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Petition of the Residents of Conway - March 11 1783

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When the Loyalists arrived at Digby in 1782-3, there were already settlers living in the area; pioneers from the American Colonies had started settling in the Province after the Expulsion of the Acadians (1755), as well, many of the Acadian French had returned to the Province. The Township of Conway, stretching from the Joggin to the Sissiboo River, had failed to attract the required number of settlers agreed to in the original grant, thereby making the grant liable to forfeiture.

Who were the residents of the Township of Conway?
The petition to Governor John Parr, in March 1783, gives the names of many of those pioneer settlers to Digby County. The petition - dated March 11, 1783 states :

"That your memorialists have been informed that the Township of Conway, in the County of Annapolis, is going to be forfeited to the Crown, to be regranted to a number of refugees arrived in this Province last fall."
And further says:
"Your memorialists beg leave to inform your Excellency, that they have become settlers in that Township for many years past, with permission, and set down on said lands, numbered as follows:"
Joseph Webber ----- Lot # 14
Robert Young ----- Lot # 11
John McGregor ----- Lot # 18
William McDormand ----- Lot # 7
Archibald Hamilton ----- Lot # 8
William Fitzgerald ----- Lot # 9
William Fitzgerald Jr ----- Lot # 10
Christopher Prince ----- Lot # 13
Christopher Strickland ----- Lot # 12
Christopher Strickland Jr ----- Lot # 13
Frederick Huntley ----- Lot # 15
John Grant ----- Lot # 16
Jeremiah Sabin ----- Lot # 17
The petition goes on to state that these settlers were granted permission to settle in Conway Township by the late Michael Franklin (Governor of Nova Scotia) in an obligation dated September 15, 1775 and that
"---- the following persons have become settlers, by leave of Michael Franklin, since the date of the above obligation, to wit--"
Borden Thurber
Robert McDormand
Jeremiah Sabin Jr
Willoughby Sabin
Joel Webber
Jacque Devo (Deveau)
Joseph Devo (Deveau)
Peter Robicheau
Alexander Thimott
Peter Robicheau Jr
John Comeau

" Your memorialists therefore most humbly pray that if the said Township should be forfeited, that the part of said Township which we have been set down upon, built our houses, cleared and improved, may be reserved to us. And that your Excellency would re-grant the same to us as settlers, with a proportionable part of Marsh Land to the same in that Township --- "

Contributed by John Thurber




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