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great measure become true Protestant Subjects; and the Indians there soon Reclaim'd to an entire dependance upon & subjection to his Majesty; which might also have an happy Influence upon some of the Tribes now in the French Interest.
“ Your Grace will be pleas'd to Excuse all
“ W. SHIRLEY.”
SHIRLEY TO MASCARENE, Boston, Sept 16, 1746.
“Having been inform'd that the french Inhabitants of Nova Scotia entertain some Jealousy of a Design in the English Government to remove them with their Families from their Settlements, & transport them to France or elsewhere; I desire (if you think it may be for his Majesty's Service) that you would be pleas'd to signify to 'em, that it is probable if his Majesty had declar'd such Intention I might have heard of the same, but that I am perfectly unaquainted with any such Design, and am perswaded there is no just Ground for this Jealousy; And be pleas'd to assure 'em that I shall use my best Endeavours by a proper Representation of their Case to be laid before his Majesty, to obtain the Continuance of his Royal Favour & Protection to such of them, as shall behave dutifully, & refuse to hold any Correspondence with his Enemies; and I doubt not but that all such of 'em will be protected by his Majesty in the Possession of their Estates & Settlements in Nova Scotia.
* And I desire you would also be pleas'd to inform them that it is expected from his Majtys french Subjects in that Province, who have for so long time enjoyed the same Privileges with his natural born Subjects there, & have been under a much easier Government than any of the french King's Subjects are in the neighbouring Province of Canada & other Parts of the french King's Dominions, that their Interest as well as their Duty and Gratitude should bind them to a strict Fidelity & Obedience to his Majesty and His Government; But on the contrary if any of the Inhabitants of the said Province shall join with the Enemy (especially those that have been sent from Canada to seduce them from their Duty to his Majesty & Attachment to the English Interest) they must expect to be treated in the same manner as his Majesty's English Subjects would be under the like Provocations.
“I am with great regard
SHIRLEY TO NEWCASTLE, Boston, SEPTEMBER 19, 1746.
“My LORD DUKE,
"I express'd some hopes in my last but one to your Grace, that I should not be oblig'd to add to my former Accounts of the imminent danger, his Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia was in of being surpriz’d by the Enemy; But find my self under a Necessity of doing it from the Advices which I have since receiv'd from M: Mascarene, and the Intelligence contain'd in three Declarations upon Oath, Copies of all which are inclos'd.
“ Upon the Receipt of M! Mascarene's Letter, the Con.
tents of which are confirm'd to me by other authentick Accounts, it appear'd to me that there was no room to doubt but that a considerable Body of French and Indians from Canada was assembled in Nova Scotia, with Expec tations of a Reinforcement from France; and if they fail'd of that this Year a Design of at least wintering in Minas or some other part of the Country, by which means they would have an Opportunity of fortifying themselves in it, transporting their great artillery (which there was then the utmost reason to believe they had landed either at Bay Verte or Chebucto Harbour) to Annapolis, and work upon the French Inhabitants already ripe for a Revolt to join 'em in attacking his Majesty's Garrison there so early in the Spring that it would be extremely difficult if not impracticable to relieve it by any Succours either from Louisbourg or the Colonies on the Continent. Whereupon I immediately sent M: Mascarene an Assurance that I would send him as soon as possible 300 of the new Levies from this Province, 200 of 'em (which seems to be as many As the Garrison can hold at present besides the Troops already there) for the Reinforcement of it, and 100 of 'em to be employ'd in two Sloops up the Bay in the manner M: Mascarene proposes in his Letter to me, and that I would do the utmost in my Power to make the number up 2000 soon afterwards, in order to dislodge the Enemy, & prevent 'em from wintering in the Province; And in the mean time upon my advising with Rear Admiral Warren (who is still here) he immediately sent his Majesty's Ship Chester a 50 Gun Ship to Annapolis Royal for the further Countenance & Protection of the Garrison there.
“Some Days after this I receiv'd Information that a Fleet of upwards of 30 Sail were discover'd about 15 Leagues to the Westward of Chibucto Harbour, which lies upon the Cape Sable Shoar (the Coast of Accadie or Nova Scotia) about 150 Leagues to the Eastward of Boston, and about 60 Leagues Westward of Louisbourg, & about 80 distant from Annapolis Royal according to Champions inclos'd Deposition, which was confirm’d by another of the same Tenour made by one Thornton sent me from Piscataqua, upon which I dispatched an arm'd Brigantine with orders to look into Chibucto Harbour, & if the Master should discover any thing to proceed directly to Louisbourg, & give Vice Admiral Townsend & Govern? Knowles Intelligence of it, & to send me Advice of it Express by some fishing Vessel taken up at Sea; But the Brigantine return'd in less than 24 hours with one Stanwood a Fisherman on board, whose Vessel fell in with the Fleet on the 9th day of Sept? about 10 Leagues to the Westward of Chibucto, the particulars of which are contain'd in his inclos'd Deposition; and the day after Stanwood's falling in with this Fleet, Haskell another Master of a fishing Vessel discover'd it standing a right course for Chibucto about 8 Leagues to the Westwo of it, & was chas’d by one of 'em according to the inclos’d Deposition; which Series of Intelligence, as no Vessel has arriv'd here yet from this Fleet (which must in all probability have happen'd had it come from England) compar'd with the Accounts in the English News Papers of the Brest Fleet's sailing, & the Intelligence gain'd from a french Prize lately taken by one of M! Townsend's Squadron near the Mouth of S! Lawrence, that she came out with the Brest Squadron & sail'd in Company with it eight days; the Account we had of two large french Ships being seen to go into Chibucto Harbour about two Months ago; the behavior of the French in Nova Scotia, & their declar'd Expectations of a large French Armament about this time, seems to make it very probable that these Ships may be part of the Brest Squadron, & that they have an immediate design upon Nova Scotia at least. — Hereupon
I sent an Express Boat to Louisbourg to apprize Admiral Townsend & M Knowles of it, & another to Annapolis Royal to give M? Mascarene Advice of it, & to let him know that I was embarking 300 Men for the Reinforcement of the Garrison under his Command (which is done & part of 'em sail'd) with a Promise of farther Succours, and to apprize him that from the publick Accounts in the English Prints we had reason to depend upon the speedy Arrival of Lieut! General S! Clair with the British Troops under his Command, & a Squadron of his Majesty's Ships with 'em at Louisbourg; And as I have reason to think that an Apprehension generally prevails among the french Inhabitants of Nova Scotia, that they shall all of 'em soon be remov'd from their Settlements there without Distinction, which may have a bad Influence upon 'em in favour of the Enemy at this critical Time. I have wrote M! Mascarene a Letter (a copy of which I inclose to your Grace) which is translated into French, & printed, in order to be dispers’d among the french inhabitants, if M! Mascarene (to whose Discretion I have submitted it either to make Use of or suppress the printed Copies) shall be of Opinion that the Publication of it among 'em may be for his Majesty's Service.
"If the Fleet discover'd on the Cape Sable Coast should be Part of that from Brest, doubtless their visit to Nova Scotia has been encourag'd by the general Disposition of the Inhabitants, & the strength they will add to 'em for the Reduction of that Province, & afterwards for an Attempt upon Louisbourg (if they should think it adviseable to make one) as also for the defence of Canada. Should they succeed in an immediate Attempt upon Nova Scotia (which I should not be surpriz'd at) & General S! Clair with the Squadron expected from England should arrive in time for that purpose, I should propose attempting the immediate