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Request by M. Ruette d’Auteuil to have black slaves brought to Canada, 1689.


Report on the state of affairs in Canada. [...]


The making of lumber, either in saw mills or otherwise and even land cultivation could be sources of return for france and the Islands of America, but in order to succeed in these sorts of undertakings resources are required, and since the domestics available are extremely rare and expensive, they ruin all those wishing to take up some form of trade or commerce.

As a remedy to the situation, we believe that if it would please the king to grant permission to have negroes or other slaves in the said country, as he was so gracious as to allow the Islands of America, this would be the best solution to all issues of production


and a great favour that he would be graciously granting to those who wish the Country to grow and prosper.

To the objection that the Negroes would not survive here due to the cold, experience has proven the contrary as there have been some who have adapted perfectly over the course of many years and the English have many of them in New England, and there are a large number in Holland.

Theses types of negroes are adaptable to all sorts of work and as the cost of ownership is merely for them, their clothing and nourishment, there is nothing to stop the success of an undertaking, because with them we can lose nothing except labour.

Their clothing will consist of Beaver pelts, a fur that will shield them from the harsh winter cold and will cost little since, in wearing them, they will oil the pelts and [well-oiled] the pelts will increase in value.

Source: France. Archives nationales, Fonds des Colonies. Série C11A. Correspondance générale, Canada, vol. 10, fol. 344-345v, Ruette d'Auteuil de Monceaux, François-Madeleine-Fortuné, Memorandum on Canada, 1689.

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