The Mi'kmaq were willing to give up all the territory in light scale for peace


On August 26, 1754, the Councils of the Mi'kmaq and the small Maliseet Nations, which had not joined with the majority of the Maliseet Bands in signing the Treaty of 1749, held a Council at Fort Beauséjour and formulated an offer for a peaceable settlement of their war with the British which was communicated to the Governor at Halifax on their behalf by Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre. They made the following proposals:

(1) They have determined to continue in peace, and to commit no act of hostility
against the Subjects of Great Britain, until the reply which you, Sir, and Council
are to give them on what they propose to you in writing, shall reach them...

(2) They agree to give no insult to those of the English whom they shall meet
travelling on the highway; but that those, who shall depart from it, for the purpose
of going into the woods, as the Detachment did which came lately to Shubenacadie,
which they consider an infraction, shall be treated as enemies.

(3) That in order to arrive at a solid and durable peace, there shall be ceded to them
a certain space of territory which they only shall enjoy, suitable for hunting and
fishing, and for the establishment of a Village, and a Mission as a Parish.

(4) That this space of territory shall extend from the South of Baye Verte, comprising
Fort Lawrence and lands depending on it, to the entrance of Minas, thence
ascending into Cobequid as far as and comprising Shubenacadie, and leaving this
latter place, formerly my Mission, in ascending and descending afterwards as far as
the River Musquodoboit, and from this place which is on the coast of the East, to
about eight leagues from Halifax, passing by the Bay of All Islands. Saint Mary's Bay,
Mushaboom, as far as Canso, and from Canso by the Passage of Fronsac to the
said Baye Verte [the map shows the approximate size of the proposed territory].

(5) That within this space of territory, to which they restrict themselves, and which
theyconsider very moderate, and very limited in view of the immensity of the land
they did possess, and of the amount at present in their possession, the enjoyment
of which they demand for themselves alone, with all possible tranquillity, there
shall exist neither Fort nor Fortress belonging to the French or the English.

(6) They most earnestly request, that the replies or decisions concerning the above
Articles be given to them between St. Michael and All Saints, that is to say in the
course of the month of October next.

The proposals made by the Mi’kmaq and allies were greeted with contempt and derision by Governor Charles Lawrence and his Council. This message belittling the proposals was transmitted back to them through Captain Hussey at Fort Lawrence:

"Mr. Le Loutre's letter containing his proposals [Governor Lawrence could not bring himself to acknowledge that the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Nations were the architects of the proposals] of peace with the Indians has been thoroughly considered by Council.

His Articles are so extravagant, and so much out of our power to comply with, that the Council don't think it consistent to make any answer to, or take the least notice of them. The terms in which they are drawn up shows that he is not serious because he asks what he knows to be both insolent and absurd, but this is no more than a piece with the rest of his conduct.

He will doubtless tell these poor wretches that he has made such overtures of peace for them to us, as we might have well granted, and by that means endeavour to make them believe they can never have peace with us, in order that he may still have them under his influence and dependence, this we can easily see is his drift."

Click to read about Mi'kmaq Culture