Page 37 - Brown's 'Early History of the Coal Trade'
ISSUE : Issue 35
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/12/1
ing all persons to dig or carry away any coals from the Isle of Breton." A detach? ment was accordingly sent down to Cow Bay early in the spring, where 500 chaldrons of coal, dug by trespassers during the pre? vious winter, ready for shipment, were seized and sent to Halifax for the use of the troops. Both the garrison and town of Halifax were about this time chiefly supplied with coal from a mine recently opened at Spanish Riv? er (Sydney), which was worked by soldiers, but when the troubles began in the British Provinces (now the United States), and a large force was collected there, the troops consumed so much coal that the town suffered greatly from the scarcity of fuel. In this difficulty the House of Assembly, in 1775, petitioned the king for leave to dig coals in Cape Breton, but apparently without success. In 1777 forty men of Colo? nel Legge's regiment were employed in dig? ging coals at the Spanish River mines. Dur? ing the American revolutionary war, it was found necessary to send ships of war to convoy the vessels employed in carrying coal from Spanish River to Halifax for the use of the garrison. On July 21, 1781, six? teen vessels employed in this service, ac? companied by a transport having a party of the 70th Regiment on board, going to work at the mines, convoyed by the Charlestown frigate, of twenty-eight guns, the sloops Allegiance and Vulture, of sixteen guns each7 and the cutter Li title Jack, of six guns, had nearly reached their destination, when they were discovered and chased by two French frigates, the L'Astree and L'Hermione, of forty-four guns each. A Ski Keppoch '|.., Mountain N 2 MILES FROM TRANS CANADA HIGHWAY DON'T MISS Annual Keppoch Kilted Ski Race Saturday, March 10 (in conjunction with the Best Western Antigonish) Claymore Inn Ski Shop * Rental Equipment Available * Canteen Socials on the Hill and in the Lodge Snow-Making Facilities and Night Lights 6 Excellent Trails * GLM Learn-to-Ski Course OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 863-1764 Snow-Making and Information Niomber smart action commenced at 8 p.m., which continued until dark, when the French frig? ates drew off, taking with them the Little Jack. Owing to the skilful management of Captain Evans, of the Charlestown, who was unfortunately killed, the transport and colliers got safely into Spanish River. The frigate and sloops, being greatly crip? pled in the action, bore up for Halifax. So far, the reader will observe, nothing like a regular mine had been opened in Cape Breton. Nor is this to be wondered at, seeing that the Government persisted in the absurd policy of refusing to grant leases to parties who, with fair encourage? ment, would have worked the mines effic? iently, and sought for markets in the neighbouring colonies. Even when the Gov? ernment undertook the working of the mines, no regular system was pursued. Having ob? tained all that was easily accessible from the face of the cliff at one place, in? stead of driving a level further into the seam, it was abandoned, and work commenced at another. That the contraband traders should have followed this system is not surprising, as their works were at any time liable to be taken possession of by the Government. Consequently, when they had exhausted any particular seam, and could not pursue it further without some labour, they removed to another, where the coal could be literally shovelled from the outcrop into their boats. Under such cir? cumstances, the reader will not be sur? prised to leam that, after the island had been twenty-two years in the undisturbed possession of Great Britain, and surroun? ded by colonies requiring large supplies of fuel, the quantity raised in any single year, as far as we can learn, never ex? ceeded 3,000 chaldrons. This is a slightly edited chapter from Richard Brown's The Coal Fields and Coal Trade of the Is? land of Cape Breton, 1871. Brown is also the auth? or of A History of the Island of Cape Breton, 1869. ATLANTIC SPRING & MACHINE CO.. LTD. 564-5559 - 40 Kings Road, Sydney - 564-5550 General Machine Shop & Forge, Mining Equipment, Mar? ine Repairs, Welders, Automotive Springs, Fasteners Classic & Quality Movies Screened Every Sunday 8 P.M. at Sydney Academy's Little Theatre For More Information, Contact: Sydney Film & Video Society p. 0. BOX 1733, SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA BIP 6J7 (902)562-1602 Get a Yearly Membership, or Join Us When You Can! Try an Intelligent, Exciting Alternative! New Maritimes AN INDEPENDENT REGIONAL MONTHLY NEWSPAPER Send $1.00 for a sample copy, or $11.00 for a subscription, to New Maritimes, Enfield, Nova Scotia BON INO (37)
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