Submitted by Garth Bulman - email@example.com
Affidavit of William Haszard "The Loyal Electors" Relative to a charge in prosecution before His Excellency in Council
Reference: Acc. 2849, Item 127, PEIPA 16 August, 1811
Transcribed by Garth Bulman 3 May, 2002
Prince Edward Island Queens County to wit
William Haszard of BellVue in said County of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace maketh oath and saith that Deponent having a considerable Landed Estate, and personal property in this Island, was naturally anxious to render that property valuable, by endeavoring to promote the improvement of the County, clearing the forests and cultivating the Lands - And Deponent from twenty - five years experience, having found that until a few years past the general aim, of those in power in this Country, was to enrich themselves at the expense of the public, and that notwithstanding great protestations in the House of Assembly, no measure of any serious consequence took place for the advantage of the Country, Deponent and sundry established, and reputable Settlers associated together at Charlotte Town under the Title of "Loyal Electors," for the purpose of promoting the improvement and prosperity of this colony, by selecting such members for the House of Assembly, as were most capable and best inclined to effect those measures, and who would be most likely to make such representations to His Majesty’s ministers, as would place in a fair, and proper Light, the conduct of a number of Land Lobbers, by whose mean artifice, and contrivance, the settlement of the really respectable, and active Proprietors, was especially injured, many of whom were totally ignorant of the misconduct of their agents, which tended in a great degree, to estrange and draw away the affection of the people, from the constituted authorities, who too frequently moved in concert with the Speculators party, now, and for some time past, well known by the title of the Cabal. - And Deponent, as evidence of the artifice of the Cabal of Speculators, begs Court to insert in this his Deposition a true copy of a paper, written as Deponent verily believes by Charles Stewart Esq. now Attorney General of this Island which said Paper is in the words and figures following. - "from Lord Hobart to Lieut. Governor Fanning" -
Downing Street 6 Aug - 1802
"With respect to the steps necessary to be taken, for revesting His Majesty with such Lands, as may be liable to be escheated for non - Payment of Quit Rents, non - improvement, or non performance of any other the conditions of the Grants, it is presumed, the made adopted in Nova Scotia, will be a sufficient guide to you, and it is His Majesty’s Pleasure that you follow the practice there Established reporting to me, for His Majesty’s information from time to time, the circumstances that may arise. And the steps that may in consequence be taken. - Full instructions will shortly be sent to you, with respect to the Disposal of such lands as may be revested in the Crown." - As by the said original paper in the handwriting of the said Charles Stewart, and now in this Deponent’s custody and possession, and to which he craves leave to refer, reference being thereunto had, will fully appear. - And this Deponent further saith, that the said paper was written at the Eve of an Election, and as Deponent verily believes, for the purpose of beguiling and misleading the public, by holding out to them an expectation, that the lands of the Dormant Proprietors, would be Escheated, and thereby procuring their votes at the then ensuing Election, which said Mr.. Stewart was then the confidential, the private minister, of Lieutenant Governor Fanning, and held an immense number of appointments under Government, among those, Deputy Receiver General of the Quit Rents, and Collector of Imports, or Excise. - This Deponent saith, that the object of the Society of Loyal Electors, was by no means hostile to the respectable Landed Proprietors, whose interest, would have been materially advanced by the improvement of the County, which that Society sought to promote. - This Deponent saith that since the arrival, and administration of His Excellency Lieutenant Governor DesBarres, Deponent has observed, many useful measures set forward, and a Degree of impartiality evince on the part of His Excellency who has really called fourth the confidence and exertion of the Colony; but which has invariably been opposed by the Speculators Cabal. And Deponent saith, that James Curtis Esquire, one of the Assistant Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature, was lately a candidate, at an Election, and Deponent on that occasion heard the said James Curtis, (who was busily engaged with a Drinking party, and was himself very much in liquor) declare, that his Sole object in coming forward, was to appose all Taxation. Which conduct, Deponent conceived was altogether incorrect, and tending to promote very bad consequences among the populace. - This Deponent saith that the Election Banners of Charles Werrel Esquire, another Candidate at a late Election were entitled "No Taxes", "No Embargoes," and were placed flying, at a Public House in Charlotte Town, where the said Charles Werrel, and his friends held their Rendezvous via General Fanning, Judge Curtis, The said Attorney General - Mr.. Stewart, The Receiver General of Quit Rents, The Clerk of the Crown, and various other officers of the Government. - This Deponent saith, that such instances of his conduct, and various others, and still greater instances of misconduct of the same party, which Deponent, could enumerate, convince Deponent, - That the Loyal Electors by exposing and counteracting the artifice, and continuation of this Party, have shown themselves to be His Majesty’s best subjects - And Deponent saith, that the said Society is composed of men, of truly loyal, and Constitutional Principles; many of those men being loyalists, or descended steady and approved Loyalists, as is the situation of Deponent, whose property has been attempted to be ????? From him, by some of the said Speculator’s Cabal. - This Deponent saith , that the proceedings of the said Society, have been always public and entered in a book the only one even used by the said Society, except the Treasurers book: - And Deponent saith, that Deponent was present at a meeting of the said Society, when a member via James Bardin Palmer Esquire made a motion, that a Committee should be appointed, to superintend, transact or prepare, the business of the said Society Deponent saith, that another member of the said Society, apposed said motion concurring, that the Committee was intended to be a Secret Committee, but said W Palmer, having explained himself, and deprecated the idea of promoting, or belonging to a Secret Committee the member who before had apposed him made an apology for his misconception, and supported the motion, which was passed and entered by the secretary, in the Book of the Society - And this Deponent lastly saith that the insidious attack which has lately been made upon the said Society, and upon Mr. Palmer proceed from the before mentioned Speculators Cabal, and is made as Deponent most assuredly believes, from partial and malicious motions, and not with any view of promoting the further ??? of Justice.
Sworn before me
This sixteenth day of August 1811
C Colclough Ch J.