Foreign Protestants (1750-1752)
Many passengers on the ships were listed as being from Montbeliard. At the time, Montbeliard was still an independent "Countship" (or "Principality") and not yet a part of France (until 1793).
Cornwallis, in a letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations dated 24 July 1749, had written: "there are amongst the settlers a few Swiss who are regular honest and industrious men, easily governed and work heartily: I hope your Lordships will think of a method of encouraging numbers of them to come over. A proposal was sent me when at Spithead which might perhaps answer the purpose, to make it known through Germany, that all Husbandmen, tradesmen or soldiers being protestants, should have the same rights & privileges in this province as were promised on his Majestys Proclamation to his natural born subjects, besides which, at their embarking at Rotterdam or Plymouth, or at their arrival here (as your Lordships shall think proper) each man should receive 40sh. or 50sh., and 10sh. for every person in his family, they to be at the charge of their own passage." (Nova Scotia Documents, p 565)
The Lords of Trade replied in a letter to Cornwallis from Whitehall, dated 16 October 1749, "We entirely agree with you in opinion that a mixture of Foreign Protestants would by their industriousness and exemplary dispositions greatly promote and forward the settlement in its infancy and we shall endeavour to fall upon some measure of sending over a considerable body the next year." (Nova Scotia Documents, p 588)
Lords of Trade, in a letter to Cornwallis dated 16 Feb 1750: "We must however acquaint you that we have been empowered by His Majesty to enter into contact for such a number of Foreign Protestants, and on such terms as we shall judge proper, and accordingly made an agreement with a Merchant in Holland for the transportation of a number not exceeding 1500, and have assurance from him of success in his undertaking." (Nova Scotia Documents, p 602)
Cornwallis to Lords of Trade, 19 March 1750: "Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to hear that your Lordships have fallen upon some means of sending over Germans and other foreign Protestants". (Nova Scotia Documents, p 607)
Lords of Trade to Cornwallis, Whitehall, 8 June 1750: "Mr. Dick merchant at Rotterdam, who undertook to transport a thousand Foreign Protestants upon the condition of our paying him a Guinea for each person has greatly disappointed us, but by a letter we have this day received from him he acquaints us, that he shall send two hundred and eighty and that half of them are already on board, and he gives us some hopes that he shall send over another ship this year." (Nova Scotia Documents, p 612.)
By the 26 June 1750, the Lords were able to write that Mr Dick had finally met with success, and that the ship Ann was embarking for Halifax with the first load.
Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, however, remained cautious about the introduction of these settlers up in Nova Scotia. In a letter to Colonel Lawrence 13 March 1756 from Boston, he writes:
"As to the settlement of Germans at Lunenburg if the End of posting the 152 men there, which I find by your return of the cantonment of the troops are plac'd there at present, is to be a guard upon the Inhabitants of that town, the Province had better be without the Settlemt. unless an equal number at least of settlers, whose fidelity to his Majesty's government may be depended on, can be soon introduced among them: otherwise the more that Settlement increases, the more dangerous and burthensome it will grow to the province: and this instance seems to shew the risque of making entire settlements of Foreigners of any kind in so new a Government as Nova Scotia, without a due mixture of natural born subjects among them."
Smith, Leonard H., Jr, Dictionary of Immigrants to Nova Scotia, Vol I, Clearwater, Florida, Owl Books, 1985.
Akins, Thomas Beamish, editor, "List of the Settlers Who Came Out with Governor Cornwallis to Chebucto, in June 1749". In "Selections from the Public Documents of the Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS: Charles Annand, 1869, pp 506-557. Reprint, Cottonport, Louisiana: Polyanthos, 1973 under the title "Acadia and Nova Scotia: Documents Relating to the Acadian French and the First British Colonisation of the Province, 1714-1758", p 435, 565, and others as noted
Letter from John Dick / Lords of Trade to Cornwallis - 1750
"We have received a letter from Mr. Dick dated the 27th June NS, acquainting us that the Ship Ann, John Spurrier, Master, has sailed from Helvoetslys with 312 foreign Portestants on board, a list whereof we herewith enclose to you, together with a copy of Mr. Dick's instructions to the master of the ship."
Mr. Dick in his letter acquaints us that there is a German gentleman on board, John Eberhard Klages, is a man of Fortune and Figure in his own country, that he has paid the passage of sixteen people and a boy on condition that they are to give him their fifty acres of land each and to continue with him and cultivate it.
We recommend this gentleman to your particular countenance and regard, as you must be sensible that his favorable representation of his reception and the state of the settlement to his countrymen will be a great inducement to others to resort to the Province and when the settlers who have engaged to convey their fifty acres to him shall have cultivated them according to their engagement with him we see no reason why you should not make fresh grants to them.
We don't doubt but you will receive all these foreign Protestants in general in kindest manner as our procuring a large number next year will depend upon the accounts they send home.
We find that Mr. Dick has desired Mr. Davidson to take upon him the management of his concerns and we desire that you will take care that affairs will be so managed that Mr. Dick may not be a sufferer with respect to the money which he has advanced for those who were not able to pay their own passage, as there may not be among the old settlers a sufficient number of Persons able and willing to take off such a number of Servants upon the terms of paying for their passage; you may possibly contrive to lay down the money upon their engaging to work it out in the Public works, and that you may even make use of this opportunity to reduce the exorbitant price of labour.
We cannot make any objection to Mr. Davidson's taking the 5 per cent which Mr. Dick offers him, as this is in some degree a private transaction between them, but at the same time we must observe that in a public light it might be an encouragement to Mr. Dick who has acted in this affair with great diligence and spirit, if the Secretary was directed to transact this business as part of the duty of his office without Commission, so we bid you hearty farewell, and are,
Your very loving friends,
Lords of Trade to Cornwallis, 26 June 1750, Nova Scotia Documents, p 615.)
Akins, Thomas Beamish, editor, "List of the Settlers Who Came Out with Governor Cornwallis to Chebucto, in June 1749". In "Selections from the Public Documents of the Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS: Charles Annand, 1869, pp 506-557. Reprint, Cottonport, Louisiana: Polyanthos, 1973 under the title "Acadia and Nova Scotia: Documents Relating to the Acadian French and the First British Colonisation of the Province, 1714-1758", p 615-616..