p. 1083                        JOINT

No. 280.


YEARS 1772 & 1773.

C.O. 199.  VOL. 17, NEWFD.

   ARTICLES OF HIS MAJESTY'S                         REMARKS.

Article (12th)
   It is our further Will and Pleasure that you do from time to time, as the nature of the service will allow, visit all the Coasts and Harbours of the said Islands and Territories under your Government, in order to inspect and examine the Condition of the Fisheries, which are or may be carried on upon the said Coasts and Islands; You shall also use your best endeavours to procure accurate Draughts or Maps of the several Harbours, Bays, and Coasts of Newfoundland, and the other Islands and Territories under your Government; and you are more particularly to direct the Officer of any Vessel under your Command, which may be appointed to visit that part

   I have in Obedience to His Majesty's Commands employed as much of my time in visiting the Coasts, Harbours and Territories under my Government as my necessary attention to the other parts of my Duty would admit of, and have procured maps of these places from the best Surveys by an Officer properly Qualified for that service, by whose report, as well as from other information I have received (it is supposed) there is no passage from the place we understand by the name of Davis's Inlet to Hudson's Bay, or any other inclosed Sea.

p. 1084


Article (12) contd.
of the Coast of Labrador which lies between Hudson's Streights and the Streights of Belleisle, to search and explore the great Inlet, commonly known by the name of Davis's Inlet; in order to discover whether the same has or has not any Passage to Hudson's Bay, or any other inclosed Sea.

Article (13th)
   You are also to enquire and report to Us by one of our Principal Secretaries of State, whether any or what further Establishment may be necessary to be made, or Forts erected in any parts of Newfoundland, or the other Islands and Territories under your Government, either for the Protection of the Fishery the security of the Country or the establishment and carrying on a Commerce with the Indians residing in, or inhabiting the Coast of Labrador.


   I am of opinion while Great Britain preserves the Sovereignity of the Sea she need, or ought not to be at the Expence of erecting any extensive Fortifications upon this Island; where the Climate is so severe that no Work of that kind can be performed without an immense Expence, as this Country does not produce one single material necessary for it; where from the intenseness of the Frosts the repairs must be infinite; where a Garrison must be kept complete however difficult or Expensive, which cannot Act above Five Months in the Year and the other seven totally useless and undisciplined, and by Idleness Drunkenness and irregularity rendered unfit for future service; add to this that, perhaps no Island in the World abounds with more Harbours than Newfoundland, all of which to be properly fortified, would require a much greater Expence than the whole Benefit of the Fishery would defray Those Harbours which are best fortified by nature, ought certainly to be made the Refuge and Rendezvous of the Shipping and not any from its Centrical situation answers in this respect, and for this use, so well as St. John's, which at a small Expence may, and I hope is now making, sufficiently defensible against shipping, and while our Fleet main-

p. 1085


Article (14th)
   You are not to permit the Subjects of any foreign Prince or State whatever, to carry on any Commerce with the said Indians, and to use your best endeavours to conciliate their Affections and to induce them to Trade with our Subjects reporting to Us, by one of our: Principal Secretaries of State, the best accounts you can obtain of the number of


tains its superiority, it ought not to be apprehended that any Force will be suffered to Land upon any of the habitable part of it, but what the Inhabitants and a very small Garrison will be able to repel or at least to resist during the short season of a possiblity of carrying on any Military Operations in this Country.
   There is not at present the least appearance of a necessity for any other Fort on the Coast of Labrador than what is already at Chateaux, which ought to be on a better Establishment—and I beg leave to propose,
   First, That the Fort, which is on a good Plan, should be certain of having Annually its necessary repairs, as likewise Boats.
   2dly The Officers and Men to be Volunteers, and to stay there the time, or term of each Governor, under whose Orders they receive the Command of it.
   3dly That there should be some gratuity allowed the Officers, as well as more Provisions of all species to them and the Men; for during the cold Weather (vizt.) Seven Months Ships allowance of Provisions is not sufficient; and the Men should be allowed some encouragement for wooding, such as shoes, Jacket and Frock.

   I am sure none of the Subjects of any foreign Prince or State whatever have had any intercourse or Commerce with the Indians or Savagesects since my Government; few or none of them are now seen upon the Island of Newfoundland, and but few upon that part of the Coast of Labrador frequented by our Shipping. For the Trade carried on with those on the Coast of Labrador, See Art. 25th.
       *      *      *      *

p. 1086


the said Indians, the places they frequent, the nature and extent of the commerce that is, or may be carried on with them; and how the same may, in your Opinion, be further extended and improved.
       *      *      *

Article (17th)
   You are likewise to enquire and report to Us, by one of our Principal Secretaries of State, what is the Extent of the Coast of Terra Labrador, under your Government.

Article (18th)
   What is the nature of the Soil and Climate? What are its natural or improved productions? Whether any, and, if any, what parts thereof are adapted to Inhabitancy ?


   The Island of Resolution lies in Latd 65° 44´ N° Longde 66° 26´ Wt., Burton's Isles lies in Latd. 60° 30´ No. Longde. 66° 26´ Wt. these Two Islands forms the Entrance of Hudson's Streights. From Burton's Isles to Cape Charles (or the Island off Cape Charles) lying in Lat. 52° 15´ No. Longde. 55°: 00 Wt. the Coast extends to the So. Et. or So. 37° 23´ Et., 208 Leagues: and from Cape Charles thro' the Streights of Belleisle to St. John's River, lying in Latd. 50° 35´ No. Longde. 61° 56´ Wt. 92 Leagues; so that it appears the Coast of Labrador, or from the Entrance of Hudson's Streights to St. John's River, that empties itself nearly opposite to the West End of the Island of Anticosti, is 300 Leagues.

   There is little or no Soil on the Coast of Labrador, and many Leagues a barren and mountaineous Rock; the Climate is very Cold from the month of November to May, and very intense when there are Snow Drifts, or Snow Storms. There are no Natural Productions, except the several species of Pine, Spruce and Birch; some shrubbery, such as Currants and Rasberries. No kind of Improved productions, nor no part fit for Inhabitancy, without a Supply of every sort of Provisions.

p. 1087


Article (19th)

   What are the principal Rivers, Bays or Harbours, their Situation and Capacity? and what convenience do they Afford either for Navigation or Fishery?

Article (20th)

   What is the nature and extent of the different Fisheries carried on upon that Coast; whether of Whales, Seals, Sea-Cows, or any other Species?


   There are several Rivers between Brador and the Bay of St. Louis none of them navigable; within Cape Charles, and the Small Islands near it, there are several places Ships may Anchor in safety. In St. Louis's Bay and Forteau Bay, Ships might Anchor Red Bay and Temple Bay are safe places, but Chateaux or Pitt's Harbour is the largest and best for ships to lye in. There are salmon in all the Rivers, but in what Quantity is not certain, the greatest number that have been as yet caught, was at Cape Charles and Bay of St. Louis, where a Salmon Fishery is carried on; the other Rivers are very shoal and so much blocked up with loose Rocks, that Nets cant be set without disadvantage. A Cod Fishery might and has been carried on by the French at almost all the places along the Coast. In regard to Davis's Inlet, there is no Person on the Coast can give any account of it.

   There is a great plenty of Cod Fish to Bay of St. Louis, and likewise several Posts or places for setting of Nets for catching of Seals; from the River of St. John's to the Bay of St. Louis many of which are occupied. Whales pass thro the Streights of Belleisle to the Eastward in the Spring of the Year and several Vessels from New England are fitted and come every Year early in the Spring to catch Whale, and if they do not meet with Success in the Streights, they proceed to the Northward, or sometimes off the Western Islands, or go a Cod Fishing on the Banks to the Southward, as it will not answer the Owners of any Vessel to fit out for Whaling only. There are no Sea Cows on this Coast.



Partnered Projects Government and Politics - Table of Contents Site Map Search Heritage Web Site Home