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JUDGE SWEETLAND'S LABRADOR CIRCUIT REPORT, 1865.
COLONIAL OFFICE RECORDS 197/41. JOURNAL OF THE
ASSEMBLY, NEWFOUNDLAND. Appendix.
Report of Judge Sweetland, of his visit upon the Labrador circuit during the summer of 1865.
15th September, 1865.
Having proceeded in this vessel on the Labrador circuit in company with the Collector, Sub-Collector and broker of H.M. Customs, we arrived on the coast the 3rd June, but were unable to land at Blanc Sablon until the 8th, the harbour being blocked up with ice. During the passage from thence north, a great many harbours were visited and revisited without anything being brought before the Court that requires any comment; the people were orderly and quiet.
On the subject of schools, one has been set going at Pinware under Mrs. Catherine Odell, a Roman Catholic, of which I have good hopes from her usual energy and ability.
One, for the summer, at Cape Charles, under Mrs. Young, and also one at Venison Tickle, under Mrs. Courtis. These two ladies are from Conception Bay and return to it in the winter.
In Red Bay no person suitable could be found. The residents professing their willingnes to assist, I left the matter in their hands, under the guidance of the Revd. Mr. Dobie. The account of births must necessarily by very imperfect, every information being furnished from memory or hearsay. Deaths being very few are comprised thus:—
Three persons killed by accidental discharge of guns,
Two persons committed suicide,
One died from old age.
Except in Battle Harbor Mission, no record is kept.
I left the forms to be filled up and returned at the end of the year.
The list of marriages will be still shorter, there being few licensed persons to perform the ceremony, and parties not being over particular whether any ceremony is performed or by whom is it performed. Some sort of agreement takes place, which is generally respected, and does not lead to any greater immorality. I hope a better state of things will be arrived at ere long.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) B. SWEETLAND, J.P.
To the Hon. John Beminster,