Duncan Campbell's History of Prince Edward Island - Ch. 7


Marriage of the Queen - Education in 1842 - Foundation-stone of the Co1onial Building laid - The Governor withdraws his patronage from Public Institutions - Dispute between the Governor and Mr. Pope - Election disturbances in Belfast - The Currency Question - Responsible Government discussed - Governor Huntley succeeded by Sir Donald Campbell - Earl Grey's reason for withholding Responsible Government - The death of Sir Donald Campbell - Ambrose Lane, Administrator - Sir A. Bannerman, Governor - Responsible Government introduced - Temperance movement - The loss of the "Fairy Queen " - Dissolution of the Assembly - Governor Bannerman succeeded by Dominick Daly - The Worrell Estate bought by the Government - J. Henry Haszard Perishes in the Ice Boat - Census of 1855 - A loan wanted - The Imperial Guarantee promised, but not given - Resolutions praying for a Commission on the Land Question - Charles Young, Administrator -Biographical Sketch of Bishop McDonald - Death of James Peake.

In February, 1840, the Queen was united in marriage to Prince Albert, of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and in November of the same year the Princess Royal was born. Intelligence of an attempt to assassinate the Queen reached the Island towards the end of July. The culprit was a lad named Edward Oxford, a servant out of place. As Her Majesty, accompanied by Prince Albert, was proceeding in a carriage for the purpose of paying a visit to the Duchess of Kent, at her residence in Belgrave Square, they were fired upon by Oxford, who held a pistol in each hand, both of which he discharged. The shots did not, however, take effect, and it was subsequently discovered that the youth was insane.

The governor, Sir Charles A. FitzRoy, having been appointed to the West Indies, he was succeeded by Sir Henry Vere Huntley. who arrived in November, 1841, and received the usual welcome. In March of the year following died the Hon-

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orable George Wright. He had been five times administrator of the government, a duty which devolved upon him as senior member of the council, to which lie had been appointed in 1813. He also, for many years, filled the office of surveyor-general. He appears to have discharged his duties conscientiously, and his death was regretted by a large circle of friends.

In February, 1842, Mr. John McNeill, visitor of schools, presented his report, which furnished interesting facts respecting the progress of education in the island. In 1833 the number of schools was seventy-four, - in 1841 they had increased to one hundred and twenty-one. While the number of schools had increased in this ratio, the number of children attending them had in the same period been more than doubled.

Total PopulationNo. of SchoolsNo. of ScholarsAverage Attendance in each school
In 1833-32.29374217629.4
In 1841-74,034121435636

In November, 1842, Mr. John Ings started a weekly newspaper, designated The Islander, which fully realized in its conduct the promises made in the prospectus. For thirty-two years it continued an important public organ, when, for reasons into which it is not our business to inquire, it was discontinued.

In March, 1843, a serious disturbance took place in township forty-five, King's County, when a large assemblage of people forcibly reinstated a person named Haney into the possession of a farm from which he had been legally ejected. The dwelling-house of a person employed by the proprietor to protect timber was also consumed by fire, resulting from the torch of an incendiary. Energetic measures were adopted to enforce the majesty of the law.

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On the sixteenth of May. 1843, the corner stone of the colonial building was laid by the Governor, Sir Henry Vere Huntley. A procession was formed at government house, and moved in the following order: masons, headed by a band of music; then followed the governor on horseback, surrounded by his staff; after whom came the chief justice, the members of the executive and legislative councils, the building committee, the various heads of departments, the magistracy, - the members of the Independent Temperance Society bringing up the rear. Having, with trowel and mallet, gone through the ceremony, His Excellency said:

"The legislature having granted means for the erection of a provincial building, and the corner stone having been now laid, I trust that a new era of prosperity will open in this colony, and am satisfied that the walls about to rise over this stone will resound with sentiments expressive of British feeling, British principles, and British loyalty." A royal salute was then fired, and three hearty cheers for the Queen were given by hundreds who had collected to witness the proceedings. The design was drafted by Isaac Smith, President of the Mechanics' Institute, and the building was to be composed of freestone, imported from Nova Scotia, - the estimated cost being nearly eleven thousand pounds currency.

At the annual meeting of the Central Agricultural Society, a letter was read from Mr. T. H. Haviland, intimating that in consequence of recent public measures with relation to government house, the governor withdrew his name from the public institutions of the island, and that consequently he ceased to be the patron of the agricultural society. It seems that the governor deemed the action of the assembly, in reference to government house, illiberal in a pecuniary sense; but that was a very insufficient reason for a step so

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fatal to his excellency's popularity and usefulness. The committee, with a negative sarcasm which the governor must have felt keenly, simply passed a resolution expressing regret that any public measures - in reference to government house - over which the society had no control, should have been deemed by his excellency a sufficient reason for the withdrawal of his name as patron of the society; and a resolution was passed, at the annual meeting, soliciting the honor of His Royal Highness Prince Albert's patronage, which, it is unnecessary to add, was readily granted.

In 1846 a dispute arose between the governor and Mr. Joseph Pope, which excited considerable interest at the time, and which resulted in a correspondence between the colonial office and the governor. It seems that Mr. Pope had opposed strenuously, as an influential member of the house of assembly, - he was then speaker, - a proposal to add five hundred pounds to the governor's annual salary, and this generated in the mind of his excellency a very undignified feeling of hostility to Mr. Pope, who had only exercised a right which could not be legitimately called in question. Writing to Mr. Gladstone, then colonial secretary, the governor said of Mr. Pope: "As for any support from Mr. Pope, I am quite satisfied that in all his private actions, since the time of my persisting in reading the speech, at the opening of the session of 1845, respecting the debt he had accumulated, he has been my concealed enemy." The governor resolved to get quit of Mr. Pope, as an executive councillor, and proceeded, in utter disregard of his instructions, to effect that object by suspending that gentleman from his seat at the board, without any consultation with other members of the council, assigning to Mr. Gladstone, as his reason for dispensing with the usual forms, that he had learnt from good private sources that the council, if

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consulted, would have dissuaded the suspension of Mr. Pope, and would have recommended the commencement of proceedings, by referring the question to Her Majesty's government. This reason could not prove satisfactory to the colonial secretary, and the governor was ordered to bring the case before the executive council, in which Mr. Pope was to be reinstated as a member; and if they should advise his suspension, then, but not otherwise, he was to be suspended from his office as an executive councillor, until Her Majesty's pleasure was known. Copies of the despatches in which charges were brought against Mr. Pope were ordered to be sent to himself to which he had an opportunity of replying; but, in the meantime, he prudently tendered his resignation to the governor, in a long communication, in which he gave his reasons for so doing, and in which he embodied a reply to the governor's charges, and condemned his gubernatorial action in very plain and energetic terms.

The legislature met for the first time in the new colonial building in January, 1847. An election for the district of Belfast was ordered to be held on the first of March. There were four candidates in the field: Messrs. Douse and McLean on one side, and Messrs. Little and McDougall on the other. A poll was opened at Pinette. The chief supporters of the two former gentlemen were Scotchmen, and of the two latter, Irishmen. A riot ensued, in which a man named Malcolm McRae was so severely injured that he died. Several others lost their lives in this disgraceful scene. Dr. Hobkirk testified before the executive council that from eighty to a hundred persons were suffering from wounds received in the contest. A large force was sent to the locality, and, on the nineteenth of March, Messrs. Douse and McLean were returned without opposition. There is not now a more peaceful locality in the island than that in

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which the riot took place ; national prejudice and political rancor are lost in kindly fellowship.

Messrs. Charles Hensley, Daniel Hodgson, and George Birnie having been appointed by the governor commissioners to examine into all matters connected with the state of the currency of the island, presented their report in February, 1847, - a report which was creditable both to their industry and judgment. It appears from a letter addressed by Mr. Robert Hodgson, then attorney general, to the commissioners, that the legal currency of the island was the coinage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Spanish milled dollar, which was valued at five shillings sterling, - the debtor having the option of paying in either of these descriptions of money. The commissioners drew attention to the fact, that the currency of the island was greatly depreciated, and that the process of depreciation was going on, which was proved by the circumstance that the Halifax bank note of a pound, which twelve months previously, would purchase no more than twenty-three shillings of the island currency, was now received and disbursed at the treasury for twenty-four shillings. This depreciation the commissioners attributed to an extensive issue of unconvertible paper, both notes and warrants, combined with a growing distrust of the economical administration of the finances of the colony, arising from the continued excess of the expenditure over the receipts of revenue for some years past. They therefore recommended the reversal of the order of procedure, by diminution of outlay, the increase of revenue, the gradual abolition of notes, and the restraining of the issue of warrants to the amount required yearly for the public service. They also alluded to the advantages that would result from the establishment of a substantial bank, issuing notes payable

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on demand, and affording other facilities for the commercial and agricultural operations of the island. The commissioners concluded their report by expressing their deliberate opinion that whilst a paper circulation, based on adequate and available capital, was, under prudent management, of the utmost benefit to a commercial and agricultural population, and would contribute largely to its prosperity, Unconvertible paper was a curse and a deception, - a delusive and fictitious capital, which left no solid foundation to rest upon in any time of reverse and difficulty. They also expressed the hope that on no pretext should a permanent debt be established in the colony, as the evil effects of such a burden would not be confined to the additional charge upon the revenue, but would necessitate the absorption of capital which might be more beneficially employed in commerce, manufactures, or agricultural improvement.

The subject of responsible government was discussed at length in the assembly during the session of 1847. and an address to the Queen on the subject was adopted by the house, in which it was represented that the lieutenant-governor or administrator of the colony should be alone responsible to the Queen and imperial parliament for his acts, that the executive council should be deemed the constitutional advisers of the representative of Her Majesty, and that when the acts of the administrator of the government were such as the council could not approve, they should be required to resign. The house recommended that four members of the executive council should be selected from the lower branch of the legislature, such members being held responsible to the house for the acts of the administrator of the government. As the local resources of the assembly did not admit of retiring pensions being provided for the officers who might be affected by the introduction of the system of departmental

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government, it was suggested that the treasurer, colonial secretary, attorney general, and surveyor general should not be required to resign, but that they should be required to give a constitutional support to the measures of government. In closing the session, the governor intimated his intention of giving the address which had been voted by the house his cordial support.

As the governor's term of office was about to expire, a petition was got up by his friends, praying for his continuance in office. This movement stimulated a counter movement on the part of an influential section of the community, who were antagonistic to the governor, and, consequently, a counter petition was framed, and a subscription set on foot to pay the expenses of a deputation to convey the petition to England. The deputation consisted of the following gentlemen: Mr. Joseph Pope, speaker of the house of assembly, Mr. Edward Palmer, and Mr. Andrew Duncan, a prominent merchant. The main grounds on which the continuance in office of the governor was objected to were the following: - That he had recently coalesced with parties who had been unremitting in their endeavors to bring his person and government into contempt; that he had shown a disinclination to advance the real interests of the colony, by withdrawing his patronage and support from all public societies in the island, because the legislature had declined to accede to his application for an increase of salary from the public funds; that on one occasion, through the colonial secretary, he publicly denounced every member of society who would dare to partake of the hospitality of a gentleman - a member of the legislative council - who was then politically opposed to him; that he had, on various occasions, improperly exercised the power given to him by the Queen, by appointing parties totally unqualified by education and posi-

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tion to the magistracy; that on a late occasion he had personally congratulated a successful political candidate at government house, with illuminated windows, at a late hour of the night, in presence of a large mob, who immediately after proceeded through the town, and attacked the houses of several unoffending inhabitants. This formidable catalogue of complaints was calculated to produce a most unfavorable impression on the home government, as to Sir Henry Vere Huntley's competency to govern the colony. But the home government had come to a determination on the subject before the arrival of the deputation. "I regret to say," wrote Lord Grey, then time colonial secretary, addressing the governor on the twelfth of August, "that. having carefully reviewed your correspondence with this office, I am of opinion that there is no special reason for departing in your case from the ordinary rule of the colonial service, and I shall, therefore, feel it my duty to recommend that you be relieved in your government on the termination of the usual period for which your office is held."

Sir Donald Campbell, of Dunstaffnage, was appointed to take the place of Governor Huntley, he arrived in Charlottetown early in December, and as belonging to an ancient highland family, was greeted with more than ordinary enthusiasm.

When in London, the speaker of the house of assembly and Mr. Palmer called the attention of Earl Grey to the state of the currency, and his lordship subsequently addressed a despatch to the lieutenant-governor on the subject. He alluded to the practice of the local government issuing treasury warrants for small sums of money, and treasury notes for still smaller sums, for the purpose of meeting the ordinary expenses of the government, as tending to depreciate the currency below its nominal value. Two remedies presented

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themselves: first, whether it would be proper to endeavor to restore this depreciated currency to its original value; or, secondly, whether it would not be better to fix its value at its present rate, taking the necessary measures for preventing its further depreciation. He recommended the latter course, as more injustice was usually done by restoring a depreciated currency to its original value than by fixing it at the value which it might actually bear. To prevent further depreciation, he recommended that the legislature should pass a law enacting that the existing treasury warrants should be exchanged for treasury notes to the same amount, and that these notes should be declared a legal tender; that it should not be lawful to make any further issue of treasury notes, except in exchange for the precious metals, the coins of different countries being taken at the value they bore in circulation, and that the treasury notes should be made exchangeable at the pleasure of the holders for coin at the same rate. In order to enable the colonial treasurer, or such other officer as might be charged with the currency account, to meet any demands which might be made upon him for coin in exchange for treasury notes, it might be necessary to raise a moderate sum by loan, or otherwise, for that purpose. Though these suggestions were not entirely carried out, yet an act was passed in the session of 1849. which determined the rates at which British and foreign coins were to be current, and how debts contracted in the currency of the island were to be payable.

The year 1848 was not remarkable for any historic event in the island, - the taking of the census being the most noteworthy, when the population was ascertained to be 62,634. But it was a must memorable year in the history of Europe, for in that year Louis Philippe, the King of the French, vacated the throne, and fled to England for protec-

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ion, an event which occasioned a general convulsion on the continent of Europe.

The attention of the assembly was called to the evils which resulted from elections taking place in the island on different days, which presented an opportunity to the evil-disposed to attend in various districts, and create a disturbance of the public peace. A measure was accordingly introduced and passed, which provided for the elections taking place in the various electoral districts on the same day, - an antidote to disorder which has operated admirably, not only in Prince Edward Island, but, in all places where it has been adopted.

During summer, the governor - in order to become acquainted with the state of the country - paid a visit to the various sections of the island, and was well received. He was entertained at dinner by the highland society, and the whole celtic population rejoiced in the appointment of one of their countrymen to the position of lieutenant-governor.

In January, 1849, a public meeting was held in Charlottetown, for the purpose of forming a general union for the advancement of agricultural pursuits. The chair was occupied by Sir Donald Campbell, and resolutions were adopted, and a subscription begun to carry out the object of the meeting.

Earl Grey transmitted a despatch to the governor in January, 1849, stating the reasons why the government did not accede to the desire, so generally expressed, to have responsible government introduced. He stated that the introduction of the system had, in other cases, been postponed until the gradual increase of the community in wealth, numbers, and importance appeared to justify it. He referred to the circumstance that Prince Edward Island was comparatively small in extent and population, and its commercial

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and wealthy classes confined almost entirely to a single town. While its people were distinguished by those qualities of order and public spirit which formed the staple foundation of all government, in as high a degree as any portion of their brethren of British descent, yet the external circumstances which would render the introduction of responsible government expedient were wanting, - circumstances of which time, and the natural progress of events, could alone remove the deficiency. For these reasons Earl Grey concurred with his predecessor, Mr. Gladstone, that the time for a change had not yet arrived. He, at the same time, expressed his conviction that the existing system of administration was compatible with the complete enjoyment by the inhabitants of the colony of the real benefits of self-government.

The colonial secretary thought that the period had come when the assembly of the island should undertake to provide for the civil list. He accordingly addressed a despatch to the governor, intimating that the home government was willing to provide the salary of the governor, which it proposed to increase to fifteen hundred pounds sterling a year, provided the other expenses of the civil government were defrayed from the funds of the island. To this proposal the house expressed its willingness to accede, provided that all revenues arising from the permanent revenue laws of the colony were granted in perpetuity, all claim to the quitrents and crown lands abandoned, and a system of responsible government conceded. The home government, in reply, expressed its willingness to accede to the wishes of the assembly on all these points, with trifling modifications, save the granting of responsible government, in the present circumstances of the island. The governor, therefore, deemed it the best course to dissolve the assembly and convene a

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new one, which met on the fifth of March, 1850. In the reply to the governor's speech, the assembly inserted a paragraph, in which want of confidence in the executive council was emphatically expressed. Mr. Coles also moved a resolution in the house, embodying the reasons of the assembly for its want of confidence, and refusing to grant supplies till the government should be remodelled, or in other words, responsible government conceded. The governor proposed to meet the views of the house so far, on his own responsibility, as to admit into the executive council three gentlemen possessing its confidence in room of three junior members of the council. This proposal was not deemed acceptable. The house then adopted an address to the Queen, in which its views were set forth. The house contended that, in taking measures to secure responsible government, the governor would be only acting in accordance with the spirit of his instructions, and that as all the members of the executive council had resigned, there was no impediment to the introduction of the desired change. The house was prorogued on the twenty-sixth of March, but again summoned on the twenty-fifth of April. Whilst the house granted certain limited supplies, it refused to proceed to the transaction of the other business to which its attention was called in the governor's opening speech. No provision was made for the roads and bridges, and other services, and the governor, in his answer to the address of the house in reply to his closing speech, said: "I should fail in the performance of my duty, if I did not express my disapprobation of your premeditated neglect of your legislative functions."

The governor transmitted an able despatch to the colonial secretary, in 1849, on the resources of the island, which Lord Grey appreciated highly; but the career of the baronet

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as a governor was destined to be of short duration, for he died in October of the following year, at the comparatively early age of fifty years. In Sir Donald Campbell were united some of the best qualities of a good governor, he was firm and faithful in the discharge of duty; at the same time of a conciliatory and kindly disposition.

The honorable Ambrose Lane, who had been formerly administrator during Governor Huntley's temporary absence, was again appointed to that office till the arrival of Sir A. Bannerman, the new lieutenant-governor. His excellency arrived at Charlottetown on the eighth of March, having crossed the strait in the ice-boat. The legislature assembled on the twenty-fifth of March, 1851. In the opening speech the governor informed the house that responsible government would be granted on condition of compensation being allowed to certain retiring officers. The house acceded to the proposal, and a new government - sustained by a majority of the assembly - was accordingly formed in April, - the leaders being the Honorable George Coles, president, and the Honorable Charles Young, attorney general. The Honorable Joseph Pope was appointed to the treasurer-ship, and the honorable James Warburton to the office of colonial secretary. Besides an important act to commute the Crown revenues of the island, and to provide for the civil list in accordance with the suggestions of the home government, a measure was in this year passed for the transference of the management of the inland posts, and making threepence the postage of ordinary letters to any part of British America, and a uniform rate of twopence to any part of the island. This year was also memorable in the annals of the island, in consequence of a violent storm which swept over it on the third and fourth of October, by which seventv-two American fishing vessels were seriously damaged or cast ashore.

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The governor, in opening the session of 1852, stated that he had much pleasure in visiting many parts of the island; but that he observed with regret the educational deficiency which still existed, and which the government would endeavor to assist in supplying, by introducing a measure which, he hoped, would receive the approval of the house. An act for the encouragement of education, and to raise funds for that purpose by imposing an additional assessment on land, was accordingly passed, which formed the basis of the present educational system.

In April, 1853, the Honorable Charles Young and Captain Swabey - the former attorney general, and the latter registrar of deeds and chairman of the Board of Education - resigned their seats as members of the executive council. Mr. Joseph Hensley was appointed to the office of attorney general, and Mr. John Longworth to that of solicitor general, in place of Mr. Hensley. Mr. Young's resignation was mainly owing to the approval, by a majority of his colleagues in the government, of an act to regulate the salaries of the attorney general and solicitor general, and, clerk of the Crown and prothonotary, for their services, to which he and other members of the government had serious objections, which they embodied in a protest on the passing of the bill.

The temperance organizations in the island were particularly active at the period at which we have arrived. A meeting was held in Charlottetown, for the purpose of' discussing the propriety and practicability of abolishing by law the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. There would he consistency in prohibiting the manufacture. and importation of intoxicating liquors, as well as the sale of them. But the Maine law, which permits the importation of liquor into the state, whilst it prohibits its sale, is a

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useless anomaly. Let anyone visit Portland - where he might expect to see the law decently enforced - and he will find in one, at least, of the principal hotels in the city, a public bar-room in which alcoholic liquors of all kinds are openly sold; and, if he chooses to begin business in the liquor line, he can, for thirty dollars, procure a license from one of the officials of the United States government, for that purpose. The United States law sanctions the importation and sale of intoxicating drinks; the Maine state law forbids the sale ostensibly, whilst it is really permitted. The temperance movement has effected a vast amount of good, but coercion is not the means by which it has been accomplished.

During the session of 1863, an act to extend the elective franchise was passed, which made that privilege almost universal. The house was dissolved during the summer, and at the general election which ensued the government was defeated. A requisition was in consequence addressed to the governor by members of the assembly, praying for the early assembling of the house, in order that, by legal enactment, departmental officers might be excluded from occupying seats in the legislature, to which request the governor did not accede.

On the seventh of October, 1853, a sad catastrophe took place in the loss of the steamer Fairy Queen. The boat left Charlottetown on a Friday forenoon. Shortly after getting clear of Point Prim, the vessel shipped a sea which broke open the gangways. When near Pictou Island the tiller-rope broke, and another heavy sea was shipped. The rope was, with the assistance of some of the passengers, spliced; but the vessel moved very slowly. The captain and some of the crew got into a boat and drifted away, regardless of the fate of the female passengers.

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Among the passengers were Mr. Martin I. Wilkins, of Pictou, Mr. Lydiard, Mr. Pineo, Dr. McKenzie, and others. After having been subjected to a series of heavy seas, the upper deck, abaft the funnel, separated from the main body of the vessel, and providentially constituted an admirable raft, by which a number of the passengers were saved, among whom were Messrs. Wilkins, Lydiard, and Pineo, who landed on the north side of Merigomish Island, after eight hours of exposure to the storm and cold. Dr. McKenzie, - an excellent young man, - other two males, and four females perished.

In opening the assembly of 1854, the governor referred in terms of congratulation to the prosperous state of the revenue. On the thirty-first of January, 1850, the balance of debt against the colony was twenty-eight thousand pounds. In four years it was reduced to three thousand pounds. The revenue had increased from twenty-two thousand pounds, in 1850, to thirty-five thousand in 1853, notwithstanding a reduction in the duty on tea, and two thousand eight hundred pounds assessment imposed for educational purposes.

The new house having declared its want of confidence in the government, a new one was formed, of which the leaders were the Honorables J. M. Holl and Edward Palmer; but there was a majority opposed to it in the upper branch, which, to some extent, frustrated the satisfactory working of the machine. The house was prorogued in May; and, in opposition to the unanimous opinion of his council, the governor dissolved the assembly, - the reason assigned for this course of procedure being, that the act passed for the extension of the franchise had received the royal assent, and that for the interest of the country it was necessary to have a house based on the new law. An

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appeal to the country was certain to ensure the defeat of the government; and the governor was accused of desiring to erect that object before his departure from the island, - for he had been appointed to the government of the Bahamas. It is only due to Governor Bannerman to state that he had anticipated difficulties, which constrained him to consult the colonial secretary as to the most proper course of action, and that he received a despatch, in which the duke said: "I leave it with yourself. with full confidence in your judgment, to take such steps in relation to the executive council and the assembly as you may think proper before leaving the government." We may be permitted to say that it is only in very rare and exceptional cases that either a British sovereign or a royal representative can be justified in disregarding the advice of constitutional advisers; and the case under notice does not seem, in any of its bearings, to have been one in relation to which the prerogative should have been exercised.

Dominick Daly, Esq., succeeded Governor Bannerman, and arrived on the island on the twelfth of June, 1834, and was received by all classes with much cordiality: addresses poured in upon his excellency from all parts of the island. A few days after the arrival of the new governor the election took place, and was, as anticipated, unfavorable to the government, which, to its credit, resigned on the twentieth of July. - intimation to that effect having been communicated to the governor by the president of the executive council, John M. Holl. A new government was formed, and the house assembled in September, in consequence of the ratification of a commercial treaty between the British and United States governments, and the withdrawal of the troops from the island, - circumstances which required the immediate consideration of the assembly. The session was

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a short one, the attention of the house being directed exclusively to the business for the transaction of which it had met. An act was immediately passed to authorise free trade with the United States, under the treaty which had been concluded. The measure opened the way for the introduction into the island. free of duty, of grain and breadstuffs of all kinds; butter, cheese, tallow, lard, etc., in accordance with a policy which has been found to operate most beneficially in the countries where it has been adopted. Great Britain declared war in this year against Russia; but, beyond the withdrawal of the troops and the advance of the prices of breadstuffs and provisions, the island was not affected by its prosecution.

The Worrell Estate, consisting of eighty-one thousand three hundred and three acres, was purchased by the government at the close of the year 1854, - the price paid for the property being twenty-four thousand one hundred pounds, of which eighteen thousand pounds were paid down, and the balance retained till the accuracy of its declared extent was ascertained.

In the session of 1855 a considerable amount of legislative business was transacted, including the passing of. an act for the incorporation of Charlottetown, an act for the incorporation of the Bank of Prince Edward Island, and an act to provide a normal school for the training of teachers. In proroguing the assembly, the governor referred in terms of condemnation to any further agitation of the question of escheat, as successive governments were opposed to every measure which had hitherto passed relating to the subject, in the wisdom of which opposition the governor expressed himself as fully concurring. He approved of the active measures which had been taken under the Land Purchase Bill, and expressed his conviction that similar measures

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only required the cordial co-operation of the tenantry to secure an amount of advantage to themselves which no degree of agitation could obtain. The island had contributed two thousand pounds to the Patriotic Fund, which had been instituted to relieve the widows and children of soldiers who fell in the Crimean war; and the governor expressed Her Majesty's satisfaction with the generous sympathy thus evinced by the people and their representatives.

In the month of March, 1855, a distressing occurrence took place. The ice-boat from Cape Tormentine to the island, with Mr. James Henry Haszard, Mr. Johnson, son of Dr. Johnson, medical students, and an old gentleman - Mr. Joseph Weir, of Bangor - as passengers, had proceeded safely to within half a mile of the island shore, when a severe snow-storm was encountered. The boat, utterly unable to make headway, was put about, drawn on the ice, and turned up to protect the men from the cold and fury of the storm. Thus they were drifted helplessly in the strait during Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night. On Sunday morning they began to drag the boat towards the mainland, and, exhausted, - not having tasted food for three days, - they were about ceasing all further efforts, when they resolved to kill a spaniel which Mr. Weir had with him, and the poor fellows drank the blood and eat the raw flesh of the animal. They now felt a little revived, and lightened the boat by throwing out trunks and baggage. Mr. Haszard was put into the boat, being unable to walk; and thus they moved towards the shore, from which they were four or five miles distant. On Monday evening Mr. Haszard died from exhaustion. They toiled on, however, and on Tuesday morning reached the shore, near Wallace, Nova Scotia, but, unfortunately, at a point two miles from the nearest dwelling. Two of the boatmen succeeded in

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reaching a house, and all the survivors, though much frostbitten, recovered under the kind and judicious treatment which they received.

The census taken in 1855 declared the population of the island to be seventy-one thousand. There were, two hundred and sixty-eight schools, attended by eleven thousand pupils. The Normal School was opened in 1856 by the governor, and constituted an important addition to the educational machinery of the island.

During the session of 1855 an act was passed to impose a rate or duty on the rent-rolls of the proprietors of certain rented township-lands, and also an act to secure compensation to tenants; but the governor intimated, in opening the assembly in 1856, that both acts had not received her Majesty's confirmation, at which, in their reply to the speech, the house expressed regret, -not hesitating to tell His Excellency that they believed their rejection was attributable to the influence of non-resident proprietors, which had dominated so long in the councils of the Sovereign. Mr. Labouchere, the colonial secretary, in intimating the decision of the government in reference to the acts specified, stated that whatever character might properly attach to the circumstances connected with the original grants, which had been often employed against the maintenance of the rights of the proprietors, they could not, with justice, be used to defeat the rights of the present owners, who had acquired their property by inheritance, by family settlement, or otherwise. Seeing, therefore, that the rights of the proprietors could not he sacrificed without manifest injustice, he felt it his duty steadily to resist, by all means in his power, measures similar in their character to those recently brought under the consideration of Her Majesty's government, he desired, at the same time, to assure the house

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of assembly that it was with much regret that Her Majesty's advisers felt themselves constrained to oppose the wishes of the people of Prince Edward Island, and that it was his own wish to be spared the necessity of authoritative interference in regard to matters affecting the internal administration of their affairs.

With regard to the main object which had been frequently proposed by a large portion of the inhabitants, namely, that some means might be provided by which a tenant holding under a lease could arrive at the position of a fee-simple proprietor, he was anxious to facilitate such a change, provided it could be effected without injustice to the proprietors. Two ways suggested themselves first, the usual and natural one of purchase and sale between the tenant and the owner; and, secondly, that the government of the island should treat with such of the landowners as might be willing to sell, and that the state, thus becoming possessed of the fee-simple of such lands as might thus be sold, should be enabled to afford greater facilities for converting the tenants into freeholders. Such an arrangement could not probably be made without a loan, to be raised by the island government, the interest of which would be charged upon the revenues of the island. Mr. Labouchere intimated that the government would not be indisposed to take into consideration any plan of this kind which might be submitted to them, showing in what way the interest of such loan could locally be provided for, and what arrangements would be proposed as to the manner of disposing of the lands of which the fee-simple was intended to be bought.

In 1858 the legislature presented an address to the Queen, suggesting the guaranty of a loan for the purchase of township lands, with a view to the more speedy and general conversion of leaseholds into freehold tenures. In answering this

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address, the colonial secretary intimated that the documents sent to him appeared to her Majesty's government to afford a sufficient guaranty for the due payment of the interest, and for the formation of a sinking-fund for the payment of the principal of the loan; and that they were prepared to authorise a loan of one hundred thousand pounds, sterling, to be appropriated, on certain specified conditions, to the purchase of the rights of landed proprietors in the island. It will be afterwards seen that good faith was not kept with the people of the island in this matter.

The question as to whether the Bible ought to be made a text-book in the public schools of the island had been freely discussed since the opening of the Normal School, in October, 1856, when the discussion arose in consequence of remarks made by Mr. Stark, the inspector of schools. Petitions praying for the introduction of the Bible into the Central Academy and the Normal School were presented at the commencement of the session of 1858, and the question came before the house on the nineteenth of March, when Mr. McGill, as chairman of the committee on certain petitions relating to the subject, reported that the committee adopted a resolution to the effect that it was inexpedient to comply with the prayer of the several petitions before the house asking for an act of the legislature to compel the use of the protestant Bible as a class-book in mixed schools like the Central Academy and Normal School, which were supported by protestants and catholics alike, - the house feeling assured that so unjust and so unnecessary a measure was neither desired by a majority of the inhabitants of the colony, nor essential to the encouragement of education and religion. The Honorable Mr. Palmer moved an amendment, to the effect that it was necessary to provide by law that the holy Scriptures might be read and used by any

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scholar or scholars attending either the Central Academy or Normal School, in all cases where the parents or guardians might require the same to be used. The house then divided on the motion of amendment, when the numbers were found equal; but the speaker gave his casting vote in the negative. Mr. McGill being one of the prominent public men opposed to the principle of compulsion in religious matters, was at this time subjected to much unmerited abuse, emanating from quarters where the cultivation of a better spirit might be reasonably expected.

The quadrennial election took place in June, 1858, when the strength of the government was reduced to such a degree as to render the successful conduct of the public business impossible. The government dismissed the postmaster and some of his subordinates from office, which occasioned a large county meeting in Charlottetown, at which resolutions condemnatory of the action of the government and expressive of sympathy for and confidence in the ability and fidelity of the officials were passed. The principal speakers were Mr. William McNeill, Colonel Gray, Honorable E. Palmer, and W. H. Hyde. When the house met, it was found that parties were so closely balanced that the business of the country could not be transacted on the basis of the policy of the government or opposition. The house failed to elect a speaker, - the parties nominated having refused to accept office in the event of election. A dissolution consequently took place, and a new election was ordered. The contest at the polls resulted in the defeat of the government, who resigned on the fourth of April, and a new government was formed, of which the leaders were the Honorable Edward Palmer and the Honorable Colonel Gray.

On the morning that the Islander published the names of the new government, it also announced the death of Duncan

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McLean, who for nine years edited that paper, and who had, just before his death, been appointed Commissioner of Public Lands. Mr. McLean was a well-informed and vigorous writer; and, although his pen was not unfrequently dipped in political gall, yet he was genial and kindly in private life, and was a man who never nourished his wrath to keep it warm, or allowed it to extend beyond the political arena. Mr. McLean had a large circle of friends who deeply regretted his death.

The governor, in the opening speech of the session, intimated that he had received communications from Her Majesty's government on the subject of a federal union of the North American Provinces. He also stated that it was not the intention of the home government to propose to parliament the guaranteeing of the contemplated loan, He also informed the house that he had some time previously tendered his resignation of the lieutenant-governorship of the island, that his services were to be employed in another portion of the colonial possessions, and that his successor had been appointed.

Colonel Gray submitted to the house a series of resolutions, which were adopted with certain modifications, praying that Her Majesty would be pleased to direct a commission to some discreet and impartial person, not connected with the island or its affairs, to inquire into the existing relations of landlord and tenant, and to negotiate with the proprietors for such an abatement of present liabilities, and for such terms for enabling the tenantry to convert their leaseholds into freeholds as might be fairly asked to ameliorate the condition of the tenantry. It was suggested in these resolutions that the basis of any such arrangement should be a large remission of arrears of rent now due, and the giving every tenant holding under a long lease the option of pur-

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chasing his land at a certain rate at any time he might find it convenient to do so.

The legislative council, of which the Honorable Charles Young, LL. D. was president, adopted an address praying that the Queen would be pleased to give instructions that an administration might be formed in consonance with the royal instructions when assent was given to the Civil List Bill, passed in April, 1857. The council complained that the principle of responsible government was violated in the construction of the existing executive council, which did not contain one Roman catholic, though the population of that faith was, according to the census of 1855, thirty-two thousand; that not one member of the legislative council belonged to the executive; that persons were appointed to all the departmental offices who had no seats in the legislature, and who were, in consequence, in no way responsible to the people; and as all persons accepting office under the Crown, when members of the assembly, were compelled to appeal to their constituents for re-election, this statute was deliberately evaded, and no parliamentary responsibility existed.

In replying to the address of the legislative council, in a counter-address, the house of assembly contended that there was no violation of the principle of the act passed in 1857 that the prejudicial influence of salaried officers having seats in the assembly was condemned by the people at. the polls, as indicated by the present house, where there were nineteen for, to eleven members opposed to the principle. As evidence of public opinion on the subject, it was further stated, that when the commissioner of public lands, after accepting office in time year 1857, appealed to the people, he was rejected by a large majority; that the attorney general and registrar of deeds, at the general election in June last, were

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in like manner rejected; and that at the general election in March last, the treasurer and Postmaster-general were also rejected, - the colonial secretary being the only departmental officer who was able to procure a constituency.

On the nineteenth of May, Lieut. Governor Daly prorogued the house in a graceful speech. He said he could not permit the last opportunity to pass without expressing the gratification which he should ever experience in the recollection of the harmony which had subsisted between the executive and the other branches of the legislature during the whole course of his administration, to which the uninterrupted tranquillity of the island during the same period might in a great measure be attributed. The performance of the important and, often anxious duties attached to his station had been facilitated and alleviated by the confidence which they had ever so frankly reposed in the sincerity of his desire to promote the welfare of the community ; and notwithstanding the peculiar evils with which the colony had to contend, he had the satisfaction of witnessing the triumph of its natural resources in its steady though limited improvement. In bidding the house and the people farewell, he trusted that the favor of Divine Providence, which had been so signally manifested towards the island, might ever be continued to it, and conduct. its inhabitants to the condition of prosperity and improvement which was ever attainable by the united and harmonious cultivation of such capabilities as were possessed by Prince Edward Island.

Sir Dominick Daly having left the island in May, the Honorable Charles Young, president of the legislative council, was sworn in as administrator. Mr. George Dundas, member of parliament for Linlithgowshire, was appointed lieutenant-governor, and arrived in June, when he received a cordial welcome. Amongst the numerous addresses pre-

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sented to the governor was one from the ministers of the Wesleyan Conference of Eastern British America, assembled in Charlottetown, who represented a ministry of upwards of a hundred, and a church-membership of about fifteen thousand.

General Williams, the hero of Kars, visited the island in July, and received a hearty welcome from all classes. He was entertained at supper served in the Province Building. The Mayor of Charlottetown, the Honorable T. H. Haviland, occupied the chair, having on his right hand Mrs. Dundas and General 'Williams, and on his left, Mrs. E. Palmer and the Lieutenant-governor. The Honorable Mr. Coles acted as croupier.

On the thirtieth of December, 1859, at Saint Dunstan's College, died the Right Reverend Bernard Donald McDonald, Roman catholic bishop of the island. He was a native of the island, having been born in the parish of Saint Andrew's in December, 1797. He obtained the rudiments of an English education in the school of his native district, - one of the very first educational establishments then existing on the island. He entered, at the age of fifteen, his alma mater, - the Seminary of Quebec. Here he remained for ten years. during which time he distinguished himself by his unremitting application to study, and a virtuous life. It was then that he laid the foundation of that fund of varied and extensive learning - both sacred and profane - which rendered his conversation on every subject agreeable, interesting, and instructive. Having completed his studies, he was ordained priest in the spring of 1824, and he soon afterwards entered on his missionary career. There being but few clergymen on the island at that time, he had to take charge of all the western parishes, including Indian River, Grand River, Miscouche, Fifteen Point, Belle Alliance, Cascumpec,

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Tignish, etc. In all these missions he succeeded, by his zeal and untiring energy, in building churches and parochial houses. In the autumn of 1829 he was appointed pastor of Charlottetown and the neighboring missions. In 1836 he was nominated by the Pope successor to the Right Reverend Bishop MacEachern, and on the fifteenth of October of that year was consecrated Bishop of Charlottetown in Saint Patrick's Church, Quebec.

The deceased prelate was charitable, hospitable, and pious. Having few priests in his diocese, he himself took charge of a mission; and besides attending to all his episcopal functions, he also discharged the duties of a parish priest. He took a deep interest in the promotion of education. He established in his own district schools in which the young might be instructed, not only in secular knowledge, but also in their moral and religious duties, and encouraged as much as possible their establishment throughout the whole extent of his diocese. Aided by the co-operation of the charitable and by the munificent donation of a gentleman, now living, he was enabled to establish in Charlottetown a convent of ladies of the Congregation de Notre Dame, - which institution is now in a flourishing condition, affording to numerous young ladies, belonging to Charlottetown and other parts of the island, the inestimable blessing of a superior education. But the educational establishment in which the bishop appeared to take the principal interest was Saint Dunstan's College. This institution, which is an ornament to the island, the lamented bishop opened early in 1855. The care with which he watched over its progress and provided for its wants, until the time of his death, was truly paternal. Long before he departed, he had the satisfaction of seeing the institution established on a firm basis and in a prosperous condition.

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In the year 1856 the bishop contracted a cough, and declining health soon became perceptible. He, however, continued to discharge his duties as pastor of Saint Augustine's Church, Rustico, until the autumn of 1857, when by medical advice, he discontinued the most laborious portion of them. Finding that his disease - chronic bronchitis - was becoming more deeply seated, he went to New York in the summer of 1858, and consulted the most eminent physicians of that city, but to little or no purpose. His health continuing to decline, he set his house in order, and awaited the time of his dissolution with the utmost resignation. About two months before his death he removed from Rustico, and took up his residence in Saint Dunstan's College, saying that he wished to die within its walls. On the twenty-second of December he became visibly worse, and on the twenty-sixth he received the last sacraments. He continued to linger till the thirtieth, when he calmly expired, in the sixty-second year of his age.

The lieutenant-governor was instructed by the home government that, in the event of the absence of harmony between the legislative council and the assembly, he should increase the number of councillors, and thus facilitate the movements of the machine. Five additional members were accordingly added to the council. During the session, several acts were passed relating to education, including one which provided for the establishment of the Prince of Wales College.

The governor laid before the house a despatch, which he had received from the colonial secretary, the Duke of Newcastle, relative to the subject of the proposed commission on the land question. His grace had received a letter, signed by Sir Samuel Cunard and other proprietors, in which, addressing his grace, they said: We have been furnished with a copy of a memorial, addressed to Her Majesty, from

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the house of assembly of Prince Edward Island, on the questions which have arisen in connection with the original grants of land in that island, and the rights of proprietors in respect thereof. We observe that the assembly have suggested that Her Majesty should appoint one or more commissioners to inquire into the relations of landlord and tenant in the island, and to negotiate with the proprietors of the township lands, for fixing a certain rate of price at which every tenant might have the option of purchasing his land; and. also, to negotiate with the proprietors for a remission of the arrears of rent in such cases as the commissioners might deem reasonable; and proposing that the commissioners should report the result to Her Majesty. As large proprietors in this island, we beg to state that we shall acquiesce in any arrangement that may be practicable for the purpose of settling the various questions alluded to in the memorial of the house of assembly; but we do not think that the appointment of commissioners, in the manner proposed by them, would be the most desirable mode of procedure, as the labors of such commissioners would only terminate in a report, which would not be binding on any of the parties interested. We beg, therefore, to suggest that, instead of the mode proposed by the assembly, three commissioners or referees should be appointed, - one to be named by Her Majesty, one by the house of assembly, and one by the proprietors of the land, - and that these commissioners should have power to enter into all the inquiries that may be necessary, and to decide upon the different questions which may be brought before them, giving, of course, to the parties interested an opportunity of being heard. We should propose that the expense of the commission should be paid by the three parties to the reference, that is to say, in equal thirds; and we feel assured that there would be no difficulty

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in securing the adherence of all the landed proprietors to a settlement on this footing. The precise mode of carrying it into execution, if adopted, would require consideration, and upon that subject we trust that your grace will lend your valuable assistance.

"If the consent," said the colonial secretary, "of all the parties can be obtained to this proposal, I believe that it may offer the means of bringing these long pending disputes to a termination. But it will be necessary, before going further into the matter, to be assured that the tenants will accept as binding the decision of the commissioners, or the majority of them; and, as far as possible, that the legislature of the colony would concur in any measures which might be required to give validity to that decision. It would be very desirable, also, that any commissioner who might be named by the house of assembly, on behalf of the tenants, should go into the inquiry unfettered by any conditions such as were proposed in the assembly last year."

The proposal of the colonial secretary, as to the land commission, came formally before the house on the thirteenth of April, when Colonel Gray moved that the house deemed it expedient to concur in the suggestions offered for their consideration for the arrangement of the long pending dispute between the landlords and tenants of the island, and, therefore, agreed to the appointment of three commissioners, - One by Her Majesty, one by the house of assembly, and the third by the proprietors, -the expense to be divided equally between the imperial government, the general revenue of the colony, and the proprietors; and that the house also agreed, on the part of the tenantry, to abide by the decision of the commissioners, or the majority of them, and pledged themselves to concur in whatever measures might be required to give validity to that decision. Mr. Coles proposed

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an amendment, to the effect that there were no means of ascertaining the views and opinions of the tenantry upon the questions at issue, unless by an appeal to the whole people of the colony, in the usual constitutional manner, and that any decision otherwise come to by the commissioners or referees appointed should not be regarded as binding on the tenantry. On a division, the motion of Colonel Gray was carried by nineteen to nine. It was then moved by Mr. Howat, that the Honorable Joseph Howe, of Nova Scotia, should be the commissioner for the tenantry, which was unanimously agreed to.

During this session, that of 1860, the assembly agreed to purchase the extensive estates of the Earl of Selkirk; and the purchase of sixty-two thousand and fifty-nine acres was effected, at. the very moderate rate of six thousand five hundred and eighty-six pounds sterling, - thus enabling the government to offer to industrious tenants facilities for becoming the owners of land which was then held by them on lease.

On the fourth of May, 1860, died Mr. James Peake, at Plymouth, England. From the year 1823 until 1856, Mr. Peake was actively engaged in mercantile pursuits on the island. He was a successful merchant, and for some years held a seat in Her Majesty's executive council. Of a kind and generous disposition, he did not live to himself, but was ever ready to extend a helping hand to industrious and reliable persons, who might need aid and encouragement. He was highly esteemed as a liberal, honorable man. his integrity and enterprise placed him in the front rank as a merchant. " None," said the Islander " was more deservedly respected, and by his death the world has lost one who was an honest and upright man."

Chapter End

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History of Prince Edward Island

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Last Updated: 7/10/99 6:11:55 AM
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