152 | From Jeffery Amherst

    New York, 30th: August 1762.


    By a Letter I received last Night from Lt. Governor Belcher,593 he Acquaints me of his having, in Consequence of the Opinion of His Majesty’s Council of Nova Scotia, and the Address of the House of Assembly, thought it Expedient for the Safety of that Province, to Transport a Number of Accadians, who, from their late Behavior to the New Settlers, had become not only Troublesome, but very Dangerous: And Mr. Hancock Acquaints me, that Five Transports, with these People, were Arrived at Boston.

    I make no doubt but Lt. Governor Belcher has Wrote to You concerning them;594 but as he Writes me, “that he had given Orders to the Transports to proceed to Boston, & there Remain, with the People on Board, untill they Receive my Directions for the Disposal of them; and that they were to Lye, untill that time, under the Command of the Castle,” I am, to Acquaint you, that, as Circumstances now are, my Opinion is, that those People should be Disposed of in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, for the present; and must Desire you will Do it in such a manner as you shall Judge best, by Separating them as much as possible, that they may have no opportunitys of Doing mischief, or Returning to their Old Habitations; and I am persuaded the Country must Reap an advantage from their Labour: The Removing of them from Nova Scotia Appears to be Necessary at this time, as the greatest part of the Troops are Ordered from thence; but I must Confess had that not been the Case, I should have rather Advised the keeping them where they were; for Notwithstanding the Natural Aversion all New Settlers have to any Neighbors who have been Suspected of Disaffection, yet such a Number of Hands in a New Country could not fail of being of great Service for its Cultivation & Improvement.__

    I Think it necessary to Acquaint you, that I have received Intelligence of the Enemy’s having Sent a Double Deck’d Schooner from Newfoundland, to some part of the Continent, for a Cargo of Flour: The Master’s Name is not known, but he is an Irish man, and there is likewise One Casey of the same Country on Board, who has a Bill of Sale of the Vessel, and is Employed by the French to get the Flour, &ca. I Need not, I am Certain, Desire you to give the Necessary Directions for Stopping the said Vessel & Crew, if She comes into any of the Ports in your Government.__

    I am, with great Regard, Sir, Your most Obedient Humble Servant

    Jeff: Amherst

    His Excellency Governor Bernard.

    LS, RC BP, 10: 11-14.

    Those Acadians who had not been evicted from Nova Scotia were considered a potential military threat by Belcher’s administration, though not by Amherst, particularly after the French raid on St. John’s. In Aug. 1762, Belcher deported the Acadian “prisoners” to Massachusetts on the erroneous assumption that Amherst, who acquiesced in their removal, would make provision for their detention or subsequent resettlement. Thomas Hancock brought six hundred Acadians into Boston harbor, fully expecting that the refugees would become the responsibility of the provincial government. Thomas B. Akins, ed., Selections From the Public Documents of the Province of Nova Scotia (Halifax, N.S., 1869), 323-338.