THE LOYALISTS AND SLAVERY. 33
Loyalist corps, but then in London, announced his intention, and that of a number of others, of settling in Cape Breton. About the end of October one hundred and thirty persons, among whom were officers of the disbanded Royal Rangers, reached the island from Quebec ; about eight hundred others settled in various parts of it in the early summer of the following year ; and governor Desbarres announced later that an accession of four thou-sand persons had speedily followed the publication of his proclamation of September first. Many disbanded soldiers of the regular army were among the settlers : of the six hundred and thirty families of disbanded Loyalists, preciously serving in Canada, who had sent Lieutenant Jones to explore Cape Breton and had requested Abraham Cuyler to act as their agent in England in securing lands there, only the party- arriving in October, 1784, seems to have really reached the island.
That slaves were held in Cape Breton about that time is certain : in the absence of such returns as Cuyler, the provincial secretary and registrar of grants, for some reason delayed or failed to make, their number is unknown. Cuyler himself was a slave owner, as the old records of the parish of St. George, Sydney. containing an entry of the burial on September 15, 1i92, of •' Diana Bestian, a Negro girl belonging to Abraham Cuyler, Esq.." sufficiently attest. Among several other entries in the same •' register of baptisms, marriages and burials," which explicitly or by implication bear witness to the presence of slaves on the island, is one which reads : •' Cxsar Augustus, a slave, and Darius Snider, black folks, married 4th September, 1;SS." In the early days of the present century there stood on the property of the Barringtons, between North Sydney and Sydney- Mines, a building known to have been occupied by the slaves of the original owner—Boisseau, who had brought them