Native Peoples of Atlantic Canada: A History of Indian-European Relations 9780773573383

These selections date from early contact of the native peoples of Atlantic Canada with, among others, Norse sailors, and

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Native Peoples of Atlantic Canada: A History of Indian-European Relations

Table of contents :
1. Karlsefni's Adventures in Vinland
2. Contact with the Beothuk in the Seventeenth Century
3. Tribe of Red Indians
4. A Letter Missive in regard to the Conversion and Baptism of the Grand Sagamore of New France
5. Letter from Father Pierre Biard to the Reverend Father Provincial, at Paris
6. The Difference That There is Between the Ancient Customs of the Indians, and Those of the Present
7. On the Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians
8. British Indian Policy in Nova Scotia in 1760
9. Indian Affairs in Nova Scotia, 1760-1834
10. M. H. Perley's Report on the Indians of New Brunswick
11. Report on Indian Affairs
12. Indians of Nova Scotia
13. Culture Loss and Culture Change among the Micmacs of the Canadian Maritime Provinces, 1912-1950
14. Social Time and Institutional Conflict
15. Two Malecite Family Industries: A Case Study
16. Funny – I'm Still Looking For That Place
17. No Longer Neglected: A Decade of Writing Concerning the Native Peoples of the Maritimes
Further Readings

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Carleton University Press gratefully acknowledges the support extended to its publishing programme by the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.


edited by Harold Franklin McGee, Jr.

Carleton University Press Ottawa, Canada

Every care has been taken to trace the ownership of copyrighted material in this collection. The publishers welcome any and all information that will enable them to rectify errors or omissions in this regard.

THE CARLETON LIBRARY SERIES A series of original works, reprints, and new collections of source material relating to Canada, issued under the supervision of the Editorial Board, Carleton Library Series, Carleton University Press Inc., Ottawa, Canada. GENERAL EDITOR Michael Gnarowski EDITORIAL BOARD Marilyn J. Barber (History) Bruce Cox (Anthropology) David B. Knight (Geography) John de Vries (Sociology) T. K. Rymes (Economics) Maureen A. Molot (Political Science) Margaret H. Ogilvie (Law) © Carleton University Press Inc., 1983 ISBN 0-88629-017-1 (paperback) Printed and bound in Canada Distributed by: Oxford University Press Canada 70 Wynford Drive DON MILLS, Ontario, Canada, M3C 1J9 (416)441-2941

Contents Introduction vii 1. Karlsefni's Adventures in Vinland 1 2. Contact with the Beothuk in the Seventeenth Century 6 3. Tribe of Red Indians 12 4. A Letter Missive in regard to the Conversion and Baptism of the Grand Sagamore of New France 20 5. Letter from Father Pierre Biard to the Reverend Father Provincial, at Paris 22 6. The Difference That There is Between the Ancient Customs of the Indians, and Those of the Present 38 7. On the Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians 45 8. British Indian Policy in Nova Scotia in 1760 51 9. Indian Affairs in Nova Scotia, 1760-1834 63 10. M. H. Perley's Report on the Indians of New Brunswick 81 11. Report on Indian Affairs 90 12. Indians of Nova Scotia 102 13. Culture Loss and Culture Change among the Micmacs of the Canadian Maritime Provinces, 1912-1950 120 14. Social Time and Institutional Conflict 152 15. Two Malecite Family Industries: A Case Study 165 16. Funny - I'm Still Looking For That Place 196 17. No Longer Neglected: A Decade of Writing Concerning the Native Peoples of the Maritimes 209 Further Readings 219

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Introduction 1

One of the most difficult tasks for the ethnologist concerned with the culture history of the native peoples of Atlantic Canada is to recreate the aboriginal culture. This difficulty arises because we are unsure when first contact with European peoples occurred. The first detailed accounts begin at the commencement of the seventeenth century, long after known frequent contact with European fishermen. Recent archaeological work in Newfoundland attests to attempted colonization by the Norse at a considerably earlier time. But the difficulty in learning what the aboriginal cultures were is not without its blessings, for our attention is forced to shift to what is probably a more crucial problem: What is the relationship between culture and ethnic identity? Why is it that although the native peoples of Atlantic Canada have been in extensive contact with European peoples for centuries, they have been able to maintain ethnic integrity throughout this period even when tremendous pressures have been placed upon them to assimilate? In short, why do we still find people in the region who are Micmac or Malecite? Often well-meaning individuals in "white" society tend to think of the native people of this country in terms of "aboriginal" or "traditional" culture. It is difficult for the modern, sophisticated Euro-Canadian to conceive of a modern, sophisticated Indian. Much of the reason for this attitude is that we have denied the native people a history. By insisting that "Indianess" means aboriginalness we effectively arrest the Indian in time: his culture then becomes irrelevant for the twentieth century because we refuse to acknowledge that contemporary native people have viable, contemporary cultures. The selections in this reader attempt to demonstrate that the native people of Atlantic Canada maintained their ethnic integrity because they could, and willingly did, change their material and mental cultures and that with these cultural changes came changes in the criteria for signaling their distinctiveness. The focus on ethnic relations also gives us the opportunity to examine the attitudes that native people held towards the Europeans, an experience which should temper the whiteman's propensities for feelings of ethnic superiority. The following selections are arranged in chronological order, except for the material on the now extinct Beothuk, and pertain



mostly to the Micmac. This historical perspective demonstrates the assimilative forces that the native people confronted, and it shows that ethnic identity is not found in a list of culture traits, but in strategies for interaction; which, moreover, change through time. The reason for the emphasis on the Micmac is because they are the people about whom we have the greatest amount of historical data. The first selection is a portion of Eirik the Red's saga and is the earliest "literary" evidence we have of ethnic interaction between Europeans and the native people of the new world. The location and ethnic identification of the native peoples described is impossible to ascertain on the basis of internal evidence; most likely every local historical and archaeological society from Virginia to Labrador has claimed that the "story" takes place near their headquarters. The archaeological evidence suggests that Newfoundland was the probable site for these events. The second selection consists of two descriptions of interaction with the now extinct Beothuk. One describes John Guy's friendly encounter with the Beothuk and is the first reliable description of them. The other relates the capture of Shanawdithit and is one of the last descriptions of an encounter with a band of Beothuk. Shanawdithit allegedly was the "last of the Beothuk" but Frank Speck has argued that a few remaining members of the band intermarried with the Montagnai-Nascapi or with the Micmac. Even if this were the case the Beothuk ceased to be a separate, definable ethnic group sometime during the middle of the nineteenth century. The Beothuk case is interesting for it represents an occurance of a British policy of "preservation" of the native people with hostile interactions between fishermen and the Beothuk. For the Micmac the relationships were reversed British fishermen appeared to have been non-hostile and consequently acceptable to the Micmac while the official British policy was one of hostility, at least in the early phases of contact. This is probably a result of earlier French settlement in the Maritime Provinces and absence of their settlement in Newfoundland. Both descriptions come from James P. Howley's The Beothuk, which is still the best work on the Beothuk. The Jesuit Relations is an invaluable source of information for the period coinciding with intensive French contact in the Atlantic area; unfortunately space limitations permit me to include only two letters. Father Bertrand's letter is of interest because it indicates why Acadia attracted the seventeenth century Europeans: the potential fur trade. Father Biard's letter not only describes the relations of the Micmac with the French but,



also, the Micmac's relations with the English and with the native peoples of New England. Nicolas Denys' all-too-short description of the Micmac in his Description and Natural History of the Coasts of North America is of great value because of the length of Denys' residence in Acadia; he spent over forty years there as a fisherman and fur-trader. At least one of his sons had a Micmac wife, and, consequently, we may assume that he was quite familiar with Micmac life-style. I have reprinted here only the last chapter of his book because it is the one that pertains most directly to the topic of ethnic interaction. Christien LeClerq, too, knew the Micmac intimately. He was a missionary among them for over a decade and as the excerpt from his New Relation of Gaspesia shows, he sympathetically reports the life-ways and attitudes of the Micmacs, whom he calls Gaspesians. This selection reveals the attitudes held by the Micmac towards the French. The event described is significant too for it demonstrates the well-meaning, but aloof, social change agents are a phenomenon that the native people contended with from the beginning of European colonization. The articles by R. O. MacFarland and Elizabeth Ann Hutton introduce us to British policies towards the Micmac and other northeastern native peoples. Both authors sympathize with the British and we may question whether it was, in fact, "the wretched condition of the Micmacs" which "excited the humanitarian impulses of the ruling classes," as Hutton claims, or, the fear of a drain on the treasury if the Micmac could not pursue their former economy that prompted legislative action. Disregarding the pro-British focus of these two articles, we receive a fairly clear description of pre-Confederation British policy. It should be noted however, that the Micmac presented a military threat, at least in Cape Breton, from the beginning of British contact through the American Revolution; undoubtedly this influenced British policy. Until roughly 1800 the Micmac could "treat" with the British with some hope of having their demands at least considered, and in some cases acquiesced to. Thereafter the British seldom consulted the Micmac on decisions affecting them and their policy petitions usually went unheeded by the Legislative Assembly. In the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and in the Journal of the Legislative Assembly there is a wealth of information regarding ethnic relations with the Micmac and to some extent with the Malecite. In order to be meaningful most of the reports and letters should be placed in the context of previous reports and



letters. The two appendices reprinted here differ from this pattern: the first because it is a report on the status of Indians in New Brunswick (and consequently is complete in itself), the second because it contains extensive footnotes from Joseph Howe's "Indian Journal." I find it amazing that so little attention has been paid by historians to Howe's experience as Indian Commissioner. He was the only Commissioner to keep a journal that is so readily accessible (Public Archives of Nova Scotia). The Micmac News has published excerpts from this journal but it should be edited and published in full. From the middle of the nineteenth century more and more published material becomes available. I originally planned to publish a chapter of Silas T. Rand's 1850 missionary tract on the Micmac. Rand spent very close to forty years studying the Micmac language and culture. Unfortunately, his 1850 description of the culture was presented at the beginning of his career and he never published another general study; consequently, we are unable to share the benefit of his more mature studies directly. We are fortunate, however, that many authors who wrote about the Micmac based their articles on the work of Rand. One of these, who also knew the Micmac personally, was J. Bernard Gilpin, whose article, "Indians of Nova Scotia" is reprinted here. Gilpin's article is also a better representation than Rand's of the attitudes whites of the day held with respect to the native people. Although it is obvious, perhaps it should be noted that this is the first article to mention "race" directly. Prior to the middle of the last century race was seldom mentioned; in the latter half of the century it is a common device used to "explain" the differences in culture. The article by the Wallises is based on the assumption that ethnicity consists of a total configuration of integrated behaviours, beliefs, and material items. An ethnic group could lose its culture if any of these behaviours, beliefs, or items fell into disuse, and with the loss of culture would come the loss of identity. For the Wallises, as for all of our previous authors, assimilation is inevitable because the assumed distinctiveness had to be measured in terms of retention of aboriginal traits. While the factual descriptions of changes in Micmac culture between 1912 and 1950 is important, the most significant section of their article is the last page where one gets the impression that ethnic distinctiveness is more to be found in self ascription and a set of values than in a list of culture traits.1 1

Fredrik Barth, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (London, 1969). See also, R. A. Schermerhorn, Comparative Ethnic Relations (New York, 1970) and Frederik O. Gearing, The Face of the Fox (Chicago, 1970).



The articles by Tom McFeat and Philip K. Bock indicate two ways of demonstrating a separate identity for the native people; McFeat emphasizes conceptualizations of space; Bock, of time. Both relate these distinctive conceptualizations to the economy. Both also point out the significance of understanding the relationship between the native people and the ethnic groups with which they have to deal, particularly the politico-economic institutions of the dominant ethnic group, for an understanding of contemporary cultures. The last selection was written by a Micmac from Restigouche who is living the question we have been concerned with throughout the book: Where does a native person find understanding in this country? II

I have attempted to include articles that were sufficiently short to be presented in their entirety. There are no deletions of the main text in any article. Bracketed comments and footnotes were deleted if they did not pertain to the problem of ethnic interaction. Citations were omitted except for direct quotations. Persons who wish to pursue topics raised in these articles may refer to the original sources. H. F. M. March 1973 Antigonish, N.S.

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1. Karlsefni's Adventures in Vinland SOURCE: Gwyn Jones, The Norse Atlantic Saga (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1964), pp. 181-187.

Karlsefni sailed south along the land with Snorri and Bjarni and the rest of their company. They journeyed a long time till they reached a river which flowed down from the land into a lake and so to the sea. There were such extensive bars off the mouth of the estuary that they were unable to get into the river except at full flood. Karlsefni and his men sailed into the estuary, and called the place Hop, Landlock Bay. There they found self-sown fields of wheat where the ground was low-lying, and vines wherever it was hilly. Every brook there was full of fish. They dug trenches at the end of the meeting point of land and high water, and when the tide went out there were halibut in the trenches. There were vast numbers of animals of every kind in the forest. They were there for a fortnight enjoying themselves and saw nothing and nobody. They had their cattle with them. Then early one morning when they looked about them they saw nine skin-boats, on board which staves were being swung which sounded just like flails threshing - and their motion was sunwise. "What can this mean?" asked Karlsefni. "Perhaps it is a token of peace," replied Snorri. "So let us take a white shield and hold it out towards them." They did so, and those others rowed towards them, showing their astonishment, then came ashore. They were small ill favoured men, and had ugly hair on their heads. They had big eyes and were broad in the cheeks. For a while they remained there, astonished, and afterwards rowed off south past the headland. Karlsefni and his men built themselves dwellings up above the lake; some of their houses stood near the mainland, and some near the lake. They now spent the winter there. No snow fell, and their entire stock found its food grazing in the open. But once spring came in they chanced early one morning to see how a multitude of skin-boats came rowing from the south round the headland, so many that the bay appeared sown with coals, and even so staves were being swung on every boat. Karlsefni and his



men raised their shields, and they began trading together. Above all these people wanted to buy red cloth. They also wanted to buy swords and spears, but this Karlsefni and Snorri would not allow. They had dark unblemished skins to exchange for the cloth, and were taking a span's length of cloth for a skin, and this they tied round their heads. So it continued for a while, then when the cloth began to run short they cut it up so that it was no broader than a fingerbreadth, but the Skraelings gave just as much for it, or more. The next thing was that the bull belonging to Karlsefni and his mates ran out of the forest bellowing loudly. The Skraelings were terrified by this, raced out to their boats and rowed south past the headland, and for three weeks running there was neither sight nor sound of them. But at the end of that period they saw a great multitude of Skraeling boats coming up from the south like a streaming torrent. This time all the staves were being swung anti-sunwise, and the Skraelings were all yelling aloud, so they took red shields and held them out against them. They clashed together and fought. There was a heavy shower of missiles, for the Skraelings had warslings too. Karlsefni and Snorri could see the Skraelings hoisting up on poles a big ball-shaped object, and blue-black in colour, which they sent flying inland over Karlsefni's troop, and it made a hideous noise where it came down. Great fear now struck into Karlsefni and all his following, so that there was no other thought in their heads than to run away up along the river to some steep rocks, and there put up a strong resistance. Freydis came out-of-doors and saw how they had taken to their heels. "Why are you running from wretches like these?" she cried. "Such gallant lads as you, I thought for sure you would have knocked them on the head like cattle. Why, if I had a weapon, I think I could put up a better fight than any of you!" They might as well not have heard her. Freydis was anxious to keep up with them, but was rather slow because of her pregnancy. She was moving after them into the forest when the Skraelings attacked her. She found a dead man in her path, Thorbrand Snorrason - he had a flat stone sticking out of his head. His sword lay beside him, she picked it up and prepared to defend herself with it. The Skraelings were now making for her. She pulled out her breasts from under her shift and slapped the sword on them, at which the Skraelings took fright, and ran off to their boats and rowed away. Karlsefni's men came up to her, praising her courage. Two of Karlsefni's men had fallen, ^nd four Skraelings, but even so they had been overrun by sheer numbers.



They now returned to their booths, puzzling over what force it was which had attacked them from the land side. For now it looked to them as though there had been only the one host, which came from the boats, and that the rest of the host must have been a delusion. Further, the Skraelings had found a dead man whose axe lay beside him. One of them cut at a stone, the axe broke, and then he thought it useless because it could not stand up to the stone, so threw it down. It now seemed plain to Karlsefni and his men that though the quality of the land was admirable, there would always be fear and strife dogging them there on account of those who already inhabited it. So they made ready to leave, setting their hearts on their own country, and sailed north along the coast and found five Skraelings, in fur doublets asleep near the sea, who had with them wooden containers in which was animal marrow mixed with blood. They felt sure that these men would have been sent out from that country, so they killed them. Later they discovered a cape and great numbers of animals. To look at, this cape was like a cake of dung, because the animals lay there the nights through. And now Karlsefni and his followers returned to Straumsfjord. It is some men's report that Bjarni and Freydis had remained behind there, and a hundred men with them, and proceeded no farther, while Karlsefni and Snorri had travelled south with forty men, yet spent no longer at Hop than a bare two months, and got back again that same summer. Then Karlsefni set off with one ship to look for Thorhall the Hunter, while the rest of their party stayed behind. They went north past Kjalarnes, and then bore away west, with the land on their port side. There was nothing but a wilderness of forest-land. And when they had been on their travels for a long time, there was a river flowing down off the land from east to west. They put into this rivermouth and lay at anchor off the southern bank, It happened one morning that Karlsefni and his men noticed up above the clearing a kind of speck as it were glittering back at them, and they shouted at it. It moved - it was a uniped - and hopped down to the river-bank off which they were lying. Thorvald, Eirik the Red's son, was sitting by the rudder, and the uniped shot an arrow into his guts. He drew out the arrow. "There is fat round my belly!" he said. "We have won a fine and fruitful country, but will hardly be allowed to enjoy it." Thorvald died of this wound a little later. The uniped skipped away and back north, and Karlsefni and his men gave chase, catching sight of him every now and again. The last glimpse they had of him, he was leaping for



some creek or other. Karlsefni and his men then turned back. Then one of the men sang this ditty: Men went chasing, I tell you no lie, A one-legger racing The seashore by: But this man-wonder Curst son of a trollop, Karlsefni, pray ponder, Escaped at a gallop. Then they moved away and back north, believing they had sighted Einfaetingaland, Uniped Land. They were unwilling to imperil their company any longer. They proposed to explore all the mountains, those which were at Hop and those they discovered. They went back and spent that third winter in Straumsfjord. There was bitter quarrelling for the unmarried men fell foul of the married. Karlsefni's son Snorri was born there the first autumn and was three years old when they left. They got a south wind and reached Markland, where they found five Skraelings, one of them a grown man with a beard, two women, and two children. Karlsefni captured the boys but the others escaped and sank down into the ground. These boys they kept with them, taught them their language, and they were baptized. They gave their mother's name as Vaetilldi, that of their father as Uvaegi. They said that kings ruled over Skraelingaland, one of whom was called Avalldamon and the other Valldidida. There were no houses there, they said: the people lodged in caves or holes. A country lay on the other side, they said, opposite their own land, where men walked about in white clothes and whooped loudly, and carried poles and went about with flags. They concluded that this must be Hvitramannaland. And then they came to Greenland and spent the winter with Eirik the Red. But Bjarni Grimolfsson was carried into the Greenland Sea and came into wormy waters, and before they knew it the ship grew worm-eaten under them. They talked over what plan they should adopt. They had a tow-boat which was coated with seal-tar, and it is common knowledge that the shell-worm does not bore into timber which is coated with seal-tar. The voice of the majority was to man this boat with as many of the men as she would take. But when it came to the point, the boat would not take more than half the ship's company. Then Bjarni proposed that they should go into the boat, but go by lot, and not by rank. But every living soul wanted to go into the boat, and she just could



not take them all, which was why they adopted this plan of transferring men from ship to boat by lot. And the way the lot fell out, it fell to Bjarni to go into the boat, and roughly half the crew with him. So those who had drawn lucky transferred from ship to boat. When they had got into the boat, a young Icelander who had been Bjarni's shipmate, called out: "D'you mean to leave me here, Bjarni?" "This," said he, "is not what you promised me when I followed you from my father's house in Iceland." "I see nothing else for it," said Bjarni. "But answer me, what do you suggest?" "I suggest we change places. That you come here, and I go there." "So be it," replied Bjarni. "For I see you are greedy for life, and think it a hard thing to die." Then they changed places. This man went into the boat, and Bjarni aboard ship, and men reckon that Bjarni perished there in the wormy sea, and those men who remained on board with him. But the boat and those who were in her went their ways till they reached land, where they afterwards told this story. Two summers later Karlsefni returned to Iceland, and Snorri with him, and went home to his place at Reynisnes. His mother considered he had made a poor marriage and did not stay in the same house with them that first winter. But once she found Gudrid to be so remarkable a woman, she returned home, and they lived happily together. The daughter of Karlsefni's son Snorri was Hallfrid, the mother of bishop Thorlak Runolfsson. Karlsefni and Gudrid had a son whose name was Thorbjorn, whose daughter's name was Thorunn, mother of bishop Bjorn. There was a son of Snorri Karlsefni's son by the name of Thorgeir, the father of Yngvild, mother of bishop Brand the first. And that is the end of this saga.

2. Contact with the Beothuk in the Seventeenth Century SOURCE: James P. Howley, The Beothuks or Red Indians: the Aboriginal inhabitants of Newfoundland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1915), pp. 14-18.

In this century we at length come upon an era replete with information about the Beothucks in every respect trustworthy. It is not second hand as has been most of the preceding, but comes direct from the authors themselves, and might almost be looked upon as the beginning of the true relation of their sad history. In the early part of this century, England began to awaken in reality to the value of this goodly heritage of Newfoundland, especially to the abundant resources of the fisheries. A company of nobles and gentlemen formed a great colonization scheme, and under the title of the "Council and Company of the Newfound-land Plantation," obtained a charter from King James I, which conferred upon them very ample territory and no less ample powers. One clause of this charter reads as follows: "We being well assured that the same country adjoining to the aforesaid coastes, where our subjects use to fishe, remaineth so destitute and so desolate of inhabitants, that scarce any one salvage person hath in many years beene scene in the most part thereof." Again, in reference to commodities, the Company are allowed to carry thither free, the charter goes on to state: And all other things necessary and for the use and desoine and trade with the people there, if any be inhabiting in that country or shall come out of other parts, there, to trade with the "Plantation," and passing, and returning to and frie, all such commodities or merchandize as shall from thence be brought without paying customs, & c. And lastly, because the principal effects which one can desire of this action, is the conversion of the people in those parts, if any there be, inhabiting, unto the true worship of God, and Christian religion, &c. In 1609, Mr. John Guy, one of the company, published a pamphlet urging the settling of a colony in the island. The following year he was sent out by the company, and fitted out with everything requisite to establish the same. Guy selected "Cuper's



Cove" (now Cupid's), in Conception Bay, for his plantation, and was appointed by the company, Governor of the new Colony. He spent the winter of 1610-11 at that place, erecting houses, stores; building boats, etc., and otherwise preparing for the permanent establishment of the settlement of the colony. On the 16th of May, 1611, Guy wrote a long letter to the Treasurer of the Company, Master John Slaney, giving a full account of his proceedings. He (Guy) returned to England that same year, leaving one, Master William Colston, in charge during his absence. He arrived back in Cuper's Cove, June 7th, 1612, and shortly after proceeded on a voyage of exploration to the northward. During this trip, they fell in with the natives, and succeeded in establishing, apparently, friendly relations with them. His account of this meeting is contained in a second letter, in which he graphically describes all that took place. Fortunately, both these letters are preserved in Purchas' Pilgrims, and a copy of them was obtained from the Curator of the Bristol Museum some years ago. John Guy's Narrative, 1612 "In October, John Guy, with thirteen others, in the 'Indeavour,' and five in the 'Shallop,' went upon discovery. At Mount Eagle Bay, they found store of scurvey-grasse, on an island. In the south bottom of Trinitie Bay,-which they called 'Savage Harbor,' they found sauages' houses, no people in them; in one they found a copper kettle, very bright (you shall have it, adds Purchas, as one of them writ it in his own tearms), a furre goune of Elke-skin, some seale skins, an old saile, and a fishing reele. Order was taken that nothing should be diminished, and because the Sauages should know that some had been there, euery thing was remoued out of his place, and brought into one of the cabins, and laid orderly one upon the other, and the kettle hanged ouer them, wherein there was put some bisket, and three or four amber beads. This was done to begin to win them by faire meanes. This time of the year they live by hunting; for wee found twelve Elk's hoofes, they were lately killed. A little piece of flesh was brought away, which was found to be Beaver Cod, which is forth-comming to be seen. There houses were nothing but poles set in round forme, meeting altogether aloft, which they couer with Deere skins; they are about ten foot broad, and in the middle they make their fire: one of them was couered with a saile, which they had gotten from some Christian.



"All things in this manner left, everyone returned by the moone-light, going by the brinke of the lake, into the entrance of the made-way: and a little before they came thither, they passed by a new sauage house, almost finished, which was made in a square form with a small roofe, and so came to the bark. They haue two kinds of oars, - one is about fower foot long, of one peice of firre, - the other is about ten foot long, made of two pieces, one being as long, big, and round as a halfe pike, made of beeche wood, the which by likelihood, they make of a Biskaine oare; the other is the blade of the oare, which is let into the end of the long one, slit, and whipped very strongly. The short one, they use as a paddle, and the other as an oare. The thirtieth, without any further businesse, with the sauages, we departed hence to the northern side of Trinity Bay, and anchored all the night under an island. The one and thirtieth, we rowed into an harbour, which now is called, 'Allhallowes': which hath adjoining unto it, very high land. "November the sixth, two canoes appeared, and one man alone, coming towards us with a flag in his hand, of a wolfe skin, shaking it, and making a loud noise, which we took to be for a parley; where-upon a white flag was put out, and the barke and shallop rowed towards them, which the sauages did not like of, and so took them to their canoes againe, and were going away: where upon the barke wheazed unto them, and then they staied: presently after the shallop landed Master Whittington with the flag of truce who went towards them. Then they rowed into the shoare with one canoe, the other standing aloofe off, and landed two men, one of them hauing the white skin in his hand, and coming towards Master Whittington, the sauage made a loud speech, and shaked the skin which was answered by Master Whittington in like manner, and as the sauage drew neare, he threw downe the white skin on the ground the like was done by Master Whittington; whereupon both the sauages passed ouer a little water streame towards Master Whittington, dancing, leaping, and singing, and coming together, the foremost of them presented unto him a chaine of leather full of small periwinkles shells, a splitting knife, and a feather that stake in his eare; the other gaue him an arrow without a head; and the former was requited with a linnen cap, and a hand towell, who put presently the linnen cap upon his head: and to the other he gave a knife: and after hand in hand, they all three did sing and dance: upon this, one of our company, called Francis Tipton, went ashore, unto whom one of the sauages came running and gaue him a chaine, such as is before spoken of, who was gratified by Francis



Tipton with a knife and a small peece of brace. Then all four together, danced laughing and making signs of joy and gladnesse, sometimes striking the breasts of our company, and sometimes their owne. When signs were made that they should be willing to suffer two of our company more to come on shore for two of theirs more to be landed, and that bread and drink should be brought ashore, they made likewise signs that they had in their canoes meate also to eate: upon this the shallop rowed aboard and brought John Guy and Master Teage ashoare, who presented them with a shirt, two table napkins, and a hand towell, giuing them bread, butter, and reasons of the sunne to eate, and beere, and aqua-vitae to drinke: and one of them, blowing in the aqua-vitae bottle, that made a sound, which they fell all into laughing at. After, Master Croote and John Crouther came ashore, whome they went to salute giuing them shell chains, who bestowed gloves upon them. One of the sauages who came last ashore, came walking with his oare in his hand, and seemed to have some command ouer the rest, and behaued himself ciully: For when meate was offered him, he drew off his mitten from his hand before he would receiue it, and gaue an arrow for a present without a head: who was requited with a dozen of points. After they had all eaten and drunke one of them went to their canoe, and brought us deeres flesh, dried in the smoke orwinde, and drawing his knife from out of his necke, he cut euery man a peece, and that sauoured very well. At the first meeting, when sings were made of meate to eate, one of the sauages presently ran to the bank side, and pulled up a roote, and gaue it to Master Whittington, which the other sauage perceiuing to be durtie, took it out of his hand, and went to the water to wash it, and after diuiding it among the foure, it tasted very well: hee that came ashore with the oare in his hand, went and tooke the white skin that they hailed us with, and gaue it to Master Whittington; and presently after they did take our white flagge with them in the canoe, and made signs unto us that we should repaire to our barke, and so they put off, for it was almost night. "In the two canoes there were eight men, if none were women, (for commonly in euery canoe there is one woman) they are of a reasonable stature, of an ordinary middle size., they goe bareheaded, wearing their hair somewhat long but round: they have no beards; behind they haue a great locke of haire platted with feathers, like a hawke's lure, with a feather in it standing upright by the crowne of the head and a small lock platted in it standing upright by the crowne of the head and small lock platted before, a short gown made of stags' skins, the furre innermost, that raune



down to the middle of their legges, with sleeues to the middle of their arme, and a beauer skin about their necke, was all their apparell, saue that one of them had shooes and mittens, so that all went bare-legged and most bare-foote. They are full-eyed, of a blacke colour; the colour of their hair was divers, some blacke, some browne, and some yellow, and their faces something flat and broad, red with oker, as all their apparell is, and the rest of their body: they are broad brested, and bould, and stand very upright. Their canoes are about twenty-foote long, and foure foot and a half broad in the middle aloft, and for their keele and timbers, they haue thin light peeces of dry firre, rended as it were lathes: and instead of boards, they use the outer burch barke, which is thin and hath many folds, sowed together with a thred made of a small root quartered. They will carry foure persons well, and weight not one hundred weight: They are made in form of a new moone, stem and sterne alike, and equally distant from the greatest breadth: from the stem and sterne here riseth a yard high, a light thin staffe whipped about with small rootes, which they take hold by to bring the canoa ashore, that serueth instead of ropes, and a harbour, for euery place is to them a harborough: where they can goe ashore themselues, they take aland with them their canoa: and will neuer put to sea but in a calm, or very faire weather: in the middle of the canoa is higher a great deale than in the bowe and quarter, they be all bearing from the keele to the portlesse not with any circular line but with a right line. They had made a tilt with a saile that they got from some Christian, and pitched a dozen poles in the ground neere, on which were hanged diuers furs, and chains made of shels, which at that instant we fell not into the reckoning to what intent it was done, but after it came to our minde, as hereafter you shall perceiue. The seventh day we spent in washing, and in beginning a house to shelter us when we should come hither hereafter, upon a small iland of about fiue acres of ground, which is joined to the maine with a small beech: for any bartering with the sauages there cannot be a fiter place. "The eighth day it began to freeze, and there was thin ice ouer the sound; and because we heard nothing more of the sauages we began to return out of the sound, and coming to the place which the sauages had made two days before fire in, wee found all things remaining there, as it was when we parted, viz. an old boat saile, three or foure shell chains about twelve furres of beauers most, a fox skin, a sable skin, a bird skin, and an old mitten, set euery one upon a seuerale pole: whereby we remained satisfied fully, that they were brought thither of purpose to barter



with us, and that they would stand to our courtesie to leaue for it what wee should thinke good, because we were not furnished with fit things for to trucke, we tooke onely a beauer skin, a sable skin, and a bird skin, leauing for them a hatchet, a knife, and foure needles threaded. Master Whittington had a pair of cizzars which he left there for a small beauer skin, all the rest we left there untouched, and came that night to the harbour that we were in at our entering, which we call Flag-Staffe Harbour, because we found there the flag staffe throwne by the sauages away. These sauages by all likelihood, were animated to come unto us, by reason that wee tooke nothing from them at Sauage Bay, and some of them may be of those which dwell there. For in no other place where we were, could we perceiue any tokens of any abode of them, etc." Unfortunately this most favourable opening of friendly relations with the aborigines was doomed to be frustrated, for in the following year when it was agreed upon by signs between the Whites and Indians that they should again meet at the same place for traffic, there came instead another fishing ship. The master of this ship knowing nothing of Guy's arrangement with the natives, and seeing so many of them assembled on the shore, concluded that they were about to attack his company. Thereupon he fired a charge amongst them from a cannon on board his ship, which caused them to retire immediately into the woods. It is presumed that they mistook this new comer for the same parties they had previously met, and owing to the. supposed treachery they would never after hold any intercourse with the settlers. There are some points in the above extract worthy of special comment. The bold, fearless confidence which the Indians displayed, proved that they had not been tampered with before and that their natural disposition, when fairly treated, was one of trust and friendliness, by no means the bloodthirsty vindictive characteristics attributed to them by later writers. That they were a child-like innocent race is well exemplified by the reference to the bottle incident. Their exuberant mirth at the strange sound produced by blowing into the mouth of the bottle is very characteristic of Indians. I have seen some of our Micmacs equally affected by some trivial occurrence of that kind.

3. Tribe of Red Indians SOURCE: James P. Howley, The Beothuks or red Indians: The Aboriginal inhabitants of Newfoundland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1915), pp. 96-101.

To the editor of the Liverpool Mercury Sir,

Observing among the deaths in the Mercury of September 18th that of "Shanawdithit" supposed to be the last of the "Red Indians" or aborigines of Newfoundland, I am tempted to offer a few remarks on the subject, convinced as I am that she cannot be the last of the tribe by many hundreds. Having resided a considerable time in that part of Newfoundland which they most frequented, and being one of the party who captured Mary March in 1819, I have embodied into a narrative the events connected with her capture, which I am confident will gratify many of your readers. Proceeding northward, the country gradually assumes a more fertile appearance; the trees, which in the south are, except in a few places, stunted in their growth, now begin to assume a greater height and strength till you reach the neighbourhood of Exploits River and, Bay; here the timber is of a good size and quality, and in sufficient quantity to serve the purposes of the inhabitants: - both here and at Trinity Bay some very fine vessels have been built. - To Exploits Bay it was that the Red Indians came every summer for the purpose of fishing, the place abounding with salmon. No part of the Bay was inhabited; the islands at the mouth consisting of Twillingate, Exploits island, and Burnt islands, had a few inhabitants: There were also several small harbours in a large island, the name of which I now forget, including Herring Neck and Morton. In 1820 the population of Twillingate amounted to 720, and that of all the other places might perhaps amount to as many more; - they were chiefly the descendants of West England settlers; and having many of them been for several generations without religious or moral instruction of any kind, were immersed in the lowest state of ignorance and vice. Latterly, however, churches have been built and schools established, and I have been credibly informed that the moral and intellectual state of the people is much improved. While I was there the church was opened, and I must say that the people came in crowds to attend a place of worship, many of them



coming 15 and 20 miles purposely to attend. On the first settlement of the country, the Indians naturally viewed the intruders with a jealous eye, and some of the settlers having repeatedly robbed their nets &c, they retaliated and stole several boats sails, implements of iron &c. The settlers in return mercilessly shot all the Indians they could meet with: - in fact so fearful were the latter of fire arms, that in an open space one person with a gun would frighten a hundred; when concealed among the bushes, however, they often made a most desperate resistance. I have heard an old man named Rogers, living on Twillingate Great Island boast that he had shot at different periods above sixty of them. So late as 1817, this wretch, accompanied by three others, one day discovered nine unfortunate Indians lying asleep on a small island far up the bay. Loading their guns very heavily, they rowed up to them and each taking aim fired. One only rose, and rushing into the water, endeavored to swim to another island, close by, covered with wood: but the merciless wretch followed in the boat, and butchered the poor creature in the water with an axe, then took the body to the shore and piled it on those of the other eight, whom his companions had in the meantime put out of their misery. He minutely described to me the spot, and I afterwards visited the place, and found their bones in a heap, bleached and whitened with the winters blast. I have now I think said enough to account for the shyness of the Indians towards the settlers, but could relate many other equally revolting scenes, some which I shall hereafter touch upon. In 1815 or 1816, Lieutenant, now Captain Buchan, set out on an expedition to endeavour to meet with the Indians, for the purpose of opening a friendly communication with them. He succeeded in meeting with them, and the intercourse seemed Firmly established, so much so, that two of them consented to go and pass the night with Capt. Buchan's party he leaving two of his men who volunteered to stop. On returning to the Indians' encampment in the morning accompanied by the two who had remained all night, on approaching the spot the two Indians manifested considerable disquietude, and after exchanging a few glances with each other, broke from their conductors and rushed into the woods. On arriving at the encampment, Capt. Buchan's poor fellows lay on the ground a frightful spectacle, their heads being severed from their bodies, and almost cut to pieces. In the summer of 1818 a person who had established a salmon fishery at the mouth of the Exploits River, had a number of articles stolen by the Indians; they consisted of a gold watch, left accidently in the boat, the boats, sails some hatchets, cordage



and iron implements. He therefore resolved on sending an expedition into the country, in order to recover his property. The day before the part set off I arrived accidently, at the house, taking a survey of numerous bodies of wood cutters belonging to the establishment with which I was connected. The only time anyone can penetrate into the interior is in the winter season, the lakes and rivers being frozen over, even the Bay of Exploits, though salt water, was then (the end of January) frozen for sixty miles. Having proposed to accompany the party they immediately consented. Our equipment consisted of a musket, bayonet, and hatchet; to each of the servants, a pistol; Mr and myself had, in addition, another pistol and a dagger, and a doubled barrel gun instead of a musket; each carried a pair of snow shoes, a supply of eight pounds of biscuits and a piece of pork, ammunition, and one quart of rum; besides, we had a light sled and four dogs, who took it in turns dragging the sled, which contained a blanket for each man, rum and other necessaries. We depended on our guns for a supply of provisions, and at all times could meet with plenty of partridge and hares, though there were few days we did not kill a deer. The description of one day's journey will suffice for all, there being but little variation. The snow was all the time about eight feet deep. On the morning of our departure we set off in good spirits up the river, and after following its course for about twelve miles, arrived at the rapids, a deer at full speed passed us; I fired, and it fell the next instant, a wolf, in full pursuit made his appearance; on seeing the party he haulted for an instant, and then rushed forward as if to attack us. Mr however, anticipated him; for taking a steady aim and at the same time sitting coolly on an old tree, he passed a bullet through the fellow's head, who was soon stretched a corpse on the snow, a few minutes after another appeared, when several firing together he also fell, roaring and howling for a long time, when one of the men went and knocked him on the head with a hatchet. And now ye effeminate feather-bed loungers, where do you suppose we were to sleep? There was no comfortable hotel to receive us; not even a house where a board informs the benighted traveller that there is "entertainment for man and horse," not even the skeleton of a wigwam; the snow eight feet deep, - the thermometer nineteen degrees below the freezing point. Everyone having disencumbered himself of his load, proceeded with his hatchet to cut down the small fir and birch trees. The thick part of the trees was cut in lengths, and heaped up in two piles between which a sort of wigwam was formed of the branches; a



number of small twigs of trees, to the depth of about three feet were laid on the snow for a bed; and having lighted the pile of wood on each side, some prepared venison steaks for supper while others skinned the two wolves, in order, with the deerskin to form a covering to the wigwam; this some opposed as being a luxury we should not every day obtain. Supper being ready, we ate heartily and having melted some snow for water, we made some hot toddy, that is, rum, butter, hot water and sugar; a song was proposed, and acceded to: and thus in the midst of a dreary desert far from the voice of our fellow men, we sat cheerful and contented, looking forward to the morrow without dread, anxious to renew our labors. After about an hour thus spent the watch was appointed, and each wrapped in his blanket; we vied in convincing each other, with the nasal organ, which was in the soundest sleep; mine was the last watch about an hour before daybreak. The Aurora Borealis rolled in awful splendour across the deep blue sky, but I will not tire my readers with a description. When the first glimpse of morn showed itself in the light clouds, floating in the Eastern horizon, I awoke my companions, and by the time it was sufficiently light, we had breakfasted and were ready to proceed. Cutting off enough of the deer shot the night before, we proceeded on our journey, leaving the rest to the wolves. Each day and night was a repetition of the same; the country being in some places tolerably level, in general covered with wood, but occasionally barren tracts, where sometimes for miles not a tree was to be seen. Mr. instructed the men in which way he wished them to act, informing them that his object was to open a friendly communication with the Indians, rather than act on the principle of intimidating them by revenge; that if they avoided him, he should endeavour to take one or two prisoners and bring them with him, in order that by the civilization of one or two an intercourse might be established that would end in their permanent civilization. He strictly exhorted them not to use undue violence; everyone was strictly enjoined not to fire on any account. About three o'clock in the afternoon two men, who then led the party were about two hundred yards before the rest; three deer closely followed by a pack of wolves, issued from the woods on the left, and bounded across the lake, passing very near the men, whom they totally disregarded. The men incautiously fired at them. We were about half a mile from the point of land that almost intersected the lake, and in a few minutes we saw it covered with Indians, who instantly retired. The alarm was given; we soon reached the point; about five hundred yards on the other side we saw the Indians houses, and the Indians, men,



women and children rushing from them, across the lake1, here about a mile broad. Hurrying on we quickly came to the houses; when within a short distance from the last house, three men and a woman carrying a child issued forth. One of the men took the infant from her, and their speed soon convinced us of the futility of pursuit; the woman however, did not run so fast. Mr. loosened his provision bag from his back and let it fall, threw away his gun and hatchet and set off at a speed that soon overtook the woman. One man and myself did the same, except our guns. The rest, picking up our things followed. On overtaking the woman, she instantly fell on her knees, and tearing open the cossack, (a dress composed of deer-skin bound with fur), showing her breasts to prove she was a woman, and begged for mercy. In a few moments we were by Mr. 's side. Several of the Indians, with the three who had quitted the house with the woman, now advanced, while we retreated towards the shore. At length we stopped and they did the same. After a pause three of them laid down their bows, with which they were armed, and came within two hundred yards. We then presented our guns, intimating that not more than one would be allowed to approach. They retired and fetched their arms, when one, the ill-fated husband of Mary March, our captive, advanced with a branch of a fir tree (spruce) in his hand. When about ten yards off he stopped and made a long oration. He spoke at least ten minutes; towards the last his gesture became very animated and his eye "shot fire." He concluded very mildly, and advancing, shook hands with many of the party - then he attempted to take his wife from us; being opposed in this he drew from beneath his cossack, an axe, the whole of which was finely polished, and brandished it over our heads. On two or three pieces being presented, he gave it up to Mr. who then intimated that the woman must go with us, but that he might go also if he pleased, and that in the morning both should have their liberty. At the same time two of the men began to conduct her towards the houses. On this being done he became infuriated, and rushing towards her strove to drag her from them; one of the men rushed forward and stabbed him in the back with a bayonet; turning round, at a blow he laid the fellow at his feet; the next instant it would have been buried in him had I not with both hands siezed his arm; he shook me off in an instant, while I measured my length on the ice; Mr. 1

What I saw I should estimate at from three to four hundred, including women and children: of this however hereafter. This does not at all tally with Mr. Peyton's estimate.



then drew a pistol from his girdle and fired. The poor wretch first staggered then fell on his face: while writhing in agonies, he seemed for a moment to stop; his muscles stiffened: slowly and gradually he raised himself from the ice, turned round, and with a wild gaze surveyed us all in a circle around him. Never shall I forget the figure he exhibited; his hair hanging on each side of his sallow face; his bushy beard clotted with the blood that flowed from his mouth and nose; his eyes flashing fire, yet with the glass of death upon them - they fixed on the individual who first stabbed him. Slowly he raised the hand that still grasped young 's dagger, till he raised it considerably above his head, when uttering a yell that made the woods echo, he rushed at him. The man fired as he advanced, and the noble Indian again fell on his face; a few moments struggle, and he lay a stiffened corpse on the icy surface of the limpid waters. The woman for a moment seemed scarcely to notice the corpse, in a few minutes however, she showed a little motion; but it was not until obliged to leave the remains of her husband that she gave way to grief, and vented her sorrow in the most heartbreaking lamentations. While the scene which I have described was acting, and which occurred in almost less space than the description can be read, a number of Indians had advanced within a short distance, but seeing the untimely fate of their chief haulted. Mr.——— fired over their heads, and they immediately fled. The banks of the lake, on the other side, were at this time covered with men, women and children, at least several hundreds; but immediately being joined by their companions all disappeared in the woods. We then had time to think. For my part I could scarcely credit my senses, as I beheld the remains of the noble fellow stretched on the ice, crimsoned with his already frozen blood. One of the men then went to the shore for some fir tree boughs to cover the body, which measured as it lay, 6 feet IVi inches. The fellow who first stabbed him wanted to strip off his cossack, (a garment made of deer skin, lined with beaver and other skins, reaching to the knees), but met with so stern a rebuke from , that he instantly desisted, and slunk abashed away. After covering the body with boughs, we proceeded towards the Indian houses-the woman often required force to take her along. On examining them, we found no living creature, save a bitch and her whelps, about two months old. The houses of the Indians are very different to those of the other tribes of North America; they are built of straight pieces of fir about twelve feet high, flattened at the sides, and driven in the earth close to each other; the corners being much stronger than the other parts. The



crevices are filled up with moss, and inside entirely lined with the same material; the roof is raised so as to slant from all parts and meet in a point at the centre, where a hole is left for the smoke to escape; the remainder of the roof is covered with a treble coat of birch bark, and between the first and second layers of bark is about six inches of moss; about the chimney clay is substituted for it. On entering one of the houses I was astonished at the neatness which reigned within. The sides of the tenement were covered with arms, - bows, arrows, clubs, axes of iron (stolen from the settlers) some hatchets, arrow heads, in fact, implements of war and for the chase, but all arranged in the neatest order, and apparently every man's property carefully put together. At one end was a small image, or rather a head,'carved rudely out of a block of wood; round the neck was hung the case of a watch, and on a board close by, the works of the watch which had been carefully taken to pieces, and hung on small pegs on the board; the whole were surrounded with the main spring. In the other houses the remainder of the articles stolen were found. Beams were placed across where the roof began; over which smaller ones were laid: on these were piled a considerable quantity of dried venison and salmon, together with a little codfish. On taking down the watch and works, and bringing the image over to the fire the woman surveyed him with anger, and in a few minutes made free with her tongue, her manner showing us that she was not used to scolding. When Mr. saw it displeased her, he rather irreverently threw the log on one side: on this she rose in a rage, and would, had not her hands been fastened, have inflicted summary vengeance for the insult offered to the hideous idol. Wishing to pacify her he rose, and taking his reverence carefully up, placed him where he had taken him from. This pacified her. I must here do the poor creature the justice to say, that I never afterwards saw her out of temper. A watch was set outside; and having partaken of the Indian's fare, we began to talk over the events of the day. Both and myself bitterly reproached the man who first stabbed the unfortunate native; for though he acted violently, still there was no necessity for the brutal act, - besides, the untaught Indian was only doing that which every man ought to do, - he came to rescue his wife from the hands of her captors, and nobly lost his life in his attempt to save her. here declared that he would rather have defeated the object of his journey a hundred times then have sacrificed the life of one Indian. The fellow merely replied, "it was only an Indian, and he wished he had shot a



hundred instead of one." The poor woman was now tied securely, we having, on consideration, deemed it for the best to take her with us, so that by kind treatment and civilization she might, in the course of time, be returned to her tribe, and be the means of effecting a lasting reconciliation between them and the settlers. After the men had laid themselves down around the fire, and the watch was set outside the door, Mr. and myself remained up and in a low voice talked over the events of the day. We then decided on remaining to rest for three or four days; and in the meantime, to endeavour to find the Indians. I would I could now describe how insensibly we glided from one subject to another; religion - politics - country - "home sweet home," alternately occupied our attention; and, thus in the midst of a dreary waste far away from the haunts of civilized man, we sat contentedly smoking our pipes; and Englishman-like, settled the affairs of nations over a glass of rum and water - ever and anon drinking a health to each friend and fair, who rose uppermost in our thoughts. From this the subject turned to "specific gravity." Here an argument commenced. When illustrating a position I had advanced, by the ascension of the smoke from my pipe, we both turned up our eyes to witness its progress upwards: on looking towards the aperture in the roof what was our astonishment at beholding the faces of two Indians, calmy surveying us in the quiet occupation of their abode. In an instant we snouted "The Indians!" and in a moment every one was on the alert, and each taking his arms rushed to the door - not a creature was to be seen; in vain we looked around; - no trace save the marks of footsteps on the snow, was to be discovered, but these seemed almost innumerable. We fired about a dozen shots into the woods, and then retired to our dwelling - and I then resolved to take alternate watch, and every half hour at least to walk around the house. During the night, however, we were not again disturbed, save by the howling of wolves and barking of foxes. (SIGNED) E. S.

4. A Letter Missive in regard to the Conversion and Baptism of the Grand Sagamore of New France, Who was, Before the Arrival of the French, Its Chief Sovereign SOURCE: Ruben Gold Thwaites, The Jesuit Relations and allied documents. Vol. 1 (Cleveland: The Burrows Brother, 1896-1901), pp. 121-123.

Sir and Brother, I did not wish the ship to depart without giving you some news of this country which I believe will be acceptable, as I know that you are a good Catholic. The Grand Sagamore, whom we call in our language Grand Captain of the Savages, and chief of all, was baptized on last saint John the Baptist's day, with his wife, children, and children's children, to the number of twenty; with as much enthusiasm, fervor, and zeal for Religion as would have been evidenced by a person who had been instructed in it for three or four years. He promises to have the others baptized, or else make war upon them. Monsieur de Poutrincourt and his son acted as sponsors for them in the name of the King, and of Monseigneur the Dauphin. We have already made this good beginning, which I believe will become still better hereafter. As to the country, I have never seen anything so beautiful, better, or more fertile; and I can say to you, truly and honestly, that if I had three of four Laborers with me now, and the means of supporting them for one year, and some wheat to sow in the ground tilled by their labor alone, I should expect to have a yearly trade in Beaver and other Skins amounting to seven or eight thousand livres, with the surplus which would remain to me after their support. I am very sorry that I did not know before my departure what I know now; if I had, I should have left no stone unturned to bring with me two or three farmers, and two hogsheads of wheat, which is a mere trifle. I assure you it is delightful to engage in trade over here and to make such hand-



some profits. If you wish to take a hand in it, let me know your intentions by the bearer, who desires to return and traffic here in pursuance of what he has seen. I shall say no more, except to pray God to give you, Sir and Brother, a long life and perfect health. From Port Royal, New France, this 28th of June 1610. Your very affectionate Brother and servant, Bertrand.

5. Letter from Father Pierre Biard to the Reverend Father Provincial, at Paris SOURCE:

Ruben Gold Thwaites, The Jesuit Relations and allied documents. Vol. 2 (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1896-1901), pp. 5-55.

Port Royal, January 31, 1612. My Reverend Father, The peace of Christ be with you. Were we compelled to give an account before God and Your Reverence of our administration and our transactions in this newly acquired kingdom of the Son of God, this new France and new Christendom, from the time of our arrival up to the beginning of this new year, I certainly do not doubt that, in the aggregate and final summing up, the loss would exceed the profits; the foolish cost of transgression, the goodness and wisdom of obedience; and the reception of divine talents, graces, and indulgence would exceed their outlay and use in the royal and agreeable service of our great and so benign Creator. Nevertheless, inasmuch as (I believe) no one would be edified by our losses, or greatly benefited by our gains, it is better that we mourn our losses apart; as to our receipts, we shall be like the unjust steward commended by Our Lord in the Gospels, namely, by sharing our Master's good with others we shall make them our friends; and in communicating to many what is edifying in these early foundations of Christianity, we shall obtain intercessors with God and supporters of this work. Yet in doing this we shall in no wise diminish the debt, as did the wicked Steward, giving out Our Master's goods with profit; but we shall, perhaps, by this prudence acquit ourselves of a part of the dues and interests. So be it. To-day, January 22nd, 1612, eight months have passed since our arrival in this new France. Soon after that, I wrote you in regard to the condition in which we found this infant Church and Colony. Here is what followed: When Monsieur de Potrincourt went to France last June he left his son here, Monsieur de Biancourt, a young man of great



integrity and of very estimable qualities, with about eighteen of his servants and us two priests of the Society. Now our duties and offices, in accordance with our calling as priests, have been performed while residing here at the house and settlement, and by making journeys abroad. Let us begin, as they say, at home, that is, at the residence and settlement; then we shall go outside. Here then are our occupations: to say mass every day, and to solemnly sing it Sundays and holidays, together with Vespers, and frequently the procession; to offer public prayers morning and evening; to exhort, console, administer the sacraments, bury the dead; in short, to perform the offices of the Curate, since there are no other priests in these quarters. And in truth it would be much better if we were more earnest workers here for Our Lord, since sailors, who form the greater part of our parishioners are ordinarily quite deficient in any spiritual feeling, having no sign of religion except in their oaths and blasphemies, nor any knowledge of God beyond the simplest conceptions which they bring with them from France, clouded with licentiousness and the cavilings and revilings of heretics. Hence it can be seen what hope there is of establishing a flourishing Christian church by such evangelists. The first things the poor Savages learn are oaths and vile and insulting words; and you will often hear the women Savages (who otherwise are very timid and modest), hurl vulgar, vile, and shameless epithets at our people, in the French language; not that they know the meaning of them, but only because they see that when such words are used there is generally a great deal of laughter and amusement. And what remedy can there be for this evil in men whose abandonment to evil-speaking is as great as or greater than their insolence in showing their contempt? At these Christian services which we conduct here at the settlement, the Savages are occasionally present, when some of them happen to be at the port. I say, occasionally, inasmuch as they are but little trained in the principles of the faith - those who have been baptized, no more than the heathen; the former, from lack of instruction, knowing but little more than the latter. This was why we resolved, at the time of our arrival, not to baptize any adults unless they were previously well catechized. Now in order to cathechize we must first know the language. It is true that Monsieur de Biancourt, who understands the savage tongue better than any one else here, is filled with earnest zeal, and every day takes a great deal of trouble to serve as our interpreter. But, somehow, as soon as we begin to talk about God he feels as Moses did, - his mind is bewildered, his throat dry, his tongue tied. The reason for this is that, as the savages



have no definite religion, magistracy or government, liberal or mechanical arts, commercial or civil life, they have consequently no words to describe things which they have never seen or even conceived. Furthermore, rude and untutored as they are, all their conceptions are limited to sensible and material things; there is nothing abstract, internal, spiritual, or distinct. Good, strong, red, black, large, hard, they will repeat to you in their jargon; goodness, strength, redness, blackness - they do not know what they are. And as to all the virtues you may enumerate to them, wisdom, fidelity, justice, mercy, gratitude, piety, and others, these are not found among them at all except as expressed in the words happy, tender, love, good heart. Likewise they will name to you a wolf, a fox, a squirrel, a moose, and so on to every kind of animal they have, all of which are wild, except the dog; but as to words expressing universal and generic ideas, such as beast, animal, body, substance, and the like, these are altogether too learned for them. Add to this, if you please, the great difficulty of obtaining from them even the words that they have. For, as they neither know our language nor we theirs, except a very little which pertains to daily and commercial life, we are compelled to make a thousand gesticulations and signs to express to them our ideas, and thus to draw from them the names of some of the things which cannot be pointed out to them. For example, to think, to forget, to remember, to doubt; to know these four words, you will be obliged to amuse our gentlemen for a whole afternoon at least by playing the clown; and then, after all that, you will find yourself deceived, and mocked anew, having received, as the saying is, the mortar for the level, and the hammer for the trowel. In short we are still disputing, after a great deal of research and labor, whether they have any word to correspond directly to the word Credo, I believe. Judge for yourself the difficulty surrounding the remainder of the symbols and fundamental truths of Christianity. Now all this talk about the difficulty of the language will not only serve to show how laborious is our task in learning it, but also will make our Europeans appreciate their own blessings, even in civil affairs; for it is certain that these miserable people, continually weakened by hardships, will always remain in a perpetual infancy as to language and reason. I say language and reason, because it is evident that where words, the messengers and dispensers of thought and speech, remain totally rude, poor and confused, it is impossible that the mind and reason be greatly



refined, rich, and disciplined. However, these poor weaklings and children consider themselves superior to all other men, and they would not for the world give up their childishness and wretchedness. And this is not to be wondered at, for, as I have said, they are children. Since we cannot yet baptize the adults, as we have said, there remain for us the children, to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs; these we baptize with the consent of their parents and the pledge of the god-parents. And under these conditions we have already, thank God, baptized four of them. We instruct the adults who are in danger of death, as far as God gives us the means to do so; and experience has shown us that then God inwardly supplements the defects of his exterior instruments. Thus, an old woman, dangerously ill, and a young girl have been added to the number of the children of God. The woman still lives, the girl has gone to Heaven. I saw this girl, eight or nine years old, all benumbed and nothing but skin and bone. I asked the parents to give her to me to baptize. They answered that if I wished to have her they would give her up to me entirely. For to them she was no better than a dead dog. They spoke like this because they are accustomed to abandon altogether those whom they have once judged incurable. We accepted the offer, so that they might see the difference between Christianity and their ungodliness. We had this poor skeleton brought into one of the cabins of the settlement, where we cared for and nourished her as well as we could, and when she had been fairly well instructed we baptized her. She was named Antoynette de Pons, in grateful remembrance of the many favors we have received and are receiving from Madame la Marquise de Guercheville, who may rejoice that already her name is in heaven, for a few days after baptism this chosen soul flew away to that glorious place. This was also our firstborn, for whose sake we could say, as Joseph did about his, that God made us forget all our past hardships and the homes of our Fathers. But in speaking of the Savages abandoning their sick, another similar occasion to exercise charity toward those who are deserted has had a more happy issue and one more useful in undeceiving these people. This occasion was as follows: The second son of the grand sagamore Membertou, of whom we shall speak by and by, named Actodin, already a Christian, and married, fell dangerously ill. Monsieur de Potrincourt, as he was about to depart for France, had visited him; and being a kind-hearted gentleman, had asked him to let himself be taken



to the settlement^for treatment. I was expecting this suggestion to be carried out; but they did nothing of the kind. When this became evident, not to leave this soul in danger, I went there after a few days. But I found my patient in a fine state. They were just about to celebrate tabagie, or a solemn feast, over his last farewell. Three or four immense kettles were boiling over the fire. He had his beautiful robe under him and was preparing for his funeral oration. The oration was to close with the usual adieus and lamentations of all present. The farewell and the mourning are finished by the slaughter of dogs, that the dying man may have forerunners in the other world. This slaughter is accompanied by the tabagie and what follows it - namely, the signing and dancing. After that it is no longer lawful for the sick man to eat or to ask any help, but he must already consider himself one of the "manes," or citizens of the other world. Now it was in this state that I found my host. I denounced this way of doing things, more by actions than by words; for, as to talking, my interpreters did not repeat the tenth part of what I wanted them to say. Nevertheless, old Membertou, father of the sick man, understood the affair well enough, and promised me that they would stop just where I wanted them to. Then I told him that the farewells and a moderate display of mourning, and even the tabagie, would be permitted, but that the slaughter of the dogs, and the songs and dances over a dying person, and what was much worse, leaving him to die alone, displeased me very much; that it would be better, according to their promise to Monsieur de Potrincourt, to have him brought to the settlement, that, with the help of God, he might yet recover. They gave me their word that they would do all that I wished; nevertheless, the dying man was not brought until two days afterward. His symptoms became so serious that often we expected nothing less than that he would die on our hands. In fact, one evening, his wife and children deserted him entirely and went to settle elsewhere, thinking it was all over with him. But it pleased God to prove their despair unfounded; for a few days afterwards he was in good health and is so today; which M. Hebert, of Paris, a well-known master in Pharmacy, who attended the said patient, often assured me was a genuine miracle. For my part, I scarcely know what to say; inasmuch as I do not care either to affirm or deny a thing of which I have no proof. This I do know, that we put upon the sufferer a bone taken from the precious relics of the glorified Saint Lawrence, archbishop of Dublin in Ireland, which M. de la Place, the estimable abbe d'Eu, kindly



gave us for our protection during the voyage to these lands. So we placed some of these holy relics upon the sick man, at the same time offering our vows for him, and then he improved. Influenced by this example, Membertou, the father of the one who had recovered, as I have said before, was very strongly confirmed in the faith; and because he was then feeling the approach of the malady from which he has since died, he wished to be brought here immediately; and although our cabin is so narrow that when three people are in it they can scarcely turn around, nevertheless, showing his implicit confidence in us, he asked to be placed in one of our two beds, where he remained for six days. But afterwards his wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law having come, he himself recognized the necessity of leaving, and did so with profuse excuses, asking our pardon for the continual trouble he had given us in waiting upon him day and night. Certainly the change of location and treatment did not improve him any. So then, seeing that his life was drawing to a close, I confessed him as well as I could; and after that he delivered his oration. Now, among other things in this speech, he said that he wished to be buried with his wife and children, and among the ancient tombs of his family. I manifested great dissatisfaction with this, fearing that the French and Savages would suspect that he had,not died a good Christian. But I was assured that this promise had been made before he was baptized, and that otherwise, if he were buried in our cemetery, his children and his friends would never again come to see us, since it is the custom of this nation to shun all reminders of death and of the dead. I opposed this, and M. de Biancourt, for he is almost my only interpreter, joined with me, but in vain; the dying man was obdurate. Rather late that evening we administered extreme unction to him, for otherwise he was sufficiently prepared for it. Behold now the efficacy of the sacrament; the next morning he asks for M. de Biancourt and me, and again begins his harangue. In this he declares that he has, of his own free will, changed his mind; that he intends to be buried with us, commanding his children not, for that reason, to shun the place like the unbelievers, but to frequent it all the more, like Christians, to pray for his soul and to weep over his sins. He also recommended peace with M. de Potrincourt and his son; as for him, he had always loved the French, and had often prevented conspiracies against them. A few hours afterward he died a Christian death in my arms. This was the greatest, most renowned and most formidable savage within the memory of man; of splendid physique, taller



and larger-limbed than is usual among them; bearded like a Frenchman, although scarcely any of the others have hair upon the chin; grave and reserved; feeling a proper sense of dignity for his position as commander. God impressed upon his soul a greater idea of Christianity than he has been able to form from hearing about it, and he has often said to me in his savage tongue: "Learn our language quickly, for as soon as thou knowest it and has taught me well I wish to become a preacher like thee." Even before his conversion he never cared to have more than one living wife, which is wonderful, as the great sagamores of this country maintain a numerous seraglio, no more through licentiousness than through ambition, glory and necessity; for ambition, to the end that they have many children, wherein lies their power; for fame and necessity, since they have no other artisans, agents, servants, purveyors or slaves than the women; they bear all the burdens and toil of life. He was the first of all the Savages in these parts to receive baptism and exteme unction, the first and the last sacraments; and the first one who, by his own command and decree, has received a Christian burial. Monsieur de Biancourt honored his obsequies, imitating as far as possible the honors which are shown to great Captains and Noblemen in France. Now, that the judgments of God may be feared as much as his mercies are loved, I shall here record the death of a Frenchman, in which God has shown his justice as much as he has given us evidence of his mercy, in the death of Membertou. This man had often escaped drowning, and only recently upon the blessed day of last Pentecost. He showed but little gratitude for this favor. Not to make the story too long, the evening before St. Peter's and St. Paul's day, as they were discoursing upon the perils of the sea, and upon the vows made to the Saints in similar dangers, this wretch began impudently to laugh and to sneer, jeering at those of the company who were said to have been religious upon such occasions. He soon had his reward. The next morning a gust of wind carried him, and him only, out of the boat into the waves, and he was never seen again. But let us leave the water and come on shore. If the ground of this new France had feeling, as the Poets pretend their goddess Tellus had, doubtless it would have experienced an altogether novel sensation of joy this year, for, thank God, having had very successful crops from the little that was tilled, we made from the harvest some hosts and offered them to God. These are, as we believe, the first hosts which have been made from the wheat of these lands. May Our Lord, in his goodness, have consented to



receive them as fragrant offerings and in the words of the Psalmist, may he give graciously, since the earth has yielded him its fruits. We have stayed at home long enough; let us go abroad a little, as we promised to do, and relate what has taken place in the country. I made two journeys with M. de Biancourt, the one lasting about twelve days, the other a month and a half; and we have ranged the entire coast from Port Royal to Kinibequi, west southwest. We entered the great rivers St. John, Saincte Croix, Pentegoet, and the above-named Kinibequi; we visited the French who have wintered there this year in two places, at the St. John river and at the river Saincte Croix; the Malouins at the former place, and captain Plastrier at the latter. During these journeys, God often delivered us from great and very conspicuous dangers; but, although we ought always to bear them in mind, that we may not be ungrateful, there is no need of setting them all down upon paper, lest we become wearisome. I shall relate only what, in my opinion, will be the most interesting. We went to see the Malouins; namely, Sieur du Pont, the younger, and captain Merveilles, who, as we have said, were wintering at St. John river, upon an island called Emenenic, some six leagues up the river: We were still one league and a half from the island when the twilight ended and night came on. The stars had already begun to appear, when suddenly, toward the Northward, a part of the heavens became blood-red: and this light spreading, little by little, in vivid streaks and flashes, moved directly over the settlement of the Malouins and there stepped. The red glow was so brilliant that the whole river was tinged and made luminous by it. This apparition lasted some eight minutes, and as soon as it disappeared another came of the same form, direction and appearance. There was not one of us who did not consider this meteoric display prophetic. As to the Savages, they immediately cried out, Gara gara enderquir Gara gara, meaning we shall have war, such signs announce war. Nevertheless, both our arrival that evening and our landing the next morning were very quiet and peaceful. During the day, nothing but friendliness. But when evening came, I know not how, everything was turned topsy-turvey; confusion, discord, rage, uproar reigned between our people and those of St. Malo. I do not doubt that a cursed band of furious and sanguinary spirits were hovering about all this night, expecting every hour and moment a horrible massacre of the few Christians who were there; but the goodness of God restrained the poor



wretches. There was no bloodshed; and the next day, this nocturnal storm ended in a beautiful and delightful calm, the dark shadows and spectres giving way to a luminous peace. In truth, M. de Biancourt's goodness and prudence seemed much shaken by this tempest of human passions. But I also saw very clearly that if fire and arms were once put into the hands of badly disciplined men, the masters have much to fear and suffer from their own servants. I do not know that there was one who closed his eyes during that night. For me, I made fine propositions and promises to Our Lord, never to forget this, his goodness, if he were pleased to avert all bloodshed. This he granted in his infinite mercy. It was three o'clock in the afternoon of the next day before I had time to feel hungry, so constantly had I been obliged to go back and forth from one to the other. At last, about that time everything was settled, thank God. Certainly captain Merveilles and his people showed unusual piety. For notwithstanding this so annoying encounter and conflict, two days afterwards they confessed and took communion in a very exemplary manner; and so, at our departure, they all begged me very earnestly, and particularly young du Pont, to come and see them and stay with them as long as I liked. I promised to do so, and am only waiting for the opportunity. For in truth I love these honest people with all my heart. But dismissing them from our thoughts for the time being, as we did then from our presence, let us continue our journey. Upon our return from this river Saint John, our route turned towards the country of the Armouchiquoys. Two principle causes led M. de Biancourt to take this route: first, in order to have news of the English, and to find out if it would be possible to obtain satisfaction from them; secondly, to buy some Armouchiquoys corn to help us pass the winter, and not die of hunger in case we did not receive help from France. To understand the first cause you must know that, a little while before, captain Platrier, of Honfleur, already mentioned, wishing to go to Kinibequi, was taken prisoner by two English ships which were at an island called Emmetenic, eight leagues from Kinibequi. His release was effected by means of presents, and by his promise to comply with the interdictions laid upon him not to trade anywhere upon all this coast. For the English want to be considered masters of it, and they produced letters from their King to this effect, but these we believe to be false. Now, Monsieur de Biancourt, having heard all this from the mouth of captain Platrier himself, remonstrated earnestly with



these people, showing how important it was to him, an officer of the Crown and his father's Lieutenant, and also how important to all good Frenchmen, to oppose this usurpation of the English, so contrary to the rights and possessions of his Majesty. "For," said he, "it is well known to all that the great Henry, may God give him absolution, in accordance with the rights acquired by his predecessors and by himself, gave to Monsieur des Monts, in the year 1604, all this region from the 40th to the 46th parallel of latitude. Since this donation, the said Seigneur des Monts, himself and through Monsieur de Potrincourt, my very honored father, his lieutenant, and through others, has frequently taken actual possession of all the country; and this, three or four years before the, English had ever frequented it, or before anything had ever been, heard of these claims of theirs." This and several other things were said by Sieur de Biancourt to encourage his people. As for me, I had two other reasons which impelled me to take this journey: One, to give spiritual aid to Sieur de Biancourt and his people; the other, to observe and to study the disposition of these nations to receive the holy gospel. Such, then, were the causes of our journey. We arrived at Kinibequi, eighty leagues from Port Royal, the 28th of October, the day of St. Simon and St. Jude, of the same year, 1611. Our people at once disembarked, wishing to see the English fort, for we had learned, on the way, that there was no one there. Now as everything is beautiful at first, this undertaking of the English had to be praised and extolled, and the conveniences of the place enumerated, each one pointing out what he valued the most. But a few days afterward they changed their views; for they saw that there was a fine opportunity for making a counter-fort there, which might have imprisoned them and cut them off from the sea and river; moreover, what is worse, we do not believe that, in six leagues of the surrounding county, there is a single acre of good tillable land, the soil being nothing but stones and rocks. Now, inasmuch as the wind forced us to go on, when the third day came, Monsieur de Biancourt considered the subject in council and decided to take advantage of the wind and go on up the river, in order to thoroughly explore it. We had already advanced three good leagues, and had dropped anchor in the middle of the river waiting for the tide, when we suddenly discovered six Armouchiquois canoes coming toward us. There were twenty-four persons therein, all warriors. They went through a thousand maneuvers and ceremonies before accosting us, and might have been compared to a flock of birds which wanted to go into a hemp-field but feared the scarecrow.



We were very much pleased at this, for our people also needed to arm themselves and arrange the pavesade. In short, they continued to come and go; they reconnoitred; they carefully noted our numbers, our cannon, our arms, everything; and when night came they camped upon the other bank of the river, if not out of reach, at least beyond the aim of our cannon. All night there was continual haranguing, singing and dancing, for such is the kind of life all these people lead when they are together. Now as we supposed that probably their songs and dances were invocations to the devil, to oppose the power of this cursed tyrant, I had our people sing some sacred hymns, as the Salve, the Ave Maris Stella, and others. But when they once got into the way of singing, the spiritual songs being exhausted, they took up others with which they were familiar. When they came to the end of these, as the French are natural mimics, they began to mimic the singing and dancing of the Armouchiquois who were upon the bank, succeeding in it so well that the Armouchiquois stopped to listen to them; and then our people stopped and the others immediately began again. It was really very comical, for you would have said that they were two choirs which had a thorough understanding with each other, and scarcely could distinguish the real Armouchiquois from their imitators. In the morning we continued our journey up the river. The Armouchiquois, who were accompanying us, told us that if we wanted any piousquemin, it would be better and easier for us to turn to the right and not, with great difficulty and risk, to continue going up the river; that if we turned to the right through the branch which was just at hand, in a few hours we would reach the great sagamore Meteourmite, who would furnish us with all we wanted; that they would act as our guides, since they themselves were going to visit him. It is to be supposed, and there were strong indications of it, that they gave us this advice only with the intention of ensnaring us, and making an easy conquest of us by the help of Meteourmite, whom they knew to be the enemy of the English, and whom they supposed to be an enemy of all foreigners. But, thank God, their ambuscade was turned against themselves. However, we believed them; so a part of them went ahead of us, part behind, and some in the barque with us. Nevertheless Monsieur de Biancourt was always on his guard, and often sent the boat on ahead with the sounding-lead. We had not gone more than half a league when, reaching a large lake, the sounder called out to us: "Two fathoms of water; only one fathom, only one fathom everywhere," and immediately afterward, "Stop! stop!



cast anchor." Where are our Armouchiquois? Where are they? Not one. They had all silently disappeared. Oh, the traitors! Oh, how God had delivered us! They had led us into a trap. "Veer about, veer about." We retrace our path. Meanwhile, Meteourmite having been informed of our coming, came to meet us, and, although he saw our prow turned about, yet he followed us. It was well that Monsieur de Biancourt was wiser than many of his crew, whose sole cry was to kill them all. For they were as angry as they were frightened; but their anger made the most noise. Monsieur de Biancourt restrained himself, and not otherwise showing any ill toward Meteourmite, learned from him that there was a route by which they could pass; that in order not to miss it, he would let us have some of his own people in our barque; that, besides, if we would come to his wigwam he would try to satisfy us. We trusted him, and thought we might have to repent it; for we traversed such perilous heights and narrow passes that we never expected to escape from them. In fact, in two places some of our men cried out in distress that we were all lost. But, thank God, they cried too soon. When we arrived, Monsieur de Biancourt armed himself, and thus arrayed proceeded to pay a visit to Meteourmite. He found him in the royal apparel of savage majesty, alone in a wigwam that was well matted above and below, and about forty powerful young men stationed around it like a body-guard, each one with his shield, his bow and arrows upon the ground in front of him. These people are by no means simpletons, and you may believe us when we say so. As for me, I received that day the greater part of the welcome; for, as I was unarmed, the most honorable of them, turning their backs upon the soldiers, approached me with a thousand demonstrations of friendship. They led me to the largest wigwam of all; it contained fully eighty people. When they had taken their places, I fell upon my knees and repeated my Pater, Ave, Credo, and some orisons; then pausing, my hosts, as if they had understood me perfectly, applauded after their fashion, crying Ho! ho! ho! I gave them some crosses and pictures, explaining them as well as I could. They very willingly kissed them, made the sign of the Cross, and each one in his turn endeavored to present his children to me, so that I would bless them and give them something. Thus passed that visit, and another that I have since made. Now Meteourmite had replied to Monsieur de Biancourt that as to the corn he did not have much, but he had some skins, if we were pleased to trade with him.



Then in the morning when the trade was to take place I went to a neighboring island with a boy, to there offer the blessed sacrament for our reconciliation. Our people in the barque, not to be taken by surprise under pretext of the trade, were armed and barricaded, leaving a place in the middle of the deck for the Savages; but in vain, for they rushed in in such crowds and with such greediness, that they immediately filled the whole ship, becoming all mixed up with our own people. Some one began to cry out, "Go back, go back." But to what good? On the other hand, the savages were yelling also. Then our people were sure they were captured, and there was nothing but cries and confusion. Monsieur de Biancourt has often said and said again, that several times he had raised his arm and opened his mouth to strike the first blow and to cry out, "Kill, kill," but that somehow the one consideration that restrained him was that I was outside, and if they came to blows I was lost. God rewarded him for his good-will by saving not only me but also the whole crew. For, as all readily acknowledge at this hour, if any foolish act had been committed none of them would ever have escaped, and the French would have been condemned forever all along the coast. God willed that Meteourmite and some other captains should apprehend the danger, and so cause their people to withdraw. When evening came and all had retired, Meteourmite sent some of his men to excuse the misconduct of the morning, protesting that all the disorder had originated not with him, but with the Armouchiquois; that they had even stolen a hatchet and a platter, which articles he herewith returned; that this theft had so displeased him that immediately after discovering it he had sent the Armouchiquois away from him; that, for his part, he was friendly towards us and knew very well that we neither killed nor beat the Savages of those parts, but received them at our table and often made tabagie for them, and brought them a great many nice things from France, for which courtesies they loved us. These people are, I believe, the greatest speech-makers in the world; nothing can be done without speeches. But as I have spoken here of the English, some one perhaps will wish to hear about their adventure, which was related to us in this place. So here it is: In 1608 the English began to settle at one of the mouths of this Kinibequi river, as we have said before. They had then as leader a very honest man, who got along remarkably well with the natives of the country. They say, however, that the Armouchiquois were afraid of such neighbors, and so put the captain to death, as I have said. These people make a



practice of killing by magic. But the second year, 1609, the English, under another captain, changed their tactics. They drove the Savages away without ceremony; they beat, maltreated and misused them outrageously and without restraint; consequently these poor, abused people, anxious about the present, and dreading still greater evils in the future, determined, as the saying is, to kill the whelp ere its teeth and claws became stronger. The opportunity came one day when three boat-loads of them went away off to the fisheries. My conspirators followed in their boat, and approaching with a great show of friendliness, they go among them, and at a given signal each one seizes his man and stabs him to death. Thus were eleven Englishmen dispatched. The others were intimidated and abandoned their enterprise the same year; they have not resumed it since, being satisfied to come in the summer to fish, at this island of Emetenic, which we have said was eight leagues from the fort they had begun building. So, for this reason, the outrage to which captain Platrier was subjected by these English having been committed upon this island of Emetenic, Monsieur de Biancourt decided to go and reconnoitre it, and to leave there some memento in assertion of his rights. This he did, erecting at the harbor a beautiful cross bearing the arms of France. Some of his crew advised him to burn the boats which he found there; but as he is kind and humane he would not do it, seeing they were fishermen's boats and not men-of-war. Thence, as the season was advancing, it being already the 6th of November, we turned our ships towards Port Royal, stopping at Pentegoet, as we had promised the Savages. The Pentegoet is a very beautiful river, and may be compared to the Garonne in France. It flows into French Bay and has many islands and rocks at its mouth; so that if you do not go some distance up, you will take it for a great bay or arm of the sea, until you begin to see plainly the bed and course of a river. It is about three leagues wide and is forty-four and one half degrees from the Equator. We cannot imagine what the Norembega of our forefathers was, if it were not this river; for elsewhere both the others and I myself have made inquiries about this place, and have never been able to learn anything concerning it. When we had advanced three leagues or more into the current of the river we encountered another beautiful river called Chiboctous, which comes from the northeast to discharge its waters into the great Pentegoet. At the confluence of these two rivers there was the finest assemblage of Savages that I have yet seen. There were 80 canoes



and a boat, 18 wigwams and about 300 people. The most prominent Sagamore was called Betsabes, a man of great discretion and prudence; and I confess we often see in these Savages natural and graceful qualities which will make anyone but a shameless person blush, when they compare them to the greater part of the French who come over here. When they had recognized us they showed their great joy during the evening by their usual demonstrations; dancing, singing and making speeches. And as for us, we were glad to be in a country of safety; for among the Etechemins, as these are, and the Souriquois, as are those of Port Royal, we are no more obliged to be on our guard among them than our own servants, and, thank God, we have never yet been deceived in them. The next day I went to visit the Savages, and followed my usual custom, which I have described in speaking of Kinibequi. But there was more to be done here, as they told me they had some sick; I went to visit them; and as priest, it being thus ordained in the Ritual, I recited over them the holy Gospel and Orisons, giving to each one a cross to wear around the neck. Among others I found one stretched out, after their fashion, before the fire, wonder expressed in his eyes and face, great drops standing out upon his forehead, scarcely able to speak, so severe was the attack. They told me that he had been sick for four months and, as it appeared, he could not last long. Now I do not know what his malady was; whether it only came intermittently or not I do not know; at all events, the second day after that I saw him in our barque, well and happy, with his cross around his neck. He showed his gratitude to me by a cheerful smile and by taking my hand. I had no means of speaking to him, as the trading was then going on, and for this reason the deck was full of people and all the interpreters were busy. Truly I was very glad that the goodness of God was beginning to make these poor and abandoned people feel that in the sign of the holy and salutary Cross there was every good and every blessing. Finally, not to continue repeating the same story, both in this place and in all others, where we have been able to talk with these poor gentiles, we have attempted to impress upon them some of the simplest conceptions of the grandeur and truth of Christianity, in so far as our means would permit. And to sum it up in a word, this has been the result of our journey. We have begun to know and to be known, we have taken possession of these regions in the name of the Church of God, establishing here the royal throne of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ, his hoiy altar; the Savages have seen us pray, celebrate the mass, and preach; through our conversations, pictures, and crosses, our way



of living, and other similar things, they have received the first faint ideas and germs of our holy faith, which will some day take root and grow abundantly, please God, if it is followed by a longer and better cultivation. And indeed such is about all we are accomplishing, even here at Port Royal, until we have learned the language. However, it comforts us to see these little Savages, though not yet Christians, yet willingly, when they are here, carry the candles, bells, holy water and other things, marching in good order in the procession and funerals which occur here. Thus they become accustomed to act as Christians, to become so in reality in his time. No need is felt except that we ought to be better workers for Our Lord, and ought not to divert from ourselves and others so many of his blessings by our many sins and great unworthiness. As for me, truly I have good reason to severely reproach myself; and all those who are imbued with earnest charity ought to be deeply touched in their hearts. May Our Lord, by his sacred mercy, and by the prayers of his glorious mother and of all his Church, both heavenly and militant, be moved to compassion! Particularly I beg Your Reverence and all our Reverend Fathers and Brothers to be pleased to remember in your most earnest devotions both us and these poor souls, miserable slaves under the tyranny of Satan. May it please this benign Savior of the world, whose grace is denied to no one, and whose bounty is ever beyond our merits, may it please him, I say, to look down with a pitying eye upon these poor tribes, and to gather them soon into his family, in the happy freedom of the favoured children of God. Amen! From Port Royal, this last day of January, 1612. While I was writing these letters, the ship which was sent to our assistance has, thank God, arrived safe and sound, and in it our Brother Gilbert du Thet. He, who knows the dangers and necessities we were in, will appreciate the joy we felt and that we feel at its arrival. God be praised. Amen. Of Your Reverence, the soon and very humble servant in Our Lord. PIERRE BIARD

6. The Difference That There is Between the Ancient Customs of the Indians, and Those of the Present SOURCE: Nicholas Denys, The description and natural history of the coasts of North America (Acadia). Translated and edited by W. F. Ganong (Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1908), pp. 442-452.

The Indians to-day practise still their ancient form of burial in every respect, except that they no longer place anything in their graves, for of this they are entirely disabused. They have abandoned also those offerings, so frequent and usual, which they made as homage to their manitou in passing by places in which there was some risk to be taken, or where indeed there had happened some misfortune (or other). This they did in order to avert the like from themselves or their families. They are also cured of other little superstitions which they had, such as giving the bones to the Dogs, roasting Eels, and many others of that sort which are entirely abolished". (This is) as much through a spirit of self-interest as through any other reason; for they gave there often the most beautiful and rarest objects they had. But since they cannot now obtain the things which come from us with such ease as they had in obtaining robes of Marten, of Otter, or of Beaver, (or) bows and arrows, and since they have realised that guns and other things were not found in their woods or in their rivers, they have become less devout. Or, it would be better to say, (they have become) less superstitious since the time when their offerings have cost them so much. But they practise still all the same methods of hunting, with this difference, however, that in place of arming their arrows and spears with the bones of animals, pointed and sharpened, they arm them to-day with iron, which is made expressly for sale to them. Their spears now are made of a sword fixed at the end of a shaft of seven to eight feet in length. These they use in winter, when there is snow, to spear the Moose, or for fishing Salmon, Trout, and Beaver. They are also furnished with iron harpoons, of the use of which we have spoken before.



The musket is used by them more than all other weapons, in their hunting in spring, summer, and autumn, both for animals and birds. With an arrow they killed only one Wild Goose; but with the shot of a gun they kill five or six of them. With the arrow it was necessary to approach an animal closely: with the gun they kill the animal from a distance with a bullet or two. The axes, the kettles, the knives, and everything that is supplied them, is much more convenient and portable than those which they had in former times, when they were obliged to go to camp near their grotesque kettles, in place of which to-day they are free to go camp where they wish. One can say that in those times the immovable kettles were the chief regulators of their lives, since they were able to live only in places where these were. With respect to the hunting of the Beaver in winter, they do that the same as they did formerly, though they have nevertheless nowadays a greater advantage with their arrows and harpoons armed with iron than (they had) with the others which they used in old times, and of which they have totally abandoned their use. As for the festivals, they make these as they did formerly. The women do not take part in them; and those who have their monthlies are always separate. They always make speeches there, and dances; but the outcome is not the same. Since they have taken to drinking wine and brandy they are subject to fighting. Their quarrelling comes ordinarily from their condition; for, being drunk, they say they are all great chiefs, which engenders quarrels between them. At first it needed little wine or brandy to make them drunk. But at present, and since they have frequented the fishing vessels, they drink in quite another fashion. They no longer have any regard for wine, and wish nothing but brandy. They do not call it drinking unless they become drunk, and do not think they have been drinking unless they fight and are hurt. However when they set about drinking, their wives remove from their wigwams the guns, axes, the mounted swords (spears), the bows, the arrows, and (every weapon) even their knives, which the Indians carry hung from the neck. They leave nothing with which they can kill one another. They permit that without saying a word, if it is before they commence to drink: otherwise the women do not dare enter the wigwams. Immediately after taking everything with which they can injure themselves, the women carry it into the woods, afar off, where they go to hide with all their children. After that they have a fine time, beating, injuring, and killing one another. Their wives do not return until the next day, when they are sober. At that time the fighting can be done only with the



poles of their wigwams, which they pull to pieces to allow this use. Afterwards their poor wives must go fetch other poles, and other pieces of bark to repair their lodging. And they must not grumble, otherwise they would be beaten. If it is found that any one among them is hurt, he who will have done it asks his pardon, saying that he was drunk; and he is pardoned for that. But if some one has been killed, it is necessary that the murderer, aside from the confession of his drunkenness and the pardon he asks, should make to the widow some present to which all the others condemn him. And to make the peace complete, he must pay for another drinking bout. If he has not the skins, it is as if one were to say "I have not the money." To buy the brandy it was then necessary that he sell his gun, his blanket, or other thing in order to get it. This will cost them five to six skins; they will give this to the fishermen for a bottle or two of brandy. Then they commence again to drink. If the brandy they have is not sufficient to make them drunk they will give everything they possess to obtain more. That is only a way of saying they will not cease drinking so long as they possess anything. Thus fishermen are ruining them entirely. For as to the (trading) establishments, no one will ever give them so much that they are able to drink to the point of killing one another, and one sells to them dearer than do the ships. It is the captains and sailors who supply it to them, to whom it costs no more than the original price. Through this they do not fail to make great gain. For all the expenses and charges of the ship, these are upon the owner, besides which the crew trades or bargains with the Indians using biscuit, lead, quite new lines, sails, and many other things at the expense of the said owners. This allows them to give the Indians two or three times more than they are given at the establishments, where there is nothing on which the freight or carriage alone does not cost sixty livres a ton, aside from purchase price and leakage. And aside from this there is given the Indians every time they come to the establishments a drink of brandy, a bit of bread and of tobacco as they enter, however many they may be, both men and women. As for the children they are given only bread. They are again given as much when they go away. And in addition it is necessary to keep up a crew under wages aside from their keep. All of these attentions have been introduced in the past to attract the Indians to the establishments in order to be able more easily to instruct them in the Christian faith and religion. This has already been done for a very great number, through the labours of the Reverend Jesuit Fathers, who have retired thence seeing that there was



nothing more to be done with these people, whom the frequentation of the ships kept in perpetual drunkenness. At the present time, so soon as the Indians come out of the woods in spring, they hide all their best skins, bringing a few to the establishments in order to obtain their right to something to drink, eat, and smoke. They pay a part of that which was lent them in the autumn to support them, without which they would perish of hunger. They insist that this is all their hunting for the winter has produced. As soon as they have departed, they go to recover the skins which they have hidden in the woods, and go to the routes of the fishing ships and keep watch. If they see any vessels, they make great smokes to let it be known that they are there. At the same time the ship nears the land, and the Indians take some skins and embark in their canoes to go to the ship, where they are well received. They are given as much as they want to drink and to eat to start them going. They are then asked if they have many skins, and if there are not other Indians, in addition to themselves, in the woods. If they say that there are, and that they have skins, a cannon-shot is fired from the largest piece, to let them know they are to come. This they do not fail to do as soon as they hear the cannon, and they bring their skins During this time the ship shortens sail, and passes a day or two moving back and forth awaiting the Indians who bring them one or two skins; they are received with the same cheer as the first, who have also a part in the good reception tendered the late comers, and they drink again together afresh. It is well to remark that when skins are mentioned, simply without any addition, it is the same as saying skins of Moose, from which are made the best Buffalo skin (buffles). The evening being come they return on shore with some casks of brandy, and fall to drinking, but little for fear of getting drunk. They send again only their wives to the ship, who carry a skin and bring back brandy; and they send their wives again in the same manner from time to time in order to obtain their bottles of brandy. But if you wish to know why they do not take all they want to drink at one time, it is because their wives do not make trips to the ships without bringing back twenty-five or thirty sea-biscuits as a present, which each one makes them in return for some bark dishes and peschipotys. I think I have already said that these peschipoty are purses of leather ornamented for holding tobacco; they are the work of the women, and rather nicely made. A peschipoty is anything which is closed by a string or secured like a purse, provided that the whole does not surpass in size a bag for holding prayer-books. They are made of Marten, of



Squirrel, of Muskrat, or other little animals; others are of Moose skin, or of Sealskin; these are of the breadth of the hand and a little longer. One side is turned over the other with a little latchet which makes several turns to close it, in the fashion of our leather paper-holders. Those made of skins have strings like the purses, and all those peschipotys serve to hold tobacco or lead for hunting. The Indian women fix the price to the fishermen according to the kind of skin and its fantastic ornamentation, which they call matachiez; it is made from Porcupine quills, white, red, and violet, and sometimes with their wampum, of which I have already spoken. With these they obtain many things from the sailors. There is no one of these who is not willing to obtain the peschipoty at the expense of the corbillon, that is to say, ship's biscuits and drink. They bring Martens and Squirrels for cravats, or other bagatelles which the women make. It is not that they sell at each voyage all they bring, (for) they know well how to manage their part, but (it is) only to show the goods and inculate a desire for them. They promise things first to one then to another, but give nothing. During all the trading, they are promised much if they will go and find (the sailors) at the place where they are going to anchor to make their fishery, and this the women make them hope (they will do). After that each sailor gives them, secretly from one another, some ship's biscuit; these they always take, assuring them they will go and meet them. But they do not go there at once, but remain still on shore, waiting for other ships to come past. Not one passes without their obtaining by the same methods two or three hundredweight of biscuit, and some good casks of brandy in return for two or three skins which they give. And there is this much certain, that as long as they are able to visit the ships, they never get drunk; for they would not then be able to preserve the judgment which is necessary for making dupes of the sailors and captains, and for securing their bread. And besides so long as they can keep sober they drink without its costing them anything, both men and women. And they manage, moreover, so well that in the end they become drunk at the expense of the other party before having touched the brandy which they had obtained by trade. So much are they devoted to their own interest, and their pleasure, and so clever in deceiving those who trust them. The ships having left them, they commence to drink in earnest on land. If there remain with them some women who like to drink, although they are certain of being well beaten, they do not give themselves any concern provided that they may get drunk. Those who do not wish to drink at so dear a price retire with their children into the woods, and do not return until all the drunken orgie is passed; this will last sometimes two or three days



without cessation. After that it is found that heads, arms, and legs are badly bruised, and much hair is pulled out. Thus there is no apology to be made; each one is scored and cares only to think of himself. Their greatest remedy is the gum of the Fir, which is sovereign as balsam for wounds, in case there is no broken bone. If there are any of the latter, they know how to mend them and restore them to their proper condition. All this being finished, it is necessary to return where the fishermen are. There they commence again the same life so far as they have anything to drink, and they strip themselves totally naked. That is to say, they sell everything and drink everything, saving only the biscuit for the winter. Thus they pass all the summer and part of the autumn, so long as there are ships on the coast; and never does a year pass that there are not some six, seven, or eight Indians killed along the coast by drunkenness. The women and the older girls also drink much but by stealth, and they go to hide themselves in the woods for that purpose. The sailors know well the rendezvous. It is those who furnish the brandy, and they bring them into so favourable a condition that they can do with them everything they will. All these frequentations of the ships have entirely ruined them, and they care no longer for Religion. They blaspheme the name of God, are thieves and cheats and have no longer their former purity, neither women nor girls, at least those who drink. It is no longer a crime for a girl to bear children; indeed she is earlier married thereby, because there is assurance that she is not sterile. He who marries her takes her children. They do not divorce their wives now as they did formerly, and they have not so many, not being good hunters. This is because of their drunkenness, and because the animals are not so abundant. In addition to all the wickedness of which I have spoken, the fishermen have taught them to take vengeance upon one another. He who may desire ill to his companion, will make him drink in company so much that it makes him drunk, during which time he holds himself in restraint. He acts as if he were as drunk as the others, and makes a quarrel. The fight being commenced, he has an axe or other weapon, which he had hidden before the drinking; this he draws and with it kills his man. He continues to make drunken orgie, and he is the last to awaken. The next day he is told that it is he who has killed the other man, at which he expresses regrets, and says that he was drunk. If the dead man was married, this false drunkard makes, or promises to make, a present to the widow; if he is a boy, he testifies the same regrets to the father and mother, with promises also of making them presents. If the dead man has brothers or relatives who are fond of him, he who has killed him



is assured that the same will be done to him, and sooner or later they will take vengeance. Such is the great difference between their present customs and those of the past. If they have always the liberty of frequenting the ships, it will be still worse in the future. For their skins are not worth so much as they have been. To obtain as much drink as they have had, it will be necessary for them to use force, as they have already done with the ships which they have found alone, something which is happening rather often, They have already threatened them, and in the case of a little ship, which they found alone in a harbour, they have forced her to give them some. And they have plundered boats which were at the distant fishery. This is the return of all that which they have learned. And the Indians whom the fishermen have taken t o France have contributed still more to it through consorting there with blasphemers, in pot-houses and vile places, to which they have been taken. Then (there are) the wars which the French have made among themselves to dispossess one another, through their ambition and desire to possess everything; these things the Indians know well, and, when one represents to them that they ought not to rob and to pillage vessels, they say in prompt answer that we do the same thing among ourselves. "Do not take your establishments one from another," they say to us, "and do not kill one another for that purpose; have we not seen you do it, and why are you not willing that we should do it? If one is not willing to give it to us, we will take it." That is what they say at present, and I do not see any remedy for it except through peopling the country, and through its coming to pass that his Majesty will there maintain each one in that which belongs to him, without its being given to another after it will have been put into good condition. For this has.been done almost always up to the present, and has ruined those who had good intention to people it; for these have been replaced by those who sought only the large returns of trade. This not having proven as abundant as they had expected, they have abandoned everything and lost their time with all their investments. And it has even ruined the country which should be at present in condition to be self supporting, and to preserve for the King the great profits which he has drawn from it, as would be the case, the land being as good as it is, if it were only inhabited as it ought to be. Above all, I hope that God may inspire in those who have part in the government of the State, all the discretion which can lead them to the consummation of an enterprise as glorious for the King as it can be useful and advantageous to those who will take interest therein. This I hope the may do, chiefly for the glory of God.

7. On the Wigwams and Dwellings of the Gaspesians SOURCE: Father Chrestien Le Clercq, New Relation of Gaspesia. Translated and edited by W. F. Ganong (Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1910), pp. 100-108.

Since these people live without society and without commerce, they have neither cities, towns, nor villages, unless, indeed, one is willing to call by these names Certain collections of wigwams having the form of tents, very badly kept, and just as badly arranged. Their wigwams are built of nothing but poles, which are covered with some pieces of bark of the birch, sewed one to another; and they are ornamented, as a rule, with a thousand different pictures of birds, moose, otters and beavers, which the women sketch there themselves with their paints. These wigwams are of a circular form, and capable of lodging fifteen to twenty persons; but they are, however, so made that with seven or eight barks a single one is constructed, in which from three to four fires are built. They are so light and portable, that our Indians roll them up like a piece of paper, and carry them thus upon their backs wheresoever it pleases them, very much like the tortoises which carry their own houses. They follow the ancient custom of our first fathers, who remained encamped in a place only so long as they found there the means of subsistence for their families and their herds. In the same manner, also, our Gaspesians decamp when they no longer find the means to subsist in the places where they are living; for, having neither animals to feed, nor lands or fields to cultivate, they are obliged to be almost always wanderers and vagabonds, in order to seek food and other commodities necessary to life. It is the business of the head of the family, exclusively over all others, to give orders that camp be made where he pleases, and that it be broken when he wishes. This is why, on the eve of departure, he goes in person to trace the road which is to be taken, and to choose a place suitable and ample for the encampment. From this place he removes all the useless wood, and cuts off the branches which could be in the way. He smooths and opens out a road to make it easy for the women to drag over the snow on their toboggans, the trifle of furniture and of luggage which comprises their housekeeping outfit. He marks out, also all by himself, the plan of the wigwam, and throws out



the snow with his snowshoes until he has reached the ground, which he flattens and chops in pieces until he has removed all the frozen part, so that all of the people who compose his family may lodge in the greatest possible comfort. This done, he then cuts as many poles as he considers suitable, and plants them in a circle around the border of the hollow which he has made in the earth and the snow - always in such a manner, however, that the upper ends come together in a point, as with tents or belfrys. When this is finished, he makes preparations for hunting, from which he does not return until the wigwam has been completely put in order by the women, to whom he commits the care thereof during his absence, after assigning to each one her particular duty. Thus some of the women go to collect branches of fir, and when they place the barks upon the poles: others fetch dry wood to make the fire: others carry water for boiling the kettle, or in order to have the supper ready when the men return from the hunt. The wife of the head of the family, in the capacity of mistress, selects the most tender and most slender of the branches of fir for the purpose of covering all the margin inside the wigwam, leaving the middle free to serve as a common meeting-place. She then fits and adjusts the larger and rougher of the branches to the height of the snow, and these form a kind of little wall. The effect is such that this little building seems much more like a camp made in the spring than one made in winter, because of the pleasing greenness which the fir keeps for a long time without withering. It is also her duty to assign his place to each one, according to the age and quality of the respective persons and the custom of the nation. The place of the head of the family is on the right. He yields it sometimes, as an honour and courtesy to strangers, whom he invites to stop with him, and to repose upon certain skins of bears, of moose, of seal, or upon some fine robes of beaver, which these Indians use as if they were Turkey carpets. The women occupy always the first places near the door, in order to be all ready to obey, and to serve promptly when they are ordered. There are very great inconveniences in these kinds of wigwams; for, aside from the fact that they are so low that one cannot readily stand upright in them, and must of necessity remain always seated or lying down, they are moreover, of a coldness which cannot be described, whilst the smoke which one is necessarily obliged to endure in the company of these barbarians is something insufferable. All these hardships, without doubt, are not the least of the mortifications which are endured by the missionaries, who, after the example of Saint Paul, in order to be all things to all men so



that they may gain these people to JESUS-CHRIST, do not fail, despite so many discomforts, to work without ceasing at the conversion of these poor pagans. I pass without mention several other methods of camping which are in use among our Gaspesians, because there is nothing about them more important than that they cause extreme suffering in those who follow the Indians in the woods, and that they are all equally mean and miserable. But however that may be, the Indians esteem their camps as much as, and even more than, they do the most superb and commodious of our houses. To this they testified one day to some of our gentlemen of Isle Percee, who, having asked me to serve them as interpreter in a visit which they wished to make to these Indians in order to make the latter understand that it would be very much more advantageous for them to live and to build in our fashion, were extremely surprised when the leading Indians, who had listened with great patience to everything I had said to him on behalf of these gentlemen, answered"me in these words: "I am greatly astonished that the French have so little cleverness, as they seem to exhibit in the matter of which thou has just told me on their behalf, in the effort to persuade us to convert our poles, our barks, and our wigwams into those houses of stone and of wood which are tall and lofty, according to their account, as these trees. Very well! But why now," continued he, "do men of five to six feet in height need houses which are sixty to eighty? For, in fact, as thou knowest very well thyself, Patriarch - do we not find in our own all the conveniences and the advantages that you have with yours, such as reposing, drinking, sleeping, eating, and amusing ourselves with our friends when we wish? This is not all," said he, addressing himself to one of our captains, "my brother, hast thou as much ingenuity and cleverness as the Indians, who carry their houses and their wigwams with them so that they may lodge wheresoever they please, independently of any seignior whatsoever? Thou art not as bold nor as stout as we, because when thou goest on a voyage thou canst not carry upon thy shoulders thy buildings and thy edifices. Therefore it is necessary that thou preparest as many lodgings as thou makest changes of residence, or else thou lodgest in a hired house which does not belong to thee. As for us, we find ourselves secure from all these inconveniences, and we can always, say, more than thou, that we are at home everywhere, because we set up our wigwams with ease wheresoever we go, and without asking permission of anybody. Thou reproachest us, very inappropriately, that our country is a little hell in contrast with France, which thou comparest to a



terrestrial paradise, inasmuch as it yields thee, so thou sayest, every kind of provision in abundance. Thou sayest, of us also that we are the most miserable and most unhappy of all men, living without religion, without manners, without honour, without social order, and, in a word, without any rules, like the beasts in our woods and our forests, lacking bread, wine, and a thousand other comforts which thou hast in superfluity in Europe. Well, my brother, if thou dost not yet know the real feelings which our Indians have towards thy country and towards all thy nation, it is proper that I inform thee at once. I beg thee not to believe that, all miserable as we seem in thine eyes, we consider ourselves nevertheless much happier than thou in this, that we are very content with the little that we have; and believe also once for all, I pray, that thou deceivest thyself greatly if thou thinkest to persuade us that thy country is better than ours. For if France, as thou sayest, is a little terrestrial paradise, art thou sensible to leave it? And why abandon wives, children, relatives, and friends? Why risk thy life and thy property every year, and why venture thyself with such risk, in any season whatsoever, to the storms and tempests of the sea in order to come to a strange and barbarous country which thou considerest the poorest and least fortunate of the world? Besides, since we are wholly convinced of the contrary, we scarcely take the trouble to go to France, because we fear, with good reason, lest we find little satisfaction there, seeing, in our own experience, that those who are natives thereof leave it every year in order to enrich themselves on our shores. We believe, further, that you are also incomparably poorer than we, and that you are only simple journeymen, valets, servants, and slaves, all masters and grand captains though you may appear, seeing that you glory in our old rags and in our miserable suits of beaver which can no longer be of use to us, and that you find among us, in the fishery for cod which you make in these parts, the wherewithal to comfort your misery and the poverty which oppresses you. As to us, we find all our riches and all our conveniences among ourselves, without trouble and without exposing our lives to the dangers in which you find yourselves constantly through your long voyages. And, whilst feeling compassion for you in the sweetness of our repose, we wonder at the anxieties and cares which you give yourselves night and day in order to load your ship. We see also that all your people live, as a rule, only upon cod which you catch among us. It is everlastingly nothing but c o d - c o d in the morning, cod at midday, cod at evening, and always cod, until things come to such a pass that if you wish some good morsels, it is at our expense; and you are



obliged to have recourse to the Indians, whom you despise so much, and to beg them to go a-hunting that you may be regaled. Now tell me this one little thing, if thou hast any sense: Which of these two is the wisest and happiest-he who labours without ceasing and only obtains, and that with great trouble, enough to live on, or he who rests in comfort and finds all that he needs in the pleasure of hunting and fishing? It is true," added he, "that we have not always had the use of bread and of wine which your France produces; but, in fact, before the arrival of the French in these parts, did not the Gaspesians live much longer than now? And if we have not any longer among us any of those old men of a hundred and thirty to forty years, it is only because we are gradually adopting your manner of living, for experience is making it very plain that those of us live longest who, despising your bread, your wine, and your brandy, are content with their natural food of beaver, of moose, of waterfowl, and fish, in accord with the custom of our ancestors and of all the Gaspesian nation. Learn now, my brother, once for all, because I must open to thee my heart: there is no Indian who does not consider himself infinitely more happy and more powerful than the French." He finished his speech by the following last words, saying that an Indian could find his living everywhere, and that he could call himself the seigneur and the sovereign of his country, because he could reside there just as freely as it pleased him with every kind of rights of hunting and fishing, without any anxiety, more content a thousand times in the woods and in his wigwam than if he were in palaces and at the tables of the greatest princes of the earth. No matter what can be said of this reasoning, I assert, for my part, that I should consider these Indians incomparably more fortunate than ourselves, and that the life of these barbarians would even be capable of inspiring envy, if they had the instructions, the understanding, and the same means for their salvation which God has given us that we may save ourselves by preference over so many poor pagans, and as a result of His pity; for, after all, their lives are not vexed by a thousand annoyances as are ours. They have not among them those situations or offices, whether in the judiciary or in war, which are sought among us with so much ambition. Possessing nothing of their own, they are consequently free from trickery and legal proceedings in connection with inheritances from their relatives. The names of Serjeant, of attorney, of clerk, of judge, of president are unknown to them. All their ambition centres in surprising and killing quantities of beavers, moose, seals, and other wild beasts in order to obtain



their flesh for food and their skins for clothing. They live in very great harmony, never quarrelling and never beating one another except in drunkenness. On the contrary, they mutually aid one another in their needs with much charity and without selfseeking. There is continual joy in their wigwams. The multitude of their children does not embarrass them, for, far from being annoyed by these, they consider themselves just that much the more fortunate and richer as their family is more numerous. Since they never expect that the fortunes of the children will be larger than those of their fathers, they are also free from all those anxieties which we give ourselves in connection with the accumulation of property for the purpose of elevating children in society and in importance. Hence it comes about that nature has always preserved among them in all its integrity that conjugal love between husband and wife which ought never to suffer alteration through selfish fear of having too many children. This duty, which in Europe is considered too onerous, is viewed by our Indians as very honourable, very advantageous, and very useful, and he who has the largest number of children is the most highly esteemed of the entire nation. This is because he finds more support for his old age, and because, in their condition of life, the boys and girls contribute equally to the happiness and joy of those who have given them birth. They live, in fact,< together - father and children - like the first kings of the earth, who subsisted at the beginning of the world by their hunting and fishing, and on vegetables and sagamite, or stew, which was, in my opinion, like the pottage which Jacob asked of Esau before giving him his benediction.

8. British Indian Policy in Nova Scotia to 1760 SOURCE: R. O. MacFarlane, Canadian Historical (1938), pp. 154-167.


Vol. 19

British Indian policy in Nova Scotia begins with the cession of Acadia by France, in the Treaty of Utrecht. Prior to this date, British authorities, both in London and the New England colonies, had had contacts with the natives of this region, but they had been confined to the narrow limits necessitated by the conflict with France. In fact, until after the cession of Canada, British relations with the Indians of the old province of Acadia were essentially a phase of the "Acadian problem." Nevertheless, trade, the acquisition of land, missions, and the administration of justice grew in importance. It is proposed to discuss here only the problem of defence in the period 1713-60, in an attempt to show the interrelation of the Indian problem with the struggle of France and England for empire in America. The Indians who inhabited the present Maritime Provinces were not numerous. It is amazing that so small a group should have caused such concern to a great colonizing power. Had it not been for the presence of many Frenchmen who constantly stirred up the natives against the British, in the hope that such action would expedite the return of the province to France, there would have been little or no Indian problem in Nova Scotia in these years. Bitterness between the Acadians and the English was a natural consequence of the colonial wars. Charges of bad faith, treachery, and attempts to stir the native tribes to loot and massacre, were made frequently by each side. Every border raid was followed by threats of reprisal, in an effort to terrify as well as to restrain the enemy. For example, a British council of war, meeting at Annapolis, pointed out to the Canadian governor, Vaudreuil, that they would take revenge on the Acadians, who were at their mercy, if the French did not cease their border raids and guerilla warfare; "but as we abhor the Barbaritys of Your Savage War, so we hope you will give us no Occasion to copy after you in this Respect."1 This same council also threatened to seize 1

Public Archives of Canada, Nova Scotia papers, series A, vol. i , p. 22 (transcripts from the Public Record Office). This council met in 1710.



Acadians and turn them over as slaves to the Indians friendly to Britain, if the French did not desist from aiding and abetting their Indians in holding New England captives to ransom. Until the War of the Spanish Succession efforts to persuade the unconquered remnants of the French and Indian population to come to terms were in vain, and it was found necessary in 1711-12 to bring over Indians from New England and New York to run down these guerilla warriors. Maintaining order amidst two groups of hostile people in Nova Scotia was no simple task after the cession in 1713. The Acadian French had no reason to love their new masters. The Indians already won for Catholicism found the French traders and priests more congenial than the English soldiers or fishermen. So great was French influence with the Indians that men on the spot decided that it was better to have the French inhabitants remain in their old homes, in spite of their anti-British sentiment, than to risk the loss of trade if the natives followed their friends to Cape Breton; or the greater danger of violence if such influence as the French exercised was withdrawn. On the strength of this advice, the lords of trade recommended that "until there are more British subjects and until the Indians are gained over, the French should not be treated as they deserve."2 Apparently neither the Acadians nor the Indians regarded the settlement of 1713 as permanent. Both groups looked forward to a restoration of French power. In spite of displays of friendliness, it was obvious that peace was assured only while the vanquished prepared to strike again. French policy at this time is indicated in a letter to Costebelle at Cape Breton: "The savages of the French mission on the shores of Acadia are such irreconcilable enemies of the English people, that we cannot with our most peaceable speeches, impress them not to trouble their trade." The natives were to be kept in this frame of mind and he was "to allow no English settlement in Acadia or fishing on its shores, but this should be done prudently and secretly."3 The question of presents for the Indians proved as troublesome in Nova Scotia as elsewhere. The French had been accustomed to bestow gifts on their Indian allies, and the tribes expected, naturally enough, that their new sovereign would continue the practice. Governor Philipps and Lieutenant-Governor Doucet pointed out to the British government that it was quite impossible to maintain friendly relations with the natives, or even 2 3

N.S. papers, A 9, pp. 67-8. Quoted in J. S. McLennan, Louisbourg from its foundation to its

jail (London, 1819), p. 66.



to negotiate with them, if provision for presents was not made. Obviously there were no adequate funds available locally for this purpose, and supply had to be obtained from, London. British officials looked askance at such an expensive practice, and only to avert a crisis were some meagre supplies sent out. Still a few presents were better than none, and the British government had definitely committed itself to a policy from which it did not escape until after the American Revolution. In the ensuing years it was to prove very expensive in view of the benefits derived from such a colony as Nova Scotia. There was, however, no alternative if peace was to be preserved. On the eve of Rale's War in 1721, British officials in Nova Scotia were very nervous over the Indian situation. The governor called the chiefs of the most disaffected tribes into Halifax where he promised to improve trading facilities amongst their tribes. He also assured them that he would be as bountiful as the French had been if they would remain faithful to the British cause. Since the French were thought to be the root of the trouble, an Indian rising was expected immediately on the outbreak of hostilities with France. No remedy was suggested, other than improvement in fortifications and an increase in the garrisons. For such a program there was no support, financial or otherwise, from Britain. Rale's War in New England offered the Indians another opportunity to plunder British fishermen and settlers. The tribes closest to New England were the most trouble, although others far removed from the Maine frontier were sufficiently restless to cause alarm. The French priests and traders were charged with stirring up the discontent, but the failure of the French to come to the assistance of the Abenaki, and the complete victory of the New England military forces, led the governor to adopt a firm tone in the negotiations of 1726. Peace terms were offered in a circular letter based on the agreement reached at Boston which closed Rale's War in New England in the preceding December, and the various tribes accepted them during the summer and autumn. Governor Armstrong of Nova Scotia was. anxious to take a strong stand against the French as well as against the Indians. In a despatch to Newcastle he pointed out that there were about eight or nine hundred French families under his jurisdiction, all Catholic, and not one of them would take the oath to the king. The French priests sought to draw the Indians not only to the church but to France. The governor of He Royale continued to lure the natives from British allegiance with presents and supplies of arms and ammunition. He did this in spite of his protests to



the contrary. As a result of these activities, the French traders had had a great advantage over their English competitors and it was easy for them to stir up the Indians to perpetrate atrocities against the British. Armstrong thought that the only method of offsetting this pernicious French influence was to build a large number of "little forts." These he thought would so restrain the French and Indians "that they will not dare to give the British Subjects the least disturbance." He would not allow any more French priests to go among the Indians without the consent of the governor, and he would compel all French and Indians to take the oath of allegiance or "Quit the Government intirely." He also proposed to strengthen the meagre military resources of the colony, but he was unable to carry out his scheme because of financial difficulties. A period of comparative quiet intervened between Rale's War and the War of the Austrian Succession in the 1740's, but there was constant fear that the French still held the natives' allegiance, and apprehension lest the tribes should descend on the English settlements and fishing stations. To undermine French influence, and to convince the Indians that the preservation of peace was in their own best interest, a few small fortifications were erected in outlying districts and inducements were offered to the troops to settle in the province at the end of their service. The home government was willing to help defray the expenses of the last-mentioned scheme. Soldiers were allowed and encouraged to take their wives with them when they went to Nova Scotia. Fifty acres of land were offered to every soldier who remained in the country, and twice that quantity was provided for those who could qualify as "Carpenters, Smiths, Masons, Joyners, Brickmakers, Bricklayers, and all other Artificers necessary for Building and Husbandry." Encouragement was also given to intermarriage between ex-soldiers and Indian women. Meanwhile, the traditional technique for keeping the Indians at peace was continued: sending officials to reassure or threaten the tribes; calling chiefs into Halifax for a like purpose; threatening to cut off trade; and distributing presents. Every local official faced a dilemma over Indian presents. When he gave enough to satisfy the native, the home government objected to the expense; when he obeyed his instructions from London, the tribes were dissatisfied. In consequence many a governor found himself out of pocket through his efforts to serve two masters. Still the British government was reluctant to furnish presents on the same scale as had been provided by the French. Governor Armstrong pointed out repeatedly that not only was it desirable to send presents to



the natives to keep them well disposed toward Great Britain, but that if such a course was not followed the tribes would throw in their lot with the French at the first opportunity. In the meantime they would annoy the British settlers, fishermen, and traders by preying on their property. One reason why London was unwilling to supply goods to give to the Indians was the suggestion of the misdirection of these presents. While it is fairly obvious that the charges were primarily cloaks for economy, still it should be noted that it was not until a satisfactory explanation of the disposal of the presents had been made by Philipps and Armstrong that the lords of trade agreed to recommend further provision for this purpose. As was frequently the case, the board's recommendation was not acted upon, and the matter was allowed to drop until another Indian war brought the realities of the situation home to the administration. The close connection of the French and Indian problems was illustrated once more by the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession. Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, saw at the outset that the expulsion of the French from Cape Breton was essential not only for the protection of the fishing industry, but also for the security of Nova Scotia. There was little danger of the French themselves attacking the British settlements, but through their Indian allies they could spread havoc. In spite of the assurance given the tribes that they would be protected from any European enemy, the Indians soon took matters into their own hands, and once again decided that offence was the best defence. The capture of Louisbourg in 1745 should have brought relief from Indian difficulties. It cut the chief French support from under the Indians who had been giving the most trouble. But the natives had by no means given up the struggle, as their continued attacks showed. Numerous suggestions were put forward as to ways and means of subduing the hostile tribes, such as cutting off all trade by closing up the posts, increasing the number of "range companies," using cruisers to cut off all intercourse between the French in Canada and their Indian allies in Nova Scotia, increasing the garrisons, and offering a bounty for every Indian taken, dead or alive. None of these suggestions was pursued, so the Indians were not reduced to submission during the course of the war. Even after peace was restored- in Europe, trouble continued in Nova Scotia. By the close of 1748, however, the French had apparently abandoned their Indian allies in Cape Breton, as Decorex, their agent, offered to assist Governor Hopson in any



way he could in restoring peace among the Indians. With this change in French policy, the resistance to British authority of the Indians from Cape Breton soon collapsed. On the eastern frontier the situation was not so happy. Although Governor Shirley of Massachusetts had informed'La Galissoniere, Governor of Canada, in no uncertain terms of British jurisdiction over the Abnaki tribes, the French still thought that they might retain some useful influence over the tribes along the St. John river. The English, on the other hand, maintained that the Abenaki tribes were rebels rather than enemies. They had already submitted to Britain by the treaty of 1725, and thus they were not included in the terms of 1748, which applied only to the tribes which were subordinate to the French. It followed that the St. John tribe, which was in hostility to the English, had to make a new peace quite independent of that made with the other pro-French tribes. In 1749 delegates from the St. John came to Halifax and offered to submit to his majesty's government on the terms of the treaties of 1725 and 1726. This last treaty did not bring a general peace. On the Isthmus of Chignecto French influence was still strong enough to arouse the Indians to hostility, and for the next three years there was little security there for life or property. The French had discovered in Le Loutre, a second Rale. Since he was not officially a French agent, the Canadian authorities found it convenient to dodge the responsibilities of his actions. At the same time he served the cause of France with as much zeal, and with greater effectiveness, because of his influence over the natives in religion, than any regular official could possibly have done. The French further denied any responsibility for the actions of these Indians on the ground that they had never been subjects of the king of France, but merely allies. As a result, even with the best intentions, there were definite limits beyond which the French officials could not go in restraining their activities. Further attacks on Chebucto and Canso in the late summer of 1749 disturbed the Nova Scotian officials. The council decided not to declare war on these Indians, because to do so would be to "own them a free people, Whereas they ought to be look'd on as Rebels to His Majesty's Government or as so many Banditte Ruffians and treated accordingly." It then passed the following resolutions: "That His Excellency give Orders to the Commanding Officers at Annapolis Royal, Minas & all others within the Province, to annoy, distress and destroy the Indians everywhere. That a Premium be promised of Ten Guineas for every Indian



Killed or Taken Prisoner. That another Independent Company be rais'd with all Expedition not exceeding One Hundred Men." 4 Additional strong measures became necessary when Indian hostilities continued into the following year. Gornwallis selected Cobb to lead a force of a hundred men against the Indians at Chignecto. The instructions to the commander illustrate the governor's policy. The French and Indian inhabitants of Chignecto, who had been constantly hostile to Britain were to be annoyed to the utmost, and "If it can possibly be done, I recommend to you above all things to seize the Priest de Loutre; if he should escape, you are to search his House for Papers, which you are to bring along with you, and set fire to his House. For every Indian you shall destroy (upon your producing his Scalp, as the Custom is) or every Indian taken, Man, Woman, or Child, you shall receive ten pounds Sterling reward to be divided according to the Rules in Prizes taken at Warr." After offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling for the capture of Le Loutre the instructions concluded: "If anything occur to you (after executing the above Orders to the utmost of your Power) that you should think would destroy or distress the Enemy or be advantageious to His Majesty's Service, I hereby authorize you to Act as you shall think best, and this shall be to you and all others a sufficient Warrant." 5 Cobb's expedition was successful in its immediate purpose of driving the Indians from the isthmus, but it did not stop Indian raids. Both expeditions and raids proved expensive, and Cornwallis found difficulty in justifying the financial outlay for defence against a few hundred Indians. His explanation, of course, was that the real enemy was not the natives but the French. To prove his point, he drew attention to seizures of arms and ammunition from French vessels in Nova Scotian waters, and also to ransoms demanded for prisoners who had been carried to Quebec by the Indians. The lords of trade did not take quite as stern as view of Indian policy as did the local officials. While they approved of Cornwallis's policy, since the Indians had attacked first, they felt compelled to caution the governor against attempting to exterminate the Indians lest the severity of such a policy, because of its cruelty, might have unfortunate repercussions on the Indians in the other colonies. While they recognized the danger of French influence over the Indians, they still advised a policy of peace, even if it had to be accompanied by some disciplinary measures. 4 5

N.S. papers, B 4, pp. 62-3. Ibid., A 36, pp. 15-9.



Apart from the expeditions which it might be necessary to send against these people from time to time, their lordships thought that additional settlements, supported by garrisons, would be adequate to hold hostile Indians in check. One of the most detailed statements of imperial policy is contained in a despatch from the lords of trade to Cornwallis in April, 1750. After pointing out how useful Indian support is in time of war against the French, and what a nuisance their hostility is in time of peace, their lordship said: With respect to your Province in particular our first care certainly should be to make a proper Resistance to the Incroachments or Attacks of the Indians, and awe them into Obedience; but hereafter in time of more Quiet it should be remembered that too great Endeavours cannot be made to gain over the Good Will and fix to us the Preference of the Indians whose Minds have of late years been and now are drawn from us chiefly by the secret Stratagems and false Insinuations of the French Emissaries whose Success and Influence over them might probably be obliterated and prevented, if proper and diligent Measures were taken on our Part for undeceiving the Indians, of the Views of the English and the Designs of the French. It is true some expense may and will be necessary on this Account, but a little Money so laid out will be the means of avoiding many heavier Charges necessarily arising from an Indian W a r . . . The wisest Conduct a Governor in America can follow for the Quiet of his own Province, and the general Interst of Great Britian there, is to teach the Indians to rely upon his Frendship and to maintain as good an Understanding with the French as they will permit him, consistent with his Duty and the just Maintainance of the Rights and Interests of Great Britain.6 While the board of trade seemed anxious to give Cornwallis adequate support to meet the situation in Nova Scotia, the secretary of state was not so ready to make the necessary appropriations, and consequently very little was done. Cornwallis was left to make the most of his meagre resources. In the War of the Austrian Succession, as in the earlier ones, the more generous policy of the French in supplying the Indians with presents showed results. British officers were handicapped in this respect by lack of funds, and the few gifts that they were able to offer, while useful, were not adequate. It was not until after the war was over that the British adopted a generous scale of 6

Ibid., A 36, pp. 181-4.



presents. In 1751 a large quantity of supplies was imported from Boston for distribution at the treaty to be signed at Fort George. Although all the goods imported did not find their way into the Indians' hands, still it was a more substantial list than had been used previously. Real peace was not restored in the province until 1752. Preliminary arrangements with the St. John Valley tribes were made by Mascarene in the late summer of 1751, and meanwhile all hostilities ceased. The other tribes, mostly Micmac, made formal peace the next year on the basis of the treaty made at Boston in 1725.7 Governor Hopson was alarmed lest the lords of trade might think his policy was extravagant, and might as a result refuse to supply the presents and provisions promised in the treaty. He assured their lordships that there was no alternative to his policy except continued hostility, and the few presents that he had promised would be much cheaper in the long run. The peace concluded in 1752 lasted little more than two years. In the interval there was the usual fear that only a favourable opportunity for an outburst was awaited, and consequently every minor incident in which Indians were involved caused great alarm. Once more fear gripped the outlying settlements. At Lunenburg the German settlers so recently arrived wanted to "throw off all subjection to any Government." They believed that like the French in Nova Scotia, they would be safer from Indian attack, if they could convince the natives that they had nothing whatever to do with the English. A peace which did not bring any sense of security to the settlements of Nova Scotia was of little use in British policy. It did not even have that virtue so highly esteemed by the board Oi' trade, cheapness, because both presents and conferences continued to cost money. In April, 1754, their lordships sent a detailed statement of their views on Indian policy to Lawrence. They drew attention to their concern over "the Constant State of Alarm and Hostility in which the Province had been hitherto kept by the Indians," both because of the expense involved, and because it 7

The terms stated that all past animosities were to be forgotten and friendship restored. The Micmac were to try to persuade all the other Indians to accept the peace, and to inform the governor of all plots against the British. The Indians were to have liberty of hunting and fishing. A truckhouse for the sale of merchandise was to be established wherever the Indians desired it, but they were to have full liberty to market all supplies anywhere in the colony. Certain provisions were to be distributed to the Indians each October first, when they came into Halifax to renew the treaty. Ibid., B 5, pp. 112-8, 164-9.



retarded the development of settlement. They went on to say that peace cannot be relyed upon, unless the Indians are made sensible that every Infraction of Engagements on their part, whether from Native Treachery, or French Instigation will not only be attended with danger and difficulty to themselves in the Execution, but if their Attempts should ever succeed, they would not fail to draw upon them the most dreadful and alarming Consequences. It seems therefore absolutely necessary that some solid and effectual plan should be entered upon; not only for preventing any such Infraction on the part of the Indians and disappointing their Effects, but likewise of making them feel in the most sensible manner the Effects of our Resentment by carrying into Execution the most vigorous offensive Measures, which open Force or Stratagem can effect.8 The board of trade found it impossible to frame a definite policy with the meagre information which it had at its disposal, and it instructed Lawrence to supply the necessary details. Before any profound change in the conduct of the Indians' affairs in peace time could be adopted, the whole problem was thrust back again to a war-time basis by the outbreak between the French and English in the Ohio Valley. French interest in Nova Scotia was revived as hostilities spread across the North American frontier. As in the earlier wars many of the Indians were strongly in sympathy with the French and they showed their position by the usual attacks against the English settlements. Raids on isolated communities, followed by scalping and destruction, once again spread terror throughout the province. Single vessels, especially small fishing craft, also fell an easy prey to enemy attacks. Even as late as 1759, a year after the fall of Louisbourg, Governor Lawrence noted that "the Indians and scattered neutrals have infested us more than ever, and indeed in a manner too which they never attempted before." The French pursued the traditional course in stirring up the Indians. Hopson and Lawrence repeatedly pointed out that there could be no peace with the Indians until the French were completely driven out. A letter from Duquesne, Governor of Canada, to the priest Le Loutre shows how well founded were the contentions of the governors in this regard. The more I become acquainted with this project, the more decided I am in thinking that we should never permit our 8

N.S. papers, A 55, pp. 66-8.



Abnakis, Malecites and Mickmacs to make peace with the English. I regard these savages as the mainstay of the Colony, and in order to keep alive this spirit of hatred and revenge, we must remove every occasion of allowing it to be bribed; and the present position of Canada demands that those nations which are strongly connected should strike without delay, provided the order shall not appear to come from me because I have precise instructions to remain on the defensive.9 The usual tactics were pursued to protect the British settlers from Indian, attack during the war. Small forts were erected at strategic points, ranger companies were sent out to waylay parties of the enemy, volunteer companies were offered rewards for prisoners and scalps, and serious attempts were made to intercept supplies coming in for the French and their Indian allies. Lasting peace was impossible so long as the French remained in Nova Scotia or Cape Breton. The capture of Beausejour eased the situation at the isthmus; the fall of Louisboug did the same for Cape Breton; and the expulsion of the Acadians relieved tension in the Annapolis Valley; but it was not until after French power had received the crushing blow at Quebec that quiet really returned to the province. Early in 1760 overtures were received from several of the tribes seeking peace. The terms on which the treaties were to be negotiated were decided by the council in February, 1760. Formal treaties were concluded with the Passamaquoddy, St. John, and several of the smaller Micmac tribes, on these terms, in the spring of 1760. By March the governor was able to issue a proclamation forbidding all acts of hostility against the Indians. The following summer treaties were made with the remaining Micmac tribes. This treaty marks the end of the era in Indian relations in Nova Scotia. Prior to this time the French and Indian problems had been invariably tied up together. So long as France cherished dreams of recovering any part of the province, or so long as she held Cape Breton, the natives were pawns in her game of empire. The early success of the French missionaries and traders in comparison with the efforts of their British competitors, made the Indians willing tools in the hands of the French. With the expulsion of the French, not only from Acadia, but from Canada, all was changed. With French support gone the 9

T. B. Akins (ed.) Nova Scotia Archives, I. Selections from the public documents oj the province of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1869), pp. 239-40.



Indians never could hope to rid the country of the English. Thereafter many of them attempted to reconcile themselves to their new masters. In a report on the state of the province in 1774 it was stated, "Since the French have been expelled from the neighbourhood of this Province, they (Indians) have become quiet and well disposed." With the passing of the French dominion from North America, Indian policy in Nova Scotia became one of administering justice rather than one of defence, of reducing expenditures rather than of expanding the empire.

9. Indian Affairs in Nova Scotia, 1760-1834 SOURCE: Elizabeth Ann Hutton, Nova Scotia Historical Society, Collections (1963), pp. 33-54.

At the very time when the British officials were attempting to attract settlers to the province of Nova Scotia, they were faced with the added problem of making provision for the Micmac Indians, the native inhabitants of the area. The increasing frequency of the meetings between these primitve people and the Europeans had resulted in a clash of cultures which eventually resulted in a serious breaking down of the more primitive way of life. The result was that the Indians gradually became almost entirely dependent upon the white men. Trade was perhaps the most important single item in the early history of our province. It had been largely commercial motives which had sent many of the early European explorers westward and it was the desire for profits accruing from such trading operations, especially the furs, that had acted as the motivating force in the earliest explorations and settlement of the interior of the continent. The great importance attached to commerce had resulted, quite logically, in-steps being taken to regulate trading transactions and indeed "considerations of trade were influential in shaping such Indian policy as existed in Nova Scotia."1 The relatively primitive condition of the province of Nova Scotia in 1713 when it was officially acknowledged as being British, seemed destined to continue unchanged in view of the very inadequate provisions for improvement, which were to be noted in the early governors' instructions and commissions. To remedy defects and omissions in his own instructions one of these governors, Richard Philipps was given a copy of the instructions to the Governor of Virginia to which he must have had to refer constantly and in which was embodied the following power: . . . you are with the advice of our council of our said colony to establish regulations with respect to the trade carried on with the said Indians . . . 2 1

R. O. MacFarlane, "Indian trade in Nova Scotia in 1764," Canadian Historical Association Annual Report 1934 (Toronto, 1935), p.56. 2 Leonard Woods Laboree, ed., Royal Instructions to British Colonial Governors, 1670-1776 (New York, 1935), //, 472, article 680.



In other words Philipps was given what seemed to be wide powers over the Indians but the makeshift governmental institutions in Nova Scotia at that time and, indeed for many years to come, rendered such authority of no account. In spite of the efforts on the part of the British officials to encourage and promote Anglo-Micmac trade, several strong forces counteracted these efforts, so that Thomas Caulfield was forced to admit that not only was trade confined to coastal regions but the Micmacs "only come here (Annapolis) when driven by necessity."3 For a period of years the tendency was for the British to take little positive action aside from giving presents to the Indians and to concern themselves with other activities while wishfully dreaming oNxmtrolling the Indian trade. The explanation offered to anyone who ventured to criticize the lack of positive results was the seemingly undue influence of the French over the native population. In the year 1732, a major step was taken to wrestle control of the Indian trade out of the hands of the French. Lawrence Armstrong's plan for accomplishing such an objective was, on paper at least, rather a simple one. It entailed the building of a truckhouse on the St. John River, that is in the midst of the more important Indian tribes. The credit for this idea does not belong to Armstrong alone for this was the principle that was in full play in Massachusetts, among the Abenaki Indians where the truckhouses were publicly owned and operated. However, since such a scheme was too grandiose for the financial condition of Nova Scotia at that time, Armstrong advocated that the St. John truckhouse should be constructed by the Massachusetts government as the northern-most part of its chain of trading establishments. There were two major defects to such a proposal, namely the objection voiced by the Massachusetts officials against financing an establishment which would be outside its jurisdiction and, perhaps more important, was the fact that since these posts always operated at a loss to the colonial government, it seemed folly to incur additional debts in a project that would not benefit the colony of Massachusetts directly. Undaunted, the Nova Scotian governor and his council proposed to the Lords of Trade the construction of a truckhouse for Indian trade but the reply to their request was discouraging for the Lords of Trade wrote: Although this proposal may have a very good effect, yet we think it should be postponed till there are Inhabitants enough 3

Nova Scotia A rchives II, Caulfeild to Nicholson, 1713, p. 1.



in your Province to compose an Assembly to bear the expense of it.4 The result of such a refusal was, in effect, to leave the French free to reap the commercial profits in trade with the Micmac Indians. One of several treaties concluded with the Micmac Indians was signed on November 22, 1752, clause four of which sets forth a definite promise that a truckhouse would be constructed at River Shubenacadie or at any other site deemed suitable and that at such an establishment all Indian trade was to be carried on. The British government stalled again when they were presented with this request, their reason for doing so this time was stated to be the fact that a general peace should be made with the Indians of the province as a prerequisite. At this time too the international scene was of more importance to the Lords of Trade than the problem of a few hundred natives in a small overseas colony. Thus for all effect, the issue was to lie dormant until 1760 when another Anglo-Micmac treaty called upon the Indians to swear not to "Traffic, Barter, or Exchange a Commodity in any manner, but with such person or the Managers of such Truckhouses as shall be appointed or established by His Majesty's Governor." 5 This time the British officials took positive action to fulfil their promises to the Micmac Indians and the result was to set up a "monopolistic scheme for the Indian trade of the province."6 The first step in implementing such a promise occurred on February 18, 1760, when Charles Lawrence appointed a New Englander, Benjamin Gerrish, as "Agent or Commissary on behalf of the Publick for carrying on a Commerce with the several Tribes of Indians inhabiting this Province and its environs . . . " His duties were manifold, including the keeping of proper and accurate records which were to be submitted to the Council on request as well as trying to win and maintain the respect and friendship of the native traders. Perhaps the most important of all Gerrish's duties was the supervision of the various truckmasters who were soon to be appointed after the fashion of the Massachusetts government's system which had been operational since the year 1694. Within a short period of time, there were six such truckmasters in existence, one of whom Henry Green at Fort Frederick, was actually commissioned prior to the appointing of 4 5 6

As quoted in R. O. MacFarlance, op.cit., p.59. N.S.A.I., pp.699-700. John B. Brebner, The Neutral Yankess of Nova Scotia, A Marginal Colony During the Revolutionary Years (New York, 1937), p.71.



Gerrish himself. Aside from the supervision of these truck masters Gerrish was also responsible for the supervision of the activities of William Schwartz, who, on October 27, 1760, had been commissioned "Furrier for Indian Commerce." It can be seen that gradually a system was developing whereby the Indian commerce would be conducted at certain fixed centres, styled truckhouses, where accredited and duly commissioned truckmasters and assistants would endeavour to treat the Indians fairly at all times. Uniting all these various and scattered truckmasters together would be the council-appointed Agent or Commissary for Indian Affairs. At this point an examination of how such a system was to be financed is vital since, in part, this had always been a stumbling block of all the previous proposals for establishing a definite system for Anglo-Micmac trade. The truckhouses were to be established at public expense and the salaries of the truckmasters were to come from the same source. Goods which were to be used in the trade were to be supplied by the Commissary of Indian Affairs at cost which together with transportation charges, incurred in moving such articles to truckhouses, as well as an additional cost of 2Vi per cent commission for the agent was to equal the total cost of the article bartered with the Indians in exchange for furs. These furs, and also feathers, were then taken from the truckhouses to Halifax where the Agent for Indian Commerce would auction them to the highest bidder who was required to pay a 2xk per cent sales cost on the total value of the goods purchased. This small tax was expected to be sufficient to defray the costs of transporting the goods to Halifax and also any administrative charges incurred and thereby make the system self-supporting. The Board of Trade argued that such regulations were inconsistent with the "Principles of Commerce and Freedom which Your Majesty's Subjects ought to enjoy therein, and introductory of an Heavy Expense to the Public."7 The British ministers continued to raise the objections at intervals about such a restrictive commercial policy and proposed in its stead that a tariff should be settled upon at which all trade was to be conducted and also that licences should be issued to a limited number of merchants who legally would be the only persons entitled to engage in trading operations with the Indians. In spite of the Board of Trade's objections, the system of truckhouses was essayed in the province with disastrous results. Two defects in this scheme soon became evident, namely the 7

As quoted by R. O. MacFarlane, op.cit., p.60.



inability of the scheme to pay for its own operations and hence public money was needed at a time when the finances of the province were in a primitive stage of their development. The second glaring weakness of this truckhouse system was the commanding role played by Benjamin Gerrish who engaged in one of the first scandals in the province's history. This was basically the system of trade with the Indians which was allowed to function for several years in the province although the presence of such regulatory acts as that in 1762 entitled "An Act For Preventing Fraudulent Dealings in the Trade with the Indians," attest to the fact that that system was not functioning too well. By action taken by the Board of Trade in 1764, this whole system of Anglo-Micmac commerce was radically revised due to the colossal failure of the plan outlined above to realize the expectations of its originators, namely that it would be selfsupporting. In part at least, the topography of the region was to blame for the failure for fur trade in Nova Scotia was not large enough in volume to support such an elaborate organization of warehouses, truckmasters, and assistants, nor was it financially profitable to keep a truckhouse open the entire year, paying the salaries of the truckmaster and his assistants. In short, this whole system failed for the simple reason that "policy was one thing, but profits were another." 8 By 1764 it was obvious that the system as outlined above had to be altered and a plan devised by the Board of Trade in London was accepted as a replacement for the truckhouse scheme. This new plan, applicable to all of British North America and placed under the administration of George Johnson and John Stuart, began by declaring that all laws previously enacted to deal with Indian commerce were to be replaced and in return, Anglo-Micmac trade was to be regarded as being free and open to all individuals. However, in areas north of Maryland, and hence in Nova Scotia, such commercial activities were to be conducted only at fixed locations where posts were to be constructed. Nova Scotian officials discovered that the Board of Trade was planning to build only three such structures: at Halifax, Fort Cumberland, and on the St. John River. Considering the size of the province at that particular time as well as the transportation facilities available to traders, Lieutenant Governor Wilmot's suggestion that this number should be increased by two was justifiable. Later, this recommendation was implemented when trading posts were erected at Canso and near Lunenburg. 8

Brebner, op. cit.,p. 73.



The original truckhouse system devised for control of Indian affairs in Nova Scotia dealt with commerce and paid little attention to other facets of Indian life. However, the necessity of appointing individuals with greater power was recognized in 1762, if not before, when John Doggett, truckmaster at Liverpool, penned a request to the Council at Halifax on December 31 for relief on behalf of Joseph Mitchell, his wife and seven orphans. The Council complied by ordering £ 5 to be advanced to Doggett. Hence the need of a general supervisor of Indian affairs had been demonstrated. Since the Board of Trade's scheme had called for the abolition of all existing laws dealing with Indian trade, the office of Commissary or Agent for Indian Commerce became defunct as did the use of truckhouses. The Agent was replaced by a Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the province as a whole who was responsible for assistant superintendents who were appointed to supervise affairs in local areas. As the change of name suggests, this newly created office of superintendent entailed more manifold duties than did the original office of Agent for Indian Commerce and this new post was ably filled by such individuals as Michael Francklin, John Cunningham, and George Henry Monk. Since Nova Scotia was only a very small portion of the overall general scheme of managing Indian affairs in British North America, it appears as though the central British authority had an agent in this province. Although the details of such a scheme are extremely scanty, it would appear as though the two geographical divisions of North America, the Northern and Southern districts each had its own agent, the one for the former being Sir William Johnson who in turn had an agent by the name of Major Joseph Gorham stationed in this province. Another clause of the Board of Trade's plan called for the licensing of all persons engaged in trading operations with the Micmac Indians. Such traders were required to deposit a bond with the government officials as proof of their willingness to uphold the regulations devised for the control of such commerce. Included among these regulations were the demand that the prices set by the Council at Halifax were to be adhered to without variation; that no liquor was to be used in barter with the Micmacs; and furthermore that only certain approved types of fire-arms were to be admitted to be sold to these savages. In an attempt to keep the system solvent, licensed traders were restricted to fifty shillings credit at the government trading posts. These traders were responsible to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs either directy or indirectly through one of his deputies.



The newer and more comprehensive regulations governing trading operations as outlined in 1764 displayed a firmer grasp of the knowledge of conditions of commerce in the province and seemed indicative that at last the British officials were prepared to adopt a more realistic scheme for regulating such operations in the colonial sphere. Formerly, the British statesmen were naive enough to imagine that to conduct trading operations on an honest basis and to charge the lowest possible rate of profit were the only prerequisites to winning the friendship and regard of the Indians. It could almost be advocated that the commercial scheme in operation during the late 1750's and the early 1760's was prompted, not so much by a desire for profits as through fear of possible Indian attack if concrete steps were not taken to win the confidence of these native inhabitants of the Maritime provinces. However, the Nova Scotian government found that greed and shrewdness permitted certain of its officials to line their pockets at public expense under the prevailing system of private monopoly of Indian trade. When alterations in the system still resulted in an overwhelming financial deficit, the Nova Scotian officials had to fall back upon the plan of government regulations which had been devised by the Board of Trade. Although the problem of regulating trade with the Indians was a basic driving force behind the adoption of the various trading schemes outlined above, it must be pointed out that few benefits accrued from such regulations to the savages, largely, one could argue, owing to the lack of proper supervision. In 1768, a change of policy on the part of the British government, resulting from a report presented by the Board of Trade, scrapped the general overall scheme as outlined above and burdened the colonies with the management of Indian affairs. Henceforth, "Regulation of Trade shall be left to the Colonies, whose Legislatures must be the best Judge of what their several situations and circumstances may require;... that the Office of Superintendent shall however be continued."9 Indeed such a radical change was greeted with great enthusiasm in Nova Scotia where it was realized that "the manners and customs of the Indians of this province differ greatly from those who are seated on the interior parts of the continent of North America.'10 Other changes were also introduced into the plan of the con9

John Romeyn Boadhead, ed., Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York (Albany, 1857). Vol. m, pp. 55-56. 10 P.A.N.S., MSS. Documents, Vol. 43, Doc. 37, Francklin to Hillsborough.



ducting of Indian affairs as outlined in 1764, although they were not as significant as the above-mentioned one. One such innovation was in the method of presenting demands for payment of goods supplied to the Indians. By the time that George Henry Monk was appointed Superintendent in 1783, it had become customary for this official to prepare a comprehensive list of outstanding claims for services or goods rendered to the Indians and to present this single account to the Council for payment. Furthermore, with a more adequate distribution of provincial funds by the 1790's, individuals often received payment in advance of selling their articles rather than having to supply the entire stock to the Indians on credit. An examination of the records of this period after 1783 reveal that no licenses were issued to enable individuals to engage in trading operations with the Indians. This is of fundamental significance when compared with the large number of petitions being presented to the Nova Scotia government in this same year on behalf of Indians, desirous of obtaining tracts of land. Since commercial and land granting were in direct opposition, a decline in the former coincided with an increase in the latter. As far as the Indians were concerned commerce meant the obtaining of pelts and furs through operations carried on during the winter months, and this could not be executed successfully if time had to be alloted to the cultivation of the soil. A further explanation of why trading operations showed a marked decline after 1783 is that the influx of the United Empire Loyalists and other immigrants meant the gradual encroachment on the Indians' former hunting grounds in the province and although one could argue that this would not be a rapid process, it should not be overlooked. Furthermore, it would seem that the decade after 1780 witnessed several mild winters which played havoc with the Indians' attempts to employ their traditional methods of hunting and trapping animals and even when they were successful in such operations, the pelts thus obtained were found to be of an inferior quality. In the last decade of the eighteenth century, Indian trade in Nova Scotia evidently declined. To be sure there must have been some trading operations conducted in the region but these were exceptions to the general rule. However, active Superintendents of Indian Affairs realized that the natural skills of these native inhabitants of the province could be utilized with benefits accruing therefrom. To effect this end, the Micmac Indians were encouraged to make such diversified products as baskets, axehandles, shingles, and staves. Although some of these products were undoubtedly extremely useful to the wealthier of the new



immigrants, the majority of the new settlers were financially unable to afford such luxuries and hence it was not unusual for Indians engaged in such trades to be forced to petition the government for relief since they were unable to find buyers for their merchandise. System of Relief From discussions thus far, it must be obvious that there was a radical change in the way of life of the Micmac Indians. From a position of power and sole inhabitants of the area, the savages became so dependent upon the white man and his commodities that, at times, direct relief of food and clothing was the only means of alleviating their distress and suffering. Hence the correspondence of the officials engaged in Indian affairs at this time bears witness of their hardships and indeed many of their letters are nothing more than an outright plea for aid to avoid starvation. As the system of relief increased, certain abuses crept in as shrewd individuals would petition and obtain relief from local administrators prior to appearing at Halifax and applying directly for additional help. Because of the prevalence of this practice as well as the fact that the original grants to relief awarded by the Council were adjudged to be too generous, it was decided to reduce the rations to a level deemed high enough to prevent outright starvation. Children under twelve were henceforth to receive only one-quarter the quantity of relief granted to adults. This was only one of several changes introduced into the system of Indian affairs to render it less burdensom to the provincial revenues. The need for such relief shows the degree of the assimilation of the Micmac culture in the face of the more advanced European way of life. Financing Indian Affairs The economic and financial immaturity of Nova Scotia in the nineteenth century was clearly shown in the field of Indian Affairs for the administration of this department was a source of continual drain on the province's money. This was particularly true during the American Revolutionary War when Michael Francklin deemed it absolutely vital to distribute presents generously among the Micmacs to ensure their allegiance. It was proposed that the expenses should be charged against the annual grant to the province from the British government-a practice which had been



followed previously. When the lieutenant-governor refused, Francklin then requested "a proper fund for this essential service." In reply the British government promised the sum of £500 and at the same time curtly requested Francklin henceforth to confine his dispatches concerning Nova Scotian Indian affairs either to the office of the Secretary of State or to the King's agent for this department. The fact that the problem of finance was a pressing one can be demonstrated by pointing out that the expenses involved in this department for the province for the period from June 30, 1778 to October 1779 was £ 1543.2s. lO'/ki. Added to this was the fact that the British government paid the salary of £ 3 0 0 to the Superintendant of Indian Affairs in Nova Scotia. Prior to 1780 apparently it was the practice for this superintendent to acquire certain of his supplies from the military stores of the army stationed in the province. The presence of one General McLean in the province in 1780 interfered with this practice for he refused to comply with the lieutenant-governor's request without explicit instructions from his superior officer. Not only did the British government refuse to establish a special fund for the administration of Indian affairs in the province but they altered the usual practices to such an extent that the colony itself would henceforth be required to bear the entire cost of Indian affairs. The financing of Indian affairs in the province posed an almost insurmountable problem given the primitive state of the province's finances at this time. Furthermore, it clearly demonstrated the dependency of this province upon the British Exchequer. However with the turn of the century, a gradual change came over Nova Scotia and it was during the next half century that she became an important part of the British colonial empire, for this was the era of the sailing ships and Nova Scotia was literally the home of such vessels. With this increased prosperity, it was more than ever possible to meet with the expenses incurred in dealing with the Indians. Appointment of Chiefs One of the few relics of their former life which the Micmacs salvaged from the welter of changes introduced through the advent of European civilization to the shores of America, was their tribal hierarchy. To be sure the old bonds of fidelity to the chief had been radically altered as European manufactured goods rendered any brave of the tribe as powerful as the sagamore.



However, the love of tradition still prevailed to the extent that such a tribal leader was deemed a necessity by most of the Indians. The British authorities in the era of confusion in which they embarked on the administration of the province, realized that such veneration could be exploited by them with benefits. Therefore, the custom evolved of permitting a band of Indians to choose their chief whose appointment was then sanctioned by the government. Thus on August 30, 1783, John Julien of Merimichi was appointed chief of that tribe of Indians. A New Trend in Indian Affairs The year 1800 is an important demarcation line in the management of Indian affairs in the province of Nova Scotia. Prior to this date, the extent of government concern with these primitive people had consisted of little more than the appointing of a superintendent of Indian affairs and the paying of considerable sums for relief supplies. In a word, government supervision was negligible. However, by the year 1800 the wretched condition of the Micmacs excited the humanitarian impulses of the ruling classes to take positive actions to alleviate such suffering and destitution. Thus the House of Assembly, considering it necessary to undertake the task, the details of which were unknown to the majority of its members, on April 12, 1800 appointed a committee consisting of George Henry Monk, William Cottnam Tonge, Charles Morris, Edward Mortimer, and John Sargent. When these men tabled their report, entitled a Plan for the Relief of the Indians, the Assembly immediately realized the magnitude of the problem confronting them, especially when it was pointed out that the form of relief, customary in the past, merely encouraged sloth and drunkenness and increased the savages' dependency upon the government. In the words of the report, "all the pecuniary resources of the Province would... be found inadequate to the support of this Remnant of the Mickmack tribe in the State of Idleness." This report continued by recommending that in the face of such a major undertaking, a joint committee of both the Assembly and the Council should be formed. This was done late in the year 1800 and consisted of Charles Morris, J. Brenton, Michael Wallace, and William Cottnam Tonge. To obtain the information deemed necessary for compilation of a report, these individuals prepared and circulated a list of fourteen questions. Aside from essaying to determine the number of Indians in a particular area and their natural leader, the questions



were designed to gather information about the possibility of encouraging industries among these people. The committee reported on July 13, 1801." Basically, the Report contained three recommendations, the first of which is indicative of the new trend in Indian affairs in Nova Scotia for this proposal dealt with the creating of permanent settlements on the land by the Micmac Indians. Since the committeemen felt that they had only made a beginning in surveying the Indian problem, they recommended a further and more complete study of the problem. The third suggestion, which was financial in nature, stressed the need of a moderate sum of money to be made available to pay for the expenses of Indian affairs for the coming year. One could argue that these recommendations were rather simple and commonplace, and hardly worthy of their originators, but to dispute thus would be to overlook the significance of the matter at hand. This was the first occasion that the Nova Scotian government as a whole had concerned itself with the problem of Indian affairs in the province. To be sure it was a moot question whether such interest sprang from humanitarian motives or from pecuniary considerations, for the disbursement account for Indian affairs from December 10, 1800 to June 15, 1801 was