island

COLONIAL

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Inhabitants of Cape Breton : Complaints against the Officers of the Government,
Particularly the Attorney General, transmitted July 1788

Transcribed by Janice Fralic-Brown

 

My Lord,

        The very unfortunate predicament in which we find ourselves and the extreme distress of our situations obliging us to Point our Attentions and Applications in every direction from whence we can hope for Relief leads us to apprize your Lordship that we have the Strongest reasons to believe that we have been or shall be Invidiously and injuriously represented to your Lordship and no means left unattempted to Justify the Conduct of the Principal Officers of His Majesty’s Government in th Province against whom we have the strongest matters of oppressions and complaint to make and particularly against His Majesty’s Attorney General [Mathews] to whose ambition and machinations, neglect of Duty and General insults we attribute the greater part of those mischiefs which have all along tended and daily continues to depopulate this Settlement and who publickly wishes that we should be all obliged to follow those gone before us. ---

        But not thinking it proper to trouble your Lordship in the first Instance, We have preferred? And shall embrace the earliest opportunity of presenting a Minute detail of them before My Lord Dorchester nothing doubting but that your Lordship will from him receive a Just information of the Statement of our grievances and probably accompanied with his own Sentiments thereon and thus apprized we are confident on your Lordships known Justice that nothing decisive in your Lordship can take place untill the accused parties are heard whoever may happen to be the first Complainants.

        But with certainty and Candour we can and do assure your Lordship that of the present officers and the measures and conduct which they pursue are to be continued and their systems become established by His Majesty’s approbation. With the Utmost distress and mortification we must abandon even the wreck of our Small Fortunes and three year’s Labour to seek an Asylum more congenial to a British Constitution to the enjoyment of which from birth rights we claim a modest pretention.

We are Sydney, 23 April 1788Your Lordships

Most obedient and

most humble Servants

John Smith
C. Cope
Robert Richardson
Wm Brown
William Thompson
Smith Woodruff
Robert Anderson
Noah Morris
Archibald Forrest
Thos Jenner
John O’Brien
Robt. Graham
Edw. Hickey
Joseph Williams
Joseph Bartlett
James Holt
Michael Diear
Gregory Grant
Donald McGilviry
Frans Owens
Thomas Buchanan
Wm Smith Ambrose Boole
Jesse Richards
Nichs. Deane
Wm Deane
[unintelligible]
Daniel Watson
Charles Grant
Alexdr Haire
Jas. Rundle?

Transcriber’s Note: Not surprisingly, nineteen of the thirty-one names on this list are members of the "Friendly Society".

Source: Colonial Correspondence, Cape Breton: CO 217, Vol. 105, p. 180-181

 

 

 

Contributed by Janice Fralic-Brown
Page written 4 April 1999
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