The Loyal Electors

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Submitted by Garth Bulman -

The Loyal Electors in Prince Edward Island

The political events of 1811 and the Loyal Electors in Prince Edward Island can best be described in the book "Canada’s Smallest Province" by F.W.P. Bolger, pages 81-82.

Elisha LePage Esq. J. P. (1764-1813) was my 5th great grandfather and a member of the Loyal Electors and his son Elisha LePage Jr. (1787-1813) my 4th great grandfather also served as secretary to the Loyal Electors after Secretary William Roubel was struck from the Roll of Attorneys.

In short the Loyal Electors were a new political society formed in a general election campaign of 1806 with James Bardin Palmer, (a prominent Irish Attorney who arrived in P.E.I. in 1802) serving as their leader. This new group was seen as a threat to the local cabal, the proprietors and their supporters which had control of Island politics to date. They did not want the present tenant system, absentee landowners, Quit rents and land ownership questioned.

Charles Stewart, the solicitor general, Caesar Colclough, the Chief Justice and Peter McGowan, the Attorney General made it their mandate to destroy the Loyal Electors and published many statements against them painting them as enemies of order and nurturing rebellion.

The society published a denial and five members of the Loyal Electors, namely James Palmer, William Haszard, William Roubel, Dr. Angus McAulay and Elisha LePage Esq. J. P. made affidavits. They were presented to the Lieutenant Governor defending the aims of the Loyal Electors and their reasoning for being part of this group. Their statements were critical of the cabal and of Charles Stewart and were considered libelous rather than evidence. William Roubel was taken to court and stricken from the roll of attorney for contempt of Court. Charges against the other members were eventually dropped.

It is my belief that the Loyal Electors were the foundation block which led to the Reform Party, land reform, Responsible Government and eventually to Confederation for P.E.I. Given the importance of these written documents and still being intact almost two-hundred years later, I would like to transcribe them so they will be available to anyone in the future. Who knows, maybe you will find a genealogical clue of a relative that you were not aware of. For instance I found that Elisha LePage Esq. J. P. served as Justice of the Peace and he paid over one hundred pounds in duties to the government over a fourteen month period.

Garth Bulman
14, April 2002

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Last Updated: 05/27/2002 5:40:03 AM
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