THE STATE OF TRADE IN THE Northern Colonies Considered.


STATE OF TRADE IN THE Northern Colonies CONSIDERED; WITH An Account of their Produce, And a particular DESCRIPTION of NOVA SCOTIA.

Salutis communis interest.


LONDON Printed, 1748. Boston Re-printed, and sold by Thomas Fleet, at the Heart and Crown in Cornhill. 1749.



AS the following short Treatise was hastily wrote, it may probably appear incorrect to the judicious; but as the Design was to represent the Value and Importance of the Nor­thern Colonies to this Kingdom, I hope it will answer my Inten­tions of promoting the public Good.

Their Trade and Produce have not hitherto been properly encouraged, altho' their Utility may be easily comprehended; a small Bounty on the several rough Materials they are capable of raising, and shipping Home, would soon enable them to sup­ply the Nation with a Variety of Articles, in Return for its Manufactures, which are now purchased of Foreigners with Cash, and imported in their Ships.

The Settling of Nova Scotia will in a few Years render the present Inhabitants industrious and useful, whereby it may be justly accounted a most valuable Acquisition, which will be the more considerable, as the Conditions of its Settlement may be so advantageously calculated as to fill it without draining our Mother Country of its Inhabitants. For this Purpose I have described the Soil, Quality, and Manner of improving the several Parts of it from my own Observation, whereby it will appear how easily it may be effected at a very small Charge, compared with the Benefits that will naturally result from it.— But if they were doubtful, yet the Advantages the French might otherwise make of this Province, and the Want of an effectual Barrier for securing the Possession, Trade, and Fishery of the Northern Colonies against their Efforts in a future War, sufficiently demonstrate the Necessity of keep­ing it out of their Hands, without being diverted by the Con­sideration [Page vi]of the Expence; and this is the more obvious, and important, as they will always be exposed to the Attacks of the French, from the Neighbourhood of Cape Breton.

I must here beg the Reader's Indulgence for saying a Word in Support of my Remarks on that Island.

I am sensible that a high Opinion has been conceived of its Worth, and with good Reason, from the concurrent Accounts of both English and French Writers; but as the former have been principally copied from the latter, their Veracity may be fairly called in Question: This I have a Right to do, from the exactest Information I could obtain on the Spot, and I can safely appeal to the most intelligent Persons, who have re­sided there long enough to make proper Observations, to con­firm what I have advanced.

By fortifying Nova Scotia, by encouraging the Importa­tion of its Produce to be wrought up here, and promoting the Fishery in Time of Peace; by stationing a proper Naval Force there, and on the Coast of New-England in Time of War, this Kingdom may secure to itself all the Advantages that could have arose from the Possession of Louisbourg, at a less Expence than would have been requisite for keeping so large a Fortress in Repair, and defending it with a pro­per Garrison.

Settling of the Cape Sable Shore, will undoubtedly make a Winter's Cod-Fishery practicable, and may soon become more considerable than any that has ever been prosecuted, and as the Fish caught and cured in that Season exceeds all others, they will of course come to a better Market in all Parts of the World.

Otis Little.

THE STATE OF THE North-American Trade and Settlements, considered; With a particular ACCOUNT of NOVA SCOTIA.

GREAT-BRITAIN has enjoyed the Bene­fit of a most extensive Commerce, since the Discovery of America, which, if properly at­tended to, will contribute more to its future Interest, than any other Branches of Trade, by enlarging the Demand for all its Manufactures, and increasing the Means of its Naval Force.

That the Riches and Strength of this Nation depend principally on its Commerce with foreign Countries, and its own Colonies, is a Fact that needs no Illustration; it being equally true in Regard to all trading Kingdoms; for the Increase of Wealth and Power has generally been proportionate to the Englargement of their Trade, and [Page]History fully proves, that Ruin and Desolation have al­ways attended the Loss of it; the most flourishing are in­debted to it for their Grandeur, and the most opulent and powerful have been undone by the Neglect of it.

As every State in Europe seems desirous of increasing its Trade, and the Acquisition of Wealth enlarges the Means of Power, it is necessary, in order to preserve an Equality with them, that this Kingdom extends its Com­merce in proportion; but to acquire a Superiority, due Encouragement ought to be given to such of its Branches, as will most effectually enrich its Inhabitants.

As Trade enables the Subject to support the Admini­stration of Government, the lessening or destroying that of a Rival, has the same effect, as if this Kingdom had enlarged the Sources of its own Wealth; it is evident from hence, that it is not sufficient to support the Credit of a Country with its Neighbours, that its Commerce be enlarged only, unless its Increase be proportionate to theirs: But, as an Ascendency is to be gained by checking the Growth of theirs, as well as by the Increase of our own, whenever one of these happens to be the Consequence of the other to this Nation, its Figure and Reputation will rise to a greater Height than ever.

My Purpose being to shew how sar these good Effects may be produced by encouraging the North American Trade and Settlements, I shall confine myself to those Branches which are capable of the greatest Improvement.

That the Riches of a Country consists in the Number of its Inhabitants, is an Expression that drops from the Pen of every Writer; but it must always be understood, that those Inhabitants are properly employed, and suitably encouraged; for, otherwise, it would appear to be an odd Position, that a Country should be called rich, when it is only filled with Vagabonds and Beggars.

But when it is considered, that the Northern Colonies, in less than five Years, have lost above seven thousand of their most active and industrious Inhabitants by an un­common Ardour in exerting themselves for the public [Page]Good, besides a Habit of Idleness that has been contract­ed by a large Body, which has been long in Arms wait­ing for Employment; to which may be added three thou­sand more, who having entred on board his Majesty's Ships of War, and Privateers, are never like to return; their loss will appear almost invaluable, and not to be repaired but by replacing a much superiour Number of Men in the Country. From the apparent Connexion be­tween the Northern Colonies and the West Indies, and their joint Relation to this Kingdom, it is evident, that the Increase of Inhabitants in the former, will contribute more to the common Interest, than employing the like Number at Home. This, Mr. Wood in a Treatise on Trade, has demonstrated to be nearly in proportion of five to one; from whence it follows, that the before-mention­ed Loss is equal to that of fifty thousand Labourers and Artificers here; and in regard to those Colonies vastly exceeds the Grant lately made them by Parliament, as the Value of their Labour for three Years only would have been equal to that Sum; and notwithstanding a Jealousy has been frequently excited on account of their Growth, it will appear, that the Commerce and Naval Power of this Kingdom will greatly depend on their fu­ture Encouragement and Protection.

The Policy and Wisdom of a Covernment discovers itself in nothing more evidently, than by proportioning its Influences so as to support, and cherish the Circulation of Trade, and Manufactures, in its minute Parts, as well as its large and more opulent Members; the smaller Wheels in a Machine being as necessary to make it useful as the largest, and commonly require the nicest Skill of the Artificer in their Regulation: And without a due Regard be had in every State to the Trade of its Individuals, there is the greatest Danger of the weaker Parts being oppressed by the stronger; and whenever this happens, the Extremities are sure of being the first, and general­ly the greatest Sufferers, as by their Remoteness from the Vitals, they feel less of their Influences, and labour longest [Page 10]under their Distress; and although Disorders of this Kind do not immediately affect the whole, yet the smallest Obstructions, if not seasonably removed, often produce a general Stagnation, and may prove as dangerous to the political, as to the natural Body.

It may not be improper to observe, before I proceed any farther, that some Persons, either thro' Prejudice, or for Want of better Information, are too apt to insinuate, that great Care ought to be taken, lest those Colonies grow too powerful, and set up a Government of their own. This is so far from having the least Foundation to support it, that I am positive no People on Earth are more firmly attached to their Prince, than they are to his Majesty and the present Establishment, being all Protestants, who have ever manifested the greatest Abhorrence of Popery, by which Means Roman Catholicks have been always deter­red from settling in the Country, and their constant, and repeated Demonstrations of Zeal and Loyalty to the British Government, are sufficient to clear them from every Aspersion of this Kind; but to make the Matter more evident, it may be observed, that if they were ten Times more populous, and wealthy than they are at present, no Motive could be urg'd of sufficient Weight to induce them to a Revolt; neither the Love of Liberty, Force of Op­pression, Burthen of Taxes, or Desire of becomeing more powerful, could possibly Influence them to struggle for Independency: If the Love of Power and Liberty should be taken into Consideration, 'tis apparent that they enjoy as great a Share of both as any of his Majesty's Subjects, and much more than if they were [...] independent Govern­ment; for, in that case, they must be supposed to put themselves into the Hands of some foreign State, which could protect them from the just Resentment of this King­dom; and it is well known that is not to be done; but if it could, to whom are they to apply that would continue to them the Liberties they enjoy now? No People in their Senses would subject themselves to the French, Spaniards or Dutch, with a View of securing their Privileges with [Page 11]greater Tranquility than they at present enjoy them; and should they aim at absolute Independency, the Expence of defending themselves would infinitely exceed any they have yet been subject to, and indeed, they could not sub­sist without the Protection of their Mother Country.

As to any Discontents that might arise from Oppres­sion, or the Burthen of Taxes, they are subject to none but such as result from the Laws of their own making, an Indulgence they esteem themselves secured of under a Protestant King, and which gives them a Share of Power equal to their Desires; and as their very Being, in a Manner, depends on this Kingdom, their Trade is so closely connected with, and grafted on it, that nothing would so effectually ruin them, as to be deprived of it; for were they to be supplied with European Goods by any other State, the Difference would prove fatal to them. Upon the whole, nothing can, nor ever will, pre­vail upon them to attempt, or think of a State of Indepen­dency, whilst they enjoy the Freedom of English Sub­jects under so happy a Constitution.

But if, after all, it be thought dangerous to suffer the Colonies to grow too large, lest they should take it into their Heads to revolt, 'tis pretty extraordinary, that nei­ther the French, Dutch nor Spaniards have ever been dis­couraged from promoting their American Settlements; their Case is widely different from ours; were the French or Dutch Colonies, for instance, to revolt to the English, it would scarce be possible for France or Holland to re­gain them; but as to the Spanish Dominions in America, not all the Force of Old Spain, if it was contiguous to that Continent, would be sufficient to reduce them; and although there is scarce a Native of America that is suf­fered to hold a Post of Profit, they wear their Chains with great Contentment; but to suppose a People sub­ject to none of these Grievances capable of a single Thought of setting up for themselves, is branding them with a Disposition so foolish and unaccountable as cannot well be conceived.

[Page 12] To shew what may be saved to the Kingdom, as well as gained by its enlarged Trade to the Northern Plan­tations, 'tis to my Purpose to observe, that the Sugar-Co­lonies could not subsist without them: Most of the Mate­rials for their Buildings and Works, as well as Provisions, Cask for Spirits, Sugars, Molasses, &c. come from thence, and that they constantly send the greatest Part of their Ef­fects home in New England built Ships, without which they would not be able to bear the Duties paid in this Kingdom, by reason of the excessive Price of Freights.

This, if rightly considered, will appear to be an Ar­ticle of great Importance in regard to the French West-Indies. Mr. Ashley has very justly observed, That, ‘should Plantation built Ships be discouraged, Freight would be so dear, as to lose the British Nation one of the great­est Advantages over its Rivals in Trade,—a low Freight; and from the great Traffick of the Kingdom, they must be compelled to buy Materials for building of Ships, of Foreigners, with Cash, instead of their own Manufactures, to the enriching of such Foreigners, and the Discouragement of our American Colonies: That in­stead of prejudicing that Branch of Business here, the refitting and finishing Plantation built Ships often gives as much Advantage to the Shipwrights, as the building of new Ships. The French take the Benefit of our Plantation built Ships to carry their Sugars to Spain, and commonly pay them in the Produce of their own Islands, and have, in this Instance, a very great Advantage of us. "That the saving a Shilling or Eighteen-pence on­ly per Hundred in the Article of Freight, would go near to enable us to under-sell them at foreign Markets, if the Ships employed in the Sugar Trade were indulg­ed with the same Privileges, as those which are com­monly called Act Ships. That the flourishing State of the British Commerce, and the Revenues arising there­from, are, in no small Degree, owing to a low Freight, occasioned chiefly from our building Ships so cheap in our American Plantations. That since the French struggle [Page 13]so hard to gather Strength in America, surely it is the true Interest of this Kingdom to do so too, and to en­courage its Northern, as well as its Southern Colonies, so that they may both contribute to the Support and Benefit of their Mother Country. "The Northern Co­lonies are a great Support to the Naval Power of Great-Britain, and assist, in a great Measure, in giving us a Superiority at Sea over all other Nations in the World: They supply the King's Yards with great Quantities of Masts, Yards and Bowsprits instead of those of foreign Growth, with Pitch, Tar and Turpentine, for all which immense Quantities of Goods are exported from Great Britain, which prevents five Times the Value thereof from go­ing out of the Kingdom in Cash to Sweden, and other foreign Countries.’

All the Articles with which the British West Indies are supplied, require a great Number of Artificers and la­bouring Men to fit them for Shipping; and they are in such Demand, as to be the most considerable Branch of the New England Trade, although the Price of every Article is so high, as greatly to affect the Value and In­crease of the West-India Produce; but if the Price of Labour in the Northern Colonies could be reduced fifty per Cent. the West-India Islands would receive all their Supplies so much cheaper as to be able, in thirty or forty Years, to double their Remittances, and, consequently, the Duties paid on Importation.

By enlarging the Trade, and increasing the Number of Inhabitants in the Northern Colonies, their Demand and Abilities to pay for British Goods would be proportionable.

But the Price of the several Commodities with which the Sugar-Colonies are supplied, and those which are re­turned to England, is much higher than if the Country was fuller of Inhabitants, the Want of which disables the Merchant from shipping its Produce, but to his own Loss, unless he carefully attends to such Articles as, by a Fluctu­ation peculiar to Trade, come to a better Market at one time than another; but were the Price of Labour re­duced, [Page 14]every Cargo he shipped would stand charged at a lower Price, and he would be enabled to pay more for his Goods in England as soon as they are purchased.

The Reduction of the Price of Freight from the West-Indies, by increasing the Number of Ships, is an Article of great Consequence to the Sugar Islands, in which they cannot well be eased, but by Means of the Northern Co­lonies; for their Consumption of British Manufactures is so inconsiderable, compared with the Effects they send Home, that the Owners of Vessels here must fit them out for the common Profit of Freights from there only; but the Merchants in New-England are constantly employed in building Ships for their Correspondents in this Kingdom, which are full freighted from Boston to the West Indies, and very often the Profit is equal to, and sometimes ex­ceeds that of the Freight to England, so that the Increase of Ships will not only oblige them to carry their Freights cheaper, but will occasion a constant and large Supply of all the North American Produce, by which they will be enabled to increase their Stock, settle new Plantations, and, in a few Years, pay double the Duty here upon the Produce of their own Islands, which is an Event that principally depends on the Increase of Inhabitants in the Northern Colonies.

The easier to comprehend the Certainty of this Obser­vation, it is necessary to cast our Eyes a while on the French Sugar-Islands, whose Supplies have commonly cost them thirty or forty per Cent. more than our own; not­withstanding which, the Progress they have made since the last War, bids fair for supplying all Europe with Su­gars, and whenever they are furnished with the Produce of North-America, as cheap as our Islands, they will be able to undersell us at all foreign Markets.

An Objection has often been made against promoting the Interest of the Northern Colonies, on account of the inconsiderable Proportion they pay to the public Revenue, notwithstanding it is pretty evident, that neither the Sou­thern Colonies, nor the West-Indies would be able to pay [Page 15]any Duties at all, were it not for the Supplies and Assistance of the former: But supposing this was not the Case, and that the Northern Colonies yearly receive six hundred thousand Pounds in British Manufactures, which are paid for in such Articles as are consumed in England, and pay no Duty; on the other hand, the West-India Islands year­ly receive the Value of four hundred thousand Pounds in British Manufactures, and remit six hundred thousand Pounds Sterling in Sugars, &c. that pay Duty here, this Kingdom gains more by the former than the latter; this follows from the Duty's being paid finally by the Con­sumer; for were it taken off, certainly the Price of Sugars would fall in proportion, and, consequently, the whole Amount of the Duty would be saved by the Consumers; and was it to be laid on the Produce of the Northern Colonies in the same Proportion, all the Difference would consist in shifting the Payment from the Consumers of the former to the Consumers of the latter, and yet the Sub­ject pays it here in either Case.

But what most nearly concerns the Interest of Great Britain is, the surprizing Progress the French have made, and are so intent in pursuing, by Means of their Plantation-Trade; it is evident, that the Supplies of Provisions from Ireland, and both Provisions and Lumber from New-Eng­land, have been no inconsiderable Means of their Growth; but to leave them both out of the Question, the French are endeavouring, by all possible Means, to furnish themselves with these Articles from their own Northern Colonies.

The English were, for some Time, possessed of the Sea-Coast of North America, before the French had made any considerable Progress in it; they at first settled on the North Side of the River St. Lawrence, and gradually extended their Settlements from thence to the Mouth of Missisipi Ri­ver, cultivating the strictest Harmony with the Natives, by inter-Marriages, and proselyting them to the Romish Faith, whereby they maintain a regular Correspondence through several Lakes, and large Branches of those Rivers, for near eight hundred Leagues, on the Back of all the Eng­lish [Page 16]Colonies; this not only makes them Masters of the Furr Trade, but will in Time put it in their Power to furnish France and the West-Indies with all Sorts of Naval Stores, Ships, Iron, Hemp, Flax, and every thing else they are in Want of that is produced in North America.

I am sensible those Parts of New France that lie in the most Northern Latitudes, are not likely to produce many of those Articles; but as they claim a Tract of Land of vast Extent, viz. from New Orleans on the South, to the Latitude of sixty Degrees North, which is above six hundred Leagues; and in Breadth from the Streights of Bellisle in Longitude fifty-seven West, to the Lake De Bois, is not less than six hundred Leagues from East to West, every thing is to be found in it that the English Colonies can boast of.

Thus the French have artfully extended their Lines within our Colonies, not only with a Design to cut off our Communication, and trade with the Natives, but to croud such of them into the Sea, as are too weak to make a Re­sistance, and, finally, to master the whole Continent.

This is not an Event that may seem practicable in an Age, but yet the Continuance of the same Zeal and Care in promoting their Settlements for thirty Years to come, which has so manifestly evinced itself for thirty Years past, would render it no difficult Undertaking; besides, the ambitious Views of France leave no room to doubt, but they will attempt what their Interest so evidently calls for; it is beyond Dispute that their Proceedings on this Plan will soon put it in their Power; the Possession of Nova Scotia only for twenty Years in Peace or War, would be no inconsiderable Means of effecting it.

Should the British Colonies be neglected, or not equally countenanced with the French, or to make it worse, should an unseasonable and groundless Jealousy be the Means of checking their Growth, and discouraging their Settlements, whilst the French are striving with all their Might to cherish theirs, and spare neither Art, Labour nor Expence to make them considerable, surely no one can doubt but the Event must prove fatal to us.

[Page 17] It is evident what Stress the French lay upon North America, from the immense Sums they have expended to secure their Possessions, and to reduce ours to their Obe­dience; the Charge of fortifying Louisburgh and Quebec, the Pensions and Salaries yearly paid in Canada, the Loss attending Duke D'Anville's fruitless Attempt on Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, and the great additional One of their Fleet the last Year, must amount to an immense Sum; one tenth Part of which expended in the settling of Nova Scotia, would be productive of such Advantages in the Increase of the most valuable Brances of Trade, as would exceed the whole Expence the French have been at in promoting and securing their Colonies.

The Whale-Fishery, which is now totally neglected, might be rendered very profitable if properly attended to; how this Nation should have discontinued it so long is difficult to account for, but it may be observed since the Merchants here decline it, that the Manner of fitting Vessels, Boats, Craft, and killing the Fish, in practice amongst the New-England-Men, exceeds that of any People in Europe, makes their Successes more certain and their Voyages less expensive, but the Want of Seamen prevents their prose­cuting of it to Advantage; by transferring this Business from the Dutch to the Colonies, they might not only sup­ply Great-Britain with Bone and Oil for home Consumpti­on, but with large Quantities for Exportation, and increase the Demand for British Manufactures.

After having thus lightly touched upon these Points, I presume it will be agreeable to give a brief Description of the Northern Colonies, more particularly of those Parts which are most commodious for new Settlements.

NEW-ENGLAND is bounded by New-York on the West, New France on the North West, Nova Scotia on the North-East, and the main Ocean on the East and South, extending about one hundred and twenty Leagues from South to North, and eighty Leagues in Breadth from East to West; these Limits comprehend four different Govern­ments, viz. the Provinces of the Massachusetts Bay, and [Page 18]New Hampshire, the Colonies of Connecticut, and Rhode-Island; the Province of the Massachusets being much the largest, contains several Districts of Territory, as the late Colonies of the Massachusets and New Plymouth, the Pro­vince of Main, the Country called Sagadehoc and King's County, being all the Lands between the Province of Main, and the River St. Croix, which is the western Boun­dary of Nova Scotia; New Hampshire is a small Province, having little more than twenty Miles of Sea Coast, and spreads its Jurisdiction, by a late Resolution of his Majesty in Council, on the Back of the Massachusets Province, as far as the English Claim extends between that Province and the Province of Main; Connecticut, being about twen­ty Leagues square, is bounded by the Sea on the South, New York on the West, the Massachusets on the North, and Rhode-Island on the East; Rhode-Island being the smallest of the four in Extent, is bounded southerly by the Sea, and is surrounded by the Massachusets and Con­necticut on its other Sides.

NOVASCOTIA extends from North to South a­bout one hundred and twenty Leagues, and from East to West about one hundred, comprehending all the Land be­tween Cape Sable and Canso on the South East, and the Ri­ver of St Lawrence on the North-West; and besides its being equally commodious with Newfoundland for the Fish­ery, its Harbours are so numerous and fine, as not to be exceeded in any Part of the World. It abounds with Sal­mon, Trout, Eels, and several other Sorts of fresh water Fish, a great Plenty of wild Fowl of different Sorts, its Woods are stock'd with Deer, Rabbits, and an uncommon Variety of furr'd Animals: Its Soil is very fertile, produ­ing all Kinds of Grain and Provisions: The Country is co­vered with Ash, Beech, Elm, Firs, Maple, Cedar, and Pines fit for Naval Uses, and abounds with Lime-Stones and fine Quarries for building.

CAPE BRETON lying a little to the Eastward of this Tract, is neither so fertile, nor so capable of Improve­ment, as it is both rocky, cold and barren, abounding neither [Page 19]with Furrs, nor Timber for building of Ships, its principal, if not only Advantages consisting in its Situation, Harbours, which are in the Center of all the Fishing-Banks on the North American Coasts.

The Island of NEWFOUNDLAND lies between the 46th and 52d Degree of North Latitude, and is about three hundred Miles in Length, and near as broad, is sur­rounded with Fishing Banks, and many fine Harbours, is very commodious for the Fishery, having every Con­veniency for promoting it, and by its Situation, being the most easterly Part of North America, has the Advan­tage of all other Parts, on account of its Nearness to the European Markets, but it is not likely to admit of any great Improvements, the Climate being too cold, and the Soil but indifferent.

As there is very little Difference in the Temperature of the Air, in the several Parts of New England, so its several Products, and Aptness for different Improvements, vary but in a few Particulars, the Southermost being most natural for Corn, and the Northern for grazing, and afford a much greater Plenty of Timber and Fish.

The West-India Islands are furnished from hence with Horses, and several Kinds of live Stock; Flower, Bread, Pease, salted Beef, Pork, Codfish, Mackrel, Herrings, Cyder, Butter, Onlons, Oil, Turpentine. Ships, Timber, Plank, Boards, Masts and Yards, Bricks, Shingles, Staves and Hoops; the Southern Colonies with Rum, Ships, Deal-Boards, Bricks and European Goods; Newfoundland with Rum, Molosses, imported Salt for the Fishery, and all Sorts of Provisions; Great Britain and the rest of Europe with Codfish, Ships, Train Oil, Whalebone, Deer skins, Peltry, Staves, Masts and Yards, Pitch, Tar, Turpentine, raw Hides, Bees-Wax, and Bayberry Wax, the Profit of all which several Branches of Business finally center in this Kingdom.

In these Colonies, the Lands which are already cleared of Timber, and improved for Tillage and Pasture, are very far from yielding such Profit to the Owner, as they [Page 20]are capable of, for Want of Manuring, and being proper­ly subdivided into smaller Allotments, which the great Price of Labour now makes impracticable; but as Na­ture has furnished the Country with several Sorts of Marle and Sea Ware, whenever the Farmer has been able to enrich the Soil with them, the Produce of his Lands has paid his Expence, and greatly raised their Value, yet by Reason of the Scarcity of Labourers, very few can bear the Charge of so necessary a Cultivation; but by increasing their Number, the Country may soon be enabled to do it, and consequently to supply the West-India Islands at a much cheaper Rate than they can now.

A Number of Inhabitants settled on the uncultivated Lands in Nova Scotia, would not be able to furnish them­selves with Provisions for the first Year, but as the Coun­try is full of fine Harbours, Lakes and Rivers, the Lands are covered (as was before observed) with Timber, and the Sea-Coast plentifully stocked with Fish and wild Fowl, it will soon be in their power to support themselves *.

It will be of great Consequence to the first Settlers in this Country, that in clearing and subduing their Lands, they will be paid for their Labour by converting the Pro­duce into Ship-Timber, Planks, Masts, Deal-Boards, Shin­gles, Staves and Hoops, all which may be carried from their Plantations to Market, by Vessels that will supply them with Horses, Cattle, Swine, and other Necessaries, to stock their improved Lands.

With these Advantages, 'tis easy to foresee how soon it is practible to bring forward new Settlements in a Country which is so well furnished with Supplies, and is so near Bos­ton, a Market that will always take off their Produce, and enable them to raise their Provisions, to build their Houses, and stock their Plantations, and in a few Years to export [Page 21]many valuable Commodities in Vessels of their own, whilst they are promoting the Trade of their Country.

From what has been said it will appear, that if New-England and Nova Scotia were fully inhabited, and the Lands brought under Improvement, they would be able to furnish the West-Indies with Provisions, and other Sup­ples in larger Quantities, than they are capable of export­ing now, and their Remittances to England would not only become more considerable, but cheaper to the Merchant, by reducing the Price of Labour.

The Advantages that may arise to this Kingdom from several other Improvements in the Northern Colonies, when they are fully inhabited, is worthy of a particular Atten­tion; the Country is every where very apt to produce the very best of Flax, and in many Places is natural for Hemp, both which are Articles of very great Consequence to this Kingdom, as the Manufucture of Linnen-Cloth within it, bears but a small Proportion to its Consumption. It would soon become very considerable, and lessen the great Im­portation of Linnens from Germany, Holland, &c. and the last brought home to be wought up into Cordage and Canvas.

The great Plenty of Iron Ore in many Parts of the Country, will enable them not only to supply this King­dom with vast Quantities of Pig Iron, but Iron in Bars, cheaper and equal in Goodness to the best Spanish or Swede's Iron, which last, according to a late Calculation, draws a­bove two hundred thousand Pounds yearly from the King­dom in Money, and 'tis well known that if Labour was reduced a quarter Part in New England, they could fur­nish a Quantity equal in Value to that Sum cheaper than 'tis now imported, and receive their Returns in British Goods.

And lastly, it will enable them to secure the Cod-fishery to this Kingdom, by making it more beneficial and ex­tensive than it ever has been, as the Proceeds of their Voyages will be remitted to England in Cash, and the De­mand for fresh Supplies of its Commodities will be encreas­ed, and its finest Nursery for Seamen enlarged.

[Page 22] There is one Article which has excited the Jealousy of this Nation more than all the Improvements the Colonies are capable of prosecuting, and that is, the raising of Wool, and as this has never been properly represented, I conclude it may be acceptable now; the Inhabitants of New England and New York are supposed to consume one with another thirty Shillings Sterling yearly in British Manufactures, two Thirds of which consist of Woollens, and according to Mr. London's Pamphlet, in proportion to their Numbers is equal to the Consumption within this Kingdom; It will appear from his Calculations, that five hundred thou­sand Packs of Wool weighing two hundred and forty Pounds Weight each, are yearly wrought up in Great Britain, amounting to twenty-one Millions, of which more than one half being exported, the Number of Inhabitans, at twen­ty Shillings each Person, exceeds the Value of the Remain­der; This may be easily demonstrated, by comparing the Number of People in these Colonies, amounting to four hundred thousand, to the Value of their British Importati­ons, which is above six hundred thousand Pounds yearly, from whence it follows, that they annually consume more Woollen Cloaths than an equal Number of Inhabitants in this Kingdom; but as they are known to raise Wool in New-England, it will be a Question, what becomes of it? to which it may be answered, that the Winter Season be­ing commonly longer, and severer than it is here, the In­habitants require more Cloaths in proportion, which may be estimated at a sixth Part; besides their usual Employ­ments being very different from those of sedentary Arti­ficers, and indoors Manufacturers, may well be supposed to enlarge their Consumption.

It will appear from the foregoing Computation, that these Colonies produce about two thousand Packs of Wool annu­ally, which is four hundred and ninety nine less in Proporti­on to the Inhabitants, than grows in Great Britain. This Account may the more easily be credited, by comparing it with the Number of Sheep slaughtered in the Course of each Year, observing, that as they are small, their Fleeces do not [Page 23]weigh above two Pounds one with another. But it may serve more effectually to remove all Apprehensions of the Colonies being ever able to prejudice this Nation in the Woollen Manufacture, to observe, that their Sheep are not only liable to various Distempers, but are short-liv'd, and their Wool is of a very coarse Staple; for when the Win­ters from Year to Year admit of little or no Variation, they are frequently subject to a cutaneous Disorder, which being renewed with every Spring, causes an Itching that seldom leaves them till they wear off their Fleeces by frequently rubbing themselves against every thing that presents itself to View, and when the Weather proves dry, and hotter than common, they tear their Skins as well as Coats, and are soon Fly-blown, rotten, and destroyed; this has often proved so contagious as to end in the Destruction of half the Sheep in the Country; and when the Winter has been lon­ger than usual, 'tis a great Doubt whether their Losses don't exceed their Increase; for it has twice happened within twenty Years, that a third Part of all their Stock has been carried off by the extreme Severity of the Weather.

It is uncommon to eat any Mutton in the Country of more than three Years Growth, from whence it follows, that instead of slaughtering one fifth of their Stock yearly, as is computed to be the Case here, they consume a third Part, and their Fleeces falling short one half in Weight, they must necessarily raise four times the Number of Sheep to produce an equal Quantity of Wool; but the Coarsness of its Staple, which exceeds that of French Wool, puts it out of their Power to fabricate fine Cloaths; and its Short­ness renders it of little Use but to be wrought into Stockings, and an ordinary Cloth which is more expensive, and less durable, than a much finer imported from hence.

It is evident from the preceding Account, that 'tis the Profit of their Mutton, rather than their Fleeces, that indu­ces them to raise any Sheep at all: Whenever their Lands have been enriched by Manuring, they find that the raising of Beef, Pork and Corn, which are Articles of Exportation, as well as Home Consumption, is of greater Advantage; for [Page 24]the whole Business of Husbandry and heavy Carriages be­ing performed by Oxen, instead of Horses, the former are doubly useful, and after a long Course of Servitude, by two Years Idleness and fattening, produce Beef that would cre­dit the Stalls in Leaden-Hall Market.

The Increase of Inhabitants in these Colonies will then ap­pear so far from being injurious to the Wollen Manufactury here, that it will contribute more to promote it, supplying an equal Number of People in any other Part of the British Dominions; but if it should ever be otherways, it will pro­ceed from Necessity, rather than Choice; for if they are pro­perly encouraged in raising of Hemp, Flax, Iron, and other rough Materials by a suitable Bounty, and in those Branches of Trade and Navigation which are not prejudicial to the general Interest of the Kingdom, their Advantages would be infinitely greater, and their Labour less, than if they pro­secuted the Wollen Manufactury: But if on the contrary, these several Articles are totally neglected, they will be ren­dered incapable of making Remittances sufficient to pay for British Cloaths, and must of Course manufacture the best they can for themselves.

The general Advantages that will arise from fortifying and settling Nova Scotia, are to be considered as they regard the Views of France, as well as Great Britain.

The French have artfully laboured to make the most of the Nova Scotians, ever since their Subjection to the British Crown; they have not only secured to them the Enjoyment of their Religion and Estates, but take care to furnish them with Priests, who teach them to believe from their Infancy, that they are the Subjects of France, and they have always been equally useful to them; before the present War, they not only supplied the French at Louisburg with Provisions, but with Wives, and were very serviceable to them in their Fishery, in piloting their Vessels, and assisting them in their Fortifications; and since its Reduction, have all con­tributed to support, and many of them have actually joined a Body of French and Indians, in order, if possible, to get Possession of Annapolis Royal.

[Page 25] The Zeal and Attachment of these Nova Scotians to the Romish Faith, will always prevent the Settlement of Pro­testants in the Country, unless it be done in compact Bo­dies, and under the Cover of Fortifications; but till this is accomplished, it can no more be said that the Province belongs to the Crown of Great Britain, because it is posses­sed of Annapolis Royal, than of the Kingdom of Spain, from our Possession of Gibralter.

It is therefore absolutely necessary for the Safety and Interest of the Northern Colonies, that some speedy, and effectual Measures are taken, to put these Nova Scotians on a different Footing, or to remove them; the last can­not well be done, and the first in nothing better than by encouraging a considerable Number of foreign Protestants, and others, to settle amondst them.

This will not only be of immediate Service, but in a few Years will produce various good Effects, as the Coun­try abounds with Pines and Firs, it will be capable of supplying this Kingdom with the finest Deal-Boards and Timber of all Kinds, in Vessels of its own, which are now imported from Norway, the Baltic, &c. in foreign Bottoms, and drains the Nation of immense Sums of Money; this is not only practicable on the first Settlement of the Coun­try, but in the Course of a few Years will become a steady and useful Branch of Business: But if none of these good Consequences ensue, yet settling the Province with Protes­tants is of the greatest Importance, as the French will other­wise continue to cherish the present Inhabitants, till they ex­ceed the Number, and are of more Consequence than those of Canada, and it requires no long Time to effect this, in a Country whose Inhabitants are not only very health­ful, but very prolific; it must surely be deemed impoli­tic then to suffer such a Colony of French Bigots to be rear­ed up under the kindly Influences of a British Administra­tion, to cut our own People's Throats whenever the Priest shall consecrate the Knife; notwithstanding they hardly know the Name of a Tax or Duty, their Quit-Rent being but a Trifle, and those who are at a great Distance from [Page 26] Annapolis, have seldom paid any; in the mean time, they have on all Occasions manifested a Contempt of the Bri­tish Government when they could do it with Impunity, or were too remote from that Garrison to send their Re­sentment.

It therefore highly concerns this Kingdom, that some seasonable Steps be taken to prevent their future Growth, and Defection; but it is very difficult to attempt, and almost impossible to effect their Removal, without Blood­shed, and if they were dispossessed, they would be a very great additional Strength to Canada and Cape Breton, as we could not prevent their settling in those Places.

It seems then more eligible to continue them in the Country, to permit them to hold such Lands as are under actual Improvement, and to which they can make out a clear Title, for 'tis beyond Dispute but they claim much larger Tracts than they have any Right to.

Their Estates are held by Patent from the French King, for which they pay a very small Acknowledgment, their Right was reserved to them by the Articles of Capitulation at the Reduction of Annapolis, and was finally ratified by the Treaty of Utrecht; but as no civil Government has ever been established there, they have no more to do with their new Masters than to pay their Quit-Rent, which in the whole Province does not amount to forty Pounds a Year.

When the Form of Government was established, which is now exercised there, the Instructions to the Governor and Council were copied from those of Virginia, whereby the Power of granting Lands is vested in them, and is restricted to such Conditions, as have hitherto proved a great Discouragement to his Majesty's Subjects; for the Patentee is not only obliged to pay a Penny Sterling per Acre for the whole, but is subject to a Penny more when­ever the Government shall demand it, and unless he has built a House, and brought Part of his Lands under Im­provement within three Years from the Date of his Grant, he forfeits his Title: This attended with the constant [Page 27]Obstructions which both the French *, and Indians have made in Prejudice to any Protestant Settlements, when compared with the easy Terms on which Lands are granted in other Parts of North America, evidently accounts for the present Situation of the Province.

Since it is apparently for the public Interest, that the growing State of these Nova Scotians should be checked, that they should either be rendered useful, or prevented from becoming dangerous to the other Colonies, it cannot more effectually be done, than by erecting such Fortifica­tions, as will keep their most populous Towns in Subjecti­on, and at the same time serve as a Protection to the pro­posed Settlements in the Province; a more particular Description of which seems necessary in order to carry so useful a Design into Execution.

ABOUT seventeen Leagues North from Cape Sable, the Entrance of the Bay of Fundy commences, where it is about twenty Leagues wide, and extending near forty Leagues, divides itself into two Branches, one of which terminates in several Rivers, that discharge themselves into Minas Bay, and the other running more Northerly to Chignecto, forms an Isthmus of that Name between this Branch and the Bay of Vert, which empties itself into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Twelve Leagues from the aforesaid Entrance on the South Side of the Bay, lies the Gut of Annapolis, which is about three Quarters of a Mile wide, and a Mile and an half long, on each Side of which the Land is very moun­tainous and rocky; the Tides are so impetuous, as often to render this a dangerous Passage for large Vessels, but when they are once in, a most delightful Harbour pre­sents itself to View, called the Bason of Annapolis, from the gradual Declivity of the Lands surrounding it, being [Page 28]about three Leagues in Length from North East to South West, and two in Width, with safe and commodious An­chorage in most Parts of it for all the Ships in England, on its South Side are two small Rivers of little Conse­quence, and the Land is mountainous and rocky; on the North-East Side a little Island forms the Entrance of An­napolis' River, which continues navigable for large Vessels on that Course about ten Leagues.

At the Month of this River are several small French Villages, from whence 'tis about two short Leagues to An­napolis Royal, which stands upon a Point of Land, formed by this and another small River that ranges about South East: The Situation of this Fortress being elevated sixty or seventy Feet above the Level of the River, and stand­ing on its Bank, renders an Attack from Ships almost impracticable, for the Strength of the Tides makes it very difficult for them to moor, unless it be in the Eddy or Counter-tide, which brings them too near the Shore to do any Execution.

As it is situate on a Level with the Campain, there is nothing to prevent the regular Approaches of an Enemy on two Sides of the Garrison; it is mounted with a about forty Cannon on four Bastions, and has a Battery to com­mand the River; its Ramparts are of Earth, covered with large Stocks of Timber towards the Fosse; and it might make a good Defence, were its Powder Magazine Bomb proof, which is doubted; and as several of the other Ma­gazines and Barracks are built of Timber, its Garrison might easily be burnt out: 'Tis defended by about one hundred and thirty Men, exclusive of the New England Auxiliaries, who, in the Course of two or three Years, have, in a manner, rebuilt the Fort, under the Direction of the Engineer *. Upon both Sides of this River, several pleasant Villages are scattered for thirty Miles, containing about three hundred Families, who being aw'd by the Gar­rison are the most, if not the only tractable Inhabitants in the Province.

[Page 29] On the South East Side of the Bay of Fundy about thirty Leagues from the Entrance of Annapolis, is the Bay of Minas, a Name derived from the Report of some valua­ble Mines having been discovered in its Neighbourhood, being twelve Leagues long, and about three in Width, in­to which the Rivers Canard, Caobegat, Pisegat, and some others discharge themselves.

On the other Branch, and at the Head of the Bay, are several Villages, and about three Leagues up a narrow and deep River stands the Town of Chignecto, or Chignec­tico, a Corruption, as it is said from Le Chignon du Col; here are about two hundred Families, the Country is very healthy and pleasant, surrounded with fine Meadows, which on its West Side are more extensive than any thing of the Kind in this Part of the World, and abounds with Rivers, that at High water are navigable for large Vessels; to the Northward of this Place, runs the most rapid, and the longest Branch of the Bay of Fundy, about North North East into the main Land which the French now call Gaspa­sia, on which are some small Villages, but by reason of the Badness of its Navigation, they are very little known; on the North Side of the Bay, about eight Leagues below Chignecto, and upon a navigable River, lies a Village cal­led Chipotee, containing about sixty or seventy Families; from whence for near forty Leagues, the North Shore af­fords neither Harbour nor River that is navigable for large Vessels, the Sea Coast being very mountainous, and skirt­ed with Rocks and Precipices, affords a disagreeable Pros­pect to Navigators. North from the Entry of Annapolis lies the fine River of St. John, with a capacious Road for Ships at its Entrance; on the North Side of which is a narrow Streight, not a Pistol Shot over, thro' which there is no passing but at the Top of the Tide, when the Wa­ter is upon a Level, at other Times the Fall is so con­siderable, especially at low Water, as to make a Descent of near thirty Feet, being lined on both Sides by a solid Rock, and having more than forty Fathom of Water in its Middle; this River spreads itself about half a Mile [Page 30]in Width, and with a gentle Current towards its Outlet admits of a delightful Navigation for large Ships fifty or sixty Miles into the Country, and much farther for small Vessels; from its several Branches the Indians traverse this Part of the Continent, by transporting their Canoes by Land across some short Spaces, called by them Carrying Places: Here are no more than three or four French Families, the Forces from New-England having destroyed all their Set­tlements in the last War, most of the Inhabitants removed to the other Side of the Bay; a few Leagues further West­ward are several fine Harbours, amongst which is Har­bour l'Etang, so called from its Resemblance of a Pond, as it is surrounded with Highlands, its Entry being deep, narrow, and free from Danger, and its Surface always un­ruffled; this is near the River St. Croix, the Western Boundary of the Province, from whence to New Hamp­shire, the Sea Coast is covered with Islands that almost form a continued Harbour for near two hundred Miles.

From the Entrance into the Bay of Fundy to Cape Sable, there are several fine Rivers and Harbours, and two small Villages; from Cape Sable, so called from the Sand Banks on its Shore, to Canso, the Islands and Harbours are so numerous as not to admit of either Description or nam­ing, the most considerable of which are Chebucto, Male­gash, Port Rossignol, Port Mutton, Port le Have, Port Ro­zoir, Liscombes Harbour, &c. and Canso, which at present serve only as a Retreat to fishing Vessels, and others in bad Weather, or to wood and water; a few stragling Sava­ges, who shift their Habitations as the Seasons for Fishing and Hunting vary, are the only Inhabitants on this exten­sive Coast, except a French Settlement at Malegash.

From Canso, a navigable Streight, called from it the Gut of Canso, severs the Island of Cape Breton from the Conti­nent, and leads into the Bay of St. Lawrence, on the South-West Side of which is Tatamagauche a very good Har­bour, where the French formerly received their Supplies of Cattle and Provisions from the Nova Scotians for Louis­bourg, and it is one of the safest and shortest Communicati­ons [Page 31]they can have with these Inhabitants; from hence a­bout ten Leagues North-West, lies the Bay of Vert be­fore-mentioned, on which, and all the Eastern Side of the Province, as far as the Mouth of Canada River, lie a great Variety of fine Rivers and Harbours very little known to us, as no Person has ever been employed by the Government to attempt a particular Discovery of them.

From this Description of the Country, several Places will appear necessary to be fortified, of which I shall en­deavour to point out the most convenient, as well as those which are most commodious for bringing forward the pro­posed Settlements.

Canso and Chebucto on the Sea-Coast of this Province, naturally present themselves first to Consideration; the for­mer from its having been a long Time improved in the Fishery, and having once had a wooden Blockhouse, and a small Detachment of Troops for its Protection, and the latter for its spacious and fine Harbour, and having been the Rendezvous of Duke D'Anville's Squadron.

Canso is conveniently situated for the God Fishery, but claims the Preference to the other on no account but its having been already improved, and probably sooner known; But this last greatly exceeds the former in several Respects, viz. its Situation, its Harbour, and Aptness for Agricul­ture.

Its Situation is such, that it has a short and easy Com­munication by Land with all the Settlements on the Bay of Fundy, is equally commodious for the Fishery with Can­so, and is more in the Way of all Ships passing to and from Europe to New England that may occasionally, or by Stress of Weather seek a Port for Shelter, or Relief.

Its Harbour gives place to none in the World, and by its natural Form, and an Island at its Entrance, is capable of being well defended by a regular Fortification.

Its Soil exceeds that of Canso, and by the Vicinity of several fine Harbours, will afford great Conveniences to the first Inhabitants; these several Advantages it boasts beyond any other Place on this Side of the Country; whereas [Page 32] Canso, though possessed for thirty-five Years, could shew no Improvements but on some small Islands, which pro­duced little more than a few Kitchen Gardens; its Har­bour is complained of as not well defended from hard Gales of Wind, has a very rocky and difficult Entrance, and the Communication from hence to the Inland Parts of the Province is through Chebucto, or Tatamagouche. This last Place seems also to claim some Share of Attention, and may probably upon a critical Survey, be found suita­ble for a Settlement, and to merit such a Fortification as may cut off all future Supplies to Louisbourg by this Channel.

Leaving this Side, and the Sea Coast of the Province, I shall return to the Bay of Fundy again, where the Soil, and Manner of improving Lands differs from all other Parts of North America, and where two or three different Fortresses will be necessary to awe the French and Indians, and to protect the proposed Settlements from their Insults.

In all Parts of this Bay the Rivers are of great Length, and very numerous; the Ebbing and Flowing of the Tides is from four Fathom at the Entrance, to ten or eleven at the Head of its longest Branches; between their Banks, and the Verge of the Upland, are fine and large Tracts of Salt Marsh, in many Places extending themselves on a Plain for thirty or forty Miles without Interruption: In the Bays of Minas, Chegnecto, and their several Branches, are Millions of Acres that were never yet improved; the French, in order to save themselves the Labour of subdu­ing the Lands that are covered with Forest Wood, and interspersed with Morasses, have surrounded part of these Marshes with Dykes *, without which they would often be flowed at high Water, and always by Spring Tides; they are afterwards ploughed up, and in three Years pro­duce all Kinds of Grain, and when fallow'd run into fine [Page 33]Grass. This Land, by Reason of its natural Richness, requires very little manuring, and is not only easy of Til­lage, but affords a beautiful Prospect; their Gardens, with some Patches for particular Uses, being all the Upland they have under Improvement.

It is obvious from this Account, which is far from be­ing exaggerated, that no Country is better calculated to yield an early Support to its infant Colonies, with more Certainty and less Labour, and affording them, in the mean time, a comfortable Subsistance.

The Highlands which commonly lie near the Sea Coast, and the Sides of the Bay of Fundy, are rocky, and covered chiefly with Firs, but produce Plenty of Grass when brought under Cultivation; the level Country is covered with several other Kinds of Wood useful in Building, and when subdued and fitted for Tillage, discovers a fine rich Mold, producing all Things in Perfection that are natural to the Climate; and this will serve for a general Descrip­tion of the Province, for altho' some Parts of the Cape Sable and Canso Shores are rocky, and unfit for Tillage, they are intermixed with valuable Tracts of low Lands, navigable Rivers, and a great Number of Islands, where Fish may be taken all the Year round, as the Harbours are seldom obstructed with Ice.

On the North Side of this Bay, St. John's River seems to be the fittest Place for making a Settlement, and erect­ing a Fortress; about fifty Miles from its Entrance, the most judicious and considerable, tho' not the most nume­rous Tribe of Indians on this Part of the Continent are settled, and in the last War had a slight Fortification erected by the French for their Defence.

Here the Land is fertile, and lies nearly on a Level very far into the Country, having a gradual Declivity on­ly towards the River, that serves to direct the Course of several large Branches into its Sides.

By the Information of the Natives, the inland Parts of this Country are capable of the finest Improvements, and although here is but a very little Marsh-Land, the Good­ness [Page 34]of the Soil makes ample Amends for the Want of it, and here are no Claims of any Significancy to prevent the Settlement of it.

In order to shew what Places within the Bay of Fundy are most proper to be fortified, I shall begin with this, as it is not only a very valuable Country, but is commodi­ously situated for the Fishery; from hence the direct In­tercourse with Canada is maintained through the Country, and continued across the Bay to Minas and Annapolis, from which Places it is not more than twenty Leagues distant.

Within, and very near the beforementioned Streight, the Land seems conveniently elevated for erecting a For­tress that will command the Entrance, and in time of War, a Boom Chain would effectually secure the Passage; this Place might not only serve to protect Ships in the Road below, but would be a sufficient Defence to a new Settlement, and if properly garrisoned, might cut off the Correspondence between Quebec and the Nova Scotians.

The Indians of the St. John's Tribe might on this Oc­casion attempt to interrupt a Settlement, but as they are in a State of Hostility with us, and by the Treaty of Utrecht their Lands were given up by the French to this Crown, no Peace ought to be concluded with them but upon our own Terms, for they were actually the Ag­gressors, by joining the Enemy in the Siege of Annapolis, contrary to several Treaties they formerly entered into with the Province of the Massachusetts Bay.

From this Place to Chignecto, the Country has but two or three Harbours, and the Sea Coast being very mountain­ous, and but little known, I can only assert what the Na­tives say of it, that the inland Parts are fertile.

Chignecto forming the Peninfula, which the French call Accadie, is commonly mentioned as a necessary Place to be fortified, in order to cut off the Communication with Canada in time of War, the Isthmus not being here a­bove two Leagues wide: The foregoing Reason would have more weight, if the French transported any Baggage or Train with them on these Occasions, but that is not [Page 35]practicable, and therefore they commonly cross the Rivers below in Canoes with their small Arms and Ammunition, their larger Stores being landed out of Vessels from Ca­nada at Tetamagauche. Several Places here seem well situated for erecting a Fortress, upon one of which, an Eminence surrounded with Marsh, and commanding both the River and the Town, appears to be the most eligible for that Purpose *. From this Place by Land to Caobe­gat on the Bay of Minas it is near twenty Leagues, and from thence to the Town of that Name it is near twenty more.

MINAS being the principal Place in the Province, and the Center of all its Settlements, requires a more par­ticular Description.

It is composed of a Number of Villages and Farm­houses, extending six or eight Miles in Length, and in­cluding some Towns a little more remote, contains about a thousand Families; I don't mean so many Housekeepers, but such as would be thus denominated among the English, for here it is customary when one of a Family marries, to enlarge the Mansion-house, and by the Addition of new Apartments, they make Room for the expected Proge­ny; from this Practice 'tis common to find three or four Generations under one Roof; it is computed that they amount to about seven thousand People, and were the In­habitants industrious they might produce immense Quanti­ties of Corn; the Soil of their Marshes having been al­ways subject to the periodical Overflowing of the Spring Tides, is composed of the Fat and Slime that has been washed from the inland, and mountainous Parts of the Country, by Rains, and the melting of Snow for Ages [Page 36]past, and on that Account admits of a long Improvement without any Manuring.

Whenever it happens that any of their Dykes are ca­sually broke down, the Overflowing of the Tide renders the Marsh incapable of bearing any Corn for three Years, but afterwards, by Means of the new Recruit of Salts, which are incorporated with the Mold, the Soil is renewed, and produces as fine Crops as ever; thus Nature seems by Accident to have pointed out a Process, whereby its Fertility is restored without any Expence to the Owner: These Lands, after some Years Improvement, produce several Kinds of Grass, and serve all the several Uses of Husbandry.

The Inhabitants make a joint Business of Dyking in several large Tracts, which serve first as common Fields, and being afterwards sub-divided into smaller Allotments are capable of the various Improvements before-mention­ed: Their Dykes are made of large Sods of Marsh cut up in square Pieces, and raised about five Feet higher than the common Surface, of a competent Thickness to withstand the Force of the Tides, and soon grow very firm and durable, being overspread with Grass, and have com­monly Foot-paths on their Summit, which are both con­venient and delightful.

On the different Branches of Minas Bay are scattered several other Towns and Villages, whose Inhabitants pur­sue the same Methods of improving their Lands.

There is one Thing peculiar to these People which has secured their Allegiance during the present War, that is, the Dread of having their Dykes cut down, and their Estates by that Means ruined by the English: this Practice they felt the severe Effects of about forty Years ago, when their Lands were thus exposed by the New England For­ces, the Remembrance of which is pretty strongly im­pressed on the old Inhabitants, and has had a very good Effect on their Posterity.

Minas is so situated, as to have a short and easy Com­munication with the extreme Parts of the Province, being [Page 37]within a Days March of Chebucto, on the South Shore, and not much farther by Land from Annapolis, is about thirty Leagues by Water from St. John's River, and is not much farther from Tetamagauche.

From this Account of the Country and its Inhabitants, it appears that Minas is not only the most considerable Part of it, but is most properly situated for a Metropolis, and consequently requires a strong Fortress for its Security; several Places have been proposed in and near the Town for this Purpose, upon one of which stands the Stonehouse which is Proof against small Arms; this is built on an Eminence that commands great Part of the Town, but being overlooked by high Land on three Sides, would be greatly exposed in case of an Attack: There is another Eminence that stands by the River Gaspero to the East­ward of the Town, which is subject to the like Incon­venience; but the most proper Place, if not one of the finest in the World, on account of its natural Situation, is an Island of Upland about a Quarter of a Mile long, that commands the Mouth of the River, is surrounded with salt Marshes, and has no firm Land within a Mile of it.

The Substance of these Marshes is so spongy and porous below the Level of the common Tides, as that it is im­possible to open Trenches, but they will be directly filled with Water, and as they are commonly flowed at the Full and Change without the Dykes, it will appear im­practicable to make a regular Attack against it by Land, or to proceed by sapping or mining, and 'tis equally so from Ships, unless it be attempted at high Water, and this must be done in a very short Time on account of the Ra­pidity of the Tide, which on such an Occasion would be equally hazardous to them as the Opposition of a strong Garrison.

This Island commands the Prospect of Minas Bay, so that no Vessel can come in or go out undiscovered, and if it is regularly fortified, might be defended by two hundred Men against the whole Force of Canada and the Nova Scotians.

[Page 38] If this Plan be approved of, 'tis very easy to make an open Road from hence to Chebucto for all Sorts of Car­riages, it not being above forty Miles through the Country, and erecting a wooden Blockhouse midway, that is Proof against small Arms, might serve as a Place of Security to Travellers, and deter the Savages from interrupting the new Settlements.

It will be also requisite to fortify the Country imme­diately, that being a preparatory Step which requires some time to execute, and will be found necessary to precede the proposed Settlements, whose Neighbourhood will na­turally raise a Jealousy among the French and Indians, that may create a great deal of Trouble, and retard the design'd Progress.

To prevent the latter from being troublesome, the Go­vernor and Council should be directed to take Hostages of them to secure the Performance of such Treaties as shall be entered into; for unless some salutary Precautions of this Kind are used, 'tis much better to continue the War till they are wholly extirpated; 'tis evident that for many Years the Indians did as much Mischief in New-England during a Peace as in Time of War, which has proceeded from the Instigations of the Romish Missiona­ries amongst them, and the Want of Power in the English, to pursue and punish them in their wild Retreats. It is expedient that a direct Enquiry should be made into the Claims and Titles of these Inhabitants, that their Bounda­ries may be fixed; and to prevent future Contentions, all the Lands that are in the Disposal of the Crown should be surveyed, and the Nature of their Soil, and different Qua­lities for Improvement enquired into; that a Report be made to his Majesty, of the most commodious Places on navigable Rivers, and the Sea Coasts, for settling of Town­ships, for the Conveniency of the Cod Fishery, and the Prosecution of Agriculture.

The Settlement of this Province will be attended with some Charge to the Government, and on that Account may probably meet with Interruption; yet as the general Ad­vantages [Page 39]are so conspicuous, nothing should be permit­ted to defeat it; for altho' the Expence may at first be considerable, it will not be durable, as the new Inhabitants, by a well regulated Militia, may be able in a few Years to defend themselves; this was the Case with the Colonies in New England from their Infancy, altho' they struggled under Difficulties infinitely exceeding any that the pro­posed Settlements can be subject to, whilst Great-Britain commands at Sea: The French Inhabitants must continue to be neutral, as they stile themselves now, and the Indians are become so inconsiderable that very little Danger is to be apprehended from them, if the Settlements are made compact, and in a defensible Form; the Maintenance of Forts, and Garrisons will then be a temporary Charge only, and soon cease to be necessary; but if it should not, the Introduction of Protestants, and securing the Country from France, will greatly over-ballance the Expence, and ex­ceed all the real, and imaginary Advantages that have been suggested to result from the Possession of Cape Breton: As this Assertion may be thought repugnant to the several Importances of that Island, which have been laid before the Public, I shall enter more particularly into the Considera­tion of it, and its Fishery, than I at first intended: It has already been observed, that the Place is barren compared with Nova Scotia, and will never admit of any considerable Improvements: The Truth, and Reason of these Facts are very obvious; Cape Breton was as soon known, as Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, but was never thought to be of any Value to the Possessors of those Places, and it was the Exclusion from them, that put the French on fortify­ing, and induced their Settlement of it, and notwithstand­ing a thirty Years Possession, its Produce, exclusive of Fish, will not subsist a hundred Families; its Winters are of great Length, and extreme cold, it being common for the Frosts to continue till the latter End of May, and it is near the Middle of that Month before it is free of Ice: For as this Island forms an Eddy to the Current setting through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, it draws such Quantities into its [Page 40]Harbours as to obstruct the Fishery, and render the Na­vigation very dangerous: During the Summer it is so fre­quently subject to Fogs, as to have neither Heat nor Sun­shine sufficient to ripen its Corn and Fruits. I cannot undertake to assign a philosophical Reason for the Diffe­rence in the Temperature of the Air in two Places lying in the same Latitude, and so near together as Nova Scotia and this Island, but to observe, that as the Duration, and several Degrees of cold moderate, and warm Weather in all Places vary with, and depend upon the prevailing Winds, in the several Seasons of the Year, so in this, they commonly blow from such Points in the Winter as bring on Storms of Snow and Frost, and in the Summer those are most frequent, that blow directly from the Banks, accompanied with thick Fogs and Mists, and altho' some Parts of Nova Scotia are subject to them, 'tis neither in Degree nor Duration sufficient to affect the Produce of the Earth, nor to interrupt the Course of Business by Land or Sea.

It is well known, that notwithstanding the Situation of this Island, four Fifths of the French Fishery have been prosecuted in other Places: Their Bankers, amounting to more than two hundred Sail of Ships in Time of Peace, who cure their Fish in Pickle, commonly called Mud-Fish, make their Voyages on the Banks of Newfoundland with­out entering a Port in America, and their largest Ships to the Number of two hundred Sail, constantly use Fishot Captain Rous in a Bilander of fourteen Guns and our hun­dred Men, with a Ship of near the same Force attacked this Port in August 1744; It was defended by five Ships navigated with four hundred and fifty Men; two of eighteen Guns each, one of sixteen, one of fourteen, and one of twelve, drawn up in a circular Line round the Harbour, and altho' both his Vessels grounded at the Entrance, and were exposed to a continual Fire for five Hours from all the Ships within point-blank Musket-shot, he bravely took them all with the Loss of no more than eighteen Men; he took another Ship at St. Julian's of sixteen Guns and ninety Men, ten Ships on the Banks with three hun­dred and six Men, retook a British Ship, burnt all the French Houses, and Stores in seven different Flarbours, with four Ves­suls, and upwards of eight hundred fishing Shallops, all within a Month., St. Julian's, and other Harbours on the North-East [Page 41]Side of that Island, Philip's Bay, and other Parts of the Continent of Labrador, and Gaspee in Nova Scotia; in these several Places they have no settled Habitations, but having erected Houses, and cleared small Places for Gardens, they raise Roots and Her­bage sufficient to serve them yearly for Soup and Sal­lad, until their Return to France: It appears then, that they improve several Ports more commodious for their Purpose than any on Cape Breton; 'tis true they have no Right to fish on the Coasts of Nova Scotia, but their Claim on the North Side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence has never been contested, and if it is in the Power of this Nation to exclude them totally from the Amrican Fishery, or from our own only, the Possession of Cape Breton cannot turn the Scale so much in their Favour as has been apprehended: In short, its greatest Conveniency to France consists in its being a middle Port between Canada and the French Dominions in general, in Europe and the West Indies and could any proper Means be devised to prevent their future Intercourse with the British Co­lonies from whence they are supplied with Stores and Provisions in return for the Produce of a contraband Trade, the Inhabitants would be under a Necessity of returning annually to France in their Fish-Ships, or spending a miserable Winter with little else than Salt-Fish for their Subsistence.

In order to rival the French in the Cod-Fishery, 'tis necessary to confine them to the Limits stipulated by the Treaty of Utrecht, which will exclude them from all the Banks of Nova Scotia, and it does not appear by that, or any other Treaty, that they have a Right to fish to the Southward of Cape Bonavista [Page 42]on Newfoundland, between whose Banks and the for­mer there are no others of any Note or Conse­quence.

This would deprive them of a great Part of their Fishery, employing near two hundred and Fifty Sail of Ships in Time of Peace, and furnishes the Mar­kets in France, Spain, Portugal, and the Streights with Mud Fish; and as to the remaining Part, the Settlement of Nova Scotia, would soon enable the In­habitants to catch, and export larger Quantities, bet­ter in Quality, and cheaper than the French could possibly afford their own, whereby the whole would be of little Value to them more than for their own Consumption.

The Isle of Sable, and Cape Sable Banks on this Coast are so commodiously situated as to admit of a fine Fishery in the Winter whenever the Country is settled and stocked with Provisions: At present the Fishermen from New-England make three Fairs there in a Year, the first of which being prosecuted in March, is worth both the other, as the Fish taken then exceed any in the World, and if they could be landed and cured in the Winter Months, five Fairs might be yearly made instead of three, and the two additional ones equal to the best of the for­mer, which would in a few Years be of more Con­sequence to Great-Britain than any thing the French are capable of prosecuting to support their Rival­ship.

If this Point had been well attended to twenty or thirty Years past, their Fishery might have been re­duced before this Time to a contemptible Situation; but the Case was so different, that they not only fished where they pleased, but commonly insulted our Vessels whenever they met them, for excepting some of their Fishermen which were seized by Captain Smart on the Canso Station, for fishing without their Limits contrary to Treaty, they never met with any In­terruption, [Page 43]but to prevent such Accidents for the fu­ture, as our Ships were earlier out than theirs, they ever after sent a superior Force to deter our Men of War from the like Practice, and have ruled absolute Lords of those Seas.

As that Treaty is the Basis of the present Peace, and the Terms of it in relation to the Fishery are plain and intelligible, it cannot be doubted but the Administration will cause them to be punctually ob­served, more especially as they fall under the Do­minion of the British Flag, whose Honour is imme­diately concerned in securing the Rights of this King­dom against all Encroachments, and in protecting its Subjects from Insults on every Part of the Ocean.


Just Published,

A LETTER from Common Honesty to Common Sense; shewing, how poor Honesty, being in Distress, sought for Employment to an eminent Citizen in Trade, an Attorney, a Recruiting Officer, a Bishop, a Treasurer, and a Parliament Man, &c. but was refus'd by 'em all, and very ill treated, and at last oblig'd to apply to his Kinsman Com­mon Sense, Publisher of a News-Paper, where he readily found Encouragement. Very diverting and instructive. Sold by T. Fleet, at the Heart and Crown in Cornhill. Price Eighteen Pence, old Tenor.

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