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180   HISTORY OF CANADA.

The next state-aided immigration which bore a well-marked national character was that of the Irish, commencing in the year 1823 and continuing for several years. Great commercial distress in Ireland was the cause. The first year's arrivals were located in the region lying between the Perth settlement and the Ottawa River. In 1825 was settled that portion of the Newcastle District on the north shore of Lake Ontario, of which the town of Peterborough is the centre. Nearly five hundred Irish families received land there. They were generously treated, and a good mill was built for them by the Imperial authorities, who spent £43,000 upon this one movement alone.

Crown and Clergy Reserves.—By the Constitutional Act of 1791 provision had been made for the setting apart of a certain portion of the land in hoth provinces as Crown Reserves, and of another portion as Clergy Reserves. Both classes of reserves proved a most serious hindrance to settlement. Shortly after 1791 blocks of land in the immediate neighborhood of the earliest settlements had been set apart as Crown and Clergy Reserves. But, in course of time, these had been granted to favored individuals, members and friends of the ruling faction, and lands in the back townships had been substituted for them. Lying as they did, often in great blocks, between settlers, both the Crown and Clergy Reserves were an impediment in the way of all improvements, particularly of road making. If to these reserves we add the lands granted, often in large tracts, to these same favorites in the regions now being opened up, it would appear that fully one-third of the land was thus withheld from settlement.

The Canada Company.—The most potent factor in the settlement of the inland districts of Canada was the famous Canada Company, which obtained its charter in 1826. It was at first intended that the whole of the ungranted Crown Reserves and one-half of the Clergy Reserves should be sold to the company at a low price, upon terms which would necessitate a speedy settlement. Owing, however, to the refusal of the Clergy Reserves Corporation to accept the price fixed for their lands, what is known as the "Huron tract " was taken by the company in their stead. This tract consisted of about one million acres of land, covering a region stretching from Goderich on Lake Huron nearly to Hamilton at the head of Lake Ontario. The


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