MEMORIAL, 14 MAY, 1785, OF THOS. DUNN,
WM. GRANT AND PETER STUART,
PRAYING FOR A RENEWAL OF THEIR LEASE FOR TEN YEARS.
ARCHIVES OF CANADA, SERIES Q VOL. 24, p. 338 (in LIEUT.-GOVERNOR HAMILTON'S DISPATCH, 26 MAY, 1785.)
To the Honorable Henry Hamilton Esquire Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of Quebec &ca.
The Memorial of Thomas Dunn, William Grant and Peter Stuart Esqrs. Lessees of the Posts of the Kings Domain, situated on the North side of the River Saint Lawrence.
That Your Memorialists became possessed of the Right to the trade with the Indians at the Kings Posts in Virtue of Lease bearing date the Twentyeth day of September 1762. That since that period they have been at very great charge & trouble in supporting their trade and in their Care of Indians, residing in and near and resorting to the said Domain and Posts.
That at their sole expense, they have carefully attended to, supported and maintained the Aged, and Infirm, the Widows and Orphans ; the distressed Indians residing on the King's Domain have been relieved and supported by your Memorialists, without becoming a burthen or Expence to Government, and which Your Honor must be sensible is not the case with any tribe of the Indians in the Province except those above mentioned, and this they have done without Obligatory Conditions expressed in their Lease, and by it they hoped to have Obtained the most Ample protection when in their Occupancy, and the favor of the Crown to continue its Lessees on a renewed Lease when the first expired.
His Majesty is pleased by the Terms of Your Memorialists Lease to assure to them a peaceable, Secure and uninterrupted enjoyment of the benefit of their situation in Trade as His Lessees, they have been permitted to remain on the Domain as Lessees for five Years after the expiration of their Lease, and they have supported the Indians during the late Rebellion & War, without expense to the Crown, and it was with reason they claimed a merit to its favour in continueing Lessees, upon a renew'd lease, so soon as Public tranquility was restored to the Province.
Your Memorialists beg your Honor to believe, what they can support with full testimony, that during the late Rebellion, they were not only interrupted in their Commerce by the frequent and almost continual depredations of American Armed Vessels, and their Crews, but they have been plundered of their property to a Sum exeeeding Three thousand Pounds Sterling, they however remained in possession, performed the Conditions of their Old Lease, and supported the Indians, in the dayly expectation of Peace, and in the firm relyance on the Political Justice of Government, and the favour and regard of His Majesty- in continueing their possession by a renewed and long Lease.
Your Memorialists, as consequent to their possession, claim, and expectations, were under the Necessity to keep a Constant and Sufficient quantity of Goods and Provisions at the Posts to Supply the Wants of the Indians, and prevent their Occasioning that trouble & Expence to the Crown, that all other Tribes have done in this Province ; those Objects Your Memorialists pursued & these Services performed to Government at the risque of their Own Ruin, in effect to a very Considerable loss & distress, after the expiration of their Lease.
Your Memorialists pray that Your Honor will take into Consideration their Situation and their reasonable rights to Petition His Majesty for a Renewal of their Lease, as a Justice clue to their sufferings & Losses, and claim to the Kings favor for their Services.
That Your Honor will be pleased to Grant unto Your Memorialists, a renewal of the Lease of the said posts for One Year, from the first day of October next, and for Nine Years afterwards if the same should not meet His Majesty's disapprobation, to be signified by the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury. And that Your Honor will do Justice to their prayer & Claims, by that representation of their Situation & Petition, which reason & Merit may entitle them to expect with Justice from His Majesty's Government, under Your Honors Command.
And Your Petitioners shall as in duty bound
(Sign'd) THOMS. DUNN
DAVID ALEX. GRANT Atty. to
Quebec 14th May 1785.
Endorsed : Copy. Memorial of THOMAS DUNN, WILLIAM GRANT and PETER STEWART Esqrs.
Praying for a renewal of their Lease of the Posts of the King's Domaine. 14th May 1785, Quebec. No. 1. In Lt. Govr. Hamilton's of 26 May 1785.