Despatch from Lieutenant-Governor Fenwick Williams to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (24 May 1866)

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Date: 1866-05-24
By: Fenwick Williams
Citation: Despatch from Lieutenant-Governor Fenwick Williams to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell (24 May 1866) in UK, Parliament, Correspondence respecting the Proposed Union of the British North American Provinces (London: George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1867).
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COPY of a DESPATCH from Lieut.-Governor Sir W. F. WILLIAMS, Bart., K.C.B., to the Right Hon.Edward Cardwell, M.P.


Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 24, 1866.
(Received June 4, 1866.)
(Answered No. 38. June 9, 1866. p. 81.)


IN accordance with the wish expressed in the accompanying letter i have the honour to forward the enclosed petition to Her Majesty.

I have, &c.

(Signed) W.F. WILLIAMS

The Right Hon Edwards Cardwell. M.P.
&c. &c. &c.

Enclosure 1 in No. 14

Canning, May 14, 1866.

May it please your Excellency,

A PUBLIC MEETING called by the High Sheriff of the county of Kings in pursuance of numerously signed requisitions was held in the Shire Town on Thursday the […] of May. At that meeting the enclosed address to Her Gracious Majesty the Queen was adopted unanimously and I was instructed to transmit it to your Excellency that it might be laid at the […] of the Throne. Resolutions were unanimously passed condemning the action of […] Legislature in the matter of Confederation, and requesting the two members for the southern district, who voted for the resolution […].

I have to request that the address and a copy of this letter may be forwarded to the Right Hon. the Secretary of State for the Colonies by next mail.

I have, &c.

His Excellency the Lieut.-Governor,
&c. &c. &c.

Enclosure 2 in No. 14

To the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty,

The petition of the inhabitants of the county of Kings.

Humbly showeth

That the county of Kings is one of the oldest, most improved, and flourishing counties of this Province, its population being engaged in agricultural partnership building, commerce, and navigation.

That it contains six regiments of enrolled militia and sends to sea 20,000 tons of shipping bearing the flag of England.

That the people of this county have enjoyed the privilege of sending members to the Provincial Parliament for more than a century and in common with their fellow countrymen, have discharged all the duties of loyal British subjects and for more than 20 years have enjoyed the inestimable blessing of self government, raising, controlling and dispensing their own revenues, and directing the administration of their affairs.

That the people of Kings county desire still to enjoy these great privileges and to transmit them unimpaired to their children.

That they highly prize their […] with the parent […] under whose […] rule they have lived and prospered, and whose flag they are ready to defend, but they […] not desire to be transferred to the dominion of a sister province with which they have no […] almost no trade, and which being frozen up for five months of the year and possessing no navy or troops or space is incapable of forming a new nationality or protecting the sea-board of Nova Scotia.

That the people have viewed with post alarm the attempts which have been made by reckless persons to effect revolutionary changes which they have not ventured to submit to the deliberate judgement of the population whose welfare in all time to come they would so deeply compromise. The scheme of Confederation arranged at Quebec in 1864 was not less distasteful to the people of Kings than is the proposition to entrust powers to a committee to prepare another to be embodied in an Act of Parliament and sanctioned by the Crown, without being submitted to the people at the polls.

The prayer of the people of Kings, therefore, is that no change in the institution of this country ma be made until it has been submitted to the test of public opinion, and that Your Majesty will sacredly guard the rights we have loyally exercised and enjoyed so long, until by all the forms sanctioned by the usage of the mother country they have been deliberately resigned.

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