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Letters from Canada
Written during a residence in Canada in the years 1806 to 1808.

Shewing the present state of Canada, its productions, Trade, Commercial Importance and Political Relations illustrative of The Laws, the Manners of the People, and the Peculiarities of the Country and Climate. Exhibiting also the Commercial Importance of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Cape Breton and their increasing ability in conjunction with Canada to furnish their necessary Supplies of Lumber and Provisions to our West-India Islands by Hugh Gray (1809).


The Author of these letters, from the nature of his pursuits in Canada, was led to direct his attention, in a particular manner, to the laws and the commerce of the country. In the investigation of its laws, ancient and modern, he became acquainted with the nature of the government; and in the views he took of its commerce,—the productions of the country, its commercial regulations, and political connexions in their different bearings, presented themselves to his consideration. Many important facts, and valuable commercial documents and calculations, relative to these interesting countries, were gradually collected and arranged.

During his residence in Canada, and while travelling through it, the manners and customs of the different classes of society did not pass unnoticed; and the natural beauties of the country, which are every where conspicuous, were not regarded with indifference.

In Canada, nature presents itself in grand and imposing forms. To see, to feel, and to admire, necessarily follow each other. The peculiarities of the country, and of the climate, are striking; and the phenomena incident to the Canadian winter are extremely curious. These were investigated with all the attention they seemed to deserve.

On his return to. England, he found that the state of our political relations with the United States of America, and the northern powers of Europe, was still such as to render all communication with them extremely precarious; any country, therefore, which could give us the articles we had been in the habit of receiving from them, became doubly interesting. Such is Canada, and such are our other North American colonies. To point out the value of the latter more forcibly, there are added in the Appendix the petitions and memorials from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the British government, in which the productions and resources of those countries are stated, and the line of policy pointed out, which they imagine most likely to promote their welfare.

The immense regions in North America, which still form a part of the British empire, are very little known to the English nation; and yet the statesman, the philosopher, and the merchant, might there find an ample field for the exercise of his talents. The geographical position of our North American colonies, relative to the United States; their immense extent of territory, and their commercial importance, ought to induce us (particularly at the present moment) to turn our attention that way. To effect this end, is, in a great measure, the object of the present publication.

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