Government of Canada, 1749.
The walls around the city of Montréal were constructed at the king’s expense approximately ten years ago, under the reserve that the city would slowly reimburse the royal treasury, until the debt is erased. The city reimburses the crown 6000 livres yearly for the walls; the priests contribute a third of the amount, and the remainder is payable by the inhabitants. The king had the Québec walls constructed at his own expense, without burden to the inhabitants, as they have duty taxes to pay.
The West Indies Company has the trade monopoly on beaver furs and it is managed by its employees only. As for other furs, trading is open to all. There are many areas, in Canada’s interior, where the French trade merchandise; they are called trading posts. The only properties belonging to the king are the fortresses in Québec, Fort Chamblais [Chambly], Fort Saint-Jean, Saint-Frédéric, Montréal, Frontenac and Niagara; the others belong to traders or to private individuals. The king singularly governs the Niagara trade. No inhabitant from Montréal is permitted to trade freely with the Savages; he must first obtain the authority and permission of the governor-general, and pay a major sum of money.
In Québec, the governor-general and the intendant conduct business in buildings constructed by the king, but in Montréal nothing has been built for them; the king has only given permission to provide them with rented space. The house of the former governor-general, monsieur Vaudreuil, was rented for the present governor-general and is named the Château. For his part, the governor of Montréal has not been provided with a lodging by the king and nothing is rented for his use; he must himself rent his own lodging. The king owns no property here,
The storekeeper has a function similar to that of an intendant or, more precisely, to that of a chief keeper of supplies from the home country. He is in charge of all the king’s merchandise and food provisions, all that the king has brought here destined for trade with the savages and for many other purposes. The storekeeper is not permitted to deliver any items without a prior order, and this order comes from the commissary or his second-in-command.
I previously stated that no one has the freedom to conduct fur trading with the Savages without the prior permission of the governor-general. This is not granted free of charge; a rather large sum of money must be paid relative to the importance of the trading region in question. A merchant who sends a boat filled with various types of merchandise and with a crew of 4 or 5 men must pay a sum of 500 to 600 livres for the authorization to do so, and there are regions in which the authorization can cost up to 1000 livres. Often authorization is not granted even when high sums of money are offered, and the reason is that the governor-general, who provides the authorization and receives payment, has granted or will grant permission to friends or family. It is the governor-general who receives the money, but as custom would have it he must remit half of the amount to the poor. Is the custom faithfully observed? Who can say!