiica, either to perish by 
the effects of an unhealthy climate, or to aug- 
ment the numbers and strength oi' the enemies 
of their country, and were sensible that a very 
little exertion on the part of the proprietors 

Would h 

land, wl 

have l)e( 

where i 

tlieir h.n 


netted \ 

pcwer, a 

a return 

should b< 

In I7i 
which I 1 
state of t 
for some i 

fveii on the I'rui 
tlit'.V liave to I 
«ppe»r to nrisp f 
dCiivctlicir oiigi 
society is rapidly 
fiiiwlly ut no very 
'"■t of j:o!1i:- hoM 
» resjjiie (<. om thi 


IvouUl have sent a -reat many of them to this Is. 
land, where their industry and prosperity would 
have been highly valuuhic to tlicir country; and 
where In a niaiitime situation con<reniaI to 
their habits, they uouhi have presen-ed the 
happiness of hc-ing still British subjects con- 
neetcd uiih ,hoir country, protected by its- 
pmver, and governed (,y its laws, and to which 
a return would he coniparatively easy ^f they 
should be so disposed.* 

In 1797 two years sliort of the period to 
V'hich I have brought up this summary of tlic 
state of the hinds in point of settlement, ap- 
phcations were made to the assembly praving 
for some proceeding on tl: ir part which shmdd 

:,''i^- [ 

ianHW|Mjj|,,.s ,1. ;o« .f V 1 .ch I an. c.nrulcnt ore poorly con.pcnsa.ed 

even on the ,>„«<,! ha„K„., .ho 0,..o. coupled .ith ol, tl« monificn.ion, 

tl'.7 Imve .0 submit ,<.. 3n.u„g „ people whose principal c„jn;,ment, 

appear ,o nri.- f:„,„ insul.i,,, an., abusing ,hat country from which they 

de..vetheir o,i,l„ • rf,, ^hcre a «enera, deterioration of the morals cf 

...cetyi, rapidly l„,„.,.h. f„u,.„«,i„,„ „f ,.ew revolntions which „,„« 

/l..Hlly a. n<. very jeri.d lay their tu, bul«t republican LLer.y at the 

ie., of son. hold ,civen,u: er .h„se power and ,ucce« may prcu.e aocc-y 

• respite fiom the miserie* ol a.iarchy and civil war. 


bring the subject under the consideration of 
His Majesty's ministers, tl>at body having 
taken the matter up, after a strict enquiry 
and mature deliberation, came to the following 
resolutions with the hope of putting the 
subject in as clear and forcible a light as 

1st, Resolved that it appears to this house 
after having fully investigated with the strictest 
attention the state of the lands in this Island, 
That Lots or Townships, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 
10, 12, 15, 22, 29, 44, 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 57, 
58, 60, 62, 66, and 67 containing in the whole 
458,580 acres, have not one settler resident 

2d, Resolved that Lots or To\vns]r:ips, Nos. 
4, 5, 6, 11, 23, 30, 31, 55, 6l, 63, 64, and 6,5 
containing together 243,000 have only hc- 
twcen them, thirty-six families, which upon an 
average of six persons to a family, amount to two 
han<lred and sixteen persons residing thereon, 

and that these lots, together ^vith those above 
enumerated comprehend upwards of one half ofi 
this Island. 

3dly, Resolved, That Lots or Township, Nos. 
13, 14, 1^0, 25, 27, and 42 comprehending one 
hundred and twenty thousand acres, are settled 
respectively as follows, viz. No. 13, nine fa- 
milies. No. 14, eight families, No. 20, nine 
families, No. 25, nine families, No. 27, seven 
families, and No. 42, eight families calculated 
at the foregoing average, to consist of three 
hundred persons. 

4th, Resolved, That the following townships 
are settled agreeable to the terms of the grants, 
viz. Nos. II 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 2(5, 28, 32, 

II A Township is uiideititoud (o be settled according to tlie temii oi'ttie 
grant, wlitu its populatloit amounts to uiie hundred souls, tcv«ral of those 
«uuiuerated iu tlii* resolution contninsti at this i>«riod two At three huAdied 
souls each ; though lonieof them, I am coniidfur, were short, of the required 
number5, ami it is also to be observed that the state of each townsliip iu re- 
tpect to population, is put down without regard to the ciicuuistauce, thattlie 
«aiuc was obtained bj the vuluntarv resort of people in some iiistauci'i to 


i' I. 


33, 34, 3S, 36, 37. 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 47, 48, 
49^ 50, 54, 56, and 59. 

^th. Resolved, That it appears to this house, 
that although the Townships No. 7, half 
No. 12, No. 30, and No. 51, are not settled 
according to the terms and conditions of the 
grants, the proprietor, the Rigiit Hon. James 
Montgomery, Lord Chief Baron of His Ma- 
jesty's Court of Exchequer in Scotland, has 
been ever active in his exertions, and has ex- 
pended large sums of money in the settlement 
of other lands in this Island. Also that the 
following persons, Mr. Edward Lewis, and Mr. 
John Hill, proprietors of township, No. 5, and 
the late partnership of John Cambridge and 
company, proprietors of Townships, Nos. 6S, 
and 64, have made different attempts to settle 
them, beside expending considerable sums of 
money thereon. 

diffe(ent towu.hip8. without the interference or ever the knowledge of the 
proprietors, from which it will evidently appear that there was no intcntiou 
ou the part of tl,e J.ouse to exaggerate the e»J complained of. 


6th, Resolved, That it appears to this house, 
that the failure of so many of the proprietors 
in performing the terms and conditions of their 
grants has been highly injurious to thp growth 
and prosperity of this Island, ruinous to its in. 
habitants, and destructiv.e of the just expec- 
tations and views of Governu.ent in its colonic 
zatiop and settlement. 

7tb, Resolved, Tha.a- h the opinion of this 
house-, that the various indulgencies and Jong 
forbearar?ce of GoverAiment towards the pro- 
prietors \iho have failed in performing the 
terms and conditions of their grants, have had 
no other eifect than enabling them to retail 
their lands without exertion or expence, spe- 
culating on the industry of the colony, and 
the .disbursements of a few active proprietory 
in forwarding the settlement thereof. 

8tb, .Resolved, That it appears to this Jiouse, 
^nd seems universally admitted that this Islanfil 
was it fully settled, is adequate to the imilu- 


'■> I ■ f 



tenance of upwards of half a million of infia- 
liitants ; and in which case it would be of 
great importance to the mother country, not 
only in the consumption of its manufactures, 
but as a nursery for seamen from a very ex- 
tensive fishery which might be carried on 
around its coasts independent of the commerce 
which from its other productions would na- 
turally arise. 

9th, Resolved, That it appears to this house 
that the progress which has been made in the 
neighbouring colonies, and their flourishing 
state and rapid increase in population since the 
close of the American war, is chiefly to be 
attributed to the general escheat and forfeiture 
which has taken place of all the unsettled 
grants, and the regranting of such lands in 
small tracts to actual settlers. 

10th, Resolved, That it appears to this house 
that the greatest part of the population and 
improvements in the neighbouring provinces. 


are situated upon l^ncjs escheated ^s abprp-men \ 
tioned, and which had been originally grj^nted 
nearly at ihe same time, and on similar terms 
and conditions with the land of this Islantj. 

■ * 

file facts set forth in these resoliitions yy^iQ 
stated to Government in the form -of a peti- 
tion from the Assembly, concluding with 4 
prayer, that such measures might be tai:eR 
as were necessary to compel all the Proprietors 
to fulfil the terrn^ ancj conditions on which 
their lands were granted, or tha^ the same 
should be escheated, and regranted in ^iflal| 
tracts to actual settlers, on such terms and con- 
ditions as His Majesty might be grapionsly 
pleased to direct. And the Lieutenant-Governor 
was requested to forward the said repreien- 
tation and petition to England, an4 at the 
same time to represent that the Asseinbly 
had no other views than bringing the facts 
stated in the resolutions fairly before Hii 
Majesty's ministers, confident that all His 
Majesty's subjects in the Island would che^r- 



fiilly and dutifully conform themielres to whati 
ever determination might be made thereon. 

This representation, which was addressed to 
his Grace the Duke of Portland, in whose de- 
partment as Secretary of State, the manage- 
ment of colonial affairs then rested, was well 
received, and his Grace was pleased soon after 
to inform the Lieutenant-Governor had been 
taken into consideration by Hia Majesf's 
confidential servants, and that as soon as the 
state of public affairs admitted thereof, such 
a determination on the subject should be made 
as would not fail to remedy 'the evil com- 
plained of. 

Though this proceeding was very agreeable 
to a great majority of the Island, and became 
to a certain extent a duty upon the Assembly, 
judging from what they had seen done in the 
neighbouring colonies ; yet it must be confess- 
ed, that the cases were not perfectly similar, 
and that however faulty or ipadequate the 


plan adopted for the settleijientpf the co- 
lony had hitherto proved, it had certainly 
made too great a progress to be materially 
changed without greatly injuring the proprie- 
tors who had hitherto carried on the settle- 
ment, who on their parts were decidedly against 
the proposed change wliile any other adequate 
means remained In the power of Government 
to compel all the proprietors to comply with 
the terms on which their lands were held. 

. This state of things placed the colonial 
government for many years in a very disagree- 
able and difficult predicament, it was im^s- 
sible not to feel severely the extensive injury 
arising from the neglect of so many of the 
proprietors in leaving their lands in a waste 
and uncultivated state, whereby the colony was 
subjected to all the evils and inconveniences 
of a feeble and unnecessarily protracted state 
of infancy, at the same time any proceeding 
whereby such lands should generally become 


!■ i; 


"forfeited for non-performance of the terms 
of settlement, was liable to many weighty 
^objections which could not be easily over- 
.iooked. What was to become of the in- 
terest of the proprietors who had hitherto car- 
lied on the settlement of the colony in the 
event of such a proceeding taking place, 
many of them had invested their all in its suc- 
cess, and it was principally by their perseve- 
rance and exertions, that it was enabled to 
overcome all the early difficulties incident to 
such undertakings, difficulties of which it is 
not now easy to form an adequate idea, and 
which nothing could have enabled them to 
surmount but the most enthusiastic attachment 
to the country, and the hopes that a steady 
perseverance in their object would finall} be 
crowned with success, whereby they would 
be enabled to leave handsome properties lo 
their families ; yet it is evident that they would 
be the first and principal suffisrers by any 
proceeding whereby the lands on which the 


terms of settlement have not been fulElIed 
should become forfeited ; though the greatest 
part of such lands it is true were the property 
of non-residents many of them unknown ia 
the colony, and who on their part had generally 
a» little intercourse or connection with the 
Island as with Japan or Formosa, and who 
would lose little more by having their lands 
escheated, than the uncertain prospect of being 
permitted to hold them without expence or 
exertion until they might perchance become 
of value : at the same time the forfeiture, 
and regrantingof such lands in small tracts, to 
actual settlers as was aimed at by the Assembly, 
would have been immediately and severely 
felt by the proprietors whose lands were ia 
a course of settlement, who must not only 
expect to lose a great part of the people 
they had already settled, and thereby the 
fruit of much expence and exertion, but 
tliey must also submit to the prospect of 
being unable either to sell or let their lands 

If i; 

t : I 


I i 'iJ 


in rdtjre,* until agrent part of what was likely 
t6 C6me into the hands of Government by this 
ppoceeding should be regranted and occupied, 
ai^d when it is considered, and that the lands 
liable to this process comprehended very lately 
one-half of the Island ; their fears with respedt 
to the effect of such a measure will appear" 
very reasonable, and their opposition thereto 
pbfectly justifiable. 

Such a contrariety of interest and views it 
may easily be believed would occasionally agitate 
the colony, and afford the means to factious 

• Because every man will naturally prefer taking up a grant of lands 
/rom the Crown« either to purchaiiog or renting from bis fellow subjects; 
it t^as beca said, indeed, that this objection might iu part be got the 
better of by confining the grants of nuch lands entirely to such settlers 
ea should cotne to the Island subsequent to the period iu which these 
ImAdi may cotne into the handsel Govemrocnt, but this I think would be 
found a most inviiiiious distinction, as it would have the appearance of 
putting those on whom much of the first diiculties of the settlement fell, 
on a worse footing than any other class of people who tnight now chuse 
fo Mute in tbe colony. 


and unprincipled individuals some cf whom 
are every where to be found to propagate dis- 
content and divisions in the colony : poorly 
as it may seem our public offices are likely 
to remunerate any man of common talents they 
hafve been as eagerly coveted as if each pro- 
duced ten times its actual income, and most of 
those who have held them iiavc been attacked 
by every means that the common routine of 
colonial affairs affords to the outs against the 
ins, and in no dependency of the British 
empire perhaps li we such things been carried 
to a greater or more unjustifiable length, yet it 
is but doing justice to the colony to state that 
such conduct has been confined to a few ambi- 
tious turbulent individuals, and that by far tho 
greatest part of our population have firmly and 
decidedly supported those to whom the ad- 
ministration of the public affairs of the colony 
has been entrusted for the last twenty years, and 
notwithstanding the noise that a few factious 
discontented individuals have occasionally made, 
I believe I may venture to say, that for the 

u<yh I 



Itest part of thd period as mucli good will, 
harmony, and unanimity, has prevailed in the 
colony as is generally to be met with or can 
be expected where the most perfect enjoyment 
of British liberty enables men either to indulge 
their caprice or prosecute their views of personal 
interest according to their own inclinationg, 
ind with as little restraint as is consistent with 
the existence of society. And where from the 
circumstances of the colony, the government 
thereof was deprived bf almost every means by 
^hkh such practices are usually met and re- 
strained in other coantries. 

Having thus broiight up my reUtion of the 
different proceedings cdnnected with settle- 
ment of the lands from the conlmencemeDt of 
the government till the end of the year 1799, 
I shall now proceed to notice such other cir- 
cumstances at may throw any Mght on the pro- 
gress and present state of the Islands 

. i^2(H , ,, 

> 1 
■J ^ 





During the last years of Governor Pu't rsoli'/c 
administration his great object was to ^.. the 
sale of the lands sold in 1781, for non-payment 
of quit rent confirmed to the purchaseiu In 
was always very sanguine in his expectations of 
the rapid settlement of the Island, and ap- 
peared to think that if he could secure him- 
self in the lands acquired at these sales, the 
influence arising from such an extensive and 
valuable property would give him more conse- 
quence in the colony than any Governor could 
acquire with the small salary and patronage an- 
nexed to the office, and that he would in effect 
continue to direct the affairs of the Island, 
though the government thereof should be no- 
minally transferred to another. He had, as we 
have already seen, procured the return of a 
House of Representatives that were compleatly 

1'! ; :'-(• « 


i: ! 



rferoted to his inferests, and he soon after con- 
trived to get rid of such of the members of the 
council as were not equally so. In this situation 
upon the arrival of Lieutenant Governor Fan- 
ning from Nova Scotia, with the Kings com- 
mission in the usual form appointing him 
Lieutenant Governor of the Island, in the room 
of Mr. Patterson, the latter affected to think 
tbat his immediate removal from the adminis- 
tration of the government was not intended, 
that the appointment of Lieutenant Governor 
Fanning was only a temporary measure to pro- 
vide for carrying on the public service during 
his absence in England, to which he was 
directed to repair, that he might personally 
satisfy His Majesty's Ministers with respect to 
bis conduct relative to the lands sold in 1781 ; 
this he affected to consider as an object which 
he was certain of accomplisliing, and that in the 
mean time he had a right to retain the com- 
mand until it was convenient for him to set off 
on his voyage to England which, owing to the 
advanced state uf the winter, could not take 


place till the next spring. On these pretences,; 
to the surprise of every thinking man in the 
Island, Mr. Patterson refused to give np the 
government, and the council (then composed 
of members, all of whom had been nominated 
by himself) thougli they saw the madness of 
such conduct, and individually did every thing 
in their power to persuade him to desist theie- 
from, yet as a body they had the weakness to 
countenance this criminal insult upon the 
authority of their sovereign, by meeting him 
m council, and acting with him in all respects 
as if he had been still His Majesty's legal 
representative. Under these circumstances 
Lieutenant Governor Fanning remained for 
some months as a private person, con- 
fident that this audacious conduct as soon as 
known, must produce such orders as would 
leave Mr. Patterson without the shadow of aa 
excuse, and that in the mean time the peace 
of the colony would be preserved, and all ap- 
pearance of farther disobedience avoided. Mr. 
Patterson had met the Assembly a few days 

p i;- 
'•■ 1 , 

(' ■ ;' !?■ 


befoFd the arrival of Lieutenant Governor 
Fanning, and they were then sitting, he had 
kid the Bill before them for making the sales of 
tiie lands sold in 1781 voidable, agreeable to 
the orders of government, which they imme- 
diately rejected : the private Bill stated to be at 
the request of the purchasers was then brought 
forward and passed as we before mentioned ; it 
was expected that this measure, which had 
the appearance of being nearly the same in effect 
with the Bill sent from England, would satisfy 
government, Mr. Patterson's friends in this 
country had also found means to divide the 
proprietors in opinion respecting his conduct, 
and some of them had even come forward with 
a strong representation in his favour; these 
measures were now followed up by equally 
strong addresses and representations in his 
fkvour from the Council and Assembly, and 
upon the whole he and his friends had the 
strongest hopes that he would be continued in 
the command of the Island. On the other 
band representations were sent from the. Island, 


by which it appeared that the proceedings of 
these bodies by no means spoke the general 
sense of the colony, the management with 
respect to the lands sold in 1781 was clearly 
pointed out, and other acts of official mis* 
conduct brought forward, and above all the 
dangerous example of disrespect to the Royal 
authority in presuming to retain the adminis- 
tration after the arrival of Lieutenant Governor 


During the winter addresses from various 
parts of the Island were presented to Lieutenant 
Governor Fanning, requesting him to assume 
the command of tke Island according to His 
Majesty's Commission, and eiarly in April before 
the arrival of any intelligence from England, 
he published his proclamation notifying his ap- 
pointment and calling upon the inhabitants to 
obey him as the King's representative ; in this 
measure he was chearfully and readily obeyed 
by a great majority of the Island. Mr. Pat- 
terson however next day, thought proper to 



publish a counter proclamation asserting his 
light to the administration, calling Lieutenant 
Governor Fanning an usurper, and commanding 
the inhabitants to obey himself as the Kino-'s 
legal representative; no tumult or disorder 
however happened in consequence of this ex- 
traordinary state of things, every one saw that 
it could last only for a few weeks at most, 
perhaps only for a few days. 

In a short time the spring Letters from 
England arrived, when it appeared that the 
conduct of Mr, Patterson in not surrendering 
up the Government to Lieutenant Governor 
Fanning upon his arrival, was highly disap- 
proved of by Hi, Majesty's ministers, and he 
wa.s commanded without farther delay to give 
up the Great Seal, and all the public documents 
and official papers in his possession to his suc- 
cessor whose appointment in the Governmeuc 
ivas confirmed. This change was extremely 
agreeable to the Island in general, and would 
have been much more beneficial could the latp 


Lieutenant Governor and his friends liavc 
given up all idea of his restoration to the Go- 
vernment, hut that was an event for which 
they were yet determined to struggle; and after 
an absence of a few months at Quebec, Mr. 
Patterson returned to the Island, and set up 4 
systematical opposition to the adminisiralioa 
of his successor ; having been long in the 
Government, many of the first people in the 
Island had been under obligations to him, and 
he of course had a considerable influence, every 
effort that was possible in the infant state of 
the Colony was tried to render the administra- 
tion of Government in the hands of Lieu* 
tenant Governor Fanning impracticable ; 
a prudent and steadily moderate conduci; 
however, enabled the latter to overcome every 
difficulty, and Mr. Patterson after a fruitless 
struggle of nearly two years left the Island 
and came to England, where he expects 
ed to resume his old influence among the 
proprietors of the Island by whose interest 
Jip }M originally got the government, but 




lif re too he was disappoiakd, the hcATSng .';f 
the criminal complaints preferred against imy 
hy the proprietors of the lanl'n sold m )7a^^v 
lUFiicd out so Hiuch against him, that he lost 
all influence among that body, aad with thai 
ev€iy hope o^ z yestoralion to the Govern* • 
mtm of the lAjarui ^o whiclt he never after^ 
wards returned .• i^r-l having fallen intodistressy- 
hh extensive apd valuable possessions were 
soon after sacrificed for not a fifth of their 
leal value, under the operation of colonial 
laws passed during his administration. These 
laws it has since been found necessary to re* 
peal, indeed they ought never to have existed, 
and what is very remarkable by a concurrence 
of fortunate circumstances very different front 
the views with which they were enacted, it so 
happened that while they were in operatiort 
very little other injury resulted from them 
than what fell on Mr. Patterson's property*. " 

* Bj these lawi a creditor wu* enabled to attach his debtor** pr^ - 
ferfyatthetiaichelookftut hi. fi, ■ . -qpess against him without -waitiii^i , 

fee ittlgiBPnt; and lands might be sc : : . v execution in six months withov.> 
•w'v ft^uify of ted«mption. 



Itn%ht have been expected after the de- 
cision of the Privy Council on the coniplainb 
against Governor Patterson and his adherents 
in 1789, that all farther attempts to disturb 
U^e colonial government, would have heen 
abandoned, but an unfortunate misunder- 
sUnding between the officers of the customas, 
and the merchants of the Island in I791, gave 
that party a« opportunity of making a last effort 
to regain their influence in the colony ; by their 
management a complaint was preferred to 
government against the Lieutenant Governor, 
the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, and 
the Collector of the Customs, which these 
officers were obliged to answer, and the matter 
was lieard before the Right Honourable the 
Committee of the Privy Council for Trade and 
Plantations, when after an expensive investigar 
tip? they were all honourably acquitted; as 
this business is now so long past and many of 
those concerned therein have seen their error 
and the parties have in general been long recon- 
ciled to each other, I shall not now enter into 








-the circumstanws : some things have since 
come tb light by which it has appeared that the 
'real complainants were not entirely without 
'bause of complaint, though by no means such 
% to justify the extent to which the charges 
"wttr^ carried ; it was one of those party stnig- 
^leS t6 which every society of freemen is liable 
at times, and in which all the factions, the 
discontented, and those who have any thing to 
expect in the scramble, eagerly join ; but which 
'bn this occasion it is- now well known, never 
would have been brought to the length it was, 
'but for the Jesuitical management of one, who 
%as equally the enemy of the accused and the 
accusers, and who not being entitled to inter- 
fere in the public affairs of the colony, has for 
'many years past, employed the whole of his 
time in endeavouring to render them impracti- 
'Cable in the hands of those to whom the ma- 
nagement of them has been intrusted. * 

■• ft* As I am certain that every child of ten yean old in the Uand,. and 
e»ery penon in England, in the least acquainted with or concerned it> the 
aiTairs of the colony can at once name the man, I think it unnecessary t« 
do it here. 

■ ' ' 


' Our fislieries which had been gradually re- 
viving since 1784, promised to become agaiji 
considerable, and afforded the meana of iecom- 
ineneing a trade with the West India Islands, 
by which we were abundantly suppHed w^h 
their produce upon very moderate teims ;- 5e^£ej:al 
cargoes of fish were also annually shipped ipv 
the European market, for which British i|>a4Mi- 
facturcs, salt and wine were brought in tetyrn ; 
besides the cod fishery, the herring fishery was 
begun and promised well, and our merchants 
had found means to obtain^ considerable share 
in the produce of the great salmon fisheries 
carried on in our neighbourhood on the con- 
tinent, and upon the whole there was every 
appearance of extensive and valuable fisheries 
being established to the great benefit of the 
Island when the late war commencjed ; since 
which the fisheries have been almost given up ; 
and our articles of export now consist of wheat, 
barley, oats, salt pork, butter, furs, seal oil, and 
•oysters, to^Nova Scotia, wiih live cattle and some 
timber to Newfoundland, and occasionally a few 

R 2 



-lit i\ 


ctiigoci Df «quaT( u timber <o Great Britain; a 
feV-'people are also engaged in sjiip building 
•whwh. arc generally sold in Nf ...uunaiaudj 
Ihia ISA, bu«in CM which will probably be car- 
f«d on.- $uft« great extent, should the New- 
^QfUand iisheriei revive on the restoration of 
peac«» a'^ifte great plenty of timber in levcrj 1 dis^ 
tifwtj,^n4 the reasonable rate at which the neces* 
Mu of life are obtained, will enable u^ to build 
•ft* much cheaper rate, than they can do in 
Newfoundland, where the timber is now geac;. 
v$l\y at such a distance from the harbours as to 
make it very expensive. Since 1792 the impor- 
tation of any kind of provi jions has totally 
ceased, and the export of these ; /tides hm 
gradually increased. 

. In 1794 two provincial companies were raised 
Cor the protection of the Island, and U. Royal 
Highness the Duke of Kent, wl. co' manded 
fi>r several yr irs at Halilaxin No i Scotia, was 
f»le&«^ to pay the most marked and liberal at- 
tetvcion to the protection and security of theco. 


lony, mucii more so indeed than afty other gene* 
ral officer who had ever commanded in the dij- 
frict ; by His Royal Highness'scommand o\irb»f 
racks weu rebuilt on a more extensive scale, «nd 
new works constructed for the defence of th< 
town and harbour of Charlotte Town ; «ad hl4 
circumstances permitted His Royal Highness t9 
have visited the Island in person, there i» every 
reason to believe that the colony* wouM 
have reaped still higher advantages from hi< 
patronage ai. protection; the general feelhi^ 
on the subject, fter His Royal Highness qaitw 
ted the command in at country, was maftfa 
fested in a circumstai.ce which I shall aro<m 
have occasion to mention. 

During the whole war we remained per-* 
fectly unmolested by the enemy ; besides thd 
two companies already mentioned, and it 
small detachment of the royal artillery ; thred 
troops of volunteer horse, and a light in- 
fantry company, were formed among the in* 
habitants, ho were handsomely doathed 
and mounted at their own expence ; the armtf 




" I 


and accoutrements were given by government', 
besides these every man in the Island from six- 
teen to sixty years of age are mustered in, and 
lubjcrt to the militia laws; and when the natural 
difficulties of the country are adverted to, the 
colony may be considered as having been per- 
fectly safe against any predatory attack, which 
in the then and present state of the British 
naval power is all that we had to dread. 

It having been found from the first settlement 
of the colony, that great inconveniencies re- 
sulted from the name of the Island beino: the 
same with many other places at no great dis- 
tance, to which letters and other things intend- 
ed for the Island were frequently sent by mis- 
take often to the great loss of individuals and 
the general injury of the colony ; it had in con- 
sequence been frequently in contemplation to 
change the name of the Island, and the subject 
being recommended by the Lieutenant Gover- 
nor to the attention of the legislature in 1799, 
and the measure finally determined ou ; an 
act was accordinjrly passed for rhanfrinor ,e 


name of the Island, from St. John, to Prince 
Edward Island ; which was chosen by the 
legislature as a mark of respect, and gratitude, 
for the attention His Royal Highness had shewn 
to the protection and security of the colony, 
and the interest he appeared on every occasion 
to take in the welfare and prosperity of its in- 
habitants. This act soon after received His 
Majesty's Royal Assent, and appears to answer 
the purpose for which it was resorted to ; 
though it will yet be many years probably 
before the use of the old name is entirely dis- 
continued, in the mean time proper pro- 
vision is made in the act to prevent any per- 
sons being injured from ignorantly making 
use of the former name in any deed, or writing, 
concerning property in the Island ; a mistake 
which may often be expected to happen in 
conveyances made in this country, by people 
unacquainted with the change of name which 
has taken place.* 



* la 1800 much nitxhief was done to the colony through a A{f. 
Went worth, v|rho wu sent to the Island in the office of Attorney General : 
whoever lepommvuded him has much to answer for : whatever his Dro< 
feisional abllitieii might have been, cither from habitual drinking or tl)n 

m. i .. 


Iii*180l the Assembly having instructed the 
colony's agent in this country, to make such 

effects of disease, he ■ppfttred to be insane the greatest part of the few 
iiiontfa»]ie spedi on the Island ; on the first day ke made Lis appearance in 
the Supreme Coiwt, be 8ddre*«l himself to the audience, and informed 
them that he had been pitched upon by their Sovereign as • person of 
distinguished abiljtifes, to come to the Island to reguUte their affairs, and 
sfee justice done, and in » short thne he told them rtjat every thing ww 
wrong, and that b« wo»ild unjfcrtake to clear the greatest part of them from 
paying rent, or fulfilling any contract made with he proprietors, most 
of whom he said had ao right to their lands ; the Court iind even tha 
Governor he treated with the greatest insolence, no body seemed to know 
what to do with him, at the same time it was erident that his conduct if not 
checked, would be productive of very serious evils; so fascinating wa» Ins 
aoctrine with the ignorant, that in the short space of two months he rrceived, 
according to his own account, four hundred retaining fees, all this however 
did notsatiify him, wherever he heard of any differences existing, he con- 
trived to set a lawsuit on foot ; never perhaps was there a more complete in- ' 
stance of popular delusion than this man excited fot some wueks ; but hap- . 
pily for the colony, when the madness was at its height, letters arrived ftonr 
tJie Secretary of State, announcing to the Governor Mr. Wentirorth's beinj 
superseded J this he was by no means willing to submit to, and hit behaviour 
on the occasion was so extrt^agant, that his greatest admirers could no ten- 
ger shut their eyes upon his real character, and he soon after left the Island, 
when his numerous clients lost their money. Fortunately for the peace of tli« 
colony ,Tc has Been succeeded by a gcntltman as remarkable fdrdiscouraging 
litigation a* Mr. Wcntwbrrfi was anxious by every means to promote it; Ae ' 
situation into which h6 threw tile colony for some Months, is a strong itl 
staijue of how much mischief may be done in a new country, even by oae 



farther representations to Government, as mi'^-lit 
be necessary to obtain a decision on the sub- 
ject of their petition m 1797. The si^ninsr of 
the preliminary articles of peace soon after ga.'vi' 
an opportunity of bringing the subject forward; 
and early 'in 1802 the affairs of the Island were 
referred to the Committee of His Majesty's most 
honourable Privy Council for Trade and Foreio-u 
riantations, by vdiich Board a measure was re- 
commended, and soon after carried into effect, 
which has already had a very powerful in- 
fluence on the progress of. the colony. At this 
time the arrears of quit rent due to the 
Crown on the lands, was £59,160:. I7s. and 
on many of the townships amounted to more 
than it was supposed they would sell for, if then 
put up to sale by public auction, a circumstance 
which naturally operated as a discouragement 
to thdr respective proprietors in coming for- 



■r- < 

imprudent appoiutment. He waa superseded before his conduct in the Island 
was known in this country; to whom the colony was obliged o i the subject, 
I never kMvr, but the obligatioa is such as will be long felt and remcm. 





ward to fulfil their terms of settlement : for tlu> 
heavy arrear of quit rent government determined 
to accept of a moderate composition, and as 
an encouragement and reward to the pro- 
prietors who had exerted themselves in the 
settlement of the colony, this composition was 
made lighter ta them in proportion to the ex- 
ertions they appeared to have made ; with this 
view the different townships were thrown into 
five classes ; the first comprehended all those 
lots which appeared to liave the full number of 
people required by the terms of settlement upon 
them ; from these the amount of four years quit 
rent only was demanded, in lieu of the full quit 
rent from 1769 to 1801. 

In the second class were put u'l the town- 
ships which appeared to have one-half the re- 
quired population upon them ; these were 
charged with five years quit rent iu lieu of all 
arrears to May 1801. 

• In the third class were put all the townships 
which had between one-fourth, and one-halt the 


stipulated population on them ; these were re- 
quired to pay nine years quit rent in lieu of all 
arrears up to May, 1801. 

In the fourth class were all the townships 
which did not appear to possess one-fourth of 
the required population ; these were charged the 
amount of twelve years quit rent in lieu of 
all arrears up to May, 1801. 

And in the fifth class were placed the town- 
ships which appeared to be totaHy waste and 
tiJi inhabited, these were charged with the 
iimount of fifteen years quit rem in lieu of aJl 
arrears up to May, 1 80 1. * 

This measure by disburthening the lands 
of a heavy arrear of quit rent had an ira- 

1 I 

i:, M 

I ] 

t In this arrangement, no dislinction was raade between those townships 
which had been settled by the exertions of their respective proprietors and 
those which were settled by the voluntary resort of people to tl,eni : the 
■umber of people on each was Jhe wle criterion by which the townsW,.., 
were classed, a cirtuawtauce which must appear highly liberal on the part 
<d gorarnmeut when ■ 

--•adact uf laaay of the propileioss is consid: 



fn^dhtt effifct on the pr6gress of tife kttlemetit i 
for in the short period that has since elapsed 
nearly one-third of the lands § in the Island 
have been sold, and transferred ; most of them 
from the hands of people who Avere no way 
disposed to ttiak<^ exertions f6r their settlement. 
to people who are actively engaged therein, 
and in this short period full one third has been 
added to our former number of inhabitants, with 
a prospect of a farther rapid increase ; and it may 
be mentioned to the credit of the country 
that this sudden influx 6f people made no 
change in the price of the necessaries of life, 
and that it was found easy to supply all the 
new settlers with provisions, until they were 
enabled to raise them by their own indus- 
try, an object which they have in general 
accomplished in a shorter period I believe thari 
ever Avas done before in any new country •♦ 

$ Townships' Numbers, l, 10, {IJ, 17, 23, 24, 31, 32, S3, ^37, 
38, 39, |40. 41. 42, 43. |4r, t-M of 53. 54. S7, 58. l-3ii of 59, 60,' 
*ad 62, beside* & great ma i^ sinalier trausl'ers, 

* This is a, cireJiSBStaaet rciyiawh to '^^'(n•oi♦l^gm}jt j it-jmi^a** 


much pf this 19 no doubt to be attributed ty 
the Earl of Selkirk, by whom tbe principal 
body of them was brought to the Island, aud 
by whose care and attention all their wants 
were foreseen and provided for; hi« lordship'* 
setters had also the further advantage of being 
set down in what is naturally the finest district 
of the Island, and which having been totally 
neglected by its former proprietors had been 
lett waste and uncultivated, but which now 
promises under his lordship's management to 
become in a few years a populous and 
valuable settlement ; and truth requires nie to 
say, that I am confident these people will soon 
arrive at a degree of independence, and pros- 
perity, of whjch they could have had no pros- 
pect in their native country ; and that thcv 
will in a ftw years contribute more to the 
general prosperity of the British empire in their 

observed in the Islaua that the new settlers from tuc ■ . //.l.nds aro mucl. 
jnoreludustrious and enlightened than the orig; .;,.: .h.ghland colony ^ ho 
$nt settled in the l,lHnd. they have beside* got rid of more of their 
»ncient prejudice! and customs, and appear to think hiore like the rerf 
«>i.theijJtHo«' subjects than those who em'si-,vted thirty 5 y,. y-arsago. 


'i '»fc 


!' 1 

i i I 



new situation than there was any prospect of 
their ever doing in their former. * 

-♦ It may stiit the tIpws of particular pmple to represent the connection 
tnd depeudence of the remaining British colonies m America on the 
niulher country as looae and precarious, such is not by any means the light 
in which liio subject is seen in these colonies, where I may presume to say 
it isas well understood as it generaUy is in this country ; neither are the moraf 
nbr the institutions of their republican neighbours tiewed by them in the same 
__ favourable aspect, in which they ere too commonly represented in this 
coantry; and as lo any probability of a rupture between the two countric 
whereby the iccurity of the British possessions in America may be endan- 
t«red, I txust that is an event at a great distance. Mos people well 
•cauainted with the situation of the United States ate convinced that not- 
vuhstanding appearances to the contrary, their government has no serious 
idea of a war with this country ; in the present state of their party and po- 
litical distractions, such a measure could not fail having the mon fatal effects 
on their internal slate ; and far from being in a situation to think ol conquests, 
they woidd probably find it very difficult to defend their own sea o. sts : 
but at all events, I consider tlie maritime colonies as perfectly safe in the 
prestnt stirte of the British naval power, and whenefer their real value be- 
comes well understood in this country (a circumstance I trust at no, great 
distance) such measures I am confident will be adopted by government as 
will rapidly raise them into a state of population, which in a few years wil*. 
leave them nothing to fear from their republican neighbours. 

And when their valuable natural resources are geuerally known, and 
the immense extent to which their fisheries may be carried is felt, whereby 
n great body of hardy seamen will be forn.ed for the national defence^ I 
tliink I may venture to predict that their affairs will be put on suth a 


In conseqiiem-e of this great accession of 
inhabitants, tl>e Town9hif>s Nos. *29, 44, 45, 
53, 57, 58, 60, and 62, on which, a few years 
ago, there was not a human being, have in a 
short time become well settled, and many other 
townships have acquired a great addition la 
their population, the only lots that now re- 
main totally unoccupied, I believe, are those 
numbered?, 8, 9, 10, 15, 5\, ^nd 52, on the 
greater part of which, it is probable settlements 
will be conmienctd in the course of tliis year. 

The very liberal terms on which the compo- 
sition for the arrears of quit rent up to May, 
1801 was placed by government, having been 
disregarded by some of the proprietors, either 

/boting as will 8t no very distant day render them the most powerful 
foreign dependency of the Britibh empire, that uihich wiU yet be mat 
cherished, and last parted with. Though they produce neither gold ot 
silver, nor any othe; delusive wealth, they enjoy a climate and soil, how- 
ever diversified, which wili enable tbem to support in a ni<iritiine situation 
an extensive population, nhose industry and lesource* may be rendered 
«f the highest conieciu«;ace 1:0 the pareut state. 








/KR I ! 



t('! ::' 

'■'■'I ill 

II'. ''-iii' -iJ. 


in hopes that it would not be enforced, or that 
better terms might be obtained, it became ne- 
cessary to proceed at law against their property 
in the Island, these proceedings were com- 
menced in 1803, under an act which had been 
passed in the pre ceding year, and in 1804, judg- 
ments were obtained by the Receiver General 
of the quit rents, against ten townships, five 
half townships, and one third of a township, 
for arrears of quit rent due to the crown, and 
it is now in the power of government, either to 
re-annex these lands to the crown, and re-grant 
them in small tracts to actual settlers, or in 
order not to interfere with the other proprietors, 
they may be divided into tracts of a thousand 
acres, and sold, subject to the same rate of quit 
rents to which they were originally liable, by 
which means they will not interfere with the 
plan of the colony, or in any respect injure the 
other proprietors ; this is a subject on which 
people will differ, and I am aware that some 
will say, why not instead of enforcing the pay-* 
ment of the quit rents as the means of com- , 


pelling the. proprietors to attend. to the settle^ 
ment of their lands, proceed against them foe 
noB-perforraance of the otiier conditions on 
which they were -granted, as has been done m 
Nava Scotia; : to. which I answer, that such a 
proceeding would not in any thing Hke an equal 
degree answer the purpose, the only condition 
in-theitocma of settlement which. could be en? 
forced with that view, is that which requires 
q^.«umber of people, equal to, one person for 
every two, hundred acres contained in. each 
grant, that is one; hundred souls on. a tract of 
twenty thousand acres, or 6700 inhabitants for 
the sixty- seven townships into which the Island is 
divided, a population much inferior to what it lia» 
already attained under ail its disadvantages, but 
which in such a country is a mere trifle, and 
less than probably each of the Townships will 
contain in half a century.* Let us look at what 

■A Xfc« Bermuda Island* do not contaio as much cultivatable tuvface 
m one of our townsliips, and yet are said to have 80,000 iohabitanU 
«h« dlioate aud situation it may be alledged are very different, but acr« 
for aere we eai> raise more of the .nece«aries of life than they ^an, aud 
■i«jr thcrefo:- look forirarJ to as high a state of ponnlatipn 





1 1 1 

* I J 

1 1 1 

KP i 



had happened in Nova Scotia where no quit-rent 
ha« yet been exacted, butM'here the terms of set- 
tlement have been enforced, and many hundred 
thousand acres on which these had not been 
f\ilfilled, have been escheated, and regranted, 
often without much public benefit resulting 
therefrom; mostoftlie landa which have been 
eschesited were the property of non-residents, 
and justly ♦ escheated perhaps, because entirely 
neglected, so far the ihing \Fas very ri^t, 
but it has unf4:i\U«t^;itely happened, that these 
knd» were *of>i^^\ ^eg^anted in large tracts 
to piBOple, wha being upon the spot, were 
cnabied by a little, personal exertion, and 
by sacrificing a fourth or a fifth part of wliat 
tjieythus acquired, to place tomethiog. like the 
appearande of the; scan typopulatbn Te«|uired by 
Jihe terms of settlement upon them, and when 
that has been once done, no farther quesCions 

■ • •> I ha«« heard of some very ImtA cases howsvei which made th« i^re 
Doisr, tint it soon appeared that little more was effected by the proceeding 
than placing the lands in the hands of a resident proprietor, instead of a 
person living in Great-Britain or Ireland. • 

yujmiUU ..mi* 


are asked, by these means many bundrcil tbo\i- 
sand acres of the finest lands in the province 
are locked up in the hands of a few indi- 
viduals, to the great obstFuction and in- 
jury of the settlement, but had the quit rents 
trifling as they are, been exacted and regularly 
laid out in public works through the Coun- 
try, such speculations would never have be^n 
thorght of, and 1 am covinced the population 
and improvements of the Colony would long 
ere this have far exceeded any thing it can now 
boast of. I believe I shall run no risk of mis- 
statement, when I say that not one twentieth 
of the lands which have been granted in 
this Province thirty years ago are yet cleared 
or cultivated, and the evil would have gone 
to a much greater length, had it not been for 
the general instruction issued in 1790, pro- 
hibiting further grants without His Majesty's 
permission, That I am well founded in this 
assertion will be believed, when it is known 
that notwithstanding the difficulties which 
this instruction opposed to such practices, 

8 2 






L^M2.8 |2.5 




lj:25 i 1.4 







.^a 1653 East Main street 
■sss r^ Rochester, NY 14600 USA 
■JIS'^ Phone: 716/482-0300 
^=g"'~~ Fax: 716/288-5989 

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h An 


there is one man in the Province (If I 'diix 
Well informed) who has contrived to procure 
grants to thd extent of one hundred thou- 
sand acres, during the administration of Sir 
John Wentworth, without being possessed 
of a capital which couM have enabled him 
to bring one thousand acres into cultiva- 

It seems at first difficult to comprehend 
how taking money out of the pockets of the 
proprietors of a waste and uncultivated coun- 
try, can contribute to the benefit of that 
country, as it has the appearance of di- 
minishing the fund from which its improve- 
ments are to he carried on,- that is ttife" 
iifst view of the matter which will naturally 
present itself, and those unacquainted with 

<■ ^*■^l^^^'r 

* I am MiisiUe that what I have said on this subject, will not be ploaiitfg 
to the gieat kudholders in that couutry, nor to those -^ho have large 
grsau in *iew, hIwu the restraining instruction of 1790 is r^callf^, Jl|e 
eiaction of the qmt rf„t, would be a serious cut upoa their prospects ; fp,* 
roan »|io },o]d, frc h^-n<y to fortj thou.atod acres, and up^rards, on sp!}. , 



the- subject may be inclined to require expla* 
nation before they can give credit to the con- 
trary. The thing is easily explained, the lands 
M-ere originally granted on terms of being 
settled and improved, whereby alone ihey car^ 
become of any real value either to the proprie- 
tors or the public. It now appears after upwards 
of thirty years trial, that a great majority of 
those to whom the Island was granted, have 
never mdde any exertions towards improving the 
country, and that notwithstanding such failure 
they have been enabled to retain their lands, 
and to speculate on the future prospects of 

culation. (which in tbe mean-tioe yields nothing) aud many luch there are. 
• quit rent of eveu a farihing an acre regularly exacted, becomea an 
object; but to the man who hold, only from five hundred to a thousand 
WK*. and who has a hundred acres in cultivMiou, such a quit rent is a 
n)cr* trifle which wonid be readily i>.id when it was felt that the con- 
•pquence would be. effectually to cut up the large grant,, ,vhich more than 
any other circumstanc. have injured and prevented the settlement and 
OMtira-ion of the country. If it i, expected that the colowcs in North 
Amertc. are ever to enable the West India Island, to beconae indrpondent 
of the United States in the very necessary article, of provision^' fish and" 
lumber ; that can only b. accomplished by an attention to tlri^ affairs vcr^ 
^iStttat'rtorn " Ijat they have hitherto met «'itj». 





ih, i' .1 

"^k f. i 

* 1 


the colony without either expeftw, 6r exertion, 
in consequence of the indulgence of Govern* 
ment in not exacting the regular payment of 
the quit rent ; whereas it may easily be con* 
ceived, that if the quit rents had been regit* 
larly exacted, that the proprietors in general, 
would either have made such exertions as w^te 
necessary to put the la^ds in a way of exonera- 
ting them from this yearly expence, or that 
they would have gradually sold them off, either 
in small tracts to actual settlers, ©r in large 
tracts on speculation to men of fortune, Who 
might be inclined to adventure their money 
in the settlemt what has happened since the 
composition for *he arrears of quit rent up 
to May iSOl was adopted, is a complete 
proof of this, and I am convinced had that 
measure been adopted in 1792, when it was 
firs; proposed, that the consequeace would 
have been, that we should before this, have had 
fifty thousand people in the Island, and that 
every acre in the colony would now have been 
worth at least five guineas, that is, provide^ 

thcgroyringquit rent liadbcen regularly exact- 
ed in the mean-time, and faithfully laid out 
on the improvement of the country, 

. In April 1805, several of the principal pro- 
prietors resident in this country, presented a 
representatiop to Lord Camden, then Secretary 
of State for the colonial department, stating 
such matters as appeared to them to require 
the attention an', interposition of Government ; 
this representation has not yet been taken into 
consideration, but tliere is every reason to 
expect that when more important affairs will 
permit the great statesman now at the head of 
that department, to enter upon the affairs o^ 
the Island, such a determination M'ill be made 
thereon, as cannot fail being highly beneficial, 
and thereby place the future progress and pros* 
pects. of the colony on a certain and per- 
manent foptin^j, 

.-.^vjo tlie beginning of July, Lieutenant-Ge- 
nial Fanning who had been near nineteen 






years Lieutenant-Govdrnbr of the I«l«na, * Wat- 
supersededby Lieutenant-Crovernor Defebarreai 
who has the advantage of commencing 
his administration with the colony in pcr- 
ftct p«ace and harmony, and in a rapid 
state of improvement , far from mcethig 
with opposition of atiy kind, he has be^A 
received with all the attention and respect dif* 
to his office ; and I am confident will meet 
with the most liberal support from his prede- 
cessor and his numerous friends, in every mea- 
sure calculated to promote the general pros- 
perity of the colony. Upon giving up the 
government, General Fanning received every 
mark of respect and attention that could be 
shewn him by the people, whose interests had 
so lon^ been committed to his care ; all were 
sensible of his good intentions, and the diffi- 
culties he had to struggle with as governor, 
where from the circumstances of the country, 
and the property thereof being locked up in 
the hands of noh-residents, he was deprived 
of all the means by which governors are usually 

•uabled to Contribute to the prosperity and pro- 
gress of a new colony. ,y 



His conduct during the time he adniiuist«^rcd 
the government, hud met with ilic uniform 
approbation of His Majesty s Ministers, ami .a 
provision equal to the amount of liis salary was 
nmk t'ox him on his being auj erccded. 

'.' J 

: U3 




'hH '■'11 

Hi l| 

Iff- ■<?!/- |>*i:r»«i- »{:, 


' ^(t^«> ^b I 

'];G4j^;i :5t; 


I ! 





This Island, as a part of the dominions of th6 
crown of Great-Britain, is independent of any 
jurisdiction in America,* the government and 

• Bjr Hit M^t;'( royal procIamaUonin 1763, regultting the division and 
boundaries of the different countries conquered irom France in the preceding 
war, the Island was annexed to the province of Nova Scotia; this eircum. 
stance has never been forgotten, nor has the subsequent separation ever been 
foigiven bj a certain set of people in that province, in cons«iueuce of 
which, I am sorry to say, that the Uand has been subjected to much ob, 
loquy and misrepresentation, the object of which appears to be to prevent 
the settlement thereof as a separate colony, that it may be again reunited 
to Nova Scotia, whereby the Urge unsettled grants wonld be brought undei 
the operation of their escheat laws, and would speedily change hands, that is. 
instead of being owned in Great Britain and Ireland, they would pau into 
the hands of people of influencf in and abput the cupilal of that province. 
This project has been constandy in view ever since the settlement of tht 
Island commenced, to which it has opposed very considerable obstrnctigps 
in various ways, nnd is now more openly pursued Ihap ever, the attornej 
general of that province being at present, I am infoimed, in England. 


legislature thereof being vested in a Governor 
or Lieutenant Governor and Council, appointed 
by the King, and a house of representative! 
elected by the people, who meet in general 
assembly, being called together, prorogued, and 
dissolved by the governor's proclamation. The 
commission or patent under the great seal of 
Great-Britain granted to our first governor. 

mvowedJy for the purpose of bringing it about ; wtietliei tuch a measure will 
be attempted witliout the consent of the Waai), after its having for so many 
years enjoyed a complete constitution, remains fobe lecn ; in the mean- 
lime, I will yenture to say that hardly any thing short of the conqaeat and 
•ttbjogation of the colony by a foreign power oould be more generally dis* 
agreeable to its inhabitants. It will be said by the advocates for this mea. 
lure, that I misrepresent their views, which t. , Till say aie directed by 
tery different motives than what I attribute them to, and it wiU be pre- 
tended that far from having any wish to have the lands regranted in the 
manner I have alkdged. that ti.eir object is to put the Lland in a way of 
being speedily settled and cultivated, and therety becoming of that conse- 
1«ence and value to the public which its many natural advantages in point 
of soil and situation enable it to attain, and tliat the speculation I have at. 
trikuted their views to, may be prevented by an instruction limiting future 
|f«iiti oflaad in the Island to one or two hundred acres ; in that case the 
following table of fees taken in Nova Scotia will do someihmg towards set- 
piBg the very disinterested views of these people in a clear fc^ht. 

f 1 



.,:. i\\\ 

ii i i 




wlwn the Island was erected into a separate go- 
vernment, forms the constitution of the Island; 
a»d the instructions received therewith, are ex. 
pJanatory of the patent and regulate the gover- 
lior's" conduct in almost all the common routine 
of ;public business incident to his situation. 
The instructions are pretty voluminous, they 
are changeable at the king's pleasure, and ad- 

Thecxpenceorfeesofacourt ofeicLc.ti and forfeiture on an in^neit 
of oftce are ai followi, <i 

The tecrefary of the (^° Conmimontt of Eicheats and * * ' 

Province, who is Cora- 1 Forfeiturej • • S iO '6 

luiMioner. hai theie jRegater i « * 

threcFee.. f ^ , . . . -13 4 

»»Xwo Inquisitions •-.... SOO 

The Aftorncf General . . - - 3 lo o 
The Solicitor General t 6 Q 

TheJary. lj«tJs.6d. each ... j jo 
^'>«'«'^k ,,, , 

ThcSherifT 13 4 

'^^S'"''ev»rOener»IofLaiid. -.134 
TheCryeroftheCoart - ... 5 « 
Advertisements in the Newspapers, ") » 

giving Botice of the proceedings, V«o 
Mi** «o cost generaJJjr about .1 


cJitional instructions are sent, as circumstances 
may require. The council, when full, consists 
of nine members appointed by the king's man- 
^amus, or more frequently by the governor dr 
lieutenant governor for the time being, subject 
to His Majesty's approbation : all their privileges 
and powers are defined in the instructions; they 
are a privy council to the governor, lieutenant- 
governor, or commander in chief in the admi- 
nistration of government, and he is bound by 
the royal instructions to ask their advice on 
almost every act of public concern, the stile of 
all proclamations and acts of government being 


These Fee* are to be paid b, any per.o,. wli, procecdito cchc.i a graut 
of land whereou the term, and conditions of .ettl«„,cat have not been fuN 
filled. V ..« that he a>nj get the whole, or a part thereof regranted to hiu,- 
•elf. g.p|, one of our townships e.cheatcd by thi, proceeding. .„d 
th* itii tobe r«gr.nted .n tr«:t,of one hundred «:re.; the fee, oiofli.ein 
Nova Scotia on a grant of a hundred acre,, are about eighteen pouad, cor- 
reney. b«ide.the expence of surveying, «, that the a ,ingl« 
tomuhip in that manner, would produce to the ofllcor, of government in 
that provine. n» len -. .u™ ,,«„ tkre. rte«i«rf rf, hundred pound,. .oa^ kn«wJcdge of. tfce .tAj^cf. I prcum. to ,ay. that it w,ll not 
be difficult to briuB hdflh.Und. in the Idand wl,hm the gripe of the 
Ctmrt of Escheat,, if it i, reunited to Nova Scoiia. and fron, what ha, 
been saiu, ...y reader, niU ,ee that th« ,peculat.oa i, worlh^om. e.crti.n. 




kilt i I 


** Bjf and with the advice and consent- of Bis 
** Mqjestys Council." Tlic> are conventU by 
the governor, who is always present when they 
♦it as a privy council, or upon writs of error, 
or appeals from the supreme court : a coun- 
sellor's title is The Honourable, and ihey serve 
without any salaries. Upon the death or ab- 
sence of the governor or lieutenant-governor 
for the time being, the senior member of the 
board succeds to the government of the Island, 
which he is entitled to administer, with the 
title of President of the Council, and Comman,- 
der in chie^j until His M^j^^ty shall have prp- 
vidcd otherwise. 

When the legislatare meets in general assem- 
bly, the council forms the upper house, repre- 
. seating the lords in parliament, they then meet 
without the governor, the chief justice for the 
time being is ex officio president or speaker ; 
they cannot vote by proxy, but enter their 
dissent, and their reasons therefore at large 
on the minutes; the council never publish 



their legislative minutes, but tlic house of' re- 
presentatives always print their own journals; 
both are transmitted to the office of the secre-' 
tary of state for the colonies, with authenticated 
copies of such laws as pass during the session 
of the colonial legislature. 

The house of representatives consists of eigh- 
teen members, elected by the people under "he 
authority of a writ issued by the governor, 
lieuteuant-govemor or commander in chief for 
the time being; four members for each of the 
counties, andtwo for each of the towns :* They 
meet in general assembly, are prorogued and 
dissolved by the governor's proclamation ; they 
chuse their speaker, subject to the governor's ap. 
probation, which is generally a matter of course : 
No personal privilege or advantage is claimed 

• All hou.ekcep«r^ U^„ of J.n- In po«c.«o„. «.d propue.or. of 
l«d. bemg Pro,e.t.nt.. .„ q..,ified to ..,c for lb. ««„b«r. of .hci, 
*e.p*ca,e co.ntie. , M.d (o, the .own. .11 housekeep,™ .«, p,opri.n,r. of 
f town or putur, lot w«hi„ .he ,ow« and ro,.l,,. be.u, P,oH».t,n.,, «,• 
,ent.Ued.o.,o.c; and an, per«.n .o be an eiec.or, «a^ ^ 
<;on.e a ckndidate without ftftWrquafificition. • " ' 






.ft" T 


by the members, nor do tliey at present redeivd 
any allowance for tlicir attendance. In all 
Iheir proceedings when met in general assembly, 
they take the British house of commons for 
their model, the rules and regulations of which 
they have adopted as far as the. same are yet 
applicable to the circumstances in which they 
are placed. 

The colonics are understood to take the 
common law, and all the Statute Law of Ens- 
land antecedent to their establishment,* which 
may be applicable to their situation and cir^ 
cumstances, but this must be understood with 
many, and very considerable restrictions, many 
of the artificial refinements and distinctions in- 
troduced into the laws of this country cannot 
be applicable to them : the laws pf police, and 
Teveiuje, the mode of maintaining the estab- 
lishtci clergy, tiie poor laws, and the juris- 
diction of the spiritual courts, and a multitude 
of other provisions are neither necessary nor 


t BJsck, CoTTi, inr. 


convenient for them nor are they in force; what 
is admissible, knd what shall be rejected, has 
hitherto been left to the discretion of their 
respective courts, and on this Head it may 
easily be believed opinions will differ much ; 
it is therefore to be wished, that a more cer- 
tain iiiode of determining the length to which 
it is to b arried may be devised. 

The legislature of the Island are invested 
with full power and authority • to make, con- 
stitute, and ordain laws, statutes, and ordj- 
nances, for tlie public peace, welfare, and 
good government ^thereof, such laws, statutes, 
and ordinances, are not to be repugnant to, 
but as nearly as may be, agreeable to the laws 
of Great-Britain, and the governor is directeti 
by the royal instructions, not to assent to the 
passing of any law of a new or extraordinary 
nature, without the same has a clause suspend- 
rngthe operation thereof, until His Majesty's 
pleasure therein is known. 

• Hy n.» huj.,y, n,„^i p,^j„.f^ ^,jj^^ 1,^;, ^, 

ptfut SeiiVof Oreat Brifaift. 


I' :' 

i If 

i V' 

>• II 

ili, 1 --(i !l 


The innovations which have hitherto been 
made on the English laws are not many, though 
some of them are important ; I shall endeavour 
to give an idea of them, taking the subjects up 
as they stand on our statute book. 

By an act of the IS'* of George the 3*, Cap, 
V. the damages on protested foreign bills of 
exchange are fixed at ten per cent, and the in- 
terest at six per cent over and above all charges 
of protest, &c, 

By the SO*"" of George the 3*. Cap. VIII. 
For the prevention of clandestine and uncertain 
sales of houses, lands, and tenements, within the 
Island, and to the intent that it may be better 
known what right or title persons really and 
truly have in or to such estates as they offer for 
tale. It is enacted that all deeds, conveyances 
or mortgages of houses, lands, or tenements 
within the Island, shall be recorded at full 
length in the register's office within forty days 
next after their respective dates, if executed on 

the Island between the first day of May, and 
the first day of November; and within eighty 
days if there executed between the first day of 
November and the first day of May : and if 
executed in Great Britain or Ireland, then the 
said original deeds, or duly attested copies 
thereof, shall or may be recorded as aforesaid, 
within the space of two years from their respec 
tiv^e dates. After the expiration of the said 
forty days, eighty days, or two years : all such 
deeds, &c. if not recorded as above directed, 
shall be of no force against any bona fide purr 
chaser who shall comply with this act, or against 
any other person whatsoever except the grants 
or, or grantors, his or their heirs. 

By the 25th George 3-. Cap. I. the operation 
of this act is extended to all leases being of a 
longer duration than twenty years, and the term 
of two years allowed for the registering of deeds 
executed in Great Britain or Ireland is extended 
to all deeds, *c. executed in all other of H,> 

T 2 


ii ii 




Majesty'* dominions distant from the Island. 
Proof of the execution of all deeds, &c is re- 
quired before they can be recorded. By this 
act an option is given to the parties concerned, 
either to register all deeds, &c. at full length, 
or by a memorial thereof; and for want of such 
registering, all such deeds of sale, conveyances, 
mortgages, deeds of settlement^ or conveyances 
of what nal^ure or kind soever, deeds- poll, leases, 
or agreements of longer duration than ten years, 
of or concerning any lands, tenements, or he- 
reditaments in this Island shall be adjudged 
fraudulent, and of no force or effect. This act 
not to bar the title of minors femmt couvert, or 
persons non compos mentu, imprisoned, or ab- 
sent from the Island, who are respectively en- 
titled to sue and recover within two years after 
such impediment shall have been removed. 

By an act of the 20,^ of George the 3*. Cap. 
IX. Creditors are enabled to attach the effects 
and estates of absent or absconding debtors, 
wnich are thereby rendered liable in law to the 


judgment to be recovered on such proccw, and 
subject to be taken in execution for satisfaction 
thereof, in whoever's hands the same may be: 
absent dt'btors against whom such judgments 
are recovered, are entitled to a re-hearing at 
any time within three years, and the plaintPfFin 
such actibns before any execution shall issue 
on such judgments, to give security to the 
satisfaction of the court, for the repayment of 
all monies levied by the said execution, in case 
the said judgment be reversed on such re-hear- 
ing. By an act of the 25th of George 3*. Cap. 
ir. the operation of the above act is^o far al^ 
tered as to restrict creditors from proceeding 
against debtors who have never been resident 
on the Island, and security in double the amount 
is required before any execution is awarded 
against an absent debtor, conditioned to make 
restitution, incase the said judgment shall be 
reversed on a re-hearing; but the time allowed 
to absent debtors to appear either by themselves 
or attorney, and move to have the judgment by 
default taken off, is curtailed and limited to a 

I- ffi ' 

I »n 







year and a day from the time of entering judgi 
ment against such absent debtor. 

By the SP* of Gedrge 3*. Cap. II. the estates 
of intestates, after paying all just debts and fu- 
neral expenses, are directed to be distributed by 
the judge of probates, one-third of the personal 
estate to the widow of the intestate, besides her 
dower in the houses and lands during her life ; 
and out of all the riesidue of such real and per- 
sonal estate, two shares, or a double portion to 
the eldest son or his representatives, and the 
remainder of such residue, to and among the 
other children of the intestate, or their repre- 
sentatives ; widows' dower to be divided in like 
manner after her death. 

By the 3I«t of George the 3". Cap. III. landi 
and tehements are made liable to the payment 
of debts in case no personal effects can be found 
to satisfy the same ; this act allowed an equity 
of redemption within two years after levying 
^uch execution, but was repealed by the act of 


the S&^ George the 3-. Cap. IX. which hiadc 
lands and tenements liable to be sold in six 
Jnonths after they were taken in execution, with- 
out any equity of redemption ; the operation of 
tliis last act was found to be so severe, that an 
act was passed in the 35* of GeorgcS^ Cap. 
VIII. by which it is enacted that no lands or 
tenements hereaftf^r to be taken in execution, 
shall U sold in less than two years after they 
shall have been so taken. 

By the 21", of George the 3". Cap. XVII. It 
is enacted, that all actions or suits, either in 
Jaw or equity, to be sued or brought, of or for 
any lands, tenements, m hereditaments within 
tJie Island, shall be sued and taken within 
twenty years, next after the title or cause of 
action first descended, and at no other time 
after the said twenty years ; and that no entry 
shall be made upon lands, &c. but within 
twenty years next after such title shall have ac- 
crued, after which such persons not entering, 
are utterly excluded ; with the usual saving 


clause to infants, fmme eoutert, persons mm 
compos mentis, imprisoned, or bet/umi seas. The 
great and general neglect of so many of the 
proprietors having involved many people iu 
great uncertainty with respect to the titles of 
lands, whereon very considerable exertions and 
expence had been laid out, the legislature were 
induced in 1795 to passalaw 35'" Geo. 3" Cap. 11. 
intituled an act for confirming titles and quiet- 
ing possessions, by which it is enacted, that all 
purchasers or lessees of land, who have been in 
the quiet and peaceable possession of such lands 
for the space of seven years, and all persons 
claiming by, from, or under them, are confirmed 
in such possession according to the right, title 
or interest intended to be conveyed in and by 
such leases or conveyances. And all deeds of 
sale made by the Sheriff, Coroner, &c. under 
writs of execution are confirmed, any want of 
legal form in such deeds notwithstanding. 

The lands sold in 178J, for non-payment of 
quit rent, are excepted from the operation of 


this act, and it is also provided that no error 
which may have taken place in setiling the 
township boundaries shall be thereby confirmed; 

By the fi^'" of George 3". Cap. VJ. It ii^ 
enacted, that no greater interest than six ^ 
cent per annum shall be taken. 

The severity of the criminal laws of Great 
Britain being unnecessary in a new country 
where few crimes are committed, by the 33< of 
George the 3" Cap. [. a new criminal code more 
suitable to the situation and circumstances of 
the country is established. By the 36*^ of 
George the 3" Cap. Iir. [t is enacted that all 
grants, deeds, and conveyances heretofore made 
and executed by any married woman jointly 
with lier husband, of any lands, houses and te- 
nement within this Island, whereof such married 
woman is dowable, shall be as good and valid 
III law, as if the same had been made byafemme 
■sole, or as if such woman had joined in levjying 
a fine, according to the law and practice of 


'I' is I 


:. ; 


W, I 

:i IS 


England in that case made and provided ; and 
it is further enacted^ that all grants and con* 
veyances which shall hereafter be made by any 
married woman jointly with her husband, of 
lands, houses, and tenements whereof she is dow- 
ablc by law, or in or to which she may have any 
present or future interest, either in her own right, 
or in or by any other ways or means whatsoever, 
shall be as good and valid in law, and of the 
same force and effect, as if the same had been 
made hy z.femme sole, or as if such married wo- 
man had joined in levying a fine in manner 
herein-before mentioned ; provided such deed 
or deeds, &c. shall be acknowledged by such 
married woman in the presence of a judge of 
the supreme court of the Island, or any justice 
of the peace thereof, by such married woman, 
as her free and voluntary act and deed, and to 
have been executed for the purposes in the 
said deed or deeds mentioned, and that the same 
was done without any force or compulsion from 
her husband and a certificate of such acknow- 
ledgment, the form whereof is engrossed in the 



act, is directed to be underwritten or indorsed 
on every such grant, deed, or conveyance. 

The revenue laws hitherto adopted, are but 
two, a licence duty on retailers of wines, and 
spiritous liquors; and an impost or excise duty 
of ten pence per gallon, payable on the im- 
portation of all wines and spirits ; and two 
pence pdr gallon on the importation of all 
porter, ale, or strong beer; these are the 
<4nly taxes yet payable in the Island, and the 
produce df them has cohstituted the sole rt- 
venuc by which the contingent expences of 
government, and the high roads and bridges 
have been carried on. Taxes are a subject on 
which the House of Representatives have hi- 
therto been particularly tenacious, and they 
have yet to learn, that it is possible to err on 
the popular side of the question ; called to the 
«luty of legislating for their fellow subjects, 
without much experience or knowledge of 
public business, they have not observed that 
Ky giving way foo much to the prejudices 


common on the subject, a considerable re- 
venue, which might have been raised and ap- 
plied to the public service, greatly to tlie ad- 
vantage of the Island, has been suffered to go mto 
the pockets of a few individuals, have hi- 
therto had the trade of tlie Island in their 
hands: This is an error naturally to be ex- 
pected in a new country, but experience will 
teach us better, and all will soon be con- 
vinced, that a respectable revenue adequate to 
tlie wants of the public service, is absolutely 
necessary to the prosperity of the Island. 

The only common law court yet established 
in the Island, is the Supreme Court of Judi- 
cature, which is a Court of King's Bench, 
Common Pleas, and Exchequer ; the Chief Jus- 
tice is appointed hy - - vnt under HU Majesty's 
manual and signer, under the authority of which, 
letters patent are made out in the Island^ 
t^ted by tlie governor or commander in 
chief for the time being, and under the Great 
Seal of the Colony, and a salary of five hundred 



pounds a year is now annexed to tlie office : there 
are two assistant justices, who aie appointed by 
the governor, and who at present serve without 
any salary. The departments of counsel and attor- 
ney are still united, and the number of practioncjfs 
isyet only foui : the proceedings in civil acUoos 
are conducted as near as circm stances will per- 
mit, agreeable to the practice m the Court of 
Common Pleas in Westminster Hall. An appeal 
in the nature of a writ of error is allowed from 
the supreme court to the governor or com- 
mander in chief in council, when the debt ox 
value appealed for exceeds the su '.p of three 
hundred pounds sterling ; and an appeal from 
the judgment or sentence of the g< vernor or 
commander in chief in council, to Hjs Majesty 
in Council, is allowed when the debt or value, 
so appealed for, exceeds the sum of i ve hun- 
dred pounds sterling. 

The church of England is the religion of the 
Island, estabhshed by law, but the free ex ercise 
of every religion is allowed : and all dissenters 



I'M 'I 



of whatsoever denomination they are, have 

free liberty of conscience ; and may erect 

meeting houses for public worship ,• and may 

chuse and elect ministers or pastors according 

to their several opinions. And all contracts 

made between such dissenting ministers and 

tbeir congregations are declared valid, and 

shall have their full force and effect ; and all 

dissenters are exempted, and excused from 

the payment of any rates or taxes to be made 

or levied, for the support of the Church of 

England in the colony. 

There is yet only one clergyman of the 
Church of England on the Island, who was 
appointed by the King, Rector of the Parish 
of Charlotte on the first formation of the 
government, and has a salary of seventy pounds 
a year on the annual estimate, voted by parlia- 
ment for the civil establishment of the colony, 
for whicb he does duty for the whole Island, 
making occasional tours to the different set- 
tlements to perform divine service, and bapti^re 

the children : several applications have been 
jpade to the incorporated society for propagating 
the gospel in foreign parts, on behalf of the 
Island, praying for the appointment of mis, 
sionaries, on the same footing as they are grant- 
cd to all the other colonies in North America, 
and though it is understood that these appli- 
cations were recommended to the consideration 
of the society by the Bishop of Nova Scotm in the 
first place, and subsequently by the Earl of Buck, 
inghamshire^when secretary of state for the colo- 
nial department, it has not thought proper to 
grant the favour requested ; if I am well inform- 
ed, the reasons on which the refusal was ground- 
ed, are, that a numbijr of individuals of fortune in 
this country, who are proprietors of land in the 
Island, pontribute nothing lo the funds of the 
society, and that government allow the salary 
of military chaplain on the garrison staff of the 
Island, to be held as a sinecure by a person 
who never was in the colony, instead of con- 
%ring it on a resident clergyman; after what 
has b^en said in the preceding pages of the 



II 'I 


■ :'if 




.! '■& 

■'. Jf 


'1 15 


neglect of the proprietors in other matters, it 
appears hard that the conduct imputed to them 
on this subject, should also be injurious to the 
colony. The people of the Island liave not 
been able to discover in these reasons, much 
concern for their spiritual welfare, or any great 
consistency with the professed o^vects of that 
reverend and very respectable society, and they* 
have to lament, that without any fault on their' 
part, they are excluded from participating in» 
the important beaefits of an institution, thaV 
has been liberally extended to tlie wighJ 
bouring colonies of Nova Scotia and ^seyy' 
Brunswick, and to all their felloxv subjects iu 
similar circumstances : the disappointment is 
the more to be regretted, that, as on the one^ 
handi the Island is yet free of the contag ion of' 
thitwisdom which affects to reject Christianity, so^ 
on the other, has it escaped the visitation of t/iat' 
wild fanaticism which has overrun many parts 
of the continent, greatly to the injury and dis- 
credit of true religion, morality, and industry. 
And the minds of the protesfant part of the in- ' 


>iabitants in general are in that state wherein a 
Jittle aid and exertion on tlie sniyect, would go 
a great way towards uniting the greatest pm 
of them in the comnuuiion of tlie church of 
iingland. Most of the Highlanders who set- 
tlfcl in tlie Island previous to 1803, and the Ac- 
cadian French, are Roman Catholics, and have 
two or tinee priests of that religion, whose re- 
puted zeal for making proselytes has occasi- 
onally created some differences; I believe how- 
ever their success in that respect has not been 
great, though the want of Protestant clergymen 
has given them advantages over weak minds. 

The greatest part of the Highlanders who 
have recently settled in the Island, are of the 
church of Scotland, but have yet no chr^.vman 
of their own persuasion, thou^i^h there i, reason 
to hope that the same disinicrestrd ca.e and 
attention which induced so manv of tluir opu- 
lent countrymen to join in bringing to.ward 
the late act for regulating emigration, will in- ' 
duce them also to afford some aid on this more 







important subject, and they are the more san- 
guine in their cx|)ectations, because it is known 
that the funds at the disposal of the General 
Assembly of the Church of Scotland applicable 
to such purposes, are in a vtry flourishing state, 
and it cannot be believed, that any little jea- 
lousy with respect to em -ration wi.l he allow- 
ed to interfere against them. 1 he sum wanted 
In addition to what; they can do themselves, 
inrill be but trifling, nor will it be long wanted, 
h. few yeais will enable them amply to provide 
for a Clergyman, and also to establish a senii'^' 
nary of education, in the mean time, however, 
^ome assistance on both subjects would be vt ry 



Having several times in the preceding page, 
mentioned the Fisheries of the Island, I ,haU 
r.ovv attempt to give my readers some idea of 
their nature, and the extent to which they may 
be carried. , 

The herring fishery is the first that commen- 
ces in the spring; the bays and harbours, par- 
ticularly on the north side of the Island, are no 
sooner clear of ice. than they are filled with 
immense shoals of these fish, which may be 
taken in any quantity ; though they appear to 
be more plentiful some years than others, they 
never fail coming in great abundance. They 
are not so fat, though generally much larger 
than the herrings takaa on the west coast of 

u 2 



Scotland, and on the coust of Ireland ; they are 
more like the Srwedish herring, and properly 
cured, answer very well for the West India 
market ; they are taken at much less expence 
than on the coast of Scotland or Ireland, as the 
whole business is carried on in the harbours, 
and no craft above the size of common boats is 
necessary; such a train of nets as is commonly 
used in a herring buss of 70 or 80 tons on the 
coast of Scotland, would with ease take ten 
thousand barrels in a week or ten days; in ge- 
neral, however, large seins for dragging them 
oh shore, will be found a better kind of net. 
They come into the harbours generally as socn 
as the ice is gone, the first shoals are always 
*he best, and the whole business does not last 
above a fortnight, and if shipped off imme- 
diately for the West Indies, from the shoi .aess 
of the voyage, and the nature of the fish, being 
a large full fish without oil, they will arrive 
there in a better state for that market, than any 
other herrings that can be carried to that cli- 
mate. Besides what may be exported salt, 


great quantities might be smoaked, or cured 
red, for M-hich there is a great demand in the 
United States ; the wood necessary for smoak- 
ing herrings will cost little more than the trou- 
ble of cutting it down and carrying it to the 
curing houses, in this country it constitutes th» 
greatest part of the expence of the business. 
In tlie months of October and November, 
large shoals of herrings of a much superior cha- 
racter, such as would be fit for the European 
market, come upon the coast, but do not come 
into the harbours in such large bodies as in the 
spring, but they might be as easily taken by 
buss fishing as they are on the coast of Scot- 


Ale Wives, or Gasperaus {Clupeaserrata) are 
taken in many parts of the Island, and in the 
adjacent harbours on the continent, in very 
considerable numbers, and though not so plen- 
tiful as the common herring, there is no doubt 
but many thousand barrels of them might be 
exported from the Gulph every year, thev 



generally sell at a doHar a barrel higher in the 
West Indies than the common hemng, which 
is a considerable object ; they are taken in the 
months of May and June, in rivers and brooks 
where very short nets on ly are requi red. 

Eels of a very superior kind have long been 
known to be taken on the Island, they are too 
valuable for the West India market, but have 
occasionally been sent to the Itahun market, 
where they are sold by the barrel for double the 
pitce of salmon, and the demand tor them is 
much greater than can be supplied ; soiu judo-. 
ment of the value of them may be formed from 
the circumstance of their selling, in so plentiful 
a country as Canada, at sixteen dollars a bar- 
rel ; the onJy method at present in use for taking 
Itom, is by spearing for them in the muddy 
flats in our harbours, and even in that way very 
eonwderable quantities are taken ; there arc 
many situations in the Island in which the 
method of taking them by placing eel pots in 
the rivers may be practised, and the only at- 


tempt that has hitherto been made iu that way 
was very successful. 

Mackerel are in great abundance on the 
coast and in the harbours, from the middle of 
June till November; taking them with net* 
has never yet been much practised in our owa 
harbours ; the gut of Canso which divides the 
Island of Cape Breton from Nova Scotia, and 
the adjacent harbours, are the places where thi3 
fishery has been chiefly carried on, the distance 
being only from twelve to twenty leagues front 
the Island ; the quantity taken at these haN 
hours is some years very great ; it has been 
known that at the harbour of Port Hood, Ott 
the coast of Cape Breton, after thirty vessels 
had been loaded in a week, a heap of fish, sup* 
posed to contain at least a thousand barrels, 
have been left on the beach to rot, for want of 
salt to cure them. Many American vessels 
from the New England states load annually in 
these harbours with mackerel. 

: I 








i ^^^B 



Cod are caught in great plenty in almost 
every part of the Gulph of St. Lawrence, but 
more particularly on the coast of the Island, 
the 1% of C: aleur, and the Straits of Belleislc; 
our pricipal fishing ground extends all along 
the north coast of the Island, from the east 
point to the Orphan Bank, which stretches con^ 
siderably to the northward of the North Cape, 
and the fishing vessels have seldom to go above . 
three or four leagues from the shore, whera 
there is only :V .™ ten to fifteen fathoms water ; 
from several parts of the Island an advanta- 
geous boat fishery may be carried on part of 
the season, as great abundance offish may often 
be had at little more than a mile from the 
shore, and sometimes at a less distance; two 
men will at times load a boat twice in a day. 

The fishery carried on from the American 
Sta^es in the Gulph of St. Lawrence for some 
years is very extensive, and is known to 
be one of the greatest sources of the wealth 
of the eastern states, from which about tzi^ 


thousand stliooTitis of from seventy to one 
liundieil tons, are annually sent into tli» V,n\pU : 
of these about fourteen hundred make ihe^r" 
fish in the Straits of Relteisle, and on tlie Ll- 
trador shore, from whence, what is intended fur 
the European market, is shipped off, without" 
heing sent to iheir own ports; aboi t six hun- 
dred American schooners make their fares on 
the north side of th<? Island, and often make 
two trips in a season, returning to tlicir own 
ports with full cargoes, where their fi>h are 
dried ; the number of men employed in this 
fishery is estimated at between fiOeen and 
twenty thousand, and the profits on it are 
known to be very great. To see such a source 
of wealth ami naval power on our own coast., 
and in our very harbours, abandoned to the 
Americans, is much to be rcgrette«l and wouli 
be distressing wcvq it not that the means of re- 
occupying the wh3le with such advantages as 
must soon preclude all competition, is afforded 
in the cultivation and settlement oj Prince Ed- • 
ward Inland. 



The principal advaiitaije the Ainerican.s hnve 
hilhnti* had ovn the British fi.iheries on this 
C oasr, ari.Ms from tiie cheapness of the neces- 
saiiesof life anionic ihem, whereby they are 
ei ablid to huiltl, fit out and provision thcii fish- 
ing craft at a small expence in comparison to 
what can be clone from the ports of Great 
Britain and Ireland, which enables them to 
undersell us in every market ; I believe there is 
no person acquainted with the soil and climate 
of Prince Edward Island, but will admit that it 
is as fit for producing provisions of all kinds 
in abundance, as tiie eastern states, and haa 
even some advantages over them in that re- 
•f ect, as it is well known that from the nature 
of their climate, they do not produce wheat 
enough to supply ll.tmselves with bread corn, 
which ihey arc obliged to import from their sou- 
thern ncijihbouis. Net only Prince Edward 
Island, but a great part of the country round 
theGulph of St. Lawrence will produce wheat, 
and every necessary of life in great abundance, 
and from their extent, situation, and natural 


TMOurce^, are calculated to support ai niiinef» 
oils, and as poweiful a population ai the Nim 
KiiLyland States ; into whose hands in the natu- 
ral course of things this fishery 0>nu^r ou 
their coasts and harbours) must fill, to the? 
excUision I trust at no vQry distant ihy of 
our republican neighbours ; and to the "-reat 
benefit of the trade and naval resources of 
Great- Britain and Ireland. 

Btsides the fisheries which have been men- 
tioned, oreat quantities of salmon arc taken 
in different rivers which run into the Gulph, 
particularly the Restigush which runs into tiie 
head of the Bay of Chaleur, and the River 
Miramichee in the Province of New Brunswick, 
from the former, four thousand tierces of xhvte 
hundred pounds each, has often been exported in 
d year|| ; the salmon fisheries in the rivers on the 
Coast of Labrador and the Straits of Btllidle, 

II I think I may venture to say ihat ten ihousand fi-rcei have I'reqututl'r 
keen exported irbrfi the Oulph in a jear. 

'I I 


are at present chiefly in the hands of the Ame- 
ricans, as is also a considerahlc share of the 
Indian trade on that coast, both without any 
oliitr right than suifc ranee. 

If the Americans at such a distance, find 
the fishery on this coast so profitable, what 
must it be if carried on from Prince Edward 
Island, so much nearer, and where every thing 
necessary can be produced in as great pcrfec- 
as in New England ; there is nothing in the 
American system of management if superior to 
our own, of which tlie knowledge is not easily 
obtainedjtand situated as we are, with so many 
fine harbours close to the fishing ground, and 
ivith a country in which the population, and 
almost every thing necessary for the business 
can be produced and suj)ported, it must be 
manifest that the greatest part of the fisheries 
in the Gulph and Straits of Bellisle, must fall 
to the people of the Island as soon as their 

t And thoiuandt of th«ir fi»<f«riiien if it should be thought prop«r to ea- 
ceurnfie tliem. 


numbers, and the cultivation of the country, 
will enable them to attend to the business, and 
to reap the benefit of their local situation and 

The principal fishing posts in Lower Canada 
are at Gaspe, Percee, and Bonaventure Island, 
and labour under the disadvantage of bein^- 
situated in a part of the country incapable of 
producing the necessaries of life they consume, 
and in which, after the fishing season is over, 
there is no employment for the people, who are 
mostly obliged inconsequence to go to Quebec, 
in the autumn ; there they scatter over the 
country to seek for employment till the re- 
turn of the next fishing season ; they are 
then to be collected and sent a distance of 
four hunflred miles down the River St. Lawrence, 
and from the prevalence of the easterly winds in 
the spring, tliey are often three weeks and a 
month on wages and provisions before they ever 
wet a line for their employers, and sometimes 
lose the first part of the season entirely, which 

' ij 

k always the best : the Nova Scotia Fisheries are 
also tinder the same disadvantage of depending 
on the importation of previsions for their daily 
eonsumption, these are cKiefly brought from 
the United States, at an expence which has 
become much too heavy latterly, in conse^ 
qwence of which tiie fisheries on this coast are 
now become very inconsiderable to what they 
have been ; and the greatest part of their pro- 
duce, instead of being directly exported to 
the market wliere it is consumed, is sent to the 
American States to pay for provisions , from 
thence it is exported to the West Indies. 

These are circumstances of an unchanged 
ftble nature ; which point out Prince Edward 
Island, the adjacent coasts of the Continent, 
and the west coast of Cape Breton, both 
in point of situation, and all the necessary 
natural advantages, as furnishing the only 
means by wliich the entire occupancy of 
the f.slievit's in the Gulph and the Straits of 
)>eiii.slc, can be restored to Great- Britain. | 

+ '1 !ic M!!„.:!ak-3i Jsl.-.iuls in point of -iluiUoii, UicsWeilrujiciy viiuabli,' 


I have been informed that if the southern 
whale fishery was attemj)ted from tlie harbour 
of George Town or Three Rivers on an exten- 
sive scale, that a great many people from Nan- 
tucket and other ports in New England, accus- 
tomed to that business, if encouraged, would 
readily settle there, to which, it is .aid, they 
would be induced, fi<m the consideiation liiat 
they would be enibled to eniploy the working 
part of their families that do n.t go to sea. in 
the cultivation of small farms, to have cattle 
and gardens, whereby they could maintain their 
families at a much less expence than when 
settled in a situation where every thing neces- 
sary ix)r their consumption is to be purchased. 
It is said that the want of the benefits of such 
a situation was the chief reason which induced 
the people who had been settled at Halifax hi 
Kova Scotia, in the southern whale fishery, to 
abandon that place, where there was no means 
of employing their families, and where every 
thing they consumed was to be p'!rch:is d. 

I (io .lot t„on- whetUer .hcjr produce whc.i. but lUvy wm mu,ul«ii» a 
great many cattlr, ar.d Usve iu other re.pcas gt^M uil.i^u^ei. 


If the Information whkh the author has ham- 
1)Iy attcmptetl to bring forward in the preceding 
pages, has the eflett of attracting the attention 
of those to the affairs of the Island, on m hose 
judgment its future progress depends, his ob- 
ject will be completely attained : and sh6u!d 
the prospects of advantage to he derived from 
settling the country, which he has pointed at, 
l>c so far attended to, as to induce some per- 
son whose abilities are more equal to the subject, 
to enter ti^ercon, and to put it in that light which 
its importance to the public requires, he will 
not doubt of seeing in a short time a consider- 
able portion of that capital, and still more va- 
Juable spirit and industry, which is now at- 
tracted by the United States, directed to the 
improvement of a British possession whose set- 
tlement and cultivation, he is confident "^will 
not only amply reward ihose who may adventure 
therein but materially contribute to increase the 
Naval power and resources of the British 


Fimtcd ^> W. Winchciter and Soh, fii, flt»nd.