p. 1469                                          N

No. 538.



Report of R. J. Pinsent, Esq., Judge of the Court of Labrador, 1871, to His Excellency Col. C. J. Hill, C.B., Governor of Newfoundland, etc., etc.

St. John's,                         
December 30th, 1871.    
      I have the honour to make my report to Your Excellency on my proceedings and observations at Labrador during my circuit this year.

      We were detained there [L'Anse a Loup] by ice, until the 21st [June], when we succeeded in getting to Blanc Sablon, which is the southern boundary or our Labrador territory.
      From thence we proceeded north as far as Hamilton Inlet, touching at the principal settlements on our way.
      On the 26th August, we returned south and on the 6th October, sailed from Red Bay for St. John's, where we arrived on the 15th of the same month.
      During the period we were at Labrador we were continually cruising about, visiting the various harbours and settlements on the coast and attending to such business of law and revenue as came within the scope of our several departments and duties.

      The legal cases brought before me during the circuit were:—
Four of debt,
Three of malicious injury,
One of Sureties of the peace,
One of killing goats and dogs,
One of title to land,
One of intestate estate,
Two of trespass of goods,
One of larceny,
One of bastardy,
One of affidavit of debt.
Twelve of examinations taken of witnesses in
    cases pending in the Supreme and Northern
    Circuit Courts.

p. 1470

      I am, while at Labrador, frequently applied to for information and advice in matters of a legal character, but which it is not necessary to treat formally.
      The conduct of the people resident and transient at Labrador, is generally peaceable and honest. Very few serious crimes are committed. However, I believe that the presence of the Court annually has a salutary effect in preventing offences.
      The fisheries at Labrador last summer were on the whole good.

      The catch of salmon on the sea-board, was about an average; but in the great bays such as Sandwich and Hamilton Inlet, where that fishery is almost the only one carried on, the catch was not more than half the usual quantity.
      Education.  Four public schools were in operation this year at Labrador, viz:—

Place.Teacher.When in Operation.Number.Salary.
Matthew's Cove, 
Battle Harbor.
Mary Marshall.Summer only.  59  $24 
Cape Charles. Catherine Young. Summer only.3024 
Red Bay.John Bailey.Winter only.2224 
Pinware.Catherine O'Dell.Summer and winter.4648 

      The above are the numbers of scholars on the list, but their attendance is variable. I supplied these schools with books and paid the salaries of the teachers. I distributed educational books to the resident inhabitants of the coast, by whom they are highly valued and used well for the purpose of instruction in their families.
      The medicines placed by the Government at my disposal I dispensed to all who required them. I am sure they were of great service to the people, and by them greatly appreciated.
      The Mail Service for Labrador, introduced by the Government last summer, was doubtless of great utility and convenience generally to the merchants and fishermen engaged in the trade and fisheries of that coast; but I know that the mercantile house at Blanc Sablon, the southern extremity of our territory and the Hudson Bay Company at Rigoulette, Hamilton Inlet in the North are dissatisfied that the postal steamer does not call on those places, as they are thus practically excluded from the advantages enjoyed by the rest of the, mercantile community.
      I would respectfully call the attention of the Government to this subject, as I think that these establishments are entitled to great consideration, for one half of the whole revenue collected at Labrador is paid by them. I believe from my local knowledge of Labrador, that it is quite practicable to arrange the Mail Steamers Service so as to call at those places in the course of her rounds.

p. 1471

      I was requested to bring this matter under the notice of the Government. The general condition of the trade and fisheries at Labrador last season was an improvement on that of some previous years, and the collection of revenue greater in amount than had ever before been realised.

I have the honour etc.,
(Signed)    ROBERT JOHN PINSENT,       
Judge of the Court of Labrador.   



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