Submitted by Garth Bulman - [email protected]
Affidavit of William Roubel "The Loyal Electors"
Reference: Acc 2849 Item 130 PEIPA 17 September, 1811
Transcribed by Garth Bulman 13 April, 2002
Sept. 17, 1811
Prince Edward Island Queens County to wit
William Roubel of Charlotte Town, Prince Edward Island Esquire, one of the Representatives in the General Assembly of the said Island for the Royalty of Charlotte Town, and Barrister at Law therein Maketh Oath and Saith; that being informed there were a number of respectable, Loyal and Independent Men, associated together on Constitutional principles under the Title of the "Loyal Electors" the Deponent was desirous of being introduced into said Society, and accordingly on the second day of June One thousand eight hundred and nine, Deponent became a Member thereof, and on the third day of April One thousand eight hundred and ten , was chosen Secretary to the said Society - And this Deponent further saith that being by profession an attorney at law , educated and bred to that profession in England, and several years admitted as an attorney, in His Majesty�s Court of Kings Bench at Westminster and entertaining the most lively attachment, to the person and Government of his Most Gracious Majesty, Deponent previous to such admission into the said Society, had taken considerable pains, to correctly ascertain the soundness of the principles of the aforesaid Society; or Institution, and the true objects, and views thereof of which, Deponent from his Education, and profession, humbly conceived himself to be rather more capable of Judging, than persons , whose knowledge, Study, and practice in Law, had been confined to this Island, and who probably might have never seen any other English Court of Justice than those therein. - And Deponent finding that the objects, and views of said Society, were to consider of proper measures, for the introduction of upright, - Independent Men, and persons of unimpeached Character into the House of Assembly, with a view of counteracting a dangerous influence, which Deponent understood had too long existed in the island, and was possessed by a lot of persons, either personally or by their unprincipled agents engaged in monstrous Speculations in Land, to the infinite discouragement of the active, and industrious Settlers, and consequent check to the Settlement and prosperity of this Island, he the Deponent more willingly consented to become Secretary to such an Institution, evidently formed for the advancement of the Colony - And Deponent further saith, that as Secretary of the said Society, it was his office, to faithfully enter into a Book, (called the Secretary�s Book) such motions as by a Majority of Votes were carried; and that at a Meeting of the Society, held on the fifth day of March one thousand and Eight hundred and eleven, James Bardin Palmer Esquire, (then a member) made a Motion, which this Deponent has copied from the said Secretary�s Book, and which was entered by him at the time, exactly as it was made, and which is in the words and figures following. Mr. Palmer moved that a Committee be appointed to meet occasionally to forward the objects of this Society, and report their proceedings, on the next monthly night, which being seconded by Mr. LePage, was put from the Chair "and carried" as by the said Motion as entered in the said Secretary�s Book, reference being thereunto had will appear. - And Deponent further saith, that several Members delivered their Sentiments on the said Motion, and among others, Angus McAulay of Point Prim Esquire, a gentleman of considerable learning, and ability, a Member in the said House of Assembly for Queens County, who ( As he often wards owned) conceiving that such Committee, was to be a Secret Committee, opposed the said Motion on that ground, but convinced of his mistake, subsequently withdrew his opposition and voted for the Motion, not on the ground of the Mover, having in view anything like Secrecy, but solely on the Conviction, that however pure his motives might be, such were the Dispositions of certain persons, to misrepresent, and prevent the principles, and proceedings of the Society, that the most false and malicious Construction, would be given to the real object of the said Motion; but the majority of the Members; move properly Conceiving, that at any rate, it was impossible to support such false and malicious perversions of Truth, voted for the Motion, which was accordingly carried.- And Deponent positively saith, that the said James Bardin Palmer, the Mover of the said Motion, made the same, in the Actual identical words herein before let forth, and in no other; and took the earliest Opportunity, to undeceive the said Angus McAulay, in such misconception of secrecy, and that the said James Bardin Palmer, and other Members who spoke on the said Question, did in the strongest, and most unequivocal terms deprecate, all idea and motion, of a Secret Committee. And this Deponent further saith, that he has to his infinite astonishment, received information (and which he verily believes to be true that some person or persons, has or have fabricated, and circulated some paper purporting, (as Deponent verily believes) to be a true Copy of the said Motion, so made by the said Mr. Palmer, pretended to be extracted by such person or persons from the aforesaid Secretary�s Book, in which said fabricated Copy, the said Institution, or Society, (as Deponent also hath heard and believes) most falsely called "the political Corresponding Society" "or Club;" and wherein, the said Mr. Palmer (as Deponent understands) is represented to have moved for a Secret Committee, which this Deponent says is scandalously false, and the Author or Authors of any such paper, has or have in this Deponent�s Opinion, been guilty of a very wicked, and deliberate Libel, personally against the said Mr. Palmer, and collectively against the said Society. � And this Deponent further saith, that he has now been a Member of the said Society upwards of two years, and constantly attended the meetings thereof, and he positively saith, that he never heard any Sentiment or Expression uttered, by any of the Members, the least Disrespectful to His Majesty�s Person, or Government; but on the contrary, that the Conduct of the Members of the said Society, has not only been uniformly correct, and orderly; but their opinions, and sentiments, have constantly breathed that Loyalty, and attachment to His Majesty, which in the former Courses of Life, of a great number of them, as Loyalists had conspicuously been evinced - And Deponent further saith, that he is convinced of the Legality of the Meetings of the said Society of Loyal Electors, and that they assemble on truly British Constitutional Principles, by reason of similar associations being formed in England, and particularly Deponent recollects a Club formed in the County of Essex, which Club by their influence, as publicly avowed, returned John Archer Houblon Esquire, as a Member of Parliament for the said County that Deponent is positive, the principles of the said Society, are not inimical to the Existing Government of this Colony, as Deponent and other Members of the same, who are members of the House of Assembly, have supported the measures of Government while some of the Officers of government, have apposed the same. - That not only Deponent, of Assembly, to the Spirited independence of the said Society of Loyal Electors, but that the said Society, was greatly instrumental, in returning William Hyde, and William Hazard Esquires, as members of the House of Assembly, circumstances, clearly indicative of the said Society throughout the country, and the consequent loss of such influence to the other party. - And this Deponent further saith, that John Frederick Holland Esquire being (with Deponent) the other Representative for the Royalty of Charlotte Town, the political conduct of the said Mr. Holland, naturally came under the View and Consideration of the said Society, the majority of whom are Electors Royalty and the same gentleman, having in a very unqualified manner censured the said Society, and adopted a line of politics conceived by the said Society, to be injurious to the Interest of the Island, (especially relative to the Election of the said William Hyde and William Hazard) a Resolution was proposed, framed in the following Terms. - Resolved that John Frederick Holland Esquire, has in "a most wanton, unprovoked, and ignorant manner" greatly calumniated, and misrepresented the Society. As a disloyal, and dangerous association of persons, and has by his late conduct forfeited the Confidence of the Society, and become totally unworthy of the support thereof, on any occasion whatsoever. That the said proposed, an intended resolution, was written at the end of the said Secretary�s Book (as a piece of paper was not immediately at hand) but was withdrawn, as considered unnecessary, the ---- Members being unanimously of opinion, that the said Mr. Holland would not again be returned as a Member for Charlotte Town; and the said Resolution being so withdrawn, and having been merely entered in the Book, for the want of a slip of paper (as may appear from the Circumstances of such Resolution being entered at the extreme end of the said Book, and on the reverse side thereof, the same was taken out as useless, and not forming any part of the proceedings of the said Society.- And this Deponent further saith, that from his observation on public Affairs in this Island, it appears to him, there are two parties; one, composed of the Cultivators of Land, the other formed of the Speculators in Land. - That Charles Stewart Esquire (who Deponent verily believes is of the latter party being the agent and attorney of several great Proprietors) has expressed himself to the Deponent in very harsh Terms regarding the said Society, and complained of their Influence, in promoting the return of Members to the House of Assembly; and Deponent is well convinced, the said Mr. Stewart is inimical to the said Society, and would not be unwilling (if possible) to impeach it�s principles. - That Deponent, ever since his arrival in this Island has been constantly apposed by the said Mr. Stewart, and his family, with all their Influence, and Deponent from recent Circumstances is well Convinced that the said Mr. Stewart, is at present, Deponents most inveterate Enemy. That Deponent�s ruin has been attempted in this Island, more then once by means, (in this Deponent�s Opinion) as extraordinary, and unprecedented, as illegal, and unconstitutional; that one of those attempts is rendered the more surprising, as proceeding from a Quarter, from which, as a British Subject, Deponent would expect to receive, protection, rather than oppression, which if necessary, Deponent can provide by unquestionable Testimony, as well oral as written, unless such written proof, not being in Deponent�s possession, or under his control should have been very properly destroyed.- That Deponent at one time experienced such a Tide of persecution, and oppression, that he had actually formed a resolution of repairing to England, and seeking the only remedy that appeared to this Deponent, applicable to his Deplorable Law; and Deponent was only prevented from carrying this resolution into effect, by a strong sense of professional Duty, which he conceived he owed the public; being then and now concerned, in the recovery of property in this Island, many years deemed irrecoverable to upwards of Twenty thousand Pounds; that under these Circumstances, Deponent remained in this Island, although this Deponents ruin seemed to himself and others inevitable, and which ruin this Deponent has good reason to believe, was only averted by prudential reasons, and motives on the part of his Enemies, for their own safety, Deponent having avowed his resolution, of complaining to His Most Gracious Sovereign in Council, - and this Deponent further saith that in his conscience he verily believes, that some persons have formed a conspiracy to calumniate accuse, and impeach the principles of the said Society; and consequently, are not actuated by pure, and virtuous motives; but are impelled by personal and vindictive motives, toward the said Mr. Palmer, and this Deponent, is from a fear; that unless the said Society was suppressed, their genuine and honest principles, their love of truth, and consequent dislike of, and opposition to an association of person, (denominated as Cabal) might ultimately by exposing their artifice, and unjust Schemes, awaken a general spirit of information and independence throughout the country; and that honest and independent Men only being returned, an House of Assembly might be formed, very unfit for the viewer, and purposes of the said Cabal. And this Deponent saith, that revering the principles of the British Constitution, and having been accustomed to view the temperate, dignified, and impartial Conduct of the Judges in England, and deeply feeling that the due administration of Justice, is one of the greatest Blessings - a free and Loyal people can enjoy; and the reverse, one of the most enormous evils this Deponent hath beheld, with the utmost concern, and astonishment, the interference of any Judge in political Matters in this Island; Deponent always conceiving from observation in England, that Judges were for wise purposes, altogether detached from Party Matters and politics.- That James Curtis Esquire, an assistant Judge and agent to persons, holding very Considerable Tracts of Land, constantly interferes with Elections in this Island; and as Deponent believes, in the furtherance of his political views, and of those with whom he constantly acts, has been himself returned a Member of the House of Assembly, and means and intends to sit therein as such. - and this Deponent humbly conceives, that according to the principles of the British Constitution, and by the Laws of England, a Judge is not qualified to sit in the House of Commons in England or in any other Legislative Assembly, in the British Colonies, and the said James Curtis therefore Sitting in the House of Assembly in this Island, while he continues a Judge therein, is the more surprising to Deponent, as he understood this Island was governed by the Laws of England, and Colonial Laws not repugnant thereto.
This seventeenth day of
September 1811= before me