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Correspondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario online

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1658, p. 9, it is thus reported : —

"Le 11 (Aoiit) parut la barque de Monsieur Bourdon lequel estant descendu sur
le grand fleuve du Cost^ du Nord voyagea jusques ou 55 degr6 au il rencoutra un grand
banc de glace qui le fit remonter, aiant perdu deux Hurons qd'il avait pris pour guides.
Lee Esquimaux sauvages du Nord les massaorerent et bless^rent un Francois de trois
coups de fleches et d'un coup de couteau."

The Jesuits would have known if Jean Bourdon had entered the Straits of Hudson^
and would have mentioned it in their Belations. On the contrary, they never mention
it, and it is to be taken from that that the assertion that he ever entered Hudson's Bay
is a myth,'because he was of the Province of Quebec, and was a man well known and
trusted by the Jesuits, and went with Father Jogues on an embassy to Governor
Don^m, of New York.

It is asserted that Father Dablon and Sieur de Yalliere were in 1661 ordered by
Sieur d'Argenson, Governor of Canada, to proceed to the country about Hudson's Bay,
and they went thither accordingly, and the Indians who then came back with them to-
Quebec declared that they had never seen any Europeans there before.

In Shea's Charlevoix, Yol. III., pp. 39 and 40, it is stated that he (Father Dablon>
attempted to penetrate to the Northern Ocean by ascending the Saguenay. Early in
July, two months after they set out, they found tl^mselves at the head of ite Nekauba
River, 300 miles from Lake St. John. J They could not proceed any further, being warned
by the approach of the Iroquois.

Rev. Claude Bablon arrived in Canada in 1655, and was immediately sent missionary
to Onondaga, where he continued, with a brief interval, until 1658. In 1661 he set out
overland for Hudson's Bay, but succeeded in reaching only the head waters of the
Nekauba, 300 miles from Lake St. John. (N. Y. His. Doc, Yol. IX., p. 97, note 2,'^Bd,}

In the Rel. de Jesuites, Yol. III. (1661), p. 13, there is an account of this voyage,
which is called ^^ Journal du premier voyage fait vers la mer du Nord. (12 Aout,
1661.)" The account is dated from the highest point they reached, Nekauba, 100 lieues
de Tadousac. 2 Juillet, 1661 :—

"1661, Juillet le 27, retournerent ceux qui estoient alUs ou pretendoient aller a la
mer du Nord au Kiristinons P. Dablon, eta" (Journal du Jesuites, p. 300.)

Au assertion is made that some Indians came from about Hudson's Bay to Quebec
in 1663, and that Sieur la Couture with five men proceeded overland to the Bay, posses-
sion whereof they took in the King's name.

*[The same authority quoted by Mr. MacMahon informs us that "as regards Hudson's Bay, the
French settled there in 165o " ^nd that the Sieur Bourdon "went to the north of the said Bay, and took
possession thereof in His Majesty's name." (The Sieur de CaUiferes, Governor of Montreal, and
subsequently Governor-General of Canada, to the French Minister, the Marquis de Seignelay, in Book Arh.
Docs. p. 109.) And there is the further statement that " in 1656^ Jean Bourdon ran uong the entire coast
of Labrador with a vessel of thirty tons, entered and took possession of the North Bay. This is proved by
an extract of the ancient Register of the Council of New France of the 26th of August of said year." (Th»
Marquis de Denonville, Governor-General of Canada, to the Marquis de Seignelay, Book Arb. Docs. p. 11L>
The North Bay— JBati! du Nord—h French name for Hudson's Bay. By the term " north of the said Bay,"
is meant the northern part — probably Port Nelson. — G. E. L.]

t [The contention on the part of Ontario is that this is the private record of a different vojrage in a
different year, and which, either because of its not having been directed to Hudson's Bay, or in consequence
of its failure if it was so directed, is not noticed in the official records or despatches.— G.E.L.]

t [Charlevoix, who did not write until the next century, may not have been master of all the facts. Bat
even his account shows that Dablon met an immense concourse of the Indians of Hudson's Bay, at their
appointed place of rendezvous on the Height of Land.— G. £. L.]

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There is 110 record of this voyage. No mention is made in Charlevoix or in the
Relations of the Jesuits respecting Couture or his expedition.*

Sieur Duquet^ Eang's Attorney for Quebec, and Jean L'Anglois, a Canadian colonist,
are said to have gone to Hudson's Bay in 1663 by order of Sieur D'Argenson, and
renewed the act of taking possession by setting up the King's arms there a second time.

Viscount D'Argenson, who is stated by Mr. Mills at p. 129 of his Eevised Report
to have given the order to Duquet to proceed to Hudson's Bay, left Canada on 16th
September, 1661, two years prior to the giving of the order, which it is stated Sieur
Daquet received.! (Shea's Charlevoix, Vol. III., p. 65, note 5, and p. 17. N. Y. Hia
Docts., Vol. IX., p. 17).

In 1666 or 1667, Iladisson and des Groselli^res were roaming among the Assini-
boines in the region of Lake Winnipeg, and were conducted by members of that tribe to
the shores of Hudson's Bay. (Mills, p. 8.)

Father Albanel and Sieur St. Simon were, in November, 1671, sent by M. Talon to
Hudson's Bay, which they reached in 1672.

In the Helations of the Jesuits, Albanel gives an account of his trip, and- shows that
the English Company were already in possession of Hudson's Bay, having entered there
under their charter.

It is quite apparent from the relation that no one had on behalf of France visited
Hudson's Bay prior to his visit in 1672. Father Albanel says : —

** Jusques icy on avoit estim^ ce voyage impossible aux Fran9ois, qui apr^s I'avoir
entrepris d^ja par trois fois, et n'en ayant pii vaincre les obstacles^ s'estoient veu obligez
de Tabandonner dans le desespoir du succez. Ce qui paroist impossible, se trouve ais^
qnand il plaist k Dieu. La conduite m'en estoit deu6, apres dix-huit ans de poursuites
que j'en avois faite, et j'avois des preuves assez sensiblcs que Dieu m'en reservoit I'execu-
tion, apr^s la faveur insigne d'une guerison soudaine et merveilleuse, pour ne point dire
miraculeuse, que je receus d^s que je me fus devoii^ h cette mission, k la solicitation de
men Superieur." (Eel. Jesuites, 1672, p. 56).

Up to this time (1672) the Jesuits do not appear to have heard of any prior expedi-
tion having reached Hudson's Bay. |

What is relied upon by the Province of Ontario as furnishing evidence of Father
Dablon and Sieur Couture having visited Hudson's Bay is a memoir of M de Cal litres
sent to the Marquis de Seignelay in 1684 (N. Y. His. Doc., Vol. IX, p. 268) ; and M. de
Denonville, on 8th November, 1686, by a memoir sent to M. de Seignelay, appears to
have copied the statement made by M. de Calliferes.§ (See Ibid. p. 304.) But in his letter
which accompanied the memoir, M. de Denonville says : " I annex to this letter a memoir
of our rights to the entire of that country, of which our registers ought to be full, but
no memorials of them are to be found." (N. Y. His. Doc, Vol. IX., p. 297). M. de
Denonville thereby admits that documentary evidence could not even at that time be
adduced in support of these visits having been made to Hudson's Bay.||

♦ [The Marquis de Denonville reports of Couture*8 journey to the shore of Hudson's Bay: **In
1663 . . . Sieur D'AvauRour, then Governor, sent Sieur Couture thither with five others. Said Sieur
Couture took possesssion anew of the head {fonds) of said Bay, whither he went overland, and there set up
the Kmig's arms, engraved on copper.' This is proved hy Sieur D'Avaugour*s order of the 20th May, 1663,
and the certificates of those who were sent there." (Book of Arh. Docs., pp. Ill, 112.)— G. E. L.]

tfThe order of D'Argenson was renewed by his succeeeor, D'Avaugour, as appears from deCalli^es :—
"In the same year, 1663, Sieur Duquet, King's Attorney to the ProvdU of Quebec, and Jean TAnglois, a
Canadian colonist, went thither again by order of the said Sieur D'An[en8on and renewed the act of taking
possession by setting up His Majesty's arms there a second time. This is proved by the arrit of the said
Sovereign Council of Quebec, and by the orders in writing of the said Sieurs d'Argenson and d'Avaugour."
(Book Arb. Docs., p. 109. )-G. E. L.]

t[And yet the overland joumev of the two Frenchmen, Iladisson and Des GrosseUi^r^ who went to
the diores of the Bay in 1666, is related above. We have also for it the authority of the !unglbh author
Oldmixon. (Book of Arb. Docs., p. 280.)— G. E. L.]

§ [There is no foundation for this conjecture. The two mhnoirea bear internal evidence that they were
preinied independency one of the other.— ^. E. L.]

II [This extract from the Marquis de Denonville has reference, not to Hudson's Bay, but to the Country
of the Iroquoity south of the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, of which he treated in the same m^moire. (See
the full text hi the N. Y. Hist. Docs.)-G. E. L.]

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At the time that M. de Calli^res and M. de Denonville wrote (in 1684 and 1686), it
was most important to show, if possible, that Dablon and Couture had been at Hudson's
Bay. The French, before that time, had driven the English from a number of their
forts ; and in March, 1686, Canadian troops were sent by Denonville, who surprised and
captured Forts Albany, Hayes and Rupert, belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company ;
and it therefore became necessary to show a colour of right for these proceedings, and
these memoirs were prepared with that view.*

English Discotbry.


Sebastian Cabot, who sailed to Hudson's Bay and Straits under a commission fitun
Henry VII. of England, entered the Bay, which, in 1610, took the name of Hudson.
This is admitted by Mr. Mills, pp. 122 and 123. (See Bacon's History of Henry VII.,
Hakluyt, Vol. Ill, pp. 25, 26 and 27.)

1576, 1577 and 1578.

Sir Martin Frobisher, it is said, made three voyages to Hudson's Bay. He entered
Hudson's Bay in 1576, and gave the name to Frobisher's Straits. (Mills, p. 123 ; Hak-
luyt, Vol. III., pp. 55 to 95 ; Pinkerton's Collection, Vol. XIL, 490-521.)

1608-1610. •

According to the narrative of Prickett (who was with Hudson during the voyage},
to be found in Harris's Voyages, Vol. II., pp. 243-4, Hudson sailed on 17th April, 1610,
reached the Bay now Jcnown as " Hudson's " in July of that year and wintered in the
Bay, and remained there until late in the summer of 1611.


It was desired to prosecute the discoveries made by Hudson, and in 1611 His Royai
Highness Henry Prince of Wales was applied to by persons concerned in the project,
and he resolved to send Captain Button, who penetrated to the Hudson's Bay and sailed
200 leagues to the north-west. He wintered there at Nelson River. (Harris, Vol. II.,
pp. 245-404.)


It appears that the English nation had been trading with Greenland, and those
trading finding that " other nations were interfering with this trade " found themselves
under a necessity of having recourse to the Crown for protection and assistance, as well
for defending their fisheries as for prosecuting theii* discoveries, and they accordingly
addressed themselves to King Charles I., who furnished them with a frigate called "The
Charles," under command of Captain Luke Fox, who sailed in the spring of 1631, in
order to make discoveries towards the north-west Captain Fox and Captain James met
at Fort Nelson in August, 1631.

Captain Thomas James undertook his voyage in 1631 for the satisfaction of Charles
I., at the expense of the merchants of Bristol. The account of the voyage was written
by himself, and published in 1633. Captain James left England in May, and met Captain
Luke Fox on 29th August near Port Nelson. He wintered in Hudson's Bay. (Harris's
Travels, Vol. II., pp. 407, 409 and 413.)

1667 and 1668.

Des Groselli^res and Badisson (who it is supposed were Goureurs des bM) were
ix>aming among the Assiniboines and were conducted by them to Hudson's Bay.

* [There is no authority for this suggestion, and the high character and position of these two G^OTemon
are opposed to it. Besides, these were confidential reports to the French GoTemment, which bare only
become public in our own day, and at the instance of the State of New York, whose early history they senre
to illustrate. See a fuller reference to this matter in the argument of the Attorney •General of Ontario
before the Arbitrators, poi^.— G. £. L.]

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Des Groaelli^res and Radisson went to Qaebec for the purpose of inducing the mer-
chants there to conduct trading vessels to Hudson's Bay. The proposal was rejected, as
the project was looked upon as chimerical by the Quebec merchants.'^ (Ont. Docts. p. 280.)
(This does not accord with the pretensions of the French that Jean Bourdon had made a
voyage there in 1656 or 1657.)

Des Gbroselli^res was in London in 1667, and before going there had been in Boston
and Paris in search of persons willing to fit out an expedition to explore Hudson's Bay.
He mot with a favourable reception, and the London merchants employed Z. Gillam, a
person long used to the New England trade, to perfect this discovery. Giilam sailed in
the "Nonsuch " in 1667, and on his arrival buUt Fort Charles, said to have been the
first fort erected in the Bay,t and upon his return those engaged in the enterprise applied
to Claries II. for a patent, which was issued on 2nd May, 1670, to Prince Rupert and
others. (Harris's Voyages, Vol. II., p. 286.)


Captain Newland was sent out in 1669 by the same parties who in 1667 sent out Z.

As &ir as the Hudson's Bay Territory is concerned, the English were first, both as to
discovery and occupation. So long as the English were not there, the Indians came to
Montreal and Quebec, and the French derived the benefit of the trade, which was all that
was required, and they could then afford to treat as chimerical the statements of Radisson
and Des Groselli^res that Hudson's Bay could be reached with ships.* But once the
English occupied the territory, erected forts and create^ settlements, whereby the French
for trade was cut off from the west and north, then it became necessaiy for tibem to claim
title by discovery. Hence the memoir of M. de Calliferes to M. Seignelay, which is shown
cannot be relied upon, and which De Denonville says there are no memorials to support |

If possession is to form a claim to the country, the evidence that the Engliish first
made a settlement and thus took possession is of the cleai*est character, for it is not
seriously pretended that any actual possession was taken nor any settlement made until
Giilam went to Hudson's Bay and built Fort Charles in 1667.§

What, then, did England obtain by taking possession and making a settlement for
the purpose of occupancy by building the numerous forts on Hudson's Bay, in the year
1667 and during subsequent years? According to Vattel, Book I., Chap. 18, Sect 207,
"Navigators going on voyages of discovery furnished with a commission from their
Sovereign, and meeting with islands or other lands in a desert state, have taken
poesession of them in the name of their nation ; and this title has been usually respected,
provided it was soon after followed by real possession."

" When a nation takes possessipn of a country, with a view to settle there, it takes
possession of everything included in it, as lands, lakes, rivers, etc." (IhicL, Chap. 22,
Sect. 226.)

" In the negotiations between Spain and the United States respecting the western
boundary of Louisiana, the latter country laid down with accuracy and clearness certain
propositions of law upon this subject, and which fortify the opinion advanced in the fore-
going paragraphs. * The principles (America said on this occasion) y^<^^ ^^ applicable
to the case are such as are dictated by reason and have been adopted in practice by

•[The sole authority for this statement is Oldmixon, an English author who wrote in the next century
Jfter the event, and wrote in the interest of the Hudson's Bay Gompany and from materials partly furnished by
the Company (see Book Arb. Docs., pp. 279, 280) ; and it is repeated in Harris's Voyages, an Engliah com-
maatL The real reasons for the rejection of the proposal were that the French had already command of
we trade by the overland channels, and that neither the merchants nor any one could engage in the ^rade
*wwU the License of the Governor, whose policy was to bring the trade to the posts of the St Lawrexv». —
"• a. L.]

t(Tht8 was a temporary establishment, abandoned on Giilam 's departure.— G. £. L.] ;

♦{See the answer to these statements in the preceding notes to this paper.— G. £. L.]

I [The Preneh had the undisputed dominion and the enjoyment of the whole trade of the Hudson'^ Bay
^^^^ MCQied to them by their posts and operations on the Sk Lawrence and ike Height of Land, antt
^erefofi, had not found it necessary, in the absence of all adverse claims, to build any permanent estMUsh-
mentg on the shores of the Bay.— G. E. L.]

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282 Statement of the case of the dominion, 1878 :

European Powers in the disooveries and aoqaisitions which they have respectively made
in the New World. They are few, simple, intelligible, an4, at the same time, f outided in
strict justice. The first of these is, that when any European nation takes possession of
any extent of sea coast, that possession is understood as extending into the interior
country to the sources of the rivers emptying within that coast, to all their branches, and
the country they cover, and to give it a right, in exclusion of all other naticms, to the
same. (See Memoire de TAm^rique, p. 116.) It is evident that some rule or principle
must govern the rights of European Powers in regard to each other in all such cases ; ajod
it is certain that none can be adopted, in those, to which it applies, more reasonable or
just than the present one. Many weighty considerations ^ow the propriety of it.
Nature seems to have destined a range of territory, so described, for the same society ; io
have connected its several part43 together by the ties of a common interest ; and to have
detached them from others. If this principle is departed from, it must be by attaching to
such discovery and possession a more enlarged or contracted scope of acquisition ; but a
slight attention to the subject will demonstrate the absurdity of either. The latter
would be to restrict the rights of an European Power who discovered and took possession
of a new country to the spot on which its troops or settlement rested — a doctrine which
has been totally disclaimed by all the Powers who made discoveries and acquired
possessions in America.' (Phillimore's Intemat. Law, 2nd ed.. Vol. I., pp. 277-8-9.)

Sir Travers Twiss, in his discussion on the Oregon question, at page 300, states that
" Great Britain never considered her right of occupancy up to the Rocky Mountains to
i-est upon the fact of her having established factories on the chores of the Bay of Hudson,
i. e, upon her title by mere settlement, but upon her title by discovery, cor\firmed by seUU-
ments in which the French nation; Jier only civUized neighbour, acquiesced,^ and which
they subsequently recognized by treaty."

The British nation, therefore, acquired, by discovery and by settlements made on
Hudson's Bay, the possession of the country extending into the interior to the souroes of
the rivers emptying within that coast, which would include the Saskatchewan and English
Rivers to the west, having their sources at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and extend-
ing south and east to the sources of all the rivers flowing into James' Bay.

The law entitling England to this has been stated not only by Vattel, but has been
adopted as correct by the United States, and is recognized by the highest authorities on
International Law in England — Dr. Twiss and Dr. Phillimore — as being the correct
principle to apply in such cases.!

If England acquired the territory claimed within the limits stated, it may for some
purposes be necessary to consider what the Hudson's Bay Company took under their
Charter. The Charter will be found in Ont. Docts., pp. 29-37, and at p. 33 will be found
what the King grants to the Hudson's Bay Co. under the name of " Rupert's Land."
First is granted the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, bays, lakes, rivers,
creeks, etc. Then the Company are created the absolute lords and proprietors of the same
territory, limits and places^ etc,, etc., in free and common socf^a^e,'^ with power to erect
colonies at. d plantations, etc.

The (charter is very wide ; and although it appears to have been conceded by the
leading coilnsel in England (Ont. Docts., pp. 193 to 202) whose opinions were obtained
that the ciarter granting a monoply to the Company to trade may have been void because
not sanctibned by Parliament, yet that the territorial grant is valid, and the only
difference in the opinions appears to be to the extent of territory covered by the grant.

In }649, on an address of the House of Commons praying that Her Majesty would
bo graciously pleased to direct that means be taken to ascertain the legality of the powers

* (trhe now known facti are that the French did not acquieBoe, but always protested, and backed their
protest by force of arms.— G. E. L.]

t [In applying these principles to the present case, Mr. MacMahon ignores the adverse possession of
France — a possession by cUscovery, by contiguity, by the submis'sion and consent of the natives, by being in
the sole enjoyment of the trade — a possession de facto of, at all events, the sources of the rivers and the
whole interior. To such a case the principles referred to have no application. (See the Argument of the
Attorney-General on this point before the Arbitrators, pott.) As to the Nelson River, the outlet of the
waters of Lake Winnipeg, the first fixed settlement upon it was that of the French.— G. E. L.]

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in rmpeot to Territort, Tradkj Taxation, and Government, which are, or have been,
daimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, the Directors of the Company were requested to
render their assistance in complying with the address of the House of Commons, which
they did on the 13th of September, 1849, by enclosing to Earl Grey a statement as to
their Bights as to Territory, Trade, etc., which will be found in full in Ont. Docts.,
pp. 288-9 and 290.

Annexed to this statement was a map showing the territory claimed by the Company
as induded within their Charter ; and a copy of this map was likewise produced in 1857
to the Select Committee of the House of Commons, and is attached to the Heport of that
Committee. This map shows that on the south the Company claimed to Uie land's height,
and on the west to the foot of the Kocky Mountains.

On 30th Oct, 1849, Earl Grey enclosed to the then law officers of the Crown the
statement and map furnished by the Company, requesting an opinion as to the rights of
the Company.

The opinion furnished is as follows : —

(Copy q/ a Letter from Sir John Jervis and Sir John RomiUy to Earl Grey,)

Temple, January, 1850.

Mt Lord, — We were honoured with your Lordship's commands contained in Mr.
Hawes's letter of the 30th October last, in which he stated that he was directed by your
Lordship to transmit to us the copy of a Resolution of the House of Commons, that an
Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that measures may be taken for ascertain-
ing the legality of the powers which are claimed or exercised by the Hudson's Bay
Company on the Continent of North America.

Mr. EEawes then stated that he was to enclose the copy of a letter from the Chairman
of the Hudson's Bay Company, together with a statement and map, prepared under his
direction, of the territories claimed by the Company in virtue of the Charter granted to
them by King Charles the Second.

Mr. Hawes also sent the copy of a letter, dated the 30th September last, from Mr.
A. K. Isbister, inquiring in what mode Her Majesty's Government intend to give effect
to the Resolution of the House of Commons, and whether, in the event of any reference
to a judicial tribunal, it will be necessary for the parties interested to appear by counsel
or ottierwise, or to furnish evidence, and, if so, of what nat\ire.

Mr. Hawes concluded by stating that your Lordship requested that we would take

Online LibraryOntario. Legislative AssemblyCorrespondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario → online text (page 47 of 86)