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1752 Inspection Tour

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Tour of Inspection Made by Sieur De La Roque
Census 1752

Source: 5-6 Edward VII - Sessional Paper No. 18 - A.1906


“The journal and census of the Sieur de la Roque, from the Archives in Paris, were prepared under the direction of M. le compte de Raymond in the year 1752. La Roque commenced his work in the midst of winter and had to encounter many hardships in the performance of his task. The census appears to have been carefully made and furnishes many details of interest today. As an introduction to the work of the Sieur de la Roque we quote a letter of M. le comte de Raymond to the Minister, dated the 5th of December, 1752, as it contains the instructions given to the surveyor, particulars concerning his qualifications and the progress made with the census up to the end of the year.”


Letter of the Compte de Raymond to the Minister
Louisbourg, 5th December, 1752.

My Lord:

The ship which is to carry the dispatches is not yet ready to sail, and is not likely to leave for eight or ten days.

I do not know whether the Sieur de la Roque, one of the land surveyors of the colony, has yet arrived in Paris, where he is going after he has entered into possession of an inheritance at Toulouse.

I would be sorry, my Lord, if you were not apprised before his arrival there, of his qualifications. He is a very good man, full of zeal and talent. He is the son of one of the King's Musketeers, of good family, and has rendered excellent service during the last war.

He has done wonderful things here for me. It is he, who last year made a tour of Ile Royale to inspect, according to my instructions, all the ports and harbours, search for a new route to Ile au Justaucorps, which is feasible, and would shorten the sea voyage between this Island and Ile Royale more than fifty leagues.

I had also entrusted him with the making of a general census of the settlers on the Island, name by name, men as well as women and children, their respective ages and professions, the numbers of arpents each has of improved land, the number of their cattle, their species, fowl, &c., &c., distinguishing the good workmen from those who are not, and the character of each individual. He was also instructed to examine, and inspect the most precipitous places on the Island; those where troops could be most easily landed; how many ships each harbour could accommodate, and their tonnage; the difficulties of making each harbour, the rocks and breakers at their entrances; what disputes exist concerning concessions, and lastly, a general survey of everything.

I instructed him to do the same during the summer at the Ile St. Jean. He acted as my forerunner there, and I have seen with pleasure, My Lord, during the general tour which I have made, that when I have personally reviewed the reports which he has made to me, they have all been proved correct.

This man, being of good family, is desirous of rising above the average and asks a brevet as sub-engineer, which I pray you to be pleased to grant. Monsieur Franquet has already taught him much, and he intends to perfect himself during his stay in France, but at the same time, I have arranged with him that at present he shall not cease to be a surveyor. He will be of the greatest assistance in the general survey, which I intend to make of this colony, as well of Ile. St. Jean, in order to come to some definite settlement of the concessions. He will take with him two other surveyors, and with his knowledge of the country, and of each concession, he will be well fitted to satisfactorily carry out the work.

I pray of you, My Lord, to not only grant him the favour he greatly desires, but also to show him more kindness and allow him to return by the first boat coming here.

If you intend to send us a fourth surveyor who has some knowledge of engineering and who has the instruments necessary for the survey of this country, it would be very fitting to expedite this most interesting work.

Two surveyors would go one way, and two the other. I know that to maintain four surveyors here will be putting the King to much expense, but I also know that at the present time they are very necessary, and will be so until the land granting business is cleared up, and all the concessions have been put in order and the boundaries determined; a work which cannot be begun too soon. It would not be necessary to keep more than two afterwards, one in this colony, and the other at Ile St. Jean. The two others could be utilized on other work, or returned to France.

Les Sieurs Chatton and Roche who are the other two surveyors, and of whom nothing but good can be said, have not yet received payment of the three hundred livres which you had the goodness to grant to each of them towards the cost of passage to this country. I beg you, My Lord, to be pleased to send orders that they be paid, for I assure you they have great need of this small sum, as they cannot live here within the limits of their eight hundred livres pay.

I have the honour, etc.                       

Le Compte de Raymond 



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