Surveyor General


Smith’s Creek May 7th 1817

Dear Sir

Since I had the pleasure of seeing you I have been once more through the country to the westward of Rice Lake, and on Sunday next I propose going down the river Trent in a canoe to the Bay of Quinte. I am now satisfied that the new township of Cavan to the westward of that in which myself and friends will be settled,-must either extend to the great river in the rear, or leave a small to front to the northward + north-eastward. That can be attached to no other with equal propriety-:but with this I have no business, only I thought it right to mention the matter, as that township will form the western boundary of mine-I hope to be back again from Montreal in a few weeks -but should I not be returned before Major Wilmot is ready to proceed with his survey-perhaps he can be employing himself + people in going forward with Cavan-until I can point out the track I wish to be both friendly and useful to us. The truth of the matter I believe to be this-the person I allude to- (and I imagine you will readily know to whom I alluded)-either has lost, or is about to lose a situation which he held in the Indian department -and is determined to make up for that loss by resuming the Indian trade + residing for a great part of the year amongst them-It seems that he has long had his eye to their lands for himself or friends, and that he is jealous of others gaining any ??? in that direction, and will ??? himself. Tho’ it may be in an improper manner, to gain his ends-If I had not certain information that it is in ??? not only to indispose the ???????? in the way I mention-????????? also to visit York, ‘ere long, to prejudice the Government on the ???. I would by no means in the business, but as it is-it will never do to suffer an individual, whoever he may be, to stand in the way of so much general benefit + do so much mischief-- merely to gratify some paltry, selfish, views-- I have thrown out these hints for you to make what use of them you please-hereafter I may inform you further-- I shall be very glad to hear when Major W.(Major Wilmot) is ready to commence- or rather resume this survey in our quarter. The more I have considered the matter-the stronger is my conviction that it will be better to have the Surveys of both the Townships completed as early as possible. It would not only be an ???, but very inconvenient, ?????? to have small parcels surveyed at different times as they were wanted-- If the whole is done the lands will be ready for location immediately as the settlers arrive-and it is more probable that some of my friends will be here during the ensuing summer-- There is a matter of some consequence, connected with these new settlements, which I think is necessary to communicate and is in fact the principal cause of my troubling you, just now, with these lines-- and I could, with you to take an opportunity of marketing the subject to his Excellency the Governor, (unless you deem it improper), as it is right to put the government on their guard against any unjust + injurious insinuations of such a nature. I find that a certain person who has long had a trading station in that quarter, with the Indians, is likely to stir them up to annoy the new settlers-under a pretense that the Indians are at present ignorant of the river Trent being the true boundary, to the southward of their lands--Now, I am assured, by the best authority, from the mouth of the Chief himself , through an interpreter, that the Rice Lake Indians really wish for a settlement by White-people, as they trust? Europeans in their neighbourhood-and that ??? influenced by the person in question they wish??? I do not forget to inquire after ??? committed on your property in this vicinity.+ I will take the best care of it I can tho’ it is very difficult to prevent trespassing. The land is not very good, neither is it well timbered, but its situation reders it of some value-Should you or your family be inclined to part with it hereafter I should like to have the refusal of it--With warm and sincere regard I am, Dear Sir, your most trusty.

Charles Fothergile

Source: National Archives microfilm # R.G. 1 A-1-6 Vol. 5 #8 1817 (January-June)

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