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No. 645.

AFFIDAVIT OF W. J. CARSON.



In the Privy Council.

IN THE MATTER of the BOUNDARY between       the   DOMINION   of   CANADA   and   the       COLONY  of   NEWFOUNDLAND  in  the       LABRADOR   PENINSULA.



      I, WILLIAM JAMES CARSON, Manager of the Hudson's Bay Company's Office at St. John's, Newfoundland, make oath and say as follows:

      1.  I spent eight years in Labrador, as a Junior official of the Company, beginning about 22 years ago—four years at Northwest River, and four years at Rigolet.

      2.  I was at Northwest River about the time the Quebec Government claimed the timber areas there. The Canadian steamer Montcalm came there one summer with a party of surveyors, etc., who stayed all the next winter and marked all the logs they found with the letters “P.Q.,” to signify they belonged to Quebec.

      3.  Dickie and Company, a Nova Scotia concern, was then operating at Mud Lake, or Grand Village. At this place there were about eight or ten white or half-breed families, mostly trappers, while other trappers were settled around Northwest River. Trapping was the principal industry, but some of the men worked at lumbering after this began. The mail from Rigolet to Northwest River and Grand Village was brought by a motor boat, the Newfoundland Government paid for the same. I was the first postmaster for the Newfoundland Government at Northwest River, serving two years in that capacity.

      4.  Indians came out to Northwest River from the interior every winter, usualy about Christmas time and stayed for a time, trading their

p. 1590

furs for supplies of foodstuffs, clothing, ammunition, etc. There were about 30 or 40 families of these Indians. They roamed the interior, usually visiting St. Augustine, on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in the summer, and Northwest River in the winter. These were Montagnais, the Nascopies, as a rule, coming out at Davis Inlet, farther North.

      5.  So far as I know the only people who went Inland were the Indians and the trappers. The latter would go long distances in, possibly 150 miles. They sometimes went almost to the height of land. They considered themselves, so far as I know, in Newfoundland territory wherever they went, and subject to the Newfoundland Game Laws.

      6.  The Hudson's Bay Company's posts in Labrador acted as Agencies for the Newfoundland Government in relieving distress among the residents whenever this existed. Such cases would be in winter mostly, and the chief officer at the post would give supplies of food to the needy at his discretion, requiring them to give labor in return for it, by cutting timber in the woods nearby and using it to build boats or “flats” (a sort of scow), or saw it into lumber, and the next summer the Relieving Officer for the Newfoundland Government, who travelled up and down the coast in the mail boat, would examine our accounts and certify them for payment and then sell the boats, flats and lumber to those requiring the same, thereby partly, if not entirely, reimbursing the Government for the relief outlay.

      7.  The tide comes right up to the post at Northwest River where it rises and falls about four feet at that place, but it runs up into Grand Lake for about 15 miles farther up, and its changes are plainly seen there.

W. J. CARSON.  

SWORN at St. John's, Newfoundland,
   this 18th day of June, 1926.

        JOHN MCCARTHY, J.P.,
                    Clerk of the Peace

[1927lab]

 

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