Petition from Freeholders and Inhabitants of Wolfe Island, Frontenac, Upper Canada, 1836
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Petition from Freeholders and Inhabitants of Wolfe Island, 1836
NAC Upper Canada Land Petitions, RG 1, L 3, vol. 535, W20/21, microfilm C-2959

1x12.gif (50 bytes)I stumbled upon this petition purely by accident, while looking for information about 3xgt. grandfather Daniel or George Rawley. It provides an interesting snapshot of the community on Wolfe Island, Frontenac Co., Upper Canada in 1836, and identifies 34 inhabitants. The importance of Pigeon Island for the landing and curing of salmon to these inhabitants is clearly illustrated. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who might have a sequel to this story! Although disappointed that Daniel Rawley was not a signatory to this petition (does this mean he did not support the petition? or perhaps he wasn't living on Wolfe Island at this time?), I was delighted to identify Martin Staly, Robert A. Horne, William Davis, Samuel Davis, and I.T. Barrett, all relatives of my 4 x great grandmother Mary Ann Staley.
25 July [page torn here] W20 No. 21
[......] Freeholders and Inhabitants of Wolfe Island
[C.?]W. H[..]yte
25th July 1836

Admitted to the Honble. the Executive Council with reference
to the petition of James Eccles forwarded on the 14th Instant.
By Command

In Council 25th August 1836
Not Recommended
D.D. Sullivan[?]
[another signature, illegible]
Communicated 12 Sept. 1836

p. 21

To His Excellency Sir Francis Bond Head, Knight Commander of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order and of the Prussian Military order of Merit Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Upper Canada etc etc etc In Council
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The Petition of the undersigned Freeholders and other Inhabitants of Wolfe Island in the Midland District
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Humbly Sheweth,
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That your Petitioners are all natural born British Subjects resident on the said Island, the majority of whom served in the Army, Navy and Militia during the last war.

That they have all for many years prosecuted the Salmon and other Fisheries in Lake Ontario in the neighbourhood of Kingston, and have erected Houses and other Conveniences for the Salmon Fishery on Pigeon Island a barren rock of about Four Acres totally unfit for cultivation situated about Fifteen Miles South West of Kingston and about Five miles from Long Point, the South Westerly End of Wolfe Island.

That your Petitioners are desirous for their mutual benefit, as well as that of the other British Subjects engaged in the Fishery in the neighbourhood that the same Privileges they have hitherto enjoyed on the said Island might be preserved to them.

That your Petitioners are informed, that a man names James Eccles has petitioned Your Excellency either to sell or lease to him the said Pigeon Island and that it is his intention to make your Petitioners pay him an annual tribute for permission to land or cure their Fish thereon, as they have heretofore been for time immemorial accustomed to do, and your Petitioners would in such case be placed entirely

p. 21a
at his mercy, and he might impose upon them such ser[vices] as would secure to him an exclusive monopoly to the ruin of the trade your Petitioners have so long followed and consequently to the prejudice of the public in general.

That the said James Eccles never prosecuted the Salmon Fishery, and has been only about three years settled in the neighbourhood on an Island called Horse Shoe Island about eight miles from Pigeon Island.

That your Petitioners have been informed that the said James Eccles has stated to Your Excellency that it is his intention to erect a wharf for the purpose of forming a small harbour as a place of security for boats in bad weather, but the same has been often before attempted in vain, as in violent storms the water breaks completely over the island.

That your Petitioners are desirous that the said Pigeon Island might either be leased or granted to them in such a manner and under such restrictions as would secure to them and all other British Subjects engaged in the fishery in its neighbouring waters an equal rights to land and cure their fish (the run of salmon in the neighbouring waters being very great and it being essential to their being well [cu]red that it should be done immediately after taken) the Lessees or Grantees having power reserved to them to make such reasonable charge to others as might indemnify them their expenses.
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Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray your Excellency to take the matters above stated into consideration. And as in duty bound will ever pray etc.
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Wolfe Island      )
25th July 1836   )
John Lambert
Robert A. Horne
William Busch
Martin Staly
Thomas Horn
Nicholas Mosier
Louis Mosier
Gabrial Orser
John Hopson
Archibald Hitchcock
[p. 21b]

Samuel Davis
William Davis
T. D. [Jacob] B[us]ch
John Hoov[er]
Joseph Barritt
I. T. Barrett
Jeremiah Hoover
Joseph Hoover
Wm. Marsh
Edward Co[nn]or
Ronald McDonell
Donald McDon[e]ll
Hugh McDonell
[D]onald McDonell
Squire K[H?]allas
John McDae
Alex[?] McDonell
Alex. Chisholm
Rodrick Chisholm
Alexs[on] Mc[Donell]
Alean McDonell
David [Donald?] McDonell
[D]aniell McD[onell]

p. 21c

Recommended to the consideration of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor by

W. Macaulay
Thomas Markland J.P.
Ja. Macfarlane J.P.
David John Smith
A Manaling J.P.
H. Cassady
W[...] Gilders[leeve]

To His Excellency Sir Francis Bond Head Knight Commander of the Royal Hanovarien Guelphic Order and of the Prussian Military order of Merit Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada etc.
City Toronto

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