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While the French had possession of Canada, both the city and island of . Montreal belonged to private proprietors, who had improved them fo well, that the whole island had become a moft delightful spot, and produced every thing that could administer to the conveniencies life. The city forms an oblong square, divided by regular and wellformed ftreets; and when taken by the English the houses were built in a very handsome manner; and every house might be seen at one view from the harbour, or from the southernmost side of the river, as the hill on the side of which the town stands falls gradually to the water. This place is surrounded by a wall and a dry ditch; and its fortifications have been much improved by the English. Montreal is nearly as large as Quebec, but since it fell into the hands of the English it has suffered much by fires.
The principal towns in Upper Canada are Kingston, on Lake Ontario, Niagara, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and Detroit, situated on the western bank of Detroit river, between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, and nine miles below Lake St. Clair. *
POPULATION. Uppet Canada, though an infant settlement, is said by some to contain forty thousand, by others, only twenty thousand inhabitants. The truth probably is between them. Lower Canada, in 1784, contained one hundred thirteen thousand and twelve fouls. Both provinces may now contain about one hundred and fifty-two thousand souls, which number is multiplying, both by natural increase and by emigrations.
RELIGION. About nine tenths of the inhabitants of these provinces are Roman Catholics, who enjoy under the present government the same provision, rights, and privileges, as were granted them in 1774, by the act of 14th of George III. The rest of the people are Episcopalians, Prefa byterians, and a few of almost all the different sects of Chriftians.
TRADE. The commodities required by the Canadians from Europe are, wine, or rather rum ; cloths, chiefly coarse; linen; and wrought iron. The Indian trade requires rum, tobacco, a sort of duffil blankets, guns, powder, balls, and fints, kettles, hatchets, toys, and trinkets of all
Niagara and Detroit, though at present in possession of the British government, contrary to the treaty of peace, are, without any polibls doubt, both within the limits of the United States.
kinds. While the country was in poffeffion of the French, the Indians supplied them with poultry ; and the French had traders, who, like the original inhabitants, traversed the vast lakes and rivers in cances,
th incredible industry and patience, carrying their goods into the remotest parts of America, and among nations entirely unknown to us. These again brought the furs, &c. home to them, as the Indians were thereby habituated to trade with them. For this purpose, people from all parts, even from the distance of one thousand miles, came, to the French fair at Montreal, which began in Jure, and sometimes lafted th.ee months. On this occafion many folemnities were observed, guards were placed, and the governor affifted to preserve order in so great and various a concourse of favage nations. But fometimes great disorders and tumults happened: and the Indians frequently gave for a dram all that they were possessed of. It is remarkable, that many of these nations actually passed ly the then English settlement of Albany in New York, and travelled two hundred miles further to Montreal, though they could have purchased the goods they wanted cheaper at the former.
Since Britain became possessed of Canada, her trade with that coun. try has generally employed from thirty to forty fhips, and about four thousand feamen.
The amount of the exports from the province of Quebec, as far back as in the year 1786, was three hundred forty-three thousand two hundred and fixty-two pounds, nineteen shillings and fix-pence. The amount of imports in the same year was three hundred twenty-five thousand one hundred and fixteen pounds. The exports consisted of wheat, flour, biscuit, flax-feed, lumber of various kinds, fish, potash, oil, ginseng and other medicinal roots, BUT PRINCIPALLY OF FURS AND PELTRIES, to the amount of two hundred eighty-five thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven pounds *. The imports consisted of
* Should America insist (as no doubt she will) on Great Britain surrendering the frontier forts, and those lands and settlements which she has hitherto held in defiance of the most solemn treaties, there cannot remain a doubt but ninc tenths of the fur trade will pass into the hands of the Americans. This will prove a most severe blow to the Canadian commerce, as well as to the revenue of Great Britain, while the Americans, grown wise by experience, sending their furs direct to France, Germany, &c. instead of causing them to pass through the hands of British merchants and brokers, will be able to divide an additional profit of from thirty to fifty per cent. between themselves and the merchants of those countries. ---A profit which is now exclusively enjoyed by British subje&s, or foreigners residing in Great Britain, as intermediate agents ;
but VOL IV,
fum, brandy, molasses, coffee, sugar, wines, tobacco, falt, chocolates provisions for the troops, and dry goods.
GOVERNMENT. By the Quebec act, passed by the parliament of Great Britain in the year 1791, so much of the act of the 14th of George III. palled in the year 1774, as relates to the appointment of a council for the government of the province of Quebec, is repealed ; and it is enacted that there shall be within each of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, a Legislative Council, and an Assembly, who, with the consent of the Governor, appointed by the King, shall have power to make laws. The governor may give or withhold his majesty's assent to bills passed by the legislative council and assembly, or reserve them for his majesty's pleasure. Bills reserved are to have no force till his majesty's assent is fignified by the governor, which, to be valid, must be fignified within two years from the time the bill is presented to the governor. The governor must transmit to the secretary of state copies of such bills as have been asiented to, which his Majesty in council may declare his disallowance of within two years from the receipt.
The Legislative Council is to consist of not fewer than seven members for Upper, and fifteen for Lower Canada, to be summoned by the Governor, who must be authorized by the King. Such members are to hold their seats for life, unless forfeited by four years continuat absence, or by fwearing allegiance to some foreign power.
The House of Assembly is to consist of not less than fixteen members from Upper, and not less than fifty from Lower Canada, chosen by the freeholders in the several towns and districts. The council and assembly are to be called together at least once in every year; and every assembly is to continue four years, unless sooner diffolved by the Go
All queftions are to be decided by a majority of votes of the members present. His Majesty may authorize the Governor to fix the time and place of holding the elections, (subject, however, to such provifions as may hereafter be made by the Legislature) and to fix the times and places of holding the sessions of the assembly, and to prorogue and dissolve the same whenever he shall judge it necessary.
but, it may be said, tha: the farcity of specie in America, and their grcat demand for English manufactures, will secure the fur trade to Great Britain--fuch, however, ihould remember, that the rapid prograss of manufactures in the United States, aided by the preten: spirit of emigration in Europe will foon leflen this demand, and leave the Americans a: libcriy to carry their fries and other articles to a market which will rapidly increale th-ir specie fufficicnt to enable them to range the European ard ouber markets with that advantage which the British inerchan' has long experienced almost without a rival-indeed, it is impoffible to confid r the rapid advances which Aincrica has made since her ind-pendence, without at the fanie time being convinced, hat instead of drawing her fupplies of ram faured goods from Greai Britain, me will, er'e long, become her rival in the most importani articles in almost every other European market.
The Governor, together with such of the executive council as shall be appointed by the King, for the affairs of each province, are to be a court of civil jurisdiction for hearing and determining appeals, subject, however, to such appeals from their judgment as heretofore exifted. All lands in Upper Canada are to be granted hereafter in free and common soccage ; and also in Lower Canada, when the grantee shall defire it, subject nevertheless to alterations by an act of the LegiNature.
British America is superintended by an officer ftiled Governor Ge. neral of the four British provinces in North America, who, besides other powers, is commander in chief of all the British troops in the four provinces and the governments attached to them and Newfound. land. Each of the provinces have a Lieutenant Governor, who, in the absence of the Governor General, has all the powers requisite to a chief magiftrate.
The island, or rather collection of islands, called by the French Les Illes de Madam, which lie fo contiguous as that they are commonly called but one, and comprehended under the name of the Isand of Cape Breton, lies between lat. 45 and 47° N. and between 59° and 60°, W. long. from London, or 14° and 150 E. long. froin Philadelphia, and about 4.5 leagues to the eastward of Halifax. It is about one hundred miles in length, and fifty in breadth; and is separated from Nova Scotia by a narrow ftrait, called the Gut of Canso, which is the communication between the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulph of St. Lawrence.
It is surrounded with little sharp-pointed rocks, separated from each other by the wares, above which some of their tops are visible. All its harbours are open to the east, turning towards the south. On the other parts of the coast there are but a few anchoring places for small vessels, in creeks, or between illets. The harbour of St. Peter's, at the west end of the island, is a very commodious place for carrying on the fifhcry.
Except in the hilly parts, the surface of the country has but little folidity', being every where covered with a light moss and with water, The dampness of the soil is exhaled in fogs, without rendering the art unwliclerome. In other respects, the climate is very cold, owing either to the prodigious quantity of lakes, which cover above half the island, and remain frozen a long time; or to the number of forests, that totally intercept the rays of the fun; the effect of which is besides decreased by perpetual clouds.
HISTORY OF ITS SETTLEMENT, &c.
Though some fishermen had long resorted to this island every sum. mer, not more than twenty or thirty had ever fixed there. The French,