Letter from J.A. MacLauchlan to Lieutenant Governor John Harvey


The letter transcribed below was written by J.A. MacLauchlan, Warden of the Disputed Territory of the Madawaska Settlements, to New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor John Harvey. Harvey had ordered a census of land holders along the upper St.John from Grand Falls to the St.Francis River, which MacLauchlan had carried out and completed by early May. The letter below accompanied the census returns.

Madawaska Settlement
May 9th 1840

His Excellency,
Major General Sir John Harvey IIIBd.KCH
Lieutenant Governor

May it Please Your Excellency,

In obedience to Instructions received from Your Excellency, I have the Honour to transmit, a Return of the Number of Persons occupying Lands in this Settlement - Madawaska - which shews, that Three Hundred and Ninety Seven are now located on both Banks of the Saint John from the Grand Falls to the River Saint Francis, a distance of sixty-six miles, and are distributed as follows:

Two Hundred and Forty-eight between the Grand Falls and the entrance of the Little Madawaska River, where the Line of Communication to Canada leaves the River Saint John. One Hundred and Eighteen to the Block House of the American Armed Posse at Fish River, a distance of Eighteen Miles, and Thirty-one to the River Saint Francis - distant Twelve Miles.

Of the number located there are one hundred and fifty-one Born in Madawaska, many of whom, now occupy the lands granted to their Fathers and others by Governor Carleton in the Years 1790 and 1794.

The Population of this Settlement, which is over Three Thousand Persons, is almost exclusively French, there are about One Hundred English, Irish and Americans, but only nine of the latter and of this number, four - that is to say, John Baker, David Savage, Jesse Wheelock and Barnabas Hunnawell, were arrested a few years since by the High Sheriff of the County of York, and taken to Fredericton, where they were tried and found guilty of a Conspiracy to subvert then His Majesty's Government in this Section of the Province.

I beg to enclose Your Execllency communications I have received from the Revd. Mr. A. Langevin Priest of this Settlement, and also from the two Magistrates, F. Rice and L.R. Coombs Esquires, on the subject of Jurisdiction and extent of Madawaska. I also beg to inform Your Excellency I have been particular in obtaining similar information from the oldest and other of the Inhabitants, and find that "The Madawaska Settlement has been considered by them as commencing at the Grand Falls and extending up both banks of the Saint John to the highest location, which is now at the Saint Francis. And further, that they have always considered themselves under the Jurisdiction and Government of this Province."

I have the Honour to be,
With Respect
Your Excellency's
Very Obedient
Humble Servant

J.A. Maclauchlan
Warden of the Disputed Territory

Return to 1840 New Brunswick Census of Madawaska

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Last revised 20 Dec 2008
© 2008 C. Gagnon