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|Records of the Bay of Quinte
The lists below of "aliens" living in these 5 townships in 1815 name men denied the right to take the oath of allegiance because they have arrived from the United States after the end of the War of 1812. Loyalty was a concern in the decade following the War of 1812 and these lists are an example of the tension and the actions taken by the Lt. Governor. Thanks to Guylaine Petrin for sending me a copy of the Thurlow list and getting me started on this little story.
Use these links to jump up and down this lengthy web page.
1. "The Alien Question"
2. Thurlow Alien list
3. Murray and Ameliasburgh Alien list
4. Hallowell and Sophiasburgh Alien list
|1. "The Alien Question"
The leadership of Upper Canada was very concerned about the number of settlers living in the province who were born in America due to suspicion of their fondness for American republicanism. The War of 1812 had shown Upper Canada how important it was to hold strong ties to Britain for protection from the "treacherous enemy".
Lt Governor Francis Gore, arriving in Sept 1815, found that Americans were still "pouring across the border" and he ordered the Magistrates in the province not "to administer the Oath of Allegiance to any person not holding Office in the Province, or being the son of a UE Loyalist, without a special authority in such case". Thus American citizens arriving in the province would not be able to secure title to land without the oath and this, it was hoped, would discourage settlement. The issue of "Aliens" continued with much acrimony, well into the late 1820's and was one of the factors in the rise of the Reform Movement.
The list below is a clear response to the order from Gore. There are a number of similar alien lists for other townships into 1816.
Source: The above is paraphrased from Upper Canada, The Formative Years, 1784-1841, Gerald M. Craig, McClelland and Stewart, 1963. Chapters 5 and 6 give an excellent account of the alien issue. Craig gives this citation for the order C.O. 42/356, p. 123, Gore to Bathurst, 17 Oct 1815; U.C. State Papers, I, 149
Another excellent book that sets the alien question in the context of the aftermath of the War of 1812 is, Plunder, Profit, and Paroles, A Social History of the War of 1812 in Upper Canada, George Sheppard, McGill, Queen's Univ. Press, 1994
2. Thurlow Alien list
Thurlow, 24th Novr 1815
Agreeable to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governors commands I herewith transmit to you for his information the names of all such as to my knowledge, have come to this place from the United States or elsewhere since the conclusion of the late American War. Some of whom I believe intend returning to the United States again shortly.
I shall strictly adhere to the command of the Lieutenant Governor also in not administering the oath of Allegiance hereafter – except in cases you mention.
I have the honor to be, Sir
Your most obedient and Humble Servant
[signed] James McNabb
To William Halton Esquire
Secretary to the Lt Governor
|Report of the Number of Aliens, now residing in the County of Hastings, near the River Moira, Midland District.|
Thurlow, 24th November 1815
James McNabb J.P.
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, 1766-1841, RG5 A1, LAC, film also at AO, Vol 25, C-4545, pp. 11039-42
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|3. Murray and Ameliasburgh Alien list|
27 Nov 1815
I have the honor of acknowledging the Recpt? of yours, but sickness has prevented my sending a return of the aliens sooner – the included is a list of the aliens, now residing in the Township of Ameliasburgh and Murray, which I now forward for the information of his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor . I shall take the earliest opportunity of forwarding to your office a List of those who may hereafter come into the Province who may come within the limits of my knowledge.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient Humble Servant
James Young JP
Wm Halton Esquire
Secrety etc etc
District of Newcastle, Township of Murray
Hiram Murray, labourer from the United States
Archibald Wilcocks Do Do
Joseph Smith Do Do
Midland District, Township of Ameliasburgh
Ebenezer Sloan, labourer from the United States
James Sweet Do Do
William Cumpton Do Do
[Signed] J Young JP
November 27th 1815
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, 1766-1841, RG5 A1, LAC, film also at AO, Vol 25, C-4545, pp. 11094-96
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|4. Hallowell and Sophiasburgh Alien list
1st December 1815
We have duly received your Circular letter of the 14th October last, respecting a return of Aliens and now enclose to you the number at present Residing in the Townships of Hallowell and Sophiasburgh, as you will Observe your said return, and then several Occupations Together with their Designations assign as we have been able to Determine in that case, and agreably to his Excellency commands shall from time to time make known to you any of that Description which may hereafter come to reside within our knowledge.
Barret Dyer [all] Esquires
Ebenezer Wash[burn – torn off]
On His Majestys Service
William Halton Esq
Secretary to his Excellency the Governor
|Return of Aliens now in the Townships of Hallowell and Sophiasburgh in the County of Prince Edward of Upper Canada, having Emigrated there since the Conclusion of the late war with the United States of America and all from said States|
For James Cotter
Barret Dyer [all] Esquires
[signed] Ebenezer Washburn JP
Hallowell 1st December 1815
To William Halton Esq
Secretary to his Excellency the Lt Governor
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, 1766-1841, RG5 A1, LAC, film also at AO, Vol 25, C-4545, pp. 11128-31
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