The National Archives (PRO) CO 194/5: 260-262 [NAC MG 11, Microfilm copy, Reel B-208], William Taverner to the Board of Trade (Placentia, 22 October 1714) N.B. Black numbers in square brackets signify changes in pagination; blue numbers in square brackets signify endnotes.

[This is William Taverner's First Report relating to Newfoundland]

Rec'd 20 November, 1714
Read 28 February 1714/15[1]

[260]

May it Please your Lordsps

        Pursuant to Her late Majtys Instructions to me of the 21st & 22d of July 1713 This comes to Acquaint your Lordps That May ye 22d 1714 I embark'd at Limmington [2] on Board of the Otter Gally James Hurdis Commander bound for Placentia in Newfoundld where I arrived the 27th of June and waited on Collnl John Moody delivered him a Packet of Letters from the Lords Commissrs of Trade who Acquainted me that he had kept the Tyger Gally for me to proceed on the Survey of Newfoundland.[3]

June ye 30th

Collnl John Moody gave an Order to the Captn of the Tyger Gally to get his Ship in a readiness to goe to Sea as soon as possible and that he should follow my Orders after he was out of the Harbour.

July 6th

I waited on Collnl John Moody who gave me severall papers to Publish when I should arrive at St Peters [4] requesting me to Administer the Oath of Allegiance to her late Majy & Crown of Brittain To all the french Inhabitants who were willing to take it. To use my utmost endeavours to persuade 'em to continue in their respective Plantations and, if possible to hinder all French Ships from Fishing and Trading in those parts which belong to the English by the late Treaty of Peace. He also let me Have a Corporal and 11 Soldiers the better to enable me to proceed in that Service wch I readily embraced at that Juncture it tending very much to the Publick Good and benefit of Trade in those parts accordingly on the 10th ye Soldiers were Embarked.[5]

11th

Left the Harbour and Sailed into the Road.

12th

Sailed for St Peters. In my Passage I discovered a very dangerous Reef of Rocks, on which the Sea broake very high they Lye 2 Leagues and half from another parcol of Rocks which are a miles Distant from ye middle part of Cape St Marys[6] The Rocks bearing one from ye other ENE & WSW.[7]

17th

I arrived at the Harbour of St Peters where I put up Collnl Moody's Order on the Church door as also the Declaration aforementioned to hinder the French from fishing or Selling Goods During my Continuance in that Harbour I administred the Oath to the Inhabitants I also demanded the reason of the French's fishing there. One Rolland Chapau de Klaw Captn of the St Claude of Morlaix [8] told me in presence of the English Masters of Ships after a rude manner That he had a good French pass to fish there which he would stand by and in case I offered to molest him he would fight me. The next Morning had a Consultation with the English Masters of Ships about it, and Confin'd aboard ye said French Captn made him produce his French passport. I also told him I would not be imposed on by any such passport, as knowing the French King had nothing to do with the Fishing at that Island & parts adjacent which now actually belong'd to the Crown of great Brittain by the Treaty of Peace.

The French Captn acknowledg'd his Error, begg'd pardon and pretended he was in Drink, however I obliged him to give 500 [?] Security for his good Behavior.[9] I also required the Masters of the other French Fishing Vessels in the same Harbour to give the like Security.

[260v]

I Surveyed the Islands and harbour of St Peters with the Rock adjacent, which in my Opinion is the very best place of Fishing for a few English Ships in and about Newfoundland & a considerable Place of Trade, especially about Michmas[10] where all the Planters & Servants from the Bay de Espere, Cap nigro, Grand Bank, Fortune, Courbin &c. [11] bring in their Furrs and Summers Fish to sell for purchasing their Winters Provisions and necessarys.[12] The said Island is Subject to Foggs of a different dryer nature than those in other parts and yet is an extriordinary good place for drying & curing of Cod fish. There is good fishing ground all round the Island. The Harbour is good for Ships to Ride in especially the Bottom of it called The Bourgeway where no wind can hurt 'em. There's Beech enoug [sic] for 300 Boats and for Promoting the English trade in those parts. I have remitted to Your Lordp A New Chart thereof.[13]

July 23d

I Sailed to and Surveyed the Northermost Bay of Manyclone[14] where was a French Biscayer[15] a fishing. I also required the Master of her to give Security of his good Behavior. Upon the Bottom of that Bay is clean sand, good anchor ground for Ships to ride in and Beech enough for 400 Boats. Its also a good place for catching and curing of Fish, but very Foggy. The French informed me That 14 Ships were used to fFish there at one Time.

27th

I Sailed into the Bay de Espere[16], where I saw a Ship with 2 Shallops near the harbour of Rancounter[17], but could not speak with for the Ship I was in sail'd badly. I attempted to Anchor in the Bay de Forcu[18] but the Water was too deep and Tide against me wch obliged me to keep the Sea all night. In the Morning Anchored wthin Isle Grole.[19] There the Ship lay untill the tth of Augt. During which Time I Surveyed all the Plantations at the harbour of Good hope near Cap nigro,[20] which is a Tide harbour for shallops or shalloways[21] A very good Fishing place and Beech There was a fine field of Barly growing as good as ever I saw in England. I surveyed the Bay or harbour of Hermitage.[22] Ther's a good Beech and place for fishing some of the Houses was Burnt by the English 4 Years ago.[23] The Proprieter now fishes at the Isle de Espere but designs to return there next Season.

I also Surveyed the Plantation at Isle Grole, being a good Fishing place and Beech for 6 Boats, and administred the Oath of Allegience to the Inhabitants of those parts. I went to the Isle de Espere and took ye Bearings & Dist from thence to Cape Lahune, Cape Manyelon, St Peters, Isle Verd, Cape May, Island Brunotte with the adjacent Rocks & places &c.[24] The French informed me That the other Branche of the sd Bay de Espere called ye N E Bay runs about 20 Leagues into the Land,[25] In it are abundance of [ ] which afford plenty of Furrs, Masts for Ships, very good Timber of all sorts both for Boards and Plank also plenty of Deer. The water is there very deep It's accounted the Best Bay in Newfoundland The Inhabitants of St Peters &c. fetch most of their Timber and Boards from thence.

Aug. 4th

We Sailed from the Island Grole to goe for Grand Bank In our Passage I saw the Penguin Islands and Shoals a very dangerous place about 3 Leags S.W. from Cape Lahune,[26] I also went in a B[oat] [261] [to?] Rancounter, and Saw a Stage and Two Men left by a French Ship that has Fished there this Season But was run away to Cape Britton, fearing I should seize her according to Collnl Moody's Order. In the Evening I stood off to Sea, with a small Breeze. The night prov'd foggy and calm, having a great swell out of the Soern Board and a very Leewardly Ship by break of Day were drove within 2 cables length of the high Land between Rancounter & Cape Lahune.[27] We anchored in 15 Fathom continued on Board till the Evening dropt the sheet Anchor under foot desired the Captn to furle the Sails and put some Service in the Hawse which was neglected.[28] The sea running high all hands with much Difficulty went ashore in a small Bay 2 Miles off The Soldiers & Sailors wou'd by no means tarry on Board any longer.[29] The Ship rode in Safety all Night.

9th

In the Morning all hands return'd on board, Weighed our Anchors and came to Sail having a fair Wind, in the Evening Anchored in a Bay between Fortune and Grand Bank.

10th

I went On shore and Surveyed all the Plantations at Grand Bank. It's a Tide harbour very good for shalloways and Beech enough for 50 Boats fishing.

11th

I went in a Boat and Surveyed the Plantations at Fortune which is also a Tide harbour for small Vessels, Beech for 30 Boats but not Water enough for Ships.

12th

I Ordered the Captn of the Tyger Gally to proceed with his Ship to St Peters and went myself ashore and administred the Oath of Allegience to the Inhabitants of Grand Bank and Fortune.

13th

I embarkt in a small shallop at Grand Bank for St Peters & by contrary Winds was obliged to put into Fortune.

17th

Went in a Shallop to Goads where I Survey'd that Plantation afterwards made the best of my way to St Peters.[30]

18th

I arrived on board the Ship in the Harbour of St Peters where the Ship continued untill ye 18th of Septbr. During which time Surveyed all the Plantation there. I went out in the Boat as often as the weather permitted to Isl Verd, Manyclon & several other places I Surveyed those & other Islands in the Mouth of the Grand Bay of Fortune with the Coast of Chapeauroge &c. Charts whereof shall be sent home by the next Opportunity. In that Interim I hope to Compleat the Survey of the adjacent Bays wch being large & deep will require a considerable time to finish.

The Bottom of the grand Bay of Manyclone is allmost full of sand hills, at the NE corner whereof is a fine salt water pond about 2 Miles in length with above 800 Acres of very good pasture and meadow ground. The Soil is black Earth intermixt with Sand. The Land in that cold Climate makes it very fruitfull. It naturally produces wild pease and Grass in Abundance also some wild Wheat &c. Whose Improvement might be made by Industrious Farmers. On the Pond are abundance of Seals Fish & Wild Fowl &c.

Mounsr Costabelle sent a Letter from Placentia the contents of which hath been published by the Priest in the Chappels at St Peters & Fortune Threatning the French Inhabitants of those places that had taken the Oath of Allegience to her late Majty In case they remained there should be all Accounted as Rebells to the French King be hang'd if they went to France and have all their Goods & Effects Confiscated there, which frightened them very much. I was obliged to Continue at [261v] at St Peters somewhat longer than I entended to [ ? ] and Compose differences and encourage 'em to stay, otherwise this small Colony would have been quite Depopulated. The persons who had taken the Oath were concluding to goe for Cape Britton.

Another difficulty arose among 'em How they should be Supplyed with Provisions for their support the ensuing Winter I having hindred ye French Ships from Trading here by Collnl Moody's direction.[31]

The French Inhabitants required of me a Supply of Provisions &c. whereupon I had a Consultation with the English Masters & Merchts who were not Inclinable to give them Credit. Therefore I was obliged to promise 'em the Liberty of having Provisions from one Mounsr Gabriel Roger A French Mercht who gave them credit to be paid in Fish next season which I humbly desire Your Lordps will dispence with and be pleased to grant him Liberty the next Season to gather in his Debts so contracted. This being the only expedient I could take at this Juncture to make the poeple [sic] easy and prevent their going away. Their continuance here tends very much to his Majtys Service and good of the trade they being all Acquainted with the best Fishing grounds & places which the English another season to their great benefit will discover altho hitherto they have not frequented these parts, The very worst of them being better than the former English Settlements to the N.ward.

Septbr 19th

I left St Peters having Compleated my Survey of the adjacent parts designing to goe for Placentia.

22d

I arrived at the Harbour of Placentia.

23

I gave an Order to Captn Ruston to Clean his Ship as soon as possible, she being very foul having been off the Ground 23 Months but in Consideration that the said Ship wanting Cables and other necessarys as Tackling &c. And being too large and expensive to the Publick having too few men and by no means proper to return out upon the Survey, The Government paying 112 lb p. monsum for the said Ship and and but 13 Men I represent the same to Collonel John Moody who is of the same Opinions with me Judging it for the Service to send the said Ship home accordingly we did on the 6th day of October 1714 dismiss her.[32]

[And that his Majtys Service might not Suffer or be any ways hindred I have hired a small Vessell and men for Surveying the Bays the ensuing Winter am also Obliged to Build a Boat with 6 Oars for the use of the Survey there being none to be got in the Land which will cost 13 lb The charge for the said Vessell and Men from ye 10th day of October to ye 30th day of April is 7 Months and 7 Days[33] at £30 p. Menson amountg to £217..13..00 which I humbly beg Your Lordos will be pleased to Direct to be paid unto my Agent Mr James Campbell Mercht of London I have also hired a Canadean for his Majtys Service who Speaks the Indian Language very well, that when I meet with any Indians I may the better settle a Commerce with them.[34] I shall use my utmost endeavours in prosecuting [262] The Survey this Winter. The Coast between Cape Race & Cape Ray is very dangerous there being Shoals & Rocks in many Places and none of the French Charts true, wch at present deterrs the English from sending their Ships to Fish and trade there.[35]

With Submission to Your Lordship It's my humble Opinion that nothing can encourage ye Fishery & Commerce in those parts more than a spedy [sic] Survey of this Coast, which may be most expeditiously & effectually perform'd with a good Sloop of 60 or 70 Tuns 8 Guns 4 Pattareroes 16 able Men fitted out with good Cables, Sails, Sounding lines & a good Boat &c. Victualled for 12 Months To be Ordered for me timely in the Spring that she may arrive at Placentia by ye middle or latter end of April next and be under my management for the use of the Survey which in my Opinion is the best way to lessen the extriordinary charge at present and to Compleat ye Survey with far greater Expedition, I am,

My Lord,

Placentia Octr 22 Your Lordsp most humble

1714 And Obedient Servant,

Wm Taverner


Endnotes

1. The dates are in the Julian or Old Style; it was then still customary for the year to begin on 25 March, not 1 January. Thus, this letter was written in October 1714, received in England in November 1714, and read in what we would regard as February 1715, though by the Julian reckoning, 1714 had not yet come to an end (hence the notation that it was read in February 1714). [Return to text]

2. Lymington is on the south coast of England between Bournemouth and Southampton. [Return to text]

3. The Tyger galley was not a Royal Navy ship as Grant Head presumes; Eighteenth Century Newfoundland; A Geographer’s Perspective (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1976), p. 57. Rather, it was probably a ship hired by the Army to carry men and/or supplies out to Newfoundland. As such, Taverner is probably correct in his complaints that the ship was not suited to the task of surveying; it was at the same time too large for inshore work, and had too small a crew for the work of surveying. [Return to text]

4. St. Peters is the island and harbour of St. Pierre. The island and the adjacent French islands were all transferred over to England according to the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); they would be restored to France in 1763, according to the terms of the Treaty of Paris, and have remained French ever since. [Return to text]

5. Taverner was to administer oaths of allegiance to those inhabitants who chose to remain in the former French territories, now that they had been turned over to the British. This same issue of "oaths of allegiance" would eventually trip up the Acadians who remained in British territory; the infamous Great Expulsion which began in 1755 would ensure from their refusal to swear that oath. Taverner was also to ensure that no trade or commercial dealings would persist between the former French inhabitants and the merchants and traders who had been accustomed to supply them in exchange for their fish. This would create enormous difficulties for the inhabitants, as they (and Taverner) soon learned. Trade within the fishery functioned on credit, and credit was based on a confident familiarity with the people with whom one is dealing. The English traders and ship masters quite sensibly refused to extend credit to the French inhabitants because they did not know them well enough to know who was a safe credit risk and who was not. Eventually this would defeat the French inhabitants of St. Pierre and the adjacent French territories. Though many intended to remain (to judge by their willingness to swear the oath), most eventually felt compelled to move to Cape Breton Island because they were not able to plug themselves into the credit infrastructure of the British mercantile system. [Return to text]

6. Cape St. Mary’s is at the eastern entrance to Placentia Bay. [Return to text]

7. Taverner would take every opportunity to demonstrate to his superiors that he was carrying out his instructions in a conscientious manner. What could be more convincing than his discovery of "a very dangerous Reef of Rocks"? [Return to text]

8. Morlaix is a port on the north coast of Brittany between Brest and St. Brieuc. [Return to text]

9. Presumably post a bond which would be forfeit should the ship violate the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht by fishing or trading where this was no longer permitted. [Return to text]

10. Michaelmas is September 29, and appears to have been the traditional date for settling debts. Taverner here is describing St. Pierre’s importance as a social and commercial centre for the region west of Placentia Bay. [Return to text]

11. "Bay de Espere, Cap nigro, Grand Bank, Fortune, Courbin" are all places west of Placentia Bay. Fortune and Grand Bank are the two largest centres on the west side of the Bruin Peninsula; "Bay de Espere" is Bay D’Espoir, jut west of Hermitage Bay and cutting deep into the coast of Newfoundland; iy appears to have been the westernmost limit of French inhabitancy. "Cap nigro" is Connaigre Bay, between Harbour Breton and Hermitage Bay. "Courbin" is in Belle Bay, itself at the bottom of Fortune Bay. [Return to text]

12. Taverner is describing the basic relationship between year-round inhabitants of Newfoundland and European traders and merchants. The relationship was based on "truck," by which is meant the exchange of goods and services in kind and with credit, rather than cash exchange. The inhabitants depend upon metropolitan (that is, European) suppliers for the many things they could not furnish themselves but with which they could not do without: fishing gear, salt, clothing, a broad range of provisions, household goods, etc. They acquired these in exchange for the fish they had caught that season and the furs they had trapped the previous winter, when they were not fishing. There is no evidence that the inhabitants acquired these furs through trade; they were trappers, not traders. If they lacked sufficient fish and furs to secure what they needed from the metropolitan traders, they would acquire it on credit, against the next year’s production of fish and furs. It is this dependence on an established credit relationship which made the transition from French to English control so difficult; the English metropolitan traders who displaced the French ones were not quick to grant credit, because they did not know the local inhabitants. Taverner eventually had to bend a few rules (see below) to ensure that the inhabitants would not give up on the region and head off to Cape Breton Island, but would instead stay and remain productive within the British mercantile empire. An excellent explanation of the truck system appears in various portions of Rosemary Ommer, From Outpost to Outport: A Structural Analysis of the Jersey - Gaspé Cod Fishery, 1767-1886 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991), though the complexities of the debate surrounding the truck system are better appreciated by reading the essays appearing in Rosemary Ommer (ed.), Merchant Credit & Labour Strategies in Historical Perspective (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1990). See, for instance, J.K. Hiller, "The Newfoundland Credit System: an Interpretation," pp. 86-101. [Return to text]

13. Taverner’s map of the island and harbour of St. Pierre survives, though at the moment, I am not sure where in the Colonial Office papers it can be found, if anywhere – it is certainly not found here in CO 194/5 with this report. However, the map was published in the English Pilot. [Return to text]

14. Miquelon. [Return to text]

15. A ship from one of the Basque ports of southwestern France (such as Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Cibourre, Cap Breton, Bayonne, etc.). The Basques association with St. Pierre extends back into the sixteenth century.  [Return to text]

16. This could simply mean Bay d’Espoir as it is known today. However, it seems more likely, given the description that follows, that by "Bay de Espere" Taverner was referring to Hermitage Bay as well. He seems to have concentrated on the coastal settlements, and does not appear to have followed the long, narrow bays as they penetrated deep into the Newfoundland coastline. If true (and given the territory Taverner covered in the time available, this seems likely), then Taverner may never have done more than seen the mouth of the long fjord to which we today assign the name "Bay d’Espoir" and, even if he had sailed into the bay, it certainly seems unlikely that he sailed very far, once he realized how narrow and how far into the interior it ran. His mandate was to survey the coast and to take a census of the fishier folk on the coast, not explore waterways leading into the interior. [Return to text]

17. There exist today two "Rencontres,’ both on the South Coast. Rencontre East is in Belle Bay at the bottom of Fortune Bay. This is not likely to have been the "Rancounter" of Taverner’s Report, as it is some distance east of Hermitage Bay and Bay d’Espoir. Rencontre Bay, on the other hand, lies about two-thirds of the way between Hermitage Bay and Cape La Hune. It is a more likely candidate to serve as Taverner’s "Rancounter," as Taverner next tried to anchor in Facheux Bay ("Forcu"), which lay a little west of Rencontre Bay on the way back to Hermitage Bay. Nevertheless, Rencontre Bay is still some distance from Bay d’Espoir, and unless Bay d’Espoir was used in a very general sense to describe the region (unlikely; Taverner’s other place names are always quite specific), it may be that "Rancounter" (probably derived from the French word for "meeting place") may have been in Hermitage Bay or Bay d’Espoir and no longer exists, at least not by that name. [Return to text]

18. Probably Facheux Bay.  [Return to text]

19. Grole no longer exists, having been abandoned during the resettlement period of the 1960s. Grole was on the south side of Hermitage Bay near its eastern entrance at Pass Island.   [Return to text]

20. It is not certain where the harbour of "good hope" may have been; "near cap nigro" (Connaigre Head, on the far side of the next bay, Connaigre Bay) could mean anything. From what follows, it appears more likely that Taverner was still working in Hermitage Bay.  [Return to text]

21. A "shalloway" is a kind of fishing boat developed by the French in that part of Newfoundland, according to Capt. Kempthorne in his letter of October 1715 to the Admiralty (TNA [PRO] CO 194/5: 379-386v); Kempthorne described the shalloway as "fitted with a Deck, that can keep the Sea 5 or 6 Days for a loading..." (p. 380)  [Return to text]

22. The town and harbour of Hermitage lies on the south side of Hermitage Bay.  [Return to text]

23. There were no military or naval operations by the British in the region, so this attack must have been by English privateers.  [Return to text]

24. This remark strongly suggests that the Isle Espere and Pass Island were one and the same, since Pass Island at the tip of the peninsula on the south side of Hermitage Bay is the only island from which bearings could be taken to all the places mentioned here by Taverner. Cape La Hune lies almost due west of Pass Island, and Miquelon ("Manyelon") and St Peters due south; Isle Verd is Green Island, halfway between St. Pierre and Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula; "Cape" or Point May is at the tip of the Burin Peninsula, while Brunette Island is in the middle of the entrance to Fortune Bay, about halfway between Pass Island and Grand Bank.  [Return to text]

25. It is this remark which most strongly supports the point raised earlier, that the "Bay de Espere" of Taverner’s report includes not only the Bay d’Espoir of today but also Hermitage Bay and the open bay between Pass Island and Facheux Bay. Cuff concurs with this view; see Cuff, "Taverner's Second Survey," p. 15. The "N.E. Bay" to which Taverner refers here is almost certainly the landmark to which the name Bay d’Espoir is assigned, in a more limited way than in 1714, on today’s maps. [Return to text]

26. Taverner must have steered a very round-about course to sail from Grole to Grand Bank if he saw the Penguin Islands; these lie some distance west of Hermitage Bay. Such a course did, however, afford him the opportunity to pop into Rencontre Bay once again. [Return to text]

27. Taverner cannot be blames for devoting so much space in his report to this little drama. He was, after all, engaged in a dangerous task on an unknown coast. His ship was "leewardly," which meant that it tended to drift easily with the wind. In this case, this was a real problem because the wind came from the south and was pushing the ship towards an unfamiliar coast. Nor was Taverner happy with the efforts to anchor the ship, since no steps were taken to protect the anchor cables from chaffing and parting in the night. [Return to text]

28. To serve or service the anchor cable means binding it round with ropes or canvas to prevent it from being chafed by friction. See "To serve a cable" and "Serving" in William Falconer, An Universal Dictionary of the Marine: or, A Copious Explanation of the Technical Terms and Phrases Employed in the Construction, Equipment, Furniture, Machinery, Movements, and Military Operations of A Ship (new edition, London, 1780; reprinted Newton Abbot, UK: David & Charles, 1970), pp. 60, 260; also "Various Methods of Coming to Anchor" in John Harland, Seamanship in the Age of Sail (London: Conway Maritime Press and Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1984), pp. 244-6. [Return to text]

29. The situation was so perilous that sailors and soldiers alike abandoned ship for the shore until the strong seas and winds abated. They did not want to be on board if the ship should run aground on the coast. Taverner does not indicate whether or not he joined them. [Return to text]

30. It is not clear where "Goads" may have been; there is no place by that name on the Burin Peninsula today. [Return to text]

31. It is here that Taverner proceeds to explain the dilemma of the inhabitants of St. Pierre, and the steps he took to resolve that dilemma in such a way that they would remain in St. Pierre ("St. Peter’s") as British subjects. The dilemma was this: they needed to be able to buy provisions, supplies, and gear for the winter and to begin fishing the following season, but the English merchants and traders who had displaced the French ones were unwilling to extend credit to them. Taverner therefore made arrangements for French merchants to sell the necessaries to the inhabitants, and requested special permission to enable the French merchants to return the following year to collect on the debts thus incurred. It was this ad hoc arrangement which would arouse criticism of Taverner and contribute to the premature termination of his survey early in 1715. [Return to text]

32. As a merchant ship, the Tyger was bigger than what Taverner needed for coastal cartography and the challenge of poking about in small, uncharted coves and harbours. Ironically, because it was a merchantman, it would also have had a fairly small crew, one too small to serve the labour needs of a coastal survey. Thus, the ship was too big and its crew too small. [Return to text]

33. Taverner’s arithmetic can use some improvement; from mid October to mid-April is only six months. [Return to text]

34. This is a very interesting remark, since it suggests that the Indians Taverner expected to encounter on the South Coast of Newfoundland were not permanent residents. If they were permanent residents, one would expect Taverner to use the services of the local European residents of Fortune or Hermitage Bays; they would surely have sufficient familiarity with their aboriginal neighbours to be able to communicate with them. Instead, Taverner hires a Canadian (i.e., a resident of mainland French Canada, possibly an Acadian but also possibly a French-Canadian from New France), presumably because the Indians he expects to encounter are also from the mainland of North America. [Return to text]

35. Once again, Taverner affirms that the lack of charts discourages English fishermen from pushing into the region once controlled by the French. As was stated earlier, this is questionable; fishermen rely on the accumulation of experience, not cartographic information, to familiarize themselves with coastal fishing grounds. The English penetration of the region would not occur quickly; instead, it would occur gradually only as the accumulation of practical knowledge gave fishermen the familiarity they needed. [Return to text]