Submitted by Garth Bulman - email@example.com
Affidavit of Dr. Angus MacAulay "The Loyal Electors" Relative to a charge in prosecution before his Excellency in Council
Reference: Acc. 2849 Item 129 PEIPA 22 August, 1811
Transcribed by Garth Bulman 16 May,2002
Charlotte Town Prince Edward Island Queens County To Wit
Angus MacAulay M: D: of Sanachan [Mt. Buchanan] Prince Edward Island Justice of the Peace and Representative in the General Assembly of said Island for Queens County; Maketh Oath, and saith that calling on business in the time of harvest 1809, at Bagnall’s Tavern, in Charlotte Town upon a gentleman, he entered the room where a number of respectable persons denominating themselves Loyal Electors, were sitting; this gentleman requested of him to sit down a few minutes, when he should speak to him; which he complied with; then this Society (as he afterwards learned according to custom ) having had their rules, and explained their intentions, one of them proposed the Deponent to be a Member, which as politely offered and universally acceded to, he the deponent cheerfully accepted, from their laudable intention, and his personal knowledge of several rituous and loyal persons then present; - The Deponent from an experience of more than seven years, further declares to have a clue to certain dangerous practices, carried on by a band of men, subsisting in a pompous course of expenses without capital, (as he verily believes) or any other sort of industry, than preying, and imposing upon other loyal and industrious people, whom by false publications, and hired agents (at home) of deception, they enticed to leave Britain, and to come to this Island; covering their tricks and devices, under the patronage of great men at home, also deceived and amused to enter into, and to persevere in Land Speculations, in expectations of their posterity enjoying immense estates; while this formidable phalanx or Cabal was cemented by the activity of unprincipled bankrupt Speculators, resident alternately in London and this Island according to the shuffling convenience of eluding their creditors.
The Deponent in 1803 further declares accompanied with several hundreds of N. Britons his countrymen, having been enticed and deceived to, cross the Atlantic, found himself entangled, and almost ruined by such despicable speculations, and thought it advisable to have recourse to the laws, in vindication of self and followers; but from the power of this combination stated above, he could obtain regress; many of the officers of Government being either principal or retained agents of those Speculators; The majority of the House of Assembly, being of the same description, or men, ignorant and under their influence. Imposition upon the Government at home he conceives by false information relative to the state of the Province has prevailed; while hired agents, were continually circulating falsehoods, throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland to entice emigrants to abandon their native country, and to come here after being entangled and swindled out of their property, while those who were brought to the duress by this combination of Speculators, were induced to write falsehoods home to continue the deception upon the inhabitants of the Mother Country; His Majesty’s troops have been tampered with at home, and some encouraged to desert and that as he conceives, and believes, by the agents and sub-agents of some, ?ant at home. ??n?ers it most serious to mention names.- The goal has often been crowded with those victims of fraud, and delusion, while others are daily threatened, and fly in disgust from the Island; and the Deponent further declares, that to his certain knowledge of the people who are thus enticed from N. Britain, many of the greatest part of them are capable of bearing arms, have served his Majesty in the Fencibles, in the Line, or in the Loyal Volunteers at home, to curb Democracy, These people as the Deponent knows and declares, at elections for members of assembly, are obliged to vote, as the agents of the proprietors dictate, W. Curtis one of the assistant Judges, is openly not only the agent of Land Speculators, but also interferes in elections and through their influence has lately obtained his own election . - The Officer denominated the Solicitor or Attorney General falls under the same description. The Deponent hath seen the agent of a powerful nobleman, march at the head of the prestigious number of High Landers, composing no small proportion of the electors of this county, with colour flying and Bag Pipes playing, to influence the election, while with tears in their eyes, some of them , as he further declares, said to himself, from their debts were obliged to vote, as he the said agent directed, though some of the people knew nothing about the candidate, who lay upon his Death Bed, at the time. The Deponent further declares, that shocked at such conduct, he did not attend the next election; but was informed and believes it truth that Mr. Charles Stewart a Crown Officer, then Solicitor General as aforesaid (now said to be Attorney General) accompanied by his brother Captain John Stewart and others, in government pay, had headed mobs of Highlanders with cockades and mottoes "No Embargo No Taxation" in order to support and elect a Mr. Worral a great landed proprietor totally unknown to the people who were thus ordered to go by the said agent, who at the former election had led them with flying colours and bag pipes to the same ground for a similar intention of Party. - The Deponent further declares that men have been deprived of the obligations and security which they got in Europe, without having them fulfilled, and have been induced to sign discharges sometime after the landings. Attempts of the same have been made on the Deponent by a Nobleman, who personally, and by his numerous agents, hath excited a Spirit of Emigration throughout the Western Highlands, and Islands of Scotland; The Deponent humbly conceives this excitement of to Emigration, generates discontent at home and also alienates the affections of the Highlanders imported here, from the British Government whose authority and protection, in this Colony is partly lost by the energy and power, of an intermediate combination of Land Speculators.
Bonds he knows to the extent of one thousand pounds each, and other obligations have been circulated to excite the Spirit of Emigration, among the simple High Landers; but instead of fulfilling the terms when across the Atlantic, they have been extorted or withdrawn from them. He also believes from strong reasons, that a Phalanx at home exists to carry on the deception upon Government and which deception is mostly worked by the men who intimidate the poor Highlanders here. - The Deponent further declares, that this agent who heads the Highlanders at Elections with flying colours and Bag Pipes, playing hath been repeatedly one of the men presented by the Chief Justice for Sheriff; - that it is customary to have one of the Land Proprietors, a copartner, or one under their influence recommended to be Sheriff, and the Deponent conceives and believes, that Juries returned through such means are alarming as the North Highlanders do not understand the privileges, or even the Language of an English Colony. - The Deponent further declares that suing these evils, not likely to diminish, but to increase, he was happy to associate with a number of men, loyal in their principles, virtuous and independent also in order to support the freedom of Elections that the Ministry at home might at last, be informed through it’s Assembly of the true state of the Province, instead of being misled by an interested Cabal, which as he believes was formerly the case: The Deponent further declares that from his distant residence from Charlotte Town, he had seldom an opportunity of attending the monthly meetings of the Society of the Loyal Electors, notwithstanding his wishes, but learned and believes, it to be true that said Mr. Charles Stewart and others of his party have been alarmed at the respectability of the Loyal Electors from the accession to that Society of injured Loyalists, of men of information, and County Magistrates, joined by two Attorneys not tied down to the interests of the Proprietors; when he came to town accidentally, and on the fifth of March last, he declares, that though no gentleman was hindered from visiting the Society, that some Land Speculators Agents had been listening in a room adjacent; when Mr. Palmer made a motion relative to a committee to meet occasionally to carry on the business of the Society, and to report to the Society accordingly or something to that effect and the Deponent further declares, that impressed with indignation, that any set of men should listen,
And at fi?? misconceiving Mr. Palmer’s motion; to be for a secret Committee, he opposed the motion but upon being informed of the true intention, apologized directly for his misconception and gave his hearty concurrence to a Motion; though at the same time he lashed in severe terms, the conduct of the Land Speculators, and their Agents, in order that Mr. Rollings and Mr. Gates, the Agents of a Mr. Hodges, and a Mr. Hill in England might hear him, as their masters had to his certain knowledge, deceived several Emigrants, while at the same time he saw several of the poor Highlanders struggling with difficulties arising from the snares of others, carrying on this infamous traffic, against his Loyal Countrymen whose melancholy fate, without money alternatives or friends, he has often commiserated. The Deponent further declares in testimony of himself that though educated to the church he at an early period of his life raised a body of men, and from the Island of Sky, marched at their head to Edinburgh, where he presented them to Lord Adam Gordon, then Commander in chief in Scotland, who recommended him to His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, that His Royal Highness, ordered a Commission to be sold for his benefit, and that he hath been allowed to retire upon four shillings per day as Chaplain of the "First India Reg." which benefit he enjoys to this day, that he acted as Magistrate in this Colony, and in Scotland, and repeatedly took the necessary oaths to Government; that he has regularly studied medicine and obtained his degree as physician, and was admitted a clergyman within the synod of Lochcaman in N. Britain; that in commiseration of the sufferings of his countrymen, he hath at his own expense built a church or meeting house, wherein he preached in the Gaelic language to them gratis, and expended a considerable property of money and medicine besides his time to alleviate their conditions and circumstances, and further declares, that he suffered a number of insults and abuse, hitherto unredressed in consequence of exposing the infamous system of fraud and imposition, used against his Loyal Countrymen, by the Land Speculators and their Agents. - The Deponent humbly conceives, that as a member of the Lower House of Assembly he has spoken and acted consistent with his duty to the King and the good Government of this Province, though opposed often by the Crown Officers, one excepted as will appear by the Journals of the Lower House of Assembly; that he hath been honoured by the Late Lieut. Governor with a Commission of Captain of Militia, and that under the present Lieut. Governor he ranks as Major of Militia, and though opposed by all the Civil Officers of Government in the Lower House of Assembly and by Mr. Holland then Sheriff (though a Military Man) he proposed measures to render the Militia more respectable that it is, by introducing and framing Bills twice upon that subject. - He further declares he is a Justice of the Peace, and father of a numerous family, and if he did conceive any one of the Society of Loyal Electors capable of disaffection to the British, or Colonial Government, that, he in point of principle and interest, would do his best, to get such a character expelled; or withdraw himself therefrom and that it was with the greatest esteem, of their loyalty, and good principles, he entered and continues his name now among the Loyal Electors, and wishes and hopes, to see the day when the fraudulent Land Speculation; shall be unfolded to the British Ministry in order to enable them to relieve His Majesty’s most useful and industrious subjects here from a combination of deception which hitherto hath been too long concealed, but now alarmed. - The Deponent further declares that the spirited and independent conduct of the Attorneys Mr. Palmer and Mr. Roubel have added to the alarm taken by the Land Holders, and that he verily believes the Chief Justice is warmly attached to the Land Speculators, as he threatened in open Court to expel from the Supreme Court, Mr. Roubel the Attorney, for a copy of a letter, said to be sent from one landholder to another, though no original has ever been adduced in proof of such assertion, and threat. The Deponent further declares, that he thinks it of infinite importance to the prosperity of the Province that freedom of Elections be permitted, in order that a true representation of its state should be made to government at home, and that the protection of the best of Sovereigns might be extended to this as well as to Nova Scotia, and every other British Province.
Sworn at Charlotte Town
In Prince Edward Island
Before me this twenty second
Day of August 1811