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Page 35 - DesBarres's Plans for Sydney

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1 (310 reads)

I A small portion of the barracks erected fori ||the 33rd Regiment, Victoria Park, Sydney. more difficult for a governor, because the Executive Council becomes, as it were, an assembly, fighting among themselves and bickering and arguing. In other words we have a lame colony, a lame constitution, an incomplete constitution. Can't tax. Can't pass laws. They pass laws, but legal? ly, I guess, they shouldn't. They grant land. They can use the coal, and they do use the coal. But they're given no money to develop the mines. DesBarres tries to develop the mines on his own first, but he doesn't have the capital. And so he has to try to get private interests, and they don't have enough capital. He begins some mining, but really, it's unsuccessful. And as a result, he doesn't have enough money to run the government properly. There's the anger of the Loyalists, trying to get their money back, as it were, and frustrated because they're not making mon? ey, because Britain isn't putting money to develop the colony. And they take it out on DesBarres. DesBarres is by nature a mil? itary man, an engineer--he's not a demo? crat, by any means. He fights with these people in council, tries to tell them what to do. They won't listen to him, and they complain to Halifax, Halifax complains to London. London says to DesBarres, "Look, the mines are falling through, you're fighting with your council, the place isn't taking off, people are leaving." Be? cause many people that came begin to go. Things are moving along much better in New Brunswick, or in Canada, or in Nova Scotia. Finally, Matthews and Cuyler get a ntomber of their fellow Loyalists and some others, and they draw up a petition, a "remon? strance," as they call it, which they send to the Colonial Office, praying that Des? Barres be removed. And they list a whole series of largely false accusations, I would say, against DesBarres. And he is called back to England by Lord Sydney to justify his situation. DesBarres goes. And without even being for? mally dismissed, they appoint a new gover? nor. Governor Macarmick. And this becomes the basis of DesBarres's next fight--that he wasn't properly dismissed, and that they owe him more money now for what they did to him. And this debate goes on for an? other 20 years. 20 years! And it's partly on this basis that he's appointed lieuten? ant governor of Prince Edward Island in 1804. As recompense for the Cape Breton mess: it's a mess on the part of the Colo? nial Office, especially. And they realize this. But by 1804 he's in his 80s. They're all dead--Lord Sydney is dead, everybody's dead. But they appoint him. And his Prince Edward Island sojourn is very successful. He learned from his problems in Cape Breton. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE Best Western Claymore Inn Licensed Dining Room & Lounge * 52 Modern Rooms P.O. BOX 1720, ANTIGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA B2G 2M5 Only 8 Miles from Keppoch Mountain Ask About Our Special Ski Package (accommodation, meals, & lift tickets) and Winter Weekend Rates PHONE 863-1050 * TELEX 019-36567 (35)
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