Micmakis and Maricheets
Now Dependent on the
Government of Cape-Breton.
An Original French Manuscript-Letter,
Written by a French Abbot,
Who resided many Years, in quality of Missionary, amongst them.
To which are annexed,
Several Pieces, relative to the Savages, to Nova
Scotia, and to North-America in general.
* * * * *
Printed for S. Hooper and A. Morley at Gay’s-Head,
near Beaufort-Buildings in the Strand. MDCCLVIII.
For the better understanding of the letter immediately following, it may not be unnecessary to give the reader some previous idea of the people who are the subject of it, as well of the letter-writer.
The best account of the Mickmakis I could find, and certainly the most authentic, is in a memorial furnished by the French ministry in April, 1751, from which the following paragraph is a translated extract:
“The government of the savages dependent on Cape-Breton exacts a particular attention. All these savages go under the name of Mickmakis. Before the last war they could raise about six hundred fighting-men, according to an account given in to his most Christian majesty, and were distributed in several villages established on Cape-Breton island, island of St. John, on both the coasts of Acadia (Nova-Scotia) and on that of Canada. All, or most of the inhabitants of these villages have been instructed in the Christian religion, by missionaries which the king of France constantly maintains amongst them. It is customary to distribute every year to them presents, in the name of his majesty, which consist in arms, ammunition of war, victuals, cloathing, and utensils of various sorts. And these presents are regulated according to the circumstances of the time, and to the satisfaction that shall have been given to the government by the conduct of these savages. In the last war they behaved so as to deserve our approbation, and indeed have, on all occasions, given marks of their attachment and fidelity. Since the peace too, they have equally distinguished themselves in the disturbances that are on foot on the side of Acadia (Nova-Scotia).”
The last part of this foregoing paragraph needs no comment. Every one knows by what sort of service these savages merit the encouragement of the French government, and by what acts of perfidy and cruelty exercised on the English, they are to earn their reward.