Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 41 > Page 27 - The Early History of St. Ann's (Englishtown)

Page 27 - The Early History of St. Ann's (Englishtown)

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1 (526 reads)

that she was, each humbly blushing for his suspicion. For these and other qualities Father Perrault thought they were likely to receive willingly the Christian doc? trine as soon as the Missionaries were a- ble to teach them. Seeing the French form? ing the sign of the cross on their breast, they tried to do the same, very respectful? ly, guessing that there must be a deep meaning in such a simple ceremony, and to pronounce the holy names of Jesus and Mary. From their intercourse with the French at St. Anne's they derive that devotion, let us say love, that fondness for the gra? cious saint whom they call their Grandmoth? er and their Queen. They always celebrate her feast most solemnly. When there was no longer any mission here they repaired to Malagawatch and then to Chapel Island, where they continue meeting. (See "St. Ann's Day Mission, Chapel Island," Issue 40, Cape Breton's Magazine.) The Jesuit Mission at St. Anne's came to an end in 1641, when Father Richard was sent to Miscou, though the place continued to be visited occasionally until 1660. Af- t:er the departure of the Missionaries the other settlers left also; but Simon Denys, whose brother Nicholas was at St. Peter's, established there a farm and fishery. He had his sixth child bom here in 1651 and baptized under the name of Marguerite. But Le Borgne, a tradesman of La Rochelle, seized their property as a would-be credi? tor of D'Aunay. This right, however, was not recognized in France, and he was bound to give it back when Nicholas Denys was ap? pointed in 1654 a general grantee and gov? ernor of the whole coast. Curiously enough, the capture of Port Royal by the English did not molest them in the least. Simon's grandson, Denys de la Ronde, Captain of In? fantry, 1713, was told by the Indians that his grandfather had at St. Anne's cultivat? ed fields and orchards--he saw some apple trees himself and picked good apples. He was still at St. Anne's in 1659, but af? terwards we know nothing of the place. In a census of 1686 there is not one European family mentioned in the whole Island of Cape Breton. In a report of September 9th, 1713, signed by the new French Governor, Saint Ovide, and Father de la Marche, Su? perior of the Recollet Fathers, also by La Ronde Denys, they stated that at their ar? rival they found only one French family and twenty-five or thirty Indian families. We come now to the last part of the in? scription, which is the longest on the tab? let, but loy comment thereon will be the shortest. It reads: "Selected, 1713, as a naval base, and one of the principal places in Isle Royale; named Port Dauphin oiirclefei df eecfifPor / Plan du Poirr IpAUPiriNETDK. U ec tAwht de lahrador Its importance de- 1719, of Louis- and strongly fortified, clined with the choice, bourg as the capital." After the Treaty of Utrecht the necessity of a strong naval station in Cape Breton was evident, but much consideration was given to the choice of a site, and there was much hesitation between St. Anne's and Havre a 1'Anglais, on the south shore. De? nys de la Ronde sent a report to the Minis? ter of Marine strongly recommending the former-, which he called the most beautiful harbor in the world, far better than Havre a 1'Anglais, recommended by others. This one, however, was chosen by the local au? thorities and the choice was approved by the King (Louis XIV) on January 26th, 1714, and the troops were sent there. The pub? lisher of Daniel's "Relation" says that it was a mistake to have preferred it, the ground being not so good to cultivate and much more expensive to fortify. This last consideration became so evident that both the authorities and the King changed their minds and decided for St. Anne's as the principal establishment, without leaving Louisbourg. The English Governor at Anna? polis remarked sadly in 1715, Nov. 23rd, "the regulars are moved to St • Peter's and St. Anne's to work on the fortifications, and that there is a very great resort of traders there from all parts of France." The fact that he does not name Louisbourg at all shows that it -was then definitely left in the background. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE SAVE YOUR WINDSHIELD! STONE DAMAGED WINDSHIELDS RESTORED FOR FREE! Your Insurance Company Pays All DAY 564-4527 NIGHT (MS Now full auto glass service, if your windshield is beyond surgery MAIN CLINIC: 6 LIBERTY ST.. SYDNEY " (Free House Calls) The Windshield Surgeon
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