MEMORIAL OF DUNN AND GRANT, LESSEES OF THE KING'S POSTS, 22 OCTOBER, 1766.
ARCHIVES OF CANADA, SERIES Q, VOL. 3, pp. 318-325.
To the Hon'ble Members of His Majesty's Council appointed as a Committee to enquire into the present State of the posts of His Majesty's Domain.
The Memorial of the Lessees
Thomas Dunn & Wm. Grant.
Your Honors having thought proper to communicate to us a Memorial from Mr. Joseph Howard and others relative to the Posts of His Majesty's Domain, We beg leave to give you a Detail of what Occurs to us at present on that head, since the commencement of our Lease.
His Excellency Governor Murray granted to Thomas Dunn and John Gray, a Lease for a certain number of years of the Posts, formerly known in this Country by the Name of King's Posts or Domain, on several conditions which will more fully appear by the Lease.
His Majesty was pleased to issue His Royal Proclamation signifying His pleasure with Regard to North America, and enjoining that the Trade with the Indians described therein might be free and open to all His Subjects.
His Excellency Governor Murray in Council Issued a Proclamation (in consequence of that of the King last before mentioned) setting forth, “ That Hostilities were now ceased with the several Indian Nations, who lately appeared in Arms against His Majesty ; and a friendly Intercourse between His Majesty's Subjects and them thereby restored” : Publishes and declares, “ That the Trade with the Several Indian Nations living under His Majesty's Protection was free and open to all his Subjects, under the restrictions mention'd in the said Royal Proclamation.”
Messrs. Rotote & Launier Merchts in this City misunderstanding the above recited Proclamations applied to the Govr and Council “ For Liberty to Trade with the Indians of His Majesty's said Domain,” which His Excellency and Council thought proper to refuse : Nevertheless in order to gain time for knowing His Majesty's express commands respecting his said Domain, and also to prevent more applications untill his pleasure could be known, He requested the Lessees to write him the Memorial.
In consequence of which His Excellency the Governor inserted the advertisement, B, in the Quebec Gazette.
Messrs. Alsop & Co. Merchants (in this City) applied to Government for a permission to Trade with the Indians of His Majesty's Domain, which was refused ; they then desired a general Pass as given to His Majesty's other Subjects ; this they immediately obtained. At same time the Secretary of the Province by command of the Govr adverted to them, “ That they were strictly forbid and at their peril to Trade at the Posts of the King's Domain.
The acting Receiver General by express desire of His Excellency the Govr received the Rent of this year, and gave the Lessees his receipt for the same in the usual Form.
His Majesty's Receiver General Thomas Mills Esqr on receiving his Instructions from the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury wrote his Excellency Govr Murray and the then Acting Receiver General, “ That he was appointed to receive His Majesty's Revenues, and to take care of his Domain and Estates in Canada, And particularly to enquire and examine into the Lease made of the Posts of His Majesty's Domain to a Company of Merchants.
Your Memorialists and the acting Receiver General in Conjunction informed the Govr and Council “ That, notwithstanding the order signified to Messrs Alsop & Co. by the Secretary of the Province in October 1765, as above mentioned, * Mr. Edward Chinn had gone to the said Posts, traded with the Indians, to the great detriment of the Lessees, and without leave of Government, or that of the Lessees, had erected buildings at Chicoutimy ;” And farther, “ That at this very time they had entered at the Custom House Goods and Materials to build Houses, and desired the same to be cleared out for His Majesty's Domain.”
This the Collector and Comptroller will prove.
In consequence of the last aforesaid application ; His Excellency and Council intimated and Strictly forbid Mr. Alsop to Erect buildings on His Majesty's said Domain, which was signified to him by the Secretary of the Province.
Thomas Mills Esqr Receiver General arrived ; who, after having examined the said Lease, Published in the Gazette his advertisement, dated the 9th August, To the End that the Lessees might quietly and peaceably enjoy their Said Lease, and that His Majesty's Revenue might not suffer.
A Warrant was Issued by the Hon'ble Paulus Emilius Irving Esqr Commander in Chief of the Province in Council, ordering Peter Stuart Esqr (agent for the Lessees and Resident at the said Posts,) “ To take down and remove all Buildings, which were or should be erected by Messrs Alsop & Co. their Agents, or others, on His Majesty's said Domain.
One of your said Memorialists, to his great astonishment was informed by a Committee of His Majesty's Council then assembled, That a Warrant
had been granted to Mr. Alsop or his Associates to suspend the execution of the former Warrant given to Mr. (Stuart) Stuart.
Your Memorialists now beg leave to make such Remarks as Naturally Occur to them on this Occasion.
The Lessees continued uninterrupted in the enjoyment of their Lease from the date thereof 1762 untill Novr 1765, when Messrs Chinn & Co, contrary and in defiance of Government went to said Posts to Trade with the Indians, and to debauch their Morals by the Sale of Spirituous Liquors, Strictly forbid by an Ordinance of this Province.
Your Memorialists cannot conceive, that His Majesty's Proclamation in 1763, nor that of Govr Murray two years thereafter, in the least affects their Lease. It cannot be presumed, that the Lessees by their Memorials of March 1765 meant to hurt themselves, Nor that the Govr's advertisement of 14th of said Month could be with an Intent to lay open the posts, otherwise many of His Majesty's Subjects, besides Messrs Alsop & Co. would have taken advantage thereof : And the Acting Receiver General by Express Orders from the Governor would not, had that been the meaning of Government, have presumed to receive the Rent ; nor can it be supposed, that his Majesty has given up to the Public that part of His private Estate and Domain, when the Contrary evidently appears from the Advertisement published in the Gazette by the Receiver General aforesaid.
Your Memorialists never understood, that any past Action of Government was with an intent to annul their Lease ; on the contrary every step, untill the Suspension of the Warrant to Mr. Stuart was evidently with a View to protect the Lessees, who still hope and expect the Protection and Justice which their Lease entitles them to, as they have hitherto and always will carefully fulfill every Covenant & Condition thereof.
Your Memorialists have only now to Request, that your Honors will be pleased, after considering the above premises, to lay this Memorial before his Honor the Lieutt Governor in Council.
Quebec 22(d) Octobr 1766.
Endorsed : Copy of the Answer of Messrs Dunn & Grant to Mr. Howards Petition. 21 Octr 17 66.