West Coast Region ~ Bay St. George District
Petition by Residents of Bay St. George to the Governor of St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1871The following, from a document held in the Archives at St. Pierre, has been translated from French text with the names placed into sequential order. Where applicable, I have taken the liberty of altering the French names (as shown in the footnote) to correspond with their anglicized equivalents as they are known to the present day. As can be readily seen some of these family names are of origin other than French but a wife, mother, or grandparent of the listed person would be of French descent.
Allan T. Stride, Ottawa
To his Excellency, the Honorable Governor of St. Pierre & Miquelon, Honorable Governor That it pleases your excellency. That we, resident fisherman of Bay St. George beseech your Excellency, that enemies of the poor residents living in this Bay have sent petitions to the Government of St. John's asking that laws be introduced putting the Bay under its control. That these laws can not have any other outcome but to make us pay taxes on all merchandise that we bring to market and also on our fishing boats and nets. That the Magistrate and collectors will only hinder your fisherman who have been fishing many years in the Bay. That we are living here in a Territory which does not belong to us and in which we do not even have the rights to fish if you wish to prevent it. That we consider ourselves French subjects rather than English in view of the fact we are living on your coasts and that we are nearly all French or descendants of French families That peace reigns in the Bay and we do not see where it is necessary that it be from the Magistrate, that the resident ministers of the different congregations are respected by all the inhabitants of the country and all other persons who desire to live here. That your humble petitioners pray your Excellency will surely have pity and that you will do all in your power to stop the Governor of St. John's from passing any nominations whatsoever for Bay St. George nor for any other area on the West Coast of Newfoundland. Bay St. George 11 February 1871 Athanase LANGLOIS Auguste TOUTANT