Constitutional History of England (Vol II)


IT has been the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon race to spread through every quarter of the globe their courage and endurance, their vigorous industry and love of freedom. Wherever they have founded colonies they have borne with them the laws and institutions of England, as their birthright, so far as they were applicable to an infant settlement. In territories acquired by conquest or cession, the existing laws and customs of the people were respected, until they were qualified to share the franchises of Englishmen. Some of these, held only as garrisons, others peopled with races hostile to our rule or unfitted for freedom, were necessarily governed upon different principles. But in quitting the soil of England to settle new colonies, Englishmen never renounced her freedom. Such being the noble principle of English colonization, circumstances favored the early development. of colonial liberties. The Puritans, who founded the New England colonies, having fled from the oppression of Charles I., carried with them a stern love of civil liberty, and established republican institutions. The persecuted Catholics who settled Maryland, and the proscribed Quakers who took refuge in Pennsylvania, were little less democratic. Other colonies founded in America and the West Indies, in the seventeenth century, merely for the purposes of trade and cultivation, adopted institutions, less democratic indeed, but founded on principles of freedom and self-government. Whether established as proprietary colonies, or under charters held direct from the Crown, the colonists were equally free.

The English constitution was generally the type of these colonial governments. The governor was the viceroy of the Crown ; the legislative council, or upper chamber, appointed by the governor, assumed the place of the House of Lords ; and the representative assembly chosen by the people was the express image of the House of Commons. This miniature Parliament, complete in all its parts, made laws for the internal government of the colony. The governor assembled, prorogued, and dissolved it; and signified his assent or absent to every act agreed to by the chambers; the upper house mimicked the dignity of the House of Peers ; and the lower house insisted on the privileges of the Commons, especially that of originating all taxes and grants of money for the public service. The elections were also conducted after the fashion of the mother country. Other laws and institutions were imitated not less faithfully. Jamaica, for example, maintained a court of King’s bench, a court of common pleas, a court of exchequer, a court of chancery, a court of admiralty, and a court of probate. It had grand and petty juries, justices of the peace, courts of quarter sessions, vestries, a coroner, and constables.

Every colony was a little state, complete in its legislature, its judicature, and its executive administration. But, at the same time, it acknowledged the sovereignty of the mother country, the prerogatives of the Crown, and the legislative supremacy of Parliament. The assent of the king, or his representative, was required to give validity to acts of the colonial legislature; his veto annulled them; while the Imperial Parliament was able to provided for their own defence against the Indians and the enemies of England. During the seven years’ war, the American colonies maintained a force of 25,000 men, at a cost of several millions. In the words of Franklin, ” they were governed, at the expense to Great Britain, of only a little pen, ink, and paper: they were led by a thread.”

But little as the mother country concerned herself in the political government of her colonies, she evinced a jealous vigilance in regard to their commerce. Commercial monopoly, indeed, was the first principle in the colonial policy of England, as well as of the other maritime states of Europe. She suffered no other country but herself to supply their wants; she appropriated many of their exports ; and, for the sake of her own manufacturers, insisted that their produce should be sent to her in a raw, or unmanufactured state. By the Navigation Acts, their produce could only be exported to England in English ships. This policy was avowedly maintained for the benefit of the mother country, for the encouragement of her commerce, her shipping, and manufactures, to which the interests of the colonies were sacrificed. But, in compensation for this monopoly, she gave a preference to the produce of her own colonies, by protective and prohibitory duties upon foreign commodities. In claiming a monopoly of their markets, she, at the same time, gave them a reciprocal monopoly of her own. In some cases she encouraged the production of their staples by bounties. A commercial policy so artificial as this, the creature of laws striving against nature, marked the dependence of the colonies, crippled their industry, fomented discontents, and even provoked war with foreign states. But it was a policy common to every European government, until enlightened by economical science bind the colony by its acts, and to supersede all local legislation. Every colonial judicature was also subject to an appeal to the king in council, at Westminster. The dependence of the colonies, however, was little felt in their internal government. They were secured from interference by the remoteness of the mother country, and the ignorance, in difference, and preoccupation of her rulers. In matter of imperial concern, England imposed her own policy ; but otherwise left them free. Asking no aid of her, they es caped her domination. All their expenditure, civil and military, was defrayed by taxes raised by themselves. The and commercial advantages were, for upwards of a century, nearly the sole benefit which England recognized in the possession of her colonies.

In all ages, taxes and tribute had been characteristic of a dependency. The subject provinces of Asiatic monarchies, in ancient and modern times, had been despoiled by the rapacity of satraps and pashas, and the greed of the central government. The Greek colonies, which resembled those of England more than any other dependencies of antiquity, were forced to send contributions to the treasury of the parent state. Carthage exacted tribute from her subject towns and territories. The Roman provinces ” paid tribute unto Cesar.” In modern times, Spain received tribute from her European dependencies, and a revenue from the gold and silver mines of her American colonies. It was also the policy of France, Holland, and Portugal to derive a revenue from their settlements.

But England, satisfied with the colonial trade, by which her subjects at home were enriched, imposed upon them alone all the burdens of the state. Her costly wars, the interest of her increasing debt, her naval and military establishments, adequate for the defence of a widespread empire, were all maintained by the dominant country herself. James II. would have levied taxes upon the colonies of Massachusetts; but was assured by Sir William Jones that he could no more “levy money without their consent in an assembly, than they could discharge themselves from their allegiance.” Fifty years later, the shrewd instinct of Sir Robert Walpole revolted against a similar attempt. But at length, in an evil hour, it was resolved by George III. and his minister Mr. Grenville, that the American colonies should be required to contribute to the general revenues of the government. This new principle was apparently recommended by many considerations of justice and expediency. Much of the national debt had been incurred in defence of the colonies, and in wars for the common cause of the whole empire. Other states had been accustomed to enrich them selves by the taxation of their dependencies ; and why was England alone to abstain from so natural a source of revenue? If the colonies were to be exempt from the common burdens of the empire, why should England care to defend them in war, or incur charges for them in time of peace? The benefits of the connection were reciprocal; why, then, should the burdens be all on one side? Nor, assuming the equity of imperial taxation, did it seem beyond the competence of Parliament to establish it. The omnipotence of Parliament was a favorite theory of lawyers; and for a century and a half, the force of British statutes had been acknowledged without question, in every matter concerning the government of the colonies.

No charters exempted colonists from the sovereignty of the parent state, in matters of taxation ; nor were there wanting precedents, in which they had submitted to imperial imposts without remonstrance. In carrying out a restrictive commercial policy, Parliament had passed numerous act providing for the levy of colonial import and export duties. Such duties, from their very nature, were unproductive, imposing restraints upon trade, and offering encouragements to smuggling. They were designed for commercial regulation rather than revenue ; but were collected by the king’s officers, and payable into the Exchequer. The state had further levied postage duties within the colonies.

But these considerations were outweighed by reasons on the other side. Granting that the war expenditure of the mother country had been increased by reason of her colonies, who was responsible for European wars and costly armaments? Not the colonies, which had no voice in the government, but their English rulers, who held in their hands the destinies of the empire. And if the English treasury had suffered, in defence of the colonies; the colonists had taxed themselves heavily for protection against the foes of the mother country, with whom they had no quarrel. But, apart from the equity of the claim, was it properly within the jurisdiction of Parliament to enforce it? The colonists might be induced to grant a contribution, but could Parliament constitutionally impose a tax, without their consent? True, that this imperial legislature could make laws for the government of the colonies; but taxation formed a marked exception to general legislation. According to the principles, traditions, and usage of the constitution, taxes were granted by the people, through their representatives. This privilege had been recognized for centuries, in the parent state; and the colonists had cherished it with traditional veneration, in the country of their adoption. They had taxed themselves, for local objects, through their own representatives; they had responded to requisitions from the Crown for money; but never, until now, had it been sought to tax them directly for imperial purposes, by the authority of Parliament.

A statesman imbued with the free spirit of our constitution could not have failed to recognize these overriding principles. He would. have seen, that if it were fit that the colonies should contribute to the imperial treasury, it was for the Crown to demand their contributions through the governors; and for the colonial legislatures to grant them. But neither the king nor his minister were alive to these principles. The one was too conscious of kingly power, to measure nicely the rights of his subjects; and the other was blinded by a pedantic reverence for the authority of Parliament.

In 1764, an act was passed, with little discussion, imposing customs’ duties upon several articles imported into The stamp the American colonies, the produce of these duties being reserved for the defence of the colonies them selves. At the same time, the Commons passed a resolution, that “it may be proper to charge certain stamp duties” in America, as the foundation of future legislation. The colonists, accustomed to perpetual interference with their trade, did not dispute the right of the mother country to tax their imports; but they resolved to evade the impost, as far as possible, by the encouragement of native manufactures. The threatened stamp act, however, they immediately denounced as an invasion of the rights of Englishmen, who could not be taxed otherwise than by their representatives. But, deaf to their remonstrances, Mr. Grenville, in the next session, persisted in his stamp bill. It attracted little notice in this country; the people could bear with complacency the taxation of others; and never was there a Parliament more indifferent to constitutional principles and popular rights. The colonists, however, and their agents in this country, remonstrated against the proposal.

Their opinion had been invited by ministers; and, that it might be expressed, a year’s delay had been agreed upon. Yet when they petitioned against the bill, the Commons re fused to entertain their petitions, under a rule, by no means binding on their discretion, which excluded petitions against a tax proposed for the service of the year. An arbitrary temper and narrow pedantry prevailed over justice and sound policy. Unrepresented communities were to be taxed, — even without a hearing. The bill was passed with little opposition ; but the colonists combined to resist its execution. Mr. Pitt had been ill in bed when the stamp act was passed ; but no sooner were the discontents in America brought into discussion than he condemned taxation with out representation, and counselled the immediate repeal of the obnoxious act. ” “When in this House,” he said, ” we give and grant, we grant what is our own. But in an American tax, what do we do? We, Your Majesty’s Commons for Great Britain, give and grant to Your Majesty, what? Our own property? No; we give and grant to Your Majesty, the property of Your Majesty’s Commons of America.” At the same time, he proposed to save the honor of England by an ad declaratory of the general legislative authority of Parliament over the colonies. Lord Rockingham, who had succeeded Mr. Grenville, alarmed by the unanimity and violence of the colonists, readily caught Repeal of the at Mr. Pitt’s suggestion. The stamp act was repealed, notwithstanding the obstinate resistance of the king, and his friends, and of Mr. Grenville and the supporters of the late ministry. Mr. Pitt had desired expressly to except from the declatory Act the right of taxation without the consent of the colonists; but the Crown lawyers and Lord Mansfield denied the distinction between legislation and the imposition of taxes which that great constitutional statesman had forcibly pointed out ; and the bill was introduced without that exception. In the House of Lords, Lord Camden, the only great constitutional lawyer of his age, supported with remarkable power the views of Mr. Pitt; but the bill was passed in its original shape, and maintained the unqualified right of England to make laws for the colonies. In the same session some of the import duties imposed in 1764 were also repealed, and others modified. The colonists were appeased by these concessions; and little regarded the abstract terms of the declaratory act. They were, indeed, encouraged in a spirit of in dependence by their triumph over the English Parliament; but their loyalty was as yet unshaken.

The error of Mr. Grenville had scarcely been repaired, when an act of political fatuity caused an irreparable breach between the mother country and her colonies. Lord Chatham, by his timely intervention, had saved England her colonies ; and now his ill-omened administration was destined to lose them. His witty and accomplished, but volatile and incapable Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Charles Townshend, having lost half a million of his ways and means by an adverse vote of the Commons on the land tax, ventured, with incredible levity, to repeat the disastrous experiment of colonial taxation. The Americans, to strengthen their own case against the stamp act, had drawn a distinction between internal and external taxation, a distinction plausible and ingenious, in the hands of so dexterous a master of political fence as Dr. Franklin,1 but substantially without foundation. Both kinds of taxes were equally paid by the colonists themselves; and if it was their birthright to be taxed by none but representatives of their own, this doctrine clearly comprehended customs, no less than excise. But, misled by the supposed distinction which the Americans themselves had raised, Mr. Townshend proposed a variety of small colonial customs duties, — on glass, on paper, on painters’ color, and lastly, on tea. The estimated produce of these paltry taxes amounted to no more than 40,000l. Lord Chatham would have scornfully put aside a scheme, at once so contemptible and impolitic, and so plainly in violation of the principles for which he had himself recently contended; but he lay stricken and helpless, while his rash lieutenant was rushing headlong into danger. Lord Camden would have arrested the measure in the Cabinet; but standing alone, in a dis organized ministry, he accepted under protest a scheme, which none of his colleagues approved. However rash the financier, however weak the compliance of ministers, Parliament fully shared the fatal responsibility of this measure. It was passed with approbation, and nearly in silence. Mr. Townshend did not survive to see the mischief he had done; but his colleagues had soon to deplore their error. The colonists resisted the import duties, as they had resisted the stamp act; and, a second time, ministers were forced to recede from their false position. But their retreat was effected awkwardly, and with a bad grace. They yielded to the colonists, so far as to give up the general scheme of import duties; but persisted in continuing the duties upon tea.

This miserable remnant of the import duties was not calculated to afford a revenue exceeding 12,000l; and its actual proceeds were reduced to 300l. by smuggling and the determination of the colonists not to consume an article to which the obnoxious impost was attached. The insignificance of the tax, while it left ministers without justification for continuing such a cause of irritation, went far to secure the acquiescence of the colonists. But their discontents, met without temper or moderation, were suddenly inflamed by a new measure, which only indirectly concerned them. To assist the half bankrupt East India Company in the sale of their teas, a drawback was given them, of the whole English duty on shipments to the American plantations. By this concession to the East India Company, the colonists, exempted from the English duty, in fact received their teas at a lower rate than when there was no colonial tax. The Company were also empowered to ship their teas direct from their own warehouses. A sudden stimulus was thus given to the export of the very article, which alone caused irritation and dissension. The colonists saw, or affected to see, in this measure, an artful contrivance for encouraging the consumption of taxed tea, and facilitating the further extension of colonial taxation. It was met by a daring outrage The first tea-ships which reached Boston were boarded by men disguised as Mohawk Indians, and their cargoes cast into the sea. This being the crowning act of a series of provocations and insults, by which the colonists, and especially the people of Boston, had testified their resentment against the stamp act, the import duties, and other recent measures, the government at home regarded it with just indignation. Every one agreed that the rioters deserved punishment ; and that reparation was due to the East India Company. But the punishment inflicted by Parliament, at the instance of Lord North, was such as to provoke revolt. Instead of demanding compensation, and attaching penalties to its refusal, the flourishing port of Boston was summarily closed: no ship could lade or unlade at its quays ; the trade and industry of its inhabitants was placed under an interdict. The ruin of the city was decreed; no penitence could avert its doom; but when the punishment had been suffered, and the atonement made; when Boston, humbled and contrite, had kissed the rod; and when reparation had been made to the East India Company, the king in council might, as an act of grace, remove the fatal ban.1 It was a deed of vengeance, fitter for the rude arbitrament of an eastern prince, than for the temperate equity of a free state.

Nor was this the only act of repression. The republican constitution of Massachusetts, cherished by the descendants of the Pilgrim fathers was superseded. The council, hitherto elective, was to be nominated by the Crown; and the appointment of judges, magistrates, and sheriffs, was transferred from the council to the governor. And so much was the administration of justice suspected, that, by another act, accused persons might be sent for trial to any other colony, or even to England. Troops were also despatched to overawe the turbulent people of Massachusetts.

The colonists, however, far from being intimidated by the rigors of the mother country, associated to resist them. Nor was Massachusetts left alone in its troubles. A congress of delegates from twelve of the colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, by whom the recent measures were condemned, as a violation of the rights of Englishmen. It was further agreed to suspend all imports from, and exports to, Great Britain and her dependencies, unless the grievances of the colonies were redressed. Other threatening measures were adopted, which proved too plainly that the stubborn spirit of the colonists was not to Le overcome. In the words of Lord Chatham, “the spirit which now resisted taxation in America, was the same spirit which formerly opposed loans, benevolences, and ship money in England.”

In vain Lord Chatham, reappearing after his long prostration, proffered a measure of conciliation, repealing the obnoxious acts, and explicitly renouncing imperial taxation, but requiring from the colonies the grant of a revenue to a king a measure might even yet have save the colonies; but it was contemptuously rejected by the Lords, on the first reading.

Lord North himself soon afterwards framed a conciliatory proposition, promising that, if the colonists should make provision for their own defence and for the civil government, no imperial tax should be levied. His resolution was agree to; but, in the present temper of the colonists, its conditions were impracticable. Mr. Burke also proposed other resolutions, similar to the scheme of Lord Chatham, which were rejected by a large majority.

The Americans were already ripe for rebellion, when an unhappy collision occurred at Lexington between the royal troops and the colonial militia. Blood was shed; and the people flew to arms. The war of independence was commenced. Its sad history and issue are but too well known. In vain Congress addressed a petition to the king, for redress and conciliation. It received no answer. In vain Lord Chatham devoted the last energies of his wasting life to effect a reconciliation, without renouncing the sovereignty of England. In vain the British 1778. Parliament, humbling itself before its rebellious subjects, repealed the American tea duty, and renounced its claims to imperial taxation. In vain were Parliamentary commissioners empowered to suspend the acts of which the colonists complained, to concede every demand but that of independence, and almost to sue for peace. It was too late to stay the civil war. Disasters and defeat befell the British arms, on American soil ; and, at length, the independence of the colonies was recognized.’

Such were the disastrous consequences of a misunderstanding of the rights and pretensions of colonial communities, who had carried with them the laws and franchises of Englishmen. And here closes the first period in the constitutional history of the colonies.

We must now turn to another class of dependencies, not originally settled by English subjects, but acquired from other states by conquest or cession. To these a different rule of public law was held to apply. They were dominions of the crown; and governed, according to the laws prevailing at the time of their acquisition, by the king in council. They were distinguished from other settlements as crown colonies. Some of them, however, like Jamaica and Nova Scotia, had received the free institutions of England, and were practically self governed, like other English colonies.

[In reference to Nova Scotia: Edwards, ii. 419; Haliburton’s Nova Scotia, ii. 319]

Canada, the most important of this class, was conquered from the French, in 1759, by General “Wolfe, and ceded to England, in 1763, by the treaty of Paris. In 1774, the administration of its affairs was intrusted to a council appointed by the crown; but, in 1791, it was divided into two provinces, to each of which representative institutions were granted. It was no easy problem to provide for the government of such a colony. It comprised a large and ignorant population of French colonists, having sympathies with the country whence they sprung, accustomed to absolute government and feudal institutions, and under the influence of a Catholic priesthood. It further comprised an active race of British settlers, speaking another language, professing a different religion, and craving the liberties of their own free land. The division of the provinces was also a separation of races ; and freedom was granted to both alike. The immediate objects of this measure were to secure the attachment of Canada, and to exempt the British colonists from the French laws; but it marked the continued adhesion of Parliament to the principles of self-government. In discussing its policy, Mr. Fox laid down a principle, which was destined, after half a century, to become the rule of colonial administration. ” I am convinced,” said he, “that the only means of retaining distant colonies with advantage, is to enable them to govern themselves.” In 1785, representative institutions were given to New Brunswick, and, so late as 1832, to Newfoundland; and thus, eventually, all the British American colonies were as free, in their forms of government, as the colonies which had gained their independence. But the mother country, in granting the:;e constitutions, exercised, in a marked form, the powers of a dominant state. She provided for the sale of waste lands, for the maintenance of the church establishment, and for other matters of internal polity.

England was soon compensated for the loss of her colonies in America, by vast possessions in another hemisphere. But the circumstances under which Australia was settled were unfavorable to free institutions. Transportation to the American plantations, commenced in the reign of Charles II., had long been an established punishment for criminals. The revolt of these colonies led to the establishment of penal settlements in Australia. New South Wales was founded in 1788, and Van Diemen’s Land in 1825. Penal settlements were necessarily without a constitution, being little more than state prisons. These fair countries, instead of being the homes of free Englishmen, were peopled by criminals sentenced to long’ terms of punishment and servitude. Such an origin was not promising to the moral or political destinies of Australia; but the attractions which it offered to free emigrants gave early tokens of its future greatness. South Australia and New Zealand, whence convicts were excluded, were afterwards fount.led, in the same region, without free constitutions. The early political condition of the Australian colonies forms, indeed, a striking contrast to that of the older settlements, to which Englishmen had taken their birthrights. But free emigration developed their resources, and quickly reduced the criminal population to a subordinate element in the society; and, in 1828, local legislatures were granted to New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land.

While these colonies were without an adequate population, transportation was esteemed by the settlers, as the means of affording a steady supply of labor; but as free emigration advanced , the services of convicts became less essential to colonial prosperity; and the moral taint of the criminal class was felt more sensibly. In 1838, Sir William Molesworth’s committee exposed the enormities of transportation as part of a scheme of colonization; and in 1840 the sending of convicts to New South wales was discontinued. In Van Diemen’s Land, after various at tempts to improve the system of convict labor and discipline, transportation was finally abolished in 1854. Meanwhile, an attempt to send convicts to the Cape of Good Hope in 1848, had been resisted by the colonists, and abandoned. In the following year, a new penal settlement was founded in Western Australia.

The discontinuance of transportation to the free colonies of Australia, and a prodigious increase of emigration and productive industry, were preparing them for a further development of freedom at no distant a period.

From the period of the American war the home government, awakened to the importance of colonial administration, displayed greater activity, and a more ostensible disposition to interfere m the affairs of the colonies. Until the commencement of the difficulties with America, there had not even been a separate department for the government of the colonies; but the board of trade exercised a supervision, little more than nominal, over colonial affairs. In 1768, however, a third secretary of state was appointed, to whose care the colonies were intrusted. In 1782, the office was discontinued by Lord Rockingham, after the loss of the American provinces ; but was revived in 1794, and became an active and important department of the state. Its influence was felt throughout the British colonies. However popular the form of their institutions, they were steadily governed by British ministers in Downing Street.

In crown colonies, acquired by conquest or cession, Colonies the dominion of the crown was absolute ; and the authority of the colonial-office was exercised directly, by instructions to the governors. In free colonies it was exercised, for the most part, indirectly, through the influence of the governors and their councils. Self-government was there the theory; but in practice, the governors, aided by dominant interests in the several colonies, contrived to govern according to the policy dictated from Downing Street. Just as at home, the crown, the nobles, and an ascendant party were supreme in the national councils, so in the colonies, the governors and their official aristocracy were generally able to command the adhesion of the local legislatures.

A more direct interference, however, was often exercised. Ministers had no hesitation in disallowing any colonial acts of which they disapproved, even when they concerned the internal affairs of the colony only. They dealt freely with the public lands, as the property of the crown, often making grants obnoxious to the colonists ; and peremptorily insisting upon the conditions under which they should be sold and settled. Their interference was also frequent regarding church establishments and endowments, official salaries and the colonial civil lists. Misunderstandings and disputes were constant; but the policy and will of the home government usually prevailed.

Another incident of colonial administration was that of Patronage. patronage. The colonies offered a wide field of employment for the friends, connections, and political partisans of the home government. The offices in England available for securing parliamentary support, fell short of the demand, and appointments were accordingly multiplied abroad. Of these, many of the most lucrative were executed by deputy. The favored friends of ministers, who were gratified by the emoluments of office, were little disposed to suffer banishment in a distant dependency. Infants in the cradle were endowed with colonial appointments, to be executed through life by convenient deputies. Extravagant fees or salaries were granted in Downing Street, and spent in England ; but paid out of colonial revenues. Other offices again, to which residence was attached, were too frequently given to men wholly unfit for employment at home, but who were supposed to be equal to colonial service, where indolence, incapacity, or doubtful character might escape exposure. Such men as these, however, were more mischievous in a colony, than at home. The higher officers were associated with the governor in the administration of affairs ; the subordinate officers were subject to less control and discipline. In both, negligence and unfitness were injurious to the colonies. As colonial societies expanded, these appointments from home further excited the jealousy of colonists, many of whom were better qualified for office, than the strangers who came amongst them to enjoy power, wealth, and distinction, which were denied to themselves. This jealousy and the natural ambition of the colonists, were among the principal causes which led to demands for more complete self-government. As this feeling was increasing in colonial society, the home government were occupied with arrangements for insuring the permanent maintenance of the civil establishments out of the colonial revenues. To continue to fill all the offices with Englishmen, and at the same time to call upon the jealous colonists to pay them, was not to Le at tempted. And accordingly the home government surrendered to the governors all appointments under 200l a year; and to the greater number of other offices, appointed colonists recommended by the governors. A colonial grievance was thus redressed, and increased influence given to the colonists; while one of the advantages of the connection was renounced by the parent state.

While England was entering upon a new period of extended liberties, after the Reform Act, circumstances materially affected her relations with the colonies; and this may be termed the third and last period of colonial history. First, the abolition of slavery, in 1833, loosened the ties by which the sugar colonies had been bound to the mother country. This was followed by the gradual adoption of a new commercial policy, which overthrew the long-established protections and monopolies of colonial trade. The main purpose for which both parties had cherished the connection was lost. Colonists found their produce exposed to the competition of the world; and, in the sugar colonies, with restricted labor. The home consumer independent of colonial supplies, was free to choose his own market, wherever commodities were best and cheap est. The sugars of Jamaica competed with the slave-grown sugars of Cuba; the woods of Canada with the timber of Norway and the Baltic.

These new conditions of colonial policy seriously affected the political relations of the mother country with her dependencies. Her interference in their internal affairs having generally been connected with commercial regulations, she had now less interest in continuing it; and they, having submitted to it for the sake of benefits with which it was associated, were less disposed to tolerate its exercise. Meanwhile the growing population, wealth, and intelligence of many of the colonies, closer communications with England, and the example of English liberties, were developing the political aspirations of colonial societies, and their capacity for self-government.

Early in this period of transition, England twice had occasion to assert her paramount authority ; but learned at the same time to estimate the force of local opinion, and to seek in the further development of free institutions the problem of colonial government. Jamaica, discontented after the abolition of slavery, neglected to make adequate provision for her prisons, which that measure had rendered necessary. In 1838, the Imperial Parliament interposed, and promptly supplied this defect in colonial legislation. The local assembly, resenting this act of authority, was contumacious, stopped the supplies, and refused to exercise the proper functions of a legislature. Again Parliament asserted its supremacy. The sullen legislature was commanded to resume its duties ; and submitted in time to save the ancient constitution of Jamaica from suspension.

At the same period, the perilous state of Canada called forth all the authority of England. In 1837 and 1838, the discontents of Lower Canada exploded in insurrection. The constitution of that province was immediately suspended by the British Parliament ; and a provisional government established, with large legislative and executive powers. This necessary act of authority was followed by the reunion of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada into a single colony, under a governor-general.

But while these strong measures were resorted to, the British Government carefully defined the principles upon which parliamentary legislation was justified. “Parliamentary legislation,” wrote Lord Glenelg, the colonial minister,” on any subject of exclusively internal concern to any British colony possessing a representative assembly is, as a general rule, unconstitutional. It is a right of which the exercise is reserved for extreme cases, in which necessity at once creates and justifies the exception.” Never before had the rights of colonial self government been so plainly acknowledged.

But another principle was about to be established in Canada, which still further enlarged the powers of colonial assemblies, and diminished the influence of the mother country. This principle is known as the doctrine of responsible government. Hitherto the advisers of the governor in this, as in every other colony, were the principal officers appointed by the crown, and generally holding permanent offices. whatever the fluctuations of opinion in the legislature or in the colony, whatever the unpopularity of the measures or persons of the executive officers, they continued to direct the councils of the colony. For many years, they had contrived, by concessions, by management and influence, to avoid frequent collisions with the assemblies ; but as the principles of representative government were developed, irresponsible rulers were necessarily brought into conflict with the popular assembly. The advisers of the governor pursued one policy, the assembly another. Measures prepared by the executive were rejected by the assembly; measures passed by the assembly were refused by the council, or vetoed by the governor. And whenever such collisions arose, the constitutional means were wanting, for restoring confidence between the contending powers. Frequent dissolutions exasperated the popular party, and generally resulted in their ultimate triumph. The hostility between the assembly and permanent and unpopular officers became chronic. They were constantly at issue ; and representative institutions, in collision with irresponsible power, were threatening anarchy. These difficulties were not confined to Canada, but were common to all the North American colonies; and proved the incompatibility of two antagonistic principles of government.

After the reunion of the Canadian provinces, a remedy was sought for disagreements between the executive and the legislature in that principle of of responsible government ministerial responsibility, which had long been accepted as the basis of constitutional government in England. At first, ministers at home were apprehensive lest the application of that principle to a dependency should lead to a virtual renunciation of control by the mother country. Nor had Canada yet sufficiently recovered from the passions of the recent rebellion, to favor the experiment But arrangements were immediately made for altering the tenure of the principal colonial offices; and in 1847, responsible government was fully established under Lord Elgin. From that time, the governor-generals elected his advisers from that party which was able to command a majority in the legislative assembly, and accepted the policy recommended by them. The same principle was and other adopted, about the same time, in Nova Scotia ; colonies. and has since become the rule of administration in other free colonies.

[Concerning Nova Scotia: Despatch of Earl Grey to Sir John Harvey, Nov. 3d, 1846; Parl. Paper, 1848, No. 621, p. 80]

By the adoption of this principle, a colonial constitution has become the very image and reflection of parliamentary government in England. The governor, like the sovereign whom he represents, holds himself aloof from and superior to parties ; and governs through constitutional advisers, who have acquired an ascendency in the legislature. He leaves contending parties to fight out their own battles; and by admitting the stronger party to his councils, brings the executive authority into harmony with popular sentiments. And as the recognition of this doctrine, in England, has practically transferred the supreme authority of the state from the crown to Parliament and the people, so in the colonies has it wrested from the governor and from the parent state the direction of colonial affairs. And again, as the crown has gained in ease and popularity what it has lost in power, – so has the mother country, in accepting to the full the principles of local self-government, established the closest relations of amity and confidence between her self and her colonies.

There are circumstances, however, in which the parallel is not maintained. The Crown and Parliament have a common interest in the welfare of their country; but England and her colonies may have conflicting interests, or an irreconcilable policy. The crown has, indeed, reserved its veto upon the acts of the colonial legislatures ; but its practical exercise has been found scarcely more compatible with responsible government in the colonies than in England. Hence colonies have been able to adopt principles of legislation inconsistent with the policy and interests of the mother country. For example, after England had accepted free trade as the basis of her commercial policy, Canada adhered to protection, and established a tariff injurious to English commerce. Such laws could not have been disallowed by the home government without a revival of the conflicts and discontents of a former period ; and in deference to the principles of self-government, they were reluctantly confirmed.

But popular principles, in colonial government, have not rested here. While enlarged powers have been intrusted to the local legislatures, those institutions again have been reconstituted upon a more democratic basis. The constitution granted to Canada in 1840, on the reunion of the provinces, was popular, but not democratic. It was composed of a legislative council, nominated by the crown, and of a representative assembly, to which freeholders or roturiers to the amount of 500l. were eligible as members. The franchise comprised 40s. free holders, 5l. house-owners, and 10l. occupiers; but has since been placed upon a more popular basis by provincial acts.

Democracy has made more rapid progress in the Australian colonies. In 1842, a new constitution had been granted to New South Wales, which, departing from the accustomed model of colonial constitutions, provided for the legislation of the colony by a single chamber.

The constitution of an upper chamber in a colonial society, without an aristocracy, and with few per-sons of high attainments and adequate leisure, has ever been a difficult problem. Nominated by the governor and consisting mainly of his executive officers, it has failed to exercise a material influence over public opinion; and has been readily overborne by the more popular assembly. The experiment was, therefore, tried of bringing into a single chamber the aristocratic and democratic elements of colonial government. It was hoped that eminent men would have more weight in the deliberations of the popular assembly, than sitting apart and exercising an impotent veto. The experiment has found favor with experienced statesmen; yet it can scarcely be doubted that it is a con cession to democracy. Timely delays in legislation, a cautious review of public measures, resistance to the tyranny of a majority, and the violence of a faction, the means of judicious compromise, are wanting in such a constitution. The majority of a single chamber is absolute.

In 1850, it became expedient to divide the vast territories of New South Wales into two, and the southern portion was erected into the new colony of Victoria. This opportunity was taken of revising the constitutions of these colonies, and of South Australia and Van Diemen’s Land. The New South Wales model was adhered to by Parliament; and a single chamber was constituted in each of these colonies, of which one third were nominated by the crown, and two thirds elected under a franchise, restricted to persons holding freehold property worth 100l, and 10l. householders or leaseholders. A fixed charge was also imposed upon the colonial revenues for the civil and judicial establishments and for religious worship. At the same time, powers were conceded to the governor and legislative council of each colony, with the assent of the queen in council, to alter every part of the constitution so granted. There could be little doubt that the tendency of such societies would be favorable to democracy; and in a few years the limited franchise was changed, in nearly all of these colonies, for universal suffrage and vote by ballot. It was open to the queen in council to disallow these laws, or for Parliament itself to interpose and suspend them ; but, in deference to the principle of self-government, these critical changes were allowed to come into operation.

In 1852, a representative constitution was introduced, after some delay, into New Zealand, and, about the same period, into the Cape of Good Hope.

To conclude this rapid summary of colonial liberties, it must be added that the colonies have further enjoyed municipal institutions, a free press, and religious freedom and equality. No liberty or franchise prized by Englishmen at home, has been withheld from their fellow-countrymen in distant lands.

Thus, by rapid strides, have the most considerable dependencies of the British crown advanced, through successive stages of political liberty, until an ancient monarchy has become the parent of democratic republics in all parts of the globe. The constitution of the United States is scarcely so democratic as that of Canada, or the Australian colonies. The president’s fixed tenure of office and large executive powers, the independent position and authority of the senate, and the control of the supreme court, are checks upon the democracy of congress. But in these colonies the nominees of a majority of the democratic assembly, for the time being, are absolute masters of the colonial government. In Canada, the legislative council can offer no effectual resistance ; and in Australia even that check, how ever inadequate, is wanting. A single chamber dictates its conditions to the governor, and indirectly to the parent state. This transition from a state of control and pupilage to that of unrestrained freedom, seems to have been too precipitate. Society, — particularly in Australia, — had scarcely had time to prepare itself for the successful trial of so free a representation. The settlers of a new country were suddenly intrusted with uncontrolled power, before education, property, traditions, and usage had given stability to public opinion. Nor were they trained to freedom, like· their English brethren, by many ennobling struggles and the patient exercise of public virtues. But such a transition, more or less rapid, was the inevitable consequence of responsible government, coupled with the power given to colonial assemblies, of reforming their own constitutions. The principle of self government, once recognized, has been carried out without reserve or hesitation. Hitherto there have been many failures and discouragements in the experiment of colonial democracy; yet the political future of these thriving communities affords far more ground for hope than for despondency.

England ventured to tax her colonies, and lost them ; she endeavored to rule them from Downing Street, and provoked disaffection and revolt. At last, she gave freedom, and found national sympathy and contentment. But, in the mean time, her colonial dependencies have grown into affiliated states. The tie which binds them to her, is one of sentiment, rather than authority. Commercial privileges, on either side, have been abandoned ; transportation, — for which some of the colonies were founded, — has been given up ; patronage has been surrendered, the disposal of public lands waived by the Crown, and political dominion virtually renounced. In short, their dependence has become little more than nominal, except for purposes of military defence.

We have seen how, in the earlier history of the colonies, they strove to defend themselves. But during the prolonged hostilities of the French revolutionary war, assaults upon our colonies naturally formed part of the tactics of the enemy, which were met, on our part, by costly naval and military armaments. And after the peace, England continued to garrison her colonies with large military forces, — wholly paid by herself, — and to construct fortifications, requiring still larger garrisons. Wars were undertaken against the natives, as in the Cape of Good Hope and New Zealand, — of which England bore all the cost, and the colonies gained all the profit. English soldiers have further performed the services of colonial police. Instead of taxing her colonies, England has suffered herself to be taxed heavily on their account. The annual military expenditure, on account of the colonies, ultimately reached £3,225,081, of which £1,715,246 was incurred for free colonies, and £1,509,835 for military garrisons and dependencies, maintained chiefly for imperial purposes. Many of the colonies have already contributed towards the maintenance of British troops, and have further raised considerable bodies of militia and volunteers ; but Parliament has recently pronounced it to be just that the colonies which enjoy self-government, should undertake the responsibility and cost of their own military defence. To carry this policy into effect must be the work of time. But whenever it may be effected, the last material bond of connection with the colonies will have been severed; and colonial states, acknowledging the honorary sovereignty of England, and fully armed for self-defence, — as well against herself as others, — will have grown out of the dependencies of the British Empire. They will still look to her, in time of war, for at least naval protection; and, in peace, they will continue to imitate her laws and institutions, and to glory in the proud distinction of British citizenship. On her part, England may well be prouder of the vigorous freedom of her prosperous sons, than of a hundred provinces subject to the iron rule of British pro-consuls. And, should the sole remaining ties of kindred, affection, and honor be severed, she will reflect, with just exultation, that her dominion ceased, not in oppression and bloodshed, but in the expansive energies of freedom, and the hereditary capacity of her manly offspring for the privileges of self-government.

Other parts of the British empire have — from the conditions of their occupation, the relations of the state to the native population, and other circumstances — been unable to participate in the free institutions of the more favored colonies; but they have largely that spirit of enlightened liberality, which, during the last twenty years, has distinguished the administration of colonial affairs.

Of all the dependencies of the British crown, India is the most considerable in territory, in population, in revenue, and in military resources. It is itself a great empire. Originally acquired and governed by a trading company, England was responsible for its administration no further than was implied in the charters and Acts of Parliament, by which British subjects were invested with sovereignty over The East distant regions. Trade was the first, dominion India company. the secondary object of the company. Early in the reign of George III. their territories had become so ex· tended, that Lord Chatham conceived the scheme of claiming them as dominions of the crown. This great scheme, however, dwindled, in the hands of his colleagues, into an agreement with the company to pay £400,000 a year, as the price of their privileges. This tribute was not long enjoyed, for the company, impoverished by perpetual war, and mal-administration, fell into financial difficulties ; and in 1773, were released from this ouligation. And in this year, Parliament, for the first time, undertook to regulate the constitution of the government of India. The court of directors, consisting of twenty-four members, elected by the proprietors of India stock, and virtually independent of the government, became the home authority, by whom the governor-general was appointed, and to whom alone he was responsible. An Asiatic empire was still intrusted to a company, having an extensive civil and military organization, making wars and conquests, negotiating treaties, and exercising uncontrolled dominion. A trading company had grown into a corporate emperor. The genius of Clive and Warren Hastings had acquired the empire of the Great Mogul.

But power exercised by irresponsible and despotic rulers was naturally abused; and in 1773, and again in 1780, the directors were placed under the partial control of a secretary of state. Soon afterwards some of the most glaring excesses of Indian misrule were forced upon the notice of Parliament. English statesmen became sensible that the anomalies of a government, so constituted, could no longer be endured. It was not fit that England should suffer her subjects to practise the iniquities of Asiatic rule, without effective responsibility and control. On Mr. Fox and the coalition ministry first devolved the task of providing against the continued oppression and misrule, which recent inquiries had exposed. They grappled boldly with the evils which demanded a remedy. Satisfied that the government of an empire could not be confided with safety or honor to a commercial company, they proposed at once to transfer it to an other body. But to whom could such a power be in trusted? Not to the crown, whose influence they had already denounced as exorbitant; not to any department of the executive government, which could become accessory to Parliamentary corruption. The company had been, in great measure, independent of the crown and of the ministers of the day; and the power which bad been abused, they now proposed to vest in an independent board. This important body was to consist of seven commissioners, appointed in the first instance, by Parliament, for a term of four years, and ultimately by the crown. The leading concerns of the company were to be managed by eight assistants, appointed first by Parliament, and afterwards by the proprietors of East India stock. It was a bold and hazardous measure, on which Mr. Fox and his colleagues staked their power. Conceived in a spirit of wisdom and humanity, it recognized the duty of the state to redress the wrongs and secure the future welfare of a distant empire; yet was it open to objections which a fierce party contest discolored with exaggeration. The main objections urged against the bill were these : that it violated the chartered rights of the company, that it increased the influence of the crown, and that it invested the coalition party, then having a Parliamentary majority, with a power superior to the crown itself. As regards the first objection, it was vain to contend that Parliament might not lawfully dispossess the company of their dominion over millions of men, which they had disgraced by fraud, rapine, oppression, cruelty, and bloodshed. They had clearly forfeited the political powers intrusted to them for the public good. A solemn trust, having been flagrantly violated, might justly be revoked. But had they forfeited their commercial privileges? They were in difficulties and debt; their affairs were in the utmost confusion ; the grossest mismanagement was but too certainly proved. But such evils in a commercial company, however urgently needing correction, scarcely justified the forfeiture of established rights. The two latter objection were plainly contradictory. The measure could not increase the influence of the crown, and at the same time exalt a party above it. The former was, in truth, wholly untenable, and was relinquished ; while the king, the opposition, the friends of the company, and the country, made common cause in maintaining the latter. And assuredly the weakest point was chosen for attack. The bill nominated the com missioners, exclusively from the ministerial party; and in trusted them with all the power and patronage of India, for a term of four years. At a time when corrupt influence was so potent in the councils of the state, it cannot be doubted that the Commissioners would have been able to promoted the political interests of their own party. To add to their weight, they were entitled to sit in Parliament. Already the Parliamentary influence of the Company had aroused jealousy; and its concentration in a powerful and organized party naturally excited alarm. However exaggerated by party violence, it was unquestionably a well-founded objection, which ought to have been met and counteracted. It is true that vacancies were to be filled up by the crown, and that the appointment of the commissioners was during good behavior; but, practically, they would have enjoyed an in dependent authority for four years. It was right to wrest power from a body which should never have been permitted to exercise it, and by whom it had been flagrantly abused; but it was wrong to constitute the new government an instrument of party, uncontrolled by the crown, and beyond the immediate reach of that Parliamentary responsibility which our free constitution recognizes as necessary for the proper exercise of authority. The error was fatal to the measure itself, and to the party by whom it was committed.

Mr. Fox’s scheme having been overthrown, Mr. Pitt proceeded to frame a measure, in which he dexterously evaded all the difficulties under which his rival had fallen. He left the Company in possession of their large powers; but subjected them to a board of control representing the crown. The Company was now accountable to ministers, in their rule; and ministers, if they suffered wrong to be done, were responsible to Parliament. At the same time, however, power and responsibility were divided; and distracted councils, an infirm executive, and a cumbrous and perplexed administration, were scarcely to be avoided in a double government. The administration of Indian affairs came frequently under the review of Parliament; but this system of double or divided government was continued, on each successive renewal of the privileges of the Company. In 1833, the first great change was effected in the position of the Company. Up to this time, they had enjoyed the exclusive trade with China, and other commercial privileges. This monopoly was now discontinued, and they ceased to be a trading company ; but their dominion over India was con firmed for a further period of twenty years. The right of Parliament, however, to legislate for India was then reserved. It was the last periodical renewal of the powers of the Company. In 1853, significant changes were made; India Bill, their powers being merely continued until Parliament should otherwise provide, and their territories being held in trust for the crown. The Court of Directors was reconstituted, being henceforth composed of twelve elected members and six nominees of the crown. At the same time, the council of the Governor-General in India was enlarged, and invested with a more legislative character. The government of India being thus drawn into closer connection with ministers, they met objections to the increase of patron age, which had been fatal to Mr. Fox’s.scheme, by opening the civil and medical services to competition. This measure prepared the way for a more complete identity between the executive administration of England and India. It had a short and painful trial. The mutiny of the native army in 1857, disclosed the perils and responsibilities of England, and the necessity of establishing a single and supreme authority.

The double government of Mr. Pitt was at length condemned ; the powers and territories of the Company were transferred to the Queen ; and the administration was entrusted to a secretary of State, and Council. But this great change could not be accomplished without a compromise ; and of the fifteen members of the council, seven were elected by the Board of Directors, and eight appointed by the crown. And again, with a view to restrict the state patronage, cadet ships in the engineers and artillery were thrown open to competition.

The transfer of India to the crown was followed by a vigorous administration of its vast dominions. Its army was amalgamated with that of England; the constitution of the council of India was placed upon a wider basis; 1 the courts of judicature were remodelled; the service enlarged; and the exhausted revenues of the country regenerated. To an empire of subjugated states and Asiatic races, self-government was plainly impossible. But it has already profited by European civilization and statesmanship; and while necessarily denied freedom, its ruler; are guided by the principles upon which free states are governed ; and its interests are protected by a free English Parliament, a vigilant press, and an enlightened and humane people.

Beyond these narrow isles, England has won, indeed, a Freedom of vast and glorious empire. In the history of the world, no other state has known how to govern territories so extended and remote, and races of men so diverse; giving to her own kindred colonies the widest liberty and ruling, with enlightened equity, dependencies unqualified for freedom. To the Roman, Virgil proudly sang,

“Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento: Hae tibi erunt artes.”

To the Englishman may it not be said with even juster pride, “having won freedom for thyself, and used it wisely, thou hast given it to thy children, who have peopled the earth; and thou hast exercised dominion with justice and humanity!”

May, Thomas Erskine. The constitutional history of England since the accession of George Third, -1860. New York, W.J. Widdleton, -77, 1876. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Local Government In the Maritime Provinces

Out of the territory east of the Penobscot and south of the St. Lawrence were carved the three Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The French called the district Acadie, and the Scottish King of England, in his grant to Sir William Alexander in 1621. Nova Scotia. The Isle of St. Jean (now Prince Edward Island) was granted a separate government in 1769, but was not renamed until 1799 after the visit of Prince Edward. The Loyalists on the river St. John, exasperated by delays in the issue of land patents and by apparent neglect, demanded and got separation from Nova Scotia in 1784 and in the name of the new province the House of Brunswick was honoured.1 In 1784 the island of Cape Breton was granted a separate government, but was reannexed to Nova Scotia in 1820.

The Settlers

To the character and traditions of the early settlers must be traced the nature of the struggle for self-government and the character of the institutions. At the outset physical features naturally determine the localities of settlement. The sheltered slip between the mainland and the peninsula offered the best haven. Here the French entered and settled at Port Royal and on the St. Croix. Later they spread to Cape Breton fortifying Louisbourg. Along the shores, in the bays and up the creeks and rivers of the eastern coast of these provinces the tide of population moved, at first impelled by the love of adventure and the prospects of hunting, later by political necessities.

The second inflow of settlers came from New England in search of cod and commerce. Convenient stations they found in the harbors of Chebucto and Canso and in those of the Bay of Fundy. Later on the arrival of Cornwallis and the prospects of trade attracted large numbers to Halifax. And in 1759 the proclamation of Goovernor Lawrence brought from Massacussetts and Rhode Island an excellent band of settlers to take up the fertile lands from which the Acadians had been driven.

The fear of French aggression impelled New England to attack and capture Louisbourg in 1745. When Britain returned it to France in 1748, there was but one thing to do — to build a stronger fortress between the French in Cape Breton and the people of New England. Accordingly Lord Cornwallis was sent out to Nova Scotia to establish a fortress and a colony. In 1749 he landed in Halifax with a following of 1,176 settlers and their families. Here he built fortifications and from here he ruled the province.

From the first it was recognized that a garrison without a colony could not hold the French in check. Inducements were accordingly offered to immigrants from England, Germany, Scotland and New England. The colonists, particularly those from New England, soon clashed with the garrison. When political necessities made the colonist almost indispensable, as was the case after the expulsion of the Acadians, liberal promises of land and of self-government were made. But with the coming of security from the enemy, the merchants and farmers found the rule of the Governor-in-Council at Halifax irksome.

The relation of Halifax to the province, it may be remarked, has always been peculiar. At the first it was a garrison in a hostile colony, later when the New Englanders began to settle in the west and the Scotsmen in the east. Halifax remained a military station and a trading-post. In war times its garrison made it a safe harbour for captured vessels and a profitable place for the sale of supplies. In times of peace, apart from fishing, trade languished. Before the opening of the railways the position of Halifax tended to isolate it from the rest of the province.

Situated on a bay about the middle of the Atlantic Seaboard, remote from the old capital, Annapolis, in the west, and from the fishing station at Canso in the east; separated from the fertile valleys to the north by a rough ridge of granite boulders and a surprising number of small lakes and ponds, Halifax was forced to look across the ocean for its trade and its people. The conservatism of the old ward settled upon its military government and long resisted the reforms of the new. The struggle for self-government was more prolonged and bitter, and the victory more fragmentary than elsewhere. St. John is a striking contrast. Situated at the mouth of a magnificent river, which drains three-fifths of the province and with its broad and deep tributaries provides an unrivaled waterway through the length and much of the breadth of the country, St John could not fail to grow with the prosperity of the province and through its commercial interests keep in the closest touch with its agricultural and industrial life. Although Fredericton was the political capital, St. John from the first dominated the province, and its reforms became those of the province.

The American revolution profoundly affected Nova Scotia. The struggle between the ruling and military element from the old England on the one hand and the commercial and colonizing element from New England on the other had resulted in the grant of a Legislative Assembly and some minor reforms. The reforming party however suffered severely when the Revolution broke out by the departure from Nova Scotia of several of the most ardent friends of reform and by the suspicion of disloyalty which fastened upon those who remained. At the close of the war the arrival of the Loyalists immediately brought about the division of Nova Scotia into two provinces and local government for the City of St John; but in the end it strengthened the conservative forces already at work.


Feudal ideas imported from France played little part in the municipal life of Nova Scotia. The compromise of deputies for the French and justices of the peace for the English during the period of discordant rule seems to have left no perceptible trace in the forms of local government. The formative ideas were those brought over by Cornwallis and those introduced by the New Englanders, and in the case of New Brunswick, by the Loyalists. Those of Cornwallis and the Loyalists had a common origin. The practices of the Loyalists had but suffered a sea-change. They grew out of the adaptation of English ideas and practices to the problems of government in the southern colonies of America, Virginia, and New York. As for the New Englanders, they advocated the principles of the chartered government of the Massachusetts Bay. In each of the types – the Virginian and Massachusetts – the powers granted to the governing body of the colony came direct from the Crown and not from the Parliament at Westminster; and in each case these powers were granted to a council or company which had the right to choose its subordinate officers.

The fortunes of the two companies, however, were different. The Massachusetts company migrated to the new land. The election of the assistants to the Governor by the freemen of the company became the election of the representatives for the government of the community. The interests of company and colony merged. The Virginian Council ruled from London through local councils. The interests of the council and the colonist diverged; which state of affairs led the Crown to intervene and take over the council’s rights. The Crown governed through a deputy or governor who called to his assistance a small number of men as councillors but theoretically did not necessarily follow their advice m all things. Together they made and administered laws and also acted as a court of justice. This was the system Comwallis introduced into Nova Scotia. But the fishermen and the traders from Cape Cod who preceded Comwallis, and the settlers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island who accepted Lawrence s invitation to occupy the lands vacated by the Acadians were strongly imbued with the ideas of Massachusetts They became the advocates of self-government.

The Loyalists of New Brunswick seem to have kept before them the provincial system of New York. Their first Governor Thomas Carleton, was the brother of Sir Guy, for a time Commander of the British forces in New York; and their first Provincial Secretary, Rev. Jonathan Odell, was a New Yorker and former private secretary of Sir Guy. The fidelity with which New York was imitated is seen in the resemblance between the city charters of New York and St. John, and between the charters of the College of New York and the College of New Brunswick In a letter to the Secretary of State Governor Carleton makes special reference to New York.’ The prominence of New Englanders in Nova Scotia and the predominance of the Loyalists in New Brunswick will perhaps account for certain differences in the two provinces.

The Loyalists landed at Parrtown in 1783; New Brunswick was separated from Nova Scotia in 1784; St. John was granted a charter in 1785 ; and a representative Assembly was summoned in 1786 to be elected on practically a manhood suffrage Comwallis landed at Halifax in 1749. With great reluctance Lawrence summoned an Assembly in 1758, and Halifax, though petitioning in 1765 and 1790, was denied a charter until 1841 Apparently New Brunswick was dominated by the most democratic ideas and Nova Scotia by the reverse; and yet Governor Carleton claimed that ” New Brunswick had improved upon the constitution of Nova Scotia where everything originated, according to a custom of New England, with the Assembly. But here, where a great proportion of the people have emigrated from New York and the provinces to the southward, it was thought most prudent to take an early advantage of their better habits and by strengthening the executive powers of the Government discountenance its leaning so much on the popular part of the Constitution.”

It is possible that Governor Carleton thought that the Loyalists could be trusted to govern themselves, and since they outnumbered all others ten to one. there was little danger of their liberty becoming license. He accordingly granted a charter tn St. John but reserved to the Crown the right of appointing the chief executive officers, the mayor, sheriff, recorder and clerk. ” He was,” however, ” rapped over the knuckles ” for it by the Secretary of State.

Things were different in Nova Scotia. The ruling class was in a minority. Governor Lawrence wrote of the members elected to the first assembly in 1758 that “he hopes he shall not find in any of the representatives a disposition to embarrass or obstruct His Majesty’s service or to dispute the Royal prerogative,” though “too many of those chosen are such as have not been the most remarkable for promoting unity or obedience to H.M. government here, or indeed that have the most natural attachments to the provinces.” Yet in Nova Scotia greater opportunity was given to the people to express their opinion through the Grand Juries. The township and county officials were all appointed by the sessions from the nominees of the grand juries. The grand juries could by presentments censure public officials and ask for public work. In certain cases the justices of the sessions could not act except upon the presentment of the grand jury. Further town meetings were regularly held until 1879, though for a time after 1770, when suspicion was rife, they were suppressed.’ These and similar provisions are rot found in New Brunswick. In only two Acts (and those were in the first ten years) was the grand jury required to make a presentment before the Court could act. One had regard to the altering of a road, the other to the prevention of thistles. The privilege of nominating officials seems not to have been enjoyed by the grand juries of New Brunswick.

French and English

Feudalism in Acadia, as in old Canada, was a mild copy of that of old France. The Governor was all-powerful and the seigniors were feeble and few. Governor Philipps, writing to the Duke of Newcastle in 1730, said, ” Here are three or four insignificant families who pretend to the right of seigniories, that extend almost over all the inhabited parts of the Country.'” In 1703 the King of France confirmed grants of seigniories at Cape Sable, Port Royal and Mines.’ Mention is also made of seigniories at Cobequid and Chignecto. The rights of the seigniors in Nova Scotia became little more than claims for rents which, under English rule, were transferred to the Crown.

From the capture of Port Royal in 1710 the mainland of Nova Scotia was subject to the English. Protests and resistance on the part of the French, however, made government extremely difficult and finally led to the expulsion of the Acadians. Finally the second capture of Louisbourg in 1758 left the English the undis- puted masters of the peninsula and the island. Prior to the founding of Halifax in 1749 there were two British garrisons — one to overawe the Acadians around Annapolis and the other at Canso to protect the New England fishermen. The seat of the govern- ment was at Annapolis, near the French settlements at old Port Royal (now Annapolis), Cobequid and Chignecto. The Governor’s task was by no means an easy one. The willingness of the Acadians to comply with his demands varied inversely with their distance from the cannon of the fort, and the collection of rents and the settlement of disputes about land were the causes of perennial trouble.

The French were governed through elected deputies. Each community was required once a year, early in October, to select a number of deputies from the ” ancientest and most consider- able in lands and possessions.” The community about Annapolis was required to select twelve, the other communities at least four or five each. If the business on hand was very important a large number might be demanded. The Governor might refuse to accept the deputies, if they were not of the oldest and richest in the community.’ After receiving the Governor’s instructions the deputies were required both to publish them and to assist in carrying them out. Mascarene summed up their duties as follows :

  1. Deputies having fixed times for meeting and consultation should act together in the execution of the orders, etc.. of the
    Government in the interests of justice and of the good of the community.
  2. They should ” in their meetings make joint reply to the letters of the Government addressed to them in common and propose measures for the common good.”
  3. They should watch and keep in hand restless spirits who could turn the habitans from their duty and lead them contrary
    to their oath of allegiance. They were expected to restrain the Indians.
  4. They were to enforce the regulations for keeping up the fences and to prevent the trespass of unruly cattle.
  5. They were to concert measures for the improvement and upkeep of bridges and highways. They were to assign to each
    habitant what according to custom he must contribute in material, labour, carriage or payment.
  6. They were to keep an account of the mills, those erected by the seigniors and those erected ” without leave since the King has been in possession of the seigniory.” and the dues that should be paid so that ” the King may get his rights.”
  7. They were to arbitrate in land disputes, but appeal to the Governor-in-Council was permitted. They were to redress
    wrong and recover stolen property.

In short the deputies were practically mediators, with little real power but great opportunity to facilitate or clog the work of administration. In only one instance is there evidence of the appointment of an Acadian to be a justice of the peace.” Prudent Robicheau was the honoured name. A Prudent Robicheau, once before, had been rejected by tlie Governor as a deputy because of lack either of ancientness or possessions.’

The independent fishermen of Canso were not disposed to brool< much interference from the Governor Their local affairs were managed by justices of the peace (and it is worth noting) ” with a committee of the people of Canso.” These justices seem at least to have been acceptable to the people. On one occasion the Governor sent three commissions for justices of the peace in blank, which the other justices and probably the committee were to fill in.* On another occasion there was a vigorous protest against Captain Aldridge. who seems to have been anxious to introduce something not far remote from military rule.* The Governor reproved him.

The system of deputies (or rather hostages) for the French and justices of the peace for the English was a rather happy compromise. It was lacking in power to coerce, but it provided good machinery for informing the people of the Governor’s instructions and the Governor of the people’s wants.

Government by Courts of Sessions

In 1749 Governor Cornwallis in accordance with his instructions erected three courts of justice, ” The first was a Court of General Sessions similar in its nature and conformable in its practice to the Courts of the same name in England.” “The second was a County Court having jurisdiction over the whole province (then a single county) and held by those persons who were in the Commission of the Peace at Halifax.”‘ ” The third was a General Court. This was a Court of Assize and general jail delivery in which the Governor and Council, for the time being, sat as judges.”‘ In 1754 a Supreme Court with a chief justice specially appointed for judicial work took the place of the General Court. These three courts were primarily courts of law, and yet one, the Court of Sessions, discharged important administrative functions, and another, the highest, was primarily not a court of law but an administrative body. To understand the Court of Sessions and its diverse duties one should turn to its history in England.

Unusual as is today the merging of judicial and administrative functions, it was not novel to Nova Scotians one hundred and fifty years ago. When Halifax was founded, the Governor-in-Council was a legislative, administrative and judicial body in one. Although it was relieved of its judicial functions in 1754 the chief justice still remained a member of the Council, became a governor, and exercised administrative powers until driven out of the Council in 1838 by Howe. The Council claimed the sole right to legislate until the chief justice questioned the legality of its acts and caused the Secretary of State to direct the Governor to summon an Assembly. Still the Council continued to discharge executive and legislative duties until separation was forced in 1838. And it was not until 1848 that Howe completed his great task and made the Executive Council dependent upon the will of the majority of the Assembly.

In the courts of general sessions, it may be explained, the sheriff as appointee of the Crown was the executive officer ; the justices were the guardians of the peace, also appointed by the Crown; and the grand jury was the people speaking through a select few. From the earliest times these courts were administrative as well as judicial bodies. Obviously the transition is easy from inquiries into how the King’s peace was observed to inquiries as to measures to secure its better observance, e.g.. the establishment of court-houses, jails, etc., bridges for the improvement of the King’s highway and the like.

In 1749 Cornwallis appointed four justices of the peace for Halifax. In addition to these there were those who by virtue of their office were conservators of the peace. At one time the captains of the ships in the harbour were justices of the peace for Halifax. Ordinarily those justices were appointed by special mandate of the Governor. According to English practice they must be residents of the county. Their number seems to have been unlimited, and they held office during the pleasure of the .Crown, In the days of Howe’s battles the larger counties had forty or fifty and when the Municipalities Bill became law some counties were credited with between one and two hundred. The general sessions of the peace were usually not well attended except by a few who took an active interest, but on occasions when some matter of widespread interest, such as the granting of liquor licenses or some questions of political moment were up, the attendance was large and the meetings frequently tumultuous.

The grand juries were composed of residents of at least three months standing having freehold in the county of the clear yearly value of $10 or personalty of $100. The sheriff was required each year to prepare a list of those qualified to serve. Their names were to be written on similar pieces of paper and put in a box. At a stated time the names of those to be summoned to serve were to be drawn out of the box. This method prevented jury-packing, and if it did not secure for the people the spokesmen whom they might have chosen it prevented the sheriff from stopping the questions of the people by summoning subservient tools.

The sheriff was appointed by the Crown each year. Previous to 1778 there was one provost Marshall for the province of Nova Scotia. Thereafter a sheriff was appointed for each county with the usual powers of Sheriffs in England. The chief justice or presiding justice selected three names, one of which was the retiring sheriff (unless a majority of the justices of the peace protested) and the Governor-In_Council must select one of these Sheriff for the year. In New Brunswick the provost Marshall disappeared about 1790, and the appointment of Sheriffs does not seem to have been hedged about with restrictions.

Local Divisions

There is considerable diversity in the three provinces with respect to municipal divisions. In all three the county divisions are the most important. New Brunswick was divided into counties, and the counties were subdivided into parishes, first by letters patent and later by Act of Parliament. In Nova Scotia the townships and settlements were the first to appear; and later out of or about these the counties were constructed. Nova Scotia also recognized other units such as “Divisions” and “Districts.” Prince Edward Island was divided into “Counties,” Parishes,” “Lots,” and three towns with royalties and commons attached.

Nova Scotia.- The “Division” in Nova Scotia was merely a circuit for the Court of Common Pleas reconstructed in 1824. The province, excluding Halifax and Cape Breton, was divided into three divisions.
In 1749 there was but one county. When the question of representation in the Assembly came up, the township as well as the county was considered worthy of representation. In 1833 Murdoch wrote: “Some of the counties are divided into Districts to facilitate the local business of the county, giving each district a set of public officers nearly equivalent to those of a separate county,” e.g., a court of general sessions of the peace.” “In Halifax county there are three districts-Halifax proper, Colchester, Pictou, each of which has every arrangement for the administration of justice, the registry of deeds, etc., as if it were a separate county wanting only the name and a county representative in the Assembly.” “Each district,” says Haliburton, “is or should be furnished with a court house, but the jail belongs to the county. The sheriff’s authority is commensurate with the county and the commissions of the peace extend throughout the same. The localities of the juries both in real and personal have also a reference to the county; and the election of representatives is in no way affected by this local arrangement of districts.”

“The settled parts of the province,” wrote Murdoch in 1833, “and those where settlements are attempted have been further divided into Townships, some as large as the smaller counties and many more of smaller dimensions, and it is probable that this mode of division will be extended over the whole surface of the country as it is a favourite manner of allotment in North America, and it is very useful as a guide to the arrangement of the representation, the local assessment and a variety of other purposes.” Haliburton stated in 1829 that a “township contains no certain definite quantity of lands nor assumes any prescribed shape as in Upper Canada where it is generally under- stood to extend nine miles in front and twelve miles in the rear; nor is it endowed with all those various corporate powers which the townships of New England possess, beyond the election of a representative; which privilege is not enjoyed by all. The inhabitants have no other power than holding an annual meeting for the purpose of voting money for the support of their poor.” Governor Lawrence in his proclamation of 1758 declared that “townships are to consist of 100,000 acres.” This seems to have been the usual size for those in the valley and on the Atlantic coast. On the other hand, the three townships of Pictou county contain over 200,000 acres each. Governor Lawrence also declared that every township containing fifty families would be entitled to send one representative to the Assembly. At the first Assembly it was proposed to restrict the qualification to twenty-five voters, but the Home Government insisted on fifty. Since Lawrence’s proclamation was addressed to New Englanders it is probable that their views about townships were adopted. In 1829 the province contained 10 counties (5) counties being subdivided into 12 districts) and 50 townships.

Murdoch’s expectation that the “townships” division would extend over the whole province has not been realized. Today they are important only as marks of land grants. The decline of the “township” began with the Electoral Act of 1847. Previous to this, simultaneous elections had been impossible because of the difficulty of polling the entire vote of a township or settlement in one day. To meet this difficulty the counties were divided into electoral districts or polling sections. Where townships existed this Act respected their boundaries in the setting off of the electoral districts. When no townships were recognized the electoral district provided a useful unit. In time the polling section became the constituency of a county councillor, and a poor division. In 1843 and 1844 two large and unwieldy townships in Pictou county were subdivided for poor purposes. In 1855 an Act provided for the incorporation of townships. No advantage was taken of its permission. When the right of sending a representative to the Assembly was taken from the townships in 1857 or 1858 the township lost the last shred of political importance. Henceforth it was but a name known to those who were interested in land titles.

New Brunswick.-Before New Brunswick was erected into a separate province the county of Sunbury and the township of Sackville were granted representation (1767) in the Assembly of Nova Scotia. The boundaries of the parishes or tow is of what afterwards became the county of Westmorland were defined by the boundaries of the lands granted by Nova Scotia.
By letters patent in 1785 Governor Carleton set off the boun- daries of the counties of St. John, Westmorland, Charlotte, Northumberland, Kings, Queens, York and Sunbury; and for the better administration of justice subdivided them into towns or parishes. The Legislature confirmed this division in 1786.

The plan was simple. The whole province was divided into eight counties. The settled portions were Sunbury on the St. John, Westmorland west of Nova Scotia, and St. John, the landing-place of the Loyalists (1783). The new counties were set off and Sunbury was the residue. Some of the boundaries were defined with reference to townships, e.g., St. John began from Hopewell township, York from Maugerville, Queens from Burton. The counties again were divided into ” towns or parishes.” The term “parish” rapidly supplanted that of township.” The “township” may be traced to Massachusetts, the “parish” to New York and Virginia. In England the parish was of course originally an ecclesiastical division, the township a civil.

The blending of the ecclesiastical and the civil appears as late as 1790 in New Brunswick. Governor Carleton in a letter (dated Aug. 20th, 1790) to the Secretary of State says of the provision made for education and religion: “There are now six ministers of the Church of England, having salaries from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in addition to £100 allotted to each by an annual grant of Parliament, the glebe lands still being unproductive. The province has been divided into eight counties with thirty-nine parishes, all of which, how- ever, do not require a permanent minister at present.”

It is worth noting that in New Brunswick the county is sub- divided, and that in Nova Scotia the county is apparently a group of townships or settlements, as Mr. McEvoy states to be the case in Ontario. This difference had important consequences. It gave the township an independence in the public mind not possessed by a mere subdivision of the county (the parish). This is seen in the town meetings which were a feature of the Nova Scotia townships and electoral divisions down to 1879, although temporarily suppressed in 1770, as already remarked, through fear of revolution. This feature survived in the charters granted to such towns as Dartmouth (1873), Pictou (1873), New Glasgow (1875), which required an annual meeting of the ratepayers to receive the reports of the town’s officials and to authorize expenditures. In 1905 again, for example, Dartmouth held a town meeting to consider the increase of water supply and other matters. There were parish or town meetings in New Brunswick, particularly in the eastern portion, but they seem to have been due partly to the Nova Scotia example and partly to the movement for responsible government which secured an Act (in 1850) giving parishes or towns the privilege of electing their officials. This privilege seems not to have been generally taken advantage of, for pro- vision is made for appointment by the justices should there be no election; and in 1854 the consolidation of the statutes makes no mention of election.

The care of its own poor was the first, the primary and, as Haliburton said in 1829, practically the only duty of the parish or township; yet it is worth noting that the early schools in New Brunswick were parish schools and that the trustees were parish officials. The Superintendent of Education in 1904 recommended a return to the larger unit for school purposes, and suggested the parish as a suitable unit.

Prince Edward Island.-The Island was divided into 67 lots, usually containing about 20,000 acres each. These were grouped into three counties and in each county a town site with royalty and common was laid out for a capital. “The intention was that the man who held a lot in the town should be allowed a lot in the royalty for pasturing purposes. The common was situated between the town and the royalty and was for pasture purposes in common.” The counties were sub-divided into 14 districts or parishes. The “parish lines are but little recognized.” “These local divisions became practically useless and are seldom mentioned now except in legal proceedings connected with old land titles.” With the exception of the capital city, Charlottetown, there is but one other municipality, the town of Summerside. Local affairs are thus-doubt- less on account of the smallness of the island province-in the hands of the provincial Legislature and its local officials.

Appointment of Local Officials

Nova Scotia.-In Nova Scotia various methods of appointing local officials have been followed at different times. Before the establishment of courts of sessions the Governor-in-Council stared the privilege with the town meeting. Upon the institution of the courts the appointment of the great majority of the officials was delegated to them, in some cases without restriction, in others subject to the nomination of the grand juries. In a few instances the grand juries appointed, subject to the ratification of the justices. Of the five methods: (1) the Governor-in-Council, (2) popular election, (3) the court of sessions, (4) the sessions upon nomination of the grand jury, (5) the grand jury subject to the ratification of the justices, the mast common was the appointment by the sessions on the nomination of the grand jury. The Governor-in-Council appointed the sheriff, coroners, justices of the peace, commissioners of sewers and dykes, gaugers (from 1761 to 1769), commissioners for schools in each county and district (from 1828).

In January, 1751, the Governor-in-Council ordered that the “town and suburbs of Halifax be divided into eight wards and the inhabitants be empowered annually to choose the following officers for managing such prudential affairs of the town as shall be committed to their care by the Governor-in-Council, viz., eight town overseers, one town clerk, sixteen constables, eight scavengers.” In 1763 the town meeting (which was held twice a year) chose the assessors of the poor rate. This practice was also authorized by an Act passed in 1851. The assessors appointed the collectors of the poor rate, which, wrote Murdoch in 1833. “is the only regular fund managed by the township authorities without the intervention of the sessions and grand juries of the county.” From 1859 to 1878 the town meeting could choose the collectors.

In 1762 the grand juries in sessions were empowered to appoint annually cullers and surveyors of dry fish, surveyors of lumber, and surveyors of cordwood; and three years later the appointment of the county treasurer, subject to certain restrictions, was placed in their hands. The usual method of appointment by the sessions required the juries to nominate. At first twice as many candidates as there were offices were to be nominated; but later (1811) the number was to be as many as the justices in sessions might direct,” as the numbers before limited by law were found insufficient.” Apparently the juries by nominating impossible candidates could force the justices to appoint those whom they desired.

The officials appointed by the justices on the nomination of the grand juries, as given by Murdoch’ in 1832, with the dates of the Acts giving the power were as follows: In 1765 surveyors of lines and boundaries of townships and overseers of the poor (“both offices united in the same persons “), a town clerk, constables, surveyors of highways, fence viewers, clerks of market, poundkeepers, cullers and surveyors of fish, surveyors of lumber, sealers of leather, gaugers of casks, hogreaves (1792), measurers of grain, salt, coals, inspectors of lime and bricks, inspectors and repackers of beef (1794), surveyors and weighers of hay (1777), inspectors of flour and meal (1796), inspectors of red and smoked herrings (1798), inspectors and weighers of beef (1829), inspectors of thistles (1791), and inspectors of butter in Cumberland county (1802). The local trustees of schools were, according to the Act of 1828, appointed by the commissioners of schools who were nominees of the Governor-in-Council.

After Howe became prime minister an Act was passed in 1850 dividing Halifax into townships, and giving each township the right to elect a warden and four councillors who were to have all the powers “now exercised by the justices of the peace”; and empowering the ratepayers at the annual meeting to elect all township officers whether “now appointed by the sessions, town meetings or others as considered necessary.” This Act was per- missive and seems never to have been put into effect. A similar Act (1856), intended for the other counties, was put into effect in but one county, Yarmouth, and then only for three years.

The method of appointment by the justices on nomination by the grand juries continued until incorporation was made compulsory for all counties and districts in 1879.

New Brunswick.-Governor Carleton and the Assembly from the first decided to give the people, either directly or indirectly through the grand juries, as little power as possible in the appointment of local officials. In the draft of the Highways Bill submitted to the House in 1786 provision was made for the nomination of road surveyors or commissioners of the highways by the grand juries. This provision was struck out before the bill became law. New Brunswick was to “improve upon the constitution of Nova Scotia.”

The justices of the peace were empowered to appoint, at the first sessions of the court each year, “out of every town or parish in the said county three overseers of the poor, a clerk of the town or parish, a clerk of the market, a sealer of leather, three assessors, two or more constables, two or more fence viewers, a sufficient number of poundkeepers, cullers and surveyors of fish, surveyors of lumber and cordwood, gaugers of casks, hogreaves, surveyors and weighers of hay, surveyors and examiners of any staple commodity and (in 1805) parish school trustees.

In addition the Governor-in-Council appointed a great many officials, e.g., commissioners of sewers (1786), supervisors of great roads (1822), commissioners for the almshouse in Fredericton (1822) and Northumberland (1828), grammar school trustees (1829), firewards in Fredericton (1824), Newcastle and Chatham (1828), St. Stephen (1833), boards of health (1833), marine hospital trustees (1822), commissioners to collect dues for disabled seamen (1826), commissioners for the provincial House of Correction (1841), also for the asylum for the insane.

In 1850 the parishes were granted the privilege of electing the town or parish officials hitherto appointed by the sessions, except the treasurer, auditors, trustees of schools, overseers of fisheries, inspectors of fish, wharfingers, port warden, harbour master, pilots and firewards, who were to be appointed as before by the sessions. In the following year the same privilege was granted to parishes organized as municipalities. But failing election, appointment was to be made by the sessions or the council. When the statutes were consolidated in 1854 this privilege of election was withdrawn from the parishes. Probably little use had been made of it. It is possible that this introduction of the township idea was suggested by what Howe had done in Nova Scotia. It is well to remember that it was in 1848 that Nova Scotians gained responsible government.

Prince Edward Island.-As Bourinot remarks, “no system of local government ever existed in the counties and parishes as in other parts of America. The Legislature has been always a municipal council for the whole island.” In 1833 the representatives of Charlottetown in the Legislature were instructed to summon the inhabitants to vote money for local purposes and to appoint assessors and collectors. The following year the inhabitants of each school district were required to choose five trustees.

The Powers and Municipal Labours of the Sessions

Nova Scotia.–In the exercise of their administrative functions the justices of the peace appointed officials, ordered assessments and controlled expenditures, controlled certain licenses such as those for the sale of liquor, and made regulations about a variety of subjects. The list of subjects is similar to that given below for New Brunswick. In New Brunswick the justices in sessions were less restricted in the exercise of their powers by the grand juries than were their fellow justices in Nova Scotia.

In 1877 the committee appointed to revise the statutes prepared a draft summarizing the powers of the courts of sessions. But apparently after the draft had been printed and submitted to the Legislature it was decided to make the Municipalities Act compulsory and to abolish the courts of session. In that draft these courts were (1) given power to appoint and define the duties of the parish officials; (2) given charge of jails, lockups, workhouses or almshouses (unless entrusted to special commissioners) and village police; (3) required to prevent vice, dis- orders and disorderly driving, Sabbath profanation, nuisances, noises; (4) required to regulate the sale of liquor, circuses, exhibitions; (5) required to make regulations concerning trespass by domestic animals, the marking of cattle, pounds, dog tax, destruction of mad dogs, noxious weeds, fires, bush burning, trucks, depositing of ballast, markets, measuring and inspecting such commodities as bread, salt, coal, hay, iron, lumber; (6) required to have charge of ferries, streets, public wharves, bridges, booms, timber driving, commons, marshes, school reserves, river banks. At an earlier date they had had charge of inland fishing (1799), grazing on the commons (1814). parish schools (1823), lunatics (1824), the prevention of infectious diseases (1799).

The care of the poor was a parish charge and was in the hands of overseers appointed by the sessions.

The sessions assessed upon the presentment of the grand jury of the county setting forth the sums required for (1) the expenses of criminal justice, such as the building and maintenance of county court houses, jails, stocks, pillories, pounds, conveyance and support of prisoners, salaries of clerk of the peace and jailor; (2) the support of the or; (3) the building and repairing of bridges and other public works authorized by parliament; (4) the expenses for preventing fires. “The sessions apportion the sum presented fixing on each township and settlement the portion they think it should bear” (1765). It also appointed two collectors and three assessors for each township on the nomination of the grand juries (1777). The moneys collected were handed to the treasurer, who was chosen by the grand jury, and approved by the justices in sessions, to whom also the treasurer accounted quarterly (1813), and to whom appeals lay from the assessors.

Other sources of revenue were from rents from public buildings, fines and forfeitures, license fees from hawkers and pedlars (1782) and liquor sellers (1787). The liquor license fees were collected by a clerk of licenses appointed in Halifax by the Governor, elsewhere by the justices of the peace, who selected one of three candidates nominated by tire grand jury. Three-fifths of the license fees (liquor and hawkers) in Halifax went to the commissioner of streets; two-fifths to the police department. When money was to be borrowed permission had to be received from the Legislature.

The various officers were accountable to the sessions for the moneys entrusted to them. The grand juries had the right to inspect the accounts and to make a presentment upon the administration of the justices or their officials. The way in which the latter discharged their duties in Halifax was exposed in a painful manner by Howe in 1835.

New Brunswick.-The sources of revenue and the administration of it were similar to those of Nova Scotia. Apparently (though the evidence is not clear) the grand juries in the early days were not so influential in New Brunswick as in the sister province. In 1833 the justices in session were required to cause accounts of public moneys to be laid before the grand jury, and the grand jury was empowered to “make such presentment thereupon as they see fit.” In 850 stress was laid upon the recommendation of the grand jury for buildings and contingencies as a necessary condition to an assessment by the sessions. Further, the accounts of the county and parishes were to be laid before the grand jury, when the town or parish officers were to be appointed. Also at the time of the election of town or parish officers, the overseers of the poor, collectors of rates, and commissioners of highways were required to lay their accounts before the ratepayers for examination. The growing influence of the grand jury and the open examination of accounts were due to the demand for representative government.

It is worthy of note that today in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick each poor district or parish must bear the cost of the maintenance of the poor who have “settlement” within it. Every other charge, even the support of the insane poor at the provincial hospital, is a county charge. The sole exception in New Brunswick is the charge of opening up a new road.


In 1835 Joseph Howe published in the Nova Scotian a number of letters attacking the Halifax County Sessions, for which he was arrested on a charge of criminal libel; he was, however, finally acquitted in triumph in spite of the charge of the judge to the contrary. The repeated declarations of successive grand juries and the chorus of popular approval that greeted him seem to warrant one in believing that Howe’s severe arraignment was justified. He charged’ them with unfair assessment, mismanagement of public accounts, “miserable but costly corruptions of the Bridewell (Prison) and Poorhouse,” inefficient and dilatory administration of justice, all of which were supported by quotations from reports of grand juries and of a special committee appointed by the Governor-in-Council.

In its report published shortly before Howe’s trial, the grand jury stated that “but £36 of the whole assessment of the year had been collected and that from persons much less able to pay than many who stand in the list of defaulters.” Howe gave examples of the effect of the failure of the sessions to collect rates in the county outside of the city and from a large number of favoured or careless ratepayers. Although the city contained 14,439 people as compared with 10,437 in the county, from 1825 to 1835 not one shilling had been received from the county outside the city. Apart from the large amount of uncollected taxes, the management of funds collected was careless and irregular. Instead of paying into the treasury, collectors of taxes were permitted to pay to other persons, who appropriated the funds to suit their own convenience, causing much hardship to civic officials and creditors. “The credit of the county is absolutely so bad that an advance of forty or fifty per cent. is. required in all purchases made on account.” The grand jury returned the county treasurer’s accounts as being incomprehensible, not so much from fault of the treasurer as from the con- fused manner in which public accounts were kept. Examples of the inefficiency of the police, of the unequal administration of justice and of the indifference of the magistrates were cited. Although the law required all magistrates to attend general and quarter sessions under penalty of removal from office, “from the record of five years it appeared that not more than three justices had usually attended the general sessions of the peace in Halifax, frequently but two and sometimes only one.” The grand jury, which in effect was the organ of the people, Howe declared had been frustrated in its attempts to detect and remove abuses. Sometimes the magistrates refused it access to public documents and at other times ignored its recommendations. Finally the grand jury refused to assess, and thus brought matters to a head.

It should be said in fairness to other courts of sessions that there is little doubt that Halifax stood alone in its bad preeminence. Yet enough remains to show that the system had many serious defects. It was not, however, unacceptable elsewhere. For nearly thirty years a permissive Act for municipal incorporation held open a door of escape for the several counties in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In Nova Scotia one county only took advantage of it and that for but a brief period.

Government by Elective Councils

Nova Scotia.-Responsible government for the province logically implied self-government in the municipalities. In Nova Scotia, since 1763, the township had the right to meet and vote money for the support of the poor and to elect the assessors required to get this money. This right the townships, or settlements as they were sometimes called, continued to enjoy until 1879.

It was natural for Howe to begin at home with his municipal reform. Halifax city had been given the right to govern itself in 1841. Halifax county, however, was still governed by the court of sessions when the victory for responsible government brought Howe into power. Whatever the cause, whether it was Howe’s New England ancestry, or the prominence of the township in western Nova Scotia, or the difficulty of combining the very diverse and widely separated sections of Halifax into one county, Howe adopted the township as the unit of municipal government in the Act of 1850. This Act provided for the appointment of commissioners to divide Halifax county into townships, each township to elect a warden and four councillors, who were to assume all the powers and duties of justices of the peace for the county. But little or nothing seems to have resulted from this Act.

In 1855 there was passed an elaborate Act providing machinery for municipal government in the four counties of Yarmouth, Annapolis, Kings and Queens, the four counties in which New England influence was strongest. The following year this restriction was removed and all other counties and a number of districts, such as the French districts of Clare and Argyle, the Scottish St. Mary’s and the pre-loyalist Barrington were given an opportunity, should they wish to transfer the government of the locality from the quarter session to elective councils.

In the same year another Act providing for the self-government of townships was passed. A reeve and four councillors were to be elected by the township, and the reeves in the county were to form the county council. The township councils were to exercise the power of county councils with reference to roads, the poor, prevention of vice and assessment, with the following exceptions. The expenditure of the government grants for roads, the erection of bridges, the control of liquor licenses, the regulation of ferries, wharves, markets and fairs were with- held from them. The annual town meeting was expressly provided for.

Both the County and the Township Acts were permissive and remained in force until the compulsory Act was passed in 1879. Yarmouth was the only county to apply for the privileges of the Act. But after three years’ trial, in 1858, it petitioned for the old order of local government; yet Yarmouth has always been noted for its sympathy with New England ideas.
The towns were more anxious to secure the privilege of self-government, more particularly the privilege of assessing for local purposes and of borrowing money. Each town sought incorporation by a special Act. Pictou and Dartmouth in 1873.

Municipal Organizations

Rural municipalities, towns and cities are incorporated under different Acts. The Municipalities Act applies to counties and, in the case of Nova Scotia, to districts as well, i.e., to divisions (never more than two) of a county. The Towns Incorporation Act of Nova Scotia provides for towns whether previously or subsequently incorporated: in New Brunswick the Towns Incorporation Act applies only to the towns incorporated subsequent to the passing of the Act. Each city has a special charter.
In Nova Scotia six of the eighteen counties are divided into two districts, making altogether twenty-four rural municipalities. These are again divided into polling districts, each of which is entitled according to population to at least one representative in the council. Only in one instance has a polling district as many as three representatives. The qualifications of municipal councillors and of voters are the same as those required of members and voters for the House of Assembly, except that since 1887 the franchise has been given to unmarried women, assessed for $150 realty or $300 personalty.
The elections are held on the same day throughout the province. Councillors previously sat for one year; but since 1892 their term is three years. Like the provincial Assembly the council chooses its presiding officer (the warden) at the first session after election, grants an indemnity ($2 a day and 5 cents a mile) to its members and an additional sum ($50) to the warden. It has power to assess for enumerated purposes, chief among which are the support of the poor, prevention of disease, administration of justice, court house and jail, protection from fires, bounties for certain wild animals, ferries and markets, roads and bridges (not exceeding $1,000 unless with the approval of the Governor-in-Council). Districts within a municipality may petition for the privilege of assessing for specified purpose: and be rated accordingly. Loans for current purposes are limited to $2,000 subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council. A contingent fund of $500 is permitted. All by-laws are, however, subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council.

The Towns Incorporation Act of Nova Scotia was passed in 1888, revised in 1895, and embodied in the consolidation of 1900. It requires a majority vote of the ratepayers of the town in favour of incorporation before such incorporation can be granted by the Governor-in-Council. A further condition was subsequently added. There must be at least 700 persons dwelling within an area of five hundred acres of land.

A mayor and six councillors are to be chosen at the first election by the entire town. The council has power to divide the town into wards and assign two councillors to each ward, these to be elected by the rate, ayers of the ward. The mayor holds office for one year, the councillors for two years; but one-half of the council retires each year.
Both mayor and councillor must be British subjects, at least twenty-one years of age, and ratepayers, the mayor’s assessment reaching at least $500 real or $1,000 personal property.

The council has power to assess for the poor, schools, streets, sewers, water, fire, the courts, police, salaries and the county fund. But before it can grant a bonus, or make a permanent loan, the sanction of the town meeting and the authority of the Legislature must be secured. A loan for school buildings need not be specially authorized by an Act of the Legislature. Exemption from taxation cannot be granted unless sanctioned by a special Act of the Legislature. And all the by-laws or ordinances passed by the town council are subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council.

The council appoints all officials save the stipendiary magistrate, who is appointed by the Governor-in-Council. The town clerk holds office during good behaviour. The town solicitor may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote. But an official who holds office during good behaviour may appeal to a judge of the County Court or Supreme Court to call upon the mayor and town council to show cause for his dismissal or the reduction of his salary. All other officials save one are appointed for one year. The council appoints three revisers to revise the electoral lists.

Local Problems

Revision of electoral lists, liquor license control and assessment are responsible for most of the local municipal conflicts. As the burdens of taxation increase, the inequalities of the systems become more galling, and the demand for reform more insistent. The control of the sale of liquor has divided the community into two factions, while the revision of the electoral lists opens and keeps open the door to party politics and determines whether a road shall be ditched or a sewer laid according to the great principles of rival national policies.

Electoral Revisers.-Accordingly the revision of the electoral lists is jealously watched. The provincial lists are now used for federal elections, and are prepared by local authorities. The introduction of federal politics into municipal affairs is due partly to this, partly to the patronage placed in the hands of the councillors by the road grants, and partly to the tendency of co-workers in the federal and provincial contests to assist each other in municipal contests.

In Nova Scotia the three electoral revisers are appointed like other municipal officials. They are usually selected from the councillors for the districts concerned. The revisal section in rural municipalities consists of not less than two or more than five polling districts, as the council may determine, each polling district being usually represented by one councillor. Each town. constitutes a single revisal section. The city of Halifax has a registrar of voters, who is appointed by the council, but cannot be removed except for cause.

In New Brunswick the revisal section is the parish. In 1854 the law directed that the revisers be appointed or elected like other parish officers. In 1877 the county councillors of each parish were to be the revisers. If they were but two in number, the council selected another; if more than three, the council selected three. In cities and towns the councils elected the revisers. In 1899 the provincial Government secured the right to appoint the chairman, the other two being councillors.
Sale of Intoxicating Liquors.-The sale of intoxicating liquors is prohibited or regulated by municipal ratepayers in accordance with either the Canada Temperance Act, usually called the “Scott Act,” or a provincial prohibitory law (in Prince Edward Island) or a provincial license law. Compared with the federal Act the provincial prohibitory Act of Prince Edward Island is more stringent. It forbids. the sale except for specified purpose and then through a regularly appointed agent. It gives greater powers with regard to searching, and it provides that any one arrested for drunkenness may be required under oath to state where he received the liquor. In Nova Scotia six counties and Halifax have adopted the provincial license law, the remainder the Dominion prohibitory law. In New Brunswick the provincial license law is in force in the five northern or French counties and in the city of St. John, and the Dominion prohibitory law in. he remainder.

The enforcement of the law is placed in the hands of an inspect or inspectors appointed in Nova Scotia by the municipality. The appointment of an inspector or inspectors must be confined or vetoed by the Governor-in-Council. In New Brunswick the license inspector is appointed by the Governor-in-Council, the “Scott Act” inspector by the municipal council. In Prince Edward Island the police in towns are also inspectors under the law. Their vigilance varies, however, with the complexion of the council as reflected in the com- mission or committee controlling them.

The number of licenses granted is restricted in the following ways. In New Brunswick a distinction is drawn between counties or rural municipalities, incorporated towns and cities. In counties one license is permitted for each full 400 of the first 1,200 population and one for each 1,000 thereafter; in towns one license is permitted for each full 250 of the first 1,000, and one for each 500 thereafter; in the city of St. John the number is limited to 75 shop or tavern licenses and 7 hotel licenses. Since 1877 any parish in a county or any ward in a city has the right of vetoing the granting of licenses within its bounds by recording a majority vote of its ratepayers against it. In Nova Scotia the number is not limited by law, except in Halifax, but the town or the polling district in the county or in the city of Halifax must first express its willingness for the granting of a license by a petition signed by a certain proportion of the ratepayers. In the county or the incorporated town the proportion is two-thirds in favour. In Halifax three-fifths of the ratepayers of polling districts are required for a retail license, a majority for a wholesale. The licenses are granted in Nova Scotia by the council, town or county; in New Brunswick by three commissioners appointed by the Governor-in-Council. Each commissioner holds office for three years, one retiring each year. In each province stringent conditions must be complied with before a license can be granted, and in New Brunswick a commissioner may be subject to a heavy fine for the illegal granting of a license.

The license fees and fines in Nova Scotia go into the municipal treasury. In New Brunswick the spoil is divided with the provincial treasury.

Assessment.-General Acts govern the assessment in counties and towns in each of the three provinces and special Acts the assessment in cities. The provincial Act of Nova Scotia declares all real and personal property and income (subject to certain exemptions) liable for taxation. The assessment law of Hali- fax omits income. A fixed poll tax of 60 cents in the country, $2.00 in towns or $5.00 in Halifax is also exacted. Exemptions are numerous and important. Among others may be mentioned the property of widows to the value of $400, implements or tools of farmers, mechanics or fishermen to the value of $200, the produce of the farm and of the sea; income up to $400 in the country and $600 in the towns. Ships are rated at half value. Funds in provincial debentures, the income from provincial or municipal debentures, the property of railways, and other property by special Act, are exempt.

The New Brunswick provincial Act requires one-sixth of the tax to be raised by a poll tax and the remainder to be levied equally on real and personal property and income. Fredericton until 1907 enjoyed the distinction of retaining a provision whereby income is rated at full value and real and personal property at one-fifth. The exemptions granted are similar to those of Nova Scotia. Corporations are assessed on their paid- up capital less their real estate.

In Prince Edward Island the confusion of provincial and local obligations has produced a distinct type of assessment. The absence of mines, forests and important industries leaves that pastoral island without the great sources of revenue of the sister provinces. The heavy burden of the schools is principally borne by the provincial treasury and not by the district assessment. The principal sources of revenue are the Dominion subsidy, the land, income and road taxes, license fees and succession duties.

The land tax was introduced in 1894. At first it was levied at from one to six cents per acre according to value, but in 1897 this was changed to a percentage tax of one-fifth of one per cent., or twenty cents on every $100. The value of the land includes the value of buildings, but after the first year improvements are not assessed. A rate of one and a half per cent is levied upon income, but income due to manual labour, not exceeding $300, is exempt. The road tax is simple. A poll tax of $1.00 is levied on men between 21 and 60, and twenty-five cents for each horse over three years of age.

In the cities and towns generally there is much dissatisfaction over the system of taxation. Fredericton vigorously protested against the heavy burden placed upon income. John and Halifax complain of the hardships suffered by merchants and manufacturers who carry large stocks of goods. Partial relief was given in Halifax by placing merchandise at three-fourths value and by exempting by special legislation certain industries. Wharf property and shipping were granted similar relief. In St. John the heavy burdens which that ambitious city has incurred its efforts to equip the harbour with ample docks and facilities have aggravated the unequal pressure of its system; and an assessment commission has just reported in favour of a change to a tax on rentals very much as in Ontario. Another commission is sitting in Fredericton. Halifax has had its full share of committees and commissions, yet more are demanded. Fredericton’s preposterous income tax was neutralizing the great advantage of central position and natural beauty and was driving many away. And in both St. John and Halifax municipal taxation is unduly checking manufacturing and trading enterprise.

1 The name of New Ireland was proposed at different times for each of these new provinces. The legislature of Prince Edward Island in 1780 adopted the name, but the Sovereign disapproved. Later it was proposed for New Brunswick (N.B. Historical Collections No 6, p.441), but again prejudice prevailed over the passion for symmetry.

Murray, Walter C. (Walter Charles), 1866-1945. Local Government In the Maritime Provinces. [Canada?: s.n., 1907],

Narrative and critical history of America

“ALL through its early history Acadia, or Nova Scotia, suffered from the insecurity to life and property which arose from its repeated changes of masters. Neither France nor England cared much for a region of so little apparent value ; and both alike regarded it merely as debatable ground, or as a convenient make-weight in adjusting the balance of con quests and losses elsewhere. Nothing was done to render it a safe or attractive home for immigrants ; and at each outbreak of war in the Old World its soil became the scene of skirmishes and massacres in which Indian allies were conspicuous agents. Whatever the turn of victory here, little regard was paid to it in settling the terms of peace. There was hardly an attempt at any time to establish a permanent control over the conquered territory. In spite of the capture of Port Royal by Phips in 1690, and the annexation of Acadia to the government of Massachusetts in 1692, it was only a nominal authority which England had. In 1691, the French again took formal possession of Port Royal and the neighboring country. In the next year an ineffectual attempt was made to recover it ; and this was followed by various conflicts, of no historical importance, in different parts of this much-harassed territory. In August, 1696, the famous Indian fighter, Captain Benjamin Church, left Boston on his fourth eastern expedition. After skirting the coast of Maine, where he met with but few Indians and no enemies, he determined to proceed up the Bay of Fundy. There he captured and burned Beaubassin, or Chignecto, and then returned to St. John. Subsequently he was superseded by Colonel John Hathorne, a member of the Massachusetts council, and an attack was made on the French fort at Nachouac, or Naxoat, farther up the river ; but for some unexplained reason the attack was not pressed, and the English retreated shortly after they landed. “No notice,” says Hutchinson in his History of Massachusetts Bay, “was taken of any loss on either side, except the burning of a few of the enemy’s houses; nor is any sufficient reason given for relinquishing the design so suddenly.” By the treaty of Ryswick in the following year (1697) Acadia was surrendered to France.” The French were not long permitted to enjoy the restored territory. In May, 1704, Church was again placed in command of an expedition fitted out at Boston against the French and Indians in the eastern country. He had been expressly forbidden to attack Port Royal, and after burning the little town of Mines nothing was accomplished by him. Three years later, in May, 1707, another expedition, of one thousand men, sailed from Boston under command of Colonel March. Port Royal was regularly invested, and an attempt was made to take the place by assault ; but through the inefficiency of the commander it was a total failure. Reembarking his little army, March sailed away to Casco Bay, where he was superseded by Captain Wainwright, the second in command. The expedition then re turned to Port Royal ; but in the mean time the fortifications had been diligently strengthened, and after a brief view of them Wainwright drew off his forces. In 1710 a more successful attempt for the expulsion of the French was made. In July of that year a fleet arrived at Boston from Eng land to take part in a combined attack on Port Royal. In pursuance of orders from the home government, four regiments were raised in the New England colonies, and sailed from Boston on the 18th of September. The fleet numbered thirty-six vessels, exclusive of hospital and store ships, and on board were the four New England regiments, respectively commanded by Sir Charles Hobby, Colonel Tailer, of Massachusetts, Colonel Whiting, of Connecticut, and Colonel Walton, of New Hampshire, and a detachment of marines from England. Francis Nicholson, who had been successively governor of New York, Virginia, and Maryland, had the chief command. The fleet, with the exception of one vessel which ran ashore and was lost, arrived off Port Royal on the 24th of September. The garrison was in no condition to resist an enemy, and the forces were landed without opposition. On the 1st of October three batteries were opened within one hundred yards of the fort ; and twenty-four hours afterward the French capitulated. By the terms of the surrender the garrison was to be transported i to France, and the inhabitants living within cannon-shot of Port Royal were to be protected in person and property for two years, on taking an oath of allegiance to the queen of England, or were to be allowed to remove to Canada or Newfoundland.1 The name of Port Royal was changed to Annapolis Royal in compliment to the queen, and the fort was at once garrisoned by marines and volunteers under the command of Colonel Samuel Vetch, who had been selected as governor in case the expedition should prove successful. Its whole cost to New England was upward of twenty three thousand pounds, which sum was afterward repaid by the mother country. Acadia never again came under French control, and by the j treaty of Utrecht (1713) the province was formally ceded to Great Britain u according to its ancient limits.” As a matter of fact, those limits were never determined ; but the question ceased to have any practical importance after the conquest of Canada by the English, though it was reopened long afterward in the boundary dispute between Great Britain and the United States.

By the treaty of Utrecht, France was left in undisputed possession of Cape Breton ; and in order to establish a check on the English in Nova Scotia, the French immediately began to erect strong fortifications at Louisbourg, in Cape Breton, and invited to its protection the French inhabitants of Acadia and of Newfoundland, which latter had also been ceded to Great Britain. Placentia, the chief settlement in Newfoundland, was accordingly evacuated, and its inhabitants were transferred to Cape Breton ; but such great obstacles were thrown in the way of a voluntary removal of the Acadians that very few of them joined their fellow countrymen. They remained in their old homes, to be only a source of anxiety and danger to their English masters. At the surrender of Acadia to Great Britain, it was estimated by Colonel Vetch, in a letter to the Board of Trade, that there were about twenty-five hundred French inhabitants in the country ; and even at that early date he pointed out that their removal to Cape Breton would leave the country entirely destitute of inhabitants, and make the new French settlement a very populous colony, ” and of the greatest danger and damage to all the British colonies, as well as the universal trade of Great Britain.” l Fully persuaded of the correctness of this view, the successive British governors refused to permit the French to remove to Canada or Cape Breton, and persistently endeavored to obtain from them a full recognition of the British sovereignty. In a single instance — in 1729 — Governor Phillips secured from the French inhabitants on the Annapolis River an unconditional submission ; but with this exception the French would never take the oath of allegiance without an express exemption from all liability to bear arms. It is certain, however, that this concession was never made by any one in authority ; and in the two instances in which it was apparently granted by subordinate officers, their action was repudiated by their superiors. The designation ” Neutral French,” sometimes given to the Acadians, has no warrant in the recognized facts of history.

Meanwhile the colony remained almost stationary, and attracted very little notice from the home government. In August, 1717, General Richard Phillips was appointed governor, which office he retained until 1749, though he resided in England during the greater part of the time. During his absence the small colonial affairs were successively administered by the lieu tenant-governor of Annapolis, John Doucette, who held office from 1717 to I726, and afterward by the lieutenant-governors of the province, Lawrence Armstrong (1725-1739) and Paul Mascarene (1740-1749). Phillips was succeeded by Edward Cornwallis ; but Cornwallis held the office only about three years, when he resigned, and General Peregrine Thomas Hopson was appointed his successor. On Hopson’s retirement, within a few months, the government was administered by one of the members of the council, Charles Lawrence, who was appointed lieutenant-governor in 1754, and governor in 1756.

In 1744 war again broke out between England and France, and the next year it was signalized in America by the capture of Louisbourg. Immediately on learning that war had been declared, the French commander despatched a strong force to Canso, which captured the English garrison at that place and carried them prisoners of war to Louisbourg. A second expedition was sent to Annapolis for a similar purpose, but through the prompt action of Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, it failed of success. Aroused, no doubt, by these occurrences, Shirley formed the plan of capturing Louisbourg ; and early in January, 1745, he communicated his de sign to the General Court of Massachusetts, and about the same time wrote to Commodore Warren, commanding the British fleet in the West Indies, for cooperation. His plans were favorably received, not only by Massachusetts, but also by the other New England colonies. Massachusetts voted to raise 3,250 men ; Connecticut 500 ; and New Hampshire and Rhode Island each 300. The chief command was given to Sir William Pepperrell, a wealthy merchant of Kittery in Maine, of unblemished reputation and great personal popularity ; and the second in command was Samuel Waldo, a native of Boston, but at that time also a resident of Maine.1 The chief of artillery was Richard Gridley, a skilful engineer, who, in June, 1775, marked out the redoubt on Bunker Hill. The under taking proved to be so popular that the full complement of men was raised within two months. The expedition consisted of thirteen armed vessels, under the command of Captain Edward Tyng, with upward of two hundred guns, and of about ninety transports. They were directed to proceed to Canso, where a block house was to be built, the stores landed, and a guard left to defend them. The Massachusetts troops sailed from Nantasket on the 24th of March, and reached Canso on the 4th of April. The New Hampshire forces had arrived four days before ; the Connecticut troops reached the same place on the 25th. Hutchinson adds, with grim humor, “Rhode Island waited until a better judgment could be made of the event, their three hundred not arriving until after the place had surrendered.”

The works at Louisbourg had been twenty-five years in construction, and though still incomplete had cost between five and six millions of dollars. They were thought to be the most formidable defences in America, and covered an area two and a half miles in circumference. A space of about two hundred yards toward the sea was left without a rampart ; but at all other accessible points the walls were from thirty to thirty-six feet in height, with a ditch eighty feet in width. Scattered along their line were six bastions and three batteries with embrasures for one hundred and forty-eight cannon, of which only sixty-five were mounted, and sixteen mortars. On an island at the entrance of the harbor was a battery mounted with thirty guns ; and directly opposite the entrance of the harbor was the grand battery, mounting twenty-eight heavy guns and two eighteen-pounders. The entrance to the town on the land-side was over a draw-bridge defended by a circular battery mounting sixteen cannon. It was these strong and well-planned works which a handful of New England farmers and fishermen undertook to capture with the assistance of a small English fleet.

Pepperrell was detained by the ice at Canso for nearly three weeks, at the end of which time he was joined by Commodore Warren with four ships, carrying one hundred and eighty guns. The combined forces reached Gabarus Bay, the place selected for a landing, on the morning of the 3Oth of April ; and it was not until that time that the French had any knowledge of the impending attack. Two days later the grand bat tery fell into Pepperrell’s hands through a fortunate panic which seized the French. Thus encouraged, the siege was pressed with vigor under very great difficulties. The first battery was erected immediately on landing, and opened fire at once ; but it required the labor of fourteen nights to draw all the cannon and other materials across the morass between the landing-place and Louisbourg, and it was not until the middle of May that the fourth battery was ready. On the iSth of May, Tyng in the ” Massachusetts ” frigate captured a French ship of sixty-four guns and five hundred men, heavily laden with military stores for Louisbourg. This success greatly raised the spirits of the besiegers, who, slowly but steadily, pushed forward to the accomplishment of their object. Warren’s fleet was reinforced by the arrival of three large ships from England and three from Newfoundland ; the land-gate was demolished ; serious breaches were made in the walls ; and by the middle of June it was determined to attempt a general assault. The French commander, Duchambon, saw that further resistance would be useless, and on the i6th he capitulated with the honors of war, and the next day Pepperrell took possession of Louisbourg.

By the capitulation six hundred and fifty veteran troops, more than thirteen hundred militia, and other persons, to the number in all of upward of four thousand, agreed not to bear arms against Great Britain during the war, and were transported to France in fourteen ships. Seventy-six cannon and mortars fell into the hands of the conquerors, with a great quantity of military stores and provisions. The number killed on the side of the French was three hundred, and on the side of the English one hundred and thirty ; but subsequently the latter suffered heavily by disease, and at one time so many as fifteen hundred were sick from exposure and bad weather. Tidings of the victory created great joy in New England, and the news was received with no small satisfaction in the mother country. Pepperrell was made a baronet, Warren an admiral, and both Shirley and Pepperrell were commissioned as colonels. Subsequently, after a delay of four years, Great Britain reimbursed the colonies for the expenses of the expedition to the amount of £200,000.

The capture of Louisbourg was by far the most important event in the history of Nova Scotia during the war, and the loss of so important a place was a keen mortification to France. As soon as news of the fall of Louisbourg reached the French government, steps were taken with a view to its recapture and to the punishment of the English colonists by destroying Boston and ravaging the New England coast. In June, 1/46, a fleet of eleven ships of the line, twenty frigates, thirty transports, and two fireships was despatched for this purpose under command of Admiral D’Anville ; but the enterprise ended in a disastrous failure. Contrary winds prevailed during the voyage, and on nearing the American coast a violent storm scattered the fleet, driving some of the ships back to France and others to the West Indies, and wrecking some on Sable Island. On the 10th of September D’Anville cast anchor with the remaining vessels -two ships and a few transports — in Chebucto ; and six days later he died, of apoplexy, it is said. At a council of war held shortly afterward it was determined to attack Annapolis, against the judgment of Vice-Admiral D’Estournelle, who had assumed the command. Exasperated, apparently, at this decision, he committed suicide in a fit of temporary insanity. This second misfortune was followed by the breaking out of the small-pox among the crews ; and finally after scuttling some of the vessels the officer next in command returned to France without striking a single blow. In the spring of the following year another expedition, of smaller size, was despatched under command of Admiral De la Jonquiere ; but the fleet was intercepted and dispersed off Cape Finisterre by the English, who captured nine ships of war and numerous other vessels.

Meanwhile, and before the capture of Louisbourg, the French had made an unsuccessful attempt on Annapolis, from which the besieging force was withdrawn to aid in the defence of Louisbourg, but they did not arrive until a month after its surrender. In the following year another army of Canadians appeared before Annapolis ; but the place seemed to be so strong and well defended that it was not thought prudent to press the attack. The French accordingly withdrew to Chignecto to await the arrival of reinforcements expected from France. While stationed there they learned that a small body of New England troops, under Colonel Noble, were quartered at Grand Pre, and measures were speedily adopted to cut them off. The attack was made under cover of a snow-storm at an early hour on the morning of the 4th of February, 1747. It was a complete surprise to the English. Noble, who was in bed at the time, was killed fighting in his shirt. A desperate conflict, however, ensued from house to house, and at ten o’clock in the forenoon the English capitulated with the honors of war.1 This terminated active hostilities in Nova Scotia, from which the French troops shortly afterward withdrew. By the dis graceful peace of Aix la Chapelle (1748) England surrendered Louisbourg and Cape Breton to the French, and all the fruits of the war in America were lost.

After the conclusion of peace it was determined by the home government to strengthen their hold on Nova Scotia, so as to render it as far as possible a bulwark to the other English colonies, instead of a source of danger to them. With this view an advertisement was inserted in the London Gazette, in March, 1749, setting forth “that proper encouragement will be given to such of the officers and private men, lately dismissed his Majesty’s land and sea service, as are willing to accept of grants of land, and to settle with or without families in Nova Scotia.” Fifty acres were to be allotted to every soldier or sailor, free from the payment of rents or taxes for the term of ten years, after which they were not to be required to pay more than one shilling per annum for every fifty acres ; and an additional grant of ten acres for each person in a family was promised. Larger grants, with similar conditions, were to be made to the officers; and still further to encourage the settlement of the province the same inducements were offered to ” carpenters, shipwrights, smiths, masons, joiners, brickmakers, bricklayers, and all other artificers necessary in building or husbandry, not being private soldiers or seamen,” and also to surgeons on producing certificates that they were properly qualified. These offers were promptly accepted by a large number of persons, but apparently by not so many as was anticipated.

In the following May Edward Cornwallis, then a member of Parliament, and uncle of the first Marquis of Cornwallis, was appointed captain-general and governor in chief, and at once embarked for Nova Scotia with the new settlers. On the 21st of June he arrived in Chebucto harbor, which all the officers agreed was the finest harbor they had ever seen ; and early in July he was joined by the transports, thirteen in number, having on board upward of twenty-five hundred immigrants. The shores of the harbor were wooded to the water’s edge, ” no clear spot to be seen or heard of.” But by the 23d of the month more than twelve acres were cleared, and preparations were made for building. A month later the plan of the town was fully laid out, and subsequently a line of palisades was erected around the town, a square fort was built on the hill, and a space thirty feet wide cleared outside of the defensive line. By the end of October three hundred houses had been completed, a second fort had been built, and an order had been sent to Boston for lamps to light the streets in the winter nights. Halifax, as the new town was called, had already begun to wear the appearance of a settled community ; and in little more than a year its first church was opened for religious services. From the first, the growth of Halifax was strong and healthy ; and it soon became a place of considerable importance. So early as 1752 the number of inhabitants amounted to more than four thousand. Stringent rules were adopted to insure public order and morality ; and very soon the governor and council proceeded to exercise legislative authority. But their right to do this was expressly denied by the law officers at home. Accordingly, in the early part of 1757 a plan was adopted for dividing the province into electoral districts, for the choice of a legislative body, and was sent to England for approval. Some exceptions, however, were taken to the plan ; and it was not until October, 1758, that the first provincial assembly met at Halifax, nineteen members being present.

In the mean time, in 1755, occurred the most memorable and tragic event in the whole history of Nova Scotia. Though England and France were nominally at peace, frequent collisions took place between their adherents in Nova Scotia and elsewhere in America. Early in 1755 it was determined to dispossess the French of the posts which they had established on the Bay of Fundy, and a force of eighteen hundred men was raised in New England, for that purpose, under Lieutenant-Colonels Scott and John Winslow. The chief command of the expedition was given to Colonel Robert Monckton, an officer in the .English army. The first and most honorable fruits of the expedition were the capture of the French forts at Beausejour and at Gaspereau, both of which surrendered in June. A few weeks later Winslow became a chief instrument in the forcible removal of the French Acadians, which has given his name an unenviable notoriety. It was a task apparently at which his whole nature relucted ; and over and over again he wrote in his letters at the time that it was the most disagreeable duty he had had to perform in his whole life. But he did not hesitate for a moment, and carried out with unfaltering energy the commands of his superior officers.

For more than a generation the French inhabitants had refused to take the oath of allegiance to the king of England, except in a qualified form. Upon their renewed refusal, in July, 1755, it was determined to take immediate steps for their removal, in accordance with a previous decision, ” to send all the French inhabitants out of the province, if they re fused to take the oath ; ” and at a meeting of the provincial council of Nova Scotia, held July 28th, ” after mature consideration, it was unanimously agreed that, to prevent as much as possible their attempting to return and molest the settlers that may be set down on their lands, it would be most proper to send them to be distributed amongst the several colonies on the continent, and that a sufficient number of vessels should be hired with all possible expedition for that purpose.” Accordingly orders were sent to Boston to charter the required number of transports ;and on the nth of August Governor Lawrence forwarded detailed instructions to Lieutenant-Colonel Winslow, commanding at Mines, and to Major John Handfield, a Nova Scotia officer, commanding at Annapolis, to ship off the French inhabitants in their respective neighborhoods. As the crops were not yet harvested, and there was delay in the arrival of the transports, the orders could not be executed until the autumn. At that time they were carried out with a sternness and a disregard of the rights of humanity for which there can be no justification or excuse. On the same day on which the instructions were issued to Winslow and Handfield, Governor Lawrence wrote a circular letter to the other English governors in America, expressing the opinion that there was not the least reason to doubt of their concurrence, and his hope that they would receive the inhabitants now sent ” and dispose of them in such manner as may best answer our design in preventing their reunion.” According to the official instructions five hundred persons were to be transported to North Carolina, one thousand to Virginia, five hundred to Maryland, three hundred to Philadelphia, two hundred to New York, three hundred to Connecticut, and two hundred to Boston.

On the 4th of September Winslow issued a citation to the inhabitants in his immediate neighborhood to appear and receive a communication from him. The next day, he recorded in his journal, ” at three in the after noon, the French inhabitants appeared, agreeably to their citation, at the church in Grand Pre, amounting to four hundred and eighteen of their best men ; upon which I ordered a table to be set in the centre of the church, and, having attended with those of my officers who were off guard, delivered them by interpreters the king’s orders.” After a brief preamble he proceeded to say, ” The part of duty I am now upon is what, though necessary, is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I know it must be grievous to you who are of the same species. But it is not my business to animadvert, but to obey such orders as I receive, and therefore without hesitation shall deliver you his Majesty’s orders and instructions.” He then informed them that all their lands, cattle, and other property, except money and household goods, were forfeited to the Crown, and that all the French inhabitants were to be removed from the province. They were, however, to have liberty to carry their money and as many of their household goods as could be conveniently shipped in the vessels ; and he added, “I shall do everything in my power that all those goods be secured to you, and that you are not molested in carrying them off, and also that whole families go in the same vessel, and make this remove, which I am sensible must give you a great deal of trouble, as easy as his Majesty’s service will admit, and hope that in whatever part of the world you may fall you may be faithful subjects, a peaceable and happy people.” Mean while they were to remain under the inspection of the troops. Toward night these unhappy victims, “not having any provisions with them, and pleading hunger, begged for bread,” which was given them, and orders were then issued that for the future they must be supplied from their respective families. ” Thus ended the memorable 5th of September,” Winslow wrote in his journal, ” a day of great fatigue and trouble.”

Shortly afterward the first prisoners were embarked ; but great delay occurred in shipping them off, mainly on account of the failure of the con tractor to arrive with the provisions at the expected time, and it was not until November or December that the last were shipped. The whole number sent away at this time was about four thousand. There was also a great destruction of property ; and in the district under command of Winslow very nearly seven hundred buildings were burned. The presence of the French was nowhere welcome in the colonies to which they were sent ; and they doubtless experienced many hardships. The governors of South Carolina and Georgia gave them permission to return, much to the surprise and indignation of Governor Lawrence ; 2 and seven boats, with ninety unhappy men who had coasted along shore from one of the Southern colonies, were stopped in Massachusetts. In the summer of 1762 five transports with a further shipment of these unfortunate people were sent to Boston, but the General Court would not permit them to land, and they were ordered to return to Halifax.

The removal of the French Acadians from their homes was one of the saddest episodes in modern history, and no one now will attempt to justify it ; but it should be added that the genius of our great poet has thrown a somewhat false and distorted light over the character of the victims. They were not the peaceful and simple-hearted people they are commonly supposed to have been ; and their houses, as we learn from contemporary evidence, were by no means the picturesque, vine-clad, and strongly built cottages described by the poet. The people were notably quarrelsome among themselves, and to the last degree superstitious. They were wholly under the influence of priests appointed by the French bishops, and directly responsible to the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church at Quebec. Many of these priests were quite as much political agents as religious teachers, and some of them fell under the censure of their superiors for going too much outside of their religious functions. Even in periods when France and England were at peace, the French Acadians were, a source of perpetual danger to the English colonists. Their claim to a qualified allegiance was one which no nation then or now could sanction. But all this does not justify their expulsion in the manner in which it was executed, and it will always remain a foul blot on the history of Nova Scotia. The knowledge of these facts, however, enables us to understand better the constant feeling of insecurity under which the English settlers lived, and which finally resulted in the removal and dispersion of the French under circumstances of such heartless cruelty.

In May of the following year, war was again declared between France and England ; and two years later Louisbourg again fell into the hands of the English. In May, 1758, a powerful fleet under command of Admiral Boscawen arrived at Halifax for the purpose of recapturing a place which ought never to have been given up. The fleet consisted of twenty-three ships of the line and eighteen frigates, beside transports, and when it left Halifax it numbered one hundred and fifty-seven vessels. With it was a land force, under Jeffery Amherst, of upward of twelve thousand men. The French forces at Louisbourg were much inferior, and consisted of only eight ships of the line and three frigates, and of about four thousand soldiers. The English fleet set sail from Halifax on the 28th of May, and on the 8th of June a landing was effected in Gabarus Bay. The next day the attack began, and after a sharp conflict the French abandoned and destroyed two important batteries. The siege was then pushed by regular approaches ; but it was not until the 26th of July that the garrison capitulated. By the terms of surrender the whole garrison were to become prisoners of war and to be sent to England, and the English acquired two hundred and eighteen cannon and eighteen mortars, beside great quantities of ammunition and military stores. All the vessels of war had been captured or destroyed ; but their crews, to the number of upward of twenty-six hundred men, were included in the capitulation. Two years later, at the beginning of 1760, orders were sent from England to demolish the fortress, render the harbor impracticable, and transport the garrison and stores to Halifax. These orders were carried out so effectually that few traces of its fortifications remain, and the place is inhabited only by fishermen.

A year after the surrender of Louisbourg a fatal blow was struck at the French power in America by the capture of Quebec ; and by the peace of Paris, in February, 1763, the whole of Canada was ceded to Great Britain. The effects of this cession, in preparing the way for the independence of the principal English colonies, cannot easily be overestimated ; but to Nova Scotia it only gave immunity from the fear of French incursions, without in the slightest degree weakening the attachment of the inhabitants to England.”

Winsor, Justin. “Narrative and critical history of America”. Boston, New York : Houghton, Mifflin and Company; etc., etc. 1884.

Washington’s Letters To The Catholic Indians of Maine. Their Services in the Revolution

“Notwithstanding the endeavors of British agents to win these Indians to the side of England they pledged fidelity to Washington and through all vicissitudes of the Revolution remained faithful. They could have destroyed or driven away every inhabitant east of the Penobscot.”

“Williamson’s History of Maine says: Had they been against us, and been set on by the British to plunder our towns and settlements, the whole population must have been destroyed. Great credit is due the Indians for their rigid adherence to our cause, although at times the commissionary’s department was destitute of provisions and clothing for them.”

“Never let the King’s wicked Counselors turn your hearts against me and your Brethren of this Country.”

Washington’s Letters To The Catholic Indians of Maine. Their Services in the Revolution. (1899). The American Catholic Historical Researches, 16(3), 107–111.

A Plan for the Union of British North America and the United States

“An act for the admission of the states of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia” …provided that as soon as the governments of Great Britain and of the provinces indicated their acceptance, the states and territories should be admitted.

The conditions of admission were set forth in twelve articles. In the first two, provision was made for the taking over of public works, and the assumption of the funded debt and liabilities of the provinces.

In the apportionment of the latter, about one half of the total amount suggested is offered to Canada West – a key to the whole curious proposal.

Articles three to six made provision for organization, representation, and territorial divisions of the proposed states and territories. The next article proposed the assumption of the expenditure of $50,000,000 to improve the navigation of the St. Laurence and the great lakes.

Land grants of twenty sections per mile were next suggested, to aid in the construction of a railroad from Truro, Nova Scotia, to some point on the Pacific coast north of 49 degrees, by way of Riviere du Loup, Ottawa, Sault Ste Marie, Bayfield, Superior, Pembina, Fort Garry, and the valley of the North Saskatchewan.

An offer of ten million dollars was proposed to be made to the Hudson’s bay company for all their rights in North America.

The last section of the plan ingeniously provided that if Prince Edward Island declined to enter, the benefits offered it should be omitted, but for the others all the provisions would be retained.

Similar omissions were to be made in case Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswickwick, and Canada declined to accept. There remained then the northwest territory and the Pacific provinces, to which were ofdered aid in the construction of a railway from the western extremity of Superior, to the Pacific coast, by way of Pembina, Fort Garry, and the valley of the Saskatchewan and this was the heart of the proposition.

General N. P. Banks introduced this bill, exactly as drafted by Taylor, into the house of representatives on July 2, 1866, and after a second reading it was referred to the committee on foreign affairs, of which Banks himself was chairman. No definite action on this bill resulted, yet it precipitated a large amount of newspaper discussion, particularly in relation to the question of reciprocity, and thus served as a means, of testing opinion on the whole subject of annexation, though the real purpose of the measure in connection with the northwest provinces was little understood.

As a result of its abrogation by the United States, the Elgin-Marcy reciprocity treaty came to an end on March 17, 1866. The precise reasons for its abrogation have been the subject of considerable discussion.

In a budget speech A. T. Galt declared, “If there was one thing more than another, apart from the irritation growing out of the events which happened during the late war, which instigated them in abrogating the reciprocity treit was the belief that they could compel us into a closer political alliance with them.”

Sir John G. Bourinot writes, “The commercial classes in the eastern and western states were, on the whole, favourable to an enlargement of the treaty, but the real cause of its repeal was the prejudice in the northern states against Canada on account of its supposed sympathy for the confederate states during the Secession war. A large body of men in the north believed that the repeal of the treaty would sooner or later force Canada to join the republic. . .

There was a general feeling in the United States that the advantages accruing to Canada under the treaty were far greater than those to the United States. American manufactured goods were rather highly taxed, and it was felt that Canadian legislation was damaging the trade of American carriers.

There seems to be no actual proof that the abrogation was brought about with the hope of securing annexation, but in Canada the belief was general that such was the motive. Mr. Robinson shows that in the debates on confederation at Quebec from February 3 to March 14, 1865, there was but one opinion, namely, that “the abrogation of the treaty was a lever to force Canada from her allegiance to England and into the United States.”


H.R. 754.


JULY 2, 1866.

Read twice, refered to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and ordered to be printed.

Mr Banks, on leave, introduced the following bill:

A Bill for the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and for the organization of the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and directed, whenever notice shall be deposited in the Department of State that the governments of Great Britain and the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver’s Island have accepted the proposition hereinafter made by the United States, to publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, with limits and rights as by the act defined, are constituted and admitted as States and Territories of the United States of America.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the following articles are hereby proposed, and from the date of the proclamation of the President of the United States shall take effect, as irrevocable conditions of the admission of the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the future States of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, to wit:


All public lands not sold or granted; canals, public harbors, light-houses, and piers; river and lake improvements; railway stocks, mortgages, and other debts due by railway companies to the provinces; custom-houses and post offices, shall vest in the United States; but all other public works and property shall belong to the State governments respectively, hereby constituted, together with all sums due from purchasers or lessees of lands, mines, or minerals at the time of the union.


In consideration of the public lands, works, and property vested as aforesaid in the United States, the United States will assume and discharge the funded debt and contingent liabilities of the late provinces, at rates of interest not exceeding five per centum, to the amount of eighty-five million seven hundred thousand dollars, apportioned as follows: To Canada West, thirty-six million five hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, twenty-nine million dollars; to Nova Scotia, eight million dollars; to New Brunswick, seven million dollars; to Newfoundland, three million two hundred thousand dollars; and to Prince Edward Island, two million dollars; and in further consideration of the transfer by said provinces to the United States of the power to levy import and export duties, the United States will make an annual grant of one million six hundred and forty-six thousand dollars in aid of local expenditures, to be apportioned as follows: To Canada West, seven hundred thousand dollars; to Canada East, five hundred and fifty thousand dollars; to Nova Scotia, one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars; to New Brunswick, one hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars; to Newfoundland, sixty-five thousand dollars; to Prince Edward Island, forty thousand dollars.


For all purposes of State organization and representation in the Congress of the United States, Newfoundland shall be part of Canada East, and Prince Edward Island shall be part of Nova Scotia, except that each shall always be a separate representative district, and entitled to elect at least one member of the House of Representatives, and except, also, that the municipal authorities of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island shall receive the indemnities agreed to be paid by the United States in Article II.


Territorial divisions are established as follows: (1) New Brunswick, with its present limits; (2) Nova Scotia, with the addition of Prince Edward Island; (3) Canada East, with the addition of Newfoundland and all territory east of longitude eighty degrees and south of Hudson’s strait; (4) Canada West, with the addition of territory south of Hudson’s bay and between longitude eighty degrees longitude ninety degrees; (5) Selkirk Territory, bounded east by longitude ninety degrees, south by the late boundary of the United States, west by longitude one hundred and five degrees, and north by the Arctic circle; (6) Saskatchewan Territory, bounded east by longitude one hundred and five degrees, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, west by the Rocky mountains, and north by latitude seventy degrees; (7) Columbia Territory, including Vancouver’s Island, and Queen Charlotte’s island, and bounded east and north by the Rocky mountains, south by latitude forty-nine degrees, and west by the Pacific ocean and Russian America. But Congress reserves the right of changing the limits and subdividing the areas of the western territories at discretion.


Until the next decennial revision, representation in the House of Representatives shall be as follows: Canada West, twelve members; Canada East, including Newfoundland, eleven members; New Brunswick, two members; Nova Scotia, including Prince Edward Island, four members.


The Congress of the United States shall enact, in favor of the proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, all the provisions of the act organizing the Territory of Montana, so far as they can be made applicable.


The United States, by the construction of new canals, or the enlargement of existing canals, and by the improvement of shoals, will so aid the navigation of the Saint Lawrence river and the great lakes that vessels of fifteen hundred tons burden shall pass from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Lakes Superior and Michigan: Provided, That the expenditure under this article shall not exceed fifty millions of dollars.


The United States will appropriate and pay to “The European and North American Railway Company of Maine” the sum of two millions of dollars upon the construction of a continuous line of railroad from Bangor, in Maine, to Saint John’s, in New Brunswick: Provided, That said “The European and North American Railway Company of Maine” shall release the government of the United States from all claims held by it as assignee of the States of Maine and Massachusetts.


To aid the construction of a railway from Truro, in Nova Scotia, to Riviere du Loup, in Canada East, and a railway from the city of Ottawa, by way of Sault Ste. Marie, Bayfield, and Superior, in Wisconsin, Pembina, and Fort Garry, on the Red River of the North, and the valley of the North Saskatchewan river to some point on the Pacific ocean north of latitude forty-nine degrees, the United States will grant lands along the lines of said roads to the amount of twenty sections, or twelve thousand eight hundred acres, per mile, to be selected and sold in the manner prescribed in the act to aid the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad, approved July two, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and acts amendatory thereof; and in addition to said grants of lands, the United States will further guarantee dividends of five per centum upon the stock of the company or companies which may be authorized by Congress to undertake the construction of said railways: Provided, That such guarantee of stock shall not exceed the sum of thirty thousand dollars per mile, and Congress shall regulate the securities for advances on account thereof.


The public lands in the late provinces, as far as practicable, shall be surveyed according to the rectangular system of the General Land office of the United States; and in the Territories west of longitude ninety degrees, or the western boundary of Canada West, sections sixteen and thirty-six shall be granted for the encouragement of schools, and after the organization of the Territories into States, five per centum of the net proceeds of sales of public lands shall be paid into their treasuries as a fund for the improvement of roads and rivers.


The United States will pay ten millions of dollars to the Hudson Bay Company in full discharge of all claims to territory or jurisdiction in North America, whether founded on the charter of the company or any treaty, law, or usage.


It shall be devolved upon the legislatures of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada East, and Canada West, to conform the tenure of office and the local institutions of said States to the Constitution and laws of the United States, subject to revision by Congress.

SEC 3. And be it further enacted, That if Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, or either of those provinces, shall decline union with the United States, and the remaining provinces, with the consent of Great Britain, shall accept the proposition of the United States, the foregoing stipulations in favor of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, or either of them, will be omitted; but in all other respects the United States will give full effect to the plan of union. If Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall decline the proposition, but Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver island shall, with the consent of Great Britain, accept the same, the construction of a railway from Truro to Riviere du Loup, with all stipulations relating to the maritime provinces, will form no part of the proposed plan of union, but the same will be consummated in all other respects. If Canada shall decline the proposition, then the stipulations in regard to the Saint Lawrence canals and a railway from Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie, with the Canadian clause of debt and revenue indemnity, will be relinquished. If the plan of union shall only be accepted in regard to the northwestern territory and the Pacific provinces, the United States will aid the construction, on the terms named, of a railway from the western extremity of Lake Superior, in the State of Minnesota, by way of Pembina, Fort Garry, and the valley of the Saskatchewan, to the Pacific coast, north of latitude forty-nine degrees, besides securing all the rights and privileges of an American territory to the proposed Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia.


Blegen, T. C. (1918). A Plan for the Union of British North America and the United States, 1866. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review4(4), 470–483.,

Commission and Instructions to the Earl of Orkney for the Government of Virginia, 1715

In 1719 the Board of Trade drew up instructions for their newly installed Governor Philipps. They directed him, in the absence of a civil government yet to be established in Nova Scotia, to follow the 1715 instructions to the Earl of Orkney as governor of Virginia, which are as follows.

George R.
Our Will and Pleasure is that you prepare a Bill for our Royal Signature to pass our great Seal of Great Britain in the Words or to the Effect following.
George by the Grace of God of great Britain, France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c to our right Well beloved Cousin George Earl of Orkney, Greeting, We reposing Special Trust and confidence in the Prudence, Courage and Loyalty of you the said Earl of Orkney of our Special Grace Certain Knowledge and Meer Motion have thought fit to constitute and appoint.

And by these Presents do constitute and Appoint you the said Earl of Orkney to be our Lieutenant and Governor Genll of our Colony and Dominion of Virginia in America with all the rights Members & Appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging, and we do hereby require & Command you to do and Execute all things in due Manner that shall belong unto your said Command & the Trust we have repos’d in you According to the Several Powers and Directions granted & Appointed you by the Present Commission, And the Instructions & Authority herewith given You Or by such further Powers Instructions & Authoritys as shall at any time hereafter be granted or appointed you under our Signet and Sign Manual or by our Order in our Privy Council and according to such reasonable Laws & Statutes as are now in force or hereafter Shall be made and agreed upon by you with the Advice & Consent of our Council and Assembly of our said Colony under Your Government in such form as is hereafter Express’d.

And Our Will and Pleasure is That you the said George Earl of Orkney (after the Publication of these our Letters Patents) do in the first Place take the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy & the Oaths mention’d in an Act pass’d in the Sixth Year of her late Majesty’s Reign Intitul’d an Act for the Security of her Majesty’s Person & Government & of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, As also that you make and Subscribe the Declaration mention’d in an Act of Parliament made in the 25 Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, Entituled an Act for Preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants And likewise that you take the usuall Oath for the due Execution of the Office and Trust of Our Lieuten’t and Governor Generall of our said Colony & Dominion for the due and Impartial Administration of Justice, and further that you take the Oath required to be taken by Governors of Plantations to do their utmost that the Several Laws relaing to Trade and the Plantations be observ’d, which said Oaths & Declaration our Council in our said Colony or any three of the Members thereof have hereby full Power and Authority and are required to tender and Administer unto you, & in your Absence to our Lieut Governor if there be any upon the Place all which being duly perform’d you shall Administer unto each of the Members of our said Council as also to our Lieut Governor if there be any upon the Place the Oaths appointed by Law, to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy, And the Oath mention’d in the said Act, Entituled an Act for the Security of her Majesty’s Person & Governm’t and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, As also to Cause them to make and Subscribe the aforemention’d Declaration, And to Administer unto them the Oath for the due Execution of their Places & Trusts And we do hereby give and grant unto you full Power and Authority to suspend any of the Members of our said Council from Sitting, Voting & Assisting therein if you shall find just Cause for so doing, And if it shall at any time happen that by the Death, Departure out of our said Colony, Suspension of any of our said Councillors, or otherwise there shall be a Vacancy in Our said Council any three whereof we do hereby appoint to be a Quorum.

Our Will and Pleasure is, That you Signify the Same unto us by the first Opportunity, that we may under our Signet & Sign Manual Constitute & Appoint Others in their Stead-But that our Affairs may not Suffer (for want of a due Number of Councellors) at that distance if ever it shall happen that there be less than Nine of them residing in our said Colony-We do hereby give & grant unto you the said George Earl of Orkney full Power and Authority to chuse as many Persons out of the principal freeholders Inhabitants thereof As will make up the full Number of our said Council to be Nine & no more, which Persons so chosen & appointed by you, shall be to all intents and Purposes Councellors in our said Colony untill either they shall be confirmed by us, or that by the Nomination of others by us under our Sign Manual & Signet, our said Council shall have Nine or more Persons in it, and we do hereby give and grant unto you full Power and Authority with the advice and consent of our said Council from time to time as need shall require to Summon & call General Assemblys of the said freeholders & Planters within Your Government according to the Usage of our Colony and Dominion of Virginia, Our Will and Pleasure is, That the Persons thereupon duly Elected by the Major Part of the Freeholders of the respective Countys and Places, and so return’d shall before their Sitting take the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and the Oaths mention’d in the foresaid Act Entituled An Act for the Security of her Majesty’s Person & Government and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, As also make and Subscribe the foremention’d Declaration (Which Oaths & Declaration you shall Commissionate fit Persons under our Seal of Virginia to tender and Administer the same unto them, and untill the Same shall be so taken and Subscrib’d No Person shall be capable of Sitting tho’ Elected.

And we do hereby declare that the Persons so Elected & Qualify’d Shall be call’d & Deem’d the General Assembly of that Our Colony & Dominion. And that you the said George Earl of Orkney with the Consent of our said Council & Assembly or the Major Part of them respectively shall have full Power & Authority to make, Constitute, and Ordain Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances for the Publick Peace Welfare & good Government of our said Colony, & of the People and Inhabitants thereof, and such others who shall resort thereunto, and for the benefit of us our Heirs & Successors-Which said Laws Statutes & Ordinances are not to be repugnant but as near as may be agreeable to the Laws and Statutes of this our Kingdom of Great Britain- Provided that all such Laws Statutes & Ordinances of what Nature or duration soever be within three Months or Sooner after the making thereof, transmitted unto us under our Seal of Virginia for our Approbation or disallowance of the Same, as also duplicates thereof by the next Conveyance.

And in Case any or all of the said Laws Statutes & Ordinances not before confirm’d by us, shall at any time be disapprov’d & not allow’d, & so signify’d by Us our heirs and Successors, under our or their Sign Manual or Signet, or by Order of our or their Privy Council unto you the said George Earl of Orkney, or to the Commander in Chief of our said Colony for the time being then such and so many of the said Laws Statutes & Ordinances as shall be so disallow’d and disapprov’d, shall from thenceforth Cease determine and become utterly void, and of None Effect, anything to the Contrary thereof Notwithstanding.

And to the End that nothing may be pass’d or done by our said Council or Assembly to the Prejudice of us our Heirs & Successors, We will & Ordain that you the said George Earl of Orkney shall have & enjoy a Negative Voice in making & passing all Laws Statutes & Ordinances as aforesaid.
And you shall & may likewise from time to time as you shall Judge it Necessary Adjourn Prorogue & Dissolve all General Assemblys as aforesaid. Our farther Will & Pleasure is, That you shall and may keep and Use the Publick Seal of our

Colony of Virginia for Sealing all things whatsoever that pass the great Seal of our said Colony of Virginia. And we do further give & Grant unto you the said George Earl of Orkney from time to time and at any time hereafter by your self or by any other to be Authorized by you in that behalf to Administer & give the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy to all and every such Person or Persons as you shall think fit, who shall at any time or times pass into our said Colony or shall be resident or abiding there.

And we do by these presents give & and grant unto you the said George Earl of Orkney full Power & Authority with the Advice & Consent of our said Council to erect Constitute & Establish such & so many Courts of Judicature & Publick Justice within our said Colony & Dominion, as you & they shall think fitt & Necessary for the hearing & Determining of all Causes as well Criminal as Civil according to Law & Equity & for awarding of Execution thereupon with all reasonable & Necessary Powers & Authoritys, fees, & Privileges belonging thereunto.

As also to Appoint & Commissionate fit Persons in the Several Parts of your Government to Administer the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy & the Oaths mention’d in the foresaid Act Entituled An Act for the Security of her Majestys Person & Government, and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line. And also to tender & Administer the aforesaid Declaration unto Such Persons belonging to the said Courts as shall be oblig’d to take the Same. And we do hereby Authorize & impower you to Constitute and Appoint Judges.

And in Cases requisite Commissioners of Oyer & Terminer Justices of the Peace & other Necessary Officers & Ministers in our said Colony for the better administration of Justice & putting the Laws in Execution And to Administer or Cause to be Administer’d unto them Such Oath or Oaths as are usually given for the due Execution & Performance of Officers & Places, and for the Clearing of truth in Judicial Cases. And we do hereby give & grant unto you full Power & Authority where you shall see Cause or shall

Judge any Offender or Offenders in Criminal Matters or for any fines or forfeitures due unto us, fit Objects of our Mercy to Pardon all such Offenders, and to remit all such Offences fines & forfeitures, Treason & Wilful Murder only Excepted, in which Cases you shall likewise have Power upon Extra- ordinary Occasions to grant Reprieves to the Offenders untill & to the Intent our Royal Pleasure may be known therein.

And we do by these Presents Authorize & Impower you to Collate any Person or Persons to any Churches, Chappels, or any other Ecclesiastical Benefices within Our said Colony as often as any of them shall happen to be void, And we do hereby give & grant unto you the said George Earl of Orkney by Your Self or by your Captains & Commanders by you to be Authorized full Power & Authority to Levy, Arm, Muster, Command & Employ all Persons whatsoever residing within our said Colony & Dominion of Virginia, And as Occasion shall Serve to march from one Place to another, and to Embark them for the resisting & with standing of all Enemys, Pirates, & Rebels both at Sea & Land, And to Transport such Forces to any of our Plantations in America if Necessity shall require for the Defense of the same against the Invasion or Attempt of any of our Enemies, And such Enemies Pirates & Rebels (if there shall be Occasion) to Pursue & Prosecute in or out of the Limits of our said Colony & Plantations or any of them.

And if it shall Please God them to Vanquish Apprehend & take, & being taken according to Law to put to Death, or keep & preserve alive at your Discretion. And to Execute Martial Law in time of Invasion, Insurrection, or War. And to do & Execute all & every other thing & things, which to our Lieutenant & Governor General doth or ought of right to belong. And we do hereby give & grant unto you full Power & Authority by & with the Consent & Advice of our said Council of Virginia to erect raise & build in our said Colony & Dominion Such & so many Forts & Platforms, Castles, Cities, Burroughs, Towns & Fortifications as you by the Advice aforesaid shall Judge Necessary, And the same or any of them to Fortifie & furnish with Ordnance, Ammunition & all Sorts of Arms, fit & Necessary for the Security & Defence of our said Colony And by the Advice aforesaid the same again or any of them to demolish or dismantle as may be most Convenient.

And forasmuch as divers Mutinies & disorders may happen by Persons Ship’t & employ’d at Sea during the time of War. And to the End that Such as are Shipped & Employ’d at Sea during the time of War, may be better Govern’d & Order’d, we do hereby give & grant unto you the said George Earl of Orkney full Power & Authority, to Constitute and appoint Captains, Lieutenants, Masters of Ships and other Commanders and Officers. And to grant to such Captains, Lieut’s, Masters of Ships and other Commanders & Officers, Commissions to Execute the Law Martial during the time of War.

And to the Use such Proceedings, Authorities, Punishments, Corrections & Executions upon any Offender or Offenders, who shall be Mutinous, Seditious, disorderly, or unruly either at Sea, or during the time of their abode or residence in any of the Ports, Harbors, or Bays of our said Colony and Dominion as the Cause shall be found to require according to Martial Law during the time of War as aforesaid Provided that nothing herein contained shall be Construed to the Enabling you or any by Your Authority to hold Plea or have any Jurisdiction of any Offence, Cause, Matter, or thing Committed or done upon the high Seas or within any of the Havens, Rivers or Creeks of our said Colony and Dominion under your Government by any Captain, Commander, Lieut, Master, Officer, Seaman, Soldier or Person whatsoever, who shall be in Actual Service and Pay in or on board any of our Ships of War or other Vessels Acting by immediate Commission or Warrant from our Commissioners for Executing the Office of our high Admiral, or from Our high Admiral of Great Britain for the time being under the Seal of our Admiralty But that such Captain, Commander, Lieut, Master, Officer, Seaman, Soldier, or other Person so Offending shall be left to be proceeded against & try’d as their Offences shall require, either by Com- mission under our great Seal of Great Britain as the Statute of the 28th of Henry the 8th directs, or by Commission from our said Commissioners for Executing the Office of our high Admiral, or from our high Admiral of Great Britain for the time being, According to the Act of Parliament passed in the 13th Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second Entituled an Act for the Establishing Articles & Orders for the Regulating & better Government of his Majesty’s Navys, Ships of War & forces by Sea and not otherwise.

Provided Nevertheless that all Misdemeanors & disorders committed on Shore by any Capt., Commander, Lieut, Master, Officer, Seaman, Soldier or other Person whatsoever, belonging to our Ships of War or other Vessels Acting by immediate Commission or Warrant from our Commissioners for Executing the Office of high Admirall, or from our high Admiral of Great Britain for the time being, under our Seal of our Admiralty, may be try’d and Punished according to the Law of the Place where any such Disorders, Offences or Misdemeanors shall be committed on Shore Notwithstanding such Offender be in our Actual Service and Born in our Pay, on board any such our Ships of War, or other Vessels Acting by immediate Commission or Warrant from our Commissioners for Executing the Office of high Admiral, or from our high Admiral of great Britain for the time being as aforesaid, So as he shall not receive any Protection for the avoiding of Justice for such Offences Com- mitted on Shore, from any Pretence of his being employ’d in our Service at Sea, And our further Will and Pleasure is, That all Publick Moneys rais’d or which shall be rais’d by any Act hereafter to be made within our said Colony be issued out by Warrant from You by and with the Advice and Consent of the Council and disposed of by you for the Support of the Government, And not otherwise And we do likewise give & grant unto you full Power and Authority, by and with the Advice & consent of our said Council to Settle and Agree with the Inhabitants of our Colony & Dominion aforesaid for such Lands Tenements & Hereditaments as now are, or hereafter shall be in our Power to dispose of And them to grant to any such Person or Persons, & upon such terms, & under such Moderate Quitrents, Services & Acknowledgments to be thereupon reserv’d unto us, as you by & with the Advice aforesaid shall think fit, which said Grants are to pass and be Seal’d with our Seal of Virginia, And being entered on Record by such Officer or Officers as shall be Appointed thereunto, shall be good & Effectual in Law against us our heirs & Successors And we do hereby Give unto you the said George Earl of Orkney full Power to Order & appoint Fairs, Marts, & Markets, as also such & so many Ports, harbors, Bays, Havens, & other Places for Conveniency & Security of Shipping, and for the better loading & unloading of Goods & Merchandize, as you with the Advice & Consent of the said Council shall think fit & Necessary.

And We do hereby require and Command all Officers & Ministers Civil & Military, and all other Inhabitants of our said Colony & Dominion to be obedient aiding & assisting unto you the said George Earl of Orkney in the Execution of this our Commission, and of the Powers & Authioities herein con- tain’d, & in Case of your Death or Absence out of our said Colony to be obedient aiding & Assisting unto such person as shall be appointed by us to be our Lieut Govemour or Commander in Chief of our said Colony To whom we do thereby these Presents Give & Grant all & Singular the Powers & Authorities herein granted to be by him Executed & Enjoy’d during our Pleasure, or untill your Arrival within our said Colony-If upon your Death or Absence out of our said Colony there be no Person upon the Place commissionated or appointed by us to be our Lieut Governor or Commander in Chief of the said Colony Our Will and Pleasure is, That the Eldest Councellor whose Name is first Plac’d in our said Instructions to you, and who shall be at the time of your Death or Absence, residing within our said Colony & Dominion of Virginia, shall take upon him the Administration of the Govemnent, and Execute our said Commission & Instructions, And the Several Powers & Authorities therein Contained, in the Same Manner, And to all Intents & Purposes as other our Governor or Commander in Chief shou’d or ought to do in Case of your Absence until your Return, or in all Cases untill our further Pleasure be known therein, And We do hereby declare, Ordain, and Appoint that You the said George Earl of Orkney, shall and may hold, Execute & Enjoy, the Office and Place of our Lieut & Governor General of our said Colony & Dominion with all its Rights Members & Appurtenances whatsoever together with all & Singular the Powers & Authoritys hereby Granted unto you, for & during our Will & Pleasure, Lastly we have revoked Determin’d & made Void

And by these Presents do revoke Determine & make Void certain Letters Patents Granted by her late Majesty Queen Anne unto you the said George Earl of Orkney for the Government of our said Colony & Dominion of Virginia under the Great Seal of Great Britain bearing Date at Westminster the day of in the Year of her said late Majesty’s Reign And every Clause, Article & thing therein Contain’d, In Witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents.

Witness Our Self at Westminster the day of in the first Year of our Reign. And for so doing this shall be your Warrant Given at our Court at St. James the 15th day of January 1714 in the first Year of our Reign.

And in his Absence to the Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief of our said Colony for the time being, Given at our Court at St James’s the 15th day of April 1715 in the first Year of our Reign.

  1. With these our Instructions you will receive our Commission under our Great Seal of Great Britain, Constituting you our Lieutenant & Governour General of our Colony & Dominion of Virginia in America.
  2. You are therefore to fit your self with all convenient speed & to repair to our said Colony of Virginia, And being there Arriv’d, You are to take upon you the Execution of the Place & Trust we have repos’d in You. And forthwith to Call together the Members of Our Council for Our Colony and Do- minion, by Name, Viz. Edmund Jennings, Robt. Carter, James Blair, Phillip Ludwell, John Lewis, William Byrd, William Basset, Nat Harrison, Mann Page, Dudley Digges, Peter Beverley and John Robinson Esq”.
  3. And You are with due and Usual Solemnity to Cause our said Commission under our great Seal of Great Britain Constituting You our Lieutenant and Governor General of our said Colony & Dominion, to be read and Publish’d at the said meeting of our Council.
  4. Which being done you shall yourself take-and also Administer unto each of the Members of Our Councill, As well the Oaths Appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance & Supremacy, And the Oath mention’d in an Act pass’d in the Sixth Year of her late Majesty’s Reign Entituled An Act for the Security of her Majesty’s Person and Government and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, as also to make and Subscribe, & cause the Members of our Council to make and Subscribe the Declaration Mentioned in our Act of Parliament made in the 25th Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, Entituled, an Act for Preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants, And you and every of them are likewise to take an Oath for the due Execution of Your and their Places and Trusts, as well with regard to your and their equal and Impartial Administration of Justice, and you are also to take the Oath required to be taken by Governors of Plantations to do their Utmost that the Laws relating to the Plantations be observ’d.
  5. You are forthwith to Communicate unto our said Council Such & so many of these our Instructions wherein their Advice and Consent are Mention’d to be requisite, as likewise all such others from time to time as you shall find Convenient for our Service to be imparted to them.
  6. You are to permit the Members of our Said Council of Virginia, to have and enjoy freedom of Debate, and Vote in all Affairs of Publick Concern, that may be Debated in Council.
  7. And also by our Commission aforesaid, we have thought fitt to direct that any three of our Councelors make a Quorum, It is Nevertheless Our Will and Pleasure that you do not Act without a Quorum of less than five Members unless upon Extraordinary Emergencies when a greater Number cannot be conveniently had..
  8. And that we may be always informed of the Names & Characters of Persons fit to Supply the Vacancies that shall happen in Our said Council, You are to transmit unto us by one of our Principal Secretarys of State And to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations with all Convenient Speed the Names and Characters of Twelve Persons Inhabitants of our said Colony, whom you shall esteem the best qualifi’d for that Trust, and so from time to time when any of them shall dye, depart out of our said Colony, or become otherwise unfit, You are to Nominate so many others in their Stead, that the list of twelve Persons fit to Supply the said Vacancys may be always Compleat.
  1. You are from time to time to send unto us as aforesaid & to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, the Name or Names and Quality’s of any Member or Members by you put into our said Council, by the first Conveniency after your so doing.
  2. And in the Choice and Nomination of the Members of our said Council, as also of the Chief Officers, Judges, Assistants, Justices and Sheriffs, You are always to take Care that they be Men of good Life & well Affected to our Government, and of Good Estates, and Abilities, and not Necessitous People, or much in debt.
  3. You are neither to Augment nor diminish the Number of our said Council as it is hereby Established, Nor to Suspend any of the Members thereof without good and Sufficient Cause nor without the Consent and Majority of the said Council, And in case of Suspension of any, You are to Cause your Reasons for so doing, together with the Charges and Proofs, against the said Persons, and their Answer thereunto, (Unless you have some Extraordinary Reason to the Contrary) to be duly enter’d upon the Council Books, And you are forthwith to transmit the same together with your Reasons for not Entring them upon the Council Books (in Case you do not Enter them) unto us, And to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations as aforesaid.
  4. You are to Signify our Pleasure unto the Members of our said Council, that if any of them shall hereafter absent themselves from our said Colony, and continue absent above the Space of Twelve Months together without leave from you, or from the Commander in Chief for the time being, first Obtain’d or shall remain absent for the Space of Two Years or the greater Part thereof Successively without our Leave given them under our Royal Sign Manual their Place or Places in our said Council shall immediately thereupon become Void, & that we will forthwith appoint others in their Stead.
  1. And whereas we Subscribe that Effectual care ought to be taken to Oblige the Members of Our said Council to a due Attendance therein, in order to prevent the many Inconveniences that may happen from the Want of a Quorum of the Council to Transact Business as Occasion may require IT IS OUR WILL AND PLEASURE that if any of the Members of the said Council shall hereafter Wilfully absent themselves when duly Summon’d without a just and Lawfull Cause, And shall persist therein after Admonition, You Suspend the said Councellors so absenting them till Our further Pleasure be known, Giving us timely Notice thereof, And We hereby Will and require you that this our Royall Pleasure be Signify’d to the Several Members of our Council aforesaid, and that it be enter’d in the Council Book of our said Colony as a standing Rule.
  2. You are to observe in the Passing of Laws that the Stile of Enacting the Same be by the Governor Council & Assembly and no other. You are as much as Possible to Observe in the Passing of all Laws that whatever may be requisite upon each different Matter be accordingly provided for by a different Law without intermixing in One & the Same Act such things as have no Proper relation to each other. And You are more Especially to take Care that no Clause or Clauses be Inserted in or Annext to any Act which shall be foreign to what the Title of such respective Act imports, & that no perpetual Clause be part of any Temporary Law, and that no Act whatever be Suspended, Alter’d, Reviv’d, Confirm’d or Repeal’d by General Words but that the Title & Date of such Act so Suspended, Alter’d, Reviv’d Confirm’d or Repealed be Par- ticularly Mention’d & Expressed.
  3. You are also to take Care that no Private Act be pass’d in which there is not a Saving Us Our Heirs & Successors all Bodys Politick or Corporate & of all other Persons except such as are mention’d in the Act.
  1. And Whereas great Mischief may Arise by Passing Bills of an Unusual & Extraordinary Nature & Importance in the Plantations which Bill remain in force there from the time of Enacting untill Our Pleasure be Signify’d to the Contrary, We do hereby Will and Require you not to Pass or give Your Consent hereafter to any Bill or Bills in the Assembly of our said Colony of unusual and Extraordinary Nature & Importance, Wherein our Prerogative or property of our Subjects may be prejudiced, without having either first Transmitted to us the Draught of such a Bill or Bills and our having Signinify’d our Royal Pleasure or that you take Care in the Passing of any Act of unusual and Extraordinary Nature that there be a Clause inserted therein Suspending and deferring the Execution thereof Untill our further Pleasure be known concerning the said Act to the End our Prerogative may not Suffer & that Our Subjects may not have reason to complain of hardships put upon them on the like Occasions.
  2. You are to transmit Authentick Copies of all Laws Statutes and Ordinances that are now made and in force which have not yet been sent, or which at any time hereafter shall be made or Enacted within our said Colony each of them Seperately under the Publick Seal unto Us & to our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations within three Months or by the first Opportunity after their being Enacted together with Duplicates thereof by the next Conveyance upon Pain of our highest displeasure and of the forfeit of that Years Salary Wherein you shall at any time upon any Pretence Whatsoever omit to send over the said Laws Statutes & Ordinances aforesaid within the time above limitted as also of such other Penalty as we shall Please to inflict But if it shall happen that during the time of War No shipping shall come from our said Colony within three Months after the Making such Laws Statutes and Ordinances whereby the same may be transmit- ted as aforesaid then the said Laws Statutes & Ordinances are to be transmitted as aforesaid by the next conveyance after the making thereof whenever it may happen for our Approbation or disallowance of the same
  1. And Our further Will and Pleasure is That in every Act which shall be transmitted there be the Several Dates & Respective times when the Same Pass’d the Assembly The Council and receiv’d your Assent, And you are to be as Particular as may be in your Observations to be sent to our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations upon every Act, that is to say whether the same is Introductive of a New Law Declaratory of a former Law, or does repeal a Law then before in being and you are likewise to send to our said Commissioners the Reasons for the Passing of such Law unless the same do fully appear in the Preamble of the said Act.
  2. And Whereas it hath been represented that the Taxes which have been levied by Poll within our said Colony have been heavy and burthensome unto our Subjects there, You are to recommend to the General Assembly the Consideration and Settling such a way for raising Money upon Necessary Occasions as shall be more equal and Acceptable to our subjects there than the Method of Levying by Poll and Titheables.
  3. And it having been further represented that a Duty to be raised upon Liquors Imported into our said Colony would be the most easy Means that can be found out for the better Support of that Government, You are therefore to recommend to the Assembly the raising of such Impost & continuance of the same, which you shall Permit them to Appropriate in such Manner that it be apply’d to the Uses of the Government and to None Other whatsoever.
  1. You are to take Care that in all Acts or Orders to be Pass’d within that our Colony in any Case for Levying Money or Imposing fines & Penalties express mention be made that the Same is Granted or reserv’d to Us Our Heirs and Successors for the Publick Uses of that Our Colony, and the Support of the Government thereof, as by the said Act or Order Shall be directed.
  2. Whereas we have been inform’d that during the late War Intelligence has been had in France of the State of our Plantations by letters from private Persons to their Correspondents in great Britain taken on board Ships coming from the Plantations and carry’d into France which may be of Dangerous consequence OUR WILL & PLEASURE is that you Signify to all Merchants Planters and Others that they be very Cautious in time of War whenever that shall happen in giving any Account by Letters of the Publick State and Condition of our Colony & Dominion of Virginia, and You are further to give directions to all Masters of Ships or Other Persons to whom you may Intrust your Letters that they put Such Letters into a Bagg, with Sufficient Weight to Sink the Same immediadiately in Case of Iminent Danger from the Enemy, and you are also to let the Merchants and Planters know how greatly it is for their Interest that their Letters shou’d not fall into the hands of the Enemy and therefore that they shou’d give the like Orders to the Masters of Ships in relation to their Letters; And you are further to advise all Masters of Ships that they do Sink all Letters in Case of Danger in the Manner aforesaid.
  3. And Whereas in the late War the Merchants and Planters in the West Indies did Correspond and Trade with the French and Carry Intelligence to them to the great Prejudice and Hazard of the British Plantations, You are therefore by all Possible Methods to endeavour to hinder all such Trade and Correspondence with the French whose Strength in the West Indies gives very Just Apprehensions of the Mischiefs that may ensue if the utmost Care be not taken to prevent them.
  4. And Whereas Several Inconveniencies have Arisen to Our Government in the Plantations by Gifts and Presents made to our Governors by the General Assembly IT IS OUR EXPRESS WILL AND PLEASURE that neither you our Govemor Lieutenant Governor Commander in Chief or President in the Council of our Colony of Virginia for the time being do give your or their Consent to the Passing any Law or Act for any Gift or Present to be made to you or them by the Assembly and that neither you nor they do receive any Gifts or Presents from the Assembly or others on any Account; or in any Manner whatsoever upon Pain of our highest displeasure and of being recall’d from that our Government.
  5. And we do further direct and require that this declaration of our Royal Will and Pleasure be Communicated to the Assembly at their first Meeting after your arrival in that Colony and Enter’d in the Registers of our Council and Assembly that all Persons whom it may concern may govern themselves accordingly.
  6. And Whereas we are Willing in the best Manner to provide for the Support of the Government in Virginia by Setting a Part a Sufficient allowance to such as shall be our Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief residing for the time being within the Same OUR WILL AND PLEASURE THERE FORE IS That when it shall happen that you shall absent yourself from Our said Colony, one full Moiety of the Salary & of all Perquisites & Emoluments whatsoever which wou’d otherwise become due unto you shall during the time of your Absence from the said Colony be paid and Satisfy’d unto Such Lieut. Governor, or Commander in Chief or President of our Council who shall be resident upon the place for the time being, which we do hereby Order and allot to him towards his Maintenance and for the better Support of the Dignity of our Government.
  7. And Whereas great Prejudice may happen to our Service and to the security of that Colony by your Absence from those Parts without Sufficient Cause & Especial Leave from us for Prevention thereof You are not upon any Pretence whatsoever to come to Europe from your Government without having first Obtain’d leave for so doing from us under Our Sign Manual and Signet or by our Order in our Privy Council, Yet Neverthe- less in Case of Sickness you may go to New York or any other of our Neighbouring Plantations and there stay for such a Space of time as the recovery of your Health may absolutely require.
  8. You are not to Permit any Clause whatsoever to be inserted in any Law for Levying Money or the Value of Money whereby the same shall not be made lyable to be accounted for unto us here in Great Britain and to our Commissioners of our Treasury or Our High Treasurer for the time being.
  1. And We do particularly require and Enjoin you upon Pain of Our Highest displeasure to take care that fair Books of Accounts of all Receipts and Payments of all such Money be duly kept and the truth thereof Attested upon Oath, And that the said Book be transmitted every half Year or Oftener to our Commissioners of our Treasury or to our high Treasurer for the time being and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations and Duplicates thereof by the next Conveyance in which Books shall be Specify’d every Particular Sum rais’d or dispos’d of together with the Names of the Persons to whom any Payment shall be made to the End we may be Satisfy’d of the Right and due Application of the Revenues of our Said Colony.
  2. You are not to Suffer any Publick money whatsoever to be issued or Dispos’d of otherways than by Warrant under your hand by and with the Advice of our said Council, But the Assembly may nevertheless be permitted from time to time to View & Examine the Accounts of Money or Value of Money dispos’d of by Vertue of Laws made by them, which you are to Signify unto them as there shall be Occasion.
  3. AND IT IS OUR EXPRESS WILL AND PLEASURE that no Law for raising any Imposition on Wines and other Strong Liquors be made to Continue for less than one whole Year as also that all other Laws whatsoever for the good Government and Support of the said Colony be made Indefinite and without Limitation of time except the Same be for a Temporary end and which shall expire and have its full Effect within a Certain time.
  4. AND THEREFORE you Shall not Re-Enact any Law which hath or Shall have been once Enacted there Except upon very Urgent Ocassions, but in no Case more than once without our Express consent.
  1. You shall take Care that an Act Pass’d here in the Sixth Year of the Reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne for Ascertaining the Rates of foreign Coins in our Plantations in America be daily observ’d and put in Execution.
  2. And You are particularly not to pass any Law, or do any Act, by Grant Settlement or Otherwise whereby our Revenue may be lessen’d or Impair’d without our Especial leave or Command therein.
  3. You shall take Care that the Members of the Assembly be Elected only by Freeholders as being more agreeable to the Custom of this Kingdom to which you are as near as may be to Conform yourself.
  4. You shall reduce the Salary of the Members of the Assembly to such a Moderate Proportion as may be no grievence to the Country wherein Nevertheless you are to use your discretion, so as no inconvenience may arise thereby.
  5. Whereas an Act has been Pass’d in Virginia on 16 April in the Year 1684 Entitled an Act for Altering the time of holding General Courts, You are to Propose to the Next Assembly (if the Same be not already done) that a clause be added to the said Act whereby it may be provided that the Power of Appointing Courts to be held at any time whatsoever remain in you or the Commander in Chief of that our said Colony for the time being.
  6. You shall not remit any fines or forfeitures whatsoever above the Sum of Ten Pounds, nor dispose of any Escheats fines or forfeitures whatsoever until upon Signifying unto our Commissioners of our Treasury, or Our high Treasurer for the time being, and to our Commissoners for Trade and Plantations, the Nature of the Offence and the Occasion of such fines forfeitures or Escheats with the Particular Sums or Value thereof which you are to do with all Speed Until you shall have receiv’d our Directions therein, But you may in the mean time Suspend the Payment of the said Fines and Forfeitures.
  7. You are to require the Secretary of our Said Colony or his Deputy for the time being to furnish you with Transcripts of all such Acts and Publick Orders as shall be made from time to time together with a Copy of the Journals of the Council to the end the same transmitted Unto us, and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations as above directed, which he is duly to perform upon Pain of incurring the Forfeiture of his Place.
  1. You are also to require from the Clerk of the Assembly or other Proper Officer Transcripts of all the Journals and other Proceedings of the said Assembly to the end the same may in like manner be transmitted as aforesaid.
  2. You are likewise to send a list of all Officers Employ’d under your Government together with all Publick Charges, and an Account of the Present Revenue with the Probability of the Increase or Diminution of it under every head or Article thereof.
  3. You shall not displace any of the Judges, Justices, Sherifs or other Officers or Ministers within our said Colony without good and Sufficient cause to be Signified to us and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
  4. And to prevent Arbitrary removals of Judges and Justices of the Peace You are not to express any Limitation of time in the Commissions which you are to Grant (with the Advice and Consent of our said Council) to Persons fit for those Employments nor shall you Execute by yourself or Deputy any of the said Offices nor Suffer any Person to Execute more Offices than One by Deputy.
  5. Whereas there are Several Offices within our said Colony Granted under our Great Seal of this Kingdom and that our Service may be very much prejudiced by reason of the absence of the Patentees and by their Appointing Deputies not fit to Officiate in their Stead You are therefore to Inspect the said Offices and to Enquire into the Capacity and behaviour of the Persons now Exercising them, and to Report thereupon to us and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations what you think fit to be done or Alter’d in relation thereunto, & you are upon the Misbehaviour of any of the said Patentees or their Deputies to Suspend them from the Execution of their Places till you shall have represented the whole Matter and receive our Directions therein, and in Case of the Suspension of any such Officer IT IS OUR EXPRESS WILL AND PLEASURE that you take Care that the Person appointed to Execute the place during such Suspension do give Sufficient Security to the Person Suspended to be answerable to him for the Pro- fits accruing during such Suspension in Case we shall think fit to restore him to his Place again But you shall not by Colour of any Power or Authority hereby or Otherwise Granted or mention’d to be Granted unto you take upon you to give Grant Dispose of any Office or Place within our said Colony which now is or shall be Granted under the Great Seal of Great Britain any otherwise than that you may upon the Vacancy of any such Place or Office or Suspension of any such Officer by you as aforesaid put in any fit Person to Officiate in the Interval till you shall have represented the Matter unto us and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations as aforesaid, which you are to do by the first Opportunity and till the said Office or Place be dispos’d of by Us, Our Heirs or Successors under the Great Seal of Great Britain, or that our further Directions be given therein And OUR WILL AND PLEASURE is that you do Countenance and give all due Encouragement to all our Patent Officers in the Enjoyment of their Legal and Accustomed Fees, Rights, Privileges, and Emoluments according to the true Intent and meaning of their Patents.
  1. Whereas We are above all things desirous that, all Our Subjects may enjoy their Legal Rights and Properties You are to take Especial Care that if any Person be Committed for any Criminal Matters unless for Treason & Felony, plainly and Especially expressed in the Warrant of Commitment to have free Liberty to Petition by himself or otherwise the Chief Barron or any one of the Judges of the Common Pleas for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, which upon such Application shall be granted and Served on the Provost Marshall Goaler or other Officer having the Custody of such Prisoner, or shall be left at the Goal or Place where the Prisoner is confin’d and the said Provost Marshall or other Officer shall within three days after such service on the Petitioners Paying the Fees & Charges, and giving Security that he will not escape by the way make return of the Writ and Prisoner before the Judge who granted out the said Writ and there Certify the true Cause of the Imprisonment, and the said Baron or Judge shall Discharge such Prisoner taking his Recognizance and Sureties for his Appearance at the Court where the Offence is Cognizable, and Certifie the said Writ and Recognizance into the Court unless Such Offences appear to the said Baron or Judge not Bailable by the Law of England.
  1. And in Case the Said Baron or Judge shall refuse to grant a Writ of Habeas Corpus on View of the Copy of Commitment or upon Oath made of such Copy having been deny’d the Prisoner or any Person requiring the Same in his behalf or shall delay to discharge the Prisoner after the granting such Writ the said Baron or Judge shall incur the forfeiture of his Place.
  2. You are likewise to declare our Pleasure that in Case the Provost Marshal or other Officer shall Imprison any Person above Twelve Hours except by a Mittimus setting forth the Cause thereof he be removed from his said Office.
  3. And upon the Application of any Person wrongfully Committeed the Baron or Judge shall issue his Warrant to the Provost Marshall or other Officer to bring the Prisoner before him who shall be discharged without Bail or Paying Fees, & the Provost Marshall or other Officer refusing Obedience to such Warrant shall be thereupon removed, and if the said Baron or Judge denies the Warrant he shall likewise Incur the forfeit- ure of his Place.
  4. And You shall give directions that no Prisoner being set at large by an Habeas Corpus be recommitted for the said Offence but by the Court where he is bound to appear and if any Baron, Judge, Provost Marshall or other Officer contrary hereunto shall recommit such Person so Bail’d or deliver’d you are to remove him from his Place, and if the Provost Marshall or other Officer having the Custody of the Prisoner neglects to return the Habeas Corpus or refuses a Copy of the Committment within Six hours after demand made by the Prisoner or any other in his behalf shall likewise Incurr the forfeiture of his Place.
  1. And for the better Prevention of long Imprisonments you are to appoint two Courts of Oyer & Terminer to be held Yearly, Viz, on the Second Thursday in December and the Second Tuesday in June, the Charge whereof to be paid by the Publick Treasury of Our said Colony not exceeding One Hundred Pounds each Session.
  2. You are to take Care that all Prisoners in Case of Treason or Felony have free Liberty to Petition in Open Courts for their Tryals, that they be indicted at the first Court of Oyer and Terminer unless it appears upon Oath that the Witnesses against them cou’d not be produced and that they be try’d the Second Court or discharg’d and the Baron or Judge upon Motion made the last Day of the Sessions in Open Court is to Bail the Prisoners, or upon the refusal of the said Baron or Judge and Provost Marshal or Other Officer to do their respective Duties herein they shall be remov’d from their Places.
  1. Provided always that no Person be discharged out of Prison who stands Committed for Debt for any decree of Chan- cery or any Legal proceedings of any Court of Record.
  2. And for the preventing any Executions that may be made upon Prisoners, You are to declare Our Pleasure that no Baron or Judge shall receive for himself or Clerks for granting a Writ of Habeas Corpus more than Two Shillings and Six Pence and the like Sum for taking a Recognizance and that the Provost Marshall shall not receive more than five Shillings for every Commitment, One Shilling & three Pence for the Bond the Prisoner is to Sign, One Shilling & three Pence for every Copy of a Mittimus & one Shilling & three Pence for every Mile he bringeth Back the Prisoner.
  1. And further you are to Cause this our Royal Pleasure hereby Signify’d to you to be made Publick & Register’d in the Council Books of our said Colony.
  2. And Whereas Commissions have been granted unto Several Persons in our Respective Plantations in America for the trying of Pirates in those Parts pursuant to the Act for the more Effectual Suppression of Piracy and by a Commission sent to our Colony of Virginia You as our Lieutenant and Governor General of our said Colony are impower’d together with others therein mention’d to proceed accordingly in Reference to Our said Colony. Our Will and Pleasure is that in all Matters relating to Pirates You govern yourselves according to the intent of the Act and Commission aforemention’d. But as whereas Accessories in Cases of Piracy beyond the Seas are by the said Act left to be try’d in this Kingdom according to the Statute of the twenty Eighth of King Henry the Eighth we do hereby further direct and require you to send all such Accessories in Case of Piracy in Our foresaid Colony into this Kingdom with the Proper Evidences that you may have against them in Order to their being Try’d here.
    IT IS OUR FURTHER PLEASURE that no Person for the future be sent as Prisoners to this Kingdom from our said Colony and Dominion of Virginia without Sufficient Proof of their Crimes, and that Proof transmitted along with the said Prisoners.
  3. In Case any Goods Money or other Estate of Pirates or Piratically taken or brought or found within our said Colony of Virginia or taken on board any Ships or Vessels You are to Cause the same to be Seiz’d and Secur’d until You shall have given us an Account thereof and receiv’d our Pleasure Concerning the Disposal of the Same. But in Case such Goods or any Part of them are Perishable the Same shall be Publickly Sold and Disposed of, and the Produce thereof in like Manner secur’d until our further Order.
  1. You shall not Erect any Court or Office of Judicatory not before Erected or Established nor dissolve any Court or Office already Erected or Established without our especial Order: But in Regard we have been inform’d that there is a Want of a particular Court for determining of small Causes You are to recommend it to the Assembly of our said Colony that a Law be pass’d (if not already done) for the Constituting such Court or Courts for the ease of our Subjects there, and you are from time to time to transmit to our said Commissioners for Trade and Plantations an Exact Account of what Causes have been determin’d what shall be then Depending, as likewise an Abstract of all proceedings of the Several Courts of Justice within our said Government.
  2. You are to Transmit to Us & to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations with all convenient Speed a Particular Account of all Establishments of Jurisdictions Courts Offices and Officers Powers Authorities Fees and Priviledges Granted or Settled within our said Colony to the End you may receive our farther Directions therein.
  3. COMPLAINT having been made that the Members of our said Council in all Matters of Civil Right where any of them are Defendants claim a Priviledge of Exemption from the Ordinary forms of Process by Writ, so that they cannot be arrested, and that it being the Practice in all such Cases that the Secretary Summon them to an Appearance by a Letter, either Comply with the Same or Neglect it at their own Pleasure by which Means the Course of Justice is obstructed & the Plaintiffs who are not of the Council are left destitute of relief. You are therefore to take Special Care that according to the Order made in the said Council of Virginia the 27 March 1678 (by which the Members thereof claim’d the Aforesaid Priviledge) a Letter of Summons to any of the said Councelors Sign’d either by your self or by the Secretary of our said Colony be deem’d as binding and as Strict in Law for their Appearance as a Writ and that upon their Neglect to Comply with any such Summons (Except only in time of General Assembly) they be liable to the Ordinary forms of Common Process.
  1. And you are with the Advice and Consent of our said Council to take Especial Care to regulate all Salaries and Fees belonging to Places or Paid upon Emergencies that they be within the Bounds of moderation and that no Exaction be made upon any Occasion whatsoever, as also that Tables of all Fees be Publickly hung up in all Places where such Fees are to be paid and you are to transmit Copies of all such Tables of Fees to Us & to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations as aforesaid.
  2. WHEREAS it is necessary that our Rights & Dues be preserved and recover’d and that speedy and Effectual Justice be administer’d in all Cases relating to our Revenue, You are to take Care that a Court of Exchequer be call’d and do meet at all such times as shall be needfull and You are upon your Arrival to inform us and our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations whether Our Service may require that a constant Court of Exchequer be Settled & Established there.
  3. You are to take Care that no Man’s Life Member freehold or Goods be taken away or harm’d in our said Colony otherwise than by establish’d and known Laws, not repugnant but as near as may be agreeable to the Laws of this Kingdom.
  4. You shall administer or Cause to be administer’d the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and the Oath Mention’d in the foresaid Act Entituled an Act for the Security of Her Majesty’s Person and Government and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant Line, to the Members and Officers of our Council & Assembly and to all Judges and Justices and all other Persons that hold any Office or Place of Trust or Profit in our said Colony whether by Vertue of any Patent under our Great Seal of this Kingdom or the Publick Seal of Virginia or otherwise and you shall also Cause them to make and Subscribe the aforesaid Declaration without the doing of all which you are not to admit any Person whatsoever into any Publick Office, nor Suffer those that have been admitted formerly to Continue therein.
  1. You are to Permit a Liberty of Conscience to all Persons except Papists, so they be contented with a quiet and peaceable Enjoyment of the Same not giving Offence or Scandal to the Government.
  2. You shall send to us & our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations by the Conveyance of our Ships of War, an Account of the present Number of Planters and Inhabitants-Men Women and Children as well Masters as Servants, Free and Unfree, And of the Slaves in our said Colony as also a Yearly account of the Increase and decrease of them and how many of them are fit to bear Arms in the Militia of our said Colony.
  3. You shall also Cause an Exact Account to be kept of all Persons born Christened and Buried and you shall Yearly send fair Abstracts thereof unto us and to Our foresaid Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
  4. You shall take Care that all Planters and Christian Servants be well and fitly provided with Arms, and that they be listed under good Officers and when and as often as shall be thought fit Muster’d and Train’d whereby they may be in a better readiness for the Defense of our said Colony and Dominion under your Government, and you are to use your utmost Endeavours that such Planters do each of them keep such Numbers of White Servants as by Law Directed and that they appear in Arms when thereunto required.
  5. You are to take especial Care that neither the frequency nor unreasonableness of the Marches Musters and Trainings be an unnecessary Impediment to the Affairs of the Inhabitants.
  6. And for the greater Security of that Our Colony You are to Appoint fit Officers and Commanders in the Several Parts of the Country bordering upon the Indians who upon any Invasion may raise Men and Arms to oppose them untill they shall receive your directions therein.
  7. You shall not upon any Occasion whatsoever Establish or put in Execution any Articles of War or other Law Martial upon any of Our Subjects Inhabitants of our said Colony of Virginia without the advise and Consent of our Council there.
  1. AND WHEREAS there is no Power given you by Our Commission to Execute Martial Law in time of Peace upon Soldiers in Pay and yet nevertheless it may be necessary that some Care be taken for the keeping good Discipline amongst those that we may at any time hereafter think fit to send into our said Colony (which may properly be provided for by the Legislative Power of the same) You are therefore to recommend unto the General Assembly of our said Colony that (if not already done) they Prepare such Act and Law for the Punishing Mutiny Desertions and fake Musters, and for the better pre- serving of good Discipline amongst the Said Soldiers as may best Answer those ends.
  2. AND WHEREAS together with other Powers of Vice Admiralty You will Receive Authority from our Commissioners for executing the Office of our high Admiral of great Britain and of our Plantations upon the refusal or Neglect of any Captain or Commander of any of our Ships of War to Execute the Written Order he shall receive from you for Our Service and the Service of our Colony under your Government, or upon his Neglect & undue Execution thereof to suspend such Captain or Commander from the Exercise of his said Office of Captain or Commander and to committ into Safe Custody either on Board his own Ship or elsewhere at Your Discretion in Order to his being brought to Answer for such refusal or Neglect by Commission either under Our great Seal of this Kingdom or from our Commissioners for executing the Office of our high Admiral of Great Britain for the time being And whereas you will likewise receive directions from our said Commissioners for Executing the Office of our high Admiral of Great Britain and of our Plantations that the Captain or Commander so by you suspended shall during such his Suspension and Commitment be succeeded by such Commission or Warrant Officer of our said Ship ap- pointed by our said Commissioners for Executing the Office of our high Admiral of Great Britain for the time being as by the known Practice and Discipline of our Navy does and ought next to Succeed as in case of Death, Sickness or any other ordinary disability happening to the Commander of any of our Ships of War and not otherwise You standing Accountable for the truth and Importance of the Crime & Misdemeanor for which you shall so proceed to the Suspending any such Captain or Commander You are not to Exercise the said Power of Suspending any such Captains or Commanders of our Ships of War otherwise than by Vertue of such Commission or Authority from our said Commissioners for executing the Office of our high Admiral of Great Britain any former Custom or usage Notwithstanding.
  1. You are to demand an Account from all Persons concern’d of the Arms Ammunition and Stores sent to our said Colony from our Office of Ordnance here as likewise what other Arms Ammunition and Stores have been bought with the Publick Money for the Service of our said Colony and how the Same have been employ’d, and whether any of them and how many of them have been sold, Spent, Lost, Decay’d or dispos’d of and to whom and to what use and to transmit the said Account to Us and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations afore- said.
  2. You shall take an Inventory of all Arms Ammunition and Stores remaining in any of our Magazines or Garrisons in our Colony under your Government, and immediately after your Arrival to transmit the same unto Us and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations and the like Inventory afterwards half Yearly, as also a Duplicate thereof to our Master General or Principal Officers of our Ordnance, which Accounts are to express the Particulars of Ordnance Carriages, Powder, Balls, and all other Sorts of Arms and Ammunition in our Publick Stores at your said Arrival, and so from time to time of what shall be sent you or bought with the Publick Money and to specify the time of the disposal and the Occasion thereof.
  3. You are to take especial Care that fit Storehouses be Settled throughout our said Colony for receiving and keeping of Arms Ammunition and Publick Stores.
  4. You shall cause a Survey to be made of all the Considerable landing Places and Harbours in our said Colony, and with the Advice of our Council there Erect in any of them such Fortifications as shall be necessary for the Security and Advantage of that Colony which shall be done at the Publick Charges of the Country, in which we doubt not of the Chearfull concurrence of the Inhabitants, thereunto from the common Security and benefit they will receive thereby.
  5. OUR WILL AND PLEASURE IS that all Servants that shall come to be Transported to Our Colony of Virginia shall serve their respective Masters for the Terms prescrib’d by the Laws of our said Colony, and the said Servants shall at the end of the said Term have 50 Acres of Land Assign’d and set out to every of them respectively to Have and to Hold to them and every of them their Heirs and Assigns for ever under the Rules and Duties usually Paid and reserved.
  6. AND WHEREAS it has been represented that the Grant of King James the first heretofore made to that our Colony to Exempt the Planters from paying Quitrents for the first Seven ‘Years did tun to the great Prejudice of the same and that many took Occasion thereby to take and Create to themselves a Title of such Quantitys of Land which they never intended to or in truth cou’d Occupy or Cultivate but thereby only kept out others who would have Planted and manured the Same, and King Charles the Second having therefore by his Instructions given to Sir We, Berkly revok’d all such Grants as contrary to the Intention of the said King James the first and to the good of our Subjects there We do likewise give the same directions unto you, that if any Such Grants Shou’d be still Insisted on the ‘same be look’d on and taken to be void and of None Effect And you are likewise to restrain the unlimited practice of taking more Lands than can reasonably be Cultivated and to regulate all Abuses therein.
  7. You shall with the Advice of Our Council there take Care to appoint Men fitly Qualify’d to be Surveyors throughout all the Several Districts of Our said Colony, and that they be sworn to make true and exact Surveys of all Lands requir’d to be set out according to the best of their Skill 80. You shall likewise take Care that a General Survey be made of all the said Colony and Dominion, and of each County in it, and that an Exact Map or Maps be thereupon drawn, and ‘Transmitted to Us and to our foresaid Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
  8. You shall likewise take Care that a General Survey be made of all the said Colony and Dominion, and of each County in it, and that an Exact Map or Maps be thereupon drawn, and ‘Transmitted to Us and to our foresaid Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
  1. And You are further to take Care that an Exact Account be forthwith drawn of all Arrears of Quitrents due unto Us ex- pressing from what Persons, for what Quantity of Land, and for what time those Arrears are due, and likewise an Account Specifying what Particular Persons throughout all our said Colony are possess’d above 20,000 Acres of Land a Piece, by what Titles they hold the said Lands, and how much each of them is possess’d of above that Quantity. Both which Accounts you are without Delay to transmit to Us and to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
  2. WHEREAS it was represented to her Late Majesty by the President and Council of our said Colony that the Method of Granting Lands as directed by the Instructions given to Robert Hunter Esq’ bearing Date at St. James’s the 30th of April 1707 is not agreeable to the Laws Constitution and Practice of our said Colony. OUR WILL AND PLEASURE THEREFORE IS That for the future the Method of Granting of Land be in such form and Manner, and under the like Conditions Covenants and Reservations of Quitrent as are by the Charter and Laws of that our Colony allow’d and Directed to be made and as were permitted to be made before the Instructions given to Robert Hunter Esq’ as aforesaid, PROVIDED due care be taken that in all such Grants hereafter to be made regard be had to the profitable and unprofitable Acres, and particularly that every Patentee be obliged in the best and most Effectual Manner to Cultivate & Improve three Acres part of every fifty Acres so granted within the term of three Years after the Passing of such Grant and in Case of failure thereof such Grant or Grants to be void and of None Effect.
  3. That we may be the better inform’d of the Trade of our said Colony, You are to take especial Care that Due enteries be made in all Ports of our said Colony of all Goods and Commodities their Species and Quantities Imported or Exported from thence, with the Names Burden and Guns of all Ships Exporting and Importing the same, also the Names of their Commanders and likewise expressing from and to what Place the said Ships do come and go (a Copy whereof the Naval Officer in each respective District is to furnish you with) and you are to transmit the Same unto us Our Commissioners of our Treasury or our high Treasurer for the time being, and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations Quarterly, and Duplicates thereof by the Next Conveyance.
  1. You are to take especial Care all Tobacco ship’d in Virginia from what part soever do come they pay Virginia Duties.
  2. You are likewise to Examine what Rates and Duties are Charged and Payable upon any Goods Imported and Exported within our Colony of Virginia, whether of the Growth or Manufacture of our said Colony or otherwise and to use your best Endeavours for the Improvement of the Trade in those Parts.
  3. AND WHEREAS Orders have been given for the Commissionating of fit Persons to be Officers of our Admiralty and Customs in our Several Plantations in America, and it is of great importance to the Trade of this Kingdom, and to the welfare of Our Plantations that illegal Trade be every where discouraged, you are therefore to take especial Care that the Acts of Trade and Navigation be duly put in execution, and in Order thereunto you are to give Constant Protection and all due Incouragement to the Officers of our Admiralty and Customs in the Execution of their Respective Offices and Trusts.
  4. AND WE FURTHER WILL AND REQUIRE You to be aiding and Assisting unto such Persons as are or shall be appointed by our Commissioners of Our Treasury to be Agent in the West Indies or such other Agent as shall be appointed in his Room in the discharge of his Office according to such Instructions as he hath receiv’d from our Principal Commissioners for that Purpose, also for preventing Imbezelments and Recovering of Prize Goods which may happen to be Imbezel’d or Conceal’d, as well as the Execution of all Orders to him or them directed in Relation to Prizes by any Court of Admiralty Legally Established by Our Commissioners of our Admiralty in our said Plantations And you are likewise to Transmit unto Our Commissioners of our Treasury from time to time exact Accounts of all Occurances concerning Prizes that happen to be brought into that our Colony of Virginia under your Government in the Same Manner as you are required to do in other Matters under your Care.
  1. AND WHEREAS We have been Inform’d that the Fees for the Condemnation of a Prize Ship in our Courts of Admiralty in the Plantations are considerably greater than those demanded on the like occasions in our High Court of Admiralty here, And Whereas we are willing that our Subjects in the Plantations shou’d have the same ease in the Obtaining Condemnations of Prizes there as in this Kingdom. You are to Signifie our Will and pleasure to the Officers of our Admiralty Court in Virginia that they do not presume to demand or Exact other Fees than what are taken in this Kingdom which amount to about Ten Pounds for the Condemnation of each Prize according to the List of Fees herewith deliver’d to you.
  2. You are from time to time to give an Account as before directed what Strength your bordering Neighbors have be they Indians or others, by Sea and Land, and of the Condition of their Plantations and what Correspondence you do keep with them.
  3. You shall take Especial Care that God Almighty be devoutly and duly served throughout your Government, the Book of Common Prayer as by Law established read each Sunday and Holy day and the Blessed Sacraments administer’d according to the rites of the Church of England.
  4. You shall be carefull that the Churches already built there be well and Orderly kept, and that more be built as the Colony shall by the Blessing of God be improved, and that besides a Competent Maintenance to be Assign’d to the Ministers of each Orthodox Church a convenient House be built at the Common charge for each Minister and a competent Portion of Glebe Assign’d him.
  5. And You are to take Care that the Parishes be so bounded and Settled as you shall find most convenient for the accomplishing this good Work.
  6. You are not to refer any Minister to any Ecclesiastical Business in that our Colony without a Certificate from the Right Reverend Father in God the Lord Bishop of London of his being conformable to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, and of a good Life and Conversation, and if any Person preferr’d already to a Benefice shall appear to you to give Scandal, either by his Doctrine or Manners, you are to use the proper and usual Means for removal of him and to supply the Vacancy in such Manner as we have directed.
  1. You are to give Order forthwith (if the same be not already done) that every Orthodox Minister within your Govern- ment be one of the Vestry in his respective Parish, and that no Vestry be held without him except in Case of Sickness, or that after Notice of a Vestry Summon’d he omit to come.
  2. You are to Enquire whether there be any Ministers within your Government, who Preaches and Administers the Sacraments in any Orthodox Church or Chappel without being in due Orders, and to give an Account thereof to the said Lord Bishop of London.
  3. And to the end the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the said Lord Bishop of London may take Place in that Our Colony so far as conveniently may be, We do think fit that you give all countenance and encouragement to the exercise of the same, excepting only the Collating to Benefices, granting Licences for Marriages and Probates of Wills, which we have reserved to you our Governor or Commander in Chief of our said Colony for the time being.
  4. We do Further direct that no School Master be henceforth Permitted to come from this Kingdom and to keep School within our said Colony without the Licence of the said Lord Bishop of London, and that no other Person now there or that Shall come from other Parts be admitted to keep School without your Licence first Obtain’d.
  5. And you are to take especial Care that a Table of Marriages Establish’d by the Cannons of the Church of England be hung up in every Orthodox Church, and duly observ’d & you are to Endeavour to get a Law pass’d in the Assembly of that Colony (if not already done) for the Strict Osbervation of the said Table.
  6. You are to take Care that Drunkenness and Debauchery, Swearing and Blasphemy be discountenanced and Punished. And for the further Discountenance of Vice and encouragement of Vertue and good living (that by such Examples the Infidels may be invited and desire to Partake of the Chris- tian Religion) You are not to Admit any Person to Publick Trusts and Employments in our said Colony whose ill fame and Conversation may Occasion Scandal.
  1. And you are to Suppress the Ingrossing of Commoditys as tending to the prejudice of that freedom which Trade and Commerce ought to have and to Settle Such Orders and Regulations therein with Advice of our said Council as may be most Acceptable to the generality of the Inhabitants.
  2. And Upon Several Representations made concerning a Trade with the Indian Natives, it has been thought fit to permit a free Trade between our Subjects of Virginia and the Indians, and We being willing to continue the same Permission to all our Subjects or that Colony, You are therefore to Signify the same to the next Assembly, and to give them to understand that out of our great Care for the Welfare of that Colony, We have preferr’d the Particular Benefit of our Subjects before any other Advantage that might accrue unto us by restraining that Trade with the Indians, Whereof we expect they shoul’d have a due Sence and provide by some Means for the better Support of the Government.
  3. You are to give all due Encouragement and Invitation to Merchants and others who shall bring Trade to our Colony or any way contribute to the Advantage thereof and in Particular to the Royal Affrican Company.
  4. And as we are willing to recommend unto the said Company that the said Colony may have a constant and Sufficient Supply of Merchantable Negroes at Moderate Rates in Money or Commodities so you are to take especial Care that Payment be duly made & within a competent time according to their Agreements.
  5. And whereas the said Company have frequently great Sums of Money owing to them in our Plantations in America, they have been much hindered in the recovery of their Just debts there, and discouraged in their Trade by the too frequent Adjournments of Courts, and it being absolutely necessary that all Obstructions in the Course of Justice be Effectually remov’d, You are to take Care that the Courts of Justice be duly and frequently held in our Colony and Dominion under your Government, so that all our Subjects in the said Colony, and Particularly the Royal African Company may enjoy the Benefit thereof, and not receive any undue hinderance in the recovery of their Just Debts.
  1. And you are to take care that there be no Trading from Virginia to any Place in Africa within the Charter of the Royal African Company otherwise than prescribed by Law.
  2. And we do further expressly Command and require you to give unto us, & to our Commissioners for Trade & Plantations an Account every half Year of what Number of Negroes the said Colony is Supply’d with, that is what Number by the African Company, and what by Seperate Traders, and at what rates Sold.
  3. You are likewise from time to time to give unto us and to our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations as aforesaid an Account of the Wants and Defects of our said Colony, what are the Chief Products thereof, new Improvements are made therein by the Industry of the Inhabitants or Planters, and what further Improvements you conceive may be made, or Advantages gain’d by Trade, & which way we may contribute thereunto.
  4. You are not to grant Commissions of Mark or Reprizal against any Prince or State or their Subjects in Amity with us, to any Person whatsoever without our Special Command.
  5. Whereas great Inconveniencies do happen by Merchants Ships and other Vessels in the Plantations wearing the Colours born by our Ships of War under Pretence of Commissions granted to them by the Governors of the said Plantations, and that by Trading under those Colours not only amongst our Own Subjects, but also those of other Princes and States and committing divers Irregularities, they do very much dishonour our Service, For prevention whereof you are to oblige the Commanders of all such Ships to which you shall grant Commissions to wear no other Jack than according to the Sample here described, that is to say, such as is worn by our Ships of War with a distinction of a White Escutcheon in the middle thereof and that the said Mark of distinction may ex- tend itself to one half of the Depth of the Jack and one third of the Fly thereof.
  1. Our Will and Pleasure is That Appeals be permitted to be made in Cases of Error from the Courts in our said Colony unto you and our Council there in General Court & in Your Absence from that our Colony to the Commander in Chief for the time being, and the said Council in Civil Causes, wherein such of our said Council as shall be at that time Judges of the Court from whence such Appeals shall be made to You our Governor and Council, or to the Commander in Chief for the time being, and Council in General Court as aforesaid shall not be admitted a vote upon the said Appeal, but they may Nevertheless be present at the hearing thereof to give the reasons of the Judgment given by them in the Cause wherein such Appeal shall be made.
  2. And Inasmuch as it may not be fit that Appeals be too frequently and for too Small a Value brought unto Our Governor and Council, as aforesaid, You shall therefore with the Advice of our said Council propose a Law to be pass’d wherein the Method and Limitation of Appeals unto Our Governor and Council may be Settled and Restrain’d in such Manner as shall be most Convenient and easy to Our Subjects in Virginia.
  3. And if either Party shall not rest Satisfy’d with the Judgement of you or the Commander in Chief for the time being & Council as aforesaid, they may then Appeal unto Us in Our Privy Council, provided the Sum or Value so appeal’d for unto us do exceed £300 Sterl and that such Appeal be made within one fortnight after Sentence and good Security given by the Appellant that he will Effectually prosecute the same, and Answer the Condemnation as also pay such Costs as shall be awarded by us in Case the Sentence of you the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being and Council be Affirmed, & provided also that Execution be not Suspended by reason of any such Appeal unto Us.
  4. You are also to Permit Appeals unto Us in Council in all Cases of Fines imposed for Misdemeanors, provided the Fines so impos’d amount to, or Exceed the Value of £200 the Appellant first giving good Security that he will Effectually prosecute the same, and Answer the Condemnation of the Sentence by which such Fine was impos’d in Virginia in case the said Sentence shall be confirm’d.
  1. You are for the better Administration of Justice to Endeavour to get a Law pass’d (if not already done) wherein shall be Set the Value of Men’s Estates either in Goods or Lands under which they shall not be capable of Serving as Jurors.
  2. You are to take Care that no Courts of Judicature be adjourned but upon good Grounds, and whereas Complaint hath been made that the Orders of Court are entered in the Absence of the Magistrates and sometimes penn’d in Private at the Magistrates House, you are to take care to prevent the said abuses, and particularly that no Orders of any Court of Judicature be enter’d or allow’d which shall not be first read and approv’d of by the Magistrates in Open Court, which Rule you are in like manner to see observ’d with relation to the Proceedings in Our Council of Virginia and that all Orders there made be first read and approved in Council before they are enter’d in the Council Books.
  3. You shall Endeavour to get a Law pass’d (if not already done) for the restraining of any Inhuman Severities which by ill Masters or Overseers may be used towards their Christian Servants, and their Slaves, and that Provision be made therein that the Wilfull killing of Indians and Negroes may be punish’t with Death, and that a fit Penalty be impos’d for the Maiming of them. And you are also with the Assistance of the Council and Assembly to find out the best Means to facilitate and encourage the Conversion of Negroes and Indians to the Christian Religion.
  4. And whereas an Agreement has been formerly made with the Indians of Virginia and of New York for their Peaceable living with Our Subjects and Submission to Our Government, We do hereby approve the Same, and do require you to endeavour as much as in you lyes that the said Agreement be Punctually observ’d and renew’d if it shall be Necessary, as conducing to the Welfare of our Colony under your Government.
  1. You are to Endeavour with the Assistance of our Council to provide for the raising of Stocks and building Publick Warehouses in convenient places for the employing of Poor and indigent People.
  2. You are to propose an Act to be pass’d in the Assembly wherby the Creditors of Persons becoming Bankrupts in this Kingdom and having Estates in Virginia may be reliev’d and Satisfy’d for the Debts owing to them.
  3. In Case of Distress of any other of our Plantations You shall upon the Application of the Respective Governors thereof to you, Assist them with what Aid the Condition of Our Colony under Your Government can Spare.
  4. You are to take Care by and with the Advice and Assistance of our Council that such Prisons there as want Reparation be forthwith repair’d and put into and kept in such a Condition as may Sufficiently Secure the Prisoners that are or shall be there in Custody.
  5. And for as much as we have thought fit for the Dignity of the Government that a House be built for our Governor or Commander in Chief, for defraying of which Expence a Levy has been made, You are to hasten the Building and fitting up such a House if not already done.
  6. Our Will and Pleasure is, that you do take to yourself as Governor Two Thousand Pounds Sterl. per Annum by Quarterly Payments, and shall also Cause to be paid out of the Revenues of our said Colony to the Councelors & other Judges and Officers as well Civil as Military, and to the Mar- shal, Clerk of the Assembly Gunner and Matrosses the Several Salaries and allowances formerly paid, or such other reas- onable Ones as you with Advice of Our Council there shall think requisite a true Account whereof you shall from time to time transmit unto the Commissioners of Our Treasury or Our High Treasurer for the time being, and to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
  7. Provided always that you do not dispose of any Part of our Quitrents, nor Suffer the same to be issued out upon any Occasion untill upon your Certifying to us the Value of what shall remain thereof from time to time in Our Treasury or be due Unto Us we shall Order the Same to be dispos’d of as we shall find Occasion for our Service.
  1. And for the better improving the Value of Our Quit-rents, You are to take Care they be not only duly Collected, but they be sold every Year Openly by Inch of Candle to the highest Bidder in the respective County Courts, and that due Notice be given of the time and Place of any such intended Sale in such Manner as may make it most Publickly known to all People a Competent time before hand.
  2. Whereas upon considering the Entries of our Custom house here in this Kingdom with the Payment of the two Shillings per Hogsh on Tobacco, and other Duties and Impositions due unto us in Virginia there has been certain Information given of great Frauds and Abuses both in Payment thereof by Masters of Ships and others, and in the Collection by Our Officers, You are to use all Lawfull Means for the Prevention there- of and for the Improvement of our said Revenues. And whereas such Abuses cannot be committed without apparent Negligence of the Collectors or their connivance with the said Masters of Ships and other Persons, You are to take great Care with the Advice of Our Council in appointing fit and duly Qualify’d Persons for the Collecting of those duties and the like for the Employment of Naval Officers.
  3. You shall not commit the Care of those different Employments to One and the same Person, nor any of them unto Persons much concern’d in Trade who may be apt thereby to be byassed from their respective Duties, nor unto the Members of our said Council.
  4. You shall take Care that each of the Persons appointed by you to the said Employments (as well Naval Officers as Collectors) be sworn to Execute faithfully and diligently their Respective Offices in their Own Persons and not by Deputies unless in Cases of Absolute Necessity, and that those Deputies be then likewise sworn to the faithfull and diligent execution of their respective Offices. And that each of the said Officers or their Deputies be required accordingly to give their Attendance at such certain times and Places as you with the Advice of our said Council shall direct.
  1. You are Strictly to charge and Command them and every of them in our Name to be more carefull and diligent for the future, under Penalty of the forfeiture of our respective Places by your putting others in their Stead on the first offence, and of our highest displeasure, and you are from time to time to give Us Our Commissioners of our Treasury or high Treasurer for the time being, and to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations a Particular Account of your Proceedings therein, and of the Duties and Impositions Collected and dispos’d of pursuant to former directions in that behalf
  2. And whereas Complaints have been made of Several undue Practices in the Office of Secretary or Register of that Colony by the Clerks or other Persons employ’d therein, You are to make Inspection into what has been the State and Management of the said Office, and Report to Us and to Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations how you find the Same, together with your opinion by what Methods any former Mismanagements may for the future be best Prevented and in the meanwhile to take all possible care that the Records of the said Office be well and faithfully kept, and in Order thereunto that not only the Secretary or Register himself but his Clerks also be under Oath for the due Execution of the trust repos’d in them, and that they accordingly give Sufficient Security for their faithful performance.
  3. Whereas Our Council of Virginia has formerly made Complaints that the Lord Baltimore hath insisted on a pre- tended Right to the whole River of Potomack, which did very much discourage the Merchants and Masters of Ships trading to that our Colony, You are to Assert our Rights in those Parts, & to take care that the Trade of our Subjects be not disturb’d by the said pretences, or any other whatsoever.
  4. Whereas We have been pleas’d by our Commission to direct that in Case of your Death or Absence from our said Colony, & in Case there be at that time no Person upon the Place Commission’d or appointed by us to be our Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief the Eldest Councellor whose Name is first placed in our Instructions to you, and who shall be at the time of your Death or Absence residing within our said Colony and Dominion of Virginia, shall take upon him the Administration of the Government and Execute our said Commission and Instructions and the Several Powers and Authorities therein contain’d, in the manner thereby directed. It is nevertheless Our Express Will and Pleasure that in such Case the said President shall forbear to pass any Acts but what are Immediately necessary for the Peace and Welfare of our said Colony without our Particular Order for that Purpose.

The Randolph Manuscript. Virginia Seventeenth Century Records (Continued). (1912). The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 20(4), 337–346.

The Randolph Manuscript. Virginia Seventeenth Century Records (Continued). (1913). The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 21(1), 1–8.

The Randolph Manuscript. Virginia Seventeenth Century Records (Continued). (1913). The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 21(2), 113–121.

The Randolph Manuscript: Virginia Seventeenth Century Records (Continued). (1913). The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 21(3), 225–233.

The Randolph Manuscript. Virginia Seventeenth Century Records (Continued). (1913). The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 21(4), 347–358.

The Powers of the Governors of the Governor in Early Eighteenth-Century Virginia

“The powers of the royal governor were generally defined in the commission which he received from the crown. The governor’s instructions were more specific in nature and usually stated the exact manner in which the governor was to execute his powers. The commissions and instructions were “issued in the spirit of government ’by royal grace and favor’ and remained static and unchanging throughout the century prior to the American Revolution.

These documents nevertheless, retained an Important place in the governmental system of the colonies. Constitutionally speaking, they formed a basis for the provincial constitutions, and “there were no documents above these to which appeal could be taken.” They were to serve the governor as a guide to the actual frame of government and to the policies which the home officials expected him to pursue.

Of these two documents, the commission was the highest in authority. It was issued under the great seal of England and contained the actual appointment of the governor to his post.”

Lonnes, Anita Joy, “The Powers of the Governor in Early Eighteenth-Century Virginia” (1964). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1539624556.

Bound to Serve: Indentured Servitude in Colonial Virginia, 1624-1776

“That most people get sick is not surprising,” wrote indentured servant Gottlieb Mittelberger in 1750. “Warm food is served only three times a week …. such meals can hardly be eaten on account of being so unclean. The water which is served on the ships is often very black, thick and full of worms …. the biscuit is filled with red worms and spiders nests.”

Worm-filled water and spider-infested biscuits seemed vile enough, yet conditions could and did get worse for some traveling to the New World. Consider the fate of the Virginia Merchant. In 1649 the Virginia Merchant, filled with 350 men, women, and children, battled a two-front war: the elements and famine. The ship lost its mainmast in a storm off the coast of Cape Hatteras and fought tempests for eleven days. Food ran low, and
men and women bartered over the many rats that infested the ship’s hull. The captain put the weakest ashore on an uninhabited island.

As death took its toll upon the sick, “the living fed upon the dead.” Danger from inhumane conditions and danger from the sea made for a horrendous and potentially life-threatening voyage. Thus were the immigrants initiated to the realities of a new life. The voyage was a foretaste of what was to come.”

“A brief history of indentured servitude can illustrate exactly what being indentured meant in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Indentured servitude was by no means a Virginian invention; one must go to the mother country to find its origins. Agricultural servitude was a traditional form of dependent service in England: it was a renewable, annual contract. The master hired servants in order to increase labor potential beyond the bounds of his family. This type of service was highly suited to the early modern English economy, which was agriculture-based.

Although the precedent for contract labor was established in England, indentures to the colony evolved to better suit the New World. Whether in England or in Virginia, the indenture or contract was a vital part of the business transaction between master and servant. The indenture was a legal contract backed by law. The contractual tradition in England was conducive to the tobacco culture of Virginia. During the seventeenth century, the white servant was more significant than the slave in supplying the demand for labor. In 1683 there were twelve thousand of these quasi-slaves in Virginia, composing about one-sixth of the population.

White indentured servants and their masters came to Virginia mainly from England. According to historian Wesley Frank Craven, the servant’s place of origin was an important issue. Because of the predominance of those of English origin in Virginia, Craven suggested that their identification with the traditions of the common law was significant. From the tradition of common law came the statutes governing the life of the indentured servant.”

“It is instructive to compare the laws created specifically for the indentured white with those for a free person clandestinely marrying a servant. A 1661 law stated: “If any person being free shall clandestinely marry with a servant, he shall pay the Master of the servant 1500 lbs of tobacco or a years service plus a year ( extra) from the servant.”38 While it is true that free persons could be forced to serve the offended master for a period of time, the punishments were less severe than those for the indentured servant. The free person would generally be subjected to fines…

Should children be born from a secret marriage or out of wedlock during the mother’s term of indenture in Virginia, the children would be indentured to the parish until age 21 if male and until age 18 if female. Laws requiring the forced servitude of a child of such a union were harsh if one considers that the average term of indenture for those entering voluntarily was four years. In addition to forced servitude for any children, the mother would serve an extra year in indenture and pay the master 1000 lbs of tobacco (half a year’s work was usually equated with 500 lbs of tobacco). The father must give security to the churchwardens for the sum of 20 shillings for the care of the child. Fornication was also illegal.”

Howard, Penny (1999) “Bound to Serve: Indentured Servitude in Colonial Virginia, 1624-1776,” The Corinthian: Vol. 1 , Article 4. Available at:

Dominion Disallowance of Provincial Legislation in Canada

Federal disallowance of Provincial Legislation has been a significant aspect of the Canada’s system of “federalism”, allowing the central government to nullify provincial acts deemed contrary to federal interests. This power, unique to Canada, contrasts with the American federal system, reflecting a “differing approach” to federalism. From 1867 to 1935, the Dominion government disallowed at least 114 provincial acts and territorial ordinances, highlighting its considerable powers over provincial legislation.

The process of disallowance involved the submission of provincial acts to the governor-general, with the governor-general in council having the authority to disallow them, typically based on recommendations from the Ministry of Justice, in the same way colonies previous to Confederation would submit their legislation through Lieutenant Governors to the Crown. Disallowance had to occur within one year of receiving the act. While the British government couldn’t directly interfere with provincial acts after confederation, it could express its concerns to the Dominion government instead, as could other foreign governments.

The reasons for disallowance varied widely, including conflicts with federal legislation, exceeding provincial powers outlined in the British North America Act, violation of treaty rights, or infringement on individual rights and property. The subjects of disallowed acts ranged from immigration and banking to mining and liquor regulation, indicating the Dominion’s broad oversight.

Historically, the frequency of disallowance fluctuated, with peaks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries followed by a decline in recent years. Initially, the crown and its Federal government, themselves involved in a parent-child relationship, viewed a strong central government as necessary, akin to a parent-child relationship with provinces. Where that leaves “the people” is clear.

Evolving interpretations of “Canadian federalism” have more recently emphasized provincial rights and autonomy, more in keeping with the American meaning of the term. Decisions by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and advocacy for provincial rights led to a shift in attitudes toward disallowance. Provinces began to assert their legislative independence, advocating for minimal federal interference. By the early 20th century, calls for disallowance were expected to be justified by clear attempts to infringe on federal jurisdiction. Whether this power is still exercised today, on the down low, with the only outward evidence of such actions being a bill dying on the order paper, is unclear.

“Although there is a federal form of government in both the Dominion of Canada. and the United States, there are striking differences in the two types of federalism. Some of these differences are to be found in fundamentals, such as the basis upon which the powers of government are divided in the two countries. Less striking, but nevertheless significant, are still other points of variance. Among these is the power which the dominion government has to disallow legislative acts of the provinces. Just why the fathers of the Canadian federation thought this power should be given to the central government is not clear. The fact remains, however, that in the years from 1867 to 1935, at least 114 provincial acts and territorial ordinances were set aside. It is important to note that these acts were dis- allowed by executive officers of the dominion government. Executive officers of the national government in the United States do not possess similar powers where state legislation is concerned.”

“A survey of the law-making efforts of provincial legislatures which have been set aside by the dominion government indicates that the central government has interfered with some of the most important fields in which provincial legislation might be enacted.”

“The frequency with which the dominion’s power of disallowance has been used has varied considerably at different periods in Canada’s history. In the years from 1867 through 1895, no less than 72 acts and ordinances were set aside. In the years from 1896 through 1920, a period of almost equal length, 37 provincial acts and ordinances were annulled. From 1920 to 1935, only five acts passed by provincial legislatures fell before the disapproval of the dominion government. In the first period mentioned, the greatest number of acts to be disallowed in one province was 26, in Manitoba. British Columbia, with 20, was a close second. Seven ordinances (as distinct from legislative acts) were set aside in the Northwest Territory, while in Ontario and Nova Scotia six acts in each province were disallowed. The remainder of the 72 can be accounted for by the disallowance of four statutes in Quebec, two in Prince Edward Island, and one in New Brunswick. In the second period, British Columbia headed the list with 22, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan had three each. Ontario and Quebec each had one act annulled. Seven ordinances were set aside, five in the Yukon Territory and two in the Northwest Territory. Since 1920, legislative acts in only three provinces have been disallowed. Three were annulled in Nova Scotia and one each in Alberta and British Columbia.”

“To many Americans, it is, of course, striking that the central government in a federation should possess this degree of control over certain types of legislation enacted by the member units in that federal organization. In the Canada of 1864-66, however, there were many who, like J. A. Macdonald, wished to see a strong central government created. They believed that the war between the states to the south of them was due, in part, to weakness at the center. That the dominion government should be able to disallow provincial legislation did not seem strange to them.”

Heneman, H. J. (1937). Dominion Disallowance of Provincial Legislation in Canada. The American Political Science Review, 31(1), 92–96.

One Nation Under Court: The Supreme Court and Canadian Federalism

“In each of the four references the Court was presented with at least two distinct visions of the Canadian federation: a centralist, a provincialist, a dualist and a multinational. The first two visions are indicative of a mono-national conception of Canada, and the latter two of a plural-national conception. The Court, in being asked to resolve the conflict between the federal and provincial governments in the Senate and Patriation References, or between the federal and Quebec governments in the Quebec Veto and Secession References, was asked, in effect, to choose between these conflicting visions. And, in rendering an opinion that implicitly gave precedence to one or other of these visions, it elaborated a conception of Canada. In this paper I argue that in all four references, the SCC, acting as mediator, expanded upon a particular vision of the Canadian federation reflecting a mono-national conception of Canada, even when faced with an alternative plural-national conception. In this way, the Court emphasized the imperative need for “one Canada” at the expense of the constitutional expression of nationhood outside the nation.”

“Under the mono-national approach, the Canadian nation is understood as a ‘polyethnic’ entity comprised of many ethno-cultural groups which, though they subscribe to a common national identity, still express a multiplicity of values that distinguish them from other groups. These divisions remain important and are recognized formally and informally by the state. In other words, the Canadian nation still recognizes cultural diversity through various judicial, legislative, or even constitutional concessions despite its overarching commitment to the unity of the political nation. ”

“While it may be true that the Court in all four references rendered balanced decisions by recognizing the role of both orders of government, it is also true that the Court reaffirmed a particular conception of the nation, one that asserts the idea of ‘one Canada’. In the Senate Reference, the SCC affirmed the legitimacy of the Senate as a federally appointed institution that secures regional representation at the centre within the federal policy-making institutions by arguing that the Senate, as is – an appointed body acting as a chamber of sober second thought – cannot be altered unilaterally by any one order of government. As a result of this opinion, the SCC seemingly strengthened the position of the provinces in the federation in two ways: first, the Senate must continue to exist because it ensures regional representation at the centre, a key federal principle; second, abolition of this institution affects federal-provincial relations, thus the provinces must be consulted and their consent obtained. In actuality however, this decision, though it did not constitutionally strengthen the position of the federal government vis-à-vis the provinces and central institutions, did reinforce and legitimize this position politically by assuring that the Senate remains a body appointed solely by the federal government. The Court did not expand upon why the Senate must continue to be appointed to perform its legislative function or if the Senate performed its function in practice – it simply stated that it must.”

Verrelli, Nadia. “One Nation Under Court: The Supreme Court and Canadian Federalism”.

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