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such other of Our Loyal Subjects as may be inclined to settle and improve the same, in such proportions as you may Judge the most conducive to their Interest and the more speedy settlement of Our said Seigneurie. The Lands so alloted to be held of Us Our Heirs and Successors, Seigneurs of Sorel upon the same conditions and under the same reserved rent at the expiration of ten years, as the other Tenants of the Seigneurie now hold their Lands and pay to Us, and also of taking the Oaths and making and subscribing the declaration as herein before is mentioned and directed. The Expence of making the said allotments and Admission thereunto to be also paid and defrayed in like manner as those in the Seigneuries directed to be laid out by this Our Instruction.
And it is Our Will and Pleasure that a Record be kept in the Office of the Receiver General of Our Revenue of every admission into Lands as well by virtue of this Our Instruction, as in cases of future Admission by Alienation or otherwise, a Docquet of which shall be transmitted yearly to Us thro' one of our principal Secretaries of State, and also a Duplicate thereof to Our High Treasurer or the Commissioners of Our Treasury for the time being. [L.S.]
23RD AUGUST, 1786.
Instructions to Guy, Lord Dorchester, Captain-General and Governor in
Chief, &c. &c.
39. By Our Commission to you under Our Great Seal of Great Britain you are authorized & impowered with the Advice and Consent of Our Council to settle & agree with the Inhabitants of Our said Province of Quebec for such Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments as now are or shall hereafter be in Our Power to dispose of, It is therefore Our Will and Pleasure that all Lands, which now or hereafter may be subject to Our Disposal, be granted in Fief or Seigneurie, in like manner as was practised antecedent to the Conquest of the said Province, omitting however in any Grant that shall be passed of such Lands the reservation of any judicial Powers or Privileges whatever; And It is Our further Will and Pleasure that all Grants in Fief or Seigneurie, so to be passed by you as aforesaid, be made subject to Our Royal ratification or Disallowance and a due Registry thereof within a limited time, in like manner as was practised in regard to Grants and Concessions held in Fief or Seigneurie under the French Government.
40. Whereas many of Our Loyal Subjects, Inhabitants of the Colonies and Provinces now the United States of America, are desirous of retaining their Allegiance to Us and of living in Our Dominions, and for this purpose are disposed to take up and improve Lands in Our Province of Quebec, And We being desirous to encourage Our said Loyal Subjects in such their Intentions and to testify Our Approbation of their Loyalty to Us and Obedience to Our Government by allotting Lands for them in Our said Province, And Whereas We are also desirous of testifying Our Approbation of the Bravery and Loyalty of Our Forces serving in Our said Province, and who may have been reduced there, by allowing a certain Quantity of Land to such of the Non-Commissioned Officers and Private Men of Our said Forces who are inclined to become Settlers therein, It is Our Will and Pleasure that immediately after you shall receive these Our Instructions you do direct Our Surveyor General of Lands for Our said Province of Quebec to admeasure and
lay out such a Quantity of Land as you, with the Advice of Our Council, shall deem necessary, and convenient for the settlement of Our said Loyal Subjects, and the Non-Commissioned Officers and Private Men of Our Forces which may have been reduced in Our said Province, who shall be desirous of becoming Settlers therein; Such Lands to be divided into distinct Seigneuries or Fiefs to extend from two to four Leagues in front and from three to five Leagues in Depth if situated upon a Navigable River, otherwise to be run square or in such shape and in such Quantities as shall be convenient and practicable, and in each Seigneurie a Glebe to be reserved & laid out in the most convenient Spot, to contain not less than 300, nor more than 500 Acres; The Property of which Seigneuries or Fiefs shall be and remain vested in Us, Our Heirs & Successors, And you shall allot such Parts of the same as shall be applied for by any of Our said Loyal Subjects, Non-Commissioned Officers and Private Men of Our Forces reduced as aforesaid, in the following Proportions, that is to say,
To every Master of a Family One Hundred Acres and fifty Acres for each Person of which his Family shall consist;
To every single Man fifty Acres;
To every Non-Commissioned Officer of Our Forces reduced in Quebec Two Hundred Acres;
To every private Man reduced as aforesaid One Hundred Acres.
The said Lands to be held under Us, Our Heirs and Successors, Seigneurs of the Seigneurie or Fief in which the same shall be situated, upon the same Terms, Acknowledgements & Services as Lands are held in Our said Province under the respective Seigneurs holding and possessing Seigneuries or Fiefs therein, and reserving to Us, Our Heirs and Successors from and after the expiration of Ten Years from the admission of the respective Tenants a Quit Rent of one half penny per Acre.
41. And whereas upon the raising and establishing the Corps late the 84th Regiment of Foot, We did promise and declare that the Officers and Privates of the said Corps should when reduced be intitled to and receive Grants for certain allotments of Lands in proportion to their respective Ranks therein, It is Our Will and Pleasure that you do in manner as herein before directed Grant Warrants of Allotment and Survey to such of the Officers and privates of the said late Eighty fourth Regiment of Foot now reduced, who shall be willing to settle and become Inhabitants of the said Province of Quebec, and shall apply for the same for such Quantities of Land as they shall be respectively entitled to, In Consequence of Our said promise and declaration contained in Our Instructions to Our Governors of New York and North Carolina dated the 3d April 1775 that is to say,
To Field Officers 5000 Acres
Subalterns 2000 Non-Commission Officer
50 and that the Surveys, be made and Grants for the same delivered free of Expence as herein before directed, Provided nevertheless that every Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officer or private belonging to the said late 84ch Regiment of Foot, who shall claim and apply for Land in Our Province of Quebec as aforesaid, shall declare upon Oath, that no Land has been obtained by him in any of Our other Provinces in America under Our Royal declaration as aforesaid.
42. It is Our further Will and Pleasure, that every Person within the meaning of these Our Instructions upon making application for Land shall take the Oaths directed by Law before you or Our Commander in Chief for the time being, or some person by you or him authorized for that purpose and shall also at the same time make and subscribe the following Declaration (Viz.) “I, A B, do promise and declare that I will maintain and defend to "the utmost of my power the authority of the King in His Parliament, as * the supreme Legislature of this Province,” which Oaths and Declaration shall also be taken, made, and subscribed by every Future Tenant before his, her or their admission upon Alienation, Descent, Marriage or otherwise howsoever, and upon refusal the Lands to become re-vested in Us Our Heirs and Successors And it is Our further Will and Pleasure that the expence of laying out and surveying as well the Seigneuries or Fiefs aforesaid, as the several Alotments within the same and of the Deed of admission shall be paid by the Receiver General of Our Revenue in the said Province of Quebec; out of such Monies as shall be in his hands, upon a Certificate from you or Our Commander in Chief for the time being in Council, Oath being made by Our Surveyor General to the Account of such Expence; Provided however that only one half of the usual and accustomed Fees of Office shall be allowed to Our said Surveyor General or any other of Our Officers in the said Province entitled thereunto upon any Survey or Allotment made, or upon admission into any Lands by Virtue of these Our Instructions.
43. And whereas we have some time since purchased the Seigneurie of Sorel from the then Proprietors, the Lands of which are particularly well adapted for improvement and cultivation; and the local situation of the said Seigneurie makes it expedient that the same should be settled by as considerable a number of Inhabitants of approved Loyalty as can be accommodated therein, with all possible dispatch. It is therefore Our Will and Pleasure, that you do cause all such Lands within the same as are undisposed of, to be run into small Allotments, and that you do allot the same to such of the Non-Commissioned Officers and private Men of Our Forces who may have been reduced in Our said Province, or to such other of Our Loyal Subjects as may be inclined to settle and improve the same, in such Proportions as you may judge most conducive to their Interest and the more speedy Settlement of Our said Seigneurie. The Lands so allotted to be held of Us, Our Heirs, and Successors, Seigneurs of Sorel upon the same Conditions and under the same reserved Rent at the Expiration of ten years, as the other Tenants of Seigneuries now hold their Lands and pay to Us, and also of taking the Oaths and making and subscribing the Declaration as herein before is mentioned and directed; The Expence of making the said Allotments and of Admission thereunto be also paid and defrayed in like manner as those in the Seigneuries directed to be laid out by these Our Instructions. It is nevertheless Our Will and Pleasure that the Allotments to be made to such of Our Loyal Subjets from the Provinces or Colonies now the United States of America, as may be disposed to settle and improve Lands in Our said Province of Quebec, shall be limited to those only who may have withdrawn themselves from the said Provinces or Colonies after the signing of the definitive Treaty of Peace with the said United States, & no other.
And it is Our Will and Pleasure that a Record be kept in the Office of the Receiver General of Our Revenue of every Admission into Lands as well by Virtue of these Our Instructions with respect to Our Loving Subjects retiring from the Provinces & Colonies, now the United States of America, and to Our Forces disbanded as aforesaid, as in Cases of future Admission by Alienation or otherwise, A Docquet of which shall be transmitted
yearly to Us, thro' one of our principal Secretaries of State, & also a Duplicate thereof to Our High Treasurer or the Commissioners of Our Treasury for the time being.
44. It is Our Will and Pleasure however that no Grants or Allotments be made of any Lands, on which there is any considerable Growth of White Pines fit for Masting Our Royal Navy, and which lie convenient for Water Carriage, but that you do cause all such Lands to be set apart for Our_Use and proper Regulations to be made and Penalties inflicted to prevent Trespasses on such Tracts and the cutting down or destroying of the Trees grow
45. And whereas it appears, from the Representations of Our late Governor of the District of Trois Rivières, that the Iron Works at St. Maurice in that District are of great Consequence to Our Service. It is therefore Our Will and Pleasure that no part of the Lands upon which the said Iron Works were carried on, or from which the Ore used in such Works was procured, or which shall appear to be necessary & convenient for that Establishment either in respect to a free Passage to the River St. Lawrence or for producing a necessary Supply of Wood, Corn and Hay, or for Pasture for Cattle, be granted to any private person whatever: And also that as large a District of Land as conveniently may be, adjacent to & lying round the said Iron Works, over & above what may be necessary for the above purposes, be reserved for Our Use to be disposed of in such manner as We shall hereafter direct and appoint.
Under the new Regime Major Holland in October 1764 began the surveying of lands. In the same year, the Executive Council created the Court of King's Bench, and the Court of Common Pleas; and passed ordinances of government, among which were some requiring landlords to register the original titles to their estates.
In promulgating the laws consequent on the Cession some uneasiness was felt by the French Canadians as to the security of their tenures, and to allay this feeling, the Governor-General issued a proclamation intimating that in all legal process affecting the tenure of land and successions to property, the laws and customs which had been in use prior to 1760 were to be followed. By the Quebec Act of 1774 the Custom of Paris was to be continued in disputes relative to property and civil rights, but in criminal matters the law of England. In Order to induce volunteers to join his forces repelling the American revolutionists, Governor-General Carleton offered each unmarried private soldier for services, a free grant of 200 acres of land, if married 250 acres, and 50 acres more for each of the children, the land to be held free of all imposts for 20 years.
The Governor-General had full power to settle and dispose of the public lands, 200 acres being the maximum allowed to any one person and up to 1,200 acres to a family if its size justified that quantity, but grants were also made by the Colonial Department, or the Lords of the Treasury upon the recommendation of the Governor General-in-Council.
Indian lands not ceded or purchased were excluded from surveys for settlement.
The Governor General was, in 1775, authorized to grant land in fief as before the Conquest, & subsequent instructions upheld the seigniorial tenure.
Such was the practice for twenty years, operations being almost entirely confined to Lower Canada, for in what is now Ontario there was before 1783 but little settlement. De La Salle had obtained a seigniory of four leagues
at Cataraqui, and the islands in front-Wolf, Gage, Amherst, &c, a few French families settled on the St. Lawrence—at the Cedars, Vaudreuil & Chateauguay; there was also some settlement near the Niagara military post, but Frontenac and Toronto had been abandoned before the conquest, so that Detroit was the only place, at the Peace, at which real settlement had been effected, a settlement which links Ontario with the days of the French regime, and gives everything appertaining to it special interest. The Detroit river offered many advantages to the settler. It was a most important channel of communication and trade, an important frontier post was on its bank, and both climate and soil were favorable. Writing of it as early as 1701 M. De La Mothe the French Commandant there gives this graphic description of the place :
"Detroit is, probably, only a canal or a river of moderate breadth, and twenty-five leagues in length according to my reckoning lying north-northeast, and south-southwest, about the 41st degree (of latitude) through which the sparkling and pellucid water of Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron (which are so many seas of sweet water) flow and glide away gently and with a moderate currant into Lake Erie, into the Ontario or Frontenac, and go at last to mingle in the river St. Lawrence with those of the ocean. The banks are so many vast meadows where the freshness of these beautiful streams keeps the grass always green. These same meadows are fringed with long and broad avenues of fruit trees which have never felt the careful hand of the watchful gardener; and fruit trees, young and old, droop under the weight and multitude of their fruit, and bend their branches towards the fertile soil which has produced them. In this soil so fertile, the ambitious vine which has not yet wept under the knife of the industrious vine-dresser, froms a thick roof with its broad leaves and its heavy clusters over the head of whatever it twines around, which it often stifles by embracing it too closely. Under these vast avenues you may see assembling in hundreds the sky stag and the timid hind with the bounding roebuck, to pick up eagerly the apples & plums with which the ground is paved. It is there that the careful turkey hen calls back her numerous brood, and leads them to gather the grapes; it is there that the big cocks come to fill their broad and gluttonous crops. The golden pheasant, the quail, the partridge, the woodcock, the teeming turtle-dove, swarm in the woods and cover the open country intersected and broken by groves of full-grown forest-trees which form a charming prospect which of itself might sweeten the melancholy tedium of soitude. There the hand of the pitiless mower has never shorn the juicy grass on which bisons of enormous height and size fatten. The woods are of six kinds,-walnut-trees, white Oak, red, bastard ash, ivy, white wood trees and cotton wood trees. But these same trees
as straight arrows, without knots, and almost without branches except near the top and of enormous size and height.
is from thence that the fearless eagle looks steadily at the
sun, seeing beneath him enough to glut his formidable claws. The fish there are fed and laved in sparkling and pellucid waters and are none the less delicious for the bountiful supply (of them.). There are such large numbers of swans that the rushes among which they are massed might be taken for lilies. The gabbling goose, the duck, the teal and the bustard are so common there that, in order to satisfy you of it, I will only make use of the expression of one of the savages, of whom I asked before I got there whether there was much game there : 'There is so much,' he told me, that it only moves aside (long enough) to allow the boat to pass.'