Blupete's History of Nova Scotia



Significant Historical Happenings By Year: 1739-41.

-1739-
§Armstrong is plagued by his argumentative officers; he records that this was "one of the longest winters he has known in this country."
§Edward How was to get a specific grant of land at Canso, in 1739, except he was opposed by a "Mr. Sheriff" and the conveyance did not go ahead.
§Isaac Louis de Forant is appointed the new governor of Ile Royale. Also Bigot is appointed as the colony's new financial commissary. Before coming out, Forant is briefed: "The difficulties between Spain and England are becoming more and more grave, and war seems inevitable. [The President of the French Navy Board does] not know but that France may be drawn in to take part in it. He [Forant] will put himself in a condition to repel an attack. Further, the French authorities knew that the settlement of Louisbourg has roused the envy of the English.
§Forant and Bigot departed France on the 30th of July, and arrived at Louisbourg on September 10th. Forant, who had been a ship's captain, though an enthusiastic administrator, was dead within the year; he was buried in the military chapel of the citadel. The second in command, Bourville takes over for the balance of the year.
§War breaks out between Britain and Spain, "The War of Jenkin's Ear."
§August, 1739: Letters of marque against Spain received at Annapolis Royal.
§December 6th, 1739: Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence Armstrong, "in a fit of despondency," takes his sword and commits suicide; he is found "in his quarters lying on his bed in his own blood." He had executed a will on the 14th of November, and ended his existence on the 6th of December by stabbing himself in the breast five times with his sword, which was found near his dead body. By his will he devised his property equally between Captain Robinson, of the foot-guards, George Armstrong, of the Ordnance office, and Ensign Charles Vane, of the 40th regiment. The witnesses to this document were Archibald Rennie and John Slater, officers of the garrison, and Walter Ross, an attorney, the first attorney of whom any mention is made as being a resident in Annapolis." The officers held an inquest and a simple verdict is written into the record, "Lunacy."

-1740-
§Trade at Louisbourg: Dried and pickled fish and fish oil are the principal out-going products. There is a decrease noted over the previous year. Goods coming in are mostly from France; the next largest is the West Indies; next is Quebec. Goods are coming in from both Acadia and New England, but not much. Overall the imports exceed the exports by a margin.
§The direction from France is that the expenditure of government funds is to be restricted to fortifications: the building of new barracks and the building of a civilian prison, must wait.
§January, 22nd, 1740:
Couagne dies at Louisbourg.
§March, 20, 1740: Mascarene returned to Annapolis Royal from having wintered over at Boston; he apparently had not been at Annapolis Royal, when, during December of 1739, Armstrong took his sword and killed himself.
§May 7th, 1740: Mascarene, now the acting Governor of Nova Scotia and to remain so until 1749, "re-establishes Bourg as Notary 'at The Grand Pre and the places adjacent within the Gut of Mines"; and with this appointment sets forth specific directions in regards to keeping registers, records, books, minutes, etc.
§Frederick II (the Great) becomes king of Prussia. Maria Theresa succeeds to Austrian dominions. Frederick seizes Silesia, and thus begins the War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748.
§October, 11, 1740: Michael Leneuf de la Valliere de Beaubassin, who had come with the founding group in 1713, dies at Louisbourg.
§November, 1740: Mascarene observes that there are only "two or three English families [at Annapolis Royal] besides those of the garrison."
§In 1740, there was a devaluation of the currency in the colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in fact these colonies replaced the paper currency which had been previously printed with the value of a bank note or bill as stated on it; in these times it was necessary to state the sum in terms of "old tenor" or "new tenor"; the 6 shelling denomination of the new tenor by government decree was to be worth 27 shillings of the old tenor.
§November 3, 1740: Du Quesnel, having been appointed September 1st, arrives at Louisbourg to take over as its commander, though chosen to take over Governor Forant's position, Du Quesnel is not given the rank of governor. Upon his appointment, he is given a brief history of Louisbourg: "Work has been done on the fortifications of Louisbourg since 1718. A battery of 31 twenty-four pounders has been set up at Ile de l'Entrée. The Royal battery, at the side of the town, 16 twenty-fours. The town must be surrounded by a wall with bastions. In its present state, it is safe from attack. The primary object of this colony was fishing, and a considerable trade is, in fact, carried on there. [Reference is made to Ile St. Jean and the disputes about the boundaries of Acadia.] ... Although the island of Canceau clearly belongs to France by the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, he will take no steps to regain possession of it. ... [Further direction is given in regards to his handling of the Acadians and of the missionaries there, and that] The English must be given no cause of dissatisfaction. Is informed that they [Acadians] enjoy the esteem and consideration of the new governor."

-1741-
§Fortifications at Louisbourg: Work had been going on for 23 years and was contining. It was expected by the authorities that the town will "be absolutely closed on the land side and that there will only remain the revetment of the warf before it is equally protected on the harbour side."
§The French authorities continued in their efforts to attract Acadians to Ile St. Jean. At Malpec, by 1741, five Acadian families had settled.
§Criminals were "flogged and marked with the fleur-de-lis."
§April, 1741:
William Winniett (1685-1741) is drown in Boston harbour. Winniett had been with the British forces when it took Port Royal in 1710. He stayed on as one of Nova Scotia's first permanent English settlers. He became a successful merchant; married an Acadian girl and had a large family (a number of the Winniett girls married British officers).
§May 4th, 1741: Mascarene orders: "Vessels which go trading or fishing must call here [Annapolis Royal] and make their Report before they Proceed up this bay With their Truck or their fish."
§June, 1741: Mascarene writes to the new French governor, Duquesnel, and "congratulates him on his safe arrival in his government."
§June, 1741: Further, we can see Mascarene trying to rein in the power of the French priests. "The priests should extend no further than exhorting the parties to compose their differences amicably or submit to the usual civil procedure."
§June, 1741: Mascarene is seen writing Deputy Bourg asking him to send the "king's dues" which apparently Bourg had collected from Cobequid; money would be nice, but he (Mascarene) would be happy to receive wheat for the sake of the families at Annapolis Royal, "who have no bread to eat and whom I would fain assist if I could." We see, too, that Mascarene is giving Bourg direction in regards to two strangers who have recently come into Bourg's district; "the surgeon may stay some time and practise his profession as there is some need for it, but as there is no need of the tailor, he is to take the first opportunity to leave the province."
§"In the summer of 1741 two French armies entered Germany, and the Elector of Bavaria appeared unopposed before Vienna."


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