Letter from Lord Townshend &c. about the French inhabitants there.
Colonel Vetch summon’d.
Letter from the Lord Viscount Townshend, of the 15th instant [fo. 346], with a copy of one from Monsieur de Ponchartrain to Monsieur D’Iberville, relating to the French inhabitants at Nova Scotia, was read; and thereupon order’d that Colonel Vetch [fo. 336], have notice to attend the Board on Thursday morning next.
Colonel Vetch &c. thoughts on inhabitants removing from Nova Scotia to Cape Briton.
Colonel Vetch, Mr. Cumings and Mr. Smith attending [fo. 334, 338], their lordships communicated to them the copy of a letter from Monsieur de Ponchartrain to Monsieur D’Iberville, relating to the removing the inhabitants from Nova Scotia to Cape Briton (mention’d in the minutes of the 16th instant); whereupon Colonel Vetch said that the settlement of Cape Britton is incouraged by the French King as much as possible; that he has given the people that will settle there 18 months’ provisions and salt gratis, and has lent them some ships and sloops for carrying on the fishery at his own charge; that they have begun to build two fortifications, in the first of which there are four companys of regular troops, in the other three; that when two French officers were sent to Nova Scotia, they assembled the inhabitants there, and proposed to them to remove with their effects to Cape Briton, and threatn’d them that, in case they did not, the King would look upon them as rebells, and they should be treated accordingly. Whereupon all but one family signed an instrument promising to go thither; that there are about 500 families in Nova Scotia, computed at five persons to a family; that those inhabitants, by having lived many years there, and by their inter-marriages with the Indians, and being accustomed to their way of living, are of greater consequence to the French, if settled at Cape Britton, than any people can be, that are sent from Europe; that there are no English at Nova Scotia, but what belongs to the garrison.
Mr. Cumings then said that he was lately come from Placentia; that upon the surrender of that place there were about 150 families, but that they had been obliged (upon the same threats as abovementioned at Nova Scotia) to go to Cape Britton, so that there now remains about 15 or 16 families there; that there were three or four companies of foot at Placentia, which were sent to Cape Britton, as were likewise others from
Queries deliver’d for their answer.
After some further discourse with those gentlemen upon this subject [fo. 336, 347], their lordships agreed upon several queries, and delivered the same to them for their particular answers in writing, and desired them to add whatever else might occur to them in relation thereto.
The said queries are as follows:—
How many French families are there in Nova Scotia?
How many will remove to Cape Britton?
How many French families are there on Cape Britton? How are they settled, and what incouragement does the French King give them?
What is the consequence of the French removing from Nova Scotia or Newfoundland to Cape Britton?
What fortifications are there at Cape Britton, and how many regular troops?
What number of French is there on Newfoundland, and how many families will remain?
When did the French families desire to remove from Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, and when did they begin to do it, and to convey away their moveable effects?
What quantity of cattle will they carry away, if they have leave? and what will be the consequence thereof?
What will be the consequence of permitting the French at Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to sell their lands, houses, beaches, stages, &c.?
What quantity of fish did the French take at Cape Britton, and parts adjacent, this year?
“Journal, November 1714: Journal Book Q.” Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 2, February 1709 – March 1715. Ed. E G Atkinson. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1925. 571-575. British History Online. Web. 2 April 2020. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/jrnl-trade-plantations/vol2/pp571-575.