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"The Population Levels of Louisbourg"

Louisbourg came into being at around the end of July, 1713, when 116 men, 10 women and 23 children stepped ashore.1 By 1718, the population was up to 568; by 1720, 733; by 1723, 795; by 1726, 951; by 1734, 1116; and by 1737 it was up to 1463. There was better population growth, however, in the larger territory of Cape Breton; such that, where it had only been 815 in 1718, by 1726 it was 2180; and by 1738 it was 3800. For example, while there was 568 souls at Louisbourg, in 1718, there was another 247 in the outlying areas.

"These figures [for Louisbourg] include neither the garrison nor the official classes, nor apparently the ecclesiastics, of whom there were five Brothers of Charity at the hospital, three Recollet monks, and five Sisters of the Congregation.
The number of places at which settlements were made also increased. In 1718 outside of Louisbourg there were apparently only four places, while in 1726 there were settlements of more or less importance in thirteen other localities, the most important of which was Ninganiche (Ingonish), which did not exist in 1720, but in 1726 was much larger than any other place, except Louisbourg, and put out more than twice as many fishing-boats as that port. Four years later [1730] the number of settlements was eighteen."2

[1] See McLennan's Louisbourg, p. 12.

[2] See McLennan, pp. 71, 85 & 88.


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Peter Landry