British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

be employed at trades or on the farms, and the girls making clothes, taking care of dairies etc. and their food and clothing would be simple. The introduction of spirituous liquors should be particularly guarded against. . . .

[A similar plan is proposed for the Mississaga tribe.]


2
UPPER CANADA: LIEUT.-GOVERNOR SIR JOHN COLBORNE TO R. W. HAY, 3 May 18291

DEAR SIR,

York.

Since the receipt of your letter of the 3rd of December, I have collected such information respecting the Indian Department, as now enables me to offer an opinion how far it may be expedient to carry reduction, and what measures should be adopted to diminish gradually the expense incurred in conveying the annual presents to the Indians settled in Upper Canada, and to those who have been accustomed to assemble at Drummond's Island, and Amherstberg, from the territory of the United States.

It appears I think, that a considerable decrease in the expense of the establishment of the Indian Department may be effected in a few years, if the course which has been pursued with the Mossissagas [Missisagas] of the Credit should be observed with the other tribes. You will perceive by the annexed report, from the Revd. Mr. Magrath, that a very extraordinary and beneficial change has taken place at that station.

Under the superintendence of attentive resident agents, civilization may be extended to the whole of the Indians of this Province, and a fund created for their future support by granting leases of their lands, and selling part of them.

We have been involved, for many years, in a system which has occasioned an enormous expense without conferring any benefit on the Indians, or insuring their friendship.2 A great effort will now, I hope, be made to ameliorate their condition and to place their children under zealous instructors.

No alteration can yet take place with propriety, in the amount of the presents issued to the Indians who resort annually to Amherstberg from the United States, or to those who have been accustomed to visit Drummond's Island; but some expense may be saved by fixing the periods of issue at the former place. . . .

[He recommends a number of staff rearrangements in the Indian Department.]

____________________
1
C.O. 42/388, marked 'Private'. Sir John Colborne was Lieut.-Governor of Upper Canada from 1828 to 1836, and remained in Canada as Commander-in-Chief during the governorship of Sir Francis Bond Head.
2
For earlier criticisms of the Indian Department and the system of annual presents see Simcoe Papers, vol. iii, pp. 61-64, 321-4.

-591-

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