Nova Scotia Royal Gazette, 19 February 1817
PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE. Thursday being the day appointed for convening the Legislative Body, at two o’clock His Excellency the Right Honourable the Earl of DALHOUSIE went in State to the Council Chamber … His Excellency was then pleased to open the Session with the following Speech: — …
I am sorry to have to state to you, that I have received since my arrival various reports of distress, occasioned by the failure of the Crops, in many districts of the Province during the last two years; and though some temporary relief has been afforded, there is reason to apprehend that the pressure of want still continues, and may be severely felt before another harvest can be obtained, even under the most favorable circumstances season. This subject I recommend to your earliest and most serious consideration….
“Provincial Parliament of Lower Canada,” Quebec in Nova Scotia Royal Gazette, 26 February 1817
Provincial Parliament of Lower Canada.
Quebec. Jan. 16. His Excellency the Governor in Chief having again come down to the Legislative Council….
…and then His Excellency was pleased to deliver the following Speech: —
…I have been induced to assemble the Legislature at an earlier period of the year than usual, … but also to call the immediate attention of the Provincial Parliament to a most grievous calamity which can only be properly remedied by the Legislative interference – I allude to the failure of the Crops in different parts of the Province, but more particularly in the Parishes below Quebec, where it has been represented to me that the inhabitants have been reduced to a state of absolute want.
Having ascertained that the evil really did exist to an alarming extent, I lost no time in making such temporary arrangements as would secure the lower orders from the dreadful effects of famine, until the Legislature could be convened. …
The failure of the last year’s harvest is, I find, generally attributed to an unpropitious season. It, however, may be a subject worthy of investigation, whether other circumstances may not have had a share in producing the present scarcity, and if any such causes exist, to consider how far it may be in the power of the Legislature to prevent their future influence.
“Extract of a Letter,” Pictou, NS, 21 March 1817 in Nova Scotia Royal Gazette, 26 March 1817
Extract of a letter, dated Pictou, March 21, 1817
Yesterday a party of five Gentleman, in two Sleighs left this place at half past 8 in the morning, and passed in two hours and a half across the Bay to Pictou Island, the Ice being on that part a Northumberland Straits, with very few exceptions, as smooth as upon any of the Harbours along the Coast – they tried the thickness of it in two places, one of which was nearly in the mid channel between the Island and the main, where it was found nearly three feet: most remarkable when it is considered that the Tide runs at least two miles per hour and that it was evidently Ice made upon the spot and not drifted there: after feeding their Horses and taking some refreshments upon the Island, they returned home in the same time, without having seen open water, a circumstance not within the memory of the oldest Settler in the place.
Nova Scotia Royal Gazette, 9 April 1817
Whereas, the bad Season last year has very much injured and diminished the breed of Partridges throughout the Province, and it is deemed necessary, for the more effectual preservation of so useful a bird, to prevent any of them being killed during the present year:
Be it therefore enacted, … That it shall not be lawful of any person or persons … to kill any Partridges within the Province from and after the publication of this Act, until the first of October, which will be in the year one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, under the penalty of ten shillings for each and every Partridge taken, killed, destroyed, sold, or exposed to sale, or found dead in the custody or possessions….
Provided always, That any Indian, or any poor and distressed Settler, who may kill any Partridge for their own use and necessary subsistence, and not for sale, shall not be subject to any penalty under this Act.