338 | To James Murray

    Boston March 14th. 1765


    For some years past there have been residing in this Province a considerable Number of Acadians, who were dispossessed of their possessions at the beginning of this War. They have lived here in an Unsettled manner in hopes of being restored to their Country. At the Conclusion of the peace when those hopes were over, I was desirous that those people should be settled to advantage in his majesty’s dominions if it well might be. For which purpose I submitted the case of these People to Lord Halifax, & received from him several directions concerning them; among which it was said, that the King considered these Acadians as his Subjects upon the same footing with the rest of his Roman Catholick subjects in America: and in one of his Lordships letters he sayes “ that it may, perhaps, be judged most expedient to remove these people, to Quebec, as he can by no means conceive it advisable to collect them in a Body on any part of the Eastern shore”.1 I have therefore among my proposals to these people reckoned their removal to Canada as one; which seemed more Suitable to the bigottry of their religion, which is extreme, than to settle in a province, merely protestant. Hitherto they’ve refused this as well as all other offers.

    This Summer They received an invitation from the Count de L’ Etaign2 Governor of French Hispaniola to come & settle at Cape St. Nicola in that Island as a Seperate Colony. In consequence of which many hundreds of them went over of which about 200 slipt from this province, before I was advertised of it.3 As soon as I knew it, I put a stop to this emigration untill I could receive orders from home concerning it. This has given time for the people here to receive advice of the success of their companions; by which it appears that much the greatest part of those, who went over are dead of the Climate, & the rest miserable. This has made such an impression on some of them that They now apply to me to be removed to Canada & have accordingly delivered in a memorial, which I hereby inclose a Copy of.4

    The People are sober honest & religious, are in general very industrious & good husbandmen. I should have been glad to have kept them here, & for that purpose offered to give them a large tract of land which was in my power: But their religion would not suffer them to stay in this Country. If you should be willing to receive them, I shall be under some difficulty in transporting them, as I doubt whether the Assembly will allow money for it: and I have no other fund to go to. When they get there they will be of no great charge to Your Government as they will arrive at the proper season for labour. I set such a Value upon usefull subjects that I would not have one lost to the Kings Dominions, that can by proper means be preserved. And therefore I suppose that this Offer will be acceptable to you. However I shall wait for your Answer before I set about embarking them. I understand the party petitioning contains 30 families in the whole about 200 souls

    I hereby inclose an attested Copy of my order for the Payment to Lieut. Peach & his receipt thereon. There is now only 24 Pounds due, which the Treasurer will wait your order to receive, as he cannot here procure money for a Bill payable at Quebec. I have a map of the rout which my party took to & from Quebec last summer designed for you, which I will send by the next ship which sails from hence to Quebec _ _ _

    _ _ I should be obliged to you if you could procure for me a Copy of Mr. Peach’s Survey of the St. Johns River as it would greatly assist me in improving the Survey’s I have made of the Rivers Penobscot & Passimaquoddy both which communicate with St. John’s by Easy portages.

    I am with great regard Sr. Your most obedient & humble &c &c His Excellency Goverr. Murray

    L, LbC BP, 4: 35-36.