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[NOTE: The images of the entire Narrative are reproduced at the end of the text extracts]

c. 1790



# Estimate
of the current expense for the Services & works carrying on. Upon amount of which I drew 
£ 3000 in favour of my Agent

Mr Robert's Letter

[Page 1]

NO A ...

Narrative of the Motives of Lieut Govr DesBarres Appointment to Cape Breton, and of the Circumstances of the Expenditures for the public Service there, with Remarks ...

[Page 9] 

          ... I arrived [in Sydney] at the Spring 1785 ...

          No time was lost in transmitting a State of our Condition with a Report of my proceedings, and an Estimate # of the Current expence of what appeared to me necessary to be done on the Spot, to England, depending that the advance of the Season would infallibly bring the promised Supplies, at least the Provisions, and lessen the local  inconvenience & expence; And I proposed at the same time a method appearing conducive to perspicuity for reimbursing all manner of occasionally necessary expenditures which was to draw Bills on my personal agent in favor of those who made the Supplies and to transmit Quarterly Accounts to office for the [Page 10] for the [sic] part of the expence chargeable, to the public  - the Amount thereof to be paid into his hands. In this manner I drew £ 3000 on the Treasury upon amount of what I had already advanced, which was paid to the agent, who wrote to me, that, in terms of his communications with Office, my Bills would be honored, and every Instruction, that should be deemed necessary transmitted to me in due time.

Gregory Townsend, Esq








          A gentleman long employed in the Commissary Department had been appointed Commissary of Stores & Provisions for Cape Breton. I found him in Halifax in my way to the Island in November 1784 [Desbarres then went on to Isle Madame where he landed in December, 1784], and urged him to join his Specific Duty. He assured me that being employed under General Campbel's orders in the Department in Halifax, it was necessary he should remain there for the winter; I acquiesced upon the Condition of his joining me in the Spring; when the summer came he wrote to me from time to time that he had expectations and reports of Provisions for Cape Breton being to be sent viā Halifax, and when they should arrive he would proceed to me with these. In the mean time the Reception of Settlers had increased our Number [from c. 800] to between three & four thousand Souls, and it being the month of September 1785, and the Provisions still not arriving, I became extremely allarmed with Apprehension of a famine in the following winter ...
I sent Mr Venture the most intelligent person of the Colony, in the government Brigantine the St. Peters [to get settlers from Rhode Island, perhaps wanting to come to Cape Breton] directing him at the same time to call on the Commissary at Halifax, in order to know from, or urge, him respecting the Provisions [page 11] the Provisions [sic]. But as these would be no additional freight to pay, for such, and dreading at least Some share of Disappointment, I gave MVenture a draft on my Agent for £ 800, which he might lay out in loading the Brigantine with provisions unless he should find room to hope that the Supply held up by the Commissary would be amply sufficient. The Commissary answered that he had lost all hopes of any at all being sent to us ...; 
whereupon Mr Venture in despair hastened to Rhode Island [for the settlers] , where, at his own discretion, he entered into transactions, which might have perfectly relieved us, but for the disasters that followed --- laying out the £ 800 and a great deal more, for which I do not consider myself amenable ...
Mr Roberts letter ]Page 12] 
          I regularly transmitted to office the Amounts of the Expenditure ... and I was allowed  to proceed without a countermand ... and the Assurances I had received with a Confirmation implied in the payment of the earliest Bills, in the communication thro' my Agent of the mode of transmitting and drawing my Accounts for the future ...for I received no official Letters whatsoever until the whole extraordinary part of the Charges had been incurred, when my payment, and my Credit, was Stop'd ... 
[Page 13]
... The Cargo of the Brigantine St Peter, drawn, with Mr Venture from the Coast of Cape Breton to England, by Stress of Weather, was sold here, instead of being returned to me reunited; nor was the price returned to my Agent, who had paid the Drafts for it [page 14[ for it [sic] --And all this, in the course of the first twenty months ...
[Page 16]
... money ceased to be issued to my Agent -- even an Amount of £ 7000, which had been recommended for allowance ... 
          This brought upon me at once an Inundation of protest Bills, damages and expences. I endeavoured to arrest the progress of the evil by paying them as far as I could from the fund of all my own ressources; I even converted the Impressions and plates of the Atlantic Neptune into a pledge [to Samuel Sparrow] for a part, to that, upon the whole, had the £ 7000, alluded to, been issued to the Agent, my Credit would have stood ... 

Seizure of my Estates for supplies and provisions to Loyalists &ce. at the [several?] suits of John Jodrit - Tremain & Co - Nul Robertson - Hall & Co - Samuel Sparrow, &ce & ce; respectively, which Estates I had purchased and settled about thirty years ago
          But as it was twenty Months after the Stoppage, and the determination to recall me, before my successor arrived, I was entirely cramped in my exertions of Settlement with the Creditors. Severals took the Advantage of trumping up exorbitant Claims' Estates [Page 17] Estates which I had formed in the Province of Nova Scotia, and had for many years before returned to me from twelve to fifteen hundred pounds a year were attached; As Instances of the devastation upon this occasion about two hundred heads of Cattle which had been leased with the Land on one of my Estates, were brought to the hammer upon an execution for a Bill of £ 209; and Others in proportion; for Bills not exceeding a thousand Pounds, Judgement was taken to the Amount of £ 2000, and an Estate, in a flourishing [?rogress] of Settlement, seized for which it was prosessed to refuse £ 6000 ...
Tho Hurd
Tho Uncle
... Man dismissed for public misconduct from being my private Secretary, was actually pumped for Information by an Official Gentleman, who had recommended him to me for that office as a Friend & client of his own ... 
[Page 18] ... I arrived safe in white hall, in April 1788 ...
[Page 19]
          My earliest visitors were the holders of the protested Bills. I endeavoured to console them with the sole prospect which supported myself - Lord Sydney's promise of a trial & of the Settlement of my accounts ...
[Page 20]
          ... and in the Spring 1789, it was Signified to me that my accounts were sent to the Treasury, where I should apply henceforth.
          ... It took twelve months Application at the Treasury before any step whatever was taken ...
[Page 21]
          ... At last the holders of the Bills, hearing that upward of £ 7000 of my accounts had been early been recommended for payment by the Secretary of State ... then addressed a Memorial to the Board ...
[Page 22]
          ... at last, in the End of the Year 1789, it was thought proper to enter a sum of money for paying in the mean time such Bills in the Circle as I might acknowledge until the general accounts should be Settled in a month or Six weeks; ...
[Page 23]
          ... From that time to this I have persisted in applying for the Settlement of my Accounts, and for a trial ...
[On the Book Jacket:] Statement  of Lieut Govr DesBarres

Source: London, Public Record Office, Audit Office 3, Volume 142, pp. 1-23, c.1790.




C-1455  TO AND TO

Public Archives of Canada, MG 23 F 1 J. F. W. DesBarres Papers - Series 3. 
Related material, 1774-1807. ff.119-146 [with two postscripts], No date.
Narrative of the Motives of Lieut. Govr. Des Barres appointment to Cape Breton
and of the circumstances of the Expenditure for the public service there, with remarks.

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