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Can it be thought that a land in which nature has distributed everything in so complete a manner could refuse to the hand of a careful husbandman who breaks into its fertile depths, the return which is expected of it?
In a word, the climate is temperate, the air is pure, during the day there is a gentle wind, and at night the sky, which is always placid, diffuses sweet and cool influences which cause us to enjoy the benignity of tranquil sleep. If it's position is pleasing, it is no less important, for it opens or closes the approach to the most distant tribes which surround these vast sweet water oceans.
It is only the opponents of the truth who are the enemies of this settlement, so essential to the increase of the glory of the King, to the spread of religion, and to the destruction of the throne of Baal.”
At the close of the Revolutionary War a new period of land settlement opened in Canada by the influx of United Empire Loyalists. The first effective settlement of Upper Canada then began. The first survey was commenced in 1781, and in 1783 Major Holland received instructions to proceed on duty to the Western part of the Province. From that time the work of surveying was carried on continuously by the several officials of the Surveyor-General's department, among whom were John Collins, 1783, Philip R. Frey (1784), for Niagara & Detroit; Wm. Chewett, Patrick McNiff, James & Hugh McDonald, and Alexander Aitkin (1788).
The United Empire Loyalists had suffered great loss and in finding shelter in Canada the British Government provided allotments of land for them according to the following scale contained in the King's Instructions of 1783:
Every Field Officer, 1.000 acres, Every Captain, 700 acres, Every Subaltern, Staff or Warrant Officer, 500 acres, Every Non-Commissioned Officer, 200 acres, Every Private Man, 100 acres, Every. Loyalist, being the head of a family, 100 acres; exclusive of 50 acres for each person of which the family of such officer, non-commissioned officer, private or Loyalist should consist, and fifty acres for every single Loyalist. The U. E. L. grants were to be free of all expense.
With the opening of the Spring of 1784 settlers took up locations on the surveyed lands. The first townships were not named but numbered consecutively from east to west, along the River St. Lawrence from Pointe au Badet to Elizabethtown. 1-9; the second series westward began at Kingston and numbered ten. Townships one to five above Lake St. Francis were occupied by 1462 of the King's Royal Regiment of New York, & those from six to eight, by 495 of Jessup's Corps. Of the five townships of Cataraqui, Captain Grass's party of 187 took the first; 434 of Jessup's Corps, the second; 310 of the King's Royal Regiment of New York, and Major Rogers with 229 men, the third ; Major VanAlstine and party and some of Roger's men, the fourth; and 303 soldiers of various regiments, a part of the fifth; a total of about 3800 married and single men. Butler's Rangers settled at Niagara and westward to the Detroit River. By 1789 about 17.000 Loyalists had settled above Montreal, and in 1790 about 25.000. In 1785 there were fifty houses in Kingston.
Lord Dorchester issued instructions on the 4th. June 1787 that: "For the encouragement of such settlers, who besides supporting their former characters for loyalty to the King and attachment to the British Government, and n peaceable, decent, deportment have, by their industry, in improving and cultivating the lands already assigned to them, given cause to presume
that they will be good and profitable subjects, you are to add to every head of a family of that description 200 acres, exclusive of what is allowed to the other members of it severally by the Royal Instructions.”
On the 24th July 1788 Lord Dorchester divided Upper Canada into four districts, viz; Lunenburg from the River Ottawa to Gananoque; Mecklenburg, from Gananoque to the River Trent; Nassau from the Trent to Long Point; Hesse from Long Point to Lake St. Clair, at the same time appointing a judge and sheriff to administer justice in each district.
FORMATION OF THE LAND BOARDS.
17th February 1789 Following the formation of these Districts, Land Boards were appointed to receive and report upon applications for land from settlers. At a meeting of the Governor's Council held in the Council Chamber, Quebec on the 17th FEBRUARY 1789, the following Rules and REGULATIONS for the conduct of the Land Office Department, were enacted :
I. Every Board appointed, or to be appointed by the Governor in any part of the Province, for the more easy accommodation of persons desirous of forming immediate settlements on the waste lands of the Crown, shall consist of not less than three Members, and if composed of more, any three of them shall be a Quorum for the business intrusted to the whole Board.
II. Every such Board shall be empowered to receive applications for grants or parcels of the waste lands of the Crown, within the extent of their trust, until the first day of May in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one, when their authority shall be determined, unless continued by a new appointment; every such application shall be by petition to the Governor in Council, stating the quantity, the situation of the land prayed for, and the merits and pretensions of the petitioners. And all his Majesty's good and faithful subjects and all others worthy of being admitted as such, shall be considered as proper objects for his bounty and grace, and within the sphere of this trust.
III. It shall be the duty of every such Board to hold stated and periodical meetings, made publicly known, to give free and easy access to petitioners, and to examine into their loyalty, character and pretensions, and upon these and all points requisite, to take sufficient and satisfactory proofs by affidavit, deposition or otherwise, and, to avoid discontents, all petitions and applications shall be taken up in the order of their being preferred, where there is no special cause for a different course of proceeding.
IV. The safety and propriety of admitting the petitioner to become an inhabitant of this Province being well ascertained to the satisfaction of the Board, they shall administer to every such person the oaths of fidelity and allegiance directed by law. After which the Board shall give every such petitioner a certificate to the Surveyor-general, or any person authorized to act as an agent or Deputy Surveyor for the District within the trust of that Board, expressing the ground of the petitioner's admission. And such agent or Deputy Surveyor shall within two days after the presentment of the certificate, assign the petitioner a single lot about two hundred acres, describing the same with due certainty and accuracy under his signature. But the said certificate shall nevertheless have no effect if the petitioner shall not enter upon the location and begin the improvement and cultivation thereof within one year from the date of such assignment, or if the petitioner shall have had lands assigned to him before that time in any other part of the province
V. Every such Board shall at the end of every three months or as soon after as opportunity offers, transmit to the Office of the Governor's Secretary the petitions of that period, and a copy of the certificates given thereon; and when a petition contains a request for a greater quantity of land, than the Surveyor-general and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors are authorized by the fourth and seventh Articles of these Regulations to assign, upon certificates given by the said Boards, they shall report the ground of such claim and pretensions, the consideration of which is reserved to the Governor and Council; the Board transmitting with the petitions of every period a list expressing the names of the petitioners and the dates of their certificates, and the quantum of the locations.
VI. The Boards shall from time to time forward like lists to each other every three months, or as soon after as opportunity offers.
VII. (The respective Boards shall, on petitions from Loyalists already settled in the upper Districts for further allotments of land under the instructions to the Deputy Surveyor-general, of the 2nd of June, 1787, or under prior or other orders for assigning portions to their families, examine into the ground of such requests and claims, and being well satisfied of the justice thereof, they shall grant certificates for such further quantities of land, as the said instructions and orders may warrant, to the acting Surveyors of their districts respectively, to be by them made effecutal in the manner before mentioned; but to be void nevertheless, if, prior to the passing the grant in form, it shall appear to the Government that such additional locations have been obtained by fraud.–And that of these, the Boards transmit to the Office of the Governor's Secretary, and to each other, like reports and lists as herein before, as to other locations, directed.
VIII. And to prevent individuals from monopolizing such spots as contain mines, minerals, fossils, and conveniences for mills and other singular advantages of a common and public nature, to the prejudice of the general interest of the settlers, the Surveyor-general and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors in the different Districts, shall confine themselves in the locations to be made by them upon certificates of the respective Boards, to such lands only as are fit for the common purposes of husbandry, and they shall reserve all other spots aforementioned, together with all such as may be fit and useful for ports and harbours, or works of defence, or such as contain valuable timber for ship-building or other purposes, conveniently situated for watercarriage. in the hands of the Crown.
And they shall without delay give full and particular information to the Governor or Commander in chief for the time being, of all such spots as are herein before directed to be reserved to the Crown, that order may be taken respecting the same.
And the more effectually to prevent abuses, and to put individuals on their guard in this respect, any certificate of location given contrary to the true intent and meaning of this regulation is hereby declared to be null and void, and a special order of the Governor and Council made necessary to pledge the faith of Government for granting of any such spots as are directed to be referred.
IX. The Surveyor-general's Office for the purpose of combining the strength of the settlers and rendering them mutually assistant to each other, shall lay out the tracts or Townships to be granted as nearly contiguous tó each other as the nature of the country will permit; exercising all due care to give them certainty in the description of their boundaries and loca
tions, observing in each Township to lay out Town plots, Glebes and other spaces for public uses, and certain equal portions at the corners thereof, to remain unlocated by any certificates to be given to individuals, by the authority of either of the Boards above mentioned, the grant of such portions of every Township so to remain to the Crown, being reserved to the future consideration of the Governor in Council, or as his Majesty shall be pleased to command respecting the same.
X. The dimensions of every inland Township shall be ten miles square, and such as are situated upon a navigable river or water shall have a front of nine miles, and be twelve miles in depth, and they shall be laid out and subdivided respectively in the following manner, viz.
And the Surveyor-general's Office shall prepare accurate plans according to the above particulars, which shall be filed in the Council Office to be followed as a general model, subject to such deviations respecting the scite of the Town and directions of the roads, as local circumstances may render more eligible for the general convenience of the settlers. But in every such case it shall be the duty of the Surveyor-general and his Agents or Deputy Surveyors to report the reasons for such deviation to the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being with all convenient speed.
XI. The Surveyor-general's Office shall prepare a plan of each district of the Province, exhibiting thereon every tract granted under certificate of location, and there shall be added to it from time to time all tracts thereafter to be pledged or promised or granted; and as often as petitions shall have the proper sanction for the patent therein prayed for the Surveyorgeneral shall without delay file in the Council Office his returns of survey with such clear description of the tract as shall enable the Attorney-general to prepare the draft of the patent or grant intended to be engrossed for the Great Seal.
XII. The Clerk of the Council shall put the same returns of survey into the hands of the Attorney-general, to be there stayed, or thence issued, as the Governor may see cause to direct.
XIII. The Surveyor-general's Office shall consult the best means and give correspondent orders to its deputies for preventing unnecessary expense in the surveys; the Crown's interest requiring that the patentee receive no more, nor any other tract, than it shall appear from the patent to be the intention of the Government to grant him, and the patentee having cause to be contented with the descriptive words in his grant shall enable him to locate and discover with due certainty what tract he is to take; and it being manifest that after such surveys as shall be requisite to ascertain any particular Township or tract, the description of another contiguous thereto or depending thereon, will not require any field work previous to the grant thereof; all subsequent grants in contiguity and succession properly described in the returns of survey being connected with or dependent upon the accurate description and ascertainment of the first tract surveyed.
XIV. The Committee of the Council for reporting upon petitions for lands shall lay aside all such as contain no specific quantity or location of lands desired, and from time to time cause a notification of such imperfect petitions to be published in the Quebec Gazette.
XV. (The faith of Government being to be considered as pledged to all such as have acquired or shall in future acquire certificates of occupation in due cour e, the Surveyor-general's Office shall form a schedule of all lots
under such certificates in any part of the Province, specifying the petitioner's names, the quantum of the locations, the place where, and the date, and a copy thereof shall be lodged in the Office of the Governor's Secretary, another in the Office of the Clerk of the Council, and a copy shall be sent to each of the Boards in the different parts of the Province, and a like practice shall be continued as to all subsequent certificates, at the end of every three months.
XVI. And to the intent there may be as little trouble and as much expedition as possible, with a saving of all unnecessary expense in obtaining grants and patents, and more especially to favor the Loyalists and other settlers remote from the capital of the province, the Secretary shall from time to time notify in the Gazette, all such applications for lands as are so far advanced as to be ready for the Great Seal.
Ordered that all the Boards and officers of the Land-granting Department govern themselves according to the foregoing Rules and Regulations; and that the Clerk of the Council cause the same to be printed, and transmit copies thereof to the different Boards, to be made public in their respective Districts, and to the Officers concerned. By His Excellency's Command,
J. WILLIAMS. (OFFICIAL FORMS USED.)
Under these Regulations the following official forms were used:
CERTIFICATE of the Board appointed by His Excellency the Governor for the Diftrict of
in the Province of Quebec under the Rules and Regulations for the Conduct of the Land Office Department, dated Council-Chamber, Quebec, 17th February, 1789. The Bearer
having on the
day of preferred to this Board a Petition addreffed to His Excellency the Governor in Council for a grant of Acres of land in the Townfhip of
in the Diftrict We have examined into his loyalty and character and find him duly qualified to receive a SINGLE Lot of about two hundred Acres, the oath of fidelity and allegiance directed by law having this day been adminiftered to him by the board, in conformity to the fourth article of the Rules and Regulations aforementioned.
I affign to the Bearer
the Lot No. Townfhip of
in the Diftrict of Acres
in the containing