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Excursions in and about Newfoundland
During the years 1839 and 1840 by J. B. Jukes
In 2 volumes


I feel that the publication of a book made up of such slight materials as the following notes demands some apology. My reason, then, for sweeping out my note-books and laying their contents before the public is, the utter ignorance which prevails in England with regard to Newfoundland. Of this ignorance I must plead guilty to the possession of a full share before my visit to that country. Before I looked into books to learn something of the place I was going to, I did not know the name of the capital, or whether the island had any towns or permanent inhabitants or not. Since my return from the country I have found many persons—I may say, indeed, almost every one —in the same state of entire darkness on the subject. Very great ignorance of the condition and extent of our Colonial possessions, generally, prevails indeed among all ranks of society, except in those classes connected with them by trade; but Newfoundland, the oldest of all our Colonies, seems to have become utterly blotted out of our recollection, or is known only by its dogs. 1 thought, therefore, there might be a sufficient number of people willing to know something about it, and who would allow me to take them by the ear while I told them what I had seen of it. Scarcely had I begun, however, to enter on this task, when I was called to commence preparations for an excursion of some years, to another quarter of the globe. The marks of extreme haste, and many slips of the pen, will, no doubt, be abundantly evident to the reader, but let me assure him that such haste was the result of uncontrollable circumstances, and not a mark of disrespect towards him.

Should he desire to be more thoroughly and better informed on many points with respect to Newfoundland, I beg to refer him to a work shortly to be published by my friend Dr. Stabb of St. John’s, which will, I believe, contain a full historical and statistical account of the island.

It now only remains for me to state that the Legislature of Newfoundland voted in their last session the sum of 100Z. to defray the expense of printing mv Report on the Physical Geography and Geology of the island, and lithographing and colouring its accompanying maps and sections. That vote, with the rest of the money bill, was subsequently lost in the Council. At my request, however, His Excellency the Governor, Sir John Harvey, has taken upon himself to pay this grant, and to him my acknowledgments are accordingly due, as enabling me to put everything in train before I leave England. I must here also publicly offer my thanks to the Honourable J. Crowdy, the Colonial Secretary, for the uniform courtesy and kindness I have received from him in this and other matters.

February 8th, 1842.

Volume 1  |  Volume 2

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