in the hour of their affliction, and asked that they
might have time to remove from the Peninsula
with their effects, leaving their lands to the English
; but the answer of the British
minister claimed them as useful subjects, and refused them the liberty of transmigration.1
The inhabitants of Minas
and the adjacent country pleaded with the British
officers for the restitution of their boats and their guns, promising fidelity, if they could but retain their liberties, and declaring that not the want of arms, but their conscience, should engage them not to revolt.
‘The memorial,’ said Lawrence
in council, ‘is highly arrogant, insidious, and insulting.’
The memorialists, at his summons, came submissively to Halifax
‘You want your canoes for carrying provisions to the enemy:’ said he to them, though he knew no enemy was left in their vicinity.
‘Guns are no part of your goods,’ he continued, ‘as by the laws of England
all Roman Catholics are restrained from having arms, and are subject to penalties if arms are found in their houses.
It is not the language of British subjects to talk of terms with the crown, or capitulate about their fidelity and allegiance.
What excuse can you make for your presumption in treating this government with such indignity, as to expound to them the nature of fidelity?
Manifest your obedience, by immediately taking the oaths of allegiance in the common form before the council.’2
The deputies replied that they would do as the