Newspapers and Journals of the House of Assembly

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From time to time, articles pertaining to day to day activities, not usually considered newsworthy, were published in various St. John's newspapers. While these items were mainly concerning citizens of St. John's city and the nearby area, they sometimes mention events or activities for people in outlying settlements. In addition, the Journals of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland recorded most items that were brought to the floor of the Assembly by elected members of the House. These snippets of information give a glimpse of issues, projects, and decisions that came under the administration of various branches of the Government. Items such as early Crown Land grants, appointments of Crown officials such as magistrates, sheriffs, clerks of the peace, constables, etc. are often mentioned in these Journals. Infrequently, lists of regular citizens names may be mentioned in relation to petitions or other widespread events where the Government had to take action or provide assistance. The links below provide access to items that have come to my attention while doing research.

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  • Royal Gazette Newspaper - Land Grant Petitions.
    Selected entries, from early 1800s issues of the Royal Gazette newspaper, that mention Crown Land petitions by residents of the Caplin Bay area. This list is probably incomplete, since the extracts only seem to mention several years in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Additional information will be included, if it becomes available.
  • A Statement of the distribution of Flour ... in the Southern division of this District ... to sufferers of the Great Gale of 19th September, 1846.
    On September 19th, 1846 a Great Gale (hurricane) hit eastern Newfoundland, destroying fishing boats, stages, storehouses and other property. It is quite likely that many may have lost the fruits of their summer fishing efforts, i.e. dried salted cod fish, which was then ready for personal use or export to Great Britain and Europe. We don't know the full extent of the damage, since most, or all, of the newspapers at St. John's had been destroyed in the Great Fire that left almost two-thirds of St. John's city's population homeless on June 9th of that same year. Already struggling with that catastrophe, the Government tried to alleviate starvation by providing one basic staple, flour, to those affected by the hurricane. This link shows those who were enumerated in the distribution of this flour at Caplin Bay and neighbouring settlements in southern Ferryland District.
  • A Return... of persons given relief, ... in the Southern division of Ferryland District ... between the 1st Oct. 1847 to 14th Dec. 1848.
    After surviving through the winter of 1846/1847, people were struggling to rebuild their boats and fishing premises when yet another occurrence occurred that extended the near starvation, hardship, and destitution on into 1849. The potato blight. that was a major factor in creating the horrendous famine year of 1847 in Ireland (referred to as Black'47), was also found to be present in potato crops in many areas of Newfoundland. Again the Government intervened and provided some relief in the form of meal (ground corn?) and molasses. However, in this time-frame, it was given in return for labour on road and bridge building projects in the district. This link shows those who had provided labour and the amount of their entitlements under Government rates in Caplin Bay and the neighbouring settlements in southern Ferryland District.

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