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No. 260.

GOVERNOR PALLISER TO LORD HILLSBOROUGH.



C.O. RECORDS    194/12,  p. 53.

MY LORD,
      I think it proper to inform your Lordship, that I have continued to keep up the fortified Blockhouse on the new Fishing Coast of Labrador, which by the King's Orders I established there in the year 1766, with a Guard for the protection of the British Adventurers Fishing Works and Craft, as well from the depredations of Crews from New England as from the Natives of the Country.
      In the month of November last, an attempt was made by some of the Savages from the North Coast, to steal some shallops and Fishing Craft, when three Englishmen were killed, a detachment of men from the Blockhouse went out, attacked the Savages, killed many of them and drove the rest away, who left behind them three Women and Six Children, belonging to some of the Men who were killed, one of the Women proves to be very intelligent, from her I have obtained more satisfactory accounts than any that have yet been got of those People respecting their numbers, their places of abode, etc.
      These poor Women and Children are the first of those People that have ever been taken and kept alive by any Europeans, they express great astonishment at being kindly treated and suffer'd to live, and seem yet doubtfull whether they are not reserved for a publick sacrifice; there was no possibility of sending them home this Season, I have therefore been obliged to provide for their subsistance till the next year, then they will be capable of carrying a proper message to their People, either for establishing a friendly intercourse between them and the King's Subjects, or to forbid them ever coming near us, as may be judged best for facilitating undertakings of Merchant Adventurers from England to that Coast, under such privileges as Government may think proper to grant them, for extending the Oil and Whale Bone Trade with those People, which are become very considerable articles of Commerce.
      Many attempts have been made at different times for this purpose to that Coast, which abounds with Whales and Seals, as well from London as from New England, particularly in the years 1752, 1753, and 1754, all which miscarried by the imprudent conduct of those employed towards the Natives. Now by means of these People and the Brethren of the Society of the Unitas Fratrum, (who your Lordships may remember, through a zeal for propagating the Christian faith amongst the heathen, have solicited for encouragement to undertake something of this kind) it is very probable some

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considerable Merchants of London, would readily engage in such undertakings, as your Lordship may approve of for the publick benefit.
      This will confirm to those People the truth of what I assured them by interpretation of some of the Brethren of that Society, who speaks their language, who voluntarily went with me to that Coast in the year 1765, when I had a conference with a large tribe of them.
      That we did not intend to molest or hurt them, but to trade with them in a fair and friendly way.
      That if ever they offer'd to kill any People or to steal anything they would suffer for it.
      That when the King should please to give Orders, I should send men enough to destroy them all at once.
      That such of them who behave inoffensively might depend always on Protection and being kindly treated as Friends, etc.

Signed: HUGH PALLISER,        
St John's, Newfoundland 1768.  
20th October 1768.     
Endorsed: St John's, Newfoundland.
    20th October, 1768. Governor Palliser.
    R. 10th November.   A-5

[1927lab]

 

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