Despatch from Lieutenant-Governor Fenwick Williams to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, No. 48 (19 June 1866)
By: Fenwick Williams
Citation: Despatch from Lieutenant-Governor Fenwick Williams to Right Hon. Edward Cardwell, No. 48 (19 June 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, June 19, 1866.
(Received July 2, 1866.)
(Answered No. 2. July 6, 1866. p. 82.)
I HAVE the honour herewith to transmit an address to Her Gracious Majesty the Queen from certain of the inhabitants of the county of Shelburne.
I have, &c.
(Signed) W.F. WILLIAMS.
The Right Hon. Edward Cardwell. M.P.
&c. &c. &c.
Enclosure in No. 17
To the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty.
The petition of the people of the county of Shelburne in the Province of Nova Scotia.
Humbly sheweth —
THAT the county of Shelburne contains a population of 12,000 principally engaged in the fisheries, and in ship building : is capable of sending into the field four regiments of enrolled militia : and owns about 20,000 tons of shipping bearing Your Majesty’s flag.
That its people are the descendants of an ancestry, whose veneration for the British throne and attachment to monarchial institutions impelled […] in […] to forsake lands and possessions in the revolted Colonies, and seek an asylum on the then indispensable shores of this Province.
That since the first settlement of the county in […] its people have sent representatives to the Provincial Parliament and for the last quarter of a century have enjoyed the privileges of self-government in as ample a degree as their brethren in British Islands.
That their instincts and traditions lead them to depreciate revolutionary changes, the end of which no man can foresee, but which once hazarded there is too much […] to fear will eventuate in a separation of those Provinces from the parent Empire and their absorption into the already unwieldy Republic of the United States.
That they have seen with alarm and […] a scheme of Confederation, hastily prepared at Quebec in […], introduced into our Legislature […] […] late session, without previous notice in the opening speech and forced through that body with […] and unnecessary haste, and in a manner calculated to throw the gravest suspicions upon the influences employed to secure its passage.
That whilst Your Majesty’s petitioners freely admit the right of their representatives in Province […] Parliament to legislate for them within reasonable limits, they cannot admit the right of such representatives to effect sudden changes […] to an entire subversion of the constitution, without the […] rate sanction of the people expressed at the polls.
The prayer of the people of Shelburne therefore is, that the assent of Your Majesty will be withheld from any scheme affecting the constitution of the Province, and more particularly from that known as the Quebec scheme, until such measure has been fully subjected to the test of public opinion, and deliberately pronounced upon by the people and the polls.
(Singed) JOSHUA SNOW,