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soom to have been continually plac'd between two fires, the force and Menaces of the Canadeans & Indians plundering 'em of whatever they wanted, & deterring 'em in the strongest manner from having any Communication with his Majesty's Garrison, on the one hand; and the Resentm" of the Garrison for their withholding their Intelligence & Supplies on the other, tho' at the same time it was not in & Condition to protect 'em from the Enemy; Wherefore it seems a Matter worthy of your Grace's Consideration, whether under such doubtful Circumstances the driving all the French Inhabitants of Nova Scotia off their Settlements, and thereby very greatly strengthening the Enemy upon this Continent, not only against the Garrison in present, but finally against all the British Colonies there, and depopulating one of his Majesty's Provinces for some time (how long may be uncertain) is more eligible than treating 'em as Subjects, confining their Punishm to the most guilty & dangerous among 'em, & keeping the rest in the Country, and endeavouring to make them & their Pogterity useful Members of Society under his Majesty's Government: I can't omit likewise observing to your Grace, that it would be exceeding difficult to fill up the Chasm which driving off the Inhabitants would make in the Country; During the Rupture with France it would certainly be impracticable, and I doubt whether it would not be so when Peace shall be made witn France, if the Indians should continue at War with us; For what Number of Families can be propos'd to begin a Settlem! in the Country, after the Expulsion of the French Inhabitants, with safety against the Indians, & which would be continually expos’d to be destroyed by 'em, whilst they were carrying on their Settlements; They must expect no Protection against the Indians from within the Garrison, out of the Reach of their great Guns; the Company of Rangers, which
live without the Walls of the Fort, would afford more of that than a thousand Garrison Soldiers would do: Whereas if the Stock of french Inhabitants was continued in the Country, an Accommodation with the Indians would be more easily brought about and preserv'd, they would be a Cover for any Number of Families that might be introduc'd among 'em whilst they were carrying on Settlements; & secure to the Garrison its necessary Supplies of fresh Provisions, Fuel, Materials for repairing the Works, & Stores of Sorts that the Country affords.
“ As to repeopling the Province with some of the late Rebels and other Highland Families, it seems much to be doubted whether it might not be too hazardous to fill that Colony, we should be the Barrier of all his Majesty's Colonies upon this Continent, with a Set of poor, ignorant, deluded Wretches just come out of a most unnatural Rebellion; that from their Neighbourhood to Canada would be continually expos'd to the Artifices and Attempts of french Romish Priests upon 'em who it is reasonable to think would not fail to instill the same Notions into 'em in America, which seduc'd 'em from their Allegiance in Great Britain, with a Promise of more effectual Support & Protection from the French here, than they had in the Highlands; Indeed, my Lord, this seems to be a dangerous experiment, and what might produce the worst of Consequences.
“I beg leave to submit it to your Grace's Consideration, whether the most staunch Protestants, & Families the most zealously affected to his Majesty's Government, a Number at least of such, should not rather, if possible, be transplanted there as soon as may be; I could wish four or five hundred of 'em could be induc'd to go from some part of New England; I think from the Experience I had of the Inhabitants of this Province at least upon the late Alarm
bo Scotia upoe Swiss Canto bred up
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given by the french Fleet, I might safely venture to be answerable to his Majesty, that if I had suggested in my late Orders for assembling a Body of 'em under Arms in Boston from all Parts of this Province to oppose any Attempt of the Enemy, that there was a design of landing a Son of the Pretender's here, it would not have been possible to have kept any one Man, who was capable of marching hither, from appearing under Arms with the most determin'd Resolution of hazarding his Life to the utmost in defence of his Majesty's Governm! ; And as the late Appearances of a fondness for removing from hence to Cape Breton seem to be quite vanished at present, I should not be without hopes of some families removing from these Parts to Nova Scotia upon due Encouragement; Protestants likewise from among the Swiss Cantons, & other Northern Parts in Germany, who are generally bred up in the Exercise of arms, and make sober and industrious Settlers, might be safely trusted in Accadie; Great Numbers of 'em yearly flock into Pensilvania, whereby the Inhabitants of that Province are almost incredibly increas'd within these twenty Years; And from the behavior of the Irish coming out of the Northern Parts of Ireland hither, a Number of which is setled in the Eastern Parts of this Province, I should think they too might be safely trusted in Nova Scotia; and it is certain that these poor unhappy Highlanders (I mean such of 'em as may be design'd to be transported into the Plantations) would be more safely dispos'd of among the four Governmt of New England, or in New York & the Jerseys, where they would not be in danger either of corrupting the Inhabitants, or being again seduc'd themselves, but might make useful Subjects to his Majesty.
"I hope, my Lord, I shall be excus'd if I have gone beyond my Line in submitting these Observations to your Grace, at a time when the fate of one of his Majesty's
Northern Colonies, the most important of 'em all to the Crown in many respects, as I apprehend, and which will be in the hands of the french the Key to all the other British Colonies upon this Continent, & even to Cape Breton, And in his Majesty's Possession the Barrier of 'em against the Enemy seems to come to a Crisis.”
SHIRLEY to Newcastle, Boston, New ENGLAND, 27 FEBRUARY, 1747. “My Lord DUKE, “I am sorry that I am now to Acquaint your Grace with the Advices I receiv'd last night by Express from Nova Scotia giving me an Account that the Detachment of Troops under the Command of Lieu: Colonel Noble, which I Inform'd your Grace in my last of the 21* instant had taken possession of Minas, and had kept it near two months, was for want of a proper Security for the Men and Intelligence from the Inhabitants surpriz'd on the 31* of January last at three o’Clock in the morning by between 5 & 600 Canadeans & Indians in which Lieu: Col" Noble with four Officers more and about 80 men were killed, and three Officers and about 60 Men were wounded and taken prisoners before it was light enough for our people to get together; they however obliged the Enemy, upwards of 20 of whom were kill'd, and about 15 wounded, to allow 'em an honourable Capitulation, a Copy of which I inclose to your Grace together with the Account given of this Affair by the Officer who was Commandant of the Detachment at the time of the Capitulation, & Extracts from Lieu: Governour Mascarene's Letter to me upon this Subject, from whence I choose your Grace should receive the Acco; in the same light it has been Conveyed to me in, and which upon the best Inquiry I can make, seems to be a just one. I also Inclose to your Grace an Extract from Col. Noble's Letter to me dated two days before his death, giving me an Account of the Situation of Affairs then at Minas; from whence your Grace will perceive that even then he was in Expectation of being Join’d by the Rhode Island Forces & the Company from this Province, which had the Misfortune to be Shipreck'd; and that, had they arriv'd at Annapolis, and the New Hampshire Companies had not return'd home without acting, the Enemy would in all probability have been drove out of Nova Scotia, and every good purpose, which I had propos'd, been answer'd before this time. As it is I shall use my best Endeavours forthwith to fit out a sufficient force by Sea to destroy M. Ramsay's Wessels at Schiegnecto, and recover our own by Spring, & to send M: Mascarene such a Reinforcement of Troops as may still drive the Enemy out of Nova Scotia by the same time and prevent any bad Consequences from the late Accident there, which seems necessary to be done (if possible) and I shall hope to succeed in, if the neighbouring Governments of New England will assist in, which I shall urge 'em to do. “I likewise inclose the Answer of the Inhabitants of Minas to the French Letter which I some time ago Inform'd your Grace I sent M: Mascarene last Fall, and a Paragraph out of one of his Letters to me upon the same matter; whereby your Grace will perceive that that Letter seems to have had an happy Effect upon the Inhabitants at a most critical Conjuncture. “The late Secresy of the Inhabitants of Minas with regard to the Enemys Motions, and the very certain Intelligence which the Enemy gain’d of the particular Quarters of the English Officers, notwithstanding their Supplying the King's Troops with Provisions, and the Curtesy of their Behavior to 'em before this Surprize, and their professions of being sorry for it afterwards seems to shew the necessity of his Majesty's Keeping a strong Blockhouse there with a Garrison of 150 men; And the constant ill behavior of the In.