small flourish

Report by Agathe de Saint-Père on the subject of her business affairs, 13 October 1705.


At Montreal on The 13 8ber [October] 1705.


With the arrival of the vessels I have learned that you wish to have an Account, With monsieur The governor and monsieur de Beauharnois, of The success of my business endeavours. Such an Instruction Monseigneur has impelled me to take The liberty


of Informing you of it myself Your highness. Knowing full well your devotion to this country, I am flattered that you wish to hear the details, and you will discover how I single-handedly Created a factory for the production of linen, drugget, twilled serge and cover[ings]. For this, Monseigneur I bought nine Englishmen from the hands of the Savages at my own expense; I bought looms for them and had them brought Upstairs in Appropriate Quarters.

What little Hemp and Flax there was at the time required that I have nettles gathered, which abound on our Land like desert manna; the substance is Inexhaustible as it is never Subject to the elements. From it we fabricate cloth


of a quality [illegible word] that gives testimony [two illegible words] to Hemp. Not satisfied with these results, I was inspired, Monseigneur, by a thought that I could not dispel, to Remove the bark from The wood that must be burned in order to clear The land and improve Its worth. I had the bark reduced to tow for spinning, Which is quite beautiful when Washed, like flax. From it I had fabricated numerous coverings that Unlike Wool withstand everything; I dye Them using my various colours of wood; the bark is so Plentiful that one man alone can Gather four hundred pounds of it in One day, and I propose to offer a great amount of it for four sols Per Pound as it is most suitable for Cable and rigging on vessels


and it Never rots.

We also have, Monseigneur, wild Cotton plants with A fibre [made?] like The bulrushes found in Lakes, with a Tow so white that it requires no bleaching in the sun and produces beautiful cloth.

It is of a different nature than the plant which, at the tip of its stem, carries a duvet from which we fabricate Bedding.

We also have beyond Cataraquoy Cotton plants similar to Those found in the Islands which make beautiful Linen; its duvet is wrapped in a small purse that this tree by Nature produces at its Extremities. The journey and the prohibition to go there makes it Difficult to have it in supply.

I am forwarding, Monseigneur, to your highness


some samples of all of these items which are not without Imperfections, due to a shortage of tools because of The loss of La Scaine [La Seine ship] and the Saint jean today in Which are All of the textile Cards.

We also have Illinois beef that we raise north of Detroit and Which supply us with more Wool than our sheep and from which we fabricate strong serge thread, and I enclose to your highness a sample of these materials. This Climate is so ideal that beyond The nourishment it provides for the plants as well as for all Tow, It takes good care of the major timber wood, and Imbues it with a sugar ideal for


the peasant to produce a sugarloaf as in the Islands, Brown sugar, syrup and sugar candy, produced to my knowledge in montreal in quantities of more than thirty thousand pounds.

I repeat to your highness that Hardships here are Incomparably better than those in france.

I could go on and on, Monseigneur, if I were to give way to the Knowledge that I have of the advantages to be found in Canada. I will cut this short for Fear of boring your highness. Your justice towards all gives me hope that I will be noticed, and that you will agree to support my endeavours without Which


I cannot continue, having to this day relied on my courage alone, which Prevented me from Relenting under the difficulties and expenses I had to contend with in the Beginning.

I ask that you grant for my zeal, Monseigneur, a moment of your Attention, and I assure you that The country will share in the good graces that you bestow upon me, through the fruits that it receives Incessantly from the Use of materials that until now have been Cloaked in the Obscurity out of which I have retrieved Them.

My Imagination, Monseigneur, has given me the honour of retaining a small portion of your


Attention which I will respond to with The care and The Conduct that I display.

That is all. My recognition will be expressed in my wish that The lord keep you in safety for The good of The state and to whom I am most devoted with the deepest respect.


your most humble
and most obedient

at montreal this

13th October 1705

servitor agatte

de St pere of repentigny

Source: France. Archives nationales, Fonds des Colonies. Série C11A. Correspondance générale, Canada, vol. 23, fol. 343-346v, Saint-Père, Agathe de, Letter on the goods produced in Canada, October 13, 1705.

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