Page 58 - Early History of the Coal Trade Part 2
ISSUE : Issue 36
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/6/1
that year, one hired vessel, commanded by Captain Prichard, captured three vessels stealing coal in Cow Bay; three others es? caped. In 1795 an ordonnance of Council was promulgated, declaring "all vessels carrying away coals from the cliffs, with? out authority, liable to forfeiture." A more marked improvement, however, it will be seen by the table, occurred towards the close of the century, owing probably to the large supplies required by the great number of troops in garrison at Halifax during the French war. Much apprehension was felt during the war for the safety of the mines, which could easily have been destroyed by the enemy. A block-house, which is still standing (Brown is writing in 1871), was erected at the mines; and two batteries, of four guns each, were con? structed- -one in front of the block-house, the other on Peck's Head. No attack, for? tunately, was made upon the works, which continued to supply the garrisons of Hali? fax, St. John's, and St. Pierre during the war. Upon the expiration of Tremain and Stout's tenancy in February 1800, the Government took possession of the mines and worked them until the end of the following year, under the management of Mr. Campbell, the Attorney-General of the colony! It is not stated whether his management was success? ful or not, but it is evident he was satis? fied that the mines could be worked with profit, as he took them upon a lease of seven years under a royalty of four shil? lings per ton, stipulating, at the same time, to sell the coal at ten shillings and threepence per ton. This, however, does not appear to have answered his expec? tations, as he applied in 1803 for a reduc? tion of one shilling and sixpence per ton on the royalty, but failing to obtain it, he not only stopped paying the royalty, but contested several points in his lease, and gave so much trouble, that the Gover? nor recommended the Secretary of State ei? ther to cancel the lease or call upon Mr. Campbell to resign his office of Attorney- General . In the month of May following Campbell sur? rendered his lease, when the Government a- gain resumed possession, and worked them for several years; not, however, with much success, as we find General Nepean, the Governor, complaining to Lord Liverpool in 1810, that from June 1808,. to September 1810, the mines had only realised a profit of tenpence per ton upon a sale of 16,899 tons. This is not surprising, considering that five officers were employed in the management of such a small business, at a cost of 510 1'. per annum, viz.: Superintendent Agent and shipping officer Medical officer Harbour Master Collector of accounts 100 225 100 50 35 510 pounds being thirteen per cent on the gross a- mount of the sales in 1810. An attempt was made in 1811 to lease the mines to Messrs. Jonathan and John Tremain of Halifax, who offered to take them for twenty-one years at a royalty of two shillings and one pen? ny per ton. Finding, upon more careful en? quiry, that the working charges were much greater than they expected, the Messrs. Tremains withdrew their offer, and the Gov? ernment was compelled to go on working the mines on their own account; but with such small success, that the new Governor, Gen? eral Swayne, reported to Lord Bathurst in January 1813, that the finances of the col- Best Western Claymore Inn p. 0. Box 1720, Antigonish, Nova Scotia B2G 2M5 Phone 863-1050 - Telex 019-36567 Licensed Dining Scotia Sea Salt Room and Lounge 52 Modem Rooms SCOTIA EA ALT Fish Plant Operators I ilTlitGCl & Fishermen SOLAR SALT: the Ideal Preservative By the Bag 34 kg. (75 lb.) Plant Phone Night Phones 564-2038 862-7891 794-4930 Sydport, Point Edward & Shelburne Nova Scotia Tourist Brochures & Colour Printing A Specialty PRINTERS, 180 TOWNSEND STREET, SYDNEY, N. S. TELEPHONE (902) 564'245 FINDLAY OVAL Eligible for Grant of up to $800 Home Energy Audit Ltd. 653 George St., Sydney 539-5095 HOBBY HUT The Knitting & Craft Shop 204 Commercial St., North Sydney, N. S. Tel. 794-7774 • Pure Wool & Synthetic Yarns • Knitting Needles & Patterns • Crewel & Needlepoint Canvases • Artists' Supplies • Locally Made Ceramics & Knitted Items
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