MR. BLADEN TO MR. DELAFAYE.*
Paris, November ye 7th, 1719, N.S.
I was not a little surprized to see the copy of a deposition from Barbadoes this morning in my Lord Stair's hands, relative to the actual seisure of Santa Lucia, by ye French, especially after the answer I had receiv'd from the Abbé Dubois, upon that subject, but it seems he was very little informed of the state of this matter, for the Regent, with whom my Lord Stair had a conversation about it this morning, avows the fact, and says the Marechal d'Estrées assured him the French had a constant possession and an undoubted right to ye said island, by treaty.
On Saturday last, my Lord Stair and I met Marechal d'Estrées and Abbé Dubois. Our time was spent in preparatory discourses concerning the intent of the 10th Article of the Treaty of Utrecht, relating to the boundaries of Hudson's Bay ; and at our next meeting, which will be to-morrow, at my Lord Stair's house, we design to give in the claim of the Hudson's Bay Company, in writing, with some few additions pretty material for their service, in case the Abbé Dubois his health will allow him to be there, which I fear it will not, for he is confined at present to his bed. . . .
But I confess, I cannot help thinking it will be to very little purpose to puzzle ourselves about settling boundaries, by treaty, in the North of America, if the French have so concise a way of fixing theirs in the South, without asking our concurrence ; it is to be hoped they will have the modesty to recede from this new acquisition, but in the meantime I cannot help saying this gives me no very good relish either of their friendship or discretion. . . .
I cannot leave this subject without observing how much it imports us to be upon our guard in our American Colonys. It were to be wished that the several Governments of his Majesty's plantations would pay the respect they owe to their instructions, and if those of Barbados for some time past had observed theirs, relating to Santa Lucia, the settlement of a hundred French families there could never have been put upon us at this day as a proof of their right to that island.
* Reprinted from Joint Appendix of Documents, Ontario–Manitoba Boundary Case (P.C.), p. 510.