Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 35 > Page 33 - Brown's 'Early History of the Coal Trade'

Page 33 - Brown's 'Early History of the Coal Trade'

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/12/1 (360 reads)

quite evident the garrison was abundantly supplied, for Admiral Knowles, the gover? nor, complains that "the cost of fuel in the winter of 1745-46 was 6,000 pounds, notwithstanding the number of houses that were pulled down and burned." Colonel Hopson, who succeeded Admiral Knowles in the government of Cape Breton, reported in April 1748, to the Duke of New? castle, that he was apprehensive of an at? tack upon the colliery at Burnt Head by the Indians, who were warmly attached to the French, and that he had sent to Boston for a blockhouse to be erected there for its protection. The blockhouse was sur? rounded by a ditch (the remains of which may still be seen), and garrisoned by an officer and fifty soldiers. An officer and a few soldiers were also stationed at the Little Entrance of the Bras d'Or. Here, al? so, may be seen the ruins of an old build? ing which still goes by the name of the "King's Store." The workmen employed at Burnt Head were mostly Frenchmen, who had remained in Cape Breton after the fall of Louisbourg, and taken the oath of allegiance to the Brit? ish sovereign. Some of them owned small vessels, in which they carried coal and wood to Louisbourg for the use of the Eng? lish garrison. Having rendered themselves obnoxious to their old compatriots by tak? ing the oath of allegiance, these unfortun? ate Frenchmen were attacked in their set? tlement at Indian Bay in the month of Ju? ly, 1748, by a band of forty French Canadi? ans , led by a noted rover named Jacques Coste, when their houses and about 2,000 cords of wood were burned and three of their vessels captured. Coste carried off twenty-four men and women from Indian Bay, and an English officer and one soldier from the Little Entrance of the Bras d'Or, to Canada. No attempt was made upon the colliery and fort at Burnt Head, commanded by Lieutenant Rhodes; but owing to the cap? ture of the schooners and their crews, Lou? isbourg was deprived of its usual supply of coal for more than a month. The Abbe Raynal says, in his History of Commerce, that there was "a prodigious demand for Cape Breton coal from New England from the year 1745 to 1749;" but there is nothing in the Colonial Documents in the Record Of? fice to show that any considerable quanti? ty of coal was shipped from Louisbourg. Map of Cape Breton Coal-Field, 1868 Upper Coal beds. Middle Coal beds. Lowest Coal beds. Millstone-grit. Lower Carboniferous. Metamorphic Silurian. New Campbellton Mine. Little Bras d'Or • Sydney • Lingan i Caledonia 7. Little Glace Bay 8. Clyde " " ' ner Point ). Block House iwrie During the occupation of the island by the French, from its restoration in 1749 to its second and final conquest in 1758, it does not appear that much coal was export? ed to the British colonies, although an ac? tive trade was carried on by the English colonists with Louisbourg at this period, as Colonel Comwallis, the Governor of No? va Scotia, says that, in 1751, 150 vessels belonging to New York and Boston traded with Louisbourg; and his successor. Colo? nel Lawrence, complains, in 1754, that the Boston traders supplied Louisbourg in pref? erence to Halifax with provisions, and that there were sometimes thirty of their vessels lying in the former port. It is reasonable to conclude that some of these vessels occasionally took return cargoes of coal from Cape Breton, but there is no record of such a trade having subsisted. In confirmation of this the Abbe Raynal says "the mines would probably have been forsaken altogether during the French occu? pation of the island, from 1749 to 1758, had not ships sent out to the French West India Islands wanted ballast." M. Pichon, secretary of Count Ra3miond, the Governor of Louisbourg, tells us, in his History of Cape Breton, published in 1760, that he ac? companied a party of officers sent by the Sobeys Canada Manpower Highland Florists Super Touch T's Cost Plus Mart Peoples Store Take a Break Sears Loto Booth Starcade Jennifer's Place Jean Gallery Ltd. Zellers Agnew Surpass Maher Shoe Store Gals and Guys Hairworks Schwartz Waterbed Showroom Pipes 'n' Things Ltd. N. S. Liquor Conmiission Shoppers Drug Mart Alteen's Jewellers MacLean Colour Centre Co-operators Insurance Rustle's Cards & Curios Household Finance Corp. (HFC) Gateway Restaurant & Lounge North Sydney Mall 116 King Street (off Peppett Street) (33)
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