Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Payzant Family from a History of Nova Scotia

A gentleman named Payzant came to Halifax in 1754, with a recommendation to Lawrence, then president, from Mr. Pownal, secretary to the lords of trade. (I find in the London magazine for 1757, among the deaths, 'July 23. James Payzant, esq : a clerk in the secretary of. state's office, aged 100.) Mr. Payzant decided on settling with his family in the vicinity of the new German town of Lunenburg, and Lawrence gave him a letter to colonel Sutherland, who commanded there, requesting that he should be favored and protected in his design. Payzant established his residence, building a house on an island in Mahone bay, a delightful region, not far from another island then called Rous island, on which there was also a settlement belonging to Capt. Rous. A party of Indians went to Rous's island — took off a boy, whose hands they tied, and forced him to guide them to Payzant's place, the islands being numerous, and then probably all covered with wood. They killed and scalped Payzant himself, a woman servant and a child—carried off Mrs. Payzant and four children, and also killed and scalped the boy guide. The man who lived on Rous's island was also found scalped. It was the practice of the Indians then to carry any prisoners whose lives they spared to Canada, where they were disposed of for a money ransom, which the humanity of the French inhabitants or the policy of the Quebec rulers provided; and after years of exile, the survivors got back to the British colonies, on exchange of prisoners, re-payment of ransom, or at a general peace. In this instance, one, if not more, of the four children of Payzant were, after a long time, restored to Nova Scotia. A son of this family got back from Canada, and in after life was a religious teacher of great piety and virtue at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and the name is still found in the province, growing in esteem.—On friday, 14 May, the lieutenant governor assembled his council at his own house, in Halifax, at which messrs. Green, Cotterel, Rous, Collier, Monckton and Wilmot, met him. He laid before them the letters he had received from Scott and Sutherland, detailing the circumstances of the Indian warfare, and they resolved to offer bounties for Indian prisoners and scalps.

The following is re-printed from one of the placards then issued:

[royal Arms.]


Lieutenant-Governor and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Province of Nova-Scotia, or Accodie.


Whereas notwithstanding the gracious Offers of Friendship and Protection made by us, in his Majesty's Name, to the Indians inhabiting this Province, and the Treaty of Peace coneluded with a Tribe of the Mickmacks, bearing Date the 22d November, 1752, the Indians have of late, in a most treacherous and cr-ael Manner, killed and carried away divers of his Majesty's Subjects in different Parts of the Province.

For these Causes We (by and with the Advice and Consent of His Majesty's Council) do hereby authorize and command all Officers, civil and military, and all His Majesty's Subjects, to annoy, distress, take and destroy the Indians inhabiting different Parts of this Province, wherever they are found ; and all such as may be aiding or assisting to them, notwithstanding the Proclamation of the 4th of November, 1752, or any former Proclamation to the contrary.

And We do hereby promise (by and with the Advice and Consent of His Majesty's Council) a Reward of Thirty Pounds for every male Indian Prisoner, above the Age of Sixteen Years, brought in alive ; for a Scalp of such Male Indian Twenty-Jive Pounds, and Twenty-five Pounds for every Indian Woman or Child brought in alive : Such Rewards to be paid by the Officer commanding at any of His Majesty's Forts in this Province, immediately on receiving the Prisoners or Scalps above mentioned, according to the Intent and Meaning of this Proclamation.

Given at Halifax, this \tfh Day of May, 1756, in the igtA year of His Majestyi

By His Excellency's Command,

Cha- Lawrence.

Wm. Cotterell, Seer.

GOD save the KING.

Halifax : Printed by J. Bushell, Printer to the Government . 1756.

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