Mary Charlotte, a woman of color v. Gabriel S. Chouteau
View original image: Page  183
[missing figure]

settle in the scantily populated Bahamas, Bermudas, the
Province of QuebecProvince of Quebec, and NovaNova Scotia ScotiaNova Scotia &ca. The enticement offered
for their encouragement to come within those British territories
with their families, negros, furniture, implements of husbandry
and [ cloathing ], was a freedom from duty upon a
particular valued amount of those imported effects for each
white person of the family, and for each negro brought in.
Having thus encouraged their entrance into the province,
the statute at the same time discouraged their departure
from it, by withholding legal sanction from all sales or
bargains which those settlers might make of their negroes,
furniture or [ cloathing ] within twelve months after their
arrival. The statute necessarily referred to negros, by
reason of the existence of negro slavery in some, and of the
residence of free negros in others of the United StatesUnited States, to
which the general object and purport of the statute addressed
itself. VirginiaVirginia, the Carolinas, and other states,
maintained the institution of slavery, whilst PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
and the New EnglandEngland states had abolished it altogether,
after strenuous endeavours for the purpose from the
early part of the Eighteenth century. It was finally
abolished in PennsylvaniaPennsylvania in 1780, and Connecticut
and MassachusettsMassachusetts soon followed the example. From the
commencement of the war of Independance to its close, by
the peace of 1783, the slave and negro population, respectively,
of the United StatesUnited States had been considerably reduced. The slave
states lost by deportation to the West Indies alone, it is said,
upwards of ten thousand slaves; whilst the negro population of
the New EnglandEngland states, without reference to PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
and New YorkYork , had also suffered a reduction from 5249 in
1776 in MassachusettsMassachusetts, to 4377 in 1784, and from 6464 in
1774 in Connecticut, to 4373 in 1782. Many of both classes
had doubtless found their way into the British territories,
including CanadaCanada; and hence the belief in 1790, that [ many ]

View original image: Page  184
[missing figure]
many loyalists still resident in those different states might
be enticed by the allurements of the statute to come into the
British territories. This statute was manifestly a law for
the occasion, including objects and things, as well as persons,
white and black, within its professed aim and intention,
namely the withdrawal of population and capital from the
United StatesUnited States for the benefit of British interests. No professional
reputation, however elevated, would justify to itself an attempt
to fasten the slave institution upon CanadaCanada by implication
alone; and any such attempt, made from the words of the
statute, would be a gross and unwarrantable perversion
of every legal rule in the constrution of statutes. The
British act must rest upon its own terms prore nata; and
whilst in themselves they expressed and created a special
exemption, they at the same time recognised the existence
of the general principle of freedom in those British territories
into which the Untied States subjects, or Citizens, were encouraged
to come with their families, negros, furniture, implements
of husbandry and clothing, by the offer of an exemption
from fiscal duty upon a limited value of those
effects, which they were expected to bring with them.

I have already stated the fact, that the Upper CanadaCanada
act originated in the intended application of the British
statute, which will be manifest from the provincial modification
imposed by it upon the power of license granted
to the Lieutenant Governor by the British Act, and without
which the benefit of the latter could not be obtained
at all. It is notorious, as matter of historical fact,
that in 1783-4, there were upwards of ten thousand person
resident in the upper part of the then province of QuebecQuebec,
namely, now Upper CanadaCanada, and that they were, with
few exceptions, loyalist emigrants, who had left the
United StatesUnited States to continue under British allegiance. [ Of ]