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recovery of it out of the Enemy's hands this Year; For their holding that Province till they can fortify it and farther strengthen themselves there must be attended with very bad Consequences to his Majesty's Service, worse than may be immediately apprehended, & create no inconsiderable Perplexities; at least it seems a clear point to me, that if the French should hold the Possession of Nova Scotia in Addition to Canada, the fate of Affairs in his Majesty's Northern Colonies will be suddenly alter'd in a surprizing manner & it will then soon be discern'd that the Mastery of the Northern Parts of this Continent, together with the Sources of Wealth & Power depending upon it, will be in a very fair way of being finally transfer'd to the Enemy.
“Upwards of two Months ago upon receiving Intelligence of the Appearance of two large French Ships being seen to go into Chibucto Harbour, M' Warren & I sent M! Townsend notice of it; But as we had not learn'd whether any Vessell had been sent from Louisbourg to look into that Harbour, I sent an arm’d Brigantine to make Discoveries there, which was hinder'd from proceeding thither as is before mention'd; & I have now sent a Schooner thither with a Person who has undertaken to go into it in a Whale boat high enough to make an exact discovery of the Enemy's strength (if any of their Ships are there) & to carry the Account to Louisbourg; But it seems possible if any of 'em have been there, that after landing some Troops and Stores at Chibucto, & getting what Intelligence they can from the Nova Scotians, their Ships may be gone to Canada; for which Place we have been inform’d that sixteen french Vessels, some of 'em Ships of War, had some time ago pass'd up the River of S! Laurence; & since that six other Vessels with Stores; so that it is very probable that Quebec is much better prepar'd to receive a Visit from his Majesty's Land & Sea Forces now than it was a little time ago."
SHIRLEY TO NEWCASTLE, 23 Oct. 1746.
(Extract.) “ It is agreed by all the Prisoners that the French have not fortify'd at Chebucto, nor sent any Troops from thence by Land to join the Canadeans; as also that M! Destonnel the chief D’escadre & Commandant upon the Death of the Duke D'Anville, who was of Opinion, to return to France after the Admiral's Death without attempting any thing, upon being over rul'd in a Council of War & having his Flagg struck, fell upon his Sword, & dy'd of his Wound as all of 'em say, except Sanders.
“It seems very observable from Sander's Declaration how ready a Disposition the Nova Scotians show'd to afford Refreshm! & Pilots to the Enemy, & that they had signified to the french Ministry their readiness to join with any force they should send for the Reduction of his Majesty's Garrison at Annapolis Royal. Also from the number of Engineers the French had with 'em that their Scheme was to hold & fortify Annapolis, for weh Purpose it seems to be that the 50 brass Cannon were brought, rather than for raising Batteries against the Fort: and that from the Number of their small Arms, which they had with 'em to arm the Nova Scotians (doubtless) as well as the Indians, they had a dependance upon being join'd by them. Likewise the Apprehensions which prevail among the Nova Scotians that they are at present rather Neutrals than Subjects to the Crown of Great Britain. And I think it is not to be doubted now but that the principal part of the french Scheme was the Reduction of Nova Scotia in the first Place.
“ Upon the whole the sickly State of the French Fleet, we is extremely ill mann'd, the hurry & Uneasiness they
discover'd upon seeing the Contents of the Packets which fell into their hands, & precipitate departure from Chebucto, with their detaining the Flag of Truce & English Prisoners 'till they were got 30 Leagues from Chebucto, & then dismissing 'em with a Notion that their Fleet was going up the Bay of Fundy to Annapolis (instead of carrying 'em up there with 'em to prevent that's being known to us) makes it seem probable that the Enemy is making the best of their way to France or the West Indies, & was afraid of even M. Townsend's following 'em.
" I am with the most dutiful Regard
"My Lord Duke,
“ W. SHIBLEY."
SHIRLEY TO NEWCASTLE, Boston, 21 Nov. 1746.
(Extracts.) * MY LORD DUKE,
“I am afraid your Grace will think, from my incessant Representations of the State of Nova Scotia, that I imagine that Province should be the sole Object of your Attention: Nothing could induce me to be so importunate with your Grace upon this Subject, but the fullest perswasion of the very great Importance of that place to the Crown, & the British Subject, of the immediate bad Consequences of the Loss of it to his majesty's Service, & the imminent danger of its being lost, unless something is forthwith done for the effectual Security of it.
“ The inclos'd Extract from M: Mascarene's Letter & Copy of Lieut! Colonel Gorham's will disclose in a great Measure to your Grace their Apprehensions, & the Condition of the Province: The number of the Enemy, are increas'd at Menis; they have again stop't all Communication between the Inhabitants & the Garrison, & are likely to keep footing there this Winter; and particularly from Col! Gorham's Letter your Grace will perceive what Pains the Canadeans and Malcontents among the Inhabitants take to prevent my Letter lately dispers'd among 'em, in order to setle the Minds of the Inhabitants, (a Copy of which I have before sent your Grace) from having its proper Influence; & how the Nova Scotians are alarm'd at the Rumour of a design to remove 'em from their Settlements; And it appears to me by what I farther learn from Captain Fotheringham to whom M: Mascarene refers me in his Letter, that unless something vigorous, as that Letter intimates, is done by the Middle of April at farthest, the greatest Part of the Province at least will be in the hands of the Canadeans, and it will be too late then to attempt to reclaim the Inhabitants.
" For the securing Nova Sertia from its present dangers I would further humbly propose it as my Opinion to be consider'd by your Grace, that if his Majesty should be pleas'd as soon as possibly might be after the Receipt of this, to cause it to be signified to the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia, that the Assurances lately given 'em by me of his Royal Protection to such of 'em as should behave dutifully and avoid all traiterous Correspondence with the Enemy at this Juncture (or to that Effect) were approv'd of by him, and should be made good to 'em, it would have a great Tendency to remove their present Apprehensions of being sent off with their Families from their Settlements in Nova Scotia, which seems to distress & perplex 'em; & effectually to prevent 'em from being drawn over to take up Arms against his Majesty, unless it should be some of the most obnoxious of 'em; which if his Majesty would be pleas'd to send over at the same time his special directions to apprehend, and proceed against, such a Proceeding against the Delinquents and gracious Declaration towards the others, would, I dare say, have a proper Effect for securing the general Fidelity of the Inhabitants, at least so far as to keep 'em from joining with the Enemy; And least the Succours now sent to Annapolis should not be a sufficient force to dislodge the Enemy this Winter, I would farther humbly propose it for your Graces' Consideration, that his Majesty's Orders should be forth with sent to myself and the other three Governments of New England, that in case the Canadeans should not be withdrawn out of Nova Scotia, they should immediately cause the Soldiers rais'd in their respective Colonies & Provinces for his Majesty's Service in the Expedition against Canada to be transported to Annapolis Royal, as their Place of Rendezvous istead of Louisbourg, & to be employed in driving the Canadeans out of Nova Scotia, and be farther subjected to such Orders as his Majesty shall be pleas'd to signify in those Directions; and if this Order was to extend to the Governour of New York, it might not be an unnecessary Caution. I am apprehensive if such Orders are not sent, that the Attention of the several Governm to the Reduction of Crown Point might very much interfere with the Preservation of Nova Scotia, which is of infinitely more Consequence.
“These are the things which occur to me at present, & which I would submit to your Grace's Consideration, as what seems to require more immediate Dispatch; As to the danger of the french Fleet's early Return from the West Indies to Nova Scotia and what Strength of Ships may be necessary to protect that Province, Cape Breton, and the other Colonies against that Fleet, or any other french Armament which may be sent from Europe in the Spring to visit these Parts, I leave to Admiral Warren, who now