DOCUMENTS RELATIVE TO THE BOUNDARY OF THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S TERRITORY WITHIN THE LABRADOR PENINSULA.
EXTRACTS FROM CHARTER OF HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, 1670.
Vide Vol. II at pp. 367-370
MEMORIAL OF THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR AND THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY'S ANSWER, 1682.
HUDSON BAY COMPANY'S RECORDS.
The 24 January 1682 at a Committee
Ordered the Secretary coppey faire out into the Coppey book of Lrs. outward the French Ambassendors memoriall exhibited agst. the Company, with ye answer thereunto prepared by Sr James Hayes.
Extrait d'une Lettre de Mr de Labarre, Gouverneur de Canada du 11 Novembr 1682.
Du coste du Nord il y a une Compagnie en Angleterre pour la traitte de la Baye d'Hudson qui commence a faire des habitations dans les terres dont le Roy nôtre maître a pris possession depuis plus de vingt ans. Je ne troubleray point son commerce de la Mer, mais s'ils avancent comme ils font le Mechante petite forte dans les terres du Roy pour debaucher nos Indiens, je les en fairay chasser, ce qui me sera aise estante fort foibles, mais je seray bien aise qui sa Majeste Britanique seache que je ne veux rien faire qui luy puisse deplaire que quand iy seray forcé &c.
May it please your Majesty.
Soe the Governour & Committee of the Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudsons Bay have by your Majestys gratious allowance seene & perused an extract of a late letter from Mons. Dela Barre to the present Governour of Canada wch hath been delivered by the French Ambassador as a memoriall of complainte. That the Hudsons Bay Company did begin to make habitations and to erect forts upon the Land within the said Bay, of which he assumes that the King his Master hath taken possession above 20 years since, in which course if they proceed, he threatens to drive them out of the country by force, But desires that your Majesty should be advertised that he is not willing to doe anythinge which may displease except he be forced thereunto whereupon your Majesty having commanded us, who have the Goverment of the affaires of the said Company, to give an acct. of their title and pretence to the said Bay and to the lands & territories thereaboute & to the Trade & commerce which they have with the Indians
We doe in all humility represent to your Majesty that the Subjects of your Imperiall Crowne, have for above 100 years last past discovered and frequented the said Bay & the Rivers, Islands and Territorys thereabouts years frequented and from time to time in the reignes of severall of your Royall Predecessors have taken possession of severall places there, & that none of the subjects of his most Christian Majesty have ever bin knowne to sayle or traffique English. within the sd. Bay.
That above 15 yeares since some Members of this Company did adventure to make further Discoveryes within the said Bay and by the good conduct of one Zachary Gillam in the Nonsuch Ketch, they Discovered a river in the bottom of the sd. Bay upon the East Maine, where he met with ye native Indians & having made a League of Friendship with ye Capt. of the said River & firmely purchased both the river itselfe & the Lands thereaboute, he gave it the name of Rupert River (his Highness Prince Rupert being principally concerned in that expedition) and built a Fort which in honours of your Majesty was called Charles Fort & tooke possession of the said River & all the Land & Territory thereaboute in the name of your Majesty & then and there entered into a Trade & Commerce with the Natives which hath bin ever since maintained without any Interruption either from ye French or others.
That there upon your Majesty was gratiously pleased by ye Royall Ltrs. Pattente under the great scale of England to Incorporate the said Adventurers & so gain them & their Successors forever all the said Bay & the Straits leading there unto called Hudsons Straits with all the Lands and Territories, Rivers & Islands in and aboute the said Bay and the sole Trade and commerce there.
That the above mentioned agreemt made by Zachary Gillam with the Indians was afterwards repeated and confirmed by one Charles Baily who was sent as Governor of the affaires of the Company within the said Bay with whome Mons. Fontenae who was then Governour of Canada by his letters bearing date 8th Octob. 1673 did concilliate a good Intelligence & amity without complaining of any Injury done by the Company in building Forts & makeing
settlements & commerce there or without being any preference to the land thereaboute as Mons. de la Barre his successors hath now done.
That since that time we have erected other Forts upon ye coast of the said Bay, in places more remote from Canada than Charles Forte is, still makeing solemne compacte and agreement with the Natives for their Rivers & Territories, where we have wth great expence discovered and maintained a Trade & commerce which we hope will in tyme turne to our benefitt & also produce a considerable emolument to your Majesty & the nation wherefore we Doubt not but by your royall authority and protection the Company which hath been of your Majestys creation shall be enabled to defend your Majestys undoubted Rights & their owne within the said Bay where in never any nation but the Subjects of your Imperiall Crowne have made discovery or have any commerce
All which is humbley submitted to your Majestyes gratious consideration and Royall pleasure by your sacred Majestyes most dutifull Loyall Subjects.
By Commande of his Royall Highness the Governour & the Committee of the said Compy.
ONESIPHORUS ALBIN, Secretary.