[Enclosure in No. 1477.]
REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF CROWN LANDS AS TO EXACT GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION OF WOODY ISLAND, 10 OCT., 1860.8
Department of Crown Lands,
Quebec, 10th October, 1860.
The only exhibit of the coast of Labrador, upon which any certain knowledge of the exact geographical position of the Island known as “ Isle au Bois,” can be safely and satisfactorily relied, is the hydrographical chart, better known as Captain Bayfield's Chart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Strait of Belle Isle, published in sheets by the Admiralty of England in 1843.
According to this chart (sheet No. 1) “ Isle au Bois,” called on the chart “ Wood Island ” (which is in fact a translation from the French word “ bois ” into the English one “ wood ”), is situated on the northerly coast of the western outlet of the Strait of Belle Isle from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and adjacent to that part of the coast of Labrador, well known as the Basin or Harbour of “ Anse au Blanc Sablon.”
The island in its general configuration, is much in the shape of a rightangled triangle, its northern or longest side bearing nearly due north-west and south-east. The apex of the triangle being at the north-west extremity of the island, leaving a channel of about half of a marine mile between it and the main land, whilst at its south-eastern extremity or easternmost point, bearing nearly south-south-west from the easternmost point of the Bay of “ Anse au Sablon,” a broad channel of about two miles opens upon the Strait of Belle Isle.
The geographical position of the above external boundaries of Wood Island, more especially as regards its eastern extremity as relative to the geographical position of the eastern boundary of the Province, to be hereinafter referred to, may be set down, according to Captain Bayfield's said chart, as follows :—
8 Return and Supplementary Return to House of Commons (Can. 1868), pp. 5-18; File No. 1778 (1874), Dept. of Justice, Can. ; File No. 1655 (1860), Secretary of State, Canada.
Now, agreeably to the Imperial Act, 6 Geo. IV., chap. 59, clause whereby certain parts of the coast of Labrador and adjacent islands a reannexed to Lower Canada, and wherein it is enacted
“ that so much the said coast as lies to the westward of a line to be drawn due north an. south from the Bay or Harbour of ' Anse au Sablon,' inclusive, as far as the 52nd degree of north latitude, with the Island of Anticosti and all other islam adjacent to such part, as last aforesaid, of the coast of Labrador, shall and the same are hereby reannexed to make a part of the said Province Lower Canada,” &c., the eastern limit or boundary of the Province, so as ta include the Bay of “ Anse au Sablon,” would properly lie at the southernmost point of that part of the Coast of Labrador, situate between the said Bay or Harbour of “ Anse au Sablon,” and the small bay called “ St. Clair ” lying east of said “ Anse au Sablon,” as shewn on the chart, wherefrom a line being drawn due north to the 52nd parallel of latitude, all the territory to the west of said line pertains to Canada, whilst all or any islands lying west of a line drawn due south from the aforesaid southernmost point or eastern limit of the Bay of Anse au Sablon,” being adjacent to such part of the territory of the Province on the coast of Labrador, also, of right belong to Canada, and form part of the District of Saguenay in Lower Canada.
Referring again to Bayfield's Chart, the easternmost point of the Bay or Harbour of Anse au Sablon, identical with the southernmost point of that part of the coast of Labrador lying between “ Anse au Sablon ” and the Bay adjoining on the east, appears so clearly defined as to admit of its geographical position being set down from the chart as lying in latitude 51° 25' 5” north and. in longitude west from Greenwich 57° 8' 15”. Whence a line drawn due south towards the sea will pass 1' 20” of arc (equal to about 1,700 yards) to the eastward of the easternmost point of
“ Isle au Bois,” which places that island geographically within the jurisdiction of this Province, as shewn on the annexed plan.
All which is respectfully submitted.
P. M. VANKOUGHNET,
Commissioner Crown Lands.
I have to explain and ask to be excused that the Statute of 6th Geo. 4th was not referred to by me in my former Report on which His Excellency based his Dispatch to His Grace the Colonial Secretary. I had overlooked it, feeling that the case in favour of Canada was, on the partial examination which I had then made, sufficiently strong.
P. M. V.
[following p. 3962]