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the bird's eye maple, is a variety of this tree, but its chief value at present arises from the great quantity of sugar an nually manufactured from its sap; the greatest part of the inhabitants of the island, supplying themselves with all the sugar they consume in this manner, whilst many of them have frequently a great deal to dispose of.
Elm, red-oak, (which is to be found in considerable quantities), poplar, swamp-willow, two kinds of ash, several species. of the pine, larch, fir and spruce, with several kinds of fruit and flowering shrubs abound in the island.
The fisheries of this island and of Cape Breton may be greatly extended; they consist of the same variety of fish as are found on the coasts of the King's provinces. Cod fish is perhaps no where in greater plenty than on the coast of Prince Edward's Island, the principal fishing ground in the gulph of St. Lawrence, being in sight of its shores, but unfortunately the subjects of the United States reap at present the greatest advantage of the cod-fishery there. Besides the seals which constantly frequent the waters of this island, there is a larger kind brought on the coast annually by the floating ice; they are often taken in great numbers, are very productive, and the oil is usually carried to Halifax or Quebec, where it is sold from 251. to 321. per ton*.
Sea-cows about thirty years ago were found in great numbers on the northern coast of this island, but they have be come scarce, particularly since the American war, "when so "many American fishermen poured into the gulph and at "tacked them in the summer, about the Magdalen Islands, "that in two or three years the species were nearly destroyed, “few having been seen for several years after; however the "kind still exists, and they are known to be increasing "fast, and if the killing them was under proper regulations "they might again become so numerous as to be an object of " great consequence, but this never can be the case, while "the New England fishermen are allowed to come into the "6 gulph and destroy them+."
The grants to individuals of the Magdalen and other islands, are considered to be particularly disadvantageous and injurious to the British fishermen.-It is, however, to be expected that in all future grants, reservations will be contain
ed of liberty to His Majesty's subjects in general, to carry on a free fishery on all the coasts of these islands, and of erecting stages and other necessary buildings for that purpose, and that hereafter the American fishermen will not be allowed to enjoy the facilities and advantages, they have derived from being permitted to use, and erect stages and other buildings thereon.
The fisheries of this island, which had been gradually reviving since 1784, promised to become again considerable, and to afford the means of recommencing a trade from thence with the British West India Islands, by which its inhabitants were supplied with colonial produce on moderate terms*. Several cargoes of fish were likewise annually shipped for the European market, for which British manufactures, salt, and wine were taken in return; besides the cod-fishery, the herring was began and promised well, and the inhabitants of Prince Edward's Island had obtained a considerable share in the great salmon fisheries carried on in their neighbourhood on the continent: on the whole there was every appearance of extensive and valuable fisheries being established, when soon after the commencement of the late war, the navigation and colonial system was suspended, by which neutrals were admitted to participate in the trade to the British West India Islands. Since then, these fisheries have been nearly given up from want of encouragement, and the articles of export from the island at present, consist of wheat, barley, oats, salt pork, butter, furs, seal-oil, and oysters, to Nova Scotia, with live cattle and some timber to Newfoundland, and occasionally a few cargoes of square timber to Great Britain. Flax and hemp thrive well in this island, and every farmer raises a small quantity yearly, which is applied to domestic usest. A few individuals are engaged in building ships, which are generally sold in Newfoundland; this business will probably be carried on to a great extent, whenever the Newfoundland fisheries revive, as the great plenty of timber, in this island, and the reasonable rate at which the necessaries of life are obtained, will enable the inhabitants to build at a much cheaper rate than in Newfoundland.
Since 1792, the importation of all kinds of provisions into this island has ceased, whilst the export of them has gradually increased.
The Newfoundland fishery is of longer standing than those pursued by the inhabitants of the continent of America, and was so considered before the conclusion of the war, which land.. separated the United States from Great Britain. It is not confined to any particular exclusive company, but is an open general British cod-fishery, consisting of many lodges, or commodious harbours. It was discovered by the Cabots in 1507, and taken possession of for the crown of England, which they named Terra de Buccalevs, but did not settle any fishery there. This island abounds with timber proper for shipping and other purposes, but its chief value is the great fishery carried on upon those shoals, which are called the Banks of Newfoundland, which formerly supplied in a great measure Europe and the West Indies with dried cod fish, but in consequence of the subjects of the United States being allowed the same privileges in fishing on these banks and in the gulph of St. Lawrence, as before they became a distinct and independant state, and from the injurious consequences resulting from the impress of the British seamen employed in it, and the suspension of the colonial system in favour of neutrals, a considérable depression has been produced on the British interest, and this fishery in common with the others in those seas have very much declined; they are, however, still capable of great extension, and claim at this time the peculiar attention and consideration of the legisla ture of Great Britain.
On this subject endeavours are likewise made to mislead; it having been represented, that the interference of the subjects of the United States in the Newfoundland fishery is not injurious, but highly beneficial to Great Britain+ At this time, it may be admitted, there is no other mode of supplying the greatest part of the continent with fish than in the vessels of the United States; but it is a recent tem→ porary inconvenience, resulting from the present state of Europe; for, under no other circumstances can their interference in the Newfoundland trade be warranted. That the complaints which were previously made were well founded, especially in respect to the intercourse with the British
* Dr. Douglas' Summary, 1 vol. p. 287,-also Reeves's History of the Government of Newfoundland.
+ Mr. Baring's Examination, p. 173,
West Indies*, there being no occasion whatever to permit fish to be imported there in American bottoms, is evident, from the present Administration having, by an order of council of the 1st of July last, prohibited the importation of fish in American vessels into the West India islands.
The deviation from the navigation and colonial system is attempted to be justified by the circumstance of the Americans carrying, in this instance, fish caught by British subjects, to market; it is stated, "nothing can undoubtedly be more repugnant to the old system of laws under which we have flourished, but at the same time, nothing çan more
* It appears that as yet no regular system of convoys from the British colonies in America to the West India islands has been established, though it has been acted upon by Admiral Berkeley, during the last season; the convoy sailing monthly, alternately to the Windward Islands and to Jamaica: in consequence of which, the most beneficial effects have resulted, and the supplies of fish have been greater, more regular, and at lower rates, than for many years past. This experience, it is hoped, will induce government per manently to establish this system in time of war, as it will facilitate and encourage the intercourse between the British dependencies; but assurances should be given to the colonists, that the same will not be relinquished.
The accounts presented to the House of Lords, February, 1808, shew the extent of the supplies now furnished from the British American colonies; and when it is considered, that a very great proportion of the supply of fish and lumber, stated to be furnished by the United States, is actually the produce of, and cured and prepared in the British continental colonies, and admitted to be so by the American party here, it surely ought to convince the most bigoted enthusiast of their cause, of the capability and extent of the resources of the King's provinces.
Exported to the British West Indies from the British American Colonies, in the following years:
Barrels. Quintals. Barrels. | Quintals. Barrels. Quintals.
clearly shew how inapplicable old laws frequently are to new times* " It, surely, ought not to be matter of triumph to a British subject, to observe the depression under which one of the most important branches of the trade of Great Britain now labours, principally from the impolicy of continuing the new system, which has encouraged and promoted to so alarming and enormous an extent the carrying trade of America, that the British traders are no longer able to compete with them, but are obliged to employ the vessels of the United States to take their fish and other articles + to market! Under such circumstances, is it patriotic ‡ so pointedly to denote the prosperity of America-the increase of her trade-and the extension of her shipping, and to contrast them with the melancholy and depressed state of the British fisheries and Shipping Interest? It may, perhaps, be congenial to the principles and feelings des avocats Américain to contemplate and enjoy the distress and ruin of others, when they can indulge the sense of their own prosperity and security.
"Suave, mari magno turbantibus æquora ventis,
E terra magnum alterius spectare laborem."
It, however, cannot fail to irritate the public mind, to see the real interests of the country, thus, attempted to be sacrificed to the speculative theories of some, and to the disappointed or interested views of others, and the wise systems of our forefathers treated with contumely and disrespect; though the experience of centuries has shewn they "were more versed in the practical philosophy of life than the speculative one of the closet; reasoning from the self-preservation of an individual to the self-preservation of a people, they considered the defence of this island from foreign invasion as
* Mr. Baring's Examination, 174.
↑ See ante page 14, &c.
Anti-jacobin Review for February, 1808, p. 204.
For the increase of American tonnage, see Eden on Maritime Rights; the Supplement to Collection of Reports on Navigation; also the statistical tables published at Washington, in 1806, under the title of Economica.