The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume VI

[7 May, 1836.]

Vol. 1292.



[16 Aug., 1836]

[10 Sept., 1836]

Vol. 1292

p. 2790

No. 1112.


Lachine, 7th May, 1836.
John Sievright, Esq.,
With reference to the different verbal communications we have had on the affairs of the Montreal Department, I beg to call your attention to a few points which will require particular notice—
The Gov r. & Committee have determined on meeting the opposition that has recently been commenced at Esquimaux Bay by Stuart of Quebec acting it is said for himself and on behalf of some people in Boston, United States, with the view of encroaching on our trade with the Mingan Indians and anticipating us on the occupation of the back country situated between Esquimaux & Ungava Bays and to that end an expedition consisting of Mr. McGillivray, the gentleman appointed to the charge thereof, two clerks and twelve men is to be fitted out this season with a sufficient quantity of trading goods, provisions &c. which you will forward as early in the season as possible, say in the course of the month of May. . . . . The goods ordered from England will be brought from Quebec by one of the first vessels of the season and you have no doubt provided the provisions and other supplies required, as that I am in hopes that Mr. McGillivray may get away before the close of May which is very desirable in order that he may have time to arrange his plans for the winter to erect his buildings and attend to all his preparatory measures before the close of the season. A batteau with rigging complete may be provided from Mingan and material for building are* other likewise, bark, wattap & c. and I have suggested the propriety of Mr. McGillivray crossing over by land from Mingan with a couple of Indian guides and four men in two or three small canoes in order that he may require* a knowledge of the country and have time to look about him at Esquimaux Bay before the arrival of the vessel.
I am very anxious that this expedition should be well fitted out and provided with every requisite for an animated contest and that it should be despatched as early in the season as possible (certainly not latter than the middle of June) in order that Mr. McGillivray may have time to acquire information respecting the country, trade and natives and to erect his buildings and make other preparatory arrangements before the favourable

p. 2791

season for such work draws to a close. Let Mr. McGillivray be provided with a copy of the agreement entered into by Mr. Keith with Lampson in regard to the trade of Esquimaux Bay and of Mr. Taylor's legal opinion that that agreement with Lampson is not binding on the Company now that Lampson is no longer connected with the business nor would it be binding on them even had the business been still in Lampson's hands as the interference with our Mingan trade was a breach of contract on their side liberating us from its engagement. . . . .

No. 1113.

16th August, 1836.

... ... ... ... “The accounts of Ruperts River District are not yet closed, but I am apprehensive they will show a falling off in the Trade, there being a material reduction in the quantity of Furs as compared with that of the preceding year. This has arisen from a variety of causes, but mainly from the absence of a number of Indians who have crossed over towards Ungava and others who have pushed their way across the height of Land (separating the waters that pass through the Honble. Company's territory from those that fall into the St. Lawrence and Esquimaux Bay) and traded their hunts with some of our own people, belonging to the King's Posts and with the opposition at Esquimaux Bay—and I regret to say that the upper parts of the District suffer much from the encroachments of Abenikie trappers and traders, who cross over from the S. Maurice. We have frequently warned those people off and I have this season considered it advisable to instruct C. T. Miles to use the best endeavours to seize any Furs that may be found in their possession, as the most effectual means of checking such encroachments. The Posts now occupied in the District are Ruperts House and East Main on the Coast, and inland, Mistassiny, Temiscamay, Waswonaby, Michiskan, Pike Lake, Nichiquon and Caniapiscaw. The Post of Pike Lake has of late barely collected furs enough to cover its expense, and it is thought it may be vacated without injury to the trade or inconvenience to the Natives, as they can be divided between the posts of Mistassiny and Waswonapy; I have therefore authorised the abandonment of that establishment next spring, and in order to bring back some of the Indians who have gone to Ungava and are likely to fall into the hands of the

p. 2792

Esquimaux Bay opposition ; likewise in order to give another chance to the Esquimaux who occupy the Coast North of Richmond Gulph of doing some thing in the Oil trade I have instructed Mr. Miles to establish a small post next summer at Whale River which I think is likely to be productive of some benefit.... ... ... ...”

(Extract from Sir G. Simpson's ltr. from Moose factory to Govr. & Committee. Book 1266, pp. 2 & 3.)

No. 1114.

Lachine, 10th Sept., 1836
Simon McGillivray, Esq.,
Dear Sir:—
I yesterday had the pleasure of receiving your favors of 5th and 16th July with the accompanying papers and am glad to hear you reached your destination in sufficient time to make the necessary preparatory arrangements for the winter. . . . .The trade with the Indians I wish particularly to be watched closely & protected & that every endeavour should be used to prevent the opposition from obtaining a footing in the interior.
The Planters I understand pick up a good many skins; it is desirable you would get as many of these as possible in barter for goods, provisions and other supplies ; you will likewise take oil, seal skins & any other marketable article of which you may be a judge & know the value at as cheap a price as possible, to be paid for in goods, provisions &c. out of your outfit, but we cannot make any money or cash transactions' of any kind in the way of trade as our operations must be entirely confined to barter as in other parts of the Indian country.
Your family have not yet arrived from the interior nor can they be here before the Tadousac sails for Mingan so they must remain until next summer, when they will be sent down by the earliest conveyance.
With esteem, &c.,



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