GOVERNOR SHULDHAM TO SECRETARY OF STATE.
"Panther", St. John's,
13th September, 1773.
In my letter to you of the 26th June, I acquainted you for their Lordships' information, of my intention as soon as I had settled the operation of the squadron, and the causes depending in the courts of Justice, of visiting the coasts of Labrador and some other parts of my Government, from which service I returned to this place a few days ago; my first visitation was to the harbour of Croque on the North East part of this island where the subjects of France have a right to catch and cure their fish, and where I found them without any material complaint either of or from them; I then proceeded to Chateaux Bay on the coast of Labrador, and agreeable to their Lordships orders to me of the 12th of May last, I settled the different branches of the fisheries carried on there with all the impartiality in my power and I hope to the general satisfaction of the adventurers.
I have also in obedience to their Lordships' orders of the 12th May, given strict orders to the commander of the Cruizer stationed at the Magdalen Islands, to take the most effectual care for the support and protection of the establishment formed there by Mr. Read and for preventing the disorders and abuses complained of by him.
Immediately on my arrival here this year, I sent a very sensible officer of squadron in a small vessel, to explore that part of the coast of Labrador to the northward of the streights of Belle Isle, to visit the society of the Unitas Fratrum, settled there for the propagation of the Gospel amongst the savage inhabitants of that country, and to offer them any reasonable assistance they might stand in need of, for promoting the laudable object of their mission; and I have the satisfaction of informing you, that they have made great progress in civilizing and instructing those barbarous people, that they are obeyed, respected and beloved by them, and that they have no doubt, but that their undertaking will be attended with every public and commercial advantage expected by Government to be derived from it.
Herewith, Sir, I send you a short narrative of the observations of Mr. Curtis the officer I sent upon this service (No. 1) together with a copy of a letter (No. 2) from Captain Morris of his Majesty's sloop "Otter," stationed
on the coast of Labrador, representing his having seized, in obedience to the orders he was under, several French fishing boats which he found fishing at the island of Belle contrary to treaty.
On complaint having been made me some weeks ago by a French merchant employed at a fishery at a port about twenty leagues from hence, that some of our lawless and disorderly subjects who continue here the winter, had, in his absence destroyed his fishing room and other conveniences.
I sent a Lieutenant in a small vessel to find out the offenders, bring them to punishment and oblige them to make restitution for the injury they had committed, which I make no doubt he has effectually performed, a circumstance I only trouble you with, as an instance to their Lordships that no attention is or will be wanting to preserve the harmony and friendship subsisting between the two Crowns.
His Majesty's sloop the "Otter," having performed the service upon which she has been employed this season, I have ordered her captain to proceed forthwith to Portsmouth. Herewith I send you the state and condition of His Majesty's ship "Panther", and am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
No. 374. N
1773. REMARKS BY GOVERNOR SHULDHAM IN OBEDIENCE TO HIS INSTRUCTIONS.
See page 1083, infra.