Resolutions of the Saint-François-du-Lac Meeting on seigniorial tenure
The following resolutions appeared in Le Canadien on August 18, 1837 and were reproduced in the book Assemblées publiques, résolutions et déclarations de 1837-1838, texts collected and presented by Jean-Paul Bertrand, Montréal, VLB Éditeur et l'Union des écrivains québécois, 1988, 304 p. ISBN 2-89005-313-X.
RESOLVED, 1 : That the avowed intent of kings of France, in establishing the seigniorial tenure in this colony, was not to make it an object of speculation to the profit of the seigniors, but to constitute land agents whom they wanted to see responsible for establishing and distributing lands to the inhabitants by concessions whose rates and conditions would be fixed and moderate.
RESOLVED, 2 : That there exist several arrets and rulings by the intendants who note that the seigniorial land rents ordered by His Very-Christian Majesty, were of one cent of rent per arpent in surface, and one cent of rent and a capon per front-side arpent, and that it was called the ordinary rate.
RESOLVED, 3 : That since the beginning of the establishment of Canada up until 1759, the seigniorial land rents did not exceed the rates and conditions expressed above, and that as soon as the seigniors wanted to deviate from it to increase the charges, they were forced to conform to the ordinary rates by the intendants.
RESOLVED, 4 : That after the conquest no authority of this country believed itself qualified to exert the powers of the intendants without the authorization of a special law; that several seigniors abused the situation, to arbitrarily increase their land rents and other reserves and servitudes, in spite of the just complaints of their censitaires.
RESOLVED, 5 : That a great number of seigniors currently ask for up to 10, 15, 20 cents and more for land rent per arpent in surface, and many new servitudes that were not known before 1759. That so many seigniors infringing on the old rates should not be tolerated.
RESOLVED, 6 : That the land commutation tax is an immoral and unjust tax on the industry of the inhabitants of this country; that it prevents the establishment of manufactures and the use of capital, and that it should disappear from our Civil code.
RESOLVED, 7 : That in this province, the majority of the real estates which are or were the property of the family father are mortgaged by the customary dower, for half the value.
RESOLVED, 8 : That the acquisition of such real estate is often uncertain, and all the more dangerous as the douairiers can dispossess the purchaser notwithstanding the decree, which does not even purge the said dower.
RESOLVED, 9 : That the general and tacit mortgages are another source of uncertainty and danger in the acquisition of real estate which like the customary dower, cover its relating transactions of a mysterious veil, depreciate the landed properties in this province, and reroute capital and industry.
RESOLVED, 10 : That a humble petition be presented to the provincial legislature, in its nearest session, to ask for the making of a law which would cure the abuses mentioned above.
RESOLVED, 11 : That the local committees of each parish be responsible to have the said petition signed.
RESOLVED, 12 : That Pierre Blondin, esquire, public notary, be appointed as one of delegates to the Convention, in place of Adolphe Lozeau, esquire, who resigned.
By order of the President.
J. O. Arcand, Secretary
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