Belcher’s Proclamation 1762

His Majesty by His Royal Instructions. Given at the Court of St. James, the 9th day of December, 1761, having been pleased to Signify.

THAT the Indians have made, and still do continue to make great Complaints, that Settlements have been made, and possessions taken, of Lands, the Property of which they have by Treaties reserved to themselves, by Persons claiming the said Lands under Pretence of Deeds of Sale & Conveyance, illegally, Fraudulently, and surreptitiously obtained of said Indians.

AND THAT His Majesty had taken this matter into His Royal Consideration, as also the fatal Effects which would attend a Discontent among the Indians in the present situation of Affairs.

AND BEING determined upon all occasions to support and protect the said Indians in their Rights and Possessions and to keep inviolable the treaties and compacts which have been entered into with them, was pleased to declare His Majesty’s further Royal Will and Pleasure, that His Governor or Commander in Chief in this Province should publish a Proclamation in His Majesty’s Name, for this special purpose.

WHEREFORE in dutiful Obedience to His Majesty’s Royal Order I do according publish this proclamation in His Majesty’s Royal Name, strictly enjoining and requiring all Persons what ever, who may either will fully or inadvertently have seated themselves upon Lands so reserved to or claimed by the said Indians, without any lawful Authority for so doing, forthwith to remove therefrom.

AND, WHEREAS Claims have been laid before me in behalf of the Indians for Fronsac Passage and from thence to Nartigonneich, and from Nartigonneich to Piktouk, and form thence to Cape Jeanne, from thence to Emchih, from thence to Ragi Pontouch, from thence to Tedueck, from thence to Cape Rommentin, from thence to Miramichi, and from thence to Bay Des Chaleurs, and the environs of Canso. From thence to Mushkoodabwet, and so along the coast, as the Claims and Possessions of the said Indians, for the more special purpose of hunting, fowling and Fishing, I do hereby strictly enjoin and caution all persons to avoid all molestation of the said Indians in their said claims, till His Majesty’s pleasure In this behalf shall be signified.

AND if any person or persons have possessed themselves of any part of the same to the prejudice of the said Indians in their Claims before specified or without lawful Authority, they are hereby required forthwith to remove, as they will otherwise be prosecuted with the utmost Rigour of the Law.

Given under my Hand and Seal at Halifax the fourth Day of May, 1762, and in the Second Year of His Majesty’s Reign.