235 | From The Earl Of Halifax

    St: James’s. Septemr. 20th. 1763.


    Your Letter to the Board of Trade, of the 28th: of July last,925 concerning the Offers made by The Duc de Nivernois to invite the French Acadians within Your Government to come to France (a Case upon which You ought to have addressed Yourself directly to the Secretary of State) was immediately transmitted to me by Their Lordships; And, having laid it before His Majesty, I am commanded to acquaint You that The King considers those Acadians as His Subjects, exactly in the same State with the rest of His Roman Catholick Subjects in America, and, therefore, cannot suffer them to be brought away from His Dominions, in Shipping sent, for that purpose, by a Foreign Power, in Consequence of a private Negotiation. I have accordingly acquainted Monsieur Le Chevalier D Eon, His Most Christian Majesty’s Envoy here,926 that It will be a fruitless Trouble for His Court to send Transports to Boston to fetch away those People, as You have His Majesty’s Commands not to suffer them, or any other of His Majesty’s Subjects under Your Government, to be removed in that manner. I have likewise apprized Monsieur D Eon that such French Transports, on their Arrival in the Harbour of Boston, or any other British Port in America, would perhaps be deemed liable to Confiscation under Our Act of Navigation. As such a Measure, however, might be attended with disagreable Consequences, I recommend it to you to use every possible Precaution to prevent the Seizure of such French Vessels (if any should be sent) which may perhaps be best done by preventing their Entrance into Your Port

    With respect to that Part of your Letter, in which You desire Directions as to the future Settlement of these Acadians, it is impossible to judge which way of disposing of them is the most eligible, ‘till You shall have informed me, what are their Numbers; in what way they have hitherto subsisted since their Arrival in Your Government; what Objections they themselves, or the Province, may have to their continuing in the same State; and whether they are under any, and what Difficulties, or Disadvantages, as to taking up Lands in Your Government, to which they would not be liable in the Government of Quebec. You will, therefore, lose no Time in transmitting to me the fullest Information upon all these Points, together with Your own Opinion as to the best mode of disposing of these Peoples. And, in the mean Time, You will either induce or oblige them to remain in Your Government upon the same Footing as they have hitherto been

    For the present, I can only add that it may, perhaps, upon further Information, be judged most expedient to remove these People to Quebec: But I can, by no means, conceive it advisable to collect them in a Body, and plant them, a Papist Colony with an established Priest, on any Part of the Eastern Shore.

    I am with great Truth and Regard, Sir, Your most Obedient, humble Servant

    Dunk Halifax

    Francis Barnard Esqr: Governor of His Majesty’s Province of the Massachusets Bay.

    LS, RC BP, 10: 125-130.