155 | To Jeffery Amherst

    Castle William Sep 5. 1762


    Yesterday morning I received yours of Aug. 30th.604 I am fully convinced of the necessity of sending the French out of Nova Scotia, &, as there was ^no^ time to make a formal disposition of them, am satisfied with their being sent to this province. I am willing to charge myself with any trouble which this Measure shall occasion: but as to the expence, I conclude that it is not intended to make this province chargeable with it any otherwise than as Creditors. I form this conclusion not only from Governor Belcher’s assurance that all expences should be reimbursed, but from the reasonableness of the thing. In this confidence I shall lay this Matter before the Council to morrow: but as the Assembly meets on Wednesday, I know they will refer it to the general Court. I shall be for removing them from the Sea, & placing them in the Counties of Worcester Hampshire & Berkshire, from whence if they do escape, it must be towards New York province or Crown point &c.

    I wrote to you that I should want 3 or 4 old France Sailors to man the French parlementaire for France.605 There are about that number of such among the french: there are also 8 or 10 old france Prisoners of War, who have petitioned me to send them home in the french Ship. I should have no doubt of making this return, if they were at my disposal: but, as it is, I could wish to have your Authority for it; & expect that the french Vessel may not be ready to sail ’till I can have an Answer to this. The Master of the Vessel will not part with her, but insists upon the priviledge of his Flag to carry him to France: and the 3 or 4 Sailors will be necessary for that Voyage.

    I shall be Very busy all tomorrow morning, & therefore must conclude this, leaving what shall occur to morrow, if any thing, to a postscript. I am, with great regard, Sr

    Your most obedient & most humble Servant.

    Fra. Bernard

    His Excellency Sr Jeffry Amherst.

    We have got near 20 recruits now here: there have been near 50 listed at Halifax besides the 18 I sent there.


    Since I wrote the foregoing, the affair has been fully talked of in Council, the result of which I transmit to you in the Copy of a short Minute thereof. Upon looking over Lt Govr Belcher’s letter I find he is silent about the expence of maintaining them, it being in two other letters from Halifax, which were read in Our Council at the same time with Lt Govr Belcher’s, in which it is said that they were supported by the Crown & would be of no expence to this Government.606 Without being assured of this I shall not know what to do with them: as it will be in Vain to expect that the Assembly will undertake the supporting them throughout this Winter at the Province Expence: in the former transportations of Acadians, It is said the whole burthen lay upon this province & Connecticut. As the Assembly will be for rising before the post can return & probably will do nothing in this till I can receive your orders, I am obliged to send this by express. I have allowed some sick Women & children to go on shore on Shirley point;607 where the whole might be accommodated, if the expence was settled: & there might be a guard of the 40th regiment (if they had cloaths) set over them. They brought 2 months provisions with them.

    ALS, RC WO 34/26, ff 206-207.

    On 17 Sept., the House and the Council unanimously refused FB’s request to make an appropriation to facilitate the refugees’ temporary settlement in the province, claiming that such a matter was the responsibility of the Crown. The Acadians were duly returned to Halifax, prompting Belcher to accuse Hancock and Amherst of incompetence. JHRM, 39: 107-110. Amherst refused to contribute Crown funds to resettle the Acadians, and in his reply to FB dismissed concerns that the expense of resettling the Acadians would fall on the province “Since they may be obliged to work for their Livelyhood.” And once dispersed throughout the province they were unlikely to “contrive Mischeif.” Amherst to FB, 10 Sept. 1762, WO 34/27, p. 277. FB acquiesced in Amherst’s refusal, intimating to the assembly that he “did not expect any other Answer than what I have.” FB to Amherst, Boston, 17 Sept. 1762, WO 34/26, f 217.