THROUGH the representations of Lord Vero Beauclerk, who was then the naval commander on the American station, in 1728, Captain Henry Osborne, of Her Majesty’s Ship ” Squirrel,” was appointed the first civil governor of Newfoundland. He has been represented as a man of distinguished ability. After his retirement from the Government of Newfoundland, he received the thanks of the House of Commons, and a pension of £1200 per annum during his life.
Captain Osborne appointed a sheriff; and likewise authorised the captains of the ships of war, then on the station, to hold surrogate courts for the decision of civil causes. These judges were afterwards denominated floating surrogates. Captain Osborne’s instructions, however, stated that he was not to interfere with, and do nothing contrary to the statute of 10 and 11 William III., which conferred such arbitrary power on the fishing admirals. The deputy-governorship of Placentia ever since it was taken from the French, had been a separate command under the government of N ova Scotia, but on the appointment of Governor Osborne, it was placed under his jurisdiction.
Captain Osborne divided the inhabited parts of the island into convenient districts, levied a rate of half a quintal of fish on all boats and boats-rooms, for the building of prisons, stocks, &c. ; he also appointed justices of the peace. The most important settlements of the island at this time were Placentia, St. John’s, Carbonear, Bay of Bulls, St. Mary’s, Trepassy, Ferryland, Bay de Verd, Old Perlican, Trinity Bay, and Bonavista.
The beneficial measures sought to be carried out by Governor Osborne for the better government of Newfoundland were frustrated by the obstinate conduct of the fishing admirals, backed by false representations of the merchants in England.
In 1731, Captain Clinton, of the Royal Navy, was appointed Governor of Newfoundland, who made a report of the state of the island, in which he condemned the proceedings of the fishing admirals.
Who the Governors of Newfoundland were from 1731 to 1737 does not clearly appear.
In 1737, Captain Vanbrugh was Governor. Owing to the great expense and difficulty of taking persons to England for trial, it was now proposed to establish a Court of Oyer and Terminer, for the trial of persons guilty of capital crimes in the island. It is said, however, that the commission was clogged with such restrictions as rendered it useless, until some years afterwards.
In 1740, the Right Hon. Lord George Graham was appointed Governor, who was succeeded in the following year (1741) by the Hon. John Byng, whose squadron made numerous captures of Spanish vessels, Spain being then at war with England. In order to avoid the expense and risk of sending prizes to England for adjudication, a Vice-Admiralty Court was established at St. John’s, the first judge of which was William Keen, a merchant, who was appointed naval officer, to collect the returns of the fishery, &c.
The next Governor was Sir Charles Hardy, captain of H.M.S. ” Jersey,” who assumed the Government in 1744.
In 1749, Captain (afterwards Lord) Rodney, of H.M.S. ” Rainbow,” was Governor. In 1750, Captain Francis William Drake was appointed Governor. During his administration, felons were first brought to trial in the island instead of being sent to England. The Court, however, could only sit during the summer months, when the Governor was present.
In 1753, Captain Bonfoy appears as Governor. It was in this year Lord Baltimore revived his claim to the province of Avalon ; but, in consequence of his having neglected to hold possession so long a time, his claim was not allowed.
In 1755, Captain Dorril was appointed Governor, who was succeeded in 1757 by Governor Edwards.
In 1760, Captain Webb assumed the government. During this year an attempt was made by a Mr. Scott and others to open an intercourse with the aborigines, or Red Indians ; but both he and his companions were treacherously murdered.
In 1761, Lord Graves was Governor. So inconsiderable was the naval force on the station in this year that, in order to protect the homeward-bound vessels, a brig was equipped, with guns, at the merchants’ expense, and the command was given to Lieut. John Neal. In consequence of the island being left in this unprotected state, it was visited in the following year by a French squadron, which arrived at Bay Bulls on the 24th June, and having landed their troops proceeded overland to St. John’s, where they took the garrison, of only sixty-three soldiers, together with the officers and crew of H.M.S. “Grammont,” then lying in port. They inflicted every kind of injury on the fishery and trade, and took Carbonear which had hitherto resisted all aggression and the village of Trinity. At the time this occurrence took place Governor Graves was in the “Antelope” engaged as a convoy to a large fleet of merchantmen; a sloop, however, was despatched to meet the Governor, who fell in with him on the Grand Bank and communicated an account of the devastations of the French fleet. The Governor, after adopting measures to secure his convoy, sent the sloop to Ferryland with a party of marines to fortify the (Isle aux Bois) Isle of Boys, and from thence to proceed to Halifax with des-patches to Admiral Lord Colville and Sir Jeffrey Amherst, the commanders of the land and sea forces, whilst Governor Graves, in the ” Antelope,” repaired to Placentia.
He found the forts of Placentia in ruins. Forts Frederick and Castle Hill, however, were immediately repaired.
Immediately Lord Colville was made acquainted with the state of affairs at Newfoundland, he set sail for St. John’s. In the mean time Sir Jeffrey Amherst directed his brother, Colonel Amherst, to collect troops from Louis-burgh, which he accordingly did, and joined the Admiral off St. John’s on the 11th September, 1762, with eight hundred Highlanders and some provincial infantry.
The French squadron, under Monsieur de Ternay, the Admiral, was lying within the harbour of St. John’s at anchor, and a much superior force to the English.
Previous to the arrival of Lord Colville from Halifax, Robert Carter, Esq., of Ferryland, and Mr. Brooks, of Bay Bulls, had consulted together, and at their own expense collected a number of bank-fishing or western boats, which they cut down, and metamorphosed into very tolerable row-galleys. This proceeding met the highest approbation of Lord Colville, who immediately availed himself of the advantages afforded by these boats for coasting along the surf-beaten shores. He manned them with natives, and embarked in each as many of the military as they could convey, with provisions, ammunition, &c., and appointed Mr. Carter commodore, and Mr. Brooks captain of the little squadron, and under cover of the evening shades despatched them to Torbay, where they arrived the en-suing morning. In the mean time a feint was made of landing the body of the troops from Lord Colville’s squadron at Quidi Vidi, when a sharp contest ensued. The English fought up the precipice with desperation ; but the numbers of the French, and their superior advantage in situation, prevented the English dislodging them from their position, on Signal Hill. Nevertheless, the scheme was complete ; the western-boat military, under command of Colonel Amherst, effected a march through the forest and swamps from Torbay, without having been observed, until they reached the rising and more clear ground, about one mile from the French position. A rapid stream flowed between the armies, and several skirmishes were fought during the frequent attempts made by the English to cross this stream, which was more than usually over-flown, In one of these conflicts Major McKenzie was severely wounded. The English now advanced upon Signal Hill, the strong position of the French, and in a short time drove the French from their guns. The French, however, still occupied some strong forts in the centre of the town, from which they were driven on the 17th of September, 1762, and surrendered themselves prisoners of war. The French fleet under the command of Admiral de Ternay, took no part in the engagement ; having escaped under concealment of a canopy of a thickly spreading fog put to sea, and the English fleet being driven off to sea in a heavy gale of wind, were unable to pursue them. About twenty men belonging to the English, besides Captain McDonald and Lieutenant Schuyler, of the Royal Dragoons, were killed, and Captain Baillie severely wounded. The French troops are said to have been some of the finest mien be-longing to their army. In those days Robert Carter, Esq., supported a garrison on a small island called the (Isle aux Bois) Isle of Boys, situated near the entrance of the harbour of Ferryland, and Charles Garland, Esq., a detachment of military on an island, at the entrance of Carbonear. The services of these individuals were highly appreciated by the Government. Their descendants are numerous, and are among the most respectable inhabitants of Newfoundland.
In 1763, on the 10th of February, the treaty of Paris was signed, by which France yielded to Great Britain all pretentions to Nova Scotia, Canada, Cape Breton, and all the North American Colonies, in return for which Great Britain, confirmed the 13th article of the Treaty of Utrecht, which allowed the French to take and cure fish on the Northern and Western coasts of Newfoundland. The French were also permitted to fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, within three leagues of the shore, and fifteen from those of the Island of Cape Breton, whilst the small islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon at Newfoundland were ceded in perpetuity to them, on condition of not erecting any forts or fortifications thereon.
About this time the coasts of Labrador, from the River St. John (opposite the Island of Anticosti) to the entrance of Hudson’s Straits, was annexed to the Government of Newfoundland. The population at this period was up-wards of 13,000, only about one-half of whom were constant residents. The number of vessels employed by the English at this period was about 400 sail, which carried great quantities of fish to Ireland. The quantity of cod fish taken was 386,274 quintals; 694 tierces of salmon; and 1,598 tons of cod-liver oil, besides furs to the amount of £2,000. In 1764, Captain, afterwards Sir Hugh, Palliser, was appointed to administer the Government of Newfoundland.
Captain Palliser is said to have been one of the most enlightened and active of the Naval Governors of Newfoundland. The rules and regulations which he made, relative to the fishery, were afterwards passed into law. During 1764, the Commissioners of Customs appointed a collector and comptroller at Newfoundland, in the place of a naval officer who used to receive the duties from the fishing admirals.
Newfoundland was now regarded as something more than a mere fishing station. In 1765, the navigation laws were extended to her, and she was declared one of His Majesty’s ” Plantations ” or Colonies. These important changes were strongly resisted by the merchants at home, and the adventurers in the fisheries. During Captain Palliser’s administration Labrador was again annexed to Canada. Sir Richard Bonnycastle says :
” His government was conducted with moderation and humanity, and although he had to deal with a very intractable race, yet, by patiently investigating the abuses which were as rife as ever, he succeeded in effecting much relief for the poor fishermen, and in carrying through afterwards, by his advice, the Act of George III, statute 15, cap. 31, 1775, commonly called ‘ Sir Hugh Palliser’s Act,’ which, while it assisted the British merchant in his ship-fishery, enforced the payment of wages to the fisherman, and provided a heavy penalty, hitherto wanting, to oblige the masters of vessels to secure the return of the seamen to England. This was as ill received as it was kindly meant ; and, in Chief Justice Reeve’s day, the merchants complained that such was its rigour towards them that it was with the greatest difficulty they could carry on the fishery. It, however, secured the right of British European subjects to the exclusive privileges of drying fish in Newfound-land, and gave several bounties encouraging the fishery ; it controlled the frequently atrocious conduct of the masters of vessels towards their seamen in the payment of wages in articles of supply instead of money ; and gave the fishing sailors a lien or prior claim on the fish and oil for their due payment, empowering the Court of Session and Vice-Admiralty with competent jurisdiction.”
Sir Hugh Palliser was a warm friend of the celebrated navigator Captain Cook, under whom he made a survey of the coasts of Newfoundland. The following interesting account of Captain Cook is given by Sir Richard Bonnycastle :-
Cook, the immortal navigator, first entered the navy as a volunteer, in the ” Eagle ” of 60 guns, to which Captain Palliser was soon afterwards appointed, in October, 1755. By his interest, and that of Cook’s friends, as well as his own merits, he obtained a master’s warrant, on the 10th May, 1759, or only four years after entering the navy as a common sailor. Palliser was his steady friend, and Cook joining the fleet for Quebec in the ” Mercury,” was employed in reconnoitering by Admiral Saunders, at the Captain’s recommendation, as well as in making a chart of the St. Lawrence, which to this day is the best, although it is said that Cook had never before used a peneil, and knew nothing of drawing. On the 22nd September, 1759, he was appointed by Lord Colville, as before mentioned, master of the ” Northumberland,” his flab ship ; and being at Halifax during the winter, he applied himself to read Euclid and to the study of astronomy, and all the other branches of science useful to a seaman. He went with the Admiral, in September, 1762, in the expedition to recapture Newfoundland from the French, and having shewn great activity and diligence in surveying Placentia harbour and fortifications, Captain Graves, then Governor of Newfoundland, was struck with his sagacity, formed a friendship for him, and employed him wherever the expedition went, in noticing the coast and navigation of the seas there. In 1762, Cook went to England, but returned with his patron, Captain Graves, who, as Governor, obtained with difficulty, an order for the establishment of a naval survey of Newfoundland, and got Cook appointed to carry it on. He surveyed St. Pierre and Miquelon, previous to the surrender of those islands to the French. Cook again returned home, and in 1764 Sir Hugh Palliser, his steady friend, having been made Governor, he went out with him to continue the survey, having received a commission as marine surveyor of Newfoundland and Labrador, on the 18th of April, 1764, with the Grenville” schooner to attend him. In this arduous service he continued until the winter of 1767. His surveys are the only existing ones, and he, moreover, explored the interior in many directions, and laid down several large lakes. He also observed an eclipse of the sun at one of the Burgeo islands, near Cape Ray, in latitude 47° 36′ 19″ north, on the 5th August, 1766. His observation was sent to the Royal Society, and published in a short paper in the 57th volume of the Philosophical Transactions ; and the same eclipse having been observed at Oxford, the longitude of that part was well settled, and Cook first obtained the character of being an able mathematician. Some of his survey marks still exist on that part of the coast. His subsequent career is well known, but the above account abridged from Kippis’ Life of Captain Cook, cannot fail to be interesting to every Newfoundlander ; and it is to be hoped that some means will be taken to preserve the survey marks on the south-west side of the island, or at least the most prominent of them ; for independently of Cook’s general fame, he has been the greatest friend to Newfoundland that it ever had his accurate chart of it, and its seas, having made its importance very clear.”
In 1769, Governor Palliser was succeeded by Captain the Hon. John Byron, so well known by his voyages in the southern hemisphere under Lord Anson. Governor Byron was the first to issue a proclamation for the protection of the native savages the red Indians among whom a war of extermination was carried on by the furriers and others.
In 1772, Commodore Molineaux, who was afterwards created Lord Shuldham, was appointed Governor of Newfoundland. On his assumption of the government he enforced the payment of customs duties, according to a scale sent to him from England. The collection of customs at St. John’s was always subordinate to the collectors of the Port of Boston, and as resistance to taxation by the mother country first commenced at Boston, so St. John’s loudly protested against the introduction of duties on the fishery, which had always been free, hence the cause of Governor Molineaux enforcing the payment of duties.
In 1774, on the 5th September, the first congress of America passed a decree suspending all importations from Great Britain, and discontinuing exports to her possessions, unless their complaints were redressed. In 1775, the second congress carried this decree into effect. Newfound-land was at this time wholly dependent on the American colonies, now the United States, for provisions which amounted annually to upwards of £300,000 sterling, or $1,500,000.
To meet the first decree of Congress, the British Parliament passed an Act, 15 George III., chap. 10, by which the revolted colonies were excluded from the Newfoundland fisheries, and a supplementary one declaratory of non-intercourse.”
An alarming apprehension of want now prevailed, vessels were immediately despatched to Ireland for provisions. Yet great privation and want was experienced throughout the island, and to add to the distress, American privateers appeared on the coast, and so well acquainted were they with the various harbours and coves that not unfrequently they would run in and take vessels while lying at the merchants’ wharves.
In the year 1775 one of the heaviest storms ever known in Newfoundland took place. The sea suddenly rose twenty feet above its usual height, causing the destruction of hundreds of fishing boats and numbers of large vessels, in which three hundred persons perished. The destruction of property on the land was immense. Commodore Robert Duff was Governor during this year, who was succeeded in 1776 by Rear-Admiral Montague, who was the first Admiral who had been appointed Governor. During this year, by order of the King, a proclamation was issued for the better protection of the red Indians.
In 1777, by order of the Government of France, all the French men-of war as well as merchantmen left the island.
In 1778, a treaty, for the mutual protection of each other was entered into between France and the United States.
During the year Governor Montague captured St. Pierre and Miquelon, and sent nearly 2,000 French, which he found residing there, to France.
In 1779, Rear-Admiral Edwards assumed the Government of Newfoundland, and captured a number of French and American privateers. He was succeeded in the government in 1782, by Vice-Admiral John Campbell, who had as his secretary, Mr. Aaron Graham, whose abilities, it is said, were of essential service to the country. Mr. Graham was afterwards a police magistrate of London. During this year the English had the entire control of the fisheries and of the island.
In 1783, the treaty of peace permitted the citizens of the United States to fish on the former footing, and permitted them also to cure and dry fish in the unsettled harbours of Nova Scotia, the Magdalen Islands and Labrador. It was agreed that France should renounce her right of fishing on that line of coast lying between Cape Bonavista and Cape St. John ; as had been allowed by the treaty of Utrecht ; but from Cape St. John, situated on the eastern side of the island, she was, after proceeding north, to extend her privilege down the western shores as far as Cape Ray, instead of Point Riche.
In 1784, the first Roman Catholic Bishop, Dr. O’Donnell, arrived in Newfoundland. The Right Reverend J. T. Mullock, D.D., Roman Catholic Bishop of St. John’s, says :
” On the 24th of October of that year, a proclamation was published pursuant to the instructions of His Majesty, George III. to the Governor, Justices of the Peace, and Magistrates of the Island, whereby liberty of conscience was allowed to all persons in Newfoundland, and the free exercise of such modes of religious worship as are not prohibited by law, provided people be contented with a quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the same, without giving offence or scandal to Government thus Catholicity was permitted and the days of open persecution were happily at an end. It may be interesting, especially to Catholics, to know the state of the Church here before that time–Protestantism being the established religion, ministers were stationed in the principal settlements, but the few priests in the island had no fixed abodes they usually came out disguised in the fishing vessels, seldom staid long, and had no regular missions, as the surveillance of the local government was too strict. In the same year of toleration, 1784, Dr. O’Donnell, the founder and father of the Church of Newfoundland, landed in the island. Born in 1737, in Tipperary, he spent a large portion of his life in the Irish Franciscan Con-vent of Prague, in Bohemia ; afterwards, as superior of the Franciscans, in Waterford, and subsequently Provincial of that order in Ireland. He was the first regularly authorized missioner in Newfoundland after it became a purely British settlement, and no man ever had British interests more at heart he mainly saved the Island to the British crown when a mutiny broke out among the troops under the command of Colonel Skerrett. By his influence among the Irish population, he pre-vented the disaffection from spreading, and saved the colony. If such a service had been performed in these days, by one of the Dominant Church, his reward would be a peerage and a pension ; to Dr. O’Donnell, the British government granted not a peerage, but the munificent pension of £75 or £50 (I am not sure which) per annum, for his life ; however, they acted consistently. Catholic loyalty is an affair of conscience, and consequently he only gave to Caesar what was due to Cesar. As long, however, as rewards are given by the nation to those who do their duty, especially when that duty becomes, through extraordinary circumstances, a great public benefit, so long will the stinginess of the Government of that day to Dr. O’Donnell be condemned by all right thinking men. Dr. O’Donnell was at first only Prefect Apostolic, that is, a priest exercising Episcopal jurisdiction, and generally having, like the Prefect Apostolic of St. Peter’s, the right of giving confirmation, which as we see by the practice of the Greek Catholic Church is not essentially an Episcopal Sacrament, if I may call it so. The importance of the population now required direct Episcopal superintendence. The sovereign pontiff, to whom is committed the care of all the churches, saw that Newfoundland was des-tined to become the home of a fixed population and the residence of a floating one. Accordingly, in 1796, on the 5th day of January, the great pontiff, Pius VI., the Confessor as well as Doctor of the Faith, appointed Dr O’Donnell, Vicar Apostolic of Newfoundland, and Bishop of Thyatira, in partibas, and he was consecrated in Quebec, on the 21st September of the same year.”
In 1786, Rear-Admiral Elliot was appointed governor. In this officer’s administration, very important and beneficial changes were made in the Court of Vice-Admiralty. The Act of 26 Geo. III., cap. 26, was also passed, continuing the bounties on the fisheries for ten years. Admiral Mark Milbank succeeded to the government in 1789, who established a court of common pleas, which was followed by a court of criminal and civil jurisdiction, and of which John Reeves, Esq., was appointed chief justice, who was a man of extensive legal knowledge and great acquirements he rectified numerous abuses of the surrogate courts. In 1793, Mr. Reeves published the ” History of the Government of Newfoundland,” which revealed a mass of infamy and corruption.
During this period Governor King administered the government, who was succeeded in 1794 by Sir James Wallace.
In 1797, Vice-Admiral Waldegrave was appointed governor, afterwards Lord Radstock, who exerted himself in the cause of religion and the just administration of the laws. In 1796, the French, commanded by Admiral Richery, with nine sail of the line, and some other small vessels of war, burnt the town and shipping of Bay Bulls. The following local occurrences are given by a gentleman in St. John’s, who took part in the proceedings of the periods referred to, and as the particulars narrated are not published in any history of Newfoundland, we lay them before the reader.
1793. ” The commencement of the revolutionary war with France gave rise to important changes in the Government departments in all the colonies. The first movement in North America was the taking of the Islands of St. Pièrre and Miquelon from the French, by a brigade from Halifax. The left wing of the Nova Scotia Fencibles, a corps then forming chiefly from refugee soldiers, who had settled in Nova Scotia after the first American War, were ordered here to relieve the detachment of the 4th or King’s Own Regiment, who were ordered to join their head quarters at St. Peter’s. In the course of the summer, arrangements were made for forming three or four volunteer companies, including one of Artillery. Three companies were officered by the principal gentlemen of St. John’s, and soon filled up by respectable tradesmen and fishermen of the town.
” During the first American War, it had been thought expedient to erect redoubts on the roads from the adjacent out-ports, viz.: Torbay Road, at Cox’s Marsh, two redoubts mounting two 18 pounders carronades each, with a guard-house for a stationary gunner ; and on the same road at Pipestock-hill, about a mile from Torbay, three guns were mounted ; and at the village of Torbay, a battery of four long 6 pounders with a guardhouse and a sergeant’s weekly command. Two or three guns were mounted on the rising ground north-east end of Twenty-mile Pond, on the Portugal Cove road. There were also a guard-house and battery at Hayes’s Farm, on the Petty-harbour Road.
Estimates had been prepared and approved of for repairing and improving the existing defences, and plans had also been submitted to the Board of Ordnance for fortifying Signal Hill, which having met the approbation of the Honour-able Board, preparations were entered into for that object proportionate to the magnitude of the undertaking.
” Early this summer, Colonel Skinner, Commanding Royal Engineer, received a letter of service directing him to raise a Regiment of Fencible Infantry, to be called the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, of which he was appointed Colonel ; and having the appointment of his officers, selections were made here and at the out-ports, of such gentlemen as were likely, from their loyalty, responsibility and influence, soon to raise the quotas of men required for their respective commissions.
” The recruiting service commenced with great spirit about the latter end of September, at the close of the fishery, and in two months more than half the number were enlisted. An Adjutant, late a non-commissioned officer of the Royal Artillery, a Quartermaster, and Sergeant-major, arrived from England.
1795. ” It has been stated that the Nova Scotia Regiment was chiefly formed of old refugee soldiers from the American Army, many of whom were well disciplined non-commissioned officers, and were of great service in drilling and forming the young recruits of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment ; and it was astonishing how soon the latter became fit for duty ; when this service was performed the Nova Scotia Regiment were ordered to return to Halifax.
” In the mean time some buildings were erected at Signal Hill, and the first block-house commenced.
There being no carriage road to Signal Hill, all the guns required for the Hill were taken by men of the garrison, and parbuckled up the face of the rock, at Crow’s Nest, and thence to the respective batteries ; a most laborious and dangerous service.
” Preparations for the more effectual defence of the Narrows were also going on, in the formation of three furnaces for heating shot, viz.: at Fort Frederick, Chain Rock, and Fort William.
” A large naval force from different stations met here that summer, consisting of the ” Monarch,” 74, the Governor’s ship ; the Ramilies,” 74 ; the ” Adamant,” and another 50 ; four frigates, and three sloops of war, all in the harbour at the same time.
1796. ” The levy of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment had been completed the preceding fall ; and it was found that the barracks at Forts Townsend and William were insufficient to contain so many men ; it was therefore ordered that the garrison should go under canvas for a few months while the old barracks were being repaired and cleansed, and some of the new barracks at Signal Hill finished, and also for the greater facility of practising the officers and men of that young regiment in the indispensable tactics and operations of the field. A camp was accordingly formed on the general parade ground, with a small park of artillery, of which the troops took possession about the middle of June. The improved defences of the Narrows being finished, some experiments were tried with heated shot before His Excellency Admiral Sir James Wallace, the Governor, which gave general satisfaction. A large platform of wood was built on South Point called the Duke of York’s Battery, on which were mounted eight 24-pounder guns, three or four 18-pounder carronades, and two 10-inch mortars. The Block-house was so forward as to admit six guns to be mounted on the second floor. The regiment by this time the latter part of August was approaching fast to systematic regularity and discipline, and of approved internal economy.
” Such being the state of the garrison and fortifications, together with the efficiency of the volunteer companies, a fine set of men, particularly the company of volunteer artillery, selected from among the flower of the inhabitants of St. John’s as well as the undoubted loyalty of the inhabitants a wish seemed to be inspired, that something might happen to test the fidelity of the whole. If such was the case, it was not long before that wish was realized, for early in the morning of the first day of September, the signal was made for an enemy’s fleet to the southward, which proved to be that of the French Admiral Richery, consisting of seven sail of the line, two frigates, and some other small vessels of war. The signal of alarm and de-fiance was instantly made at Signal Hill and all the forts. There was only the Governor’s ship and one frigate in port.
His Excellency Admiral Sir James Wallace, a governor of warlike celebrity, immediately proclaimed martial law, and ordered all the men in the town fit for service merchants with their domestic and wharf establishments, captains of vessels with their crews, planters, with their fishermen and shoremen to muster in front of the camp, where they were enrolled and told off to the forts and batteries, and were not to be dismissed until the governor’s pleasure was known. The enemy stood off and on, near Cape Spear, all that day ; and during the night the road was opened from Maggotty Cove Bridge through the inclosures leading to Signal Hill, by direction of the governor, in order to expedite the transport of ammunition, stores and provisions to Signal Hill, as well as the camp equipage, which had been struck in the evening ; and by daylight on the morning of the second, the tents were all pitched on the summit of the hill, from Duke of York’s Battery to Cuckold’s Head, and also on the south side hill, over Fort Amherst. This warlike demonstration, with the display of three or four thousand men on the hill, must have had a very intimidating effect on Monsieur, when viewed from sea. This day passed off, under some-thing like a passive hesitation on the part of the enemy ; a great deal of telegraphing and boat communication took place with the flag-ship, and towards evening the fleet stood a little further off to sea. Reconnoitering parties were out along shore, north and south, day and night, in anticipation of a landing being effected.
” A great many seamen were employed that day in raising the chain across the narrows ; the great capstan at the south side being assisted by three schooners placed at equal distances from Chain Rock, and by grappling the chain with their anchors, and heaving altogether, they raised it to the surface of the water ; these vessels were also charged with combustibles, and were intended to be used as fire-ships on the enemy coming in contact with the chain. The flag-ship and the frigate were also placed at enfilading distance in the harbour to give them a warm reception on entering the Narrows.
” On the first appearance of the enemy, the shot furnaces were kindled ; it was found difficult, however, to preserve the proper degree of heat, and to prevent fusion, which happened to some of the shot. On the third the enemy formed a line and stood in for the Narrows, when it was expected their intention was to attempt a landing. They stood on till the van ship was near the extreme range of the guns at Fort Amherst, when she and all of them put about and stood off to sea. They remained in sight for several days, and at last bore away to the south-ward, and arrived at Bay Bulls, where they landed ; and to consummate their dastardly conduct, they drove the poor de-fenceless inhabitants to the woods
” Burnt their stores and houses,
Took their fish and oil,
The hard-earned produce
Of their yearly toil.’
” Thus terminated the great excitement occasioned by the appearance of so formidable a French armament.
” The detachments at the respective posts were continued till it was ascertained that the French fleet had entirely left the coast.
” During the alarm, there was only one old man or a small boy allowed on each merchant’s wharf, vessel or fishing room ; all the rest were stationed at the forts and batteries.
“A large proportion of civilians were stationed at Signal Hill, where they performed a vast deal of labour the volunteer companies with their officers setting the emulative example in dragging guns, mortars and carriages, provisions and stores of all kinds, through the recently opened and very rugged road to the hill.
” The order for embodying the inhabitants being now re-versed, they returned to their respective avocations, under the publicly-marked approbation of the governor, for their regularity, devoted loyalty, and attention to military discipline, under the privations to which they were subjected during the emergency.”
In 1795, the quantity of cod fish taken was, 600,000 quintals, 4,900 seals, besides a great quantity of salmon, &c.the whole amounting to about one million and a half pounds sterling, or six million dollars.
During the administration of Admiral Waldgerave, Richard Routh, Esq., presided as Judge of the Supreme Court.
Governor Pole held the reins of government in 1800, and was succeeded, in 1802, by Admiral Lord Gambier, who encouraged the education of the people, and promoted the general interests of the country. In this year the treaty of Amiens was signed, by which the French were reinstated in their possession of St. Pierre and Miquelon, and in their concurrent rights of the fishery.
During the rule of Admiral Gambier, a red Indian female was taken and brought to St. John’s.
In 1804, Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower was appointed governor, in whose administration Sunday-schools were established, and the Benevolent Irish Society formed for the relief of the poor. Admiral Holloway assumed the government in 1807. In his time a Volunteer Militia was formed, and the first post office established, but no packet or regular mail communication. The Court of Judicature, which had hitherto been merely the subject of experiment, was made perpetual by an Act of Parliament in 1809. The coast of Labrador, which for some time previously had been separated from the government of Newfoundland, was re-annexed to it ; and an ineffectual attempt was also made, under the direction of Lieutenant Spratt, R.N., to open an intercourse with the Indians.
In 1807, the first newspaper was printed in Newfoundland.
In 1810, Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth assumed the government, who visited various parts of the island, and issued a proclamation for the protection of the red Indians. He also sent a small armed schooner, under the command of Lieutenant Buchan, R.N., to the Bay of Exploits, to open a friendly intercourse with the Indians, which, however, terminated very disastrously. Two marines had been left at an Indian encampment as a guard, while Lieutenant Buchan proceeded in search for another encampment. On his return, however, he found his two marines decapitated, and that the whole of the savages had decamped. In 1811, an Act authorizing the holding of Surrogate Courts on the Labrador was passed by the British Parliament ; several important changes were made in the letting of ship’s rooms, and the streets of St John’s were greatly improved. A reward was also offered of one hundred pounds to any person who should bring about a friendly understanding with the red Indians.
In 1812, war was declared by the United States of America against Great Britain, on the 17th of June, which produced much excitement and alarm in Newfoundland. During the summer the small-pox prevailed in St. John’s. The North American fleet shortly after arrived at St. John’s, consisting of three sail of the line, twenty-one frigates, and 37 sloops, brigs, and schooners of war.
In 1813, Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keates was appointed governor, Owing to the wars, the fisheries were left at this period almost exclusively in the hands of the British, who had few competitors in the markets abroad ; this, together with the circulation of money arising from the naval and military establishments, as well as from the prizes brought into St. John’s, from time to time, produced an unexampled degree of prosperity.
In 1814, one million two hundred thousand quintals of codfish were exported, valued at the enormous price of £2 per quintal ; twenty thousand quintals of core-fish in barrels ; six thousand tons of cod or train oil, at £32 per ton; one hundred and fifty-six thousand seal skins, at five shillings each ; four thousand six hundred and sixty-six tons of seal oil, at L36 per ton ; besides salmon, mackerel, furs and berries, to the amount of £10,000 ; the whole mounting to no less a sum than two million, eight hundred and twenty-eight thousand, nine hundred and seventy-six pounds, or eleven million, one hundred and forty-four thousand dollars. Provisions at this time were at an enormous price. Biscuit sold at £6 or $30 per cwt. ; flour at L8 or $40 per barrel ; pork at L12 or $60 per barrel ; butter at 3 shillings or 75 cents per lb. ; salt £2 or S10 per hogshead, and shop goods in proportion.
At this period the wages of fishermen were, for a common hand £70 or $350 for the season, commencing the beginning of June and ending about the last of October ; and for a prime hand or ” splitter” £140 or *700.
In the same year, on the 17th June, the Treaty of Paris was concluded, when a general depression and fall in the value of the produce of the fisheries immediately took place throughout the Island, attended with a number of mercantile failures.
In 1817, Vice-Admiral Pickmore assumed the government. During his administration, two destructive fires occurred in St. John’s and destroyed property to a great amount (for further account of which, see district of St. John.)
The winter of 1818 is said to have been the coldest ever experienced in Newfoundland, in the midst of which Governor Pickmore died. He was the first governor who had ever remained on the island during the winter season. His remains were placed for some time in a vault of the church, and subsequently carried to England in His Majesty’s ship ” Fly.” The temporary management of affairs was assumed by Captain Bowker, of H. M. S. ” Sir Francis Drake.” In 1818, Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hamilton was appointed governor, who was the first governor who permanently resided in the island. During this period the fisheries were very successful, and a purer administration of justice prevailed ; at this time Francis Forbes, Esq., afterwards Sir Francis, an English barrister, was Chief Justice, who was put into office on the 4th of August, 1816, which he filled for six years. His talents as a judge are said to have been of a superior order. Mr. Morris says :
” No sooner did he take his place upon the bench of the Supreme Court, than the old despotic system, as if by magic, vanished before him. When it was attempted to make the rules, orders and proclamations have the force of laws ; when tomes of them were heaped on the table of the court, to the utter discomfiture of the advocates of the monopolists, he said he viewed them in no other light than as bundles of waste paper, which could not have the slightest authority with the court. For the first time the people of Newfoundland discovered the whole system, under which they had so long been governed, to be a despotic usurpation of power, equally opposed to law as to their inherent rights and privileges of British subjects. From this time, it may be said, the English code succeeded the mercantile code the reign of the monopolist was no more.”
In 1819, an Indian female was ‘captured by an armed party in the month of March, and taken to St. John’s, where she was kindly treated by Lady Hamilton and others. She was afterwards sent back with presents to her tribe, but she died before she reached them. At this time the laws were administered in the out-posts of the island, by resident and floating surrogate courts, from which parties could appeal to the supreme court in St. John’s, if the suit exceeded £40. The magistrates also held courts of session, which had jurisdiction in cases not exceeding forty shillings, and in cases of assault.
Sir Richard Bonnycastle, and Mr. McGregor observes, there has been no instance of a British colony so inadequately provided for, in the administration of its internal affairs, as Newfoundland. Always regarded as a mere fishing station, the energies of its ‘population were also thus always checked, and the interest, the obvious and actually necessary interest, of the merchant adventurers in the fishery was, to keep as much as possible in their own hands, and, as in the case of India, governed by a mercantile body, to exclude competition from without or within.
In 1822, Mr. Forbes resigned the Chief Justiceship of Newfoundland, and was succeeded in the office by Richard Alexander Tucker, Esquire, afterwards Registrar of Upper Canada, where he died in 1873.
In 1824, in consequence of the partial and corrupt ad-ministration of justice in the surrogate courts having been represented to the Home Government, an Act was passed by the Imperial Parliament ” for the better Ad-ministration of Justice in Newfoundland,” when most important and beneficial changes took place.
in 1825, Captain (afterwards Admiral) Sir Thomas Cochrane assumed the civil government of the island.
In 1826, on the 2nd of January, a Royal Charter ; granted by the king, under authority of an Act of Parliament, was promulgated : The Surrogate Courts were now abolished, and the charter provided that the Supreme Court should be held by a Chief Judge and two assistant Judges ; that the island should be divided into three circuits northern, central, and southern ; that at each of these three separate circuit courts, one or other of the three judges should preside ; that the Supreme Court should admit a sufficient number of qualified attorneys and solicitors to practise in the several courts, and to grant letters of administration and probates of wills. The salary of the Chief Justice was to be twelve hundred pounds sterling per annum, and that of the two assistant judges, seven hundred each. It also provided that the Governor should annually appoint a high sheriff, who was to enter into recognizances of £5,000, with two securities of £2,000 each, for the due performance of his duties ; and that in causes exceeding £500 sterling, appeals might be made from the Supreme Court to the King in Council.
The first two assistant judges appointed to act in conjunction with Chief Justice Tucker were John William Molloy, .Esq., and Augustus Wallet des Barres, Esq. Mr. Molloy in a short time was removed from office, and succeeded by Edward Brabazon Brenton, Esq., at whose decease in 1845, George Lilley, Esq., was appointed to fill the office, and on the death of Mr. Lilley in 1847, James Simms, Esq., the late attorney-general, was appointed, when Edward M. Archibald, Esq., was appointed attorney-general, now British consul in New York City. Mr. Des Barres held the office of judge from the granting of the charter to 1858, when, under the responsible system of government, the Parliament of Newfoundland pensioned off Messrs. Des Barres and Simms, and appointed Bryan Robinson, Esq., a member of the Irish bar, and long a leading practitioner at the bar of the island, and Philip F. Lilley, Esq., late attorney-general of Newfoundland, in their place as assistant judges of the Supreme Court. Mr. Lilley was the first member of the Newfoundland bar elevated to the bench.
The population at this time (1826) is said to have been about 55,000.
In 1827, a ” Boesthic Society” was formed in St. John’s, having for its object the civilization of the red Indians. W. E. Cormack, Esq., the president of the society, travelled through the interior of the country, but without meeting with a single Indian. (See ” Red Indians,” in another part of this volume.)
Sir Thomas Cochrane was the first naval officer, holding the appointment of governor, detached from the command of the squadron on the station. He was assisted by an executive council, composed of the judges, the commandant of the garrison, and the collector of the customs. Sir Thomas was very fond of show, his aides-de-camp were called colonels of militia, although no militia existed in the island.
Governor Cochrane, however, was an intelligent and enterprising man, and promoted the interests of the country by encouraging agriculture, opening roads, and the erection of public buildings.
In 1827, Sir Thomas Cochrane visited England, and during his absence the temporary administration of the Government devolved on Chief Justice Tucker. During this year, James Crowdy, Esq., was appointed Secretary of the colony. Arthur H. Brooking, Esq., was Collector of H.M. Customs.
In 1828, the building of Government House commenced, and a road opened from St. John’s to Portugal Cove.
In 1829, the true position of the Virgin Rocks was ascertained by one of His Majesty’s ships. These dangerous shoals are situate on the western edge of the Grand Bank, 18 leagues S.E. by E. from Cape Race, in lat. 46° 26′ 15″ north ; long. 50° 56′ 35″ west.
In 1830, several benevolent societies were formed, called “Fishermen’s and Shoremen’s Associations,” and ” Mechanics’ Societies.”
In 1831, Governor Cochrane again went to England. During this year, numerous petitions were presented to His Majesty’s Government for constituting a permanent colony by the establishment of a local legislature. These petitions, however, were strongly opposed by the merchants in England connected with the Newfoundland trade.
In 1832, a Representative Assembly was granted by His Majesty William IV., and, at the same time, Governor Cochrane obtained a new commission, by which he was invested with enlarged authority. It empowered him to convoke a Colonial Parliament, to create a Legislative and Executive Council, composed of seven persons, any of whom he could suspend from acting if he found just cause for so doing. He was authorized to divide the island into nine districts, townships, or counties ; to negative any bill which the Assembly should pass contrary to his will, and to adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve the saine.
The House of Assembly consisted of fifteen members, the qualification for which was : All persons of the full age of twenty-one years, being of sound understanding, natural-born subjects, or lawfully naturalized never having been convicted of any infamous crime, and having, for two years next immediately preceding the day of election, occupied, as owner or tenant, a dwelling-house with-in the island. The electors were the whole male population of twenty-one years of age, occupying a dwelling-house, either as owner or tenant for one year only.
In 1833, on New Year’s Day, the first session of the Colonial Parliament was opened by Sir Thomas Cochrane, when some beneficial laws were enacted, shortly after which Chief-Justice Tucker resigned, in consequence of a misunderstanding between the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, of which Mr. Tucker was president. On the subject of taxation, Mr. Tucker contended that the trade and state of the country in general was not able to sustain a revenue. The Revenue Bill, how-ever, passed in the House of Assembly, but, in accordance with the President’s views, was rejected in the Council. The General Assembly was adjourned, and the matter was referred to the Secretary of State, who over-ruled the objection of the Council. Mr. Tucker was succeeded in the office of Chief Justice by Henry John Boulton, Esq., late Attorney-General of Upper Canada.
During this year, Newman W. Hoyles, Esq., was appointed Treasurer of the colony, at whose decease, in 1837, Patrick Morris, Esq., succeeded to the office, and on the death of Mr. Morris, in 1849, Robert Carter, Esq., R.N., was appointed, who continued to hold office until the introduction of Responsible Government, when he was superseded by the then Receiver-General, the Hon. Thos. Glen.
In 1834, Captain, afterwards Admiral, Henry Prescott, arrived on the 1st of November, and assumed the Government. Sir Thomas Cochrane and family departed for England on the 6th of the same month. The Treasury at this period was completely empty, and one of the first measures of the new governor was to issue Treasury notes to the amount of £ 5,600, in accordance with the provisions of an Act passed in the previous Session of the Legislature.
The imports of Newfoundland this year amounted to £618,757 = $3,093,785, and the exports to £826,659 = $4,-133,295, leaving a balance in favour of the colony of £207,-902, or 81,039,510. During this year, 828 British and 20 American and Spanish ships arrived, besides which about 700 schooners were employed in the fisheries, of which 358 were engaged in the seal fishery. The number of vessels employed at the Bank fishery this year, was estimated at about 20, where formerly no less than 700 vessels were engaged. The population now had amounted to about 70,000. There were at this time seven newspapers published in the island five in St. John’s, and two in Conception Bay.
In 1834, the Criminal Calendar exhibited a great amount of crime, four persons were convicted of murder, and executed.
In 1835, in the sixth Session of the Local Legislature, an Act was passed imposing an import duty of two and a-half per cent. on certain goods, wares, and merchandize, which the following year left a surplus fund in the Treasury.
During this year the freedom of the press was attempted to be put down by personal violence. Mr. Winton, editor of the Public Ledger, (the leading newspaper published in St. John’s) denounced the Roman Catholic Clergy (whom he conceived to have unjustly and unnecessarily interferred in the election of members to the House of Assembly), was waylaid by several persons masked, and in the open day, on the road between Carbonear and Harbour Grace, was torn from his horse, beaten in a most brutal manner, and left bleeding on the road side with both ears cut off. The perpetrators of this crime have never been discovered, although a reward of £1,500 or $6,000 was offered for their detection and conviction.
In 1836 an Act was passed limiting the future duration of the House of Assembly to four years. About this period appears to have been the greatest political trouble in Newfoundland. The poor people had not a vestige of liberty, and were the merest tools and slaves of party. The merchants on the one hand threatened them with the refusal of supplies necessary for the support of their families, if they refused to vote for their (the merchants’) candidate for the House of Assembly. On the other hand the Roman Catholic clergy held over their heads the thunder of excommunication, if they refused to vote for the candidate of the clergy ; hence political strife prevailed to an alarming extent between Protestants and Catholics the population of the island being about half and half of the two denominations. The Protestants were called the Conservatives, and the Catholics the Liberals. Each party had their choice men, and the people voted blindly. Not one man in a hundred had any thing to do directly or indirectly in selecting the candidate whom he had assisted in electing.
About this time Chief Justice Boulton made a speech, at a public dinner, which gave great offence to the Roman Catholics. He afterwards altered the scale of jury fees, and the mode of striking juries, also the old acknowledged claim of the fisherman’s lien for the payment of his wages upon the proceeds of the voyage ; for these and similar acts he was strongly denounced by the Roman Catholic press. Mr. Boulton, very injudiciously, descended from the bench and pleaded his own cause before two judges of the Court of which be was Chief Judge, against libels upon his own public conduct.
Petitions from the Roman Catholics were forwarded to the Home Government, praying for his removal ; and he was charged by the House of Assembly before Her Majesty’s Privy Council with being a political partizan and a perverter of the administration of justice. Dr. Lushington was employed as counsel by the House of Assembly, and Mr Burge by Chief Justice Boulton. The Privy Council exonerated Mr. Boulton from all charges of corruption in the exercise of his judicial functions, but recommended his removal from office, which was confirmed by the Queen on the 5th July, 1838.
The Rev. Dr. Dixon, late President of the Methodist Conference in England, during his visit to Canada in 1848 says:
” On board the steamer we met Chief Justice Robinson and Mr. Boulton, late Chief Justice of Newfoundland, now a resident in Toronto, and one of the members of the House of Assembly. These gentlemen belonged to different grades in politics, Mr. Robinson being at the head of the Conservatives and the leading member of the late Government ; whilst Mr. Boulton belongs to the Liberals, and supports the present party in power. They were going on circuit, the one as a judge and the other as counsel. We found them very agreeable men. Mr. Boulton, whom I met again on board the America ” on my return to this country, complained much of the treatment he had met with in connection with his office of Chief Justice of Newfoundland.”
About two years previous to his death, Mr. Boulton also complained to the writer of the bad treatment he received from the Home Government, and particularly by Admiral Prescott, the then Governor.
In 1838, John Gervase Hutchinson Bourne, Esq., Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, arrived in Newfoundland as the successor to Mr. Boulton in the Chief Justice-ship of the island.
In about two years the Legislature voted £35,000 or $175,000 for making roads and bridges, and agriculture began to be pursued much more extensively. Schools were also established in various parts of the island.
A writer in the English Metropolitan Magazine, for 1839, thus describes the state of Newfoundland at this period
” I am now come to an important epoch in the history of Newfoundland, and one fruitful of troubles. The Chief Justice had by this time become the idol of one party, and the abhor-red of the other. By the wealthier merchants and gentry he was adored, and looked upon as their only stay ; while by the Catholic, or liberal party, he was considered a tyrant and oppressor. He unfortunately promoted these opposite opinions by attending public meetings, and making’ party speeches ; and, instead of contenting himself with firmly and temperately resisting aggression, he seemed to court occasions of contention. He made abrupt alterations wherever he had the power to do so, and while his law was probably correct, his conduct in other respects was by no means worthy of admiration. Between the Governor and him there was understood to be no similarity of sentiment, although there was no open quarrel.
Writs for a new election were immediately issued, and the legislature was appointed to meet in January. The Catholic portion of the population was openly excited, and indeed compelled by the priesthood, to vote for candidates of their nomination, and the Conservative party were very generally defeated. Serious riots took place in Harbour Grace, and similar excesses were prevented in St. John’s, only by the presence of the military.
” Respecting these riots, some magistrates having made representations, the Governor laid them before the Council. These representations occasioned the production to the board of a returned writ ; and the Chief Justice perceiving it to be unsealed, immediately pronound it to be invalid. The attorney-general, the only other legal member, coinciding with him in that opinion, the matter was referred to the Secretary of State, and the meeting of the legislature was further prorogued. The Secretary of State admitted the objection, and directed a new election ; a measure greatly to be regretted, as, on the question being subsequently submitted for the opinion of the law officers of the crown, the original elections were declared to be perfectly legal.
” So novel a circumstance as that of a double election was allowed to pass neither unnoticed nor uncensured by the Liberals. They affected to represent it as a trick for their over-throw, although nothing could be more palpable than the impossibility of the executive’s influencing the returns, had it even been disposed to make the attempt. The Conservatives now abandoned the field altogether. Consequently no disturbance occurred in any district, and the session was opened on the 3rd of July.
The composition of the House of Assembly was much inferior to that of the former ; the new members being in general of a low, and some of them of the very lowest, grade of society. Previously existing passions had been lately still further inflamed by a variety of prosecutions connected with the original election proceedings, and principally consequent upon presentments by the grand jury. The sentences upon those convicted of riot or assault were by the Home Government deemed severe, and, upon petition, in a great degree remitted.
The first act of the House was to displace the officers appointed to it by the Crown, and their proceedings, generally, throughout the session, were of a corresponding character, being violent and personal, having for their object the gratification of the friends and the injury of the opponents of the dominant party. There was throughout a contest between the Council and the House of Assembly, maintained on both sides with much heat ; and at length the prorogation took place, without any appropriation of money for the services of the year, the Bill passed by the Assembly having been rejected by the Council. A delegation of three members of the House of Assembly proceeded to England for the purpose of making a statement of supposed grievances, and of instituting charges against the Chief Justice. These last were submitted to a committee of the Privy Council, which exonerated Mr. Boulton as regarded his judicial decisions, but recommended his removal from the colony.
” On the 20th of June, 1838, commenced the yearly session, and the result of the appeal by the Council and Assembly respectively to Her Majesty on the rejection of the Appropriation Bill of the last. year having been previously transmitted to the Governor, the offer of her royal mediation was communicated to both Houses. The Queen recommended the adoption of that Bill by the Council, but suggested to the Assembly certain rules of conduct for its future guidance in similar cases. With infinite difficulty the Bill was carried in Council by the official members present, and the casting vote of one other ; the remaining three members opposing it to the utmost, and ultimately protesting against it. Thus ceased an embarrassment which had been sensibly felt by the public ; but a new subject of discord quickly arose. An altercation took place in the streets of St. John’s between Mr. Kent, a member of the House of Assembly, and Dr. Kielley, a medical practitioner. Upon complaint made by Mr. Kent, Mr. Kielley was taken into custody by the Serjeant-at-Arms, and brought to the bar of the House on the following day, the 27th of August. Being called upon for explanation, lie used, in the heat of passion, very opprobrious language towards Mr. Kent. Upon this he was remanded till the sixth, when he was required to apologise, and upon his refusal to do so, was committed to jail by the Speaker’s warrant to the Sheriff. The next day he was, by a writ of habeas corpus, brought before a Judge of the Supreme Court, by whose order he was released, and upon this being stated to the House by the Sheriff, when directed to produce his prisoner at the bar, on the 11th, both the Judge and the Sheriff were immediately arrested by the Speaker’s warrant, the former with indecent violence. Upon this being officially made known to the Governor, he signified his intention of proroguing the Assembly, and on Monday, the 13th, it was prorogued accordingly for seven (lays. By this measure the prisoners were at once liberated and the members were allowed time to cool. When the legislature was re-assembled, business proceeded, though not, of course, harmoniously ; and on the 25th of October the session was closed, provision having having been made for the yearly routine of government. In the previous month Mr. Bourne, Mr. Boulton’s successor in the office of Chief Justice, had arrived, but, by a wise provision, he has not, nor will any judge in future have, a seat in the Council. A session of the Supreme Court was held in the following December, when Mr. Kielley brought an action against the Speaker, other members, and officers of the House, for false imprisonment; but privilege being. pleaded in demurrer, the Chief Justice and Judge Desbarres decided in favour of the plea, while the remaining judge, Mr. Lilly, retained his former opinion. An appeal to Her M ajesty in Council was entered, and a colonial barrister proceeded to London to take the necessary steps for its prosecution.
“An elaborate opinion of Her Majesty’s Attorney and Solicitor Generals was forwarded officially to the Governor. This opinion denies the power of committal assumed by the House, and consequently tends to allay the apprehension which could not but be entertained by the most dispassionate and impartial mind, of the evils likely to arise from an arbitrary power of imprisonment being possessed by such a body.”
In 1840, a regular sailing packet between St. John’s and Halifax, once a fortnight, had commenced under the orders of the Postmaster-General, and a regular post-office established at St. John’s, of which William Solomon, Esq., was appointed postmaster.
On the 5th of November, H.M. steamer “Spitfire” arrived at St. John’s, bringing from Halifax a detachment of men for the Royal Newfoundland Companies. After remaining a few days, she sailed for England. This was the first steamer which ever appeared in a port of Newfound-land.
In 1841, on the 26th of April, Governor Prescott dissolved the Local Parliament, and in consequence of riotous proceedings at the election of a member in Conception Bay (in the room of one who had died) in which several persons were shot, and a house burnt, the Constitution was suspended.
Captain Prescott was the last of a long line of naval governors who ruled Newfoundland, and for the first time a military governor of high rank, in the person of Major, afterwards Lieutenant-General, Sir John Harvey arrived on the 16th September, 1841; previous to the arrival of whom Lieutenant-Colonel Sall administered the Government. Sir John held a high military post in Canada during the last war, and had been governor of each of the Colonies of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. He was Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia, which he ruled with consummate tact and ability, and died there while governor in 1853. Sir John was a man of generous and noble disposition, and very fine literary taste. Under his rule a new era dawned upon Newfoundland, political animosities were hushed to rest, roads were opened, education encouraged, and the agricultural re-sources of the country developed.
James M. Spearman was at this time Collector of H.M. Customs.
In 1842, an Act was passed by the Imperial Parliament for amending the constitution of the Government of Newfoundland ; the principal features in which this measure differed from the previous system of government, were the abolition of the Legislative Council as a distinct branch, and its amalgamation with the Assembly into one House. There was also an Executive Council distinct from the Legislative (composed, however, of nearly the same per-sons), for advising the Governor. The qualification of per-sons elected to serve as members in the Assembly was a net annual income of X100, or the possession of property, clear of all incumbrances, to the amount or value of £500. The qualification of voters was the possession of a dwelling house for one year. All the elections were simultaneous, being completed in a given time on the same day through-out the island. This Act, however, expired at the end of four years. It was probably designed to heal the party feuds of the island, so rampant at the time of its enactment. During this year, on the 13th January, the first Agricultural Society was formed under the auspices of Governor Harvey, who delivered an interesting speech on the occasion, a copy of which was sent to Lord Stanley, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1843, on the 17th January, Sir John Harvey opened the first session of the General Assembly under the new form of Constitution, in a speech remarkable for its length, literary composition, and general information. During the session, a very useful and popular Education Act passed, introduced by the late Mr. Barnes, a member of the Assembly.
In 1844, through the exertions of Sir John Harvey, a steamer was employed to carry the mail. She was called the ” North America,” and commanded by Captain Richard Meagher. Her first voyage from Halifax to St. John’s was accomplished in sixty hours. She arrived on the morning of the 22nd of April. During this year Chief Justice Bourne was dismissed from office, and succeeded by Thomas Norton, Esq., late one of the Assistant Judges of Demerara. Mr. Norton was a member of the Irish bar, and the first Roman Catholic Judge who presided in a Court in Newfoundland. He was a good lawyer, very humorous, and endowed with talents of no common order. He gave more universal satisfaction during the short time he remained on the island, than any judge who had ever preceded him. Mr. Bourne was considered a profound lawyer, but possessed a very violent temper. After his return to England, he published two volumes of poems, entitled ” England Won,” and the ” Exile of Idria,” a short time after which, his decease took place. About this time the Land Act passed, by which the possessor of Crown Land is secured in his title without having had a previous grant ; and about £40,000 voted for constructing roads and bridges.
In 1845, Prince Henry, son of the King of Holland, arrived at St. John’s, in the “Rhine” frigate, from Iceland.
” Shortly after the vessel had come to anchor, His Excellency, Major-General Sir John Harvey, attended by his Staff, embarked at the Queen’s Wharf, where a Guard of Honour had been drawn up to receive His Excellency, and proceeded on board the frigate to pay his respects to His Royal Highness, and to welcome him to Newfoundland. His Excellency was received on board under a royal salute of twenty-one guns, which was responded to from the battery at Fort William ; and, after remaining some time with the Prince, and inviting him to Government I louse, His Excellency left the frigate, and re-turned under another salute.
“His Royal Highness, dressed in naval uniform, as commander of the ” Rhine,” and attended by his officers, landed at a little after one o’clock, at the Queen’s Wharf, where His Excellency the Governor, with his suite, and the usual escort of the heads of departments, received him with a Guard of Honour, and proceeded to Government House, where a Levee was held.
” On the following Monday, His Royal Highness landed in state at the Queen’s Wharf, where he was received by His Excellency and suite, and thence proceeded to Government House. From the wharf to Government House gate, the route which His Royal Highness took was lined with trees temporarily planted, and at the centre and top of Cochrane Street, were erected two superb Triumphal Arches, devised and decorated.
In addition to a very large number of the inhabitants, comprising those of every class and creed, the Mechanics’ Society, together with the Benevolent Irish Society, and the captains and crews of the numerous Spanish vessels then in port, carrying their respective flags, swelled the procession which followed the Royal Visitor and His Excellency to Government House, when some time was occupied in receiving or delivering addresses.
” In the evening a display of fireworks took place. Almost simultaneously with the visit of the Prince, H. M. S. ‘ Hyacinth,’ arrived from Halifax, also, the steamer ‘ Unicorn,’ together with an armed French schooner from St. Pierre, in addition to which there were about 50 sail of Spanish merchantmen in the harbour, besides all the English vessels. Among the passengers brought by the ‘ Unicorn,’ were the Right Rev. and Hon. Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia and the two Misses Inglis, Major Tryon, 43rd Regt., Major of Brigade in Nova Scotia, and Lady, ((laughter of Sir John Harvey) and family ; Lieut. W. F. Dickson, 62nd Regt., son of and Aid-de-camp to Sir Jeremiah Dickson : Col. Creighton ; Hon’bles. S. Cunard, M. Tobin, and E. Kenny.
” His Royal Highness accompanied Sir John Harvey, in the steamer ” Unicorn,” on an excursion to Harbour Grace, Carbonear, and other parts of Conception Bay. “*
On the 9th of June, 1846, a calamitous fire desolated a greater part of the Town of St. John’s, by which upwards of 2,000 houses were destroyed, and property to the amount of £800,000 or $400,000 consumed, (see District of St. John’s). On the 24th of August, Sir John Harvey em-barked for Halifax, to assume the Government of Nova Scotia, and Lieutenant-Colunel Law was appointed Administrator of the Government. In the winter of 1847, the sixth and last session of the Amalgamated Legislature was dissolved by Lieutenant-Colonel Law.
On the 22nd of April, 1847, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant, arrived and assumed the government. The country at this time passed through a terrible ordeal, for in addition to the fire having destroyed St. John’s, the potato crop failed, and a hurricane swept the coast on the 18th of September of the same year, by which hundreds of lives were lost, and property on land and sea, destroyed to the amount of upwards of $2,000,000, besides which the fishery failed in many places. Sir Gaspard, then, on the assumption of power, had great difficulties to con-tend with ; he found the colony plunged in debt to the amount of £80,000 or $400,000, with an impoverished population. The Governor immediately applied his energies to meet this complication of disasters; he imported large quantities of provisions which he caused to be distributed in various parts of the island, for the relief of the destitute. He also encouraged the cultivation of the soil by procuring seeds which were gratuitously given to the poor, and had the grounds of Government House beautifully laid out with grain, &c., which were soon decked with verdure, and clothed with fruit.
During this year an Act passed the Imperial Parliament restoring to Newfoundland her Constitution of 1833, retaining, however, the qualification of members, under the amalgamated system.
On the 14th of December, 1848, the first session of the Legislature (after a return to the old form of Constitution), was opened by Governor Le Marchant, and prorogued on the 23rd of April, 1849, after passing twenty-two Acts, during a lengthened session of 130 days.
In 1847, Mr. Norton resigned the Chief Justiceship of Newfoundland, and was succeeded in the office by Francis Brady, Esq., who was also a Roman Catholic, and a member of the Irish Bar.
The writer took passage in the steamer ” Unicorn” with Mr. Brady, at Halifax, in 1847, for St. John’s. We found him a highly-intelligent and very unassuming gentleman. Mr. Brady had just arrived from England by the steamer on his way to assume the Chief Justiceship. He had the reputation of being a sound lawyer, and is universally esteemed.
In 1848, a Colonial Building, Custom House, Market House, and Court House commenced building.
In 1849, important alterations were made in the Customs Department, by the Home Government, by placing the patronage of the Department under the control of the Local Government. The Imperial Government, however, retained three officers, of which George J. Hayward, Esq., is the head, as Comptroller of Customs and Navigation Laws.
Mr. Spearman, the former Collector, retired to England, on a pension allowed him by the Home Government, and John Kent, Esq., Speaker of the House of Assembly, was appointed Collector of H. M. Customs for Newfoundland. During this year the fisheries were prosperous, and considerable quantities of wheat were raised in various parts of the island ; altogether the general aspect of the country was hopeful and cheering.
In 1850, a small steamer was employed as a packet in Conception Bay, and the new Colonial Building was occupied for the first time by the Legislature. In July, 1851, Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant took his departure for England, when the Hon. James Crowdy, Secretary of the Colony, was appointed Administrator of the Government during his absence. In January, 1852, Governor Le Marchant returned and resumed the government. During the following summer, Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant resigned the Government of Newfoundland, and assumed the Government of Nova Scotia, when the Hon. James Crowdy was again appointed Administrator of the Government. On the 24th December, 1852, Ker Bailie Hamilton, Esq., arrived from England, and assumed the government.
In 1854, the principle of Responsible Government was conceded, in a despatch from the Duke of Newcastle, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the Governor. During this year cholera for the first time appeared in Newfoundland, when 800 persons died at St. John’s. In 1855, Governor Hamilton was succeeded in the government by Charles Henry Darling, Esq., under whose Ad-ministration the principles of Responsible Government were fully carried out. In 1856, the old office holders were pensioned off: In 1857, the Hon. James Crowdy, who held the office of Colonial Secretary for a period of 29 years, retired on his pension to England, and was succeeded in his office by the Hon. John Kent, late Collector in H. M. Customs. At the same time, Hon. Philip F. Little was appointed Attorney-General ; Hon. George H. Emerson, Solicitor-General ; Hon. Thomas Glen, Receiver-General ; Hon. Edmund Hanrahan, Surveyor-General ; Hon. James Tobin, Financial-Secretary ; and John V. Nugent, Esq., High Sheriff.
In these appointments we notice the omission of the naine of Robert J. Parsons, Esq., a gentleman who has been a member of the Legislature from the time of the second House of Assembly of Newfoundland; who had borne the burden and heat of the day; who always adhered to the party once in power ; nay, had been suffered to gain the ascendancy of that party. He is still a member of the House of Assembly, but without office or emolument.
During this year the fisheries were bountiful, and steam communication opened between the different districts and the capital ; a telegraph line was erected from St. John’s .to the western part of the island, and a line of Canadian and United States steamers made St. John’s a port of call on their way to and from Europe In 1857, the colony was thrown into great excitement by the announcement that the English and French Governments had entered into a convention by which it appeared that important privileges in the Newfoundland fisheries were to be ceded to the French. The Legislature appointed Messrs. Kent and Carter as delegates to visit Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Canada, to interest these colonies against the measure. Delegates were also appointed to visit London, and protest against the measure. These hostile demonstrations of the colony stopped the negotiations between the two Cabinets in making any alterations in the treaties about the Newfoundland fisheries.
In 1859 the following notice appeared in the Newfound-land Royal Gazette :
” His Excellency the Governor lias been pleased, by and with the advice and concurrence of the Executive Council, to appoint, pursuant to the Despatch of the Secretary of State, dated 14th January last, the Hon. John Kent, Colonial Secretary, to be Colonial Commissioner, subject to Her Majesty’s approval, upon the Joint Commission to be appointed by the two nations of France and England, to enquire into the local operations of the treaties conferring on French subjects rights of fishery upon the coasts of this island, &c.”
The principle involved in the dispute is embodied in a note of Lord Pahnerston in 1838, to Count Sebastiani, the French Ambassador.
The London Times says upon this subject :
” It is just about one hundred years ago that the first Mr. Pitt, in declaiming upon the national interests of Britain, affirmed that one point was of such moment as not to he surrendered, though the enemy were masters of the Tower of London. We shall be thought, perhaps, to be robbing the idea of its grandeur when we proceed to explain that the point so characterised was simply the Newfoundland Fishery, but the inhabitants of that colony would not themselves be willing to make much abatement from the estimate which the great Minister has put on record. In their eyes the Newfoundland Fishery is everything, and everything it certainly is to Newfoundland.
“The subject, however, to which these words refer has recently been invested with immediate international importance. The people of Newfoundland really believe that the French are dip-ping too largely into their waters, whereas the French declare that they are not left in the enjoyment of the rights secured to them by treaty. Matters have reached, indeed, such a point, that the commander of the French naval force in these quarters has given formal notice to our authorities that on and after the 5th of May, the French fishermen would be effectually protected in their privileges, and the rights secured to France be rigorously enforced by the imperial cruisers. A counter notification has, of course, been made in the interest of Great Britain and her colony ; but we are happy to state that the two Governments have promptly come to accord respecting a certain proceeding which may possibly terminate a long-pending controversy, and which will certainly obviate the chances of present embroilment. A commission, consisting of two French and two British representatives, is to investrgate the question this summer by researches and inquiries on the spot, and in the meantime, Count Walewski has suggested to Lord Cowley, that the commanders on the station should receive instructions to impart all proper forbearance into their proceedings. These arrangements, which were accomplished without any difficulty, and with every expression of amity and conciliation on the part of the French Government, will, at any rate, place the affair in good train, but whether it will be found to admit of a conclusive or satisfactory solution is a question of greater doubt.
” One of the chief points at issue between the two countries consists in the claim of the French to certain local rights, which they invest with an exclusive character. Their title to participate in the Newfoundland Fisheries, recognised by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and confirmed by the treaty of Versailles 70 years later, was again established, after the interruptions of the revolutionary wars, by the settlement of 1814. According to these treaties, they are undoubtedly entitled not only to take fish, but to resort for the purpose of curing and drying these fish to a certain part of the Newfoundland shore during a certain season. It is further stipulated, that ‘ in order that the fisher-men of the two nations may not give a cause for daily quarrels, his Britannic Majesty will take the most positive measures for preventing his subjects from interrupting, in any manner, by their competition, the fishery of the French during the temporary exercise of it which was granted to them.’
” These terms the French interpret as conveying a right of fishery within certain limits, not only free from all disturbance, but from all participation, on the part of the British, whereas our own Government has always steadily declined to acknowledge that any such exclusive rights as regarded the actual fishery, were designed to be granted. It is admitted on our side, that in practice the French have always been left sole occupiers during the fishing season of their own parts of the shore, and for the simple reason that two sets of fishermen could not carry on their business of curing and drying at one and the same spot. The French are entitled to that temporary lodgment on the coast, without which their fishery could not be conducted, and this lodgment, for plain considerations of convenience, they are allowed to keep themselves ; but, when the argument is ex-tended to the waters of the fishery, it fails altogether. There the French can fish without interruption, although the British may be fishing too, and the treaty, therefore, is not infringed when our fishermen ply their ordinary trade at that spot, provided always that they do not cause interruption to the vessels of the French. Such is the view of the case taken by our authorities, and maintained by the present Ministry.
” It was not, therefore, without some justification that Count Walewski expressed his doubts to Lord Cowley about the probable success of the proceedings suggested. The difference between the two Governments has arisen on a point of interpretation, and a point of that character can hardly be settled by local inquiries. It will be readily understood, moreover, from the remarks we have offered above, that the colony of Newfoundland would be loth to see one jot or tittle of its rights abated on a subject of such vital importance to it, and its natural prerogatives in this respect have been recognised by the Government at home. A despatch of Mr. Labouchere, dated the 26th of March, 1857, to the effect that ‘ the consent of the community of Newfoundland was regarded by her Majesty’s Government as the essential preliminary to any modification of their territorial or maritime rights,’ is quoted in the Colonial Legislature as the Magna Charta of the dependency, and already, indeed, on one occasion, has a convention been nullified by the refusal of the colony to accept its provisions. In the present case an attempt has been made to obviate any ulterior difficulties by placing a direct representative of Newfoundland on the commission itself, and it was with the view, indeed, of leaving a place for this nominee that the proposal of two commissioners on each side, instead of one, was originally entertained by Lord Derby’s Government. Possibly this expedient, which has been approved by the Colonial Legislature, may be attended with success ; but the tone of opinion in Newfound-land seems so decidedly and so naturally pronounced that we cannot anticipate with much confidence any of that compromising spirit by which definite agreements are usually preceded. However, the resolutions adopted are as good as the occasion admits, and, while they speak distinctly for the admirable sentiments and friendly intentions of the French Government, they certainly reflect great credit on Sir E. Lytton’s administration of the department he has lately resigned. The controversy may be liard to settle, but the settlement seems likely to be approached with judicious arrangements and feelings of mutual good.”
In 1857 Governor Darling having been appointed to the governorship of Jamaica, the Hon. Lawrence O’Brien (the first, Roman Catholic ever appointed to the office), President of the Council, was appointed Administrator of the Government until the arrival of the new Governor. On the 8th day of June, 1857, Sir Alexander Bannerman, who had previously been Governor of Prince Edward Island and the Bahamas, assumed the Government of Newfoundland. In 1858 the Hon. Jude DesBarres and the Ron. Judge Simms were pensioned off, and the Hon. Philip F. Little, and Bryan Robinson, Esq., were appointed in their places as Assistant Judges of the Supreme Court, when the Hon. George J. Hogsett became the new Attorney-General. In 1859 the fisheries were prosperous, trade brisk, and the revenue increased. In 1860, in consequence of disagreement between Mr. Kent, the Premier, and Sir Alexander Bannerman, the Governor, the Executive Council was dismissed, when Hugh H. Hoyles, Esq., one of the principal lawyers of the country, and leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly, was called upon to form a new government. Shortly after which, an appeal was made to the country by a general election. The contest was a sharp one, but resulted in the return of a majority in favour of the new government of which Mr. Hoyles was the leader and the new Attorney-General. The elections in St. John’s, at Harbour Grace, Carbonear, and Harbour Main were attended with a great deal of rioting and religious animosities. Injuries were inflicted on per-sons and property, and one man shot. On the 13th of May, the Governor opened the new House of Assembly. A crowd of 2,000 persons gathered around the Colonial Building, menacing and threatening to stop the proceedings. On the retirement of the Governor from the House of Assembly he was saluted with groans, and stones thrown at his carriage. During the day several houses were attacked and broken. In the evening a company of soldiers commanded by Colonel Grant, was called out to preserve the peace. Three persons were killed by the military and several wounded. Several houses were burnt in the suburbs of the town.* ” Amongst the property thus set fire to was that of one of the Judges, the College of the Church of England (happily discovered and put out at its commencement), and the country house of Mr. Hoyles, the Attorney-General and head of the new Government (a pretty retreat totally destroyed). It is notice-able that these outrages were brought to a close after the arrival of 200 men from Halifax to strengthen the military force St. John’s.”
When these events took place the writer was living in Nova Scotia, and was there called upon to explain the astounding events which was then being enacted in Newfoundland. He then stated that the Irish Roman Catholics in Newfoundland were as kind and as hospitable a people as were to be found in the world, except during times of excitement when elections and rum put the devil in them. The Rev. John Wesley says, that ” if a man love you on account of your politics, he loves you less than his dinner ; and if he hate you on the same account, he hates you worse than the devil.” Very few feel that they have the slightest political responsibility. ” They come out to the elections, perhaps, because their party-leaders desire them to come out, or because their party feelings urge them to come out, or because they de-light in the excitement of an election, or possibly because they are paid for corning out. Probably not one in twenty feels that he has any personal responsibility in the government of the country. All feel, of course, that they have a personal interest in it, but this interest is not associated with a sense of high personal duty. In times of political excitement they may be excited, but their interest is mainly in behalf of a party. They may work very enthusiastically, indeed, for ‘ our side,’ without giving a single thought to our country. This, to a certain extent, however, is the result of ignorance.” For myself 1 have no faith in parties. I have no faith in politics in the common acceptation of the word, but I have great faith in great principles ; but in party organizations as the means to carry them out, I see always the germs of contention and strife, which as they expand and increase, over-shadow the great and true idea upon which the party in its infancy is based.
The Right Rev. J. T. Mullock, Roman Catholic Bishop, says :
” Allow me to say a few words of my experience of the people. 1 found them, in all parts of the Island, hospitable, generous, and obliging. Catholics and Protestants live together in the greatest harmony, and it is only in print we find anything, except on extraordinary occasions, like disunion among them. I have always, in the most Protestant districts, experienced kindness and consideration,I speak not only of the agents of mercantile houses, who are remarkable for their hospitality and attention to all visitors, or of magistrates, like Mr. Gaden, of Harbor Briton, or Mr. Peyton, of Twillingate, whose guest I was, but the fishermen were always ready to join Catholics in manning a boat when I required it, and I am happy to say that the Catholics have acted likewise to their clergy-men. It is a pleasing reflection that though we are not immaculate, and rum excites to evil, still out of a population of over 130,000, we have rarely more than eight or ten prisoners in gaol, and grievous crimes are happily most rare, capital offences scarcely heard of.”
The first Atlantic telegraph cable was landed at Bay of Bull’s Arm, Trinity Bay, on the 6th of August, 1858. On the following week the Niagara and the Gorgon entered the harbour of St. John’s, amid the thundering of cannon and the ringing of bells. In the evening the city was illuminated ; addresses were presented to Capt. Hudson and Mr. Cyrus Field ; a public ball was given, and a regatta on Quedi-Vidi Lake in honour of the visitors. This great enterprise, however, at that time proved a failure.
In 1860, on Monday, July the 23rd, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales arrived at St. John’s on his way to Canada and the other Provinces. His Royal Highness was accompanied by His Grace the Duke of Newcastle and the Earl of St. Germain. They remained at St. John’s three days. His Royal Highness was treated with every demonstration of respect ; and nothing was left undone to honour the distinguished visitors by the citizens of St. John’s. They presented the Prince with a Newfoundland dog, to whom he gave the name of Cabot, in honour of the great Italian navigator who discovered Newfoundland. The Hon. Francis Brady, Chief Justice, was knighted in honour of the visit of His Royal Highness.
In 1861, the first Baptist minister, a Mr. Turner, arrived from England, and sought to establish himself in St. John’s, but owing to the want of adequate support, failed to organize a congregation, and, after a short time, returned to England.
In 1864, Sir Alexander Bannerman took his departure from the Government of Newfoundland, when the Hon. Lawrence O’Brien was sworn in as Administrator of of the Government. In September, of the same year, Anthony Musgrove, Esq., arrived in St. John’s, and assumed the Government. During this year, Messrs. Carter and Shea were appointed delegates to represent Newfoundland, in the Congress at Quebec, to adopt a scheme for the Confederation of the British North American Provinces. The Montreal Witness has given the following valuable information on the subject :
” No branch of industry has grown up in the Provinces to greater dimensions in the course of a comparatively short period of time than the Maritime interest. When British North America is elevated into a Confederation, it will be en-titled to the proud position of the third Maritime State in the world. Great Britian and the United States will alone exceed it in maritime influence. In 1863, no less than 628 vessels were built in British America, of which the aggregate tonnage was 230,312. The industry represented by these figures shows an export value of nearly nine million dollars. On the 31st December. 1863, the figures were as follows :
Canada 2,311 287,187
Novia Scotia 3,539 309,554
New Brunswick 891 211,680
Prince Edward Is 360 34,222
Newfoundland 1,429 89,693
” Great Britain and the United States largely exceed this number, but France, the next greatest commercial State with thirty five millions of population, an immense foreign trade, and an extensive sea coast owns only 60,000 tons of ship-ping more than British America. In 1860, the aggregate commercial navy of France was 996,124.
” The United States at the same period only exceeded us by 4,000,000 tons, and our excess over France in one year was 4,000,000 tons.
” It will also be interesting in connection with this subject, to see what will be the strength of the United Provinces in sea-faring men.
By the census of 1860, it appears that the number of those engaged in maritime pursuits were as follows :
New Brunswick 2,765
P. E. Island 2,318
Here we see that five years ago the Provinces unitedly had no less than 70,000 able-bodied men engaged at sea, either in manning their commercial shipping or their fishing vessels. In case of war this force would be the most valuable element of strength British America would possess. Facts like these must have great weight when placed before the world. They give an idea of the importance of British North America that other statistics could hardly afford. It must be remembered that the maritime interest is not stationary but progressive. It must increase with the progress of the Provinces in population, and the other elements of wealth. A half century hence it is not hoping too much British America will stand side by side with the mother country the foremost maritime State in the world.”
The following is from a letter of Mr. Brydges, Managing Director of the Grand Trunk Railway, to the Canadian Boards of Trade, on the trade of the Lower Provinces in 1866:
” The total importations of flour into the four Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, according to the last returns which have been published by the respective Governments of these Provinces are as follows, viz.:
“In New Brunswick 256,096 bbls.
Nova Scotia 355,358
Prince Edward Island 32,601
” Making a total of 873,716
” This is more than the average importations of flour into the United States from Canada during the existence of the Reciprocity Treaty.
” It follows, therefore, if proper means of communication are provided, and energy displayed by the merchants of Canada, that the Lower Provinces alone will offer a market for the great bulk of the surplus flour that Canada has to export.
” The duties now imposed by the United States upon the importation of breadstuffs from Canada, and the great cost of all their manufacturing operations, render it certain that the comparatively lighter taxed country of Canada will be able to produce what the Lower Provinces require at much less prices than can possibly be the case with the United States.
” Of the importations of flour into New Brunswick, not far short of 200,000 bbls. are taken at the port of St. John alone, and from that place a very large portion of the Province is supplied, especially that part of it tributary to the River St. John, which is the most populous and best settled portion of the country.
” Between 20,000 and 30,000 bbls. of flour find their way to the Gulf ports as far down as Shediac, and the remainder of the importations into New Brunswick go to St. Andrews and St. Stephens, to be carried along the line of railway running towards Woodstock, for the use of the lumbering districts.
Nearly the whole of the flour, therefore, imported into New Brunswick will, until the Intercolonial Railway is completed, of necessity find its way into the Province by the Bay of Fundy. As I have already stated, I have completed arrangements with steamers running between Portland and St. John, by which flour from all parts of Canada can be sent on through-bills-of-lading to St. John ; the shipper at any station on the line of the Grand Trunk Railway having no necessity to look after the transfer at Portland, that being done, as well as the Customs business, by the officers of the Company. St. Andrews and St. Stephens will also be supplied from Portland by sailing vessels, which can always be obtained without difficulty, and through-bills-of-lading will be given to those places also.
” Of the importations of flour into New Brunswick, the great bulk has for some years back been from the United States ; although, even before the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty, the quantity sent from Canada has been annually increasing. Thus I find in the the year 1863 St. John received from Canada by way of Portland 9,000 barrels ; in 1864, 15,000 barrels ; whilst during the last twelve months the quantity was increased to 47,000 barrels.
If this has been the case before the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty, it follows, as a matter about which there can be little dispute, that the circumstances which now exist will make it certain that nearly the whole supply will in future be drawn from Canada.
” In regard to Nova Scotia, the importations by the last re-turns which have been published in that Province, namely, for the year ending 30th September, 1865, show the following result :
From Canada 58,233 bbls.
New Brunswick 10,482
P. E. Island 372
United States 312,371
Great Britain 118
Other places 67,000
” Of the importations from Canada the largest amounts have been to Halifax and Pictou, the quantities having been respectively-
To Halifax 27,018 bbls.
Pictou 25,479 ”
“From New Brunswick, the importations into Nova Scotia have been principally along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. From the United States, the importations have been to a very large extent, into the Port of Halifax they having amounted to 172,192 bbls.
“The next largest place of importation is Yarmouth, into which place the importations were 19,714 barrels.
” The next largest are Cornwallis and Windsor, they each having imported 9,000 bbls.
” All other ports have received quantities varying from 100 bbls. to 3,000 bbls. each.
” There are now 65 places (including Halifax) in Nova Scotia, which have received importations of flour from the United States. Many of these, of course, are small harbours where fishing operations are carried on, and each derive their supply of from one hundred to two or three thousand barrels from sailing vessels which carry fish from these places to New York or Boston, and bring back, after selling their loads, the flour they want for their home consumption.
” In Prince Edward Island the importations according to the last published returns have been
From Canada 1,849 bbls.
Nova Scotia 2,353
New Brunswick 373
United States 27,227
” These figures are taken from the returns for the year 1864. I was informed in Prince Edward Island that the amount last year was larger, and that during the present year the quantity imported will not be less than from 50,000 to 60,000 barrels.
” In Newfoundland, of the total importations of 202,718 barrels, there were from Canada 25,835 ; from Nova Scotia, 3,482 ; and from the United States, 172,145, The bulk of the importations into Newfoundland are taken into St. John’s, although some portions find their way to the different fishing points along the coast in the same way as is the case in Nova Scotia.
” These figures will give a very accurate idea of the general course of the flour trade, and will show the merchants of Canada the places with which it will be necessary to make arrangements for supplying this traffic in future from Canada. To facilitate these arrangements, I have, as already explained, effected arrangements in regard to steamer communication between Portland and St. John. At the latter place I have appointed an agent, who will attend to all business arising at that place and in New Brunswick generally, and to whom all property will be consigned. The steamers I have mentioned will be placed also upon the line between Portland and Halifax, as early as possible in the month of September. An agent has been appointed at Halifax, who will attend to the business in Nova Scotia generally, and also to the trade which no doubt can be cultivated from that city with Newfoundland.
” There is, of course, in addition to the question of flour, much trade hitherto carried on by the Lower Provinces to a very large extent with the United States, which, by proper arrangements, can be diverted in the direction of Canada, to the advantage of both buyers and sellers. Thus, as regards New Brunswick, the importations of butter and cheese amounted, by the last public returns, to 500,128 lbs., of the value of $105,725. Of this, 309,846 lbs. were purchased in the United States. Of meats and hams, cured and salted, New Brunswick imported 2,059,131 lbs., of a total value of $157,183, of which 1,999,845 lbs. were imported from the United States. Of boots and shoes of various kinds, New Brunswick imported to a total value of 80,475, of which $66,489 came from the United States. Of leather of various kinds she imported to the value of $47,183, of which the United States supplied $42,650. Of lard, New Brunswick imported 93,165 lbs., of which 78,603 lbs. were sent from the United States. Of tobacco she imported 505,521 lbs , of which 469,873 were sent from the United States. Of refined sugar the United States supplied New Brunswick with 150,995 lbs. ; of unrefined sugar, 430,815 lbs. The greatest portion, of course, of the unrefined sugar was either supplied direct from the Wrest Indies, or from the same place through Nova Scotia. Of the article of tea, New Brunswick imported 1,058,082 lbs., of which 455,978 lbs. were sent from the United States, nearly the whole of the remainder being imported from Great Britain.
” The several articles of which I have given particulars, are mentioned only as samples of the general trade of New Bruns-wick. There can be no reason whatever why, with proper energy on the part of our merchants, New Brunswick should not find it to be to her interest to make her purchases in the markets of Canada rather than those of the United States. The rate of taxation in the latter country, and the great cost of everything, have so largely increased the price of all articles of commerce, that it is a question that cannot admit of doubt, that Canada, that is comparatively so lightly taxed, and will, it is to be hoped, improve in this respect hereafter, ought to be able to supply the Lower Provinces upon much more advantageous terms than can be done, under existing circumstances, by the United States.
” It may be interesting to give some similar facts in regard to the trade of Nova, Scotia. It seems from its returns that the total importations of beef, pork, and beans (cured and salted) amount to about 13,000 barrels per annum, of a total value of $212,700 ; of this, 10,695 barrels were imported from the United States, and only 77 from Canada. Of tea, the total importations into Nova Scotia were 1,546,075 lbs., of a value of 8515,790, of which the United States supplied 175,105 lbs. Great Britain, of course, supplied the great bulk of the remainder. Of tobacco in the leaf, the total importations into Nova Scotia were 507,989 lbs., of which the United States supplied 58,856 lbs. Of manufactured tobacco, the importations were 317,029 lbs., of which the United States supplied 244,532 lbs. The importations of raw and refined sugar from the United States into Nova Scotia appear to be but a very small proportion of the whole.
The exports of fish from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are, of course, very large, and there can be no reason why, if proper arrangements were made for the curing and packing of the fish there, instead of allowing it to be mainly done as at present in the United States, there could not be a very large trade direct to Canada and through Canada into the Western States from Halifax.
” The exportations of raw sugar from Nova Scotia are very considerable, amounting in the aggregate to nearly ten millions of lbs., of which upwards of a quarter appears to be sent from Halifax to Canada. This of itself will provide considerable back freight to the line of steamers which will be put on between Portland and Halifax.
” In regard to Newfoundland, in addition to flour, they imported in the year 1864, the last return which I have been able to obtain, 26,157 barrels of pork, of which 23,472 were sent from the United States, and 1,293 from Canada. They imported of beef 2,417 barrels, of which 1,999 were from the United States. Of butter, the importations were 16,536 cwt., of which Nova Scotia supplied 4,192 cwt., Canada 2,466 cwt., and the United States 7,454 cwt. Of leather-ware, the total importations were to the value of £61,936. Of tea, 461,830 lbs., and of tobacco, 291,750 lbs.
” For the reasons already given, the trade of which I have endeavoured, as regards the Provinces, to give a few examples, can by proper arrangements be carried on to a very large ex-tent indeed with Canada before Confederation takes place. Of course, as soon as that desirable event has actually been completed, there can be no doubt of the large increase of trade which will immediately follow.”