156 | To Jeffery Amherst

    Boston Sep. 11. 1762


    I think I have discovered the occasion of the alarm at Canso; it appearing to be wholly owing to the indiscretion of the Commander of an armed Frigate sent into those Seas from Quebec. This Person drove before him many of the fishing Vessels, firing shot after them & thereby fully persuading them that he was a frenchman; & in the sight of other Vessels took two, put Men on board & sent them away.608 The owner of one of these Vessels has been with me to desire my interposition to recover his Vessel sent to Quebec: and I have transmitted his Memorial to Genl Murray, desiring he would order satisfaction to be made to the Man.609

    His case is Very hard: The only pretence for seizing his Vessel (besides resentment at his not bringing to) was that the Vessel had not a Register. The Poor Man in vain pleaded that Fishing Vessels, that did not trade, were not required by Law to take Registers & did not usually carry any. The Captains Anger at the Master’s taking him for an Enemy & endeavouring to escape never subsided ’till he had sent the Fishing Vessel away. Thus an industrious Man has lost the best part of a years income of a fishing Vessel by the misunderstanding of an angry Officer.

    I inclose a Copy of a memorial of this transaction divested of several circumstances of oppression with which the Story was related. I hope Genl Murray will have no difficulty in procuring justice for this man: if any should occurr, I should be obliged to you for your interposition. If the Captain had been right in his law, he might as well have sent in 50 Vessels as two.

    Our Sloop is returned from Canso: She heard of a french Pirate being in those Seas & went to the Island of St Johns to look after her, but could see nothing. However She was of some service by encouraging some Vessels that were there to stay & compleat their lading.

    I am, with great regard, Sr Your most obedient & most humble Servant

    Fra. Bernard

    His Excellency Sr Jeffry Amherst

    ALS, RC WO 34/26, ff 210-211.