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Petition: Prince Edward to become a District

Signed by 518 men

1830

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Records of the Bay of Quinte

Background to this petition
In 1788, Districts were established in Upper Canada. Originally, only four districts were created and they formed the basis for administration and Courts. As the population increased these districts were subdivided and by 1849 there were twenty districts.

In 1792, Prince Edward was part of the first group of counties to be established. They formed the basis for elections, militia, surveying of townships and land boards. The counties existed within the districts. In 1830, the County of Prince Edward was within the Midland District and the district seat was Kingston.

This petition, dated 1830 and signed by 518 inhabitants, refers to an earlier petition in 1825 and continues to request that the "peninsula" of Prince Edward
County be established as a District of its own, separate from the Midland District. In 1831, following this petition, Prince Edward became a District with Picton (Hallowell) becoming the administrative and judicial seat. The court house was completed in 1834. See the Archives of Ontario maps for the early District boundaries. This petition provides a partial census substitute for the year 1830.


This petition was assembled by gluing several pages together in a long scroll. The text of the petition itself is followed by seven pages of signatures in four columns each and they are transcribed below as assembled. Each column was headed by the signature of a Justice of the Peace. Signatures can be a challenge to transcribe. Let me know if you think I have misread some and I will double check.
Randy Saylor, transcribed Dec 2011.


Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, 1766-1841, RG5 A1, LAC, film also at AO, Vol 104, C-6871, pp. 59152-52g, on line at Heritage Canadiana, starts at image 1225.


The Petition
To His Excellency Sir John Colborne Lieutenant Governor K.C.B. of the Province of Upper Canada and Major General commanding His Majesty’s Forces therein etc etc
The petition of the undersigned freeholders and others of the county of Prince Edward in the Midland District
 
Humbly Sheweth
That the Midland District extends along the Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte a distance of upwards of seventy miles in length, is generally of a productive soil and from its extensive inland roads? communication perhaps more advantageously situated than any other District in the Province.  That the population of the district now exceeds Thirty Thousand [sic] Souls and when the vacant lands become occupied and under cultivation, which is rapidly taking place, it will from its agricultural products alone sustain more than five times that number.
 
That the County of Prince Edward is composed, as will be seen by reference to the map of the Province, of a large peninsula upwards of Fifty Miles in length, entirely cut off and separated from the rest of the Midland District, except in narrow Isthmus at the extreme Western limit of the county.  That it covers an area of about eight hundred square Miles, and has already a population of upwards of Ten Thousand [sic] Inhabitants and when the uncultivated parts of the County become cleared and occupied, which will be the case in a few years, the number will be greatly increased, and it will present at tract of country on equal in its fertility and internal resources and a population unsurpassed in respectability and Loyalty to the Government by any other part of the Province.
 
The peculiar Peninsular situation of the County appears marked out and designed by nature to form a separate jurisdiction untrammeled and unconnected with the rest of the Midland District.  The present incorporation with which has long retarded the Growth and Improvement of our County without yielding any corresponding advantage in return.
 
It will perhaps be unnecessary to enumerate and point out to your Excellency all the disadvantages under which we labour, the peculiar local situation of the County must render them self evident.  We will merely state to your Excellency that all or almost all the taxes levied and raised in the County of Prince Edward except our representatives wages are spent in Kingston from which place sheriff's fees are charged to the remotest parts of the County a distance of more than seventy miles, and to which place we are all liable to be called that the sittings of every Court either as Magistrates, Jurors, Constables, Litigants or Witnesses.
 
That in many instances crimes and misdemeanors are passed over and allowed to go unpunished on account of the great expense, and damages unavoidably occurring to the persons prosecuting at so great a distance from their homes. That the communication with the rest of the Midland District, separated as the County is by the water of the Bay of Quinte is always interrupted, and, at certain seasons of the year extremely difficult and dangerous.
 
These and other reasons needless at present to mention induced the Inhabitants of the County of Prince Edward in the year of our lord eight Hundred and twenty five, to present their humble petition to the Provincial Parliament and then in session, praying the passing of an act to set off and direct the County into a separate and distinct District, and a bill for that purpose was introduced and then passed the House of Assembly  [9 words too faint to decifer] to your humble Petitioners it did not meet the convenience of the other branches? of the Provincial Legislature. Every year since that period a similar petition has been sent from the County and so well satisfied has the House of Assembly been of our ??? and the many [two words?] situation that they have year after year declared their readiness? to afford us relief by passing through their House a Bill founded upon the Prayer of our petitioners which unfortunately for us has not been conducted? in by the Honble the Legislative Council.
 
Your petitioners would further represent that the public debt of the Midland District which has been contracted by building a new Gaol and Court House in the Town of Kingston at present amounts to about Two Thousand five hundd pounds in equitable proportion, of which your petitioners are willing, shall be liquidated by yearly installments out of the assessed Taxes collected in the County, after which there will still remain a sum amply sufficient, with proper management and economy, to defray all necessary expenses and charges of a separate jurisdiction.
 
These reasons and arguments your petitioners humbly and respectively submit to the calm and dispassionate consideration of your Excellency with a confident hope they will produce that decision they look to for their relief and that your Excellency will be pleased to sanction an Act authorizing and empowering the Lieutenant Governor or person administering the Government by his proclamation to establish and erect the county of Prince Edward into a separate and distinct district, to be subject to all the liabilities and enjoy all the rights, privileges, jurisdiction and immunities of any other District in the Province. So soon as he shall receive satisfactory evidence that a Goal and Court House are erected in the Township of Hallowell in the said County and so far completed as to admit the holding of Courts therein, and that the remainder of the taxes collected in the County, after paying such proportion of the Public Debt of the Midland District as may apply, up here appear just and equitable may be paid into the hands of a treasurer of the County hereafter to be appointed, when set off as before mentioned and appropriated to the General purposes thereof and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.
 
The County of Prince Edward
December 1830

John Stinson JP James Dougall JP Benjn Hubbs JP S? Washburn JP
D.L. Fairfield John Dougall J A Macpherson R J Chapman
W Ireland Isaac Scott Jacob Platt John Scott
William Cunningham Lewis C Lazier James Lazier Abraham Lazier
Franklin Lazier Wilson Bently Caleb Williams Abizah Spafford
Thomas Eyre James Graham Junr Hulbert Williams Samuel Wright
Samuel Foster Joseph Rorke John Goodwin Wm Rorke
Samuel Merrill






[2nd page] [2nd page] [2nd page] [2nd page]




David Barker James Thomson James Barker David B Stevenson
William Clark Senr John Benson Nicholas Peterson Heavlin Hubbs
Jn M Gillis James Olson James Cummings Jeremiah Herington
Daniel W Hubbs William Beard Robert Fleming Thomas Moore
Joseph Ritan Abiger Tomkins Joseph Barker John Davis
Thads Ketchum John A Benson James O’Sullivan Adam Hubbs
John P Sullivan Dines O'Sullivan William Hughs John Johnston
Norman Landon James Bond Jacob Hicks John P Ellis
Wm A Richards John H Osterhortt John Scott Jun James C Larkin
Stewart Wilson Wm McCameron B F Hotchkiss John Hopkin
John Munro? James Ingell Hiram Brisbin Thomas Lawrens
Alexander P Sheriff Joseph J Johnson Charles Saylor Joseph Badgley
James Macdonald Philip Short George Bull Richard Young
James Caven Thomas Welsh J .A. Macpherson John D. Fraise
John Willson John Foster William Youngs Airen Pease
John Stanton James Johnson L P Macpherson Dyer S Ogden
Nathaniel Ellison George McCormack Solomon Leet Paul Clark
Samuel Love Robert Patterson Aaron Martin Samuel Wright
David Stinson Isaac Fisher Robert Scott Wm Leavins
Henry Osterhortt Joseph Johnson B Bristol Joseph Reynolds
Marinis Fuar Royn B Conger Amos Hubbs Gilbert French
James Williams John B Spencer Garret Barker John Mouk
William Steel Barret Dyer James Sprag Patrick Collin
Henry Gerow John Askins H S Allan John Patterson
William Patterson
J Stevenson
Barry Patterson
Wm Barker




 [3rd page]  [3rd page]  [3rd page]  [3rd page]

     
David Smith John Coleman Corns Vanalstine William Case Miller
William Dougall, Asa C Ferguson Abraham Vanalstine William Dyre
Jonathan Hindes John Martin Moses Carnahan Isaac W Hare
Abraham Chase James Cook John Brown Henry Christy
Wm Rorke Garret Striker Gideon Bowerman Robert Lawson
Joseph Allen James Dulmage John Hewett Abm Stephens
Thomas Clappe James Patterson Soln Spafford Gilbert Orsen
Thomas Wilson Wm Ogden Samuel Pettingall Matthew Patterson
Jacob Frellick Samuel Townsend Abraham Townsend Archelaus Southard
D. Anderson Calvin Pier Arra Ferguson Wm Hale
Wm T Bowerman James McQuaid Stephen Nix Robert Johnston
William Cahill C B Augustus Anthony Merrill Jacob Osterhortt
Job Huff Daniel Hare John Ekert Henry Southard
Thomas Doyle Richd Tinn?
Benjn Gerow Thos McCartney
John Nixon John Johnson John Abercrombie Jonas Clark
Abraham Putney David Dulmage D M Hopkins Richard T Gardiner
Samuel McCartney John Stafford Jonathan Miller Andrew Huycke
B Dougall Gershum Clark Thadeus Lawson Samuel Clark
J T Lane Samuel Baker Joseph Clark Job Elsworth
William Stinson Willet C Danard Chas Smith Henry Spafford
John C. Meera William Huycke Winett Williams Chester Hoskins
T Wm Norton George Lawrence Nelson Huchin James Kinmouth
Geo Penrose Thomas Baker Peter Taylor Samuel Baker




[4th page] [4th page] [4th page] [4th page]




Chas Bochus Benjamin Leavens William Yerks W Williams
Chas M Bower Josiah Bowerman Matthew Curry W M Bockus
Peter Post William White Baptista Bodra F B Baker
Samuel L Porter Richard Smithiared John VanCourt William Hughes
Joseph Dailey Joseph T Bowerman William Shaughnessy Geo Snider
Schuyler Steward James Cooper Paul Washburn Joseph Heazlet
Wm Begle Elias Vannbuck Charles C Garratt Nicholas D Lazier
Andrew Patterson John Jones Allen Munro Peter Lazier
Corey Spencer Gershom Vincent Timothy Pringle Joseph Grooms
Duncan P Graham, Edward Rush John Carley Nicholas Peterson
Gideon Gardner Caleb Elisworth Job P Eylseworth Robert Maybe
Joshua Hicks Benjamin Baba Daniel Dalley William Blakely
Paul McCuaig Timothy Neham Moses Gilbert Elijah D White
Henry Dyer Orrin Pierce Norman Ballard James Leavins
Joseph Wilson Thomas N Brown Isaac Reynolds Solomon I Spafford
Paul Trumpor John Wilson Luke Ballard Vincent Ferguson
John W  Farley Patt Shendun George Welsh William R Newell
Timothy S Master John McFaul David Wallace Ira Allen
Wm Wells J Welsh Samuel Waters Daniel Gilbert
Charles Johnston Peter Leavens Joseph Black James Welsh
Alexander Heasfelt Patrick Collins James Deacon Pet er Demill
Alexander McDonell JP
Alexander Vanalstine ? Dulmage Charles Mernie
Joseph Hughs James Farrington Edward Farrington Samuel Farrington
Samuel Danard
Fras Thompson John Kennedy




[5th page] [5th page] [5th page] [5th page]




Samuel Foster John Goodwin William Reid Vincent Bowerman
Moses White Geo Munro Andrew Austin Willet Townsend
James Walmsley Wm B Leavens Abm Warren John Platt
Josiah Bull Gilbert Dorland Jonathan Bowerman John J Bowerman
Ira Spafford John R Morden Josh Walters Joseph Baker
Joseph McCaul Benjn Simpson John D Fraise Ira Brown
Walter Wilson John Darling Junr Abraham Ruttan Edwin N Kingsley
Valentine Ogden Owen Goodwin William Southard, Asa W Elsworth
David B Neill Wm Rankin William Curry James Ketchum
E Leavens Thomas P Cooper Wm Nelson Silas Ball
Wm W Cunningham John Millar Josh W Nelson Silas Dyer 2nd
Garnet D. Clute P Roaball Robert Grimson Duncan McCrimon
Gilbert Phillips Owen Richard Ruben? Reynolds, Geo Bigg
Francis Mitchell Hiram Wilder Owen McMahon JP
Isaac Gleg
Wm G Williams Peter Taylor Erastus Boots David Williams
Phillip Williams John B Kimball Willson Conger John Palen
Joseph Rorke Richard Hughes Ezekiel Palin John Smith




[6th page] [6th page] [6th page] [6th page]




Thomas Clark Jos Groome Arra H Vandusen, Peter Collier
Palen Clark Lewis Head James Cumming Simon Phelps
John Richards John Wright Sr Orrin Sutcliff John Gordon
Benjamin Richards Danl Wright Henry Van Tass?
T G Pallens
Robert Sproule Peter McGuire Peter Minaker Solomon Dulmage
Wm Hicks Patrick McFadden Samuel Molyneux  Joseph Burley
Barnard Smyth Richard Hill George McGuire William Powers
Isaac Austin Jacob Vancleft John Lane William Carson
Henry Vandusen David Willard Thomas Wilbank Michael Mouck
Luis Minaker Joshua Hicks Joseph Holmes Jesse Vancleft
Isaac Ramas Cornelius Turner Saml W Carson Wm Vandusen
Andrew Kerr John Snider John Welbanks James Gerolamy
William Lear John Harrison John McDonnell Elias Vannbuck
Philip Clapp William Beniker James Ranaus Jr John Ames
John McIntosh Tobias Snider F Hume Isaac Ostrander
James Gerolamy Junr Thomas Carson Fredk Minaker Ira Leamon
Jacob Dulmage James Collier George Gerolamy Thomas Midceff
John Simmerman Jacob Hughes
David K Pall or Pace
Edward Dulmage Jacob Green
Thomas Carracke
John Migery Chas Smith
Samuel Clapp
Samuel Byers John Hicks

Charles Sproul

Joseph Hicks



John Allen





[7th page] [7th page] [7th page] [7th page]




Orton Hancox JP
David Van Blaricum D???? Spragge
Saml Holmes JP
Benjamin T Alllison James Hart
James Cutter JP
John Howell Abraham Goesline
Griffith Howell JP
Gid Carpenter James Fairfield
John Smith Thomas Pearsel Stephen W Randall
John Allison Thomas Davis Robt Vaughan
John Burdett Henry Lambert Alfred A Bradley
Victory Sykes Jacob Short Ira Buttie
Jeremy Dunning David Darling Joseph Smith
Lewis R Snider Thomas Bowerman

Elias Clark John Gerow

Luke Vanhazen George Cathey

Oliver Burdett Daniel Lambert

Dens Sullivan Jacob Benson

Wm Foster Jonathon Gauley

James C Kemp Richard Somes

Cornelius C Phelps Adam Short

Jacob Hemell Peter W Ruttan

Israel Tripp George Boulter

Benjamin Smith Lyman Hill

David Taggart John R Way

William Cousin


John Thompson