[Colonel] J. Gibson; 8 June, 1697
Extract from Letter to Board of Trade [from St. John's]
Great Britain, PRO, Colonial Office,
CO 194/1 (81), 159v.
CNS microfilm. Transcribed by P.E. Pope.
...There has been several of the inhabitants, both from Conception and Trinity Bay as far as Bonavista, which is the northmost plantation his Majesty's subjects has, but can hear of nothing but destruction from them all, for nothing escaped the barbarous fury of the enemy, but Bonavista and the little island of Carbonear. The last defended themselves bravely, and I am of the opinion was partly the reason that the enemy did not go so far as Bonavista. To the southward of this, there was not an inhabitant left but two or three in the Bay of Bulls [Bay Bulls] and two at Brigus by South [Brigus South] and from that to Trepassey, which is the southmost of the English plantations, there is not a living soul left, yea not at Ferryland, which was always looked upon, as I am told, to be the best harbour and the pleasantest place in the whole Island. However, I intend, whenever we have secured this harbour [St. John's], to go to Ferryland with part of my regiment to secure that also, which possibly may encourage the people to come and settle there again and there are several other places to the southwards of that, which in my humble opinion ought to be secured, and I am afraid if we do not the enemy will -- before next spring, if a happy peace do not prevent it.