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HISTORY OF CANADA.   105

 

that purpose, nor are there any persons who profess themselves weavers so as to make it their employment or business. They only work at it in their own families during the winter and other leisure time. All the inhabitants of this colony are employed either in husbandry, fishing or providing lumber, and all the manufactures for their clothing and the utensils for farming and fishing are made in Great Britain."

Prince Edward Island — Land Monopoly. — Prince Edward Island was known during these years as the Island of Saint John. It received its present name in 1799 in honor of the Duke of Kent, who, as conunander-in-chief of the British forces in America, built a fort and established a garrison at Charlotte-town. When the island was ceded to Great Britain (1763) its population consisted of "about thirty Acadian families," described by Captain Holland, who made a survey of the island, as extremely poor and as living by " gardening, fishing, fowling, etc." In 1767 the British government adopted a plan for the settlement of the island. " Nearly the whole islnd," wrote Lord Durham in 1838, " was alienated in one day by the Crown in very large grants, chiefly to absentees, and upon conditions of settlement which have been wholly disregarded." The allotment was made in England by ballot. The grantees were men, military officers and others, who had claims upon the government. The island was divided into sixty-seven townships of twenty thousand acres each, with small reservations for military, religious, and educational purposes. There was no co-operation on the part of the proprietors in peopling the island ; each acted on his own responsibility, and while a few showed energy in the work, the great majority did nothing. But they had great influence in England, and for over one hundred years they were able to thwart every effort of the island assembly to effect such a change in the land system as would further settlement and improvement.

A Separate Province.--Their first step was to have the island set apart as a separate province. In 1769 this was accomplished, though there were only five proprietors and one hundred and fifty settlers on it. Walter Patterson, one of the proprietors, was the first governor. Provision was made for an assembly, which met for the first time in 1773. It was at first contemplated that the expenses of government should be met by


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