Sunday, 4 September 2016

FUR TRADE : The French Advance

FUR TRADE:  Memorandum from Chief Justice Draper, 1857

Excerpt from page 230  ? (Buzz’s notes)

Control of “Canada” was it political or just for the Fur trade?

“ The French Government , it appears, would not agree to the proposal which would have  limited them to the 49th parallel. Colonel Bladen, one of the British Commissioners under the Treaty of Utrecht, wrote in 1719 in reference thereto, “ I already see some difficulty in the execution of this affair, there being at least the difference of two degrees between the best French maps and that which the Company delivered us.”  No settlement of the boundary could be arrived at.”

“If the later claim of territorial limits had been advanced during this negotiation, there can be no doubt it would have been resisted even more strenuously than the effort to make the 49th parallel the boundary was, not merely by contending that the territory so claimed formed part of Canada, and had been treated as such by the French long before 1670,  but also that the French King had exercised an act of disposition of them, of the same nature as that under which the Hudson’s Bay Company claim, by making them the subject of a Charter of a Company under the Sieur de Caen’s name, and after the dissolution of that Company had, in 1627, organized a new Company, to which he conceded the entire country called Canada.  And this was before the Treaty of St. Germain-en Laye, by which the English restored Canada to the French. In 1663, this Company surrendered their Charter, and the King, by an edict of March in that year, established a council for administration of affairs in the colony, and nominated a Governor;  and about 1665, Monsieur Talon, the Intendant of Canada, dispatched parties to penetrate into and explore the country to the west and north-west, and in 1671 he reported from Quebec that the “Sieur du Lusson is returned , after having advanced as far as 500 leagues from here, and planted the cross, and set up the King’s arms in presence of 17 Indian nations assembled on the occasion from all parts , all of whom voluntarily submitted themselves to the domination of His Majesty, whom alone they regard as their sovereign protector.”

French Advance

The French kept continually advancing forts and trading posts in the country, which they claimed to be part of Canada: not merely up the Saguenay River towards James’ Bay, but towards and into the territory now in question,  in parts and places to which the Hudson’s Bay Company had not penetrated when Canada was ceded to Great Britain in 1763, nor for many years afterwards.  They had posts at Lake St. Anne, called by the older geographers Alenimipigon;  at the Lake of the Woods; Lake Winnipeg; and two, it is believed, on the Saskatchewan, which are referred to by Sir Alexander McKenzie in his account of his discoveries.”

 Hudson’s Bay Company

Enough, it is hoped, has been stated to show that the limits of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territory are as open to question now as they have ever been, and that when called upon to define them in the last century, they did not advance th claim now set up by them;  and that even when they were defining the boundary which they desired to obtain under the Treaty of Utrecht, at a period most favourable for them, they designated one inconsistent with their present pretensions, and which, if it had been accepted by France, would have left no trifling portion of the territory as part of the Province of Canada.”

So far as has been ascertained, the claim to all the country the waters of which ran into Hudson’s Bay, was not advanced until the time that the Company took the opinion of the late Sir Samual Romilly, Messrs. Cruise, Holroyd, Scarlet, and Bell.”

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